“The only necessary thing for the the triumph of Evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke
Desperate Measures is the continuation of my writing through book notes (discussions with personal insights – long pieces) and interludes (opinions on key topics- succinct pieces) focused on international relations, politics and business and usually related to the defence of Western liberal values in an age of rising populism with its easy answers to the complex problems of our times.
While these book notes and interludes will often focus on or relate to the US, they will involve essays, memoirs as well as novels reflecting major developments in our Western societies. I started this initiative in early 2018, mostly approaching leaders in different walks of life – many of them friends – whom I had worked with over the last 30 years as an investment banker and actor in private equity investments globally.
The two trigger points of Desperate Measures were first the Leave vote in the British Referendum of June 2016, which I saw, however its noble rationale for some, as the greatest example of self-harm in British history and a leading example of lose-lose for all. The second and key turning point was the election of Donald Trump in America and the subsequent debasing of the very values that had made this indispensable country and our very world since 1945, this whatever short-term economic gains hiding the dark path forward.
Desperate Measures is not a tool of hate and despise against the
populists and their supporters, many of the latter who are decent people with grudges that should be taken seriously by policy-makers. However it is a tool to show that while our world as we have known it is not perfect, its basic structure and values make it a work in progress that can constantly be improved by men and women of good will. While hearing about the negative aspects of the European Union or globalisation, it is important to remember what these did for maintaining peace in Europe for 77 years until the Russian invasion of Ukraine or lifting billions out of poverty. Desperate Measures is also about making people remember the positive aspects of the Western liberal order that can be so easily forgotten or taken for granted. Desperate Measures supports globalisation, internationalism as well as patriotism while rejecting populism, isolationism and xenophobia.
About me
Desperate Measures as a name comes from my family name and the pun of being Desperate Serge as formulated by my ultimate boss at SG Warburg & Co. Ltd in the late 1980s, faithful to the witty Oxbridge tradition. I took it as a badge of honour and was actually very pleased to be noticed, not being a traditional feature at the august merchant bank. I was born in Paris in 1960 and raised in the city of lights, studying international relations, before setting sails to America which I saw not as a country but as “a state of mind” and a land of opportunity. I went to Thunderbird to study international management and my first job was in New York, close to the French-made Statue of Liberty. From then on and while I worked in the world of finance (so often easily despised by the populist leaders), I was always immersed in international relations, keeping my association with IFRI, the Paris-based leading think tank on global affairs, this while mostly living in London. In the early 1990s, I found a natural path in joining the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development during the seismic changes represented by the developments following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the redefinition of the old continent. I have now lived in Prague with my family for many years though still defining myself as a Transatlantic man and while I may feel more European than French I am very proud of my heritage and enthusiastic about Président Macron, a true democratic leader who believes in the EU and the need for a strong European defence while working on changing a key European nation for the better.
Desperate Measures is about covering through book notes and interludes, often in an entertaining and at times indirect ways, some of the key developments of our Western world and the liberal values that made us who we are. It is a mix of discussion, analysis and exchange about what matters today with the objective of making people think for themselves and not falling for predicators selling cheap elixirs in alleys that sadly are no longer dark. It is about contributing at its small level to restoring sanity in the way we approach key sensitive topics such as inter alia globalisation, identity, meritocracy, the elite, government, business and how they all inter-relate in our society today so we can go forward and keep building more harmoniously our Western world together while confronting autocracies, old and new. 
We are slowly experiencing the atmosphere of the 1930s at a time when living memory is no longer with us and we do not want to see the next episodes to be based on history. More philosophically, Desperate Measures exists based on Edmund Burke’s famous line:  “The only necessary thing for the triumph of Evil is that good men do nothing”.