Cafe Hayek’s good friend Andy Morriss sent this well-aimed letter to the Financial Times:
You report that France just “discovered” that its national debt was twice the amount it previously reported, a discrepancy due to “off-balance sheet public sector pension liabilities.” (“French debt hangs over heated pension debate,” 12/1). When Enron hid liabilities in off-balance sheet entities, short sellers quickly brought the company down, triggering its bankruptcy and criminal investigations into its officers’ fraud. Unfortunately, the French public cannot sell M. Chirac’s government short and so are stuck with him until 2007. What a shame that politics lacks the accountability of financial markets!
Andrew P. Morriss
Galen J. Roush Professor of Business Law & Regulation
Case School of Law