It’s all getting a bit Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the euro zone recently. The European Union seems to think that if it’s worth doing in the first place, its worth fighting for.
Well, I beg to differ. If you’re in a situation that clearly doesn’t work, then get out and don’t look back.
Even after all the bailouts and support schemes, contagion is still the name of the game. Every time a country gets in trouble the authorities take measures against the situation and invariably attention turns to who will come unstuck next.
Well, frankly I’m starting to find this a bit tedious.
The only point of these expensive patching up exercises, in Europe and elsewhere, is to return confidence to markets and get the various parties spending, investing and lending again.
If the fundamentals or the system are so obviously rotten that no amount of patching up will do it, then surely it’s time to give up and start again.
Bailout upon bailout, Quantitative Easing , short-selling bans, central bank intervention of various kinds blah, blah, blah. None of it changes the fact that there’s still tons of debt, little growth and there’s still a mismatch between economic, fiscal and political accountability in the Euro-zone that leaves Europe impotent when it comes to the core issues.
Recently I’ve noticed that a growing number of our viewers at CNBC television have emailed and Tweeted to tell us they’re losing patience with repeated intervention. Many are calling upon governments on both sides of the Atlantic to unleash the power of the markets to reset the system once and for all.
The question is, are we prepared to take the consequences? Unbridled market forces, ripping off the plaster, purging the system and various other cliches sound very statesmanlike from the comfortable surroundings of your office sipping a latte.
Bur what about the unemployment, the home repossessions, the bankruptcies, the protests, the political unpopularity?
I think we need to remember why Europe opted for closer economic integration to start with. Surely the goal wasn’t monetary union in its own right. This was supposed to bring great prosperity and stability for us all.
That’s worth fighting for. The debt crisis has shown faults in the system. Rather than blindly defending a flawed system we must go full steam in either direction. Full European integration or full national fiscal, monetary and political sovereignty.
And in the meantime I’m going to listen to read less celeb gossip magazines and more CityAM.
Beccy Meehan is an anchor at CNBC. Twitter @BeccyMeehan.