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My Intrepid Mercatus Center Colleague Veronique de Rugy

I’m often asked why I regularly refer to Veronique de Rugy as “my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague.” The answer is that she is just that. Never have I met anyone as dogged as is Vero at exposing the economic fallacies and factual errors that are always to be found at the root of cronyism and fiscal irresponsibility.

My moniker for Vero occurred to me about five or six years ago when she, with remarkable determination, led the charge that nearly succeeded in permanently plugging that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Although this absurd and crony agency is now again gushing out taxpayer dollars at full force, Vero’s efforts were instrumental at slowing it down for years. This tireless and deeply principled American émigré from France alone is responsible for resource savings over the past few years likely measuring in the tens of millions of dollars.

Vero writes streams of papers, columns, and letters-to-the-editor. She, seemingly without stop, speaks publicly and debates. She testifies often before Congress, despite the personal distaste that she experiences whenever she addresses those officious czars and czarinas. She eagerly appears on radio, t.v., and podcasts to make the case for free markets and against statism. And in the tradition of her native country, Vero’s home is a salon for intelligent and interesting people to try out, discuss, debate, and sharpen their ideas.

In short, Veronique de Rugy is one of today’s most important champions of liberty and of economic literacy, and opponents of cronyism and fiscal incontinence.

Now available is the long version of testimony that Vero recently gave before the Ex-Im Bank’s Board of Advisors. Here’s a slice, but do read the whole thing:

I know this reality is painful for an agency dedicated to the belief that export subsidies create economic growth and jobs. In reality, what this agency does is to shift capital toward favored export companies, which sometimes does add more jobs at these firms. However, as I mentioned earlier, this capital is diverted away from other American industries, many of them also exporters.