Frenchman ignorant about economics: quelle surprise

The problem is of course that such ignorant Frenchmen actually have some power over us as well:

Michel Barnier, the EU markets commissioner, said he wanted to ban credit rating agencies from rating bonds from bailed-out countries. He told French radio that the agencies could lose the \”right to rate certain countries for a certain time that are receiving an international support programme from the IMF or European Union.\” But few could see how the ban could be imposed.

The ignorance is of course that the agencies don\’t cause the bond prices.

Plus there\’s that little liberty and freedom thing: what do you mean someone cannot give their opinion on whether someone is going to pay off their borrowings or not? It\’s an opinion: free speech \’n\’all that.

But even leaving all that aside: what he\’s really complaining about is that markets have a mind of their own, do not do what politicians tell them to do. Something for which we\’re all profoundly grateful but I do understand why a French politician wouldn\’t feel that way.

5 comments on “Frenchman ignorant about economics: quelle surprise

  1. Of course if you ban rating agencies from doing, er, ratings, someone else who isn’t a rating agency will do it instead…..

  2. Barnier has form for being clueless about his brief: CDSs, food “speculation” and so on. Britain was deftly outmanoeuvred (Prime Minister: G Brown) when we got the meaningless foreign affairs slot (Baroness Ashton) to stop us having anything with any practical influence.

  3. It’s not ignorance. It is a threat to the ratings agencies not to downgrade France, or they (the messenger) will be made to pay.

  4. Rub-a-dub.

    That is spot on. This is a threat by France to the ratings agencies.

    If I were them, any hesitation owing to political reasons in downgrading France would now be removed.

  5. If they ban ratings agencies I can imagine that many investors will stay away from govt bonds, which would make the problem worse.

    ” meaningless foreign affairs slot (Baroness Ashton) to stop us having anything with any practical influence.” … hmmm, not sure about that, it is considered a top job and GB blew it with a poor appointment.

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