Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Method in her madness

What is the matter, my lord?
Between who?
I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men
have grey beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging
thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful
lack of wit, together with most weak hams; all which, sir, though
I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty
to have it thus set down, for yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am, if
like a crab you could go backward.
[Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.
Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 193–206

[Quote via this site]

All along I (and most commentators) have been assuming that Angela Merkel's and the ECB's intransigence is because of a purblind stupidity.  But what if, as The Age/Sydney Morning Herald journo Michael Pascoe plausibly argues,  it's part of a plan.

As Niccolo Machiavelli once more-or-less advised, you don’t want to waste a good crisis. Angela Merkel isn’t. And if that means a highly dangerous game of brinkmanship for months to come, sobeit if Germany achieves control of Europe.

There is nothing necessarily sinister about that. If Merkel’s plan to force European fiscal union – the necessary missing ingredient to sustain Europe’s half-baked monetary union – happens to result in Germany effectively dominating proceedings, well, who better? Or perhaps: who else?

Germany already dominates the thinking and actions of the European Central Bank. When it’s suited German needs in the past, the ECB has been compliant in easing money supply. Right now it suits Germany for the ECB to hang very tough indeed, threatening economic Armageddon, and that’s what the ECB is doing. There’s no point in being virtuous if it results in having no economy left to be virtuous about.

Perhaps, after all, there is method in their madness.

1 comment:

  1. "The Euro has kept Germany’s manufacturers competitive in a way that the Deutschmark could not have delivered."

    The relationship between The Mediterraneans and Germany seems to be cut from the same cloth as that between the US and China. US and The Meds buy the stuff that China and Germany, respectively, make. China pegs her currency and Germany uses the same currency. C'est tout a meme chose, n'est ce pas?

    I don't think Merkel is doing it for just Germany, but or Europe. Shucks guys, she's nice:) She wants enforced fiscal restraint just like dad likes a credit card limit when sonny goes to college. China has a limit for US debt too. They won't hold US paper forever. Methinks they don't trust ole Helicopter Ben, ya know.