Areva and state capitalism’s delusions of grandeur

French Audit office harshly criticised Areva’s former Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon – here with CEO of the electric company EDF Henri Proglio at the National Assembly in Paris in 2011 (photo: dpa)
French Audit office harshly criticised Areva’s former Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon – here with CEO of the electric company EDF Henri Proglio at the National Assembly in Paris in 2011 (photo: dpa)

Among the legacies of the 2008-2009 financial crisis is the ‘return of the state’ – a resurrected school of thought, or rather intellectual creed, that more direct government involvement in the economy is needed to salvage capitalism.

By 2009, John Maynard Keynes, the celebrated British economist whose concepts informed the activist economic policies of Western governments until the late 1970's, had again become the supreme authority for many. ‘State capitalism’ caught its second wind in the West, even though the distortions produced by government intervention, especially in monetary policy, were among the major causes of the crisis. In 2012, a new French government could boast about...

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