Everything Is So Wonderfulawful Here

Things have never been better here in Germany, we are told. And yet the German nation still can’t seem to get up off the collective couch (the psychiatrist’s kind).

This guy has an interesting take on Germany’s latest “season of angst” or why a prosperous nation has this obsessive need to turn on itself (and those around it).

His bewilderment is uncalled for however, I find. I can only wonder why he wonders. The Germans were, are and always will be collectively schizophrenic, in their own peculiar (cute?) little way. They are permanently krankgeschrieben (off sick) and that couch is, well, where they live.

Yet it is very hard to find anyone here who is happy about this state of affairs. Unlike the great Rhineland industrial booms of the 1950s and 1970s, this one is provoking Germans to turn against their government, against Europe, against technology and growth, against outsiders. It is an inward-looking, self-questioning moment in a country that the rest of Europe very badly needs to be involved in affairs outside its borders.

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One response

  1. Things have never been better here in Germany, we are told.

    The day you said that, Siemens’ stock fell 4% on the entirely founded suspicion that things will not be wonderful in approximately 90-120 days when the world as a whole stops buying their goods in masse, and the reparations for Greek government, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese borrowing are concidered.

    Siemens is one of the bellweathers of the economy, just as Kimberly-Clark is a bellweather of what the south American economy will do, and as the EUR-USD exchange rate almost always foreshadows what the S&P 500 will do.

    Nonetheless, the German financial entities will, themselves. do well by the implementation of this Versaiiles treaty in reverse. They will borrow from the Bundes-dudes at about 3%, and lend to Greece at the bargain-basement rates of about 5%. Cha-ching, said Budo and Fritz.

    That does not mean it will have any effect on a EUtopian economic contraction. In fact it might create stagnation where there isn’t now. It’s a disincentive to lend businesses operating capital, and to individuals for mortgages.

    The same dynamic has been going on in the US to bolster the balance sheets of the banks when they were at risk of failure from 2008 onward. It resulted in them not lending money to people and businesses because it was riskier and less profitable than the return on buying government bonds with money borrowed from the Fed and near-zero interest rates.

    Money for nothin’, chicks for free. Know what I mean, Gene?

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