You can get used to almost anything. It may be that we get used to things because we are innately resourceful, or it may be that we get used to things because custom and time blunts the barbs of troubles, but we all of us get used to almost everything.
Sometimes an illness creeps upon you in very small steps that you confuse the disease with aging, and believe that you will always feel like this as you get older. There is a financial illness that afflicts the world today. Step by very small step over the past thirty years financial institutions have become dependent not upon borrowing and lending but upon borrowing and gambling. Each of them tries to hire the smartest people they can find who devise the smartest ways of picking the pockets of their customers and competitors in perfectly legal and sometimes illegal ways.
It is an economic activity built on quicksand and now it is sinking the economy. Sometimes such an economic fault makes us think that some abnormalities are normal, as many are beginning to think of youth unemployment all over the world and financial instability for the vast majority of folk who simply cannot tell whether their savings are safe in institutions they once trusted but now despise. We have become used to endless banking scandals and see no way of changing the institutions that threaten our economic health, so we get used to them.
The banking crisis has been the midwife of the Euro crisis, which was brought into the world before it was strong enough to survive and now lies in intensive care. The Euro may not last in its present form and while such a concept would have been unthinkable a year ago today it is something, we have got used to, just as you can get used to living with the loss of an eye, or arm or even a terminal illness.
The way of tackling the Euro crisis is not to tackle the Greek debt; let Greece go bankrupt and let the banks you have lent it money also bankrupt and then the nations in which those banks are situate (like Germany and France) will have to bail out the savings in those banks. Alternatively, give Greece the time it needs by lending direct to it. It seems the second alternative will be cheaper than the first, despite all of Germany’s huffing and puffing.
The Euro crisis is that it is being regarded as a terminal illness, but it is not a terminal illness. We have got used to it and getting used to it does not mean we should accept it. The Euro was created in its present form by banks who assisted nations like Greece meeting the entry qualifications by fiddling the figures using some of those clever people to invent fraudulent and probably illegal devices to pretend that the economy was strong enough to qualify for the Euro.
Eventually in some form or other the Euro will be killed off and a new Euro will be reborn. If that new Euro will be a unifying force for Europe and not a divisive one, then we had better make sure that the midwife is not a banker.