Whatever the policymakers do with the EU financial crisis, it seems to be too little too late. As a few countries slide into financial default, the rest of Europe is ‘praying and waiting’ to see what will time bring. It is clear that the crisis has been triggered by a design problem (both in the EU and in the global financial system) which cannot be fixed with a palliative move. The analogy with the Titanic is becoming stronger.
Analogous to the Titanic saga, the level of panic determines the level of damage of the financial crisis. The panic on the Titanic was controlled by a calm captain and the Cruise-ship band, which continued playing as if nothing was happening.
Today, it is too easy to criticise EU leadership. Yes, leaders carry a lot of responsibility for the early response to the Greek crisis, but currently, the EU band is playing quite nicely, and so far, is controlling panic, at least in the public sphere (perhaps it still needs to convince Moodys and the other financial guys). The conductor (Merkle) has taken up the baton and with it, control; the rhythm section with two Marios is not bad. EU Commissioner Oli Ren, having been trained in the Balkans, has the stamina to sustain long concerts. The rest of the band is gradually getting in shape.
Will the band manage to control the panic till the Charpatia arrives? The first test will be the EU Concil on 9 December. Hopefully, the Charpatia will have a sufficient stock of rum and vodka. But where will it sail with the survivors (with us)? Most likely towards Asia via a melting Antarctic navigation passage!
While you are thinking of possible itineraries for the Charpatia have a listen to the audio support for this blog by Rod Stewart.