The Markets’ “Socialist” Face

This month’s edition of Le Monde Diplomatique is well worth reading for many reasons, not least because it reveals the true colours of many (ex) Socialist Politicians.

On January 22nd last, the (then) Socialist French Presidential candidate Francois Hollande gave a speech at Bourget, in which he stated:

 “In this battle which is taking place, I will tell you who is my real enemy… It is nameless, faceless, and non-partisan. It will never present itself as a candidate, and will never be elected.”

Mr Hollande was of course referring to the market, which is often mistakenly referred to as nameless and faceless. It is of course within the interests of socialists to allow this myth to persist. If it ever became known that 0.2% of the world’s population owns most of the its stock capital, then embarrassing questions would be raised about the activities of former socialist politicians, who have cast aside the coat of a politician for that of a businessman. Most pertinently, “why are they advising the very institutions leading speculative attacks on peripheral European countries?”

Let’s make a list shall we?

  • Wim Kok, ex-Prime Minister of the Netherlands, now on the boards of directors of ING, Shell and KLM.
  • Gerhard Schröder, ex-Chancellor of Germany, now president of Nord Streem AG, director of TNK-BP, and European Consultant to Rothschild Investment Bank.
  • Otto Schily, former interior minister of Germany, now a consultant with Invest-corp (Bahrain)
  • Wolfgang Clement, former German minister for the economy and jobs, now a partner with River-Rock Capital, director of Citigroup Germany.
  • Caio Koch-Weser, former German State-secretary for Finance, now Vice-President of Deutsche Bank.
  • Peer Steinbrück, former German Minister for Finance, director of Thryssen-Krupp.
  • David Milliband, ex-Foreign Secretary of the UK, consultant to Vantage-Point Capital Partners, Indus Basin Holdings (Pakistan).
  • Peter Mandelson, former Commissioner for Comerce, now works for Lazard.
  • Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, now consultant for Zurich Financial Services, Investment Fund Manager at Landsdowne Partners.

Of course it would make absolutely no political sense for the socialists to criticise their former (and perhaps future?) colleagues. But when Ed Milliband stands up in the commons next to criticise the Tories’ austerity and pro-business policies, I wonder if he is secretly thinking in his head “oh brother, what hast thou done?”

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