Even though it’s illegal. Details, details.
Why is he so hot for this? Two, related reasons.
First, a banking union is a gateway drug to a more complete political integration in Europe. It is like the coal and steel pact that was the first stage to European integration. But finance and banking are so pervasive, that it is a far more powerful way to achieve a broader political integration.
Second, it is a way of tying Germany even more tightly to France, and the rest of Europe. If German financial institutions are tightly enmeshed in a European regulatory structure, it will be much harder for Germany to decide that the Euro isn’t worth the candle and leave. This is vitally important to France, because it realizes that its financial position is extremely fraught. This is also why French plans would include every bank in the regulatory net, including local banks like landesbanks, whereas the Germans want the banking union limited to big, systemically important entities. Every bank that is included in the banking union is like a rope helping to hold down the German Gulliver and putting under the control of the European Lilliputians-acting under French direction, of course.
In other words, a banking union is a lot more about union than banking. Hollande is being very Machiavellian, and it will be interesting to see how Germany plays this.