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But Sarko is.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 07:16:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except it's not much use for Germany to avoid getting mugged on the markets if all its trading partners are bankrupted.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 07:26:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cue in Bob the Angry Flower:

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 07:33:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah. About time.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er... no, they did not forgot the servants.

Its us.

by cagatacos on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:27:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This day could come but right now I'd argue it's the opposite. The people rioting aren't needed by the world economy, yet the world economy still generates enough "excess energy" for this group of people to live on. If the parasitic wealthy kill off the technicians, then yes, this will probably play out.

Theoretically we could have created a society in which all this excess energy was converted to a lifestyle wherein humans simply get to enjoy being humans - but I say theoretically because it would have been (and was) outcompeted by societies who prefer guns.

It's a huge disaster - such a big proportion of the modern world no longer has access to the myths of a good life as offered by their individual cultures, much less the environment that actually leads to happy, healthy humans.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 03:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, I think you're right.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 24th, 2011 at 06:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the German banks... well, the currency will still be sound.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 05:50:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian: Euro crisis: Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy facing new bailout bust-up: Eurozone's odd couple may face fresh battles over the Greek bailout, but both will also be looking to please voters at home (21 July 2011)
The hyperactive "Super" Sarkozy thinks she is ponderous, slow and too keen on rules; the methodical "Iron Frau" Merkel considers him overly impatient, impetuous and too quick to break them.

The pair do not speak the same language - literally or metaphorically - so like the hapless comic duo, when it comes to Franco-German relations anything can happen.


[The Economist] quoted a former European foreign minister saying Merkel and Sarkozy found each other "mutually unbearable" but said they had found a way to get along despite disagreeing on a number of major issues, including fiscal harmonisation.

"France and Germany have never been natural partners. Agreement always has to be worked on," a French official told the magazine.

Last month, in a report of Sarkozy's visit to Berlin to discuss the Greek crisis, Der Spiegel wrote: "The welcome will once again appear very cordial... Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel will also work the cameras this time around ... a kiss on the left cheek, a peck on the right one, smiles and waving. Behind closed doors, the atmosphere will be less amicable." It added: "The fronts have hardened - especially between Germany and France".

In the past the modus operandi of France has often been to dream up big European ideas ... and expect Germany to pay for them.

A year earlier...

The Guardian: How the euro - and the EU - teetered on the brink of collapse: French president Nicolas Sarkozy dramatically forced German chancellor Anglela Merkel to retreat (14 May 2010)

The tensions were palpable, the theatrics mesmerising. It was well past midnight and the leaders, charged with saving the euro, were getting nowhere fast after a fine Friday supper. Greece might be saved. But Portugal? Ireland? Spain? Even Italy?


Sarkozy claimed the political leadership of the 16 members, announced a defining victory against the markets and the "speculators" wrecking the currency. The metaphors were all martial. Europe was at war. He would not give away his "lines of defence". But by the time the markets opened on Monday morning, the enemy would have learned its lessons and beat a retreat.

In the previous hour upstairs at the summit, Sarkozy had thrown a wobbly. "It was really a drama," said an experienced European diplomat. "A very abrupt end to a summit - because Sarkozy said he had had enough and really forced Merkel to face her responsibility."

A European Commission official added: "He was shouting and bawling. The Germans were being very difficult, and not only the Germans. It was a big fight between Sarkozy and Merkel."


According to senior Spanish government officials quoted by Spain's El Pais, Sarkozy called Merkel's bluff on what, 48 hours later, turned into a massive financial package that has rewritten the way the single currency functions and changed the European Union in fundamental ways that may take years to play out.


"Sarkozy went as far as banging his fist on the table and threatening to leave the euro," one unnamed Zapatero colleague told the paper. "That obliged Angel Merkel to bend and reach an agreement."

The French had Spain, Italy, Portugal and the European Commission lined up behind them. On the other side stood Germany, ranged alongside the Dutch, the Austrians and the Finns, all quietly hoping Merkel would prevail.


"It was a fundamental discussion about sovereignty, about the role of the member state, about what the EU is for, the role and power of the European Commission," said a second diplomat.


Europe was opting for shock and awe. Repeatedly in the past two weeks, Merkel has declared that "politics has to reassert primacy over the financial markets". This was the attempt.


Tellingly, the White House confirmed that Merkel, not Sarkozy, was the main obstacle to a decision staggering in its scale and ambition. Obama and Sarkozy "agreed" on the need for urgent action, while Obama and Merkel "discussed" the need for urgent action.


Outline agreement had been reached on the European fund of €500bn. But who would control it? The Germans insisted it had to be national governments, not the European Commission. They won that argument and Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, pushed for a rapid conclusion before the Tokyo traders switched on their computer screens. As argument continued over how to label the rescue, the Dutch conjured a new concept that kept everyone happy - a "special purposes vehicle". The deal was done. France had won. Germany had lost.

"This was supposed to be a German euro. It's turned into a French euro," complained a German expert.


Barroso's argument was for full-fledged harmonisation of tax and spending policies among the countries sharing the currency, otherwise the euro had no future.

"Let's be clear. You can't have a monetary union without having an economic union," he said. "Member states should have the courage to say whether they want an economic union or not. And if they don't, it's better to forget monetary union altogether."

And in Aachen the next day, Merkel started talking about "the pound, the deutschmark, the franc, and the drachma". It sounded almost nostalgic for the old, simpler days of Germans' love affair with their national currency, though her speech was to advertise her credentials as a fervent European.


Sarkozy's famous victory is less than final - and he might yet regret his showdown with a chancellor of Germany.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 02:38:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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