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Oui Monsieur La Difference

Tyler Durden's picture


From Mark Grant, author of Out Of the Box,

No, I will not be speaking of THAT difference but of the difference between the two contenders for the French presidential elections. If I spoke of the other difference I would send my compliance people into cardiac arrest and I am not that unkind on a Friday morning in the spring. In all of the polls for the last six months the socialist, Francois Hollande, is ahead in the run-off election between 6 and 16 points. The first bout is April 22 and the Concours d’Elegance is May 6. Now no one that is not French can understand the French well. The psychology of this nation is singular and lies somewhere between the puffed out chest when uncorking a Chateau Petrus and an air of casual indifference when sitting at Café Lipp in Paris and regarding the citizens of the various arrondissments parading along with that certain disdain which can only be worn by the people of Gaulle; Charles and otherwise.
“Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.”
                                                                       -Cardinal Richelieu
What Mr. Hollande’s win will mean for France is something to be carefully considered. A tax rate on the wealthy at 75%, renegotiate the EU fiscal pact, raise the minimum wage, impose more governmental spending, a decrease in the retirement age and a hostility directed at the banks and other financial institutions that may be described as combative or perhaps virulent and a complete change in attitude and direction from Napoleon’s strutting reincarnation also known as Sarkozy. If Hollande wins then what France was will not be what it is going to be and it is not a marked shift but a violent upheaval not only for France but for the European Union. There is no love lost between Hollande and Merkel and policies of the two nations will not be countries but worlds apart. In fact, in the EU-17, Germany will be quite isolated and the rancor that will increase will strain the political construct past what they are experiencing at present. 
"Is it to be thought unreasonable that the people, in atonement for wrongs of a century, demand the vengeance of a single day?"
On the Horizon
The G-20 meets this weekend as Ms. Lagarde tries to raise more money for the war chest at the IMF. Some will be forthcoming though there is notable pushback to determine its use by Canada, the United States and some other nations. The outcome of this meeting will be interesting and probably determine the open on Monday. One other interesting note is the upcoming EU meeting where France and Germany will propose the reintroduction of border controls which flies squarely in the face of stated European Union policies for the past decade. No one is paying particular attention to this announcement but it is a clear sign of Federalism on the wane and of Nationalism coming to the fore. If no one on the Continent is going to be European then the price of this game of chance seems rather extreme. It would have been much easier for the Germans to take up “Strip/Risk.” They could have just said, “I have taken over Greece, Portugal and Ireland and now give me your blouse.”


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Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:36 | 2360658 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Of course the socialists are gonna win. It was obvious a year ago at least.

And I think this post is BS since Holland is REALLY pro-EU...

One thing that could happen because of this... GEORGIA could be put into NATO because of this. The only two guys who stopped Georgia (and Ukraine) from being in NATO last time were Sarkozy and Berlusconi... well guess what folks, they won't be there at the next NATO summit...

Black swan??? Hell yeah black swan!

In other news :!/RT_com

Pentagon places around 430 Tomahawk cruise missiles near Iran's borders

Restless N. Korea readies another ballistic missile - report

French presidential hopeful Francois Hollande promises troops to Syria in case of victory and if UN considers it necessary

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:40 | 2360685 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

Vive la revolution!

I can't wait for Hollande to attack the idea of austerity. Millions of brave public sector trade unionists have fought for centuries against the greedy bourgeoisie dating back to the french revolution. The result is one of the most progressive and liberal societies on earth. As the great Michael Moore pointed out in a documentary, true socialism is when the government fears the people; not the other way round. In france, the family is supported via generous benifits; workers are supported via a decent minimum wage. The bankers, traders, politicians, speculators all want to send us back to the days before the revolution with huge wealth concentrations and monarchies...


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:47 | 2360708 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

Vive la France, Libre.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:53 | 2360730 economics9698
economics9698's picture

The best quality the German people have is they like to kill French people periodically.  It must be getting about that time for the games to resume.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:06 | 2360960 machineh
machineh's picture

It will never come to that again, one would fervently hope.

But if Angela Merkel is confronted with a 'red diaper baby' Jewish leftist like Hollande as her partner in the 'core of Europe,' it's hard to see this unlikely pair getting along.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:26 | 2361055 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Recent history has shown that if it walks like a socialist and talks like a socialist it may still be a fascist.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:18 | 2361604 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

Don't overfear the situation. We probably invented the first the white flag. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:56 | 2362189 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Dude, NATIONALISM REMAINS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN EUROPE.   When the crisis gets ugly enough, that is what will band the people of each country together behind any politician.  

The socialist politicians will quickly and easily switch to fascism, nationalist socialism, and "Europe" will devolve into competing blocks of aging basket case currency-devaluing messes.      Be prepared.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:07 | 2361218 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

your comment is repugnant and hateful. Is your real name Dick Cheney?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:07 | 2360752 Mercury
Mercury's picture

As the great Michael Moore pointed out in a documentary, true socialism is when the government fears the people; not the other way round.


I'm afraid that what the record actually shows is that the more socialist the government, the more the people fear it.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:11 | 2360765 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I'm afraid that no matter what the ism is that runs a country or a people, sociopaths figure out ways to run it and game it.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:13 | 2360775 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Yep. The more money there is in government, the more corrupt it will be.

The only government that should exist is a libertarian government.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:24 | 2360805 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Well, many forms of productive human activity like free enterprise and trade aren’t  “-isms” at all with a bunch of formulas, rules and doctrine but things that humans do and engage in naturally like food gathering, shelter seeking and sex.


The most successful forms of government acknowledge human nature (including things like sociopathy), try to encourage it’s most socially beneficial aspects and refrain from attempts to change or thwart it beyond what is most necessary.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:40 | 2360867 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I agree with you, to be sure, but even what you have written creates the foundation for the destruction of whatever system you create, namely; try to encourage it’s most socially beneficial aspects and refrain from attempts to change or thwart it beyond what is most necessary. 

The interpretation of 1. what does it mean to encourage, 2. who is to decide what "socially beneficial" and 3. who is to decide what needs to be "thwarted" - I assume that this will eventually evolve towards destruction.  Only the timeline will change. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:05 | 2360948 Mercury
Mercury's picture

I think we've witnesed just that.  Look at the US constitution, what it's architects tried to accomplish in light of what had happened before, the comprimises they made, the relative success and "abnormal returns" the subsequent government produced (still the oldest written constitution still in service)....and where we've evolved to now.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:59 | 2362199 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Yeah, Obamacare is great example of central government mission creep.   The Dept of Education (Orwell  Alert) is another obvious one.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:37 | 2360853 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Again (and again) it bears repeating.  Austerity is a problem ONLY when the State has become such a big player in the economy.  With a limited central government, there would be little pain (or reason) for a massive cut.  It is because of the nanny State employing and supporting a huge percentage of the nation (with debt of course) that these austerity measures are so painful.  

Holland perfectly represents idiotic EU think - France is literally drowning in debt and his solution is more spending!   These quacks never ask the simple question:  What happens when folks refuse to buy our bonds?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:05 | 2360952 OttoMBMP
OttoMBMP's picture

Have the Central Bank buy them, of course.

And that's what Sarko is up to as well.

The French have the "choice" between crony capitalism and socialism. Maybe, with Hollande the crash comes sooner. So it's perhaps even the better outcome.

But, come on, in the end, there are no real differences between these believers of a big government.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:02 | 2362210 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

The frustrated French people are soon going to be offered, in place of internationalist socialism, the kind that is most popular in a crisis, NATIONAList SOCIALISM.  

The Hollande France First type themes are already there, with protectionism, treaty breaking, and probably nice thoughts of the good old days when they could devalue repeatedly (pre ERM, pre-Euro).

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:39 | 2360862 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

Have you ever tried to work, actually, in France ? I doubt it. It is the most depressive environment, ever. Even doing shitty job, you will have more respect if you do it abroad, here, french considers their fellow as shit. And that's where our governement comes. And we treat each other with lack of respect, we try to create a human and warm environment by creating an administration treating you as ... a social security account. And so, we become even more douchebags the ones with the others, as the administration is turning social cooperation into b-crats rape.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:05 | 2362218 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

I lived in France, studied and worked there for precisely 10 YEARS, and fully agree with you.  The French have made themselves very unhappy trying to make their utopique system work out.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:50 | 2360879 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

True socialism is the consolidation and control of wealth by a few. That is France. Welcome, we did it. And the very facts that the most wealthy french are proponent of socialism, should enlight you. Social warfare is a joke, as the poor sees in socialism the answer, meanwhile it is the very tool to control their lives by the elit.


I bet Michael Moore see himself very well in a socialist country, occupying a monopoly position to sell his shit, as the Goebbels in chief of national communication and information.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:52 | 2360900 Renfield
Renfield's picture

heh. Damn straight: "And the very facts that the most wealthy french are proponent of socialism, should enlight you"

Or, cui bono.

So many of us are still confused about why universities have, for so long, been led by the "progressive" left.

Universities are traditionally the home of the privileged.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:37 | 2361099 frenchie
frenchie's picture

you never lived in France right ?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:07 | 2361210 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

you never lived in pre Chavez Venezuela right?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:55 | 2360692 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Yeah....the French are about to vote in the they can turn into greased Grecians on rails........BOOM.......winning!!!!


Don't expect the Germans to pay for it........unlike the Greeks.....they really don't like the French......yeah......I said it!


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:07 | 2362225 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Nah, the existing socialists will morph into national socialists, slowly at first, then all at once.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:43 | 2360697 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

Both Sarkozy and Hollande are controlled by the same group of banksters/criminals. The French elections will not matter since Europe will be imploded to introduce a global currency.


Some good news: at least, for now, the currency will not be based around carbon credit scams, a tax on air, a tax on life.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2362236 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Nope, nationalism will be the primary force that comes to the fore when this crisis comes to its breaking point, which means MORE CURRENCIES THAN BEFORE, not some utopique global currency.  

Various commodities and similar stores of value will always adjust in price to counteract and kill some centrally controlled fiat wet dream currency.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:30 | 2360660 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Combative against banks?  Don't agree with much of the other beliefs...but the bank idea leaves me with, "bring it!"

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:33 | 2360664 i-dog
i-dog's picture

If only we could believe a word he says....

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:43 | 2360686 French Frog
French Frog's picture

Glad to see that someone remembers what politicians are truly like

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:34 | 2360671 stock trout
stock trout's picture

Perhaps the Sarkozy government should hire Diebold or Putin to ensure fair elections.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:47 | 2360699 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Vee vill transmit information to Vladimir.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:37 | 2360677 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture


Spain Plans Border Controls to Prevent Protests at ECB Meeting

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Spain will reinstate border controls to prevent protesters from disrupting a meeting of the European Central Bank in Barcelona, suspending a treaty on free movement in Europe, a government official said.
The measure is designed to prevent “anti-system” protests after security reports indicated there was a risk to public order, said the Interior Ministry official, who declined to be named in line with policy.
The ECB holds its rate-setting meeting in Barcelona on May 3, two days after May Day, which is traditionally marked by union-led marches across Europe. Barcelona has seen some of Spain’s most violent protests in the past year, most recently on March 29, when demonstrators set fire to dumpsters and clashed with police after a general strike.
Spain hasn’t suspended the Schengen treaty that allows free movement since Prince Felipe, the heir to the throne, got married in May 2004, two months after an al-Qaeda train-bombing killed almost 200 people in Madrid, the official said.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:39 | 2360679 Nachdenken
Nachdenken's picture

Border controls seem to be necessary in that large numbers of workers from the "periphery" are moving to the "core" countries.  The migration of labour does not solve the intrinsic regional problems of structural recession and a looming systemic breakdown.  One more brick in the wall to hold back the tsunami of economic failure.  The signs have been often enough read and considred here on ZH.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:31 | 2360833 withnmeans
withnmeans's picture

 Nachdenken, large numbers of workers {immigrants} from the "periphery" are moving to the "core" countries. They have been the infiltrating for years, I thought things were bad in southern France in 2001, my last trip was worse. Most of these are not workers, as much as they are leaches on the economy. 

The French, et al in the region fear the vastly rising immigrant population, it seems to be out of control. With the economy as it is in southern Europe and the migrant population problems, this thing is about to come to a head....

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:38 | 2360680 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

What Mr. Hollande’s win will mean for France is something to be carefully considered. A tax rate on the wealthy at 75%, renegotiate the EU fiscal pact, raise the minimum wage, impose more governmental spending, a decrease in the retirement age and a hostility directed at the banks and other financial institutions that may be described as combative or perhaps virulent and a complete change in attitude and direction from Napoleon’s strutting reincarnation also known as Sarkozy.

Sarkozy as Napolean is a complete exaggeration and not even close to Napolean. I don't see how this ends well though for France. Look at how the left runs every other country into the ground.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:58 | 2360691 Mercury
Mercury's picture

One other interesting note is the upcoming EU meeting where France and Germany will propose the reintroduction of border controls which flies squarely in the face of stated European Union policies for the past decade. No one is paying particular attention to this announcement but it is a clear sign of Federalism on the wane and of Nationalism coming to the fore.

...but where are the disaffected going to go? All the choices are bad in their own special ways.  Here's an editorial in today's WSJ about how Britain’s more civilized citizens are getting fed up with the loutish behavior that their welfare state seems to foster.  It specifically mentions France as a destination to flee to - which is kind of funny in this context.

There are no more frontiers left in the world.  I predict a (new) wave of private colonialism....wherein a collection of corporations, private individuals, specialists etc. aggregate themselves into a consortium and present themselves to a potential host territory, complete with binding contracts, covenants, capital investment plans, the works – something like the reverse of a private equity fund.  I’m not endorsing this or saying it could work out well for any of the interested parties necessarily.  But there are historically only so many possibilities when things reach this point and the points that likely come next.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:42 | 2360693 youngman
youngman's picture

France will become the next Venezuela......

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:56 | 2360731 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Mariachi bands playing at the Eiffel tower......that'd be pretty cool to see.


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:59 | 2361371 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

Mariachi bands are Mexican not Venezuelan. You Americans are very binary arent you. There are white people from Greenwich and the rest of us are just a bunch of mixed up savages. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:10 | 2362241 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

majority of amrkns have never left "their country" - and since they're woefully uninterested in anything beyond their "entertainment" babysitters - whichever is chosen, TeeVee, sports, porn, gambling, drugs, etc. - memorising stereotypes is about the best they can do.

oh, and bleating on about anyone that is "like" them, whichever group they currently identify with. . .

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:12 | 2362248 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

That will be the prevailing point of view once nationalism consumes, one more time, Europe.

BTW, we have more nationalities and ethnicities living and working here, and well represented, and reasonably successfully, than anywhere else in the world.    It's like Reagan observed, when the US team marches in during the opening of the olympic games, our team "looks like the whole world".    The other teams look a whole lot more caricaturally compatible with their caricatures.

Those are the facts down here in the real world, you mixed up savage!

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:05 | 2361204 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

you mean they will discover huge reserves of heavy crude and expel all the foreign oil cos to exploit it for the benefit of French people? I wish!

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:43 | 2360695 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

on the other hand Hollande might just be all talk to get in but will really make no change.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:56 | 2360732 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

there is a question of "what's do-able." since general strikes will be the norm for the Continent going forward having a Socialist to at least "let off some steam" doesn't sound all that bad an idea right now. and since large strikes in effect "close the border" it's hard to take the treaty talk too seriously. for now. i have consistently stated my view for years on this site that Trichet's "hard money policy" going into this catastrophe was pure lunacy. i stand by that still. (and events proved me right...again i might add. you folks really are idiots in these here parts.) the euro is still MASSIVELY over-valued...with a multitude of energy revolutions going on simultaneously in the USA...and the most aggressive foreign policy in our nation's history...and i think the European Continent is in DEEP trouble. IMMINENTLY. That does include England btw!

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:18 | 2362259 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

What is "do-able" in these circumstances is a shift to nationalistic France-first stuff, with lots of external and a few select internal scape goats.    That is what socialist politicians do, to keep power, in a crisis, and all of France's politicians are statists, practically speaking.   Fascism will come to the fore, because all the failing private institutions  need to suck up to the government to continue to exist, and the government will use the private sector unashamedly and more and more OPENLY to whatever ends they design.    This is fascism, authoritarianism.   That's how this will go in Europe.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:00 | 2360742 Mutatto
Mutatto's picture


"on the other hand Hollande might just be all talk to get in but will really make no change."

The old "Hope and Change" routine, eh?


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:47 | 2360707 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Today I dont consider the label of 'socialist' any more meaningful than the label of SEC as 'watchdog'. Sure they all day.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:14 | 2360779 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

exactly right.  The labels are meaningless and designed to keep people carefully divided and at odds with each other instead of the sociopaths who run the world.  Rinse and repeat.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:43 | 2360872 smb12321
smb12321's picture

What exactly does this mean - the sociopaths who run the world?   It is you and I that elected our neighbors and citizens as our representatives.   It is the guy down the street who became CEO, the girl you dated in high school that runs a hedge fund.  ZH posters act like these folks came from another planet when they're simply an everyman and every woman who thinks they are right.  

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:21 | 2361031 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Ah... you have an exciting (or perhaps depressing) journey ahead of you, if you choose to research this topic a bit.  start by looking at the clinical definition of sociopathic characteristics and ask yourself if they seem to be "self selecting" to reach the highest levels of "leadership" in the government, corporate America, academia, etc. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:26 | 2361060 prole
prole's picture

I didn't vote for any of these bastardos, maybe you did. Own it. And don't look now but it is NOT our neighbors and neither even US citizens getting elected. From Chigagoland to the Oval Office citizens of foreign nations are ruling "us." Hmm.. Looks like the same thing happens in La France.

Perhaps your post was addressing the Knesset? If so please forgive my naivete

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:02 | 2361194 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

FWIW... I didn't down-vote you.  The idea sounds a little bit crazy at first. But once I did some reading and thinking, the conclusions seem fairly clear.  Enjoy your path with an open mind.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:48 | 2360709 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

'If Hollande wins then what France was will not be what it is going to be and it is not a marked shift but a violent upheaval not only for France but for the European Union.'

Wow what a poorly constructed sentence. Still, its structure is somehow second only to what this asswipe is trying to convey. Violence? Really? Is this something you're predicting or are you wishing for it?

It just gets worse with this turd machine.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:18 | 2362268 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

State violence will keep things in order.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:48 | 2360711 mathdock
mathdock's picture

That was extremely well-written!  I deduce Hollande's election leads to a near certainty that Germany bolts the monetary union, an act some here have said they have already prepared to do.  TRULY interesting.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:26 | 2361061 OttoMBMP
OttoMBMP's picture

Won't happen. German government is not acting in favor of the German people.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:49 | 2360714 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The political class is not going to solve your problems.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:54 | 2360717 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

As if any of these elections matter a hill of matter who it is, theyre all the banksters men. They say he's hostile towards the banks...uh huh...I guarantee if he gets in there in no time he'll be on his knees agressively blowing the bankers. 

Yea remember who else said he's against the bankers and Wall St corruption? Obama. Yea right, look at him now.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:19 | 2360786 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Hell, he was saying it while they were funding his campaign.  People didn't need to look any further than those filings to know what he would do once in office.  Same as it ever was.... same as it ever was.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:54 | 2360727 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

France will become Detroit sur la Seine

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:35 | 2360847 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Motor city Paris!


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:30 | 2361070 prole
prole's picture

You are both right, insofar as "Mecca of Europe" "Medina of the New World"

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:22 | 2362280 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Yeah, where the dodgiest inhabitants are culturally arab, rather than of the mostly occidental African-American subculture as in Detroit.   Arabs are fare more tribal, i.e. more primitive.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:57 | 2360729 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Face facts, the French are f*@ked

not sure it matters how they go down, just know they're going down 

Euro project, French banks, Unions, nuclear energy, car industry, last bastion of mind-numbing communist Govt bureaucracy and home of vacuous (socialist) philosophy

Viva Le French Revolution Part. II

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:23 | 2361271 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

except that France boasts a champion industrial in every conceivable industrial sector and each of these champions are in the top 5 globally. Name an industry and i will name the champion. not bad for a centrally planned economy right?

none of you saxons understand that the future economic models will be combinations of social safety nets and capitalism. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:28 | 2362289 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Yeah that's the French model, have a few gleaming examples of this and that, subsidized by a whole lot of mediocrity and misery everywhere else in the economy.   Central planners do that everywhere.   Nothing special about France other than this being the way you do things since a very long time, as far back as Richielieu and Colbert and that finance guy that broke the monarchy.    The French will  continue operating this way until and when the country is no longer majoritarily French, which is to say very soon on a historical scale.    The future belongs to those who show up for it.   Francistan is mere decades away, mon ami.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 08:56 | 2360736 marksg
marksg's picture

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, France is a joke wrapped in an enigma.  While the idiotic economic threat posed by Hollande is real, people also said the same thing about Mitterand and my banker friends said he was one of the best things to happen to France.  So, if and when he gets into office, who the hell really knows what he's gonna do.  Border Controls?  75% tax rate? Maybe, but a brain drain, account offshoring, and a less (yes even for bigotted France) pluralistic society is in the cards.  


Don't forget France has a legislature that is both powerful and intractable. A lot depends on the outcome of those elections too.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:15 | 2360777 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Churchill said what?

"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:59 | 2361184 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

Churchill never said that of France. France may be bankrupt but America needs to educate their people better. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:25 | 2361289 citta vritti
citta vritti's picture

and marksg didn't say that Churchill did say so - he said "to paraphrase" Churchill's famous phrase about Russia. educate yourself

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:39 | 2361321 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

paraphrase doesnt mean altering the actual country Churchill spoke about which was actually Russia. Paraphrase means to assemble the thought with different words but making the same point about the same issue. 

You are quite clearly ignorant of the English language and so i have to assume its not your first language. pathetic.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:57 | 2362367 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Au contraire, France's current mess results directly from how the central government's centrally run state schools educate the French people in the ways and beliefs of statism.   The US school systems until recently were very diverse and decentralised, and far less ambitious in their formatting aims than the French "Mammouth" pre-K trhough post doc state school system is.   It is a school of statism and stultifying mediocrity worshipping make-work.   

The US system(systems acutally) up through high school is very crappy indeed, and the main lesson americans take from this is that government does a crappy job, that one-size-fits-all education full of permajob teachers is a great counterexample.   To which I'll add that France provides to the rest of the world, in so many things, examples of what not to do, from lending money to Saddam Hussein so he can buy weapons from your state-coddled industries, to, well, the idiotic Mammouth.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:05 | 2360738 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Looks to me that Sarkozy climbed into bed with one too many fat German women while at the same time sucking too many banker's cocks.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:01 | 2360743 barkingbill
barkingbill's picture

down with sarkozy. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:02 | 2360755 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



The French should have kidnapped Margaret Thatcher when they had the chance.


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:01 | 2362373 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Indeed, and now they are running out of other people's money, but so will the US Congress/Feddle Gummint...after Europe goes down.

We have the strategic and demographic edge in this monetary race to the bottom, though I wish this weren't the case.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:07 | 2360760 eckart
eckart's picture


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:12 | 2360771 Ben Bermonkey
Ben Bermonkey's picture

I would rather have a German division in front of me, than a French one behind me


Genereal Patton, II world war

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:36 | 2361097 prole
prole's picture

I wish certain treasonous elements on "My own side" didn't kill me.

General Patton, II World War

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:57 | 2361180 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

you sir, are a puerile twit.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:56 | 2362192 prole
prole's picture

"I would rather be in Paris, than anywhere else."

Any sane individual. Perpetual

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:02 | 2362378 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

You don't go to war together with the French the same way you don't go hunting with your accordion.

-one of the USA's recent warmakers, I think Schwartzkopf(?)

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:15 | 2360781 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

The elections will be a fulfillment of Mark Styn's analysis and predictions in his book "America Alone".


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:22 | 2360796 DutchDude
DutchDude's picture

What will happen is Hollande wins; but EU policy will prevail because EU had and has an agreement with France which they cannot break. Hollande will apologize to the French people but stay in controll untill the next election. Then the new guy wins, because he promised to take care of unemployment, tax the rich, spank the banks, then he can't because of EU regulations. The new guy apologizes to the French people but stays in controll... ah, ou get the idea

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:24 | 2360811 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

Hollande will be compromised before the last votes are cast.

The CBs don't believe in leaving anything to chance.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:39 | 2361113 prole
prole's picture

Exactly: I believe Sarko has a few more maids from Equatorial Guinea ready for "deployment."

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:05 | 2362386 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

There are a number of central banks, each with its own alliances.   France will have its own soon enough.   Buba will reestablish itself.   It is about power, and Hollande will go nationalistic.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:24 | 2360803 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

And more here ...

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:26 | 2360817 Zola
Zola's picture

Hollande is popular because Sarkozy is hated. Any dog running in the main opposition party would be as popular. French people think that the government can give them more goodies for free and when the market signals it not to be the case well they blame evil speculators. When you drain all the capital from the private sector through taxes regulations etc, dont be surprised there are no flamboyant startups in France. Alas most french people depend on the government in at least one important part of their lives so the mentality is deeply engrained...

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:42 | 2360871 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Alas most french people depend on the government in at least one important part of their lives so the mentality is deeply engrained...

Do carry on, please. You just don't see enough of the 'private = good, gubmint = bad' meme on these boards that have been so deeply beaten into the minds of the dumb assed populace.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:48 | 2360887 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Right because federal government policies of promises for votes, massive debt, nanny care for a huge percentage of its citizens, inefficiency and mismanagement have brought Americans full employment, prosperity, a strong currency and a hopeful future.  LOL 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:09 | 2360974 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Address your 'democracy' then. After all, you voted them in on those promises. So at least you participate in that unlike 'private' ventures which always bring goodness to society at large. No, never mind, this all might take some introspective soul-seeking -- something you're entirely incapable of as a 'nation' -- but it's alright, I mean after all, you were busy saving Myanmar and spreading the seeds of democrazy.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:53 | 2362521 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

HA.   The French disagree with eachother over lots of  things, but one thing they all agree on is that centralized planning is the only way.   Your centrally planned government controlled schools "beat" that into your cheres tetes blondes, but not much beating is actually required, because they are bathed in central planning their whole lives.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:47 | 2360883 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Yup. And when the handouts end - as they will sooner or later - THAT'S when things get interesting. Not with another stupid circus "election".

My favourite part of the article:

"Is it to be thought unreasonable that the people, in atonement for wrongs of a century, demand the vengeance of a single day?"

Not unreasonable, but it won't be enough. When it comes there and when it comes here, it'll have been so long coming that if we burn the whole country, it will never be enough. And what then?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:48 | 2360886 Jim B
Jim B's picture

Like us, the answer is more printing, taxing, and spending! LOL


I can hardly wait to the fiat currency end game! 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:30 | 2360819 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

nothing will stop the NWO plan for Europe..not poverty, not collapse of economies..the whole political elite of EU will kill their children if needed to keep this plan going. Hitler & Stalin showed us fanatics but the EU elites are their children.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:30 | 2360824 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

I went Galt a couple of years ago. It's hard for me to imagine somebody working to be successful and then paying a 75% tribute to a band of fucking thieves called government. Why would a person of means, for that matter anyone stay in a country that finds it acceptable to confiscate 75% of the fruits of their labor? Is the world so pussified that there are no more true patriots that will stand up and fight til the bloody end?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:42 | 2360859 Renfield
Renfield's picture

azzhatter much as I agree, I am starting to come round to the idea that elites and serfs will find each other, like an pimp and a whore in a "dysfunctional" relationship that actually functions just fine according to their own terms. The rest of us can only look on, shake our heads, and do our damndest to get the hell away from their space. Trouble is whether it's as elite or serf, you'll never find a shortage of volunteers.

Some of us love liberty, autonomy, (real) diversity, and don't fear change. But a fucking hell of a lot of us love to be the bitching, whinging enablers who keep comin' back to that pimp, handing over all our money, getting a bit of daily allowance back, and think it's fine to get knocked around if we step out of line because that's how the pimp keeps us safe.

I'm coming to realise that in this big crowd of serfs that we live in, there are a lot of whores who not only don't want freedom, but will help the elites kill you if you make too much noise about disapproving of their little arrangement. Especially if you live/work on the same street corner and don't wanna play along.

"How do you know he's a king?"
"He doesn't have shit all over him."

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:32 | 2361077 youngman
youngman's picture

That is probably why they want to "secure" the the wealthy can not leave...

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:17 | 2362264 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

perhaps "securing the borders" - anywhere - is just ramping up the militarised police states that are and will be used against the populace on behalf of the ruling class. . .

for your protection, of course.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:30 | 2360829 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

You're missing an important point.


Presidents are there for the entertainment. They are fun.


The real rulers are at the administration, Bercy, and get educated at the ENA, not elected, only co-optation. And one president, commander in chief of the french army (a joke, ask the germans), asked Bercy to reform some tax rates, operative theft, and etc.. he hear : Sorry Sir, that is impossible due to our information systems, our dearest apology.

Look at Sarkozy, he tried and utterly failed. Hollande, the soft flamby, not the tenth of the energy of Sarkozy; being able to overcome Bercy ? LOL.

Forget their political promesses. Bercy rules. And they don't have to get through elections.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 12:43 | 2361501 HelioCentric
HelioCentric's picture

who and what is bercy

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:57 | 2362533 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Well, in their own idiom set, at least the French still have the proverbial army Mexican Army to look down on...oh, and Kadaffy's female praetorian guard squad, which, with more than a little help from the world's largest most sophisticated fighting force, managed to fianlly wear them down after six months or whatever it came to.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:30 | 2360836 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Hollande won't change much. France is to Germany what Vader was to Palpatine. A useful servant.

But I do agree on one thing : this election will show the singular psychology of the French. As first witnesses to the destruction and misery caused by central planning, their first instinct is to turn to a more radical socialist than Sarkozy for answers. I'm not going to send them flowers.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:58 | 2362535 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture


Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:32 | 2360842 Belarusian Bull
Belarusian Bull's picture

I, personally, more and more lean towards George Carlin's position...

The freak show is here to enjoy.

Go France, provide some entertaiment once in a while!

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:59 | 2360932 jools
jools's picture

I will vote in this election.

And yes, i want my president to put all this sh*t in a long baguette, force the .01% to eat it and do it again until they admit they're wrong. Because they are.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:05 | 2360962 dumbengineer
dumbengineer's picture

In the 60's and 70's, the 0.01% were taxed at rates between 60%-80% in the US .

These were the cherised days  of gold-backed money.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:50 | 2361154 dinastar2
dinastar2's picture

You need some insight to understand the french mood in deep.They love their state, their institutions, their republic; they are always arguing about where start their rights and where stops your freedom,they are obsessed with public order despite their private lives are really a mess ( 99% having extra-conjugal affairs ).They named the PC " ordinateur " ( order-setting machine ) and not computer ( calculating machine ). They are very hypocrite, only a foool will tell the open truth.They are obssessed with privacy, secrecy, closed doors: walk into a condominium, NO ONE will dare to put his name on his door; you should read the printed names list downstairs, or ask the concierge ( whois required to ask who you visit and under what motives ).They will not invite you a home even after 20 years of socializing. So they brag a lot about the public side , the republic, their high culture and high food but privately it is a totally different story.And if you do not spell 100% correctly a name ,hell , contemptuous gaze will fall on you ( Pauvre creature-etranger-etc..).Money wise it is very vulgar to speak about money, you can only speak about smart decisions of investment.The word " riche " is full of hate and despise .I would say they are really stiff, cold, anthipatic, the exact opposite of easy-going.Parisians are repulsive, aggressive, arrogant,  obnoxious, the provincials are warmer and welcoming .But the food ( especially in the province is great ) the landscapes are beautiful, the culture is everywhere. So I look at France as a Museum,an Indian Reserve, you visit once for all but you will hardly pass your entire life.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:14 | 2361243 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

terrible English, terrible over generalizations and truly poor commentary written no doubt by the real disenfranchised population of France. One who has too much pride to rely on the state and nowhere near the mental ability to earn his way out of mediocrity so he blames the state for giving "his" money away and quietly takes his 7 week vacation all the while blaming arabs and blacks for his own pathetic misery. 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:05 | 2361213 autonomos
autonomos's picture

French psychology: trying to merge communist egalitarianism and capitalist welfare

(I'm french)

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:33 | 2361942 dinastar2
dinastar2's picture

I am frenc too, so here are the parallels : USA : Money is " free " Sex is " taboo " -France : Sex is " Free " , Money is " taboo ".Maybe a shrinker can explain ?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 18:01 | 2362547 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Your shrinks are psycho-analytique, ours laugh about that ancient crap.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:18 | 2361241 citta vritti
citta vritti's picture

"A tax rate on the wealthy at 75%, renegotiate the EU fiscal pact, raise the minimum wage, impose more governmental spending, a decrease in the retirement age and a hostility directed at the banks and other financial institutions that may be described as combative or perhaps virulent "

hmmm, if the last of these ("hostility directed at the banks and other financial institutions that may be described as combative or perhaps virulent") were actually to be effected, and not be co-opted by its intended targets as in the U.S. of A. and elsewhere in the world where central banking be found, would it be worth the pain certain to be suffered by implementation of the other portions of the agenda?

Maybe - a banking reset is needed, and if it comes with other stuff that contains seeds of its own destruction, maybe it will work out for the better -- of course, on a long enough timeline, ...

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 11:58 | 2361367 loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

"A hostility directed at the banks and other financial institutions that may be described as combative or perhaps virulent"...  We could use a heavy dose of that here in the US!  Along with the officials to actually DO something about it...  Bring back Glass-Stegall and prevent all jews from working in the financial sector in any capacity.

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