Capitalism, french-style

The weekly

Brexit forcing American bankers to reconsider maintaining their presence in London, the French finance minister hastened to New York to persuade Wall Street leaders that Paris is the city best positioned to provide an agreeable new home.

Published on | 01/24/2017 | Direct link

Accusations that French bureaucrats are insufficiently innovative are simply untrue. With Never mind high taxes, inadequate substitutes for the great schools of Britain, a large pool of potential terrorists. Minister Michel Sapin's pitch, delivered at a New York luncheon attended by leading bankers, fell on uncomprehending ears. He "raised eyebrows by talking in French", relying on an interpreter, reports the Financial Times. No surprise: France has always denied that English is the lingua franca of world commerce.

The minister also erred by neglecting to point out that Silicon Valley is not the only source of innovations. A made-in-France startup,, enables the 600 hotels that use it, many in the luxury class, to rent rooms by the hour. A sort of Uber of the hotel business, allowing for fuller utilization of an important asset. Many customers "want to have fun without their children," one hotelier told the FT. Marriott offers an €800 a night room for €99 between 11 am and 4 pm. A "love box" filled with adult toys is an extra €40, champagne an extra €70. Now where can investment bankers find anything that classy in London or New York? Or such relief after pulling an all-nighter that lasted until mid-morning? Might even be worth learning to do business in French and to home-school the children to take advantage of French ingenuity.

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