A Child’s garden of Euros

As the crisis in the Eurozone has worsened I have occasionally been moved to rewrite old songs and nursery rhymes…

  • 12 Jul 2015
    EZ proposes that Greece “surrender fiscal sovereignty” as the troika watches everything it does

    Every tax you take
    Every law you make
    Every plan you bake
    Every bond you break
    We’ll be watching you

    Every single day
    Every word you say
    Every game you play
    Every night you stay
    We’ll be watching you.

  • 30 Jun 2015
    Greece fails to pay bundled IMF payment.

    Sticking to their red-lines
    Pockets full of headlines
    Insults, insults,
    We all fall down.

  • 27 Jun 2015
    After Greece stops negotiating, calls for a referendum (possibly illegally), and requests a 1 month unconditional extension to its bailout. Request rejected. Greece leaves Eurogroup meeting, which proceeds without it.

    Abschied, adieu, farewell.
    Fremde, etranger, stranger
    Von Eurozone, de la zone euro, from eurozone.

  • 18 Jun 2015
    After a Eurogroup meeting which broke up in acrimony, after (reportedly) €2bn was withdrawn from Greek banks in 3 days. Speculation of capital controls and Grexit is rife.

    This is the currency Jacques* built.

    This is the flaw that lay in the currency Jacques built.

    This was the prosperity masking the flaw
    That lay in the currency Jacques built.

    This was the bank-run ending prosperity
    Masking the flaw that lay in the currency Jacques built.

    This is the debt revealed by the bank-run
    Ending prosperity masking the flaw
    That lay in the currency Jacques built.

    This is the bailout patching the debt
    Revealed by the bank-run ending prosperity
    Masking the flaw that lay in the currency Jacques built.

    These are the talks to continue the bailout
    Patching the debt revealed by the bank-run
    Ending prosperity masking the flaw
    That lay in the currency Jacques built.

    These are the insults stopping the talks
    To continue the bailout patching the debt
    Revealed by the bank-run ending prosperity
    Masking the flaw that lay in the currency Jacques built.

    This is the (other) bank-run caused by the insults
    Stopping the talks to continue the bailout
    Patching the debt revealed by the bank-run
    Ending prosperity masking the flaw
    That lay in the currency Jacques built.

    *Jacques Delors was one of the architects of the Euro

  • 4 Jun 2015
    After months of getting nowhere and several days of intense attempts at getting a deal together (but before the news broke that Greece wouldn’t pay the IMF).

    Who has seen a deal?
    Neither I nor you:
    But when the Greeks start trembling,
    A deal is passing through.

    Who has seen a deal?
    Neither you nor I:
    But when the bonds are tumbling,
    A deal has passed us by.

  • 19 Feb 2015
    After Syriza won the Greek elections at the end of January the crisis came to a head again.

    Tsipras was a greekman,
    Tsipras was no thief
    Tsipras came from Athens
    Preaching of relief.

    Tsipras was a greekman
    Tsipras was a naif
    Tsipras went to Brussels
    Where the Germans strafe.

    Tsipras’ only weapon:
    Leaving the EU
    Tsipras couldn’t use it
    Tsipras lost.

  • 29 Oct 2012
    A considerable amount of commotion was stirred up during the past day when the head of the ECB proposed an unelected budget czar for all of Europe. Much of this discussion took place during hurricane Sandy so the New York Times may not have covered it, but it did get a certain amount of publicity, and the prime ministers of Spain and Italy promptly condemned it.
    Here’s a song about that called the ECB lullaby.

    Sleep, baby, sleep, in peace may you slumber,
    No defaults lurk, your sleep to encumber,
    We’ve got the Euros, calm to determine,
    And most of the fingers on the pursestrings will be German.

    Why shouldn’t one have absolute power?
    England says no but, they’re always sour.
    You see the times now, need a dictator.
    Have no qualms yet, save that for later.

    Once Europeans were democratic,
    But that won’t happen again.
    Governance now is much more dramatic,
    They’re throwing journalists up in the attic.

    So sleep well, my darling, the sandman may go slow,
    We know our buddies will save the nice Euro.
    E C B
    Has scared Monti,
    I hope he is half as scared as I.

  • 26 Sept 2012
    Van Rompuy, speaking at the UN: “We have come a long way already, and today we are seeing the first results of this collective endeavour.” The results everyone else saw that day were:

    • Massive violent protests in Greece and Spain
    • Falls in all major European stock markets
    • Continuing dispute over whether Spanish and Irish banks can be recapitalized
    • IMF refusing to grant Greece money

    Open up your eyes now,
    Tell me what you saw.
    It is no surprise now,
    What you saw was war.

  • 10 Sept 2012
    After Draghi at the ECB announced the OMT to buy unlimited sterilized short-term peripheral bonds.

    The debits that bloom in the PIIGS,
    Tra-la,
    Have at last been contained by the bank
    As we merrily dance out our jigs,
    Tra-la,
    We welcome the hope that now sprigs,
    Tra-la,
    Of a winter when nothing shall tank,
    Of a winter when nothing shall tank,
    And that’s what we mean when we say that a thing
    Is welcome as bond yields that fall for the PIIGS.
    Tra la la la la,
    Tra la la la la,
    As bond yields that fall for the PIIGS.

    The debits that bloom in the PIIGS,
    Tra-la,
    Have almost destroyed the Euro.
    As Draghi takes under his wig,
    Tra-la,
    An economy built out of twigs,
    Tra-la,
    He’s liable to sink the core too,
    He’s liable to sink the core too.
    And that’s what I mean when I say or I jig
    Oh bother the debits of PIIGS,
    Tra la la la la,
    Tra la la la la,
    Oh bother the debits of PIIGS.

  • 5 July 2012
    After the Wolfson Economics Prize for leaving the Euro:

    The problem is all inside your head
    Can’t you just see
    The answer is easy if you
    Take it logically
    I’d like to help you in your struggle
    To be free
    There must be fifty ways
    To leave the Euro

    [CHORUS:]
    You just find a new lease, Greece
    Do without pain, Spain,
    It’ll be grand, Ireland
    Just listen to me
    Find a new pal, Portugal
    You don’t need to discuss much
    Just ignore ECB, Italy
    And set yourself free.

  • 12 June 2012
    After the Spanish bailout was (partly) announced:

    First Greece got the bailout and that was good,
    Cause they need peace and moneyhood.
    Then Ireland got the bailout, but that’s OK
    Cause the balance of payments’s maintained that way
    Who’s next?

    Portugal got bailed out but don’t you grieve,
    Cause they’re kinda small (I believe).
    Spain got the bailout but have no fears,
    It’s still too small to cause our tears.
    Who’s next?

    Then poor ol’ Cyprus claimed that they
    Were gonna need one any day.
    Bel-gi-um needs two, to quench
    One for the flems, and one for the french
    Who’s next?

    Italy is next to go
    And who knows, maybe Monaco.
    We’ll try to stay without a pout
    When France herself — gets bailed out…
    Who’s next?
    Who’s next?
    Who’s next?

    Apologies to Tom Lehrer

  • 10 May 2012
    Greece had inconclusive elections in early May where the far left coalition named Syrizan came in second place (with 52 members in parliament) and no one was able to form a government. Tsipras, the leader of the Syrizans, announced that he wanted to renegotiate Greece’s bailout terms.

    Sing a song of dracmas, the Euro’s like to die,
    Two and fifty Syrizans voted in to try,
    When the vote was counted, Tsipras began to yell,
    Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before Merkel.
    Germans in the counting-house, doling out the money,
    France is busy voting, trying for some honey.
    Sing a Song of Sixpence

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