Euro

5 People You've Never Heard of Who Are Screwing Up Europe

And the rest of the world

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With the euro-crisis threatening the economies of Europe, the United States, and Asia, the usual suspects are coming up for blame. Bankers and corrupt regulators face scorn from the left and much of the right. Yet those perhaps most responsible for the world's dismal economic future have names many would not recognize. Indeed, the people who have done the most to screw up Europe would be able to walk down almost any street in the world without being recognised. It's time to meet them!

1. Pierre Moscovici, French Minister of Finance

France's relatively new government has been engaging in policies that seem perfectly designed for rapid economic collapse. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, the French government insists on pursuing policies that will impoverish one of Europe's major economies.

Moscovici, a former member of the Revolutionary Communist League, has had an important role implementing these changes. He has called for increased fiscal union, the introduction of Eurobonds, and he wants to grant more power to the European Central Bank. Because France wields a huge amount of influence in Europe, and with the eurozone collapsing, Moscovici's influence will become more apparent and dominant in the coming months.

Memorable quote (speaking at a previous European summit): "We made our first steps toward integration—a banking union, fiscal union, budgetary union and further on political union."

Next: A level of fiscal activism that would make Ben Bernanke blush.

2. Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England

While the U.K might have avoided joining the single currency, it has been far from immune to Europe's crisis. In light of severely weakened trading partners and a recession in the UK, the Bank of England, with King at the helm, has engaged in a level of fiscal activism that would make Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke blush. 

Although the British government has embarked on a so-called austerity program, the fact is that there has only been a decrease against projected spending while nominal spending continues to increase. It is only thanks to the inflation created by the Bank of England that Britain is enjoying modest real terms cuts of what will probably be between 3 to 4 percent over the next five years.

Memorable quote: "The creation of money by the Bank of England has helped offset what would otherwise have been an extremely damaging contraction of the money supply. In the Great Depression, the money supply in the United States fell by around one-third. In Greece, broad money has fallen by over 25% since the end of 2009. The consequences are self-evident."

Next: Giving central bankers a bad name.

3. Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank

Draghi has been one of the most influential players in the euro-crisis fiasco. Instead of allowing for the managed exit of certain countries from the eurozone, Draghi has consistently insisted on stimulus spending and fiscal activism.

Memorable quote: "…the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough."

Next: You might want to re-read your Hayek.

4. Luis de Guindos, Minister of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain

Luis de Guindos has spoken against a sovereign bailout for Spain while discussing the possibility behind closed doors with his German counterparts. His position on Spanish spending is doubly complexing when one considers that de Guindos considers himself something of a fan of F.A. Hayek and the Austrian school of economics. While he has spoken out for the need for labour market reforms, de Guindos will almost certainly oversee the most damaging bailout of the euro-crisis after months of denial.

Memorable quote (when asked if Spain would need help from European lenders): "Absolutely not."

Next: Resurrecting the dead hand of Marx.

5. Alexis Tsipras, President of Synaspismos

A self-described socialist, Tsipras has helped turn Marxist economics into something worthy of serious consideration and something that is even seen as cool. An economic illiterate who doesn't seem to grasp that Greek membership of the euro is incompatible with more government spending, Tsipras has almost singlehandedly allowed for the reestablishment of a self-defeating political culture that caused many of Greece's current problems in the first place. He has even gone so far as to suggest that austerity could lead to war in Europe

Memorable quote: "New tough austerity measures are insane and will lead us to bankruptcy and away from the euro zone."

NEXT: U.S. Athletes Taxed for Their Olympic Medals

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  1. I don’t know about Europe, but these *^($%#%( slideshows are screwing up HR.

    STOP IT!

    1. And the new format still eats my ampersands.

      DIAF, server squirrels!

      1. I can’t view comments on my iPhone. When i click on comments it goes to mobile mode…and when i click on desktop mode it goes to the front page.

        BULLSHIT!

        1. It’s still doing that? I installed a different browser on my android and it wouldn’t redirect to the mobile site. That might work for the iPhone, too, but I don’t know what other browsers are available for that.

          But between you, me and the lamp post (and the desk) the commenting here isn’t anything special

          1. I’m using DOS 1.0 and Visual BASIC in an XT with a 20M harddrive upgrade, and it works fine.

            /ol skool

            1. I imagine the chip set on your Ethernet card has more computational power then the actual computer.

            2. Damn, maybe I should go back to Net Tamer.

            3. DOS 1.0 and Visual BASIC

              Character art?

        2. Tell Safari to identify itself to the server as desktop safari and all will be well.

    2. But all those page clicks are how they make money.

      And how can they send that liberal guy to all those global warming conferences if they don’t make money?

  2. Speculators and corporations, right? What do I win?

    1. “Too many monopolies.”

      A friend quoted that little gem uttered by a Canadian leftist many years ago.

      I’ve treasured it ever since.

      1. “Too many monopolies.”

        Why did your friend’s Canuckistanan acquaintace hate Parker Brothers??

  3. Why is the Euro even in danger?

    California is broke and in complete denial of that fact…is the US dollar now in jeopardy?

    No.

    The only reason the Euro is in Jeopardy is because a few counties who do not want to pay for their bills are threatening to leave the currency because other countries refuse to pay those bills for them.

    It is all hand waving bullshit.

    1. I read the linked article about Tsipras. If you read through to the end, his concurrent meteoric rise and bewildering lack of background/experience are shockingly reminiscent of Obama.

      I wonder if magic Greek Obama will fare any better than ours did.

      1. Actually I liked the guy because a 2nd win for Tsipras in the elections would have meant bankruptcy for Greece; now they’re stuck with the socialists and conservatives over there.

        Jean-Claude Juncker is another person who is screwing up Europe.

    2. …is the US dollar now in jeopardy?

      It’s the healthiest patient in the terminal illness ward.

      1. Yes but it is in jeopardy because of the FED not because California is broke.

        The Euro is in fact not in any real jeopardy but Greece and Spain and Italy all want to put it in jeopardy by screwing with the European central bank.

        1. The Fed? You don’t think it has anything to do with over 100% debt to GDP and something like 5-7x that amount in unfunded liabilities?

          1. Ummm…no not really.

            In fact that is the point.

            Nothing says a nation can’t have a strong currency along with a shit load of debt.

            Obviously a nation can completely fall apart from debt and spending and the currency will fall with it…but until the very end the two can be separate.

            The fact that our nation is destroying it’s currency and destroying it’s economy and credit at the same time is a coincidence of policy choices. Or to be more precise our nation is destroying its currency in an attempt to hide it’s destruction of it’s economy and credit.

  4. How could you leave Ed Gruberman off the list? That guy totally ruined my European vacation last year! What an asshole!

  5. Always a classic friday laugh.
    Oh Barry.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaQUU2ZL6D8

    1. Who was that?

      1. I’m pretty sure he’s the spokesman for the Romney campaign.

        1. The Romney campaign should do TV ads that are nothing but clips of promises and predictions from Obama and company, along with captions listing what really happened.

          (By the way, server squirrels: Why does the Preview button not work correctly?)

          1. I can’t fathom why they won’t.

  6. I am surprised that this article assumes that nobody has heard of these people, even the most casual follower of business news should have heard of at least 4 of these 5 men.

    1. Even I am familiar with Draghi’s name, which is invoked most often of these 5, I’m sure.

  7. More articles by Matthew Feeney please.

  8. “Fuckin’ prawns…”

    1. District 9 had better living conditions than Greece.

  9. Dude, that doesnt even sound like it makes sense!

    http://www.Anon-Do.tk

  10. The best Christmas present ever would be the abolition of the Federal Reserve System. HOPE??

    1. Christmas of 2017?

  11. To complete the list of the lowest-of the-low, the slime-beneath-the-slime, the crud-at-the-bottom-of-the-barrel who are “Who Are Screwing Up Europe And the rest of the world” just add the name bernanke.

  12. The way things are going it won’t be Greece, Spain and Italy leaving the Eurozone. It will be Germany.

    1. Maybe I should be a bit clearer here. The trends with Europe’s fiscal and monetary plans are NOT Germany’s interest. Fiscal or budgetary union would amount to turning Germany into France and the PIGS (I’m omitting Ireland because they seem to have had their “look-into-the-abyss” moment). The various financial rescue schemes really amount to Germany loaning money to the PIGS so that they can pay back their debts to German banks. But, in effect, all that’s doing is doubling down on their worst exposure. Any Credit or FI manager worth his salt will tell you, you’re never going to win doubling down on losers. The upside just isn’t that high. They’d be better off simply bailing out their banks directly (actually, they’d be better off still just letting the market clear, but that’s not an option they’re going to put on the table). In that case, they can know that their bailout money is compensating their banks for losses rather than subsidizing Greek pensions or the Spanish bureaucracy.

      1. “into France and the PIGS”
        should read
        “into France and the PIGS’ piggybank.”

        Though I suspect it would probably also turn it into France and the PIGS.

  13. Memorable quote (speaking at a previous European summit): “We made our first steps toward integration?a banking union, fiscal union, budgetary union and further on political union.”

  14. we can not say that these five persons destroyed the every thing in the Europe there may be more reasons for this.

  15. We made our first steps toward integration?a banking union, fiscal union, budgetary union and further on political union.

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