"You were just too noisy, Oskar"

Carl Remick cremick at rlmnet.com
Wed Mar 24 09:49:28 PST 1999

That's the New Statesman's take on Lafontaine's demise. I found the article -- by Christopher Huhne, a former business editor of the Independent, who's now group managing director and chief economist at the credit rating agency Fitch IBCA -- bleakly amusing. Here's a sample:

"Like other ministers, finance ministers need an ear for their political constituencies. On this score, Lafontaine could not be faulted. He is capable of partisan oratory that few others can rival. But a racy turn of phrase with your supporters is not enough. Finance ministers also need an ear for the financial markets. In anything other than a command economy, they have to nurture what Keynes called the 'animal spirits' of business people. They have to understand the greed and the fear that motivates money, and respect its power. Failure to do so ultimately spells political disaster - and few left-wing governments get a second chance. This is not new, and it is nothing to do with globalisation. It is as old as Leon Blum's 'Popular Front' and the early British Labour governments."

The whole article can be found at http://www.newstatesman.co.uk/199903190006.htm

Carl Remick

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