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 Eurogroupe disappoints!

The renewal of the European Parliament and of the heads of its Institutions must lead to bold (out of the box) new initiatives! The recent European elections, whose outcome indicated a strong revival of the elector’s interest in favor of further European integration, impose on the new leaders to be appointed, the obligation to deliver results. The world’s delicate geopolitical situation (trade wars, tensions in the Persian Gulf, immigration, Korea, Hong Kong, etc.) as well as problems within the EU (Brexit, Italy, populisms, Franco-German tensions, etc.) demonstrate that the answers to the matters of defense, foreign policy, security, immigration, climate change as well as managing both global and domestic economic and financial affairs, lead inevitably to “more Europe”. It is…

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European, Politics

European Elections

First lessons for the EU and for the U.K. Let us for once enjoy some excellent news concerning the EU! Participation in the poll reached 51% across Europe, an increase of 25% compared with 2014, indicating a major shift in public opinion. Even if only one out of two electors voted, it expresses, nevertheless unequivocally the acceptance of the central role of the EU in the handling of a number of key questions close to the preoccupations of the population.. This message, as already expressed in my previous article, is far better assimilated by the citizens than by the politicians who are supposed to represent them. This spectacular about-face encompasses multiple trends: The predicted reinforcement of Eurosceptic parties. Despite considerable…

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European, Politics

European elections: public opinion is far ahead of the political parties pretending to represent them!

Lacking any vision, Europhiles, though in the majority, abandon the field to the Europhobes by default. The European parliamentary election campaign is being derailed from its primary purpose which should be the confrontation of different visions of the Union’s future. It is being unfortunately limited to a binary opposition between parties labelled “pro-European” and those who advocate, more or less openly, reverting to “sovereign” Nation-States, their respective positions being largely based on domestic considerations overshadowing the interests of the Union. No one seems to have paid attention to Martin Selmayr’s warning in Berlin last September: “Make this election a competition for the best solutions for Europe, not a battle for or against Europe”! The nearly exclusive focus of the Europhile…

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European, Politics

Has the Juncker Commission been up to the JOB?

The self-satisfaction with which Martin Selmayr evaluates the record of the “Job” of the Juncker Commission lacks the modicum of restraint that the current “State of the Union” calls for. Let us acknowledge the volume of actions undertaken and completed by the Commission whose number deserves unequivocally to join countless other pointless statistics that adorn the Guinness Book of Records! On the eve of the European elections it is difficult to find an elector able to identify a single measure that he feels in conscious has actually affected his life over the last five years (with the possible exception of the end of roaming charges in 2017). On the positive side, one must mention the competence with which the Commission…

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European, Politics

European Elections : the overlooked importance of the €

While the European Parliamentary elections are vying (not very successfully) with Brexit and the French Yellow Jackets to catch the attention of European public opinion, the electoral debate centers around a choice between the aggressive stance of the fast growing Eurosceptic parties and the defensive campaign of the – still dominant – Europhile groupings that struggle to defend the achievements of the 70 year old EU. The polarization of the debate has largely killed any serious attempt to promote a vision capable of rekindling the citizen’s interest for the Union, as demonstrated by the expectation of establishing a new record of abstentions. A particularly disturbing aspect of this state of affairs is that the Eurosceptics, which are – overtly or…

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European, Politics

The EU’s long term interests should prevail over short term accommodation of the UK’s whims.

The comments made by Donald Tusk yesterday in front of the EU Parliament, in which he made a solemn appeal to MEPs (and implicitly to his 27 Council colleagues) to consider favorably a long term extension of Art.50, are very worrying. Casting the MEPs in the chivalrous role of defending their “European” (British) compatriots interests, which are being ignored by their national representatives, may flatter the Assembly; it may not, however, pay appropriate attention to the overriding interests of the European Union. At present, and until April 12th, it is in the unilateral gift of the UK to choose between three alternatives: “No deal” – “Revocation of Art.50” – “Approving PM May’s deal”. Any other plan would require the unanimous…

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European, Politics

The Brexit Soap Opera!

After yesterday’s (13th October) vote in the House of Commons I could not resist the temptation to publish my personal thoughts on what might happen, fully aware that what I write is likely to be obsolete in the days if not hours after publication! The first remark is to confirm that despite the vote last night, “no deal” remains the legal default outcome and entails the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU on March 29th, unless one of two alternatives prevails before expiration of the deadline: 1. A vote to rescind the Art 50 in the House of Commons followed by its notification by the government to the EU. I consider this to be a highly unlikely possibility…

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Society

The scourge of antisemitism is partly based on the ambiguity of the concept.

Jews are not welcome here! The resurgence of antisemitism has manifested itself recently through two emblematic occurrences: the verbal aggression of Alain Finkielkraut during a protest march of the “Yellow Jackets” in Paris and the resignation of several British Labor Members of Parliament. Unfortunately, these represent only the visible part of the iceberg which saw, in France alone in 2018, an increase of 74% of reported anti-Semitic incidents. What strikes me in particular are the findings of an IFOP poll according to which, alongside the extremes which either condone or condemn unreservedly antisemitism, the great majority of the population (60%) appears totally indifferent or, expressed otherwise, most citizens consider themselves not to be concerned. How is it possible, a mere…

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European, Politics

Brexit : Faites vos Jeux….Rien ne va plus !

With less than seven weeks to go before exiting the EU without a deal, it is imperative, as the PM informed Parliament, to keep one’s nerves before spinning the roulette wheel for the final throw, in a betting game the British have engaged in without sufficient chips. Time has come to call their bluff! Like a boomerang, the slogans voiced by Theresa May such as “Brexit is Brexit” or “No deal is better than a bad deal” have come back to haunt their author, so three cheers for Charles Michel who has endorsed the second of these slogans. Indeed, contrary to Mrs. May, the Belgian PM’s stance offers a credible alternative: on the one hand supporting the agreed Withdrawal Agreement…

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European, Politics

Youth’s mobilization to fight climate change could upset the outcome!

Within the general dispirited mood and tensions in which the European project is often ignored by a poorly informed – if not deliberately misled – public opinion, the sudden awakening of thousands of youth that it is “their” future that is being threatened by global warming, is creating a faint new hope that – if properly managed – could transform the coming European elections into a major political event. The questions relating to global warming are emblematic of preoccupations that are better dealt with by the EU (climate does not recognize Member State boundaries), only authority that can ensure that the welfare of its citizens in general prevails over partisan “national” interests. This challenge should also be capable of mobilizing…

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