German Of The Day: Überziehungskredit

That means overdraft credit. You know, when money is withdrawn from your bank account and the available balance goes below zero?

Credit

Sure comes in handy. Take this lady here. Please. She glanced at her banking app during breakfast one morning and was rather surprised to discover that the grocery store chain Rewe had just booked 8,590,000,000.42 euros from her account – with a friendly “Rewe says thanks!”

After some quick calculations she realized that a mistake had been made. Accidents will happen, folks.

Bank zieht Frau vermeintlich acht Milliarden Euro ab.

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Over A Dozen Hamburg Occupy Occupants Now Without Occupation

Germany’s oldest “Occupy” camp, thought to have been established sometime during the late Römerzeit (Roman Age), was cleared yesterday by brutal financial shark-like city cleaning employees in a hush-hush operation that had been announced several weeks before.

Occupy

Many of the occupants were caught unawares in their sleep yesterday afternoon when the profit-greedy imperialist lackeys stormed the camp with brooms, trash bins and protective breathing devices, forcing the dirty dozen of unemployed occupiers into unemployment somewhere else.

Now that the “Occupy” movement has been crushed for good in Germany, many here miss its romantic lack of class struggle and crude fear-mongering antics already and have most likely begun occupying themselves with inventing other forms of worldwide occupation-like phenomena that will also lead to absolutely nothing whatsoever at all one day but will at least feel kind of sort of like they maybe could have, as long as they don’t get too uncomfortable or begin to resemble anything that demands any real commitment or anything, that is.

“Wir wurden von diesem Räumkommando überrascht”, sagte ein Demonstrant der noch etwa ein Dutzend Mitglieder umfassenden “Occupy”-Gruppe. Eigentlich sollte das Lager jedoch schon bis zum 31. Dezember abgebaut werden.

PS: USA Forcing Iraq To Defend Itself Again

Brilliant “Master Solution” Falling Apart

When “good guys” like the Deutsche Bank get raided after being suspected of incorrectly claiming some €211 million in tax rebates from the trade in carbon tax certificates, then it’s time to also suspect that the days of this nonsensical European emissions trading have finally reached their end.

Cap-and-trade

In case your were wondering: Emissions trading or cap-and-trade is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.  A central authority (usually a governmental body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that may be emitted. The limit or cap is allocated or sold to firms in the form of emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant. Firms are required to hold a number of permits (or allowances or carbon credits) equivalent to their emissions. The total number of permits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Firms that need to increase their volume of emissions must buy permits from those who require fewer permits.

Well, it turns out that the European “carbon market” is now flooded and recent EU efforts to fix the system have only served to highlight how lame it is, yada, yada, yada, thus further eroding the price of a ton of carbon dioxide emissions permitted. Government intervention at its best again, in other words.

You know how that old saying goes: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

EU-Klimakommissarin Connie Hedegaard will den Preisverfall der CO2-Zertifikate stoppen, der nach ihrer Meinung ein System unterminiert, das einst als Meisterlösung für die weltweite Klimaverschmutzung gepriesen wurde.

We Ain’t No Fools

It’s either all or nothing when you’re the SPD and it comes to German tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts. So, uh, we’ll take nothing.

It has to do with principle or something. Rejecting the deal that would have allowed Germans with “undeclared assets in Switzerland to avoid punishment by making a one-off payment” was absolutely essential for Germany’s opposition Social Democrats. Because, well, because why was that again? Oh yeah, now I remember. Because by passing the Swiss tax deal, the Genossen (comrades) explain, this would have made “honest taxpayers feel like fools.”

So now the honest taxpayers the SPD is so concerned about lose out on roughly 180-200bn euros that they will have come up with themselves (because the SPD would never in their wildest dreams ever even consider cutting spending – reducing taxes – on the other side of the equation). But at least they won’t have to feel like they’re fools while doing so.

“The German upper house has missed a major opportunity to reach a fair, optimum and sustainable solution for all parties to definitively settle the bilateral tax issues.”

Is Possession Really Nine-Tenths Of The Law?

Strange. Stored abroad since the Cold War in case of a Soviet invasion, nearly half of Germany’s gold reserves are stored in the United States.

Stranger still: The Bundesbank or other independent auditors have never actually physically checked the gold’s authenticity or weight but have relied on “written confirmations by the storage sites” instead.

Now folks are starting to, you know, wonder (paranoia runs deep)? Hey, central banking at its best is all I can say. It’s not that we don’t trust you, it’s just that we don’t trust you.

“Ein Teil der Diskussion in Deutschland ist schon einigermaßen grotesk.”

Nothing New And Nothing Improved

That tired old SPD.

With three tired old SPD guys trying to decide which one of them will have to be the one tired old SPD guy who will have to be the contender in next year’s election against the ridiculously popular Angela Merkel.

So like one of them, former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, threw his hat into the ring yesterday, sort of.

His angle? Eat the banks. Split their investment and retail units and have them create their own rescue fund and make them be good and nice again like they used to be in the past (I guess) als die Welt noch in Ordnung war (when the world was still in order).

Been there, done that. Yawn already. Bring out the next stooge and let’s get him over with, too.

“Banks are service providers and not betting shops.”

Well Banks Are Bad, Aren’t They?

So what’s the big deal? Now all of ze Europe officially has a bad bank, too.

It’s called the ECB and is the “bad bank for all the junk debt of Europe.”

“Blank cheque for the indebted states,” was the headline of the top-selling Bild newspaper, a harsh, populist critic of the bailouts for Greece and other struggling euro zone nations, adding that the ECB move could render the euro “kaput”.

“Financial markets cheer the death of the Bundesbank.”

Dreck am Stecken

That means having a skeleton in your closet. You know, like Germany’s Commerzbank seems to have.

Commerzbank has said it could be fined by the US authorities over its handling of transactions linked to Iran, Sudan, North Korea and other countries that are the subject of US sanctions.

Die Commerzbank soll gegen das Iran-Embargo verstoßen und Geldtransfers in das Land ermöglicht haben.

I Know, I’ll Blame The Banks!

In a brilliant and risky move never yet attempted by a left-wing politician ever before, SPD boss Sigmar Gabriel has boldly proposed to improve his parties chances at next year’s federal election by “blaming the banks” for everything that has gone wrong in the financial sector and elsewhere.

“Mind-blowing,” one German political commentator said. “No one has been able to put these complex puzzle pieces together like this up until now. But by calling the banks extortionists, accomplices to tax evasion, hustlers and manipulators, Gabriel develops a subtle analysis of a highly complicated theme, thus making it easily accessible to the man on the street.”

“Die versammelte Linke in Deutschland betrügt sich selbst und betrügt die Bürger, wenn sie einerseits die Krise mit immer neuen Schulden bekämpfen will – und dadurch die Abhängigkeit von den Banken und Finanzinstituten erhöht, die man andererseits blindwütig an den Pranger stellt.”

“The entire left tricks itself and the citizens when, on the one hand, it calls to fight the crisis with ever more debt – thus making us even more dependent upon the banks and financial institutions – and then, on the other, mindlessly blaming them for everything.”

172 Economists Can’t Be Wrong

Right? Right.

We have to approach this differently, folks. Pick an economist. Pick five. Find one that has ever been right. When it comes to dire warnings about the future, I mean.

Sure, I don’t like the idea of Angela Merkel deciding “to agree to allow eurozone bail-out funds to support sinner states” either, but if 172 economists are all hot and bothered about it, then maybe it wasn’t such a bad decision after all.

“First of all, this is about better banking supervision, and one can only say that that is urgently necessary.”