#France — April 6, 2016

#France

From Gabriel Zucman’s The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens, page 58:

The law, however, was not passed. Conservatives, who were in the majority in the Sénat, despised [finance minister Joseph] Caillaux — it was a hatred, moreover, that would push his wife, Henriette, in 1914 to assassinate the director of the right-wing newspaper Le Figaro following a final press campaign.

Somehow this reminds me of a bit in an article I think of a lot: a piece called “Bitter Brew”, about a man’s failed dream of starting a cute café:

Pastries, for instance, are a monetary black hole unless you bake them yourself. We started out by engaging a pedigreed gentleman baker with Le Bernardin on his résumé. Hercule, as I’ll call him, embodied every French stereotype in existence: He was jovial, enthusiastic, rude, snooty, manic-depressive, brilliant, and utterly unreliable. His croissants were buttery, flaky, not too big, and $1.25 wholesale. We sold them for $2 and threw away roughly 50 percent—in other words, we were making a negative quarter on each croissant. After a couple of months of this, we downgraded to a more Americanized version of the croissant (vast and pillowy). The new croissants ran 90 cents each and made us feel vaguely dirty. We sold them for the same $2.