Most Americans paying attention to global affairs have some conception of his opponent, nationalist firebrand Marine Le Pen, but Macron is likely to be very much a black box. I hope today’s post changes that.
TND Guest Contributor: Michael Krieger
The last thing I ever wanted to do was write about France’s likely next president, Emmanuel Macron, but here we are. This post was inspired by a very telling Financial Times article sent to me by a reader, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Any knowledge you may have about Macron probably comes from mainstream news outlets, which have been uniformly gushing about the socialist-centrist Rothschild protege.
As an example, just take a look at the following title from a January article published at Foreign Policy.
You’d think this guy was the second coming or something. Naturally, the gushing continues beyond the title. Here are the first few paragraphs.
In some of his many previous lives, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron has been a philosophy student, an investment banker, and a minister of economy. It is not surprising, then, in his current life as an independent candidate for the French presidency, he does not always speak like other candidates. And it’s not only the substance of his language that stands out but also, sometimes, his choice of language. Last week, in a speech at Berlin’s Humboldt University, Macron spoke in impeccable English on the imperative of giving Europe a chance.
And of giving the future a chance: Macron’s speech offered a powerful and convincing case that he is the last great French hopefor a European future based on a common market and a common morality, a single currency and a singular commitment to the continent’s core values.
Though his immediate audience was Humboldt’s faculty and students, Macron was in fact addressing a far wider audience. He was seeking to mobilize French as well as German youths, and — in a reference to the program that allows EU citizens to study in other member states — the non-Erasmus as well as the Erasmus generations. Based on the audience’s response to his speech, and his surging poll numbers in France, Macron — despite not having the support of an established party, or perhaps becausehe doesn’t — is no longer the dark horse but instead the white knight for a growing number of French voters. However, what this particular knight promises, beyond verve and vitality, is not yet clear.
This author certainly isn’t holding back on the Macron infatuation. Within the first three paragraphs alone he refers to the man as “the last great French hope” and a “white knight.” Amazing.
But that’s not the most telling part of the above excerpts. I find it particularly remarkable that the author positions this manufactured candidate as some sort of outsider. Sure, he may not have the backing of an established political party, but those who do back him have far more power than that.
I came to this conclusion based on an extremely enlightening article published in the FT titled, Emmanuel Macron’s Rothschild Years Make Him an Easy Election Target. Based on the title, you’d think that the man merely had a normal, brief stint at the bank, but you’d be wrong. As you read, it becomes clear that he was groomed from day one by a Rothschild partner and ended up on a fast track like I’ve never seen before. But first, let’s examine the first two paragraphs of the article, which betrays the man’s intentions.
When Emmanuel Macron told friends in 2008 he was joining Rothschild, the prestigious investment bank, the then 30-year-old civil servant was warned it could scupper a future career in politics.
“You’re conscious that banking is not any kind of job? And Rothschild not any kind of bank?” said one friend to the man who, nine years later, would become frontrunner in France’s presidential election.
Contrary to media myths about a “white knight” who came out of nowhere to save France, this character has had his eye on high political office for at least a decade. Indeed, it appears Macron has been groomed by powerful financiers for a very long time. As the FTalso notes:
The graduate of ENA, the elite school that breeds France’s future leaders, came recommended by powerful alumni of the institution, including François Henrot, a longtime Rothschild partner. But young bankers were not so impressed.
“He was the guy who would constantly say ‘thank you’,” a former colleague said. “He didn’t know what ebitda [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] was. He didn’t try to hide it. And instead of looking it up in a corporate finance book, he asked around, which was disarming.”
Yet it wasn’t just a Rothschild sponsor who took the young Macron under his wing…
What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government, says Sophie Javary, head of BNP Paribas’ corporate finance in Europe, who was asked by Mr Henrot to coach Mr Macron in the first year.
This is straight up bizarre. It appears Macron was so important to banking interests the had to form a consortium of firms to all pitch in to help him out. Yet it gets stranger still.
On the Atos deal, Mr Macron “had a fairly junior role at the time — he would be asked to redo the financial models on Excel, the basics,” recalled an adviser. But a few days after the deal was announced, Mr Macron was made a partner. A few months later, he stunned colleagues and rivals by winning a role in Nestlé’s purchase of Pfizer’s infant food operations.
As someone who spent ten years on Wall Street, I can tell you with certainty that you don’t go from updating excel models at a junior level to partner overnight. Someone extraordinarily powerful was pulling all sorts of strings for this guy. There seems to be little doubt about this.
Further hints that Macron is a total manufactured elitist creation can be seen with the following.
At the bank, Mr Macron mastered the art of networking and navigated around the numerous conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business circles, making good use of his connections as an Inspecteur des Finances — an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA.
In 2010, he advised, for free, the staff of Le Monde when the newspaper was put up for sale. Journalists at the daily started doubting his loyalty when they happened upon him in conversation with Mr Minc, who was representing a bidding consortium that the staff opposed. They did not know that it was Mr Minc, a fellow Inspecteur des Finances, who had helped the young Mr Macron secure his interview at Rothschild.
A media executive who was part of the same consortium recalled: “It wasn’t clear who Emmanuel worked for. He was around, trading intelligence, friends with everyone. It was smart, because he got to know everybody in the media world.”
Indeed, who does he work for? I’m sure the French people would like to know.
My name is Michael Krieger, and I am the creator and editor of Liberty Blitzkrieg. I’m originally from New York City.
As far as my academic and professional background, I attended college at Duke University where I earned a double major in Economics and Spanish. After completing my studies in 2000, I took a job at Lehman Brothers where I worked with the Oil analyst in the Equity Research Department. In 2005, I joined Sanford C. Bernstein where I served as the Commodities Analyst on the trading floor. About halfway through my time there, I started to branch out and write opinions on bigger picture “macro” topics that no one else at the firm was covering. These opinion pieces were extremely popular throughout the global investment community, and I traveled around providing advice to some of the largest mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds in the world.
I loved my job, but as time passed I started to educate myself about how the monetary and financial system functions and what I discovered disgusted me. I no longer felt satisfied working within the industry, and I resigned in January 2010. At that point, I started a family investment office and continued to write macro pieces on economic, social and geopolitical topics. That summer, I drove cross country for six weeks and ultimately decided to leave the crowded streets of Manhattan for the open spaces of Boulder, Colorado, where I currently reside.
In the years that followed, I gradually recognized that my true passion centers upon writing on issues of significant societal importance given the extremely challenging times we live in. This realization culminated with me losing interest in financial markets and eventually launching this website in early 2012.
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This article was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg and is reprinted with permission.