Monday, July 06, 2015

While I Was Away

So, to the seven readers who keep track of this blog, you may have noted I was off on vacation with limited access to updating the site.  For what I've kept up with during my trip to the DC/Baltimore area (hello, Gettysburg National Park!  Remember me?  Yeah, the fat guy in the UF sports cap), this is what I'm noting on my return here:

  • It is difficult to overstate how deeply Europe’s leaders betrayed the ideals of European integration in their handing of the Greek crisis... Regulatory mistakes and agency issues within banks encouraged poor credit decisions. Spanish banks lent into overpriced real estate, and German banks lent to a state they knew to be weak. Current account imbalances within the Eurozone — persistent and unlikely to reverse without policy attention — implied as a matter of arithmetic that there would be loan flows on a scale that might encourage a certain indifference to credit quality. These were European problems, not national problems. But they were European problems that festered while the continent’s leaders gloated and took credit for a phantom prosperity. When the levee broke, instead of acknowledging errors and working to address them as a community, Europe’s elites — its politicians and civil servants, its bankers and financiers — deflected the blame in the worst possible way. They turned a systemic problem of financial architecture into a dispute between European nations. They brought back the very ghosts their predecessors spent half a century trying to dispel. Shame...

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