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Nobody's "Blaming 'Germany' for everything" - I always say who said what that is being objected to. But, taken as a whole, a lot of the people calling the shots are German. For instance, I blame Merkel for a bunch of things. Just today:
"We must make it very clear to people that the current problem, namely of excessive debt built up over decades, cannot be solved in one blow, with things like euro bonds or debt restructurings that will suddenly make everything okay. No, this will be a long, hard path, but one that is right for the future of Europe."
According to reports, she actually proposed to introduce a Constitutional Debt Brake at the EU level.

In any case, the insistence that the current problem [is] excessive debt built up over decades is demonstrably false. But debating this point is like talking to a dining room table

We talk about the euro crisis. They say, "Clearly, this was about fiscal irresponsibility, and we need to enforce much stricter rules." I say,

No fiscal rule would have constrained the Spanish housing bubble and its consequences.

And they say, "Thank you for your contribution. Clearly, this was about fiscal irresponsibility, and we need to enforce much stricter rules."

...

The blue line is Germany; the red line is Spain.

And, yes, this is mostly coming from Germany and it's coming from everyone who is anyone in Germany. Hey, even you agree that the problem is debt. More Krugman
A correspondent informs me that Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister, has just given a speech asserting that excessive public debt caused the 2008 crisis. In fact, I'm told, he said that
It's actually undisputed among economists worldwide that one of the main causes - if not the main cause - of the turbulence - not just now, but already in 2008 - was excessive public debt everywhere in the world.
OK, we can prove that wrong immediately: I dispute it, Brad DeLong disputes it, Christy Romer disputes it, and I think we fall into the category of "economists worldwide".
As Wolfgang Münchau put it in 2009: Berlin weaves a deficit hair-shirt for us all - yeah, that's right, none of this forced march to constitutional balanced budget reforms would have happened if Germany hadn't gotten the ball rolling and, moreover, continued to argue for its necessity and used the Euro crisis as a stick to force other countries to do it.
A decision was taken recently in Berlin to introduce a balanced-budget law in the German constitution. It was a hugely important decision. It may not have received due attention outside Germany given the flood of other economic and financial news. From 2016, it will be illegal for the federal government to run a deficit of more than 0.35 per cent of gross domestic product. From 2020, the federal states will not be allowed to run any deficit at all. Unlike Europeâ€TMs stability and growth pact, which was first circumvented, later softened and then ignored, this unilateral constitutional law will stick. I would expect that for the next 20 or 30 years, deficit reduction will be the first, second and third priority of German economic policy.

...

I am a little surprised not to hear howls of protests from France and other European countries. Germany has not consulted its European partners in a systematic way. While the Maastricht treaty says countries should treat economic policy as a matter of common concern, this was an example of policy unilateralism at its most extreme.

...

While the balanced budget law is economically illiterate, it is also universally popular. ...

This general level of debt-aversion is bizarre. Many ordinary Germans regard debt as morally objectionable, even if it is put to proper use. They see the financial crisis primarily as a moral crisis of Anglo-Saxon capitalism. The balanced budget constitutional law is therefore not about economics. It is a moral crusade, and it is the last thing, Germany, the eurozone and the world need right now.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 04:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Hey, even you agree that the problem is debt."

Do I now? Where?

Do you confuse me with Merkel?

By the way did you realize that Merkel was speaking to the opposition, especially regarding eurobonds? A fact you tend to ignore.

by IM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 04:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't you been insisting all over the thread that the Euro crisis is a debt crisis, not a currency crisis?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 04:57:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this case you surely have no problem to find that comment or comment.

Bonus point: Find where I said anything about public debts.

by IM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 05:27:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ask and ye shall recieve.

I said: Ireland was a debt crisis. A private debt crisis. Which should not be news to anybody reading these pages.

You replied: But that is my point. Not a currency crisis. Doesn't fit your narrative.

The casual reader could be forgiven for believing that your point was that Ireland had a debt crisis, and that this had something to do with the continental crises.

But if you presented your own analysis of what the problem is and what solutions are possible and desirable, then there would be much less grounds for such misunderstandings...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 07:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And it is a bit boring to read the same Krugman blog post again and again. After all I and the rest of the readers of this blog too already did read it at the source.

Reagrding Münchau:
"While the balanced budget law is economically illiterate, it is also universally popular"

Universally popular all over the world. I already did mention the US. The popular support for austerity in the us and the UK is hardly "forced" by german pressure. The same is true in the rest of the world. Balanced budget laws and constitutional balanced budget amendments are always popular. I doubt there are many countries where public opinion is different.

That is a problem and we should deal with it. And not seek the fount of all evil somewhere over the border in "Frankfurt".

by IM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 05:00:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not nearly as boring as 'top economists and bankers' and other weasels pushing the same self-interested but ultimately suicidal policies again and again.

Your comments are trivially short, loaded with emotive insinuations, and entirely oppositional to the preceding comment with no further scope - all of which suggest trolling.

But just in case you're here to make a more positive contribution - perhaps you'd care to explain what you think the solution to the Eurozone crisis should be?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 06:03:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you never been in an argument before?

They are oppositional to the preceding comment because we are debating. Are you so used to echo-chambers that you can't see the difference between debating and trolling? And length of a comment has nothing to with its quality. Look: I have read Krugman, you have read Krugman, probably most here have read the latest Krugman. No need to cite him again and again.  

"It's not nearly as boring as 'top economists and bankers' and other weasels pushing the same self-interested but ultimately suicidal policies again and again."

What kind of non sequitur is that?

"But just in case you're here to make a more positive contribution "

I would like to make a positive contribution. But I fear nobody would listen. I actually wanted to write a diary about the latest state elections here, but the current climate on this blog dissuaded me. Perhaps the next one.

by IM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 06:23:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been trying to understand the substance of your opinions on the subjects we are ostensibly debating, with no luck, I'm afraid. A number of others seem genuinely confused as to what your positions are. It would greatly improve the signal to noise ratio if you would care to lay them out.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 08:44:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seconded. I'm still trying to figure out IM's views and recommendations here, but so far I can't see anything.

Beyond the denunciation of bad taste WW II comparisons (and most of us agree), the only impression remaining (unfortunately) is him taking taking exception when someone blames the German leadership (politicos, bankers, etc...), for the current mess.

And no, I disagree that we are driving German contributors out: if French ETribbers were reacting that way each time Sarkozy, the UMP or the PS politics is criticized here, there wouldn't be any single French person left. Germany is no different.

And yes I would really welcome a diary about the latest state elections and generally speaking about German politics as it affects EU policies.

by Bernard on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 09:21:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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