Friday, November 25, 2011

Germany, Merkel, EuroBonds, The ECB & The Euro-Crisis

It's almost funny now to hear pundits and reporters on CNBC and Bloomberg gush over how the only solution left that will placate investors is for German PM Angela Merkel to agree to either ECB issuance of bonds/printing of Euros, or EuroBond issuances.

Anything else, one European correspondent solemnly intoned, and the world will plunge into financial chaos and ruin. Did the Germans really want this?

Or will they step up to the plate and save the global financial system all by themselves? C'mon, he implied, why can't Germany just open its checkbook to bail out everyone else?

As a disclaimer, let me mention that my own heritage is Germanic. So the Teutonic insistence on the profligate Europeans paying for their sins is not foreign to me.

But I do, honestly, see the Germans' viewpoint. Why should they mortgage their economy to bail out those of France, Greece, Italy, Spain, etc.? Where will it all end?

The foreign correspondent who tut-tutted Germany for playing chicken with global ruin also confessed that, sure, in such a scenario, Germany comes out best among the ruined financial world.

It has become borderline-hilarious to me how media pundits and analysts desperately hope that Germany will ruin itself financially in an insufficient attempt to rescue the entire rest of Europe and, by implication, the world financial system. And why? Because it's the last apparently large, solvent European nation, and a fairly comparatively conservatively-managed one, as well.

As I wrote in a prior piece, echoed in a humorous piece by a Harvard economic historian in last weekend's edition of the Wall Street Journal, what the Germans couldn't accomplish with their 88mm guns in WWII, they may well achieve simply by being patient as the rest of Europe offers more and more financial and political control to the Germans, in exchange for a gigantic bailout.

In the meantime, regardless of the global consequences, I can't but respect and agree with the German reticence to be sucked into financially rescuing the rest of Europe.

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