Or something like that. My French is very rusty. (The African calls the Frenchman black.)
Reuters also reported that U.S. Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner took a bolder line with members of the EU, saying their actions must include "bringing down interest rates in the countries that are reforming and making sure those banking systems can provide the credit those economies need."What those economies need is not credit. They need to clear their debt load. Again and again and again we see the same solution offered. Credit card maxed out? How about a new card? Do balance transfers.
This is clearly NOT a solution to the problem. There is a difference between credit and capital. Capital is either money that has been saved through generation of excess revenue in the past or the means of production purchased with that money -- i.e., equipment, stock, land, etc.
Capital is never a lien placed on future earnings or revenue via credit. Money should be loaned only on capital of equal value. To loan money on the fractional value of collateral is essentially counterfeiting. Yet this is done all the time so that people have houses worth two-thirds or half of the principal owed.
Countries like Spain and Greece have lived high on government credit for years. Because they were part of the EU, they could float bonds at low rates and run deficits, increase spending for social programs and government salaries and pensions. They could hire more government workers. Government jobs became the "good" jobs. The private sector shrank under the burden of regulation -- those government workers have to have something to do -- and the cost of operating in an over-regulated, more expensive environment. The cost of government is not simply the direct taxation, ever. Compliance costs can and do put people out of business or reduce them to mom-and-pop operations, thereby raising unemployment.
The answer to the problem in the EU and here is to clear debt from the system by letting businesses -- especially banks, fail, and by drastically reducing the size of government. It will be painful, and it will clearly be a global depression. But it is going to happen voluntarily or involuntarily. Obama and Geithner might even know this. They just don't want it to happen before November.