Opinionomics | 20 April 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. A US-heavy round-up featuring the IMF, Greg Mankiw, and some America

1. IMF and China are new BFFs (Finanical Times | alphaville)

"There seems to be something of a love-in going on between China and the IMF, though admittedly you have to wade through a weighty report to glimpse it," writes Masa Serdarevic.

2. Competition Is Healthy for Governments, Too (New York Times)

N. Gregory Mankiw argues that states compete, and are right to compete, to lower tax rates because of citizens moving.

3. America will not go the way of Europe (Washington Post | Wonkblog)

Ezra Klein explains why the Eurocrisis is sui generis, and thus why America will not follow that path.

4. Chris Grayling calls me a job snob for questioning those who pay so little (Guardian)

Polly Toynbee attacks Grayling, arguing that by cutting tax credits, he is harming the poorest in society.

5. The maths behind the madness (Economist | Graphic Detail)

The Economist present their "interactive guide to reducing government debt."

A homeless man smokes in New York City, where the poverty rate has hit 21 per cent since the recession. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.