The assistance to Airbus is the first time the French government has used the Société Financement de l’Economie Française, or SFEF, which was set up in November to stabilise the banking system, to support other industries directly.
The SFEF earmarked €1bn last year for the finance arms of Renault and Peugeot Citroën. But these finance arms are, strictly speaking, banks and regulated as such.
I was mulling over the debate of how to recapitalize banks to get credit flowing again. Witness the pigs hoarding cash given to them. There is no private sector solution. I was gravitating towards "shot the pig in the head, provide financing directly, end the masquerade". Glad my comrades in France are that decisive. Good for them, there is a certain hypocrisy in the US debate. Free banking my ass.
PS: my brother works for BNP selling hedges for such deals. He tells me SFEF fronts with the banks and backs them up. So much for hypocrisy...