France Shuffles Toward Pension Reform
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  • Pete

    “Hollande’s reforms are more modest, but it looks like his will actually stick.”

    Sure. You make the ‘reforms’ meaningless enough and who will bother to resist?

  • crabtown

    Zero Hedge had an interesting post recently, so take it for what it’s worth, which could be nothing:

    Guest Post: They’re Coming For Your Savings

    Now for the big one, reported by Automatic Earth on Saturday October 12:

    The IMF Proposes A 10% Supertax On All Eurozone Household
    Savings
    This is a story that should raise an eyebrow or two on
    every single face in Europe, and beyond. I saw the first bits of it on a Belgian
    site named Express.be, whose writers in turn had stumbled upon an article in
    French newspaper Le Figaro, whose writer Jean-Pierre Robin had leafed through a
    brand new IMF report (yes, there are certain linguistic advantages in being
    Dutch, Canadian AND Québecois). In the report, the IMF talks about a proposal to
    tax everybody’s savings, in the Eurozone. Looks like they just need to figure
    out by how much.

    The IMF, I’m following Mr. Robin here, addresses the issue of the
    sustainability of the debt levels of developed nations, Europe, US, Japan, which
    today are on average 110% of GDP, or 35% more than in 2007. Such debt levels are
    unprecedented, other than right after the world wars. So, the Fund reasons, it’s
    time for radical solutions.

    The IMF refers to a few studies, like one from 1990 by Barry Eichengreen on
    historical precedents, one from April 2013 by Saxo Bank chief economist Steen
    Jakobsen, who saw a 10% general asset tax as needed to repair government debt
    levels, and one by German economist Stefan Bach, who concluded that if all
    Germans owning more than €250,000, representing €2.95 trillion in wealth, were
    “supertaxed” on their assets at a 3.4% rate, the government could collect €100
    billion, or 4% of GDP.

    French investor site monfinancier.com talks about people close to the Elysée
    government discussing how a 17% supertax on all French savings over €100,000
    would clear all government debt. The site is not the only voice to mention that
    raising “normal” taxes on either individuals or corporations is no longer
    viable, since it would risk plunging various economies into recession or
    depression.

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