Angela Merkel’s cabinet is meeting on Monday to approve new borrowing of €356bn — equivalent to nearly 10 per cent of Germany’s gross domestic product — marking a new era in fiscal policy and a radical departure from Berlin’s long-held aversion to debt.
Here is the FT piece, but this is being covered everywhere. (Imagine a day where this isn’t even necessarily the biggest story, and here we are.) Of course the content of the spending matters a great deal, but this is in principle the right thing to do. But here is the catch: out on social media, and in the old days of the blogosphere, there was so much Merkel hatred: “the austerity queen who killed thousands,” etc. But now she has been vindicated. We all can agree that a government should (on average) run surpluses in good times and deficits in bad times. Well…2011-2012…those were the good times. Yikes.
Merkel goes up in status with this, big time. And of course it is no surprise that a bunch of Germans would have a better sense of what the bad times really can look like.