France's Private Banks Go Public

Mitterrand's Socialist government moves to nationalize them

"The government has no idea of where it is headed. The entire program is being undertaken regardless of the economic consequences." So said Yves Laulan, chief economist for France's big Société Générale bank, last week, and few of his colleagues were prepared to disagree with him. Four months after the Socialist Party's overwhelming election victories in the spring, President François Mitterrand is determinedly pressing ahead with plans to nationalize France's 36 largest privately owned banks and investment houses. Mitterrand's coalition Cabinet, which includes four Communists, is...

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