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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

A European banking union?

In Ireland, it looks like the referendum on the fiscal pact will go through with a ‘yes’ vote. And the Irish government has done its fair share to encourage the approval, mostly by scaring its people with unpaid salaries, empty ATMs and a reputation similar to that of Greece. That’s politics, that’s how you convince voter, with well formulated arguments and… uhm. read article

Meanwhile, the EU Commission has come up with new options to make the EU a more [financially-]systemically-dependent construct. Yesterday, it brought up the idea of a banking union, in which the [national] banking bailout burden would be shared by all EU countries, i.e. Germany. And even better, the already pooled money in the ESM could be used for the bailout (it is not right now!). What a good plan. Except, Germany is REALLY against it, and so are Finland and the Netherlands. Another idea is a pan-European deposit insurance fund, which didn’t really get explained in much detail, but would put more distance between governments and banking bailouts. I can see how this could make sense in a healthy system with one outlier that needs bailing out. But at this point? Is this really a good plan? read article

WSJ says this is all well and good, but it’s not the best way out of the crisis for Europe, so why on earth are we considering this as a viable option?

After all the confusion about Bankia‘s bailout and the ECB’s involvement in it yesterday, Mario Draghi is using the complications in a press statement today to push for the idea of the banking union. Very convenient. Can somebody clean up Bankia now, please?

Otherwise, Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, is joining the pro-eurobonds team and those four Greek banks that were excluded from ECB operations are allowed to come and play again.

After Christine Lagarde’s comment on tax evasion in Greece, she got a lot of bad press. Well, it wasn’t really the smartest move. Many a journalist called her a hypocrite, but wait, does that mean Christine Lagarde evades taxes? Good god, someone get her out of the IMF! Oh no wait… She just doesn’t PAY taxes, because she’s a diplomat. That’s a pretty sweet deal, admittedly, but it’s not like she came up with it. So no, sorry, her own tax affairs, unless involving any sort of evasion, do not impact the legitimacy of her criticizing Greeceread article

The Pew Research Center has released what is probably my favorite chart of the month showing Germans to be the most hard working and least corrupt Europeans (for the German readers: Entschuldigung, kann uns mal eben jemand das Wasser reichen? Danke.). That is, unless you ask the Greeks, which obviously perceive themselves as most hard working… read article

So long.

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