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Germany blames U.S. for global crisis

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Of course, this morning, the German government is putting full blame on the United States for the global credit crisis. And Germany's Finance Chief said this morning, the U.S. will no longer be a financial super-power. Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: Leading German politicians have long been critical of America's financial culture. But today's attack is by far the most scathing. Speaking in the Bundestag this morning, the Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck blamed the U.S. for the current crisis. He said it was caused by what he called "the Anglo-Saxon drive for double-digit profits and massive bonuses." Steinbrueck then predicted that the world's financial system will never be the same again.

He said the United States will lose its status as a financial superpower. Wall Street will never again be what it was. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Secretary has come under attack from within the Anglo-Saxon world. One of Britain's top economic commentators claims that Henry Paulson has turned a manageable crisis into a catastrophe.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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It is probably true that investors in Germany are just as greedy as those in the US. The difference is that Germany tends to use state regulation to stop that getting out of hand and leading to social disruption. There was no property bubble and burst in Germany, for example, because the banks will only lend up to 60% of the value of the house. That is the difference between continental Europe (unfortunately the UK is more like the US in this regard) and the Anglo-Saxon model.

It is probably true that investors in Germany are just as greedy as those in the US. The difference is that Germany tends to use state regulation to stop that getting out of hand and leading to social disruption. There was no property bubble and burst in Germany, for example, because the banks will only lend up to 60% of the value of the house. That is the difference between continental Europe (unfortunately the UK is more like the US in this regard) and the Anglo-Saxon model.

First of all if Germany isn't part of the "Anglo-Saxon" culture then what the heck are they. Second, if Europe isn't caught up in this then what type of bank is: Deutsche Bank, RBS, HBC, UBS, etc... some of the biggest names in this screw up are European banks so before they go on a soapbox look home first. Second, We visit Europe and say, oh yeah its so nice, have you seen Europes slums plus, the Euro has made the cost of living so high Germany's normal unemployment rate is like a recession to us. Lastly, isn't it Europe who pushed and still do for more globalization. Before they talk they need to look at home first.

There is not the same greed culture in Europe-indeed in Germany. More emphasis is placed on enjoying life and not on an endless drive to make money. In Germany CEOs earn 35% more than average workers-in the US it can be 300%

How kind of an ally to attack us when we are down. What I would like to know, however, is the extent German investors are involved in our disaster. Is the double-digit profit motive purely an American disease, or are there plenty of Germans sharing in our current agony? My guess is investors around the world are just as susceptible as ours to the desire to always earn more.

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