Monday, January 5, 2015


They attacked in waves, pouring out of their armored vehicles in droves, armed to the teeth with crayons, tiny toys and that most fearsome of weapons, the loaded diaper, whilst constantly screaming their battle cry, the theme from "Frozen."  It was non-stop; no quarter asked, none given, but in the end me and Trouble and Strife carried the day and the litter-strewn field that was once our home remained in our hands.  Yet as the taillights signaled their defeat, there was the horrible thought that they would most certainly return when, as threatened, their strength would contain one May no less.  We have barely time to rearm and recover.

Anyway, as bad as it is in the fly-over zone, Europe is in worse shape.  Whilst we were recovering the Greeks held an election...well, it really wasn't an election...rather some kind of vote in parliament for a new President.  Now they have a Prime Minister which I would of thought was enough to run the place but I suppose they are as unsure as to what form of government they have as they are about anything else, but that means that they now have to hold national elections later this month and the odd-on favorite to win is the mob that makes up the Syriza party which has no idea what it wants either but is certainly to the left of everybody and nobody thinks that's a good thing.

If I didn't know better I would think that time has stood still because the scenario being suggested is that Syriza wins, immediately declares that austerity is out, pump-priming is in and as for the debts owed by the country to the IMF and everybody else...well, let's forget about that for a while until we decide how much more the creditors have to write off and until that happens we don't  pay no mo.'

The EU has already announced  that's  not on and Germany at first stated that what the hell, we don't need the Greeks anyway until someone mentioned that as goes Greece, maybe so go Italy and Spain which as we have oft-stated are real countries and somewhat integral to the whole shootin' match.  In short, we have the same mess on our hands that we had a year ago and no one has, or has had any new ideas.

It is almost stunning to contemplate that the only real plan on the table at this stage is for the implementation of Quantitative Easing by the ECB, stunning because of the vast body of evidence that points to the conclusion that QE undertaken by the Federal Reserve had practically no positive effect after four years of effort.  None.  What is going to happen if Draghi announces his plan and two days later the Greeks return to the Drachma?  Chaos.  While in the United States corporates and especially financial institutions have undergone vast restructurings, new industries have emerged, governments--at the state level at least--have streamlined and become far more business friendly and we have undergone the most enormous tax cut in history in the form of the decline in energy prices, not one of these events has occurred in Europe; not one.  In fact the Europeans have taken steps to repel the structural changes that are desperately needed.  The only thing that has grown in Europe is the vast, bloated, treasure-devouring, spirit-sucking colossus that is the European Parliament in Brussels.  Higher taxes, bigger government and more regulation seem to be the answers to solve this mess.  It is though all of Europe is one enormous monument to the supposed theories of Keynes whereas we must merely endure the rantings of the increasingly ridiculous Little Paulie Krugman.

The major difference today from a year or so ago is the timing or perhaps, the lack of time.  The Euros really have only a few short weeks to frame a position and that is going to be very hard to do.  Actually, I think this week may tell the tale and yet not all the decision makers are back in place from the Christmas break.  It is though nothing need be done and that of course is the problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment