A World of Problems

Back when the Germans were threatening to shut down Greece and sell it off for parts, it was fairly obvious that there was no way to “fix” the Greek problem. Even it were possible to radically overhaul their public sector, the debt payments are too high to maintain the level of social services expected from a modern social democracy. Default was unthinkable because close to 80 percent of Greece’s public debt is owned by public institutions, primarily the EU governments and the ECB.

The “solution” was to kick the can down the road until a miracle happened, but now the problem is back.

ATHENS—Greece’s economic recovery is proving elusive, challenging the forecasts of the country’s government and foreign creditors still counting on growth reviving this year.

The International Monetary Fund said last week  that the economy is stagnating, in the first admission from creditors that Greece’s recovery is off track again. Growth will only restart next year, the head of the IMF’s team in Greece said on a conference call with reporters, without offering details.

Of particular concern is that exports, which are supposed to lead Greece out of trouble, are on a slow downward trajectory, hampered by capital controls, taxes and a lack of credit.

“There is no chance we will see a rebound unless we see some bold political decisions that would introduce a more stable business environment,” said Dimitris Tsakonitis, general manager at mining company Grecian Magnesite.

The bailout agreement between Greece and its German-led creditors assumes rapid growth from late 2016 onward, including an official forecast of 2.7% growth in 2017. Private-sector economists believe next year’s growth could be closer to 0.6%.

Weaker growth would undermine the budget, likely leading to fresh arguments with lenders about extra austerity measures.

Greece is still grappling with the measures it has already agreed to. Late on Tuesday the country’s parliament approved pension overhauls and other policy changes that have been delayed for months, holding up bailout funding.

Greek government officials are sticking to their view that the economy is on the cusp of growth. “We are at the turning point at which we can we say with certainty that we are leaving the recession behind us,” Economy Minister George Stathakis told supporters of the ruling left-wing Syriza party Sunday.

The economy will get a push from investors as of the end of the year, when lenders are expected to provide some debt relief and the country qualifies for a European Central Bank bond buyback program, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week.

In other words, the miracle did not happen and the problem is now worse. This comes at a time when Europe’s biggest bank is in very serious trouble.

Hedge funds have started to pull some of their business from Deutsche Bank, setting up a potential showdown with German authorities over the future of the country’s largest lender.

As its shares fell sharply in New York trading, Deutsche recirculated a statement emphasising its strong financial position.

European regulators and government officials have kept a low profile in public over Deutsche’s deepening woes. However, in private they have struck a sanguine tone, stressing that in extremis there is scope under European regulation to inject state funds to support the bank, provided it is done in line with market conditions.

Marcel Fratzscher, head of DIW Berlin, a think-tank, said: “If push comes to shove, the German government would contribute because Deutsche Bank is the only global bank that Germany has.”

There is one solid rule with banking and that is when the biggest bank is in trouble, all the banks are in trouble. The reason is a bank in trouble seeks to increase its cash by unwinding its holdings. This puts downward pressure on the price of those assets, which forces all banks holding similar assets to revalue and perhaps raise their cash holdings, by selling assets. This can easily set off a cascading effect, which is popularly referred to as contagion. The ghost of Lehman now haunts Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank has something north of €42 Trillion in derivative exposure. To put that into perspective, the GDP of Europe is €14 Trillion. The phrase “systemic risk” is starting to pop up in news stories for obvious reasons. Presumably the German government would step in and bail out the bank, but this is the same German government that invited millions of Muslims into the country. That and no one really knows how big the problem is at Deutsche Bank. There’s nothing more dangerous in the financial world than uncertainty.

If that’s not enough to have you stocking up on potable water and MRE’s, the news brings word that the Obama Administration is trying its best to start a war with Russia over Syria. They are ending talks with the Russians over the bombing of Aleppo. The Russians are threatening to impose a no-fly zone, while John Kerry is making noises about sending troops to Syria. The US position is completely nuts, which is what makes it so dangerous. The same people who screwed this up are now tasked with avoiding a mistake that will lead to a shooting war with the Russians.

The world always has some problem that could get out of control and bring the whole thing crashing down, but the odds are usually long enough to not worry too much. Pakistan is now threatening to nuke India, but that happens often enough to not take too seriously. Pakistan’s military understands that they will lose a real war with India. India understands that they will gain nothing by winning a war against Pakistan. This is one of those problems that can be managed by the permanent diplomatic service, with little help from the political class.

The three crisis I’m following all have some things in common. One is they will require hard choices from the political class to contain. In politics, a hard choice is one that causes a politician to lose support. Merkel’s government is already teetering so how willing is she going to be to make a bold move to rescue Deutsche Bank? The ECB proved unable to deal with the Greeks the last time. If Merkel is facing a financial crisis, who will she play bad cop with the Greeks when Tsipris inevitably comes calling, demanding a break on Greek debt?

The Syria debacle is the most concerning because it resembles so many European problems of the past. There’s a Seven Year’s War quality to it where you have two main players with the rest changing teams after every stage. With the US now increasing the troop levels in nearby Iraq, presumably to fight in one theater of this conflict, the chances of a mistake increase. In these situations, mistakes are often not mistakes, but even when they are, they become reasons to abandon dialogue in favor of military options.

We live in a world of trouble. One can be forgiven for having a sense of foreboding.

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bob sykes
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The Republika Srpska just voted overwhelmingly to establish an Independence Day holiday. This is regarded as a test run for an actual independence referendum next year. The government of Bosnia-Herzegovinia, which governs Republika Srpska has threatened to intervene to prevent the referendum, and Serbia itself has threatened to defend its co-ethnics in RS. Russia is supporting Serbia.

Meanwhile, the US keeps pushing B-H to join NATO, which seems likely to happen. A renewal of the recent Balkan war seems possible

JohnTyler
Guest
JohnTyler

Don’t sweat it; the Archduke Ferdinand will visit there soon and straighten out the mess. He’s done it before you know.

Worldly Wiseman
Guest
Worldly Wiseman

Kosovo and imminent independence referendum is the spark that is going to light up Southern balkans , not Bosnia . The leader of the Serbian entity is just trying to save his skin. It doesn’t matter that they are Serbian ppl , serbian government will not support their separatist movement and is working quietly with Muslim government of Bosnia to solve the matter.

Russia has very little influence in the region (apart from Macedonia) . Serbia is playing for the US team – or to be more precise neocon:Hillary team

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ WW – How does Bosnian and Serbia affect you in Croatia? Do you see a repeat of 1992?

Worldly Wiseman
Guest
Worldly Wiseman

No, the fight is going to be further south, Kosovo and Macedonia . It is similar to Russia in east ukraine and Argentine and falkands – nobody in Croatia or Serbia wants to have anything with their coethnics in Bosnia . The Bosnian serbs are a natural Croatian “allies” We share a common border and a lot of those folks have residence permits so they can vote in the elections (they are our latinos; come election time the buses pick them up and off they go across the border to vote for the right party) 🙂 The only real issue… Read more »

Member

Argentina and the Falklands (aka Malvinas)? Kelpers are UK citizens (subjects) and of British descent, not Latinos in any way. I fail to see the similarity and would appreciate an explanation. Thanks.

Worldly Wiseman
Guest
Worldly Wiseman

@ montefrio come election time in Argentina Falklands are one issue candidates can drum up nationalist sentiment and get a lot of votes. Of course there is no way for Argentina to reclaim falklands unless uk decides to surender them . Everybody knows that but for the sake of appearances have to pretend othervise. Same dynamics is at play here in the balkans . Every election cycle crazies pop up just to dissapear after the votes are counted.

Member

“The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.” – Bismarck

Much less the blood of anyone from outside the Balkans.

Herzog
Guest
Herzog

All Pomeranian grenadiers will soon be badly needed in Germany herself, to fight for our survival and independence in the face of the Muslim terror and insurrection. For some time now they have been having molecular test runs, so to speak, in the form of almost daily rapes, harrassments, violent assaults, student mobbings, etc. All this of course goes unreported not only internationally, but even in the nationwide media here in Germany; it’s just the local press that reports this constant drip. The problem already existed before that Merkel creature imported another million of them last year, but of course… Read more »

ganderson
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ganderson

What should be done in Syria? I have not a clue.
The bank thing really scares me- I have visions of all my plans for retirement- not too far off, disappearing in a whiff of smoke.

Piffle4Me
Guest
Piffle4Me

The easiest thing is assume you’ll need to keep working, at least part time. Retirement for the masses is brand new, as of WWII generation. Everyone else worked until they could work no more.

See it as a nursing home fund and it won’t worry you quite so much.

Notsothoreau
Guest
Notsothoreau

There are a few problems with that. One is that many companies discriminate against older workers. Another is that it becomes harder physically and mentally to keep up the pace. I personally would like to retire so that I don’t have to deal with another f’ed up version of Windows.

It looks like the perfect job for older workers is Federal employment!

Roy
Guest
Roy

I for one am just getting heartily tired of the spreadsheet jockeys that are screwing up everything. Mindless cost cutting with absolutely no mind as to how it affects prodution, quality control, rank-and-file employees, or customer service. As long as those end-of-quarter executive bonuses keep coming in it’s all okay. /snark = off

JohnTyler
Guest
JohnTyler

How about staying out of Syria altogether ?
The USA should help set up refugee camps in Syria and that’s it (and not allow any Sunni Arabs into the USA).
Let Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the Sunni Arabs slug it out.

UKer
Guest
UKer

My view is very much the same. Whatever the west does among the tribes fighting for power, it brings us nothing but heartache and ruin. The best thing is to let them all sort it out the only way they know how which curiously is by killing each other. Not that I think such a procedure is commendable but it seems to be the one policy they prefer in any situation. I am sure eventually the surviving tribe can rule the Middle East as they wish and impose whatever version of their religion on the rest, but it is nothing… Read more »

BillH
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BillH

Your way seems to have worked fairly well for many centuries until the Ottoman Empire was partitioned and western busybodies’ stuck their noses in. Maybe we ought to de-busybody the place and see what happens. Of course, getting the Russkies to go home will be a problem.

alzaebo
Guest
alzaebo

Okay, two ports then.

When the Russkies were in charge, Islam was dying.
Nasserite socialism was working as a necessary step towards modernity, an Islamic Reformation.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ BillH – The UK did well until they made the mistake of fighting WW1 and WW2. After which they were broke and quickly lost their colonies. Hitler never wanted a war with the UK and surrendered twice to Churchill and even let their soldiers retreat in safety at Dunkirk. But Churchill wouldn’t say no. Then after the war, the Indians said “No!” followed by every other British Colony. Now all they have left is a big rock covered with monkeys on the south of Spain and an island full of sheep off Argentina.

UKer
Guest
UKer

@Karl — you know I love you but we will have to disagree on Dunkirk, if only because the ‘safe get out plan’ you suggest did not save my wife’s grandfather who was one of the many killed in the Dunkirk evacuation. But while I don’t want to fight WW2 again I do want to say that though I do not know what was in Hitler’s mind some historians believe that he halted the advance of his Panzer force (and gave the Brit troops time to get away) because he or some high ups in Berlin thought maps of Northern… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ UKer – The only reason in my mind that the German Army would allow 350,000 men to leave is to make a point that Germany did not want to fight them. I think it was a very loud message – “Go home and stay there!” Given the U-Boat success in the Atlantic, getting new equipment wasn’t going to be easy. But you are right, we will never know.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

The “only” reason? Spoken like a true German. So kind and thinking always of the other. I would think Heinrich Himmler and his SS goons had other ideas if only … Again, more of your “revisionist” tripe.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Seriously? The Brits made the mistake of fighting WWI and WWII? What is this? Some kind of revisionist German bullshit?

Worldly Wiseman
Guest
Worldly Wiseman

In a sense that a hundred years from the great war germany has achieved pretty much everything as laid out in September programe through european Union it was a mistake to fight . If my history books are correct there was a juuuge oposition from both left and right .

WW2 was not a mistake as it was second half of the first one. The only true victor was US.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – The “mistake” I am referring to was the loss of British colonies due to both world wars as they were more of a financial burden to them then they could have imagined. Two key elements that doomed Germany – (1) US intervention (2) Going into Russia in the fall. The Brits were pretty well done by 1940; they were out of aircraft, out of pilots, out of military hardware and out of money. The Brits didn’t care about Poland at all (look up the phoney war) and were in serious financial difficulty after WW1. They simply couldn’t… Read more »

Lorenzo
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Lorenzo

Well, what did Britain gain from WWI and the astounding loss of life incurred thereby, aside from the chance to collude with France to temporarily carve up and colonize the remains of the Ottoman Empire?

As for WWII, Britain went in to save Poland from Hitler and, after their lost lives and wrecked economy, agreed at Yalta to hand over Poland to Stalin. I wonder if the irony of that was lost on veterans, widows and orphans.

Nori
Guest
Nori

Nice summation.Everything is true.The last line is why Brits rule satire.10 thumbs up!

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Don’t be scared and frozen into inaction. Get your money the hell out. Most advisors and my own wisdom says to transfer it into things that will hold value in the future, including food stocks, ammo, etc. All these things can be bartered. Even some precious metals although you will have to hide that as the authorities will try to confiscate it anyway at some point. If you “leave” where the bankers can get it, it WILL be gone. Only a matter of time. And that time is fast approaching.

Piffle4Me
Guest
Piffle4Me

It’s funny how all those finance issues with the EU didn’t go away. The idea that Europe is actually funding homes for migrants and the EU was talking about raising armies is all late stage hubris. The money is not there and was never there.

WWIII maybe averted between European nations just because they’re too broke to go war. They will however, have to deal with Islam on the streets.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Piffle4Me – Germany has paid off it’s war debts, and the costs of reunification of east Germany. We’ll sort this out too. How do I know? Because we’re the only country in Europe making products everyone else in Europe wants to buy. The money will keep coming into our industries and paying our workers because we are the biggest European exporter. We have the people, materials, and the resources. Would you like to buy an airplane? Don’t bother ordering one from Boeing…their factory in Seattle is just about gone. But you can always buy a brand new Airbus here.… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Well, I guess the Fourth Reich can just take care of the rest of Europe then!

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – I hope not. But the surge of European nationalism going on right now is leaning that direction.

thor47
Guest
thor47

” Late stage hubris ” rolls trippingly off the tongue, doesn’t it? Great phrase, P4M. ” What is it, Doctor?” “You have late stage hubris, Ms. Kellison. Go ahead and get another husband, house, and pool boy. It won’t matter. “

Dorf
Guest
Dorf

It’s a nice night for a knife fight. Bring a gun.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Dennis Tueller might disagree with your preparation for a knife fight.

UKer
Guest
UKer

Problems in Germany with the main bank? No problem, just print more Deutschmarks!

Oh, wait, that might not work…

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ UKer – Ah – don’t be jealous that we have had four currencies in the past century. Just because you’ve had that boring old Pound forever. Out with the old, in with the new! 😉

Bluehat
Guest
Bluehat

Karl – Germany as a manufacturer and banker is better placed than most and can even survive a complete reset which looks very likely for all nations. That’s not the issue though, your people who are your most valuable asset, are about to be pushed under and experience intense pain that that will change them profoundly and permanently because this will redefine them. What they will do in the face of this is the uknown….

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

Bluehat – One of Germany’s greatest industrial strengths are the small factories that are scattered across our country, mostly in the Black Forest south of Stuttgart. These are old, family run businesses, generally less than 100-employees, which intentionally remain small, and implement shorter-hours when things slow down, rather than laying people off. This is why even when the 8th Air Force bombed factories inMannheim, Mainz, Kassel, Munich and other major industrial cities, we were still putting tanks, planes and other hardware into the field. It’s these small industries, not the big ones, that are the real backbone of German industry.… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Soo smart. But who surrendered to whom?

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – To quote a phrase “At this point, what difference does it make?” Really? Please..that comment is so “1945”. 😉 Considering how many wars the US hasn’t won since then, it’s time to get off those badly worn laurels.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Hey, you are the one who brought up the 8th Air Force bombing in WWII and Germany’s industrial might being in the hinterlands. I am addressing your point. Don’t change the subject.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – Ah, okay I understand your point. Fair enough. But unfortunately, while you won the war, America has given away every possible advantage it gained since then.

Samuel Adams
Guest
Samuel Adams

Well, Merkel and the gang are reaping the whirlwind of running the largest seller financing scheme in history. For all their protests about the Greeks (who have been known deadbeats for years) the Germans were perfectly happy to bring them into the Euro, effectively lend them Germany’s sovereign credit rate and keep the Greeks buying shit from Germany. The traditional means of haircutting the bondholders gradually through inflation was never open to the Greeks so no big surprise. The bleatings coming out of DB, sure feel like the Lehman/Bear Stearns days here in NY. And many of the European banks… Read more »

Fuel Filter
Guest
Fuel Filter

Don’t forget water and lots, lots of ammo.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ FuelFilter – If you want guns to go with that ammo, may I recommend a Glock? It’s the most popular hand gun in America if not the world. You can thank the Europeans for that – specifically the Austrians.

Carlton Ritz
Member

Hand guns are for pussies, Karl. Real men use 12 guage Mossbergs, proudly made in the USA. 🙂

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

Dan – If the US Army contracts with Glock, would that make them pussies too? 😉 It’s a sad commentary when your own military outsources to China and Europe for US military hardware.

If you want a nice shotgun, I would recommend the Saiga-12 built on the Klasnikov tradition of rugged firearms.

Striver
Guest
Striver

Karl, I see you are not recommending Zeiss scopes. Is this because the new ones say “ASSEMBLED in Germany”? In other words, the trend is coming to Germany too, you are just slightly behind the USA.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

I know the product, but not the components. Were you aware there was an east German and West German Zeiss? If it says assembled, I would guess it’s with Czech or Hungarian parts but I would have to do the research. The Zeiss you are familiar with is actually the West German brand.

Striver
Guest
Striver

Yes, Zeiss Jena. I’ve owned their Sonnar and Planar design lenses made for a Pentacon camera (6×6). They were very good, even if not quite on par with the West German Zeiss.

See, this is the kind of products I’d like to keep buying. It left no doubts who made them, and with what quality. These days I have to wonder, “Assembled in Germany” by whom? From what components? No thanks – I’ll stick with the old stuff.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Striver – It would be interesting research to know. As I said, I would suspect either Czech or Hungarian. In which case I would not have any problems. The Hungarians have been building the Audi TT for over a decade. Beautiful car, well built in a very advanced and modern facility. I have complete faith in Czech, Hungarian and Croatian engineering.

Striver
Guest
Striver

@Karl, Czech lenses would be fine with me – the glass for some Zeiss products comes from Bohemia anyway from what I heard. But I wouldn’t exclude an Asian lens origin – that’s the way Leupold rolls in USA.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Striver – The region along the old east German / Czech border is well known for it’s crystal and glass quality. I doubt Zeiss would risk their reputation with inferior or poor quality optics from Asia. At the end of the day, even the Chinese suppliers must meet the specifications defined by the Zeiss engineers. If you do find out, it would be interesting to know where the parts actually come from.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

What is this Karl? Are you on the payroll for the German Chamber of Commerce?

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – I’m just pointing out we make some fine optics over here. But since you asked, do you want to see if I can get you a discount? 🙂

Carlton Ritz
Member

Most (not all folks) military officer above the rank of Lt. Col. are in fact pussies, except for the women who are a bunch of dicks.

The topic of who makes the best pistol is very subjective, and not worth a debate.

As far as contracts go… just follow the money.

UKer
Guest
UKer

I recall an episode of the Simpsons where the family attend an air show at a USAF base and the commentator says during one fly past “the pride of the U.S. Air Force — the British made Harrier jump jet!”

Jokes apart, everyone buys arms from other nations. In fact if it wasn’t for Britain selling arms to dodgy Arab nations we would have few exports at all from the UK, and we wouldn’t make much at all. Hell, even our Tower of London souvenirs are made in China.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

That’s your verdict? An Army contract which is so politicized? Hillary probably got kickbacks through the Clinton Foundation from Glock, for the contract. Yeah, we know how crony business is done. Better has nothing to do with it.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – And let’s look at the facts. The U.S. share of semiconductor fabrication has decreased from nearly 50 percent in 1980 to 15 percent in 2012. Which is why most all US military hardware has Chinese made semiconductor components.

When 5.1 million manufacturing jobs have disappeared from the US since 2000, don’t get all bent out of shape because the Europeans are picking up the slack. At least our politicians (Regan, Clinton, Bush) haven’t off-shored our jobs to the lowest bidder.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Another history lesson while avoiding how business is really done these days. Glock has nothing on American design. Nothing. It’s all about marketing and payolla.

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

Just butting in, but Glock pretty much gives away gov’t. contracts (which are not known to be completely honest, value for price driven business deals) that in turn help them with the civilian market. In all honesty, while they are an all right brand, they are seriously overpriced. And they have some quality control issues…rather like some Sigs. German manufacturing can be good, but it doesn’t deserve the impeccable qualities sometimes ascribed to it…they’re rather like every other company on the planet; marketing just seems to be better. Although in fairness older Sigs were and are still pretty nice —… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Jenny – Good points. I just have to wonder why the US would favor weapons made outside of the US, (Glock) when you have excellent companies like Colt. It must be difficult for your soldiers to feel like they are defending America when their uniforms and boots come from China and their firearms from non-US manufacturers.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Yes, that is some shit, isn’t it? All in the name of “getting the best deal” for the American taxpayer! Which is of course, complete BS. It’s always about the money. Follow the money from the manufacturers, to the lobbyists, to the politicians, to the bank. “Made in America” isn’t even on their list of requirements. Quality or best for the troops is a distant second consideration to “who’s got da money?”

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Come on Jenny! If you are gonna toss out the Mossberg, then you have to mention the all-time best seller, the Remington 870. With a few minor tactical upgrades, it is a downright awesome weapon.

Zeroh Tollrants
Guest
Zeroh Tollrants

I’ve kept a S&W .38 in my purse, and a Glock 9 under the edge of my car seat for the 2 decades or so. Would recommend. I did have a nice old Bulldog .44 under the seat, but it really was unwieldy and would get caught on the seat’s under carriage contours. No prob w/ the sleek G9.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Hard to stuff that Mossberg down your pants and walk to the store, so why not have both items available?

thor47
Guest
thor47

Is that a Mossberg in your pants, or are you just glad to see me? Well, actually, sugar . . .

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

You show your friends your Colts and Kimbers, you show your enemies your Glock. Preferably a 10MM.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

I’m comfortable with my Colt Python .357 magnum.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – Would you be horribly upset if I told you the steel Colt uses come from here? From a small factory in Belgium to be precise. Look it up.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

The one I have is my Dad’s revolver. Maybe the new one’s use that steel but pretty sure back in the ’70’s that wasn’t the case.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – I think that’s the case for many things produced in America prior to that time. That is just about the starting point when things started going from bad for American manufacturing.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

One big difference between Germans and the average European is we’re not in debt. And certainly not to the tune of Americans who, on average, owes $130,922 — including credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and other forms of debt. Believe me, these are easy number to look up. No German graduates from university with debt, and certainly not to like American or British students. Germany is the envy of Europe because we are frugal people. Maybe if everyone else lived to the standard of living based on what they actual earn, and not to the standard they wished… Read more »

Striver
Guest
Striver

Don’t be so rash in your frugal pride. Your govt may very well take on the debt on behalf of its citizens. The banking system needs to be saved!

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Striver – When your favorite sports team wins, do you not cheer? When your Olympians win a medal, do you not feel a sense of pride? So do is the German sense of pride in what we can do. We have had shame enough from what we caused in war, now we celebrate what we have accomplished in peace. Or is that being too proud?

Striver
Guest
Striver

@Karl, you have all the reasons in the world to be proud for what your nation accomplished. I’m just pointing out that the accomplishments are being cancelled for no good reason. You have leadership problems, just like ourselves.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Striver – Agreed. True leadership and statesmanship is becoming more rare in America and in Europe. There are so many things going on that don’t make any sense to the average person here and there. We may be following the American trend of taking everything we worked hard for and throwing it away because somehow we should feel guilty for having electricity and running water and not living in a grass hut with a stone floor.

alzaebo
Guest
alzaebo

Goldman Sachs strikes again!
They got the Greek, er, Trojan, Horse in.

Nori
Guest
Nori

Two days ago,Sec of State John Kerry signed a controversial Small Arms Treaty at the UN.Its proponents claim it will stop small arms trafficking worldwide,because of course Syria,Sudan,Yemen etc will comply.Hillary has long supported this treaty,because “common sense”.It must be ratified by the US Senate,but then again,POTUS has a pen and a phone.The last few weeks of this appalling administration will be stuffed with every Progressive wet dream imaginable.Happy Friday,folks. Hope Karl weighs in on DeutscheBank…oh yea,black moon rising,tonite,I believe.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Nori – I saw an article that stated…”For no apparent reason, DB and all Germans banks will be closed next Monday. German people will not be allowed to enter a bank to withdraw their money.”

Yes, that’s true.

Do you want to know why? It’s because it’s a bank holiday to commemorate Tag der Deutschen Einheit (The Day of German Unity).

I really wish your American press would do a little homework.

Roy
Guest
Roy

Karl, we all wish our American press would do a little homework.

Nori
Guest
Nori

Karl,I have a hunch everyone here agrees wholeheartedly with your assessment of our media.It’s a national disgrace.They’re supposed to be the bulwark against corrupt politicos,not the soft downy pillow propping them up.Zman’s past essays concerning women in the workplace come in to play here.Lots of women in our media,and they all vote Democrat/Progressive,women’s “issues”. God help us.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Nori – I believe it was your American press that broke the Water Gate scandal and ended President Nixon’s career. I think it is a safe bet that won’t happen again as long as a democrat is in office.

JohnTyler
Guest
JohnTyler

How bizarre is it that the Libertarian running for prez, Gary Johnson, is roundly condemned as a moron because he did not know what Aleppo is nor could he name a foreign leader he admires. Trump is also criticized because, among other things, he does not have “foreign or domestic policy experience.” Yet, the ruling elites in our government and in foreign nations, who are totally knowledgeable about all this crap , are the same folks who have literally set the world on fire; who have totally fucked up the world. It is pretty damn clear that knowing stuff –… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

The fundamental problem re DB leverage, Wells Fargo account fraud, etc. is that there has not been any actual price paid by the senior management who are the primary beneficiaries (via bonuses) of pushing the edge of the envelope. This is apparently due to elite collusion. The fines in the papers are paid by the stockholders only: That is, your and my pension funds. When there is general bonus disgorgement three levels down and actual legal jeopardy for the actual fraudsters. then you might see some changes. As it is, ‘Wall St.’ has socialized the risks and privatized the gains.… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Yes, but people need to hang also.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – When you have finished building a gallows, I have a few people in mind we would like to send over. Maybe we can have a repeat performance of December 26, 1862.

Ivar
Guest
Ivar

A war like that would quickly reveal that the U.S. armed forces are nothing but a socially engineered zoo, at least in the few days before the war went nuclear. Obama and his handlers don’t have much of a window to get this started anyway. If Trump is elected, we can expect radical policy change. If Hillary is elected, I suspect she will be more interested in domestic use of force.

Member

The underlying cause of Greek crisis, the bank crisis and the migrant crisis is the demographic failure of Europe. They simply have not had enough children to pay for their retirement. This showed up first in Greece because they have a unique combination of horrible demographics and a weak economy. There is no next generation of Greeks to make interest payments on the debt. A similar lack of children had led to ultra low interest rates across Europe (lots of older people putting cash away, not enough young people interested in borrowing from them to buy stuff). With ultra low… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Fondatorey – No, that’s not correct. Not paying taxes has everything to do with the Greek crisis. That and the fact they switched over to the Euro after lying about their financials…which were horrific. They never should have been allowed in the EU in the first place and certainly not into the Euro currenty. They, like Spain, Portugal and southern Italy, are agrarian economies. No one can grow an economy selling olive oil and corks. And if you refuse to pay your taxes, what do you expect? They could have all the kids they want, but it wouldn’t make… Read more »

Worldly Wiseman
Guest
Worldly Wiseman

@ Karl You are looking at the issue from an economic perspective but EU has always been a political project with economic benefits being less important. The Greeks (and others) just took advantage of that fact.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ WW – While I do not agree with everything Europe (the EU) is doing, I am glad we have finally put our differences aside and are striving for prosperity through peace and collective effort and understanding. Individually, European countries could not compete with America and certainly not with China. Only together do we stand a better chance of securing our own future and we must accept there will be problems to overcome.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Compete with America? Those bunch of idiots who make shit and can’t tie their shoes without German help? You are so gracious to include the USofA.

The EU effort to create a United States of Europe post WWII has and always will be a joke. It to is a totally rigged game and the fact that a country like Greece was even allowed entry was for some economic reason that is still undisclosed.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – I was being polite with that comment about competing with America. But let me see…BMW’s are now built in the US, VW’s are built in the US, SAP is in the US, and Bayer now owns Monsanto. I guess you’re right, we really don’t compete with the US at all. Something about bringing a knife to a gun fight? But if you need one, the Swiss make excellent knives – small, but nice.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Sure, and putting politics aside, Americans would still kick German butt if we faced off again. Your condescending arrogance grows tiresome Karl. Reminds me of something I read recently at Straight Line Logic:

Eric Hoffer (1902–1983), American writer on social and political philosophy, The True Believer (1951):

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – And where exactly do you plan on building all the hardware you’d need? Those factories are long gone as the pictures of Detroit prove. Our factories, many dating back well before WW2, are still running quite nicely turning out products people are actually buying.

Drake
Guest
Drake

VDH had some good articles a few years back on his observations while living in Greece. Apparently slleping all day in your government / union job is considered the norm. Then people do actual work in the evening for cash.

I don’t blame them for dodging their absurd taxes – I blame them for expecting health care, a pension, and all the other free shit while dodging taxes.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

The reason your arguments go nowhere is not because they are not true, they are true. But they are the symptoms of the whole disease, not the disease.

UKer
Guest
UKer

The agrarian economies have a place in the EU even if they aren’t quite the breadbasket that most of (northern) Europe needs. One needs bread to go with the wine. But among the gripes about the EU in the UK used to be that one of the driving forces of the affair was to protect the French economy, which is more agrarian than not. Thus once the UK entered the EU our shops were flooded with tasteless French apples. Someone once counted over 650 varieties of English apples but the EU’s pernicious rules insisted only a handful of these could… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ UKer – You are correct, we must buy our produce from warmer climates, but you must come here if you like apples and wine.

UKer
Guest
UKer

If here is Germany, Karl, every time I have been it has been very warm and welcoming so i will be back. Cheers!

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

I see. They lied to the Brussels and EU money masters and everyone bought the lie! Right! Talk about not being able to read a spreadsheet.

Member

The anti-war left and the media are showing remarkable restraint re: Syria and threatening war with Russia. Sabre rattling… cowboy diplomacy… war for oil (pipeline). Really something else. It’s as if the 1980’s called and they want their foreign policy back or something.

alzaebo
Guest
alzaebo

With all the noise and ruckus of the obvious ‘mistakes’, I’m wondering if the quiet giveaway of the Internet was the main reason for an Obama presidency.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Alzaebo, don’t you know Obozo’s motto “Fundamentally Transform America.” The internet is but one part of the plan. You really need to keep up. Check out http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – The greatest transformation of America was courtesy of NAFTA, GATT and WTO deals all done under Republican leadership – and Obama had nothing to do with any of that. He’s just following the wonderful examples of the Republican president who he followed into office.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

What we are seeing with Brexit and other movements around the world is a general frustration with leadership dedicated to globalization. Yes, those “trade” deals caused lots of problems but you really need to study up on what exactly has been going on during the last eight years under Obozo. The Republicans get lots of blame and that is why people have given up on them and have turned to someone like Trump. But you are dishonest to blame only Republicans. You sound like the liberal shills who think their socialist ways are perfect and have only failed because they… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – I think the Bay Area is the perfect example of exactly what’s wrong with America. While I was there, I watched American workers being laid off and replaced with H1B and L1 visa workers who worked for less. Housing prices in the Bay Area are unaffordable so people had to live in towns like Tracy or Manteca and commute in their cars for 90-minutes since there was no public transportation (The ACE rail was a joke). Homeless people sleeping on the streets of University Ave in the middle of Palo Alto, one of the most affluent towns… Read more »

trackback

[…] Now do go and read ALL of this at the Z Man Blog […]

alzaebo
Guest
alzaebo

Just heard the news- DB shares rising since American courts will reduce some punitive settlement by 2/3rds. I think this and VW explains Merkel’s immigration policy: Obama will keep stomping on her unless she brings in the ‘refugees’ he created. Hedge accordingly.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Alzaebo – DB isn’t going to fail. It may need to readjust and clean house, but there’s too much at stake for Germany and Europe. As to VW’s mistake (along with dishonesty), that was simply a workaround to meet unrealistic emission requirements. Funny that happened nearly at the same time they because the largest auto company in the world over the US big three. Coincidence?? Immigration policy had nothing to do with immigrants but everything to do with Syrian refugees – which is what Merkel was supporting in the first place. The media and do-gooders twisted it into an… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

You forgot the damn Canadians.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

Canadians I know think you are the bad neighbor! 🙂 If Hillary gets into office, Canada will have to brace themselves for a rush of conservative Americans showing up at the border. Since the elections in America are in November, I have two words of advice – dress warmly.

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Christopher S. Johns

We plan on showing up at the border, all right, but we’ll be armed and ready. The first order of business will be liberating Vancouver from the Chinese occupiers.

Striver
Guest
Striver

@alzaebo You should have seen the hysterics in the US automotive press over the VW emissions ‘cheating’. Like in Tour de France, everyone does it, but only some get called out. Maybe they should review the ever-increasing MPG requirements instead, aggravated by the ever-growing safety features (which result in extra vehicle weight).

Herzog
Guest
Herzog

alzaebeo, I have been thinking about this myself lately, beginning to wonder whether the Obama administration was pursuing a political agenda with its cases against Deutsche Bank and VW. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dispute VW’s wrongdoing (I’m ignorant about Deutsche). However, the unrelenting tenaticy with which exorbitant damages (as it seems to me) are being sought from those two companies by the US judiciary to me for one began to smell of something different than just a judicial procedeure aimed at getting fair compensation, plus a penalty premium for wrongdoing. So I was beginning to wonder whether there… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

The American car companies do something like this every time they feel threatened. I remember when they decided that bumpers had to be better. This was a big problem for European imports at the time. Of course it was nearly comical that this came from a country that fought against seat belts and head restraints, and then built the Pinto which blew up if you bumped into it from behind.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

I believe the “settlement” related to the 2008 US housing crisis and the role DB played in selling bad loans. A lot of banks are settling this currently and it shouldn’t be hard to find on the internet.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ LetsPlay – And who got people to go for those bad loans? Oh, that’s right Bill Clinton under the Affordable Housing Act. So tell me how that fiscal disaster, which turned into bailing out your banks with your tax dollars, had anything to do with DB? Please. Stop looking for the boogey man over here…you have plenty of them running your house, senate and congress, and they’re doing an excellent job of driving your country right into the ground, with all engines on fire and no parachutes.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

For someone who likes to lecture on things like economics, you are are ignorant of how global finance works. Or maybe it is just willful ignorance.

Member

Is there a word for “logorrhea” in German?

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Christopher S. Johns

There’s another, related dimension to the Syria business with the Russians that has not gotten much attention. From accounts that I’ve read, 0bama is personally pushing for the commencement of the offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS, and to that end has sent some 600 US special forces to take part alongside Iraqi special forces. 0bama is apparently very keen for the offensive to begin in October so that, according to Barry’s military timetable, ISIS will be defeated, or nearly so, by the time he leaves office. A “Pentagon official” insisted that it will be the Iraqi special forces who… Read more »

Nori
Guest
Nori

Christopher-just read on War News Updates blog French Defense Minister confirms French warplanes are flying sorties over Mosul to assist US Spec Ops and Iraqi forces.Complete shit show is right.POTUS gets his military advice from the voices in his head,along with Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes,masters of micromanagement.God help the men who have to execute this lunatic trio’s fantasies.Apparently no one in the WH has ever read a history book,despite their affectations of Islamic scholarship.It’s madness.You’re right about the homefront too.They’ve been importing ME “refugees” for 2 yrs now,mostly young males. With James “I am not a weasel” Comey and… Read more »

thor47
Guest
thor47

So, my doctor notwithstanding, might as well have two more cinnamon rolls and another cup of coffee.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

I prefer a neat shot of Jack Daniels.

Linda Fox
Member

A few positive aspects to this:
– with nations in deep financial trouble, at least Europe should be more affordable soon
– as the EU begins cutting services, the Muslim moochers may start to leave
– assuming the current polls are right, we MAY have a president who want to (1) reduce the size of our military, and, (2) keep the hell out of other countries’ problems

wildman
Guest
wildman

i forget who said it, but the balkan issues can be summed up: They create more history than can be consumed locally. re the banks: once they started getting into financial engineering ie derivatives, every thing went south