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Published: Jan. 23, 2012 at 6:27 AM
By MARTIN WALKER, UPI Editor Emeritus

PARIS, Jan. 23 (UPI) — There are moments, as this European drama of debt and deficit grinds on, when one wonders what Cecil von Renthe-Fink might have made of it.

A Prussian aristocrat and German diplomat who joined the Nazi Party in 1939, Renthe-Fink is one of those footnote figures of history who nonetheless embodied something important for his own time and for our own.

Having been the German plenipotentiary in Denmark, in 1943 he was moved to Vichy France to keep an eye on the nominal French head of state, Marshal Philippe Petain who was trying to open discreet links to Charles De Gaulle and the Free French movement overseas and to the British.

He succeeded in keeping Petain under control but Renthe-Fink’s real claim to fame lies in a memorandum he drafted in August 1943 for Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop on the idea of a united Europe.

It was to be a confederacy under German leadership “based on free cooperation among independent nations.” He proposed a customs-free economic union with a single central bank and eventually a common currency. There was to be a common transport plan to build an integrated system of railroads, river and air transport and autobahns, and a special plan for agriculture.

“Only by uniting can Europe maintain the position it has hitherto occupied in the world,” he wrote.

The purpose of the confederacy was “to end the period of intestine wars and overcome European particularism.” The key to the process was that the confederacy “does not mean domination, but a mutual relationship of trust and loyalty instead of the imperial methods of the former era.”

His plan, written as the British and Americans had invaded Italy and as the German armies were reeling in retreat on the Eastern front, never went anywhere while Hitler remained in power. But as a prototype for today’s European Union it looks uncannily accurate, with one exception, Britain, whom he described as “the continent’s ancient enemy.”

“Germany’s fight against England is the European War of Unification,” he wrote, and from his grave Renthe-Fink doubtless shared the delight with which many Europeans have greeted Britain’s self-imposed isolation from the latest plan to rescue the eurozone.

And from Britain has come endless suggestions that today’s Europe is unfolding according to Renthe-Fink’s plan. The Daily Telegraph declares: “The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of.” The Daily Mail announces: “Rise of the Fourth Reich, how Germany is using the financial crisis to conquer Europe.”

Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine tried to analyze not only the overheated British reaction but also developments in Germany that triggered it, like the proud assertion that “suddenly German is being spoken in Europe” by Volker Kauder, the parliamentary leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union.

And his counterpart on the left, SPD parliamentary leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier, chimed in that there are Germans who already anticipate “Britain’s departure from the EU.” And Brits bridled at the threat to the City of London when Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that “no country, no financial center and no financial product can be unsupervised from now on.”

And yet the curious feature of this so-called Fourth Reich is how reluctantly the Germans themselves seem to approach the idea. Their foreign policies are relentlessly pacifist and their defense budget isn’t much more than half of what the Brits and the French have been spending.

German policy in the euro crisis has been to avoid leadership and to reject the kind of full-blooded economic integration that Europe’s federalists seek. Berlin has repeatedly turned down suggestions of a common euro-bond, backed by all the member states.

Above all, Germany doesn’t want to be stuck with the bill for rescuing this Europe that is alleged to embody its long-held dream of a German-dominated continent.

The Germans know, because they have tried and counted the cost of their failure, that it cannot be done. Nor do today’s Germans want to do so. What they want is for feckless Italians and Greeks to work hard and pay their taxes and control their debts like Germans do and not expect Germany to continue paying Europe’s bills.

The harsh reality is that Germany will be less and less able to do so in the future. The Germans know that they have one of the lowest birthrates in Europe. They remain today the country with the largest population in Europe but within 25 years they will be outnumbered by both the French and the British who have Europe’s highest birthrates and will this in the future have Europe’s main potential labor force.

Today there are fewer than 7 million little Germans below the age of 10. There are 8 million little Brits of that age and 8.2 million little French boys and girls.

That is the ultimate refutation of the dream of Cecil von Renthe-Fink and the irony of modern Europe. They have created a Europe that rests and depends on a strong and vibrant German economy but we are running out of Germans

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/Walker/2012/01/23/Walkers-World-A-Fourth-Reich/UPI-24631327318020/#ixzz1pQo1QTPy

A day in the life of german business


FRANKFURT, Germany and NEW YORK, Dec. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A group of investment funds filed a lawsuit against Porsche Automobil Holding SE (“Porsche SE”), seeking to recover approx. 2 bn Euro in losses suffered as Porsche SE attempted a takeover of Volkswagen AG (“VW”) in 2008. The complaint, filed in the district court in Stuttgart, alleges how Porsche SE gained control over the price of VW common stock as it secretly built enormous derivative positions covering almost all of VW’s freely traded shares, then triggered aFRANKFURT, Germany and NEW YORK, Dec. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A group of investment funds filed a lawsuit against Porsche Automobil Holding SE (“Porsche SE”), seeking to recover approx. 2 bn Euro in losses suffered as Porsche SE attempted a takeover of Volkswagen AG (“VW”) in 2008. The complaint, filed in the district court in Stuttgart, alleges how Porsche SE gained control over the price of VW common stock as it secretly built enormous derivative positions covering almost all of VW’s freely traded shares, then triggered a massive short squeeze, and finally released billions of Euros worth of shares into the short squeeze for its own profit. One of the focal points of the complaint is Porsche’s press release that triggered the short squeeze. On October 26, 2008, Porsche SE suddenly revealed the extent of its huge derivative position and claimed control over 74.1 per cent of VW common stock. For the first time, after strong denials in the weeks and months before, Porsche SE confirmed that it wanted to cross 75 per cent and implement a domination agreement which would give it full control over VW and its liquidity. This resulted in what the New York Times called “a short squeeze of historic proportions.” Plaintiffs also filed an arbitration application regarding VW, two members of the VW supervisory board and one member of the management board of VW. The funds are represented in Germany by BROICH Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwaelten. Contact: Kornelia Spodzieja Charles Barker Corporate Communications +49 (0)172 622 7007 SOURCE BROICH Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwaelten massive short squeeze, and finally released billions of Euros worth of shares into the short squeeze for its own profit. One of the focal points of the complaint is Porsche’s press release that triggered the short squeeze. On October 26, 2008, Porsche SE suddenly revealed the extent of its huge derivative position and claimed control over 74.1 per cent of VW common stock. For the first time, after strong denials in the weeks and months before, Porsche SE confirmed that it wanted to cross 75 per cent and implement a domination agreement which would give it full control over VW and its liquidity. This resulted in what the New York Times called “a short squeeze of historic proportions.” Plaintiffs also filed an arbitration application regarding VW, two members of the VW supervisory board and one member of the management board of VW. The funds are represented in Germany by BROICH Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwaelten. Contact: Kornelia Spodzieja Charles Barker Corporate Communications +49 (0)172 622 7007 SOURCE BROICH Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwaelten

Sarah Palin, Tipper Gore to run Newsfire 10 minutes ago


Sarah Palin and Tipper Gore announce political alliance presidential race, keep the pipeline of information flowing.

Beware the ides of startch


Did you notice that the company with the rep without the suit and tie does better than the company with the suit and tie rep.

Once again preparations are under way to relieve IRA’S of Cash


When IRA”s first came out. I told my friends they would steal it all.  A friend of mine just called to tell me my prediction has come true on several occasions, and another occasion is on the way.  I sold all my holdings 600 million to be exact. and was subpoenad in the MF GLOBAL fiasco. Guess my friend was right.

MF Global who has the 600 million


Rest assured smileofthehour does not have MF Global’s 600 million.

Congrats to Greek leadership


Congrats to greek leadership for bring the people of the country into the vote. Short everything

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