Euro crisis

Big Ideas Forum 2010: The future of Europe

In many ways, Australia today reminds me of Europe in the first decades of the post-war period. We are full of optimism ... our population is growing ... our economy is booming. But make the wrong choices about the size of government now, ignore the challenge of population ageing, gloss over temporary problems with public deficits, and just a few decades later, we will end up like Europe – under different stars, but with the same destiny. [...]

Europe’s not-so common market

Despite repeated calls for greater unity, the European common market still does not work properly. Instead of opening their borders to the free movement of people, products, services and capital as required under various treaties, member states are still being caught in covert and sometimes open protectionism. This undermines their credibility about the future of the currency, too. [...]

Nothing can save Spain

There are growing concerns that the Iberians will be the next casualties of the economic crisis.The widening spread between Spanish securities and German bunds as well as the increasing costs of credit default swaps on Spain’s savings banks both point in the same direction. Markets are betting against Spain and its financial institutions. [...]

Germany may yet abandon Greece

If international markets or European politicians want to know the future of the euro, they better not ask Germany’s constitutional court. Especially on Greek affairs, the Oracle of Delphi may give a much clearer answer. [...]

Where Europe’s smart money hides

The enormous Swiss currency reserves are a direct result of the euro crisis as the SNB is fighting an uphill battle to stabilise the Swiss Franc against the weakening euro. Switzerland’s central bank soaks up euros and sells off francs on a massive scale. [...]

The economic curse of populism

As long as the Germans pretend that the current crisis was caused by speculation and not by inherent flaws of the European project, this crisis will not pass. They can ban short selling, regulate credit default swaps or outlaw hedge funds all they like, but this will not solve the competitiveness problems of Club Med countries. [...]

The fantasy of European integration is over

By putting European idealism ahead of economic concerns, Europe’s leaders have given speculators ample opportunity to exploit the weaknesses of the flawed monetary construction that is the euro. [...]

Will German voters cut the cord?

Ironically, the Greek rescue package may have increased the chance of a future sovereign default in Europe – other nations struggling under massive debt burdens are likely to find there is nobody left willing to bail them out. [...]

The next fall of Rome

Schoolchildren around the world learn that European history starts with Athens and Rome. In future times, they will also be taught that the end of modern Europe began in the same places. [...]