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Mead In German

Via Meadia‘s growing cadre of German-speaking readers will be interested in a WRM column written for Handelsblatt that discusses the Franco-German conflict at the heart of the impasse over European monetary policy. It begins:

Jeder schaut im Moment auf die Euro-Zone, und jeder ist verwirrt. In China, Indien und den USA betrachten Politiker, Investoren und Manager Europa mit einer Mischung aus Faszination und Entsetzen. Wir wissen, dass auch unser Schicksal von dem abhängt, was in Europa geschieht. Doch die Europäer scheinen nicht mehr in der Lage zu sein, auf die Krise ernsthaft und effektiv zu reagieren.

You can read the whole thing here.

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  • dearieme

    “You can read the whole thing here.” Alas no. But when I was 22 I could have read the whole thing there. Unused skills decay.

  • Toni

    From Google Translator, not perfect but perhaps sufficient:

    Everyone looks at the moment is in the euro zone, and everyone is confused. In China, India and the United States regards politicians, investors and managers of Europe with a mixture of fascination and horror. We know that our fate depends on what happens in Europe. But the Europeans do not seem to be able to respond to the crisis seriously and effectively.

    Many make Germany responsible. If only Germany would finally admit, it is said that the European Central Bank (ECB) as a “lender of last resort”, the euro-zone countries and their financial institutions supplied with sufficient liquidity, the problem would be solved but not yet. But the immediate danger to the world economy would have been averted, and Europe would sooner or later overcome the crisis.

    I wish it were that simple. Europe is not fixed because the politicians are ineffective or the Germans have a phobia about inflation. Process is the situation because no one has yet found a compromise that leads out of the impasse. I’m not sure that there is such a compromise at all.

    To outsiders, seems the Franco-German motor of European integration run around. But if you look closely you will know that it is the ratio between the two greatest powers of Europe for more than a platonic relationship is a matter of the heart. As in any family, marriage is not only a covenant, but often also a competition in which each partner tries to determine the path for both.

    The euro crisis is so difficult to resolve because the interests of Germany and France are involved in a potentially irreconcilable conflict. Germany wanted to bring its culture of stability of the D-Mark in the euro. The French have always understood the monetary union as an economic event in which exchange rates are only one of several tools to promote growth and social cohesion. In practice, this means that France savored more inflation and a less restrictive monetary policy than Germany. These differences have not triggered the crisis may €. However, they are come to the fore after the crisis broke out.

  • Toni

    Prof. Mead, will we be seeing your perspective on S&P’s downgrading of the creditworthiness of nine euro-zone countries?

  • Kris

    “und jeder ist verwirrt”

    In der Tat, mein Außenpolitik-Professor.

  • JCP Brown

    and maybe someday a column in French?! you were a hit when you spoke at the embassy in Paris – in 2005 (wow that long ago, time flies!)

  • Kenny

    Hey Mr. Mead.

    Forgive the intrusion on your German blog, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that you’re missing an excellent opportunity to craft a nice analogy between the sinking of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia and Italy’s (and Europe’s) sinking financial

    Even better, Drudge is reporting that the Italian captain abandoned the stricken liner before all the passengers had left.

    If that sounds familar, check out the sinking of the Andra Dora. Italian captains & crew have none of the class or competency as, say, the Brits as evidenced in the Titantic disaster.

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