Time was, the French government really didn't give a baker's damn whether or not its financial sector workers felt appreciated or loved. Nor did it bother with competing in vain with London for the dubious honor of being the financial capital of Europe. But that was before the UK voted to screw itself with a rusty hacksaw and thousands upon thousands of bankers suddenly went up for grabs. Now, it actually has a shot at grabbing the title and wants it, bad. How bad? Offering low taxes and only one shout of "capitalist pigs!" a quarter bad.
The French government pledged on Wednesday to make its tax regime for expatriates the most favorable in Europe in a landgrab for London banking business displaced by Britain's decision to quit the European Union. "We want to build the financial capital of the future," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said at a hastily arranged visit to the annual conference of France's financial industry lobby Europlace. "In a word, now is the time to come to France." France's financial sector has often complained of government ambivalence towards the industry, which is subject to high taxes and sometimes hostile remarks from politicians. But Paris sees an opportunity in last month's Brexit vote, the regulatory implications of which place a huge question mark over London's place as the center of Europe's banking business.
And if this pitch doesn't work, there's always plan b: the "We'll save you from having to in Dublin or Frankfurt" broadcast and print campaign.