EconoMonitor

Don't Shoot the Messenger

The Almunia Syllogism

European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquín Almunia recently, and possibly totally inadvertently, stumbled on a very interesting argument. Here it is:

“Who is crazy enough to leave the euro area? Nobody,” Almunia said. “The number of candidates to join the euro area increases. The number of candidates to leave the euro area is zero.”

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Now you don’t need a PhD in economics to understand what follows, although a little bit of basic logic would help. What we have here could be construed as a kind of syllogism (and from now on let’s christen this one “The Almunia Syllogism”). The Almunia Syllogism has the following form:

a) Anyone leaving (or aiding and abetting the departure of someone from) the Eurozone is crazy b) The EU Commission, The ECB and The National Leaders are not crazy c) Therefore no one will leave, or be allowed to leave, the eurozone (at least under current conditions)

Q.E.D. We Will Have A United States Of Europe.

Well, ok, I do need to add a lettle lemma here to the effect that the only way to enforce (c) is to build the necessary architecture, and there is room for debate about this, since this lemma is neither proven, nor is it self evident. You also need to accept that there is an excluded middle here, and we do not have a “now either the EU leaders are crazy ot they aren’t” fork which we can get diverted down.

As I say, the lemma is not self evident, although my own opinion is that in the weeks and months to come its validity will become extraordinarily clear even to the most reticent among us, but this still needs to be established. The thing about the lemma is that it focuses the debate. Those who do not agree with it need to be able to show how we can have (c) within the present architecture (since here there is a middle to exclude, either we can or we can’t). The results coming out from the “we can” camp are not entirely encouraging. For example, ECB Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi’s recent attempt to argue that Krugman has it wrong, and that (we can manage with what we have) fails stupendously to convince, in my opinion, and especially the extract I reproduce below (which exemplifies precisely the point those who want new achitecture are making).

For instance, for the period 2009-10, discretionary measures adopted in Germany total 3.5% of GDP, compared with 3.8%in the United States. In some European countries, such as Italy, the size of such stimulus measures is relatively limited owing to the high levels of debt, but in other countries the total fiscal stimulus is larger than in the United States.

The whole issue is that we need a mechanism to average out the stimulus, is that so hard to understand? Is this obscurantism, or simply stupidity?

A Literary Trope Not A Syllogism

On the other hand, the formal validity of the following “utterance” from Almunia is rather more questionable.

“Don’t fear for this moment,” he said. “We are equipped intellectually, politically and economically to face this crisis scenario. But by definition these kinds of things should not be explained in public.”

The first phrase is an exhortation, one which I would agree with (but not for the same reasons), the second is an assertion whose truth content is, at least, questionable, while the third is an admission, one which would perhaps better not have been made, or a piece of advice, which the unfortunate Otto Bernhardt seems never to have received.

A senior German lawmaker said euro zone states stood ready to come to the aid of financially fragile members of the currency bloc, sparking furious denials from European leaders that a specific rescue plan existed. Otto Bernhardt, a leading lawmaker in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), told Reuters in an interview late on Thursday: “There is a plan.”

and then Bloomberg let us know a bit more about the details of the plan.

The German Finance Ministry has no knowledge of a rescue fund organized by the European Central Bank for troubled euro-region members such as Ireland and Greece, spokeswoman Jeanette Schwamberger said.

Otto Bernhardt, finance spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said in an interview with Reuters today that the ECB has a fund at its disposal to help troubled countries and can make money available at 24 hours’ notice.


Originally published at the Global Economy Matters blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

119 Responses to “The Almunia Syllogism”

impress a girlMay 30th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I do know this isn’t precisely on topic, but i’ve a site utilizing the same program as properly and i get troubles with my comments displaying. is there a setting i’m lacking? it’s possible chances are you’ll help me out? thanx.

Orange County Website DesignMay 30th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

you are truly a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a fantastic process on this topic!

Ngan SlivaMay 31st, 2011 at 5:09 am

Great blog. I was checking constantly this blog and I am quite impressed! Very helpful information specifically the first part. I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

Salvatore SeamenMay 31st, 2011 at 8:37 am

Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am quite impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the last part. I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

yahooMay 31st, 2011 at 8:58 am

Its like you study my mind! You appear to know so significantly about this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is certainly fantastic blog. An incredible study. I’ll certainly be back.

blu356ble765May 31st, 2011 at 10:01 am

A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he in actual fact bought me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If possible, as you turn into expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra details? It’s highly useful for me. Big thumb up for this blog submit!

chainsawsMay 31st, 2011 at 10:56 am

With almost everything that appears to be building throughout this particular subject material, your points of view are very exciting. Having said that, I appologize, but I can not give credence to your entire suggestion, all be it exciting none the less. It would seem to everyone that your comments are not entirely rationalized and in fact you are generally yourself not really wholly certain of the argument. In any case I did enjoy reading through it.

panasonic blu ray playerMay 31st, 2011 at 10:57 am

Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing situation with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

trivial pursuits drinking gameMay 31st, 2011 at 12:18 pm

My wife and i got absolutely cheerful Jordan could finish up his reports using the precious recommendations he obtained using your blog. It is now and again perplexing to just happen to be freely giving points that people today could have been trying to sell. And we all fully understand we now have the website owner to be grateful to for that. The main illustrations you’ve made, the simple website navigation, the friendships you aid to instill – it’s got mostly terrific, and it’s aiding our son in addition to us imagine that this concept is satisfying, and that is exceedingly pressing. Many thanks for all the pieces!

garmin 305June 3rd, 2011 at 5:59 am

Hey there, I seriously like your amazing internet site! This is a nice posting. My family and i look forward to reading more exciting information in which youll be publishing within the forthcoming. Weve found out a lot by this. Thanks a ton. -Olene Griffins

EleonoreJune 5th, 2011 at 5:25 am

Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your web site in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your great writing due to this problem.

בייביJune 5th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

אני לא בטוח שהודעה שלי באשקול הנכון , אני וחברה שלי מצפים ללידה נרמה לבקש מכם המלצה ליצרן המפיץ מוצרי תינוקות בעלויות סבירות .

Isreal VictoriaJune 7th, 2011 at 8:15 am

Seaside dwellings are extremely popular in the region, so even while the people previously mentioned are certainly not essentially agreeing with what I presume, they still do deliver about pretty beneficial details with regards to real-estate here.

LED light bulbsJune 8th, 2011 at 4:00 am

Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for newbie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

Shanda ZahlJune 8th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Thanks so much for giving everyone an extremely breathtaking opportunity to check tips from this web site. It is usually so pleasurable and stuffed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit the blog really thrice every week to study the new issues you have. And of course, I’m so actually amazed concerning the perfect principles served by you. Selected 4 areas in this article are surely the most beneficial we have ever had.

Philips LED light bulbsJune 8th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

Treena VercherJune 8th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog audience have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

רכביםJune 8th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

היי אני רוצה להמליץ לכם על חברה בתחום מכירת רכבים המתמחה בשרותי טרייד אין לסוכנויות רכב ולקוחות פרטיים . באתר, מידע רב המלווה בתמונות מכירת הרכבים ורשימה המתעדכנת יום יום עם הרכבים הנמצאים במקום ומיועדים למכירה.

mini boatsJune 9th, 2011 at 12:39 am

Your current posts constantly have got a lot of really up to date info. Where do you come up with this? Just saying you are very creative. Thanks again

manhattan hotelsJune 9th, 2011 at 5:58 am

I’m commenting to let you understand of the superb encounter my friend’s child had reading through your site. She came to understand a wide variety of pieces, which include what it’s like to have a great teaching nature to make others quite simply know precisely specific complex subject matter. You truly did more than our own expectations. Thanks for offering those useful, trusted, edifying and as well as unique guidance on that topic to Gloria.

malibu hotelsJune 9th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I and my guys have been going through the excellent strategies on your web blog while the sudden I had a horrible suspicion I had not thanked the blog owner for those tips. My young boys appeared to be consequently glad to learn all of them and have in effect really been loving these things. Appreciate your turning out to be well kind and for settling on variety of incredible themes millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. My very own honest regret for not saying thanks to sooner.

Dannette LiptonJune 9th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Spot on with this write-up, I genuinely think this site requirements much far more consideration. I’ll most likely be again to read much a lot more, thanks for that info.

verifone vx670June 9th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I believe that is an enchanting point, it made me suppose a bit. Thank you for sparking my considering cap. Occasionally I get so much in a rut that I simply feel like a record.

bootleg moviesJune 9th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Good points?I’d observe that as someone who in point of fact doesn’t write on blogs so much (in truth, this may be my first publish), I don’t assume the time period ‘lurker’ may be very changing into to a non-posting reader. It’s not your fault the least bit , however most likely the blogosphere may just get a hold of a better, non-creepy title for the 90% folks that enjoy reading the content .

tips to start a conversationJune 10th, 2011 at 4:20 am

My partner and I really enjoyed reading this weblog post, I used to be simply itching to know do you trade featured posts? I am all the time trying to find someone to make trades with and merely thought I would ask.

the science of gameJune 10th, 2011 at 4:32 am

hey all, I was simply checking out this blog and I actually admire the basis of the article, and have nothing to do, so if anybody would like to to have an engrossing convo about it, please contact me on AIM, my title is heather smith

EvelyneJune 10th, 2011 at 4:42 am

It’s a great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent work! You have fine ideas. Really looking forward to read more! 🙂

Mobility ScootersJune 10th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Thanks for making the honest attempt to provide an explanation for this. I feel very strong about it and want to be told more. If it’s OK, as you reach extra extensive wisdom, might you mind including more posts similar to this one with more information? It could be extraordinarily helpful and useful for me and my colleagues.

Chae HiscockJune 11th, 2011 at 1:13 am

When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks!

eXp Realty JobsJune 11th, 2011 at 9:05 am

Hi there, I enjoyed EconoMonitor : Don't Shoot the Messenger » The Almunia Syllogism. It was good. View my blog sometime, it all about Sanford, FL Real Estate.

REO Oviedo FLJune 11th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Pretty nice post, I just found your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. I will subscribe to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

how to talk to a girlJune 11th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Now you will have your new website online and you’re keen to start making some gross sales! But, how are you going to make sales when you wouldn’t have excessive volumes of holiday makers to your website?

ipad rivals fail to gain traction a new report saysJune 12th, 2011 at 8:51 am

Wonderful post! I?m just starting out in community management/marketing media and attempting to find out tips on how to do it well – resources like this write-up are incredibly helpful. As our company is based in the US, it?s all a bit new to us. The example above is a thing that I worry about as effectively, how you can show your own genuine enthusiasm and share the fact that your product is useful in that case

rasteirinhas femininasJune 12th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Odd this publish is totaly unrelated to what I was looking out google for, but it surely was indexed at the first page. I guess your doing something proper if Google likes you enough to put you at the first web page of a non similar search.

Meagan IbaJune 13th, 2011 at 5:45 am

We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with useful information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive task and our whole group might be thankful to you.

porn hard driveJune 13th, 2011 at 8:43 am

I’m speechless. This can be a very good weblog and very enticing too. Nice work! That’s no longer in reality so much coming from an newbie writer like me, however it’s all I may just say after diving into your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. Not like different blogs. You really understand what you?re speaking approximately too. So much that you just made me need to discover more. Your blog has grow to be a stepping stone for me, my friend.

Philips LED light bulbsJune 13th, 2011 at 10:03 am

Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However think about if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could certainly be one of the best in its field. Very good blog!

instant approval payday loansJune 13th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Howdy I am so happy I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

fabrica de bolsasJune 13th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I image this could be numerous upon the written content? nonetheless I still consider that it may be appropriate for just about any form of subject material, as a result of it would frequently be pleasant to decide a warm and delightful face or perhaps hear a voice when initial landing.

Baltic Amber Jewelry StoreJune 13th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Fantastic blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot!

Edward NiedJune 14th, 2011 at 4:20 am

I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the difficulty is one thing that not sufficient individuals are speaking intelligently about. I’m very comfortable that I stumbled throughout this in my search for something regarding this.

Jason ArmstrongJune 14th, 2011 at 7:44 am

“This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the excellent work.”

iPhone 4 No CameraJune 14th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

Randell DerrickJune 14th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Make sure you excuse my my English speak, i am just schooling. I significantly like your web site greatly, I notice it quite interesting and that i saved a bookmark in my personal internet.

Sigma Sd1June 14th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Heya! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask. Does running a well-established blog such as yours take a lot of work? I am brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

Jose KurthJune 15th, 2011 at 1:47 am

Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and that i own the same one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments? If therefore how do you forestall it, any plugin or anything you can advise? i buy most lately its driving me mad so any help is incredibly much appreciated.

hostingJune 15th, 2011 at 7:01 am

I merely want to make a quick comment so as to express gratitude to you for all wonderful pointers you will be posting here. My own time consuming internet investigation has towards the end during the day been rewarded with high-quality approaches to present to my guests. I will say that many people prospects really are endowed to appear in a wonderful network with methods . marvellous people who have useful hints. Personally i think quite privileged to possess used your webpages and appearance toward really more fabulous minutes reading here. Thanks again for most things.

Rudolf RinghamJune 15th, 2011 at 8:11 am

i’m saying is actually, I dont tend to train crafting your blog, but if you additional extra content which could certainly obtain people’s specific attention? As being a movie or even a photo or maybe few to get individuals excited concerning what you’re talking about.

AnonymousJune 15th, 2011 at 11:57 am

Your current posts usually include many of really up to date info. Where do you come up with this? Just stating you are very resourceful. Thanks again

Melvin SanburgJune 15th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

One other thing is that an online business administration diploma is designed for individuals to be able to well proceed to bachelor degree programs. The Ninety credit education meets the other bachelor education requirements then when you earn the associate of arts in BA online, you will have access to the most recent technologies in such a field. Several reasons why students have to get their associate degree in business is because they are interested in this area and want to have the general knowledge necessary in advance of jumping to a bachelor college diploma program. Thx for the tips you provide within your blog.

Webmarket ProtocolsJune 15th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I merely shown your web site a week ago and that i happen analyzing getting this done on a regular. You’ve a many tips in the following and that i relish your thing associated with the homepage simply too. Compete the positive hard work!

Sigma Sd1June 15th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I and my pals were analyzing the good points on the blog and so instantly I had a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to the website owner for them. The ladies are already absolutely stimulated to study them and have now simply been tapping into these things. We appreciate you being considerably accommodating as well as for utilizing variety of high-quality ideas most people are really wanting to know about. Our sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

Reynalda ZagelJune 15th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

A well written post, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat analysis on that. And he indeed purchased me breakfast because I discovered it for him .. so let me reword that: Thankx for the treat! but yeah Thnx for spending the time to talk concerning this, I feel strongly concerning it and enjoy reading additional on this subject. If possible, as you become experience, would you mind updating your blog with more info? it is extraordinarily useful on behalf of me. 2 thumb up for this blog!

M1 Multi-Line SaverJune 15th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and terrific design and style.

backlinks indexerJune 16th, 2011 at 1:31 am

Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

Demetrius TogniJune 16th, 2011 at 3:14 am

Wonderful article, thanks for discussing the data. It’s not too often that you read articles where the poster knows what they’re blogging regarding. Grammar as well as punctuational tend to be spot on as well, just trouble I appeared to possess was bringing up the site, seemed slow. Looks like other site visitors experienced exactly the same difficulty?

גוגל פרסוםJune 16th, 2011 at 8:51 am

היי תכננתי להציג על אתר אינטרנט בתחום קידום אתרים בגוגל. בוובסיט אפשרלקרא במידע על קידום אתרים בגוגל.

Emilio CouncilJune 16th, 2011 at 10:21 am

I would end up being mendacity basically stated i do not such as this article, in reality, I like this a lot I desired to place upward a discuss here. I must say sustain the good function, and I will likely be coming once again with regard to positive since i have already bookmarked the actual web page.

Lily ValentineJune 16th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

Free Chicken Coop PlansJune 16th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Along with the whole thing which appears to be building inside this specific subject matter, all your opinions happen to be somewhat radical. However, I appologize, because I can not subscribe to your entire theory, all be it radical none the less. It would seem to me that your opinions are generally not completely validated and in fact you are yourself not even fully convinced of the argument. In any event I did take pleasure in looking at it.

sports bettingJune 16th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Congratulations on having Hands down the most sophisticated blogs Ive come throughout in certain time! Its just incredible what you can alleviate from some thing simply because of how visually beautiful it’s. Youve put collectively an amazing blog space -great graphics, videos, layout. This really is undoubtedly a must-see weblog!

air maxJune 17th, 2011 at 9:56 am

Excellent items? I may phrase in which since an individual which actually doesn’t compose about sites significantly (in reality, this might be my own initial post), My partner and i don’t believe the definition of ‘lurker’ is quite transforming directly into with a non-posting audience. It’s not necessarily the wrong doing at all, nonetheless possibly the blogosphere may well make a far better, non-creepy subject for your 90% folks in which enjoy studying the information.

Elijah SandagerJune 17th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

We absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome blog!