Author Topic: Euro Me  (Read 20073 times)

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Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2007, 03:53:16 PM »
The dollar is dead.

Two for a pound! Two for a pound!

You'll also never stand up against German Industrialism.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 10:28:26 AM »
A Euro story today.  Just to be mean to the rising star...

Quote
Euro nears milestone, but faces north-south divide
By Mark Landler
Thursday, May 1, 2008

FRANKFURT: The euro turns 10 next January, a milestone that will be marked with celebratory speeches, inch-thick scholarly papers and a commemorative two-euro coin, designed by a Greek sculptor. It was chosen from five candidates in an online poll of European residents.

For Greece, winning the coin contest may be the high point of the festivities. Seven years after forsaking its drachma for the euro, the Greek economy is faltering, inflation is spiking and exports have been hobbled by the surge of the euro against the dollar.

Greece, said Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank, is an "accident waiting to happen."

By most yardsticks, Europe's common currency has been a success, emerging as an alternative to the fading dollar for bond dealers, central bankers, Chinese exporters, even Jay-Z, the American rapper, who put a pop-cultural imprimatur on the currency by flashing a wad of 500-euro notes in a music video.

Yet fissures are forming in the European monetary union that threaten to widen in coming months.

Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain — the sun-drenched fraternity sometimes called Club Med — are struggling with eroding competitiveness, rising prices and bloated debts. Meanwhile, Germany, the sick man of Europe for most of the euro era, is suddenly vigorous again. Economically fit after years of reforms and fortified by brisk global demand for its machinery and other goods, it has fended off China to retain its status as the world's export champion.

Germany's northern neighbors are generally doing well, too, which has rekindled talk of a north-south divide: a north that is growing decently but is concerned about inflation, and so prefers higher interest rates and is willing to live with a strong currency; a south that is worried about stagnating, and prefers lower rates and a weaker currency.

When leaders and laggards use the same money but have opposite problems, tensions are bound to surface.

Take Italy, perhaps Europe's shakiest economy. Facing high labor costs, slumping exports and a gaping public debt, its old remedy for hard times would have been to devalue the lira. Now, chained to the mighty euro, it cannot do that. Instead, it will probably have to endure a recession and rising unemployment, something no politician — but especially not one just elected, like Silvio Berlusconi — wants to face.

Berlusconi has already said he wants the European Central Bank to weigh more than inflation when setting monetary policy. In other words, the bank should lower interest rates, which would probably deflate the euro somewhat and make it easier for Italy to sell its wine and shoes overseas.

Berlusconi has found an ally in Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, who has tangled repeatedly with the central bank on the same issue. Sarkozy will assume the rotating presidency of the European Union in July, giving him a ready-made platform for his views.

The founders of the euro anticipated such tensions; some feared they would strangle the currency in its crib. But in the late-1990's, when the monetary union was being created, Europe's leaders set aside national concerns for the goal of a common currency.

"There was a major political will to get to the union," said Alexandre Lamfalussy, who was president of the European Monetary Institute, the forerunner of the central bank. "There was also political will in the countries to put their own houses in order. I remember being very surprised at the time."

Today, though, "the old temptation of the governments to find a culprit for their problems has returned," he said. "It is a wider problem than one or two political leaders."

In some sense, the political honeymoon for the euro ended in May 2005, when voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the proposed constitution for the European Union. While that document had little direct bearing on the currency, it symbolized Europe's steady march from economic to political integration, a process that, for now at least, has stalled.

Like so much in European history, the debate over the euro is at heart a debate over the role of Germany. When the monetary union was being fashioned, weaker states like Italy justifiably feared having their fortunes lashed to a Teutonic locomotive.

Unexpectedly, though, Germany fell into a deep slump soon after the euro began circulating in 2002, three years after its adoption as Europe's currency. Because it accounts for a third of the monetary union's economic output, Germany, with it troubles, bequeathed Europe an easy-money policy — the reverse of what Italy and its neighbors feared.

"Rather than struggling to keep up with Germany, they got tremendously low interest rates," Mayer of Deutsche Bank said. "Instead of wearing a hair shirt, they were partying like crazy."

In Germany during that time, companies underwent a painful process of cutting costs and streamlining operations. Gerhard Schröder, the former chancellor, pushed for an overhaul of the labor market, which probably cost him his job but helped make Germany competitive again.

Now the party has moved to Berlin, and the hair shirts are being handed out in Rome, Madrid and Athens. In Spain and Ireland, the European Central Bank's low interest rates fueled American-style housing bubbles, which have burst with predictable consequences.

Given the deepening distress in these countries, experts said they were surprised that there had not already been more complaints. In 2005, when the divide was less striking than it is today, an Italian labor minister, Roberto Maroni, called for Italy to abandon the euro and return to the lira. He was hooted down, even by members of the previous Berlusconi government.

Part of the reason for the quiescence may be that Europe has remained steady despite the recent financial upheavals in the United States. Few countries, it seems, can contemplate trading the discomfort of a robust euro for the vagaries of their old currencies. Putting up with Germany's interest rates, economists said, is a fair price to pay to avoid messy Italian-style currency devaluations.

"There will be lots of talk about Spain and Italy leaving the euro, but the weak cannot afford to leave," said Daniel Gros, a German who is director of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Still, the rigors of life under the euro may keep this club from growing. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries once hoped to adopt the currency fairly soon after joining the European Union. Now, with a deeper awareness of its cost, most will wait until after 2012.

Europe's monetary union may be lasting, but it is not widely loved.

Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2008, 09:49:32 AM »
Italy and Greece have always been shit, and have always had a joke of an economy. Whether they have a ridiculously priced, laughable Lira or a Euro won't make much difference other than to the banks.

Plus, I'm earning in Euros now... so - GO EURO!
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 05:59:45 PM »
Hey!  A thread from 2008!  But I finally sat down and read about this Ireland thing and was inspired to actually go digging for it...

When I did my round the coast of Ireland on five gallons of beer a day tour in 2004 (or was that 2006?), the one thing I got really, really sick of was their almost religious fervor about the Euro.  Almost every B&B owner praised the brave new world that Ireland had entered.  I actually heard things like "Thank god for the Euro!" and "Praise the Euro" inserted into answers to questions such as "What's the best pub to get some live music?" and "When's the best time to visit Site X?" and "What time is breakfast?"

It was insane. 

So now... Now... Ho-ho-ho.

Here's an opinion piece from the Guardian:

Quote
Our billions will prolong the misery. Better for the Irish to quit the euro and default on their debts

Britain has just promised £7bn towards a €90bn package aimed at rescuing Ireland's economy. But the bailout has not worked. Instead, we are sinking billions into a temporary rescue of the euro that will prolong Ireland's economic misery. So we should change course and prepare to offer a dramatically different solution – help Ireland decouple from the euro and allow the country to default on its debts.

A prosperous Ireland is in Britain's interest, as the chancellor, George Osborne, was quick to tell the House of Commons. It is not simply a case of economics. There is scarcely a street in Britain in which family ties do not bind the fate of our two islands. It is precisely because we want to see Ireland prosper that we should help it escape from the euro. It was euro membership, with ruinously low interest rates for more than a decade, that plunged Ireland into the economic abyss. Diehard euro advocates might ignore reality, but if Ireland had had interest rates set according to the needs of the Irish economy rather than a wider eurozone, it would not be in this credit-fuelled mess today.

For all the fanfare, the bailout has not reduced the amount Ireland owes by a single euro. Rather, it has seen Ireland accept more debt. Ireland has now gone beyond the point at which it can pay back what it owes. The country can either spend miserable years trapped in debt, with high taxes and higher emigration, or it can decouple from the euro – and default.

Decouple and default works. Remember how the political elite in Argentina, as in Ireland, pegged their own currency to another? Yet when the peso was decoupled from the dollar and Argentina defaulted in 2002, it was free to grow again. Argentina has been chugging along at an enviable 7% to 8% annual growth each year since.

Defaulting on its debts – impossible while Ireland remains in the euro – could follow if it were to decouple. While no one would ever then want to lend Ireland such mountains of money again, would that be such a bad thing?

What is certain is that as long as Ireland remains in the euro, its economic anguish will not end. Unable to devalue, Ireland will never become properly competitive – unless it suffers a dramatic fall in wealth. Yet a collapse in Irish wages is the inevitable outcome of the policy being pursued on both sides of the Irish Sea. How can that be in the interests of either us, or our closest neighbour?

Britain faces a time of unprecedented austerity. Yet many of the savings we have made in public services have now been soaked up by our massive contribution to bailing out the euro. Failure to bail out Ireland, some say, would place British banks in difficulty. But it is precisely because our banks are not out of the woods that we should keep any spare billions we have, for what still lurks on their balance sheets.

And the Irish bailout is also drawing us into potentially unlimited eurozone debt liabilities – in effect, it makes Britain a member of the euro as a debt union. Despite Osborne's best efforts to present it as an act of neighbourly goodwill, Britain had little choice but to cough up. Article 122 of the Lisbon treaty means we will have to hand over billions through the European Stabilisation Mechanism. Even if the chancellor were to say "no", the council of ministers would quickly overrule him. Thanks to the small print of our existing treaty obligations, should Portugal, Spain, or even Italy now seek a bailout, our potential liabilities would be unlimited.

Britain is discovering that it has been drawn into a long line of euro "debt dominoes", each one at risk from any of the others falling. Allowing the break-up of the euro could prove less ruinous than paying to keep everybody in line.

Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2010, 12:18:33 AM »
This pretty much sums it up:

There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2010, 07:54:00 AM »
Clark and Dawe are always great! And right on the money.

Of course, the Euro collapse barely registers over here....

Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2010, 08:28:24 AM »
Oh, the Euro hasn't collapsed just yet but it may soon do so if things aren't quickly sorted out.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2010, 08:31:22 AM »
Sorry, teach. The events leading to the potential collapse of the Euro barely register over here.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2011, 01:30:14 PM »
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,753509,00.html

If you're bored and hankering for a Euro discussion...

Quote
In the battle to save its common currency, Europe is too busy focusing on the same old failed policies. Rather than set aside ever higher sums for bailouts, the bloc needs to set up an independent institution to oversee the debts of EU nations.

Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2011, 08:54:30 AM »
Independent institution: read; an unelected, unaccountable, committee of power brokers set up to bring Europe closer to a single state union.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2011, 04:40:02 PM »
Well, we've seen this written on the wall...


http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,761201,00.html

So, Monkey, since you're in the Euro-zone smoking pot and fucking trannies, you're our expert! What happens if Greece pulls out and defaults of the kajillions of loans?

Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2011, 03:15:04 AM »
Well, if Greece did pull out of the EU and the Euro, the whole country would end up being repossessed by Germany and France.

Other than that, nothing will change; nothing ever does.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2011, 08:00:54 AM »
God, you're turning into me.


Offline monkey!

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2011, 12:36:45 PM »
I've forgotten the dramatic gopher gif.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Euro Me
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2011, 12:54:56 AM »
drama!


 :drama!: