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European Energy Policy Is a Failure

European Energy Policy Is a FailureSecurity supply is not guaranteed, energy cost will increase and CO2 emissions will not be reduced. This is an obvious failure that Jean Pierre Riou, President of Mont Champot, has clearly seen. The IREF support his analysis.

Corporate Tax: Northern Good Practices

Corporate Tax: Northern Good PracticesIt is not forbidden to former socialist countries to reduce the weight of the state and drastically reduce taxes, especially on businesses. This was done in Sweden and Denmark, where unemployment is lower than in France .

The Word “Profit” Falls Into Oblivion in François Hollande’s Economic Liberalism

The Word “Profit” Falls Into Oblivion in François Hollande's Economic Liberalism Here is a relevant remarks from Professor Florin Aftalion: the word "profit" has disappeared from the public debate to be replaced by the word "margin". This semantic shift is not trivial: the profit goes to CEOs and shareholders while the margin is under Government (...)

Comparison Between the Banque de France and the Bundesbank

Comparison Between the Banque de France and the BundesbankA company is mismanaged when some indicators are in the red such as factory costs higher than those of its competitors; highly unprofitable activities; general and administrative costs much higher than those of its competitors; too many employees in too many locations; outstanding wages and (...)

Knowledge and Power

Knowledge and PowerA little more than 30 years ago, George Gilder published a book titled: “Wealth and Poverty”. This book became a worldwide bestseller. As a researcher, an economist and an investor, the author showed that government intervention cannot reduce poverty, but economic growth and economic development (...)

The U.S. Economy Is Getting Better Thanks To The Stimulus. Really?

The U.S. Economy Is Getting Better Thanks To The Stimulus. Really?It seems logical: economic growth resumed in the United States, and since the United States used an economic stimulus thanks to budget deficits, it could be believed that public spending lead to recovery. Indeed, but… it is in the sectors that did not benefited from the Federal money that new (...)

More Taxes, Less Revenues
The Laffer Effect Has (Also) Arrived In France

More Taxes, Less RevenuesThis long-debated concept by policy makers and economists is coming back. That is because the Government believes that prosperity cannot be recovered without a strict “austerity policy”. But it actually means higher taxes only. Yet, the latest concerns of the French National Assembly on a (...)

Government Caring For Youth: The Path To Failure

Government Caring For Youth: The Path To FailureFrance hosted in the November 15th week a summit dedicated to the "Fight Against Youth Unemployment." This is an excellent initiative for a country where the 16-25 years-old population reached a 26.1 % unemployment rate. Yet, France should be doing what is being done elsewhere, especially in (...)

France: A Free-Trader President After Hollande?

France: A Free-Trader President After Hollande?According to the Harris Interactive poll for Le Figaro daily and LCP television, French President Hollande would not be reelected in 2017. His fiscal policies are highly criticized and would cost him his reelection. It seems that Holland is discovering this principle : the more taxes, the less (...)

Violence and Absurdity of French Anti-Wealth Ideologists

Violence and Absurdity of French Anti-Wealth IdeologistsAttacks against wealthy people are still going on in spite of the fact the Welfare-State is plundering taxpayers. In a recently published book, sociologists – I should say ideologists – Michel and Monique Pionçon-Charlot are criticizing those they call "deliquents". No, wealthy people are not (...)

The Stimulus Does Not Work

The Stimulus Does Not WorkThe crisis of the world economy since 2008 has encouraged various governments to increase the share of public spending. This increase was a general phenomenon among the OECD countries and contributed to an unprecedented debt hike. An IREF study comparing the development of key economic (...)

Working Hours : When France Forbids, Germany and Sweden Allow

Working Hours : When France Forbids, Germany and Sweden AllowAnd in France, there is a high level of unemployment whereas it is low elsewhere. And elsewhere, there is no Labor Code, no unions, no judges, and everybody is satisfied with the freedom of work, as reported by IREF European (...)

Germany : Less Welfare State, More Electoral Victories

Germany : Less Welfare State, More Electoral Victories Reforming is a path for reelection: German Chancellor Angela Merkel privatized, deregulated, capitalized. She did not reflate nor accepted deficits : she reduced taxes. For sure, there are some lessons to learn for France.

Dutch King Willem Alexander Ends The Welfare State
John Galt in The Netherlands?

Dutch King Willem Alexander Ends The Welfare State"A nation with a small but strong government which gives people the space they need": this what Dutch King Wilhem-Alexander wants for his people. And it has become a domestic policy on September 17th, 2013. The King has a life-time in front of him to consider the social, economic and political (...)

A Greek Tragedy, Act III

A Greek Tragedy, Act IIIWhile Ireland may exit its bailout program at the end of this year, Greece is far from getting out of it. Around 10 to 11 billion euros ($13.1-14.4 billion) from the second half of 2014 will be needed to keep it going next year and in 2015. This will be the Third Act of the economic tragedy (...)

Anti Free Trade: A French Obsession

Anti Free Trade: A French ObsessionThis is the transaltion of an article published by Nicolas Lecaussin on August 14th, 2013
What is the common point between Socialists as Claude Bartolone, President of the French National Assembly, Pierre Moscovici, the Finance Minister, MP Jérôme Guedj, Conservatives as Xavier Bertrand, Health (...)

Better Be Insured Than On Welfare

Better Be Insured Than On WelfareThis is the translation of an op-ed published by Jean-Philippe Delsol on August 24th, 2013 in the leading French newspaper “Le Figaro”.
In France, during the last 30 years, social spending went from 21% to 33%. It is the sign of an ever growing Big Government that is out of control and (...)

Bailing Out Greece For The Third Time: Useless and Illegimate?

Bailing Out Greece For The Third Time: Useless and Illegimate?"There will have to be another program in Greece," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said bluntly on August 20th. The two previous bail-outs amounted to about 240 billion euros but that was not enough. According to the International Monetary Fund, one the Troika member, the estimated (...)

5 Billion Euros: The Cost of Subsidized Jobs

5 Billion Euros: The Cost of Subsidized Jobs“The youth is the utmost priority of my mandate”. Thus spoke François Hollande on January 23, 2013, when wishing a happy new year 2013. “Happy” may not have been the right term, “subsidized” should have been better. Indeed, when saying that 500 000 young people below 25 years-old do not have a job, (...)

The IREF in The Economist

The IREF in The EconomistNicolas Lecaussin was quoted by The Economist (July 6th - Juy12th, 2013) about a report written with Lucas Léger on French high school economic textbooks. "The IREF study last year" said the Economist, "showed that, in one tome’s 382 pages, only 18 were devoted to business. "Entrepreneurs and (...)

Who Pays If Banks Fail

Who Pays If Banks FailEuropean Union finance ministers failed to reach a deal last week on this controversial issue. Germany and France are at odds about costs distribution. The Banking Union is at stake since this law on rescuing and closing banks in the EU is a key point. The problem is to know who is going to (...)

The Making of Tax Hell… And The Escape of Entrepreneurship

The Making of Tax Hell… And The Escape of EntrepreneurshipWhy would you stay in a country where there are more than 200 types of taxes? And in which taxes are piled up and never removed. If French President François Hollande and his government want to fight against tax havens, French taxpayers and entrepreneurs are battling against the daily tax hell (...)

7.5%: Portugal’s New Corporate Tax

7.5%: Portugal's New Corporate TaxCompetitiveness is embedded in the private sector. Employment is created only the private sector. Wealth increases through the private sector. No public intervention can manage to replace the private sector, no Government know how to make business and money. As a consequence, the real economy (...)

Objectives, Instruments and Problems of Macroprudential Supervision

Objectives, Instruments and Problems of Macroprudential SupervisionSince events related to financial, banking, and debt crises regularly make it into the news, a term that seemingly originated from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in the late 1970s has become more popular: macroprudential supervision. Whereas microprudential supervision relates to (...)

The Risky Business of Protectionism For Global Value Chains

The Risky Business of Protectionism For Global Value ChainsGlobalization is often associated with delocalization and unfair competition with emergent countries that are flooding us with cheap goods and services regardless of good environmental practices or social benefits these populations should enjoy, like in rich countries. Beyond this spurious (...)

American States Are Tax Decrease Laboratories

American States Are Tax Decrease LaboratoriesIn a recent post, Nicolas Lecaussin is pointing out that tax consequences can be studied as in a lab: some American States can be observed. Taxes were lowered in thirty States. If they gather only 20% of the US population, they have created 65% of US (...)

The Crisis is An Opportunity To Grow A Business

The Crisis is An Opportunity To Grow A Business“A recession can be a good time to grow a business”. Thus is the opinion of Lord Young, a British cabinet minister under late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and still having his own office in Downing Street. Lord Young’s comments are stated in a report to be published this week and addressed to (...)

School Choice Success in the US

School Choice Success in the USThe Friedman Foundation has published a report about the 22 American States that enforce school choice thanks to vouchers. Children’s work is better, teaching’s quality has improved and the overall cost of the school system is cheaper which is a benefit to low-income (...)

The European Quagmire

The European QuagmireThe European Commission’s forecasts are gloomy: a 0.1% decrease of European GDP in 2013 as a 0.4% decrease for the Eurozone. It seems that, one after the other, all the member states are collapsing and get trapped into economical disarray. The European Commission gives more time for France and (...)

European Banking (Dis)Union

European Banking (Dis)UnionGermany and Finance Minister Wolfgand Schäuble do not press for setting up a banking union and rejects a centralized authority whereas France and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici are urging to set up the banking union through centralization. The latter position is also the Commission’s. The (...)

United Kingdom: 2.8 jobs created in the private sector for 1 public job lost

United Kingdom: 2.8 jobs created in the private sector for 1 public job lostThese figures, calculated by the IREF, point out what is happening in the United Kingdom governed by Premier David Cameron. Since the Tories arrived in power in 2010, between 500.000 and 600.000 public jobs disappeared while the private sector created 1.4 million jobs. Even if the United (...)

Going Back to Basics: The Promotion of Free Trade

Going Back to Basics: The Promotion of Free TradeBig Governments usually do not trust people or companies to improve living conditions. That is why notions of “social justice”, “solidarity”, “equality” and above all “sharing” were hijacked by Governments and turned into an economic principle: redistribution. Since it is believed the Government is the (...)

The Knowledge Economy Enters GDP

The Knowledge Economy Enters GDPKnowledge has now become a capital investment and no longer a cost of producing goods. This change has been announced by Brent Moulton, head of national accounts at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), on April 22nd, 2013. This will change the way gross domestic products are calculated. It (...)

Effects of taxation on European multi-nationals’ financing and profits

Effects of taxation on European multi-nationals' financing and profitsThe new IREF paper of Stefan Lutz, from the University of Manchester, UK, and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, points out that if it is apparent that companies do not welcome taxation, the main reason is that taxes reduce profits: shareholders are disappointed and the prospects for (...)

The Receipt for Government Services for 2013

The Receipt for Government Services for 2013Richard Durana, Ph.D, director of Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) has annouced that INESS released the Receipt for Government Services for 2013.
The annual price of the state for Slovakia increased by EUR 322 (7.3%) and reached EUR 4,704 per (...)

The Public Spending Trend Hampers The Economy

The Public Spending Trend Hampers The EconomyFrance is the best example of this economic truth. The French public sector is undermining the economy. It must be pointed out that in Spain and Ireland the crisis was due to a real-estate bubble. In France, the crisis is worsened by an obese bureaucracy. The trend is striking: the French (...)

Less Taxes and More Pragmatism Against Tax Havens

Less Taxes and More Pragmatism Against Tax HavensHere is a new and big campaign against tax havens. But tax exile will last as long as confiscatory and arbitrary taxes will last. It is the case in France. Should not a tax amnesty be proposed? The IREF is making the proposal that all sorting out that has begun this year should reach an (...)

The Iron Lady: A Transformational Premiership

The Iron Lady: A Transformational Premiership“She did not just lead our country; she saved our country” said British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron as a tribute Margaret Thatcher who died at 87, on April 8th, 2013. Tony Blair, former British Labor Prime Minister, declared: “Very few leaders get to change not only the political (...)

Small Governemnt vs Corruption

Small Governemnt vs CorruptionCorruption! A word that is destroying the base of the Government action. Above the “Cahuzac Case”, it is the whole public power that is stained with doubt and distrust. The clear and present danger is the rise of uncontrolled populisms seeking the collapse of a corrupt Government. But this would (...)

A Green Economy or An Economy Painted in Green

A Green Economy or An Economy Painted in GreenWhat if the « green economy » was just a joke? It has become trendy to label every activity as green. Thus environmentalism seems to be at the heart of the economy. Lucas Léger, IREF researcher, analyzed the Happy Planet Index and reveals the (...)

France is doomed

France is doomedNicolas Lecaussin analyzed the French President François Hollande’s interview on March 28 on TV. Nothing has come out of it: no reform, no tax decreases, no incentives. On the contrary, as Nicolas Lecaussin pointed out, François Hollande "stubbornly continues on the path of tax hikes and proposals (...)

Capital Control: A Threat on Free Markets

Capital Control: A Threat on Free MarketsThis is an unexpected outcome of the Cypriot “bail out – bail in”. The fact that the Cypriot Government is now able to control money transfers and cash withdrawals is a threat for the European market. Can it still be called a free market if restrictions are applied on the ability to move money? (...)

Cypriot Crisis: The Rise of the German Economic Governance

Cypriot Crisis: The Rise of the German Economic GovernanceThe Cypriot crisis has enthroned Germany has the leading European country. European economics are likely to be German driven from now on. Thus, fiscal profligacy or faulty business models are considered to have caused the recent crisis and the German cure to this is clear: austerity and (...)

Denmark: Corporate Tax Brought Down

Denmark: Corporate Tax Brought DownNicolas Lecaussin has pointed out in a recent article that, after Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland, Denmark is also bringing down its corporate tax: 22% whereas France still is at 34.4%. But there is more: this measure is included in a “growth plan” aiming at giving more freedom to (...)

Pay Slips: 6 lines in Germany, 20 lines in France

Pay Slips: 6 lines in Germany, 20 lines in France6 lines against 20! In Germany, the gross salary is taxed by only few contributions (tax on salaries, solidarity, pension fee, Church). It was understood that flexibility is much more efficient with a fiscal and regulatory simplification.
In France, it is the exact opposite. The French pay (...)

Lessons Drawn From The Swiss Referendum

Lessons Drawn From The Swiss ReferendumJean-Philippe Delsol pointed out on a recent article the problem of democracy in Europe. Instead of having Nanny-States trying to control its people, let the people speak its own mind.The Swiss referendum on executives’ high wages is the perfect example of a people using Democracy as it should (...)

Fiscal Exodus or Fiscal Competition

Fiscal Exodus or Fiscal CompetitionGilles Hennesy, an LVMH director who is executive vice-president of commercial at Moët Hennesy, and Christophe Navarre, chief executive of Moët Hennesy, are both moving to London. Bernard Charlès, chief executive of Dassault Systèmes, declared that some Dassault’s top managers already from France to (...)

Bail Out and Bail In: Two Solutions for Cyprus

If an agreement could not be found with the previous Cyprus communist-led government, negotiations resumed intensively between the Troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank and the newly elected President Nicos Anastasiades. The Euro zone is again at (...)

Cyprus’ Bailout

Cyprus' BailoutThe European Union is about to bail out Cyprus but no details on how it could be done are released yet. Joerg Asmussen, ECB board member, announced that “the troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank would send a mission of experts to Cyprus on Tuesday (...)

Professional Training Reform: A New Financial System

Professional Training Reform: A New Financial SystemThe “Personal Professional Training Account” is one of the most interesting measures taken in the reform of the professional training sector announced by President François Hollande on March 4th in Blois, France. It is the first time that the “voucher principle” would be applied for the use of (...)

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