Explaining Southern California's economy

Eurozone Crisis: How do you solve a problem like Germany?

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) give a press conference after a working lunch at the Elysee palace on December 05, 2011 in Paris. France and Germany want summits of leaders of eurozone states to be held 'every month, as long as the crisis lasts,' Sarkozy said.

UPDATE: Well, that was brief! Reuters is reporting that S&P is back in sovereign-credit-downgrade mode. The agency has threatened to pull an America on the six eurozone countries currently in possession of an AAA rating — including France and Germany. We'll see how long this rally holds.

The latest surge in hope the Europe will be able to manage its debt crisis has caused the markets to rally over the past few trading sessions. However, the latest kinda sorta deal also reveals the schizophrenic situation that Germany keeps backing itself into. 

On the one hand, Germany doesn't want to throw its weight behind a plan to make the eurozone work more like the U.S., where the Federal Reserve can function as the (nearly) undisputed central authority on matters monetary. On the other hand, Germany wants to call the shots of fiscal issues, compelling everyone else to act more like...Germany! 

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Video: Kim Kardashian and Ben Bernanke discuss economics, not divorce

[Note: This is fully SFW, but there's no shortage of double entendre.] Kim Kardashian has been married to New Jersey Net Kris Humphries for a mere 3-months but will soon be married no more.

Luckily, she has a promising career ahead as an economist. So says Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in the above video. I make no claims for its accuracy, but Kardashian is probably what you would call a born capitalist, so why not? I hear there's an opening at the Kansas City Fed, and post-divorce, Kim may want a change of scenery. 

Make sure you stick around for the end, when Ben and Kim discuss quantitative easing and Chinese ownership of U.S. assets.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure all 217 views of this on YouTube originated at 20th and Constitution in our nation's capital.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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Did Ben Bernanke just guarantee two more years of slow growth?

Well, that was a letdown!

A lot of observers expected Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to announce anther round of "quantitative easing" –QE3 – at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole conference. He didn't, and in combination with his previous indication that the Fed would keep interest rates at near-zero levels for the next two years, he passed the ball back to the politicians. 

Economist Jared Bernstein has a very good take:

While I’m not sure more Fed easing would help much right now, I think that if underlying demand were stronger, I could help a lot.  In other words, fiscal and monetary stimuli are partners right, but there’s a sequencing: first, fiscal needs to wake up the demand side of the economy, then easing could help amplify the impact of that demand.

Unfortunately, if the Fed is reluctant to ease now, they’d be even more so if some growth actually showed up on the scene.

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