Angela Merkel leads a chorus of German voices in rejecting any thought of softening austerity in...

Angela Merkel leads a chorus of German voices in rejecting any thought of softening austerity in the eurozone despite the election results in France and Greece. Instead, Germany reckons Francois Hollande will soon have to backtrack on his pledges and kowtow to the status quo. "Germany is not here to finance French election promises," growls one Merkel ally.

Comments (21)
  • Stoploss
    , contributor
    Comments (1713) | Send Message
    Das Boot!
    7 May 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • brachiosaurus
    , contributor
    Comments (226) | Send Message
    Yes. the obvious solution is to kick Germany out of the eu
    7 May 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (8058) | Send Message
    What if Hollande managed to turn the tide, and the ECB was given the authority to buy all the gov debt it wanted. You would think the value of the Euro would wane considerably, and then all the hard work of the Germans would come to naught as their purchasing power eroded, even though their exports improved. Basically, the sell high end cars and get less and less for them, because there winds up being less and less a Euro can buy. Its basically selling a German car and getting a receivable, only to write the receivable off by 90% a few months later.


    So what happens if Germany decides to leave, like the rich French and Greeks that leave when 100% of their incomes finally get taxed away. Now, the powerhouse that gave the Euro value is gone, and all that's left are the looters.


    Will Europe go to war with Germany for trying to secede? Ironic that East Germany once built walls to keep people in too. Imagine if the US has to go back to Europe for another war, but this time we have to defend Germany?
    7 May 2012, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • Losing Paper While Gaining ...
    , contributor
    Comments (488) | Send Message
    I liked your comment, what can the other countries do when Germany is (only) relatively speaking the most financially stable?


    I don't expect it to happen, but the US would only go to war in Europe to protect its banks. Where are US banks most heavily invested or at risk? That's whose side the US will be on.
    7 May 2012, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • The Last Boomer
    , contributor
    Comments (1051) | Send Message
    Merkel is like the doctor who keeps the bloodletting going until the patient dies. The absurdity of this economic policy has the potential to take the continent 70-80 years back in time.
    7 May 2012, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • Losing Paper While Gaining ...
    , contributor
    Comments (488) | Send Message
    I'm interested in what you think she should do?


    Go with the US method of going back a little further in time, to the Weimar Republic and its inflationary policies?
    7 May 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (10787) | Send Message
    Last Boomer.....almost makes you think that the EU and ECB are mor than happy to have the contractionary effects of austerity. Or.....perhaps Germany is just unwilling to relinquish it's "Top Dog" position. You know...for each person's exports, there must be someone importing.


    What the Germans need to do, as demonstrated by their re-unification with E. Germany is allow alot more Greeks and Spaniards and Italians to move into Germany and begin working there.
    7 May 2012, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9903) | Send Message
    The real absurdity of economic policy is to keep borrowing and spending more than a country can support. The real absurdity of economic policy is to borrow, print, and attempt to inflate currencies rather than deal with growing debt problems. The real absurdity of economic policy is allow deceptive politicians and bureaucrats to continue to lie and kick-the-can instead of dealing with real structural reforms in their economies.
    7 May 2012, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4291) | Send Message
    You must not have studied economics at Princeton. If you don't think there is a free lunch, you should see the faculty dining room.
    7 May 2012, 08:48 PM Reply Like
  • The Last Boomer
    , contributor
    Comments (1051) | Send Message
    I trust the markets and the bond market is telling us that US can borrow more than what we currently borrow at the lowest costs that we have seen in decades. This market tells us that the probability of US default is essentially zero. The market tells us that we borrow less than we can support. Are you smarter than the bond market?
    7 May 2012, 11:31 PM Reply Like
  • Losing Paper While Gaining ...
    , contributor
    Comments (488) | Send Message
    Yeah, and housing never goes down, because it's different this time. I think I'm smarter than the bond market. Us thinking we know better than where the market is right now is what determines how we invest, right?


    I know the market direction will change when the investing environment changes. Have you forgotten how quickly things can change?
    8 May 2012, 04:08 AM Reply Like
  • bob adamson
    , contributor
    Comments (4560) | Send Message
    With the election of Hollande the opportunity arises for the EU to broaden its current fiscal policy (which narrowly focuses upon austerity for the peripheral States, primarily in southern Europe). We should not be too quick to give a narrow interpretation to the Merkel response that the austerity pact is not subject to renegotiation. The German Government is giving simultaneous indications that
    (a) it places a high priority to maintaining its close relationship with France as a core policy to Germany’s place in Europe and within the EU, and
    (b) it is not opposed, in principal, to a properly crafted economic growth strategy for the EU as a supplemental but very important aspect of EU efforts to surmount the current economic and fiscal crises.
    Further, there are clear indications within the German Political Parties, even the free market Free Democrats, that bare and deep austerity may be contrary to Germany’s interests both domestically and within Europe. The following recent articles and commentaries from the German press illustrate my point.






    This is not to say that many significant German political figures do not continue oppose broadening this focus beyond austerity and fiscal rectitude or that it will be easy for Hollande and Merkel to devise in league with the leaders of the other EU States the sort of practical broadening to which I refer. I’m only saying that it would be simplistic and short sighted to assume that Merkel will simply face down Hollande and that Hollande is bound to blink – this is not the nature of the give and take process under way.
    7 May 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • oeverts
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
    The inherent problem is Germany has always wanted to dominate Europe. Now, economically they are in the driver's seat, but how long will that last if the total economy collapses through unwillingness to be flexible? There must be a balance. There cannot be just one path followed, dictated by one voice, to lead to future prosperity for all, sometimes things have to follow side paths to still reach the same goal.
    7 May 2012, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Dr. V
    , contributor
    Comments (1168) | Send Message
    You nailed it, comment of the week nominee.


    EU loves to play Monopoly, but somehow Germany always gets to be "the central bank", I think we have all seen this syndrome unfold.


    Also, like those who cheat while playing, Germany pays it's debts not from it's own money, but rather from the bank's money, ensuring victory every time, nu?


    As Mr. Hollande said, "Germany cannot decide for the whole of Europe." This is exactly what has been happening for the last ten (10) years, and the world stands by and lets it happen.


    France / Spain / Italy Alliance would be far better for the EU, (far more profitable) than the draconian austerity measures being force fed to the periphery. This needs to be driven home into the German political psyche, so they will put away this demented, and misguided ideology of European domination. Most Economists agree that this austerity is killing the EU, and we will very likely see a break up of the Eurozone, we hope at least.


    With nine (9) Trillion Euros in Debt accounting for 75% of EU's Total Debt, (and a balance sheet that rivals that of Japan : Germany at 185% and Japan at 210% Debt/GDP), Germany is the last country that should be doling out advice of ANY kind, especially not financial.


    Germany is still an "occupied" country under Nato Treaty, there is a reason this has been reviewed and renewed regularly: protection from Uncle Sam, part of the USG Budget, how sick is that?


    For the naysayers:
    Keep defending Germany, as long as they remain friendly with Iran, N. Korea, China, & Russia, their name will remain on a list. Civil unrest is expected and planned for as part of the latest US Security Policy; Region: Central Europe


    *Remember their act of defiance on the Libyan Embargo, siding with their aforementioned partners in crime, against the UN Security Council?


    Fr. Merkel says renegotiation of the fiscal pact isn't possible?


    Who died and gave her (Merkel) the keys to Europe?


    Germany attempts to change / block / alter ANY EU policy which doesn't suit them, c'mon people these are facts, quit closing your eyes on this.


    Only through Germany's occupation by the US, have they been protected this long. Without the US protection, Putin would have marched in and set up shop in 30 mins.


    Pretty tough talk coming from a country (Germany) who can't defend themselves (or pay for it), yet enjoy the economic freedoms as a direct result, and on the dime of US Taxpayers, know that.


    Not Germany bashing, it's simply a message that US Taxpayers need to send to Germany. That message, "no more", pay for yourselves, hire a new babysitter, we're outta here, peace!"


    There used to be a word for that...........


    Ah,............ UNGREATFUL.


    US needs to cut ties with "Doucheland" and let them fend for themselves.


    Let China & Russia fight it out.
    8 May 2012, 04:41 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (10787) | Send Message
    Dr. V.
    Vielen dank, wieder mal.


    I appreciate these insights and the world is too large for me to keep up on all the stuff that's going on all over. It's nice to have a "Section Chief" who can fill in the gaps with real time understanding.
    10 May 2012, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • Dr. V
    , contributor
    Comments (1168) | Send Message
    Thanks WMARKW.


    Just waiting for that call from Charlie Rose!


    Ian Bremmer is here in London, we have an event at Chatham House this evening. Brilliant guy.
    10 May 2012, 03:33 AM Reply Like
  • W. Walker Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (271) | Send Message
    I'm not sure that Germany wanted to be in this position. After reading "When Money Dies" I now firmly believe that they have simply learned from very big mistakes.


    We all want to dominate the certain areas, and for some the world.


    I think the biggest issues are social programs, and central banks. Take the Federal Reserve for example, they get money out of thin air to buy bonds issued by the US government, which we the taxpayers pay interest on. So the people who used NO MONEY to buy bonds get to collect the interest every month (or whenever), and then get paid back when the bond matures.


    We all want something for nothing, I'm beginning to think that's just nature. Social programs are created under the disguise of "helping," but the reality is that the masses just become complaisant. Then, when the government can no longer afford to keep those programs going the masses begin to revolt, feeling they are "entitled" to those benefits.


    What happened to the idea that we are each responsible for ourselves? It's time we stood up again, and told those that have relied on these social programs that the time is quickly coming when you will have to be responsible for your own welfare. I hate to say it but our current path, every country in the world, is unsustainable. There must be a better way.


    Nothing on the planet is perfect, but in my mind a TRUE free market is the only path. (the US is NOT a true free market) We would stop wasting so much time, in the grand scheme of the universe, our time here is so short.
    7 May 2012, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (8058) | Send Message
    A free market is a market free of force and fraud. Makes you wonder why people would advocate for a market that has some force and fraud.
    7 May 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • W. Walker Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (271) | Send Message
    Agreed, I'll be honest this Europe mess is a little over my head, but I keep going back to these damn social programs. They seem to be the new method to bankrupt economies. Almost like inflation was replaced by these programs, or these programs are a mask for inflation, somehow.


    It appears that the countries that have major problems have major social programs, and the rest, well they seem to be managing the best they can...


    Maybe instead of war, the EU takes the US down with it, and in its place the new world currency will emerge (possibly digitally based). Since it appears China is building up a reserve to attempt to make a run at the reserve currency, it would seem logical that we need critical mass to achieve control in the next major monetary shift.


    If we combine all the gold, or even just said it was backed by nothing (since the EU and US collectively could kick everyones a$$ combine {maybe, china does have a billion mind controlled ants}), then the new currency will be the reserve. Most likely many other countries will jump onboard, with the control over the middle east regions and spreading east, it will be a fairly easy process. China and Russia seem to be the only possible major opponents (aside from Korea etc.) that could not adopt the currency, but it really wouldn't matter. A one world currency could exist without them and several others.


    Just seems that since the beginning of time some people have been several steps ahead. I think there are some who knew this was going to happen. They probably rigged the whole thing. We are merely slaves, but the true masters have yet to reveal their face. For now we will have to look at Mr. B and our governments, but I don't think they are the real decision makers.
    7 May 2012, 10:07 PM Reply Like
  • Dr. V
    , contributor
    Comments (1168) | Send Message
    The point is, Hollande is challenging Germany in the open, something that has not been done until now, and Germany is not used to being confronted by anyone, so imagine the panic level. The house of cards they hastily slapped together since the inception of the Euro, is about to come unglued.


    Contrary to German news reports, Mr. Hollande is not a Communist, but rather a Socialist. HUGE difference.


    Why Germany is so scared of this we cannot understand, Fr. Merkel is also a Socialist (DDR) born and raised, so what's the stress about? More failed propaganda to sew confusion among the elderly, OR (the majority of voters).


    Her party affiliation is immaterial, Fr. Merkel was a member of the official, socialist-led youth movement Free German Youth (FDJ).


    She never raised her hand and said, "I can't live this way, just shoot me now." But rather, as a matter of fact, she went on to became a member of the District Board and Secretary for "Agitprop" (agitation and propaganda), at the Academy of Sciences.....!


    Not something you do to take a stance "AGAINST" Socialism, or?


    So......, I think we have now established a few supporting facts as to the true agenda of Fr. Merkel.That ideology comes SCREAMING OUT in her stance on everything, follow any speech of hers.


    Germany's predatory regulatory procedures, and corruption are now coming under the microscope in the mainstream media.


    You will see this daily now, they can no longer hide the corpse.
    10 May 2012, 03:29 AM Reply Like
  • 544
    , contributor
    Comments (29) | Send Message
    If 52% of Franch citizen think that to retire at 62 instead of 60 and working 5 days a week instead of 4 and having unlimited sick days instead of a week is too much to bear, well, be ready in a year to join
    Greece. To the new elected president I will say, you have a good chance to be the new vice president of the United States.
    7 May 2012, 10:13 PM Reply Like
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