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Entries Tagged as 'Debt Crisis'

Will Europe Adopt Sikorski’s Plan?

December 7th, 2011 at 8:32 am 2 Comments

Is the “European Endgame” upon us? The tone has certainly intensified ever since the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski stirred some fervor with his Berlin speech, pills which pointed many fingers yet put many viable solutions on the table.

Sikorski’s comments on the EU’s lack of financial discipline were echoed later that week by Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995. FrumForum reported on Delors interview with the British Telegraph.

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One Continent, Under France and Germany

December 7th, 2011 at 12:00 am 7 Comments

Looks like the EU has found an alternative to German domination of everybody else. It’s French-German domination of everybody else.

The grand “deal” announced earlier this week has something for both France and Germany. For the Germans, France will temporarily stop talking about eurobonds and will agree to automatic sanctions for violation of new budget rules. For the French, those automatic sanctions can be cancelled by a supermajority vote of unknown quantum, but very likely guaranteeing that France will never be sanctioned for its serial ambivalence toward budget rules, whether their own or anyone else’s.

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The EU’s Plan: Raise Taxes With Bailouts

December 1st, 2011 at 1:44 am 20 Comments

The past two weeks have seen a dizzying array of proposals from virtually every organ of the EU claiming that they can make the eurozone more efficient, for sale durable, case and solvent. If you noticed that no one is saying that they will make the eurozone more democratic, you’re not the only one. The most anti-democratic organ which is being set up is a permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (EMS).

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Poland to Germany: We Need You to Act!

David Frum November 28th, 2011 at 7:50 pm 39 Comments

In an important speech in Berlin, Poland’s Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski expressed a thought maybe has never been heard before on German soil from a Polish leader:

What, as Poland’s foreign minister, do I regard as the biggest threat to the security and prosperity of Poland today, on 28th November 2011? It’s not terrorism, it’s not the Taliban, it’s certainly not German tanks. It’s not even Russian missiles which President Medvedev has just threatened to deploy on our border. The biggest threat to the security of Poland would be the collapse of the Eurozone.

And I demand of Germany that, for your own sake and for ours, you help it survive and prosper. You know full well that nobody else can do it. I will probably be first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.

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Will Germany Kill the Euro?

David Frum November 14th, 2011 at 8:34 am 30 Comments

Speaking of fighting the last war …

The German currency was twice wrecked by inflationary war finance. In both world wars, the German central bank became the main buyer of government bonds, creating huge oceans of cash that drove down the purchasing power of the mark.

Combine those two monetary disasters with a third, the Great Inflation of 1923, it’s no wonder that Germans get phobic on the inflation subject. In their folk memory, inflation = Hitler = having your cities bombed to pieces.

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The Euro? Um, Next Question Please

David Frum November 10th, 2011 at 8:32 am 69 Comments

Last night, the CNBC anchors addressed the most urgent economic question of the moment – the fate of the euro – to four of the Republican presidential candidates: Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman.

I want to begin with what we saw today, another rough day for our money, for our 401(k)s. Once again, we were all impacted by the news that the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 400 points today. The reason, Italy is on the brink of financial disaster.

It is the world’s seventh largest economy. As president, what will you do to make sure that their problems do not take down the U.S. Financial system? It is the world’s seventh largest economy.

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Europe’s Greatest Deficit is its Democracy

November 7th, 2011 at 1:46 pm 46 Comments

Though his actions quickly descended into farce, healing soon-to-be-former Greek Prime Minister Papandreou had the right instinct calling for a referendum on the austerity package that European negotiators are imposing on his country. There has been a long-stranding “democratic deficit” within the European Union, with major decisions being made without the input of the Union’s citizens. The latest crisis is only increasing this deficit.

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Will Britain Pay to Save the Euro?

November 3rd, 2011 at 5:34 pm 7 Comments

David Cameron also has a referendum problem. Britain’s current government uneasily combines euro-skeptics and euro-enthusiasts. Two weeks ago, shop 81 Conservative backbenchers broke with party leaders to vote in favor of a new referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

Cameron had promised such a referendum when he was in opposition, case but he has abandoned that commitment in his coalition with the euro-enthusiast Liberal Democrats.

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Alan Greenspan: Wrong on the Euro

October 26th, 2011 at 1:59 pm 33 Comments

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has been reenforcing the conventional wisdom that the current eurozone debt crisis can be traced to a north-south cultural divide between member states. This is the wrong assessment and blaming culture misses the essence of the problem. The reality is that the structure of the euro was unable to enforce fiscal discipline.

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A Deal Nobody Loves

August 2nd, 2011 at 2:11 pm 19 Comments

The epic battle over the debt ceiling is, diagnosis thankfully, illness over. It will be fought again, with clearer parameters and a somewhat more certain outcome, later in the year. Few, if any, are happy with what Congress and the President have agreed upon. That is often the nature of a negotiated compromise; in this case it is also negative testimony to the way the bargaining played out over the past several weeks.

Neither political party nor branch of government came out of the recently concluded process with its stature enhanced. And that is unfortunate, not just for the individuals involved, but also for our civic institutions.

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