Buiter and Rahbari on the Future of the Eurozone

Here‘s the latest from Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari on the future of the Eurozone.

48 replies on “Buiter and Rahbari on the Future of the Eurozone”

His 3rd option is reasonable…and the €2.5 trillion size for the EFSF should focus minds. Though the suggestion that EFSF debts could be used as collateral with the ECB, appears to go against the one saying the ECB should steer clear of dodgy assets

Also he doesn’t mention timescales in detail. And there’s plenty of parameters (e.g. proportion of private sector involvement) , so a more detailed option would be needed to reduce uncertainty and assuage the markets

@ KW,

It reminds me of the introduction of some rule, whereby players participating on the same field in some kind of contact sport, are declared forced to wear some kinds of protective head gear and body amour, so as to protect themselves, and mitigate against liability of the ‘stronger’ players on the field (the core EU countries), running into and damaging some of the weaker players. The Buiter and Rahbari basically declared, that the core EU nations need to play a tough, contact sport on the field from now on, in order to stay competitive, and unless the other Euro Area participants cannot protect themselves from potentially fatal knocks and bruises from this point forward, there is no point in all of us trying to play the same sport, much less play it on the same field.

It’s the classic statement of harden up boys, or drop out, as one would say in the arena of competitive sports. It reminds me a bit actually, of the conversation about Real Madrid and Barcelona, football clubs, who are so dominant in their domestic league at the moment, that it becomes pointless for Spanish club spectators to even come and watch. There was debate during the summer, on the idea of the stronger clubs, providing finance for the weaker ones, apparently like is done in the United States. Has anyone here at the Irish Economy blog, ever tried working with a competitive sport analogy for the Euro area? BoH.

Also, that I think about it, I don’t like at all his proposal for involvement of ratings agencies.

Market prices are needed, here’s how:

Every Sovereign bond issue should have 2 classes: A & B, the same in all respects, bar that B would have to be auctioned in an open secondary market, every year.

I suggest say 10% of issue should be Class B…and that it be split in 4 groups, staggering the auction, so that 2.5% is sold every quarter.

The same rules should apply to ANY bond the ECB/official repo markets accept as collateral, or any bond accepted as part of Regulatory Capital calculations.

And this is Citi’s performance for the last five years.


Now to be fair to Willem Buiter he only joined Citi in November 2009 as Chief Economist.

This is Citi’s performance for the last two years.


Steady as she goes.

Need Europe to turn on the tap.

Need €2.5 Trillion.

“YBIYOIE consists of the minimum institutional, fiscal and regulatory set-up to ensure
survival of the EA, including:”

“– i) Large enough liquidity facilities to prevent illiquid but solvent EA sovereigns and
banks from being forced into default by a loss of market access.”

Or in the real world. Please create €1 Trillion to mop up Citi’s rotten lending.

“– ii) A debt restructuring mechanism for insolvent EA sovereigns.”

Or in the real world. Please create €500 Billion and give it to EA sovereigns so they can pay us back. Come on guys. Someone has to create money to mop up our losses.

“– iii) A special resolution regime for EU banks and a Euro-Tarp for cross-border
sibanks and other sifis.”

Or in the real world.

Thanks for the €1.5 Trillion.

Could we have another €1 Trillion?

We need it for things you don’t understand like sibanks and other sifis.

We also need it to mop up the mess we made as SPIVS.

Look. Honest.

We never knew what the SPIVS were.


If you don’t give us €2.5 Trillion. Your State won’t work anymore.

HeHeHe HaHaHa.

The Paper of Buiter just makes it clear, that everything but the breakup of the Eurozone NOW results in a humongous capital crime against the German taxpayer. Just the wording would be a little different.

I find Buiters brand of elitism distasteful in the extreme – I also fail to see the efficiency of the of the modern market state in comparsion to the also socially engineered nation state.
His favoured openness to free flowing capital has been catostrophic in the area of resourse allocation although the older more tradional method of free flowing capital using the central bank war model was devastating to Europes and the worlds manhood.
Technological innovation has collapsed since the era of the market state since not enough stability & spare time(at least in America) is present in the local commons to flower oringinal thought.
I essentially reject his purposeful and deliberate brand of zoo keeping.
Indeed every time I listen to the man the words of Carroll Quigley come to mind.
“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank…sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.”

What will happen to the few we happy few who resist such tyranny ?
Will they crush us like they did before – those Dutch banks backing Cromwell and his successors , wiping out the old tribal structure to facilitate the entry of the now obsolete in Buiters eyes at least Nation state.

Now that we are in the post Culloden phase of assimilating control I suppose it would be too much to ask for a Allen Breck superhero to cut the bastards down to size (the fact that he spoke with a Cockney accent is neither here nor there….. I think)

Genauer wrote:

The Paper of Buiter just makes it clear, that everything but the breakup of the Eurozone NOW results in a humongous capital crime against the German taxpayer. Just the wording would be a little different.

I agree with that statement fully. I don’t know how many ex. athletes read the Irish Economy, here, but my guess is that some of you know what it feels like to be that guy who was included in the panel as far as pre-season training was concerned, and to wear the same stripes for a short while, as the bona fide sports stars. The ex. NTMA chief, has been on record in saying, when Ireland joined up to the Euro project, he thought it made sense to play on the ‘A’ team. But no one in Europe, much less the core nations were naive enough to treat 2002-2012 as anything other than a pre-season boot camp. A way in which to weed out the weak-lings from the right stuff. It is getting very close now to a real season kick-off, and it has probably cost both Germany and France more cash than originally anticipated, to allow Ireland, Greece and Portugal to wear the All-European gersey for as long as we did. But the truth of the matter is, that having Ireland, Greece and Portugal at boot camp did provide one important advantage. It would have given the right sort of decoy, to economists on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, in the United States. It would have given the impression for a period of a decade, that the core European states were in fact seriously about proceeding down the path of an all-European currency. That would have provided the core European states with the sort of breathing space it required, in order to develop a playbook, using some live ammo, to figure how this thing could actually work, when it comes to ‘open season’ play time. BoH.

@all [& followers of Herr Professor SINN may now find him in Steinbrück’s Bin …

…. from the Der Spiegel link above – and a comment on our old nemesis of the tractor Herr Professor Sinn …. Sinn tossed in the bin by Steinbrück, who, after noting the €2 Trillion cost of German Unification to date …..

SPIEGEL: Bigger bailout funds, euro bonds, purchasing sovereign bonds and whatever else may come: Is it possible that the price Germany will have to pay for Europe will be too great in the end?

Steinbrück: Nobody knows. We have yet to pay a single cent; we’ve only given guarantees. In these conditions of extremely high insecurity, we must act in a way that is politically responsible — for the sake of both Germany and Europe. It’s just that the government needs to explain that to the Germans. Over a period of 20 years, German reunification has cost €2 trillion, or an average of €100 billion a year. So, we have to ask ourselves: Aren’t we willing to pay a tenth of that over several years for Europe’s unity?

SPIEGEL: A tenth just won’t get us there.

Steinbrück: How do you know? It annoys me that some economic institutes claim that introducing euro bonds would cost Germany between €20 billion and €25 billion over 10 years …

SPIEGEL: … the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research says it might even cost €47 billion over the long-term — and that’s per year.

Steinbrück: That is just nonsense. Throw those studies in the trash can! They fail to take into account how demand structures change. A euro-bond market would be the second-largest one and the most liquid market for sovereign bonds after the dollar. It would be attractive to the Chinese, for example, who really could diversify their investment strategy. That would push down interest rates.

What a pity we did not have a Allen Breck like character as Taoiseach in 2008.
A rogue of a leader would have stood up in the Dail and explained without consulting the domestic Trojan horse CB that the state can only back domestic deposits to a minimum sum – lets say 20 – 50 thousand if it were to obey the defecit rules of the maastricht treaty – setting off a rolling inferno in the Halls of greed.
Of course the propagandised sheep here would probally blame the man for the economic catostrophy that would follow as we would become a outcast in Europe – in the eyes of respectable western leaders at least.
But it would have been oh so sweet – for once a game of chicken that a Irishman did not blink.
But they have our mark – they know our many weaknesses – we are a sad broken people.
The overruling of our Taoiseach on RTE that fateful morning & afternoon will be a day that will live in infamy.
Of course it was 2 years too late for any meaningful poltical fight – like the real Allan Breck he was a sad compromised little man.

I would just like to say Catastrophe before any smart ass makes a Dorkish jibe about my Corkish nature.
Sorry for being so defensive and all – I am feeling prickly tonight.

Buiter is notoriously anti -gold which makes the euro unworkable at the current price – his anylasis is flawed at this price.
Central bank Seigniorage games that he favours will not work – the debt must be destroyed , not played out.
You are either a monetarist or Keynesian in this monetory universe or a Austrian if or when we get to the other side.
His austerity games are unworkable at the current real debt peonage level – destroying commerce to sustain the unsustainable.

@Brian O’Hanlon

“That would have provided the core European states with the sort of breathing space it required, in order to develop a playbook, using some live ammo”

I recall Germany doing something like that once before. I believe it was in the Spanish civil war. A great place to try out new technology and tactics before the big kick off in 1939. Is that the parallel you are trying to draw?

I see Silvio is now chasing Chinese money. He obviously isn’t feeling too confident about the Germans bailing him out as he’s been watching them raise the ante on the Greeks. It’s working though. A nice little earner on the property tax, collected through the electricity billing system no less (and what a pi55poor message that sends out about Greek capabilities), and another of the thousand cuts on the poor guys who never caused this problem in the first place but are now paying for it.

And boy, are they going to pay. Greece is toast.

@ David,
actually sinn’s ifo institute came up with a calculation of costs for Germany 45 b Eur per anno. based on rate differentials around 2.3 % as in July 2011. Those differentials have gone up, for good reason, and S&P made clear, that Eurobonds are as good as the weakest member.
They do not solve at all the lacking competitiveness of the southern fringe.
My calculation would be based on the differentials to the first TBTF (Italy and Spain, that was 2.8 % as of 10 days ago).

Today ft alphaville dropped greece, portugal, and ireland from their Sovereign CDS watch list, and put instead DE, FR and UK on the spot, with FR being now, where Italy was 3 month ago. The 1 year CDS rate for Greece http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=CGGB1U1:IND is now at 9600 points, meaning, buying that, you loose, if they dont default until Xmas. I think the best solution is Germany to leave the Euro. Then the others can just do whatever they want, just not out of my wallet.

PR guy writes,

I recall Germany doing something like that once before. I believe it was in the Spanish civil war. A great place to try out new technology and tactics before the big kick off in 1939. Is that the parallel you are trying to draw?

I did employ a couple of phrases above, from which people may draw inferences with past history of Europe. The point is though, mainland European citizens are able to draw inferences for themselves, whether people lead them along that way or not. There are inter-relationships between mainland European nations, which we in Ireland, are not even aware of, because things are so embedded into culture. The thing we can say, from here on the island of Ireland, is we don’t have a very many ties with Germany in European history. Think about the relationship between France and Germany, Germany and Poland, Germany and Italy. Yes, Germany and Spain. A lot of very large economies, a lot of very large regions. A lot of very large populations. Within each nation there is a lot of complexity going on, which we in Ireland would find hard to appreciate fully.

Italian unification was never a perfect thing. Some say that there is no sense of a nation. That Italy may return to a northern state and a southern one. I don’t understand Greek history, but I imagine there may be other strands. In France, there are three or four separate climate zones. Natives of Amsterdam never quite saw eye to eye with those of Rotterdam. For all the differences we tend to see between Ireland and Britain, we are probably a lot more culturally compatible and homogeneous than many other EU regions are. It is very possible, that a lot of it is dumbed down in the Irish media, to make it easier for us here to consume. From this point of view, it is unlikely if Europe will ever get anything like the ‘united states’ federal economic system, that was possible on other continents. I’m not at all familiar with mainland China for instance. It is really a collection of many different smaller defined regions. I do know they share a single common dialect, which is used by that continent to communicate. We aren’t even remotely close to that in Europe, are we? BoH.


Are you German? Do you live in Ireland? Do you support the European Project? Are you familiar with the 20th Century?

U ever been in, or witnessed, a war zone?

Buite4r is exhibiting strange disconnect with what’s actually going on right now inside the capitals of EA. The loanguage is more akeen to UK/FMOC than ECB – which is only constitutional body to rescue Euro Project from the delitente politicans, including current coaltion partners in Berlin.

Buite4r is exhibiting strange disconnect with what’s actually going on right now inside the capitals of EA. The loanguage is more akeen to UK/FMOC than ECB – which is only constitutional body to rescue Euro Project from the delitente politicans, including current coaltion partners in Berlin.

@ David and all,
it is actually kind of interesting, that, when I tell you that you will not reach into MY wallet, you start talking about “war zone”. I wonder whether the other Irish folks feel similar or want to express different viewpoints.

Just like Stark said in the Irish Times, your public servants are overpaid by EU standards, plenty of room for adjustments. So I dont worry to much about the Irish getting through in the end.

Beyond that, the last time I looked, Ireland didnt want to come to the common defense, like being a member of NATO. Do I see a little pattern of free-riding here ?

You, David, remind me a little bit, of what happened, about a quarter century ago in a little student city, I was the elected speaker for, as long as term limits, in southern Germany. some drunken Irish “guests” did try to dominate a local student pub and hurt the owner severely, smashing broken glass into his neck. Coming back a few days later, they were a little surprised, to look into the barrels of loaded guns, held by peace-loving, calm, sober, disciplined German students. They were even a little more surprised, when the bullets stuck in their legs.
Nobody died, these folks were deported, and the strict ID controls implemented afterwards, did hurt a lot of innocent, peaceful people of other nations as well.

You wanna talk about war with a former german soldier ? : – )
I am just so scared. I did walk alone 3 am in the morning through parks in Harlem and over market places in cuba. I did not loose my wallet

We are all being manipulated by the Venetian banks – they are laughing at our stupidity and tribal programming.
Lets not have a round 3 for the sake of our children.


‘You wanna talk about war with a former german soldier ? : – )

Well this is how and why the European Project was initiated – a former German soldier, an enlightened former German soldier, was at the table talking about war.

Do you remember his name?

@genauer Ah well – I’ll help you out …

The Walter Hallstein Prize is awarded annually in November by the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, the town of Frankfurt am Main, and the Dresdner Bank for special services to European Integration.

A little story – In 1962, when the United Kingdom and Ireland were applying to join the European Economic Community, Hallstein startled an Irish journalist by saying that he had not thought it necessary even to open, let alone read Ireland’s application. He then memorably summed up Ireland’s dilemma “If the UK goes in, you go also; if not you too will stay out. Britain can possibly come in without Ireland but Ireland cannot come in without Britain ” He was proved entirely right: the French veto on the United Kingdom made it effectively impossible for Ireland to join until the removal of the French veto made it possible for both to join in 1972.

As a proponent of a federal Europe with a strong Commission and Parliament, he was opposed to de Gaulle’s vision of a “Europe des États” (Europe of States) with more power retained by national governments, and in September 1967 he was forced to resign as president of the Commission.

Methinks Oberleutnant (Wehrmacht) Walter Hallstein’s Time & Thought has come around again.


On NATO – Nein at the mo – but I do keep one of Blind Biddy’s Bazookas ready to hand – just in case. She also has your rifle … 😆

It appears BNP and Soc Gen are now heading the way of our own banks and are very close to being nationalised.

What do you think about that in Buiter’s report?

p.42: “We expect that other Euro area sovereigns, most likely Portugal and Ireland, will experience ratings defaults.”

I think in the case of Ireland he is plain wrong……….

JP Morgan, BarCap and Goldman saying EMU endgame near, and big decisions will be forced this September:

Mohamed El Erian says Europe near a full blown banking crisis:

I wonder is Merrion St coming out of their little summer snooze yet ?

@Desmond Brennan

One can’t help though but wonder if this is wishful thinking/self-fulfilling prophecy stuff from the likes of JPM, Goldman, etc. because they are lined up to make money on the downside?

When do the short selling bans get lifted?

@Pr Guy
Short selling bans have a shelf life, bu the implication was they’d continue past that

Well now, bar BOA, we’ve seen intervention by all the major investment banks…I’m not sure that it makes sense that they could all stand to make a killing…also at this rate the uncertainty and attendant market volatility suits no one…well bar the few algo arbitrage traders .

My German friend,
Welcome to our little blog. Your choices are stark and not very nice. If you do contribute to a bail out of the periphery it will cost you collectively a few hundred billion. If you don’t the periphery will default on the 1 trillion it owes you, your new DM will appreciate by 40% and you will sell very little to countries who a/ c for 60% of your trade. Sure the periphery living standards will go down by 40% – such is life. But if you work in a German export industry you will probably lose your job and your savings. Oh and we won’t like you again for destroying the continent- but you are used to that.


David O’ Donnell presented here in his wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Hallstein
a very good example of nicely planted desinformation.

“a kind of Prime Minister of Europe” allegedly spoken out by a third rank german official, moved to Europe, With an obscure reference, with https ,
just not available right now, obviously completely ridiculous, and not to be found in any french, german, polish version.

Did you personally plant this on purpose, for IP address fishing reasons?

Did anybody else here observe similar behavior of David in the past ?

Hallstein, being a Professor, just a first Lieutenant, age 44, at the end of WWII, God, I am so impressed, he must have been so important : – )
Every word he spoke must have come from high above, possibly from the Führer himself. His “highest rank” in Germany ever was a simple member of parliament, after his stint at the EU.

I had a major of special forces (like real combat and not a desk job) as a PhD student.

Mr Dork, who are you?
You arrived after a ~Mr Cunniffe disappeared. He used to go on a bit too.
(I don’t think he annoyed Karl though)

Re: Fisher…
‘ Fisher was perhaps the first celebrity economist, but his reputation during his lifetime was irreparably harmed by his public statements, just prior to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, claiming that the stock market had reached “a permanently high plateau.” ‘

“Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy are due to hold a call with Greek prime minister George Papandreou tomorrow.”

“Ms Merkel said today she would not let Greece go into uncontrolled insolvency”

Er, does that mean they’re phoning to tell George he’s going to get an orderly default then?

Reading George’s speech on Saturday night, it looked like the words of a very insecure man and to not ‘trail’ the property tax coming the next day suggests that the decision to have it was only actually taken as a rabbit out of the hat at the cabinet meeting on Sunday morning.

Greece has run out of rabbits. Greece is toast.

I am but a Dork – as for Fisher I think his personel bankruptcy concentrated his mind – we are all merely human.
That entire full money movement was snuffed out by the Keynesians anyhow – the good priests as I like to call them.
I think Roosevelt new that the bankers could reach out and touch him like the others so did a deal deal – but that is mere speculation on my part.
The treasuary got to take & keep the Gold while the banks could continue on with their credit games – that was the deal – the New Deal.

maybe so…


   /dɔrk/ Show Spelled[dawrk] Show IPA
Slang . a silly, out-of-touch person who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others; a social misfit: If you make me wear that, I’ll look like a total dork! Synonyms: jerk, schmo; nerd, geek.
Slang: Vulgar . penis.
1960–65; expressive coinage; compare similar phonetic elements in dolt, dong3 , jerk1 , etc.

Word Story
The history of dork is a short one. It’s been around only since the 1950s or 60s, originally as a slang term for “penis.” Most likely dork was just an alternative form of dick, a word that started out as a nickname for Richard—a name meaning “fellow”—but which by the late 1800s, had taken on the additional meaning of “penis” (which is certainly part of a fellow) in British army slang.
By the late 60s, American college students had extended the meaning of dork to refer to a socially awkward person. While at first this sense of dork carried pejorative connotations, the term has since been “taken back” by the people it once so cruelly described, and now can even be given as a compliment. If a girl calls a guy “adorkable,” (the combination of “dork” and “adorable”) she means to say he is cute in a socially awkward, yet endearing way.
Geeks and nerds, while still dorky, are generally considered more intelligent than dorks. Next time you call someone a dork think about its short history in the English language, and reflect upon what a word nerd you are.

Popular References

— King Dork: A coming-of-age novel by Frank Portman, first published in 2006.
—Son of Dork: A powerpop band from the UK.
— Dork Tower: An online comic by John Kovalic.

“[O]ver there he wouldn’t be no fatboy or dork or kid no girl had ever loved; over there he’d be a hero, an avenger.”
—Juno Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) http://books.google.com/books?id=_YVO217NhC0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
“[W]hile I’m definitely a dork, I’m not a nerd…I’m lucky that they’re popular enough that they don’t have to worry about…being seen with a dork like me.”
—Robin Friedman, The Girlfriend Project (2007) http://books.google.com/books?id=F0zqp21WPcsC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
“The terror-image he had was of having to go naked into a communal shower and having the other draftees laugh at the size of his dork.”
—Desmond Stone, Alec Wilder in Spite of Himself (1996) http://books.google.com/books?id=1qF2kRdMNCwC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

@ Dork,
maybe I should have written the Major with the correct upper “M”, as a military rank, who was a PhD student, I advised, long ago.
And with a very good scientific record, btw.

I think I have made it pretty clear, that David O’ D just produced a strawman with this obscure Hallstein and the even more obscure wiki page about him.

Isn’t it nice to project all your misery on some foreign enemy ?
Works every time. Hitler did it with the Jews. In medieval times it was the witches and heretics.

can you imagine the horror we had here in Germany, when your Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertie_Ahern:
“On 4 July 2007 Ahern stated at a conference in Donegal that he did not understand why people sitting on the sidelines, “cribbing and moaning” about the economy, did not commit suicide.[51] [52]”

and then his successor on 9/30/2008
“the decision by the Government to guarantee all deposits in Irish banks.”

gave a blank cheque, declared the unlimited liability of the Irish people for all the debt and risk.

Huugh, ever heard of “limited liability”, why the US FDIC and the German Einlagensicherung were and are very specific about limits.

This was one of the moments in my life, where I realized, that the crazies are way closer than I thought.

Just read your fellow John F Kennedy “pay any price, bear any burden”, carefully, repeatedly, and try to translate that into into “court proof” financial or manpower commitments.

And read what Merkel said, afterwards. Carefully, there was nothing court relevant, beyond the old iron clad Einlagensicherung.

This was exactly the day I turned from pro-Euro to skeptic. I do not want to have a common balance sheet with people, who make these kinds of crazy decisions.

3 points come to mind with regard to this report:

1. See page 32 of report. The contrast between Ireland and others in terms of external debt is stark. Surely this means the case for default by Ireland is greater than those with lower external debt?

2. The comments made in section 4.4.2 with regard to the transformation (by devaluation) of a ‘low productivity, inefficient, internationally uncompetitive economy’ do not apply to Ireland in the way that they apply to Greece. Are we really saying that if Dublin is 3 or 4 times cheaper than Warsaw (following a devaluation) that a US firm making FDI decisions will not chose Dublin?

3. The source of the report. Even the language used, is mired in germanic/eurocentric, ‘there is no other way’ mentality. We need to play OUR game, for OUR grandchildren.

Hey Genauer , I don’t want to project my vomit on any particular group or individual. I am pretty agnostic in my views – a bit like Nixon really , I don’t trust anybody.
PS – Genauer , you don’t have to have a common balance sheet with other European countries – the ECB merely has to bid up the price of Gold – as the debt is internal and Germany owns most of the Gold whats the problem ?

You make similar spelling mistakes to the guy who disappeared.
There are similar themes but you are more carefree hiding behind that disguise.

Could one of the moderators check the ip address to confirm…or Dork, why not just come out of the closet and admit it?

The general standard can drop here from time to time – a price paid for ‘free speech’ I suppose. You don’t have to add to it.

@ john,
got you.

With the rest of the post I just got a little melancholic tonight.
Tomorrow we talk aggregate demand and current account surplus again.

@ dork

I am more of a leninist: trust is good, control is even better.
Everything in moderation.

What is it with this obsession with gold and other shiny metals ?
Copper and Tungsten look much more beautiful to my eyes, and serve a good purpose in wiring Chips : – )

I just took this as an opportunity to look at some 200 and 300 mm wafers, dust them off, cough, and what I see is not just some few micrometer of metal, but all the intelligence, experience, hard and dedicated work of many thousands of good people, and huge capital investments over many decades going into them. And it is really beautiful, for me. Understanding the physics, the engineering, the history, of production processes, companies, specific people, locations

the US has 8 k tons of the yellow metal, DE 3, FR, IT, IMF a little less, so what. The market price is about 1800 USD per ounce, makes about 140 b Eur. 5% of yearly GDP ? Let the crazies go a little higher, and then screw them. I mean accommodate the urgent demand : – )

Just like 2500 years ago in Greece, the power of a people does not depend on hoarded commodities, but on the power of the people to produce,
and their willingness to deliver for the common good (sounds much better than: how much you can tax the shit out of them, eh?)

Making good laws, just raising output (only one time!) by 1 % over 5 years is more effective. Most EU countries have raised their wages more, relative to Germany, by 20 % over the last 15 years. Are they happier now ?

If Germany would convert its accumulated Current Account surplus into Gold, we could suck this market dry for 10 years or more.
Would this make me more happy? No.
Actually, keeping the current surplus we could do this forever, not counting in JP, IN, SN, CH, just demonstrating that any kind of going back to a “gold standard” money is plainly ridiculous.

If DE, FR, IT convert about 1/2 of their Gold, this would pay for most of Greece debt problem. Would this solve their fundamental problem with a disfunctional state?
No !! It would make it worse, endorsing the way more than 50 year old bad behavior even more, and gets those Irish, …. thinking about unethical behavior too.

@ Brian,

I read your sports post the 3rd time, but I still feel that I do not really get it. But that may very well be just me. The only time I played in a “leaque” was @ IBM (heartland) as a kind of “old guy”.

With your thoughts about European nations and their substructures.
Just a very short remark. Over the last 500 years we “Europe” did things to others, and not the other way around. A lot of people wondered, whether this was just some kind of accident, with all these older cultures thousands of years ahead of us.

But 2 things stick out:
We always killed any attempt of one big centralized “empire”.
We were at the one hand practically constant at war with each other, but on the other hand we had permanent intense cultural exchange.

Sometimes Gollum speaks , sometimes Smeagol – I am Smeagol now…………….
Gold is the unit that the Venetian banks use to break nations – the precious is all powerful and all consuming.
Just as they engineered the Great war to transfer above ground German & French gold and UK below ground Gold from the old capital intensive coal based Gold standard countries to the fluid all powerful petro dollar of the 20th century – they have now decided to change the monetory structure in their interests again.
Eventhough the Euro has created the Free Gold genie – it does not control it , the euro has & will destroy Europe – you see Europe is tertiary to their greater servent – it is expendable just like the flower of European manhood was expendable nearly 100 years ago.
Only a modern day Henry the First can save the continent now – as the darkness is gathering…………..
If he does not come soon – nations will fall into a unimaginable chaos.

The precious the precious is calling……………………


I will take buffoonery over evil any day of the week. You have opened a very smelly can of worms.

I suggest that Germany join Russia and form an Asian Economic Union.

Buiter is sharper than a tack. This is the best analysis of the EZ crisis I have seen. Losses of 65 to 80% if Greece fails is much higher than I had imagined. His prognosis that the EA will fumble and bumble along making decisions late and under funding repeatedly makes sense given the political climate.

I feel more optimistic, hope springs eternal in the human breast and all is not lost.

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