On one side there are the “GAFs,” or Germany, Austria and Finland, who oppose U.S.-style quantitative easing, or asset purchases aimed at goosing financial markets. On the other side are the “FIGs,” or France, Italy and Greece, whose economies are struggling and need liquidity measures.
So far, he said, the GAFs have won, and this is what is roiling markets that have come to depend on central bank largess since the financial crisis.
The (euro), we fear, is doomed to failure at this point. The political anger that has been evidenced in the battles over (European Commission president-elect) Mr. (Jean-Claude) Juncker’s proposed Cabinet … shall erupt in full flower in the days ahead. The FIG countries cannot abide further austerity; austerity in the face of 20+percent unemployment is economic nonsense. On the other hand the GAFs, with sub 6 percent unemployment, really don’t need an expansionary monetary policy, can abide fiscal conservatism and will fight for both.
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