Friday 8 June 2012

The Long March Begins

The cartoon above is taken from “The Economist” and will raise laughs amongst its many readers.  It is a beguiling idea that if Merkel decides for Germany and the right actions are taken then Europe will be saved.  If Europe is saved then so is the USA, or rather President Obama’s chances of re-election and then China and then the world.

Haven’t we been here before with this notion; a British Prime Minister rushing off the help save the world invoking German power?  Quantitative Easing in our time as you might say.  Put the clip from the film “Cabaret-Tomorrow Belongs To Me” from Youtube up to get the flavour of this.

Elsewhere, Simon Jenkins in the “Guardian” roundly states that the Euro is the problem they are all reluctant to admit to and that is what should be dealt with by bringing it to an end.  Richard North in the web site “EU Referendum tries to explain the layers of political involvement.

Douglas Carswell has become possibly the only person in the Westminster Bubble to realise that the explosion in fiat money since the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreements forty years ago is another key issue.

The Mises Institute and others would predate it to the era when hard money was being replaced by fiat currencies in a way that allowed the fractional reserve banking creation of credit to being its long development.  For much of this time it was held back, breaking out occasionally.

In the last decade or two the easing and in some cases absence of regulation that created some limits, awareness of what was happening, proper accounting and controls over irrational exuberance has led to financial corporations too big to fail to create debt and obligations beyond the power of any state to cope with.

All we are given in the main media is posturing and simple denunciations that tell us little about what the real situation is and what might develop.  The sheer complexity, the extent of the unknowns and the absence of knowledge or reliable data is not understood by anyone.

Perhaps the UK government is hoping for another Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher, Furst von Wahlstatt, Generalfeldmarschall of the Prussian Army, who on 18 June 1815 arrived in the nick of time on the field of Waterloo to help Wellington’s coalition of troops to turn the tide of battle against the French.

Nothing like this is going to happen.  Just how much Germany can do and what its electorate will accept are other matters.  It may not be able to do much at all given the extent of the debts and in any case its voters may want to keep Germany as it is and not as the arbiter of other nation’s economies.

It might just be that if Germany does decide the Euro is too dangerous a prospect to be saved then in allowing a natural winding down of the mess in the long term they may be doing us all a favour.

And if Cameron’s coalition and Obama’s re-election are part of the price, then so be it.

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