Money for nothing but no chicks for free
Before I get to the main topic of this diary, let me encourage others to add their name(s) to this petition that calls on the government to require(ing) free Internet access to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. I mean, shit, if taxpayers have already fund the research, why should they have to pay to access it?
And into my inbox comes:
Germany announces 0% bonds
That’s right; you buy a german bond and get your money back without any interest at the end of the bond term.
“So you’re giving your money to Germany for two years and getting back the exact same amount. You just have the privilege of someone holding it for you.”
As the commenter on my email says “Must be a vehicle they intend to to peddle to all the old little Greek, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese ladies that have been walking out of periphery banks with Euros stuffed in their handbags & bosoms… ”
And then I also get this in my inbox which is an interview (actually a conversation between Niall Ferguson and Ben Laurance, in the Sunday Times of London) which I thought would give others some differing insight into the ‘euro problem’ and Greece and Germany , et al.
Besides it’s got a wonderful graphic that I can’t embed because of the FDL policies.
(If you just want to see the graphic look here.)
(Now I’m poor -monetarily- as the proverbial church mouse, but did use to ‘play in the game’ as a commodities broker and trader and so still get some subs I used to get and besides…I think it behooves oneself to know which way the financial winds are blowing; otherwise one gets blown away.)
From the conversation which is titled “One nation (under Germany)” (and which I find extremely funny in an ironic sort of way):
“”It is still possible that the game of chicken between Athens and Berlin ends with the two cars colliding,” Ferguson says. “But my sense is that both will swerve at the last minute — the Greeks because they see the costs of exit would be catastrophic for them, and the Germans because — if they don’t realise it already, they pretty soon will —the banking crisis that this would unleash as deposits fled the periphery would be highly destabilising for the whole eurozone, Germany included.
“The Greeks say, ‘We’re not going to comply with our commitments’. The Germans say, ‘Then you’re out’. They’re both bluffing.” And so, he argues, Germany — through gritted teeth — will have to concede that Europe as a whole must stand behind the debts of individual nations. Welcome to the era of the eurobond.”
There is, of course, the small matter of having to sell this to the German people. After all, it is likely that there would have to be a referendum to allow the country to commit its considerable economic muscle to a rescue of the European financial project — in other words, to pick up the bill. And would Germans really be prepared to swallow the idea that the strong countries at the European core would be giving regular dollops of funds to the periphery rather than adhoc bailouts?
“That’s the hard bit,” Ferguson admits. “But here’s the choice, Mein Herr. You accept the logic of the Mitterrand/Kohl era, which always was ‘we’re having monetary union in order to get to a federal Europe’ . . . The logic of the 1990s was that ‘monetary union will force us to evercloser fiscal union, which is hard to sell politically, but we’ll make it happen — we’ll back into it through a monetary union’.
That always was the model — which was one reason for being against it as a British Eurosceptic. Now we’re at the moment of truth when you can no longer maintain the fiction that a monetary union can exist independently of a fiscal union.”
And the other option? “On the other hand — and this is the message to Angela Merkel — to use George Bush’s phrase: this sucker’s going down. We’ve reached that point.”
Don’t you just love Sturm und Drang ?