Do Germans Find Jobs and Profits a Bitter Tonic?

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Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:08

A Washington Post piece on Jens Weidmann, the head of the Bundesbank, told readers of his anger over the European Central Bank's bailout of debtor countries and his concerns about inflation. It then told readers:

"Many Germans fear that printing the money to buy the bonds will contribute to higher inflation in the long run — a violation of what they see as the ECB’s principal mandate and a bitter tonic for a country that gave up its cherished mark in exchange for assurances that the euro would be just as stable."

It would have been helpful to remind readers that Germany enjoys low unemployment and a relatively healthy economy precisely because it has tied the southern European countries to the euro. If they still had their own currencies, they would have devalued against the "cherished mark." This would make German goods less competitive, sharply reducing its trade surplus with the rest of Europe.

Apparently Weidmann and the Germans to whom the article refers are like little children who want everything their own way. Many Post readers may not understand the absurdity of their position so it would have been appropriate for the paper to point it out.