Thursday, April 3, 2008

The first Lady of France

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning
One of the world’s most fascinating people is surely the first lady ofFrance, Carla Bruni. She dined with Queen Elizabeth II last week. Amid allthe glamorous guests, glitzy table setting and diamonds, it was she whosparkled most. What follows has no apparent connection to our beat – money. Nor does ithave any particular connection with anything. Still, women represent halfthe human population. As poets, we are fascinated by them. As philosopherswe are intrigued. And as economists, we cannot ignore them. Mr. Sarkozy’swife is a woman, but not just any woman; she seems to us to be a kind ofüberfemale. Almost unnaturally gifted, talented, beautiful and corrupt. The trouble with economics – one of them – is that economists are almostall male. And thus they are completely incapable of understanding themotives or methods of half the population they are meant to be studying.That is why we turn our attention to Carla. She is such an extreme exampleof womanhood, perhaps we can learn something. For readers who have not followed the French press, Ms. Bruni is anextraordinary subject. The French say she is a “croqueuse d’hommes” –which is to say, a man-eater. It was she, according to the press, who hadsuch an affair with Mick Jagger that it destroyed his long marriage tothat tough, smart and talented Texan, Jerry Hall. And it was she, too, whois said to have had affairs with Eric Clapton and Donald Trump. Then, shelived with a French philosopher, Jean-Paul Enthoven, until she took afancy to his son, Raphael, with whom she had a son, Aurelien. Nor was sheparticularly demeure about the whole thing; she wrote a song called“Raphael” describing how she had fallen madly in love and had great sexwith him. She is so “properly, old-fashionedly beautiful,” writes India Knight inthe TIMES of London, “with non-inbred aristocratic features and goodbones; so beautiful that she makes everyone else look like pudding.” Not only that, she speaks three or four languages...comes from afabulously rich family...and can sing. At the Queen’s state dinner,practically every one of the hundreds of guests had seen her naked photoin the tabloids the day before. Yet, she was reportedly the most composed,most confident person there. According to reports, she is irresistible at every level – intellectually,emotionally, sexually and artistically. What’s more she lives around thecorner from your editor’s Paris apartment. “I saw her go by last night,” said a neighbor on Saturday. “She had awhole squad of police with her.” “Why doesn’t she move into the Elysee Palace with her husband?” we wantedto know. “Apparently, she likes to keep her independence.” Madame Sarkozy is like no first lady France has ever seen. Nor is she likeany first lady any country has ever seen. She says she finds monogamy“boring.” She further observed that “love lasts a long time, but burningdesire – two to three weeks.” Here is the world’s most desirable woman –married to a cad. But she is the perfect political prop...a woman whoplays her role superbly – according to the local gossip, both in publicand in private – and who otherwise goes on her way and amuses herself. What do other women think of her? Around the corner, from what we hear,they barely let their husbands out of sight. Your editor is an old-fashioned fuddy duddy; he admits it. He turns histired eyes to politics, economics and finance – and sees only frauds andmountebanks. But when he comes home at night, he is charmed. In thenewspapers, he regards the chatter on the editorial pages as all lies andclaptrap; but at home he believes every fairy tale. When his brokerproposes a hedge fund with a leveraged portfolio of private equity deals,he practically laughs in his face. But when his priest promises himeverlasting life, what reason has he to doubt? And when his daughter says,“Oh Daddy...I just dropped by the office to say hello,” he’s delighted,scarcely noticing that she leaves with $50 to buy a new pair of bluejeans. There is a place for cynicism, he says to himself, and a place to believe.Poor Carla doesn’t seem to know the difference. Still, she lives so close by. Better to keep an open mind. Besides, saysyour editor remembers that he has a couple weeks of vacation coming up... Until tomorrow,

No comments: