Thursday, October 14, 2010


Two small articles in today's Wall Street Journal addressing deficit reducing steps by countries outside the U.S. are eye-catching. 

French workers are trying to organize open-ended strikes to protest President Nicholas Sarkozy's plans for raising the retirement age from 60 to 62.  The strike may not be taking hold as the state-run railway SNCF said Tuesday saw 40% of workers on strike and then Wednesday this number was down to about 25%.

In the U.K. plans were announced to cut 192 government agencies (out of 901 agencies reviewed), while another 118 agencies will be consolidated down to 57.  The U.K. government goal is $815 million of annual savings from such cuts.  Interestingly, comments from the U.K.'s largest union, Unite, protested the cuts.

It would seem that the global winners will be those countries, states, and municipalities (and for that matter, corporations) that can most quickly and effectively identify and implement appropriate austerity moves.