populism-phobia

Populism Phobia Grips Bankers and Politicians

The world’s elites are suffering from anxiety caused by populism phobia as their clichés and lies don’t work.

Populism phobia is obviously afflicting world leaders even as they complain about xenophobia rising. Thus, Bloomberg reports,

The rise of populism in developed nations is tearing at the political fabric of Europe, unsettling markets and undermining growth prospects, top European bankers said in Frankfurt on Friday.

“The uncertainty in the market, especially the political and economic instability, has never been as pronounced as it is today,’’ Commerzbank AG Martin Zielke said at the annual European Banking Congress. “We don’t want to go down the path of nationalism.’’

Ha! It seems we do.

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential elections have fueled concerns that nationalism and populism are gaining a dimension that may turn anti-EU parties into a dominant force across the continent. The Dec. 4 constitutional referendum in Italy and elections in France and Germany next year will be a measure of how destabilizing the surge may be, the bankers said.

France’s election system offers a fallback for voters, BNP Paribas Chairman Jean Lemierre said. Two election rounds that narrow the country’s presidential race to a run-off between the two candidates with the most votes mean constituents will have to think twice about who they want to lead the country, “People will have time to think and make the right choice,’’ he said.

I hope that the French people surprise them. But they don’t say much else about Italy. Here’s Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, trying to condemn populism with a string of clichés:

His only argument seems to be that we are bad and he is good. Not convincing.

Mish writes,

Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse. Prime minister Matteo Renzi reiterated his position just yesterday, he will not hang on if a referendum he seeks does not pass.

Polls show the referendum will fail. Then again, polls have not been remarkably accurate recently, to say the least. On the other hand, this poll shows a strong preference to what is labeled “populism”.

Finally, there is always a chance Renzi will not resign and he is only attempting to manipulate the vote.

He concludes, “For now, the most likely setup is a collapse of the Italian government following a defeat of the referendum.”

EU bureaucrats seem to know they face an existential threat. They are even threatening to make the United Kingdom pay then money after they leave. According to the Daily Mail:

Britain could be forced to write cheques to Brussels until 2030 despite leaving the EU, the German finance minister has warned.

Wolfgang Schauble delivered his blustering warning as Theresa May flew into Berlin for talks with Angela Merkel and other world leaders.

Mr Schauble said post-Brexit Britain would be bound by tax rules restricting it from granting incentives to keep investors in the country.

Obviously Schauble is not thinking straight. This threat is entirely unworkable. Yet it will only make Brits feel that leaving the EU is the right choice.

Populism phobia makes people do strange things.

Tags

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

Please leave your comments below

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments