A Baroque Opera of Economic Proportions at Versailles

Power is shifting from politics to economics — a change demonstrated by Emmanuel Macron, who invited CEOs of the biggest multinationals to a gala dinner at the Château de Versailles.

On January 22, 2018, the French president invited 140 heads of the world’s biggest companies to the Château de Versailles. The summit was entitled "Choose France" and was held in the Gallery of Great Battles, where vast paintings depict the military victories of Louis XIV against his European neighbors. The contrast between the power of the past and of modern times could not be more striking. The kings of France waged war, and contemporary monarchs do business.

Emmanuel Macron was host for the evening, but what was his real power in the face of his American, Chinese, and Japanese guests? Several of these companies generate more annual revenue than the GDP of certain countries. The strategic decisions made by Google, Goldman Sachs, and General Electric — three of the businesses invited — can have an immediate effect on entire countries. Before the advent of globalization, the law and the tax system


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