EMF? No thanks ….

The politics of monetary funds

The EU Magic Pill

Will Europe snub the IMF and set up its own “Monetary Fund”. Is this yet another “magic pill” that is supposed to solve the sort of problems seen with Greece recently?

The proposed EMF would function as a European equivalent to the IMF; a lender of last resort to financially troubled eurozone governments to ensure the stability of the euro and global markets. Under the direction of the other members of the eurozone, the EMF would dictate fiscal policy to the offending government in return for a bailout.

Its main benefit would be to free the eurozone of the ‘outside’ involvement of the IMF and thus maintain confidence in the ability of Europe to set its own house in order.

(Quoted from here)

I like this bit: “dictate fiscal policy”. The Greeks seem unwilling to accept their own government’s dictates on fiscal policy, so why they would accept anyone else’s is a puzzle.

“maintain confidence in the ability of Europe to set its own house in order” is also very good spin. Just look the language! maintain; confidence;order – all such positive buzzwords.

In fact, what will DEEP DOWN, LONG TERM maintain confidence is doing the right things that you can afford, not lending ever vaster sums and putting a slick gloss on the conditions. “Conditions”? There’s a laugh! There were “conditions” put on Greece’s entry to the EU in the first place. Unfortunately, only lip-service was ever paid to them. Why should anyone believe it will be different in the future?

The last thing we need is yet another vast, Euro-Quango. The IMF is there if required, even if it is a bit tainted through being “international” and a bit too American for some people’s taste. What advantage (apart from vainglory) is there in Europe having its OWN Fund? And LENDING ever more money isn’t the answer; doing the right things IS. For this, you don’t need an EMF.

And what happens when (or is it if?) we get a sustained “boom”? The EMF is still there, doing nothing, waiting for the next BUST. All its highly-paid officials will still be paid for years on end to do nothing – another vast bureaucracy sucking our taxes up like some great cosmic, vacuum cleaner.

Still, if it does come to pass, think of all the extra taxpayer-funded jobs and power that will accrue to Brussels!   Thanks a bundle Greece. Thanks to your humungous over-spending, corruption and general lack of the right stuff we are ALL likely to be lumbered with yet another expensive European cash-gobbling monster institution round our necks.

By Chris Snuggs

18 thoughts on “EMF? No thanks ….

  1. The sad fact though is that you cannot have monetary union and political freedom too. And by the way from what we have read from Wolfgang Schäuble you better start spelling the recipes as condizionalities.

    But be happy! Now European politicians can have the EMF to hammer and blame for all just as others have had their IMF


  2. Monetary Union has been very good, all too good, for Greeks and German business firms (inside Greece). Time to re-establish a balance: less good for both, but still good.

    Another thing; the IMF is located in Washington, DC. Americans have basically no culture. They just have plutocracy. By accepting to be ruled by Washington, Europe accepts to have no culture too, only living on her knees, trying to seduce Washington’s love for not-thinking.

    Thus the EMF is not just a question of European independence, it’s a question of avoiding decerebration.



    1. But do not forget that the IMF numero UNO is appointed by the Europeans!!!

      That said I agree that an EMF sounds more reasonable as it is an internal European affair… and you would not want Arnold from California running to the IMF either.


      1. The lipstick on the pig may come from France, it is still sold in Washington, and the pig ain’t brainy.

        DSK with lipstick is nothing to smear at…


    2. Patrice

      My dear friend …. I fear you overplay the “Yanks have no culture” card …… What about Elvis and Michael Jackson for a start? Of course, the Europeans have MORE culture but that’s just because they are OLDER.

      Anyway, who needs “culture” in a bank? You just need to understand finance; I don’t know where culture really somes into it. What I don’t want to see is yet another vast bureaucracy to be financed (BY MY TAXES) in times of boom as well as bust (though the latter are set to become much longer and more frequent).

      Re the crisis in Greece, I note the German Finance Minister has just said: “Those who go bankrupt should leave the euro.” Now there’s man after my own heart! A German, from the only serious country in Europe ….


      1. Running to the California DMV here, so no time to elaborate as needed. Jackson is culture to run by, or from, precisely (what, just really ONE really good album? And I never liked Elvis very much…).

        The nature of European investment is a vast subject. I am just talking about recovering our destiny… Taxes there always will be.

        Washington or no Washington, that is the question. Having been at the center of the sausage making, I recognize extremism is the way out. Indeed these people making their nasty polutocratic sausage believe that GREED IS ALL YOU NEED. Greed will guide you. And culture is in the way of greed. It reminds me 100% of the general cultural mood of the Nazis: when they hear the word culture, they get their basketball out.

        Why? Probably because they are basket cases. When fighting the low, low blows are what we need.

        Thank you for the “dear friend qualificative”, BTW, I much appreciate.



  3. The sad fact though is that you cannot have monetary union and political freedom too.

    PER – HI!! Have you told the people of Europe this? I am not sure they are aware of it!! Of course, the Brusselocrats are, as this is their not-so-hidden agenda.

    Of course, if the PEOPLES of Europe were told that monetary union will INEVITABLY mean the loss of political freedom, they would ditch the euro tomorrow. Of course, this is why they are NOT told it.

    Oh for the truth ….


  4. Patrice – I meant what I said …. we may not always agree (you are French and I am a dreaded Anglo-saxon after all!) but for me you are definitely on the side of the angels.

    By the way, I note that CERN is out of action for a year …… Oh dear ……. hundreds of millions per month to be spent for nothing …..

    I am reading a quite wonderful book called “The Ascent of Science” whose author claims that CERN is a waste of time …. “good science” indeed, but not “affordable science”.


    1. Wait Chris: I do not get into the Anglo-Saxon versus French fallacy. I have long lived in the USA, and I know quite well the cultural abyss is across the Atlantic.

      We had a civil war between England and France (5 centuries), but we also had one between Flanders and France, or Savoie and France, and Protestants and Catholics (which lasted more than 5 centuries, no less), or Scotland and England, etc…

      My own village in the Alps is pretty much half British in winter, and if the ski instructors did not fully master Anglo-Normand, they would have no job. Entire parts of the ski resort are off limits for British army competitions, or various other very loud British entertainment. everybody is delighted by it.

      When I meet a Brit in the USA, I always feel as if I were meeting a fellow soul.

      Now the cost of LHC is less than 10 billion dollars, the banksters’ bonuses, in the USA alone, in 2009, alone, were 145 billion dollars. Enough said. The LHC already brought a lot of technological know-how worth more than its cost. Let alone all the science it will bring (some results are already in). Some may save us, and in many ways. Knowing high energy physics is not all bees and honey. There are immensely powerful cosmic rays out there, a total mystery with ominous overtones. Knowing high energies better may provide us with some hints about the possible sources of this menace (no, apparently they are not coming from black holes in active galactic nuclei).

      Thanks for the angel side, but please remember Lucifer (Fiat Lux, Fiat LHC!) was one of us, hahaha.



      1. Wonderful comments! As I write in a piece to be published in a few days:

        The one-time cost of Cassini-Huygens mission was $3.26 billion. Just 0.3% of the cost of one year’s expenditure on U.S. defense spending.

        Science missions like Cassini enhance cooperation between nations, and greatly contribute to scientific progress which benefits everyone.

        Perhaps the big Banks would like to pick up the cost of further manned missions to the Moon?


  5. I am not against “good science”, only “unaffordable science”! I don’t wish to Labour the point, but there are scientists who feel that knowing how nucleii were composed a split second after the Big Bang may be interesting but cannot bring any practical benefits.


  6. Dear Chris:

    As I said before, I don’t even believe in the Big Bang. It’s an amusing theory, but it’s very far from being proven. I have my own version of basic physics. I believe in it more than I do the Big Bang. Interestingly, in my version, the main argument for the Bang vanishes.

    It is unfortunate that some physicists used the Big Bang, closer to theology than phenomenology, to justify High Energy and smallest-possible-scale physics.

    The smallest structure of the universe is a total mystery. There are possible theories: loop geometry, supersymmetry, string theories, and various, and varied dimension theories. we have zero idea about what is true. And more is imaginable: non Euclidean, non Hausdorff topologies. I believe in those (as part of my general theory).

    We have no idea what space is made of. The Riemann-Einstein theory of force is, essentially, a triviality. And so are Quantum Field theories (none explains space, or force, they are just put in by hand, as Laplace did.) Time is also a mystery, and space-time is a wobbly concept. All of this the LHC may well probe, and if not it, the boosted LHC planned after that.

    The LHC is eminently cheap: it keeps thousands of PhD level physicists busy for a generation, while costing about nothing. As I said, it could be life saving: evidence is that immensely powerful, humongously powerful phenomena occur in the universe. We may well be zapped, partially or not, in space, or on earth, by one of them.



    1. The best warning is ever deeper knowledge. I agree humor, especially of the black type is part of the effort…

      Don’t forget that simple facts such as why the sun corona is so incredibly hot, are not explained. This has immensely practical consequence… We need ever more physics, as simple as that. There are already unexplained facts coming out of the LHC.


      1. Patrice, there was a recent rerun of a BBC Horizon TV programme about Parallel Universes which, indeed, postulated that we may have got it all wrong about the Big Bang theory.


  7. Dear Paul:
    Hmmm… Not only I look down on the Bang, I am also zero fan of the multiverse (although New Scientist is provoking me with it in its latest issue), and I do not see how the multiverse would make the Bang go away.

    The multiverse is a solution to a problem that does not exist in my way of looking at foundations. In Everett’s original drift, it’s real crazy, all the more since there are obvious rational alternatives.

    Intuitively, the multiverse cannot work, because of Schrodinger cat. It’s like: we have a multiverse, but, wait a minute, not really, because otherwise cats would be dead and alive. good point. But then why to bother with it to start with?

    Instead I say: a process is not a process until it is a finished process. No need to be parallel all over. Quantum Mechanics delocalized processes until they are finished.

    The Bang started with a quasi joke of Gamow. Its number one problem is to make sure that the red shift is just a Doppler effect. That’s zero proven. Moreover, we have now serious problems with the universe expansion speed (forcing us to evoke “Dark Energy”).

    Ergo: everything is to be discovered. Physics has non existent foundations (except metaprinciples such as the conservation of energy).

    Although the correct foundations of a theory of economics are pretty obvious, in physics anything goes, and the LHC, or its planned boost, could bring enormous surprises, and a guaranteed progress, since it will solve the Higgs, one way, or another…



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