Francois Hollande takes half a page from Obama playbook

New French President Francois Hollande has publicly stated that his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, underestimated France's budget problems. Sound familiar? Not coincidentally, the European Union lowered growth forecasts for France and for the entire Union. Nonetheless, Hollande remains convinced that there remains room for him to fulfill his campaign promises: "No, we had already expected this," he said in remarks to French television. That's where France's new president and his American counterpart differ. Now, with full knowledge of the budgetary problems his country faces, Hollande is determined to pursue policies that will undermine Sarkozy's and the greater European move toward austerity. Hollande's public statement assures that any negative outcomes from implementing those policies will be his responsibility alone to bear. In contrast, after more than three years in office, American President Barack Obama has yet to give up the tired narrative that an "unexpectedly" severe fiscal...(Read Full Post)