Germans Suddenly Poor

The Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) has just published a study showing that the average German household is a full three times less wealthy than its crisis-hit Spanish or Italian counterparts.

Poor

Whereas the median Spanish household has net wealth of €178,000, the equivalent in Germany is €51,000.

“These German households are downright poor,” a spokesman for the Bundesbank said after presenting the study. “Relatively speaking, I mean. In fact they are so poor that they have to eat cereal with a fork just to save milk.”

“Poor? These households are so poor they only have two TV channels: On and off.”

“We’re talking poor here, folks. These households are so poor that the ducks throw bread at them.”

Germany’s relatively low level of home ownership is one of the principal reasons suggested for the wealth disparity.

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.”

The Symptoms Of The Times

Withdrawal, I am told, can refer to any sort of separation, but is most commonly used to describe the group of symptoms that occurs upon the abrupt discontinuation/separation or a decrease in dosage of the intake of medications and recreational drugs.

In order to experience the symptoms of withdrawal, one must have first developed a physical/mental dependence (often referred to as chemical dependency).

„Notenbankfinanzierung kann süchtig machen.“

So Much For That Shootout

I still don’t know who Gary Cooper was here, but Mario Draghi just went from “I will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro” (and buy up Spanish and Italian bonds) to “the ECB may consider” doing so at a later date.

Needless to say, the markets were not amused. Cherchez la femme, I’d say (and it ain’t Grace Kelly).

What’s the hold up? Germany, perhaps. During a press conference afterwards, ECB vice-president Vítor Constâncio noted that only one member of the ECB was adamantly opposed to bond purchases. This seems to be a reference to Germany’s Bundesbank, which had vigorously opposed a central-bank bailout of Spain and Italy. And even though the Bundesbank doesn’t have a direct veto over ECB actions, it seems Germany, as the richest country in the euro zone, still has plenty of sway.

“For all the criticism of Merkel, she distinguishes herself from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic in that she has a plan.”

We’re Helping Greece To Help Ourselves

It’s undeniable that Germany has great interest in helping Greece. Why just look at the great interest they’re getting back by doing so.

Despite all the perpetual bitching and moaning about having to foot the bailout bill for their bankrupt buddies in the bottomless pit, German tax payers raked in some 380 million euros on Greek aid interest payments in 2011 and are likely to pull in a whole lot more this year. It’s good to be the king, I mean lender.

Geez. With generosity like this, who needs extortion?

Im Rahmen des ersten Griechenland-Hilfspakets hat die Bundesrepublik dem Euro-Partner Darlehen von insgesamt 15,17 Milliarden Euro gewährt, um das Land vor der Pleite zu retten. Der Zinssatz habe zwischen 3,423 und 4,528 Prozent gelegen.

This Just In: Britain Distrusts Germany

Wow, talk about a news item.

This must be the scoop of the century. Are Woodward and Bernstein back? Did the CIA finally do something right? Where on earth do Spiegel journalists uncover such unexpected and volatile information?

Always remember, folks: If it’s not in the Spiegel, it didn’t happen.

“Welcome to the Fourth Reich”

A Fistful Of Euros…

Won’t buy you what it used to.

Remember when the (place your favorite currency here) used to be worth something? I guess it’s the euro’s turn now. Hey, what goes up must come down, right? There must be something going on in the euro zone these days or something.

Die Gemeinschaftswährung sank am Mittwoch erstmals sei Mitte Januar unter die Marke von 1,30 Dollar. Am späten Nachmittag wurde der Euro  bei 1,2988 Dollar gehandelt.

United We Fall, Divided We Stand

Women and children first! No offense there, Nicolas.

It looks like Germany and France may have had enough of broke weeny Europeans (other than themselves) already and now appear to be planning a secret and very “exlusive stability pact” just for the crème de la crème of ze Europe. You know, for that handful of European countries that can still pay their debts, maybe. But don’t tell anybody yet. This is still a secret, like I said.

Deutschland und Frankreich sind nicht mehr gewillt, auf eine Einigung aller EU-Länder zu warten. Notfalls wären sie bereit, mit einigen Ländern voranzugehen und so innerhalb der Währungszone eine Art Klub der Super-Europäer zu gründen, deren Mitglieder sich strengen Sparauflagen unterwerfen.

Or Maybe It Does Stink (Our Debt)

What, me worry?

The German debt agency was forced to retain almost half of a sale of 6 billion euros due to a shortage of bids by investors, sparking fears that Europe’s debt crisis is now even starting to threaten Berlin.

The German government is still resisting calls (from France and elsewhere) to allow the ECB to act more decisively.

“It is a complete and utter disaster,” one financial expert dude in London said. “And everybody has hurt feelings,” I replied. “And that’s the main thing.”

It’s starting to get ugly, folks, in other words. Uh, are we having a panic yet?

“The debt crisis is burrowing ever deeper, like a worm, and is now reaching Germany.”