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The French Presidential Election Is Underway

Tyler Durden's picture


Update: according to Belgian Le Soir, first exit polls show that Hollande is not surprisingly ahead, with 27% of the vote, 25.5% for Sarkozy, 16% for Marine Le Pen, and 13% for Jean-Luc Melenchon. More or less just as expected, and setting the stage for the runoff round which will be Hollande's to lose. French speakers demanding a minute by minute liveblog, can find a great one over at Le Figaro, and an English-one can be found at

And from Reuters:

Note to media: this story should not be published in France or in French before 8 p.m Paris time (1800 GMT), in compliance with French law.


Socialist challenger Francois Hollande and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy are set to contest a French presidential run-off in two weeks, with the former topping the first-round vote on Sunday, Belgian broadcaster RTBF said.


RTBF quoted first projections based on counted votes from hundreds of polling stations, which by law cannot be published in France until the last polling stations close at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), as showing Sarkozy and Hollande would go through to the second round on May 6.


Hollande was ahead on the first ballot with 27 percent of the vote, with Sarkozy on 25 percent. RTBF said extreme-right leader Marine Le Pen came in third with 20 percent.

As of 8 am CET, polls are open in the first round of the French presidential elections where voters are expected to trim the playing field of ten to just two candidates, incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy and his socialist challenger Francois Hollande, who will then face off in a May 6 runoff, where as of now Hollande is expected to have a comfortable lead and take over the presidency as the disgruntled French take their revenge for an economy that is contracting, an unemployment rate that keeps rising (see enclosed) despite promises to the contrary, and as their to "express a distaste for a president who has come to be seen as flashy following his highly publicized marriage to supermodel Carla Bruni early in his term, occasional rude outbursts in public and his chumminess with rich executives.....France is struggling with feeble economic growth, a gaping trade deficit, 10 percent unemployment and strained public finances that prompted ratings agency Standard & Poor's to cut the country's triple-A credit rating in January." In a major shift for the country, Hollande would become France's first left-wing president since Francois Mitterand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard-d'Estaing in 1981. As Reuters reports, "Hollande, 57, promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million)." The Buffett Rule may have failed in the US but La Loi de Buffett is alive and well in soon to be uber-socialist France. Yet it is not so much Hollande's domestic policies, as his international ones, especially vis-a-vis the European Fiscal Treaty, Germany, and most importantly the ECB, that roiled markets last week, causing French CDS to spike to the widest since January. In other news, goodbye Merkozy, hello Horkel as the power center shifts yet again to a new source of uncertainty and potential contagion.

From Reuters:

On Friday, the risk premium investors charge to hold French debt over safe-haven German bonds rose to nearly 1.50 percent, betraying fears that Hollande's economic program could be pulled to the left if Melenchon's popularity leads to a strong bloc of seats for the far left after parliamentary elections in June.

And the WSJ:

French Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande on Friday pressed the European Central Bank to cut interest rates and to lend directly to euro-zone member countries to bolster economic activity, in the latest escalation of campaign rhetoric targeting the institution.


On the final day of the election campaign before Sunday's first-round vote, Mr. Hollande detailed how the ECB could play a bigger role in boosting growth. Under French law there is no electioneering the day before the vote.


"If we think cutting interest rates is the way economic growth can be sustained, I'm in favor," Mr. Hollande said in a radio interview. "There's a second way: lending money to the states instead of lending it to banks."


The ECB declined to comment, but Mr. Hollande's comments are unlikely to gain traction within the Frankfurt-based institution.


Lending directly to states would mean the central bank is financing governments, which is strictly prohibited by current European Union regulations. ECB Executive Board member Peter Praet, who is also the chief economist of the central bank, stressed in a speech in Berlin on Thursday that EU legislation clearly rules out the ECB's monetization or bailout of governments.


In addition to going against the ECB's prime mandate of maintaining price stability, any ECB direct lending to states also would put the bank's independence into question, ECB executives have repeatedly warned.

Needless to say, the ECB already seen as a puppet of various core European political interests, will have none of this and made it very clear that no lending to governments directly will take place (for the simple reason that the weakest link in the European ponzi is to keep banks funded under the pretext of them performing patriotic duties such as funding their own governments indirectly, which in turn merely becomes yet another sovereign contingent liability, as explained here before extensively - as such banks can not be disintermediated from the ECB's funding chain!). This in turn explains why not only Europe's tenuous monetary agreement may be about to fray, but also the Fiscal Union (which Ireland is set to vote against in a public referendum) may soon follow suit.

Yet is a Hollande victory guaranteed in the runoff? DB's Gilles Moec explains what the key variables will be if Sarkozy wants to not hand over power to his socialist competitor (short of giving Diebold the vote counting contract of course):

How could Sarkozy fill the gap in two weeks? We think that three elements could help the incumbent between the two rounds. However, we continue to think that the dynamics in favour of Hollande are unlikely to be reverted.


First, the TV duel between the two rounds is a central ritual in French politics. Unlike in the US or the UK, the candidates face each other with minimal intervention from the moderator and it is normally a dramatic moment where personal elements, rather than substance, dominate. Sarkozy has more experience than Hollande in this type of configuration. However, given the magnitude of Hollande’s advance in voting intentions, it would take a “victory by knock-out”, with a major blunder from the socialist candidate to really boost Sarkozy’s chances.


Second, how the centrist candidate Bayrou positions himself in the second round could play a role. The polls currently put him at around 10%. In 2007, when he secured in the first round a record 18.7% of the votes for a “third way” candidate, he refused to endorse any of the two contenders. He campaigned this time less on the left and has been openly critical of Hollande’s economic program. Some of Sarkozy’s aides publicly mentioned the possibility that he could be made Prime Minister if their candidate is re-elected. Still, we would find it surprising that he would publicly endorse Sarkozy, since it would deeply divide his followers. His electorate is very composite, often liberal in the Anglo-saxon definition of the terms on social issues while fiscally conservative and probably more open than the socialists to structural reforms. Some of his supporters have already publicly endorsed Hollande. In any case, we do not think that he commands real control over his electorate.


Third, an explicit electoral pact between Melanchon and Hollande could push the moderate electorate towards Sarkozy. However, we do not think that Hollande would make this tactical mistake. He has repeated several times in the campaign that he would not negotiate between the two rounds, and that if non-socialists were to join him in a presidential majority ( and possibly secure cabinet positions), it would be on the basis of his own program. There again the 1981 campaign is being replicated. Then, the communist party’s maximalism – and Mitterrand’s refusal to clarify the relationship between the two rounds – allowed the socialist party to appear moderate by contrast, even if its own platform at the time was very far left. We think that Hollande’s calculation is that Melanchon’s electorate will massively vote for him in the second round in any case, out of rejection for the incumbent.

Although realistically, for any of this to happen in the next two weeks, seems like a stretch. Ironically it will not be the outcome of the direct runoff that will likely shape monetary and fiscal policy, but whether the socialist party ends up needing the support of the far left after the renewal of the lower hour of parliament. As a reminder:

Hollande is a whisker ahead for the first round, with an average 28 percent support in polls to Sarkozy's 27 percent. Both are far ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, in third place at 16 percent, who wants to curb immigration and take France out of the euro zone.


Melenchon, whose crowd-pulling charisma and clench-fisted vow to end the power of markets over national economies have made him a star of the election race, ranks fourth with 14 percent, while centrist Francois Bayrou is fifth at 10 percent.


"We have to get rid of Sarkozy," said Marc Boitel, a trombone player taking part in a street protest ahead of Sunday's vote. "People just want jobs."


Boitel plans to vote for tub-thumbing radical leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, who wants an anti-capitalist revolution, and then Hollande in round two, reflecting a voter shift that is unsettling some financial analysts as feeble growth threatens deficit targets in Europe's No. 2 economy.

And from DB:

Could Hollande be pushed towards a more radical stance on European issues by his political allies? The left already controls the upper house of parliament. The lower house will be entirely renewed just after the presidential elections (votes completing on 7 June). A risk is that the socialist party alone fails to secure an absolute majority and depends on the support of the radical left, which could push to try to transform what we hold for pure campaign rhetoric (for instance changing the ECB’s mandate) in actual legislation. Furthermore, to ratify any “completed” fiscal compact Hollande would need to explicitly incorporate the European fiscal rules in the French legal framework. Initially, the draft European treaty called for a mandatory inscription in the Constitution, which would be very sensitive in France since Sarkozy failed to secure such a constitutional reform last year, on the fiscal golden rule, because of the socialist party’s opposition. This has been watered down – initially to help, in  vain, the Irish to avoid a referendum – so that the legal change can be done at the constitutional level “or equivalent”. We think that Hollande would use an “organic law” to incorporate the changes, drawing on his campaign pledge to inscribe his objective to eliminate the deficit by 2017 in an organic law (which in practice sets the procedure for the discussion of every annual budget bill).

In a Europe rapidly disenchanted with the failure of the NWO ushered globalization paradigm, all of the above has a high probability of happening, and with a scorching political summer ahead, with elections in Greece, Germany, and now the Netherlands following yesterday's surprising Wilders budget opposition fiasco, not to mention the Ireland referendum, the market is finally starting to pay attention.

In terms of what will be impacted the most in the aftermath of a probable Hollande victory, we refresh readers on the Sarkozy "victory matrix:"

Finally, for one of the best summaries to date, we urge a reread of George Magnus' of UBS great summary from back in February: "Enter Francois Hollande, Stage Left" because then even the chimera of austerity will now be gone, providing the ECB little if any political cover for its monetization. The irony is that the market will now be far more focused on the French election than any meaningless firewall promises out of the IMF becase as Magnus said:

"Hollande wins, the difficult progress towards European fiscal integration, including the building of firewalls, could become mired in new arguments, or stall. This would have important consequences for Europe, and not least for the newly pro-active ECB, which would have reason to doubt that politicians were fulfilling their pledge to create permanent fiscal discipline."

Although speaking of the IMF, in a parallel universe it would be DSK that would be the frontrunning right about now. Just think of the presidential parties that would have ensued in that universe.

Below is a summary of all the candidates' policies courtesy of Al Jazeera:


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Sun, 04/22/2012 - 04:53 | 2364440 Havana White
Havana White's picture

"Vive the Franc!"

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:10 | 2364460 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

This as opposed to the French Presidential Erection, which has occurred every time Sarkozy and Merkel have met to "hammer out" the Eurozone crisis.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:20 | 2364466 dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

This election, like most other countries will be redundant as both sides are played by the same people. However this guy sounds pretty good:

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:28 | 2364470 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

And the reporter looks pretty good. ;-)

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:33 | 2364473 dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

It's just a shame my jack russel could compete with her in intelligence. However she does have a pretty good rack.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:40 | 2364477 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

Agreed and agreed.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:07 | 2364586 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I would not be surprised if someone has their hands on the "Saif Gaddafi" papers. The biggest shock of the Libyan rout was that they did not expose the mini-napolean for what he is, two faced AND short as shit!

But it's never over till it's over so we'll see.

Though it does seem that the global thrust is towards socialist governments... not healthy at all.



Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:16 | 2364601 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

Is there any real difference between socialist and fascist governments? They are both controlled by the same cabal, end up taxing the crap out of all of us and rob us of our freedoms under the phony lie of state security and counterterrorism. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:33 | 2364618 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Absolutely NONE CG. Precisely. Socialist is the pre-cursor to fascist.

Too many examples come to mind.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:44 | 2364631 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

While I agree that many of these terms lack clear cut meaning, if you can spot the differences between Hungary and Yugoslavia and Mussolini's Italy then you are closer to understanding the subtlety of social movements. They are different, grab a couple of books instead of asking for a GUT in a general sound bite or forum paragraph.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:48 | 2364635 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

That was then Gene. I think we live in a time where the "good part" seems to have left pretty much everything. 

Social movements and Socialist governments are two entirely different kettle of fish, wouldn't you say?


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:02 | 2364650 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Yes and no. On a sovereign level, speaking here from a historical European standpoint, social movements have been a reaction to too much exploitation stemming from industrial capitalism. These have been spontaneous in nature unlike social engineering that has come post WWII from the intelli agencies and BWIs which specialize in crowd control. We need some categorical separation.

France isn't fascist if they elect Hollande, saying so would be absurd IMHO.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:53 | 2364859 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

You're not playing the game right. Everything bad is simulatneously fascist+socialist+anti-capitalist+gay. Trying to differentiate between all these evils is too taxing on the grey matter of many of those here at ZH. It's hardly coincidental that history isn't really taught anymore in American public schools. If some group does something that Ron Paul wouldn't like, you can use any or all of the terms I outlined above to describe them. Get with the program.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 13:06 | 2364873 whstlblwr
whstlblwr's picture

This is how it's done. Infiltrate.

"I am now a Precinct Chairman of the Republican Party
Submitted by 4librty on Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:55

* Daily Paul Liberty Forum

Won fair and square due to no one else stood up for it, and ill also make sure to make my opinion about personal liberty and constitutionally limited govt be known outside of my regular duties as chairman (and its heavy Santorum country yowzers).

I dont want to say what state or district i'm from, but I thought I would share about another tiny bit of ground gained.

another misc. GoP Precinct Chairman

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:10 | 2364652 falak pema
falak pema's picture

National socialism and international dictatorship of proletariat, both historical truths which were cut from same blanket of an elitist cabal instrumentalising people's faith in an ideal that became a flash in the pan, when manipulated cleverly by the sons of Machiavelli. Just like the Catholic church that ran the world for a thousand years saying "God wills it" and ONLY WE, the pure and chosen of the Curia, know why and how! 

But civilization has always been nourished on myths, whereas the heretics of each age have nourished themselves on FACTS which point in the opposite direction.

Heretics, as precursors of social change,  are a dangerous breed for the Power construct and a blessing for the knowledge/truth construct; always. Unless the heretic becomes the NEW GOD. That is precisely what happened when Constantine, THE SOCIALIST,  made an unknown jewish heretic ICON of his ideology construct for his new religion of Empire. 

Steve Job's creation was a heretic brand when Apple was tiny and is GOD now that it is made in China and is the new religion of the global market. Our Gods change but our Oligarchical breed behind the curtain stays the same. 

Social change = heretic thinking. Socialist = King playing at flash in the pan social change! 



Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:28 | 2364680 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Entirely succinct except for the asinine attempt at portraying of Jobs as a heretic. Poor choice for a side-by-side view since one is post-crowd control within complete ochlocracy and the other an actual example of the age old 'meek inheriting the Earth'

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:36 | 2364691 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Gene, I never said Hollande's being elected = France gone Fascist.

It's a step in the right direction is all. The totalitarian tip-toe.

And Falak's excellent prose above reminded me of this:

The person who takes the banal and ordinary and illuminates it in a new way can terrify. We do not want our ideas changed. We feel threatened by such demands. "I already know the important things!" we say. Then Changer comes and throws our old ideas away.

  • The Zensufi Master


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:59 | 2364716 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

That wasn't meant for you ORI. I was simply tying 2 and 2 together. If there is no difference between the two + Hollande the Socialist wins = France is Fascist.

Too many here just validate already prearranged conclusions, agreed.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:29 | 2364830 Nukular Freedum
Nukular Freedum's picture

Fascism is not socialism except in the very broadest of definitions. More specifically it occurs at that point where Conservatives (imperialists) and Socialists (statists) converge. But yes there are many shades and ambiguities.
What is the anti-type to these forces: Liberalism (in the Libertarian sense of the word).

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 13:03 | 2364870 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



I wonder how many stupid bawling Frenchies there'll be when the Germans march thru Paris again.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:41 | 2364842 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Why? In historical context, "Jobs as a heretic" rings true. For some, it always will.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:53 | 2364708 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

The best political spectrum graphic for understanding how these people (statists) are all moving in the same direction:






Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:45 | 2364848 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Very true.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:37 | 2364624 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

I finally realize that all of these titles are just silly.  It took a long time.  But I no longer believe that the semantics of "fascist", "socialist", "communist", etc. have any point.  The only thing that matters is a person's belief in the size of government.  All of the "-isms" that believe in large government are bound to be hostile, destructive and soul wrenching. 

Large government is not the answer and whether you are George Bush, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler, if you believe that government should have the central role in the state then you are pretty much one in the same. 

The goal of government is to make you a slave, no matter which silly sounding name it might hide behind. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:05 | 2364720 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

*waves black flag...

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:46 | 2364852 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Veterans Exempt Flag, War of 1812

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:06 | 2364722 Mary Wilbur
Mary Wilbur's picture

You said it well.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 15:02 | 2365033 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Fromage, bitchez!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:15 | 2364818 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

But I no longer believe that the semantics of "fascist", "socialist", "communist", etc. have any point.


That is because you left aside 'Americanism', the mattering one.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 15:38 | 2365088 akak
akak's picture

That is because the inanities and insanities of Chinese Citizenism flow from you, the nattering one.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:43 | 2364846 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Too right.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:22 | 2364534 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

looked good but was a twit.  That is with an "I" btw.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:21 | 2364607 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

It is not her intelligence that makes her yummy :-)

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 05:05 | 2364441 dufferin
dufferin's picture

It's not done yet, no one is sure about a Sarkozy/Hollande second round.

It could be different. It did happen in 2002.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 05:07 | 2364442 misterc
misterc's picture

Made in Germany

Merde in France

Warning! Made in England

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:21 | 2364604 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Why do the English like warm beer?

It comes from Lucas Refrigerators.

Lucas (TM). The Prince of Darkness.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 05:24 | 2364449 Vegetius
Vegetius's picture

With Sarkozy in deep trouble with the Sans Culottes the whole Euro mess looks like getting more interesting. Merkel will have to face certain reality’s, one is - “Should I stay or should I go now?”  

The place where this crisis will unfold in a Führerbunker way is Brussels with the unelected and unelectable foaming at the mouth talking about traitors and the rabble. These problems are obvious to most observers but to those whose pay, pensions and power depend on Government or EU largesse there will be no retreat as the Euro Götterdämmerung approaches.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:03 | 2364578 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

This just keeps getting funnier.  We now have so many forces lined up against the Euro but everything continues to seem as calm as a bunch of Hindu cows in Bangalore.  The Spanish situation appears to be deteriorating by the minute.  The French are about to vote for "hope and change".  The Irish might just vote themselves out of the EU altogether.  That should all just work out fine.  Just keep jawboning.  Maybe they can get Michelle Bonehead Cabrera to flash her jugs and confuse everybody.

It is clear that this French alternative is just more snake oil sales.  He speaks of sticking it to the rich.  He will create jobs for the French. What a joke.  If this guy gets his wish say goodbye to the Frency economy.  Bring back the Franc.  Bring on the demographic nightmare of Europe.  Bring on poverty.  How depressing it is to consider the full depth of this stupidity. 

We haven't even mentioned the Germans yet.  How long will they continue to bend over for Brussels?

I just love that Hollande wants to have the ECB "give" money directly to over spending countries.  Doesn't this guy realize that a money laundering scheme requires the launderer?  How dare he even hint that the banks shouldn't get their cut as they run massive amounts of Tide and Woolex over the cloth of Europe.  He better stay away from open windows and hot tubs.  I hope he doesn't have a brother named Fredo. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:19 | 2364603 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I see DC

I see France

Hollande is inside Barry's underpants.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:34 | 2364840 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

You clearly did not get the memo. Greece is saved, Europe is secure.

Get with the program!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 05:46 | 2364454 Dick Darlington
Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:18 | 2364531 machineh
machineh's picture

Whoa, ten choices -- and people actually get to VOTE on them???

For their whole lives, Americanos have been taught that TWO choices is all you ever need, and all you'll ever get.

That's why government subsidizes Depublicrat primaries: to produce interchangeable candidates that will keep the state growing no matter what!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:44 | 2364553 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Just remember to vote early & vote often...

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:06 | 2364584 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

10 choices but 8 are there only for show.  Don't be fooled by Potemkin's wonderful palace.  Is that the sun I see coming out?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:57 | 2364711 mr_sandman
mr_sandman's picture

And yet, of their ten choices, a Socialist is going to get 40% of the vote, and an actual Communist and an actual Fascist are going to get over 20% of the vote.


Progress indeed.  How's that for STICKING IT TO THE STATE, MAN!!!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 05:57 | 2364455 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

Citi's Gilles Moec explains...

I think he works for Douche Bank.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:07 | 2364587 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

What's the difference?  Oh, yeah, from what I've seen Deutsche Bank has guards dressed as paramilitary walking the sidewalks outside their Manhattan office.  Disgusting.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:10 | 2364457 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The French make shitty cars, let them burn.


All of them

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:51 | 2364504 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

The French, the cars, or both?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:51 | 2364639 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Poor grogman has probably never driven a Peugeot 309 16V. 

The French make the best cars with spirit. 


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 16:03 | 2365134 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Egads! The Peugeot 309? It drives perfectly but the looks are those that only a Mother could love. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:10 | 2364729 Husk-Erzulie
Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:10 | 2364458 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

The Dutch government collapsed yesterday and elections also seem inevitable.

Rumours about The Netherlands losing it's AAA status.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:54 | 2364566 machineh
machineh's picture

The euro zone is like the Whymper party on the Matterhorn.

Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain have slipped over the cliff and are hanging by the rope in mid air.

Now the Netherlands and France are losing their AAA footing and starting to slide toward the edge themselves.

Only stalwart Germany, Austria and Finland are still securely dug in to the mountainside. But the load of fallen climbers exceeds their strength.

Tom Petty said it best: "FALLIN' ... FREE FALLIN'!"

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:10 | 2364594 cossack55
cossack55's picture

As Iceland sits on the sidelines and laughs at all the stupid Euro dweebs screwing each other while the Icelanders cut deals with the Chinese on oil rights in the Arctic.

Three F'in cheers for Iceland. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:29 | 2364757 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

 Data haven legislation in place and high speed data links to Europe and North America under way.  With a good strategy to short circuit any nascent color revolution (operatives) ,with a high demand product and a tight, cohesive culture, they can tell NATO and their puppet masters to take a flying hump in the 21st century.  Good on em :-) 

...How to guard the cables though... hmmm  better start working on those self replicating, swarming, submarine drones.  Probably a market for those too.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:42 | 2364843 cossack55
cossack55's picture

So, you are saying that they are setting themselves up to be the new "Radio Free Europe"?  I forgot about that info. Cool, sign me up. 

Updated: Internet Free Europe

Was there not a movie recently about the pirate radio ship that was in international waters off the US east coast back in the 60's. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:08 | 2364810 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Rumours about The Netherlands losing it's AAA status.

Losing AAA status? It is all about the consequences of losing the status, not losing the status itself.

See US of A, losing the status did not have the expected consequences as given by a tool supposedly measuring credit worthiness.

US of A is more credit worthwhile than when having AAA.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:11 | 2364461 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

With each European nation's electorate so deeply divided and fractured, how does one then expect a united Europe?


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:14 | 2364463 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

One does not. "United Europe" is just a wild wet political utopia which ignores every aspect of reality.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:31 | 2364541 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

a globalist wet dream, a nightmare for everyone else

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:13 | 2364813 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

With each European nation's electorate so deeply divided and fractured, how does one then expect a united Europe?


United around what?

You know, US citizenism has killed diversity in a very efficient way.

In a uniform environment, opposition appears under the form of rivalry.

Rivals fight for the same, they wish the same, they are united around the same goal.

US citizenism can unite Europe around the same goals, killing diversity, bringing all people to wish for the same, fight for the same. Dozens of rival churches, all united around the same goal.

Unity... US citizen creed.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:25 | 2364826 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Come on Charlie, we can't all be as diverse or tolerant as the Chinese govt.

Chinese citizenism; only for the Han Ren.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 15:46 | 2365101 akak
akak's picture

A scientific definition of Chinese Citizenism:

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 17:59 | 2365381 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

This is, without doubt, the best definition of a comprex probrem.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:12 | 2364462 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

The real news here folks is that nothing will change. And I mean NOTHING.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:40 | 2364478 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

That is it. US citizenism defines quasi certainty.

But quite hard to sell a suspenseful event if you admit that beforehand?


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:13 | 2364484 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

AnAnonymous Logicism defines quasi thought.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:19 | 2364487 nmewn
nmewn's picture

AnAnonymousism's blobbing up are eternal.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:47 | 2364501 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous's citizenismasturbation is fast and furious.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 16:10 | 2365142 akak
akak's picture

Make me laugh!

It is well known that Chinese Citizenism citizens cannot masturbate -- there is not enough there to grab hold of!


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:52 | 2364506 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

The Macondo of the blogiverse.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:04 | 2364518 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The Up-Blobbery blowout valve failed.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:09 | 2364521 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Of course, it was made in China ;-)

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:45 | 2364556 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The China blobbing is on the other thread...

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:18 | 2364665 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Of course, it was made in China ;-)



Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:35 | 2364761 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

ZH is the Madagascar of troll ecosystems.  Fascinating diversity.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:28 | 2364469 hookah
hookah's picture

 According to some leaks: Hollande 29.5%, Sarkozy 25.5%, Melenchon 14.5%, Le Pen 14%, Bayrou 11%  Arthaud 0%, Poutou 1%, Cheminade 0.5%, Dupont-Aignan 1.5%, Joly 2.5%

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:24 | 2364610 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Hollande 29.5%"

29.5%? I smell 'Mandate'!!!!!!!!!!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:48 | 2364637 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I'm back from the election booth and in accordance to my creed I put my vote where my don Quichote breed puts its head and heart; up its long term ass by voting for the wind mills and all that's sunny side up. I voted for the lady with the green glasses; the one who says we will be in an energy crunch, a vision to make your consumer nuts crack sweet n sour. No more cheap liquid oil, making alternative choices IMPERATIVE. So... its time to rethink the whole civilization paradigm; the current financial crisis just the hors d'oeuvres of the coming energy/RM/ environmental degradation/supply constraint cycle. Tipping times and renaissance chimes. Will we head for monetary, financial, political, eco-energy change big time across the global casino table? 

If it materialises we will be in local, energy efficient, eco-conservation, survival mode; nothing like the past sixty five years.

Sign of the times or time for the wrong chimes; your guess as good as mine. That's free will and election time. 

I've made my choice and its long deconsumerism on an alternative methodology model. I know its no fun to be ahead of your times, but I prefer to be wrong than to be dead right on the wrong side for a short time span. 

It'll be a long time coming  the new paradigm as always, no short cuts for man;  but a short time going from push to shove in this old Pax Americana meltdown. Five years? Ten? FIFteen? Time moves fast when the money line goes exponentially viral. 

The world will be a new place like never before in the space of a few decades. 

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:56 | 2364645 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Falak, good to hear it from the horse's mouth. From a horse after my own heart too! :p


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:00 | 2364715 Mary Wilbur
Mary Wilbur's picture

You must live in California.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:14 | 2364814 falak pema
falak pema's picture

california dreaming?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 17:27 | 2365331 BLACK_DOG
BLACK_DOG's picture

are you on meds? but i did feel warm!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:40 | 2364479 DCon
DCon's picture

At least the EIB are being proactive


The EIB proposed for the first time two new terms, one of them being the possible renegotiation of the agreement should Greece leave the eurozone or should the common currency area break up. The second was placing the agreement under British law, in case of any irregularities in the payback


EIB sources suggest that the currency-change clause will be included in all contracts with countries applying economic stability programs (Greece, Portugal and Ireland) and gradually expand to all eurozone countries.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:57 | 2364569 machineh
machineh's picture

Deutschemarks, bItCHeZ!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 06:43 | 2364480 dogfish
dogfish's picture

More hope and change.till the bottom is hit nothing changes.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:03 | 2364481 sandeepyadav
sandeepyadav's picture

Looks like Hollande is leading it

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:17 | 2364486 Sathington Willougby
Sathington Willougby's picture

90% employment is way too high!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:39 | 2364498 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

If Hollande wins and then agrees with ECB austerity demands, he'll be vilified and ridiculed like, say, Obama is.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:55 | 2364509 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Oh my! How frightened you must be.

First he has to actually win (probable) then he must capitulate on at least 50% of what was promised to the French public then a sex scandal and finally we arrive right back to the status quo.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:35 | 2364544 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

Perhaps.  However, the french people tend to shut their country down with massive strikes when the govt betrays them unlike in the US where the ppl just fight amongst themselves along political lines and the status quo is easily maintained.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:02 | 2364576 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Good point, they do occasionally take a break from their activity to protest unlike the States but that's only because there is no government left there. Market nihilism reigns supreme.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 07:44 | 2364500 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Rather big shift in Holland to socialist party.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:04 | 2364517 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

But, where are their religious wingnuts? How can you have an election in which god didn't tell someone to run?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:52 | 2364562 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Richelieu is dead...

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:10 | 2364596 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Religous wingnuts?

What the fuck do you think socialist are?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:53 | 2364860 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 08:11 | 2364522 Zola
Zola's picture

To put it in simple terms : Sarkozy=Bush , Hollande= Obama. As usual France is 4/5 years behind the US.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:02 | 2364577 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Actually, Bush=Obama=Hollande=Sarkozy.

They're all puppets to the same masters.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:52 | 2364856 theTribster
theTribster's picture

You got it exactly right, all the same in reality. Perception is differnt though, Sarkozy=Bush, Holland=Obama is definitely the thinking in France. My favorite is Marine LePen, I've heard her at the EU Parliament and she can be pretty brutal, ala Nidel Farage. The EU is done, stick a fork in it. Its only eurocratic pride that keeps things together as more and more european citizens say, WTF?

Sarkozy is a nitwit, typical politician. The world is awash with nitwit politicians everywhere, it is impossible to succeed unless you are a non-principled, easily manipulated person with no conviction that can't be changed easily for a nickel, dime or quarter. Regardless of who is elected when it comes to things like war, monetary policy, EU positioning and other serious national and international decisions they will all glady capitulate and follow the party line. It is the extraneous stuff that makes them different like their position on immigration, education and other internal things. For us in America, these things include abortion and womens rights, gays in the military, immigration to a lesser extent and other things like that. When it comes to war, monetary policy, foreign relations well then: Republican=Democrat. This couldn't have been made more obvious in the way Obama codified everything George had done visa-vie the wars, TARP, and the elimination of our liberties.

I'm hoping that Holland wins just to shake things up a little more in the EU, I'm hopeing it (EU) collapses by the end of the summer at the lateset because I'm dying to break out my Duetchmarks and Francs! I wonder if they will accept the old versions of these currencies once things get back to normal and everybody hates everybody again? If you've watched some of the EU Parliamentary debates then you know what I'm talking about. Akso, if you've read any of the Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or Irish newspapers lately (English actually as well) then you have seen the cartoons of Merkal with swastikas, black uniform, the works. I saw several that had Sarkozy shining Merkel's boots, funny stuff.

Unfortunately, as this experiment fails tensions between the constituents will escalate quickly, the verbiage has already gotten much stronger in recent weeks. Fortunately for Greece, they were able to buy a few German submarines and some French jets recently (after the first bailout!) so they can defend themselves frmo the viscous Turks. Of course France and Germany have plenty of arms to go around and without a doubt they would sell them to their enemies!

It is coming down to the wire for Europe, printing money only reduces the symptons for so long before it starts exacerbating the original problem as well as creates a whole host of new ones. We are going to see the end of three empires: American, European and Japanese. When its all said and done and committed to the history books the world will look (and act) much different then it has for the last 75 years! I suspect it will a sort of dark ages where the world erupts into wars everywhere and progress stops and actually goes backwards.

At some point a critical mass will realize what has happened and fight to stop it, forever. This is the hope anyway, a sort of revelation that wakes up and mobilizes enough people worldwide to change things, take the power back from the oligarchs that have manufactured the wars, the death, and the financial devestation that has plagued mankind since the beginning of civilation.

At some point it has to stop, right?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:22 | 2364609 Rock the Casbah
Rock the Casbah's picture

A trombone player - really??

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:50 | 2364777 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

yeah, a rusty trombone.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 18:58 | 2365485 noob
noob's picture

The French National Anthem (La Marseillaise) on B flat trumpet

Arturo Sandoval, Trumpet, National Anthem 1/1/09 Orange Bowl

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:36 | 2364622 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

8 out of 10 candidates are against the war in Afghanistan.  And the leading warmonger and incumbent is losing.  The only candidate in the US against the war in Afghanistan was Ron Paul and he was marginalized by the media.

If you are not for war in these United States, you are ridiculed and ignored.  Our Nobel prize winning president has not met a war he did not like or a target that did not merit a drone strike.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:51 | 2364705 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

After reading of the activities of the CIA the last number of decades and the stuff they pulled off, it is a wonder it isn't classified as a "terrorist" organization.

Who feels "safe" from law enforcement types.  Secret Service sex orgies, TSA forced strip searches.  NSA snooping academy in the form of a $2 billion data center in Utah, where info collected will be stored and used against you for life.   Being tazed or pepper sprayed, not for being a threat, but for not listening to "orders".

And the courts siding with government when they.

It may just be an impression propagated by the few, but for me I don't trust anymore.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:27 | 2364751 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

"We like war, because we are good at it. You know why we are good at it? Because we did a lot of practice. This country is only 200 years old and already we have had 10 major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country, so we are good at it! And that is good thing we are, we are not very good in anything else anymore. Can't built a decent car, can't make a TV set or VCR where the fuck. Got no steel industry left, can't educate our young people can't get health care for our old people, but we can bomb the shit out of your country alright?! Especially if your country is full of brown people. Oh, we like that, don't we? That's our hobby! That's our new job in the world, bombing brown people! Iraq, Panama, Granada, Libya, you got some brown people in your country, tell them to watch the fuck out or we will god damn bomb them"

George Carlin

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 09:59 | 2364646 Watson
Watson's picture

In other news, goodbye Merkozy, hello Horkel...

Surely Merhol?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:29 | 2364831 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

I am Cornholio !!! I need some TP for my Merhol!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:12 | 2364653 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Sideshow as the Titanic goes down.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:38 | 2364693 Earl of Chiswick
Earl of Chiswick's picture

a bit bored today

nothing like a color blindness test (not the old dots with a number hidden inside this is HTML5 stuff)

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:55 | 2364702 Mary Wilbur
Mary Wilbur's picture

Anything that leads to the dissolution of the EU is a plus. That eliminates Sarkozy.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:07 | 2364712 Earl of Chiswick
Earl of Chiswick's picture

and for your online viewing pleasure a live stream in English of France twenty-four

et en français France vingt-quatre

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:07 | 2364809 machineh
machineh's picture

Merci, mais ou est le canal "France soixante-neuf"?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 13:54 | 2364908 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

France soixante-neuf

le LOL!


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:03 | 2364719 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

This article is ironic because all of the ills besetting France listed (feeble economic growth, high unemployment, etc.) will be made worse by the election of Hollande and his socialistic policies.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:56 | 2364863 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yep.... got to cut the taxes on the "job creators".... that's the ticket, we know it worked so well here...


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 13:27 | 2364885 you enjoy myself
you enjoy myself's picture

we know it worked so well here...

well, i'll go out on a huge limb and make a bold prediction - general tax receipts will decline despite the top marginal rates increasing.  and everyone will be shocked, shocked.  i mean, we all know the top producers are just mindless automatrons that will continue to put forth the same effort and hours, accept the same risk despite a lowered risk/reward, and will never look to minimize their tax liability.  right?  and they definitely, absolutely, would never think about moving.

its not like there's any historical data to show this happens every single time.  so i'm taking a pretty big risk here by predicting the outcome.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 11:13 | 2364732 brettd
brettd's picture

Great to see the french following the successful genius of Illinois and New 

York officials to Tax the Rich.

Viva la Resistance!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:31 | 2364834 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Be good, or we'll pass a wealth tax, and then where will your chubby little lardons be?


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:32 | 2364835 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

There are reasons why all the successful French Investment Bankers work in the City ( of London).

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:01 | 2364795 Volpinacci
Volpinacci's picture

FACT:  for dinner we’ll have Hungarian toast topped by hot Sauce Hollandaise!

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:03 | 2364801 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Just make sure I can take at least one more trip on the TGV....

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:12 | 2364815 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Just make sure I can take at least one more trip on the TGV....

Book a reservation now on your Minitel.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:42 | 2364839 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

and the loser is ....the clucking posturing French cock, Nicolas Sarkozy

one in a long line of empty, under-achieving French political windbags

(aren't they all)

Next village idiot to the podium please...

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:52 | 2364857 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

The wealthy vote with their feet.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 13:06 | 2364872 banksterhater
banksterhater's picture

Sarcozy= 1 of biggest JACKASSES ever, peiod. Get rid of him!

Love how he "took the lead " for the US into Libya! How's that going, Mr. JACKASS? GFY !

Someone please stuff that wine bottle down his throat.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 13:34 | 2364888 s0lspot
s0lspot's picture

How wonderful to compete for the exclusive right to announce to your People that :

A) Whatever was mentionned during the election B.L.A B.L.A. were only intentions that got shred to pieces when they hit the proverbial EU/Globalization/CB-sponsored fan : the "impossibility" to reform "their" approach to globall economic interaction. The Anglosax ultrarich set it up, lobbiyed it up and now teach/enroll their soon-to-be followers in their university before sending them back to their country to begin pillaging the PC-correct Anglosaxon way : Coup d'Etat, Illegal Wars, False Flags and Law.


B) That your country just lost another grade because some obscure private anglosaxon banking cartel doesn't like your choices as people, or in this case, who knows, maybe french cheese are too pungent for some?


Much of what is said about socialism here is from a purely anglo-american POV which, as is often the case in foreign policy matters, is oversimplified and overgeneralized.

Hollande is as EU-dependent as Sarko. Socialism in Europe is normal, it is class warfare heritage. It actually is expected in most non Anglosax countries all over the world : if you have to have a State, well at least get it to spend money on its citizens, not on bombing foreigners or annexing foreign territory in some crazed crusadic rampage...

So with all respect I think this issue should be left to people who know what Capital Vs Work means. In France, between Mitterrand's 1st mandate in 81 and Chirac's last in 2007 the GDP Ratio of Capital Vs Work repartition shrunk by more than 10% from Workers to Capital. Thyats 240€ billions a year. French "Socialists" did the biggest part of the privatizations there, railway, EDF, "Banques", Nuclear power etc etc etc. They did much more than the so-called Capital party.

So don't be scared false flag socialist parties all over Europe are actually working in Capital's interest though parading as if they were the legitimate descendants of some working class heroes.

I know this is a (very enlightening) trader's lairs so let the flaming begin. Not having enought Capital (silver & gold) to abstain myself from working chores I am a Worker's partisan against the Capital as an all-defining all-justifying model of human social organization. I fuck the State too. But as long as it is here I don't want it killing people abroads and I want a return on my taxes. 2 things Anglosaxon States absolutely love to contradict me on. Mind you I'm dropping out, going long rogue far-left ecofarming guntotting utopian project so no more taxes soon. See we're all the same coin except the faces are infinite.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 14:02 | 2364915 Nozza
Nozza's picture

So, it is Sarkozy and Hollande in the next round Hollande 27.4, Sarko 25.7. Le Pen 20 and Melenchon 11.5.

Risque On


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 14:25 | 2364965 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Globalist CIA types are in every office of every country to make certain a Globalist m'fer is going to be in office. And, if they don't like that they'll get a GS bankster technocrat financial terrorist m'fer until the country is on flames the children are starving and the colleges being shut down and grandma's medicine has run out. No good globalist m'fin traitors all of them.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 14:29 | 2364976 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

To paraphrase the late, great George Carlin, I'm sure that once their elections are over, their country will improve immediately.

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 16:30 | 2365214 smiler03
smiler03's picture

I think you are confusing the Two Party Elections in the US with a completely different setup in "Europe". They are not the same.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 18:23 | 2365422 covert
covert's picture

usa is going the way of france and is doomed.


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