Rap-battle with Dijsselbloem, Varoufakis, Merkel, Putin

You have to see this Video from dutch TV. Translateion from Pastebin: ‘Jeroen Dijsselbloem’: “I’m Jeroen Dijsselbloem, minister of finance and political phenomenon. Due to the frown line on my forehead and my penny-pinching look, you can immediately see that I’m an expert. I’m the right man for this position, let the Greek come my way- I will make them mad. I will get the money back, as it is my duty- and you cannot

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Was it worth it for Schäuble? What did he gain by blocking Varoufakis’11 February proposal?

On 11 February Greek finance minister Varoufakis outlined his request for help and the concessions his government was willing to make in front of the Eurogroup. According to reports it was mainly his German counterpart Schäuble who blocked any agreement on this basis until the Eurogroup finally agreed on a statement on 20 February. It is instructive to compare the wording and content of this agreement with what Varoufakis had offered and asked for (in German here with links to original documents) nine days earlier.

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Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February

On 16 February talks in the Eurogroup failed after Greece rejected a draft statement and received an ultimatum to ask for an extension of the current program before 20 February. Greece sent the letter and the Eurogroup reassembled on 20 February, agreeing on a Statement on Greece. It is very instructive to see what changed between the rejected statement and the one finally agreed. (What Schäuble gained by holding out after 11 February is examined in a companion piece.)

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The Economic Consequences of Pacta Sunt Servanda

In der erhitzten Debatte in Deutschland über die Forderung der neuen griechischen Regierung, das angebliche Hilfsprogramm für Griechenland neu zu verhandeln kein deutscher Politiker und kaum jemand in den Medien überhaupt auf die Frage eingeht, ob das Programm, so wie es ist, funktioniert, ob es den Griechen zumutbar ist, und ob es den Interessen der Gläubiger dient. Beides ist offenkundig nicht der Fall. Warum aber dann so hartnäckig daran festhalten. Professor Thiess Büttner, den Schäuble

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QE and the nature of the standoff between the ECB and Syriza

On Thursday the ECB’s Governing Council will decide on whether to start a large bond buying program. I am afraid the decision is clear, though not for economic reasons. A few days later, the Greek will probably vote for a left leaning government under the Syriza-party, which wants to renegotiate the terms of the huge government debt, and is opposed to the EU-imposed austerity program which impoverished the country. There will be a standoff, a game of chicken, in which Brussels, Frankfort (the ECB) and Berlin

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Don’t blame the victims, Mr.Weidmann!

 A working paper published by the European Central Bank (ECB) shows that strong wage increases have not been the cause for troubles of the euro zone’s crisis countries. Rather, capital flows have caused bloated house and asset prices and exaggerated construction activity and unsustainable economic activity in general, which in turn has pushed up wages. This diagnosis flies in the faceof the of the story often retold by the ECB and

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