Who Are the Socialists: FOMC vs ECB ?

Today’s chart porn is off of the most interesting article I read in today’s NYTimes: In Europe, Central Banking Is Different.

Note that Central Banks in Europe left  rates unchanged today.

The full article describes how the ECB focuses on reducing inflation. However, there is a laundry list of  factors the ECB pretty much ignores:

-Eliminating the normal business cycle;

-Preventing a recession regardless of costs;

-Allowing the currency to be debased.

Further, the ECB doesn’t seem to care where their equity markets are.

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Two Different Approaches to Central Banking

2008europeangraphic

The entire article is fascinating . . . 

Source:
In Europe, Central Banking Is Different
CARTER DOUGHERTY    
NYT, March 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/business/worldbusiness/06euro.html

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  1. winston munn commented on Mar 6

    I finally understand “trickle down” economics: the fat fees generated by bubble creation are retained by the wealthy, and when the tide turns, the risks and losses trickle down to the taxpayers.

    Is this a great country or what?

  2. Karl K commented on Mar 6

    Of course, lots of things are different in Europe.

    They don’t build new houses, they don’t start companies, they don’t fire anybody because they can’t hire anybody, they ration health care, they tax anything that moves and, basically, they don’t consume.

    But the Euro’s strong. Yessiree…

  3. tom graham commented on Mar 6

    Barry,

    Honestly, this is such an off-handed characterization and unbecoming of your usual writing. The Europeans have been as socialist as can be. Many of their policies, abetted by Greenspan, have been to cover up vast inequalities. These imbalances are now coming home to rest here. It all starts with German Unification. Kohl gave the Ostmark the most generous conversion rate to the Deutchmark. That should have caused a destruction of thier economy, but Greenspan kept the USD strong to support this reunification. Then you take in the common currency unification. If you think that was a non iflationary unification, go back and do some reading. They exported so much inflation around the world, that we kept our rates high to support our dollar so we would keep our imports from Europe high. This in turn sucked the world dry of liquidity and cause Russia to default and Asian economies to collapse in a currency crisis. Don’t get me started on Euro farm policy. If they would stop subsidizing thier farmers, Doha would have been concluded three years ago, after Bush made the offer to end our subsidies.

  4. metacritic commented on Mar 6

    Don’t consume? Don’t start companies? Don’t build houses? I take it you haven’t been to London, Amsterdam, Munich, or Scandinavia lately?

  5. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 6

    Is there really a distinction to be made? They all also have structural problems just like America. Spain, England, Ireland, Australia and other countries have had red hot housing markets which are now deflating. Spain being the absolute worst of any country. Secondly, their injections took all comers with ANY paper being accepted. In fact they have been far more inflationary with their monetary policy than the United States while holding rates steady. They will be trounced this year IMHO.

  6. Barry Ritholtz commented on Mar 6

    Karl K:

    I am in Euroland 2X a year. I don’t know where you are going, but my experience has been 180 degrees from yours.

    London is an amazing, vibrant city, and is rapidly surpassing NYC as the world’s financial center. Much of Europe was booming over the past 5 years.

    Its cooling off somewhat now, but your circa 1985 assessment is wildly inaccurate.

  7. Karl K commented on Mar 6

    I HAVE been to London, this past summer. No one’s building new houses there. However, if you want to buy a renovated 300 sq m flat in Chelsea for 1 million pounds…well, no problem.

    Meanwhile, ours is not the only government that plays with the numbers.

    http://firstrung.co.uk/articles.asp?pageid=NEWS&articlekey=9056&cat=44-0-0

    In England, during the quarter to December 2007, there were around 37,900 starts, down 10 per cent on the equivalent quarter in 2006 and continuing the downward trend that began in the June quarter 2006.

    The fact is, the housing market in England is pathetically small viv a vis its population. The UK is not currently constructing sufficient homes to meet the needs of its growing population.

  8. AGG commented on Mar 6

    All of you like Karl K. into gross generalizations should ask yourself a simple question: Are we Americans just salesmen who never walk the talk or are we willing to admit when we fucked up ? Hey, Capitalism is great if you own all the capital. We’ve never had real Capitalism here. We’ve had Mercantilsm since the 19th century and all the gains main on behalf of employees were considered an attack that was countered from 1975 until now. Greed isn’t good. By it’s nature it makes people go overboard in justifying the mistreatment of their fellow men for a profit. You’ll always have high powered intellectual egghead apologiststs for fang and claw reptilian brain bullshit but the bottom line is that when you push people too far, they always know where you live and will find you. So cut the crap.

  9. metacritic commented on Mar 6

    London is surpassing NYC not just as a financial center but as a cultural center in general. It is vastly more vibrant than NYC these days — I say this as one who lives in NYC, now surrounded by Gap and other chain stores on every corner, mediocre art and dull architecture, and lackluster night life (at least compared to it’s fabled history or, say, London).

  10. wally commented on Mar 6

    The notable thing about the chart you posted is that one line clearly leads the other.
    There is a leader and a follower.

  11. John Wheaton commented on Mar 6

    The ECB did not have a Sept 11th attack which nearly killed off the US Economy. The current Fed though is beholden to the equity market and failing banks, no matter the outcome. Anyone who doubts this needs to explain that surprise 75bpt cut which I maintain was an overreaction to Dow Futures indicating a 1000 point opening bell free fall, and not for the publicly stated reason given by the Fed.

  12. Ross commented on Mar 6

    Let’s be fair. The ECB is a bit of a joke. It is run with Deutchlander aplomb. It will no doubt run amuck when the masses in Spain, Italy and Greece storm the castle.

    The European Union is a temporary political union, not a social union. Without D marks, I am forced to go to the Swiss. Talk about low interest rates on deposits.

    I need a loan:

    Swiss banker “you have that much in an account in our bank, I suppose.”

    French banker “Fill out these documents in quintuplicate and submit them for review by our loan committee next Christmas. By the way, the proceeds will no doubt be invested in France?’

    German banker “Where are you assets located. We will also need the names of your immediate family and their location.”

    English banker “How and when do you intend to repay the loan?’

    American banker “can you earn enough to pay the interest while we bundle, traunch and sell ?”

    Chinese banker “Who were your ancestors?”

    No one has the political will to fight inflation. Too Too many people vote.

    Winston is correct. Privatize the gain, socialize the risk.

  13. Karl K commented on Mar 6

    Don’t get me wrong…London is great…especially if you like to pay $8.00 for a sandwich.

    Here’s the thing about exchange rates. The other side has some responsibility for what’s happening. It isn’t ALL our fault.

    Meanwhile, for those of you who have been in London…think of the insurance clerk who’s earning, maybe, 25K quid a year. Where does HE live? He lives in far far flung suburb, and has an hour commute each way on a very very expensive train ticket.

    While nothing is ever as bad as it seems, nothing is ever as great….

  14. njdoc commented on Mar 6

    Barry,

    What we have in the United States is not European socialism. We have good old fashioned capitalism, which as it became exceedingly deregulated, led to monopoly/cartel activity in the finance sector via excessive leverage. The Fed is merely protecting it’s most important clients, the banking sector. It is trying to maintain price controls by putting a floor on asset prices. This is not socialism. This is capatalistic cronyism.

    “The surest way to destroy a Capitalist is to debauch the currency” V.I. Lenin. (Bernanke must not have read history beyond The Great Depression)

  15. michael schumacher commented on Mar 6

    this is even a question????

    they are both part and parcel to bailing failed banks.

    how about a less obvious discussion thread.

    Sheesh…..

    Ciao
    MS

  16. Estragon commented on Mar 6

    Karl K.

    The thing about exchange rates is that the US government has monopoly control over the supply of USD. Nobody else is to blame.

  17. AGG commented on Mar 6

    All this talk about London and Europe would be germain if we were talking about interest rates. However, it’s not really about interest rates, it’s about privitizing gain and socializing risk; i.e. Cheating without getting caught. Hey people, this is about us, not Europe. We are in trouble. The first step when you’re in a hole is to stop digging. Stop justifying this Mafia crap we have for a government shacking up with wall street. It worked for a while but all ponzi schemes work for a while.
    It’s over. Get over it.

  18. E commented on Mar 6

    Where did you find a sandwich for only $8? I thought I was quite the London bargain hunter when I found 2.20p pints of Smith’s at the Princess Louise in Holborn. Although the glass smelled a bit like feet.

  19. Mind commented on Mar 6

    My best sandwich deal in UK last month was a day-old “ploughman’s” marked down to 1/2 price (90 pence = ~$2.15 at retail exchange rates) at Waitrose. (Had to eat it standing up outside, though.) Compare to the the Starbucks “venti classic hot chocolate” in the Heathrow departure lounge that cost ~$6.00.

  20. Douglas Watts commented on Mar 6

    They don’t build new houses, they don’t start companies, they don’t fire anybody because they can’t hire anybody, they ration health care, they tax anything that moves and, basically, they don’t consume.

    Hate much lately?

  21. Kurt Brouwer commented on Mar 6

    In an economic sense, the Fed’s mission is conducting monetary policy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates. Those goals can be in conflict at times such as this.

    However, the ECB seems to pursue stable prices primarily. At least, that is what Trichet usually discusses. But, keeping interest rates high for price stability also constricts economic growth and employment. Unemployment in Europe is at levels we would deem unacceptable. Germany is 8.5% right now compared to 5% here. That is a severe price to pay.

    The Fed has a difficult job due to the need to achieve balance in its three missions. I agree with and support its approach as opposed to that of the ECB.

  22. Estragon commented on Mar 6

    Kurt Brouwer,

    I think the missions are a bit more nuanced than you suggest.

    The ECB sees stable prices as a necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) condition for long term maximum employment and growth.

    The Fed sees stable prices as a necessary (but temporarily dispensable) condition for long term maximum employment and growth.

    Also, keep in mind when comparing unemployment rates that Europe and US measurements aren’t identical.

  23. super-anon commented on Mar 6

    -Eliminating the normal business cycle;

    -Preventing a recession regardless of costs;

    The way I see it is that a recession frequently occurs because resources are being improperly utilized — i.e. bad spending decisions are being made.

    According to Keynesian theory the appropriate response when confronted with a recession is to lower rates to stimulate more spending.

    What I don’t get is if the economy is doing badly because people and businesses are making poor spending decisions, how does it help to encourage even more spending?

    It seems to me like that would just make the situation worse in the long-term even if it generated growth in the short-term.

    Is it possible that a recession is precisely where wise spending habits are learned?

  24. Tim commented on Mar 6

    I may have missed it, but someone should also recognize the fact that both the Fed and the ECB are political structures.

    The Fed is mandated, by law, to take things such specifics as “full employment” and “maximum sustainable growth.” Whereas the ECB is, again by law, focussed on one thing – inflation. If the Fed had a similar single mandate, the Fed would also be focussed on one thing – inflation. However, the legislation that created and reformed the Fed since its inception, has been designed to provide a mixed batch of objectives. The political process of oversight sets the priorities for the overseers.

    Most modern central banks realize that the one thing that they can effective impact is inflation. But since central banks are politically created, they often have to deal with mixed objectives.

  25. twistytop commented on Mar 6

    I’d rather be an unemployed European (not England) than an unemployed American. Why? Because I’d still have access to health-care for starters. Over all they seem to have a much better safetynet than we do on this side of the pond.

  26. Francois commented on Mar 6

    “They don’t build new houses, they don’t start companies, they don’t fire anybody because they can’t hire anybody, they ration health care, they tax anything that moves and, basically, they don’t consume.”

    Huh? Aren’t you confounding Europe with Pluto?

  27. Pat G. commented on Mar 6

    Let the markets work freely everywhere, unimpeded by a group’s values, whims, pressures or allegiances. Just do away with central banking, period.

  28. me commented on Mar 6

    Karl k said
    ” they ration health care,”

    That’s pretty funny karl. You left out the part where it costs 2/3 as much, covers EVERYONE and oh yeah, contrary to what you are going to say, they have BETTER outcomes.

  29. Francois commented on Mar 6

    “The ECB did not have a Sept 11th attack which nearly killed off the US Economy.”

    Indeed. They only had to deal with homegrown terrorism since 1921.

    Nothing here…let’s move on. (no reference to the .org thingie)

  30. BDG123 commented on Mar 6

    This is an odd sort of post. The ECB is responsible for much of the contagion that has built into massive messes around the world in the last decade. The real problems facing the global economies.

    The ECB is creating one hell of a bag they are going to be left holding. Bernanke is simply following the markets that are begging for rate cuts. Right now short rates should be 1%. This inflation argument is absolutely preposterous.

    Trichet is living on Mars and the Eurozone economies are going to feel the wrath for his foolishness. It’s really quite noble to talk about moral hazards and principles. Of course, we heard that in 1930. It’s easy to be above the fray until the shit has really hit the fan. Let’s hear that argument when politicians are dropping their drawers in panic. That time will come.

    In addition, for all of these ECB policy lovers, what is the ECB lender of last resort policy? Want to buy Euros here? Remember something. If you understand the role financial players have played in creating much of the mess we are seeing, you will start to realize exogenous factors affecting the Euro and the dollar rates above and beyond economic weakness in the U.S. Once you understand that, you must conclude the Euro is going to dump sometime. And likely dump hard.

  31. I Wish We Had Bernanke in Europe commented on Mar 6

    ECB is in denial. Most of the European economy is in much worse shape than the US’ (EU’s only driver is Eastern Europe. Western Europe is in a tank. Italy is in a recession. Spain is decelerating sharply. France is hanging on the edge of a recession. Etc…). Trichet needs to take his head out of the sand and look around. He is sitting in Frankfurt and blind to the rest of Europe (He needs to look beyond Germany). Similar to Japan, EU will pay for this ECB ignorance with twenty years of severe deflation.

  32. Karl K commented on Mar 6

    me wrote:
    That’s pretty funny karl. You left out the part where it costs 2/3 as much, covers EVERYONE and oh yeah, contrary to what you are going to say, they have BETTER outcomes.

    Wow, do you buy into the propaganda, or what.

    My advice to you? If you are in, say, the UK or France, make sure you buy some supplemental insurance to get you back to the USA where you can get treated in the good old USA.

    I have relatives who live in the UK with dual citizenship. They come home to get their health care. There’s a reason for that. I’d explain it to you, but it would take too much effort and given your views, it probably wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

  33. Karl K commented on Mar 6

    Pat G. wrote:

    Let the markets work freely everywhere, unimpeded by a group’s values, whims, pressures or allegiances. Just do away with central banking, period.

    Or perhaps better, let CBs follow Milton Friedman’s advice — grow the money supply at a fixed percentage, put it on autopilot, and then shut out the lights and go home.

  34. twistytop commented on Mar 6

    Well Karl I guess you wouldn’t consider 47 million uninsured as a form of rationing would you? Or the denial of health insurance based on precondition. Give me a break!

  35. D. commented on Mar 6

    AMERICA:

    Wake up ans smell the coffee, you don’t have true capitalism. Go read the textbooks.

    With capitalism, market forces determine where the capital goes. Your government directs capital just like all other countries in the world, if not more!

    Your system has brainwashed you into thinking that anything non American or negative is = Commie.

  36. philip commented on Mar 6

    AGG’s comment is the best one so far. This problem has nothing to do with Europe. Europe’s bankers are scoundrels just like ours, but they are scoundrels playing to a different audience. Our scoundrels are in D.C. and are playing to Wall Street and playing Main Street. As long as white collar criminals who masquerade as politicians and bankers get away with privatizing the profits and socializing the risks we are all going down.

  37. VJ commented on Mar 6

    Who Are the Socialists

    Now THERE’S a TV game show !

    WHOSE THE SOCIALIST ?

    You could have Kudlow, Cramer, and Stein on as contestants, and they would fall through little trap doors in the floor when they were wrong, which would be CONSTANTLY.

    Hilarity ensues.
    .

  38. Ross commented on Mar 6

    “What I expect is that within 20 years inflation will drive most governments into central planning. And that’s the end of capitalism. But it doesn’t matter much for be because by then I hope I shall be dead”
    Fredrick Hayek.

    He was about 10 years too short on his outlook.

  39. VJ commented on Mar 6

    Kurt,

    Unemployment in Europe is at levels we would deem unacceptable. Germany is 8.5% right now compared to 5% here.

    If we calculated our unemployment in the same manner as Europe, our Unemployment Rate would be the same or higher than theirs. Check the OECD for equalized data.
    .

  40. chad commented on Mar 6

    Barry,

    is this a Ron Paul endorsement?

    HA!

  41. ken h commented on Mar 6

    Hey me, twisty

    How about some citations on the research proving better outcomes? Just the best of all worlds over there, eh. Sorry bud, I’m a health care provider and have friends that work in the UK. Try checking out the taxes paid for all that great coverage. Sorry but it’s a terrible system and if you think it’s so great, you should move there.

    My practice is seeing more and more fee for service and many without insurance are happy to pay. We are able to eliminate all the bullshit paperwork and hoops with all insurance.Charge affordable rates. Oh, but your the same guy/gal who gets a plasma for $4000.00 or HD Tv for $1200 a year but cughs when you need a 10,000 dollar surgery. Then you will only have to deal with malpractice insurance to beat back all the greedy trial lawyers.

    We have an insurance monopoly that is way to happy to keep it the way it is. Much like housing insurance companies will price themselves out of the market. Leave it alone and it will fix itself. All we need is a good patient’s bill of rights but with Hillbama coming will get the clusterfuck of all clusterfucks. Currently I only have to pay for my healthcare.

    Back on subject, Why shouldn’t the ECB hold? Currenly they don’t hold the world’s currency. It’s not a play that would help them. I am no expert in this field and would not look to second guess Benny. I think the situation is dire and so far we are coming in soft.

  42. chad commented on Mar 6

    also, the ECB only has 1 mandate – and that is fighting inflation. The fed has two maximum employment & fighting inflation.

  43. Tom commented on Mar 6

    VJ-
    If we calculated our unemployment in the same manner as Europe, our Unemployment Rate would be the same or higher than theirs. Check the OECD for equalized data.
    Standardized unemployment rates:
    Country – 2005 – 2006 – 2007
    Germany – 10.6 – 9.8 – 8.4
    United States – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6
    Euro Area – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.4
    Source: OECD Standardised Unemployment Rate (SUR)
    http://stats.oecd.org/WBOS/Default.aspx?QueryName=251&QueryType=View
    (You have to click “Country” in the left-hand sidebar)

  44. ken h commented on Mar 6

    Sorry for the choppy posts but type pad is kicking my ass tonight.

    I think(which doesn’t mean much) that the rate cuts are a shadow ops bailout. At first I thought it was because they thought the credit markets would loosen but we all know it won’t work. It’s like feeding a dog sick on chocolate more chocolate because that’s all he will eat.
    No cuts, major deflation. Cuts, stagflation and hopefully no deflation.
    It’s like he is giving us a choice of with or without K-Y?

  45. Russian commented on Mar 6

    Same as in the US, in the EU unemployment is measured using sample surveys and calculated as Unemployment Rate = Unemployed Workers/Total Labor Force * 100%

    The unemployment rate is higher in the EU than it is in the US. We have 95% of people wanting to work working in this country. Period.

    Europe is an export dependent economy; a third of their exports go to the US. Their economy cannot survive without exporting to the US. If we stop buying their junk, they will enter severe depression.

    The dollar is weak secondary to the funds (including sovereign foreign funds, Putin and our Arab friends are propping up the price of oil and shorting the dollar) having “buy oil and short the dollar” orgies.

    Short dollar => higher oil => double Putin’s profits and payback Americans for the Cold War (The entire Russian economy is built on shorting USD and exporting expensive oil)

    By the way, Italian and Russian mafia, our Arab and Venezuelan friends, Putin and his oligarch cronies convert all their stolen dollars into Euros to bypass US government monitoring their wire transfer Swifts.

    How do you expect the dollar to be strong when there is a constant dollar selling pressure?

  46. Paul Jones commented on Mar 6

    The Euros are socialist for all, “our” government is socialist for the few.

  47. me commented on Mar 6

    WHO for one. Us ranks 37.

    “My practice is seeing more and more fee for service and many without insurance are happy to pay. ”

    Bullshit. I am diabetic and you my friend are full of shit. Diabetics cannot get insurance in this country at any price and don’t’ forget the price of the medication, which is double, triple for the same drug overseas.

    Frankly if I had a choice I would prefer the French system but this US system is an abject failure, and that is from the patient side, not a “provider”.

  48. St. Pauli Girl commented on Mar 6

    I am not sure if it was a sarcastic question or a leftist statement.

    Of cause, Trichet is a commie thinking that by keeping the rates high, he will keep the euro dollar high, insult capitalism and America, and reinforces his French ego. It will not last.

    It is not about fighting inflation (excuse to keep the rates high) for him, it is about Europe’s pride (look, under our socialism we have strong currency).

  49. PrahaPartizan commented on Mar 6

    What the Europeans don’t have, which the US does, is a guaranteed election for a new government every four years. That enables the Fed governors, who are selected by their political overlords to game the system to the benefit of the party in power. That holds especially true if the Fed governors were appointed by the party still in power. The European parliamentary system introduces just enough randomness into the election process that the Central Bank can’t be certain if next year will be an election year or not. Perhaps we should amend the Constitution to introduce a random selection process every year during an administration which determines if next year must be an election year, with a 100% guarantee at year four. That way the Fed would have a much tougher time trying to game the timing for its actions.

  50. Karl K commented on Mar 6

    twistytop wrote

    Well Karl I guess you wouldn’t consider 47 million uninsured as a form of rationing would you? Or the denial of health insurance based on precondition. Give me a break!

    Ah, yes, another drinker of the universal health care kool-aid spouting the “47 million” uninsured number.

    Look pal, you’re on an economics blog, I suggest you get numerate.

    See:
    http://www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2007/20070718153509.aspx

    Government statistics also show 45 percent of those without insurance will have insurance again within four months after job transitions.

    The number of the uninsured who aren’t US citizens is nearly 10 million on its own.

    Meanwhile, there are 8.3 million uninsured people who make between $50,000 and $74,999 per year and 8.74 million who make more than $75,000 a year. That’s around 17 million of the 47 million people who ought to be able to “afford” at least a catastrophic level of health insurance because they make more than the median household income of $46,326.

    So what is the true extent of the uninsured “crisis?” The Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million.

    Kaiser’s 8.2 million figure for the chronically uninsured only includes those uninsured for two years or more.

  51. Winston Munn commented on Mar 6

    Karl,

    What is the difference in consumption when you account for U.S. defense spending and the dual wars?

    Where is the productivity gain in weaponry and endless warring?

  52. VJ commented on Mar 6

    Tom,

    Standardized unemployment rates:
    Country – 2005 – 2006 – 2007
    Germany – 10.6 – 9.8 – 8.4
    United States – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6
    Euro Area – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.4

    Those are merely the reported rates. They used to also list the adjusted rates, so one could compare apples to apples. I haven’t checked recently. We already know, given the ‘Civilian Employment-to-Population Ratio’ that the Unemployment Rate in America is FAR, FAR higher than those reported rates.
    .

  53. VJ commented on Mar 6

    Russian,

    The unemployment rate is higher in the EU than it is in the US. We have 95% of people wanting to work working in this country. Period.

    I’m afraid that’s not how the Unemployment Rate works. Try searching the archives here for the basics.
    .

  54. ken h commented on Mar 7

    Full of shit huh, I live it every day. I think you on’t know shit and still can’t cite any evidence based research to prove your position.

    Oh, Me, I bet you would love the French system which is currently going broke.

    Here are some of your other great systems.

    http://www.nchc.org/facts/world.shtml

    Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health found higher rates of several serious diseases — including cancer, DIABETES and heart disease — among Americans 50 and older as compared with aging Europeans. I’m sure your a stone cold athlete that just got a raw deal with your diagnosis but 75% of the diabetics that come through my office are lazy slugs that eat like shit, are obese with multiple co-morbidities and it’s never there falt. Never! Funny how this study showed that it was their lazy ass falt. They mostly end up on disability riding the system.

    As for your medication problem, as long as greedy ass politicians continue to be showered with cash from insurance companies and pharms you will be fucked! Maybe you should use some of your time knocking down those doors instead of coming on here and kissing France’s ass. I jut love the Medicare prescripton drug program. Instead of putting the screws to the Pharm companies they subsidized it to the US public. What a joke!

    For your information, I pay for all my health care and I am very active in change. Funny how my wife drives up in our 8 year old minivan paying cash for all our dental work and Mrs entitlement drives up in her Escalade with spinners getting free care from the state on my fucking dime. Then having the audacity to bitch about having to wait. The American “ME” Way! Nice Pun Huh!

  55. Arthur Hill commented on Mar 7

    Looks to me like the Fed is leading the ECB when it comes to interest rates. We can expect the ECB to start lowering rates in a few months.

  56. flix commented on Mar 7

    All these supposed differences between ECB and FED are pure BS. They are both filled with monetarist technocrats.

    The bottom line difference is this:
    US- fighting 2 wars (at least) and expanding it’s welfare state.

    EU- trying to scale back its welfare state, at peace.

    There is NO WAY monetary policy and currency exchg are not gonna reflect that.

  57. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 7

    Check out this IB which resides in the EU. Don’t like the numbers, just move them around:

    NEW YORK: It is not often that a major international bank admits it is violating well-established accounting rules, but that is what Société Générale has done in accounting for the fraud that caused the bank to lose €6.4 billion – now worth about $9.7 billion – in January.

    In its financial statements for 2007, the French bank takes the loss in that year, offsetting it against €1.5 billion in profits that it says were earned by a trader, Jérôme Kerviel, who concealed from management the fact that he was making huge bets in financial futures markets.

    In moving the loss from 2008 – when it actually occurred – to 2007, Société Générale has created a furor in accounting circles and raised questions about whether international accounting standards can be consistently applied in the many countries around the world that are converting to the standards.

    Link: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/06/b….

  58. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 7

    As I previously stated, the FED isn’t accepting anything other than the usual through the TAF. No CDO, no CDS, or any other acronym junk ya care to lump in there. They will not slit their own throats. The EU has taken all comers on what they accepted:

    For immediate release

    The Federal Reserve on Friday announced two initiatives to address heightened liquidity pressures in term funding markets.

    First, the amounts outstanding in the Term Auction Facility (TAF) will be increased to $100 billion. The auctions on March 10 and March 24 each will be increased to $50 billion–an increase of $20 billion from the amounts that were announced for these auctions on February 29. The Federal Reserve will increase these auction sizes further if conditions warrant. To provide increased certainty to market participants, the Federal Reserve will continue to conduct TAF auctions for at least the next six months unless evolving market conditions clearly indicate that such auctions are no longer necessary.

    Second, beginning today, the Federal Reserve will initiate a series of term repurchase transactions that are expected to cumulate to $100 billion. These transactions will be conducted as 28-day term repurchase (RP) agreements in which primary dealers may elect to deliver as collateral any of the types of securities–Treasury, agency debt, or agency mortgage-backed securities–that are eligible as collateral in conventional open market operations. As with the TAF auction sizes, the Federal Reserve will increase the sizes of these term repo operations if conditions warrant.

    The Federal Reserve is in close consultation with foreign central bank counterparts concerning liquidity conditions in markets.

    2008 Monetary Policy Releases

  59. me commented on Mar 7

    “75% of the diabetics that come through my office are lazy slugs that eat like shit”

    Health care provider my foot. I am 5’11” 210 A1C 6.0.

    “As for your medication problem, as long as greedy ass politicians continue to be showered with cash from insurance companies and pharms you will be fucked!”

    “Then having the audacity to bitch about having to wait.”

    My time is every bit a valuable as yours and there is no excuse for overbooking and consistently making people wait on YOU for over an hour or two.

    You guys always have some smart ass answer but somehow the $400 blood test every 3-4 months and the pills costing over a grand a month just don’t get any cheaper, and your wise ass comments never seems to bring the price down. Its the politicians, never the system.

    I drive an 11 year old Honda. You are really on a WRONG streak.

    The trouble with you guys defending this system at all costs is that you never explain why the US pays 1/3 more and yet we have higher infant mortality and lesser lifespan. Don’t the French eat pasty & wine. Where the hell are all the dead laying in the streets of all the major industrialized countries.

    I don’t’ see anybody lining up to come to the US to pay 3 times a much for Lipitor. I don’t’ see other countries ordering their drugs mail order from the US. I do see Canadians buying supplemental policies for extended stays in the US because they don’t’ want stuck in this health care environment.

    It is good to see the provider giving himself an A. silly me, I always thought the measure of success was feedback from customers, not the supplier.

  60. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 7

    I don’t’ see anybody lining up to come to the US to pay 3 times a much for Lipitor. I don’t’ see other countries ordering their drugs mail order from the US. I do see Canadians buying supplemental policies for extended stays in the US because they don’t’ want stuck in this health care environment.

    20 million certainly came for something. I’m with you, send them home because no one wants to come here right? BS!

  61. me commented on Mar 7

    “20 million certainly came for something. I’m with you, send them home because no one wants to come here right? BS!”

    And you think that 12 million, not 20 million, came here for the health care or did US employers invite them here to work.

  62. Tom commented on Mar 7

    VJ –
    If you can find a link to them, I’d be interested to see. Am a bit of a stats junky.

  63. VJ commented on Mar 7

    Tom,

    OK, when I get a chance I’ll check. I’m kinda swamped right now. Here’s a graph of the ‘Civilian Employment-to-Population Ratio‘, indicating it’s been negative for seven years, with fewer workers in the national workforce now than there were in 2000:

    Civilian Employment-to-Population Ratio
    .

  64. ken h commented on Mar 7

    Me,

    Go read the Emory article would you. It explains why Americans are more prone disease and it has to do with their lifestyle and not the system. Now I’m responsible for how you eat and exercise? I’m sure you and your lawyer will figure out how to make it my fault. I just knew you would be in the 20% that it just wasn’t your fault.

    I certainly never gave myself an “A” and admitted the need for change. Certainly not the defunct systems that you propose. I’m sure that France and Canada have just turned it around in the last 2 years. sorry, I don’t think so. You could have used that link to at least come back with a better position but as expected you come back with nonsense.

    Certainly if you are too blind to follow the money than you cannot be helped and deserve the system you get. There are no handouts and at least in the curent system you can decide where the money goes. Your socialist systems are fraught with fraud much like our Medicare and Medicaid systems. You would just rather pay it to politicians than to me who is caring for you. Such an incentive for me to do good.

    Lastly, You attack me for wait times yet you are too lazy to propose any research or links that prove your wait times would be less in your beloved socialist France.

  65. Tom commented on Mar 7

    VJ – Thanks muchly

  66. Adam commented on Mar 7

    Sorry guys but I think you’re missing it all. Europe doesn’t have to do what our fed does for the same reason Canada doesn’t need and have a strong military – BECAUSE WE DO. It’s not that hard.

  67. richard bond commented on Mar 9

    My opinion is that the American mortgage crisis overlooked one important factor that there are Americans on very low incomes with no hope of being middle class…say 25% of the population. Higher interest rates finally destroyed the great American dream. American bankers invented a tradeable investment vehicle to move their dollar surpluses/excess. Why not make every American an owner/occupier householder. We know 50% of Germans rent because rents are reasonably priced. Britain has an artificial housing market with banks owning the realtors. Thats a cartel in reality. Every month the UK building societies/banks declare that house prices are stable. Dont frighten the children. In Britain those with all the power consider its citizens to be virtually illiterate. Also note European banks have billion dollar treasure chests courtesy of the arabs. Where do you invest $100 billion…..in your American SIV/CDO?
    Next question for European bankers…can we ever trust American bankers ever again?

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