Paul Goldschmidt joined Goldman Sachs in New York (1962-1969) and was appointed as a Director of Goldman Sachs International in London (1970-1985). After seven years as a financial consultant in London and Monaco (1985-1993), he became Director of the “Financial Operations Service,” part of the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission (1993-2002). In that capacity, he played a key role in the harmonization and reform of European financial markets before and during the advent of the euro. He also served on the Board of Directors of the European Investment Fund (2001-2002). Since his retirement in 2002, he has been writing on European political and financial matters and has actively participated in many international conferences.
 
Contacts
Résidence “Les Eaux Vives” Apt. N° WX2 89
Avenue Jean et Pierre Carsoel 1180
Brussels

+32 (0)2 3736330
 +32 (0)497 54 92 59
pn.goldschmidt@gmail.com
European, Politics

European Union: Agreement over a Coronavirus Rescue Fund and the Multi-annual budgetary Framework.

Let’s not sulk the pleasure! An historic agreement has been extracted at the end of four long days and nights by the 27 Heads of State and Government. The main achievement is not to be found in who came out on top in the haggling or in the – apparently – muscular exchanges between the protagonists, but rather in the preservation of the essential features of the proposal elaborated by the Commission. Of course, one cannot but regret the strengthening of the regime of individual national rebates and the evisceration of any substantive content of the conditionality linked to the respect of fundamental European values in accessing the Coronavirus Rescue Fund (“CRF”); nevertheless, it is undeniable that the EU has…

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European, Politics

Covid 19: Cataclysm or Catalyzer?

France in the eye of the storm! The “cataclysm” born from the pandemic is conferring on the European Union a role of “catalyser” in the articulation of the measures designed to support the recovery; it may be a new example of a salutary crisis enabling the EU to make decisive progress. The ambiguous results of the recent French municipal elections reinforce considerably the pressure on Member States to choose between a shared European sovereignty and, alternatively, following an independent course leading to the inevitable demise of the EU. Commentators seem fairly unanimous in considering that abstention was the main feature of a poll that usually enjoys a high rate of participation due to the preponderance of local issues. With an…

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European, Politics

The “phoney crisis”

On January 30th 2020, the President of the WHO announced: “….. for all these reasons, I declare the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. A world crisis had been declared and, as the pandemic spread, each country mobilized independently the forces deemed appropriate to deal with the aggression of the coronavirus. Initially, it entailed the closing of borders, followed by imposing more or less strict lockdown measures with constraints on individual freedoms; everywhere EU regulations were either suspended or ignored. However, to their credit, most governments chose to prioritise fighting the health urgency to the detriment of its economic consequences. Confronted with an unknown enemy, it is hardly surprising that many countries were caught unaware,…

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European, Politics

Hope!

The new budgetary proposals should allow the multiannual financial perspectives to evolve over time. The speech of Ursula von der Leyen who presented the Commission’s budgetary proposals to the European Parliament for the period 2021-27 struck the right cord both in tone and in content. As in rugby, it is now necessary to “convert the try” and to pull the Union out of the rut in which it is stuck in order to implement a new major step towards European integration. The crucial idea consists in the willful creation of a financial “transfer” mechanism which – in the light of the significant amounts involved – considerably expands the current limited budgetary framework, overlooks the old disputes over “I want my…

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European, Politics, Uncategorized

Disappointments!

The Franco-German communiqué pre-empts both the Council and the Commission. The Brexit dead end is taking too much room. I would have enjoyed rejoicing, with no second thoughts, over the new European horizons unveiled at the recent Franco-German summit. Indeed agreement between their leaders is a precondition to badly needed reform to ensure the EU’s survival. It is vital to reinvigorate a disabused public opinion which has been misled into believing that the Union rather than the Member States (“MS”) is responsible for the weaknesses for which it is blamed. Unfortunately, the announcement on Monday evening of an “historic agreement” between France and Germany concerning the financing by the EU of an unprecedented economic stimulus package, is further illustration of…

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European, Politics

The European Union and the United States are both facing existential governance threats.

The European model is torn between federalism and nationalism while the federal template is being contested in United States. The coronavirus pandemic has shone the spotlight on the strengths and weaknesses of all the regimes who have confronted it, wherever on the planet. It has drawn attention, after years of neglect, to the need to deal urgently with problems that leaders – of all political persuasions – have repeatedly and conveniently kicked down the road.   Nowhere is this more apparent than within the EU where the sanitary crisis (dealt with independently by Member States (“MS”) who are exclusively competent for public health matters) and the subsequent emergence of an economic crisis of historical proportions (which as a result of…

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European, Politics

EU Summit of April 23rd.

Analysis: a glass a quarter full, a quarter empty and half missing! The video-conference meeting of the European Council ended without any major disagreement but also without any decisive breakthrough in structuring the elusive economic stimulus package. Among the positive outcomes was the anticipated approval of the proposals made by the Finance Ministers on the €540 billon facilities split between the Commission 100MM (SURE), the EIB 200MM and the ESM 240MM. Furthermore, a consensus seemed to form on the utilization of the EU budget as the conduit to finance the recovery program and a mandate was given to the Commission to integrate it by mid-May within the framework of the 2021-27 multiannual financial perspectives. Deep divergences remain, however, concerning the…

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European, Politics

The EU is the correct level to implement the recovery program after Covid19.

As suggested by the Council and Commission Presidents, the answer lies in the 2021-2027financial perspectives. In the same way as the de-confinement rules envisaged for exiting the pandemic can only rely on the voluntary coordination between the EU Member States – which have each imposed unilateral measures in line with their own specific situation –  it is equally important to implement a centralized response at EU level to deal with the pending recession, if the Single Market, the Single Currency and the Union itself are to survive the major economic, social and political chocks that will follow the pandemic. The EU 27 Members will be confronted with the financing of a joint recovery program, the success or failure of which…

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European, Politics

The rescue of the European Union

€ 540 billion, painfully agreed, will not suffice. One would wish to commend the agreement, reached by Finance Ministers after more than 20 hours of wrangling, as the first step towards the Union’s coordinated response to this major crisis which will endure long past dealing with the Covid19 pandemic. It offers, however, only a breathing space before addressing the existential questions which will determine the survival of the Union itself. Resorting – once again – to the perennial “compromise” does not bode well for the future because the very premise of the accord – which sought to overcome irreconcilable positions – has firmly closed doors that make future negotiations far more difficult. The fundamental mistake lies with the European Council…

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European, Politics

The capitulation of the European Council.

In his hour of need, the European citizen feels abandoned! In the face of the pandemic and the looming economic collapse, yesterday’s video-conference of the European Council demonstrated that its participants are not up to their responsibilities. This exceptional situation required a unanimous immediate response, catapulting the EU to the rank of a major power which, together with the USA, China, India, Japan… will have to cooperate closely to face the huge challenges that are unfolding. To hold on to ideologies or the myth of “national sovereignty” is unacceptable. It is all together that the EU27 will limit the sacrifices shouldered by their citizens which will be all the more painful that the western “democracies” have the most to lose….

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