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Pollsters Say Hollande Has Won French Election

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Now it gets interesting…we have a real rift in the EU, or at least the possibility of pushback against austerianism.

This election result was expected, but Sarkozy was gaining ground on Hollande as the poll date approached. From the Wall Street Journal:

French Socialist candidate François Hollande won Sunday’s presidential runoff, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy after a hard-fought campaign that pitted two radically different personalities against each other, according to estimates of preliminary results seen by The Wall Street Journal.

The ballot was set to continue until 8 p.m. local time in some large French cities, but the samples of preliminary results show Mr. Hollande, 57 years old, had garnered between 52% and 53.3% of the vote. The center-right Mr. Sarkozy, also 57, collected an estimated 46.7% to 48%, according to the sample of results….

Mr. Hollande has pledged to pursue efforts to trim the country’s budget deficit to avoid stoking the euro-zone sovereign-debt crisis. With France’s sluggish economy—the euro zone’s second-largest after Germany—running short of growth-stimulating muscle of its own, he has vowed to seek outside help from the European Central Bank—something Germany is likely to resist.

And here it the critical point, that the Hollande victory is yet more proof that the public is sick of failed policies:

Mr. Sarkozy’s defeat makes him the 11th euro-zone leader swept away in the sovereign-debt crisis.

But technocrats are still driving this train, although France is a significant enough player, and more important, a key ally of the bloc of surplus countries, that we might finally see a shift in policies. Stay tuned.

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120 comments

  1. Ed

    Are these exit polls?

    Why not wait until tonight or tomorrow when we have the actual count?

  2. Ed

    A Hollande victory would be the second Presidential election defeated, out of five attempts, and the third Socialist victory, out of eight elections using the popular vote.

    These are small sample sizes but it seems to be a pretty balanced political system.

    I think we really need to wait for the National Assembly result before drawing more conclusions on the future direction of the French government.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      http://www.france24.com/en/france/2min/20120506-france-socialist-hollande-wins-presidential-election-sarkozy

      François Hollande has won France’s presidential election, giving the country its first Socialist president in almost two decades, exit polls showed Sunday.

      According to Ipsos polling institute, the left-wing candidate took 51.9% of the vote to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy’s 48.1%.

      Hollande triumphed in the task of returning the Socialists to power five years after his then-partner Segolene Royal, the party’s nominee in 2007, lost to Sarkozy.

      Celebrations were underway at the iconic Place de la Bastille in central Paris, the same spot where the last Socialist to win a presidential election, François Mitterrand, celebrated his victory back in 1981.

      Hollande, who voted on Sunday in the central Corrèze region, which he represents in the French parliament, was considered the frontrunner throughout the campaign, at times leading his rival by as much as 10% in opinion polls.

      He finished ahead in the first round on April 22, claiming 28.63% of votes cast against Sarkozy’s 27.18%.

      In a twin blow to Sarkozy between the two rounds, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist François Bayrou, who gathered around 18% and 9% respectively, both denied the incumbent an endorsement. Bayrou told supporters his personal vote would go to Hollande, while Le Pen said she would cast a blank vote.

      At 79.9%, according to Ipsos, voter turnout was strong, though slightly lower than the figure reached in 2007.

      Hollande will be sworn in as France’s president on May 14 or 15.

      Sorry, I missed the reply button. Hope this isn’t a dupe.

  3. sunny129

    It is almost closing time there 8.00Pm (2PM EST). No need to wait for the night just a few hours more for the definitive answer.

    Not good for the Banksters in core Europe or the market tomorrow! Did you reset your portfolio on Friday?

  4. Susan the other

    What actual steps Hollande takes to defang neoliberalism will be interesting – that is if they don’t diebold him at the last minute.

    1. CN

      My reading suggests tepid, at best. Holland is not expected to upset any important applecarts and the guess is more of the same but at a slower pace–sort of like Obama leaving the student loan system in place while proposing longer payback terms. Oh, goodie. One hopes for better but………..

      1. Pas lolo

        This would have been true a few years ago.
        I suspect that, even in some highly connected circles, some still consider it that way. But things are a little bit different now.
        Most of the regions, departments (let’s say counties) are controlled by the socialist Party.
        So that its members are probably, in majority, either elected or dependant (as local civil servants).
        There is no spoil system here on a national level. But locally, even for basic employees of a municipality, elections may be a real threat.

        This situation is quite new, dating back from 2004 when socialists won by a lanslide the regional election, followed during Sarkozy presidency by every local election.

        I would add that Hollande as a former Party boss is well aware of the weight of local federations bosses and of the operation of the socialist party which is quite different of the much more disciplined behaviour, to put it mildly, from Sarkozy’s Party. Some compared it to democratic centralism in sarcastic broadcast here.

        To summarize, Hollande will have to manage a party composed of individuals much more aware of their personal interests and without a Leader culture comparable to the previous governing party.

        You put this in relation with the greek election results (netherlands soon on your screens) and you can understand that Hollande will have maybe to consider new solutions.

    2. rotter

      This process is only beggining and the rule of the banks isnt being genuinely threatened yet.If the pushback continues, and if it continues it will strengthen, we can expect them to counter attack with lies and propaganda, law breaking and violence. They wont see the plan scrapped without a final putzsch, without playing the last shaved and marked card. Its who, and what they are.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Does this mean that the French will have the temerity to start thinking for themselves again, in defiance of despots?

      1. Marley

        Well it’s going to be interesting. Keeping an eye on Greece as well.

        http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/55385

        Will there now be a more sympathetic eye from the the French? Does this usher in a combined Franco-Greco resistance as it were to continued austerity madness?

        We have to wait to see…

        1. Literary Critic

          It looks like the two major reel parties that supported the bailout now hold a minority in parliment. The other parties are talking about forming an anti-bailout colition and control parliment.

        2. Ned Ludd

          Thanks for the link. The Guardian also has results up from Greece’s election, and it appears that the results are updating every ten minutes. There’s a map that shows which party won each region. If you click on a party name along the right side, the map will redraw to show how that party did in all the regions.

      2. CN

        A friend, an American, who lives in France is going to be hysterical. Merkozy all the way for her. Merkel maybe overplayed her hand in this election, subtlety doesn’t appear to be her long suit.

      3. Gerald Muller

        If the French are thinking for themselves, as you say, they think the wrong way. France is already mired up in debt and Hollande wants to spend more.
        France has over 1 million civil servants more than Germany, corrected for the difference in population, costing close to 100 bnEUR a year. Hollande wants to add more. Anyone calls that smart?
        France has a state/communist share of the economy that is over 54% of GDP and Hollande wants to increase this percentage. And you think this goes in the right direction?
        The main problme is that Sarkozy was not much better. At least he tried to decrease -a little- the number of people paid by taxpayer’s money. While at the same time the regions, all held by socialists bar one, were adding civil servants by the bucketfull.
        In Correze, the “département” that Hollande was head of, the number of civil servnats doubled in the five years of Hollande’s tenure and the deficit of this small “département” is the largest of all France.
        If you think that Hollande should apply his brilliant ideas for Correze to the whole of France, why don’t you come to France and help this socialo-communist.

  5. Maju

    Let’s hope he ends up being more like Miterrand, who nationalized the banks, than like Obama (much message of hope and change, no change and the destruction of great hopes).

    Personally I fear that he’s an Obama of sorts but then again let also give the guy the traditional 100 days of courtesy.

    Much more interesting are the Greek polls with Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) struggling for first position with the tories of Nea Demokratia. They are related somehow in representing the tiredness of Europeans with the current bankster regime but I’d dare say that the Greek results are much more important and may evolve into Greece becoming the “Cuba” of Europe, so to say.

    Let’s wait for the results but I think that the Left (the left at the left of the PASOK) can form government. Another thing is wether the three parties (or four with the ecologists) can converge around a leadership and program and attempt to save Greece in extremis by means of intense state intervention in support not anymore of the banksters but of citizens instead.

    1. p78

      Euronews.com had an interview live from Athens: a Greek journalist said that Syriza (the left which includes the ecologists) did not explain how they want to stay in the EU and also reject the bailout terms of IMF and EU.

      1. ira

        quite easy as varoufakis says there is simply no legal mechanism for kicking them out i quote, ‘For Greece to be thrown out there has to be an explicit violation of the Lisbon Treaty by Germany et al; one that the European Court will reject thus putting the whole of the EU in jeopardy. This is not insignificant.’

    2. YesMaybe

      http://ekloges.ypes.gr/v2012a/public/index.html?lang=en
      It looks pretty certain there will be a ND-PASOK coalition. Right now they are set for 157 seats. Even if one of the parties which is close to 3% now was to actually make it to 3%, that would drop ND-PASOK to 153-154. Add in some changes in the percentages between these and the final results, and it’s possible they could drop below the 151 threshold, but very doubtful.

      So, though it’s not certain they’ll be able to form a coalition. I can say with certainty there can’t be a coalition without ND. The best outcome for the left would be no coalition and another round of elections called. The worst (realistic) outcome would be ND-PASOK-LAOS (if LAOS makes it to 3%, of course). But the most likely is just ND-PASOK. We’ll find out soon enough, I guess.

    3. YesMaybe

      Then again, now it does seem to be getting interesting, with ND-PASOK down to 153 and 50% of the votes counted…

    4. Jim Haygood

      ‘Let’s hope [Hollande] ends up being more like Miterrand, who nationalized the banks …’

      … and who crashed the French franc from US $0.20 to $0.10 in four years. Formidable!

      Be careful what you wish for. This time round, the French currency can’t serve as an adjustment mechanism, since France is lashed to the mast of the euro.

      So what will give instead? Here’s my guess: France’s AAA bond rating, and the 3% borrowing rate that goes with it. In a couple of years, expect a single-A rating and 5% yields on 10-year OATS.

      Needless to say, such events would rip apart the core of Europe, if France diverges that far from Germany.

      It’s hard to see Merkel and Hollande getting along …

    1. scraping_by

      That report was a cause for concern. Here in the States, it means “The mechanics of vote-counting are in hand and the result will be whatever the inside (moneyed) interest choose it to be despite the real world head count.” Usually the more pliable of the two.

      Maybe there’s a connection between voting and social justice. Or it might just be a coincidence.

  6. Middle Seaman

    Hopefully, the European slow uprising, e.g. Hollande’s victory, will cross the Atlantic and resuscitate the lifeless US opposition to neo-feudalism by the banks and other rich.

    Personally, hope for the survival of the EU by stopping austerity makes those of us who spend time in Europe enjoying the ease, seamlessness and common currency of the EU happy.

      1. Ray Duray

        I always have to do a double-take when I hear a Fox News propagandist or a Tea Party loon disparaging Obama as a “socialist”. The UK professors who maintain the Political Compass website have a much better idea of where Obama stands on the issues. And, importantly, they are examining the man’s record and not his rhetoric, which is clearly deceptive.

        http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

          1. Ray Duray

            Hi Lambert,

            I first came across Political Compass circa 2005-6. At that time it was clearly labeled as a project of a handful of UK academics. The discussion at the Wikipedia Creators page strikes me as being much like that NPR show, “All Things Overconsidered”. [wink]

            Let’s just say that some guys who purport to be from Britain are having a bit of a jolly and leave it at that,eh? :)

            For all I know, the authors could by now be professors emeritus!

        1. Synopticist

          I have some doubts about that website.
          For example, it has the libdems to ther left of labour in the UK in 2010, which was clearly dumb to anyone who had bothered to read the actual party manifestos, rather than relied on their personal sense of dis-satisfaction.

          Economically, in global terms Obamma may be fairly right wing, but Romney et all are totally off the scale.

          1. Syncophant

            All the progressive outlets recommend Jill Stein over either Republican. Hollande, Alexis Tsipras, and Stein. Trifecta

          2. Ray Duray

            Re: “Economically, in global terms Obamma may be fairly right wing, but Romney et all are totally off the scale.”

            Republicans are people, my friend. Just like corporations.

            My point in introducing the Political Compass was to jar any here who were thinking of Obama as a progressive that his record is anything but.

            I’ll mildly non-concur with you about Romney being off the scale. And as my example, I’ll suggest that Obamacare was pretty much a dead ringer for Romney’s health care scheme in Massachusetts. My point is that the record indicates these two are birds of a feather, no matter how divorced from reality each politician’s rhetoric happens to be.

            As to the Lib-Dems of the UK, I again rely on the record. And the record of Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s New Labor was that they were certainly governing to the Right, while the Lib-Dems were appealing to their supporters with a more populist/libertarian message which proved meaningless in the end. What’s transpired this year is that the Lib Dems have gotten crushed because of their alliance with the Tories; probably ruining the Lib Dem brand for a generation. Nick Clegg is a name that will live in infamy, etc.

          3. Synopticist

            @Ray.
            . “And the record of Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s New Labor was that they were certainly governing to the Right”
            Tony Blair maybe, but much less so Brown.

            “while the Lib-Dems were appealing to their supporters with a more populist/libertarian message which proved meaningless in the end. ”
            Again, this may have been true in 2005, but by 2010 the libdems had moved to the right, they were taken over by the Orange Bookers. As anyone who was paying proper attention noticed.

            And I knwo this isn’t a popular opinion on this site, but Romney is a rightwing fruitbat, while Obamma is a centre-right liberal who’s read some Keynes, rather than too much Chicago School mumbo-jumbo.

          4. TK421

            “Obama may be fairly right wing, but Romney et all are totally off the scale.”

            Obama thinks the president can order the killing of any American for any reason. Romney?

            Obama thinks the president can start a war without Congressional approval. Romney?

            Obama thinks the president can lock up anyone in the world forever, without charges or a trial. Romney?

          5. another

            “Obama thinks the president can order the killing of any American for any reason. Romney?”

            I’m certain that Romney, once in office, would agree.

            “Obama thinks the president can start a war without Congressional approval. Romney?”

            I’m certain that Romney, once in office, would agree.

            “Obama thinks the president can lock up anyone in the world forever, without charges or a trial. Romney?”

            I’m certain that Romney, once in office, would agree.

  7. bmeisen

    Strauss-Kahn was supposed to be pawing his way through the victory celebrations right now. Only reason HOllande won is because the monster S-K blew himself up. The fact that someone like S-K got so close does not bode well for HOllande and leftist hopes.

  8. psychoanalystus

    Sarkozy already conceded to Hollande.

    However, I don’t expect anything to change in France or in Europe. The same vicious neoliberal policies are likely to continue. Really, what is poor Hollande to do when sons of bitches like Rothschild put a gun to his and his children’s heads, like they most likely did to Papandreou.

    We are so way past elections, at this point.

    1. Synopticist

      France isn’t Greece. They’re big boys, not minnows with a hated political class. They can influence markets by their own actions, rather than relying on Frankfurt or Brussels.

      I’m not saying it will make a huge difference, but on the margins it will.

      1. psychoanalystus

        Personally, I really don’t buy the idea that France is the economic powerhouse that we are led to believe. The country is good at putting on an act, talking big, drumming up their superiority, but there is little evidence to support that.

        At the end of the day, France remains a Latin nation with poor work ethics, dirty cities, poor and decrepit villages, and outdated industries. And they also have really messed up banks to top it off.

        Today Greece, tomorrow France!

        1. Jim Haygood

          France also has an inflationist, devaluationist history. In 1960, France lopped two zeroes off the franc — precisely the sort of move which would horrify anti-inflationist Germany.

          The pretense that two neighbors with such different instincts can serve as unified ‘core of Europe’ is about to come unraveled.

          Surely the German press sees this coming. Input from German-language readers would be appreciated.

        2. F. Beard

          Don’t the French export nuclear power to Germany to keep Germany’s windmills turning? :)

          I love the Germans but they can pull boners just like anyone else can but in a German way of course.

        3. Pas lolo

          “France remains a Latin nation with poor work ethics”

          Obviously you never had to call a supplier on Friday afternoon or after 6 pm in germany or UK.

          I should not talk about our US field engineers who were more easily found in dental clinics than on field in thailand.

          1. OTAY

            Dental work is great in Bangkok, it’s Soi 23 that takes extracts a toll on field engineers.

          1. psychoanalystus

            Yeah, the French live off of tourism, so they have to keep up central Paris. Although, I must say, the last few times I was there, the place looked more like Afghanistan…LOL

    2. readerOfTeaLeaves

      The neoliberals will be the last to know the gig is up; don’t tell Glenn Hubbard — or don’t bother; he couldn’t get his head around it so don’t waste your breath.

      But it was only months ago that Hollande was still viewed as a roly-poly, comfy dessert. There something powerful moving in these populations – note that the turnout was around 80%, which is impressive.

      Something new is starting to happen.
      It’s a good day to smell the flowers, methinks.

      1. psychoanalystus

        I hope you are right. But one thing is for sure: the French today are no longer the sharp thinkers of yesteryear. They have been brainwashed and dumbed down pretty much at the same rate as the Americans have. They can probably be easily duped too.

      2. Flying Kiwi

        “Something new is starting to happen.
        It’s a good day to smell the flowers, methinks.”

        I had the same feeling the day after Obama’s election.

        It didn’t take long for the flowers to die, and start stinking.

  9. Dan Kervick

    Not sure if Hollande has the guts to make any kind of decisive break. But just the fact that Sarkozy is out should send a message to western leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. They’re next.

    1. Synopticist

      I’m not suprised the old school Greek parties have done just enough. They really don’t want to let go of europes hand. Most Greeks would probably prefer to be ruled by German officials than by other Greeks. It’s a pretty sick society in a lot of ways.

      Something like two thirds of doctors, engineers and lawyers don’t pay ANY income tax, for example. Once you have enough money there, you bribe tax inspectors rather than pay taxes.
      A massive chunk of the civil service is made up of no-show jobs, given to party activists and mayors wives, who may actually have another, better paid civil service job besides. Greeks make Italians look honest when it comes to screwing their own government over.

      Some friends of my dad have a place on a Greek island, and spend a lot of time over there and learnt the language.
      They knew they were becoming accepted by the locals when they were shown the grove of trees where the islanders had traditionally hidden their new cars when the tax inspectors came to visit.

      1. Marley

        Ha! I hear ya. If all that’s happened hasn’t wedged out the old schoolers, then what will it take? Drs, engineers and lawyers feeling the pain one would assume…?

  10. Leverage

    Results in Greece are way more interesting, there is a civil war and/or revolution maturing there and this election just confirms it.

    Give it a couple years more of destruction and institutional and social fabric collapse and there will be a coup d’etat and probably a conflict or a revolution.

    Good work, eurocrats and greek politicians, you will end up in history books as the initiators of the chaos that is incoming to the eurozone and the world in a few years. A true sample of the ruling crook elites everywhere.

  11. Anon

    Hollande’s victory speech: “Je suis socialiste” at 12.48

    Part of it transcribed here: http://www.slate.fr/france/54569/discours-hollande-je-mesure-honneur-fait-

    Big commitment to equality and the values of the revolution. Candidate of the 99% versus the raging financial tyranny of the bankster class? Addresses the fissures wrought by the Le Pen vote head on.

    Ce soir, il n’y a pas deux France qui se font face. Il n’y a qu’une seule France, qu’une seule nation réunie dans le même destin. Chacune et chacun en France, dans la République, sera traité à égalité de droits et de devoirs.

    Tonight, there are not two Frances that face each other. There is only one France, one nation united in its destiny. Everyone (male and female) in the Republic will be treated equally in terms of rights and responsibilities.

    Aucun enfant de la République ne sera laissé de côté, abandonné, discriminé… Trop de fractures, trop de blessures, trop de ruptures, trop de coupures ont pu séparer nos concitoyens. C’en est fini.

    No child of the Republic will be left to one side, abandoned, discrimated against… Too many breaks, too many injuries, too many splits, too many cuts have divided our countrymen. That’s over.

    Placido Domingo giving it some welly:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3LAtdaNrNE&feature=related

    Allons, enfants de la patrie…

  12. Z

    Potentially an excellent development if Hollande sticks to his guns and actually has the audacity to represent the country’s and the French people’s best interests instead of the international oligarch’s.

    Z

    1. Pat

      Wow, I like and approve of almost everything in the Socialists agenda. Unfortunately, this sets France on a collision course with Merkel and Germany.
      Something big is going to happen soon. Either the Eurozone blows up or Germany leaves. There’s no way that Germany will subsidize the rest of the Eurozone when they don’t agree with the Austerity plan.

  13. Glen

    So here’s the SITREP, the first major EU country to tell the banks to go fuck themselves will potential reap the biggest rewards. And this spills over to the US and China too.

    To those in France who voted for Hollande, may you live long and prosper…

  14. EmilianoZ

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. Le Parti Socialiste is just the French equivalent of the Democratic party here. This being Europe the whole phony opposition is just vastly shifted to the left. Sarkozy, the conservative, is a full-blown commie compared to Obummer.

    1. nonclassical

      E-Z,

      while I agree with you regarding relative political parties, there is no “left” left in states-you might be referencing 1960′s left, prior to political assassinations of
      the left’s leaders-JFK, RFK, and many, many others. Our current “house-black”
      would have been summarily disposed of, had he perpetrated accountability…but he would have gone down in history, rather than infamy, as the greatest disappointment since RFK assassination..

  15. Paul Tioxon

    Hollande is now speaking live from Paris, at Bastille Square. Crowd has pack in and Metro is mobbed with inflow towards massive celebration. Over a dozen different national flags flying, Algerian, Tunisian, Irish, Argentine, as well as Green and far Left French parties, an apparent Rainbow diversity. Live rock and roll music concert preceding the arrival of Hollande from central France. At Tulle, he declared austerity over, failed. Here, he calls for a rebuilding of shattered society hurting and in pain after years and years.

    Commentators say he will be sworn in early in order to meet with Germany’s Merkel before they both head to Camp David for a G8 conference and then to Chicago for a NATO summit. There is more than a little sense of urgency conveyed by commentators for Hollande to hit the ground running to deal with a crisis that the French feel is headed from Spain and Italy, right to France. And austerity and inequality does not seem just or even practical.

    From France24 TV, the round table of commentators British, from the Economist, American from the WashPo and Australian seem to move from robotic borugeoisie platitudes about the markets to questions about who knows who this guy is outside of France. The French Politico, a member of the French Assembly, Jacques Mayard, declares the Euro dead, and from its inception, a completely structurally impossible arrangement that is meeting its inevitable end. He says the ECB should fund the states directly, not the banks or the bankers. The French pol, a Socialist Party and French Senator, speaks in econo speak but says nothing meaningful. There seems to be the very real chance that the far left and the Socialists will reverse the austerity but how far and how quickly may not be extensive and quick enough for the exploding crisis. There is talk France will pull out of NATO and may accelerate the exit from Afghanistan. Obama’s strategic retreat from Afghanistan a foreshadowing of the foreign policy shift from hegemonic adventures to nursing the wounds at home? Greece overshadows the sense of urgency for change in France. The far left and the left and the far right move into power. Greek man says he would rather have a fascist than a traitor in office. Desperation spills from Greek elections like left wing euphoria does from Bastille Square.

    1. Lambert Strether

      It would be irresponsible not to speculate, so I’m guessing there’s 1% of the 1% factional conflict about whether it’s best to let the reformist left save capitalism again, or go with the fascist option. They might run controlled experiments, as it were, in different countries. Since the 1% of the 1% are super-national entities, each with a portfolio of national political entities, I imagine we’ll see more or less correlated attempts at “solutions.” Ultimately, however, they’re not the drivers, as all know from the Arab Spring…

      1. F. Beard

        about whether it’s best to let the reformist left save capitalism again, Lambert Strether

        Correction: The Left saved BANKING (eg. government deposit insurance).

        If the Left had any sense (especially moral sense) it would allow genuine capitalism by destroying banking.

        1. securecare

          So when do you move from grade school to junior high ?

          Your right wing BS is way too stale.

  16. Fiver

    The 1% are not stupid. They are simply changing the faces, who in turn will change the tone, but not the real substance of perpetual extractive policy.

    In the US the “far right” has been demolished via the shrewd elite Republican tactic of letting them hang themselves on their own unelectable bag of policy turds. In Europe it is the roll back of “austerity”, even though the laws signed in December are the important ones. Nonetheless there will be maximum positive spin put on all this as a “rising of the left”, when in fact it will be a barely perceptible move left in real terms. What the US wanted out of Europe was an iron-clad guarantee that American banks would take no hit – they do not care how that is accomplished, be it “austerity” or by Central Bank and fiscal largesse.

    Be prepared for multiple declarations of “light at the end of the tunnel” and “good times coming” over the next couple years – even as Wall Street lines us all up for another complete hosing.

    1. Enraged

      Wrong.

      For one thing, Sarkozy is facing corruption charges, just as Chirac did before him (and was convicted). The system there works and corruption is not as rampant and well accepted as here.

      For another, there are many more different parties than here in France, among which 2 powerful extremist ones. Hollande will be held to what he promised.

      Lastly, unlike the US where people don’t matter and where money rules, France knows that a country’s asset is its people. Hollande will default on any debt repayment if necessary, so long as it allows him to take care of the people.

      Don’t believe me? Wait six months and you’ll feel the impact of Europe’s economic measures here. And it will hurt too. Unlike there, though, here it will hurt the small guy without touching the 1%.

      France is a completely different animal from the US. Don’t try to understand it from the American perspective. It’s been there for 2000 years, it’s gone through a lot and it is a resilient country. And, to top it off, it is patriotic. Really patriotic. Not just lip service as here: (love your country. love money more.)

      1. Fiver

        Romantic puffery and nothing more. The “left” in France is pure elite technocracy. It will work with Goldman just fine. So will Germany when Merkel is dumped. Follow the money and the sustainable results. Try not to be blinded by the “false dawns” coming – you appear to be a very likely candidate for the same sort of betrayal as what was laid on Obama supporters so brazenly.

        1. Fiver

          Note: When I say “follow the money and sustainable results” the “sustainable results” portion means what actions to advance the public good they bring in are anything other then temporary (can/will they be sustained).

      2. SidFinster

        Don’t idealize. It is unbecoming. France has not “been there” for 2000 years, and although there is no shortage of corruption there, the corruption trials of French politicians are primarily political affairs.

        Until France can run a primary surplus, debt default is not an option. France would probably also have to leave the EU and certainly would have to institute capital controls (which would necessitate leaving the EU).

        As regards French patriotism, that is another matter.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Do you think I should sell some comics and buy some facebook shares then? I mean just short term, you know, just long enough to be lulled into prosperity with light at the end of the tunnel extra pizza money? Seriously, anyone, facebook good for some quick cash to go deep with cans of tuna and more shot gun shells?

      1. Fiver

        I’m a democratic socialist who has followed politics for nearly 5 decades. You, from the comments of yours I’ve read over the past 6-8 months are exactly the sort that would be made by some fool who voted for Obama actually expecting “change”. You haven’t the remotest clue how deeply, thoroughly captured the entire political process is on both sides of the Atlantic.

        Enjoy your brief “democratic” rebirth, which will indeed include some “stimulus” for “job creation” and “green” and lots of nicey, nicey talk. For about 2 years. Then it comes completely apart, because realities in China, Japan, Europe, BRICS and the US again smash the non-efforts to deal with them to bits.

        And this time, there will be no grace given to “progressives” who have no interest whatever in advancing the real public interest of the fully half of Americans abandoned by their utterly rotted elites.

        Silly, silly man.

        1. prior_approval

          ‘how deeply, thoroughly captured the entire political process is on both sides of the Atlantic’
          Remember the German Greens? If they are captured, then it just made it easier for the Pirate party to climb on board.

          Oh, haven’t heard much about the German Pirate party? (Assuming you don’t read German, of course – they have been big news here for a while, because of their winning streak at German electoral politics.) Well, you might be surprised at how deeply and thoroughly the entire media have been captured on at least one side of the Atlantic.

          1. Fiver

            Well aware of the Greens. I was at a founding convention for the North American Greens in 1983. As for the Pirate Party – I am against the entire concept of a “knowledge economy”, so do not exactly resonate with them.

    3. nonclassical

      while I agree-banks want guarantee, FED is buying back all that Wall $treet bad
      MBS currently, at U.S. taxpayer expense:

      http://www.unelected.org/audit-of-the-federal-reserve-reveals-16-trillion-in-secret-bailouts

      When considering fanni-freddi only hold less than $2 trillion subprime, bad stuff, and less than $7 trillion total, which is half-banksters own the other half-
      of mortgages, Americans should comprehend their tax $$$$ are being used to buy back Wall $treet guaranteed bad paper, from world banks..

      of course that’s supposed to remain secret..

      1. Fiver

        Wall Street is in for trillions in exposure of all kinds to European banks and sovereigns racked up before, during and especially after the crisis broke. And as we’ve seen with actions by ECB, installation of technocrats in Italy and Greece, etc., they are quite prepared to run roughshod over European institutions along the way. They intend to cash in on assets shed by those banks. Estimates of assets banks will unload just this year range from $2-3 trillion.

        We are witnessing financial war, and the US is winning hands down. The wealth pump from the periphery of US Empire to core, based on relative strength of positions will continue and accelerate over the next year or two.

  17. Defiant

    I feel sorry for the French. They will soon find out money does not grow on trees, and does not come from flying unicorns.

    I’m sure the posters here will have some excuses when the time comes. I hope the smart ones are taking notice because we have more time than France in the US. What is headed to France is also headed our way.

      1. Defiant

        It wont be too long before the socialists come out with their the government didn’t do enough excuse.

        The statements I made are with full respect to the French. Celebrating a socialist takeover, not that sarkozy was much better, is a sad state of affairs. Unfortunately we are headed the same path.

        1. F. Beard

          Unfortunately we are headed the same path. Defiant

          So you think.

          However, there is a middle ground between fascism and socialism. It’s called justice.

          1. Defiant

            Than there is nothing to be afraid of.

            There is no chance in hell that Germans will fork over their hard earned cash. This is about to get really interesting really fast. Good luck socialists. You will need it.

          2. F. Beard

            U be dumb.

            If the Germans were smart, they would bailout the entire Eurozone equally, including German savers, with new fiat.

            Steve Keen has suggested this and he ain’t dumb!

          3. Defiant

            No I’m dumberest, but the Germans are not. Its not gonna happen so u might want to follow my advice. Get popcorn, a sit, BBQ and get ready for the fireworks. It be fun.

          4. Defiant

            Goodness gracious money does not grow on trees. What’s so hard to understand about that. Europe will blow up for it’s own good You catnt go through a tunnel without first entering it. This is a much needed pill.

          5. nonclassical

            …justice…”transparency, oversight, accountability”-Socratic method=TRUTH

            all completely missing under bushbama…

          6. OTAY

            F,

            Your comments have certainly made me think about monetary systems in a different light. But really, “bailout the entire Euro zone equally, with new fiat” is just a thought experiment. It’s not going to happen in our lifetime, you must realize this no?

            As Mr. Munny bluntly put it, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it”.

          7. F. Beard

            It’s not going to happen in our lifetime, you must realize this no? OTAY

            It could happen in view of what happened because of the last Great Depression – the destruction of Europe in WW II.

            I figure the PTB maybe just ignorant but even if they are willfully pursuing austerity they may become frightened and relent.

            But hey, there is a lot to be said for trying one’s best anyway.

        2. Jim Haygood

          ‘It wont be too long before the socialists come out with their the government didn’t do enough excuse.”

          Obviously you don’t read the Times-Titanic (not that you should — it’s been shown to cause irreversible brain shrinkage). But they ALREADY said that, two days ago:

          Without further government help — especially more aggressive spending to boost demand — the economy simply does not have the momentum to heal itself any time soon.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/opinion/a-clear-warning-from-the-jobs-numbers.html?hp

          Like the mythical Fountain of Youth, government is an inexhaustible Fountain of Money, we’re told. But too much ain’t enough …

          1. F. Beard

            But too much ain’t enough … Jim Haygood

            Of course – because the money has been given to the villains, the banks, instead of their victims, the general population.

            Think that would make a difference?

          2. Defiant

            The only thing I ask is that when shit hits the fan, people see them for what they are. No different than the bankers and thieves.

          3. nonclassical

            $16 trillion taxpayer $$$ given by FED to Wall $treet and world banks, to buy back Wall $treet guaranteed MBS..falsely rated (by raters banksters paid) “AA”
            or “AAA”…

            Looks like taxpayers are supposed to $ub$idize Wall $treet…it’s “austerity” for everyone else…

    1. Enraged

      French people feel sorry for Americans. 2000 years of history v. what…? 300? And 2 monumental manmade financial scandals that nearly destroyed the rest of the world. Quite a legacy!

      1. Defiant

        That should be even more embarrassing
        You would think we would know better after 2000 years. The US legacy speaks for itself and needs zero defense. Don’t blame this one on us, you chose your destiny.

      2. Fiver

        While going after the US for its actions is perfectly reasonable, pointing to France’s history as if it was in any way relevant to today’s globalized disaster is, well, lame.

        1. Defiant

          Are you serious?

          Don’t you know that these banks are over the world, including France. Are you suggesting that Americans made the French spend their savings and forced their banks to commit the same fraud that happened here? No my friend, your French banks are the same as wall street.

          This is as good as a movie and complete BS.

          1. Skippy

            American intrests created the gaming platform (derivitive shite) as the world largest econamy (market makers) and via the central banking system, spread it, globaly. It was a matter of “play the game”TM or get your ass served on a platter.

            Now, the fact some became insanly wealthy at the middle of the boom and then even more at the end, only to use this new found power in an attmpt to keep all that fruadulent wealth. Well they earned it hahahahaha!

            Skippy… The city of London comes 2nd place in my book. The mom and dad of this finacial bastard. Own it Defiant.

          2. Defiant

            Skippy,
            Yes, this may be an American invention and platform, but the decisions, the profits, the risk taking was done in the EU. I will go on a limb and state that EU banks have made more wreckless bets than their US counterparts.

            And no, the other option was not failure, there are many banks that have stayed away and are perfectly fine.

            This is the EU’s mess.

          3. Fiver

            If you don’t know yet that the globalization of finance and multinationals is the operational apparatus of US Empire, then I can’t help you.

            Enjoy the movie. You’re living in it.

  18. Anon

    And here it the critical point, that the Hollande victory is yet more proof that the public is sick of failed policies

    Kind of, but the French hated Sarko from the minute they elected him.

    They missed a trick not going with Ségolène in 2007, so have now chosen the former Mr Ségo instead (although they weren’t actually ever married, despite the four kids).

  19. ira

    Re: Greece

    The two austerity parties — ND and PASOK are projected TOGETHER to have only 149 seats (151 is majority). But remember that 50 seats are given to the biggest party, or the biggest coalition, so as to create ‘stability’.

    SYRIZA — coalition of the radical left and ecologists — is the big winner with a projected 16.7 % (52 seats) ahead of PASOK with a projected 13.5 (41 seats) and trailing only ND (18.9% with 108 seats, again due to the 50 seat bonus).

    What’s important to realize is that the only two pro-austerity parties got less than 33% TOGETHER. There is absolutely no democratic mandate for the continuation of the austerity programmes. What happens remains to be seen, but it will be difficult to keep pushing through austerity, and maintain the fig-leaf of any kind of democracy.

    Of worry is the entrance of the New Dawn party, with about 21 seats, which is truly a fascist — or worse — party.

    SYRIZA seems like it is in the Varoufakis vain, talking of defaulting on its debt while staying within the euro, and of the need for a Roosevelt-type New Deal (Varoufakis himself likes to use the term a New Marshall Plan). The emergence of Syriza is a very hopeful sign.

    1. ira

      I should correct myself; Varoufakis actually talks about a New Deal for Europe, and not a Marshall Plan (I hope it’s not premature Alzheimers’ creeping in). His quote, ‘Our Modest Proposal incorporates not a Marshall Plan but the idea of a New Deal for Europe as a whole. The difference is significant: the New Deal did not give money away. It simply shifted idle savings into productive investments’

  20. ginnie nyc

    Well, I am hopeful. If he acts on 30% of his platform, it will still be good. We shall see.

    I remember how happy I was when Mitterand got it in & nationalized the banks almost immediately (key point) – haven’t been that pleased about an election since.

    Don’t wait to act, Hollande.

  21. gf

    France needs to absolutely turf the EURO and cut ties with the Germans as soon as possible. Being in bed with conservatives is economic suicide. Those of us in the US do not have that option unfortunately for us.

  22. Hugh

    The Euro crisis is really six interconnected problems:

    1) Lack of a democratic fiscal and debt union
    2) Lack of a strong central bank
    3) An insolvent predatory banking sector
    4) Internal mercantilist trade patterns
    5) A corrupt political class
    6) A kleptocratic class calling the shots

    It’s important to realize that Hollande is a member of the French Establishment. He is a member of the Socialist party but that hardly means anything. The Socialist party in France has shown itself to be elitist, corrupt, and divided. These features are all reasons why Sarkozy won last time, and little has changed in the party since.

    We have seen this elsewhere in Europe where Socialist parties have been as austerian as conservative ones. Hollande may jockey for a better deal for France, I would expect him to, but address the 6 problems that underlie the European wide crisis? I just don’t think so.

    1. Z

      The euro crisis is ongoing … no one can wave a wand and solve it … and its resolution is going to be a process … and probably a drawn out one. It’s largely beyond Hollande’s control to resolve it.

      But at least the austerian crisis that the western governments have foisted upon their subjects may have reached a turning point if the people of one major western country can gain control over their government … and hence more control over their economy and quality of life … and have the government actually represent their best interests. I think that’s potentially very important: to see at least one major government heed to their people’s will rather than threaten them with a police state if they don’t like what they are being dealt.

      Maybe Hollande will turn out to be an obama type and go forward with the same agenda as his predecessor, but the French people are losing their patience. Or maybe Hollande decides to be a hero and do what’s right. Maybe that means more to him. The opportunity to be a great man is there. We’ll probably find out pretty quickly where he stands.

      But even if Hollande turns out to be another selfish, compromised fool, at some point some country’s people will get their shit together enough to actually put some human beings back in charge of their government … instead of corporate pr men. Then we’ll see what happens. If Hollande decides to uncork it, this could be the first major punch landed back at the international oligarchs and the austerian medecine that they are trying to force feed billions of people.

      It would also be interesting to see what tactics that the very interconnected international financial mafia would unleash to discipline France. I’d imagine their first salvo will naturally be attacking their bond market.

      And the more that the international financial mafia has to reveal of themselves from behind the curtain, the better. Because the less that they can conceal the more there is to see … that they are behind the austerity mania because they are making us pay for their losses, corruption, and greed … and the more that will see it.

      Z

      1. Hugh

        As I said, the Eurozone has 6 interconnected problems. Piecemeal and single country solutions will not suffice. In the US during the Bush years, the cry of Democrats was more and better Democrats to oppose him and his policies. Well, in 2006, the Democrats gained control of the Senate, and nothing happened. In 2008, they won control of both Houses and the Presidency, and nothing changed. I see something similar happening, or not happening, now in France. “Le changement, c’est maintenant” sounds a lot like “Change we can believe in”, and we know how well that worked out.

        The problem as I see it is more profound in both countries than a couple of feckless parties. It is a problem with the whole concept of elites. Elites are simply incapable of serving the interests of the 99%. They will always serve their own interests first and then recast those interests as the interests of the 99%. Hollande is as much a member of the elites as Obama. I have no doubt that he will, also as I said above, try to get a better deal for France, but the question is at whose expense? France’s rich? Its elites? I don’t think so. Meanwhile the euro crisis will go on because Hollande is at best irrelevant to it and at worst with his France first stance will exacerbate it.

        1. Z

          I don’t think that any of those 6 issues will get resolved with the people’s best interests in mind the way things are presently arranged, pre-Hollande. I don’t see anything being resolved in the vast majority of the people’s favor within the Eurozone until they can at least get a seat at the table … a government that represents what is in their best interests; interests which are largely common to people of all countries … so I think of France, hopefully, regaining control of their government as potentially a very positive development.

          You might be right about Hollande, he could be another guy that basically turns out to be another head pr man of the oligarchs, but maybe not. He did promise to raise taxes on the rich by the way. He has promised to go after the banks. And Hollande does have free will. He does have the capability to at least fight for what is in his country’s … and the vast majority of the French’s … best interests. They obviously weren’t getting that from Sarkozy and just becoz obama made similar noises to Hollande doesn’t necessarily mean that Hollande will follow in his path of deceit.

          Z

  23. freedomny

    The euro will crumble…it is just a matter of time. 1,3,5 years, I think it will be sooner rather than later. We all get the concept and goals, but I always thought it was a lousy idea. The scary thing is that it was “even” allowed to come into being. What happened to common-sense? Why are so many inept people in power? And why do so many people vote for the inept?

    1. Gerald Muller

      Maybe, because, as many great political thinkers of ancient Greece (nothing to do with the present one) have said, demagogy is the twin sister of democracy. Interesting to read Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon or Isocrates, who all said that democracy is just about the worst political system. Plus: many people confuse the way people in power are chosen and what those people, once chosen, whatever the way, do with this power.
      By the way, I fully agree with you that the euro is a flawed concept and the sooner it explodes the better.

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