The Mindset

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

The Mindset
In all of the tortuous moments that have taken place with the European Union the one thing that has become apparent is a radical change of mindset. In the beginning there was a kind of democratic viewpoint. All nations had a voice and while some were louder than others; all were heard. This is no longer the case.
There is but one mindset now and it is decidedly German. It is not that this is good or bad or even someplace in between. That is not the real issue. The crux of the matter is that not all of the people in the EU are Germans and so they are not used to being treated in the German fashion, they do not live their lives like Germans and, quite importantly, they do not wish to be Germans.
There is the problem.
The Germans will do what is necessary to accomplish their goals. There is nothing inherently bad or evil about this but it is taking its toll on many nations in Europe. In the case of Greece they went back and retroactively changed the covenants of the bond contract. They did not actually admit this of course and they called it other names but that is what they forced on Greece. In doing so they got the bond holders to shoulder a good deal of the expense of the bailout of Greece. You can say, "Right," you can say, "Wrong," but that is what they did. They accomplished their goal.
Always remember that the Germans are under severe financial pressure. They are still paying the bill for the East Germans. They support Target2 and their economy is just $3.6 trillion which is a fraction of the entire Eurozone. They are trying to support a house with less than desirable supports.
Then we come to Cyprus and they make it complicated and put one bank with another bank and take money from depositors and call it a "Tax" and say that people and institutions are liable for where they keep their money when it is more than 100M Euros. All true of course but they do not allow for any "Rule of Law" or "Due Process" by the judicial system but just mandate that the money will be used to help pay Europe for a loan to the sovereign government. Then they also tagged senior bond holders reversing their position of the last years so now, so that it can now be said with accuracy; everyone is at risk. Consequently they have to pay less and they have accomplished several goals which are to punish a "Casino Economy," to put Cyprus in the same position as Greece, which is not only bankrupt but a ward of the European Union, and finally to insist, by the use of money, that Cyprus succumbs to the German demands. Note that CDS in Europe (Markit iTraxx Financial Index) has jumped 22% in just one week.
It is the occupation of Poland in a very real sense just accomplished without tanks or bloodshed as money is used instead of armaments to dominate and control a nation. Politically you may "Hiss" or you may "Applaud" but there are consequences here for investors that must be understood.
First and foremost is that they will not stop. Nothing will be allowed to get in their way. It can be senior bond holders one day, bank depositors the next, the dismantling of some Parliament on the day after that, a wealth tax on corporations on Thursday, the disallowance of dividends on Friday; with every announcement to come on Saturday evening. The next week can be a cap on bank bonuses, a demand that the cap on bank bonus savings be returned to the State, a financial transaction tax that gets expanded and taxes all bond coupons and the list goes on. What might be, could be, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will be allowed between Germany and her desire to control all of Europe.
I do not speak of motivation here. I am not bashing Germany in the furtherance of their desires. That is a useless and unnecessary exercise. However, what is profoundly necessary, if you invest in Europe, is to understand the risks that you are taking. If you place money in securities on the Continent then what is yours is theirs when they want it. I suggest you clearly understand that proposition and allow for that occurrence.
You no longer have any excuse after Greece and Cyprus. Everything may be called "one-off" but nothing is "one-off" as Germany expands its power wherever they can and by any means necessary. If you believe the propaganda, if you believe what you are told every day by the Press then I can virtually assure you that you will suffer dire consequences at some point and you will now have no one to blame but yourself.
There is also one "unintended consequence" of Cyprus and Greece. No one is going to invest in the local banks. Keeping money in the German banks, the Swiss banks or maybe even the French banks may go on but the local banks in each country are finished. In a clever move, the problems with Greece and Cyprus will drive the money from the local banking institutions in the troubled countries. Watch for capital flights in Spain, Portugal and Italy as their banks will be found unsafe and with good reason.
It is unknown, as of yet, if Germany can win this game. What can be said though is that, nation or investor, you will put yourself at peril by getting in their way. The current risks, in my opinion, are dramatically more than imagined by many or generally thought to be the case. There is no more investing in Europe just gambling and speculating and suffering the consequence of either. Anything can be changed, anything can be modified, and when the forfeiture of people's savings is trumpeted as a "Tax" then even the English language has lost some of its meaning.
"Better to be safe than sorry," has never had such important consequences as it does now in the European arena of the Great Game.

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GetZeeGold's picture



Heil us......or else!

Ghordius's picture

this mindset is called Ordoliberalism and it's not uniquely German

wikipedia get's it quite wrong by labelling it as a "German variant" of neo-liberalism, because it's quite older than that and has it's roots in classical liberalism, in connection with important social and conservative elements and considerations

including keeping vital parts of the industry here, instead of shipping it to the East, btw

you can do quite worse than that, imho, and many non-German europeans think like me


"There is no more investing in Europe, just gambling and speculating and suffering the consequence of either"

That's a very good one. Compared to what? Gambling and speculating without suffering consequences of either?

illyia's picture

Thank you for the link - very interesting.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

So the Germans are more prudent with their money and have a better work ethic than most of the Europeans.  What's wrong with that?

Abraxas's picture

What kind of racist bullshit is that? It's not the Germans, it's the banks. They are enslaving entire nations and you are talking about genetic and work ethics differences.

Ghordius's picture

and what are europeans doing? capping banker bonuses and using "internal resources" for bail-ins, for starters, and in the meantime declaring that banks are facilities - like water distribution systems or sewage

Abraxas's picture

EU and the bankers are on the same side of the coin in my mind. We, the people (including the German, Greek, etc. people) are on the other.

Ghordius's picture

perhaps. indeed many europeans want to keep their banking systems intact, and politicians use and abuse this "sentiment"

meanwhile imho Jamie Dimon seems to be on a different coin, the one that says: "I'm right because I make more money than you"

it's not "the banks vs. the people" anymore, it's "the megabanks vs. the banks vs. the people vs. all the other megacorporations vs. "small-biz corporations", an unpretty multi-front war like in Lebanon a while ago

Abraxas's picture

Yes, the complexity of the situation is enormous. There are multiple fronts and multiple causes. No matter how hard we try to envision what is really going on, we will almost certainly run into danger of over-simplifying. When I say the banks, I do mean the NWO.

steve from virginia's picture



Grant beats on the Germans but they're as vulnerable as the other EU states. They are just as dependent upon external sources of credit as the French ... or the Greeks.


Grant lets the banks and finance ministers off easy. Most of Cyprus' problems are the consequence of ECB actions/negligence. Netherland's finance minister Dijsselbloem nationalized bankrupt Dutch mega-bank SNS-Reaal last month. Ordinary citizens -- taxpayers' grandchildren -- picked up the tab for that as well. Nothing has changed only details. The tactic is not limited to Germany: sanctify old, dead debts and put the burden of repayment onto those who lack the means to repay, by doing so remove the possibility of obtaining those means.


The real prob is too much 'Luxury lifestyle' and no means to support it other than by taking on more debt. Unfortunately, debt itself has become non-productive. Money is borrowed under duress to retire old loans and make bankers and other lenders whole. The collateral for these old loans was burned up for nothng years or decades ago ... the outrage is the creditors attaching unrelated collateral ... bank deposits and taxpayer's funds in place of the nonexistent real collateral.


That real collateral being the petroleum fuel that Europe has wasted since the end of World War Two ... and is still being wasted today!


Padding Europe's massive fuel bill adds to the agony. Instead of voluntary conservation and reduction of the needed borrowing, there is collapsing of the borrowing regime itself from the outside in ... conservation by other, far more unpleasant means.




Pseudo Anonym's picture

but who gives a shit that

capping banker bonuses and using "internal resources" for bail-ins, for starters

when hofjuden, the private owners of the central banks are taking over the western hemisphere unrestrained.  who gives a shit that some banksters' bonuses are capped when entire nations continue to be enslaved by debt to private central banks?  when europeans start jailing and beheading those that control nations and individuals (for the last 300 years) via central banks, then you can say that europeans are actually doing something about fixing the financial system.


Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

The Germans are net producers and have surplus savings.  Its a classic face off between creditors (net producers) and debtors (net consumers).  That is a fact and not racist.  Just because the Germans are trying to protect their creditors (savers) is no reason to vilify them.

Abraxas's picture

Perhaps we see the same picture from two different angles then. You are talking about the issue at hand - Germany vs South, where I was talking about the problem with both Germany and the South being utilized for self-interests of sociopaths.

Ourrulersknowbest's picture

Ah sorry but Germany doesn't hold the monopoly on work ethic.people forget that as far back as 2003 Germany was the first euro country to violate rules within the Maastricht treaty re debt to GDP.10s of millions of Germans receive state food support.bills long due to be paid from their historical adventures not paid.
I am sick of hearing how upright and productive Germany is.when TSHTF we will see the true state of the state of Germany and their banks.

Shell Game's picture

There is nothing wrong with that.  What's happening with the EU is simply not sustainable and is yet another TBTF avoidance of reality.  To tweek some old wise words, 'Debt is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, debt is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.'

Harbanger's picture

The Germans have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, nursing care, and childcare.  Not too shabby.

Shell Game's picture

LOL, where have I heard the word 'free' before....?   ;)

Harbanger's picture

It's only free because someone else pays for it.  Socialism redistributes from the middle to the top and bottom.  That's why the savers are now being raided to feed the self consuming beast.

tango's picture

Yeah, and all those goodies are permanent since Germany is losing population every year (despite an influx of 150,000 refugees annually).   I can't quite get over the "logic" of those who think that something mathematically unsustainable is the key to future prosperity.  Your comment is a gross generalization - at least from all the Germans I know.  Like the US, those "benefist" are means tested (for votes, of course).  These benefits are riding the fugality, savings and hard work of the previous generation.  I've said it a zillion times = a welfare state cannot survive without increasing numbers of workers and that is the exact opposite of Germany. 

falak pema's picture

Well if the current reality supports your viewpoint what this is saying is : In this twisted, convoluted, sick, capitalistic first world, Pax Americana is NOT the only show in town. 

Dominant Mindset vs alternative mindset represented by two fiat dictats, as money now replaces military hegemony; but for how long?

YHC-FTSE's picture

For as long as the serfs can be milked through inflation,  bailouts, taxes, haircuts on deposits, confiscations, &  whatever else each party dreams up to keep the status quo - kicking the can to save the multinational banks and their wealth - until the rumblings of discontent becomes too loud to smother with propaganda. 

Blaming Germany/Merkel, although entertaining,  is so fucking stupid I wonder if these articles and comments aren't missing the sarcasm/irony disclaimers. If Germany really wanted to dominate the EU and a large portion of the world, they would have gone down the route of EU bonds to print their way out of the mess ages ago as the Fed has been doing, instead of making each sovereign nation be responsible for the consequences of their own mismanagement,  until they revealed themselves to be so criminally negligent the EU had to come in. Could be argued that was planned all along, but I don't think so. 

Looking at the history of the US dominated IMF, it's not hard to work out that these highly unpopular haircuts, national asset grabs, and austerity measures have all been done before by the IMF in the Far East and S.America,, and now it is using the face of the EU to implement the will of America's financial houses as the silent partner in Troika.

I have no particular love for the eurozone, but the EU might be a lot better off by trying to tackle their problems without the IMF.

Ghordius's picture

agree, but short of forcing countries like France to get rid of their small quota in the IMF I don't see how to get rid of that beast - and interestingly in the Cyprus affair the IMF seems to have showed quite a lot of competence (it pains me to admit this) - if all parties had listened to their initial proposal Cyprus might have had a (nevertheless painful) solution sooner and perhaps without weeks of bank holidays

YHC-FTSE's picture

Funny you mentioned their competence. I quite agree. The thing is, even though the US voting power is still four times larger than the second largest voter in this 188 nation slave trade, the chances of the IMF directorate going against the will of the US, although remote, has never been greater than today. That's why I reckon one false move by Lagarde favouring the EU over the IMF as they split the loot will see her removed double quick to be replaced by someone more amenable to the traditional role of the IMF - that of giving US multinationals the cream of other nation's assets.

Mercury's picture

The crux of the matter is that not all of the people in the EU are Germans and so they are not used to being treated in the German fashion, they do not live their lives like Germans and, quite importantly, they do not wish to be Germans.


And yet this same mindset allows them to be the happy beneficiaries of Germans' money and productivity - go figure.

It is unknown, as of yet, if Germany can win this game.

You mean some  other EU countries are still contenders?

Sounds like the title of this piece should be  EU: SHORT, Germany: BUY

Moe Hamhead's picture

And it's coming to a"theatre" near you!


yrbmegr's picture

Kinda scary, what's going on over there.

otto skorzeny's picture

just a test run-according to TPTB it just needs a little tweaking

Downtoolong's picture

Make no mistake about it, economic and monetary policy is warfare. Buffett was at least honest about that:

“We are engaged in class warfare, and my class is winning.”

SheepDog-One's picture

Problem is, when 'his class wins', they actually die. You're not just going to have a class of 'uber wealthy' and 99.9% dirt poor just will never work and apparently the lesson has to keep getting taught over and over for millenia.

Vince Clortho's picture

Excellent insight.

To be fair, it does work for the uber wealthy for a period of time.  The trick is to reap the rewards during your lifetime and let future Oligarchs deal with the pain when the shtf.

GoldBricker's picture

Disagree. The uber-wealthy stay out of sight. After the French and Russian revolutions it began to seem a bit risky to be the filthy rich ruler, and a new paradigm was born. Instead we have rotating masks of power, Obamas, Bushes, Merkels, etc., who look as if they don't even understand the show, much less run it.

You may know some of their family names, but not what they look like, nor where they live or hang out. The Buffets and Gateses are flashes in the pan who will build no dynasty (there's a reason for that). The real money is hiddern, intergenerational, transnational, beyond the reach of any government.

Web search the term "Occult Technology of Power" and read what you find, if interested.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Absolutely agree. Gates, Buffets are paraded out as the rich. In fact if the SHTF and if the sheeple get a taste for blood, they will be the sacrificial lambs, the countermeasures to distract from the real truth. I fell for this for many years and it's sad to see most of my associations have not connected those dots yet. Good point.


Notarocketscientist's picture

Actually try visiting any 3rd world country.  That is EXACTLY what you have.

A tiny very wealthy elite - and 99%+ living in shit.

And if you examine history THAT is what the norm has been.  Middle class is a recent and very limited phenomenon.

The elites can do quite well for themselves even if the middle class is eliminated.


Ghordius's picture

true. in fact the rise of the US middle class in the 50's was the wonder of the world - I'm sure I have written this in ZH previously

kaiten's picture

And what´s your mindset? Europhobia?

Dr. Engali's picture

 All true of course but they do not allow for any "Rule of Law" or "Due Process" 


I have not seen the rule of law or due process applied anywhere for years now. With each new "crisis" there are fewer and fewer people or institutions held accountable.

Debt Slave's picture

But, is it Germany, or the "western" powers that run Germany? After all, Germany is a democracy, where any non-German schlep can call him self a German if he can utter the language.

Lebensphilosoph's picture

'Germans' have always been their own worst enemies.

Treason Season's picture

"The Hun," said Winston Churchill, "is always either at your throat or at your feet."

Mark Urbo's picture

Mark is right - it's Germany. This is exactly their mindset. They are not going to get struck holding the bag and they will make sure its done their way or they will take their toys (only viable hope to keep the EU together) and go home... It's quite brilliant you see - they knew getting all the softer countries to tighten up their banking systems (and banks) was impossible, so they will scare the depositors into putting the money into the banks they can control. Otherwise the bailouts would go on forever.........

GhostfaceCracka's picture

I junked you, it's not Germany and it's not the German mindset. The political elite in Germany who make these decisions despise their own people, even their own nationality, doing everything they can to drown out the German people in a sea of brown immigrants. The sort of people who call for demonstrations against German nationalism whenever Turks murder German citizens on their own streets. They want nothing more than to dissolve Germany into an undiffereniated, polyglot mass of peoples, all the easier to rule. They are servants of international finance who have captured the reins of power in Germany and use its political and economic power to their own ends. Sound familiar?

GoldBricker's picture

Gotta question for you.

If Hitler killed millions and Stalin killed more, and Mao more than both of them put together, why is it OK to have a communist party in Europe but not a nazi party? I mean, if mass murder is not the differentiator, what is?

bagehot99's picture

Hitler never managed to infiltrate the western media, academia and popular culture.

Stalin did, and the ideological agenda endures.

Hitler and National Socialism, remember, were the Comintern's villain of choice in all situations, and remain so today - have you not noticed how quickly the modern leftist throws the term 'Nazi' at those with whom they disagree? It's reflexive, quite deliberate, and is designed to make 'hate' and 'extremism' things they can forever use to label non-believers.

Willi Munzenberg, the German Communist used by Stalin to effect his communication strategy in the west, is a fascinating figure, about whom anybody who wants to know how the leftist media works should read.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

could one of the reasons

why is it OK to have a communist party in Europe but not a nazi party?

be that the nazi party correctly identifies the hofjuden as private owners of central banks and jew bankers as their helpers that decimated germany twice already in recent history?  and; thus, would be best prepared to deal with the "situation" accordingly?  like executing members of the hofjuden families?  same as what the hofjuden financed bolsheviks did to the russian romanov family in 1918?

Mark Urbo's picture

I meant the decisions makers !   Who else ?

SheepDog-One's picture

Well the 'all clear' sounded to resume rotating into stawks here at all-time bubble top highs? All is well yet again I assume!

Nussi34's picture

Long anything, extrem short PIIGSF, short EU!

Aegelis's picture

Capitalism began a game of whoever has the most money wins.  The U.S. (and other countries) promoted it globally because we felt it was a fair system.  Now we're going to gripe about the game because we're losing?