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Lecturer delivers financial recovery wisdom

Frenchman predicted crisis last year

POSTED: February 27, 2009 12:21 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Ambassador Jacky Musnier delivers a world financial lecture Thursday evening at the Thurmond-McRae Lecture Hall at Brenau University. Musnier's career as a diplomat spans 30 years.

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A retired French diplomat said the world economy is in need of treatment before the effects of the worldwide recession will begin to subside.

Jacky Musnier, who worked for 30 years in the French consular corps, retired in 2003 after serving as ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and the Cook Islands.

For the past four years, he has been a visiting professor at Brenau University, where he presented a public lecture on the economy.

“If a wounded person is hemorrhaging, the bleeding must be stopped first before the patient is patched up and cured,” Musnier told the audience. He said many of the plans that have been announced around the world have an emergency flavor, but will not fix the system in the long run.

“Simply going back to business as usual will be certain recipe for greater disaster,” he added.

Musnier, along with Brenau faculty member Jim Southerland, is teaching a course on the emerging powers of Brazil, Russia, India and China. He said all of those economies have felt the impact of the recession.

“History shows us that severe crisis normally leads to tremendous reforms that prove the adaptability and resilience of mankind in times of necessity,” he said.

Among the changes he said were needed are in areas of deregulation, free trade and globalization.

“It is obvious that deregulation led to the total disconnection of the financial economy from the real economy and thus, led to the present mess,” Musnier said.

He said free trade is beneficial to the economy of every country, but is detrimental between countries who don’t play by the same rules.

In his lecture in 2008, Musnier predicted a collapse of the financial system if major changes were not made. His forecast — thought to be extreme at the time — proved correct.

Musnier’s career began with service on the desk for Soviet Affairs in the Ministry of France. He subsequently represented his country in commercial and financial affairs in Pakistan, Germany, Iraq, Indonesia, Brazil and Southeast Asia.

After a brief stint in the private sector, he began his final diplomatic assignment in New Zealand in 1993 and retired a decade later.



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