The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
What is marvellous to me is the sense of entitlement: German savers are said to be entitled to a return on their savings. And on whose backs is this return to be generated? The relatively impoverished workers and unemployed of Greece? Spain? Portugal? By what god given law is anyone supposed to be entitled to interest on their savings, when all they have done is put it into a bank or a relatively risk free investment.
The truth is, they are getting no return on their investment because their governments and banks are refusing to invest it productively on their behalf. It's always somebody else who is supposed to do the work and take the risks... Maybe one day the "Swabian housewife" will realise that her alleged thrift is not only impoverishing her neighbours, it is ultimately throttling the growth potential of her own family as well.
Index of Frank's Diaries
By what god given law is anyone supposed to be entitled to interest on their savings, when all they have done is put it into a bank or a relatively risk free investment.
We have done more than that: we have given up the core of the public pension system for that interest on our savings, and it was exactly what our SPD and CDU and FDP governments told us to do in order to keep our pensions safe. Was that a lie? Bismarck's pension system gave pensioners a little amount, but they still depended on support from their children. After the war there were many old people who no longer had any children, so something had to be done. Adenauer reformed the Rentenversicherung and from then onwards pensions (at least men's pensions) were high enough to maintain a decent living standard without having to ask children for support. This was one of the core features of the German welfare state, and one of the main reasons why the concept of social market economy was so popular. What the NHS is for the identity of the British state, is the Rentenversicherung for the identity of the Federal Republic.
We have been told that firstly we cannot afford this any longer. Secondly that our pensions are safe. That a new reform was necessary. And that our pensions are safe. That we would have to save privately in addition to the public pension, and then our pensions would still be high enough to live from.
If this is not true, and our pensions are not safe, it must either be the fault of the governments that dismantled the pension system, and lied to us, and took the social out of the social market economy, or else it is the Greeks' fault. It is an absolute necessity for our elites to punish the Greeks, and not to stop the discussion of how one can step up the punishment of the Greeks even more. This must be the only thing to occupy our thoughts.
For every saver, there has to be a borrower. But with Governments and private citizens in peripheral countries already under water with debt, where are the additional borrowers to come from to provide an income for additional savings?
You can't at the same time flay the Greeks for borrowing both too much and too little. And if their economy crashes, you may lose not only your interest income but your savings as well.
Deutsche Bank is more or less bust, thanks to it's ill advised speculation on derivatives, trying to achieve a return on savings that was simply not sustainable.
There will be no return to high interest rates soon, and anyone who tries to tell you different is lying. In fact you could be lucky not to lose some of your savings as well, without a cast iron European wide savings insurance scheme.
And who will fund that?
Index of Frank's Diaries
You can't at the same time flay the Greeks for borrowing both too much and too little.
I am not so sure of that. We are longing for the good old times when we could invest in Bundesschatzbriefe and they carried good interest while lauding the debt brake and the black zero, too. We are beyond logic, I think. If we weren't, it would necessarily be time for something drastic, and we are not prepared for that.
That no such people do actually exist is of no importance for politicians. Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has to deal with that reality. The hard way.
Why is it that public benefits like housing or old age pensions which could be afforded in much less prosperous times are suddenly becoming unaffordable now?
How else is the Ueberklass supposed to get the more it so richly deserves without taking it from the rest of us?
Not everyone in the EU far right is calling for more austerity: in France, the Front National is actually calling for an end to austerity, increase of minimum wage, along with, of course, protectionism, "buy French", kick the foreigners out of the country (the dark ones, at least), re-establishing the franc and getting out of the EU itself.
It explains part of their success over a large part of the younger, unemployed or underemployed people (also: remember redstar?). Or course, that's what they say now, before getting to power. Both Le Pen père and daughter are billionaires, thanks in part to dubious inheritances and it's difficult to see them getting any seriously after the 1%.
Remember that Hollande was promising left wing policies when running for president 5 years ago. Caveat emptor...
Not to defend them but that's millionaires with an m.
Unless you count in a pretty exotic currency of course.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
I suppose they'll have to get the presidency to have access to "real money"...
Where the fuck is redstar, anyway? ⭐️ Hanging out with poemless?
They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
Maybe one day the "Swabian housewife" will realise that her alleged thrift is not only impoverishing her neighbours, it is ultimately throttling the growth potential of her own family as well.
Wouldn't count on it. She's a chemist, so to her, synergy just produces extra toxicity. The world outside of a lab is truly a mystery to her.
by IdiotSavant - Feb 28
by Luis de Sousa - Feb 28 1 comment
by Oui - Mar 1 1 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 23 16 comments
by Oui - Feb 22 22 comments
by Oui - Feb 25
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 20 25 comments
by gmoke - Feb 14 2 comments
by Oui - Mar 11 comment
by gmoke - Mar 1
by IdiotSavant - Feb 28
by Luis de Sousa - Feb 281 comment
by Oui - Feb 2831 comments
by Oui - Feb 25
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 2316 comments
by Oui - Feb 2222 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 2025 comments
by Oui - Feb 2021 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 1914 comments
by Oui - Feb 197 comments
by Oui - Feb 18
by Oui - Feb 1789 comments
by Oui - Feb 168 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 1523 comments
by gmoke - Feb 142 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 1413 comments
by Oui - Feb 145 comments
by Oui - Feb 1245 comments