Germany won't back down on its austerity plans
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble rebuffed recent criticism of Germany's handling of the euro crisis from Barack Obama, telling the US president to get his own house in order before giving advice.UPDATE: George Soros weighs in an interview with Der Spiegel:
"Herr Obama should above all deal with the reduction of the American deficit. That is higher than that in the euro zone," he told German public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday night. It is easy to give advice to others, he added,Obama, worried about the impact of the debt crisis on the global economy and financial markets -- and on his own prospects for re-election --has been urging Europe to step up its efforts to tackle the problem.
In the interview, Schäuble also reiterated his opposition to euro bonds, saying countries must remain individually liable for their public debt as long as they were taking sovereign decisions on how the money was being spent.
"If you spend the money from my account, you won't be frugal with the money," said the finance minister. He added that he was against devoting large sums of money -- for example from the European Central Bank -- to fight the crisis. The roots of the crisis needed to be fought credibly, he said, adding that that was succeeding in Ireland and Portugal, which have both received international bailouts. "It's not succeeding so well in Greece," he added. . . .
Here is a question: why exactly would countries returning to their own currencies be so bad? Here are the 10 EU countries who are not using the Euro.
United Kingdom Bulgaria Czech Rep. Denmark Hungary Latvia Lithuania Poland Romania SwedenAre they doing worse relative to other countries? It is hard to see how that is the case. Poland for example has done very well without being in the Euro and so has Germany. The difference between countries seems to depend a lot more on whether the countries followed an austerity type policy, with those controlling government spending doing much better.