Ms Lagarde points out that M. Juncker’s plan is upside down

Plans R Us in the European Union this week. Following the ‘Grand Master Plan, Details to Follow’ of last Sunday, Radio Luxembourg proprietor and Father of all his 497,584 people Jean-Claude Juncker has just been asked if he has a plan. And as luck would have it, he does. It’s a 10-point Plan, and this is it:

1 – “(Release) the next tranche, if that’s possible”

But whatever you do, don’t release it if it’s not possible. It works for me.

2 – “Ascertain the sustainability of Greek debt, otherwise we have to think about other steps that we can only take if we have given thought to all the consequences of those steps — to those outside Europe as well.”

Nope, sorry there Jean-Claude, you lost me on that one. Bit hazy on the other steps, consequences, and this ‘outside Europe’ place. There’s a lot of Outside Europe.

3 – “Strict continuation of course of budget consolidation, with automatic sanctions for repeated failures to meet budgets

Now that’s a genius idea: a disguised tax on every EU Member State, none of whom ever met a budget in their lives. This could be the bazooka we’ve all been looking for.

4 – “A road map toward bank recapitalization. The under-capitalized banks have to first try to get refinanced on markets. If that does not succeed, states have to consider whether they can jump in to make available the necessary capital.”

This is revolutionary stuff. I need some time to absorb it all. And figure out where the money’s coming from.

Tax payers should get dividends for rescuing banks.

Uh-huh. Like, they don’t cheat us out of our own money twice, you mean? It’s a step forward.

“We cannot simply hand them the money. We need to make sure that those who provide capital in whatever form are also represented in the decision making bodies — in the supervisory board, the board of directors, in management — and that we participate in the profits.”

Blimey. Nationalised banks with worker-directors. That should play well in Washington.

5 – Introduce a financial transaction tax

I think you’ll find Senor Barroso is ahead of you on this one. Also the banks will never buy it, because it means they have to pay out some money. Banking doesn’t work like that. This is a whole different model you’re suggesting here. Think carefully about it – and canvas opinion. Bob Diamond would be a good person to ask. Geli Merkel’s not keen, though.

6 – “A growth program for so-called struggling countries.”

Sounds good to me. But might it be a tough ask given the IMF and Frau Merkel just told them all to sell their shirts? And what do we do about this pesky euro thing? It’s hellish expensive you know. Just a thought.

7 – “A different tone in Europe on budgets. It is not acceptable that European Union countries are divided into those who give and those who take.”

Well, that’s France buggered in perpetuity. Although I just spoke to George Osborne, and on behalf of the UK he says, “Where do we sign?”

8 – “Stronger regulation of financial markets”

Whooooa there cowboy…..regulation? Ever try to regulate a game of chess in a madhouse? It’s fun, but pretty soon all the chess pieces disappear, and there’s a new game called Polish Roulette with Six Full Chambers. I wish you well with this one J-C, but watch out for the Grassy Knoll.

How about we demolish the madhouse, and start again? No? I guessed not.

9 – “A new way to deal with ratings agencies.”

Right on. Buy them? Bribe them? Shoot them? I think this is a More Details to Follow subject, Jean-Claude. But you’ve made a good start.

10 – “We need an economic government. I’m delighted that the number of those supporting this idea has grown rapidly.”

You’re a man after my own heart. If there’s one thing I see as the cancer of our age, it’s uneconomic Government. For as you know – and it’s obvious you do know, given those ten points above – uneconomic governments borrow more money than they can pay back because they’re too busy sharing out the money, and administering stuff, and passing laws. And making plans.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans”. (J. Lennon)

Related: Merkel & Sarkozy don’t have a plan…but does Mario Draghi?

Merkel is in clover, but Sarkozy is in jail.

The Importance of being urgent.


  1. End socialism in Europe that would free up billions by slashing benefits and Green taxes.

    The old Eu way of ‘if it moves tax it’ just isn’t good for growth in the 21st Century.


  2. Plan B

    Looking to the long term it should be a capital offence for governments to ever borrow money!! It is a complete negation of democracy.

    Plan C Over a period of several months Germany should mobilize its forces and invade Poland. France will surrender shortly thereafter. There will then be a sweep through the Balkans culminating in a triumphal entry into Athens.

    Following this period of excess an organisation will be set up throughout Europe to prevent anything similar ever happening again!!


  3. I read this morning that Birmingham local authority has just been awarded a AAA rating by one of the ratings agencies.

    Apparently they are jolly happy about it but it sort of fills me with dread for some reason.


  4. That also removed the need for civil servants to administer and prevent ways of getting out of paying the taxes in the first place


  5. “End socialism in Europe…”

    I agree but …if one includes political parties and voters who deny having socialist sympathies, it would require the extermination of 90% of the political elites and 70% of the population.


  6. Is that the best J-CJ can manage.

    Why doesn’t he ask Baldrick to advise him?

    If this is the best an expert can do what sort of ideas are coming from the politicians? Fingers in ears, La La La, La La La?


  7. “Tax payers should get dividends for rescuing banks.”

    Of Course, why didnt I think of that!
    Northern Rock, should have received a £10bn bailout, and immediatly paid £10bn of dividends to the Government, to fund, another £10bn bailout.


  8. John — Have you ever thought of applying your analytical skills to the cause of situation comedy? You have a nifty turn of phrase — suggested titles might include the word ‘minister’ or ‘life’


  9. Maurice
    I have two chums with whom I occasionally write sitcom scripts. But the ageism in the BBC is far worse than any other form of bigotry.


  10. A view on monetary union breakdown (and reset):
    In January 1933 the Federal Reserve in Chicago refused to discount the bills of (i.e. lend money to) the Federal Reserve in New York. At this point the monetary union had effectively ceased to operate with any degree of coherence – and banking system regulations were de facto imposing capital controls at state boundaries. By the Roosevelt inauguration in March 1933 thirty five states had bank holidays, and most of the rest had limited withdrawals from their banking systems. The dollar still existed, and was still legal tender, but it was practically impossible to move it across a state boundary except in physical form (and it was increasingly difficult to obtain in physical form). Barter began to replace currency as a medium of exchange.

    The situation was remedied with a federal bank holiday in March 1933 – which effectively shut down the entire monetary union for a period of two weeks. Banks then reopened gradually, and interstate transfers where once again possible.

    The US example is of interest to the Euro area not because it succeeded, but because the monetary union held together. A combination of labour mobility, banking reform and recapitalisation, and a more complete fiscal union allowed the monetary union to be reconstituted on a more workable footing.


  11. Interesting. If there’s one certainty about the e-zone crises it’s that it was caused by a complete lack of fiscal discipline among many of its members. That led to monetary expansion by the ECB and profligate spending by ClubMed, including France, and the build up of huge debts. The gravytrain syndrome that the EU-cratocracy encouraged as part of its greater plan for the USE.

    The outcome of this mess being worked on by the northern political elites will very likely include somebody taking control of e-zone fiscal discipline to prevent such a shambles ever arising again. Since Germany is the only country left standing, it will have to be that somebody.
    Assigning that role to France would be a farce beyond belief.

    What the solution will never admit to is that single currencies are a bad thing, not a good thing. They solidify the differences between different economies/societies in regions and countries. They do not encourage productivity or regional investment. They essentally become a federal welfare system where monetary transfers become the norm. One look at the United States provides evidence of this: the southern states receive $billions of federal each year to support them, all sourced from taxes collected from the 4-5 economic engines up north and the west coast.


  12. @MG:
    I think that might happen when the Islamic hoardes reach critical mass.
    It will then become a stoning offence to complain about low interest rates on savings!


  13. BT
    I agree with what you say, but would like to put a different spin on your thoughts. I quote:
    “That led to monetary expansion by the ECB and profligate spending by ClubMed, including France, and the build up of huge debts. The gravytrain syndrome that the EU-cratocracy encouraged as part of its greater plan for the USE.”

    The profligate spending was not reigned in by the overseeing ECB, who in characteristic form thought nothing of tending carefully the status of the loans it had so generously given out.

    That is the root of the problem here: nobody was careful. In a carefully constructed copy-cat operation of the US mortgages fiasco, the ECB did its level best to ignore any and all financial and economic indicators. In doing so, it judged that the conditions for further lending were in its misjudgement still good. So it lent out yet more money.

    Do you see my point? Not only were the peripherals wayward with their spending, what else could they do when the ECB was happily splashing the money around without a care.

    My oft-quoted Bildzeitung reader would have begged to differ, but being a humble and unqualified worker would of course know no better than his highly qualified academic worsers.


  14. There will be no fiscal union as there is no European demos if they try we’ll descend into chaos.

    Still this might be the trigger for the UK to withdraw (we’ll still be blamed for the EU’s collapse though)


  15. Thank goodness I have got you as my translator John, cos it all sounds Double Dutch to me!
    Or should that be all Belgium, French, Greek, Irish, German, Spanish, Portuguese……….!!.


  16. @Gemma: “Do you see my point?”

    Yes, I certainly do.
    But I also think that ClubMed high spending was actually an intended strategy by the EU-cratocracy. Large grants were given by Brussels for ClubMed infrastructure projects (who hasn’t seen EU Billboards in Spain, Portugal, Greece alongside new major road construction projects?).
    They borrowed the rest. The EU were anxious to demonstrate the euro was a success but failed to mention that these huge grants were nothing to do with the euro at all.
    Of course all this nonsense also led to consumer inflation but much of that is hidden by the fake CPI measurement, just like in Britain.

    As one person I know has said to me many times: “the euro was always an inflationary currency”. He refers to the money supply and there is statistical evidence that the ECB was pumping up the money supply from Day One of the euro.


  17. “There will be no fiscal union as there is no European demos if they try we’ll descend into chaos.”

    These may well be famous last words!
    IME, few people who live under democracy have much time for it. They’re much more interested a government that does what they want, elected or not.


  18. I think that Mr Barroso has a simpler one point plan:
    In a speech, Mr Barroso said banks must set aside more assets to help guard against future losses.
    It’s good to have the big intellects on our side.


  19. Barroso and the Commission have given a 5 point plan today.

    Point 5 was

    “Building robust and integrated economic governance for the future, based on the existing treaties (Article 136), reinforcing the Community approach. Building on the reinforced “six pack” on economic governance and the European semester already adopted, the proposals seek to integrate the European Stability Mechanism and the Stability & Growth Pact into the same fully integrated governance system to increase coherence and efficiency. This would provide new powers for the Commission/Council to intervene in the preparation of national budgets and monitor their execution. Enhanced cooperation should be envisaged in all cases where otherwise decisive action would be held back.”

    Next step toward European federalisation.Barroso et al never being ones to miss taking advantage from a crisis.


  20. @Gemma: I dunno what evidence you have of them not doing their own analysis. Obviously they will use data that is often in the public domain.
    But they would claim that their in-house expert analysis of that data allows them to determine whether a bank or sovereign is AAA rated or whatever. AIR, when they issue public statements of a downgrade, they invariably provide the reasons why.


  21. Actually, as part of that suggestion he did make one good suggestion – that banks should not be allowed to pay bonuses or dividends until they have recapitalised.properly.


  22. And how does Mr Barroso intend to enforce his brilliant idea?

    The answer is he cannot, short of taking control of them, so it’s just more socialist blather from an EU-loon.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s