Despite the sore shoulder German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck has received by patting himself there so vigorously, he has expressed delight at financial markets’ reactions after Germany’s 500 billion Euro rescue package (in Europe it’s forbidden to call these packages bailouts) was endorsed by the Merkel cabinet, the biggest state intervention in the Germany economy since World War II.

“We’re in love with the success,” a visibly in love with himself Steinbrueck gushed. That he had been all down in the dumps the day before while announcing how Germany will fall short of its goal to balance the federal budget by 2011 because of this and, well, other issues, was apparantly long forgotten. This was the same guy who recently lectured us about Anglo-American capitalism.

Now, I’m quite an optimist, honest. And I find the markets’ reaction yesterday a wonderful thing, too. But, uh, was that really it? All that doomsday prophecy is over already? Well, what was all the excitement about then? I mean, Germany is well known for having hysterical outbreaks, of course, but this one was a little bigger or, uh, more heftig (intense) and international than usual, don’t you think? It ain’t really over, is it?

Or could it be that the ghost of Herbert Hoover is still “stalking a generation of world leaders battling to save their economies, as well as their own political skins, from the global financial crisis.” I love ghost stories, don’t you?

“Hoover, inaugurated in March 1929 in an epoch of affluence, got good initial grades for his response to that October’s stock-market crash. He implored industry leaders to maintain wage rates, pushed Congress for more public-works spending and coaxed the Federal Reserve to loosen credit… There was some feeling of rallying around the only leader one had, but by the midterm elections of 1930, where the Republicans lost numbers of seats, Hoover had become increasingly unpopular. In his last two years in office, it’s not too much to say that he became a pariah.”

Gruselig (spine-chilling), huh? And that’s without the campfire. You know, the ones they used to light up in Hooverville… (place evil Vincent Price laughter here). What might a Merkelville look like? And more importantly, will there be access to broadband Internet?  

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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