September 24, 2010 2:30PM

The Funny Side of Protectionism

The Swiss finance minister Hans‐​Rudolf Merz lost his composure in the Swiss parliament earlier today and broke out in uncontrollable laughter. Merz was reading out a memorandum concerning foreign cured meat imports to Switzerland that was prepared for him by the Swiss customs office. The text, redolent with legalese, Merz acknowledged at the end of his speech, was incomprehensible. Unfortunately, there is no indication that the Swiss agricultural protectionism will be reformed as a result of this episode.