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Saturday, June 3, 2017

America First! Germany First! Greece Perhaps last?

The Germans are all upset about President Trump not living up to global responsibilities. The President tells people to 'buy American' and to 'employ Americans'; he withdraws from the Paris Agreement because it would enrich other countries at the expense of Americans and then he even has the nerve to say it loud and clear: "America First!" President Trump blasted that message to the whole world in his inauguration speech.

That is indeed bad behavior. The Germans (and many other European countries) would never say that out loud. But a closer look merits the observation that there are indeed some parallels between Germans within the Eurozone and Trump within the global world community. Germany does not want to enrich other Eurozone countries (or rather: make them less poor) at the expense of German tax payers. Nevermind that it would be good for the Eurozone overall. Germany does not purse rogue companies like VW as forcefully as they pursue rogue (because profligate) states like Greece. The German Chancellor criticizes the American President for tweeting an unintelligible word but she does so in a sentence without true content. And one doesn't have to be a linguist to hear behind every statement of the German Finance Minister the unspoken appeal: "Germany First!"

Well, well, well. This doesn't look good for Greece. If everyone else aims at being first, someone has got to come out last. No point in pondering that. Better to have an ouzo!

PS: this obviously was written with tongue in cheek!

40 comments:

  1. Kleingut:

    Why would the Germans be upset with America. The Paris agreement was on a purely voluntary basis. Do the Germans understand what is going on or they are simply seeking to find cheap excuses to take cheap shots at someone they don't like anyway?

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  2. Generally speaking we don't mind competition between Americans and Germans on who is best. We know the answer already. The main difference for Greece is that the USA allows Greece to outsell it and thus Greece derives a benefit from the Americans.

    As for Greece, it's beyond obvious that is thoroughly outclassed in dealing with the unscrupulous and despotic Germans any which way you cut it. This Leftist government of Greece lead by Tsipras' Syriza approaches its dealings with Berlin as if a plantiff or defendant seeking justice from an unseen court of justice. They simply don't understand that no matter what they do they are set up for manipulation and mistreatment.

    So anything we could do to harm German interests please let us know. There is no redemption for these barbarians except brutal reprisals which they thoroughly deserve.

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  3. I wasn't aware that Germans are capable of poetic writing. What do you know?

    http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/griechenland-eos-sei-dank-1.3532232

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  4. Die Euro-Politik muss raus aus den Hinterzimmern
    Emmanuel Macron plädiert deshalb dafür, dass die Eurozone einen eigenen Haushalt samt Finanzminister bekommt. Jedes Mitglied würde in das gemeinsame Budget einzahlen, die reichen mehr, die armen weniger. So gäbe es Geld für Investitionen, zum Beispiel in überregionale Verkehrs- und Kommunikationsnetzwerke oder für Flüchtlingshilfe. Und es gäbe Geld für eine antizyklische Fiskalpolitik, die Ländern in schwierigen Zeiten hilft. Was es dazu auch braucht, ist eine starke demokratische Kontrolle. Die Euro-Politik muss raus aus den Hinterzimmern. Ein Parlament der 19 Euro-Staaten, dessen Mitglieder sich aus dem Europaparlament und/oder Abgesandten der nationalen Parlamente zusammensetzt, könnte diese Aufgabe zum Beispiel übernehmen.

    Ein logischer nächster Schritt wären dann gemeinsame Anleihen. Es müssen ja keine Eurobonds sein, die vorsehen, dass alle Euro-Staaten gemeinsam für die Schulden aller haften. Dieses Instrument würde die disziplinierende Wirkung der Märkte für die Haushaltspolitik der einzelnen Ländern völlig außer Kraft setzen.

    Sinnvoller wären "Europäische Sicherheitsbonds", wie sie Forscher um den Ökonomen Markus Brunnermeier vorgeschlagen haben. Diese Wertpapiere sollen Anlegern einen sicheren Hafen bieten und die Verbindung zwischen Banken und Staaten lockern. Eine europäische Schuldenverwaltung würde den Euro-Ländern ihre Staatsanleihen bis zu einer bestimmten Grenze abkaufen. Zur Finanzierung würde sie zwei verschiedene Arten von Anleihen herausgeben: Einerseits supersichere Senior-Anleihen, die auch den Staatsbankrott eines Euro-Mitglieds wie Italien aushalten und ein ideales Anlageinstrument für Banken und Versicherungen wären. Andererseits gäbe es riskante, aber hochverzinste Junior-Bonds, die Spielball für Spekulanten wären. Anders als bei den umstrittenen Euro-Bonds müsste jedes Land immer noch hundert Prozent seiner neuen Schulden zu Marktzinsen aufnehmen, so- dass die Regierungen auch einen Anreiz haben, sparsam zu haushalten.

    Damit ein solcher Neustart gelingen kann, sollte man - last but not least - zuvor überschuldeten Ländern wie Griechenland einen Schuldenschnitt ermöglichen und die europäischen Banken mit dem nötigen Kapital versorgen. So könnte die Zukunft der Währungsunion aussehen, wenn in Europa nicht nur Pragmatiker oder Populisten regieren.

    Catherine Hoffmann

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  5. @kleingut:

    Aren’t politicians voted into office under the assumption that they serve their electorate first? Why on earth should they serve the electorate of other countries? Do these other countries lack a national government?
    The Germans are wrong when they critizise Trump on this purely symbolical issue. And the Greeks are wrong when they critizise the Germans for their unwillingness to underwrite the amateurish economical policy of the greek governments of at least the last 4 decades.
    Freedom is based on self-responsibility. You get the government that you (as a people) vote into office. And as a voter or better as an electorate you hold your government responsible for what they do (or not do) not the government of some other country you had no business in voting it into office.
    Urs

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    Replies
    1. And what happens when you get the government only Belrin approves? Is it still your government you think?

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    2. Quote: "And what happens when you get the government only Belrin approves? Is it still your government you think?"

      Syriza was voted into office after Berlin approved their election? Phoevos, Phoevos, you are a delusional troll never taking responsibility for anything that is happening (or not happening) in your country.
      Urs

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    3. The Swiss National Bank speculated roughly one year's Swiss GDP in its attempt to keep the CHF going through the roof. There is no way of telling how that speculation will eventually close out (if ever).

      Question: did that action serve the electorate first or did it perhaps serve first particular interests of particular sections of society?

      My point is: it is easy to say 'serve you electorate first' but we wouldn't have parliamentary debates and even fights if it were always so easy to agree on how that is best accomplished.

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    4. @kleingut:
      Quote: "The Swiss National Bank speculated roughly one year's Swiss GDP in its attempt to keep the CHF going through the roof. There is no way of telling how that speculation will eventually close out (if ever)."

      Spot on. The abandoned peg to the Euro (at 1.20 CHF) made Switzerland to the 5th. biggest holder of foreign currency (assets) in the world. The risks are sky-high and indeed nobody knows the outcome of this strategy. The whole approach raises some fundamental questions regarding monetary policy itself. I am really interested in your view of this debate over at inside paradeplatz: https://insideparadeplatz.ch/2017/05/31/4708808/

      I am aware that this blog is not the place to discuss this issue - maybe you can point to another place (maybe another of your blogs) that is better suited.

      Quote: "Question: did that action serve the electorate first or did it perhaps serve first particular interests of particular sections of society?"

      Oh definitely it served the (maybe not so well understood) interests of particular sections of society. Especially the swiss unions favoured the peg. Anyway I made my point not clear enough: I do not propose the idea that the electorate is a monolithic block and that there are no divergent interests within any electorate. Quite the contrary: Without factional interests (within societies, nations etc.) there would be no place for (domestic) policy itself as only the proper organisation of the common intentions would be needed. But all that does not contradict what I was writing: Politicians are only responsible to the collective that had the power to bring them into office. This is true for the domestic as well as for the international level. You would not hold your Landeshauptmann responsible for the foreign policy of Austria neither would you blame your Chancellor for the fiscal policy of say Poland.
      This "from now on it is America first" Trumpism that insinuates that the Obama administration had other interests in mind than those of the US is pure rhetoric and nothing else. It was always America first as it was always Germany, Austria or Greece first. Again: That does not mean that there are no factional groups and divergent interests within any of these countries and that politicians do not care for one group more than for any other.

      Urs

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    5. Urs:

      As I have said on many occasions, I am a conservative therefore not a supporter of Syriza. But Syriza took over a pretty much destroyed landscape at a time when the Greek people felt that they had not tried their option and wanted to see if such atypical approach might work. It didn't it. However, Berlin emerges the greatest beneficiary from such Greek political experiment involving Syriza. Not only Berlin neutralized the most agitating faction of Greek politics representing the unions power but by making Syriza to face the Greek state's obligations from the previous government and buckle under the weight of such obligations, it ensured that there was no resistance left standing against Berlin. This untested and naive Greek government was made an easy prey for Schauble & gang. Here was a Greek government that wanted to talk principles and justice against Berlin's supreme preparation against all possible scenarios. So the defeat of Syriza was great and Berlin is more than happy to help the vanquished survive because the defeated are now fully aware of the power of their oppressor. Of course Syriza will do its best to comply because that's the only way out of the shame of total defeat.

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    6. Urs:

      I think Kleingut could give us here his views on the Swiss monetary policy since a significant part of Greek wealth is in Swiss bank accounts. It's all part of observing Greece. Maybe Kleingut will say something to scare off Greek depositors of Swiss accounts and in the process lead them back to Greece where Schauble will more than glad to confiscate anything that re-enters eurozone territory.

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    7. @Urs
      No, this is not the blog for the SNB but I link articles below which will lead you to another blog. Quickly on InsideParadeplatz: I have had zillions of pages of exchanges with Dr. Marc Meyer about 2 years ago. Truly zillions of pages. Notwithstanding that many, if not most of his points are very well taken, he is totally blind-sighted regarding the difference between a Central Bank and any other bank. And he passionately hates Thomas Jordan. There is a bit of a psychological aspect to Dr. Meyer's missives as well. If you are interested, we can continue this conversation in the other blog.

      http://happyaustria.blogspot.gr/2014/01/wie-solide-ist-eigentlich-die.htmlhttp://happyaustria.blogspot.gr/2014/08/das-leiden-der-schweiz-ihrem-erfolg.htmlhttp://happyaustria.blogspot.gr/2015/01/der-schweizerkracher-und-die-folgen_15.html

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    8. @Phoevos
      Just some quick questions about those Greek deposits in Swiss banks: What do you think the source of those deposits was? Hard work and clean living? Or perhaps the other side of Greece's sovereign debt?

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    9. Urs:

      Not forgetting the fact that I am an uneducated Greek troll, I think that my naive self believes that the whole purpose of the negative interest rates Frankenschock was to simply deter investor inflows. The SNB's main objective was to control the franc, a task in which it has pretty much suceeded. To compensate for negative interest rates on retail customers the Swiss banking sector expanded into the mortgage market which has proven to be quite profitable.

      Obviously the equilibrium achieved is fragile as evidenced by Swiss companies looking into opening safety deposit boxes for cash keeping vs. cash held in bank accounts.

      So obviously you worry about the long term effects on pensions and the insurance industry of exceptionally low interest rates.

      Therefore you hate to see Greece destabilize the system and you are in favor of strong German discipline on the Greeks lest they trigger what you fear most: creeping destortions about negative interest rates.

      Rest assured that our Greek money will stay in Switzerland (I don't know why but let's say the clean mountain air) unless of course some Swiss bankers give the keys to Schauble to expropriate Greek funds in exchange of the Swiss getting assistance from Germany in case of financial trouble.

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    10. Kleingut:

      I know enough about you so that in order to ace the answer I must say that all the so-called Greek wealth deposited in Swiss bank accounts was basically re-routed money expropriated from Brussels funds. However, I have an uncle with Swiss bank habits established in the 70s based on his dealings with the Saudis. So there is plenty of Greek wealth deposited in Swiss bank accounts that was made in the shipping, cement or petroleum businesses, to name a few, that has nothing to do with kick-backs or derivatives of the Brussels business. Just an observation.

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    11. @kleingut

      Thanks for the link to your blog. The link itself does not work (maybe a browser problem on my side) but I found the post (and others on swiss issues) through the searchbox on your very interesting blog (Geschichten aus Österreich).
      Yes, Mr. Meyer can get quite unnerving (I had years ago a little spat with him on the question of exchange rates and if a currency can be overvalued or not.)
      Urs

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    12. @Phoevos:

      Quote: "Rest assured that our Greek money will stay in Switzerland (I don't know why but let's say the clean mountain air) unless of course some Swiss bankers give the keys to Schauble to expropriate Greek funds in exchange of the Swiss getting assistance from Germany in case of financial trouble."

      The Swiss will give the keys (or better yet their foreign customers data) to almost everyone when the Common Reporting Standard will be implemented in 2018. The only major banking place that will hide your uncles black money from the Greek tax collector in future will be the US. But I guess you already know that quite well.

      Quote: "So obviously you worry about the long term effects on pensions and the insurance industry of exceptionally low interest rates.
      Therefore you hate to see Greece destabilize the system and you are in favor of strong German discipline on the Greeks lest they trigger what you fear most: creeping destortions about negative interest rates."

      You’ve got it.

      Urs

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    13. @Phoevos:

      Quote: "Not forgetting the fact that I am an uneducated Greek troll, I think that my naive self believes that the whole purpose of the negative interest rates Frankenschock was to simply deter investor inflows. The SNB's main objective was to control the franc, a task in which it has pretty much suceeded. To compensate for negative interest rates on retail customers the Swiss banking sector expanded into the mortgage market which has proven to be quite profitable."

      I wouldn’t call the SNB successfull in "controlling" the exchange rate of Euro to the CHF. They couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep the 1.20 floor and if they can keep the Euro from falling to parity in the long term is a matter of debate and not really in their power.

      Quote: "To compensate for negative interest rates on retail customers the Swiss banking sector expanded into the mortgage market which has proven to be quite profitable."

      No, the CHF played an important role in some central-eastern european mortgage markets for many years. You may ask hungarian or croation home builders for their experiences with the low rates of CHF mortgages and the development of the CHF exchange rate. Keep your handkerchiefs ready.
      Urs

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    14. @Phoevos
      Regarding your 'observation' about the Swiss deposits, my point was not that all those deposits were recycled EU money. And, yes, there already were huge Swiss deposits before the Euro came into existence. I raised the question what the ultimate source of those deposits might be, also the deposits prior to the Euro.

      In Drachma-times, like in any local currency times, the amount of foreign currency leaving the country must be equal to the amount of foreign currency entering the country. That's the mathematics of the Balance of Payments. To Drachma-Greece, foreign currency was always a scarce resource. Until the early 1970s, foreign capital came primarily from guestworker remittances, foreign lending/subsidies and some foreign investments. So those would be the funding sources for official transfers to Switzerland. Obviously, the scarcity of foreign currency alone would assure that official transfers were limited.

      I would say that even black market transfers were limited because the black market, however well functioning, cannot handle billions of foreign currency.

      So, given that Swiss deposits were always large and given that they couldn't all have been funded via official or black market transfers, that only leaves the possibility of over/under-invoicing of exports/imports.

      Bottom line? The huge deposits held by few Greeks offshore represent, in the final analysis, to a large extent the huge indebtedness of Greece, i. e. the Greek tax payers. A wealth transfer of gigantic proportions!

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    15. Kleingut:

      I understand the theoretical argument as you are framing it. However, from a practical observation point we could have a case of Greek owned funds deposited in Swiss accounts having never entered Greece in the first place. In the example of my uncle, he made a deal with his Saudi contacts for them to deposit an agreed upon amount in his name to a Swiss bank. Such sum was never acknowledged as income by the Greek tax system, never entered the domain of the Greek state and was never part of the Balance of Payments framework. And I am sure many Swiss deposits for the benefit of Greek owners did not originate from Greece at all. Very few exceptions that the money somehow entered Greece via a Europe originated source so that we can count it as diversion or funds conversion which then would support the theory of recycled EU money.

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    16. Well, that's I meant by over/underinvoicing of exports/imports. Obviously, over/underinvoicing of exports/imports is not the only way to make profits offshore which are then parked offshore without ever having been seen in Greece (bribes by Siemens would be another one...).

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  6. Here is the promised article on Hellenikon. The best part is that I didn't have to write it. It was obvious that ND making noise about it meant there was already movement on the issue.

    For those who don't understand Greek politics here is the theatrical play the opposition loves to play. They find out through their underground chanels that issue A is about to move (i.e. show progress in some or all of its components). So immediately the opposition hits the airwaves and communication chanels at their disposal berating the government for lack of progress on said issue (even though they know such issue is about to break up with new progress). When the news finally confirms that indeed there is progress on issue A, the opposition is there to take credit because it's THEY who complained and forced the government to move. Most people who don't understand political nuance are actually left with the impression that it was the opposition which created progress.

    In other words hypocricy galore.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/02/greece-approves-8bn-chinese-backed-resort-project-outside-athens

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  7. @kleingut.
    Ich schwoere, des ich meine Kraft dem Wohle des deutschen Volkes widmen, seine Nutzen mehren ----------------. That is pretty clear.
    Pray tell me how it would benefit the Eurozone overall if German taxpayers pay the taxes Greek taxpayers are not willing to pay.
    Lennard

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    1. Sorry, that's a discussion-stopper that you employ. Obviously, every head of government must make an oath like the above.

      The debate, if there is to be one, would not be about "serving the interests of one's people" but rather how to best accomplish that. Post WW2, the Americans put a lot of money into Europe, arguably at the expense of the American population because things like QE and/or other forms of money printing were not as common then as they are now. Thus, the dollar spent in and on Europe was a dollar which could not be spent in and on America.

      Short-term, this was not 'America First'. Longer-term, it was the most effective instrument of 'America First' there has ever been. Remember Servan-Schreiber's book "The American Challenge" of the 1960's?

      What we have seen since 2010 is that tax payers of Germany (and other paying countries) have given money to the Southern Periphery so that those countries could pay their open bills to the exporters and banks of Germany (and other paying countries). A transfer from tax payers to exporters and banks. Even though I consider this as one of the greatest crimes against tax payers ever committed by politicians (because it was hidden from tax payers), I have to admit that it probably caused less damage to tax payers than the alternative. It's the old cynical situation where the many are paying for the few so that the system overall survives which, otherwise, would also damage the many. If German tax payers had been asked to directly bail-out exporters and banks, they might have been more resistant to the idea.

      Bottom line: it's no as black-or-what as you suggest!

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    2. @kleingut

      Quote: "Post WW2, the Americans put a lot of money into Europe, arguably at the expense of the American population because things like QE and/or other forms of money printing were not as common then as they are now. Thus, the dollar spent in and on Europe was a dollar which could not be spent in and on America."

      As you say: They spent their US-Dollars on western(!) Europe, Japan, South-Korea etc. in their very well understood long term self interest.

      Quote: "It's the old cynical situation where the many are paying for the few so that the system overall survives which, otherwise, would also damage the many. If German tax payers had been asked to directly bail-out exporters and banks, they might have been more resistant to the idea."

      True, yet that’s nothing the Greeks can do about. From the perspective of a german politician Mr. Schäuble and Mrs. Merkel did a lot things right considering the current situation of their economy. In recent regional elections their center-right CDU won the majority in North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland - compare all this to the standing of the Syriza/Indpendent Greeks government. I would have had more sympathy for Tsipras and his government if he would have started his term in office with a kind of blood sweat toil and tears speech but his stupid bravado together with his delusional campaign promisses did a lot of demage to the greek economy. On the other hand: how had the greeks in general and his voters in particular reacted to a Tsipras that would have told them the truth about the state their economy is in and what it takes to recover:
      The reaction of a certain commentator here to the very good article you linked in your previous post could be a hint.
      Urs

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    3. But Lennard what makes this(your) framing so absurd is that Germany has not spent not even one penny towards Greece yet. Germany has provided only guarantees against the remote event of Greek bankruptcy in which case Germany loses about 17 Billion euros (vs. 250 Billion it has profited from the crisis).

      The issue here is not that Germany is paying for anything (because clearly is not) but that Germany ensists in squeezing out of Greece the last drop in austerity complaince for questionable reforms that might pay a dividend in a decade or two. So, Germany against its better judgement concentrates all its power to crushing the Greeks in a show of strict compliance whereas if Germany aided in anyway the recovery of the Greek economy it would reap a multitude of benefits including the nullification of its paper guarantees which are a political show anyway.

      So instead of showing leadership, Germany displays the cruelty of a jailer and the real question is whether that's part of a sadistic behavior, something deeply embedded in the german character with no chance of escaping it, or the reactions of a disoriented Germany trying to keep a straight face that everything is under control when there are clear signs of EU fragmanatation and things generally falling apart (which Germany refuses to acknoledge in it's happy go lucky attitude looking at things from an internal perspective and not through the eyes of those suffering).

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    4. Urs:

      There is very little evidence to suggest that Tsipras did a "great damage to the Greek economy". For the last 2 years the Greek economy has been stagnant. When something is stagnant you can't say that the same something has suffered a great deterioration or great damage. You are using biased swiss speech which should not be surprising to you if it gets you unappreciative comments because your argumentation is so naked.

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    5. @Phoevos:
      1. Your trolling (aka opinion) is of zero importance for me.
      2. Stagnant in the case of Greece means tremendous demage. You should at least know that.
      Urs

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    6. Urs:

      o.k. I understand that my opinion is of zero importance.

      However, do you mind looking at the graph do understand when the damage to the Greek economy was made and under whose leadership?

      https://tradingeconomics.com/greece/gdp

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    7. @Phoevos:

      Quote: "However, do you mind looking at the graph do understand when the damage to the Greek economy was made and under whose leadership?

      https://tradingeconomics.com/greece/gdp"

      I get your point: Tsipras and Varoufakis were a desaster. Yet they are not the only culprits.
      Urs

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  8. Finally the Greek trade Assoc. #s are out and we have a 20.3% increase in exports for Q1.

    http://www.pse.gr/node/3327

    As far as the import numbers which also increased can be mostly attributed to crude oil purchases from Iran, Iraq and Russia. Also a great increase of imports from South Korea in the form of ship vessels which when delivered to their Greek shipowners need to be counted as imports.

    Other than this Greek exports seem to be off to a good start for this year. As to where the capital comes from to pay for the imports the answer is: petroleum companies which are loaded with cash and Greek shipowners with bank accounts in Monaco and London.

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    1. You will like this article!

      http://www.dw.com/en/opinion-germany-is-on-its-high-horse/a-39079164

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    2. Kleingut:

      To be honest I don't understand what the present German government is thinking. There is universal agreement that Germany needs to undertake long negletted infrastructure projects and thus boost its domestic consumption in the face of international criticism against trade surpluses gone out of control. And what is the best time to undertake such infrastructure improvements but now when both the national government and the local municipalities have access to free money borrowing at negative interest rates. Doesn't Germany know that it has to do the infrasructure work anyway at some future point? So why wait for interests to go up after Draghi ends QE? The only reason I can see for the wait is for the banks to profit in lending at much higher rates than today. So, is Germany promoting another indirect subsidy to its banks by delaying future borrowing in order to do what needs to be done? Or is it better to wait for declining trade surpluses to then engage in additional spending?

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    3. I found this older article which will make you very happy!

      http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27261-germany-s-unpaid-debt-to-greece-albrecht-ritschl-on-germany-s-war-debts-and-reparations

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  9. Greeks will wallow in the DW article, and there is a lot of truth in it. It is just not the answer to Greece's problems.
    Lennard

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    1. We know that because Greece's problem is membership in the eurozone. When you are uber naked against preditory german trade surpluses, entering the eurozone is an invitation for exploitation and abuse. And to profess Europeanism as the reason for joining is like a rape victim claiming that the horrific experience was actually "good".

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  10. @ kleingut.
    I was not meant as a discussion stopper and has not acted as such.
    Your comparison with post WW2 is askew. USA pumped money into a Europe that by and large had a decent business climate and a great potential for increasing production. The Europeans did just that, they went at it with gusto and industriousness, and succeeded in a decade. Italy, Germany and Austria had a 33,5% increase of GDP in the first 3 years of the Marshall plan (1948-50). I cannot see that happening in Greece.
    Yes they shafted the taxpayers big, and they still do. As for the indirect bailout being the cheapest, short term yes. Neither you nor I know what the final bill is going to be, and never will know, we just know that it is growing and so is the risk. If Germany and the other lenders had bailed out their own banks they would have had control of them and may have been able to set them on the straight and narrow, I do not see that possibility with Greece.
    The bailout of German exporters is best not spoken about, exports to Greece has never amounted to 0,5% of total German exports.
    I'm not sure that German taxpayers would have objected strongly to a domestic bank bailout, most I know say "better an end with terror than terror without an end".
    Lennard

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  11. @ Phoevos.
    It's a bit coy to ask for stimulation of the Greek economy because she is at the bottom of the amplitude of an economic cycle, and to German economy because she is at the top. It may confuse people like Keynes.
    And once again, to stimulate German economy with infrastructure projects would not help Greece one bit. It would overheat the German economy, it may have escaped you that Germany has full employment.
    When your dire prediction, about a downturn of the German economy, comes true, then it is time for Germany to borrow and start infrastructure projects. Thanks to her consequent behavior she will still be credit worthy.
    Since I am not German or economist, I will leave it to German politicians, I suggest you do the same, it would be more productive to ponder what Greece can do.
    PS. Has it occurred to you that electrical power plants do their maintenance when demand for electricity is low?
    Lennard

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    1. So what you are saying is that Germany will do more domestic spending when interest rates are much higher and only when German trade surpluses shrink.

      If Germany does as you suggest then the German taxpayer and saver will have nothing left in their bank accounts and therefore the entire stimulation would be government driven. Is this smart as an action plan?

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  12. @ Phoevos.
    Again! Leave that to the Germans. I would much prefer to read the Phoevos plan for "Greece the next 10 years". The impotent OXI is not enough.
    Lennard

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