If the Euro hardens into fiscal union, which way will Ireland jump?

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If I thought the number of comments we get on stories was the sole metric for their importance, I think I’d have to close Slugger tomorrow. You can never quite predict what grips people and what doesn’t.

As in this note the other day , regarding Walter Munchau, who has been a prophet in the wilderness on EU reform for some years now, laid out a dilemma that is going to face Irish politicians and policy makers just as soon as they lift their heads from their desks long enough to confront it before the crisis arrives in Dublin.

Today Paul Gillespie in the Irish Times offers his own considered thoughts on the nature of that problem:

If the euro system survives and deepens, how realistic is it to think it could be governed from the 27, not the 17? Noonan’s desire to avoid a two-tier system with separate agendas owes much to his awareness of the economic values the State shares with the UK, including on trade, the single market and transatlantic relations. The UK desperately needs the euro zone to succeed but will not join it.

Those outside the euro zone will not be allowed to dictate terms. That makes a deepening inner core more likely than a unified EU.

The implications for Ireland need more analysis and debate. Noonan says the Government cannot stand in the way of treaty change, but must caution it would have great difficulty carrying it now. It would be easier if it could be shown to enhance Ireland’s position, but this will play out over several years and involve difficult choices.

  • Cynic2

    Is there any doubt? Ireland’s whole industrial strategy is based upon membership of the EU. That’s what pulls in the investment. That’s why it has taken on an economic hair shirt and got plaudits form the Euro big boys for fessing up and dealing with its own responsibilities, no matter how politically difficult. I never liked BIFFO but on this I think history will be kind to him and probably assess that he put country before party – though the freedom of movement he had may have been open to doubt.

    Having done all that, why would Ireland now opt out? I think to do so would be economic and political suicide.

    So the question is, will the hard Euro want Ireland in? Probably yes as they will want to limit the expulsions as much as they can and Ireland for all its faults is seen as a good player.

    The main problem then is the implications for the relationship with the single largest trading partner, the UK. That is hard to call but I am not sure how being out of the hard Euro would help Ireland – great export growth from a collapsing punt but at the expense of the wider strategy? I don’t think so.

    So its into the Hard Euro if they big boys will have her.

  • http://amanfrommars.blogspot.com/ amanfromMars

    Perhaps we should ask every MLA whether they are going to accept the following, or refuse it with every fibre of their being, so that the electorate can know of their position……http://youtu.be/5CZr17HLH5U

  • tuatha

    With regret & serious misgivings, and not a little fury, I fear that our best option is to use Sterling – historically, and for the foreseeable future, our largest, closest (physically & socially) and most similar trading partner.
    The euroid ideal was never owt but a phantasy and I don’t think that the Continent will remain the stable place intended within a generation – too much demography on too little geography.
    Pull up the drawbridge, abolish Schengenland and seek out the old folk who remember how to make a harness and rim a wheel. There may even be some who recall how to make hay with a scythe & rake, somewhere, if their Celtic Cubs haven’t sold the ould place to a gombeen for a ghost estate of abandoned footings and rusting scaffolding …

  • Alias

    Whichever way the EU wants them (i.e. the europhile political establishment) to jump – which, as it always was, will be into “the heart of Europe”.

    160 out of 165 TDs voted for the Lisbon Treaty but a majority of the nation voted against it. The europhile political establishment did not uphold with the democratic will of the people but overruled a free and fair referendum simply because the EU refused to accept the will of the Irish people, so there should be no doubt that europhile political establishment will always put the EU’s will before the will of the people as they have always done.

    Likewise, the europhile political establishment forced the Irish people to lay claim to hundreds of billions worth of foreign eurosystem debts that did not belong to them because it was in the EU’s interest to do that, so why would anyone doubt that europhile political establishment will obey the will of the EU given the unprecedented scale of treason that it has committed to date in order to obey it?

    The EU see the process of creating a single superstate as breaking a few eggs to create an omelette, and the indigenous europhiles see it as the same. Their loyalty is not to the Irish state or the nation but to the emergent EU and the emergent European nation. Of course, the nations of the seven eurozone member states that are now verging on bankrupcy as a result of persuing deeper integration might regard their economy with greater importance that they would regard egg but they handed their sovereignty over to those who don’t.

    “Ireland’s whole industrial strategy is based upon membership of the EU. That’s what pulls in the investment.” – Cynic

    The issue is membership of the eurozone, not membership of the EU. The majority of Ireland’s exports are not to other eurozone member states so there is no advantage to be gained by membership of it that would appeal to exporters to that economic region. The UK attracts the lion’s share of FDI, and it does so with the considerable advantage of being outside of the eurozone.

    Ireland’s economic strategy is based on exports, but the reality is that Ireland’s exports stagnated immediately after joining the eurozone and they are now half the level in real terms that they were before we joined it. No new jobs were created in exporting industries in Ireland during the entire period of its membership of the eurozone. Also, jobs in foreign-owned businesses are at the same level they were at in 1998.

    So, a bit like John Cleese pointing out to Michael Palin that a particular parrot is deceased, the facts say that membership of the eurozone has been an unmitigated economic disaster for Ireland but the europhile political establishment cintinue to say that it is the greatest thing that ever happened to Ireland and we need more of the same.

    At some point we are going to have to arise against these eurogombeens and shoot the lot of them…

  • http://amanfrommars.blogspot.com/ amanfromMars

    Quite so, Alias.

    Which is why it might be very important, to as soon as is possible, draw TDs and MLAs and MPs attention to situation as expounded/floated in the video, and reinforced and confirmed here in a text document …… http://consilium.europa.eu/media/1216793/esm%20treaty%20en.pdf ….. just in case they are in ignorance of what is going on under their noses on their watch in the shadows. To be shot at and to die for something which you knew nothing about, but which you should have, or could have known everything about because it was specifically drawn to your attention for comment and action, which was within your gift because of your position in public office and society, would be a gross personal failing and the most stupid and catastrophic of errors. However, such a tragedy is always almost immediately forgotten about, for such is the nature of the Great Game with regard to useless fools and useful tools, for the world is full of them and they are easily replaced and fully expendable.

    So, do the right thing by them, and just do the following simple thing, ….. visit their local office and draw their attention to it and ask to know of their position on what they are shown, and would then know of what is going on …… and then, if you are so inclined, share here whom you have advised so that we can look forward to hearing of all of our public representatives concerns and undying opposition to, or support for enslavement treaties to cabals inventing money from nothing to fabulous enrich themselves and to steal life and property away from everyone else and present them with foreign and alien debts which are so designed that they cannot be repaid, and for that personal selfish pleasure do they seek to grant and excuse themselves with a text delivering criminal immunity from prosecution and impunity in action.

    In another age, not so long ago, was that considered fascist and many suffered the ultimate price for the folly.

    Ask just one TD/MLA/MP and they are surely duty bound to wisely advise all others of their perilous plight.

    For those who would be armchair hero general types, is a simple email sent to your tireless local public servant, referencing this particular Slugger thread exploring/exposing the matter, and asking for comment on it, also another most effective strategy making great and novel beta use of these new virtual tools at our fingertips.

    And it would be quite wrong, would it not, to not include and advise the “biggest show in country’ and on radio of the shenanigans which would have such a colossal impact on your future well-being and wealth, and that of your children and children’s’ children, for apparently they are already loaded with their lifelong debts never to be able to be repaid. And that must surely be quite evil and criminal and not at all cricket, old bean, and not something to be accepted in any shape or form ever, for is it not madness?

  • Greenflag

    ‘that a particular parrot is deceased, ‘

    The ‘parrot ‘ that is deceased or more accurately in deceasing mode is not the Eurozone but financial capitalism . Thats why all around the world the Occupy Wall St and similar movements are gathering more support . The Eurozone is not responsible for 28 million unemployed Americans -nor for the fact that 48 million Americans are food stamps away from starvation nor the fact that 45 million have no health insurance nor for the fact that more people are in prisons and more murders committed per capita in the USA than in any Eurozone country .

    ‘the facts say that membership of the eurozone has been an unmitigated economic disaster ‘

    The facts also say that countries like the Netherlands , Germany, Finland ,and others did not have an unmitigated disaster . For Ireland much of the ‘disaster’ was self imposed by the failure of our local politicians to deal with the impact of ‘cheap ‘ money flooding into the country in the wake of Eurozone entry .

    Whatever the future for the Eurozone the future of financial capitalism by which I mean that era of banking sector led destruction of real economies will come to an end . the only question is whether that end will be preceded by worldwide political unrest or whether the elected politicians will be able to reform what seems almost irreformable .

    For an insight into how even the Chairman of the USA Federal Reserve is seen to be operating on a wing and a prayer perhaps heres the ‘great ‘Bernanke ‘squirming his way through a few awkward questions .

    The European Central Banks get a mention but Bernanke seems to have failed to notice that New Zealand does not come under the aegis of the ECB.

  • Alias

    Greenflag, there is nothing in the doctrine of free markets which stipulates that governments should underwrite the losses suffered by financial markets.

    That is political policy that is the direct result of government intervention in the free market.

    The problems in the US economy are political problems – problems created by expansion of the role of the government in the economy. Arthur Laffer’s Armey

    Curve shows that economic stagnation and decline is directly related to an increase in the size of government. The negative effects begin to show when a

    government absorbs more than 15% of national output. Total US government spending has spiked to 43.9% as a percentage of GDP under Obama – the second highest

    level in its history. Government spending had already increased by 87% under the previous president. As the public sector gets bigger, the private sector –

    which produces the wealth to fund the public sector – gets smaller. Contrary to socialist myth, less government is better government.

    As I have pointed out before [Just the once? - Ed], the Federal Reserve, The Bank of England, and the ECB all implemented the same expansionist monetary

    policies and all of three economies got the same results from those policies – massive amounts of debts that accumulated after the spending boom and its

    bubbles that were stimulated by the cheap credit subsided. Contrary to the theory, borrowing money cheaply and spending it created long-term debt that

    outlasted the short-term wealth that was created by it. Most of the borrowed money disappeared it was exchanged for assets that were inflated in value by the

    demand created by the cheap credit that subsequently deflated in value when the demand subsided.

    Those governments badly botched that political intervention in the free market in what the political hacks saw as as expedient means to grow the economy

    without regard to the longer detrimental consequences of the short-term political/economic gain. The EU was far more reckless than the US because it allowed

    the banks to leverage to levels that were far in excess of safe ratios and far in excess of what the Americans permitted. In contrast to the US, no major

    German bank has a leverage ratio below 52 (a safe leverage ratio is between 5 and 10, depending on the activity of the bank).

    We talk about the financial prudence of the Germans but we don’t talk about how much money they made by flooding other EU states with the cheap credit that

    fueled the booms in those other member states that were so detrimental to their economies. Of course, the German banks would now be bankrupt as a result of their reckless lending if another political decision was not made to bail-out those banks and protect them from the consequences of their own reckless lending.

    This government policy of underwriting the losses of private banking business recently got a major when the EU dedicated in excess of a trillion of its misfortunate citizens private incomes for that exact purpose. Happy days…

    In regard to Irish government, these eurogombeens are misselling the EU government to their citizens as enabling a policy of economic recovery via exports and FDI. They neglect to mention that not a single extra job was created in exports since Ireland surrendered macroeconomic and monetary sovereignty to the EU and that jobs in foreign-owned industries in Ireland are at 1998 levels. They also neglect to mention that EU killed Irish exports, and that more EU is not likely to revive them.

    These CSO statistics show that Ireland’s exports stagnated in 2001 after aadopting the euro. Exports are, in fact, now half the level in real terms than they were before this deeper EU integration occurred.

    2001 92,689,900
    2002 93,675,200
    2003 82,076,100
    2004 84,409,500
    2005 86,732,300
    2006 86,772,000
    2007 89,226,100
    2008 86,346,100

    Ireland’s exports rose from 25,178,525 in 1993 to 92,689,900 in 2001. That period from 1993 to 2001 was actual ‘Celtic Tiger’ period. It was an export-driven boom, whereas period after that was a credit-driven boom. Again it was a political decision that led to the collapse in Ireland export growth. There is no point blaming free markets for the failure of the political class.

  • Alias

    Sorry about the formatting. I’ll report it:

    Greenflag, there is nothing in the doctrine of free markets which stipulates that governments should underwrite the losses suffered by financial markets. That is political policy that is the direct result of government intervention in the free market.

    The problems in the US economy are political problems – problems created by expansion of the role of the government in the economy. Arthur Laffer’s Armey Curve shows that economic stagnation and decline is directly related to an increase in the size of government. The negative effects begin to show when a government absorbs more than 15% of national output. Total US government spending has spiked to 43.9% as a percentage of GDP under Obama – the second highest level in its history. Government spending had already increased by 87% under the previous president. As the public sector gets bigger, the private sector – which produces the wealth to fund the public sector – gets smaller. Contrary to socialist myth, less government is better government.

    As I have pointed out before [Just the once? - Ed], the Federal Reserve, The Bank of England, and the ECB all implemented the same expansionist monetary policies and all of three economies got the same results from those policies – massive amounts of debts that accumulated after the spending boom and its bubbles that were stimulated by the cheap credit subsided. Contrary to the theory, borrowing money cheaply and spending it created long-term debt that outlasted the short-term wealth that was created by it. Most of the borrowed money disappeared it was exchanged for assets that were inflated in value by the demand created by the cheap credit that subsequently deflated in value when the demand subsided.

    Those governments badly botched that political intervention in the free market in what the political hacks saw as as expedient means to grow the economy without regard to the longer detrimental consequences of the short-term political/economic gain. The EU was far more reckless than the US because it allowed the banks to leverage to levels that were far in excess of safe ratios and far in excess of what the Americans permitted. In contrast to the US, no major German bank has a leverage ratio below 52 (a safe leverage ratio is between 5 and 10, depending on the activity of the bank).

    We talk about the financial prudence of the Germans but we don’t talk about how much money they made by flooding other EU states with the cheap credit that fueled the booms in those other member states that were so detrimental to their economies. Of course, the German banks would now be bankrupt as a result of their reckless lending if another political decision was not made to bail-out those banks and protect them from the consequences of their own reckless lending.

    This government policy of underwriting the losses of private banking business recently got a major when the EU dedicated in excess of a trillion of its misfortunate citizens private incomes for that exact purpose. Happy days…

    In regard to Irish government, these eurogombeens are misselling the EU government to their citizens as enabling a policy of economic recovery via exports and FDI. They neglect to mention that not a single extra job was created in exports since Ireland surrendered macroeconomic and monetary sovereignty to the EU and that jobs in foreign-owned industries in Ireland are at 1998 levels. They also neglect to mention that EU killed Irish exports, and that more EU is not likely to revive them.

    These CSO statistics show that Ireland’s exports stagnated in 2001 after aadopting the euro. Exports are, in fact, now half the level in real terms than they were before this deeper EU integration occurred.

    2001 92,689,900
    2002 93,675,200
    2003 82,076,100
    2004 84,409,500
    2005 86,732,300
    2006 86,772,000
    2007 89,226,100
    2008 86,346,100

    Ireland’s exports rose from 25,178,525 in 1993 to 92,689,900 in 2001. That period from 1993 to 2001 was actual ‘Celtic Tiger’ period. It was an export-driven boom, whereas period after that was a credit-driven boom. Again it was a political decision that led to the collapse in Ireland export growth. There is no point blaming free markets for the failure of the political class.

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    So good that it was definitely worth saying twice, Alias. And the perverse and corrupt thinking, [well, actually, the fact of the matter would be that there is precious little to no thinking on subject] that requires wars to be started so that economies based upon military industrial complex sales of tools and weapons of self-destructive war can survive and create mayhem and destruction for chaos and uncertainty ….. ye olde FUD joker card in the Great Game …. and which reduce such non creative economic models, which are really just precarious and precocious and pretentious businesses for stealing foreign booty and land, to terrorist pariah statehood, hasn’t been mentioned as a, if not the sub-prime primary cause and explosive trigger catalyst which has set off the now unstoppable chain reaction against the system?

    And be advised and please feel free to share with all and any that you might identify as being interested and caring about such matters as may expose in public positions of note,… public stage institutions and actors which/who are reasonably expected by the public to possess prime opinions of their own to profess and confess, rather than being prompted and primed to parrot the views of other anonymous muppets and puppets with a hidden agenda, ….. agents and servants unfit for future truthful purpose and peaceful service, [for surely would they be so unfit, whenever asked for their simple gut reaction on a view presented to them and which they would decline or be disinclined to take, to make their position and intelligence level clear] are, with regard to what is revealed to y’all in ESM Scam for Remote Enslavement the First and Deputy First Ministers and the BBC’s Stephen Nolan advised [in an easily copied and readily available email entitled A political football ..... and explosive ordnance]and asked and encouraged to respond and express an opinion for public knowledge of whether they support structures and puppets within those structures being able to act with immunity and impunity and thus be able to avoid any accountability and responsibility for all that transpires, which would appear to be totally at odds with everything everyone perceives of as being fair and just/right and proper ….. and therefore more than just worthy and in their own personal interests to comment, it would also be their public duty and right to comment.

    Failure to do so would be nothing less than to give implied and tacit material support to terrorism and anarchy via divisive and subversive fiscal means and virtual memes …… and herald the start of a global cyber war which fools and tools cannot win, and which will always deliver catastrophic and destructive failure to their systems of administration, for if those are to be the new rules and regulations, are there no rules and regulations and will CHAOS* and Computers Reign Supreme and Sublime in Really Simple Syndication of Virtual Remote Control of Fabless Universal Powers with Global Operating Devices and Non State Actors [see Cotonou Agreement for a contrived definition of those players] laying waste to crazy useless opposition and totally unnecessary competition.

    * Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems

    cc Global Communications Head Quarters and Intelligence Communities into Enterprise.

    You may like to ponder that even if those are not to be the new non-rules and non-regulations, is CHAOS the New AI World Order Operating System for Virtual Governance of Earthed and Heavenly Assets …… and would IT welcome your SMARTer Input and Current Information for Future MetaDataBase Processing and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Enrichment to Better Beta IntelAIgent Output for Advanced IT Control in 21st Century Networking in new transparent and designedly surreal, virtualised systems of universal governance and human perceptions management.

    And you might like to try the folk stationed here … 54º37’43.64″N 5º50’41.69″W … for more information on anything which you may not understand in the above.They are fully responsible for it.

  • Greenflag

    Alias,

    ‘ there is nothing in the doctrine of free markets which stipulates that governments should underwrite the losses suffered by financial markets.’

    Full marks for the obvious but where has there ever been a ‘free market ‘ at least in the sense implied by the defenders of financial capitalism ? I don’t believe there has ever been a period in history in any state past or present where one could state that there was a ‘free market ‘ Governments be they democratic , autocratic , monarchic or ideological have always had their fingers in the ‘pie ‘ that provides them with the revenues to keep them in the accustomed style and to enable the state or kingdom to defend itself or wage war to grab or control other countries resources.

    Less government may indeed lead to better government but equally less government may lead to corporate or plutocratic rule in the absence of democracy .
    During Thatcher’s time the goal was to reduce public expenditure to less than 40% of GDP and Thatcher did achieve that goal for a couple of years . However due to the huge dislocation this caused in the economy (presumably for free market reasons’) by the time she lost power public expenditure had increased again up to and indeed over 40% of GDP.

    In theory as always the lower that taxes are and interest rates then the more jobs will be created and the more economic growth there will be . While there is some truth to that in cases there are other factors involved . Capital per se by which I mean financial capital is not interested in creating jobs . It’s merely interested in creating more capital i.e greater profits . If more jobs are thereby created in that happenstance then all the better – if not then so much the worse . In recent decades the ‘leveraged ‘ capital you refer as well as the highly destructive capital markets specialising in CDO’s and Credit Default Swaps as well as the entire ‘derivatives ‘ 600 trillion dollar speculative world gambling casino was all about chasing ‘paper money ‘ profit AND not about providing capital for the growth of real economies everywhere . Into that particular mix -elected politicians became ‘partners ‘ in obfuscation which is why the USA woke up one fine day to see Hank Paulson put a gun to former President Bush’s head and tell him that he had NO choice but to bail out the banks .The banks that were too big to fail then are even bigger now and yet you will not here a single USA politician or indeed European politician call for these huge institutions to be broken up so as to introduce some ‘free ‘market into the free market . And then there is corporate welfare which also distorts the ‘free market ‘ but which is okay because presumably big corporations can’t be be hung out to dry like the average American or European taxpayer .

    Bush increased public spending by 87% to fend off a recession and to wage wars . It was just another round of ‘guns and butter’ just like LBJ in the 1960′s except many times worse . 4 trillion dollars of a national debt of 14 trillion has been incurred by the Afghan and Iraqi wars and the war on terror .

    In the final analysis governments can be brought to account at least in democracies but in the absence of government or in the presence of small government -corporations can run riot and rings around the the administrative structure of any state even one as vast at the USA is today . In which case the people have NO defence against the power of capital which in and of itself will lead to increasing political instability which is now already seen in many societies across the globe .

    World governments in particular those of the major powers will have to rein in the ‘beast’ of financial deregulation that was loosed on the world in the 1990′s and which led to the current mess or else the world is heading for a rerun of the 1930′s .

    more later

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Democracy doesn’t work, for who with any brains would be bothered giving the fool what he wants whenever they are in the majority. What is needed and what you are going to get is a Sublime Smart Meritocracy. So start getting used to the idea as the old corrupt and perverse systems collapse around you, with increasing speed and vigour.

    And please enjoy this short video with its god’s honest truth which you keep on avoiding confronting, just like cowards would do …….. http://youtu.be/4EKrXFcVyXE

    And surely you cannot plausibly deny that, try as you might?

    And whenever you live in a world filled with lies and deceit and led by a crooked and bought and paid for media, is the reality you live in, unreal, and formed to suit personal agendas which aren’t interested in you, at all.

    Hear it like it is, and have a good laugh at some raw black humour in the performance …….. http://youtu.be/PYZpWTvre9c …. although things are definitely a’changing for there are some very strange/weird and wonderful and wacky things going on, out there in cyberspace and messing with reality virtually, which is via remote computer and powerful control means and SMART Memes, if you didn’t already know . And you’ll definitely enjoy it, so don’t worry about it, not that you would be able to do anything about it anyway.

  • Alias

    Greenflag, I read that expecting to disagree with all of it but, surprisingly, I agreed with most of it. As the US government has become bigger, Americans have become poorer. 46 million Americans (circa 15% of the population) now survive on a real median household income of less than $22,100 for a family of four. That’s the highest level since records began. Among the middle classes, real median household incomes declined by 7% in the last ten years. The latest US census statistics are a grim read.
    Also, US military expenditure was 4.7% as a percentage of GDP in 2009 so that only accounts for a small percentgage of the government spending. Big government then does not equal better government – and small government does not equal plutocracy either.

    “In the final analysis governments can be brought to account at least in democracies but in the absence of government or in the presence of small government -corporations can run riot and rings around the the administrative structure of any state even one as vast at the USA is today . In which case the people have NO defence against the power of capital which in and of itself will lead to increasing political instability which is now already seen in many societies across the globe .” – Greenflag

    A couple of points about this…

    Governments can only “be brought to account” by sovereign nations. The government that decides Ireland’s macroeconomic and monetary policy cannot be held to account for their mismanagement fo the Irish economy because the ECB is not elected by the Irish nation and is not answerable to them. These forms of government are post-sovereign and therefore post-democratic. Also, the European Commission is not elected by the Irish nation and is not answerable to them for how its regulates Irish banks or for how it manages the Irish government’s fiscal policy, etc.

    It makes no difference if you or the entire Irish nation or its government disagree with a policy that is decided by either the EC or the ECB since the nation has forfeited the right to decide those policies duly determined by those to whom the applicable sovereignty has been derogated. You no longer have a sovereign right as an Irish citizen to either agree or disagree with policies that you have no right to democratically determine. It is pointless for you as an Irish citizen to even bother forming an opinion about the role of banks in this crisis or how to control them since it is no longer any of your democratic business. That is what you agreed to when you ratified the various treaties and made them a integral and binding part of your state’s constitution. Therefore, you don’t have any “defence against the power of capital”.

    If you wanted to retain control over your monetary and banking system then you should not have surrendered that control to those who will naturally place their own interests before your interests. As we saw with Greece, it is the French and German governments who have the power to usurp the power of the European Commission and to determine policy and even which states can be ejected from the EU. Who gave the French and German governments that authority? It is not in any of the treaties. You do not elect the French and German governments and they are not accountable to you.

    You have no power because you have foolishly given it away to those who deem it to be in their best interests that you bail out their banks.

    amanfromMars, I think war as a means of extracting resources and wealth is old hat – even if a lot of valuable contracts can be found in the invaded territories. It’s old hat because the EU has a way to gain control and ownership of assets of a state with firing a single shot. 15 years ago, the EU didn’t own a thing in Ireland (apart from control of our fishing resources from which its member states extracted circa 300 billion in wealth) but now it owns literally everything in the Irish state. It owns all of the prime assets of the Irish banks – which is basically everything you see in the state – which it has claimed as collateral for a bunch of cheap paper money that never existed in the first place – plus it has full political and economic control of the state and is dictating the terms of its liquidation. How about that for a masterful example modern colonisation?

  • Alias

    “That’s the highest level of poverty since records began.”

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    amanfromMars, I think war as a means of extracting resources and wealth is old hat – even if a lot of valuable contracts can be found in the invaded territories. It’s old hat because the EU has a way to gain control and ownership of assets of a state with firing a single shot. 15 years ago, the EU didn’t own a thing in Ireland (apart from control of our fishing resources from which its member states extracted circa 300 billion in wealth) but now it owns literally everything in the Irish state. It owns all of the prime assets of the Irish banks – which is basically everything you see in the state – which it has claimed as collateral for a bunch of cheap paper money that never existed in the first place – plus it has full political and economic control of the state and is dictating the terms of its liquidation. How about that for a masterful example modern colonisation? …. Alias 9 November 2011 at 2:40 am

    I agree, Alias, it is an old hat that fools and tools wear and which identifies them as seriously worthless warmongers and pathetic terrorists for elimination and removal from Future Great Games Play*. And the world is full of psychopaths only to happy to carry out those enlightened missions.

    And despite what may be the truth in the rest of what you have said about the EU, for them to imagine that it is true and that nations would allow sovereign control to an arbitrary, self appointed, cabal of foreign agents who think that the control of massive artificial fiat currency supply is a power which will deliver them total and absolute control over nations and natural resources, identifies them as not having the necessary intelligence to control anything of importance and for them to be seriously psychotic with delusions of grandeur which descend into and would embrace certifiable madness and self- destructive evil to boot. It is most definitely something which will be visited upon them to destroy their plans which surely rely on total ignorance of their arrogance …. and in these days of virtual instant global enlightenment is such a necessary reliance, an alliance which is doomed to fail and at a pace which is unstoppable and at a speed which increases exponentially.

    * And are such Absolutely Fabulous Transparent NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Great Games Plays, as are expanded upon and advised of here …. SCADA Systems Breech Update …. Latest Novel Zeroday Vulnerability Exploit to Exploit/Export/Trade…. a Hollywood type Holywood fiction or the real thing from spooky intelligence services stationed in the heart of a QuITe Titanic Community with a Colossus tapping and feeding and feasting off natural and native indigenous potential, that builds ships and fleet flight craft for launch into fields of endeavour and enterprise that few would even think to imagine are possible, let alone realise are highly probable and the way in which to travel into the future.

    Without navvies you have nothing but pipe dreams and crazy plans.

  • Greenflag

    @amanfrommars ,

    Thanks for the links to MInister Farakhan and George Carlin. BTW I did’nt note the humour black or otherwise .All I saw and heard was the harsh truth about most of the USA media and indeed their European counterparts . George Carlin just calls it as it is for an increasing number of ‘middle income ‘and working and non working classes in the USA as the number of those with most of the capital continues to decline and as political power has been usurped by the ‘deregulated ‘financial services community worldwide.

    BTW try simple English as an option if you are trying to communicate with ‘slugger’ readers . It somehow reads as if English is not your first language ;)? and that martian accent is a dead giveaway .

    As for the navvies ? Sooner or later if the elected pols don’t face up to whats happening and has happened to representative democracy in those countries where it’s become clear that the government no longer represents the best interests of the people then they will be replaced , overthrown or removed from office at the ballot box . Those who succeed them will be on a short rope too .

    The Russian and French Revolutions happened because the ‘elites’ in those countries simply could not adapt to a changing political view brought about by the enlightenment and the economic development sparked by the western industrial revolution .

    The French aristocrats in their desire to to stay in the great game even supported American ‘revolutionaries ‘ to their ‘republican ‘ i.e non monarchic form of government . Without French gunpowder (they supplied 90% of the Americans need) the British under Cornwallis would have defeated Washington’s ‘terrorist/traitorous ” army and the signatories of the Declaration of Independence would have been hanged for their efforts .

    But the French ‘aristocrats ‘ just like their cousins in at later and earlier times in history did not foresee that those American ‘ideas’ of liberty and democratic government would permeate back to La France itself and a few years later result in the elite ‘aristocrats’ losing their heads as well as their properties .

    Ditto for todays ‘financial services ‘elites and for those politicians who are in their back pocket . We saw a little glimmer of that when poor Gallagher got stumped in his bid for ‘financial ‘freedom when he was speared by the brown envelope ‘culture .

    Beware the risen peoples of Europe and the Americas.

  • PaddyReilly

    Ireland’s export dive is caused not primarily, or not at all by the Euro but by a particular policy which I will call hot-spotting. London has been a hotspot since Tudor times. Prices there were ridiculously expensive. But this worked because, given the initial outlay needed to set yourself up there, you could then make a fortune by pursuing any trade. By London standards it would only be a reasonable living, but once you left London it would be a small fortune.

    This works even today. The Brazilians my friend teaches English to come to London for 18 months, work as cleaners and sleep ten to a room, and then return to Brazil with enough money to buy a house.

    The way prices are driven up is generally by creating an artificial shortage through the use of Planning Laws. House prices go up and up and up: everything else becomes correspondingly expensive.

    In time this policy (planning permission) has been extended to other parts, and houses universally become ridiculously expensive. People were asking for half a million for a house in rural Scotland where there is no work. I remember when British planning law was extended to Northern Ireland and the Irish Times pointed out how ridiculous this was making prices there. This would be the late 70s, I think. Since then Ireland has adopted its own version of land scarcity (predictably involving brown envelopes) and prices are so high that my sister in Dublin lost her cleaning woman when she went back to Bucharest and bought 5 flats there.

    Obviously, under such a regime, exports will rapidly become uncompetitive. I’m not sure how the hotspot economy works: I think it may be by sucking in investments, as well as workers. It is at best an ongoing bull market, at worst a bubble economy. English manufacture has declined severely under this regime as well.

    Blaming the Euro when you are pursuing a hotspot economy is ridiculous. It’s like having an open camp-fire on your bedroom floor and complaining that the fire bucket downstairs is not painted red. Inflation is not the only way of keeping prices down and making your exports competitive.

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    ‘I read that expecting to disagree with all of it but, surprisingly, I agreed with most of it.’

    Good man theres hope for you yet . And btw I accept most of your points re the non democratic nature of the ECB just as I would of the non democratic nature of the American Federal Reserve . The main difference between the two is that the AFR operates in a single political if somewhat fractured entity whereas the ECB operates between two worlds -One the era of national stand alone currencies of Francs , D-marks , Lire etc and the brave new world of Eurozone which got off to a good start in some countries but which has fallen afoul of the combined negative impact of both misgovernance on the part of some EU governments including particularly Greece and Ireland and the huge negative impact on the world economy of the deregulation of financial services which originated in the USA in the late 1990′s . Reform of the Euro both currency and the zone itself is inevitable and in that context what Mick notes above re Munchau’s piece should give cause for concern to those Irish and British/Irish politicians north of the border as to which way Ireland as a country will ‘jump’ so as to secure it’s longer term economic future .

    A number of years ago at the height of the tiger economy Minister Mary Harney made the point that Ireland was much closer to Boston than Berlin in terms of business and financial culture and indeed in economic policy terms . All the more surprising now that Ireland is not being bailed out by Boston but by Frankfurt /Brussels .

    Its a toughie and at this stage there is too much going on to see beyond the present mess to give an indication as to which way Ireland (ROI ) will hop . Northern Ireland has no choice but to follow the UK direction which ironically may not be in it’s longer term economic interest .

    Given a straight up choice between the German ‘capitalist ‘ model i.e worker representatives on corporate boards , universal health insurance and coverage for all , stricter and more effective construction standards , better education , longer life expectancy, fewer people incarcerated as a percentage of the total population and a burgeoning and growing economy with unemployment at 5% instead of the American 15% .

    The American model offers half the population with zero assets that is 150 million people dependent for survival on an increasingly uncertain pay cheque, 50 million on food stamps , 48 million without health insurance and an educational system that places young americans into a financial strait jacket before they even get a job to pay it back ? . And then there is the war mongering sector of the USA economy which requires continual feeding from the need to secure scarce resources particularly fossil fuels from wherever they can get them ?

    There is of course the possibility that there will be a new American Revolution before the end of this decade and that the USA will return to common sense and will reject the wackos of the religious and neo capitalist right whose trickle down economics has proved such a disaster for more than half of all Americans this past 20 years !

    As for the difference between the American banking elite and their German cousins the major one appears to be what Michael Lewis suggests in his recent book ‘Boomerang ‘ i.e that the American banksters were better liars and that the Germans were just way too gullible for actually believing Wall St when the latter’s institutions sold waste paper as Triple A investments not just to European banks and investors and even city councils but of course to even worse effect to Americans themselves and yes in the case of Goldman Sachs even to their own clients -all in the interest of making more ‘paper ‘ money .

    Such a system can’t and won’t last which is why the Occupy Wall Street movement is now marching on Washington DC .

    As I said above to the ‘martian ‘ beware the risen peoples .

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Hi, Greenflag,

    Just between you and me and the Internet, there’s more than just normal slugger reader types communicating here on things sensitive and controversial and beta testing security services and systems into phishing and phorming.

    You don’t have four decades of dirty tricks without the cowboys and indians/the SMART Natives and IntelAIgent Force becoming leading Subject Matter Experts in Fields of Sublime Communications Play and have you any idea as to the export value of such invisible controls on power? Millions don’t even come close to the billions its services generate for special clients/mercenary rogues/renegade nations/struggling democracies/failing police states/SMART meritocracies and virtual autocracies.

    And there are more than just a few who may recognise and realise where IT’s at, and be desperate for a piece of the lucrative action …… http://www.npr.org/2011/11/04/142029141/cia-analysts-comb-social-media-for-trouble-spots

  • Dixie Elliott

    Not being one for long drawn out posts, I’d say the politicians should jump off the Ha’penny Bridge into the Liffey. They should meet the economy on the way down…

    And I think that the cost of living will be the death of me.

  • Greenflag

    Of this I’m aware . I just don’t give a s**t. When they can predict who will win the Epsom Derby or the Grand National five years in a row I’ll start to worry .

    I believe the smart cowboys have already accumulated over 1 million ‘dangerous -would be suspects -types ‘in the USA alone . Being such smart types they even help these ‘dangers’ to the state by a simple enough identification i.e . If you happen to be an American and you find there are 4 s’s on your airline ticket then you are on the million list along with such other threats to American security such as Ted Kennedy , Nelson Mandela and hundreds of Vietnam and Gulf and Afghan and Iraqi war veterans .

    The object of the exercise i.e the targeting of individuals even the probable 999,800 who are innocent is to spread fear and terror into ordinary people so that they fear to speak out . Hitler did the same and the Gestapo had their lists which is why when the time came to round up the Jews and Gypsies and Socialists and Communists and outspoken clerics it was a slam dunk as the Yanks say for the Gestapo .

    Nonetheless all of their info and spying and infringement of civil rights and their murder and mayhem did’nt save them in the end from the gallows and being pissed on by the verdict of history . And the same will be true of the present generation of ‘smart ‘cowboys ‘ when they cross the line

    I’m reminded of the ‘question ‘ that appeared on the final exam paper for graduating naval cadets in Japan prior to WW2

    ‘How would you carry out a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?

    There was no correct answer until Feb 1932 nine years before the actual attack when US Admiral Harry Yarnell decided to demonstrate the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor by slipping two aircraft carriers in close from the north east. He launched 152 aircraft which theoretically could have obliterated all airplanes on the ground and sunk most of the ships at anchor .

    Japanese naval attaches in Honolulu read about Admiral Yarnell’s surprise attack and were so impressed they filed numerous dispatches to Tokyo on the matter -which became the basic strategy 10 years later for the actual attack . And what did the smart ‘cowboys ‘ do after Yarnell’s ‘attack’ -Nothing of course . As late as the autumn of 1941
    Japanese naval experts disguised as ship stewards made copious shore leave visits and bough picture postcards containing aerial shots of the the harbor .

    The result was that in 110 minutes -8 battleships , 3 cruisers and 188 planes were destroyed and 2,500 people killed and the USA was ‘surprised ‘

    Why the above story ? Its no different today. For every smart ‘cowboy ‘ in one part of the world there are dumbo politicians and military leaders in another and vice versa. So whether its Americans or Russians or Koreans or Chinese or Germans or Brits or Israelis finessing the finer points of upcoming cyber wars in lieu of traditional conventional weaponry you can be sure that the sum total of all their ‘smartness’ will be to remove millions more people from the planet by remote attack or by disruption and eventually they all end up chasing each others tail for as long as it takes the species to realise that ‘war ‘ cyber or otherwise is ultimately futile .

  • Greenflag

    @ Dixie Elliot ,

    ‘I’d say the politicians should jump off the Ha’penny Bridge into the Liffey.’

    The Liffey has been cleaned up in recent years and now you want to repollute it ?

    Like it or not our politicians limited as they may be in their understanding of the world of derivatives and CDO’s and Credit default swaps and other such financial weapons of mass economic destruction as per Warren Buffet nevertheless these overpaid and underperforming trough feeders still fill that important role in our body politic that the excretory function provides in the body physical and without the swine we would descend to cannibalism or worse :(

    For those whose knowledge of the English language extends into the precise knowledge of the plural terms for various species the fact that a group of lions is known as a pride or that cows are termed herds or that crows are called a murder of, it must come as a severe shock that a group of owls is called a ‘parliament of owls ‘ Who’s have thought it based on governmental performance be it in Greece or Ireland or the UK or USA these past few years ?

    What will come as no surprise to those who take an interest in the worlds largest economy across the water where only mild surprise is registered when people are informed that the plural term for a group of baboons is and I kid ye not – A Congress of Baboons’.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Greenflag, this is too heavy for me. I like things you can throw stones at….

    Do we have to wait, how long, for the next Presidential election thingamajig?

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    After rendering that mini treatise, Greenflag, [ 9 November 2011 at 10:14 pm] … to the Slugger faithful/rednecks/knuckleheads/bigots/navvies, it certainly would seem that you care greatly, and professing to not give a s**t is just a mechanism for coping with feeling of impotence and inadequacy at not having the tools and support personnel to be able and enabled to effect a lasting positive change, whenever you are aware of the simply complex games being played incredibly badly and/or madly by idiot savant fools and useless future tools.

    Or how about, whenever that is not quite right and wrong, we go down another route, and explore the root that you are just one of those pathetic s**ts who are in part, actively responsible for the current media chaos because of impotent inadequacies in effectively sharing views and drivering communities with novel ideas that produce creative change …. sustainable progress. You know, the sort of thing/mission/operation one would reasonably expect to be delivered spookily/magically by special and secret intelligence services but which, in the absence of the vital and virile and viral intelligence in those services, results in them just being a white elephant liability and probable rogue private operations centre for wannabe cowboys dealing with crazy renegade injuns, who don’t give a s**t either, but just love the inebriating firewater and cheap bells and gaudy beads they are given to spill intel and keep dick on their tribes. Just simpleton traitors/rebels without a cause and their handlers.

    Just two extremes in an infinite number of possible realities and great fun to explore whenever neither is adequate or true and all can be changed for the better whenever giving a s**t and daring to care and working with special intelligence servers.

    Personally, of the two extremes, I much prefer the former over the latter, although neither is of a concern whenever so little is active when vital and virile and viral service to special secret intelligence servers is missing.

  • Greenflag

    i@amanfrommars,

    ‘It certainly would seem that you care greatly’and professing to not give a s**t is just a mechanism for coping with feeling of impotence and inadequacy at not having the tools and support personnel to be able and enabled to effect a lasting positive change, ‘

    Oh yes I care about the future of the Irish/British Eurozone and global economies and the future of the ‘democratic ‘gains that have been made by the majority of ordinary people in the western world these past couple of centuries since the American and French Revolutions and I don’t take those advances for granted and realise that they can be taken back if only temporarily by such forces as totalitarian governments of the right or left of the political spectrum.

    ‘and professing to not give a s**t is just a mechanism ‘

    I guess English is not your first language . You misunderstood my meaning . Perhaps not giving a ‘s**t’ is the wrong term but what I meant was that I care little for your cyber cowboys and their power crazy games . I know they exist . Good luck with that . Check the ‘successful ‘history of the Tsars , and other European monarchs and the ‘elite ‘ rule of Fascists and Communists for a clearer insight into the benefits of ‘minority ‘ rule . Don’t bother with checking on how minority rule worked in Northern Ireland 1920 through 1972 – Most sluggerites already know what it left behind.

    ‘ feeling of impotence and inadequacy at not having the tools and support personnel to be able and enabled to effect a lasting positive change,’

    Guilty as charged O Martian one . But then I’m hardly alone.
    Heres the current Irish government kowtowing to the banks the Irish taxpayers bailed out .

    ‘Following a two-hour meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other ministers, AIB ruled out passing on rate cuts on the basis that they had not increased rates in line with ECB hikes earlier this year.’

    Mr Noonan said the refusal of banks to pass on interest rate cuts was “a serious issue”.
    Mr Noonan said the ECB had lowered interest rates in order to avoid recession, and it was difficult to see why Irish banks should not follow suit.

    ISME urged the Government to force banks to start lending to viable businesses.
    Its chief executive Mark Fielding accused the banks of being hell-bent on ignoring the authorities and sabotaging the economy in the pursuit of their selfish interests.’

    And thats just Ireland . In the USA the former poverty stricken South Americans of banana republics fame are now buying up condos for a quarter of the price they were in 2007 in ‘cash ‘ deals . American buyers can’t compete they don’t have the cash -meanwhile State capitols such as Harrisburg PA and now Birmingham Alabama file for bankruptcy . The USA has it’s Greeces and Irelands -except they go by the name of California and Illinois .

    Keep working with those ‘special intelligence ‘ services and lets know if you find any ‘intelligence’ amongst them :(

  • Greenflag

    @ Dixie Elliot,

    ‘Greenflag, this is too heavy for me. I like things you can throw stones at’

    Ah an honest knuckle grounder . I suggest investing in a catapult of outsize dimensions and using said trebuchet to launch the ‘martian ‘ back to whichever planet he hails from ;)

    ‘Do we have to wait, how long, for the next Presidential election thingamajig?’

    The next one is Monsewer Sarkozy’s re-election attempt in the Spring . But the French presidential campaign is unlikely to include the Gallic equivalent of what passed for fun and games here in Ireland these past several months nor will it provide the entertainment of the upcoming American presidential election where one reads that one candidate is offering a new pizza topping as the simplest and tastiest solution to the woes of the world’s biggest economy . He apparently has no plans to release the 3 million Americans behind bars as a solution to overcrowded prisons in order to make room for more :(

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Keep working with those ‘special intelligence ‘ services and lets know if you find any ‘intelligence’ amongst them ….. Greenflag 10 November 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Oh, I think we both know that they are a fraud and it is a waste of prime time thinking to think otherwise. The evidence of inaction and present chaotic conditions proves it. If they had any intelligence they would be running things for themselves and have politicians answering questions to prove themselves capable rather than always avoiding answering them thinking it makes them look smart whenever it just renders them as prats for all to see.

  • Alias

    There’s an interesting quote from Berlusconi where he acknowledges that the euro has made Italians poorer. That’s the first time any prime minister of an EU region has had the political courage to state a self-evident truth about the how damaging this deranged political project has been to ordinary people. Of course, he was deposed in de facto coup a few days after he dared to question the value of the euro, so it’ll also be the last time that a prime minister forgets his place.

    “We are aware that since the euro was introduced… a significant sector of the population got poorer.”

    And what could he do about it other than follow the logic and withdraw from the euro, reinstating the lira and, of course, defaulting? It’s no wonder the hapless fool had to go…

    What is particularly interesting is that he also proffers the price inflation created by the expansionist monetary policies of the ECB and that destructive increase in the money supply as evidence that his economy is doing well when he knows full well it is evidence of the opposite. The more prosperous social groups do indeed live well on borrowed money for as long as the less prosperous social groups can be relied upon to repay it on their behalf.

    So he also ‘got it’ toward the end. Our eurogombeens won’t get it even when they end up swinging from lampposts…

  • slappymcgroundout

    Folks, you are missing the disease while you find fault with the attempted cure.

    Why did people need that credit?

    Globalization. Free trade.

    For a piece that explains Eire’s and the US’ failure, and Germany’s success, see this piece:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/212461-what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-germany-about-managing-its-trade-deficit

    We don’t have those covert trade barriers here. And so Apple computer employs 10 in China for every 1 American. Same with most other big tech companies. As you can read, our problem was “merely” made worse by the credit expansion. Was, as I’ve long believed, merely the means to mask the fact that our industry has shipped our jobs overseas. I hate when I hear idiots speak to “level playing field” as the only way there can be such is if our wage rate = foreign wage rate + cost of transport of American company but foreign made good back to the US. For how bad it is, if you will recall, we passed a law that requires one’s medical records to be kept in digital form. Good enough in the sense that if you live in NYC and get sick in Seattle, your med recs can be emailed to Seattle and the doctor there will know your history. Guess who digitizes the record? Folks in India. Believe it or not, we photocopy the records, ship them to India, they scan them, etc., and then send the digital copy back via the net. So the bill in Congress should have been called, The Digital Medical Records For Americans And Full Employment In India Act.

    Eire’s problem is as noted, the currency was too strong for Eire and so Eire got weaker, while the Euro was too weak for Germany so it got stronger via exports.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Folks, you are missing the disease while you find fault with the attempted cure.

    Hypothetical …So if my liver fails due to overexposure to chemotherapy, am I missing my brain cancer? At some point you have to say … Bad Doctors.

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    Berlusconi ? you must be joking . Significan sections of populations all around the world from the USA to Sudan to Bangla Desh to Iceland have become poorer NOT due to the Euro but due to two decades long insanity which resulted from the financial services sector being deregulated to a great degree in some cases and given almost carte blanche in others . The various financial services weapons of mass economic destruction as Warren buffet called them such as CDO’s and Credit Default Swops as well as governments allowing cheap money to produce property bubbles and ponzi schemes across the world was the trigger.

    Anyway Berlusconi is not gone . He’s still the power behind the throne just like Putin was and is in Russia . Berlusconi is a mix of Robert Maxwell , Rupert Murdoch and Rasputin with none of the redeeming features of any of the latter three :(

    Anyway here’s the verdict on him by none other than our own DM and with subtitles in Italian .

  • Greenflag

    @slappymcgroundnut ” Good post mostly fine just a couple of add ons

    ‘Why did people need that credit?

    In the case of the USA in the period 1975 through to the present ‘productivity gains’ have mostly gone to the top 20% of Americans with the middle and working classes losing out . This trend was aggravated by a loss in power and numbers in the Trades Union movement . Even now only 11% of americans are in Trades Unions and over half of that 11% are in the relatively well paid public sector . Thus in an environment of mass unemployment the real figure in some states like Michigan is over 20% with an average countrywide of 15% plus workers or individuals are virtually powerless against the forces of corporate capital .

    ‘Eire’s problem is as noted, the currency was too strong for Eire ‘

    Ireland’s problem was not that the currency was too strong but that the Government in power at the time of Euro entry did absolutely nothing to damp down the demand for cheap Euros @ 2% when previously the economy had been growing above 6% with interest rates in the 5% zone. That fact and the crooked connivance of the financial interests of the large property developers with the government party and their mutual vaccuuming up the banks ‘cheap ‘ money for ludicrous investments in places like Leitrim and Roscommon and Bulgaria etc etc is what sent the Irish economy into it’s current downspin. . Blaming the Euro alone is a bit like blaming a box of matches for starting an inferno but omitting to mention the name of the culprit who struck the match .

    The article on Germany is fair enough and the reference to List was noteworthy . His dictum from what I recall was the country that makes the machines that makes the machines that make the money ( not solely printing presses) is the country that ends up with the greatest prosperity for it’s citizenry. In this respect the Germans much more so than the British or Americans have been followers of LIst.

    There is also the cultural and historical factors to take into account . German companies are mandated to have workers on their boards to oversee the employees interests . German Trades unions are much stronger than their American or British equivalents .And again Germans are less likley to run up credit card debt on home equity values as most Germans are not homeowners unlike Americans or British . Germans are thus more flexible in moving to a new job if required unlike Americans who in theory can move but who in practice in today’s conditions are preculded from doing so because they can’t get back their equity from a property sale and their ‘health insurance ‘ assuming they have some may not travel with them . In fact the whole of the property sub prime mortgage plus the health care conundrum has made Americans not only reluctant to move but unable to do so for fear of something worse.

    Another aspect of the German ‘advantage ‘ is their predeliction when making major purchases to buy German even if it costs a little more . they console themselves by insisting it’s better quality at least with engineering products.

    As for the ‘level playing field’ ?

    Sounds like the theoretical free market which as we all know is a figment of the imagination in some ‘economist’s ‘ head .

  • Alias

    “Significan sections of populations all around the world from the USA to Sudan to Bangla Desh to Iceland have become poorer NOT due to the Euro but due to two decades long insanity which resulted from the financial services sector being deregulated to a great degree in some cases and given almost carte blanche in others ”

    Greenflag, none of those factors negate the price inflation caused by an increase in the money supply that Berlusconi referred to in the quoted article as making Italians poorer. He is referring to the quantity theory of money. Outside of that rigid formula, the price of goods and services rise to absorb the amount of extra money (Alias’ Law of the Euro #47). The cost of living rises but is compensated for by corresponding wage inflation. For those Italians living on fixed incomes throughout the period, there was no compensation – they just got poorer as their purchasing power declined. Now wage inflation must be reversed by wage deflation, austerity, and higher taxes, etc, thereby drawing an increasing number of Italians into the poorer social groups. Producer price inflation never falls for the essential goods – fuel and food – that the poor spend the greater part of their incomes on, despite how the government spins the figures. Your Italian granny (if you have one) will still be paying the same (or higher) price to heat her home and feed herself this year as she was last year – and she’ll be doing without health care, et al, as the state cuts those services to counter the negative effects of ECB policies.

    Also, the EU via the EC and ECB controls banking regulation. Contrary to myth, there is no Illuminati who meet in secret to decide such policies. The closet to the myth is the Basel Committee which comprises 10 of the world’s central banks. The EU is not a member. The EU decides banking policy and regulation, so you can’t blame anyone for its failure other than the EU.