For all their saber-rattling and bold talk about a fix to the problem of global financial risk, the Germans haven’t done a hell of lot to rein in their banks. There is, for instance, no Großdeutschesvolckerregierung. At least, not yet. Read more »
Now that the U.S.’s economic recovery is a sure thing, thanks to the hard work our sage and wise leaders put in a couple of hours after allowing the country to fly off the fiscal cliff, weary eyes turn to the other side of the Atlantic, where the Germans and Italians look to elect similarly sage and wise representatives. Well, the Germans, anyway. Read more »
We know that she’s no Paul Ryan, but compared to her opponent in September’s German parliamentary elections, she’s the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Happily for those who care, the German Socialists (can you believe they actually have a party that puts that word in their name?) have nominated for the Chancellery Peer Steinbrück, a man whose never run in an election he didn’t lose and whose suave handling of matters during his time as Merkel’s finance minister ensured that Europe’s approach to financial matters did not quite merit the lofty title of final solution.
For while Steinbrück did not coin the loving term “locusts” for hedge funds and private equity firms—the last man to lead the SPD to defeat at Merkel’s hands, Franz Müntefering, did—he certainly did his level best to extirpate the capitalist demon during his four years at Berlin’s FinMin. But fear not, the media assures. Not only is he 10 points back in the polls, but: Read more »
Nikita Khrushchev, the former First Secretary of the Soviet Union, once remarked, “Berlin is the testicle of the West. When I want the West to scream, I squeeze on Berlin.” Given the EU’s current predicament, I find this statement prescient. But the people of Berlin could not care less about that predicament. In fact, most Berliners find Greece a bore and Portugal simply a destination for fast, easy women. So why am I so captivated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s painful pandering and yet also sympathetic with Germany’s plight? Read more »
Angela Merkel Suggests Euro Bond Enthusiasts Go Back To The Kiddie Table– The Adults Are Talking HereBy Bess Levin
The euro area has to resolve “that the time of living above our means is over once and for all” and pursue debt reduction that will stretch over “many years,” Merkel said in a speech to members of her Christian Democratic Union late yesterday in Magdeburg, eastern Germany. While stepping up her rejection of a Greek default, she said that issuance of shared debt by euro countries isn’t the solution to the problem spilling from Greece, even though some may long for the “big bang” to end the debt crisis. “Whoever believes that has no clue about the economy,” she said. [Bloomberg, earlier, earlier re: kid tables]
Vladimir Putin Tells Investment Forum Berlusconi Haters Wish They Could Slay Half The Hookers Bunga Bunga Does In A WeekendBy Bess Levin
Something you may have picked up about Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is that he loves to get with prostitutes. Bonus points if they’re underage and no points if they’re unfuckable lard-arses, who are by definition an exception to his rule. Some people have taken issue with Sil’s penchant for sleeping with women 57 years his junior, with several suggesting that Italy’s economic woes can in part be attributed to the premier’s inability to focus on anything but his next fix. According to Vladimir Putin, such accusations are without merit and you want to know something else? Read more »
Not even her position as the world’s most powerful woman has prevented German Chancellor Angela Merkel from becoming the victim of playboy premier Silvio Berlusconi’s sexist language. The gaffe-prone tycoon has been overheard referring to the German leader as an “unfuckable lard-arse”, according to wiretaps reported by Italian newspapers. [Independent]
The leaders of France and Germany disappointed financial markets Tuesday by ruling out issuing euro bonds to fix Europe’s debt crisis. Instead, they agreed to float proposals in September for a tax on financial transactions and push for closer joint governance of economic policy. Many experts say the only way to ensure affordable financing for the bloc’s most financially distressed countries would be for the euro area to issue joint eurobonds. But both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they believed euro bonds were not part of the solution to Europe’s debt crisis…Sarkozy and Merkel also proposed that all 17 euro zone countries commit to balanced finances and write that goal into their constitutional law by summer 2012. Among other measures announced, he said they would also seek to ensure better cross-border economic government for the euro zone via twice-yearly meetings of leaders and the creation of a two-and-a-half-year presidency to steer this forum. [CNBC, earlier]
In the land where the words for “debt” and “guilt” are alarmingly similar, and the chancellor seems to be named for a pubic wig, are we surprised that silly proposals for financial regulation are a regular feature? Not really.
Germany will amend its constitution to ban excessive public borrowing and set up a strict repayment schedule for the public deficit caused by its latest fiscal stimuli, chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday, underlining Berlin’s rising concern about the erosion of fiscal discipline in Europe.
The announcement came as Ms Merkel unveiled a two-year €49.25bn package of growth-boosting measures that, together with steps adopted late last year, will raise to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product the amount the government plans to spend on fighting the economic crisis this year.
Yes, we are going to return Europe to fiscal discipline. (But not before I slip through this $70 billion spending package).
Germany to ban excessive borrowing [The Financial Times]