Germany Blasts UK's "Crass Keynesianism"

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by makloda, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Isn't that funny. Wasn't this jackass Steinbrueck running his mouth in September on how Europe is immune to the credit crisis and how the European banking system is so superior to the anglo-saxon "greed-driven" model? Now he's back, ridiculing his British neighbors.

    Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Gordon Brown’s economic rescue plan was attacked by Germany’s finance minister, the day after the U.K. prime minister, in a slip of the tongue, claimed to have “saved the world.”

    In an interview with Newsweek, Peer Steinbrueck described the world’s sudden switch from “decades of supply side politics” to “crass Keynesianism” as “breathtaking.” The people who “would never touch deficit spending are now tossing around billions,” he said, and the only result will be to raise Britain’s debt to “a level that will take a whole generation to work off.”

    The comments are an embarrassment for Brown, who has tried to paint the opposition Conservatives as isolated in their hostility to his fiscal stimulus program. His handling of the economic crisis has helped to narrow the Conservative lead in opinion polls in the last three months. Brown will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a summit of European leaders in Brussels today.

    “It doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist!” Steinbrueck said of what he derided as “the Great Rescue Plan.” Referring to Brown’s 2.5 percentage point cut in value-added tax, a levy on sales, he asked whether someone is “really going to buy a DVD player because it now costs 39.10 pounds ($58.35) instead of 39.90 pounds.”

    “This comment from the German finance minister totally demolishes Gordon Brown’s central political charge that only the Conservatives oppose his expensive and ineffective VAT measures,” Conservative Treasury spokesman George Osborne said in an e-mailed statement. “On the day he claimed to be saving the world, the world answered back.”

    U.K. Stimulus Package

    Brown has promised a 20 billion-pound package of tax cuts and spending between now and April 2010 to help counter Britain’s first recession since 1991. The Treasury predicts the budget deficit will soar to 8 percent of gross domestic product in the year starting April 2009, the highest among major industrial nations, as the recession decimates tax revenue.

    Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Barroso met in London on Dec. 8, denying any rift with Merkel over a 200 billion-euro ($131 billion) stimulus package for the European Union.

    Merkel, who has been criticized by economists, German politicians and industry lobbies for not doing enough to counter the recession, was left out the discussions.

    In Germany, the largest European economy, lawmakers have passed a 32 billion-euro program of stimulus measures over two years. France, the third largest, has announced 26 billion euros of measures to spur growth, focusing on public investment and early tax reimbursement for companies.

    Recession Unavoidable

    While policies can ameliorate the economic situation, Steinbrueck said, the recession is unavoidable, whatever any government does. The European authorities who believe the answer is lavish spending programs are saying, in effect, “let’s get the Germans to pay because they can,” he added.

    Brown’s over-claim came yesterday during his weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session. “We not only saved the world, er, the banks,” Brown began before being drowned out by jeers from Conservative lawmakers. He eventually corrected himself: “saved the world’s banks.”

    Conservative leader David Cameron seized on the mistake. “It’s now on the record,” he said. “He’s so busy talking about saving the world, he’s forgotten about businesses in this country.”
  2. zdreg


    rightfully so.

    by the way if memory serves me I thought you were German based upon some posts in prior years.