Fifteen years after the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered a devastating global financial crisis, the banking system is in trouble again. Central bankers and financial regulators each seem to bear some of the blame for the recent tumult, but there is significant disagreement over how much – and what, if anything, can be done to avoid a deeper crisis.
The youngsters who are ravaging France realize that they don’t have a future. That is why they are burning cars. But how many French politicians realize that their beloved “social model” is partly to blame?
Poor second-generation immigrants in France have no economic prospects for two main reasons. First, the economy is growing far too slowly. As in most of continental Europe, economic performance has been enormously disappointing over the last two decades. But France managed to do even worse than its neighbors.
During the period from 1980 to 2000, only two OECD countries, Germany and Greece, recorded slower growth in income per capita than France. But Germany had to go endure the huge costs and trauma of re-unification with East Germany. Greece was hurt by the wars in the Balkans. What’s France’s excuse?
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