Skip to main content
The SR66 Report

The SR66 Report

By Ben M Ghalmi

Culture, technology, responsible business and economics of interconnectedness.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

#40 Climate Change, Refugee Crisis and Food Prices

The SR66 Report

1x
#91 The Deus Ex Machina of Digital Transformation: Leading to More Inflation
#91 The Deus Ex Machina of Digital Transformation: Leading to More Inflation
#91 The Deus Ex Machina of Digital Transformation: Leading to More Inflation Other references (In French: "Ruée Minière au XXIe Siècle" by Aurore Stephant)
09:08
July 31, 2022
#90 The Deus Ex Machina of Digital Transformation, Is It Really Going to Save Us ?
#90 The Deus Ex Machina of Digital Transformation, Is It Really Going to Save Us ?
#90 The Deus Ex Machina of Digital Transformation, Is It Really Going to Save Us ?
06:32
July 30, 2022
#89 The Euro at $1; The Tipping Point of Things to Come ( III )
#89 The Euro at $1; The Tipping Point of Things to Come ( III )
#89 The Euro at $1; The Tipping Point of Things to Come ( III ) The Euro US$ Chart Click Here The Japanese Yen US$ Click Here
17:18
July 29, 2022
#88 The Euro at $1; The Tipping Point to the Times to Come ( II )
#88 The Euro at $1; The Tipping Point to the Times to Come ( II )
#88 The Euro at $1; The Tipping Point to the Times to Come ( II )
16:09
July 27, 2022
#87 The Euro below $1; The Tipping Point to the Times to Come
#87 The Euro below $1; The Tipping Point to the Times to Come
#87 The Euro below $1; The Tipping Point to the Times to Come
15:22
July 16, 2022
#86 The Fragmented Dislocation of the Global Rubik’s Cube
#86 The Fragmented Dislocation of the Global Rubik’s Cube
#86 The Fragmented Dislocation of the Global Rubik’s Cube
11:43
July 11, 2022
#85 The Fragmentation of the World
#85 The Fragmentation of the World
#85 The Fragmentation of the World
11:15
June 26, 2022
#84 France: Fragmentation of the National Parliament
#84 France: Fragmentation of the National Parliament
#83 France: Fragmentation of the National Parliament
04:56
June 19, 2022
#83 Fragmentation, From One Crisis to Another
#83 Fragmentation, From One Crisis to Another
#83 Fragmentation, From One Crisis to Another
08:11
June 18, 2022
#82 France: Further Thoughts on the Rubik's Cube of French Politics
#82 France: Further Thoughts on the Rubik's Cube of French Politics
#82 France: Further Thoughts on the Rubik's Cube of French Politics (Read Further)
07:09
June 15, 2022
#81 France: After the First Round of General Elections
#81 France: After the First Round of General Elections
FRANCE; AFTER THE FIRST ROUND OF GENERAL ELECTIONS Read Further 
07:58
June 13, 2022
#80 France: Countdown to General Election, June 12
#80 France: Countdown to General Election, June 12
Here we are a few days away from the first round of the general elections in France. As you know, we had presidential elections at the end of April which reelected President Macron for a second 5 year term (read further here). Now we have to go through general elections which are meant to renew the lower house which is called the National Assembly here in France. This election is especially important because it will allow the newly re-elected President Macron to rely on a majority that will allow him to implement his program. This election is becoming even more important since the length for the presidential mandate has been reduced from seven years to five years and has started to coincide with presidential elections. Prior to the 5 year mandate, presidents would stay 7 years in power. So the general elections at the National Assembly would not necessarily coincide with the Presidential Elections. Prior to that 5 year mandate, France was used to witnessing a majority that was shaping itself according to the more traditional left/right political streams of influence. This new mandate is shattering that traditional way of political practice. Moreover, this year’s presidential election revealed a surprising fragmentation of the political pillars of influence. Rather than the traditional left and right pillars both closer to the center, the second round of the presidential election showed three clearly defined forces with a distinct polarization for a radical form of action, to the left and to the right. The third man of the election to the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, realized that the new context at the National Assembly is offering an opportunity for a left wing coalition to garner the needed 290 seats for an outright majority. The latest polls confirm that the left wing coalition, also known as NUPES, is very close to achieving such a result. This is indeed where we are heading, only one week ahead of the first round of the General Election. Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment. When the causes that the people are behind are more important to them than the system, then the system is in jeopardy
03:50
June 05, 2022
#79 "Cinema, A Weapon of Mass Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness..."(III)
#79 "Cinema, A Weapon of Mass Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness..."(III)
#79 "Cinema, A Weapon of Mass Emotions for Awakening..."(III)
06:18
May 29, 2022
#78 “Cinema, a Weapon of Massive Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness” (II)
#78 “Cinema, a Weapon of Massive Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness” (II)
#78 “Cinema, a Weapon of Massive Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness”... ( II )
04:28
May 26, 2022
#77 "Cinema, A Weapon of Massive Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness"(I)
#77 "Cinema, A Weapon of Massive Emotions to Awaken our Consciousness"(I)
#77 "Cinema, A Weapon of Massive Emotions ..."
11:00
May 25, 2022
#76 From Reserve Currencies to the The Cannes Festival
#76 From Reserve Currencies to the The Cannes Festival
#76 From Reserve Currencies to the The Cannes Festival
10:30
May 22, 2022
#75 The US$ Reserve Status; Likely to Last a Lot Longer …
#75 The US$ Reserve Status; Likely to Last a Lot Longer …
#75 The US$ Reserve Status; Likely to Last a Lot Longer …
07:09
May 21, 2022
#74 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( III )
#74 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( III )
#74 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( III )
05:50
May 19, 2022
#73 The US$ Leading Role as a Reserve Currency
#73 The US$ Leading Role as a Reserve Currency
#73 The US$ Leading Role as a Reserve Currency
05:16
May 17, 2022
#72 European Union: The Strasbourg Oath (II)
#72 European Union: The Strasbourg Oath (II)
#72 European Union: The Strasbourg Oath (II) Key Points: - a framework called “European political community”. Emmanuel Macron calls it the "Strasbourg oath" - In that speech, Macron talked about: 1) reforming European treaties, 2) the qualified majority voting. - French perspective, it’s an old topic. - With the current vote at a unanimity, with 27 Members, clearly the European Union is stuck. - Modification of the treaties and qualified majority seem to be the most obvious path now that the European Union has reached a number of 27 members. - This is why Macron is now opening the door to that “new political community”. - Macron goes back to an idea that had first emerged when the Soviet Union had collapsed and that had been expressed by then President Mitterrand. - While the monetary union did go ahead and moved forward successfully, nothing of substance really happened on the political front.
09:51
May 12, 2022
#71 European Union: The Strasbourg Oath (I)
#71 European Union: The Strasbourg Oath (I)
#71 European Union: The Strasbourg Oath (I)
04:04
May 10, 2022
#70 France: Countdown to the Third Round, General Elections in June
#70 France: Countdown to the Third Round, General Elections in June
#70 France: Countdown to the Third Round, General Elections in June
08:31
May 08, 2022
#69 Inflation: The 7 Sisters or the Countdown to July 31, 2022 (IV)
#69 Inflation: The 7 Sisters or the Countdown to July 31, 2022 (IV)
#69 Inflation: The 7 Sisters or the Countdown to July 31, 2022 (IV)
07:29
May 06, 2022
#68 Labor Day or May Day Across the World
#68 Labor Day or May Day Across the World
#68 Labor Day or May Day Across the World Today is May 1, 2022.
05:44
May 01, 2022
#67 The Shifting Sands of Growth and Inflation
#67 The Shifting Sands of Growth and Inflation
The Shifting Sands of Growth and Inflation Read Further HERE
07:11
April 30, 2022
#66 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( II )
#66 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( II )
#66 Supply Chains in Motion ( II ) Read Further here.
03:22
April 29, 2022
#65 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( I )
#65 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World ( I )
#65 Supply Chains in Motion, The Disruptions that are Changing the World, Read further HERE
05:50
April 27, 2022
#64 France: Macron 2 and the Rubik's Cube of French Politics
#64 France: Macron 2 and the Rubik's Cube of French Politics
#64 France: Macron 2 and the Rubik's Cube of French Politics (read further here). Important link to check: Le Télégramme   (PLEASE NOTE THAT AT MINUTE 9:40 I SHOULD HAVE SAID "President of the European Union Council" and not "President of the European Council". ) Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment and share.
11:37
April 25, 2022
#63 France: The Big Day in the French Presidential Election
#63 France: The Big Day in the French Presidential Election
France: The Big Day in the French Presidential Election
01:57
April 24, 2022
#62 France: Minus 2 Days, The Rubik's Cube of French Politics in the Weeks to Come ( II )
#62 France: Minus 2 Days, The Rubik's Cube of French Politics in the Weeks to Come ( II )
France: Minus 2 Days, The Rubik's Cube of French Politics in the Weeks to Come ( II )
04:23
April 22, 2022
#61 France: Minus 3 Days, The Rubik's Cube of French Politics in the Weeks to Come
#61 France: Minus 3 Days, The Rubik's Cube of French Politics in the Weeks to Come
The Rubik's Cube of French Politics in the Weeks to Come
05:12
April 21, 2022
#60 France: Minus 4 Days, The 3rd Round Conundrum or The Third Man
#60 France: Minus 4 Days, The 3rd Round Conundrum or The Third Man
The 3rd Round Conundrum or the Third Man
07:16
April 20, 2022
#59 France: Minus 5 Days, Ahead of the Presidential Debate on April 20
#59 France: Minus 5 Days, Ahead of the Presidential Debate on April 20
France: Ahead of the April 20 Debate Hello friends, welcome back to the SR66 Report, a podcast on culture, society, technology and the economics of connectedness. Today is April 19, 2022. And we are 5 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections. Three key developments to watch; Part of the campaign where programs are compared Debate tomorrow Wednesday April 20; What will France’s position be on Monday regarding the European Union Macron program was unveiled few weeks ago. His key proposals are around a “Revenue Solidarité Active” (RSA) with commitment to several hours of paid civil work, retirement age pushed to 65 (from the current 62), an increase of 50% of the allocation to single mothers, construction of 6 nuclear reactors, increase of the military budget. Le Pen’s program on the other hand articulates itself around several measures meant to attract young voters and the part of the population that rejects immigration. She proposes, once she is elected, to organize a referendum about immigration. She wants to impose a tight control of immigration through a specific law approved by parliament. The law would reduce immigration but also the rights granted to foreigners living in France. The law would include measures meant to expel foreigners who have not worked for 1 year and those who have been subject to legal actions. Social benefits would also be reserved to French citizens in priority and forbidden to foreigners who have not worked for more than 5 years in France. The new law would also provide a priority to French citizens on the labor market. It would make discriminatory practices legal in recruitment processes. It’s actually something that recruiters already practice actively, so nothing would really change compared to the present situation. But the law would make these practices totally legal. So, this is part of the chocolate coating that I was evoking in yesterday’s post. But is she going to be able to distribute all these chocolates that easily ? France is already on a collision course with the European Union and its more fiscally responsible partners within Europe. Regardless of who wins, France has already broken all the rules on the fiscal front. We have described yesterday how France belongs to the group of countries that are way above the 60% of total national debt as a percent of the Gross Domestic Product. With a 116% ratio, French debt remains way above its German partner of 60%. Moreover, the fiscal deficit has yet to catch up and go back to the 3% threshold also imposed by the stability pact among Euroland partners. France’s partners will probably not give a hard time to Paris regarding these fiscal and debt deviations, yet, key interest rates and bond yields have started to react on the way up. They alone will dictate another course of action. Indeed, even though rates and yields are starting from a historically low level, the sensitivity of that debt will not compare to what we had 20 years ago when rates and bond yields were way higher. The stock of the debt is indeed a lot more massive and the slightest rise could have a much more devastating effect than in the past. This alone could lead on a collision course among its major partners. https://www.touteleurope.eu/economie-et-social/le-deficit-public-des-etats-de-l-union-europeenne/ Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.
06:60
April 19, 2022
#58 France: Minus 6, The Rassemblement National Chocolate Factory
#58 France: Minus 6, The Rassemblement National Chocolate Factory
#58 France The Rassemblement National Chocolate Factory  Today is also Easter Monday, and for most of us, we have been indulging in sweetness and chocolate. Children are happy and playing in gardens looking around feverishly for the chocolate eggs that adults and their parents have hidden behind bushes and roses. That playfulness is part of the game, where parents, adults and children commune in a wonderful family and friendly gathering. And if a balmy weather happens to be part of the experience, then all the best. The laughter and happiness bring you to a new plateau of bliss and pure joy.
07:20
April 18, 2022
#57 France: Minus 7 Days, The Mélenchon voters are at the heart of this election
#57 France: Minus 7 Days, The Mélenchon voters are at the heart of this election
Hello friends, welcome back to the SR66 Report, a podcast on culture, society, technology and the economics of connectedness. Today is April 17, 2022. And we are 7 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections. Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron made the following statement: He said that his next Prime Minister will be directly in charge of planning for ecology. That’s a major announcement. Few weeks or months from now, it may be looked at as a turning point of the campaign. It may be too early to say. But that announcement alone is a key component of the program offered by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s program. Is that a path to a coalition which could bring Mélenchon as a Prime Minister? This may sound far fetched, but not that much and I think the next few days will bring further clarity. In the meantime, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party La France Insoumise has organized an internal vote asking its members to vote about how they will vote. Of course, the party’s leadership, including Mélenchon, insists that these result should not be understood as a recommendation to the 22% voters who chose Mélenchon on Sunday 10th. Members were asked to vote online and were offered three choices: a vote in favor of Macron, abstention or a blank vote. The choice about voting for Le Pen is of course not even offered as an alternative since Mélenchon himself repeated 4 times on Sunday night last week that not a single vote should go to Le Pen. The results just came out a few hours ago. And they reveal that 66% of the Mélenchon voters will not vote for Macron. To be more precise, out of the 215,292 participants to the online vote organized by La France Insoumise, 37.65% will vote blank or nil, 33.4% will vote for Macron and 28.96% will abstain to vote on Sunday April 24. It results from that vote that 67% of the Mélenchon voters will not vote in favor of Macron. That’s a crucial development. Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.
04:36
April 17, 2022
#56 France: MINUS 8 DAYS, Sovereignty of the EU and Sovereignty of Nations
#56 France: MINUS 8 DAYS, Sovereignty of the EU and Sovereignty of Nations
#55 France: A Tale of Two Sovereignties, Sovereignty of the EU and Sovereignty of Nation. Now that we have set the stage of the political landscape after this first round, last week, let’s take a deeper dive into the candidates' programs regarding Europe. What kind of project do they have regarding Europe? You may have noticed that as a president of the European Union Council, Emmanuel Macron put the idea of European Union sovereignty as a priority. It’s part of a larger discussion which appears to be opposed to the idea of a Europe of nations. As a result we can already see that there is an opposition between both visions of Europe. That debate is growing stronger between European Union sovereignty versus the sovereignty of nations. Marine Le Pen wants to insist on the priority of national law above European law and she also wants to challenge the German French which has been at the heart of the European Union since the beginning of the European Union. Emmanuel Macron on the other hand, wants to pursue the integration of the European Union through greater mutualization of projects.
10:05
April 16, 2022
#55 France: Minus 9 Days; The 57% Euroskeptic Segment ( II )
#55 France: Minus 9 Days; The 57% Euroskeptic Segment ( II )
France: The 57% Euroskeptic Segment ( II ) Hello friends, welcome back to the SR66 Report, a podcast on culture, society, technology and the economics of connectedness. Today is April 15, 2022. And we are 9 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections. Since Sunday’s first round, many polls have flourished. The question that attracts the most interest since then has to do with the potential behavior of Mélenchon’s voters. The Left Wing candidate attracted a substantial 22% on Sunday and everyone is now wondering how these voters will cast their vote on April 24. As soon as the first polls were released right after the first round on Sunday, all analysts and observers were perplexed to notice that 30% of these Mélenchon voters were even considering casting their votes in favor of Le Pen. We gave you some elements to try to understand that behavior. Yet, few days later, it appears that the voting intentions are indeed shifting and appear to be very volatile and unpredictable. Over the last 24 to 48 hours, some polls show that there are now only 18% of Mélenchon’s voters ready to vote in favor of Le Pen while others conducted more or less during the same period reveal on the contrary that there are 46% of these voters ready to vote for Le Pen. That’s a very wide margin which continues to show how unpredictable this second round remains. Mélenchon voters remain indeed a highly prized segment of the electorate since the results of Sunday. Regardless of who wins on April 24, these voters will continue to attract all the attention.
13:59
April 15, 2022
#54 France: MINUS 10 Days; The 57% Euroskeptic Segment
#54 France: MINUS 10 Days; The 57% Euroskeptic Segment
Today is April 14, 2022. And we are 10 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections (read here). You remember few days ago I had mentioned to you an article from Le Monde, few days only prior to the first round. It was highlighting how a large segment of the voters were ready to choose a candidate who is expressing Euroskeptic views and positions that take some distance from NATO. The author of the article emphasized that it was close to 50% of the voters. Now that the first round has delivered its results, these assumptions are more than confirmed. If we add Mélenchon and Le Pen only, they both represent 45.1% of the first round. If you add to that Zemmour at 7.1%, you end up at 52.2%. Now you can even add smaller candidates who express what we call “souverainiste” positions. Jean Lassalle with his 3.1% and Nicholas Dupont-Aignan with 2.1% would bring the total share of that specific segment at 57.4%. The “souverainiste” positions promote national sovereignty. That is not the kind of percentage that you can just simply ignore. With France holding the presidency of the European Council until the end of the first semester, and given its role as the first military power within the European Union, it is very likely that all other European Union leaders must be watching very carefully. So it’s worth taking a closer look at what Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon think about the European Union, NATO and other geopolitical issues. Needless to say that, given the current context, the mix of power likely to result from the next 10 weeks in France will probably send shockwaves across Europe. Macron is very favorable to the idea of a European Union deepening. He is the favorite candidate of the European Union, yet the results of the first round are forcing him also to water down his pro EU stance. Le Pen is aligned on a very eurosceptic position. She wants a Europe made of nations and is ready to deeply reform the European institutions. Her stance is to put French laws above European laws, a line adopted more recently by Poland. She clearly has watered down her wish to exit the European Union, also know as FREXIT, yet her program is very eurosceptic. Despite that watering down, if you look at her whole economic program, you start to realize that she would not be able to apply it if France wanted to continue to comply with European Union treaties and agreements. So there is a contradiction in her basic posture. Mélenchon is also a Eurosceptic but his program does not fully shatter the European Union institutions. He acknowledges the EU, its institutions and its treaties but also calls for a direct confrontation and negotiation with France’s partners should his program be challenged by European Union regulations. He calls for shifting the balance of power in favor of France, but within the respect of EU institutions. That’s a clear shift from the position he had few years ago. In the perspective of that second round, Mélenchon is not compelled to explain himself yet, but the results on April 24, will pave the way for the elections in June at the National Assembly. Clearly, this second round is already in a parliamentary mode. Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.
06:12
April 14, 2022
#53 France: MINUS 11 Days; A Look into How Mélenchon's Voters Could Behave
#53 France: MINUS 11 Days; A Look into How Mélenchon's Voters Could Behave
Today is April 13, 2022. And we are 11 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections (Read here). And today, I want to continue to talk about the voters who chose the Left Wing candidate Melenchon. Indeed, it’s crucial to explore the logic of the Melenchon voters, the logic behind their choices. One of the biggest surprises that pollsters noticed since the results of the votes were revealed is that 30% of Melenchon voters are ready to vote in favor of Marine Le Pen. That’s despite Melenchon’s call to not cast a single vote in her favor. It’s worth talking about the logic and psychology behind that choice. Once again, let me remind you that the Left Wing candidate Melenchon reached 22% of the votes on Sunday, very close to the second spot. Far behind him come the candidates that were expected to have much higher results. The order and ranking of these candidates is not a surprise. Every pollster were seeing Zemmour, Pécresse, Hidalgo, Jadot behind, but not so far behind. Zemmour, the other far right candidate came in fourth with 7%, Pécresse the right wing candidate, gathered less than 5% and Jadot, the ecologist gathered also less than 5%. So, as I said previously, this is placing Mélenchon in a role that he may not have expected himself. His voters now look like they are the ones who will tilt the balance on one side or the other. As a result, when pollsters discovered that 30% of these voters are ready to vote for Le Pen, it left everyone perplexed. We are talking here about voters from the Left or Far Left, ready to vote for a Far right candidate. That alone deserves further examination. For those of you who are from the US, it would be as if Bernie Sanders’ or AOC’s or Elizabeth Warren’s voters had voted for Trump… You have to realize that many of Melenchon’s voters are among those who took part to the yellow vests movement, prior to the COVID crisis. Their opposition to Macron is literally visceral, so visceral, that they would rather put Marine Le Pen at the Presidential palace at the Élysée rather than Emmanuel Macron. But there is even another layer of motivation behind that decision. Indeed, according to some interviews and discussions, the vote for Le Pen, would indeed put her at the Elysee Palace. However, should the Mélenchon movement win the general elections in June and control a large segment of the National Assembly, then the next government from June would be made of ministers directly coming from the left wing La France Insoumise, with a Prime Minister who may even be Mélenchon himself, or a personality within his closest circle.  By doing so, La France Insoumise would then be able to block any initiative undertaken by Le Pen. Such a scenario is not that far-fetched. Indeed, the nature of the executive power in France and the constitution allow such configuration at the executive level. It has already happened in the past. France already saw many periods of “cohabitation”, with Left Wing President François and Right Wing Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, and then with Right Wing President Jacques Chirac and Left Wing Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. Such situations reduce the president to a purely representative and honorific role. This may be what Melenchon and his movement are looking for. If that’s the case, then it could also pave the way for his project which is to reform the constitution by installing a 6th republic. I’ll get back to you with more details in the coming days. Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.
06:49
April 13, 2022
#52 France: MINUS 12 Days to the Second Round of the Presidential Election
#52 France: MINUS 12 Days to the Second Round of the Presidential Election
Today is April 12, 2022. And we are 12 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections (read here). Given Left Wing Jean Luc Melenchon’s result of 22% on Sunday in a very close third spot, as expected, all the attention is on how his voters are going to behave in 12 days. The most recent projections reveal an unexpected outcome. Despite the left wing leader’s repeated calls to not cast a single vote to Le Pen, - he repeated it three times in a row during his speech on Sunday night - it appears that 30% of Melenchon’s voters are ready to actually vote for Le Pen. Of course, this makes the result of the second round even more unpredictable. This is quite clear in the latest projections of 54% Macron / 46% Le Pen in the most favorable scenario for Macron, and 51% Macron / 49% Le Pen in the tightest projection. In this very open situation, the Melenchon camp will play a crucial role and will likely shift the results until the very last days. We can also expect Melenchon and his camp to leverage that role once the result of the election comes out in 12 days. There are indeed general elections in June that will probably reshuffle the cards in parliament. Right now, President Macron’s party, La Republique en Marche, represents 268 seats out of the 577 seats at the National Assembly, the lower chamber of Parliament, while the higher chamber, the Senate is distributed according to much more traditional lines of political distribution. Yet a President in France needs to govern with a government and to execute his program, French Presidents need to rely on a government headed by a Prime Minister whose authority emanates from the distribution of seats at the lower chamber, the Assemblée Nationale. And we cannot exclude a situation where the President elected on April 24 may not benefit from a majority that does not come from his or her own camp. In June, the general election may very lead to a majority that do not align with the elected president on April 24. The 6 to 7 weeks between April 24 and June 12-19, will witnessed incredible positioning between the various political forces coming out these elections. Given the results of April 10 for the first round of the presidential election, the Left Wing party La France Insoumise founded by Jean Luch Mélenchon appears to be the party that can leverage its position on either side of the political spectrum. President Macron is already watering down his reform of the pension system as a gesture to that large segment of voters already. Meanwhile, Le Pen is also making herself more acceptable and respectable by toning down her wishes to exit the Euro and her reform on pensions as well. Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.
04:51
April 12, 2022
#51 France: MINUS 13 to the Second Round of the Presidential Election
#51 France: MINUS 13 to the Second Round of the Presidential Election
So the first round of the French Presidential elections is now revealing a more distinct picture of what really happened yesterday (read here). Once again, let me remind you the results; 28% for President Macron and 23.3% for Marine Le Pen. They both qualify for the second round on April 24.
03:42
April 11, 2022
#50 France: Highly Uncertain Presidential Elections
#50 France: Highly Uncertain Presidential Elections
The first round of the French Presidential elections delivered its verdict (Read here). 28% for President Macron and 23.3% for Marine Le Pen. They both qualify for the second round on April 24. The world was already watching for that first round and will be even more focused on that second round.
06:35
April 10, 2022
#49 French Presidential Elections: The First Round Has Started
#49 French Presidential Elections: The First Round Has Started
Today is the first round of the French Presidential elections (Read here). The second round is on April 24. And you can say that the world was watching. It’s quite interesting to notice that many other countries also hold important elections. For example, India is holding many major elections at a local, legislative and higher levels representation. Yet, global public opinion does not seem to pay much attention.
06:35
April 10, 2022
#48 Inflation: The Seven Sisters ( IV ) or Tales about BRICS
#48 Inflation: The Seven Sisters ( IV ) or Tales about BRICS
Let’s take a look at the reserve currencies held by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). As we said earlier, the BRICS alone hold one third of all reserve currencies held in the world. So it’s a very concentrated picture of these holdings.
08:33
April 09, 2022
#47 Inflation: The Seven Sisters ( III ) or Tales about Reserve Currencies
#47 Inflation: The Seven Sisters ( III ) or Tales about Reserve Currencies
One of the mechanisms that fuels imported inflation has to do with foreign exchange parities (read further here). The US$ has been over the last few decades the currency of reference for the payment of commodities, especially oil. Over the last decades since the creation of the Bretton Woods system, the name of the game for the greatest majority of countries in the world has been to maintain a sufficient and proper level of currency reserves, which are usually mostly US$.
23:08
April 04, 2022
#46 Inflation: The 7 Sisters ( II )
#46 Inflation: The 7 Sisters ( II )
It’s now becoming very clear that the current conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions against Russia are starting to have a much more violent impact on prices, and that the effect will be a lot more prolonged and protracted than anticipated (read here)
04:39
March 19, 2022
#45 Learning from Each Others' Cultures
#45 Learning from Each Others' Cultures
This war in Ukraine is reminding me how two countries, Russia and Ukraine, belong to rich and extraordinary cultures. They are part of the tapestry of wonderful cultures in humankind in all its diversity and wonderful richness (read further here.). So, this conflict made me even more interested in trying to learn the history of that part of the world. 
04:22
March 18, 2022
#44 Sanctions, Political Impact and Further Points to Consider
#44 Sanctions, Political Impact and Further Points to Consider
German Think Tanks have built a long tradition of credibility and in-depth wisdom in the last few decades. When one of these institutes releases a report with insights regarding our world, everyone pays attention (Red further here).
05:35
March 09, 2022
#43 Accelerating Acceleration and Inflection Points of History
#43 Accelerating Acceleration and Inflection Points of History
Up to a few days ago, prior to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, one of the most practical skills in this modern age of technology was to be able to predict the future.  (Read further here). In a world that seems to be evolving at the speed of light, all of us have to be involved in that type of exercise; to predict the future and see what might happen.
11:31
March 06, 2022
#42 Inflation: The 7 Sisters
#42 Inflation: The 7 Sisters
As you know, we have been paying a lot of attention to inflation behavior. We have already been warning how the FAO index of food prices is now surpassing where it stood 10 years ago. In fact, in real terms, that index is now even at the peak witnessed in the mid 1970’s, (read further here). 
04:59
March 05, 2022
#41 Dislocations and Emerging Paradigms
#41 Dislocations and Emerging Paradigms
We are slowly realizing the emergence of new paradigms after few days of major shifts and since the start of the war in Ukraine. These new paradigms are multi-faceted (read further here.)
04:19
March 03, 2022
#40 Climate Change, Refugee Crisis and Food Prices
#40 Climate Change, Refugee Crisis and Food Prices
We are just about to move out of a major health crisis and war is erupting in Europe. Meanwhile, France, one of the leading countries in the world, and a member of the security council, is also preparing to elect its new head of state in 40 days (Read further here). While all the attention has been on Ukraine in the last few days and for very good reasons, a new report has been made public yesterday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body tasked to assess the science related to climate change.
06:04
March 02, 2022
#39 Shifting Paradigms: French Elections and the Emerging New Paradigms in Europe
#39 Shifting Paradigms: French Elections and the Emerging New Paradigms in Europe
Never in the history of French elections has a political campaign taken place in a context similar to the one we are witnessing right now. The presidential elections campaign is unfolding in a context which is now highly dominated for the last few days by the conflict in Ukraine. What is emerging out of that context deserves some attention. (Read Further here.)
09:45
February 28, 2022
#38 Global Shifts on Many Levels
#38 Global Shifts on Many Levels
Few days ago, the world woke up with the kind of headaches that may take quite a while to dissipate, the kind of headaches that indicates a much deeper disease than a simple transitory pain that we all have from time to time and that goes away on its own. It's becoming clear that the world is undergoing a major tremor which will affect our reality on many levels. (Read further here.)
03:52
February 27, 2022
#37 Our Spaceship Earth
#37 Our Spaceship Earth
Conversations in the last 2 days have been revolving around the same concerns regarding war. Let’s take a step back. In the last few days, I kept going back to the following statement from Buckminster Fuller in his “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” (1963).  “Our little Spaceship.... (Keep reading here)
03:08
February 23, 2022
#36 Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars ( III )
#36 Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars ( III )
This a follow up to the post I did 10 days ago on February 12 and entitled “Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars” ( II ), Keep reading here. If you have not listened yet to the first episode of that very series called “Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars” then I invite to start with the first episode of the series of the same title and posted on February 7. These posts in the series called “Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars” are sort of personal meditations and thoughts about cyberspace. These are thought experiments where I try to grasp the enormous technological shift that we witnessing right now in the world and try to translate them into my own words and expressions. I try to avoid technical aspects as much as I can in order to open different gateways of understanding about what is really happening here. It’s something I am trying to do for myself and figured that I might as well share it as much as I can. And if you want to understand why “Tiger” and why “car”, well, all you have to do is to go back to the first post on February 7. 
07:21
February 21, 2022
#35 From the Fear of Deflation to the Fear of Inflation: The Pendulum has Swung
#35 From the Fear of Deflation to the Fear of Inflation: The Pendulum has Swung
So as I said before, that decade between 1973 and 1982 really defined the oil era. It then led to war between Iran and Iraq while the Federal Reserve embarked on an unprecedented tightening of interest rates. To this day, his aggressive initiatives are praised as a fantastic moment of courage and boldness. It did open a new era of conservative policy making in most of the industrialized world. (Read further here.)
05:30
February 20, 2022
#34 Inflation; The Decade That Defines the Oil Paradigm
#34 Inflation; The Decade That Defines the Oil Paradigm
Now that we set the stage, let me go back to that personal experience regarding inflation. I told you how that there can be a gap between what the average statistics tell us officially and what people actually feel. I was reading a blog post by a blogger named Michelle who depicted how inflation had affected her personal finance. I invite you to read that post because it is a perfect illustration of what I was developing in my previous posts. I could be pulling all kinds of text book explanations that would bore you to death and dilute the effect of your understanding, or I can invite you to expose yourself to tangible experiences like the one that Michelle is describing in her own post. Of course, her description is already 3 months old and a lot has happened in between. So it would be crucial if Michelle could share an update with us. However, despite the fact that it is 3 months old, it only confirms how important it is to rely on personal experience. That’s the power of blogging. (Read further here.)
09:16
February 18, 2022
#33 Inflation: “The whole of the object is not grasped in the palm.”
#33 Inflation: “The whole of the object is not grasped in the palm.”
...Just like when you are driving your car, you need to watch the needle to be aware of your speed, the round per minutes to understand if your engine is overheating or not. The most widely used indicators on that Dashboard are usually the CPI and the PPI (consumer price index, producer price index). We pay a lot of attention to them but many commentators and observers forget to scrutinize how they are constructed and how they are built. Many countries have different weights for different baskets of goods and services. However, because inflation is such a personal experience according to the level of income, these baskets and weights may not reflect as faithfully as possible the daily impact that price increases have on people. (Read more here).
07:09
February 17, 2022
#32 Inflation; Why It Matters For Self-Expression
#32 Inflation; Why It Matters For Self-Expression
The current inflation tensions bring us back to the past. For those of you who are old enough to remember, you’d have to go back to the early 80s and even the 70s. I can look back at the last 50 or 60 years, because it is personally as far back as I can look. I belong to a generation which actually experienced the various phases of inflation cycles. For those of you who belong to a much younger generation, then it's important for you to learn from that period. Bear with me, this is not about lecturing you or telling you that you don’t understand enough about life. Far from it. I believe that current generations have a lot to teach older generations.
05:55
February 16, 2022
#31 Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts About Cars ( II )
#31 Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts About Cars ( II )
So I want to continue the previous post that I made about the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. And I want to talk to you about a walk I took. I was taking the walk and looked at the street that was unfolding in front of me. And I tried to imagine what that street looked like 200 or 300 years ago. Suddenly I realized that all these houses and concrete were sitting in a landscape that was probably made of trees, little hills on the horizon. So I stopped a minute and I pulled my Instagram account to look at some of the pictures I took few years ago.
07:10
February 11, 2022
#30 Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts About Cars ( I )
#30 Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts About Cars ( I )
Happy new year year of the Tiger. So what do cars and the Tiger have in common. Bear with me and follow me for the next few minutes. “Put a Tiger in your tank” said that advertising for a famous chain of gas stations, and Muddy Waters even wrote a song with the same title. It defined a whole era, a whole global culture of mobility for billions of people. So when I watched the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, it felt like we are about to embark into a whole new transformation that we may not even be aware of. 
08:33
February 06, 2022
#29 The Rattling Sound of the Inflationary Snake
#29 The Rattling Sound of the Inflationary Snake
Today is February 5 2022, Two days ago, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published its Food Price Index. Like every analyst and observer these days, I think it’s crucial to pay attention to these developments. And I have been telling you how central banks have been mainly insisting on the transitory effects of price increases. Economists are indeed used to characterize inflationary behaviors by using words and a semantic that lead to an infinity of fruitless debates, in my view. The last few weeks are showing that the heads of the two largest central banks in the world are now shifting gear. They are now moving away from that transitory characterization. Keep reading more here.
07:01
February 05, 2022
#28 Moments of Crisis, Moments of Realizations
#28 Moments of Crisis, Moments of Realizations
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, "crisis" and “resilience” remain some of those words that you can hear all around these days. From the sanitary crisis that we are all experiencing at a global level, to the brewing geopolitical tensions already under way, there is a lot that can be learned. But let’s start with a deeper exploration of the meaning of the word “crisis”? This could help us gain insights about how we will all deal with the current challenges facing us now. ...Continue to read here.
07:40
February 04, 2022
#27 EU Update: The French Presidency of the EU Council
#27 EU Update: The French Presidency of the EU Council
Today, I thought I should provide you with the main points of an article published in the daily Le Monde about the French presidency of the EU council. The article is entitled “From Ukraine to Mali, Macron’s European voluntarism put to the test.” Indeed Macron saw that rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) as a kind of springboard to the presidential election. As the article states “President Macron wants to demonstrate to the French that the EU can act as a protective net in an often hostile world.”
05:21
February 02, 2022
#26 EU Update: Mounting Tensions regarding Ukraine and Russia
#26 EU Update: Mounting Tensions regarding Ukraine and Russia
This week is a recognition that the escalation has reached a new stage. A new situation that may be showing that Europe is isolated and not fully in control of its own destiny. 
11:52
January 30, 2022
#25 Cultural Heritage, the Crucial Point of Transformation
#25 Cultural Heritage, the Crucial Point of Transformation
... cultural preservation and heritage. In order to inspire (new) forms of expression and creativity, many countries that are going through challenges will rely on communities that are able to reconnect to their heritage, their own history and their cultural values. Check the following links: DUBAI 2020 THEOTHERDADA 3137
06:39
January 29, 2022
#24 Monetary Policy and Other Ripples Effects for the World
#24 Monetary Policy and Other Ripples Effects for the World
Are we using measures that represent the greatest majority of the population or are we only focusing on a share of the population that is shrinking? What about the rest of the population ? And the same could apply to the world as a whole. We need to pay attention to the ripple effects of monetary policy on other parts of the world.
06:11
January 27, 2022
#23 In the Shadow of the Curse; Inflation
#23 In the Shadow of the Curse; Inflation
...what caught my attention in the last few days were these few seconds where President Biden cursed a journalist, unaware that his microphone had not been switched off. Of course all the media kept talking about the fact that he cursed, not really paying attention to what he actually said in these few seconds preceding that curse.
07:26
January 26, 2022
#22 The Story of a Mao Styled Jacket and "The End of History"
#22 The Story of a Mao Styled Jacket and "The End of History"
Today I’d like to talk about fashion. We just heard that Manfred Thierry Mugler died at the age of 73 (All my condolences to his Family). As I was taking my breakfast this morning and heard this news, many thoughts went through my mind and brought me back to these 80s and 90s, which were decades of intense turbulence and confusion.
05:56
January 24, 2022
#21 Cultural Preservation, The Bedrock of the Creative Sector
#21 Cultural Preservation, The Bedrock of the Creative Sector
Today I would like to talk to you about a very dear subject which is cultural and heritage preservation. I think it is crucial for humanity and our planet; #1 Cultural assets belong to local communities #2 They are a source of inspiration, resilience and cohesion #3 They are the soil on which a creative and vibrant creative sector can flourish
04:20
January 22, 2022
#20 A Short Note about Energy Prices
#20 A Short Note about Energy Prices
The energy transition that all industrialized countries will have to implement in the next few decades is here to stay for quite a while. So that two year horizon that European Central Bank is using as a lens of analysis and perception might not be that appropriate anymore. Perhaps we are entitled to ask ourselves whether this window was only appropriate for the type of carbon economy that we used to have so far. Perhaps another window of a perception for price fluctuations is needed now. What do you think? 
03:44
January 21, 2022
#19 Food Disruption and Policy Priorities
#19 Food Disruption and Policy Priorities
It is time for our leaders in this world to stop looking at political priorities in silos, as if one aspect of their decisions cannot have any impact on other components of the world. Look at the smartphone you are holding in your hand, or the toothbrush you used this morning, and ask yourself the questions that matter. Chances are that our fancy smartphones have a piece of precious and rare metal coming from one of the regions of the world where people cannot feed themselves. The toothbrush also required raw material that had to be extracted somewhere and processed in a way that brought it right in front of us.
06:56
January 20, 2022
#18 President Macron's Presentation of the Roadmap for EU Presidency
#18 President Macron's Presentation of the Roadmap for EU Presidency
Today is January 19, 2022 here are the main highlights of President Macron's speech as president of the Council of the European Union; he presented the roadmap for the six months French presidency.
05:52
January 19, 2022
#17 Inequality Kills, says OXFAM Latest Report
#17 Inequality Kills, says OXFAM Latest Report
It is crucial to learn the main points made by OXFAM, and I highly recommend you to read the full report. Here is a review of the main statements and some food for thought in these crucial times we are experiencing. Here is a link to the report.
14:12
January 18, 2022
#16 French Elections: The State of the Left Wing
#16 French Elections: The State of the Left Wing
Left wing parties represent between 20% and 30% of voting intentions, yet they are fragmented and divided less than 3 months away from the vote in April. Will they be able to unify under one banner, and who will benefit from that unification ?
08:04
January 17, 2022
#15 Weekly Review
#15 Weekly Review
A review about inflation and the impact on monetary policy. Will inflation reshuffle the cards in the French elections ?
11:02
January 16, 2022
#14 Food and Energy Prices; What we can learn from the Past
#14 Food and Energy Prices; What we can learn from the Past
We have to look at the past to understand what lies ahead regarding global food and energy prices. What happened 10 years ago and especially in Syria can teach us a lot. Check this FAO link for supporting data.
08:60
January 15, 2022
#13 Africa's Cultural and Creative Sector through its Festivals and Events
#13 Africa's Cultural and Creative Sector through its Festivals and Events
The last 2 years have been challenging for the creative and cultural sector in Africa. It is time to look at Africa's cultural and creative sector as a source of empowerment where festivals and cultural events are playing a major role.
10:30
January 13, 2022
#12 French Elections The Fragmentation of Votes, What Lies Behind
#12 French Elections The Fragmentation of Votes, What Lies Behind
"The French Archipelago" by Jérôme Forquet provides a practical framework of analysis for the current campaign. It leads us to conclude that the margin for a major surprise remains very open.
13:56
January 12, 2022
#11 French Elections, Latest Polls
#11 French Elections, Latest Polls
An update on the latest polls in France; a clear shift to the right, and more...
05:12
January 10, 2022
#10 Weekly Review
#10 Weekly Review
The Morphing of the car industry; Kazakhstan;  China - Africa Relations.
23:01
January 09, 2022
#9 Germany Morocco: "Sealing a New Partnership"
#9 Germany Morocco: "Sealing a New Partnership"
Germany's president Frank-Walter Steinmeier extends an invitation for a state visit to King of Morocco Mohammed VI. What does it mean and what impact will it have for the EU ?
07:05
January 06, 2022
#8 The World Analyst Mindset III
#8 The World Analyst Mindset III
The World Analyst Mindset III What's behind the name "The SR66 Report" ?
04:34
January 06, 2022
#7 The EU - Africa Relationships and France's Presidency of EU Council
#7 The EU - Africa Relationships and France's Presidency of EU Council
The EU - Africa Relationships will stand at the heart of France's Presidency of EU Council for the first half of 2022. While Angela Merkel focused her EU presidency on China, President Macron is putting the emphasis on Africa.
07:18
January 05, 2022
#6 French EU Presidency: The Key Areas of Work
#6 French EU Presidency: The Key Areas of Work
The key areas of work for the French E.U Presidency: 1) Control of EU borders 2) Reform of the Schengen area and emergency support mechanism 3) Defense and Security 4) Reinforcement of cooperation with Africa (health, climate and security) 5) Digital economy and steps to regulate the creation of content 6) Deforestation: European instrument 7) EU Minimum wage 8) European civic service
05:11
January 04, 2022
#5 French Presidency Council of European Union
#5 French Presidency Council of European Union
The roles and operating procedures of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union
11:23
January 03, 2022
#4 An Overview of Elections and Key Events in 2022
#4 An Overview of Elections and Key Events in 2022
Major Elections and Events in 2022: FRANCE, President of Council of EU H1/22, Presidential Elections 4/10&4/24 National Assembly 6/22; GERMANY, G7 Presidency H1/22;  CHINA, Beijing Olympics 2/22 and 20th National Congress CCP Q4/22; USA, Mid Term elections 11/22; MALI, President/National Assembly 2/2022 (to be confirmed); LEBANON, National Assembly 3/22; BAHRAIN, Council of Representatives 11/22; QATAR, World Cup 2022; UAE, Dubai 2020 Q1/2022; BRAZIL, President/Senate/Deputies 10/22; SWEDEN, Parliament 9/22
05:42
January 01, 2022
#3 The World Analyst Mindset II
#3 The World Analyst Mindset II
The 3 pillars needed to nurture a World Analyst Mindset
05:14
December 31, 2021
December 30, 2021
December 30, 2021
00:48
December 30, 2021
#2 The World Analyst Mindset I
#2 The World Analyst Mindset I
I am sharing with you some of the attributes to develop the skills you need to follow world affairs and deepen your understanding without feeling overwhelmed.
06:44
December 30, 2021
#1 Merry Christmas & French Politics
#1 Merry Christmas & French Politics
A welcoming message to my podcast. A personal way to remain connected, followed by an update about French politics.
19:23
December 26, 2021