does Europe fail if the euro fails?


The reason this crisis keeps grinding ever deeper is because the euro itself is a machine for perpetual destruction. The currency is fundamentally warped and misaligned. It spans a 30pc gap in competitiveness between North and South. Intra-EMU current account deficits have become vast, chronic, and corrosive. Monetary Union is inherently poisonous. The countries in trouble no longer have the policy tools — interest rates, QE, liquidity, and exchange rates — to lift themselves out of debt-deflation. Just as they had few tools to prevent a catastrophic credit bubble during the boom. Their travails were caused in great part by negative real interest rates set by the ECB (irresponsibly) for German needs. Their fiscal deficits (and remember, Spain and Ireland ran big surpluses in the boom) have exploded because of the Great Recession itself — as they have in the UK, US, and Japan. Draconian fiscal tightening might be manageable for these countries if the Teutonic bloc is willing to offset the contraction in demand by cranking up their own stimulus, allowing the intra-EMU imbalances to close from both ends. But the Teutons instead cling to their pieties, and their morality tale. The result is the downward spiral that we can all see.

more from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Telegraph here.