It is a feature of French business life that politicians feel they should comment widely on and influence the outcome of corporate decisions. This time they should butt out.
Within hours of the world learning about the trading scandal at SocGen, French government ministers were telling the world the bank needed no partner. The bank would make a profit in 2007, and the management would stay in place to handle the unfolding crisis. Business as usual, then.
But every time politicians protest loudly that something is not going to happen, the likelihood of it taking place seems to increase. Of course the two banks have been down this road before. Back at the tail end of the 90s BNP tried to acquire Socgen.