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: the scourge of abstention.

Abstention is a challenge to democracy on par with extremism, both at European and National level. The phenomenon of abstention has been growing in the EU over recent decades to the point where it has become the expression of the majority in several elections. Not to be confused with a “blank” vote representing an elector’s protest against the inadequacy of the political choice offered, abstaining is, to the contrary, an expression of disinterest in “public affairs” whose prevalence is challenging the core of democracy, cornerstone of the Treaty among its 27 Members. By its consubstantial nature to the very existence of the Union, this matter should be at the heart of the debates of the Conference on the Future of…

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Politics

The Israeli- Palestinian conflict

Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1.Cor. 22-25) ——————- When applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this excerpt of Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians will probably be fully accepted with regard to the “scandal” and “foolishness” it represents, but will remain profoundly controversial insofar as it testifies to the “wisdom of God”! Indeed the scandal and foolishness of the conflict are manifest and the men who are responsible for resolving it have, once again, demonstrated…

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European, Politics

Can the Conference on the future of the E.U. deliver anything but a damp squib?

On the eve of the Conference on the Future of the European Union, whose preparation and work has – and will – be heavily influenced by the pandemic, one should wonder whether the new political environment has been impacted to such an the extent that the capacity of the debates to offer credible answers to the challenges facing the Union is put into question. Even if this development is the result of a process initiated several decades ago, the pandemic has crystallized its emergence and its growing hold over a broad segment of public opinion. Thus the historical “left – right” divide opposing socio-economic models around which ruling parties alternated in implementing programs sharing a corpus of “centrist” values, has…

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European, Politics

Currencies and Finance are major weapons in the geopolitical game.

The post Covid “Recovery Plan” is a major card in the EU’s hand. The use of monetary and financial weapons in political gamesmanship is not new; it has taken various forms over time: from the flows of gold and silver travelling over the Silk Road, to cargos of precious metals filling the Spanish and Portuguese galleons returning from South America or more elaborate measures including blockades, embargoes, exchange controls, currency depreciation, financial manipulations or outright frauds, the acceleration of globalization and the growing interdependence of its actors have made access to financial markets a matter of survival. After a period of unquestioned domination of Sterling, relying on the vastness of the British Empire, it relinquished its leadership to the $…

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European, Politics

Is the European Union losing its way?

Barring a major effort, the EU is on track to being marginalized! The events unfolding under are eyes and whose roots reach back over the last several decades, are questioning the foundations of the EU which have been the focal point around which European society has coalesced since WWII. Firmly scotched to the USA during the reconstruction period and benefitting from its benign protection against the spread of communism, European nations favored building regimes emphasizing a welfare State and to a greater or lesser extent wealth redistribution, at the expense of their economic, monetary, defense and finally political autonomy, these aspects being clearly closely interconnected. Up until the introduction of the Single Currency, the EU created the illusion of being…

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European, Politics

Europe – Covid and Freedom

The lessons learned from the pandemic opens a window to further European integration. Lassitude, sacrifices, anxieties, unknowns surrounding the pandemic, economic uncertainties are all undermining the spirit of the population, rendering the task of governing ever more complex. The media, be it TV debates, the press or social media platforms, train their sights on the dysfunctionalities, the contradictions, the incoherencies underpinning the opinions of “specialists” (or incompetent participants) who wrangle publicly, thus making the decisions made by political authorities particularly difficult to follow and understand. Within this context, there is a lack of consensus concerning the importance assigned to competing priorities, aiming either at health care, economic activity, social protections or to be respectful of citizen’s rights and liberties, each,…

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Economic and Financial

The debate over the legacy of the sovereign debt burden on future generations is hypocritical.

It constitutes a moralizing fig leaf hiding increasing inequalities. The rejection of an excessive recourse to increasing public debt is often formulated in a language condemning the practice in the name of an “unfair” transfer of its repayment on the shoulders of future generations. Is this criticism necessarily well grounded? In order to pass judgment, it is necessary to define the parameters that establish a level of excess indebtedness. These parameters vary according to the characteristics of the debtor, whether it be an individual, a corporation or a State. In the latter case – which we examine here – it is necessary to determine further whether the State enjoys full monetary sovereignty and whether its debts are expressed in its…

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European, Politics

The Euro as an instrument of Power?

Commentary on the Communication from the European Commission(COM (2021) 32) On the eve of President Biden’s inauguration, the Commission published a Communication aiming at strengthening the role of the Union on the world stage by developing a policy of “open strategic autonomy” outlined in its Communication of May 2020. This new Communication centres on the development of the international role of the €, strengthening the EU’s financial market infrastructures, improving the implementation and enforcement of the EU’s sanctions’ regime as well of the unlawful extra-territorial application of unilateral sanctions and other measures by third countries. As was provocatively suggested in a commentary in the Financial Times of January 21st, the American President will have lost no sleep when informed of…

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European, Politics, Uncategorized

2021 will be the making or the undoing of the European Union.

Covid 19 is an opportunity for the Commission to implicate the “Citizen” in future of the Union. The European Commission, under President Ursula von der Leyen, is determined to extract the process of European integration from the rut in which it has been stuck since the signing of the Lisbon treaty. The conclusion of the Brexit Agreement opens the way to focus its efforts on its new priorities. In addition to the environment and digitalization, circumstances have led it to embrace vigorously its involvement in healthcare, a domain previously reserved to Member States. Its dealing with the pandemic has considerably reinforced the pertinence of its interventions, be it in relation to the economic crises (Recovery Plan), its flexible interpretation of…

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Economic and Financial

The relief caused by Joe Biden’s election could rapidly evaporate!

The lessons to draw from the American poll are a major challenge for the cohesion of the European Union. The results of the American elections embody numerous lessons among which one of the most significant may be the health of democracy in the United States, as demonstrated by the record level of voter participation despite the widespread Covid19 pandemic that was neutralized through a massive recourse to absentee and postal balloting. If the 145 million votes expressed testify to the implication of the elector after four years of an “atypical” presidency, the results point, nevertheless, to an outcome that allows both candidates to boast achieving “historical” scores. So, even if the result is undeniable, it leaves behind a thoroughly divided…

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