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They have not taken any political decisions in the direction of what you consider the right thing. By the way, could you expand on specifically what you mean by "the right thing?".

But they have taken plenty of political decisions.

It is a political decision to create the EFSF. The size of its capital is also a political decision. The fact that tapping the EFSF is subject to "strict conditionalities" imposed by fellow EU finance ministers on the offending country is a political decision. The fact that these "strict conditionalities" amount to IMF'ing a fellow member state is a political decision. Crying bloody murder over ECB secondary market bond purchases is a political decision. So is the decision to bar the ESM (which will replace the EFSF after 2013) from buying sovereign debt in the secondary market (to complement the ECB's prohibition to buy it in the primary market). So is the decision to have "no bondholder bail-in before 2013". So is the ECB's threat to withhold liquidity from Irish banks. So is the lengthy negotiation of the parameters and timetable of banking stress tests (the very decision to do another round of banking stress tests is political).

Refer to my signature.

There is absolutely no indication that the current EU leadership has it in them to "do the right thing". In fact, in their public pronouncements on Portugal they're positively drooling over the prospect of imposing harsher austerity than rejected by the Portuguese parliament last month.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 05:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that the only way to satisfy the predators is to impose austerity - not that they'll care - is very much political.

The issue here is that the politics has become invisible and pretends to be inevitable.

The standard narratives are now built into the frame of the debate. No serious person can ever question them, and even unserious people can have difficulty seeing through them.

Economics is politics by other means

Or in more detail, economics has become a very literal form of Newspeak.

Instead of being simple, it pretends to be complicated. But it has the same deadening effect; dissenting concepts become unthinkable, challenging questions become unaskable, and humane values become morally hazardous.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 07:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
politicians pretend they are powerless and thus TINA. But it's not true. But they don't want to rock the boat (the yacht) with all their friends on it.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:37:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So they are making political decisions all the time.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 07:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but these are passive decisions, not active ones. I agree it's a political choice, but it's not exactly a "decision" in that it requires doing nothing, or close to that (or worse, most of the times these days: doing almost nothing and pretending you've taken big decisions - something which decredibilises political decisions in making it look like "big decisions" don't change a thing)

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 05:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once again "the Euro can do no wrong", only this time it's "they just fail to do the right thing, or anything for that matter" version.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 05:53:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An optimist will note that the Euro could be saved at any time by sound policy.

A pessimist will note that nobody in a position of power to help implement sound policy gives any indication of being able to even think in terms that makes it possible to talk about what a sound policy is.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 01:52:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is why the whole spectacle is like watching a bad horror movie. Everyone is inexplicably paralyzed while being engulfed by their doom. But in this case, some of us can see how the whole "crisis" could be resolved, but that would require dialing back the looting, or wealth transfer, if you prefer, by the financial elites and doing it by political means.

The elites, collectively, cannot bring themselves to moderate their greed even in the interests of prolonging their highly successful game, and all others have not been able to bring themselves to stop the elites or even to significantly oppose them. So we roll onward towards the cliff that lies ahead. The question that remains is the extent to which those elites and those who serve them understand this and are just caught up "riding the tiger", are complete, unquestioning believers in the propaganda that has been promulgated on their behalf or simply don't care about the consequences and are convinced that the consequences will be for others.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 07:43:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doing the right thing means buying as much spanish debt as needed to fix its rate. Better without withdrawing liquidity from the market.

But this means Spain will have to do whatever Germany decides it has to do. Otherwise Spain will follow Portugal fate and the ECB will stop buying bonds.

And here you have a poker game if Germany and Spain knew what they are doing.. the problem is that the crazy economic sect of uber-austerity is in the middle of the game. They may want Spain to receive a lesson, and more pain for the South and all that stuff. They could destroy the euro in theprocess.

So, the austeristas and gold-stadnard lovers will have to break one of their dremas. A pure gold-standard, since the ECB has to buy spanish debt... or just the end of the euro-gold because noone will pay the spanish bail-out.

Two years on, the only last hope of Spain is  still that it is too big to fail and the ECB must fix the spanish bond rate or the euro can go in flames...

The other option is that they try to do a Portugal to Spain... more pain for Spain.. and a bridge loan.. and then moves to the next country.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 09:09:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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