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President Nicolas Sarkozy was reported to have told aides “if France loses its triple A rating, I’m dead”. A few days later France lost that status; a few months later, Mr Sarkozy was out of office.
Money is a confidence game; its value depends entirely on the willingness of other people to accept it.
Corporation tax is a tax on corporate activity and on shareholders, and it is not well designed to achieve either purpose.
The inability of democratic politics to handle the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has threatened to undermine the apparent consensus on liberal democracy and lightly regulated capitalism that emerged following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
To pass the watchtowers and barbed-wire fences on the Finnish-Russian border is to be reminded of how fragile, and how recent, are the stability and security we take for granted today.