Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Unknown Indian vs. European Bigots

Wall Street Journal writes today, admiringly, of Laksmi Mittal.

A takeover of Arcelor would take Mr. Mittal a long way toward realizing his vision of a dominant global steelmaker in an industry for decades characterized, and brought low, by fragmentation. To pull it off, Mr. Mittal needs to break an Old World taboo against takeovers, hostile or otherwise, involving a company dear to Continental protectionists' heart. That this task falls to a man born in Rajasthan, and raised in Calcutta, is one of the more delicious gifts of globalization.

Contrast this favorable attitude of the American conservative establishment with the typical (continental) European bigotry Mr. Mittal is currently enduring.

The attacks on him have been vicious. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president, warned against giving into economic "laws of the jungle." A former French finance minister referred to Mr. Mittal as "an Indian predator," although his company is traded and based in Europe and he hasn't lived in India for 30 years. Mr. Dollé, the Arcelor boss, said Rotterdam-based Mittal Steel is a "company full of Indians" that wants to buy his with "monnaie de singe." The expression means "monopoly money"--Mittal's offer is mostly shares--but the literal translation is "monkey money." That double-entendre wasn't lost on people.

Let there be no mistake. The arrogant and pathetic Europe is frightened of India -- it's exactly the place where Indians need to feast on as we build up our global power. Given the myopia of their fading years, they see us as a barbarian enemy, and we respectfully -- and with compund interest dating back to the years of their barbaric colonialism -- reciprocate the sentiment. In a long twilight struggle, it's Europe that will eventually bite the dust.

That America will likely be our ally in this, is the real "delicious gift of globalization"!


Anonymous said...

The naked display of racism has been stunning, even though I have experienced it first hand in the UK (and that is the best country in Europe in this regard!). I'm glad I never lived in France or Belgium or Luxembourg. Continental Europe (unlike the UK) is a head-in-the-sand ostrich.

Anyhow, more power to Mittal. I hope those bastards Dolle and Thierry Breton get egg on their faces.

libertarian said...

More power to Mittal. Hope he kicks some arrogant continental European butt. Here's the part I liked:

This barbarian at the gate fights back with flattery. "They're all emotional comments ... absurd and frivolous," says Mr. Mittal. "I know Guy Dollé and he's a very nice gentleman. I respect him and I admire him." Touche.

PR: The Brits seem better able to adjust to new realities than the continental folks. So, though they were the chief colonisers, they might come out in much better shape than the continentals. And yes, the Yank instinct for self-interest will help them place the right bets again!

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Arent the French looking to sell their Mirage fighters to us? I understand its a very big deal. Then our airlines love their Airbus. Maybe the govt should have a talk with the French govt.

Rohit De said...

American's aren't likely to be too happy when we go shopping there. They went hysterical when China made a bid to take over Unical.

The cruel sitcom/radio show takes on Indian call centre workers are a pretty good indicator of potential xenophobia.


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