Banking Crises all over the 'New Europe'

Happy groundhog day.

One of the many poignant things about the 'coalition of the willing' that fought the Iraq war is how lines of agreement ran broadly along the lines of global capitlaism. States that were very open to the demands of capital and finance, for instance, and that had a capacity to be involved in the action, could usually be expected to be alongside America. Britain, whose former Prime Minister is on course to earn over £40 million from the international banks and speaking appearances probably understood this. At least John Howard in Australia has behaved in less of a self-aggrandizing manner.

It is interesting to see that the patterns of similar behaviour, however, apply in the downturn as well as at the invasion. The British government, for instance, has recently made a commitment of around £55 billion bounds to prop up its Northern Rock bank, and indirectly the banking system. Spain, which was a participant in the war, has also found European funds to the tune of around £40 billion for the same purpose. The USA is frantically cutting interest rates.

Australia is bemoaning its losses on gold sales at the height of the credit boom, but is a commodity producer like Canada and not as bothered by the crisis; similarly, Poland is seeing its growth and investment slow down, but not as yet stop. Indeed, given the size of the economy, a new American investment following the 'star wars' missile deployment scheme can only help, even if it is an insane boondoggle and provocation to Russia.

Meanwhile, Germany--a state that wanted very little to do with the warmongering earlier in this decade--is now growing reasonably strongly. Rather than having their credit cards cancelled, citizens of the Federal republic can look forward to greater purchasing power and lower debt.

Which is why, of course, those skating on the cracking ice of the world economy are trying to drag Germany and the BundesWehr further into that mincer of Empires in the Hindu Kush. According to representatives of the United States discoursing on deutscher soldaten in Afghanistan, building a free, democratic and prosperous state is somewhat shameful because (and I do quote) 'The Germans have to learn how to kill'.

The picture is of a German during a banking crisis just before they went to school the last time. Words, as they say, fail me, though I guess Yiddish comes to the rescue.

Zeit nit kain nudnik dumkop, a finsteren sof!

Bis bald meine streifenleser....


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