Every day there are new headlines that add to concerns about Europe's future. There is division and paralysis over how to tackle the migration crisis, damaging scandal at one of the continent's iconic companies and the growing threat of constitutional break-up. Forecasts for growth, already weak, have again been scaled back.
Europe's politicians and policy makers may appear to have a thankless task, suffering the political equivalent of the trials of Job – although it is tough to have much sympathy as many of their problems are self-inflicted. Looking at the political landscape in Europe, I can understand why investors might want to focus on markets where the outlook is less challenging.
I believe, however, such pessimism would be a badly missed opportunity but this is not because I underestimate the political and economic difficulties that Europe faces. Politically, Europe has lost its way. Public confidence in its direction and trust in its institutions is extraordinarily low. This anger is fueled by the dismal performance of the economy.
Unemployment and debt levels remain disastrously high. Action to build a solid platform for recovery was delayed. Unlike in the U.S. – and in the U.K. - the banks are still not properly recapitalized and Europe's Quantitative Easing (QE) program was far too slow to start.