Euro disaster rolls on, as the "stupid club" expands

The euro is the stupidest idea in international political economy since the end of the Cold War. It has proved immensly destructive. Yet Europe's political elites doggedly refuse to face reality, and the "stupid club" continues to expand

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ECB boss Mario Draghi: Not the brightest star in the sky
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the commentator
On 27 December 2014 06:31

Getting political analysis right is difficult at the best of times. There are too many moving parts. There's too much complexity out there ever to be sure that you're really on the right track. The best hope you've got is to use your powers of reason, sift the available evidence, and then subject your proposed ideas to critical scrutiny.

In other words, what you should do is almost exactly the opposite of what the European political classes -- not just in Brussels but in the member states too -- have been doing for more than two decades now. Nothing illustrates this with greater clarity than the ongoing catastrophe of monetary union.

If there's a prize for the stupidest new idea in political economy since the end of the Cold War, the euro wins hands down.

If it wasn't for the depressing reality that we've seen it all before, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the news reports you are going to be reading in the coming days about the eurozone getting its 19th member on January 1, 2015 when lucky Lithuania joins up are nothing but a joke made in poor taste. If only.

It seems that nothing can stop this disaster in its tracks. And in fact, despite the eurosceptics getting practically everything right about the euro, there is one thing they possibly underestimated. And that is the apparently unlimited willingness of the euro's supporters to wreak social and economic devastation across the continent rather than admit that they got it all wrong.

It's worth dwelling on that. Remember, ECB chief Mario Draghi hasn't suffered a decline in his standard of living. The massive exacerbation of the economic crisis (Greece, Spain, Ireland for example) due to totally inappropriate interest rate policy necessitated by the one-size-fits-all fiasco of monetary union hasn't led to unemployment in the European Commission.

The European Parliament isn't mired in unending recession because they have a currency which does not reflect their economic fundamentals.

The troughs in Brussels are full (of taxpayers' money), and the snouts are buried inside them. What do they care if the people of Europe are being condemned by their policies to stagnation and impoverishment?

Still, that's no excuse for countries who aren't already tied to this ball and chain from attaching themselves to it of their own volition. Technically, the central and east European countries that joined the EU in 2004 have a legal obligation to adopt the euro. In reality, they could avoid it if they wished to.

But Lithuania's now fully dumbed-down and Europeanised political establishment is making the plunge. So, Vilnius, welcome to the stupid club. You'll be in good company.

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