One Million Dollars!

Unlike in Germany, where at least fifty percent of all German politicians stem from working-class families, where none are susceptible to bribery or lobbying influence and most can just barely make ends meet on the meager remuneration they receive (or so I must assume, to judge by the outrage here), word is out that more than half of Amerika’s lawmakers are now “worth at least $1 million” (although I personally have always held them all to be priceless).

Dollars

This is a scandal or something. This has never ever been the case before because American politicians, gosh darn it, up until now anyways, never ever used to enter politics just to obtain money and/or power. In the past, I mean. Something bad has now apparently happened. Or something. That is why we must look to Germany for the answer, as usual.

Everything here in Germany works better, you see. This is because Germany is a so-called “classless” society. But with class. Just go and ask the folks here who run the country. They’ll tell you.

In Deutschland ist die “Millionärswahl” eine TV-Show, in den USA Realität.

Discountrepublik Deutschland

Verblüffender Befund (an amazing finding)? I don’t see how it could amaze anyone here – anyone who has ever gone shopping in Germany and then compared those prices to those you would pay in other European countries, that is.

Prices

Germans apparently aren’t aware of the fact that they have some of the lowest Lebenshaltungskosten (living costs or cost of living) in all of Europe. Of their immediate neighbors, it’s only cheaper to live in Poland and Czechia.

What is really amazing I find, however, is the fact that the Germans are able to enjoy these cheap prices while still having a higher per capita GDP than a lot of the European countries with a higher cost of living (Belgium, Denmark, France).

Beats the hell out of me. Hey, es darf eben nichts kosten here.

Verbraucher in Deutschland bekommen für ihren Euro mehr als die Menschen in den Nachbarländern. Lediglich bei den Nachbarn in Polen und Tschechien sind die Lebenshaltungskosten niedriger.

Bond, Sovereign Bond

So, is it time for the sweet poison or the silver bullet? Germany (or one German) is the last man standing and it’s time to pay up or shut up.

Can Germany (and Germany’s “independent” Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann) jump over its/his shadow and allow the European Central Bank to become the lender of last resort in Europe’s never-ending efforts to prop up the euro?

Pump up the volume already. Half a dozen bailout packages and half a trillion euros later, Greece is closer to leaving the euro zone than ever before and Italy now seems bound for bankruptcy, too. Who’s next? And where’s the money? It looks like Europe’s arsenal is down to one last taboo here: Let the ECB vouch for all of the outstanding debt of the debtor nations, “permanently, to an unlimited extent and in violation of all applicable laws.” Germany, for some strange (and wonderful) reason, is still against doing this.

You know the deal, my fellow Americans. It’s the easy way out: “Print money and drown the debt crisis in a sea of liquidity.” Look what its done for us – so far.

Hey look, I don’t know much about economics (nor do at least half of the world’s economists, for that matter), but I do know that if President Barack Obama, President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso are all urging the Germans to abandon their resistance to the ECB plan, it’s probably best for the rest of us out there if this Weidmann guy sticks to his guns. I wouldn’t bet money on him doing so, though. And I certainly wouldn’t bet using the euro.

He mechanically recited the traditional mantras of the Bundesbank: “independence,” “a culture of stability” and “credibility.”

New inflation worries in Germany

Like where to find it. There are worse things to worry about, I guess.

Inflation nation?

If you have to look at the bright side in Germany these days, and some folks just can’t help it, then maybe having a look at the German inflation rate might help you out. It’s the lowest it’s been in twenty years, at zero. Zero is pretty low, if you stop and think about it, so that’s a good thing, I think.

That’s right. Prices haven’t risen here in a year, on average, so-to-speak. Of course wages haven’t necessarily risen all that much either (for those still working), but still.

„Die Null-Inflation sorgt dafür, dass die Menschen trotz wachsender Ängste um ihren Arbeitsplatz oder die Sorge um die Staatsfinanzen ihre Kauflust bisher nicht verloren haben. Und der stabile Inlandskonsum ist derzeit die einzig verbliebene Konjunkturstütze.“