French pessimism about the crisis yet to come

70% of French believe the worst of the crisis is yet to come:

Lorsque l’institut Ipsos leur demande s’ils pensent “que le gros de la crise est derrière nous”, ils sont ainsi 70 % à répondre au contraire que “le gros de la crise reste encore à venir”.

This despite recent business figures which are positive, if not quite so good as in Germany. What’s going on?

  • Everybody believes governments are making up the figures, even when they aren’t
  • It’s going well for business, but not for people — the crisis has become a concentration/acceleration of the existing patterns of inequality.
  • ‘man in the street’ experiences of recession — unemployment in particular — lag behind the state of business, which in turn lags behind financial markets. This is why the crisis began as a financial crisis: at first it seemed phony-war-like, something happening only in meaningless figures
  • People are using optimism/pessimism to make a political point. e.g. the left are exaggerating the crisis, as a means to criticize Sarkozy

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