I just read this piece by Jeff Carter about how Germany is doing all the productive work for the entire EU. This bit in particular:
If I am the Germans I feel like the weightlifter on the bench press that just had a couple of manhole covers added to the bar. How can you have a European Union, when only one country in Europe is productive? Socialism is like that. They direct and regulate, you produce.
Which made me say to myself the phrase “Germany shrugs”. Which I then googled, and I got to this by Andrew Lawford:
Some time ago, I read an interesting article that outlined the fact that a Greek exit from the Euro would compound its problems in that it would have a new currency that would devalue markedly against the Euro, but would have all its debt still denominated in Euro. Obviously the situation would be resolved either by passing a law that redenominated all Greek debt into the new currency, or simply by defaulting on the payments of Euro debt. The end result for investors would be much the same.
The interesting thing to consider, though, is if Germany were to quit the Euro. The rule that applies to Greece would presumably apply to Germany too: a new currency would be introduced, but the nation’s debt would still be denominated in Euro. In this case, however, the new currency would presumably appreciate massively against the Euro, thus reducing Germany’s debt burden as measured in its new currency. This begs the question: would Germany redenominate all its Euro debt into its new currency? Certainly this is what investors expect as they push bund yields to record lows during the current “flight to quality”, but upon what basis can such a redenomination be expected?
And he ends by saying:
The Germans may simply shrug.
I am surprised that “Germany shrugs” (most of the google hits had an “off” bolted on to the end followed by whatever it was that Germany was shrugging off) is not a more common phrase. It certainly will be, Real Soon Now. Trouble is, the whole world, including us here, have been wondering for ages when “Germany”, by which I mean the people of Germany rather than their EU District Commissioner rulers, will finally demand that their leaders stop leading them into an economic morass and put their economic interests first.
I’m now inclined to think that I got it right at the end of this, where I said that the EU will only collapse when it has entirely run out of all its money and all its power, and all of it will then collapse.