Media accounts of Europe's horror stories and fears of radical political changes are an excellent background for contrarian investment strategies.
France is experiencing (a) an erosion of government authority not seen since the twelve years of the Fourth Republic's 21 governments , (b) deep social divisions and home-grown terror threats and (c) the possibility of unpredictable moves by a government facing almost certain defeat in the next general elections, due in the spring of 2017.
Italy's right of center parties are making advances as the electorate seems increasingly impatient with the promises of more jobs and higher incomes of a tough-talking Socialist prime minister.
Spain is likely to remain in an elusive search of a stable government – and an unknown program of governance – for months to come.
Germany, according to its mainstream media, is just a terrorist attack away from a collapse of an already tenuous coalition government. The same apparently knowledgeable sources contend that Germany's growing local and regional disorders, caused by an unmanageable migrant crisis, could also lead to the same result.
Italy is telling Germany to stop bossing Europe around with its selfish double standards. The smaller Central European states are furious at Germany for the migrant mess it created; their war veterans are ready to defend the homeland with firearms, barbed wires, walls … whatever.
What's left? Who will mind the euro store?
The ECB, of course. That great institution will continue to hold things together until … the politicians surrender and abandon the Europe's impossible dream.
In case you are wondering about alternatives, please note that Germans are now hoarding 13 billion of their trusted and beloved Deutschemarks. They don't want to give them back to their once venerated central bank.
I wish you a happy and a prosperous New Year.
Michael Ivanovitch is president of MSI Global, a New York-based economic research company. He also served as a senior economist at the OECD in Paris, international economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and taught economics at Columbia.