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I think, on purely economic grounds, a Northern alliance will most likely follow an EU breakup. Most countries bordering Germany depend on the German market. This will create a bloc other countries will join by and by. Any Southern alliance is likely to be dysfunctional.
The Northern alliance (or "Neuro") would probably be a successor of the current Baltic Sea Region. The Southern alliance or "Seuro" would have naturally been organised around the Euromediterranean Partnership. However, as it happened when Sarkozy attempted to beef the moribund EuroMed up, Merkel insisted that every EU member state should be part of the Union of the Mediterranean, in that way ensuring it could not function (40-something 'Mediterranean' countries all the way to Scandinavia?). Unfortunately, Sarkoxy didn't demand as quid-pro-quo that France get a seat on the Baltic Cooperation...

(Yes, the name "Neuro" is an intentional pun)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 07:07:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Members of the Baltic Sea region:

Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland

I don't think so. This includes only four euro members and that counts latvia.

Austria, the Benelux countries, Slovakia, Slovenia and the non euro using Czech republic are even more intertwined with the german economy then the members of Baltic sea region.

And that said, even with my "realistic" additions only one of the four largest trade partners of Germany - the Netherlands-  is included.

by IM on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 03:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Realistically, any supra-national Baltic Sea organization that includes Germany and excludes Russia would have the latter freaking out.  Russia has strong memories of WW 2 and from that a fear of a (what they would see as) German-dominated alliance on their western border.

Plus Poland doesn't exactly have warm fuzzies for either Germany or Russia.  

So it's complicated.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus Poland doesn't exactly have warm fuzzies for either Germany or Russia.  

The relationship between Poland and Germany hasn't been this good since the siege of Vienna. That is not the problem.

by IM on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:04:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The relationship between Poland and Germany hasn't been this good since the siege of Vienna.

That is very true. In his speech on a possible Brexit, the Polish foreign minister made it very clear that the country's future is with Germany and continental Europe.
I don't see any Northern or Eastern country (except the UK, and Ireland) not joining a Northern alliance around Germany. The UK and France are the wild cards in this game.
by The European on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is about staying in a rump-EU, Sweden would stay. If it is a new alliance that comes close to EU in importance, I doubt Sweden would join. Both the nationalist right and anti-EU left is much stronger now then when Sweden joined the EU, and that was a close call. For Finland it depends on how much they got burnt when the EU collapsed vs how scared they are about Russia. Both Sweden and Finland could end up going back to EFTA.

The Baltic countries will probably cling to Germany for safety whatever austerity may come.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:34:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is about staying in a rump-EU, Sweden would stay. If it is a new alliance that comes close to EU in importance,

The difference is in name only. Any new alliance would invariably integrate most of the things we have already in the EU. As to its potential importance, only time can tell.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it difficult to believe anything like the euro or the EU-as-political-project would emerge if the EU collapses.  Those, in my mind, are based on a Top/Down Model of organization of human interaction during a time of increasing Bottom/Up P2P links.  

I'm no Techno-Utopian but it seems clear, to me, the global linkages allowed by the Internet will have profound consequences, some of which we can't even begin to imagine.  As an example, what happens to Big-Box Brick-and-Mortar Stores when customers routinely purchase commodity consumer consumables over the internet?  What happens to continual consumption (purchase) of consumer durables after somebody figures out they can make a bloody fortune by junking planned obsolesce and receive long-term income from parts and service?  

A major change in Communications must lead to other major changes, across the board.  See what happened after the invention of the moveable type, as an obvious 'bit of proof.'  

Granted TPTB, who became TPTB under the previous circumstances, are going to do everything they can to prevent a phase transition.  However under foreseeable meta-changes, e.g., Global Warming, I think, in the end, there is bugger-all they can do about it.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:14:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think anything like EU-as-political-project is unlikely if the EU collapse, but for another reason. The EU is as a project to build a federal European state a project that tries to create and depends upon a European identity. And when those fail competing identities are strenghtened, which would be the member states as Neuro/Seuro identities are not developed. If the project returns in force it takes a generation or so.

So if EU fails I predict member states going their own ways with overlapping, weaker intergovernmental collaborations.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 04:21:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should Russia care about the Baltic? The Arctic is the future!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 07:46:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Baltic is their only sea route on their west coast.  Somebody in Russia thinks that is important because they held onto the Kaliningrad Oblast.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 01:36:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this respect as well, the Arctic may be the future...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't dispute it.  

I'm saying it's not an Either/Or situation.  I submit Russia can manage to do two things at the same time.  

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
any supra-national Baltic Sea organization that includes Germany and excludes Russia would have the latter freaking out

One of the reasons we should fear a EZone/EU breakup is that Germany will look for new partners and find them in the East in Russia or even in the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), which would dwarf the Anglo-Saxon trade empire. Both China and Russia will be among Germany's most important trading partners and German industry will depend on Russia and Central Asia for resources.
In fact the very raison d'être for the EU and the EZone is France's determination to "bind" Germany to continental Europe.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This analysis raises a number of questions:

a) Under what geopolitical model is a Sino-German trade bloc possible independent of the American empire?

b) What does Germany offer as third wheel of a Sino-Russian trade bloc?

c) In which political universe is Germany going to accept being the (very) junior partner in a Russo-German trade bloc?

d) In what universe is the US going to tolerate a Russo-German trade bloc (remembering that the US has a number of current and potential clients in the ECE buffer states who will be more than eager to play spoiler on their behalf)?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 03:50:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My mental model breaks Europe up "naturally" into the basins of the various seas: Baltic, North Sea, Mediterranean and Black Sea. There are a few remaining landlocked countries: Switzerland, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Belarus. Those can be satellites of the regions around them, or not. Right now, I see Czechia as almost as independent-minded as Switzerland, for instance. And the same may be true of Serbia or Belarus.

If you want Germany and the Netherlands in the same economc bloc, we're looking rather at the North Sea basin: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, Norway, Denmark. But that replicates the situation with the old European Community (minus Italy) and the EFTA (UK, Denmark, Norway, etc). It didn't work out then (the EFTA countries remain outside the EU or are eurosceptic or uncommited members of it) so why should it work out now?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 07:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Human society, including economics, isn't natural. And an old name for the north sea in Britain was the german ocean. Anyway we could look at rivers: A federation of the Rhine would include Switzerland, Benelux, France and Germany. Almost the six founding members

That said, I just looked at current trade. And there Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia are more dependent on trade with Germany then any country in the Baltic, with the exception of Denmark. Austria e. g. 38.2% of imports came from Germany and 31.2% of imports did go there.

And of course the largest trade partner of Germany is still France.

German exports in 2012:

  1. France
  2. USA
  3. UK
  4. Netherlands
  5. China
  6. Austria.
  7. Italy
  8. Switzerland
  9. Belgium
  10. Poland

The first Baltic countries are Sweden (14) and Denmark (18). Out of the 8 european countries mentioned one isn't a member and two don't use the euro.

Now, if a North Euro without France or even Italy would make sense is another question, but the economic facts as of now don't hint to a Baltic Empire. The Hanseatic League won't rise again. :-)

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 05:57:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot Liechtenstein. As their anthem used to say (until 1963 - tune is "God save the Queen")
Wo einst St. Lucien

Frieden nach Rhätien

Hineingebracht.

Dort an dem Grenzenstein

Und längs dem jungen Rhein

Steht furchtlos Liechtenstein

Auf Deutschlands Wacht.

Wouldn't a federation of the Danube be more interesting?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I intentionally left out microstates.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:09:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I just forget them.

Danube Federations were very popular in the interwar years. And while the biggest trade partners of Germany and Austria mostly are the same, there is one exception: Hungary.

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:17:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I quite like this map:


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:20:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And of course the largest trade partner of Germany is still France.

German exports in 2012:

1.France

That is a fantastic reason for France not to share a currency with Germany.

Imagine a core Eurozone with Germany and France alone, and Germany retaining its 6% current account surplus. If their common currency continued to float freely and the core Eurozone had a neutral current account balance, France would have an 8% current account deficit.

So either Germany gives up its current account surplus or the rest of the world allows the core Eurozone to devalue its currency so that it can run a 3% current account surplus. Or Germany accepts fiscal transfers to France comparable to the size of the current account balances.

As none of the three possibilities are politically plausible, there cannot be a core Eurozone consisting of Germany and France. In fact, there cannot be a Eurozone consisting of Germany and anyone else (as the successive failures of Europe's attempts to fix exchange rates without fiscal transfers over 40 years demonstrate).

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:17:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, because imports in 2012:

  1. Netherlands
  2. China.
  3. France.
  4. USA.
  5. Italy

That is a two-way relationship. Note: The Netherlands run a considerable trade surplus with Germany and that is probably the case since the revolt of the Netherlands or so. And this:

"In fact, there cannot be a Eurozone consisting of Germany and anyone else"

Is simply magical thinking.  So Germany couldn't share a currency with the Netherlands because of their unbalanced trade?

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NL trade surplus = Rotterdam.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:32:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even that is a tradition; that was the cause of the Navigation Acts after all

German trade surplus with eastern europe = Hamburg

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.

The German trade surplus basically happens in the southern half of the country. And that cargo goes to Bremen, Rotterdam and Trias (in roughly that order).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 03:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if we just look at trade balances the five biggest (trade) surpluses of Germany in 2012 are:

  1. France
  2. USA
  3. UK
  4. Austria
5.Switzerland

Two of these euro countries, three of those countries with a free floating currency.

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:31:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the biggest trade surplus of Germany is with France, not just the biggest export figure. My argument stands. If the Eurozone consisted only of France and Germany, France would be in a current account crisis in a few years. The only reason it isn't already is that there are a few dominos to fall before France: Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:11:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So either Germany gives up its current account surplus or ...

No, its the other way around: we have to give up trade deficits. That is the purpose of structural reforms, which are necessary irrespective of whether we have the Euro or not. It has nothing to do with the Euro. The problem is one of adapting traditional societies to the competitive environment of the modern world.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One country can't have a surplus without another country having a deficit. And since the eurozone has largely balanced trade with the rest of the world, the problems of trade surplus and defiicits are internal to the eurozone.



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the problems of trade surplus and defiicits are internal to the eurozone

Some countries like Portugal have had a trade deficit for the last 60 years. That predates EZone and EU membership.
Anyways, jobs in the South are lost to China and the emerging economies not to the North.
The simple fact of the matter is that countries in the South have priced themselves out of low-cost manufacturing without managing the transition to high value added production. That is a structural problem that won't be solved by exiting EZone/EU. That problem cannot be solved by monetary policy.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:31:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some countries like Portugal have had a trade deficit for the last 60 years. That predates EZone and EU membership.
First there was the Bretton Woods gold standard, then there was the European Monetary System, then there was the Exchange Rate Mechanisms ERM I and ERM II. Throughout, Portugal ended up devaluing its currency. If there hadn't been a decades-long policy of fixed exchange rates, maybe Portugal might have had a gradual devaluing of the currency (not a periodic crisis) and a much smaller trade deficit (still a deficit, but within statistical error of zero).

Trying to keep your currency overvalued will produce the trade deficit, and then the devaluation crisis. An overvalued currency, however, is great for the local elite to take their rentier income out of the country.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First there was the Bretton Woods gold standard, ...

First there was the Salazar dictatorship (Franco dictatorship in Spain) which pampered its domestic industry and made it noncompetitive. These traditional structures together with an over reliance on real estate speculation is what's wrong with these economies.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:26:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then why did France devalue serially, just as Portugal did?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The simple fact of the matter is that countries in the South have priced themselves out of low-cost manufacturing without managing the transition to high value added production. That is a structural problem that won't be solved by exiting EZone/EU. That problem cannot be solved by monetary policy.

It must be solved by fiscal policy, and it can only be solved by fiscal policy if monetary policy doesn't work against it.

The EU allows no industrial policy, no independent fiscal policy, and has a monetary policy conducive to deflation, depression and unemployment.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:01:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The European:
That is a structural problem that won't be solved by exiting EZone/EU

how can it be solved, in your opinion?

keynesian job creation? government investment of citizens' taxes to provide employment and teach skills to make them productive?

whose fault is it they don't get smart like the germans and invent more saleable stuff for the world economy, or price their labour cheaper than asia's?

if we are in a painful transition period between old and new capitalism, what is the goal the suffering is for?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 10:04:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how can it be solved, in your opinion?

The Andrew Mellon way:

liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate... it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 10:15:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
whose fault is it they don't get smart like the germansBavarians and invent more saleable stuff for the world economy, or price their labour cheaper than asia's?
Fixed that for you
Edmund Stoiber once caused something of an uproar when he said "unfortunately, not everyone in Germany is as intelligent as in Bavaria".
(today's Newsroom)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 11:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyways, jobs in the South are lost to China and the emerging economies not to the North.

Because of the overvalued exchange rate relative to where it would be if the south did not have to subsidize German currency policy.

The simple fact of the matter is that countries in the South have priced themselves out of low-cost manufacturing without managing the transition to high value added production. That is a structural problem that won't be solved by exiting EZone/EU. That problem cannot be solved by monetary policy.

The simple fact of the matter is that "structural adjustment" is making that problem worse, not better.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 04:12:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the accounting is still based on national borders.  Which is a problem nobody seems willing to face.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we have to give up trade deficits

Therefore, the Eurozone must run a trade surplus with the rest of the world.

And the rest of the world is going to accommodate that without allowing their freely floating currencies to devalue, exactly why?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:55:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So either Germany gives up its current account surplus or ...
No, its the other way around: we have to give up trade deficits.
The surplus country has policy space, the deficit country doesn't. Therefore it's the surplus country that has agency. Especially in a fixed exchange rate regime.

If the surplus country won't play ball, the fixed exchange rate system breaks down. The story of the past, I don't know, 150 years?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:14:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, its the other way around: we have to give up trade deficits.

The sum of all foreign trade must be zero. Ergo, to give up deficits, you must give up surpluses.

That is the purpose of structural reforms,

No, if that were the purpose of structural reforms, then the structural reforms would include confiscatory taxation of extreme wealth, sharp discounting of overvalued currencies, picking strategic industry winners for aggressive state investment, and imposing restrictive joint venture and local sourcing requirements for high-tech imports.

This is not what is being done, therefore the purpose of structural reform is not to do away with trade imbalances (unless you wish to postulate that those who peddle structural reform are all idiots who do not understand elementary import substitution strategies).

which are necessary irrespective of whether we have the Euro or not.

Why?

It has nothing to do with the Euro. The problem is one of adapting traditional societies to the competitive environment of the modern world.

If adapting to the competitive environment of the modern world leaves a large fraction of the population substantially worse off, then why should we not simply throw up protectionist barriers against foreign competition?

Competition is, after all, a policy, not an objective. If we can protect the interests of the bottom three quarters of the income distribution at the "cost" of wiping out the accumulated wealth of the top quarter, then that's a feature, not a bug.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 04:09:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sum of all foreign trade must be zero.

Never going to happen.  Latvia, say, is never going to have a viable domestic automotive industry and Germany, say, is never going to have autarky in food production.  The relative production costs, thus purchase price, for manufactured goods versus agricultural commodities means a steady trade imbalance between the two regions.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And still the sum of all foreign trade must be zero, by the magic of double-entry bookkeeping: The exports of one state are the imports of another state. Sum up over the whole planet, and you have zero (so long as the rest of the galaxy does not pay us for the space probes we send them).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trade is the flow of goods and services thus we need to look at Cash Statements rather than Balance Sheets.  History shows there will always be a larger flow of cash from resource to resource-user regions.  (Tho' I concede the current situation increases that flow.)  Mostly, IMO, from the fact there are many more potential and actual resource regions producing, e.g., wheat, than resource-user regions producing, e.g., iPods.  Also resource regions tend to be over-populated with respect to the per capita current market value of their goods in international trade.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 03:13:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whichever way you look at it, at the macro level it has to net to zero. That's really not controversial, except to German politicians it would seem.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 03:52:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely you mean "fine us for parking the space junk we send them"?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 08:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Human society, including economics, isn't natural.
Yes it is. Societies are what humans do. Silly dualist rabbits.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:23:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Humans aren't natural but cultural. The natural human is pretty boring.
by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:28:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. Cultural is natural, for humans and a pile of other animals too.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 06:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cultural is all the same a big pile of natural for humans.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 07:16:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No other species has external inter-generational memory or the ability to communicate abstractions to anything like the extent humans do.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 07:42:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite.

No other species (unless our powers of observation are too limited for us to notice) has anything like the volume, complexity, and duration of human culture.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 08:16:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which makes it not natural?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 10:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that what I said?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 11:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(Some) etologists define culture inclusively as socially transmitted behaviour. Of course economics is cultural. Of course culture is natural for humans. Of course nonhuman animals may have culture.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 08:01:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German exports in 2012:

That is history. What is important for future policies will be future trade flows. The top ten destinations for German exports in 2020 are estimated to be as follows:

  1. China (15.6%)
  2. France (8.8%)
  3. Russia (7.0%)
  4. Netherlands (6.5%)
  5. US (6.4%)
  6. UK (5.6%)
  7. Poland (5.2%)
  8. Austria (5.2%)
  9. Switzerland (4.6%)
  10. Italy (4.3%)

China will become the most important trade partner. Russia will overtake the US. France will loose it's top position and the South will be insignificant.

But the determining factor for the formation of a German-centered trade block following an EZone/EU collapse would be the question where Northern and Eastern countries export to. I'm pretty sure that to most Germany will be the most important export market.

by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 06:50:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I admit I didn't link either because I did find only german language sources. My source was the german statistical office, though. That said, I would like a source for that claim.

And 2012 is of course the present, not the past, except in a hyper literal sense.

Even so, this guess includes six members of the EU and Switzerland.

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:00:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would like a source for that claim

It's a GS projection:

http://www.goldmansachs.com/s/GMeT_othermailings_attachments/63488662514238375059101.pdf

And no, trade figures for 2012 do represent the past of business that has been completed and payed for. File closed. Current order books and business plans have to take into consideration a horizon of 2020 at the very least.

by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:14:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is nonsense. We know about the recent past, in this case 2012. We only guess about the future. So if we want to know, the recent past is closest to the present we can get.

And Goldman Sachs - in 2007 they probably made projections how Ireland would grow into the largest european economy or something.

by IM on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:51:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can wipe your arse with Goldman projections. If you have a particular hatred for your gastrointestinal flora.

Come back with a halfway credible source and then we can talk.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 04:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What would a credible source look like? Anyone making projections for 2020 is pulling numbers out of orifices usually reserved for excreting more solid waste.
by generic on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 04:42:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well. I cannot categorically refuse to consider the possibility that there might, in fact, be a useful projection around somewhere that reaches all the way to 2020.

Proving a negative is hard, after all.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 04:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China will become the most important trade partner. Russia will overtake the US. France will loose it's top position and the South will be insignificant.
So Germany will export 6% of their GDP to the BRICs, and in order for the Eurozone as a whole to maintain a neutral current account balance, the rest of the Eurozone will import 4% of their GDP from the BRICs. And then Germany will tell everyone that because they don't export directly to the rest of the EZ, the rest of the EZ's deficit is none of its concern.

But the fact is, the rest of the world cannot be relied on to keep the Euro undervalued so it can avoid running a neutral current account balance. Because there's no way to coerce the BRICs, politically, to overvalue their currencies.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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