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This is two weeks old, but I wanted to flag it:

The cowardly EU « Europe not EU

I am back from my holidays and a blogging hiatus to find that  EU finds it easier to rally behind a mindless G20 Obama love-in on fiscal and bank bailouts than it is to hold a summit on preserving jobs.

EU heads of state and government have decided to run away from cancel a Prague meeting, originally scheduled for May 7, which aimed to bring together national leaders with businesses and trade unions.

Only last week, the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso was insisting that it would be a "fundamental error" not to hold the summit.

"Our public opinion would not understand, it would be unacceptable that EU leaders meet at the highest level and that they discuss the problems of the banks and not social problems. That they discuss the problems of the financial sector and not that of employment. That would be really unacceptable," he said on Mar 18.

(Mr. Waterfield still liberally mixes the EU and its institutions and constituting national governments.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:24:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's right on the mark on the "Obama love-in". There have been no substantial policy proposals from Europe since Obama got elected, everyone's been waiting for him to solve the crisis.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Were there any before he got elected?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe not, but they've all relaxed visibly, waiting for Obama to work his magic.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:33:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hold on a minute. I thought Merkel is proposing a wait and see solution? I consider that good experimental procedure.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 05:27:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait for what? Haven't we seen enough?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:13:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait to see if the last round of bank bailouts is helping? I mean, as opposed to pumping even more money in and then seeing if it is helping.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:44:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, taxing the richer classes and investing the proceeds into energy efficiency would seem a great thing to do in the meantime...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:46:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, bank bailouts don't work and pumping more money into them is not what Merkel is opposing. She's opposing pumping more money into the real economy.

Fiscal conservatives will make the recession worse.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 07:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Youz forgot about the Sarko-Merkel(-Steinbrück) demand for international regulation of financial markets.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 05:28:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which kind of dodges the question of what to do about this crisis.

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 Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 07:31:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which kind of dodges the question of what to do about this crisis.
Not really.  Reform of the existing regulatory system, to the extent there is one, is ONE of the preconditions for a genuine recovery.  I.e., necessary but not sufficient.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 02:19:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

There have been no substantial policy proposals from Europe since Obama got elected, everyone's been waiting for him to solve the crisis.

There have been consistent calls by France and Germany to regulate capitalism better and crack down on tax haven (mostly grandstanding from Sarkozy, I'll grant, but the German drive has been serious enough).

There's been a pushback on deficit spending, and more generally there has been very little criticism of how the ECB has handled the crisis on its side, which is a stark change from usual practice in big parts of Europe.

Brown has been forced to choose sides (symbolically anyway) and seems to have sided on the European side. That's pretty significant too.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 05:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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