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“. . . Almost a Victory in the Third World War”

COMMENT: Sup­ple­ment­ing our pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion of the cen­tral role of Ger­man banks in pre­cip­i­tat­ing the euro-zone cri­sis, we relate the obser­va­tions of an Ital­ian politi­co.

Hit­ting the nail on the head, Rena­to Brunet­ta has blamed the euro-zone sov­er­eign debt cri­sis on Ger­many. 

Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance here is Mr. Brunet­ta’s com­ment that the Ger­man machi­na­tions were “almost a vic­to­ry in the third world war.”


What Brunet­ta is tak­ing stock of here is the fun­da­men­tal Ger­man adher­ence to the the­o­ret­i­cal doc­trine of Carl von Clause­witz, which we’ve high­light­ed in our pre­vi­ous post. Ger­many is using its banks and bankers instead of armies, tanks and planes.

 It is vital to under­stand that the events over­tak­ing the world were delib­er­ate and pre­con­ceived. Ger­many is wag­ing World War III in the eco­nom­ic sphere, rather than the mil­i­tary one.

In addi­tion, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is con­cerned that Ger­man bank reg­u­la­tors are delib­er­ate­ly obstruct­ing the free move­ment of cap­i­tal.

“Ger­many Caused The Euro Cri­sis”; Ger­many Watch; 12/11/2012.

EXCERPT: Ger­many caused the euro-zone sov­er­eign debt cri­sis as a way to pre­vent the col­lapse of its own bank­ing sys­tem, a senior ally to for­mer prime min­is­ter Sil­vio Berlus­coni claims....

“Mr. Brunet­ta sought to link alle­ga­tions that Deutsche Bank AG (DB) hid poten­tial deriv­a­tive loss­es from reg­u­la­tors to the bank’s large-scale sale of sov­er­eign bonds issued by periph­er­al euro-zone nations, includ­ing Italy.

The U.S. Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion is inves­ti­gat­ing alle­ga­tions made by two for­mer traders. Deutsche Bank has denied the claims.

Mr. Brunet­ta said that Ger­man bund yields had been inch­ing up in ear­ly 2011, high­light­ing fears of the sol­ven­cy of Ger­many’s banks. He claimed the banks, “prob­a­bly with the implic­it sup­port of Berlin, decid­ed to trans­fer the poten­tial cri­sis of their own pri­vate bank­ing sys­tem on to coun­tries con­sid­ered the weak­est in the euro area.”

“As yields rose in periph­er­al coun­tries, they fell sharply in Ger­many, allow­ing Ms. Merkel to seek to “cre­ate a hege­mo­ny over the euro zone” and turn the focus from bank­ing to pub­lic finances, Mr. Brunet­ta said, describ­ing the oper­a­tion as “almost a vic­to­ry in the third world war.”

“EU Con­cerned Ger­man Bank Rules Block Move­ment of Cap­i­tal-Paper”; Reuters; 1/3/2013.

EXCERPT: The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is con­cerned that Ger­man bank reg­u­la­tor BaFin may be inhibit­ing the free move­ment of cap­i­tal in Europe’s com­mon mar­ket, Ger­man dai­ly Han­dels­blatt said.

The com­mis­sion and the Euro­pean Bank­ing Author­i­ty are scru­ti­n­is­ing BaFin’s pol­i­cy to demand that banks — includ­ing sub­sidiaries of for­eign lenders — keep suf­fi­cient liq­uid­i­ty for their Ger­man oper­a­tions, the paper said on Thurs­day.

It cit­ed a spokesman for Inter­nal Mar­ket and Ser­vices Com­mis­sion­er Michel Barnier. . .


2 comments for ““. . . Almost a Victory in the Third World War””

  1. Awkard!

    Mon­ti says Merkel does­n’t want left to win Italy elec­tion
    Feb­ru­ary 20, 2013|Reuters

    ROME (Reuters) — Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel does not want the cen­tre-left Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (PD) to win Italy’s nation­al elec­tion, out­go­ing Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter and cen­trist leader Mario Mon­ti said on Wednes­day.

    “Merkel fears the con­sol­i­da­tion of par­ties from the left, espe­cial­ly in an elec­tion year for her, I don’t think she has any wish to see the PD arrive in gov­ern­ment,” Mon­ti said in an inter­view with Ital­ian news agency Adnkro­nos.

    His remarks were con­firmed by his spokes­woman, who added that he was express­ing his opin­ion and was not claim­ing to have spo­ken to Merkel direct­ly on the mat­ter.

    A Ger­man gov­ern­ment spokesman said, “The chan­cel­lor does­n’t com­ment on the Ital­ian elec­tion cam­paign and has not done so in the past.”

    The com­ments could nev­er­the­less be embar­rass­ing for the Ger­man chan­cel­lor who has been at pains to stay out of the cam­paign for Italy’s vote this week­end.

    Mon­ti was respond­ing to com­ments by cen­tre-right leader Sil­vio Berlus­coni, who has repeat­ed­ly attacked the Ger­man Chan­cel­lor and claimed Mon­ti had already agreed to join forces with the PD after the elec­tion “with Merkel’s bless­ing”.


    Merkel has been keep­ing her lips sealed before the vote but in an unusu­al for­ay into an elec­tion cam­paign in a Euro­pean neigh­bor, her for­eign min­is­ter, Gui­do West­er­welle, recent­ly dropped a thin­ly veiled hint about sen­ti­ment in her gov­ern­ment.

    “We are of course not involved in the Ital­ian elec­tion ... But who­ev­er forms the new gov­ern­ment, we think it is impor­tant that the pro-Euro­pean course and the nec­es­sary reforms will be con­tin­ued,” West­er­welle told the Sued­deutsche Zeitung.

    West­er­welle is a mem­ber of the pro-mar­ket Free Democ­rats (FDP), junior part­ner in Merkel’s cen­tre-right coali­tion.


    Asked to com­ment on Mon­ti’s lat­est remarks, Bersani answered blunt­ly: “I don’t know if it’s Mon­ti’s prob­lem or Merkel’s.”

    In an inter­view on Wednes­day with local Ger­man dai­ly Straub­inger Tag­blatt, Merkel refused to take sides in Italy’s elec­tion.

    “It’s up to the Ital­ians to choose their gov­ern­ment and I won’t get involved by giv­ing rec­om­men­da­tions or by spec­u­lat­ing,” she said.

    This is the kind of polit­i­cal awk­ward­ness that the euro­zone might have to start get­ting used to because there’s one coun­try that effec­tive­ly runs the euro­zone right now and every­one knows it:

    Ger­many’s Merkel not involved in Ital­ian elec­tion: Mon­ti

    ROME | Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:23am EST

    (Reuters) — Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Mario Mon­ti rowed back on Thurs­day from com­ments sug­gest­ing that Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel had expressed oppo­si­tion to his polit­i­cal rivals on the cen­ter-left days before an elec­tion next week.

    Mon­ti, lead­ing a cen­trist coali­tion in the elec­tion, was quot­ed a day ear­li­er say­ing that he did not think Merkel had “any wish to see the PD in gov­ern­ment”, refer­ring to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, the main cen­ter-left force which has been lead­ing in opin­ion polls before the vote.

    He made the state­ment in response to an asser­tion by his oth­er main rival. Sil­vio Berlus­coni. who had said that Mon­ti and PD leader Pier Lui­gi Bersani had already agreed to join forces “with Merkel’s bless­ing”.

    “I want­ed to rebut what Berlus­coni said yes­ter­day and say that it was not only untrue but implau­si­ble,” Mon­ti said in a video inter­view broad­cast on the web­site of the dai­ly Cor­riere del­la Sera.

    In an increas­ing­ly bit­ter elec­tion cam­paign, Berlus­coni has sought to paint Mon­ti as a Merkel sub­or­di­nate, fol­low­ing “Ger­man-cen­tric” aus­ter­i­ty poli­cies ordered by Brus­sels and Berlin that he says have plunged Italy into reces­sion.


    He also denied that if he were to seek an agree­ment with the left he would need the “bless­ing” of the con­ser­v­a­tive Ger­man chan­cel­lor.

    “It’s a bit para­dox­i­cal when you think of it because Merkel and Berlus­coni are part of the same polit­i­cal fam­i­ly,” he said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2013, 11:42 am
  2. So is there a desire in Berlin to see Berlus­coni elect­ed? Because hav­ing Ger­man lead­ers open­ly tell vot­ers to not vote Berlus­coni when the elec­tions are just days away and Berlus­coni is polling a close sec­ond place seems like exact­ly the kind of move that might prop up sup­port for Berlus­coni:

    EU par­lia­ment chief tells Ital­ians not to vote for Berlus­coni

    BERLIN | Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:30am EST

    (Reuters) — The Ger­man pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, once com­pared to a Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camp guard by for­mer Ital­ian prime min­is­ter Sil­vio Berlus­coni, warned Ital­ians on Thurs­day not to back the scan­dal-rid­den media tycoon at the bal­lot box.

    Mar­tin Schulz is the lat­est in a line of Ger­man politi­cians to express fears about a pos­si­ble Berlus­coni come­back large­ly due to wor­ries he will halt Rome’s reform dri­ve that has helped to lift investor con­fi­dence in the euro zone.

    “Sil­vio Berlus­coni has already sent Italy into a tail­spin with irre­spon­si­ble behav­ior in gov­ern­ment and per­son­al escapades,” Schulz was quot­ed as say­ing in Ger­man dai­ly Bild.

    Berlus­coni has been sen­tenced to prison for tax fraud and is on tri­al for hav­ing sex with an under-aged pros­ti­tute.

    In quotes not print­ed in the paper but sent in an advance copy of the report, Schulz went on to urge Ital­ians to vote for con­tin­ued reforms.

    “Much is at stake in the forth­com­ing elec­tions, includ­ing mak­ing sure that the con­fi­dence built up by (Prime Min­is­ter) Mario Mon­ti is not lost. I am very con­fi­dent that Ital­ian vot­ers will make the right choice for their coun­try.”


    Anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty is that Berlin does­n’t want to see Berlus­coni win, it wants to see Berlus­coni almost win. Because if Berlus­coni almost wins, the like­ly win­ner, Peir Lui­gi Bersani, will be forced to form a coali­tion with the troi­ka-installed tech­no­crat Mario Mon­ti. But if Bersani can gar­ner enough sup­port in these final days of the elec­tion no coali­tion with Mon­ti will be required. Hmmm:

    Italy’s Bersani May Need Post-Vote Deal With Mon­ti: Sce­nar­ios
    By Chiara Vasar­ri — Feb 19, 2013 2:05 AM CT

    “I’ll be back” has been Sil­vio Berlusconi’s fre­quent slo­gan since he first depart­ed from the polit­i­cal field two decades ago. His first gov­ern­ment, in 1994, last­ed a mere year. It end­ed in semi-farce when his main ally, the North­ern League, pulled out. Pros­e­cu­tors announced an inves­ti­ga­tion into alleged cor­rup­tion while he host­ed a G8 meet­ing in Naples. But he was back in 2001 through 2006, when he lost by a whisker to the left; then back again in 2008, when a stum­bling left gov­ern­ment lost its major­i­ty.

    His res­ig­na­tion in 2011 was sup­posed – even by him – to be the final word. Instead, by the mid­dle of last year, halfway through the aus­tere term of the tech­no­crat Mario Mon­ti, he sniffed the air of a return from the polit­i­cal grave (or, accord­ing to his many detrac­tors, recalled that being prime min­is­ter with the immu­ni­ty of par­lia­ment was handy for one still fac­ing crim­i­nal charges). Thus he insert­ed him­self back into the lead­er­ship of the par­ty he cre­at­ed, the Peo­ple of Free­dom. At 76, Berlus­coni was on the stump once more. With bravu­ra, he has promised to pay peo­ple back – in cash — for the prop­er­ty tax­es they have paid since his depar­ture, he won a shout­ing match with two left-wing jour­nal­ists on their own TV show and he grabbed every minute of broad­cast space that he could. One could admire his tenac­i­ty if he had not been such a dis­as­ter — eco­nom­i­cal­ly, polit­i­cal­ly and moral­ly — for his coun­try.

    Berlus­coni has a chance of win­ning this weekend’s elec­tions. Rober­to D’Alimonte, one of Italy’s lead­ing polit­i­cal sci­en­tists, argues that the Peo­ple of Free­dom are a mere five points behind the left coalition’s 31 per­cent poll score. Berlusconi’s tal­ly may be too low if some peo­ple are ashamed to tell poll­sters they will vote for him. He’s a mas­ter of the late surge (as in 2006, where he nar­row­ly snatched vic­to­ry after trail­ing bad­ly).

    Still, the left coali­tion is poised to win the elec­tion, as D’Alimonte con­cludes. Its leader, Pier Lui­gi Bersani, is a man of some decen­cy, it seems, and no ide­o­log­i­cal left­ist – if a for­mer com­mu­nist. As min­is­ter of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment in the last left­ist gov­ern­ment, he was the man in charge of mar­ket lib­er­al­iza­tion and com­pe­ti­tion, and he encour­aged a sig­nif­i­cant amount of both. His vic­to­ry, though, is like­ly to be par­tial. He will need at least one ally, and that ally is like­ly to be the Civic Choice Par­ty, formed a few months ago by Mon­ti.

    Mon­ti, though he is seen as a sav­ior in gov­ern­ing cir­cles abroad, is much less pop­u­lar in the coun­try that has had to suf­fer his aus­ter­i­ty. He made up his par­ty hasti­ly, with two one-time sup­port­ers of Berlus­coni – the Chris­t­ian Demo­c­rat Pier Fer­di­nan­do Casi­ni and the for­mer leader of the Nation­al Alliance, Gian­fran­co Fini – nei­ther of whom had high pop­u­lar­i­ty rat­ings. Still, the 12 per­cent-15 per­cent Mon­ti has been show­ing (polls are now banned until Sunday’s elec­tion) could trans­late into 30–40 seats. An alliance could give the left a major­i­ty. A Bersani-Mon­ti coali­tion is now being tout­ed in Euro­pean chanceries, trea­suries and edi­to­ri­als as the best out­come, giv­en that a Mon­ti vic­to­ry seems impos­si­ble. There is fer­vent hope that he would be giv­en wide lat­i­tude and strong polit­i­cal sup­port for reforms that could reach much fur­ther.


    Mon­ti said in a recent inter­view that his gov­ern­ment “had tak­en away the veil which cov­ered real­i­ty.” It had shown Ital­ians the grim truth about their coun­try that Berlus­coni had cov­ered with false opti­mism and reas­sur­ance. But most vot­ers can­not bear too much real­i­ty.

    If the most like­ly win­ner pre­vails, a strug­gle fun­da­men­tal to our age will con­tin­ue — one that pits the aspi­ra­tions of the left against the unveiled real­i­ties of glob­al­iza­tion. If these two forces come to gov­ern the euro zone’s third-largest econ­o­my, the out­come of the strug­gle will be glob­al in its impact.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2013, 1:07 pm

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