Don’t Fear the Euro by Jeff D. Opdyke
PARIS, France: There are stupid mistakes in the world. And then there’s the euro…
Listen to the voices in Europe and across the American intelligentsia, and it would seem the euro is an unmitigated disaster … a currency without a country and a political gambit that has done more harm than good.
Maybe. Or maybe it’s just scapegoating. Everyone has an opinion.
At this point, the opinions are moot. Because while the euro has certainly been problematic, its destruction (a populist plank across a swath of the Continent) would be a far greater catastrophe for Europe and the globe — which means, amid all the euro-skepticism these days, there exists an opportunity for us to profit…
The Birth of the Euro
No doubt about it: Bundling — shoehorning is probably a better word — disparate economies running at different speeds into a single currency was daft. Monetary policy that’s right for one nation is often diametrically wrong for another.
No worries. Because reality is no match for politicians with a dream, no matter how flighty.
Europe has always skated along the edge of a sword, one nationalist rampage away from yet another war, usually involving some iteration of Germans.
One currency is what French political leaders in the 1980s wanted in exchange for supporting West Germany reuniting with its former communist eastern half — a possibility that suddenly rekindled horrific memories of Teutonic rages through the ages. Best to tie yourself to the beast economically and politically in hopes that doing so tames the beast and allows you to better control the beast’s actions.
And so we have the euro, alive now as a tangible currency for just shy of two decades.
The Euro Today
Today, it’s easy for many — most? — Europeans to kvetch about the innumerable ways in which the euro frustrates the masses of ordinary consumers from Athens to Helsinki to Dublin. And by “euro,” Europeans typically mean the bureaucracy of Brussels and the technocracy of Frankfort, home base of the European Central Bank, which has imposed its will on the euro zone.