by Michael Krieger
The last thing I
ever wanted to do was write about France's likely next president,
Emmanuel Macron, but here we are.
This post was inspired by a very
telling Financial Times (FT) article
sent to me by a reader, but we'll get to that in a bit.
paying attention to global affairs have some conception of
his opponent, nationalist firebrand Marine Le Pen, but Macron is
likely to be very much a black box.
I hope today's post changes
Any knowledge you
may have about Macron probably comes from
mainstream news outlets,
which have been uniformly gushing about the socialist-centrist
As an example, just
take a look at the following title from a January article published
You'd think this
guy was the second coming or something. Naturally, the gushing
continues beyond the title.
Here are the first few paragraphs.
In some of his many previous
lives, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron has been a philosophy
student, an investment banker, and a minister of economy.
It is not surprising, then, in his
current life as an independent candidate for the French
presidency, he does not always speak like other candidates. And
it's not only the substance of his language that stands out but
also, sometimes, his choice of language.
Last week, in a speech at Berlin's
Humboldt University, Macron spoke in impeccable English on the
imperative of giving Europe a chance.
And of giving the future a chance:
Macron's speech offered a
powerful and convincing case that he is the last great
French hope for a European future based on a common
market and a common morality, a single currency and a
singular commitment to the continent's core values.
Though his immediate audience was
Humboldt's faculty and students, Macron was in fact addressing a
far wider audience.
He was seeking to mobilize French
as well as German youths, and - in a reference to the program
that allows EU citizens to study in other member states - the
non-Erasmus as well as the Erasmus generations.
Based on the audience's response
to his speech, and his surging poll numbers in France, Macron -
despite not having the support of an established party, or
perhaps because he doesn't - is no longer the dark horse but
instead the white knight for a growing number of French voters.
However, what this particular knight promises, beyond verve and
vitality, is not yet clear.
certainly isn't holding back on the Macron infatuation.
first three paragraphs alone he refers to the man as,
"the last great French hope" and a
But that's not the
most telling part of the above excerpts.
I find it
particularly remarkable that the author positions
this manufactured candidate as some sort of outsider. Sure, he may
not have the backing of an established political party, but those
who do back him have far more power than that.
I came to this
conclusion based on an extremely enlightening article published in
the FT titled, Emmanuel
Macron's Rothschild Years Make Him an Easy Election Target.
Based on the title, you'd think that
the man merely had a normal, brief stint at the bank, but you'd be
wrong. As you read, it becomes clear that he was groomed from day
one by a
Rothschild partner and ended up on a fast track like I've
never seen before.
But first, let's examine the first two
paragraphs of the article, which betrays the man's intentions.
When Emmanuel Macron told friends
in 2008 he was joining Rothschild, the prestigious investment
bank, the then 30-year-old civil servant was warned it could
scupper a future career in politics.
"You're conscious that banking
is not any kind of job? And Rothschild not any kind of
bank?" said one friend to the man who, nine years later,
would become frontrunner in France's presidential election.
Contrary to media
myths about a "white knight" who came out of nowhere to save France,
this character has had his eye on high political office for at least
Indeed, it appears
Macron has been groomed by powerful financiers for a very long time.
FT also notes:
The graduate of
ENA, the elite
school that breeds France's future leaders,
came recommended by powerful alumni of the institution,
including François Henrot, a longtime Rothschild partner.
young bankers were not so impressed.
"He was the guy who would
constantly say 'thank you'," a former colleague said. "He didn't
know what ebitda
[earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization]
He didn't try to hide it. And
instead of looking it up in a corporate finance book, he asked
around, which was disarming."
Yet it wasn't just
a Rothschild sponsor who took the young Macron under his wing…
What Mr Macron lacked in technical
knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in
government, says Sophie Javary, head of BNP Paribas' corporate
finance in Europe, who was asked by Mr Henrot to coach Mr Macron
in the first year.
straight up bizarre.
It appears Macron was so important to
banking interests the had to form a consortium of firms to all
pitch in to help him out. Yet it gets stranger still.
On the Atos deal, Mr Macron,
"had a fairly junior role at
the time - he would be
asked to redo the financial models on Excel, the basics,"
recalled an adviser.
But a few days after the deal was announced, Mr Macron was made
A few months later, he stunned
colleagues and rivals by winning a role in Nestlé's purchase of
Pfizer's infant food operations.
As someone who
spent ten years on Wall Street, I can tell you with certainty that
you don't go from updating excel models at a junior level to partner
extraordinarily powerful was pulling all sorts of strings for this
guy. There seems to be little doubt about this.
Further hints that
Macron is a total manufactured elitist creation can be seen with the
At the bank, Mr Macron mastered
the art of networking and navigated around the numerous
conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business
making good use of his connections
as an Inspecteur des Finances
- an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA.
In 2010, he advised, for free, the
staff of Le Monde when the newspaper was put up for sale.
Journalists at the daily started
doubting his loyalty when they happened upon him in conversation
with Mr. Minc, who was representing a bidding consortium that the
They did not know that it was Mr. Minc, a fellow
Finances, who had helped the young
Mr. Macron secure his
interview at Rothschild.
A media executive who was part of
the same consortium recalled:
"It wasn't clear who
Emmanuel worked for. He was around, trading
intelligence, friends with everyone. It was smart, because
he got to know everybody in the media world."
Indeed, who does he
work for? I'm sure the French people would like to know.
is like a conspiracy website's wet dream. Not only was he groomed by
Rothschild bankers, he was also a
Bilderberg meeting attendee in 2014. Of course...
Macron's personal life is just as bizarre.
Raised in a non-religious family,
he was baptized a Roman Catholic at his own request at age 12.
Impressive that the
man figured out religion at such a young age, but what's even more
bizarre is what he did three years later.
At 15, shortly
after discovering Jesus, he decided to seduce his high school
teacher who was 24 years older and married with three children. I'm
not in the habit of quoting
Slate, but an article on
this topic published there was excellent.
At 39, Emmanuel Macron would be
France's youngest-ever president.
His wife, Brigitte Trogneux, just
turned 64. The two met when Macron was 15 years old; Trogneux
was his high-school drama teacher.
After putting off the young
Macron's advances for a while, Trogneux eventually divorced her
husband - the father of her three children - and moved to Paris
to be with Macron, who'd left his hometown to finish high school
in the capital city.
They married more than a decade after
meeting, in 2007.
Media accounts of their
once-illicit relationship have offered it as evidence of
Macron's daring personality and willingness to break with
tradition, qualities that helped make him a presidential
frontrunner without a political party or any experience in
"Their love affair was the
kind of audacious undertaking that has defined Mr.
Macron's life and career," the
New York Timesreports.
"His sheer drive, his
focus and his willingness to leapfrog in a country where
most success is built step by step make him more like
the entrepreneurs he admires than a typical politician."
Associated Press writes that,
"from his teenage romance
with a teacher to his recent ambition to become
president, Emmanuel Macron often is described as
unconventional and tenacious."
This is a strange way to frame
a romantic relationship between a teenager and his
If Macron were a young woman
who'd seduced her male high-school teacher away from his
wife and family, her determination and ultimate success
would not be proffered as signs of her leadership skills,
the beginning of a life as an effective politician.
She would be cast as an
opportunistic Jezebel with daddy issues who slept her way
into every political role she got. If Macron were an
ex-teacher who'd left his wife to be with a teenage student,
we'd rightly cast doubt on his maturity and morals.
Depending on the details of
the case, I might think he should have lost his teaching job
which combination of possible gross reasons caused him
to reject women his own age.
Swap Macron and Trogneux's
gender again, and the story of a goal-oriented romancer
would be spun as a conventional tale of an unhinged,
Conquering resistance through
patient pursuit would, to most observers, seem like
obsessed-stalker behavior coming from a young girl and
sexual-predator behavior coming from an older man.
Macron's disregard of
Trogneux's initial rejection - and his dogged fixation on
making her his girlfriend despite her marriage and his age -
don't ring such alarm bells because we're far more used to
seeing older men with way-younger women.
notable about the above is how corporate media such as The
New York Times celebrates Macron's less than
savory behavior in his pursuit of Trogneux.
It may not be
fake news, but it certainly looks a lot like pro-Macron
like to end with the following tweet, which I think summarizes
The bottom line is Macron is a
Indeed, he's almost embarrassingly phony, but will it matter?
feeling is that he will probably win the May 7th runoff, but I
don't think the spread will be anywhere near as wide as everyone
is predicting. I continue to think that it won't be France, but
more likely Italy, which will put the final nail in the EU
As always, we