Beck points out that despite 115% export growth between 1998 and 2011, German GDP grew annually at only 1.4% in the same period, compared to 2.7% for Sweden, 2% for the UK, 1.8% for the Netherlands and 1.5% for France. Real personal disposable income over the whole of the same period rose by just 7%, about a third of the UK increase. Poverty is increasing. The Germans are much worse off than they were. The recent spectacular export boom has completely failed to deliver economic growth in Germany - in fact, the Mediterranean basket cases apart, Germany's economy is amongst the poorest performing in Europe.
The reason, Beck writes, is the operation of the Eurozone's Target2 transfer mechanism. At this point many Guardian eyes will glaze over and railway minds click onto the intellectually safe tracks of dialectical Marxism. Germany has effectively lent €715bn of sovereign wealth to southern Europe; as Beck writes
This German "wealth destruction" fund allows the euro countries to buy German goods they cannot afford and provides German industry with a multibillion euro export subsidy, which it does not need.Target2 means that the benefits of the export boom in terms of national and per capita economic growth are enjoyed by the Eurozone countries to which Germany exports, rather than by Germany. Beck concludes;
Through the rescue funds, government bond buys and Target2 system the ECB and the German government are propping up a system that is ultimately unsustainable. With the euro rescue, Germany is shackled to a corpse. Germany's Panglossian politicians refuse to accept that even now Germany would be better off cutting her losses. Draghi, meanwhile, has not lost sight of his project for the "lirafication" of the euro and busily pours liquidity into the financial market at negligible interest – in defiance of his mandate and the EU treaties, to the eurozone's ultimate doom and to sustain the profits of international investment banks."Nah, sorry, still can't understand you ..."