Bulls n' Bears

Occupy Wall Street in France

All Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

Politicians are riding upon the popularity of the movement to Occupy Wall Street in France in order to score points with the voters. As an example, despite the fact that socialist Arnaud Montebourg was eliminated in the first round of the primary on Sunday, his stand against capitalism has gained so much ground that mainstream leftists can no longer

afford to ignore it.

Montebourg’s main argument is that protectionism should be ramped and banks should be kept under strict regulation in order to avoid the fate faced by Wall Street today. Speaking about Occupy Wall Street in France today, he announced that France should forget about competing with China in the globalization war, since France could never win due to much higher costs of labor. He has also echoed common sentiment by saying that the state should buy stakes in French banks, whose board would subsequently be occupied by government officials with the right to vote.

What in fact Mr. Montebourg has said does not constitute anything new. France’s culture is one of socialist democracy. This is a country in which the French are generally hostile to outsider influence on free markets, but are quick to embrace the “cultural invasion” of the rest of Europe. For politicians like Mr. Montebourg, this implies that twisting Occupy Wall Street in France to suit popular tastes and adding a dash of socialist rhetoric to the picture will help them gain votes. In short, in order to succeed people like him will continue to blame the ills of capitalism on the clout of banks. Such an approach conveniently ignores the fact that the expansionary fiscal policies and overspending of the government was the primary contributing factor to the crisis in the first place, rendering it nothing more than pure rhetoric, or, as Shakespeare would have put it “All Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing”