Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wisdom from Germany

While I have been trying to focus my attention on the wise words of cooler heads in Congress during the debate over the Treasury bailout proposal, I am pleased to report that there are also words of wisdom to be harvested from Europe. Ironically, one of the better sources for those words is Al Jazeera English in its report on the current gathering of European leaders in Paris to deliberate over the financial crisis from a global point of view. In preparing their report, the Al Jazeera reporters interviewed German economist Max Keiser, who seems to have the same gift for plain, if brash, speaking that I continue to admire in Dennis Kucinich:

This is a global war between savers and speculators.

Henry Paulson, the US treasury secretary, who is a chief speculator, now wants to peddle hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US treasury bonds to Europe.

I think the German leaders and the German people don't want them stinking up their banking system because they've already caused massive global banking failures.

Are you taking notes, Dennis? However, since we keep being told that this is not time to play "the blame game," Keiser is also prepared to argue on principles:

Hopefully German mentality will prevail and we won't see the EU going down the path of hyper-inflation.

You can't fight debt by issuing more debt. There needs to be a recognition of the basic underlying business model of speculation, over production, over workers is false. It didn't work. It's a 20-year neo-liberal model that has failed.

They have to allow some of these banks to go bankrupt. The solution they are proposing is making the situation much worse.

President George W. Bush, please take note: This is not a problem that will be resolved by giving Chancellor Angela Merkel another back rub!

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