“If the teaching of experience bears fruit in us, we soon give up the pursuit of pleasure and happiness, and think much more about making ourselves secure against the attacks of pain and suffering. We see that the best the world has to offer is an existence free from pain-a quiet, tolerable life; and we confine our claims to this, as to something we can more surely hope to achieve. For the safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy. Merck, the friend of Goethe’s youth, was conscious of this truth when he wrote: It is the wretched way people have of setting up a claim to happiness –and, that to, in a measure corresponding with their desires–that ruins everything in this world. A man will make progress if he can get rid of this claim, and desire nothing but what he sees before him.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, Counsels and Maxims
I don’t know whether or not there is some grand German strategy predicated on Europe’s single currency regime; but it sure does look as if Germany policy makers are a lot smarter than the rest of the animals on the farm. They understood a single currency would allow for German industrialists to dominate the zone and develop a captive export audience. And the austerity thrust to deflate periphery countries under the guise forcing countries labor rates in line with Germany, these countries will magically be competitive. That is of course a fantasy. The last time I checked, Bangladesh has much lower labor rates than German; yet Germany doesn’t seem to be fretting about Bangladesh machine tool manufacturers stealing their markets.
…read it all at Currency Currents 24 February 2014