Two Questions for European Readers: Why keep any money in banks other than the absolute bare minimum needed to pay bills? How many Cyprus-like confiscations does it take to convince you that leaving money in banks is a bad idea?
It is reported that Henry Kissinger, commenting on the Iran-Iraq war, said something to the effect that, “Too bad both sides can’t lose.” I have the same attitude about the fiscal fight in Europe. On one side, you have “austerity” proponents of higher taxes. On the other side, you have Keynesianswho think a higher burden of government spending will produce growth
How far behind can America be? Our media says we are in a “recovery” incessantly. We are told that because the stock market is rising, because housing is enjoying a few signs of life (at bankruptcy prices), and because cars are selling better than the terrible rate they sold at last year, that the U.S. economy is doing well.
Regular readers know that I have the same understanding of global economics as a three-year-old has of quantum physics.
An example of what happens when governments' goal is to increase the dependent class.
The European Union (EU) is now in a full-scale panic over how to arrange financial bailouts for its least capable members. Yet few officials within the 27-nation federation have pondered the possibility that the best arrangement may be no bailout – and no EU as well.
The newly elected French Socialist president, Francois Hollande, is warning Germany that Mediterranean ideas of "growth," not Germanic "austerity," should be the new European creed. No surprise there -- reckless debtors often blame their own past imprudence on greedy creditors, especially if the latter are supposed to be guilt-ridden over causing two world wars.
While your co-workers hover around the water cooler debating whether it matters if Mitt Romney bullied some kid in his youth, a formerly First World nation called Greece is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Why, you might ask, should Middle America pry its overworked eyes away from Jennifer Lopez gyrating around in a bodysuit on "American Idol" long enough to bother caring?
How Europe's crisis resolves itself as yet remains unknown.
U.S. growth in the first quarter fell to 2.2 percent, a disappointment. But in Europe, that news would have caused general rejoicing.
No wonder the Titanic became not just a metaphor for a whole, calamitous century but a cliche. The story of its maiden and final voyage in 1912 featured a whole pantheon of modern gods that have failed: science and technology, expertise and efficiency, mathematical probability, the worship of the biggest and best. ... In the case of the Titanic, they all added up to one more chapter in man's unending history of hubris.
More and more, it is the Germans that are the question mark. How far are they willing to go, and do they fully understand their national interests?
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