Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘European Central Bank’

Why Are “Deficit Hawks” Such Morons?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 26, 2011

That’s the question posed, unwittingly, by deficit hawk knob-polisher and austerity joneser Matt Miller (courtesy of Dean Baker):

Miller apparently doesn’t know that China pegs its currency against the dollar. In order to keep the yuan from rising against the dollar, it has purchased over $1 trillion of U.S. assets over the last decade. The United States is in fact not “relying” on China to finance its current consumption. In fact, the official policy of both the Bush and Obama administrations was that we wanted China’s government to stop buying up dollars and thereby depressing the value of the yuan. [While this is the public policy, this may not be the actual policy, since many powerful interests like Wall Street banks and major retailers benefit from the over-valued dollar.]

This would allow the dollar to fall. That would make Chinese imports more expensive to U.S. consumers and U.S. exports cheaper for people in China. That would cause the U.S. trade deficit with China to fall, and possibly turn to a surplus, which is the textbook relationship between rich countries and poor countries.

In the case of Europe, the problem is that the German government and the European Central Bank (ECB) are trying to impose austerity across Europe. The ECB has all the euros it could possibly need to bail out Greece, Italy and anyone else in sight. However, rather than use its ability to print euros to save Europe’s economy, the ECB is trying to force cutbacks in social spending and protections for workers across Europe. The trip to China to seek support for a bailout was a silly diversion from the real issue.

And, just like the German austerity jonesers who don’t seem to mind that “punishing” the “sinner” nations is killing Germany’s economy as well, Miller — who like almost every other US economic writer allowed access to the pages of a major establishment newspaper, utterly failed to see, much less warn anyone about, the housing bubble of the 1990s and 2000s as it was bubbling (Krugman, as always, being the chief if not sole exception) — doesn’t see, or doesn’t care, that austerity will kill the American economy as well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Are “Deficit Hawks” Such Morons?

German Insistence On ‘Punishing’ Europe Is Slowly Killing German Economy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 25, 2011

Angela Merkel wants to punish the rest of Europe for not treating its people like dirt:

Angela Merkel was unmoved by another roller-coaster day that saw Portuguese debt being downgraded to junk status, Italian bond yields pushed into the bail-out zone, and doubts cast over France’s AAA rating: the German Chancellor refused to allow the ECB to become Europe’s lender of last resort.

Ms Merkel instead used a three-way summit with France and Italy in Strasbourg to insist that new treaty powers to intervene and punish sinner states remained the key focus of Europe’s rescue efforts. She said: “The countries who don’t keep to the stability pact have to be punished – those who contravene it need to be penalised. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

That’s right, Angela! Punish those Frenchies and Italians and Greeks! Payback for being made a pariah state after World War II! Hoo-rah!

Except, of course, that it’s slowly strangling the German economy (h/t David Dayen): “Germany’s central bank on Monday cut its forecast for German economic growth in 2012, projecting gross domestic product to expand by 0.5% to 1% versus an earlier prediction of 1.8%, Dow Jones Newswires reported.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: