Tag Archives: Eurozone

Eurozone crisis is just getting started

By Jeremy Warner – Virtually all successful currency unions start with political union, and then proceed through shared insurance, institutions, and fiscal arrangements to a common form of exchange.

Europe, it hardly needs saying, is trying to do it the other way round; it has forced monetary union on an unsuspecting public, and now, via the resulting financial crisis, hopes to bulldoze through the shared fiscal and political arrangements that might eventually make it work, culminating ultimately in a United States of Europe.

The arrogance of political leaders who think they know better may have been tolerable as long as Europe was growing. But today they deliver only economic ruin, making their position, and the legitimacy of the EU project, ever more vulnerable. more> http://tinyurl.com/k8lnfh4


The systemic nature of the Eurozone crisis

By Jorgo Chatzimarkakis Mark Esposito – The Eurozone has entered its fourth year of crisis. Member states have been falling into debt so severe, they have had to request bailouts tied to crippling austerity measures. Instead of providing some relief, these measures are only making matters worse. Like dominoes, successive member states find themselves on a negative economic watch. Living conditions have deteriorated and unemployment rates are skyrocketing.

This clearly shows that the steps taken by European leaders to address the euro crisis have not worked; instead, they are putting the European Union itself in danger. Instead of addressing core systemic problems, the EU has been defending its policies both within and outside of its borders. more> http://tinyurl.com/kqc7olq


Sour on Europe

By Robert Kahn – Today’s (May 15) Eurozone GDP numbers remind us that Europe remains in a grinding recession; a second-half recovery now looks to be a long shot at best.  The only bright spot comes elsewhere, with news of  a German labor deal that will raise engineering wages by nearly 6 percent over the next 20 months (rebalancing European demand and stimulating German consumption needs more of this).

Notably, the need for jobs dominates other issues on the economic agenda. The mood is particularly bleak in the periphery, reflecting those countries’ economic troubles. more> http://tinyurl.com/bsglppy


German role in steering euro crisis could lead to disaster, warns expert

By Ian Traynor – Jürgen Habermas, the Frankfurt professor whose political thinking has helped shape Germany over the past 50 years, called for the EU to be turned into a supranational democracy and the eurozone to become a fully fledged political union, while lambasting the “technocratic” handling of the crisis by Brussels and European leaders.

“The German government holds the key to the fate of the European Union in its hands. The main question is whether Germany is not only in a position to take the initiative, but also whether it could have an interest in doing so,” he said. more> http://tinyurl.com/cjnf8ke

Europeans Are Thinking the Unthinkable: That Debt Defaults Might Make Sense

By Michael Sivy – None of the euro zone’s problems have gone away. Political crises beset France, Italy and Spain. Smaller countries, from Portugal to Cyprus, face even more pressing financial troubles. Germany grows less and less willing to foot the bill for bailouts.

There is, in fact, a historical case for tolerating default. Argentina suffered a financial crisis in 1999 that led to a period of high unemployment… more> http://tinyurl.com/c5rfxh3

Russia after Cyprus: Bringing the money home

By William E. Pomeranz – The Kremlin’s initial outrage over developments in Cyprus – and the island’s shocking expropriation of billions of dollars held by Russian companies and citizens – has given way to mild indifference. “If somebody gets caught and loses money at the two largest [Cypriot] banks, it’s a shame,” First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov recently stated, “but the Russian government isn’t going to do anything about it.”

It turns out that the European Union settlement that left Cyprus’s banking sector in shambles has done Moscow a big favor. Not only did the EU take down a major offshore banking center, it helped President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to return to Russia any money stashed away in offshore bank accounts. more> http://tinyurl.com/d3rzv2h

Austrians’ love of bank secrecy has deep roots

By Michael Shields – Call it the battle for grandma’s passbook.

That is how politicians here are framing a debate over whether Austria should roll back banking secrecy and share information on depositors with European partners and the United States. Luxembourg’s decision this week to open its books has fixed attention on Austria, the last EU holdout.

The discussion has touched a nerve in a country where the confidentiality banks offer is so cherished that banking secrecy is anchored in the constitution. Why Austrians are so wedded to such secrecy is answered in part by a distrust of authority. The country’s Catholic identity and a nod-and-wink approach to off-the-books work in the shadow economy may play a role too. more> http://tinyurl.com/clhe2zr