Is nationalization a trap or a tool of industrial policy?

By Jean-Luc Gaffard

The closure of the Florange blast furnaces in the Moselle region by ArcelorMittal and the French government’s hunt for a buyer led it to temporarily consider nationalizing the site, that is, not only the production of crude steel, but also the cold forming line. The threat of nationalization was clearly wielded with a view to forcing the hand of the Mittal group so that it would sell the operations to another firm. If a nationalisation like this had been carried out, it would have been a penalty-nationalization, i.e. a sanction of behaviour by the Mittal group deemed contrary to the public interest. Apart from this unusual feature, it would have also raised issues about competition. Continue reading “Is nationalization a trap or a tool of industrial policy?”

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The crisis in the automobile industry: strategic shortcomings shouldn’t conceal the impact of fiscal austerity

By Jean-Luc Gaffard

The crisis in the automobile industry, illustrated by the closure of the PSA site in Aulnay, reveals not only structural difficulties but also strategic errors made by the manufacturers with respect to their industrial organization and range positioning. The industry’s need to restructure cannot, however, obscure the very real macroeconomic dimensions of the crisis in the short term. Continue reading “The crisis in the automobile industry: strategic shortcomings shouldn’t conceal the impact of fiscal austerity”

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