segunda-feira, outubro 27, 2003
O Caminho Para a Bancarrota
Um artigo da Tech Central Station mostra onde levou o resultado do intervencionismo e da política "tax and spend" do Estado Francês. Um sério aviso para todos os defensores nacionais destas políticas.
Alstom, builder of high speed trains (TGV), nuclear plants and cruise liners, was the showcase of French technology. It is now the showcase of French bankruptcy.
Like France, Alstom is badly managed, unable to balance its accounts, and encumbered with debt. Alstom illustrates the failure of French "social-capitalism," a state driven capitalism that is actually closer to socialism. (...)
The socialo-gaullist elites, who control French media groups, buy their support by distributing money to Communist (CGT) and Trotskyite (FO) unions, to 7 million public servants (often useless), to 12 million retirees (often pre-retired), plus millions of immigrants living on welfare. But French politicians are so "generous" that even with the highest taxes of any OECD country, they chronically accumulate huge debts in all public entities: state, regions, cities, social programs, public companies. Having been unable to balance any French budget for more than 30 years, they are driving France to a financial crisis that will shake all of Europe.
The bad corporate management of Alstom should have led to bankruptcy. But Alstom owes banks ?3.4 billion. Baudoin Prot, énarque, for BNP Paribas, Philippe Citerne for Société Générale and Alain Papiasse for Crédit Agricole went to see Finance Minister Francis Mer. With Patrick Kron, the current Alstom chairman, they argued that the company's failure would not only paralyze the European rail system but be disastrous for the French economy. Two absurd statements: if Alstom collapsed, its transport division would be acquired by other firms, and French banks would be able to support such a loss. But Mer decided that the state should come to the rescue and fork over a couple of billion.
It is French taxpayers who will pay. Most French think they are saving their technological potential. But Alstom is not saved over the medium term. They are saving members of their failing elites. It will increase the French public deficit which is already the largest of the European Union. It has not been widely reported to the French public that the European Commission and the OECD evaluate the French public debt as equal to 250 percent of GNP, if one includes future pensions that will have to be paid to their civil servants. The debt of France is 20 times the former debt of Argentina... before it went to bankruptcy.
As no French politician is ready to take any measure to reduce public and social spending, it is difficult to see how France can avoid a major financial crisis in the coming years.
posted by Miguel Noronha 11:06 da manhã
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