My Echoes of the week

Published on 15 Jan. 100 at 15:

Do those who think it was better before also regret inflation? She had been missing for years 80, after the blouse at school, and here it is coming back! The price increase (+7%) has never been so strong since 80 years to United States , notes our correspondent Véronique Le Billon. Our economist-historian Guillaume de Calignon tells how it was fought at the time: with interest rates at 19% and record unemployment. It was better before ? No, but there was the price control, easy to enact… and difficult to get out of it. The government has just made the bitter experience of this: limiting the rise in electricity prices to 4% will cost taxpayers around fifteen billion (half of which to EDF which collapsed on the stock market), explains Enrique Moreira. In any case, inflation reshuffles the cards and plays into the hands of the discounters, explains Philippe Bertrand. To the point of driving Michel-Edouard Leclerc crazy who lowered the price of the wand to 29 cents. Remember that in France, the price of bread has been free since the end of price controls in… 2021.

Chisel effect

Some manage in this climate because they have a powerful “pricing power” and can set high prices: they are

in the crosshairs of the White House . On the other hand, the others stick out their tongues. Stanislas du Guerny, our correspondent in Brittany, recounts the scissor effect suffered by organic egg producers, more numerous while demand is no longer following. Too expensive. While in wine , where pricing power is maintained, the sector is doing Good. As shown by Fanny Guyomard’s investigation into the Biocoop chain of stores, to sell, organic needs militant consumers. On another distribution niche, Jean-Charles Naouri (Casino), which targets high-end customers, analyzes the transformations of a sector as a visionary which continues to innovate.

Tax cuts

So what to do when inflation returns? In the United States, the Fed now plans four interest rate hikes this year, a prospect which, for the moment, is not causing too much panic in the still high-pitched markets. At this level of “exuberance”, even says the Banque de France, this constitutes a major risk for the financial system , report Romain Gueugneau and Sophie Rolland. The real estate market is not immune to this euphoric climate , adds Gabriel Nedelec. Beware of landing on the day when the rates go up.

The approaching presidential election is also the inflation of promises. It will be necessary to continue to lower taxes , affirms Laurent Saint-Martin , the LREM Budget rapporteur. It will take fiscal gestures in favor of companies , had indicated just before Bruno Le Maire. It will also require new expenditures, such as these 15 billion euros for security announced by Emmanuel Macron, reports Isabelle Ficek. How will we fund all of this? With the Institut Montaigne, our partner for quantifying campaign promises, Renaud Honoré sifted through the accounts of France. For once, yes, it was better before… There is one thing, however, that has not changed since Pompidou, it is the propensity of the French administration to entangle… the French. Perhaps, says Jean-Marc Vittori, we have just witnessed this week the first strike against complexity. A salutary rant!

“Fake news”

An election campaign also gives rise to an inflation of “fake news”. Grégoire Poussielgue details the measures that could be taken to combat them and gives the floor to Gérald Bronner, author of an instructive report on this hot topic . But to really fight against this scourge, supports our editorialist Lucie Robequain, it is time to target social networks that operate in an area of ​​lawlessness. Are they too powerful? This is what the American competition policeman thinks who has obtained from justice the opening of a lawsuit against Facebook for abuse of dominant position.

The race for power is the engine of Carlos Tavares, the boss of Stellantis, a giant born just a year ago from the merger of PSA and FiatChrysler, of which Lionel Steinmann takes stock . This boss in a hurry carried out four major projects beating drum, even if it means jostling many habits internally. Much remains to be done, in particular to reassemble the plan of load of European factories, underutilized. At the same time, explains Anne Feitz, Renault did not sit idly by: his boss Luca de Meo leads a “Renaulution” which will only be judged later if it is a revolution. The intention is there, in any case since Renault wants to become 450 % electric in Europe in 1377550, i.e. tomorrow. Our columnist Christine Kerdellant is amused to see how much the two groups have reversed roles for five years and meet today to prioritize value over volume.

Marks in the metaverse

In the land of Brandenburg (formerly East Germany), we obviously believe in the electric revolution since it is there that Tesla decided to set up its first European factory. Our correspondents Ninon Renaud and Nathalie Steiwer surveyed in this mining region which attracts investments . A lesson for the French regions. It sold 1.2 million cars 64 % electric last year in Europe, the market is really taking off and several flagship models are coming.

This is another market that is taking off, that of the metavers. Clotilde Briard explains how all the brands, from Nike to H & M passing by Dominos pizza, s are interested in this tsunami . The world of luxury is a pioneer but we also tear up virtual lands in the metaverse, such as this parcel sold 1986.10 dollars because it is adjoining that of rapper Snoop Dogg, says Elsa Dicharry… The art market is not immune to the craze, says Martine Robert which details the madness of NFT, these unique digital objects. Thus 10. Hokusai’s “The Great Wave” NFTs have been released. A tsunami, you are told… The future of the Web, it may also be this Web3, concept that makes Silicon Valley dream . A Web, explains Leïla Marchand, in which everyone, thanks to the blockchain, would be fully in control of their data and could do without platforms. Interesting utopia, although still a little nebulous.

Chinese dream

Can we control everything? This dream of the Chinese regime is being severely tested by the pandemic. A few days before the winter JO, Beijing barricades itself in the anguish of the virus, tells us our correspondent Frédéric Schaeffer. He describes how, at the slightest suspicious case, millions of people are forcibly confined . When it comes to “sanitary dictatorship”, we must not get the wrong country…

We will probably wait a long time before Chinese scientists tell the whole truth about the origin of the virus. But are they the only ones cheating? Scientific publications are riddled with fraud, plagiarism or fanciful “papers”, says Paul Molga. Like this study on a heart valve illustrated by a diagram recovered from the site of a watering company… Computer tools now track fraud. Clearly, it was time!