An introduction

This is a semi-public place to dump text too flimsy to even become a blog post. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a lot of time to waste. You'd be better off at my livejournal. I also have another blog, and write most of the French journal summaries at the Eurozine Review.

Why do I clutter up the internet with this stuff at all? Mainly because I'm trying to get into the habit of displaying as much as possible of what I'm doing in public. Also, Blogger is a decent interface for a notebook

Monday, December 13, 2010

French pessimism about the crisis yet to come

70% of French believe the worst of the crisis is yet to come:

Lorsque l'institut Ipsos leur demande s'ils pensent "que le gros de la crise est derrière nous", ils sont ainsi 70 % à répondre au contraire que "le gros de la crise reste encore à venir".

This despite recent business figures which are positive, if not quite so good as in Germany. What's going on?

  • Everybody believes governments are making up the figures, even when they aren't
  • It's going well for business, but not for people -- the crisis has become a concentration/acceleration of the existing patterns of inequality.
  • 'man in the street' experiences of recession -- unemployment in particular -- lag behind the state of business, which in turn lags behind financial markets. This is why the crisis began as a financial crisis: at first it seemed phony-war-like, something happening only in meaningless figures
  • People are using optimism/pessimism to make a political point. e.g. the left are exaggerating the crisis, as a means to criticize Sarkozy

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