By Brian Parkin and Tony Czuczka
June 7 (Bloomberg) — Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s Cabinet is meeting to tie up a “decisive” round of budget cuts that will shape government policy for years to come, fueling disagreement with U.S. officials who favor measures to step up growth.
Ministers met for 11 hours until early today to identify potential savings of 10 billion euros ($12 billion) a year, after Merkel said Europe’s debt crisis underscores the need for budget tightening to ensure the euro’s stability. A large part of the cuts were agreed overnight, a government official who spoke on customary condition of anonymity said by phone. Talks resumed at 9 a.m. Berlin time.
“It’s not exaggerated to say that this Cabinet meeting will give important direction for Germany in coming years, years that will be decisive,” Merkel told reporters yesterday before ministers met in the Chancellery. She is scheduled to hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin later today.
Merkel’s government is reining in its deficit and urging fellow euro-region states to do likewise to thwart a sovereign- debt crisis. The savings risk further alienating voters angry at Germany’s 148 billion-euro share of a European plan to backstop the euro and clash with a June 5 call by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner for “stronger domestic demand growth” in European countries like Germany that have trade surpluses.
At stake for Merkel is “the credibility of Germany as one of the countries forcing the others to start fiscal tightening,” Juergen Michels, chief euro-area economist at Citigroup Inc. in London, said in a phone interview on June 4. “It’s a very fine line between fiscal tightening and not choking off the economy.”
Bund Yield Record
German 10-year bunds rose, pushing the yield down to a record low today, as concern the debt crisis may spread boosted demand for the perceived safety of the 16-nation currency’s benchmark securities. The yield fell three basis points to 2.55 percent as of 8:52 a.m. in London. It reached 2.548 percent, according to Bloomberg generic data, the lowest since at least 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell. The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.1940 at 10:49 a.m. in Frankfurt.
Tax increases, cuts in welfare and jobless benefits and the loss of about 10,000 civil service posts are among the German measures being considered, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported, citing unnamed government sources. Utilities face 2.3 billion euros in higher taxes if parliament agrees to extend the running time of German nuclear-power plants, the news agency said.
The Defense Ministry said last week there are “no taboos” when it comes to potential savings. Merkel’s Cabinet seeks to cut almost 30 billion euros to 2013, Bild newspaper said June 5, without saying how it got the information.
Germany’s budget deficit is forecast to rise to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product this year. While that’s less than half the 13.6 percent of GDP in Greece last year and smaller than the U.K.’s 11.1 percent for the fiscal year to March 2010, it’s still almost double the European Union’s 3 percent limit.
Germany’s top AAA rating is at risk unless Merkel’s government agrees on deficit cuts and persuades other euro-area nations to do likewise, Kurt Lauk, who heads a business lobby within Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, told reporters on June 2. “We’re at a decisive turning point,” he said.
Spain, which lost its top grade from Fitch Ratings last month, has seen government borrowing costs soar to a euro-era record, even after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the deepest budget cuts in at least three decades.
Roubini on Stimulus
While countries with large debt such as Italy should trim deficits and contain wages, Germany should spend more and raise wages to help fuel demand in the euro area, Nouriel Roubini, the New York University economist who predicted the financial crisis, said in an interview.
“Germany can afford having more stimulus not just this year but next year,” Roubini said June 5 in Trento, Italy.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, in an interview en route to a meeting of Group of 20 counterparts including Geithner in Busan, South Korea, said there’s no disagreement “in principle” over the need to reduce deficits, only over the pace at which action is taken.
While “it’s possible that the U.S. could use accelerating growth over time to help them reduce their deficits, in Europe we can’t count on growth alone to mend our fiscal position,” Schaeuble said June 4. “I don’t share the view that reducing deficits and strengthening growth are mutually exclusive.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.org; Tony Czuczka in Berlin at email@example.com. source http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVGqrlbamDjE
|May 26, 2010Don’t Doubt Bernanke’s Ability to Create Inflation
With the Dow Jones now down 11% nominally from its high last month, NIA has been getting hundreds of emails and phone calls asking if there is any way we could be wrong about the threat of hyperinflation in the U.S. and if indeed deflation is the real problem we need to be worried about. The names Nouriel Roubini, Robert Prechter, and Harry Dent get mentioned to us a lot, with many NIA members asking why these so-called “experts” believe deflation is in our future.
Roubini, Prechter and Dent have been wrong about the overwhelming majority of their economic forecasts over the past decade. When it comes to their latest predictions about deflation, they will actually be right to some extent. We will see deflation in some assets like stocks and Real Estate, but only when priced in terms of real money – gold and silver. In terms of dollars, prices for pretty much all goods and services are guaranteed to rise dramatically over the next few years. Creating inflation is the only thing in the world Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke knows how to do and is good at.
During the past week, the mainstream media has shifted from saying we are experiencing an “economy recovery” to now saying we are at risk of a “double dip recession”. Nothing fundamentally has changed in our economy. The fact is, the U.S. economy has been in a recession since mid-2000. All government reported positive GDP growth since mid-2000 has been due to nothing but inflation. Our economy should have experienced a depression in 2001 and an even greater one in 2008, but the depression has been temporarily avoided at the expense of an inevitable Hyperinflationary Great Depression down the road.
NIA believes it is impossible for the U.S. to experience price deflation when the Federal Reserve has held interest rates at 0% for the past 17 months. Sure, there will probably be a second wave of mortgage defaults that could cause another round of forced liquidations on Wall Street, but during any future period of forced liquidations, we doubt the U.S. dollar will still be looked at as the “safe haven” it was in 2008/2009. Gold and silver will soon be looked at as the only real safe havens because they are the only assets that provide protection from both a deteriorating economy and massive inflation. Precious metals will decouple from the Dow Jones and we will begin to see gold and silver rise at the same time as the stock market falls.
Bernanke was questioned yesterday following a speech at the Bank of Japan about whether a 4% inflation target would be better than the Fed’s current inflation target of 2%. Bernanke responded that “it would be a very risky transition” if the Fed changed their inflation target, claiming that U.S. inflation expectations are currently “very stable”. (NIA estimates the real rate of U.S. price inflation is already north of 5%.)
Unfortunately, no policymaker in the world is smart enough to accurately control the rate of price inflation through the manipulation of interest rates, and certainly not Bernanke. It’s mind-boggling to us how the mainstream media could believe anything Bernanke says about inflation after how wrong he has been about everything else. Maybe the press has already forgotten that it was Bernanke who in July of 2005 said, “it’s a pretty unlikely possibility” that home prices will decline across the country, “house prices will slow, maybe stabilize but I don’t think it’s going to drive the economy too far from its full employment path”. We are 100% sure that Bernanke will be proven wrong again when it comes to inflation.
The U.S. Dollar Index has rallied from 75 to 87 since December and is approaching its high from March of 2009 of 89. This has given Bernanke the cover to keep interest rates at a record low 0%, but NIA believes Bernanke is misreading these economic signals. When the U.S. Dollar Index reached its high last year of 89, gold was only $900 per ounce. Today, gold is approximately $1,200 per ounce. The fact that gold has held up so strong despite a rapidly rising U.S. Dollar Index, proves that our financial system is getting ready to overdose on excess liquidity. The U.S. Dollar Index has rallied only because it is heavily weighted against the Euro. The Euro is now overdue for a huge bounce, which we believe will send the U.S. dollar crashing while sending gold to new record highs.
It’s not good for us to pay too much attention to short-term volatility in the financial markets. Short-term “noise” often causes investors to second guess what they know is true. In our new documentary ‘Meltup’ (which has now surpassed 441,000 views in 10 days) we said, “If stocks were to see a nominal decline one last time, we will likely see Bernanke shoot up his largest ever dose of quantitative easing, which could turn the current Meltup into hyperinflation.”
We are seeing signs of this coming true already. Washington is now calling for another stimulus. Larry Summers, senior economic adviser to President Obama, has asked Congress to begin drafting a new stimulus bill in an attempt to prevent a “double dip recession”. The proposed size of this new stimulus is so far only $200 billion, much smaller than the last $787 billion stimulus bill. However, we are sure Congress will increase the size of it, especially if stocks continue their nominal decline. The new stimulus bill will likely coincide with trillions of dollars in additional quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.
The major difference is that the Americans want to print money and spend
And the Europeans and particular the Germans want to tighten and save and stop waist!
To my mind the most prudent are of course the Europeans but it would suggest that there is a lot more pain heading our way ,with our European partners in contraction mode and the Germans demanding more austerity measures from all the other EU countries I can’t see where the jobs growth will come from
Even when our own incompetent government will be telling that Ireland is now growing again
Without growth in jobs this is just a mirage that soon will fade again.
The Billions that are been poured down the toxic banks toilets will not save or generate jobs
the billions so far have not even stabilized the situation, and with the next phase of the depression now coming down the track at us the government will need to borrow more money to plug even more holes in the toxic Anglo Irish Bank, together with the disaster that is NAMA there is no way we can borrow enough money and remain financial viable as an independent sovereign state !
Somebody please stop this madness
David Mc Williams has a new article ” Kill Anglo to save Ireland” (http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2010/06/07/kill-anglo-to-save-ireland) all independent minded people should take the time to read
We cannot afford to just sit back and allow our sovereign nation disappear in an ocean of debt
we owe it to our children and ourselves .