Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Pushes the Anti Social Security, Pro Wall Street Agenda
By Pam Martens: April 9, 2013
The Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, has been in office a mere 15 business days and has already logged more foreign travel on the taxpayers’ tab than most executive branch personnel see in a year.
Lew was sworn in on March 20, 2013. Five days later he was sitting in Beijing chatting it up with China’s President Xi Jinping. Yesterday and today, he’s flitting about Europe. His agenda includes meetings in Brussels with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro and European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn, and European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier. Lew was also scheduled to meet in Frankfurt with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
Today, Lew heads to Berlin to have a conversation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. Lew’s meeting in Paris with French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici was abruptly cancelled by Moscovici. The excuse given was a scheduling conflict but it may well be that the French Finance Minister didn’t like the feedback he was hearing from the earlier meetings.
William K. Black
Obama’s New Treasury Secretary Pushes Austerity That Spreads Global Misery
April 10, 2013 |
The two most revealing sentences about the gratuitous Eurozone disaster – the creation of the deepening über-Depression – was reported today. The context (rich in irony) is that U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew spent his Spring Break in Europe meeting with his counterparts. The Wall Street Journal’s article’s title explains Lew’s mission and its failure:“U.S. Anti-Austerity Push Gets Cool Reception in Europe.” Here are the sentences that capture so well why Germany’s destructive economic policies caused the über-Depression: ““Nobody in Europe sees this contradiction between fiscal policy consolidation and growth,” said Mr. Schäuble. “We have a growth-friendly process of consolidation.”
Wolfgang Schäuble is Germany’s finance minister. “Fiscal consolidation” is his euphemism for austerity. “Austerity” is an infamous word to tens of millions of Europeans. “Growth-friendly” is his euphemism for causing the über-Depression. I have explained in a recent column  that current unemployment rates in the European periphery are often multiples of the average unemployment rates in large European nations from 1930-1938. Current unemployment rates in the U.K. and France are broadly comparable to their average unemployment rates in 1930-1938.
Schäuble’s economic policies (austerity) have proven catastrophic. They are contrary to everything we have learned in economics. In my April 9, 2013 column criticizing the New York Times’coverage of the self-destructive austerity the EU and the IMF inflicted on Cyprus I quoted Paul Krugman’s  devastating criticism of the EU austerians’ dishonest response to their failures and the massive misery they have inflicted.