I must admit, I haven't been keeping up with the Euro Zone crisis as much as I should be, but I came across this read on The Economist today, and even though it's about a week old, it was a good introductory foray into the political landscape of the upcoming French election. This...is some scary stuff.
The candidates dish out at least as many promises to spend more as to spend less. Nobody has a serious agenda for reducing France's eye-watering taxes. Mr Sarkozy, who in 2007 promised reform with talk of a rupture, now offers voters protectionism, attacks on French tax exiles, threats to quit Europe's passport-free Schengen zone and (at least before Toulouse) talk of the evils of immigration and halal meat. Mr Hollande promises to expand the state, creating 60,000 teaching posts, partially roll back Mr Sarkozy's rise in the pension age from 60 to 62, and squeeze the rich (whom he once cheerfully said he did not like), with a 75% top income-tax rate.
As I read daily news of the situation improving state-side, Europe seems doomed to all depths of hell. On the verge of electing a Socialist president? How could this possibly not end up horrifically?
Are investors going to flee immediately from France's bond markets? Borrowing is already hard, but some of these numbers are so staggering that it seems like France might never borrow again!