Always Look On The Bright Side Of The Worst Recession In Post-War History

A $256.15 quadrillion zillion stimulus package of their own money taken from them by their government and given back to them as a gift (to be paid back to the government by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on should they ever have any) has lifted German spirits.

Berlin

Sort of. But just keep smiling through the Coronavirus stimulus party anyway, Germany.

German consumer morale improved less than expected heading into October, a survey showed on Wednesday, putting a damper on hopes that household spending in Europe’s largest economy will be strong enough to drive a quick recovery from the COVID-19 shock.

The GfK institute said its consumer sentiment index, based on a survey of around 2,000 Germans, edged up to -1.6 heading into October from an upwardly revised -1.7 in the previous month.

$1.5 Trillion?

There must be a better word than “stimulus” for that.

Stimulus

Wherever medication is given in huge and sudden doses, there’s a risk of unpleasant side effects. In Germany, and Europe generally, one of these may be a lasting shift in governing philosophy from market-friendly policies to state interventionism. That needn’t end in central planning. But even going part of the way would mean buying relief today at the price of misery tomorrow…

First, governments tend to confuse a company’s size with strength. Second, they’re usually worse than private investors at spotting winners, and always worse at pulling money out of losers. Third, they turn the economy into a big lobbying competition for businesses, which eventually hurts taxpayers and consumers.