Art Cashin And Europe's Clashin' Culture

Tyler Durden's picture

As the ECB supposedly takes it foot off the gas, and EU Summits and 'events' loom large for the careening wagon of shared sacrifice, unity, and sovereign risk, perhaps it is the nodding donkeys of Greek and Italian technocrats juxtaposed with Ireland's feistier "R" word gambit (and of course Zee German Overlords) that makes Art Cashin reflect somewhat philosophically on recent headlines. Their stereotypical interpretation has him concerned as the potential for ever-increasing culture clashes increases across the pond as sour memories and generational hatreds abound.

Sour Memories, Generational Hatreds And Stereotypes - To put this part of the note in better perspective, let’s reprise some comments from mid-month. We were writing about some folks from Europe who were kind enough to pay a visit to an irregular meeting of the Friends of Fermentation.

The conversation quickly went from the topic of the day, Greece, to the topic of the year, the existence and survival of the Euro-zone.


As the conversation became more intense, emotions rose closer to the surface. One finally said – “Look, over the last 150 years, the Germans have tried to dominate Europe through military might more than three times. The results were horrible for all. The French hoped that a European Union could co-opt any risk of another occurrence. With Germany as the centerpiece of an economic union, they would be foolish to attack anyone in the hope of becoming dominant.” “What the French never realized”, he went on, “was that Germany might come to dominate Europe without the use of tanks or airplanes. Be careful what you wish for”. The others all nodded heartily in agreement.


I gently tried to question whether most of Europe really felt that the Germans were using the crisis as an opportunity to dominate Europe. In reply, they cited the heartfelt letter of the Archbishop of Athens that we had noted last week.


"You saw that His Excellency referred to the people suffering being comparable to what they had suffered under German occupation in World War II. Do you think that was an accident? He made that reference with a purpose."


This deep seated distrust of the Germans was rather pervasive in the group. Headlines and stories coming out of Europe in recent days suggest that my cocktail associates were not unique. The exchanges are quite sharp, especially in Greece.

Over the weeks, since the sniping at Germany and allusions to its militaristic past have grown to a near cacophonous roar in European circles. Henry Chu, in Monday’s LA Times had a column on the topic that was headed like this:

Germany finds itself back in power in Europe


Germany is the unquestioned boss amid Europe's debt crisis and economic woes. But the turnaround has inspired discomfort among its neighbors and among Germans.

But the true sense of how strong these feeling have become is most evident in a commentary piece in Monday’s Der Spiegel by Jan Fleischhauer. Here’s the opening paragraph:

The German parliament is set to approve a new multibillion euro bailout package for Greece on Monday, but instead of thanks, southern Europeans are expressing their dislike of us. Germans will have to get used to their new role: We have become the Americans of Europe.

Now they’ve done it - “the Americans of Europe”. The author then reviews the caricatures that are evolving:

Sentiment towards the Germans isn't very good in the region right now. Hardly a day goes by without Chancellor Angela Merkel being depicted in a Nazi uniform somewhere. Swastikas are a common sight as well. It doesn't seem to help at all that we faithfully approve one aid package after the other. If calculations by experts are true, then we are far beyond the point where we are just providing loan guarantees.


A good deal of the €130 billion expected to be approved by the German parliament on Monday will never be seen again. But if you read the editorial pages of newspapers in the crisis regions, for whom this money is intended, you would be led to believe that we are out to achieve what our grandfathers failed to do 70 years ago (and this despite the fact that research into Hitler outside of Greece is fairly unanimous in the belief that National Socialism didn't launch its tyranny of Europe with a bailout package).


It won't be long before they start burning German flags. But wait, they're already doing that. Previously we had only known that from Arab countries, where the youth would take every opportunity to run through the streets to rage against that great Satan, the USA. But that's how things go when others consider a country to be too successful, too self-confident and too strong. We've now become the Americans of Europe. The role reversal won't be an easy one either -- it is already safe to say that today. We Germans are accustomed to having people admire us for our efficiency and industriousness -- and not to hate us for it.


But before we complain too much about all this ingratitude, we should remind ourselves that we ourselves spent years passing the buck. As long as the global villain was America, the Germans joined in when it came to feeling good at the expense of others. The Americans also had every reason to expect a little more gratitude -- after all, it was their soldiers who had to intervene when a dictator somewhere lived out his bloody fantasies while the international community stood by wringing its hands.


It is a thoughtful and well-written essay that shows the kind of culture clashes that may be evolving as the sovereign debt crisis proceeds in Europe. Let’s hope we can move past the stereotype lest more unrest fills the streets.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Get ready for the mother of all (international) FOOD FIGHTS.

Born Patriot's picture

This is exactly why Europe is collapsing. Multiculturalism DOESN'T WORK morons!

NotApplicable's picture

Oh, there you are! I've been wondering when net access would be restored to the SPLC.

I'll give you credit today for finally coming up with a decent troll, instead of your normal waaaaay over the top racist rants, as multiculturalism is a valid divide and conquer tool.

the tower's picture

No he's right, cause the USA shows us how it should be done: a happy family of white, lean, smart and rich übermenschen. No multiculturalism there.

Americans hate it when Europeans have an opinion about the USA. Well, I suggest you don't act like one of those Filthy French and keep your opinions on Europe to yourself. You don't live in Europe so it's none of your business. Start cleaning up your own mess.

Moneyswirth's picture

Yes, let's move past the stereotypes after the Panzers roll into Athens...

magpie's picture

„Nur zu gebrauchen, wo das Bajonett schrankenlos waltet“



sangell's picture

Die Fine Hoch!

ZeroPower's picture

Poor Germany. If theyd let Greece fall or (gasp, "worse") kick 'em out of the eurozone, the Greeks would hate them. By saving them however, the Greeks seem to hate them even more.


Toolshed's picture

Save them!!???!! I want some of what you have been smoking.

NotApplicable's picture

Okay, how about "saved them for euro-bankster food?" That better?

AnAnonymous's picture

Get on the page: US citizens want it to be believed that extortion schemes are run at the expense of the extorter and for the benefit of the extorted.

In US citizenism twisted logics, it is not possible to reach the conclusion that an extorter might take decisions to save oneself, the conclusion has to be that the extorter saves the extorted.

It can not be otherwise.

US citizen nature is eternal.

Mary Wilbur's picture

It's too bad Merkel is such a drama queen. If she had kept her head, refused to put Greece on welfare, and forced her banks to clean up their acts or go bankrupt and possibly incur civil and criminal penalties, she would have done her job. 

Moneyswirth's picture

"Germany finds itself back in power in Europe"

This should read "Germany's political oligarch elite finds itself back in power in Europe"

The German people are being collectively anal-probed with a beach umbrella. 

AnAnonymous's picture

No, no.

There is no discontinuity between a base and its elite in US citizenism.

The Germans do support what is going on.

US citizen elite acts through popular will.

That false dichotomy is somehow allocations of resources.

US citizen elite is empowered by US citizen base. By breaking the responsibility tie between base and elite, by claiming that the base is misdirected against its will by a disconnected elite, it shifts the blame entirely on the elite.

Which is good since the elite inherits large means to protect itself and get on the offensive.

US citizens are not ignorant of the fact by the way. As usual, they do not want others to copy.

When a guy sponsors 'terrorist' actions, US citizens mark the sponsor as guilty, even though the situation is the same.

Terrorists are just hitmen for the sponsor just as the US citizen elite is just hit men for the US citizen base.

The base sponsors the elite, gives the elite means which include luxury of hard defensive/offensive capacities.

Dont touch the base, go for the elite which is allocated the resources to endure the shock.

That is US citizenism.

gwar5's picture

The moochers and the moooch-not's.


Manthong's picture

"As the ECB supposedly takes it foot off the gas"


                       Um.. LTRO-2 is "off the gas" ???

lolmao500's picture

Thank God the politicians are there to save ourselves.

Bill proposes no straw hole for drive-through daiquiris

Senator Dan Claitor proposes legislation to make it illegal for drive-through daiquiri shops to copntinue to use lids that can be punctured by a straw.

"This bill simply says it can't be pre-perforated," he explained.

NotApplicable's picture

Pre-perforated daiquiri lids? This is an outrage!

CreditcalMass's picture

We're all living in Amerika, Amerika...

falak pema's picture

the ides of march are really freaking out some of these American commentators.
They see their worst nightmares in surrogates across the pond; whereas its all there on their own side to sift through; the Draculas and the Vampires of this world.
Why look for your own mirror's reflection in other people' closets?

Its right there in Congress the sacred congregation of the desperate and the damned.
Too corrupt to look at their own faces, closing their eyes to their own past deeds and hoping that the devil across the pond is worse inside than the mirror of their own dark souls.

Not a chance in hell...where ever it may be.

NotApplicable's picture

Is it too much to ask that you keep your critiques within the realm of reality and reference actual people occasionally, instead of this constant focus on collectives that only exist in the mind?

carbonmutant's picture

EU Export tax on all goods sold to Greece...

GCT's picture

Falak we all have skeletons in our closet.  Greece happens to have more then the USA currently has.  Europe is not the greatest either.  France and Briton attacked Libya on a false pretense as well.  They wanted that Brent and did not want to pay gold for it, nothing more.  Now it can be argued the USA told them to do it, but in this case we supplied them as we do not need the brent crude like Europe does.  Globally all westernized countries are in trouble including Germany. 

Germany must sell its goods to keep its economy afloat or it will do like alot of other countries and deflate.  I do not give a shit about government numbers.  I do not believe Greece is causing the problems in the American markets.  Politicians want to blame anyone else for their troubles.  Just like some countries in Europe are blaming Germany.  When it is all said and done people are basically greedy and want something for nothing and that will be our downfall.  The money games are in place to do this and make the rich alot richer, while paying the poor just enough money to survive and not riot.  We can call the schemes anything we like but in the end it will doom us or the next generation to some very hard times.  It will not matter what part of the world you are from either.

AnAnonymous's picture

Falak we all have skeletons in our closet. Greece happens to have more then the USA currently has.


Huh, no. Greece has not more skeletons in the closet than the US of A has. It is impossible for Greece to achieve that, save US citizen infinite growth mantra is real.

In terms of unsustainability, US of A beats everyone in the confined environment that is planet Earth.

Greece has something less than the US: a global free press that can win any propaganda war that is.

Hard for Greece to get out of the limelight.

Self indiction is a big no no in US citizenism and noone should expect free press US citizen journalists to point where it hurts badly.

That is the way free press works in US citizenism, reporting about everything and focusing on profitable topics.

Pointing US of A skeletons wont be profitable. Could even get the free press less activity, with unemployment rising up, it wont be the healthiest move.

mkhs's picture

Welcome to the club, Germany.  Whatever you do, it will be wrong.  Be long German flags.

LFMayor's picture

So. Last century they brought us chemical warfare, mechanized warfare and how to completely industrialize your nation on a "war footing".  And total war, let's not forget that, where civilians became legit targets (again).

Nice work Europe!  I'm on pins and needles to see what they can cook up new this time around.

NotApplicable's picture

From what I've read, it was Wilson's entry into WWI which gave the world the disaster known as "unconditional surrender," a.k.a. "no negotiations for peace."

Mary Wilbur's picture

I have also read this. The Brits were ready to go easy on war reparations, but the French were absolutely insistant on being compensated for their losses. This was an economic disaster.

Ghordius's picture

oh, WWI. Yes, the Brits were "ready to go easy". Though just have a look what they did in 1919: continue the embargo after the armistice and so cause more starvation deaths than during the whole war. Lots of blame to spread around, including Wilson's plans.

AnAnonymous's picture

Yeah, yeah, the debt stuff again.

The more a country (or at least certain countries, US citizens have their pets) is drained from its wealth, the apter the country grows into developing a war machine, the more means it has.

That logics, courtesy of US citizenism.

asteroids's picture

Politicians (clueless) and central bankers (more clueless) are playing with forces I don't think they really understand. I have little faith in these jokers. They serve their own self interests. It ends badly for all. Be ready, be quick.

AnAnonymous's picture

Badly for whom? For all?

I know that US citizenism has made it quite popular the fallacy that an extorter sacrifices for the welfare of the extorted, that the extorted has the sweeter deal but djeee, if indeed, bankers are what they are told to be in here, could it be that bankers know what they are doing, are toying with forces they have proper control over and might reap benefits from the outcome?

BennyBoy's picture

Fucking Germany is bailing out Fucking German banks.

Not Greece.

NotApplicable's picture

So... will this be the thousand year Reich?

Seize Mars's picture

I went to government schools here in the US and only later in life have I begun to undo the damage. That is, I believe the history we are taught is totally wrong.

I simply do not buy into this characterisation of Germany as "bad," and the rest of Europe as "good."

Two books that have helped me understand things much more clearly are "Tragedy of the Euro," by Philip Bagus. In this he fairly characterises the Euro currency as a scheme by French bankers to subjugate the Germans. Done.

Next I suggest "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order," by F. William Engdahl. You can connect the dots of the US (Standard Oil) and UK (British Petroleum) and their guidance of Germany into the gallows, time and time again. It's amazing to see the lengths that the US has gone to in order to ensure that Germany cannot build its long dreamed-of pipeline to Iraq. It's no mistake that the biggest US army base in the world is located in Kosovo, square inbetween Germany and the Middle East.

Anyways give up the idea that Germany wants to dominate anyone. They don't. The German taxpayer is a lot like the US taxpayer; sick of being contradicted and sold-out by her legislators. Don't mistake Germany for her politicians any more than I would mistake Nancy Pelosi for an American.

Non Passaran's picture

Well it all sounds good except that halfway thru the post (about the pipeline) you kind od entered the realm of conspiracy.
As for factually incorrect claims: the US base in Kosovo is not their largest base.

Seize Mars's picture
The Baghdad Railway, was built from 1903 to 1940 to connect Berlin with the (then) Ottoman Empire city of Baghdad with a 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) line through modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

"...The railway became a source of international disputes during the years immediately preceding World War I..."

As for factually incorrect claims, sorry, I guess. It is a hell of a big base, so there.

Seize Mars's picture

By the way, just to clarify: my point is to attempt to properly fram the current state of relations between Germany, Greece, the US, UK, etcetera.

Hugo Chavez's picture

Familiarity breeds contempt

malek's picture

Many people, including most Germans, still are completely off on the big picture.

Why are the Germans not pulling the plug on Greece?
They are not keeping them alive out of pure kindheartedness.

Somewhat deeper thinkers come up with that reason that they are keeping the German (and other European) banks from imploding.
Not totally wrong, but still falling short.

The reason is they are trying to keep the German pension system (Rentenkasse) from imploding.
In Germany everyone (except fed/state/local bureaucrats) must pay into the Rentenkasse, the equivalent of US Social Security, and currently the rate is 19.9% on earned income.

In Germany the baby boom started later than in the US, so the retirement bulge hasn't even really started yet!
However starting 1970 the birth rate has been below 1.4 every year since.
In other words German born population is collapsing. In numbers that has been compensated by immigrants, in productivy and work ethics not so much.

From the late 90's a number of already desperate measures had to be taken to stabilize the Rentenkasse, while not increasing income taxation above 20%:
- from 1999-2003 the Ökosteuer (Ecotax) was invented, increasing gasoline taxes by about 30%, and almost completely used for propping up the pension system (leading to jokes "Rasen für die Rente" or "speeding to support retirement")
- in 2007 the VAT was increased form 16% to 19%, once again mostly for the pension system

Since then further harsh tax increases could only be avoided due to booming exports (trade surplus).
When that comes to an end it will get very ugly soon for the Rentenkasse.


So, now you know the real reason for German politicians holding on.

Mary Wilbur's picture

Thank you for these details. I hadn't read any hint of this any where.

q99x2's picture

Whose freakin idea was this> Where's that f'n NWO boss. He is to be held responsible. Get him. Get him.

Germany should have a military to find that NWO boss.


I don't believe that the people that thought out the NWO thing actually have a plan for this turn of events.

Since there is no concrete symbol to unify the NWO seems to me that as things turn to crap the more likely everyone in the world is going to go after them wherever and whoever they are. They are making themselves the perfect scapegoat.

Damn stuck with a negative perspective tonight. Because the NWO controls good outcome unless they start backing down quickly.

Try again tomorrow.

AnAnonymous's picture

wAOOO... The culture shock again.

I wonder, do US citizens base consider that their elite has a fundamentally different culture from theirs?

Because so far, the data displayed just something: being on the right or wrong side of US citizenism.

It does not take different cultures for that. US citizenism game calls for winners and losers.

It supercedes the requirement of different cultures.

But apparently, for US citizens, anytime there are winners and losers in a game built to deliver a binary outcome winner/loser, it takes a difference in culture to achieve winner or loser.

So cheap.

Ghordius's picture

same way as your elites have now a different culture from the rest. how many party members has your nation? 1m? and how many golden princelings? how do you explain them? do you know their ways?

AnAnonymous's picture

Yeah, yeah, the requirement for an exterior.

US citizenism can not stand for itself. It needs an exterior to prop it. Nothing can be answered to internally, it has to be referenced to an exterior.

Funny when you recall that US citizenism has a global aim, meaning that it has to erase the exterior to fulfill its potential.

Just for the fun, lets see if some US citizens are creative, would be surprise but hey give them a chance, be a kind soul or something like that.

So, once US citizenism has spread everywhere, that there is no more exterior so to speak, how will US citizens kick the can when ask simple questions about US citizenism?

the tower's picture

..."after all, it was their soldiers who had to intervene when a dictator somewhere lived out his bloody fantasies while the international community stood by"...

Interesting that most of these dictators were put in place by the USA (and others) first...

All big countries are guilty of the same, USA, France, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, China etc etc...

Propping up regimes for profit, then toppling them and "spreading democracy" when things run out of hand.

The only change is that banks and multinationals are in the game now too, being more powerful than countries.

We are up against corrupt politicians, banks and multinationals on the one side, and an ignorant population on the other side...