Why Is Every Attempt to Slow Spending "Devastating"?

Germany's Constitutional Court will go ahead with its ruling on another attempted eurozone bailout, dismissing an injunction request from Bavarian lawmaker Peter Gauweiler.

Here's how Reuters describes it:

If the court did back the injunction request against the ESM and fiscal compact, it would have a devastating impact on bond and currency markets, pushing the 17-member currency zone deeper into turmoil by casting doubt on its ability to launch further rescue bids of heavily-indebted states.

You'd think that after more than six years of hysterics, financial beat reporters would be tired of breathless multisyllables. Would a rejection of the so-called European Stability Mechanism (ESM) really have been "devastating" for the people who lend money to European governments, who would presumably be getting a higher interest rate that better reflects the risk they are taking? Would a hike in interest rates be "devastating" in and of itself? Sure, it would bring down the value of existing bonds for people looking to sell them, but it would do the same for people looking to buy them. It would also be decidedly un-devastating for new creditors in the bond market, who would have a much more clear idea of what to expect from their borrowers once the pig-in-a-poke promises of a bailout are removed?

And how about the Munich taxpayers Gauweiler represents in the Bundestag, whose fair share of the ESM cost will almost definitely turn out to be much higher than the fair share borne by taxpayers (if there are any taxpayers) in the ESM's beneficiary countries? How "devastated" would they be if just once they didn't have their future paychecks committed to another of the countless fiscal fabtraptions the European Central Bank has concocted since the death of the euro began?

In the language of post-colonial studies, this is "othering," where you use the commonplaces of vocabulary to make opposing points of view disappear. If Gauweiler and euroskeptics like him have nothing but devastation in mind (and forget for a moment that the historic roster of people who want to bring Europe under unified control includes Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler and Col. Green), then of course we should not listen to their objections, because who wants devastation?

Almost exactly four years ago, a Wall Street Journal representative had some wise words about the paper's coverage of the credit unwind: "'Crash,' 'panic,' 'pandemonium,' 'apocalypse,' those are the words we're staying away from." We could use a little of that Kiplingesque fortitude today. People of good will can disagree about whether the inevitable breakup of the eurozone is a step in the right direction. We can even disagree about whether it's inevitable. But if it's devastating to block another bailout package, fairness demands we also point out that Gauweiler is trying to prevent devastation to his constituents' wallets. Isn't the real news that a politician is for once trying to prevent a ripoff? 

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  • John||

    I would love to hear what these people's end game is. Okay bailout Greece, then what? In a month they will need to be bailed out again along with Italy and Spain.

  • Paul.||

    The bailout is the endgame.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Bailouts Forever!

  • Pro Libertate||

    This one is too easy: It's bailouts all the way down.

  • R C Dean||

    I would love to hear what these people's end game is.

    Step Three: Untold riches?

  • BarryD||

    I'm sure they're as curious as you, to know what the endgame is.

    I don't think they have a fucking clue.

  • ||

    I'm sure a heroin addict finds every attempt to quit his habit devastating.

  • ||

    "Boy, to look at him you'd never guess he's Bavarian."

    Oh, that's easy enough to recognize. Just look at his rounded, puffy, filled-in condition. It's all that Bavarian cream, you see.

  • ||

    Pretty sure the alt text was sarcasm.

  • BarryD||

    Bavarians are the fun Germans. We Austrians hate all the rest of the Germans, but we just call the Bavarians mildly offensive names like they do to us.

    BTW Americans have no IDEA what racism, or provincialism, are. They think Europeans are so cosmopolitan, when, in fact, Europeans have racial slurs for everyone, from the guy in the next town to the guy from New Guinea. I think that there are more racial slurs in European vernaculars, than all other words.

  • Rhywun||

    I've lived in Bavaria and had some great times in Austria too... much more gemütlich in both areas than in the north. Blond = boring.

  • Drake||

    He's doing the Nazi salute with the wrong hand. Is that Bavarian humor?

  • SFC B||

    Oh Mein Gott is that true. I always figured that the American perception of Europeans as some sort of post-race open-minded folks was a bit naive, but holy fuck. When the TV at the bierhaus I hang out in shows news about the financial crisis the chorus of slurs for everyone is... enlightening.

  • Rhywun||

    In his other life he plays Oberbürgermeister Meisterbürger on stage.

  • ||

    It's Reuters, what do you expect?

  • ||

    Likening the German Constitutional Court to psychotic twin gynecologists, Tim? I like it.

  • Paul.||

    Isn't the real news that a politicians is for once trying to prevent a ripoff?

    When your entire method of doing business is ripping people off, then an attempt to prevent the ripoff is essentially halting business... which is... devastating.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Dead Ringers, again? Has Episiarch hacked into your servers?

    Look, we can't afford total welfare states yet. Let's try limited governments and free markets for a few centuries, and maybe through massive scientific and technological advances, we'll achieve a post-scarcity society and can afford such things. Until then, piss off.

  • ||

    What's your problem with Cronenberg, ProL? Does Orgy of the Blood Parasites remind you too much of your childhood?

  • ||

    we'll achieve a post-scarcity society and can afford such things.

    We pretty much already achieved it.

    The problem is with post-scarcity there is little need for government...thus the need for government intervention to prevent the benefits of post-scarcity from being realized.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, I mean when I can say, "Computer, construct me a gold-plated car" and it does. And I can afford it as just some ordinary dude, not a super-villain.

  • ubercynic||

    War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. . . . a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.

    Actually, I suspect the idea of the masses becoming more intelligent might be one of the rare things Orwell got wrong.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The unimagineable devastation wrought by only increasing the growth of government by five per cent instead of ten per cent.

    Oh, the humanity!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There's enough devastation to go around.

  • ||

    You'd think that after more than six years of hysterics, financial beat reporters would be tired of breathless multisyllables.

    Tim please talk to Feeney about this very subject.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If the court did back the injunction request against the ESM and fiscal compact, it would have a devastating impact on bond and currency markets, pushing the 17-member currency zone deeper into turmoil by casting doubt on its ability to launch further rescue bids of heavily-indebted states.

    Don't worry.

    Germany's Constitutional Court is just as impervious to fear mongering and concerns about public opinion as the Supreme Court is here in the U.S.

    Just ask John Roberts.

  • R C Dean||

    The Court is in a bind. If it waves through the ESM, Merkel's government could well fall.

    If it blocks the ESM, it'll be default contagion all over the joint.

    So, it'll kick the can down the road: Germany can participate in the ESM so long as certain conditions (namely, austerity measures, restrictions on fiscal sovereignty of ESM debtors, etc.) are met.

    Count on it.

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