Paradise Papers, and Bernard Arnault : the strategy of the amalgam

The newspaper le Monde has published a series of articles devoted to Bernard Arnault, following the exit of the Paradise Papers. These articles are part of a confusion usual between tax evasion and optimization, but is primarily a reflection of attitude poujadisante constant towards “the rich” and their train of life. In this context, journalists no longer even try to investigate cases of corruption or fraud, and are content to criticize the lifestyle of the most wealthy, while recognizing that there is nothing illegal. An approach that is considered ” fake news “, to generate a click on of the securities in which the amalgam dispute to the imprecision.

The case of Edinson Cavani

Medipart had opened the way by striker Edinson Cavani, the star striker from PSG. The newspaper had had access to the Malta Files, which showed that the image rights of the player from uruguay were managed by a company based in Malta. Neither one, nor two (especially without further investigation to contextualize this ” leak “), Mediapart spoke of” tax evasion “. Dozens of articles have picked up the information, in grading on a case of ” tax fraud “, necessarily.

But crash ! The lawyers of Cavani showed the next day that this company had been declared in France, and that French taxes had been paid. As confirmed by the World : “it is clear that Edinson Cavani has indeed paid his taxes on the amounts collected within the framework of his image rights. Twice rather than once. First to Malta, then France. The French State thus has not lost money in the deal. “But journalists from Mediapart have been cautious, and have peppered their article of question marks, and conditional. Result, they will escape probably of any conviction despite the complaint of Cavani. For lovers of football, on the other hand, it will remain the idea that Cavani does not pay its taxes in France as it should be… Literally : a ” fake news “.

Bernard Arnault, while on this businessman

For Bernard Arnault, the schema is the same : we launch pseudo – revelations on the basis of stolen files, without analyzing seriously, and we launched the idea of a ” tax evasion “. And the crowd rages on social media, with a scapegoat found : if nurses are so badly paid in France, that our roads are full of potholes, and that our School is going so wrong, it is the fault of Bernard Arnault, of course ! And not the tax shelters of the journalists, nor millions of subsidies to the press…

That an international group like LVMH is necessarily imposed differently on different corners of the globe, this does not seem to be of interest to our journalists-vigilantes. That a company would choose between two schemes of taxation is possible, the one which is the most favorable, not more. Moreover, we imagine that a number of journalists relinquish voluntarily their niche tax on the ground that, as they write a lot about the Paradise Papers, “even if it is legal, what is not moral” (in comparison with other French in need who do not benefit from it, and compared to our hospitals who may have more need of this money as the chief editorial of the Liberation).

Especially, to do this trial to Bernard Arnault is especially paradoxical. Because he is a business man, who would have time to settle elsewhere than in France (the country of human Rights, the ISF, and of the 75 % tax), to the extent that he travels so often that he probably meets already the legal terms and conditions. Similarly, LVMH could quite legally make as Google, and you can stay its profits in another country, to the extent that its shops and its sales are made essentially outside of France (the country of Voltaire and of the fee to 3 percent of illegal recovered in freshwater). LVMH which, again, pays about 1 billion euros of taxes per year to the State, and weighs several tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the French.

Of course, it is not necessary to be angelic : if Bernard Arnault remains in France with his company, is that there is an advantage. The image of our country in terms of luxury is important, and plays surely a role in the success of the group’s brands. But there was no denying : Bernard Arnault is a tax resident of france, and his group also. It pays to France the taxes owed to France, and the Paradise Papers do not demonstrate the contrary.


Then, beyond the culture of resentment and envy, how can one explain this eagerness ? How to justify this lack of economic patriotism on the part of the press, when their american counterparts are playing the game of their national interests and will always prefer to attack a foreign trademark (Crédit Agricole or BNP) rather than american (Bank of America) ? The explanation lies in the ideology : all the surveys show that journalists (especially investigative journalists) are very close to the extreme left. Among their “reflexes” intellectuals, lies a conception of” objectivity ” as defined by the epigones of Marx (Adorno in particular) : it is not a confrontation balanced points of view, but a logical unveiling of the bases hidden, always more real than what is obvious and visible.

What we guess would be more “true” than the actual patent. If one adds to this a view of the world (crude and dated, but perennial) very ” class-struggle “, we get a cocktail explosive. That has not spared the fundamental interests of the country. And that the public debate does not come out grown.


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