Streetwise Professor

June 1, 2012

Timmy! to Germany: Hey, I’m Cool With You Bailing Out Spain, No Strings Attached

Filed under: Economics,Financial Crisis II,Politics — The Professor @ 10:11 am

In a show of his unbounded generosity, Timmy! (AKA Rodney Dangerfield) has agreed with Spain that Germany should lend directly to Spanish banks, thereby avoiding the untidy strings that come with a bailout of the Spanish government, a la Greece.  (Yes, the loans would come from the ESM, but we all know who is on the hook.)

The US and Spain agreed that European banks should be able to “go directly to obtain funds without any state intervention, without any conditionality”, Ms Santamaria said.

Go ahead!, sayeth Timmy! Give them the money.  No conditions!

The Schäuble smack down coming in five, four, three . . .

PS. Timmy had been on one of his extended disappearances of late.  He is the Major Major Major of the Obama administration.

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  1. Great Catch-22 ref!

    Comment by markets.aurelius — June 3, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  2. A little excursion on wikipedia turns up this amusing vignette concerning Maj. Major, who’s resemblance to Henry Fonda caused unending identity crises:

    Professor of Literature at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Alan Nadel observes that Maj. Major is “perhaps the exemplary null set in the novel”. Everything about the character, he states, signifies nothing: The character’s name is an empty repetition of “the name of authority”. The character’s promotion to squadron commander is meaningless. (“‘You’re the new squadron commander,’ Colonel Cathcart had shouted rudely across the railroad ditch to him. ‘But don’t think it means anything, because it doesn’t. All it means is that you’re the new squadron commander.'” — Heller 1998, p. 349) Even the character’s physical identity is not his own, but rather that of Henry Fonda. Beidler describes him as “the ultimate product of and operational cog in the Catch-22 machine” and “the definitive good Joe in a bad situation”.

    Relating Catch-22 characters to William J. Goode’s sociological definition of ineptitude, Jerry M. Lewis and Stanford W. Gregory describe Maj. Major as the “clearest portrayal of an inept rôle” in the novel. They give three reasons for this: Maj. Major “always followed the rules, yet no-one liked him or trusted him”; his swift promotion to the rank of Major where he then remains is “a clear foreshadowing of the Peter Principle”; and the anathema to Maj. Major of being identified with Fonda, a symbol of competence, causes Maj. Major to retreat from everyone around him, making efforts to hide and to become, in the novel’s words, a recluse “[i]n the midst of a few foreign acres teeming with more than two hundred people” (Heller 1998, p. 388). Lewis and Gregory state that Catch-22 supports a thesis that goes beyond Goode’s, namely that the inept can identify their own ineptitude, and become active participants in its own institutionalization; whereas Goode asserts that the inept only ever have a passive rôle and can do little but accept their lot in life.

    Comment by markets.aurelius — June 3, 2012 @ 7:56 am

  3. @markets-Isn’t it amazing that there was a huge rally in November, 2008 when it was announced that Geithner would become Secretary of the Treasury? I remember thinking at the time that people were grasping at straws. He was-and is-nothing but an apparatchik. And like Major Major Major, his extended disappearances suggest that he knows that better than anybody.

    But rather than looking like Henry Fonda, he always reminded me of Eraserhead. Another thing that always struck me is that he never looks people straight on: he always looks at people out of the corner of his eye.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 3, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  4. @markets-further my last, it is reported that of all his cabinet people, Obama gets along best with Geithner. I think it is because Geithner is very deferential and subservient.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 3, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

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