Is Germany’s Finance Minister An Austrian?

Capitalism,Economy,Federal Reserve Bank,Inflation,Political Economy


Is Germany’s finance minister really an Austrian … economist, that is?

I don’t know if Peer Steinbrück is with von Mises, but Chancellor Angela Merkel is fortunate to have him in her cabinet. He has been vetoing the assorted Pan-European economic rescue responses, which would fall on Germany’s back.

The Social Democratic finance minister is talking a little like a free market Austrian economist—advocating what this column, Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, and other libertarians advocate: suck it up.

Read the entire interview, “‘It Doesn’t Exist!: Germany’s outspoken finance minister on the hopeless search for ‘the Great Rescue Plan.'”

Newsweek being Newsweek, Steinbrück’s assessment of the a “crass Keynesianism” undertaken by the US, UK, and EU will be like pearls before swine. Here are some particularly poignant excerpts (the kind you’ve heard before here):

• No matter how much any government does, the recession we are in now is unavoidable.
• The speed at which proposals are put together under pressure that don’t even pass an economic test is breathtaking and depressing.
• The switch from decades of supply-side politics all the way to a crass Keynesianism is breathtaking. When I ask about the origins of the crisis, economists I respect tell me it is the credit-financed growth of recent years and decades. Isn’t this the same mistake everyone is suddenly making again, under all the public pressure? [The Mercer version: “A crisis that was created by cheap credit must be corrected by less of the same.”]
• The risk is greater of burning money without significant effects and in the end having a budget weighed down with even more debt. [Remember, Germany is not bankrupt like the USA is.]
• I’m ambivalent about leadership. [Mercer’s version: “’Leadership’ is a euphemism for overriding the will of the people. No sooner does the pesky popular will intrude into the debate than the top Republican contenders begin to yammer about their obligation to demonstrate ‘leadership.'”]

Here we have a European “Social Democratic” who’s more free market than the American centrists (which is what Republicans pride themselves on being).

2 thoughts on “Is Germany’s Finance Minister An Austrian?

  1. Stacey Derbinshire

    You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, I?ve spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

    [Then why not add a link to BAB on your blog?]

  2. Myron Pauli

    As long as 95% of the country likes violating the principles of limited government and we are onto the subject of Germany – I propose a GEDANKEN experiment (thought experiment) – every time a Congress or EU approves a bailout, the taxpayer gets immediately robbed of the money of the cost of the bailout. The ultimate pay as you go. Then see how many people back the bailout. Rescue GM – yes, your share is $300…. Citigroup – that will be $800 please…

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