Saturday, May 30, 2009

AXA CEO Complains Of Unfair Competition

These days, we get to hear criticisms of ever-increasing government intervention from unlikely (if I may say so) places.

About two weeks ago it was a Russian (Russia was a former Communist country, remember?) appalled at the ease with which Americans seem to accept the "new" way of life (my post here).

Today I ran into this article on Nikkei (May 31 Sunday their time). A French businessman, graduated from The École Nationale d'Administration (one of the elite grandes écoles) and a former government bureaucrat, criticizes the government intervention as distorting the market competition. The following is the rough translation from Japanese.

"Henri de Castries, CEO of AXA, a French global insurance companies group, criticized AIG and other insurance companies who have received public fund that "it is highly inappropriate that these companies are lowering the price to maintain their customers", and that the government intervention is distorting the market, according to the interview he gave to Japan's Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Nikkei newspaper).

"Among the four largest insurance groups in the world, AIG (US), Allianz (Germany) and ING (Netherlands) have all received public fund.

"Mr. de Castries also said, "AXA hasn't asked for any support from the government. The institutions that have received public assistance should undergo comprehensive restructuring, and should not be allowed to use the public fund they received to expand their business.""


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