The Members of European Parliament (MEP) Sideshow

German reporters were thrown out of the European Parliament back in 2008. The reason? They filmed politicians signing in on time sheets and then leaving. The practice enhanced Members of the European Parliament’s pay to more than the German Chancellor’s, while their true work rate was pitiful in comparison – and in absolute terms. Some Members of European Parliament (MEP) were so eager not to be filmed by the German TV crew they physically ran into walls trying to escape.

It made for great TV.

We don’t really blame the politicians though. Brussels isn’t a nice place to stick around in.

Several years later, the Members of European Parliament are in the limelight again, expected to solve their fellow politicians’ fiscal problems. Once again, they are bouncing off walls – this time figuratively, as far as we know. Alongside them are central bankers, IMFers and gaggles of other geese ruffling each other’s feathers.

What’s odd about MEP messing in fiscal affairs like the EFSF is that the European Parliament doesn’t really deal in fiscal problems on a regular basis, if at all. (Apart from appearing as an expense on the books of the various countries that is.) The IMF has a track record of ruining countries. And central bankers’ low interest rates were what encouraged the politicians’ spending in the first place.

So do any of them have any experience? Credibility? Ability? Nah. But they are looking important.

Nick Hubble
Nick Hubble is a feature editor of Markets and Money and editor of The Money for Life Letter. Having gained degrees in Finance, Economics and Law from the prestigious Bond University, Nick completed an internship at probably the most famous investment bank in the world, where he discovered what the financial world was really like. He then brought his youthful enthusiasm and energy to Port Phillip Publishing, where, instead of telling everyone about Markets and Money, he started writing for it. To follow Nick's financial world view more closely you can you can subscribe to Markets and Money for free here. If you’re already a Markets and Money subscriber, then we recommend you also join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment research, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Markets and Money emails.

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