Jargon watch: Systeme D

According to Foreign Policy, the D in Systeme D comes from the French word débrouillard which is used to describe people who are ingenious or resourceful. In the Francophone companies being resourceful means operating outside of proscribed government regulation and bootstrap entrepreneurship. Foreign Policy writer Robert Neuwirth argues that this grey economy exists across the developing world and has been driving economic activity from Chinese factories to African bazaars.

Whilst this black economy would be seen as detrimental in developed countries due to it undermining a system that broadly works (look at the Greek government’s problems with non-payment of taxes), in developing countries where governments are less likely to be looking out for their citizens interests – the black economy has a positive impact.

More information

The Shadow Superpower – By Robert Neuwirth | Foreign Policy

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