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German Dummkoepfe

Is this going to be a new running theme? Vanity Fair runs a long essay under the headline "It's the Economy, Dummkopf!"

With Greece and Ireland in economic shreds, while Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even Italy head south, only one nation can save Europe from financial Armageddon: a highly reluctant Germany. The ironies-like the fact that bankers from Düsseldorf were the ultimate patsies in Wall Street's con game-pile up quickly as Michael Lewis investigates German attitudes toward money, excrement, and the country's Nazi past, all of which help explain its peculiar new status.

Then Henry Farrell has a blogpost in Crooked Timber titled "Dummkoepfe"

Michael Lewis's recent article brings up again the question of why Germans bought so much toxic financial waste in the run-up to the financial crisis. It seems clear that his 'because they're all obsessed with shit' theory isn't any better an explanation than his Provo gangsters and fairy rings take on Irish economic disaster. But that still leaves an open question.Peter Frase takes one go at it here, first using Lewis' earlier work to ding the 'idiots' theory of why the meltdown happened.


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