Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Patent Wars, Apple, Samsung, Koh's Court & Jury, Poker and the Sucker: Guess Who?

Patent trial of the century upcoming in the USA?
"LAW at its worst" would be a better title.
And there are ramifications for Europe, too.

We are repeating below a previous posting because it shows that the current patent wars have a sucker, true to the poker adage that "If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then YOU are the sucker."

In the current litigation between Apple and Samsung, neither of these two gigantic world high-tech multis is the sucker, and neither is the court or its apparently overwhelmed judge, who are profiting greatly from the publicity, and neither is the sucker the legal system, which is reaping vast monetary profits in the pockets of myriad legal professionals.

The SUCKER is YOU, the consumer. Congratulations.
In court
OTHER people are deciding
what YOU can buy or not.
Never mind the market.

You have over the past years asked for this development by inertia, although we warned you here at LawPundit 10 years ago that this was coming.
You payed no attention.

You have not clamored for change to a rotten and currupted patent system.

You have continued to elect unqualified people to legislatures,
both on the State as well as Congressional level, where beauty queens, veterinarians, wrestlers and gynecologists, etc. are legislating for you, rather than competent men of the law, predicatably, with disastrous results.

You have bought all the hype thrown at you by evil, monopolistic and labor-abusing companies like Apple, by purchasing their overhyped products at exorbitant prices and playing "elitist" while you were at it,

and now in a finishing scenario you find many grown men and women seriously litigating intellectual property rights to a generic rounded rectangular design -- as old as the hills --

as overwhelmed courts and judges decide these issues without sending those claiming such absurd rights into the wilderness, where they belong.

Rather, a JURY will now decide the case as a bunch of laymen having no technical conception of what they are deciding have been left holding the bag.

This is absurdity in law taken to its extreme.

So who really invented bordered rectangles with rounded corners as a means of "imaging" information?

Not Apple, you can be sure.

Here is our past posting repeated.


User interfaces on modern machines such as televisions, mobile phones and digital tablets present IMAGES on the plane surface of a display panel enclosed by a frame or bezel (retaining outer rim) of some kind.

When we talk about prior art for the design of mobile phones or tablets, we need to look at how images have generally been presented on a plane surface in the past, not just to similar modern devices.

We already posted that the Apple iPhone is almost identical in basic design to an ancient Pharaonic cartouche as a means of enclosing symbols, and that is definitely one aspect of icon presentation on the iPhone -- see The Apple iPhone as a Design Copy of the First Pharaonic Cartouche of the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: A Design in the Public Domain as Prior Art for 4500 Years.

The same holds true for the iPad as a device that presents images on a plane surface. As shown already in the previous posting, the Apple iPad is virtually identical in its basic design to a rectangular mirror with rounded corners used in modern correctional facilities. Such a mirror is also a device that displays images on its surface, just like the iPad, and it has the same design.

There is virtually NOTHING unique about the iPad in its design and the Apple company registration of an EU "design" on a rectangle with rounded corners is a legal abomination that can not be allowed to stand unchallenged and should never have been accepted by the German courts in their recent foolish limited-jurisdiction injunction against the Galaxy Tab on the grounds of an alleged infringement of an alleged Apple design which has prior art reaching back thousands of years.

The human "invention" of the mirror may have begun with the observation of image reflection in water, followed by the observation that images were also reflected on fixed surfaces as well, such as stones, the flatter and more polished the better. That led to the development of the first stone mirrors, followed by metal, and then glass -- the latter still being a common display surface for many electronic devices.

For example, a "cosmetic palette" (viz. tablet) made of polished stone is a basic human "imaging" tool that goes back thousands of years and its basic design is not an invention of the company Apple.

 As written at MirrorHistory.com:

"The ... earliest manufactured mirrors ... found in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) have been dated to around 6000 BC. Polished stone mirrors made in Central and South America date from 2000 BC onwards. Mesopotamians crafted mirrors of polished cooper from 4000 BC, and ancient Egyptians made this kind of mirrors from around 3000 BC. Chinese manufactured bronze mirrors from around 2000 BC."
In Egypt, as written by Barbara O’Neill in Reflections of Eternity: The Mirror in Ancient Egypt: An Overview from Prehistory to the New Kingdom, as published on Egyptological, June 30th 2011, Edition 1:
"The term most often used for ‘mirror’, “ankh”, also means “life”, with perhaps a play on words ‘reflected’ in the mirror’s role in preserving the image in a state of continual existence, (Bird, 1986)."
The first mirrors were cosmetic stone palettes like this one currently on sale at Christies.com (here enlarged) and dating to the Predynastic days of Egypt ca. 3200 B.C.:

The stone palettes of old were essentially ancient "tablets", here framed by multiple lines at the top, bottom and sides. The general design of the iPad has not changed much. The ancient Egyptians even had a stone plektron of sorts, a cosmetic stone brush, and note the rounded corners. Nothing new.

Below is the back of a mirror, today in the Louvre, in framed four-sided shape with symbols in rows of 4, just as on the iPad or the iPhone. Note the rounded corners. The mirror is dated to Seljuq, Iran in the 12th century:

12 Zodiac symbols around the perimeter and four identical squares in the middle

Four columns of symbols, emphasized by Apple as a "design" future for its products, have been used "as prior art" since antiquity because that permits symbols or "icons" to be a size which can easily be discerned by the human eye while making optimal use of the space available on a plane surface. I.e this "design" has been "pleasing to the eye" since antiquity.

The only thing that Apple has done is to apply ancient designs to its electronic products and that is neither an invention nor an original design of any kind. It is merely commercial exploitation of the designs of antiquity for modern selfish monopolistic profit.

That legislators and courts support this kind of intellectual property theft from the legacy of mankind is something we do not understand.

Why should ONE company profit from designs that were actually created long ago by "humanity"?

Crossposted from LawPundit.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Embedded EUPundit Google Groups forum Removed because of Problems for Internet Explorer Users

We have removed the embedded EUPundit Google Groups forum because it results in an error message for users browsing with Internet Explorer.

We can not force people to shift to what we regard to be the superior Firefox or Google Chrome browsers, where no problems are encountered.

Anyone wishing to join the forum can still join it at Google Groups.
The forum need not be embedded. It was just an experiment.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Browser Performance upon Embedding Google Groups LawPundit Forum in Blogger: Gecko Wins (Firefox and Google Chrome), Opera Follows with a Bug, and Internet Explorer (Trident) Last with an Error Message: plus We Used Lunascape As the Toggle-Capable Test Engine

Update on "the Browser Wars" as we just embedded the new Google Groups EUPundit, EULegal and LawPundit into the corresponding EUPundit, EULegal and LawPundit Blogger blogs.

What happened browser-wise?
Some strange things.

Take it for what it is worth - but this embedding of Google Groups in Blogger has up to now worked without a hitch in Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Internet Explorer produces a garbled message about not being able to embed frames and does not show the forum at all. Not usable.

Opera has one line of overlapping text at LawPundit -- a serious-enough error to deter usage.

I checked it all out again by using Lunascape 6 to access the Lawpundit blog.

At Lunascape you, where you can toggle between the Gecko, Trident and Webkit enignes for the major browsers:
  • Gecko reproduces the Google Groups LawPundit forum in the LawPundit Blogger blog without fail 
  • Webkit overlaps one line of text
  • Trident the first time around gave a runtime error and an otherwise blank page and at the second attempt produced most of the page, but  without the forum and with the message: "ERROR: Possible problem with your *.gwt.xml module file. The compile time user.agent value (ie9) does not match the runtime user.agent value (ie8). Expect more errors."
 I googled the "gwt.xml" problem and found this page (see that link).

In any case, those results match my own browser usage of Firefox as the browser of choice (because of all the options), Chrome as a good backup (perhaps faster, but limited, option-wise), Opera good with some great features but sometimes buggy and eccentric, and Internet Explorer is simply too flawed and not worth the money.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Germany in the News: Is the German Image Shown by the Press during the Financial Crisis Accurate? 180th Edition of Blawg Review Reposted Here Shows German Americans are the LARGEST Acknowledged Ancestry Group in America

Who are the Germans?

Did you know that German Americans make up the largest acknowledged ancestry group in America, larger even than that of the Irish or the English?

See the facts further below.

And consider that [Old English viz. Anglo-Saxon] is a West Germanic language closely related to Old Frisian, which is a North Sea Germanic language.

Mainstream press reporting about Germans and Germany during the financial crisis has been a bit one-sided, so I thought I would repost below the 180th BlawgReview which I wrote on German-American Day some years ago to provide a bit of balance.

Who are the Germans?
If you are an American, to a great degree, in terms of ancestry, they are us.

This is the EU Pundit Reposting
of BlawgReview #180 (written by LawPundit, and found here and here).
Some of the links from 2008 may no longer be active.

THIS IS THE 180th EDITION OF Blawg Review.

Today, on German-American Day, October 6, 2008, a day proclaimed by the President of the United States, LawPundit, as a law blog domiciled in Germany and authored by an American expatriate, born in Germany, raised in the United States, and formerly lecturing on Anglo-American law at the University of Trier Law School in Germany, is honored to host the 180th edition of Blawg Review. (If you did not read BlawgReview #179, Infamy or Praise tells you more).

There are literally millions of German-American ("deutsch-amerikanische") connections, both contemporary and historical. It may come as a surprise to many Americans to know that German Americans make up the largest acknowledged ancestry group in America, even larger than the Irish and the English. Take a look at this map from the US Census 2000 which shows all the counties in America. Those in light blue color have a plurality of inhabitants claiming German ancestry:

Indeed, as President Ronald Reagan proclaimed in 1987:

"Few people have blended so completely into the multicultural tapestry of American society and yet have made such singular economic, political, social, scientific, and cultural contributions to the growth and success of these United States as have Americans of German extraction....In fact:

"[T]here are still many metropolitan areas where German is the most reported ethnicity, such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and St. Louis."

There are many distinguished German-Americans, some of whom are annually honored by the German-American Heritage Foundation. The German-American lawyer Friedrich Kapp "can be regarded as a pioneer of German-American historical science."

The German-Corner features biographies, among them lawyer Francis Daniel Pastorius:

"PASTORIUS, Francis Daniel (1651-1720). German-American, lawyer and colonizer, b. Sommerhausen, Germany. Practiced law in Germany; as agent for Quaker group founded (1683) Germantown, Pa., and became its first mayor, chief citizen, and schoolmaster.

He marks the beginning of German settlement in the US.

WDR.de provides us with information about Pastorius in German for our German readers:

"Noch heute heißt ein Vorort Philadelphias "Germantown ". Gegründet wird er 1685 unter dem lateinischen Namen "Germanopolis" - von einem Mann aus dem fränkischen Sommerhausen. Sein Bild ist im Kuppelgemälde des Kapitols von Philadelphia verewigt, und im Deckenfries des Kapitols von Washington steht er neben William Penn, dem Gründer von Pennsylvania. Der Sommerhausener hat selbst einen lateinischen Nachnamen: Franz Daniel Pastorius wird am 26. September 1651 als Sohn eines Juristen geboren und studiert später ebenfalls Jura. "

Another example of a famous German American is America's first millionaire, Johann Jakob Astor (Johan Jakob Astor):

John Jacob Astor
, detail of an oil painting by Gilbert Stuart, 1794.
Originally Johann Jakob Astor, he was the first of the Astor family dynasty
and the first millionaire in the United States,
making his fortune in the fur trade and New York City real estate.

German Americans (German: Deutschamerikaner) are citizens of the United States of ethnic German ancestry. They currently form the largest self-reported ancestry group in the United States, accounting for 49 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population. California and Texas have the largest populations of German origin, although upper Midwestern states, including North Dakota and Wisconsin, have the highest proportion of German-American population. ...

The first Germans to arrive in the New World settled in the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. It wasn’t until the 1680s, however, that significant numbers arrived, settling primarily in New York and Pennsylvania. Immigration continued in substantial numbers during the 19th century; with the largest number of arrivals coming between 1840 and 1900. Americans of German descent form the largest ancestry group in the U.S., outnumbering the Irish and English, with some eight million immigrants having come to the United States. Some arrived seeking religious or political freedom, others for economic opportunities greater than those in Europe, and others simply for the chance to start fresh in the New World.

German Americans have been influential in almost every field, from science to architecture, industry, sports, and entertainment. Some, like Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Augustus Roebling or architect Walter Gropius, left behind visible landmarks. Others, like Albert Einstein or Wernher von Braun, set intellectual landmarks."

Important dates in German-American history are found at the IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center, and the reader can find a list of German-American Historic Sites and Museums at that same website.

Viewed on a contemporary transatlantic and global basis, it is interesting to see from the following map that the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the USA and Germany, which dominate the Old World and the New World, reflect a similar work and production ethic. LawPundit has added labels to the following cartogram of the world, resized it and added a border: (you can view the original cartogram from Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, here):

Although not directed solely to America, but broadcasting "online, on-screen and over the air" in 30 languages around the world, including of course English as the primary language, the German Deutsche Welle mirrors the importance of Germany to world affairs, and, pursuant to its statutory mission:

"promote[s] understanding of Germany as an independent nation with its roots in European culture and as a liberal, democratic, constitutional state based on the rule of law.
[emphasis added by LawPundit]

Speaking of the rule of law, the German-American Lawyers' Association, the Bonn-based Deutsch-Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung (DAJV), exemplifies German-American legal relations on this day, and points to the fact that:

"[T]he United States influences [German] cultural, economic and legal environment more than any other country. This is just one of the reasons why roughly 3,200 German and American jurists have joined together in our Association."

"The purpose of the DAJV:

"[I]s the advancement of professional and popular education, in particular the professional education of German lawyers and other groups interested in the fields of American law, as well as the advancement of American lawyers and other groups interested in the fields of German law."

The DAJV is holding its Annual Conference on German and American Law from August 12 to August 15, 2009, in Berkeley, California. Make a note. [image there no longer accessible]

But we are getting a bit ahead in our time schedule. For detailed information about the current German American Day, see the German American National Congress viz. Deutsch Amerikanischer National Kongress (DANK). As written at About.com:

"German-American Day - October 6 The first German-American Day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 for the 300th anniversary of the arrival of 13 German families on board a sailing vessel named "Concord" (the "German Mayflower"). The Germans from Krefeld landed in Philadelphia on October 6, 1683 and founded Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia). In 1987, after a campaign by German-American organizations, Congress made October 6 an official day of commemoration and President Reagan signed the proclamation...."

German American Day celebrations 2008 have taken place or are taking place from Saturday, September 27 through Monday, October 6, 2008 in the USA, e.g. in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Germantown. The German-American Society of Pennsylvania points to the following event schedule today as found at AOL:

"Monday, October 6: German American Day 10:00 p.m. Wreath laying ceremony at the Pastorius Monument in Vernon Park, 5818 Germantown Avenue in Germantown. Call 215.947.5490.12:00 p.m. Commemorative Luncheon highlighting the 325th Anniversary and recognizing the German roots of the Rohm and Haas. Union League, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. 215.665.1585.7:00 p.m. Landesjugendorchester Rheinland-Pfalz Performance of Elgar, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, German Society of Pennsylvania, 611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia."

Even German cooking is featured in the magazine German Life, "a bi-monthly magazine written for all interested in the diversity of German culture, past and present, and in the various ways that North America has been shaped by its German element. The magazine is dedicated to solid reporting on cultural, historical, social, and political events." This year's recipe, Bamberg Style Stuffed Onions With Savory Beer Sauce, is featured at Taste of Home.

In this connection, we also want to mention Oktoberfest, "a sixteen-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany during late September [and running to the first Sunday in October, unless that first Sunday is the 1st or 2nd of October, in which case the event runs to German Unity Day, October 3]. It is one of the most famous events in the city and the world's largest fair, with some six million people attending every year, and is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event." Obviously, many an Oktoberfest (see this list from Realbeer.com) also takes place in America. A good example is the Great Syracuse Oktoberfest.

The Infant Attorney at Learning the Law in Baby Step has Oktoberfest all planned out:

"I have a fun weekend planned. MP and I are meeting up with some college friends at Oktoberfest (not in Munich unfortunately). I'm looking forward to lots of beer, more beer and German food, I can't wait. Hopefully I'll see some hot lederhosen too! I'd love to go to Germany someday for Oktoberfest, MP was lucky enough to go when he studied abroad in Italy. It will be fun regardless. Did I mention the beer?"

Make sure you click those links above for more photos like this one, it's the first, an Oktoberfest Meisterwerk (masterpiece):

Speaking of beer, food and Oktoberfest, David Harlow at the Health Care Law Blawg (also known as HealthBlawg) cautions us mildly about such festivities:

"If you load up on bratwurst and sauerkraut this Oktoberfest, you may be in the market for coronary artery bypass graft (a different kind of cabbage ... CABG) in the future . . . and you'll want to be sure you go to a high quality provider. I interviewed the general counsel of a teaching hospital that took its CABG program offline for a while to make it better. "

That interview by David Harlow presents the topic Doug Brown, UMass Memorial Health Care's General Counsel, speaks with David Harlow about transparency and systems improvement as posted at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog.

Eating and drinking in connection with night life can raise legal issues, as David Giacalone at his f/k/a weblog observes in his posting lady judge says "ladies' nights" are not unconstitutional. Giacalone writes:

"Federal District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum (who'll be 80 years old next year) bounced avowed anti-feminist Roy Den Hollander from her Manhattan courtroom last Monday — rejecting his claim that bars and night clubs holding ladies' nights (where women are offered free or reduced-price admission or drinks) are engaged in unconstitutional gender discrimination against males under the Equal Protection Clause. See "Judge to anti-feminist: Ladies' night is alright" (AP, Sept. 30, 2008; "Ladies Night OKd by judge" (New York Daily News, Sept. 30, 2008)."

Did we mention keg tossing? Dan Slater at the WSJ Law Blog writes that:

"Earlier this summer, we told you that Vermont Law School was taking a stand against the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy — and paying for it. The school, whose endowment is about $14 million, could be denied federal research money to the tune of $300,000 to $500,000. (Hopefully, this won't affect the school's keg-tossing contest.)"

See a pic of Yale's Oktoberfest Keg Tossing Contest.

OK, that's been the fun part. Let's get down to more serious business. German-American legal and political affairs are important.

The German American Law Journal presents postings about US law in the German language ("Recht der USA auf Deutsch"). There are two language versions: German and English.

JuraBlogs - Die Welt juristischer Blogs (The World of legal Blogs). As written at Technorati, "JuraBlogs summarizes most of the German law blogosphere with several rankings, tools, newsletters and an advanced search functionality."

Davids Medienkritik ("Politically incorrect observations on reporting in the German media") is a pro-American blog which reports critically on transatlantic German-American relations as they are portrayed in German media. See their mission statement. An example is a posting about the Top Pet Issues for German Media Coverage of the United States.

The quality translation of legal documents is a must in the international legal sphere. Transblawg is the blog of German-English legal translator Margaret Marks, who maintains her "Weblog from Fürth on German-English legal translation / Weblog aus Fürth zur juristischen Übersetzung Deutsch-Englisch", and who refers to this edition of Blawg Review at Musings on Blawg Review/Blawg Review Deutsch-amerikanisch. An example of the type of useful postings that Transblawg makes is the Article on translating contracts into German/Probleme beim Übersetzen englischer Vertragstexte.

Speaking of contracts, marriage is also a contract that has important ramifications for German-American relations. Many children issue from marriages between Germans and Americans, and even a child born, for example, in Germany to two American parents can under some circumstances obtain a German citizenship. Amerika-Forum.de (in German) discusses the issue of dual citizenship ("doppelte Staatsbuergerschaft"). A detailed legal treatment of this important matter of dual nationality is found at the website of the U.S. Embassy in Germany.

Not only dual nationality, but also dual German-American educational degrees are possible. The Business School ESB Reutlingen discusses a double degree in international management ("Deutsch-Amerikansicher Studiengang").

Since the principle feature of this posting is by design directed to "blawg review", we present below a selection of blawgs covering the cutting edge of legal and political issues and contemporary topics of note, from a variety of perspectives:
  • The blawg IP Think Tank (TM) does a "weekly selection of top intellectual property news breaking in the blogosphere and internet" which includes German and American legal news.

  • The editor of IP.com's corporate blog, Securing Innovation, points to a recent article at Law.com, German Court Sees First Signs of European Patent Trolls, by Philippa Maister of IP Law & Business, and is concerned about the likelihood of confusion with IPCom GmbH in connection with the German company's whopping 12 Billion Euro patent infringement lawsuit against Nokia.

  • Bob Ambrogi on Law.com's Legal Blog Watch points to a report on The World's Most Client Friendly Firms, which included Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Germany, while Allen & Overy got top honors worldwide. Speaking of A&O ... we learn at the Tax Lawyer Blog, that Allen & Overy LLP will open a new office in Munich in October 2008. With its existing offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg and Mannheim, Allen & Overy will be represented in five of Germany's key economic centres. Prost!

  • Dan Hull at What About Paris? - formerly What About Clients? - asks Are you ready for Europe's REACH directive? In Blawg Review #65 Dan points to some German blawgs, among them "three German Fulbright Scholarship alums in Hamburg, Berlin and Seattle [who] publish the Atlantic Review, a press digest on transatlantic affairs...."

  • Professors of the world unite! We ourselves use the software program Zotero as a tool for research so that the following lawsuit hits us directly. At The Laboratorium, James Grimmelman suggested that the Thompson/Reuters lawsuit against the developers of Zotero, a free EndNote competitor, was "comically inept", but Mike Madison at the Madisonian thought that there might just be a method to it all, whereas Mike Masnick at Techdirt thought the whole thing was ill-considered and suggested that Zotero could make EndNote more, rather than less, valuable. Michael Froomkin at Discourse.net adds a new legal angle, writing that "there is one interesting and potentially triable ... issue in the case ... the extent to which a contract by a firm with a (state) university can bind its professors."

  • Elizabeth Garrett at Balkinization wonders "How the Financial Crisis is Reshaping Democratic Politics: Term Limits Reconsidered", whereas Rick Pildes at that same blawg considers the importance of appointing a board of overseers for the Department of Treasury in connection with the $700 Billion bank bailout.

  • Nolo's Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Blog exclaims, "Bailout? Follow The Money!".
  • ,
  • Speaking of money, what about product liability cases? Jim Beck and Mark Herrmann jointly write the Drug and Device Law Blog, where they recently pointed to Learned Intermediary Rule 201 in a posting that describes the application of the "learned intermediary rule" in pharmaceutical product liability cases in which the treating physician gives slightly offbeat responses to some of the usual questions asked during discovery.

  • Nothing lasts forever, and fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers went through this long ago with the demolition of Ebbets Field, as BizzBangBuzz now shares "Yankee Stadium Memories" with us. Construction and destruction are two sides of the same coin.

  • At Deliberations, Anne Reed ponders in "Women Lawyers, Juries, -- And Stress?" whether juries react more positively to male lawyers rather than to female attorneys.

  • Advocate's Studio in "Poor writing across the pond" tangles with the view found in TheLawyer.com, as expressed by Peter Crisp, dean of BPP Law School, that law students suffer from lapses in writing. Solutions are suggested.

  • Law School is a topic at LawVibe, where Michael presents the "NYU Law School Cash for Class Scandal", the consequences of which are discussed by Paul Caron at the Tax Prof Blog and Jim Maule at MauledAgain (Part I-Tax Issues, Part II-Legal Education Issues).

  • Jordan Furlong of Slaw.ca and Law21 discusses "The Future of Law Firm Branding".

  • Feminist Law Professors discuss "Where Feminism, Copyright Law and This Interminable Election Intersect", pointing to a mock of Sarah Palin at the New Yorker, via the Huffington Post, which employs an Alaska parody of a famous New Yorker title page by Saul Steinberg.

  • Speaking of New York, Bruce MacEwen at Adam Smith, Esq. asks in (New York) City's End, in view of "all the body blows the New York City financial services industry and its attendant handmaidens (BigLaw, that would be you) have taken in the past couple of months", whether "the Apocalypse [will be] descending upon Sin City", referring to The Sky Keep's Falling!, a book review by Tama Starr at the Wall Street Journal book shelf of Max Page's The City's End, as published by the Yale University Press, which touts the book as:

    "[T]he first to investigate two centuries of imagined cataclysms visited upon New York, and to provide a critical historical perspective to our understanding of the events of September 11, 2001."

    How times have changed since the days when the famous Wagners, who were German-Americans and lawyers to boot, ran things in New York City. See that link.

  • Regarding that forthcoming Presidential Election, Madeleine Begun Kane presents A Do-Over Supreme Court Test For Palin? posted at Mad Kane's Political Madness. Mad Kane describes herself as a "writer, musician, and "recovering lawyer.""

  • LawGeek reports that Smithsonian Institution Archives photos from the Scopes trial are now available on Flickr.

  • Tax Girl debates the meaning of tax hikes and tax cuts, commenting upon the vice-presidential debate that "it's not whether you speak the truth but how well you speak it." That's really "bloggitty goodness", to use a phrase found at this blawg.

  • Blawgletter asks, "MTM, WTF?" in talking about FASB No. 107, Disclosures About Fair Value of Financial Instruments.

  • The Madisonian.net tell us that "For just $125 this inflatable crime scene can be yours!", referring to the newest macabre Halloween product at Walmart.

  • Speaking of Halloween, George's Employment Blawg has advice on "Halloween in the Workplace? It Depends…".

  • Doc Searls Weblog recalls The Verdict and Absence of Malice, for which Paul Newman won the Oscar as leading actor, as Idealawg bids good-bye to actor Paul Newman, to whom the Connecticut Law Blog give's a hero's farewell, as do TalkLeft, The Right Coast, Mark Wahlstrom's The Settlement Channel, The Bizop News, the Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library at UCLA, Houston's Clear Thinkers, the Justice Building Blog, Jailhouselawyer's Blog, Instapundit, Ideoblog, and What About Clients? The CM Law Library Blog even asks the pertinent question as to how many people were led to study law by cinema portrayals of lawyers by actors such as Newman, citing to the August 2008 ABA Journal report on The 25 Greatest Legal Movies, as selected by attorneys.

  • Patent attorney Brett J. Trout addresses every blawger's problem in Define Yourself posted at BlawgIT.

  • Mrinalini Kochupillai signed-off from the Spicy IP blog with a lengthy and worthwhile post discussing whether India needs a publicly-funded R&D law like the U.S. Bayh-Dole law.

  • Dan Hull at What About Paris?(TM) suggested that the services industries -- including legal services -- could use an ease-of-use award like that given to manufactured goods.

  • Sam Conforti in Software Licensing & Master Service Agreements provided some guidance to those considering SaaS Contracting, the web-based license of software as a service (SaaS).

  • Dan Harris of the China Law Blawg has thrown a lifeline to anyone who's been provided bad products by a Chinese supplier. He also ventures to say on China Joint Ventures. Can Things Get Any Worse? as posted at China Law Blog. Take a look at the opening page of the law firm of Harris & Moure - in no less than five languages - English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and, of course, German.

  • Seth Freilich of QuizLaw is none-too-pleased that a judge with two DUI convictions has been sentenced to a total of twelve days of pro bono legal services.

  • When IBM seeks to patent a method for finding new things to patent, Victoria Pynchon of the IP ADR Blog thinks that it's a sign that we need a legal equivalent of the TED conference.

  • Michael Moore at the Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Blog has surveyed the worsening economy and sees the writing on the wall. He offers some timely advice to employers contemplating reductions in force.

  • Sharon Nelson at her ride the lightning electronic evidence blog found herself somewhere she seems to have considered the back of beyond, but at least one attendee at her presentation on appropriate self-marketing online was paying attention, as he bolted the scene to scrub his Facebook profile.

  • At the Ohio Employer's Law Blog, in honor of Rosh Hashanah, which begins the Jewish New Year, Jon Hyman has posted some words of wisdom about accommodating religious holidays. What does an employer do if an employee wants to take such a day off from work? Hyman writes: "Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act] requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee whose sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance conflicts with a work requirement, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship."
In addition to our blawg review, we point to the numerous transatlantic organizations that exist and which - either directly or indirectly - are German-American in nature, and many of these are listed in detail as Partner's Profiles by the New Traditions Network (NTN). The NTN is:

"[A] dynamic group of political, academic and cultural institutions, foundations and corporations in Germany and the United States cooperating together to promote the transatlantic dialogue. The network offers this community a common forum aiming to create new vehicles for dialogue and partnerships as well as new channels and modes of coordination and cooperation. It is open to any organization that is active in promoting U.S.-German relations....

The NTN ... was established in September 2000. Building upon the strong 'traditions' Americans and Germans have established since World War II, the NTN identifies issues and opportunities current in the transatlantic relationship.

Network projects involve at least two partners cooperating together to develop common activities and to reach out to actors and organizations taking on new roles in the rapidly changing transatlantic environment....

The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section coordinates the network and maintains the website. The network communicates mainly via email and internet and meets approximately every three months to give opportunity for person-to-person networking and to welcome new members."

The listed organizations are:
In recent German-American news of note, we received an email announcing the October 3 German Unity Day relaunch of the website Germany.info as maintained in English and German language by the German Embassy in Washington D.C., providing inter alia:

"Integrated site
For the first time, Germany.info will fully integrate the German Embassy, the eight German Consulates in the United States, and the German Information Center USA into one website.
Easy access to visa/passport info
First and foremost, all visa, passport and other consular services information will be clearly laid out and easy to access. For the first time, users will be able to use an interactive map to find the German Consulate General, or Embassy, that serves them. They can then easily use that Consulate’s website to find directions, opening hours and other information specific to that location. Also for the first time, Germany’s Honorary Consuls in the United States will each have a page on Germany.info.
The German version of the site will feature comprehensive consular and legal information.
More videos
The new Germany.info will feature short videos more prominently—from informative films on renewable energy, for example, to fun skits on learning German. Of course, we’ll also keep running and expand our popular quizzes and interactive contests.
Informative features
The relaunched site will offer more features on studying in and traveling to Germany, learning the German language, the German business landscape, Germany’s role at the forefront of renewable energies and climate protection, German-US relations and much more.
Germany in your area
To make it easier for you to find German cultural events and organizations in your area, Germany.info will feature information specific to each part of the country. There will be a cultural events listing and an extensive listing of German organizations in America.
Germany.info en Español
Germany.info was one of the first websites published by an embassy not from South America to feature a version in Spanish for America's growing Spanish-speaking population. With the relaunched site, we will be expanding our Spanish language offering into a more comprehensive site.
Join us on October 3 to celebrate the new Germany.info, take part in special relaunch games, win great prizes and enjoy our new fun features.
Sincerely, Jennifer Clardy."
And that is it from us today. We hope you enjoyed some part of this posting and that it provided you with new information about your chosen interest in German-American relations.

Blawg Review
has information about next week's host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Unified Patents in the EU, nearly: Unified Patent Court to be located in Paris, London and Munich for 25 EU Member States as Italy and Spain Opt Out

Owen Bowcott, the legal affairs correspondent at the Guardian, reports that a new European Union EU Unified Patent Court will be split between Paris, London and Munich as the European Council Summit OKd the new unified court

-- except for Spain and Italy, who opted out.

The agreement of the European leaders means that a single patent at some time in the future -- perhaps by 2014 when the court has been set up -- will be valid across the other 25 European Union Member States.

Advocates of States' Rights in the USA should examine the disconcerting Spanish and Italian opt out. That kind of undesired development is what happens when federalism is too weak and legal authority is watered down by local action.

EUPundit Available in Mobile Phone Smartphone Format via DudaMobile

The following is a service, for YOU, our readers.
We thank you for your understanding.

EU Pundit is now available in simplified mobile phone format
via DudaMobile -- check out this link to test your phone type (when you get to that page, the phone types can be clicked in the column at the left):


Smartphones that access EUPundit at the normal online link
will now automatically be redirected to that Dudamobile page.

This is a free service of DudaMobile for which they put ads at the top and bottom of the EUPundit page over which we have no control and in which revenue we do not share.

If enough readers would send us donations, we could pay for the service outright and get rid of those ads, but donations are few and far between. Our ISandIS Network gets about 100,000 hits a year - but thus far we have zero donations. Well, one tries these things out.

We still regard this as a "testing phase" so let us know if there is anything that you do not like.

Adobe Flash 11.3 Crashes in Firefox: Solution is Uninstalling and Downgrading to Flash 10.3 or Flash 11.2 - See Instruction Links -- Query: Should Companies like Adobe be Fined Massively by Governments for Fraud?

Mozilla Firefox Support has advice on Flash 11.3 crashes.

Flash 11.3 crashes on my PC have become so pervasively invasive that I am of the opinion that companies like this should have massive fines imposed upon them by governments for wilfully publishing software that they must know to be faulty - it is a form of fraud because the frequent invasive "send a crash report" pop-ups merely serve as cheap advertising for this monopolistic company.

Mozilla Firefox Support writes:
"Adobe has recently updated Flash to version 11.3. Some users have reported that this version of Flash is crashing more frequently than previous versions of Flash. If you are experiencing excess crashes, please downgrade to Flash 10.3 or Flash 11.2."
Here is the link Mozilla Firefox Support suggests with instructions to downgrade to a more crash-free program -  http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/flash-113-crashes.

One problem is that browsers and software use Adobe Flash.
Well, if the software is faulty, STOP USING IT!

Adobe are one of the worst monopolists out there and the history of the .pdf format is a lesson in what kinds of intellectual property should never be given any kind of legal protection.

Talk about hampering progress, Adobe is it.

Crossposted at LawPundit.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Paul Krugman Calls it Europe’s Great Illusion: Are Inflation and Monetary Devaluation via Increased Spending the Only Real Solutions?

Paul Krugman's most recent piece at the New York Times is Europe’s Great Illusion, writing inter alia in the aftermath of the recent -- in our eyes "relatively successful" -- Eurozone summit meeting:
"Over the past few months I’ve read a number of optimistic assessments of the prospects for Europe. Oddly, however, none of these assessments argue that Europe’s German-dictated formula of redemption through suffering has any chance of working. Instead, the case for optimism is that failure — in particular, a breakup of the euro — would be a disaster for everyone, including the Germans, and that in the end this prospect will induce European leaders to do whatever it takes to save the situation."
We agree with Paul Krugman on much of his basic macroeconomics, but are recently somewhat more concerned about why he continues to pounce on the economy of Europe rather than on the economic situation in the United States.

We presume that the reason is because the USA and the EU are the biggest bilateral trading and investment partners in the world (with China soon overtaking) whose fortunes are inextricably entwined.

The transatlantic economy has traditionally been the world's motor, as can be seen from these figures from the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU):
"Trade in goods
  • EU good exports to the US in 2010: €242.1 billion
  • EU goods imports from the US in 2010: €169.5 billion
Trade in services
  • EU services exports to the US 2010: €125.2 billion
  • EU services imports from the US in 2010: €131.0 billion
Foreign Direct Investment
  • EU investment flows to the US in 2009: €79.2 billion
  • US investment flows to the EU in 2009: €97.3 billion
  • Investment stocks inward in 2009: €1044 billion
  • Investment stocks outward in 2009: €1134 billion
More statistics on USA"
What would be useful to see from Krugman is an analysis of the people and institutions to whom the money of the debt crisis is OWED and why (or not) they should be saved from their bad investments viz. loans and why money speculators, banks looking for absurd returns from sovereign nations -- and failing, hedge funds, and their ilk, etc. should be rewarded for what is nothing other than monetary gambling. That is a far more important question than all this theoretical economic bantering.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Understanding The Rule of Law in Russia and Eastern Europe: pravovoe gosudarstvo, Rechtsstaat, law-based state, legal state

The rule of law will never be the same in Russia or Eastern Europe as in the West. Here you can read why that is so. The conclusions drawn at the end of this posting -- which starts out with some detailed background material necessary to understand those conclusions -- are as current now as they were.

In the year 1974, I left my position as an associate with Paul, Weiss in the United States to come to Europe, heeding the call to work together with the late Professor Dietrich André Loeber at the University of Kiel Law School in Germany, where Loeber, later acting Dean of the Law School, was the Director of what was then called the "Institut für Recht, Politik und Gesellschaft der sozialistischen Staaten" (Institute for the Study of Law, Politics and Society of the Socialist States) , in short, "Institut für Ostrecht" (literally, Institute for "East Law"), which is now the "Institut für Osteuropäisches Recht (Institute of East European Law).

The current Institute is surely a much different institution than it was in my years there (1974-1979), when members and staff included Prof. Dr. Youn-Soo Kim (see also Kim), Dr. Teresa Pusylewitsch, Liselotte Rawengel, and Heike Pagels, all deceased, as also Rainer Wiechert, Dagmar Hederich (geb. Heusinger von Waldegge), and Waltraud Knoche, in addition to numerous visiting scholars from America, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Professor Dr. Wolfgang Seiffert succeeded Loeber as Director of the Institute in 1989. Loeber passed away in June of 2004 - see the wonderful biography (in German) by Gert von Pistohlkors of Göttingen - and Seiffert passed away in January of 2009. Loeber and I stayed closely in touch over the years and I attended his 70th birthday celebration in Hamburg in 1994.

Very few persons who knew me in 1974 understood my move to Germany to work at Loeber's Institute, giving up a great potential career at a major law firm and turning down an offer to join a law faculty in the USA. Then, as now, the mainstream legal community in the United States and in Europe has little conception of the importance of the work that was done, two decades prior to - but in clear anticipation of - the coming of a man like Gorbachev. See, in this regard:

Law and the Gorbachev Era: Essays in Honor of Dietrich André Loeber
, edited by Donald D. Barry, published by Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff. 1988. xix + 426 pp. inc. index, ISBN 9024736781 and 9789024736782, and reviewed by Bernard Rudden (1990) at the International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 39, p. 500, doi:10.1093/iclqaj/39.2.500.

Loeber's father, "Senators Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. August Loeber," had been a Justice of the Latvian Supreme Court (Latvian: then Senāts, today Augstākā Tiesa) between the two world wars. Indeed, as I discovered in the course of my research, Augusts Lebers (here with photograph), in terms of the number, extent and importance of judicial opinions issued by the Latvian Supreme Court in that period, was its most productive member.

[In terms of linguistics, by the way, the Latvian root "
sen-" means "long ago, old" so that the Latvian Senāts as a court of course has the same Indo-European root word origin as the legislative United States Senate, as a congregation of wise men, i.e. "council of elders".]

In this connection, among many other things, during my sojourn in Kiel, Dietrich Andre Loeber and I selected and organized important decisions of the Latvian Supreme Court from an enormous corpus of case materials from which the most important decisions were translated into English. Loeber's 1995 publication Latvijas Senats, 1918-1940: Raditaji Latvijas Senata Spriedumu Krajumiem, ISBN 10: 9984908208 and ISBN 13: 9789984908205, was related to this work.

Loeber's father's wife was Emilie Mentzendorff, and Dietrich Andre Loeber was the philanthropist behind the recent restoration of the Mentzendorff House (Latvian: Mencendorfa Nams) in the center of Riga, Latvia, which today is a branch of the Riga Museum of History and Navigation. Below is an embedded panorama:

The Mentzendorff's House in Riga

I first met Loeber when he was a visiting Professor of Law at Stanford University Law School while I was still a law school student. We became friends and kept in close contact. Loeber himself was a consummate expert on Russia, and when he visited me in New York City in 1974 to invite me to work with him in Kiel, he predicted that the then Soviet Union (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, also called the USSR) would fall apart within the next 20 years. Had I not believed his prognostication, I would never have left the United States to come to Europe. As it turned out, less than 20 years later, in 1991, the Soviet Union in fact ceased to exist, and the Baltic States regained their independence, just as Loeber had predicted. He viewed this development as inevitable, and, it would appear now, in an era of the global sharing of knowledge and information, as irreversible. The old days could never return. Something new was coming, and had to come.

Loeber spoke fluent Russian, German, Latvian and English, and also had articles published in French and Italian. During the Cold War he visited the Soviet Union as often as he could, but never as much as he would have liked, following his various academic pursuits. As he himself stated about his trips to the USSR: "This is my field. I have to know what I am talking and writing about".

Loeber was a hands-on academic of the old school, the likes of which are probably seldom found at universities today. When Loeber was in Moscow in the Soviet era, he bought and wore Russian clothes, so that he would not stick out from the crowd. He was a good listener and a good observer, and returned from his Eastern sojourns with new academic insights. Whenever he heard thoughts and theories on Russia and Eastern Europe that he found to be removed from reality, Loeber would say something like, "Tjaa.... I was there. I am not sure." Loeber, ever the diplomat, seldom contradicted his colleagues in the field openly, even when he disagreed. This diplomacy and his ability to keep things to himself made him a welcome guest everywhere.

Loeber's main academic treasure was his immense private library on Russian, Soviet, East European and Baltic law. Whenever he found an academic book or other resource that he considered to be important to have, he would buy it or trade for it by offering Western books or other goods that were lacking in the East. Life in Russia and Eastern Europe in those days was very much a give-and-take proposition. As Donald D. Barry writes in the Foreword to Law and the Gorbachev Era: Essays in Honor of Dietrich André Loeber:
"On a visit to his home near Hamburg in 1962 I first got the chance to see and use his personal library -- without a doubt one of the handful of great repositories of materials on Russian and Soviet law outside of the USSR. Loeber always had not only an encyclopedic knowledge of legal sources, both common and scarce, but also the great ability to hunt down and acquire even the rarest of them."
Much of that library found its way to the East after the year 1991, thanks to Loeber's donation of his books and resources. At the same time, Loeber also produced some marvelous books of his own. As Barry writes:
"[H]is early training and interest in international law culminat[ed] in his magisterial East-West Trade".
See Dietrich Andre Loeber, East-West Trade: A Sourcebook on the International Economic Relations of Socialist Countries and Their Legal Aspects, (No. 60, 4 volumes, 2304 pages, Oceana Publications, Dobbs Ferry, 1976-1977. ISBN-13: 9780379004854 ISBN: 0379004852. This book was created and published in the period that I was at the Institute, and I had a great deal of pleasure in those years to help André put together the materials and to edit that book.

What would André (for so Dietrich Andre Loeber was called privately) say about the current Western view of Russia and Eastern Europe? Here is what he wrote in Regional and National Variations: The Baltic Factor (published in Toward the "Rule of Law" in Russia. Political and Legal Reform in the Transition Period, edited by Donald D. Barry, pp. 77-92, revised papers from a conference held at Lehigh University, May 30-June 1, 1991. Published by M.E. Sharpe, 1992. ISBN 1563240653, 9781563240652. 402 pages):
"The concept of pravovoe gosudarstvo [footnote 1: The terms pravovoe gosudarstvo, Rechtsstaat, law-based state, and the literal translation "legal state" are used in this paper synonymously."] is now hailed as progressive and "socialist" in the Soviet Union after having been denounced for almost seven decades as a device of the reactionary classes. A veritable avalanche of journal articles and books has begun to be published on the subject. One aspect in the heated debate has been largely ignored--regional variations. I am not aware of any single Soviet piece of research addressing this issue explicitly. This is surprising since we are justified in expecting such variations. In the West, for instance, we do not have a uniform concept of Rechtsstaat, but witness several types at work, one of them being the rule-of-law concept in common law countries.

In order to detect different concepts of the pravovoe gosudarstvo within the Soviet Union, one would have to scan publications of all regions with potential variations ... at least fifteen legal subsystems could be identified tentatively....

Russia, the Ukraine (including the former area of the Don Cossacks and the North Bukovina, a former Romanian territory), Belorussia (both the Ukraine and Belorussia with former Polish territories);

Estonia and Latvia (which - similar to Finland - lived under a separate legal system until 1917), and Lithuania, now jointly known as Baltic states;

Moldova (including Bessarabia);

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the Caucasus;

the five republics in Soviet Central Asia.

... [LawPundit: note that these are the regions between whom the most recent conflicts have arisen]

E. Ridamae, an author in Estonia [writes]:

As regards pravovoe gosudarstvo, we are probably still at the level of pronouncing declarations from high tribunes.... Let us remember how (socialist) legality was devalued: Despite its permanent strengthening and safeguarding, it became a mass (socialist) lawlessness, as it turns out now after the fact (zadnim chislom). We probably do not yet know what a pravovoe gosudarstvo actually means....First we have to find out...how to liquidate collisions between the right of self-determination and superpower interests." [footnote 89, "Glassnost', demokratiia, Sovetskaia vlast', pravovoe gosudarstvo," Sovetskoe pravo (Talinn) 1989 No. 4, 219-222, 222]

This point was missed by John Lloyd, writing in the Financial Times in 1990. For him the "process of the creation of a law-governed state in the Soviet Union is the success story of the five years of President Mikhail Gorbachev. Not just successful: breathtakingly successful." Ridamae, I submit, is closer to reality than John Lloyd. [footnote 90, "Law-Governed State", Financial Times, 12 March 1990, VIII.]
And so, by wisdom of hindsight, Loeber can be seen to have been right again. The rule of law will not come so quickly to the East in spite of democratic claims to the contrary, because it is a concept not seen equally by all nations or in all regions. Only when this is understood and sensibly applied in a nation-state context, can true progress toward the sustained rule of law in Russia and Eastern Europe be made in the long term. It will never be the same as in the West.

Crossposted from LawPundit.

EU Eurozone Bank Bailout: Understanding the Current Debt Crisis as a Financial World in Deleverage : Bill Gross, Founder and Manager of PIMCO, World's Biggest Bond Fund, Gives Us the Nuts and Bolts

William H. Gross ("Bill"), founder and manager of Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), the world's biggest bond fund, has said that Europe is in a Debt Trap, Even After the Bank Bailout.

Bill Gross is a very bright guy, be sure about that, so his opinion carries weight with this author, and it is advisable to read what he writes.

We do think that Europe is stronger than Americans can imagine and we think that the USA by contrast has serious economic, political and social problems to solve down the road, so we are not necessarily in agreement with Gross on his conclusions that America is currently a better investment than Europe. But then again, we are not managing a $250 billion fund, and Gross does.

What Gross has been writing recently at his Investment Outlook page at PIMCO is outstanding in delivering basic economic knowledge (from an investment standpoint) about a world that is "delevering".

If you really want to get a nuts and bolts view of the current world debt situation, the PIMCO writings of Bill Gross are an absolute reading must.

Below are links to some of his writings at Investment Outlook at PIMCO together with excerpts we have chosen to give an idea about the content:

The Great Escape: Delivering in a Delevering World by William H. Gross:
"[T]he Great Leveraging of the past 30 years .... was a world not of yield, but of total return, where price and yield formed the returns that exceeded the ability of global economies to consistently replicate them. Financial assets relative to real assets outperform in such a world as wealth is brought forward and stolen from future years if real growth cannot replicate historical total returns."
Wall Street Food Chain by William H. Gross:
"The whales of our current economic society swim mainly in financial market oceans. Innovators such as Jobs and Gates are as rare within the privileged 1% as giant squid are to sharks, because the 1% feed primarily off of money, not invention. They would have you believe that stocks, bonds and real estate move higher because of their wisdom, when in fact, prices float on an ocean of credit, a sea in which all fish and mammals are now increasingly at risk because of high debt and its delevering consequences. Still, as the system delevers, there are winners and losers, a Wall Street food chain in effect."
What's in A Name by William H. Gross:
"An authentic debt crisis – which the world is now experiencing – can only be ultimately cured in two ways: 1) default on it, or 2) print more money in order to inflate it away."
See links to all of the articles by Gross at Investment Outlook Overview.

Crossposted at LawPundit.

Europe Agrees to Bailout as Leaders of 17-Nation Euro Zone (Eurozone) Agree to Roll Over Existing Debt and Recapitalize Troubled Banks Directly Out of the ESM

Europeans Agree to Use Bailout Fund to Aid Banks is the headline by Steven Erlanger and Paul Geitner at the New York Times Global Business with Reuters.

The solution agreed to by the 17-member Euro zone (Eurozone) is something that has been apparent as an alternative for a long time, which is that existing debt must be rolled over and troubled banks recapitalized directly from the Eurozone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

For skeptics, just presume that the people doing this bailout understand banking and also appreciate what "money" at the level of billions and trillions represents.

Debt is never just "one-sided".

You have people and institutions who owe money, and you have people and institutions to whom money is owed.

So why is THAT a crisis? That is the normality in banking.

When trouble surfaces, that can always be settled at the level of nations, much in the same way that personal bankruptcies can be settled.

There is an old saying that goes something along the lines that "fun" does not create alliances, but that sharing "trouble" does, so that all-in-all, the Eurozone's problems are probably good for creating a stronger Europe.

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