Post Tagged with: "Germany"

Wolfgang Schaeuble the Salesman

Wolfgang Schaeuble the Salesman

When the Greek bailout extension deal got done, I mentioned that in the press conference that followed, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble made it clear he was looking to ‘sell’ the deal to the German parliament. And while he has been successful in doing so, recent evidence suggests that indeed he did have to work to make the deal viable. For me, this highlights the political constraints we are working under and reinforces my view that writedowns are not politically viable in Germany.

Read more ›
Albert Edwards on China

Albert Edwards on China

In the last post at Credit Writedowns Pro on the jobs number, I promised to talk about currency issues but I didn’t! Here are two issues then: the increasing current account surplus in Germany and the strong dollar’s effect on China. On Germany, it’s notable that merchandise trade as a share of GDP in Germany was 70.8% for the years […]

Read more ›

How to look at the Greece bailout deal

Yesterday, Greece received an agreement in principal to extend its existing bailout program for another four months from the institutions administering that program. I believe this deal is a good basis for further work down the line. But Greece has a lot of work ahead of it, if it is to move to a new program. Moreover, Syriza will have to sell this deal as a bridge to the sustainable economic outcome it sold to its electorate in the January elections. At the same time, the Germans and the Finns at a minimum will have to sell this deal to their parliaments for it to work. Some thoughts below

Read more ›

Negotiating strategies and political constraints regarding Greece

I am going to leave my market-based analysis and enter the murky waters of the political economy. I don’t like the uncertainty of the political economy, given how it is based on the quixotic and unpredictable actions of individuals. But the political economy is important in crisis situations and one cannot analyze an outcome properly without taking the politics into consideration. I was a diplomat at one point in time and hope that experience will aid me here. I have been good at understanding some of the political constraints in Europe so far and intend to discuss them here.

Read more ›
Syriza and the French indemnity of 1871-73

Syriza and the French indemnity of 1871-73

The euro crisis is a crisis of Europe, not of European countries. It is not a conflict between Germany and Spain (and I use these two countries to represent every European country on one side or the other of the boom) about who should be deemed irresponsible, and so should absorb the enormous costs of nearly a decade of mismanagement. There was plenty of irresponsible behavior in every country, and it is absurd to think that if German and Spanish banks were pouring nearly unlimited amounts of money into countries at extremely low or even negative real interest rates, especially once these initial inflows had set off stock market and real estate booms, that there was any chance that these countries would not respond in the way every country in history, including Germany in the 1870s and in the 1920s, had responded under similar conditions.

Read more ›

The German view of the Euro crisis

This is an abbreviated version of a post first published at Credit Writedowns Pro on 15 Oct. The Germans got into the eurozone out of a desire to increase European integration and to strengthen Europe as an economic area that rivalled the United States. Yet, now we are in a period where the Germans are being blamed for everything that’s […]

Read more ›
The roots of the Italian stagnation

The roots of the Italian stagnation

It’s currently very trendy in Italy to blame Angela Merkel, Mario Monti, and austerity measures for the current recession. This column argues that while the severity of the downturn is clearly a cyclical phenomenon, the inability of the country to grow out of it is the legacy of more than a decade of a lack of reforms in credit, product and labour markets. This lack of reform has suffocated innovation and productivity growth, resulting in wage dynamics that are completely decoupled from labour productivity and demand conditions.

Read more ›
Eurocrisis Round Two, Blame the Germans Edition

Eurocrisis Round Two, Blame the Germans Edition

What southern Europe needs is a revolution in the mindset and more “better quality” stuff, and no amount of blaming Germany for the situation can get over that. The extractive networks who hold back growth need reforming out of existence. At the same time the under-investment over-saving phenomenon that characterizes Germany bears a remarkable similarity to what has been happening in Japan, with the strange difference that these days Japan is normally sympathized with and not blamed for all the world’s ills.

Read more ›

Country by country macro update, September 2014

This is the first time I am doing this, so let’s see how much value it adds. I thought I would quickly run through a number of countries in the news and give my perspective on the macro picture in each. I am just going to give a summary here of the key points of interest and will do a deep dive on some at a later date. Let’s start with the US.

Read more ›
Edward Harrison’s Ten Surprises for 2014, Update 2

Edward Harrison’s Ten Surprises for 2014, Update 2

This is an abbreviated post from our subscription series at Credit Writedowns Pro. Today is the time to update you on how my 2014 surprises are faring and why. Just to remind you, the surprise list is based on Byron Wien’s list of ten surprises which he has been conducting for the last thirty years. Surprises are events to which […]

Read more ›
My thoughts on weakness in Europe and China

My thoughts on weakness in Europe and China

This is an abbreviated post from our subscription series at Credit Writedowns Pro. I am back from my summer holiday. There has been a lot of news in the time since I last posted. And the news flow is coming from a lot of different places. So, let me start up again with a post highlighting what I think are […]

Read more ›
QE is fiscal policy

QE is fiscal policy

By Frances Coppola A new paper by Johnston and Pugh of the legal department of the University of Sheffield discusses the legality and the effectiveness of QE and its relatives, including the ECB’s OMT “whatever it takes” promise. The background to this is the German Constitutional Court’s ruling that OMT amounts to monetary financing of government deficits and is therefore […]

Read more ›