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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

‘Holland and Hollande’ is not a Woody Allen movie – unfortunately

There won’t be a news brief tomorrow, Wednesday, 25 April 2012.

Quick announcement and pat on my own shoulder to start with: today is the news brief’s 6-month anniversary. Thanks for reading!

The state of Europe stirs cynicism all around, like on MarketBeat this morning:

Europe’s problems have been manifested for three years. The eurocrats have failed to rise above the fray and craft a workable, effective solution. We all know the playbook by now: Hold a series of summits that produce a paper agreement that will be implemented — in a year. Then hopeAsk the Greeks how that one worked out. Europe has a debt problem, a growth problem, and a very serious political problem. Not a single legitimate plan to solve any of the three, forget all three together, has emerged. Europe remains a slow-motion train wreck.

And while all of Europe is on the streets to proclaim the injustice done by fiscal austerity, the New York Times rightly asks “well, for crying out loud, what other options are there?” read article

So let’s do a headcount.

Merkel: pro austerity, pro EU, pro beer. Sarkozy: soon to be nudged into oblivion, but suddenly mercantilist. Hollande: against austerity, against German policies. Netherlands: torn in political mess with extremists yelling left, right and center (literally). UK: “not part of Europe.” Rajoy: pro austerity (I think), will never ever need a bailout. Monti: actually, I’m not really sure what he thinks anymore. Greece (collectively): AGAINST EVERYTHING and holding elections on 6 May; if Samaras wins, the only cuts that will go through parliament are tax cuts.

Here’s BusinessWeek on how the European austerity is boomeranging back into Angela Merkel’s faceread article

And here’s an analysis of the results of austerity measures between 2010 and 2011 according to the Eurostat numbers released earlier. read article

Allegedly, Merkel is so worried about Hollande’s victory in France and the danger that poses to the EU fiscal pact that was agreed on last year, that the German parliament is going to halt the ratification process to see how things pan out. read article

I would write more, but this is giving me a headache.

So long.

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