“So far, George Osborne has taken the comfortable line that the eurozone meltdown is nothing much to do with Britain. As a result, he has chosen not to question the shoddy compromises, the straight lies and the probable illegality that have characterised Europe’s response to its greatest financial and political crisis since the 1930s. But the disaster will hit us, too. Britain is a shareholder in the ECB, and Britain is a core part of the bail-out mechanism. It is time that we started to poke our nose in, to demand honesty and transparency, and to stop sending good money after bad. Above all, George Osborne has an urgent duty as Chancellor to construct a firewall that protects Britain as much as is possible from the catastrophe that now looms over Europe.”
For many months and years, commentators – many of them at the Daily Telegraph – have predicted the eventual collapse of the single European currency. So far, it has failed to happen, if only due to the fanaticism of the European political class. But maybe, just maybe, the endgame is upon us. This is going to be nasty; some big banks could have to write off a huge amount in the way of bad loans.
And to think that a few years ago, it was claimed that the euro could rival, or even overtake, the dollar as a reserve currency. I am still a dollar bear, but who would want to bet on the euro?
I remember reading this book, The Rotten Heart of Europe, when it came out, and its author has that dubious pleasure of being able to say, “I told you so”.