Germany

  • 31 Jan 2013 at 2:30 PM

Germany Looks At Its Banks

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 »

  • 10 Dec 2012 at 1:15 PM

Would-Be Locust Exterminator To Lose German Election

We have good news for those of you who do business with/in the Bundesrepublik: Angela Merkel is going to be re-elected.

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 »

Hand to god, he’d sooner die. Read more »

Greek President Karolos Papoulias slammed Germany’s finance minister for recent comments about his country as stalled bailout talks stoked tensions between Greece and the northern European countries funding its rescue. “I don’t accept insults to my country by Mr. Schaeuble,” Papoulias, who fought in the resistance against the Nazis during World War II, said in a speech today. “I don’t accept it as a Greek. Who is Mr. Schaeuble to ridicule Greece? Who are the Dutch? Who are the Finns? We always had the pride to defend not just our own freedom, not just our own country, but the freedom of all of Europe.” Papoulias’s comments came as Wolfgang Schaeuble and other European officials pushed Greece to gouge more cuts out of its budget to qualify for a new bailout that would stave off an economic collapse. Schaeuble today blamed Greece’s New Democracy party, the second largest, for holding up agreement on a new rescue package and his deputy, Steffen Kampeter, compared Greece to a “bottomless pit.” [Bloomberg]

  • 11 Jan 2012 at 3:58 PM

The Testicle of the West

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 »

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]