The eco brief. How to recycle the abundant savings of the French?

The savings of the French since the Covid-19 crisis. Illustrative image. (JEAN-LUC FLEMAL / MAXPPP)

The next few weeks should give rise to measures allowing the recovery plan to be deployed more quickly. There is the support of companies and a topic which occupies the debate at the moment: the reorientation of the savings stored by the French since the beginning of the crisis. Savings made up mainly by the wealthiest households and that we imagined could be taxed to dissuade these savers from making their money purr. There will be no question of tax on savings. Bruno Le Maire prefers to stimulate rather than sanction.

From confinement to curfew through all health restrictions, money not consumed has been put aside in life insurance, on savings books or left in current bank accounts. For a year, the savings thus accumulated represent in volume as much as what the government has spent to support the economy: some 100 billion euros. An amount that could reach 200 billion at the end of the year. There is a French problem: 60% of savings are held by a generation that no longer wants to take risks. The whole stake for the government is to convince the holders of this savings to avoid feeding the speculators but to support the real projects of the market and productive economy. This means: to encourage investment by giving a public guarantee.

The Pacte law already provides for some incentive measures such as the PEA-PME, a savings plan in action intended to strengthen companies’ equity. France today lacks equity, capital to solidify its businesses, especially SMEs. We can also imagine investment plans in sectors of the future such as ecological transition or industries and health infrastructure. It is imperative to create a dynamic: the French finance, the State guarantees investments and then companies build, produce and create jobs. The real bet is to find measures of economic balance which obtain a political consensus… In other words, a sweet dream one year from the presidential election.

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