He's a great storyteller - mind you without "n", because terse stories are not his thing. When Jean-Marc Daniel reveals an anecdote from his rich repertoire of knowledge, it usually contains a lesson for the present. Daniel is one of the best-known economists in France and the one who most consistently and most effectively defends the free play of the markets in public. Therefore the economic liberal is unique in France; but the country that loves debates gives the French plenty of room to speak, if only because they can also talk in an entertaining way.

It is worth taking the 66-year-old Frenchman more seriously than most of the other protagonists of public discourse, who are numerous in France. Daniel regularly reminds the French, for example, that wealth comes primarily from work - and not from “magic money”, as the title of his latest book on central bank and national debt money is. He considers the introduction of the 35-hour week a good two decades ago to be an epoch-making mistake. "Shortly afterwards, around 2002, France's current account balance turned negative," he explains in an interview with the FAZ France artificially shortened its job supply, lost competitiveness and increased national debt. The United States may be able to afford twin public debt and foreign trade deficits,because they control the world currency dollars. But France?

Competitiveness has improved again

"Every year the country has to sell a further part of its silverware, for example the real estate on the Parisian luxury boulevard Avenue Montaigne or capital of the companies in the CAC 40 stock market index," explains Daniel.

The net foreign assets, i.e. the difference between the property owned by foreigners in France and property owned by the French abroad, fell to a negative 30 percent of the gross domestic product last year.

"That is not far from the 35 percent limit that the European Commission set as a warning sign of macroeconomic imbalances," reports Daniel.

Countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have even weaker values, but the situation is not acceptable for the second largest economy in the euro area.

Daniel admits that his home country's competitiveness has improved in recent years.

“Companies have been given tax relief and have made considerable efforts, but not the public sector.” Because of its immobility, the juggernaut of the public service is responsible for the fact that the French education system regularly scores poorly in the PISA tests, he regrets.

Business topics prepared for the public

Daniel doesn't care that his liberal views are beyond majority opinion in France.

When the Germans insist on budget discipline, he is often the only one defending the neighbors.

The leading French economists' association “Cercle des économistes” almost never invites Daniel to their big annual meeting in Aix-en-Provence.

“I'm not a minority, I'm the vanguard,” he replies with amusement.

He prefers to speak to a broader public than to specialist colleagues.

Its platform is the radio and television broadcaster BFM Business.

There he is allowed to set a "counterpoint" every morning, so the name of his rubric.

No other French economist has such a far-reaching stage in his home country.

Keywords: jean-marc daniel, economists, french, country, warning, state, conscience, france, france?competitiveness, inspiration, juggernaut, publicdaniel, thing, stories, n