For whatever it's worth

Maandelijks archief: juli 2012





„De ECB zal niet eindeloos en onbeperkt staatsobligaties opkopen. Het programma waarin dat gebeurt, is ‘tijdelijk en beperkt’. ‘Van de ECB mag niet verlangd worden dat zij buiten haar mandaat optreedt“ (Mario Draghi in European Parliament, December 2011).
„Ich weise auf die Rechtslage hin. Die Verträge verbieten eine Übernahme gegenseitiger Haftung.“ (Angela Merkel, Bundeskanzlerin, May 23, 2012)
‘De vooruitgang is verbluffend. Als je vandaag vergelijkt met 5 maanden geleden, is de eurozone een andere wereld.’ (Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, Davos, January 2012).
“Russia is not Greece.” (Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister, March 2010).
“France is not Greece.” (Christian Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, May 2010).
“Portugal is not Greece, and Spain is not Greece.” (Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, May 2010).
“Spain is not Greece. But Greece is where it is thanks to a policy like Zapatero’s policy in Spain.”  Mariano Rajoy, leader of the Spanish opposition, May 2010).
“Hungary is not in the same situation as Greece.” (Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, June 2010).
“Hungary is quite obviously not Greece.” (Gyorgy Matolcsy, Hungarian Finance Minister, June 2010).
“Spain is neither Ireland nor Portugal.” (Elena Salgado, Spanish Minister of Finance, November 2010).
“Ireland is neither Spain nor Portugal.” (Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General, November 2010).
“Ireland is not Greece.” (Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, November 2010).
“Greece is not Ireland.” (Giorgos Papakonstantinou, Greek Minister of Finance, November 2010).
“Ireland is not in Greek territory.” (Brian Lenihan, Irish Minister of Finance, November 2010).
“Ireland is not Greece.” (Michael Noonan, Irish Minister of Finance, June 2011).
“France is not Greece and it’s not Italy either.” (Barry Eichengreen, American economist, August 2011).
“Italy is not Greece.” (Rainer Bruederle, Germany’s FDP parliamentary party leader, August 2011).
“Italy is not Greece.” (Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister, October 2011).
“Austria is not Greece.” (Karlheinz Kopf, parliamentary faction leader of Austria’s People’s Party, November 2011).
“Italy is not Greece.” (Christian Lindner, FDP general secretary, November 2011).
“Portugal is not Greece, and it will not turn into Greece.” (Antonio Saraiva, head of the Confederation of Portuguese Industry, February 2012).
“Spain is not Greece.” (Richard Youngs, head of the Madrid-based think tank FRIDE, May 2012).
“Portugal is not Greece.” (Pedro Passos Coelho, Portuguese Prime Minister, June 2012).
“Italy is not Spain.” (Ed Parker, senior director of Fitch Ratings Agency, June 2012).
“Greece is not Argentina.” (Yiannis Stournaras, Greek Minister of Competition, July 2012).
“Germany is not Zimbabwe.” (Paul Casson, fund manager from Henderson Global Investors, June 2012).
“Spain is not Uganda.” (Mariano Rajoy, Spanish Prime Minister, June 2012).
“Uganda does not want to be Spain.” (Asuman Kiyingi, Foreign Minister of Uganda, June 2012).

“To understand Europe, you have to be a genius. Or French.” Madeleine Albright.

With thanks to:




DUTCH TREAT voor Amerikaanse neef

“How y’re doing, Billy boy?”, vroeg volle neef, liberaal, ondernemer, viertalig,  bedrijven in Colorado en Quebec, inmiddels ruim 7000 werknemers, 50.000 Longhorns, Obama spekker. Thuis in alle tijdzones, no-nonsense optimist, charmante causeur, die niettemin meende dat ‘gender’ deel uitmaakt van een Indonesische rijsttafel.

Op zoek naar nieuwe uitdagingen in en buiten de EU,  samenwerking, jointventures, agrarische sector  met aanverwante technologie. Goed op de hoogte van schier onbegrensde subsidiemogelijkheden van de EU.

Crisis? Deze werd weggewuifd met “Our granddad survived the Wall Street crash, our fathers WW2, otherwise we would’nt be sitting here, ain’t, neph?”

Klopt, hét favoriete boek van onze Nederlandse grootvader, Sassenheimse bloembollenteler en exporteur met eigen kantoor en Bentley in New York, was in die tijd Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  American Blondes hoorden daarbij, getuige volle neef. Grootpapa kweekte en exporteerde een nieuwe narcis, vernoemd naar ‘Peeps’, een maîtresse in de roman. Zijn in Nederland achtergebleven vrouw gaf mijn moeder de borst.

Amerikaanse neef zocht voor zijn nieuwe uitdagingen ook expliciet een Nederlandse Boardmember. De Nederlandse handelsgeest, het brede netwerk, nietwaar? Belangrijke, talloze contacten waren gelegd. Den Haag, Delft, Wageningen.

Een intro over Nederlandse arbeidsverhoudingen deed de wenkbrauwen fronsen. Deeltijdwerken, ADV, Home-Office werken, Flex-werkers, 13e maand, kerstgratificaties, vakantiegeld, winstdeling, pensioenbijdragen, kinderopvang, sociale lasten, fitness programma’s voor werknemers, mental health training, vrouwen quota, vakbonden, ondernemingsraad.

Grommend zei hij, “Look at this, take my son, as a student driving a Dad’s paid Bee-Em-Double You, dreaming about Porsche’s, two burnouts before he even succeeded to bypass a Bachelor’s degree. Then he decided to opt for a quiet family life, raising children, dividing his time between his family and bumping around in a creepy old Landrover in Africa, taking care and shooting pictures of elephants and gorilla’s. Thank God his wife was meanwhile breeding racing horses to keep the family alive”.
“Better take their kids as an example. Master degree’s. One of them, Laura, senior accountant in my trustfund, where the Dutch Boardmember is supposed to function!”

“ By all means, do you think I would be able to provide a decent life for 7000 employees and their families if I have to dig my head into goddamn Yoga-training? Ever heard of a flexworking CEO?”

Animerend gesprek kabbelde voort. Afronden. “By the way, where is your wife?” “She fled to Paris, shopping”.

“What about dinner then?” May I invite you? A renowned restaurant, an old castle in an even older, former Roman city along the Rhine? Excellent food and wines”.
“Thanks anyway, but a nice place here, I have a look around while you fix us something”.
“Yeah, but…, but not that much at home, a fresh vegetable and fruit salad, German Brötchen, an Erdinger Weizenbier. Perhaps from the freezer a self-made peasoup?”
“Whatever! To be honest, I’m fed up with restaurants. What I have seen so far, Dutch restaurants above all, top prices, zero service attitude, cramped spaces. At least, here I can comfortably stretch my legs”.

Zelf bereide erwtensoep uit de diepvries voor rijke neef uit Amerika op een zonnige lentedag met uitzicht op de schapenweide.

‘t Smaakte hem. Een brede grijns, twinkelende ogen.

“Probably I’ll be much better off importing this soup. What’s the recipe?  It’s gonna be a smash hit in the ski-mountains. And in the cafetaria for the employees”.


Welcome in the European Union, 450 funds, billions of euro’s :


Joschka Fischer, Project Syndicate,. , stirring up emotions in the political EU melting pot.
Anton Könen, an angry EU citizen reacts. His reaction might as well aim directly for the heart of the EU leadership.

” What kind of Europe are you talking about, Mr. Fischer? Reading your article  I feel demoted to times in which Mao Zedong, Stalin or Honecker were preaching the amenities of a communist system while people were starving to death or being hunted, arrested and even killed for their political conviction in China, UDSSR and DDR.
Without any doubt, there are winners in your kind of Europe, but for sure, those are not the people you would propably call the mob. Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and other internationally working companies do profit for sure from your Europe. Those do not have to be convinced from your system, they are already living it up to the full.
Why don´t you just explain the stupid mob, where they can find their personal advantages of your kind of Europe. Just tell millions of unemployed in Germany, Spain or Greece the advantage of being unemployed. Explain 600.000 people, most elderly, the advantage of being cut off from electrical power because they could not pay their bills. Explain the advantage of paying cash in advance for his medicine to a Greek invalid or even beter talk to a spanish youngster about the advantage of having no job, no perspective in future, no thinking about an own familiy in his own flat. An endless list of problems which obiously do not exist in your kind of Europe.

Strange, that people do not like your Europe, isn´t it?

Your Europe did have more than 10 years of time to proof that it works, and even better than other systems. The result is disastrous. Horrendous national debts all over Europe, highest unemployment rate since 15 years. Political and social disruption as we did not see after WWII. No ideas from policy but never ending and consistently louder nascent cries for more money, common accountability for debts which appears to be more and more helpless. What kind of bold fraud that is! Not even 1 single job has been created with, in the meantime more than 2000 Billion Euros, freshly printed. This money has just been used to clear manipulated balances of ailing Banks. 200 Billion for a sick Hypo Real Estate, 80 Billion for Spanish Bancia s.o. Those measures are not only of no use, they are cynical. Supporting “Systemic Institutions“ is the official term. What kind of systems do we want to support, those which create mass uneployment and social pauperisation?
As other dogmatists before, you forgot the people, who have to fill political systems, however natured, with life. You don´t explain or discuss, you only claim political statements while ignoring reality in the most arrogant manner.

Nowadays europe´s nations are more hostile to each other than ever before. Why don´t you just explain nationals from Germany or France, why they have to account for the mismanagement of Spanish or Greek Banks, well considering that the general public of those countries do not have anything to do with that. Generally this seems to be the core problem in your personal european ideology – people have been degraded to functional units, their rights to live has been reduced to just participating in your political map exercises.

The kind of politician you are, frequently make me frigthen of an upcoming war. The ideological, nearly dictatorial way how eligible fears and sorrows of people are being ignored is provoking instead of unifying. Functionaries of economy and policy are obviously not capable to learn even from the near history. I am afraid, Mr. Fischer, your “Economic Europe“  is already lying in a kind of a political palliative care unit, no hope anymore. You just forgot the people.”


A majority of the Dutch Parliament and Senate endorsed the minority cabinet under resignation to sign away a significant part of the constitutional sovereignity of the Kingdom of the Netherlands by ratifying the ESM Treaty, of which the multiple interpretation of its rules and conditions are still the subject of vehement political discussions


the minority cabinet under resignation announced beforehand that a majority vote in the Dutch Parliament to stall the Joint Strike Fighter project with open-ended consequences and costs projections, will be ignored

while new elections will be held on September 12, 2012……