I Am In The Wrong Business

I guess I should have gone in to the consultancy business.

Despite a ballooning administration budget – already £6.6 billion a year and growing by 4.5 per cent next year – the EU spent more than £500 million on “external advice” on consultants between 2005 and 2008. Among the other consultancy items were £11,000 courses for officials on “taking notes and writing minutes” and a £44,000 opinion survey on the “working environment for Commission staff”.

Mats Persson, the director of the Open Europe campaign group, highlighted the spending of £580,000 on research into marketing fruit and a £290,000 study on domestic violence in Afghanistan.

“Far too much money is being squandered on all kinds of studies and evaluations which are either irrelevant or which cover areas that the EU should have no business in dealing with,” he said.

That is a lot of money to spend on consultants. I’m quite certain when I say this, they are definitely not getting their money’s worth from their consultants…lol

The Mother Of All Bailouts:European Edition

Well well well, not only did the EU get its act together, but they were able to get something out the door to help reassure people that the Euro is a good place to park your cash.

European Union finance ministers moved toward agreement on an unprecedented loan package worth at least $645 billion to prevent Greece’s fiscal woes from triggering a broader sovereign-debt crisis and shattering confidence in the euro.

Jolted into action by last week’s slide in the currency to a 14-month low and soaring bond yields in Portugal and Spain, the 16 euro governments sketched out plans to make 440 billion euros ($570 billion) available, with 60 billion euros more from the EU’s budget

Of course they still have some arm twisting to do before they’ll have used all the bullets of government manipulation.

Government officials said they won’t push the independent ECB to, for example, buy government bonds. President Jean-Claude Trichet accelerated the market selloff on May 6 by rejecting that measure.

I’m sure they’ll try their hardest to get some quantative easing going on from the ECB side.

Obama yesterday emphasized “the importance of the members of the European Union taking resolute steps to build confidence in the markets,” White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters in Hampton, Virginia.

Of course they haven’t done anything about the underlying problems, just punted that issue down the road like the American administration. All they’ve done is put one hell of a bandaid on the patient hoping it won’t die as the head lies on the road. And it’s obvious that the public in Europe is enamored of bailouts there as they are here in the States.

Voters in Germany’s most populous state dealt Chancellor Angela Merkel a painful setback Sunday, erasing her government’s majority in the upper house of parliament and curbing its power after a stumbling start and criticism over the Greek debt crisis.
…”This is of course a warning shot for the governing parties, and the people should know that it has been heard,” said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the vice chancellor and leader of the Free Democrats, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. “We must make an effort to win back lost trust.”

Well, color me skeptical about any politician actually doing what they say. I think the thing to take away is that the pols of Europe are scared of the downside and are willing to do anything thing possible to save their asses without actually fixing the problems they have. In other words, they are acting like typical politicians and their countries will be the worse for it. But we’ll see.