“Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”- Antisthenes
That admonition from Antisthenes, a lesser known student of Socrates, may very well be on equal footing with The Art of War, Sun Tzu’s guide to defeating an enemy.
On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel advised the members of the Euro Zone should be prepared to hand over sovereignty of various aspects of their economic policy to Germany if they plan to beat the widespread debt crisis that’s been wreaking havoc in that part of the world for the past 4 years. And somehow, Europe is surprised.
“Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”
Germany, known for being the “economic locomotive” of Europe, found the mistakes of their trading partners, beginning with Greece. While Germany was flooding the Greek marketplace with their manufactured goods with the right hand, they eagerly handed the Mediterranean country the majority of their bailout dollars with their left.
And in turn, Germany has been able to capitalize Grecian mistakes. Not to change the story, but I’d be remiss not to point out a similarity. And because you’re smart enough to read this post, you’re intelligent enough to notice the correlation with two other trading partners in another part of the globe.
Germany is able to price their products in a euro, which allows them to capitalize on the weakness in currency of their trading partners in Europe. By exploiting the inefficiencies of the economies in the rest of the euro zone, German companies are able to invest those extra deustche marks into their own infrastructure and the education of their employees.
German confidence in their economy is so strong; there has been a resurgence of the deutsche mark as tender in certain parts of the country. And now surprisingly enough, Germany has the ability to influence not by the gun but with policy.
Over a year ago British politician, Nigel Farage, warned of a German controlled demolition and deconstruction of the sovereignty of euro member countries. Germany now holds the purse string to several countries with Mrs. Merkel tightening those strings ever so daily.
In a talk earlier this week, the King of Currency, George Soros, postulated that Chancellor Merkel “…has no right to prevent the heavily indebted countries from escaping their misery by banding together and issuing Eurobonds.” But of course when following the man who broke the British Pound wisdom dictates to read that statement with the discernment of Antisthenes.
If the Germans are in the position to take advantage of the mistakes of the rest of Europe, heaven only knows of the mistakes we are making on a daily basis in the eyes of China. America, take a gander at the position that Europe is in with Mother Merkel and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to Antisthenes.