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View Full Version : Head of IMF now beginning to see things cullion's way



Cullion
17th December 11, 09:31 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/imf-lagarde-great-depression-1930s_n_1153248.html

My only regret is that HOG isn't here to share this with me. I miss him.

Ajamil
17th December 11, 10:38 AM
If this was just trolling, then please keep it in CTC. Otherwise that's a terrible first post, Cullion.

And how is this agreeing with you?

The head of the International Monetary Fund sketched a dim outlook for the global economy and said all countries must work together to resolve Europe's escalating debt crisis. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Europe's problems will not be solved by Europe alone.
"It's not a crisis that will be resolved by one group of countries taking action," Lagarde said in remarks at a State Department conference. "It's going to be hopefully resolved by all countries, all regions, all categories of countries actually taking action."
Since when did you advocate a single world action to this?

She said if the issues are not dealt with decisively, the global economy could confront the same threats that pushed the world into the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Newsweek dude (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/12/04/the-fed-s-critics-are-wrong-we-need-to-avert-depression.html)said it was your plans that caused the 2nd half of the Depression in the 30s.


She did not provide details on what actions she expected individual countries or the IMF to take.

She also cautioned financial markets to allow time for individual nations to work through the political process to arrive at a solution.So the only thing she really said was for the markets to wait. Is this the seeing things your way?

Cullion
17th December 11, 10:54 AM
She's finally beginning to understood how much trouble the economy is in. She dimly understands that this is a problem on the same scale as the Great Depression (it's actually larger), that's how she agrees.

No of course she doesn't have a sane solution in mind, she's an international bureaucrat.

No, I don't care what 'Newsweek dude' thinks about this.

Ajamil
17th December 11, 04:07 PM
Care to explain why? Have you read the two books he mentions?

Cullion
17th December 11, 04:12 PM
Because he's recommending that we try a lot more of something that's already failed, whilst ignoring the enormous cost.

He also makes the extremely common error of talking about the recovery from the Great Depression as if it occurred as a result of the New Deal, when there was no recovery until well after WWII, and not for the reasons he thinks.

Niall Ferguson is a very intelligent man, but he is not an economist and has something of a track record as a 'court intellectual' for the neoconservative movement.

Lollius Urbicus
17th December 11, 04:19 PM
Ferguson's also guilty of pandering to politics in his history, in blatant disregard of the facts.

Ajamil
17th December 11, 04:22 PM
Because he's recommending that we try a lot more of something that's already failed, whilst ignoring the enormous cost.
Is he wrong where he shows the opposing plans have been tried and failed in the 30s?

Friedman and Schwartz argued that the stock-market panic of 1929 turned into a depression because of avoidable errors by the Fed. Instead of easing monetary policy by cutting interest rates and buying bonds, the Fed tightened. The result was a catastrophic chain reaction of bank failures, which caused the money supply to contract by approximately a third, and economic output with it.

Eichengreen’s book tells the sorry story of the second half. First, the rules of the gold standard forced central banks to transmit the American shock around the world. Then an increasingly polarized political atmosphere made it impossible to reach agreements about the enormous war and reparations debts that weighed down European governments. Despite multiple international conferences, the global financial system collapsed.

He also makes the extremely common error of talking about the recovery from the Great Depression as if it occurred as a result of the New Deal, when there was no recovery until well after WWII, and not for the reasons he thinks.
This part?:

Countries recovered only when they abandoned the gold standard and focused on job creation. Unfortunately, the most effective way of doing this proved to be rearmament.
I suppose it would depend on what you're looking for to mark recovery.

Niall Ferguson is a very intelligent man, but he is not an economist and has something of a track record as a 'court intellectual' for the neoconservative movement.Neoconservative? I don't usually think of pro-inflation as being a neoconservative stance.

Cullion
17th December 11, 04:30 PM
Is he wrong where he shows the opposing plans have been tried and failed in the 30s?

Yes. Because there is no way of stopping this kind of credit bubble from unwinding, the correct thing to do would've been to let it unwind earlier in the process. Attempts at propping up all these paper assets are going to make the final crash worse.



This part?:

Yes. The New Deal didn't work.



I suppose it would depend on what you're looking for to mark recovery.

Significant recovery of stock prices or unemployment figures. Neither happened until well after WWII in the US.



Neoconservative? I don't usually think of pro-inflation as being a neoconservative stance.

Neoconservatives tend to be monetarists or supply-siders. They believe in 'flexible' fiat currency and they voted for bank bailouts. Their economic views tend to be 'right wing' to the extent that they believe in laissez-faire for the bulk of the population (especially the poor), but not banks or arms manufacturers, and in that sense more closely resemble a low-tax variant of fascist economics.

jvjim
17th December 11, 09:25 PM
You absolutely, positively MUST remember that the roots of neoconservatism lie in Trotskyism (http://www.lewrockwell.com/dmccarthy/dmccarthy23.html). Once you understand that, you begin to understand the past 25 years of American politics much more clearly. Neo-cons do crazy things because they, unwittingly, hold a belief system that is at its core extremely evil (http://www.lewrockwell.com/gordon/gordon92.1.html) (perpetual war, subversion of religious doctrine for their own ends, socializing loss for big business, deficit spending, etc.) Progressives do crazy things because they are dishonest intellectually (ie. the best argument against the Republican party is that they have a privatized politburo in the Fed and the arms industry. Progressives can't do that because they like to buy votes with poorly designed public programs.)

Cullion
18th December 11, 05:15 AM
I generally find it much easier to get along with liberals than the wrong kind of right-winger in real life because whilst I disagree with the liberals, I'm generally fairly sure most of them believe what they do because they think it will help their fellow man.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
18th December 11, 06:00 AM
You absolutely, positively MUST remember that the roots of neoconservatism lie in Trotskyism (http://www.lewrockwell.com/dmccarthy/dmccarthy23.html). Once you understand that, you begin to understand the past 25 years of American politics much more clearly. Neo-cons do crazy things because they, unwittingly, hold a belief system that is at its core extremely evil (http://www.lewrockwell.com/gordon/gordon92.1.html) (perpetual war, subversion of religious doctrine for their own ends, socializing loss for big business, deficit spending, etc.) Progressives do crazy things because they are dishonest intellectually (ie. the best argument against the Republican party is that they have a privatized politburo in the Fed and the arms industry. Progressives can't do that because they like to buy votes with poorly designed public programs.)

hahaha what the fuck am i reading

Cullion
18th December 11, 06:04 AM
He's right MJS. Many of the intellectuals behind the modern neoconservative movement are former Trotskyites who made a journey to the (quasi-)right via Straussian philosophy.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
18th December 11, 06:19 AM
permanent revolution

Cullion
18th December 11, 06:24 AM
neo-conservatives aren't really conservative in any meaningful sense. They're militaristic social liberals who don't give a fuck about poor people.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
18th December 11, 06:31 AM
Social liberals? all of the neocons i can think of are opposed to pot, gay dudes, video games, and fun in general

Cullion
18th December 11, 06:35 AM
Social liberals? all of the neocons i can think of are opposed to pot, gay dudes, video games, and fun in general

I'm thinking of leaders people like Giuliani, Kristol and Wolfowitz, not mainstream republicans in the general populace. They are the 'useful idiots' in this model.

jvjim
18th December 11, 09:40 AM
I wouldn't call them social liberals, because they don't adhere to the Enlightenment view that people generally have a right to knowledge and freedom. Most of the rank and file adherents are, tragically, useful idiots.

Cullion
18th December 11, 10:49 AM
They're socially liberal in the sense that they tend not to care about ethnicity or sexuality.

I'm talking about the distinction between license and freedom.

Craigypooh
18th December 11, 11:08 AM
This comment is particularly stupid:


She also cautioned financial markets to allow time for individual nations to work through the political process to arrive at a solution.

That's just not how financial markets work.

Commodore Pipes
19th December 11, 10:16 AM
So was Leo Strauss truly an esoteric, or his own thing? I've asked self-professed esoterics but all they do is answer in riddles.

Feryk
19th December 11, 10:26 AM
Craigypooh,

You are right, but she's trying hard to keep a mass induced panic from occurring before they want it to.

If everyone in Europe emptied out their bank accounts and bought gold coins, the banks wouldn't stay solvent very long. The governments don't want the public to do anything stupid.

Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where working in your own self interest (getting your money out of the bank) screws over the general population (causing bank runs, closures, and failures).

She's just trying to pacify the masses.

AAAAAA
19th December 11, 11:23 AM
Even the president of the European "central bank" is still defending to death the concept of stricter rules, higher taxes and recessive cuts as The Solution. Many commentators think he's either stupid or acting in bad faith.

Craigypooh
19th December 11, 06:09 PM
She's just trying to pacify the masses.

I wouldn't have had a problem with her addressing the masses with a plea for time.

Cullion
19th December 11, 06:13 PM
Even the president of the European "central bank" is still defending to death the concept of stricter rules, higher taxes and recessive cuts as The Solution. Many commentators think he's either stupid or acting in bad faith.

It's simple: You can either stop trying to increase your debts or pay them back with newly printed money; and Germany will leave the Euro if the ECB starts printing money to solve problems of financial mismanagement in the south. They've still got too many bad memories of the Weimar collapse.

Lollius Urbicus
19th December 11, 06:59 PM
Jeff Randall, had a really interesting opinion piece in the Torygraph today about how the current fiscal rules that the EU core of Merkozy are trying to push through will, in fact strangle left wing governments to death.

The EU budgetary rules, as proposed, if they become binding nationally and supranationally, would Randall argues essentially put an end to the tax and spend clientèle policies of the European left. As the budget rules would kick in forcing them in more fiscally prudent measures and precluding the cyclical issue of leftist governments coming into power and then in the words of the great Maggie "running out of other people's money".

The main flaw with this line of thinking, as I see it, is that European governments actually adhere to the budget rules, already the treaty talks of majority voting to authorise 'exceptions' which just brings back echoes of the supposed budgetary rules imposed by earlier European treaties, that were broken by France and Germany and the penalties weaselled around.

As much as it would be hilarious to see Eurofederalist lefties hamstrung on tax and spend economics by Euro federalist budget rules. I just think they will again vote to allow it despite the rules.

Or pull a Greece and shamelessly cook the books.

After all why should individual member states play by the regulations, when the EU itself has failed to have its budget signed off by auditors for the best part of 20 years.

They;ll carry on kicking the can down the road until it explodes in their faces once again.

Maybe in another 10/20 years they will finally come to their senses and abandon the whole mad project and reduce the EU back to a free trade zone.

Craigypooh
20th December 11, 02:58 AM
They're all already cooking the books. There is not one government in the European union (or pretty much anywhere else) that properly accounts for its pension promises.

AAAAAA
27th December 11, 12:00 PM
It's simple: You can either stop trying to increase your debts or pay them back with newly printed money; and Germany will leave the Euro if the ECB starts printing money to solve problems of financial mismanagement in the south. They've still got too many bad memories of the Weimar collapse.

Won't having a central bank printing money keep inflation in check, like what's happening in the US?
The collapse was more about the depressive, deflationary politics of the Thirties, following the inflation crisis. Wanting stability at all costs, cutting salaries left and right... reminds me of something.

Cullion
27th December 11, 12:18 PM
Won't having a central bank printing money keep inflation in check, like what's happening in the US?

I'm not sure if what you just wrote was a typo of some kind. Please restate it for clarity's sake.



The collapse was more about the depressive, deflationary politics of the Thirties, following the inflation crisis. Wanting stability at all costs, cutting salaries left and right... reminds me of something.

I have two questions for you:

Do you believe that the hyperinflation could and should've been allowed to continue?

Why do you think they were printing money in the first place ?

AAAAAA
27th December 11, 02:02 PM
I'm not sure if what you just wrote was a typo of some kind. Please restate it for clarity's sake.


Yes, horrible phrasing. The Fed bought US obligations for 1.600 trillion dollars, and inflation is around 3.5%, why should it be different in Europe?



I have two questions for you:

Do you believe that the hyperinflation could and should've been allowed to continue?

Why do you think they were printing money in the first place ?


I don't know what it'd have happened if not taken, but the depressive measures taken weren't effective overall as they spawned a war economy. Or maybe they were...

To pay war debts and to try and rebuild an economy they took actions that included inflation among the consequences. About which were errors and which sound ones, I dare not say.

Cullion
27th December 11, 02:22 PM
Yes, horrible phrasing. The Fed bought US obligations for 1.600 trillion dollars, and inflation is around 3.5%, why should it be different in Europe?

Inflation of what is at 3.5%?

Much of that new money is currently still parked in Federal Reserve accounts whilst the banks wait for asset prices to hit bottom. Inflation isn't the smooth, homogeneous phenomenon that it's portrayed as.


I don't know what it'd have happened if not taken

They had no choice. The Marks were exposed as just worthless paper. People carried their wages home in wheelbarrows. Do you want that to happen to the Euro ? Do you really believe it's cost free in real terms ?


but the depressive measures taken weren't effective overall as they spawned a war economy. Or maybe they were...

They were overburdened with financial obligations they couldn't afford to meet. They tried to meet them by just printing money. It failed spectacularly as is to be expected; because you can't create real wealth by just printing money. If you could, we'd solve African famines with printing presses.

The 'deflationary' measure at the end was simply an inevitable endgame; if your fixed outgoings exceed your income for long enough, you go broke. It's as certain as the law of gravity.

At best, printing money is provides a temporary smoothing function where you impoverish your own population in a way they can't immediately understand, in order to lower their labour cost on the international stage. It's simply a sneaky way of defaulting on obligations, but it can help you politically by misleading the population, it can make the road down perhaps a little smoother, but it can never create real wealth of itself.

Allowing Greece to have their own currency again would simply be a way of making those nice German cars unaffordable for them so they could rebalance their finances and get back to growing olives.

All this shit about how 'everything would be fine if we hadn't stopped printing money' is just that. Shit. Delusional wishful thinking by people who deep down believe that there's such a thing as a free lunch.



To pay war debts and to try and rebuild an economy they took actions that included inflation among the consequences. About which were errors and which sound ones, I dare not say.

So do you think they should have printed the money, or shouldn't have printed the money ?
Or do you now understand that it wouldn't actually have made much difference to the end result?

AAAAAA
27th December 11, 03:24 PM
All this shit about how 'everything would be fine if we hadn't stopped printing money' is just that. Shit. Delusional wishful thinking by people who deep down believe that there's such a thing as a free lunch.


I totally agree with the defuaulting on obligation as a sneaky inflation, and I believe it could make sense at this point.
I just think the German mentality where the bank can NEVER print money to boost the economy is too dogmatic, especially since they have their own wrongdoings that everybody knows but doesn't care because as Germans they are supposed to be trustworthy (see the ITF public fund that holds a good part of their debt but technically "not State balance")



So do you think they should have printed the money, or shouldn't have printed the money ?
Or do you now understand that it wouldn't actually have made much difference to the end result?

We aren't at the wheelbarrows yet.

Cullion
27th December 11, 03:58 PM
I totally agree with the defuaulting on obligation as a sneaky inflation, and I believe it could make sense at this point.

You are hoping that there's a way where you can continue to spend more than you earn indefinitely, without the interest rate increasing. That's just not possible.



I just think the German mentality where the bank can NEVER print money to boost the economy is too dogmatic, especially since they have their own wrongdoings that everybody knows but doesn't care because as Germans they are supposed to be trustworthy (see the ITF public fund that holds a good part of their debt but technically "not State balance")

Germany was the first country to violate the Maastricht criteria, a decade ago. But two wrongs really don't make a right. "Why should we follow the rules if they aren't" is a really quick route to destitution.



We aren't at the wheelbarrows yet.[/QUOTE]

AAAAAA
27th December 11, 05:11 PM
You are hoping that there's a way where you can continue to spend more than you earn indefinitely, without the interest rate increasing. That's just not possible.


So you're basically saying that it doesn't matter to print or not to print at this point, and it's all equivalent?
I think the "stability" they're trying to keep is wishful thinking as well, so they might as well recognize it and act accordingly.


Germany was the first country to violate the Maastricht criteria, a decade ago. But two wrongs really don't make a right. "Why should we follow the rules if they aren't" is a really quick route to destitution.


It's that I'm uncomfortable seeing Merkel's way of dealing with it, it's like she's following a religion, and maybe the suicide she's choosing isn't the best suicide possible at the moment.


We aren't at the wheelbarrows yet.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Cullion
27th December 11, 05:27 PM
So you're basically saying that it doesn't matter to print or not to print at this point, and it's all equivalent?

I'm saying that the gap between expenditure and income is what needs to be addressed, and printing Euros won't really solve the problem.



I think the "stability" they're trying to keep is wishful thinking as well, so they might as well recognize it and act accordingly.

It's that I'm uncomfortable seeing Merkel's way of dealing with it, it's like she's following a religion, and maybe the suicide she's choosing isn't the best suicide possible at the moment.

We aren't at the wheelbarrows yet.

What the Germans have realised, far too late, is that you should never, ever, never, ever, ever lend Southern Europe your credit card. Ever.

The German populace as a whole still has a deeply engrained cultural memory of what happens if you just try and print your way out of trouble. So they won't allow that. Nor will they allow their politicians to just pay your bills for you. But there are a couple of other options that don't require the ordinary German taxpayer to stand the bill, and which don't require as much pain for Southern Europe, which their political elite are preventing from happening:-

i) You could just not pay the banks back, and then German politicians not bail the banks out afterwards. This solution is not nearly as bad as most mainstream talking heads claim. It's working out okay for Iceland. International banks will only lend money on much harsher terms afterwards, but I can assure that's coming regardless. Sometimes bankruptcy is the most sensible business option. It doesn't last forever.

ii) You and Germany could just stop sharing a currency and you could do your own printing. Italians and Greeks used to do this all the time. Sure, it led to a kind of permanent political chaos because it seriously disrupted your political class' ability to buy votes, but that's the kind of medicine you're going to get anyway. The main group that loses are the German exporters who'd like you to pay for the BMWs in a stable currency. This option isn't nearly as bad as mainstream talking heads claim either. You print drachma and lira like the good old days and then go back to a tourism/wine/olive farming economy once the deliveries of northern European industrial goods bought on euro-credit start to dry up.

Cullion
27th December 11, 05:38 PM
My question is, how will this affect the price of my next German automobile?

It should act as a downward price pressure, all other things being equal, but America's insane public finances are a complicating factor.

AAAAAA
27th December 11, 07:04 PM
The "it's coming anyway" factor is the big thing here. How to get out less hurt from this all?

Don't lump Greece and Italy in the same bunch. you really think "Olive farming" for 70 million people? Italy if going through the harshests reforms ever, tax rate is almost the highest in Europe and the primary gain is now over 5% on net of interests. Plus Italy didn't cook the books. The Germans, as I pointed out above, are.

This is an attack to the Euro, not just to the PIIGS, and those wanting "stability" at all costs aren't really helping anything. Merkel is trying to surf the wave until the elections, but will end up as the one who brought down the Euro instead. The SPD itself isn't happy about mrs. Merkel positions.

Cullion
27th December 11, 07:53 PM
The "it's coming anyway" factor is the big thing here. How to get out less hurt from this all?

By not even trying to pay back some of the debts. Prioritise obligations to the population of Italy over international banks whilst accepting and planning for the fact that once you do it foreigners are going to be much warier about lending you money for years. You can substantially smooth this process by leaving the Euro, but the management of BMW and Volkswagen will hate you for it.



Don't lump Greece and Italy in the same bunch. you really think "Olive farming" for 70 million people?

It's shorthand for 'living on what you actually earn, rather than living on what you can borrow whilst kidding yourself the interest rates will always be low and you'll never really have to pay back the principle'.



Italy if going through the harshests reforms ever, tax rate is almost the highest in Europe

No it isn't. The actual rate at which tax is paid in Italy is well below.



Plus Italy didn't cook the books.

Nobody outside of Italy believes that for one second. Not a country with that kind of organised crime problem.



This the Euro's inevitable collapse as countries with wildly differing economies were all locked into the same interest rate. There was no way it was ever going to work.

ftfy.

jvjim
28th December 11, 02:07 AM
If you want an international currency, and you want it for the right reasons, what about allowing non-profit financial institutions to produce commodity-backed competing currencies?

AAAAAA
28th December 11, 04:10 AM
By not even trying to pay back some of the debts. Prioritise obligations to the population of Italy over international banks whilst accepting and planning for the fact that once you do it foreigners are going to be much warier about lending you money for years. You can substantially smooth this process by leaving the Euro, but the management of BMW and Volkswagen will hate you for it.


Somebody was suggesting to start partially paying public sector wages with State obligations, and use them as an internal currency. It's probably forbidden but it'd pave the way for getting out of the Euro later and keep internal prices manageable. I think it's a good idea.




It's shorthand for 'living on what you actually earn, rather than living on what you can borrow whilst kidding yourself the interest rates will always be low and you'll never really have to pay back the principle'.


What's funny is that the private citizen didn't go broke, it's the banks and especially the State. All that money went into corruption, I believe Italy is now behind Ghana about transparency. After years of Berlusconi that's the result.



No it isn't. The actual rate at which tax is paid in Italy is well below.



Oh let me rant a little now will you.
Of course it is not paid, but if you're honest that's what you have to pay. There's an estimated 400 billion of underground economy here. Too bad there's a lot of honest people who have been paying for everyone and will continue to do so since paying taxes is apparently unenforceable as long as you're not an employee.

So the result is that a commercial activity would have such a ridiculous amount of taxes to pay, they couldn't possibly stay in business if they did pay it all; laws are such that you're always in the wrong but you hope nobody will check. I have several friends who started an activity and had to close down after a year, because the State now asks you for an advance of what you're supposed to make as a business X, but doesn't pay back tax credit untile two years after. So you go belly up. And they speak of giving stimulus.
Germany did actually spend to keep its economy alive thru the crisis. Here, the solution is just selling out to Chinese and French investors.

Sometimes I wish there was a cross between the IRS and the SS jailing for high treason those who make lots of money out of this and always did. The weak ones are the only ones who pay.



Nobody outside of Italy believes that for one second. Not a country with that kind of orga
nised crime problem.


So you're saying Italy cheated to get in on the Euro? I remember the patrimonial taxes they imposed to get in Maastricht range.

At the moment the government is led by bankers and its ministers are bankers. The parliament is still the sewer sludge elected four years ago, but they shut up and do what Monti says because they're waiting for their pensions. If even a banker running the country isn't helping, then fuck off Europe and let's start over again. I have no debts, I never took state subsidy of any kind nor did any of my relatives that I know of, and the people I know who do have debts are buying houses with 40 years mortgages at high interest rates while working their asses off, not to buy new TV sets.

All that money that's been spent over the nation's means went into corruption, in the form of extravagant public expenses where the usual criminals benefited. The private debts is actually low, so you can see it's quite frustrating to read about Italy's insolubility.

Cullion
28th December 11, 04:57 AM
Somebody was suggesting to start partially paying public sector wages with State obligations, and use them as an internal currency. It's probably forbidden but it'd pave the way for getting out of the Euro later and keep internal prices manageable. I think it's a good idea.

It would be less cruel to pay the public sector workers and pensioners in a real, seperate Italian currency than in something in a confusing middle-ground that would be harder to exchange internationally.



What's funny is that the private citizen didn't go broke, it's the banks and especially the State. All that money went into corruption, I believe Italy is now behind Ghana about transparency. After years of Berlusconi that's the result.

Meh, Berlusconi is just the latest in a series of southern European charlatans. The bottom third of your country is basically run by the mafia and it hasn't really had a stable financial system since the second world war. You've got to ask yourself 'what is wrong with Italian society that this keeps happening?'. This segues nicely into your next point:-



Oh let me rant a little now will you.
Of course it is not paid, but if you're honest that's what you have to pay. There's an estimated 400 billion of underground economy here. Too bad there's a lot of honest people who have been paying for everyone and will continue to do so since paying taxes is apparently unenforceable as long as you're not an employee.

So the result is that a commercial activity would have such a ridiculous amount of taxes to pay, they couldn't possibly stay in business if they did pay it all; laws are such that you're always in the wrong but you hope nobody will check. I have several friends who started an activity and had to close down after a year, because the State now asks you for an advance of what you're supposed to make as a business X, but doesn't pay back tax credit untile two years after. So you go belly up. And they speak of giving stimulus.
Germany did actually spend to keep its economy alive thru the crisis. Here, the solution is just selling out to Chinese and French investors.



So you're saying Italy cheated to get in on the Euro?

I'm saying that I flatly refuse to believe protestations of financial honesty and transparency in government from a country with such a proven reputation for corruption & financial instability as Italy.



All that money that's been spent over the nation's means went into corruption, in the form of extravagant public expenses where the usual criminals benefited. The private debts is actually low, so you can see it's quite frustrating to read about Italy's insolubility.

Hopefully it will focus the mind the next time you read the economic policies of candidates in elections.

AAAAAA
28th December 11, 05:22 AM
It would be less cruel to pay the public sector workers and pensioners in a real, seperate Italian currency than in something in a confusing middle-ground that would be harder to exchange internationally.


Oh but that would mean Italy leaving the Euro before it's effectively kicked out. It will only happen when it's inevitable, as nobody will take that responsibility. Some byzantine middle ground is more suited.



Meh, Berlusconi is just the latest in a series of southern European charlatans. The bottom third of your country is basically run by the mafia and it hasn't really had a stable financial system since the second world war. You've got to ask yourself 'what is wrong with Italian society that this keeps happening?'. This segues nicely into your next point:-


I agree. Another area where we could use some SS style public executions.
But not even the first kings, not Mussolini, not the communists, not the right wing, nobody could even manage to uproot and kill the mafia. So I'm not sure that would work. Change from within is needed.
Those who could bring it were usually quickly killed or silenced. I think there's more judges killed in Italy than in Colombia.



I'm saying that I flatly refuse to believe protestations of financial honesty and transparency in government from a country with such a proven reputation for corruption & financial instability as Italy.


I'm talking about the specific issue of meeting Maastricht parameters without cheating, if you have something more than reputation to bring to the discussion I'd appreciate it.



Hopefully it will focus the mind the next time you read the economic policies of candidates in elections.


lol. You talk as if it were a serious, civilized matter of debate. It's more about who's against the "commies" and who's not, thanks to Berlusconi and his polarization of the public discourse. Add the dismantling of public school, which was very good as the many Italian scientists abroad can tell you, and there's little hope left. A failure of a democracy, which started with very good auspices.

Ah of course he's not the sole responsible, it's not a new thing that Italy had horrible governments who screwed the usual ones for years. But the spike in corruption took place with him, and it kinda became trendy too.