H. L. Mencken comments on the ECB

I just found this wonderful quote from the American journalist and freethinker Henry Louie Mencken on “Puritanism” (“A Mencken Chrestomathy” (1949):

“The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy” (from “A Mencken Chrestomathy” 1949)

He could have been talking about European monetary policy or maybe even the majority of Swedish central bank board members…at least Gustav Cassel would have agreed.

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  1. Benjamin Cole

     /  November 30, 2012

    That sentiment—somebody somewhere might happy—I think describes most monetarists.

    Somebody somewhere might be prospering, and getting bullish.

    Better to keep the economy in permanent doldrums, than risk prosperity, and thus risk inflation, the cooling of which might entail a recession…so better we stay in recession permanently.

    Besides, monetary asceticism has its own rewards…..

  2. I know that it is unfair to trade in national stereotypes, especially when it comes to Germany. But I cannot help but to observe that Germany is “playing to type” in this crisis. Its Andrew Mellon-like attitude toward the people of the periphery seems just a bit callous. While I sympathize with Schaueble’s hostility to an endless fiscal drain, I cannot sympathize with Jens Weidmann’s cruel insistence on the ECB’s single mandate. It doesn’t matter what the treaty says, what matters is the future of Europe as a region of wealth and prosperity.


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