Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sarkozy versus the Anglo Saxon model of finance

There has been a lot of commentary today on whether Nicolas Sarkozy's threat to walk out of the G20 summit tomorrow is just "grandstanding" for his domestic constituents or whether it reflects a more serious threat.

Frankly it seems rather dubious whether even a united G20 communique amounts to a whole lot but there are important precedents to the French distaste for Anglo-Saxon finance.

In the 1960's Charles de Gaulle was constantly banging heads with the British and the Americans on their financial prudence. The following article from the archives of Time magazine in 1965 gives the flavor of these disputes and is especially relevant in the context of the current discussions about a new foundation for a global reserve currency.

My own view is that the suspicions about the integrity of the US dollar are not going to be easily appeased and even if there is no serious debate about the matter at the G20 summit in London tomorrow this issue is not going away.

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