I copied this following quote from some media piece, which ran during the Scottish referendum frenzy. I believe that the author wanted to explain why France would not leave the EU. (Underlining is mine.) Unfortunately, I did not note the source nor can I recall. Nevertheless, I find that it rather nicely sums up the success/reason for being of the euro and the European Union.
“For the French, the euro is not some bureaucratic notion dreamed up in Brussels. It is a catastrophic life-insurance policy that France, and the rest of Europe, has written for itself against the possibility of a revived German nationalism. (The crucial number to keep in mind is not the value of the currency but the number of European deaths in the thirty years between 1914 and 1944: thirty million.) A forward-moving European Union has created an extraordinary island of prosperity and peace in the thousands of years of European war.”
If anyone is wondering about headline proclaiming the “end of Europe” or something equally dramatic, the following article provides some perspective:
The thought to bury my money in the garden did cross my mind...
_ Lately, it is impossible to avoid media reports of the impending demise of the Euro and the break-up of the European Union. The consistent and similar narrative suggests a conspiracy to drum up ill will against the currency. Someone is pulling the strings and feeding the media, in hope of creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. Everyone knows that most journalists are too lazy to do much research, so are quite happy to run packaged stories. Financial difficulties (which enriched many banks) adds credibility to the stories for people that do not understand how easy it is to manipulate numbers.
I like the Euro. It makes travelling around Europe easier, although one still faces hassles in the UK (and not only with changing currencies). I no longer have a drawer full of left over francs, drachma, pesos, lira, etc. I am not forced to do math, every time I want to enjoy an espresso at a sidewalk café or dinner at a restaurant.
Back to my conspiracy theory...One must merely ask the question: who will benefit from the death of the single European currency? Some people will make a huge amount of money by selling short; someone always profits, when many suffer. I doubt that these people would waste their money on a media campaign. More significantly, and thus more likely, which country will triumph, if their currency remains the world leader? Dollar advocates have never appreciated a rival in the world of finance. The euro had become too strong, when certain parties started considering moving their reserves out of dollars. I can imagine discussions about what could be done to hurt the euro. One weapon, which surely came up in discussions, is something that works so well with political rivals: character assassination. That explains the bad news...which is not news...flooding the media.
Here’s a conspiracy theory. Everyone else seems to have one, so I thought of this for myself.
I’ll start with a story told to me by an Australian friend. It’s about a man stranded on a rubber raft in the Indian Ocean, after his sailboat sank in a storm. At some point, he noticed a shark circling, but also occasionally approaching and veering off at the last minute. It even bumped the dinghy from below. Both knew that the shark could attack whenever it chose. It seemed to be playing a cruel game. You can imagine how nerve-wracking this must have been for the man in the dinghy.
I recalled this story when reading the below article about the Eurozone “crisis”. In my conspiracy theory, the euro is in the dinghy and “financial markets” are the shark. Germany is the dinghy, and some Eurozone countries have stuck a knife into its side. Of course, this only entices the shark.
So, what’s my theory? Since its inception, people not wanting the euro or the economic union to succeed conspired to engineer its demise. Smaller countries were lured into taking on too much debt (creating massive profits for banks along the way) in order to pretend to be more than third world economies. It helped the conspirators that many governments lied along the way, making it easier for them to borrow more...helping the plot succeed. If the dinghy and the euro sink, then the dollar will soar. Someone should look into who is selling the euro short...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.