Something along the lines of being a blogger in the age of Obama and Islam.
But, BTAIM, a pretty smart German guy, it appears, is tasked with the doing what is humanly impossible, with Germany potentially exposed to paying out about one year's budget worth of Euros as a result of its support for all its various buyout schemes. Schäuble is dealing with that German budget reality and whatever is being done with respect to Greece is either a part of that or a supplement to it.
Apparently Greece and the others are to "reform."
I am not making this up.
Reform roughly along the lines of persuading street prostitutes to take up holy orders, if I grasp the full import of recent Greek riots. I detect a whisper of resistance to the idea.
Good luck with that, as the saying goes, given what the WSJ's Matthew Kaminski notes below about "rosy assumptions about future Greek growth":
Last week's Greek deal depends on the successful buyback of bonds from private creditors later this month, and it makes rosy assumptions about future Greek growth. Within hours of its approval, Mr. Schäuble had to admit that the deal might not be enough to stave off Greek insolvency. He says that alternatives are available down the road but won't "explicitly" spell them out. Germany first needs to see the promised Greek reforms "fully implemented."That last paragraph ought to cause a few more gray hairs on wise heads. Europe's course of action in the near term will be crisis driven and apparently little will be done before a crisis. On top of which the finance minister of the strongest economy in Europe, now seriously exposed financially, is on board with printing Euros (i.e., blatant theft) and mouths incomprehensible flapdoodle.
"If there is no crisis, Europe doesn't move," Mr. Schäuble says. "If you have success you start to destroy the basis of the success. That is what Sisyphus is about."
Keep an eye out for those other available "alternatives." Four-alarm confusion's my best guess. Steady as she goes for now, say our captains, and if you're into Greek mythology, meditate on the difficulty of sailing between Scylla and Charybdis. Now there's some serious mythological Hamburger Helper (part of our American cuisine, right up there with Jamaican chimichangas and Thanksgiving tacos).
All well and good but people without serious substance abuse problems know that we're all on that particular boat, worse luck, and Europe is instructive for its lessons on the application of the iron laws of arithmetic to welfare state finance. Over with us in the U.S., madness and delusion rule the roost and the same lessons are there to be learned. As Thomas Sowell points out:
No previous administration in the entire history of the nation ever finished the year with a trillion-dollar deficit. The Obama administration has done so every single year. Yet political and media discussions of the financial crisis have been focused overwhelmingly on how to get more tax revenue to pay for past and future spending.At least Mr. Schäuble seems to sense that there's a crisis in Europe and that it's a bad thing. With President Barack Hussein Obama any crisis that he is aware of appears to be something he embraces as an interim step to chaos and some kind of new, post-chaos entity.
Mr. Sowell lays out the extent of Mr. Obama’s intellectual dishonesty.
It's not looking good for us Wolverines.
"Trying to Save Europe 'Step by Step.' Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Germany's balancing act between euro scold and bailout enabler." By Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal, 12/4/12.