Monday, August 27, 2012

The Stone Guest


"..........Shortly before economic and monetary union (EMU) started in 1999, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said the single currency was a question of war and peace. He was right to set the euro in the context of an epochal struggle between binary forces perennially tearing at the German soul: instability and stability, East and West, Poland and France, America and Russia, capitalism and communism.

    Yet even Kohl did not foresee that EMU, the proudest yet most vulnerable of Europe’s accomplishments, ............"  etc., etc. and again etc.

[see below REFERENCES "In euro crisis, Merkel is replaying 1931"]

     Significantly Kohl  listed all the possible imaginable categories of binary (= dialectical) forces  except  only one.

"......In recent days, he has said publicly it has to go in one of two directions. Either it takes the path of a fiscal union in which member countries fuse together their economic and financial systems into a much more robust framework that will protect them from internal dislocation. Weidmann says, coolly, this is somewhat unlikely. Or EMU remains a looser grouping of countries that will face the discipline of the financial markets if they fail to produce economic convergence. This could lead to harsh consequences in cases where states fall out of kilter with stronger-performing economies. ........."

[same source, see below REFERENCES "In euro crisis, Merkel is replaying 1931"]

     The Counter Reformation as The Stone Guest of any European common discourse.

     Therefore the religious union of Europe pursued through the threat of a "nuclear-financial mutual war of destruction":

"......Weidmann painted Draghi  at the wall

     He warns against euro bailout by printing money, the "drug" central bank financing, usurpation of authority. Bundesbank chief Weidmann attacked again
ECB chief Draghi - another German defends him

    There are monetary cultures, worlds collide here, or better, popping another. The euro crisis is increasingly characterized by a fundamental clash between the European Central Bank (ECB) and the German Federal Bank, a dispute between the Italian ECB chief Mario Draghi and its national counterpart, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann. The issue: Can and should the ECB buy up government bonds strengthened ailing euro-zone countries to support them? Is this the recipe for saving the ailing euro - or propels the currency remains, only to ruin it fueled inflation? For weeks this dispute is gaining focus - as well as the wording of the so thoughtful central bankers. ECB President Mario Draghi had earlier this month announced a second, beating stronger bond purchase program to save the euro and to help heavily indebted countries.

     On weekends Weidmann in "Spiegel" fueled the fire - and criticized the plans Draghi as sharp as straightforward. The planned purchase of government bonds was "too close to a public finance by printing money," said Weidmann the magazine. "In democracies, should decide on such an extensive pooling of risks, the parliaments and not central banks." The fundamental problems in the context of the debt crisis would not be resolved in this way. On the contrary: "The windfall would arouse the central banks continued greed," warns Weidmann. "We should not underestimate the risk that central bank financing can be addictive like a drug." ....." etc.

[also for this excerpt see below "Weidmann painted Draghi  at the wall"]

Monday, August 20, 2012

And they took the control. [second part]



Above quoted excerpts from:
Sept. 26, 2011, 12:02 a.m. EDT

In euro crisis, Merkel is replaying 1931

Commentary: Contagion risk may sweep away the status quo



The "Stone Guest":


".....Anyway, that’s not really the point of this post. At a conference some years ago I was talking to an Italian colleague of mine and he told me something I found fascinating, which is that the Comendatore scene had led to an idiomatic expression in Italian Il Convitato di Pietra (“The Stone Guest”) which is in quite common usage. 

In fact there  are other works that allude to this phrase including an earlier opera called Don Giovanni o Il Convitato di Pietra and a later play by Pushkin called The Stone Guest. 

So what does it mean? It’s not quite the same as the Comendatore scene would suggest. In Italian it is given as 

(una) presenza incombente ma invisibile, muta, e perciò inquietante e imprevedibile, che tutti conoscono ma che nessuno nomina 

which I’ll translate with my feeble Italian as 

an impending but invisible  presence, dumb and therefore disturbing and unexpected, which everyone knows but no-one names 

In other (English) words, “The Stone Guest” is someone who’s not actually present – at least not physically – but who nevertheless manages to cast some sort of a shadow over the proceedings. I’m sure we can all think of occasions when this would have been a very apt phrase but there seems to be no English equivalent. It’s not quite the same as the Elephant in the Room, but has some similarity. 

Now that I’ve had a chance to think, though, perhaps there is an English equivalent. A person who is perpetually absent but despite that exerts baleful influence on those present? A name connected with stone? 



  Bundesbank vs ECB  

Weidmann painted Draghi  at the wall

 26. August 2012, 11:22 Uhr



"On weekends Weidmann in "Spiegel" fueled the fire - and criticized the plans Draghi as sharp as straightforward.":

Bundesbank President Weidmann warns ECB from bond purchases



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