Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Do I still have time for some last minute predictions?

I’ll bet you all know which one is first on my mind. The new president of the Medef, the Mouvement des entreprises de France, of course. This is France’s employer’s federation. Whenever the government wants to change rules or laws affecting companies, particularly regarding employment, the Medef is consulted, as are labor unions. The current president, Baron Ernest-Antoine Seillière de Laborde, who, by his own words has endeavored to make the organization more “democratic”, is stepping down. Three candidates are in the running: Yvon Jacob, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Legris Industries (construction equipment), Hugues-Arnaud Mayer, head of the Abeil group (pillows & comforters) and Laurence Parisot, CEO of IFOP (market surveys). Yvon Jacob has received the blessing of the UIMM, the Union des industries et métiers de la métallurgie (which calls itself the succinct “Union of Metal Manufacturing, Mining, Engineering, Electrical and Metal Equipment and Allied Industries” in English), a large trade federation under the Medef umbrella. In the past, its candidates have often acceded to the top post in the Medef. But that was before the advent of the latest political twist. For those of you unfamiliar with French given names, Laurence Parisot is a woman, and the idea that appointing a woman to the post would be a symbol of the organization’s modernity has been launched and gained momentum. Once a symbol idea has been launched and gained momentum, it’s hard to get it back onto the pad. My vote is with the lady.

On to more important predictions. Where will the 2012 Olympic Games be held? My instinct is that, like Academy Awards, Olympic Games selections are largely political. Wasn’t the choice of Beijing for 2008 just a wee bit political? But first the purely practical. I’m surprised New York still thinks it has even a glimmer of a hope of a prayer of a chance. Not only hasn’t the intended venue for most Olympic events been built or ground even been broken, but there has been more bickering over it than over working hours at a French labor negotiating session. And Mayor Bloomberg has got to feel outgunned. The UK and France have sent their prime minister and president, respectively, to Singapore. I’m going with an outsider on this one: Madrid. The Summer Olympics have never been held there, whereas they’ve been held in all three other cities – Paris (2x), London (2x) and Moscow. Also, Madrid is the latest martyred city, and I’m hoping that’ll work in its favor.

Last but far from least: will Lance Armstrong win a seventh Tour de France? I haven't a clue, and there's more time, so I leave it to you ....

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At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Jeff Z said...

I don't think there's anyone in NYC besides the mayor who wants the Olympics. Everybody, regardless of political affiliation, is dreading the expense involved. Bloomie's only retort is to point out that Summer Olympics in the US (the last two, anyway: LA & Atlanta)are profitable and make money. However, everybody knows that there is no way that the NYC can ever run anything anywhere near the level of competence required to pull that off. If NYC cannot even (insert any of thousands examples of municipal ineptitude at outrageous cost here), they certainly cannot run the Olympics at a profit, and we're left holding the bag, or more accurately, emptying out our pockets into it. So here's to Paris, site of the 2012 Summer Olympics!

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Joe Q. said...

Oops -- London wins. C'est dommage. Wait 'till 2016....


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