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Europe's Mexican Standoff

All's fine until someone blinks
Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 3:08 AM
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Executive Summary

  • Germany is unlikely to break solidarity with the rest of the Eurozone while Merkel remains in charge. But she may not last as long as she'd like.
  • France's economy is deteriorating at an alarming rate.
  • Most of France's "stability" to date is due to inflows of money fleeing Spain and Italy. That will stop soon – and then what?
  • The UK is suffering from many of the same ills as the U.S. However, its banks are too dependent on Eurozone debt for it to take drastic counter-measures, and so it is handcuffed to the future of the Continent.
  • All is well as long as no one defaults or no one leaves the Eurozone. With each player's position deteriorating, how long can the status quo last?

If you have not yet read Europe Is Now Sinking Fast, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In previous articles, I have given Peak Prosperity's enrolled members the lowdown on the weak Eurozone governments and looked at the crisis from Germany’s point of view. With respect to Germany, all that can be added is that her political elite is still frozen in inaction and show no signs of snapping out of it. Mrs Merkel, particularly, is still pursuing the out-of-date Euroland ideal. It is as if she has decided that she has no alternative. Come what may, it will have to succeed in the end, and she is not going to be the one who calls “uncle.”

I don’t know how these things work in Germany, but in the UK there comes a point where “the men in grey suits” metaphorically tap the leader on the shoulder and politely instruct him or her to resign. It happened to Mrs Thatcher, and unless she has a change of heart, it could happen to Mrs Merkel before next November’s German elections. And when that happens, the withdrawal of Germany from the euro can be expected to begin.

In this article we will update the deteriorating situation in two other key players on Europe's chessboard: France and the United Kingdom. And we'll reveal why the current system is like a Mexican standoff: Everything is stable until someone makes a move. Then all hell breaks loose...

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