Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Economic, Philosophical and Political Contagion and other recent thoughts

These are thoughts (call it brainstorming) prompted by recent or/and on-going issues in Europe, the US and the world in general.

1) Seems to me that for an economy that is open to the world, an internal devaluation isn't that much different in effects than the good ole currency devaluation, except for psychology. What's important for austerity measures in Europe is to have a rationale that can be understood and make sense to citizens not just markets and experts.
So, who is going to empower citizens in various European countries to understand the economic & financial aspects in life nowadays? Do these pass a test of citizen scrutiny?

By the way: Blaming aliens/immigrants propaganda may alas have worked in 1930s Europe but one would expect Europe and US to be much wiser in 2010s

2) Are we, in Europe, the US, etc, addressing 21st century issues with a 20th century mentality?

For example, can WTO rules provide effective market access of US and EU companies to markets such as China and Japan?

If they cannot, why have WTO?

Another example:
EU systemics may be messy these days, but are US systemics better off or worse off actually, when one scrapes through a few layers?
Well, let's see:
How dependent is the US economy to T-bill and minority US corporate equity ownership by state controlled Chinese funds? How many US corporations preferred to sell a minority equity stake to Chinese state investors rather than borrow from the US gov? The effect of that?

Yet another: There is a great difference between a) protecting savings and b) protecting investments.

3) Is Germany suspicious of a French conspiracy in the Euro?

Well, in terms of Euro-stereotypes (NB: I do not believe in them or like them), the French are best in ideas, the Germans in paying for them & the Greeks in reminding both the real meaning of life! Opa!

Stereotypes aside, IMO the main intra-EU "battle" at present is philosophical, mainly between the British, German, French and Greek/Med meaning and way of life!

When I read the analyses on Greece of certain world acclaimed media I am aware of their underlying philosophical antipathy for Greece. Said philosophical antipathy has become blatantly obvious in recent months and found natural allies in the finance and economics milieu
The oxymora in modern Greek life that so confuse certain analysts reflect to a large degree the oxymora in Life & the Universe! Eg a main modern Greek philosophical axiom: "Μία είναι η ουσία, δεν υπάρχει αθανασία"
Not only the financial but more importantly the political & philosophical dimensions of the "Greek crisis" are thus potentially globally Contagious. The Greek case poses direct & real Contagion threat to the world's dominant economic, financial, policy, political & philosophical axioms - dogmae. Much like the Greek Revolution of 1821 went against the status quo agreements - axioms in early 19th century Europe yet led to game changer.

As an atypical native of Greece with an Anglo-American education it took me 40 yrs to realise the global value of Greece and its mentality. The reason that Greeks, Brazilians & a few others were put of Earth is to keep reminding others of the real meaning of life (Opa, Samba etc)

So, bottom line, is the ECB playing France's game by buying up sovereign bonds of Greece and other EUrozone member states? Well, in a way, the ECB is now atoning for the "sin" of destroying Eurozone economies via uber expensive Euro (to satisfy the BB)!
Reminder: In the beginning, EU countries thought they were joining a Euro-zone not a DM-zone, ran by an ECB not the BB!

I have not answered the question, have I? Well, in a way I have.

By the way, maybe some should stop whining about (alleged) "unelected Eurocrats" and start being concerned re effects of "unelected moneycrats", right?

4) Lastly:

You know summer is here when Roland Garros (May 18 - June 6) is on and Wimbledon (21 June to 4 July) is near!

And while Mrs Merkel is in Italy overseeing the preparation of the German team for the World Cup, after Lena won the Eurovision Song Contest for Germany, when you don't expect anything to happen, the German President resigns (May 31)!

Oh well! "Τα πάντα ρει" (everything flows)


IME dogs like humans more than humans like each other! Hence a man's best and undemanding friend, unlike cats! No, I am not referring to the dog in the Lost finale episode.

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