Boosted By Soros On Europe:

BAD GERMANY, BAD EUROPE:

Abstract: I agree with much of what Soros said on the bank and currency crisis in Europe. Under his calm language, his indictment of Germany is frightening. I add fuel to the fire, naturlich.

[This is the European centered part of Soros’ discourse.]

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  Soros:The fallibility of market participants, regulators, and economists must also be recognized.  A truly dynamic situation cannot be understood by studying multiple equilibria.  We need to study the process of change.

PA: In the case of European Monetary Union (EMU), even the equilibrium analysis was flawed from the start. It is not a question of Europe not being an optimal currency area (as American Europhobic destroyers often have it). It was much more basic than that: the nature of money was misunderstood.

  Soros: The euro crisis is particularly instructive in this regard. It demonstrates the role of misconceptions and a lack of understanding in shaping the course of history. The authorities didn’t understand the nature of the euro crisis; they thought it is a fiscal problem while it is more of a banking problem and a problem of competitiveness.

PA: As Soros himself would say further on, it’s even deeper than that: the possibility of making “fiat money” was denied. Thus European states were cut at the heel. “Fiat Money” goes at the heart of the concepts of money… and state.

There is also a massive corruption problem, and it is not confined to banks. It implicates the very nature of today’s constitutions.

The very nature of representative democracy is to put a lot of power in a few hands. This is also what plutocracy does. Make interact together the very few elected ones with the very few who have a lot of money, boost all of this with the fractional reserve privately money creating banking system, and churns out the rule of wealth, an aspect, with titanic corruption, of plutocracy.

  Soros: And [European Officials] applied the wrong remedy:you cannot reduce the debt burden by shrinking the economy, only by growing your way out of it. The crisis is still growing because of a failure to understand the dynamics of social change; policy measures that could have worked at one point in time were no longer sufficient by the time they were applied.

PA: They applied the wrong remedy deliberately. Merkel, Sarkozy and the Brussels’ fauna are in cahoots with the private financial pirates; they are their legal arm. All they wanted to do is that their friends, the pirates, recover their principal, after squeezing hard enough the colonized. So they set-up an aid system nominally for the latter, but, truly for their bankster friends. 

The delay in the correct measures was also deliberate. The allies of plutocratic banks (Merkel, Sarkozy, Barroso, etc.), have used it as a tactic to do nothing.

Always doing too little, too late, is an efficient way to do nothing, while claiming one meant well. Let’s not be fooled by Merkler and her kind.

The basic, deliberate flaw at the base of the EMU, is to make money creation a plutocratic affair. It would have emerged anyway. It emerged now, because we have a plutocratic bubble.

That bubble, in turn, was caused by the arrogance consecutive to the Bush-Obama(-Blair-Sarkozy-“Citizens-United”) years, when the plutocrats’ influence has started to look unimpeachable, and this once-in-a-civilization chance to grab power once and for all has made them frantic! 

The same happened after 150 BCE in Rome. Then, the plutocrats won, and Rome started its long decline. This time the decline is guaranteed to be short and brutish.   

  Soros; Since the euro crisis is currently exerting an overwhelming influence on the global economy I shall devote the rest of my talk to it. I must start with a warning: the discussion will take us beyond the confines of economic theory into politics and the dynamics of social change. But my conceptual framework based on the twin pillars of fallibility and reflexivity still applies. Reflexivity doesn’t always manifest itself in the form of bubbles. The reflexive interplay between imperfect markets and imperfect authorities goes on all the time while bubbles occur only infrequently. This is a rare occasion when the interaction exerts such a large influence that it casts its shadow on the global economy. How could this happen? My answer is that there is a bubble involved, after all, but it is not a financial but a political one. It relates to the political evolution of the European Union and it has led me to the conclusion that the euro crisis threatens to destroy the European Union. Let me explain.

PA: Agreed that there is a political bubble. But to say there was not a financial bubble is, simply false. The financial bubbles in Greece, Ireland and Spain were blatant. So was a general real estate bubble. For years, decent, hard working upper middle class people could not afford to live decently in the world’s most expensive cities, although those concentrated much of the GDP of the world (this is an allusion to New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, among others). So the main producers of added value work could not afford to live where they added the value, making the West’s economy inefficient (and society unjust).

Actually there is even, worldwide, a plutocratic bubble, the one Soros does not want to see. But I agree with him that the European Union is threatened at this point. Mountainous decisions have to be taken in days, in a system made to produce a few mice in a decade.

  Soros: I contend that the European Union itself is like a bubble. In the boom phase the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a “fantastic object” – unreal but immensely attractive. The EU was the embodiment of an open society –an association of nations founded on the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law in which no nation or nationality would have a dominant position. 

PA: Although I see what he is trying to say, Soros is starting to thread very dangerous ground here. The European Union has to be, or there will be another war. It is not a bubble, it is the main weapon against insanity.

Europe is not a “fantastic object’, it is a necessity.

  Soros: The process of integration was spearheaded by a small group of far sighted statesmen who practiced what Karl Popper called piecemeal social engineering. They recognized that perfection is unattainable; so they set limited objectives and firm timelines and then mobilized the political will for a small step forward, knowing full well that when they achieved it, its inadequacy would become apparent and require a further step. The process fed on its own success, very much like a financial bubble. That is how the Coal and Steel Community was gradually transformed into the European Union, step by step.

Germany used to be in the forefront of the effort.

PA: Sort of. Although German politicians used to be in the forefront of the effort in the 1920s, after Germany fell into Nazism, it was of course unable to lead mentally. If nothing else, Nazism had decapitated Germany. Instead, after the Nazi disaster, Germany followed the lead of French statesmen, who had brandished the olive branch (say by not insisting to recover the entire West bank of the Rhine; the same generosity was mysteriously applied to Italy, although clearly major ex-French speaking parts of Italy such as Val D’Aoste, and next to Turin, used to be part of French speaking Savoy, and, after Mussolini’s forced Italianization could/should have very well be annexed!).

One can observe Soros’ drift into anti-European, pro-plutocratic and (implicit) anti-French bias. All students of the early European Union know that Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, two Frenchmen, played the leading roles, and the German role consisted mainly to salute the French led effort, and goose-step behind it. The tables of collaboration had been turned around.

Many surviving Nazi generals knew all too well that they got incredibly lucky in 1940, and had been in excellent position to observe the self defeating nature of the war against France. So, although still influential in German society (!), in the 1950s, they pushed for the symbiosis with France, that Hitler himself, at Speer’s urging, had to admit had to happen. That drove Hitler to many a feat of rage.

But if even Hitler had to collaborate with France, the country that he hated so much, how could any German refuse to collaborate with France?

If Hitler had to collaborate with France, then why did he start the war? Hitler obviously felt. The answer, as the Nazis insisted at Nuremberg is that it was France, not Germany, which had started the war. Well, France had to start the war, it was a question of civilization, and the proof was Auschwitz.

Hitler and Rommel had admitted earlier that the French strategically destroyed the Afrikakorps at Bir Hakeim (don’t believe what all Anglo-Saxon Wikipedia says about it; they quote from some vengeful Nazi). The resistance at Bir Hakeim to the fury of the entire Afrika Korps deprived it from its only chance to surrender and destroy the British army protecting the Middle East. The scythe move in the desert before Tobruk, was blocked by the tiny army of (ironically named) general Koenig.

By the time of this strategic French victory (May-June 1942) the Americans had not fired one shot against the Nazis yet. If Israel exists today, it’s thank to Bir Hakeim. OK, back to our Jewish survivor here.

  Soros: When the Soviet empire started to disintegrate, Germany’s leaders realized that reunification was possible only in the context of a more united Europe and they were willing to make considerable sacrifices to achieve it. 

PA: Soros here is starting to get really crafty. He knows very well that what he says he is not true: it’s the French (and, especially Mitterrand, who I do not like, but was right on that) who insisted upon the Euro, in exchange for supporting Germany’s reunification. As Mitterrand had (unlawfully?) financed his good friend Kanzler Kohl’s re-election, it was hard to say no. The French idea was precisely to make European Unification impossible to reverse.

(Mitterrand used similar methods on Thatcher, by supporting her crucially for the Malouines/Falkland war, he extracted from her the Chunnel and the Single European Act…)

So why is Soros lying? Because he is trying to put in sharp contrast the alleged wisdom of Germans in the 1990s versus the sort of neo-Nazism we are now condemn to contemplate the apparent rise of. Here we have the spectacle of a Jew, Soros, being too crafty by half, and much too polite with proto-fascism, the sort of process philosopher Hannah Arendt, also a Jew, loudly, and justly,  decried in the 1930s and 1940s.

  Soros: When it came to bargaining they were willing to contribute a little more and take a little less than the others, thereby facilitating agreement.  At that time, German statesmen used to assert that Germany has no independent foreign policy, only a European one.

PA: That’s the least Germans could do, after fostering, for a century, a policy of systematic assault against other nations, starting with a war against Denmark in 1864. This policy was ended by force, in an action started by France (leading) and Britain (following belatedly), on September 1, 1939 (Ultimatum to Germany) and ended May 8, 1945 (capitulation without condition of said Germany. Now some Germans are saying they are tired of the “Nazi blackmail”. Well, then, they should not practice it, again.  

  Soros: The process culminated with the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the euro. It was followed by a period of stagnation which, after the crash of 2008, turned into a process of disintegration. The first step was taken by Germany when, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Angela Merkel declared that the virtual guarantee extended to other financial institutions should come from each country acting separately, not by Europe acting jointly. It took financial markets more than a year to realize the implication of that declaration, showing that they are not perfect.

The Maastricht Treaty was fundamentally flawed, demonstrating the fallibility of the authorities. Its main weakness was well known to its architects: it established a monetary union without a political union.

PA: This is true, but that was a deliberate plan, to force unification from the top down.

There was an more proximal flaw. As created the European Central Bank was deprived of many fundamental powers that all other central banks have had, since there are central banks. (The first central bank was the Bank of England, with a tight relation to the financing of the Royal Navy, followed later by the Banque de France.)

In general, sovereigns have always struck coinage. However, under Dutch (highly leveraged) influence (“Glorious Revolution”, 1688, truly an invasion), Britain set-up a highly leveraged plutocratic system, the fractional reserve. (That it is plutocratic was observed by the Rothschild themselves, who were at the core of it.)  

  Soros: The architects believed however, that when the need arose the political will could be generated to take the necessary steps towards a political union.

PA: The main architect was the French, Jacques Delors, a socialist and loud Christian. He amplified thus the system put in place by French banker, Rothschild servant, and also French president, George Pompidou. A law of 1973 outlawed the financing of the French state by its central bank (something all other central banks do). Instead the French state had to go to plutocrats to beg for money.

As leveraged banks are truly state institutions, this established a further control of the French state, hence Europe (after the European Monetary Union), by private individuals, the bankers.  

  Soros: But the euro also had some other defects of which the architects were unaware and which are not fully understood even today.

PA: Those architects claimed to be socialist, while ruling that banks would rule thereafter. In other words, if they were not arrogant idiots, they were deeply corrupt (yes, I am talking about Delors… somebody I long viewed as a European hero, and now looks more like a European horror!)

  Soros: In retrospect it is now clear that the main source of trouble is that the member states of the euro have surrendered to the european central bank their rights TO CREATE FIAT MONEY. They did not realize what that entails – and neither did the European authorities.

PA: Not just that: the power of the ECB to create fiat money is ALSO very restricted (it cannot be lent to states directly, governors can’t be overruled, etc.) As it is, it left only the plutocrats with the power to create, through private banks, money in Europe.

As I already said, can one be that idiotic without being deeply corrupt?

Money is nothing without a state. A state is nothing if it cannot project power, and this it is does through military power, first of all, and financial power, when it is in a good mood. The stick, and the carrot. The way the EMU was set-up, there was not carrot in control of the state, the carrot was in control of wealthy people and their managers. Nor was there a stick. And the state does not really exist, either.

  Soros: When the euro was introduced the regulators allowed banks to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds without setting aside any equity capital; and the central bank accepted all government bonds at its discount window on equal terms. Commercial banks found it advantageous to accumulate the bonds of the weaker euro members in order to earn a few extra basis points. That is what caused interest rates to converge which in turn caused competitiveness to diverge. Germany, struggling with the burdens of reunification, undertook structural reforms and became more competitive. Other countries enjoyed housing and consumption booms on the back of cheap credit, making them less competitive. Then came the crash of 2008 which created conditions that were far removed from those prescribed by the Maastricht Treaty. Many governments had to shift bank liabilities on to their own balance sheets and engage in massive deficit spending. These countries found themselves in the position of a third world country that had become heavily indebted in a currency that it did not control. Due to the divergence in economic performance Europe became divided between creditor and debtor countries. This is having far reaching political implications to which I will revert.

PA: Perfect analysis, nothing to add.

  Soros: It took some time for the financial markets to discover that government bonds which had been considered riskless are subject to speculative attack and may actually default; but when they did, risk premiums rose dramatically.

PA: Soros is admitting here implicitly the culpability of money changers (such as hedge funds… there are 20,000 of those; one, failed for being on the wrong side of trades in Italian government bonds; it was headed by J. Corzine ex-gov of New jersey, ex-head of Goldman Sachs… Billions disappeared mysteriously…)

  Soros: This [speculative attacks] rendered commercial banks whose balance sheets were loaded with those bonds potentially insolvent. And that constituted the two main components of the problem confronting us today: a sovereign debt crisis and a banking crisis which are closely interlinked.

The eurozone is now repeating what had often happened in the global financial system. There is a close parallel between the euro crisis and the international banking crisis that erupted in 1982. Then the international financial authorities did whatever was necessary to protect the banking system: they inflicted hardship on the periphery in order to protect the center. Now Germany and the other creditor countries are unknowingly playing the same role.

PA: Once again, for pedagogical and diplomatic reasons, Soros is extravagantly polite with the German authorities. There is no way they do not understand that they are destroying Europe. (…And helping Putin’s Russia. BTW, Merkler speaks Russian.)

  Soros: The details differ but the idea is the same: the creditors are in effect shifting the burden of adjustment on to the debtor countries and avoiding their own responsibility for the imbalances. Interestingly, the terms “center” and “periphery” have crept into usage almost unnoticed. Just as in the 1980’s all the blame and burden is falling on the “periphery” and the responsibility of the “center” has never been properly acknowledged.  Yet in the euro crisis the responsibility of the center is even greater than it was in 1982. The “center” is responsible for designing a flawed system, enacting flawed treaties, pursuing flawed policies and always doing too little too late. In the 1980’s Latin America suffered a lost decade; a similar fate now awaits Europe. That is the responsibility that Germany and the other creditor countries need to acknowledge. But there is no sign of this happening.

The European authorities had little understanding of what was happening. They were prepared to deal with fiscal problems but only Greece qualified as a fiscal crisis; the rest of Europe suffered from a banking crisis and a divergence in competitiveness which gave rise to a balance of payments crisis. The authorities did not even understand the nature of the problem, let alone see a solution. So they tried to buy time.

Usually that works. Financial panics subside and the authorities realize a profit on their intervention. But not this time because the financial problems were reinforced by a process of political disintegration. While the European Union was being created, the leadership was in the forefront of further integration; but after the outbreak of the financial crisis the authorities became wedded to preserving the status quo.

PA: Merkozy caused a lot of damage, in other words.

  Soros: This has forced all those who consider the status quo unsustainable or intolerable into an anti-European posture. That is the political dynamic that makes the disintegration of the European Union just as self-reinforcing as its creation has been.  That is the political bubble I was talking about.

At the onset of the crisis a breakup of the euro was inconceivable: the assets and liabilities denominated in a common currency were so intermingled that a breakup would have led to an uncontrollable meltdown. But as the crisis progressed the financial system has been progressively reordered along national lines. This trend has gathered momentum in recent months. The Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) undertaken by the European Central Bank enabled Spanish and Italian banks to engage in a very profitable and low risk arbitrage by buying the bonds of their own countries. And other investors have been actively divesting themselves of the sovereign debt of the periphery countries.

If this continued for a few more years a break-up of the euro would become possible without a meltdown – the omelet could be unscrambled – but it would leave the central banks of the creditor countries with large claims against the central banks of the debtor countries which would be difficult to collect. This is due to an arcane problem in the euro clearing system called Target2. In contrast to the clearing system of the Federal Reserve, which is settled annually, Target2 accumulates the imbalances. This did not create a problem as long as the interbank system was functioning because the banks settled the imbalances themselves through the interbank market. But the interbank market has not functioned properly since 2007 and the banks relied increasingly on the Target system. And since the summer of 2011 there has been increasing capital flight from the weaker countries. So the imbalances grew exponentially. By the end of March this year the Bundesbank had claims of some 660 billion euros against the central banks of the periphery countries.

The Bundesbank has become aware of the potential danger. It is now engaged in a campaign against the indefinite expansion of the money supply and it has started taking measures to limit the losses it would sustain in case of a breakup. This is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once the Bundesbank starts guarding against a breakup everybody will have to do the same.

PA: Yes, Germany is rotting at the head, and it’s not just the heads of Chancellor Merkel and her government.  Launching a self fulfilling prophecy of evil is no small matter, morally speaking.

  Soros: This [a self-fulfilling prophecy of breaking up] is already happening. Financial institutions are increasingly reordering their European exposure along national lines just in case the region splits apart. Banks give preference to shedding assets outside their national borders and risk managers try to match assets and liabilities within national borders rather than within the eurozone as a whole. The indirect effect of this asset-liability matching is to reinforce the deleveraging process and to reduce the availability of credit, particularly to the small and medium enterprises which are the main source of employment.

So the crisis is getting ever deeper. Tensions in financial markets have risen to new highs as shown by the historic low yield on Bunds. Even more telling is the fact that the yield on British 10 year bonds has never been lower in its 300 year history while the risk premium on Spanish bonds is at a new high.

The real economy of the eurozone is declining while Germany is still booming. This means that the divergence is getting wider. The political and social dynamics are also working toward disintegration. Public opinion as expressed in recent election results is increasingly opposed to austerity and this trend is likely to grow until the policy is reversed. So something has to give.

In my judgment the authorities have a three months’ window during which they could still correct their mistakes and reverse the current trends. BY THE AUTHORITIES I MEAN MAINLY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT AND THE BUNDESBANK because in a crisis the creditors are in the driver’s seat and nothing can be done without German support.

PA: Europe is so organized that one country can block everything if so determined. However, even Thatcher’s Britain never did this. That Germany is thus cornering Europe, on the first real threat that European integration faces in 65 years, is astounding, considering history.

  Soros: I expect that the Greek public will be sufficiently frightened by the prospect of expulsion from the European Union that it will give a narrow majority of seats to a coalition that is ready to abide by the current agreement. But no government can meet the conditions so that the Greek crisis is liable to come to a climax in the fall. By that time the German economy will also be weakening so that Chancellor Merkel will find it even more difficult than today to persuade the German public to accept any additional European responsibilities. That is what creates a three months’ window.

Correcting the mistakes and reversing the trend would require some extraordinary policy measures to bring conditions back closer to normal, and bring relief to the financial markets and the banking system. These measures must, however, conform to the existing treaties. The treaties could then be revised in a calmer atmosphere so that the current imbalances will not recur. It is difficult but not impossible to design some extraordinary measures that would meet these tough requirements. They would have to tackle simultaneously the banking problem and the problem of excessive government debt, because these problems are interlinked. Addressing one without the other, as in the past, will not work.

Banks need a European deposit insurance scheme in order to stem the capital flight. They also need direct financing by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) which has to go hand-in-hand with eurozone-wide supervision and regulation. The heavily indebted countries need relief on their financing costs. There are various ways to provide it but they all need the active support of the Bundesbank and the German government.

PA: Even the famous anti-European magazine “The Economist” said as much about all the preceding.

By the way, there is more than 1.1 trillion dollars ready to help (before leverage), allowed by existing treaties. However, let’s notice that, in spite of funds being at the ready, and dedicated for Greece’s research and high education, they have not been disbursed for two years. So, it’s not because the money is here, that Germany will allow to use it. Is Germany deliberately trying to sabotage Europe?

  Soros: That is where the blockage is [Germany]. The authorities are working feverishly to come up with a set of proposals in time for the European summit at the end of this month. Based on the current newspaper reports the measures they will propose will cover all the bases I mentioned but they will offer only the minimum on which the various parties can agree while what is needed is a convincing commitment to reverse the trend. That means the measures will again offer some temporary relief but the trends will continue. But we are at an inflection point.  After the expiration of the three months’ window the markets will continue to demand more but the authorities will not be able to meet their demands.

It is impossible to predict the eventual outcome. As mentioned before, the gradual reordering of the financial system along national lines could make an orderly breakup of the euro possible in a few years’ time and, if it were not for the social and political dynamics, one could imagine a common market without a common currency. But the trends are clearly non-linear and an earlier breakup is bound to be disorderly. It would almost certainly lead to a collapse of the Schengen Treaty, the common market, and the European Union itself. (It should be remembered that there is an exit mechanism for the European Union but not for the euro.) Unenforceable claims and unsettled grievances would leave Europe worse off than it was at the outset when the project of a united Europe was conceived.

PA: After so much insanity deployed and allowed to rampage, the British and French military budgets will also have to be cranked up… To insure that further insanity is contained, looking forward, all the more since, as in the 1920s and 1930s, Germany is flirting with the dictators of Russia.

  Soros: But the likelihood is that the euro will survive because A BREAKUP WOULD BE DEVASTATING NOT ONLY FOR THE PERIPHERY BUT ALSO FOR GERMANY.

PA: However, Hitler started a war, just so that he could lose, as Salvador Dali pointed out. A country with a culture so idiotic and criminal that it could develop Nazism, over several generations, as the great philosopher Nietzsche pointed out at the outset, is perfectly capable to keep on acting dramatically against its own interests, just in the hope of punishing everybody.

Punishing everybody, that’s what Germany did in 1914, and 1939, launching wars it had no moral right, nor reason, to wage, and a quasi zero probability of winning without enormous devastation to itself.

Maybe Germans like so much to be the bad guys and to lose, they want an encore?

  Soros: It would leave Germany with large unenforceable claims against the periphery countries. The Bundesbank alone will have over a trillion euros of claims arising out of Target2 by the end of this year, in addition to all the intergovernmental obligations. And a return to the Deutschemark would likely price Germany out of its export markets – not to mention the political consequences. So Germany is likely to do what is necessary to preserve the euro – but nothing more. That would result in a eurozone dominated by Germany in which the divergence between the creditor and debtor countries would continue to widen and the periphery would turn into permanently depressed areas in need of constant transfer of payments. That would turn the European Union into something very different from what it was when it was a “fantastic object” that fired peoples imagination. It would be a German empire with the periphery as the hinterland.

PA: Soros is 100% wrong here. There will be no German empire. Germany is completely delusional and delirious at this point. German domination of Europe will not happen, because German culture is on its way out, whereas French culture is on its way up.

France rests on universalism, Germany on tribalism. Just to get the workers it needs, Germany is forced to draft non Germans into tribal Germany.

Let me explain more: in 1940, France had less than 40 million inhabitants, and Germany more than 80 millions. Nowadays, France has 66 millions, and her population augments by 350,000/year, internally (no immigration, thanks to the ferocious and ungrateful Sarkozy, now eliminated). These 350,000 new French a year are real French of fangs and claws, not the imported kind.

Whereas, even with significant immigration, the German population is decreasing. A fiortiori, the part of Germany of genuine German culture, so to speak.

Already now there are 30% more young French people than young German people (and, as I hinted, many of the latter are not really of issued from German culture). Merkel herself had no children. Her nasty cultural disposition will not be passed to her children.

German median age is 5 years older than the French (although the French live two years longer).

Verily, part of the senile reaction of Germany to the Euro crisis is directly imputable to Germany’s aging and scared behavior.

  Soros: I believe most of us would find that objectionable but I have a great deal of sympathy with Germany in its present predicament. The German public cannot understand why a policy of structural reforms and fiscal austerity that worked for Germany a decade ago will not work Europe today.

PA: Soros is right, “most of us would find” that sympathy for Germany should be limited. In some ways Germany is a plutocracy led by rich Mittelstand owners. I know some. Those mini plutocrats are the kings and queens of Germany. They work the little people hard, while scaring them with destitution. Those who know history will be reminded of the old landed aristocracy, especially of the Prussian type, which was a major, probably the major factor, in the rise of German fascism and racism (craftily, their tool, Hitler, electorally campaigned against them)

There is no minimum hourly wage in Germany. The states force some of the poorest people to work for one Euro an hour.

  Soros: Germany then could enjoy an export led recovery but the eurozone today is caught in a deflationary debt trap. The German public does not see any deflation at home; on the contrary, wages are rising and there are vacancies for skilled jobs which are eagerly snapped up by immigrants from other European countries. Reluctance to invest abroad and the influx of flight capital are fueling a real estate boom. Exports may be slowing but employment is still rising. In these circumstances it would require an extraordinary effort by the German government to convince the German public to embrace the extraordinary measures that would be necessary to reverse the current trend. And they have only a three months’ window in which to do it.

We need to do whatever we can to convince Germany to show leadership and preserve the European Union as the fantastic object that it used to be. The future of Europe depends on it.

PA: The future of peace, too. To believe that a fractious Europe, after such a stab in the back, the deliberate destruction of the European Union by Germany, would stay long at peace, is delusional. In any case, socialist France has already constituted a vast coalition, and, differently from 1939, Spain (conservative), Italy (conservative), and the USA (more to the right than any European country) are in it. Even Britain is scared out of its wits that German driven selfishness will drag it further down the abyss.

So what are German officials thinking of? (Besides the desire to self destroy?) Well, the siren song of the ex-KGB officer, Putin, is obvious in the distance. Putin is trying to seduce Germany, which gets already all its gas from there (more than 22% of total German energy usage). The mutual seduction between Germany and Russia in the 1920s and 1930s had a deplorable effect on both, a mutual feedback loop of brutish behavior.

Brutish behavior is what we see today when Bundesbank officials talk as if they ruled Greece. They don’t. What is happening in Greece, as Soros said, is more the fault of the creditor countries than Greece’s. The aid programs to Greece have been, truly, mostly aid programs to non Greek banks which financed their friends in Greece (often plutocrats they had dirty deals with).

The arrogant, offensive and injurious attitude of so many German officials shows that those who did not learn humility from history cannot be trusted.

So are we back in the 1920s and 1930s? Is the collaboration between Germany and Wall $treet based plutocracy back on the front burner? (It sure sounds that way; major Wall $treet banks, such as JP Morgan, have come out with astounding pieces of propaganda, as a reader kindly informed me)

Are we back in the 1920s and 1930s? … When Germany was secretly plotting, and training with Stalinist Russia? That blossomed in the formal alliance in 1939, of the USSR and Nazi Germany, in a vain attempt to block France’s thirst for justice.

So is Merkel working for the Putin, that is for the KGB, or Goldman Sachs and its ilk? Both maybe? Like Hitler, in the end, rather ironically, did? (The Fuehrer basically said so himself in his political testament…)

There are very good reasons to suspect all these schemes, and they will be further divulgated soon. It would be all very funny, if it were not so disconcerting.

***

Patrice Ayme

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25 Responses to “Boosted By Soros On Europe:”

  1. Sorting Out Soros. « Some of Patrice Ayme’s Thoughts Says:

    […] Thoughts Intelligence at the core of humanism. « Blood: Appetite Comes With Eating. Boosting Soros On Europe: […]

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  2. Dominique Deux Says:

    So Soros has mastered the fine art of being Lucifer and Satan at the same time. I must take my time going through this post.

    Meanwhile (and slightly off topic but not that much) I found an interesting opinion on the Hollande experiment. It tries to go beyond the usual platitudes, does it with the right assumptions, but entirely eschews the crucial European dimension. Still a breath of fresh air after the farts and oinks coming from the Wall Street / Canary Wharf pigsties.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-newfield/hollande-france_b_1502389.html#postComment

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique:
      Thanks for attracting my attention on the Huff Post post. I posted in turn a comment. Here it is below. It probably will not show up there, they generally censor me.

      Hollande introduced by decree already three measures this week, including rent control (the latter in the explicit hope of breaking the back of the enormous real estate bubble, not just making rents more affordable). A limit of 1 to 20 in salaries of public companies was proclaimed.

      The retirement law was also modified by decree in three different ways, some decided over lunch, hours before being passed, after further computations showing the financing was there.

      In any case, it’s all besides the points, as legislative work in France, looking forward, depends upon the legislative elections, which are under way (exclusively through public financing). If the socialists win, they will reform.

      Hollande, who graduated from HEC (valued higher than Harvard or Stanford as a business school), and ENA (the top administrative school in France), a unique combination, know the value of high education. differently from Merkel, he has studied economics formally.

      Last but not least: France’s GNP is much higher (by more than 10%) than French GDP. This unique case among nations is a testimony to the bias of right wing governments, pro-plutocratization. it also means that there is a lot of reserve out there. From Sarkozy’s own numbers, 110 billion euros/year could be found by taxing wealth as it used to be.

      Hollande can use force against Merkel. He has gathered a vast coalition, which includes Spain, Italy, Britain and the USA. It’s not 1939, when France was all alone, facing Germany, the USSR and American plutocrats.
      PA

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  3. Old Geezer Says:

    There IS NO EUROCRISIS. There IS a European BANKING CRISIS.
    The Euro as a currency is sound as a dollar (and the FED’s chief competitor). The EU banks OTOH, are still over-leveraged and under capitalized.

    More so than in the USA.

    At least, the USA, as the printer of the world’s coin-of-the-realm can continue printing. After all, she is the sole remaining superpower with a super army and fleet of drones to remote kill anyone who gets in the way. And, did I forget to mention she controls the world’s oil, for which dollars are need to purchase.

    The EU countries, by design, have minimal armies, and control little or no oil. There are a few deals with China going down in Euros, but for the most part, the Euro is only good for buying non-oil goods. The Chinese rich love German cars, which is the prime reason Germany is doing so well.

    Back to the banking crises:

    In the US, Bernanke is playing the waiting game. Each and every day, US banks are de-leveraging by going to the FED window at 0.25 % and lending out for much much more (or gambling for still greater gains). That is how they are building up capital. The EU banks pay 1 %, so they are running this race with a handicap. Also, they were more leveraged than US banks when Lehman crashed.

    The ECB has, indeed, always been too late and with too little. There is 3 Trillion in EU debt out there that needs rescuing, But so far, the various agencies have ponied up only half that amount. The so-called “market” which I call the international financial sharks, have far far greater resources. Yet, the EU thinks it can bluff its hand when they can SEE IN FULL VIEW that their opponent has more chips.

    Dumb, really dumb.

    And we know that the sharks will get their dinner.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Old Geezer; I agree 100% with all you wrote. However, is it dumbness, or design, by some/ let’s not forget Draghi spent 6 years as partner at Goldman Sachs. And he is not the only one. And it’s not just Monti. EC commissioners have become partner at G-S, and G-S is not the only bank-hedge fund with money out there.
      Such people are a natural “Fifth Column”, or, at least, obedient dogs. When their masters bark in Wall $treet, they cower. At all and any moment, they remember their place.
      It was ridiculous that the ECB did not lower its interest rates yesterday (as Krugman correctly screamed).
      Interesting, or, at least, very weird times…
      PA

      Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP:
      Sharks? What’s that? In the soup? A refined aspect thereof? Many sharks species are on the verge of extinction. Not enough fins left. Human force has the terrors of the seas, well, in the soup.

      The point is this; as OGP himself (nearly) pointed out, in the end, the state can take out physically the financial operators it does not like. That’s the old fashion way of regulating finance.
      It works very well.

      Maybe that’s Obama’s silent message to Wall $treet.

      Consumate Machiavellian politics is the art of doing the opposite of what it looks. Wittingly, or not. Wall $treet and the government of the USA operate hand in hand, they have done so, for generations. I am not sure that Andrew Jackson would like it. And, was he around as president, not liking it, not doubt the miscreants would get in line overnight.

      There is nothing of the sort going on in Europe. The two military powers there, a house a bit divided, France and Britain, operate according to a different strategy: Britain believes in the special relation with its colony, and France knows said rebellious colony pay its debts when it wants, how it wants, and not really the real ones (the Independence War debt to France was never paid). So France is mostly alone, whereas Britain prays at Canary Wharf.

      However, now we have Merkler, with her Putin in her pocket (so she behaves). That should suddenly focus better the attention of the the USA and the UK, and lines them up behind Hollande, as observed, so far…
      Hollande, in a European wink, had himself photographed with the European and Dutch (sort of) flags behind him… For his official photograph as president. Very funny, and a message… Or two…
      PA

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    • Old Geezer Says:

      Sharks – you betcha. And Obama is totally owned and operated by Wall $treet, so don’t bet the ranch on any reversals. He bailed out the banks and got NOTHING for it.

      I should say, for us.

      Like

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Yes, OGP, for us, indeed, because it looks like he is doing fine for him. He came to Silicon Valley three times in three weeks. Yesterday he got two million dollars, just from the swing through San Francisco. Astoundly, nobody has brought the question that the president uses his presidential powers to run for re-election.
        When it started to look as if Sarkozy was doing that, people in France started to grumble that he should declare his candidacy. Then he fell under the controls of the electoral commission.

        But then of course here in the USA, the plutocracy, paying both sides, can use the occasion of the election, to make its own propaganda.

        Meanwhile, the French legislative campaign is rolling on, with its fully government financed, strictly equalitarian TV spots. The contrast is astounding. Clearly not the same civilization anymore?
        PA

        Like

  4. Dominique Deux Says:

    Shark finning, an hitherto ignored practice, is now such a figment of the collective psyche that it can turn up in any unrelated exchange, like this one.

    This is not because we are now more sensitive to horrors than we were before. This is because shark finning has sharply increased, in response to explosive demand from the Chinese and other East Asian markets.

    This is a direct consequence, and reliable indicator, of the sea change in ordinary people’s livelihoods in these countries. Shark fin soup, a prized delicacy for exceptional moments, has become affordable to the great unwashed.

    A common perception in the globalization-threatened West (and especially in Europe) is that the countries which benefitted from globalization actually have a large enslaved population and a tiny plutocrat elite, and globalization therefore is all bad. Not so. The plutocrats are there, as unpalatable as anywhere else, but the slaves’ lot has improved in such a way that there is no hope they will agree to any kind of U-turn. And that is right, if some measure of ethical judgment is allowed in economic matters.

    This is something that we, formerly wealthy economies, must never forget. Globalization may be resented by sharks and the unemployed, but it is there to stay, and basically must stay. What has to be identified and vigorously controlled are those nefarious aspects. And it can only be done with, not against, the emergent, countries, in the full understanding that any such corrections will be to our mutual benefit.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: well spoken, and, indeed, a lesson to remember. You are in particular saying that globalization is not just plutocratization. And that, say, the Chinese are happy or happier than they they otherwise would be, so they will not turn back.

      However, a country is a path, made of entangled paths. Some of these paths are neurological. Happiness makes one aspect, misunderstanding another class of paths. Many paths, but one abyss is enough to put an end to the whole adventure.

      Germany is a case in point: contemplate Merkel and her sidekicks, refusing to understand the situation, and making an increasingly dangerous mess of it.

      But greater German history, starting with Bismarck, is even more examplary. There too, there was a plutocratic elite (actually two, the Prussian nobility being one). There too, the Volk was happy to goose step, and did not want to go back. But it had demands, and the plutocrats decided to distract it with a war, implemented by the crazy edge of its armed arm (Von Molkte and al. ironically a distant relative by alliance).

      So the Volk marched its enormous army through Belgium in August 1914. The path that led to Auschwitz was already clear: it had been, already, practiced in Namibia. Thus China, now, better be very careful. Actually not just China, Russia too, and the West, as it asks to intervene in Syria (although Assad is certainly an assassin, as foreign minister Fabius cooly said…)

      What would China’s Namibia be? Well, Tibet, and some of the strange apparent claims on more of India… Let alone the unfortunately named South China Sea…
      One must cultivate one’s paths well, at any given time, and in all ways…PA

      Like

  5. Dominique Deux Says:

    Dear Patrice, I feel that sometimes Clio is more a complacent courtesan than a muse for you. You make her bend to your views with admirable ease. A good historian is like a good statistician: he can always find facts, or rather, records or figures, respectively, to back him.

    Your parallels between current events and similar events of yore are always fascinating and educational. But are they always as enlightening as you’d like them to be?. Look, if you will, at your Namibia comparison.

    I will grant as a fact that General von Trotha’s extermination of a tribe, the Herero, was a textbook genocide, and that it was the first genocide of the last century, and that it was a German deed.

    However it must be mentioned that

    (1) the ‘first in the century’ distinction is pretty much an arbitrary one, as nothing changes in essence when the second digit of the year goes up one notch. Put back in perspective, the Herero genocide (allow me the now accepted way of naming genocides after their victims, a kind of monument to their demise) seems to be more like the last colonial genocide of the Nineteenth Century, in direct lineage with the Hopi or the Tasmanian ones. You can always spot Auschwitz-like features – it ended in bleak concentration camps on the unhealthy coastline – but if you look closer, von Trotha’s exploits were more like the Einsatzgruppen’s: murderous rampages in the countryside; the camps were not meant for extermination, but for putting away the last survivors, drawn out by promises of mercy when they became so scarce that hunting them down was too expensive. (Von Trotha was very cost-conscious, his men were to use the noose and the machete rather than the bullet, and used systematic, preliminary rape as a terror weapon: if anything he was a precursor to the Tutsi genocide).

    It can even be disputed if that was the last colonial genocide; the French Army’s purported part in the mass slaughter of the Bamileke in Cameroon could well claim the distinction, with an even heavier toll than the Herero genocide, but this is still a contentious issue.

    At any rate, seen in that context, Von Trotha’ crime has nothing specifically German. Extermination of the natives was not an universal sin of the colonial empires, but those who succeeded in establishing settlement colonies have quite a rap sheet.

    (2) Germans were indeed guilty, but when “the” Germans (ie Germany) learned of their soldiers’ conduct, the outrage was enormous. If there is a dark genocidal hormone in the German psyche, it did not express itself at the time.

    (3) Tibet could be more aptly likened to the Vendee: in the minds of the Han authorities, a backwards province where foreign-backed agitators dream of going back to a medieval theocracy. China’s harsh rule and repression nevertheless is no more a genocide than Republican war crimes were a Vendean genocide.

    The point of my rambling is that in many cases, you do your argument more harm than good when you insist on examining current German misconduct in the light of a perceived collective and hereditary character flaw. Merkel is guilty, and worse, dead wrong, for economical and political reasons which you explain with blinding clarity; references to “Merkler” only water down your argumentation, instead of reinforcing it, and in addition (as I tried to illustrate, rather than demonstrate) they are not very solid.

    Nazism was the German right gone mad; all rightist movements, of all countries, are apt to have a loony fringe, and in danger of falling to it; not all of those, by far, are Nazi: there are many strains of daementia nationalis. (same on the left.) So if I may be so bold, you might as well put on the back burner a stance which I suspect only earns you, in addition to a large Godwin account, a generous amount of censorship in the mainstream media, and focus on your very relevant and educational analysis of the Eurocrisis, plutocracy, and the real forces at work.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: I thought Clio was goddess of music, dance, song, poetry, etc.
      OK, let’s not insult Merkel by calling her Merkler, since it brings the argument down in the gutter. But is it not where she frolics? My argument entirely. At this point the situation has the potential to lead to war. A European war. “Kicking” Greece out of its own currency would be a good first step that way. Then, after Greece, all countries will be kicked, one after the other.
      This is not an anti-German argument: Germany got kicked pretty hard in WWII, losing ten million killed, and much of its territory, wealth, brains, honor, etc.

      You say that the Namibia holocaust was of the same order of things done elsewhere. I am myself an African (although, by now, I have lived longer in America!). Or more exactly a West African. Certainly the French administration of West Africa was completely deprived of severity or injustice. There was actually much less policing than in today’s France, and it was done by the natives. French administration was mostly push papers. I was not exactly there when it happened, but its structures were, and I talked to people. All the countries of West Africa were completely calm under the French. Since then they all have known civil war, and sometimes terrible ones.

      Goering, father of Goering was governor of Namibia.
      The general you talk about deserved to be hanged for crimes against mankind. His famous declaration to the Herero was enough:

      ‘I, the great general of the German soldiers, send this letter to the Herero . . . the Herero are no longer German subjects. . . they must leave the country. If they do not leave I will force them out with the big gun.
      ‘All Herero, armed or unarmed, will be shot dead. I will no longer accept women or children, they will be forced out or they will also be shot.
      These are my words to the Herero.’

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1138299/The-Holocaust-Horrifying-secrets-Germanys-earliest-genocide-inside-Africas-Forbidden-Zone.html#ixzz1xFL7RDEJ

      I do not know of any Western official, but for Germans, who ever talked like that. I am not anti-German, saying this. I am Nietzschean. Nietztsche said it as it was, about the blossoming racist, and herd-like anti-culture in Germany. He predicted terrible wars, from that. Events, unfortunately proved him completely right.
      Nietzsche also believed it was his duty to denounce, and he did. He wrote “Nietzsche Contra Wagner”, among other things.
      PA

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  6. Dominique Deux Says:

    Oops. I almost blanched at my Clio blunder. Then I checked (in a paper dictionary, so as to avoid the car commercials).

    She WAS the muse of History.

    I have no problem with you, as dictated by the need for truth, excavating the collective mind and exposing the stench. But as you concur, it may be better not to let all of your points be impregnated with it.

    The argument about Goering is debatable; Goering himself was plenty of bad things and deserved the noose, but he was a very poor Nazi – a trophy wife for the Führer.. An extremely intelligent man, he had little time for racist idiocy. His weakness of character led him to form a bond with the charismatic Adolf, which he could never shake off; but he knew for a fact, early into the war, that it was lost, and that saying it would be his end. Hence (in part) his extravagant conduct, singing on Titanik’s bridge for three years or so. Maybe he needed to exist in the shadow of evil, because of his father? But his is a psychiatric case.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique; I confess I have not achieved aerial supremacy in Greek mythology. If Clio was a muse of poetry, song, etc., it makes sense she was a muse of history too (and indeed she was!)

      Now, as far as the merits of various Nazis, let me make this clear: many Nazis were highly talented in many ways. The Nazis won the Battle of France against enormous odds. They, and even Hitler, pushed the France command to make enormous blunders, and, amazingly, lucky for them, tragedy for Europe, and even the world, it worked!

      Goering was a WWI ace, an authentic hero. Fortunately, as the head of the Luftwaffe, he was a complete idiot. He lost the battle of Britain, just when he was on the verge of winning it, by just bombing cities instead of airfields. He left Germany without a roof (watch British long range heavy bombers devastate German cities), told Hitler he would feed and fuel the surrounded Sixth Army at Stalingrad (nstead Germans had to eat whateve they could, like other Germans… I guess, it’s a habit, hah ha ha). And so on and so forth.

      All of Germany was a psychiatric case. Still is, apparently. I say this very calmly, as I adore many aspects of German culture, which are deeply integrated in me.

      I mean, in the present crisis, Merkel has to take a hold of herself, realize the crisis is much deeper than national character, and concentrate on that. How difficult is it to concede that the European Central Bank should have the powers of a normal central bank?… Such as lender of last resort for… the state… OK, it’s hard to know what “state” means here… A problem Hitler himself did not solve.

      Napoleon did a much better job, with the notion of state throughout Europe. He freed, say, Poland, whereas Hitler wanted just to annihilate Poland. Even though, Napoleon lost, because he could not find a satisfactory enough notion of state in Europe. In retrospect, the Franks did the better job, although, the dis-unification between Francia and Germania, proved to be, ultimately a disaster. I told you so, would have Caeasar said…
      PA

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  7. Paul Handover Says:

    Today’s Leader in The Economist points a finger directly at Merkel in terms of whether Europe pulls back from the brink or not!

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, Paul. She is playing a game I really do not like, calling everybody less European than her, while laughing about it. It is deeply disingenuous. Even Cameron does not look or sound amused. In truth, she seems to be playing for time, hoping for a disaster, say in Greece, which would make the catastrophe irreversible. “Kicking” Greece out, when the Greeks don’t want to be kicked out, would start the unravelling of all of Europe.

      So, question, is Merkel paid by Putin’s KGB? After all, she comes from the DDR and her pastor of a father believed in that stuff, that’s why he moved TO the DDR. Maybe she is a plant. OK, I have my full conspiracy hat on, but, really, what else makes sense?
      (Please communicate that idea to Chris Snuggs, and other Euroskeptics, hahaha)
      PA

      Like

  8. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Chris Snuggs
    ‎1) What so you WANT Merkel to DO exactly?

    2) Have you SEEN the resports about the Spanish banks? The UTTER GREED, CORRUPTION and INCOMPETENCE involved here? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/08/spain-savings-banks-corruption.

    3) Can you tell mw WHY exactly Germany should pour good, hard-earned money into this bottomless cess-pit?

    4) Can you tell me WHY I (who live in Germany) skhould have to accept higher inflation, the devaluing of my currency, to bail out these RECKLESS and CRIMINAL IDIOTS?

    5) Greece was allowed into the eurozone ON A PACK OF UTTER LIES, prepared by Papademos, an ex ECB, GS crony who was later UNBELIEVABLY dumped onto the Greeks like some Nazi Gauleiter. Can you tell me WHY this man is not locked up for LIES and RECKLESS USE OF PUBLIC MONEY?

    6) ALL REPUTABLE ECONOMISTS TOLD THE EU that the euro COULD NOT WORK, but they ignored it anyway for their own agenda, a Unitesd States of Europe that NO SINGLE EUROPEAN HAS VOTED FOR.

    I am sick to death of these bailouts. THEAY ARE ALL ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO EU AND EUROZONE LAW. So is the ECB money-printing. Now moral pressure is being put on the Germans, who have paid HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS INTO THE EU over DECADES to allow Borroso and the rest of the elitist, cronyist scum to earn TWICE the salaries of national leaders and pay hardly any tax?

    I have NEVER felt so angry about any of the usual lunatic stuff that politicians do as I do NOW. We are being led by the nose by a large number of quasi-fascist, elitist and cronist scum who LIE and BREAK THE LAW and who are STILL BEING RECKLESS WITH OUR MONEY. You’d think their being elected BY US gives them the right to do ANYTHING they want? The dumping of Papandreaou who wanted to hold a referendum on the euro was FASCIST and DISGUSTING. I have nothing but utter contempt for the lot of them and the UK would be FAR better off outside this sea of illegal idiiocy.

    As would Germany, but the guilt from WWII is so deep that the rest can led them by the nose – including France.

    Oh yes – France …. now civil servants can retire at 60 again while the rest of us in Germany have to go on till 67. And you want ME to PAY for this?

    As I said, they can GO TO HELL.

    For the moment, Merkel is doing what the majority of her voters WANT her to do – that is NOT pour money into a black hole of corruption and idlness. Now THERE’S a novel thing … DOING WHAT HER VOTERS WANT. Not the USUAL EU practice, is it? But how long she can withstand the tsunami of self-righteous crap from Hollande and the rest (including the CRETINOUS OBAMA (WHAT THE HELL BUSINESS IS IT OF HIS WHAT WE DO IN EUROPE?) is a moot point.

    I FULLY expect to be royally stuffed by the EU elite in the coming months. SCUM – the lot of them.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Chris: it’s all about accuracy, and then the pain goes away. For example the suggested proposed French future retirement law say that people who have paid a full 41 years of retirement could retire. To retire at 60, one would need to have started to break rocks at 18, while paying fully for one’s retirement. I doubt civil servants (who typically become so after the age of, say, 23) could retire before 65…

      Germany, obviously, is the country that has profitted most from the present system. The hundreds of billions were not paid to Greeks, but to German banksters, and the like.

      Nobody is suggesting to break the laws, but to make better ones. Obama is scared that the euro stops being massively overvalued, and the USA economy tanks, making the continuation of his devoted servile service of plutocracy impossible… No more big plane, infinite sadness…

      Learn, and prosper!
      PA

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  9. Chris Snuggs Says:

    ‎”Germany was the principal profiteer of the Euro system” – Sorry Patrice – it is NONSENSE. Did you hear about Germany struggling economically BEFORE the euro? No, I thought not. When I was at school, the DM was 11 to the GBP. When they abandoned it (STUPIDLY) it was just over TWO to the GBP. SO MUCH FOR GERMANY IN TROUBLE. They have great engineering and for the moment make stuff that the Chinese CAN’T. Their success has NOTHING to do with the euro. Maybe they sold some Porsches to Greece, but they would have done that ANYWAY. This is a ludicrous MYTH worth of the Goebbelsesque EU propaganda machine at its best. I’m surprised you ave fallen for this gibberish. RULE NUMBER ONE: The Germans ALWAYS do well economically WHATEVER the currency. Not exactly rocket science, is it?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Chris: Very simple: Deutschland Uber Alles!
      Let my right hand rise spontaneously as in the famous Doctor Strangelove movie when the parody of Herr Doktor Kissienger’s right hand insists to make the Nazi salute, while the left suppresses it!

      If one compares Germany at the onset of the euro, versus Germany now, obviously Germany profitted much. My point entirely. Remind me to sell my expensive BMW. See if Germany does so well after that.

      One has first to define what “economy” is, before pontificating about whether it does well, or not…

      For example, Germany was doing very badly, economically, under Hitler. Contrarily to legend. Hitler just stole some minorities blind, and redistributed to his followers. Then the followers sang about Hitler’s wonderful economy. They forgot to mention it was redistribution of stolen Jews’ properties.
      Something like that is going on, as the workers’ conditions in Germany are often terrible nowadays.
      Germany was doing terrible in 1947, before the onset of (general) Marshall’s plan.

      Real estate, for example, over the last two decades, has been doing much less well in Germany than in Britain or France. It tripled, or quadrupled in France and Britain, when it went down in Germany. Just because Germany has been crowing on top of the tree in the last few months, Germany has not been necessarily been doing well. All the aid to Greece, Spain, etc. is aid to German banks in distress. Just a matter of time before everybody understands that, and Germany loses its imaginary AAA. A matter of weeks.

      A country that has decided to built 26 new giant coal plan is not doing well economically. It’s not even doing well mentally.
      And this from me, who wrote an essay singing the praises of Germany’s socioeconomy, a few months ago…
      PA

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  10. Dominique Deux Says:

    “Oh yes – France …. now civil servants can retire at 60 again”

    Dear Chris, thank you for once again proving the axiom that Euroskeptics cannot exist without lying through their teeth.

    FYI (but you knew it) Hollande’s promise, now being kept, is to reinstate the right to an early retirement ONLY to those workers (from the public and private sectors) who started work early (18-19) and completed a full lifetime of financial contributions (41-42 years) to the pension scheme. If the UMPists had had half a brain and a quarter of a decent heart, they’d have done it too as a measure of common sense. The measure targets about 100,000 persons who had been disproportionately impacted by Sarkozy’s “reform”; it had been costed at € 6 bn, in fact it will cost € 4 bn over 5 years, much less than what a single rogue trader and a cretinous bank can shove into the fireplace just for fun.

    In addition, let me say that your huffing and puffing about “you Germans” (with your name?) having to lay down tools at 67, and therefore being somewhat better, only goes to show that the slave mentality, which Patrice keeps educating us about, is well ingrained in your collective psyche. All the propaganda about the ‘necessary’ pension reform is just that, propaganda, aimed at hiding the fact that for decades, the economy has been milked dry by finance and big shareholders, confiscating the huge productivity increases which should have gone (in a much larger part) towards investment and worker remuneration, including pensions. So, allow me not to be apologetic.

    Dear Patrice, this fit of sanctimony about the slave mentality brings me back to our Clio discussion. She was not in charge of anything but history. Music, song, dance were the field of other muses.

    Now I do not fault you for not knowing this, or not bothering to check. We have to delimit and manage our knowledge gaps, since being a know-all is a sure recipe for knowing nothing.

    But I would hate to be seen as a pedant alumnus of classical studies. I am an engineer. The reason I am extremely fond of ancient Greece is that – ever since I had the fortune of being taught by a good teacher of the language, who turned every course into a challenging, vivid experience – I always have been overwhelmed by these guys’ contribution to humankind as a whole – not merely Europe. You keep enlightening us about the deeds of the Franks in the political field, how they stood for personal freedom and outlawed slavery, backing their ethics with the sword, and I am grateful for that because it opened my mind.

    Well the Greeks are my Franks. They were the first among the whole humankind to debate, experiment, theorize and teach the great escape from the slave mentality. There were superb civilizations before them, all over the world – but peon civilizations. The Greeks despised them for that very reason. Plays about the individual’s rights against the city were played in public and hotly debated. The right of men to ignore or resist divine decree was affirmed. Killing tyrants earned you statues and indefinite remembrance – some still remember Harmodios and Aristogiton. For all their faults, their cruelty, their divisiveness, their inconsistencies (they had slaves!), they were the great trail blazers. Kicking their scions, however degenerate, from the continent they named and inseminated with its specific mindset, would be akin to parricide.

    I remember as a kid in the late fifties reading Thucydides’ War of the Peloponnese, and thinking again and again, this guy is describing, in great detail, WWIII.

    So I hope you’ll forgive my bout of pedantry. But I wonder now – were the Frank’s and the Greek’s rather unique stands against the universal slave mentality connected, or not? A matter for the historian!

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: Thank you for helping with Chris, he is a handful (hahaha), Eurosphobic Germanophile obsessive Brit on a rampage! The best way to enslave is to enslave minds, indeed.

      I confess my total ignorance about Clio. I read description she was this, or that. Indeed, if it’s not her, it will be some other muse.

      I talk a lot about the Franks, be it only, as I explained, because they funded an on-going empire, whose empirical constitution has conquered the world, but they viewed themselves a super Greeks, and acted accordingly… They are the ones who drafted the word “Europe” to describe themselves. Their claim that their ancestors escaped from Troy, had several important features of the frankish civilization that superseded the Greeks.

      Such as anti-sexism: Troy was about woman’s lib).

      Greeks and its Dorians (Sparta) came 6 centuries after the crushing of Crete by the volcano Thera/Santorini. The Cretans were the original thalassocracy and a better model than Greece herself, in more ways than one. They also invented Greek art (would I dare say after casual inspection).

      The republicans of very ancient Roma were as anti-slavery as possible. They did not have slaves, either. The original Franks were similar: small peasant families working the ground, herding cattle. As the slave economy grew, gigantic, so did plutocracy and finally the Roman republic got killed. We have a variant of this now, with drafted Chinese peasants in place of Roman slaves…

      The Greeks themselves had a different trajectory, because their steel armed Dorian ancestors conquered the land. That can be seen most clearly in Sparta, where the invaders had enslaved, under the most brutal, inhuman conditions, the original population. Athens’ rise depended also upon its slave equipped silver mines (let alone Sparta itself… which freed Athens, 80 years before engaging in the 30 year Peloponese war). These contradictions at the heart of democratic Greece led to its quick fall under plutocracy (Antipater).

      Anyway, much to talk about!
      PA

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  11. Old Geezer Says:

    I’m late butting in here, but the Germans have profited enormously from being in the Eurozone PRECISELY because the DM was so valuable. The peripheral countries pulled down the value of the E thus giving Germany an edge on her exports, particularly the stuff China can’t make (like BMWs).

    Now back to the latest essay

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Even more can be said. It’s well known, when one looks at the stats: Germany’s economic outperformance has been led by its exports, WITHIN the Eurozone… Not even counting the pulling down of the German currency, which would otherwise have not happen, as you say.

      An illustration: I do know very well someone who drives an Uber expensive BMW, and is distinctly less happy to do so nowadays, and would certainly not have purchased it, had Germany not been in the Eurozone, or had the titanically teutonic bad character obvious nowadays, been in evidence…
      PA

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Germans profited enormously“: 40% of the German economy is from exports. 56% of those exports are within the EMU.

      Germany acted as if it was above and beyond Europe. Mistake. Not true. The German miracle was a European miracle, in large part contrived by an inner devaluation.
      This was explained in:
      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/euro-inner-devaluation/

      Greece Today, Germany Morgen!
      PA

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