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Sun May 20, 2012, 04:41 PM

Germany is in the wrong, very wrong, in Europe, and must be corrected. Further information:

Last edited Sun May 20, 2012, 05:59 PM - Edit history (1)

Video discussion: http://rt.com/programs/crosstalk/das-europa-germany-europe/

Separate well-informed commentary, eg:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/20/saving-eurozone-wont-solve-crisis

... What we are witnessing is a potentially cataclysmic conjuncture of the continuing crisis of modern finance capitalism and the inherent defects of the eurozone as originally conceived.

There are many paradoxes and ironies about this crisis. The whole idea behind the European Union was to ensure that there were no more wars in Europe. Closely associated with this aim was the desire to avoid the levels of unemployment and social unrest that caused the rise of extremist rightwing political parties. (Does a day go by without a reference to Hitler in the press or on the radio?)

In championing the exchange rate mechanism and then the eurozone, the French wanted to ensure that economic policy in Europe was not dominated by the Germans. Yet the latter continue to be more obsessed by folk memories of Weimar inflation than by the unemployment that led to extremism.

This is a battle that has certainly not been won by the French – indeed, when my friend Jean-Claude Trichet became president of the European Central Bank, he was widely accused of having "gone native".

The result of the French election shows that François Hollande is now being expected to take up the cudgels. Optimists – there are still some around – point to some apparent concessions by German policymakers on the subject of the asymmetry of eurozone economic policy. For instance, if southern members of the eurozone are ever going to narrow the gap in their price competitiveness with Germany, then the Germans should actively aim at a higher inflation rate. There is also wider recognition of the need for major infrastructure projects...


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/20/andrew-rawnsley-dont-blame-the-germans

... The jabbing fingers are furiously angry ones on the streets of Athens where German flags are burnt and the newspapers dress Ms Merkel in Nazi uniform. The jabbing continues in editorials in the American press, which charges Berlin with being single-handedly responsible for taking the world economy to the brink of the abyss. The jabbing is dressed in the language of diplomacy at this weekend's G8 summit where Barack Obama, François Hollande and David Cameron have ganged up on the German chancellor.

The American Democrat, British Conservative and French Socialist may not agree on much else, but on this, at least, they are together. It is one second to midnight in the eurozone because a recalcitrant and miserly Germany has refused to step up to its historic responsibility to do what is necessary to save the single currency. If the eurozone implodes, and carries away the global economy with it, the buck will stop in Berlin.

Let us begin by acknowledging that Germany does deserve a big helping of blame for the very scary state of the eurozone. Berlin shares, principally with Paris, responsibility for the original sin. That was to construct a badly designed and over-stretched single currency area containing contradictions that would explode under stress. In the pursuit of a European ideal, Germany forgot its usual prudence when Berlin nodded and winked at the admission of countries – Greece being the most extreme example – for whom euro membership was not only inappropriate but very dangerous.

It is fair enough also to observe that Germany has repeatedly failed to offer leadership that rises to the scale of the present crisis. When Germany has led, it has not always been in a well-judged direction. The austerity programme imposed on the Greeks as the price for continued membership of the euro was too draconian to be implemented in a democracy. The voters would surely revolt and they duly have.

The European Central Bank has been denied the necessary firepower to get ahead of events because the Germans wouldn't allow it. Ms Merkel has never been a very easy partner for her peer group. One of Gordon Brown's officials who had a ringside seat during the negotiations at the London G20 describes her thus: "Incredibly stubborn. Immovable. She simply digs in." One of David Cameron's team says dealing with the German chancellor is "like trying to squeeze blood from the proverbial stone"...


http://www.deccanherald.com/content/250908/apocalypse-fairly-soon.html

... Yet financing isn’t enough. Italy and, in particular, Spain must be offered hope - an economic environment in which they have some reasonable prospect of emerging from austerity and depression. Realistically, the only way to provide such an environment would be for the central bank to drop its obsession with price stability, to accept and indeed encourage several years of 3 per cent or 4 per cent inflation in Europe (and more than that in Germany).

Both the central bankers and the Germans hate this idea, but it’s the only plausible way the euro might be saved. For the past two-and-a-half years, European leaders have responded to crisis with half-measures that buy time, yet they have made no use of that time. Now time has run out...


... And here I offer only a few (moderately phrased) English-language sources for your consideration.

Germany, or should I say German capitalists, like the mythical "1%" is growing richer and more powerful out of this situation, at the expense of the rest of us.

This is not what European Community and/or Union was intended to achieve.

BTW, and for the record, there is no sign here in Spain of anything like any "bank runs" happening now, in spite of what the very shallow, irresponsible and dishonest anglo-american media is psy-opping, and/or attempting to provoke/achieve, probably just for thrills and/or so that some so-called journalists and editors and similar hangers-on and "fellow travellers" get to keep their so-called jobs for a little while longer...

I call bullshit. Fuck us? Fuck you.

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Reply Germany is in the wrong, very wrong, in Europe, and must be corrected. Further information: (Original post)
Ghost Dog May 2012 OP
Ghost Dog May 2012 #1
Ghost Dog May 2012 #2
sabrina 1 May 2012 #3
Ghost Dog May 2012 #7
DFW May 2012 #20
sabrina 1 May 2012 #22
DFW May 2012 #37
sabrina 1 May 2012 #46
RB TexLa May 2012 #4
Neue Regel May 2012 #6
RB TexLa May 2012 #8
Ghost Dog May 2012 #12
sabrina 1 May 2012 #13
girl gone mad May 2012 #14
RB TexLa May 2012 #30
Neue Regel May 2012 #5
Ghost Dog May 2012 #9
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #10
Ghost Dog May 2012 #11
FarCenter May 2012 #31
Ghost Dog May 2012 #33
Neue Regel May 2012 #24
sabrina 1 May 2012 #25
Neue Regel May 2012 #26
sabrina 1 May 2012 #27
Neue Regel May 2012 #29
sabrina 1 May 2012 #45
Neue Regel May 2012 #43
Ghost Dog May 2012 #47
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #39
Neue Regel May 2012 #42
jwirr May 2012 #18
sabrina 1 May 2012 #23
Neue Regel May 2012 #44
4th law of robotics May 2012 #15
Ghost Dog May 2012 #17
FarCenter May 2012 #16
Ghost Dog May 2012 #19
FarCenter May 2012 #28
Ghost Dog May 2012 #32
FarCenter May 2012 #38
DFW May 2012 #21
suffragette May 2012 #34
DFW May 2012 #35
suffragette May 2012 #41
Ghost Dog May 2012 #36
DFW May 2012 #40

Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:01 PM

1. Here's an example of a move in the right direction from Germany, though: German pay deal offers euro

Germany’s largest industrial union has secured the biggest pay rise for members in two decades in what is being seen as a major breakthrough in dealing with the eurozone’s chronic imbalances.

The deal was hailed by economists as a watershed moment for Germany, which is under intense international pressure to let wages rise faster to stimulate domestic consumer spending and help the eurozone’s less efficient producers become more competitive.

IG Metall accepted a 4.3pc offer from companies that will cover its 3.6m car and engineering workers for the next 12 months and end a series of disruptive strikes. It was the largest rise since a 5.4pc deal stuck in 1992.

Germany’s political leaders broke a long-standing, unwritten rule of staying out of the process – arguing instead for a better deal for workers. Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in May that German wages needed to grow faster than in the rest of Europe.

Political involvement followed diplomatic efforts by the US, the UK and elsewhere in Europe for Germany to accept a higher rate of internal inflation to help fix the eurozone’s underlying problems.

Germany has been blamed for entrenching divisions within the single currency by forcing down labour costs and pricing rival countries out of manufacturing markets. The resulting flood of German exports to buyers across the eurozone has been identified as a major destabilising factor.

/... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/9278521/German-pay-deal-offers-eurozone-hope.html

... If we don't see more very serious moves in the right direction like this we are all going to soon see some very serious fucking global trouble.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:18 PM

2. BTW, here's a reminder of how this all started (ca. 2008)

With thanks to DU's SMW for memorable sources - (click for slideshow)

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/02/how-subprime-re.html



...
...
...



...



...

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:32 PM

3. When do they have elections in Germany?

Merkel has failed utterly, worse than failed, added fuel to the fire regarding how to resolve the issues in Europe.

She appears to have total disregard for the sovereignty of other nations, Greece eg. Not that she's alone in this, but she has certainly been up front about it. Eg, after Papandreau had the gall to suggest that the Greek people should vote on whether or not they should accept the last round of Austerity programs, Merkel angrily stated that she 'could not guarantee another 50 years of peace' in Europe.

Papandreau was then forced out of office and replaced by an unelected Goldman Sachs puppet.

I'm not sure what she meant by that comment but it sure sounded pretty threatening to a lot of people.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #3)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:43 PM

7. Fall 2013, by the looks of it:

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #3)

Sun May 20, 2012, 07:39 PM

20. Don't be too harsh on the not guaranteeing peace remark

Remember recent German history. Even German conservative parties are confirmed pacifists
for the most part, and any language even remotely implying German involvement in any
policing action outside of German borders makes most Germans--as well as all of their
immediate neighbors!!!--very allergic. Their reluctance to get involved in the Balkans in
the 1990s was a disaster, but having German troops in Yugoslavia just 50 years after
the Nazis' brutal occupation would have been a disaster, too. Most Germans are uneasy
with their military being in Afghanistan, too.

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Response to DFW (Reply #20)

Sun May 20, 2012, 08:24 PM

22. Yes, I understand that.

However, it was not clear what she meant, and could have been said differently if her intention was to point out what can happen when the economy collapses. Also, her insistence on Austerity has done the exact opposite of what needs to be done to avoid what she may have been referring to.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #22)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:31 PM

37. I'd have to reserve judgment until I saw the original text

There have been some pretty poor translations of important statements.

How about Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner?" He meant to say "I am a Berliner," but in German
that translates out to "Ich bin Berliner." If you say "Ich bin EIN Berliner," it means "I am a jelly-filled donut."

Maybe that is why the Germans cheered so loudly?

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Response to DFW (Reply #37)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:06 AM

46. Well, you have a point.

But the longer the problem continues, the more people who are affected, the more anger there will be and when people are angry, they are not given to worrying about nuance unfortunately. For now, Sarkozy and Merkel were the main proponents of Austerity, the word itself is unfortunate btw. They refused to listen to anyone who proposed less austerity for the people and more for the banks. Not they are acting alone, I know there are many more involved in this insanity much of it directed by Wall Street entities like Goldman Sachs.

She needs to listen to the new French President who is asking for more GROWTH and less AUSTERITY. It makes sense, unless all you care about is protecting the bottom line of bankers. But if there is no growth, no focus on jobs eg, no investment in the people, which there has not been, then eventually even the Banks will lose and civil unrest is likely to increase.

I do feel there is some hope now that Sarkozy is gone. But Hollande will have his hands full and will need support to end the policies that have been a total failure so far. Maybe Merkel will listen to some new ideas, because the old ones are merely putting off the eventual collapse which really is inevitable at this point.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:38 PM

4. Greece needs to give back the money or take it's medicine. The EU needs more central power over


it's member nations debt and spending. People have to get over the concept of national sovereignty.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #4)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:41 PM

6. I partially agree...

 

"People have to get over the concept of national sovereignty."

or...

People have to get over the concept of the EU, UN, WTO, and other multinational unions where member nations yield sovereignty to a governing body.


My preference is for the latter.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #6)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:43 PM

8. I think the concept of national sovereignty belongs in the ashbin of history

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #8)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:14 PM

12. Ojalá.

One World Governance Now!

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #4)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:18 PM

13. You mean the Bankers have to give back the money, I'm sure.

What money did the Greek PEOPLE get? And who ran up the Greek Debt? And please, do not refer to the propaganda from the Right that it was the Greek people 'not paying their taxes'. It was the WEALTHY not paying their taxes, although that was only part of the reason for the collapse of Greece's economy.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #4)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:30 PM

14. Good thing you are not in charge of anything.

Though some of the people who are in charge appear equally clueless.

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Response to girl gone mad (Reply #14)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:29 PM

30. You think they should be able to take the bailout and be able to run up debt


with no restrictions by the people expecting to be paid back?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:39 PM

5. I disagree

 

German citizens can't be expected to pay more taxes and receive fewer social services just so the Greeks can continue to pay their current rate of taxes and see no cut in their social services.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #5)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:48 PM

9. German workers should receive higher wages and pay higher prices for consumer goods

and the German government should show more genuine European solidarity in its policy decisions by, for example, very carefully putting into play the potential great power of the ECB.

- Along SPD policy lines, I understand...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Germany

An economically, socially and politically healthy Europe benefits first and foremost Germany, after all...

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #5)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:54 PM

10. WTF???? On what do you think the Greeks were spending those Euros? Hint, it wasn't

 

on Feta Cheese and bottles of Ouzo, it was on the output of German industrialism. German workers should pay higher taxes so that purchases of those workers' output, i.e., German exports, can continue to be financed.

Otherwise, German unemployment goes up and German workers who might have had to pay higher taxes instead are on the dole.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #10)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:11 PM

11. German (and other) banks and such "invested" (speculated) heavily in Spain's

construction bubble. And made huge "profits".

Then the US-originated sub-prime bubble blew up...

Europe caught the cold.

Now real people in real streets in whatever suffering country are supposed to pay off the speculators who knew what they were doing but still lost. Except they, the rich, fraudulent speculators won't lose as long as we the rest of us pay, and shut up, and suffer and die.

Because Wall Street and City of London and Frankfurt say so.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #11)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:31 PM

31. I thought that it was the British banks that led the financing of the Spanish real estate boom?

Spain is target for UK banks

Freitag, 5. Oktober 2007

Spain is beginning to feel the benefits of increased foreign investment in the country, with British financial services providers leading the way.

According to newspaper the Times' online business section, British banks are starting to exploit the immense opportunities presented by the Spanish market, with Barclays' 500 Iberian branches setting the standard.

Banks like Lloyds TSB are now looking to achieve similar expansion by targeting both the large British ex-pat community and also Spanish investors, who the Times claims are particularly savvy in tending to deal with several banks simultaneously.

Being a member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain will help Lloyds TSB to establish itself, with the forum boasting 400 members, many of whom are prominent FTSE 100 companies well-established in the Spanish market.


http://www.bancajahabitat.de/info/real-estate-news/spain-is-target-for-uk-banks.aspx

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #31)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:12 PM

33. Of course.

This shit is what its always been about.

USA was supposed to be different.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #10)

Sun May 20, 2012, 08:28 PM

24. Just to make sure I understand you...

 

I don't want to misrepresent your position, so please correct me if I'm wrong. You said,

"German workers should pay higher taxes so that purchases of those workers' output, i.e., German exports, can continue to be financed."

Do you mean to say the Germans should pay higher taxes so they can send monetary assistance to Greece and other EU member nations to allow those nations to continue to buy German goods? If that is indeed what you are saying, why send the money to other countries for them to turn around and use the monetary assistance to buy German products? Why not just have the German government raise taxes and have the German government buy products directly from the German manufacturers? Why have a nation like Greece acting as a middleman?

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #24)

Sun May 20, 2012, 08:32 PM

25. The money doesn't go to the people. Where do you think all these bailouts are going?

Looks to me like you have not studied this problem at all. You are using MSM, mainly rightwing MSM, talking points to explain one of the most massively corrupt systems in world history which wiped out the economies of Europe and the US. Before that they were busy wiping out South American economies and before that as many Third World economies as they could find.

I guess suddenly, billions of human beings became irresponsible when they were not before. How did that happen?

I would say that maybe you should find out what caused this meltdown. Hint, it was not Social Services or the little people not paying their taxes!

Sorry to remove the scapegoats. But at this point anyone posting on this board should know better than to dig up that old, long debunked, scapegoating of people who had zero to do with the Global Meltdown.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #25)

Sun May 20, 2012, 08:48 PM

26. Okay then

 

For the sake of argument, let's say you are correct. Why should the German people be expected to contribute more of their tax money to prop up the very same system that caused the problem in the first place? Unless there have been major changes in Greece, they would be throwing good money after bad.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #26)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:15 PM

27. Who said anything about the German people contributing their tax money to prop up the system?

I am for nationalizing all the corrupt banks, refusing, as Iceland did, to bail them out, start investigations and prosecutions, retrieve whatever money that can be retrieved and throw out (and prosecute, again as Iceland did) any politicians who facilitated the corruption that led to the meltdown.

Then tax the wealthy and make sure they pay, no more hiding their money in offshore accounts while using the benefits of their respective countries.

Why should any of the people, German or otherwise, have to pay the debts racked up by Wall Street gamblers? Because that is what Austerity means, make the people pay the gambling debts of Wall Street Gamblers, both by cutting their salaries, eliminating their social service programs, and sending jobs to third world countries where virtual slave labor ensures even bigger profits for the greedy corporations.

Then pass laws that any Corp based in any country, doing business in third world countries, must abide by the labor laws, including paying a livable wage to workers, of their countries of origin. Eliminate tax breaks for Corps who utilize child labor etc.

Mostly, as quickly as possible, reinstate regulations that will prevent this from happening again.

It will be tough for a while, as it was in Iceland, but theirs is the only economy now on the rebound. That should tell us something. But to continue to make the people of Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and yes, Germany, pay the debts of crooked gamblers was an insane idea from the beginning, and the results are in. As predicted, it only made things worse. Jobs must be the first priority of any government now, without jobs, with only 'Austerity', if it is bad now, it is going to get way, way worse.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #27)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:28 PM

29. The person to whom I replied did

 

The poster said,

"German workers should pay higher taxes so that purchases of those workers' output, i.e., German exports, can continue to be financed."


It sounds like they want German citizens to pay more taxes so other people can afford to buy German goods. Wouldn't that be contributing tax money to prop up the system? I wanted to make sure I understood what the poster was saying, so I specifically asked them to correct me if I misinterpreted what they said.

Also, it is the original topic of this thread. From the OP:

It is one second to midnight in the eurozone because a recalcitrant and miserly Germany has refused to step up to its historic responsibility to do what is necessary to save the single currency. If the eurozone implodes, and carries away the global economy with it, the buck will stop in Berlin.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #29)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:57 PM

45. Well I don't think there is any doubt about the trade deficit.

Nor any doubt that if other nations go bankrupt, Germany has no customers. I'm don't agree though, that the solution is to raise taxes on the German people who are no more responsible for the economic meltdown than the citizens of any other country. I guess I do not want to divide the people, ALL of whom are victims of the corruption that caused the current situation.

People are looking for solutions. Imo, the solution is to, first, demand accountability and stop bailing out the very people who caused the problems in the first place. It is the definition of insanity. To reward the bank robbers for robbing the bank? And to take the money to do so from any of the people, Germans included, is truly insane. But that's what they've been doing.

Apply the law, and let the chips fall where they may. It cannot be worse than it is now and will be even worse if they continue down this path of destroying lives in order to finance the crooks who caused the problems to begin with.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #27)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:35 PM

43. I do believe you are preaching to the choir

 

I think Iceland got the response exactly right. I would love to see it emulated across Europe and yes, even the United States. Only when the police begin mass arrests on Wall Street and frog march a few thousand executives in their Brooks Brothers suits to the paddy wagon or central lockup will we be able to say we're moving in the right direction.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #43)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:46 AM

47. Bingo.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #24)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:34 PM

39. You have exactly construed my meaning - Greek consumers and

 

German workers are or were pre-Merkel in a symbiotic relationship.

So, yes, if supporting the Greek economy necessitates that German workers pay higher taxes, well pure self interest argues that German workers pay higher taxes to stimulate demand for the products of their labor (from Greeks).

As to your question of why Greece must act as a middleman, maybe the question should be why have a European Common Market at all. The Nazis tried economic autarchy as a policy during the 30s and it actually reduced the average German's standard of living, although you'd never know from Nazi propaganda at the time.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #39)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:31 PM

42. I understamd the concept of selling to other markets

 

But I do not see the benefit in taxing ones own citizens more heavily in order to send their money to another market so that market can simply turn around and buy goods from their benefactor. Instead of continuing to sell goods to Greece and being paid back with money Germany gave them in the first place (or any other country that would require German largesse to be able to afford to buy German products), why shouldn't Germany sell their products to nations who don't require German citizens to send them money in order for them to be able to afford German goods. Shift the slack export inventory from Greece to Canada, China, Hong Kong, Iceland, the US, France, Japan, Finland...there are dozens and dozens of countries that can afford to buy German goods with their own money.

It's time to let Greece go the way of Iceland. And maybe Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland as well. Tell the creditors to go pound sand, arrest and prosecute those responsible for getting them into the mess, re-issue their own currencies (yes, it will be temporarily painful, but better to rip the band aid off quickly), and begin to get a true handle on this mess.Anyone holding sovereign debt (i.e. large institutional investors with sovereign funds) will lose their shirt.It will be unfortunate, but it will only be temporary. People will still have to eat and buy things. A sense of normalcy will return in a relatively short period of time. If new regulations are allowed to be written, the economy will be revived, albeit with a new sense of purpose. Ideally it would be skewed towards democratic socio-capitalism rather than the every-man-for-himself crony capitalism we've been subjected to over the past 40 years.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #5)

Sun May 20, 2012, 07:16 PM

18. I would agree with you IF you had just said that the Greeks need to increase taxes on those who

are getting by too cheap but cutting social services is not going to fix anything - just make consumers poorer just like it does here.

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Response to Neue Regel (Reply #5)

Sun May 20, 2012, 08:28 PM

23. I wondered how long it would be before the old 'blame the victims' meme would show up.

Cutting Social Services, the wet dream of the far right for so, so long. As if that was the cause of the Global Financial Meltdown! You DO know what caused that Meltdown I assume. Explain please how Social Services had anything to do with it? I've asked this question many times, just so you know, and have never once seen a response that connnects the two, not I thought I would.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #23)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:39 PM

44. Greece doesn't have to cut social services

 

But it's unrealistic to expect other countries like France and Germany to send more money to Greece just so they can pay their rent, buy groceries, and pay their cell phone bills. Greece should be able to fix Greece without any foreign capital, with the exception of what they get from normal import/export activities .

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:38 PM

15. Germany is in the wrong . . . for providing all this money others have demanded of them

 

ok, well stick it to those germans and refuse to take any sort of bailout!

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #15)

Sun May 20, 2012, 07:07 PM

17. It was the other way round. Really.

The big money called the shots.

The big money did its thing.

Sure, seeing all that money flowing around around here in S. Europe, for example (I'm in the Canary Islands these last 25 years) we people, within the context of the ostensibly democratic rule of our local (corrupt, of course, and still surely rich) politicians, took advantage to the extent that we WORKED. We built new stuff. Some of it very good. And some of it shit, and most of it just another speculative financial tulip bubble.

But nobody here decided to hose all this subprime, for a while liquid, shit down here, not even the most corrupt of us.

Screwed up especially young, innocent (ignorant) lives.

But those folks there up above knew exactly, exactly to the decimal point, according to their HFT computer algorithms, what they were doing.

What were they doing?

Making love with Nemesis.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:38 PM

16. The eurozone has the wrong membership

It was in formation before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Hence it has weak western and "club med" countries.

Its formation should have been put off and then limited to countries that truely qualified, including some in eastern Europe.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #16)

Sun May 20, 2012, 07:25 PM

19. Well, for a while there I was strongly of the opinion

that Russia should have joined the EU.

Did you watch/listen to the RT Crosstalk video?

Watch again. There is so much more to come...

Thanks for the free-speech arena, the forum, Skinner, DU.

This is vital .

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #19)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:26 PM

28. The EU itself is a fundamentally misguided idea that flies in the face of historical trends.

If you compare a map circa 1913 with the present map of the world, the most striking thing about it is the multiplication of sovereign states.

So launching the EU was counter to the whole trend of the 20th century which saw the dissolution of the British, French, German, Russian, Ottoman, and Japanese Empires. At the time when the Eurozone was being formulated the USSR and Yugoslavia were disintegrating into a multiplicity of sovereign states.

I listened to much of the RT program, but it's not greatly different from other discussions.

On Fareed Zakaria's GPS this morning, he said that Greece has been in bankruptcy or reorganization for half of the last 180 years. Including it in the eurozone was a great mistake.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #28)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:06 PM

32. The greatest anachronism is of course

the USA itself.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #32)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:31 PM

38. There are several candidates for breakup

India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, and the United States are all candidates for breakup.

India, in particular, is a case of being cobbled together from numerous principalities, languages, ethnic groups. I think that the only way it stays together is that it is so disorganized that the component groups do not feel too oppressed.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 08:03 PM

21. The Euro zone should never have included countries with cooked books and huge deficits

It was a recipe for economic chaos, and the predictable has occurred. The Germans are totally
fed up, after having a huge tax bill to rebuild East Germany, with being told that domestic reforms
have to be put on hold, school classes must increase in size, civil projects must be postponed, all
because more tax money is needed to prop up the euro. Taxes aren't as sky-high in Germany as
they are in France, Belgium or the Netherlands, but compared to, for example, the USA, they are
astronomical.

So why SHOULD Greece, for one, keep the Euro? Will their deficit suddenly decrease? No. What
is a Greek euro good for? Well, for one thing, big corporations in Germany (and elsewhere in
northern Europe) can export to Greece with no fear of their clients not being able to afford their
products. No risk of a devalued Greek currency, cool! But if you're NOT a big German corporation,
not so cool. And no rush to close German factories to rebuild them in a cheaper Greece, because
Greece has the euro, so some German unions like the status quo, too. True, there's always Romania,
but ask Nokia how THAT worked out.

So, Goldman Sachs made their wad by "helping" Greece into the Euro, and the German taxpayers
don't get to share in their country's relatively good economic health. Merkel tries to protect the
interests of her country, and the rest of Europe bashes her for being miserly. If she gets voted out,
the next SPD chancellor can broaden the deficit, "help" southern Europe, and weaken the domestic
German economy instead. Merkel and the Germans can't win this one on a PR level. If they try to
salvage a win situation for themselves, I can't say that I blame them. As long as both left and right in
Germany maintain their pacifist stance, I'm a lot less nervous than I would be the other way around.

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Response to DFW (Reply #21)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:15 PM

34. Seems to me both the Germans and Greeks should be going after Josef Ackermann from Deutsche Bank

Last edited Sun May 20, 2012, 10:48 PM - Edit history (1)

for the role he has played in all of this:

Moving Deutsche Bank from a stable conservative bank to one taking risky ventures
Resisting regulation while increasing speculation
Pushing austerity while raking in record profits (though he has not done so well at the profit part recently)
Privatizing profits while socializing risk

From 2/2/12

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/ackermann-s-swan-song-deutsche-bank-moves-toward-an-uncertain-future-a-812951.html


When the Swiss banker turns over his position in May of this year to the leadership duo of Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, he will leave behind a Deutsche Bank that is radically different from the financial institution that he took over in 2006. What was once a successful yet conservative German credit institution has become a global investment bank -- one which plays a role in all important markets and earns gigantic profits.

Many in Germany, however, view the bank's growth with skepticism. Ackermann has become the poster boy in the country for unscrupulous financial capitalism and the media has done little to counter that view. He is seen as only being interested in maximizing profits -- an economic principle that Germans have long been skeptical of, and one which has lost all acceptance since the beginning of the financial crisis.



http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/the-business-on-josef-ackermann-chairman-of-the-iif-2376847.html

Even more so in recent weeks, as the crisis has spiralled. As head of the Institute of International Finance, he is a lobbyist for Europe's banking industry, and one of the people holding the fate of Greece in his scissorhands.

~~~

A minor detail. German prosecutors tried him for handing outsize bonuses to executives at the telecoms firm Mannesmann. He paid €3.2m (£2.8m) of his own money to make it all go away.

He was originally scheduled to go last year, but two successors have now finally been named. Deutsche Bank will miss him. Not so sure about Greece.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_International_Finance

Greek debt crisis
Further information: Greek government-debt crisis
In 2011, the IIF was the main negotiating partner of the EU government, acting on behalf of the private creditors of Greece, on its debt restructuring. In the second bailout plan (July), some academics raised issues about its communication about "haircuts" on Greece's debt (estimates biased upward), and, more generally, the IIF's undue influence in favor of banks, at the expense of Greece's future


More info on past endeavors here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=439&topic_id=1344099&mesg_id=1344717


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=439&topic_id=1344099&mesg_id=1347353






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Response to suffragette (Reply #34)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:26 PM

35. Ackerman is one nasty character, for sure

The big banks (and rare are those that are bigger than Deutsche Bank) loved the Euro.
It made their sandbox a lot bigger, and did they ever play in it.

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Response to DFW (Reply #35)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:41 PM

41. Far as I can tell, he's still in charge at IIF

and capable of much future nastiness.

Seems like he has had a good circular scam going on for quite awhile:
Make risky investments - the riskier the better; buddy with Merkel to get the German citizenry to pay bailout money to Greece, little of which goes to Greeks, but instead funnels back to Deutsche Bank (and other banks) to pad his profit; all the while arguing for austerity and against "haircuts" which is the euphemism for incurring any loss (even a pfennig's worth) for taking all that risk in the 1st place.

He, as well as many of his colleagues, shouldn't be benefiting, they should be indicted.

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Response to DFW (Reply #21)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:29 PM

36. You're right. Germany should fuck off out of the EU

right now.

And pay the price.

This kind of price, for example:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/#

Ah, but our (who's?) American friends explain: we don't need to ever pay our debts, because, we have jarheads the strongest and stupidest and most technologically-enabled military forces in the world. Suck my... rifle.

I repeat: this means war.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #36)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:41 PM

40. Germany would leave the EU and NATO before getting into ANY war

They have had enough of that for the next few centuries at least. They just went to an all-volunteer
military and are not filling the ranks like they needed to.

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