US vs Germany: A Comparison In Political Regimes

Tyler Durden's picture

While the trope of US "short-termism" has been significantly discussed in recent months, in an attempt to explain why the capital markets no longer align with the 7-11 year duration of the business cycle, but with the duration of the elected term of the US president or of various congressional and senatorial critters, and in many cases, with the lock up period at various prominent hedge funds (nowadays as short as 1 month), little has been said about the comparison between the "political imperatives" that define Europe's economic growth dynamo: Germany. And as last week demonstrated, when it comes to the US attempting to impose its "imperatives" on Europe (read Germany) in the form of the one and only "solution" available to the US (namely print, print, print) any such venture ends in mockery, ridicule and general disparagement of TurboTax experts. So just what is it about Europe that makes the two regimes so incompatible? Well, for one thing the fact that unlike the US, Germany has already suffered through a period of hyperinflation, seen the disastrous impact of central planning in the form of a totalitarian regime and it subsequent dissolution with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and experienced an economic "miracle" or the period between 1948 and 1955, in which Germany denied central planning and unleashed a golden age predicated by free and fair capital markets, and the abolition of all rules and regulations established by the occupying powers. But that is not all: aside from the purely empirical perspective that Americans so acutely lack, Germany also has a vastly different political system which explains why the prerogatives behind the German ruling party are so vastly different than those for the US, and why Europe will almost certainly never embark upon a path comparable to that of the US. The Privateer's Bill Buckler does the perfect comparison of the "political imperatives" that shape, define and most importantly, distinguish the US from Germany, and which we believe should receive far greater attention in the mainstream media than they currently do.

From Bill Buckler's Privateer:

The most telling comparison between the “management” of the debt crises in Europe AND the US is the comparison between the political systems of both nations. In the US, a president is guaranteed four years in power unless he personally murders every citizen of a small town or gets caught burgling the political headquarters of his opponents. Only two US presidents have ever been impeached - one of whom was Bill Clinton. Both were acquitted and both served their full terms. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached but his presidency passed over to his second in command - Gerald Ford. Lower House members serve two years unless impeached and Senate members serve six years. On top of that, “coalition” governments are all but unknown in US history.


In Germany, the government in power is almost always a coalition. There are no set election dates. A sitting government can be overthrown at any time by a non-confidence vote which always leads to an election. Chancellor Merkel owes her power to a three-party coalition. Her party, the Christian Democratic Union, has lost every by-election since the start of the European sovereign debt crisis at the end of 2009. Her “junior partners” in the governing coalition are dead set against any more German taxpayer money going to subsidise the spending habits of peripheral European nations. She has been “dragging’ her feet at every stage in the bailout process because she knows that neither the German people nor her coalition partners nor the opposition parties are in favour of it.


The spectacle of US politicians and financial and political establishments everywhere exhorting Ms Merkel to “show leadership” in bailing out the European profligates is a hollow farce. Their version of “leadership” is a political potentate who totally ignores the expressed wishes of his or her electorate. By the nature of the German political system, Ms Merkel cannot do that and expect to hold her job. US politicians still think they can afford to fob their people off with sham attempts to spend within their means. European politicians can be toppled at any time their opposition can push through a nonconfidence vote. If Ms Merkel buckles, and she may, she will not last long at the helm of Germany.

Which is why, for better or worse, a functioning pseudo democracy (unlike the US kleptofascist despotism), may ultimately be the last hope for a grand reset before it is far too late and the shooting, not to mention bombing, breaks out.

And for another terrific quote from the most recent edition of The Privateer, see here. And, yes, all used with express prior permission.


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X.inf.capt's picture

and both still suffer from 'zero stroke',

breezer1's picture

the captain pretty much sums it up...

X.inf.capt's picture

dont get wrong, germany was beautiful. it is very socialized, something on that level i dont think would work here, too much resistance.

X.capt, i resigned.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Compare a family making $250,000 per year in New York City to a family making $250,000 in Duluth, MN or Lincoln, NE.  There is quite a bit of difference.  But for the class-baiting, race-baiting, special interest owned, commander in chief such details are merely inconvenient.  Then again with all that the big city financial and political machines have siphoned off of this country they probably should be made to pay.  Just think how much the bigshots in places like D.C., NYC and Chicago have benefitted from the money printing since 2009.

spiral_eyes's picture

Touché Tyler. I corrected my post — you were indeed the original source.

duo's picture

wasn't every GM job saved over $1M?  $300K is a bargain.

Joseph Jones's picture

Was it really that costly? 

I can just imagine how the bondholders who got screwed out of every penny feel about the auto bailouts.  Many Americans purchased auto industry bonds to save their fellow Americans' jobs.  Then kaboom, Obunghole steals all their money to pay for democratic votes.  "Scum" doesn't do this butt hole justice. 

jeff montanye's picture

either bond holders of insolvent firms get hair cut or they don't.  what the gm bond holders got was fair enough (other characteristics of the deal perhaps not so much).  what isn't fair at all is the treatment the bond holders of the too big to fail banks and shadow bank, etc. got.  they should get the same treatment as the gm ones.  charity is a bad primary motive for financial investment, in most cases.  

rocker's picture

That was the difference, bond holders of financial bailouts always get priority from the FED.  They are the leaders of the Bankster Cartel.

But let average Americans become a bond holder trying to save a corporation and the FED says, "Fuck You".

What Americans need to do is tell the FED, "Fuck You" and abolish the FED. 

duo's picture

I worked for a German GmBH for a while.  It was interesting.  The priorities were 1) providing jobs, 2) providing exports for Germany, and 3) provide some return for the shareholders at some point.  The president/CEO made twice what the head engineer made (but got a nicer car lease).  No million-dollar salaries for the executive class. In fact, the board (which of course had an elected union member on it) decided every year to put the profits back in to plant and equipment rather than pay taxes on profits.

Meanwhile, the company I left continued to spend 2 BILLION dollars a year buying back their own stock to give to their executive class, and hadn't built a factory in the US in 20 years (except for the empty building state gave them $300 million to put up).

The Germans will continue to eat our lunch even if their currency doubles, because they don't have a FIRE parasitic class sucking 40% of the wealth.

moneymutt's picture

But our FIRE class says all our problems are due to the fact wages are too high, unions are too strong, and regulations are too high. And yet Germany exports like China even tho Germany has high wages, unions galore, strong social safety net, high taxes, and strong environmental and worker regulations.

FIRE sector tellS US working poor and decling middle class to take it, and lower our wages even more, that we should be more third-world-like, to be competitive on world stage; while Germeny tells us there is another way.

Who gets talked about in our media, Germany's success or China's?

Everyone time I bring up the example of Germany to acquaintances they know nothing of their success of their businesses, alongside the success of their working class, alongside the success of their middle class, but they know of Chinese. People have no idea how Germany compares to China in exports.

If something works well for all of these: the success of businesses, the success of the general economy and working folks; why not study and copy it, instead we ignore it. Because, of course, if we paid attention, Wall Street parasites would make less money and have to do real work, build something real for a change.

Rynak's picture

I think you're over-glorifying germany a bit here. Yes, germany also employed "other means" to become an export-addicted nation (you know, those which now result in the EU-crisis).... still, when the EU was formed, bankers and megacorps immediatelly initiated reforms in germany, which strongly reduced the social safety net, and STRONGLY inflated wages.... the resulting wages may perhaps not be as low as in china, but they are much lower than they were before the creation of the EU (and with "much lower" i do not just mean 10%.... more like .... 50%... yes, you did read that right).

So, even though regarding exports, germany has other things going for it besides of wage-dumping and social-safety net haircutting, it did do exactly those things you assume it doesn't need. Difference is just is, that because of the structure of the EU, it was "successful" with it (successful as in: "it worked on credit for almost 10 years").

What "outsiders" may not understand, is just HOW RICH germany was 15 years ago. The livestandard wasn't just "okay"... it was way beyond what americans may be used to... and via the EU, the german POPULATION went from that state of things, to "a bit better than the US", in a matter of just 6 YEARS! If that happened in the US, you'd immediatelly have civil wars - yet, thanks to the strong "comformist" mentality of the german population, it just resulted in mass-demonstrations, but not outright revolts...... but, that state of the population, did depend on them assuming that there is any point at all to the price they're paying. This justification right now is voided......


antaresteleko's picture

Great that you mention it on this post. Germans are not willing to play the bankers' game, and their democracy will let  them fight hard against the stablished system.

We'll see.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Merkel is about to pass a law in Germany declaring Oktoberfest all year round.

The sheeple will cheer and toast, and will prostitute their vote to her as long as their tankards are full with pig's piss.

Expecting Epsilon-minus Semi-Morons to know what democracy is!  You sure are naive.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I would love to see a bumper sticker on some VWs in Germany that read, "Our chancellor can beat the crap out of your president".  I bet her johnson is bigger, too.

Let them eat iPads's picture

Not as big as Hillary's, who in hindsight probably should have been president.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

The words "Hillary" and "hindsight" probably shouldn't be used in the same sentence.  If I was staring at her hind I think I would be praying that I didn't have any sight. 

jeff montanye's picture

but obama has a really nice ass and he's still a bad president.  i'm not sure about dr. paul's but it may not be relevant.

falak pema's picture

You would be in a bind; a hind to make a hippo weep from envy, a blind date to turn a cuban cigar dream into a foggy bottom nightmare. A boner that was going nowhere in dark despair. You'd need a repair job worse than Thelma and Louise's car after the jump off the ledge.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

She should have divorced shitface after the Senate acquitted him.

dolly madison's picture

It would have been no better with Hillary than Obama because they would both be controlled by the same people.

He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Ahmeexnal, your germanophobic views do not go unoticed here and are of no value to readers. Shove it up yours!

Ahmeexnal's picture

Fascist moron. Learn to comprehend the message of what you read.

He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Your idionsyncratic confusions are quite telling. How about getting a dictionary?

Start with the word "fascist" then proceed to "Leninism", you'll get there, eventually...

Newsboy's picture


It doesn't sound like you have spent much time in Germany.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Sheeple are sheeple wherever you go. Be it in Germany, or anywhere else. They won't revolt as long as they have their bread & circus, oktoberfest, nascar, name it.

And when the sheeple finally see their "benefits" taken, they will blame someone else. Like they have done so many times before.

It doesn't sound like you have spent much time in reality.

Time to get off your soma and face the facts.



antaresteleko's picture


you clearly have not lived in Germany. The world is full of sheeple and I very well may be naïve. True. But spending a couple of weeks in Germany (with germans, not as a tourist which is merely interested in topics and taking photographs) will likely broarden your understanding of things.

Societies change after losing 2 world wars, Nazional-Sozialismus, hyper-inflation periods and the holocaust.

Rynak's picture

And when the sheeple finally see their "benefits" taken, they will blame someone else. Like they have done so many times before.

Actually, when that happened in germany (it has already happened - what they want to do to greece, they already did to themselves), the party in power, which ironically called itself socialistic, instantly lost a record amount of votes in its entire party history: Around 40% of their prev voter share. This by the way IS why merkel is in power now - because the second major party commited political suicide.

He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Ahmeexnal, your IQ is 47 or is it 48? It can't be 49!

Ad hominem here... sorry all...

Rynak's picture

You know, even though that would be a bad idea, it would be more efficient than QE. I proposed this myself about a month ago "It would be better if all those trillions were thrown out of the window, by throwing a party in every major city of the country, each day of the year. Would it fix anything? No, but at least it wouldn't escalate the causes even more, which is what QE and Co. does"

ISEEIT's picture

Germans remember wheelbarrows. Americans play facebook.

Prairie Fire's picture

Fantastic comment. Almost poetry.

X.inf.capt's picture

yep,they needed wheelbarrels to carry currency to the bakery for bread, circa 1923.

something america just may find out about.

Jack Napier's picture

Not all Americans are dumbasses. I have a wheelbarrow, and I used one growing up. I'm not even that old. It's more so that people are afraid to talk about things openly because there is a stigma attached to the truth.

ISEEIT's picture

Yeah, A "stigma". Like politics are broke. Like your shit isn't going to work. Like you fucking central planning asshats should eat your fucking diploma (sic) intended. And stop trying to rule the world.

You ain't that fucking smart dipstick.

Jack Napier's picture

You've got it all wrong dude. I don't prefer the stigma, that's just how I get treated when I talk about things to people. I'm holding precious metals, AR's, and stockpiled to the brim. I'm a born and raised US citizen, but I'm also a minority in this regard. You should understand the difference between a government and a country. If it were up to me about half of the agencies would be gone tomorrow. Our debt is unsustainable. It's a class war that we're losing, and you're mistaken if you think I'm an elitist pig. In case you hadn't noticed, the Swiss, Japanese, and British are all bloating their monetary supply. If you think this is all the fault of the US then you need to brush up on your history. The Rothschild banking dynasty controlling the TBTF banks, the Federal Reserve, and even the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange are the root of the problem (notwithstanding human ignorance to them). Nationalism is a dated mentality, we need real patriots around the world to work together and stop bickering amongst ourselves about petty differences if we're going to stand a chance.

dolly madison's picture

The stigma is that they don't want their bubble burst.  They just want to hear that everything will be okay.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I don't think you play Facebook.  You play Farmville and Mafia Wars.  Don't bother checking me out on Facebook.  My account is dead.  I got sick of the coffee updates and the estrogen laden posts that seemed to flow like The Hudson on a windy day.

Atomizer's picture

100 year Treasury Bonds will sure excite this fragile market.


FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Germany = industrious, intelligent populous and as close to a democracy you can get on this god forsaken planet.

U.S.A. = Sloth, dumb populous and a fascist dictatorship.

Am i close?

Bill D. Cat's picture

"Germany = industrious, intelligent populous and as close to a democracy you can get on this god forsaken planet."


Keeping them down always ends well though ............ at least we have that going for us .

gwar5's picture

Being dumb and slothful is a full time job for some people but the government will pay pretty well for those skills and can't get enough so all are welcome to move here.

Examples: Obama's illegal alien Aunt and Uncle who have been in country for decades illegally, getting free benefits.


WestVillageIdiot's picture

Being stupid and slothful and fertile is even more sought after by the government.  The pay and benefits are excellent. 

Raymond Reason's picture

Well, they either experienced hell, or remember the stories their parents and grandparents told.  Additionally, the CIS and Central European countries may not have the greatest economies per se, but the people are certainly much less gullible than Americans, because of their experiences, no doubt.   

Atomizer's picture

FunkyMonkeyBoy, can you breakdown his last address message and share your thoughts. Thank You.

January 30th, 1945