Euroarmageddon Tour — here comes the flood

| December 12, 2011

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream...
There are arguments about who first said Après moi, le déluge (“After me, the Flood.”) and whether is was meant prophetically (“Things are going to get bad once I’m gone”) or dismissively (“I really don’t care if things go to hell once I’m gone.”).

I’m not sure it matters.

I think both apply to the current EU leadership, who — I am sure — have followed Jesus’s sardonic injunction and made to themselves friends of the riches (“mammon”) of unrighteousness, “that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” Does anyone doubt that — regardless of what happens to the Euro, the European Union, and the citizens of the various countries involved — the various EU leaders and bureaucrats will come out just fine?

I am cheerfully ready and willing to be wrong about the fate of the Euro and/or the EU; both may well survive in some form out of sheer inertia and entrenchment. But there remain the cold equations: debt and deficits and unfunded liabilities can be hid under the financial ocean for a while, but — as Warren Buffet famously observed — when the tide goes out, we get to see who’s swimming naked. And the tide is going out everwhere at once: Europe, North America, Asia.

In the end, we may see a political realignment in Europe that rivals the collapse of the Soviet Union — a development that itself was considered impossible (absent a world war) and yet happened in a matter of months. The resulting financial tsunami is likely to wash over North America and Asia, worstening the financial issues in both regions.

Decades of experience have taught us time and again that in socialism, we do indeed eventually run out of other people’s money; and that wishful thinking and good intentions and desire for utopic justice will not, in fact, somehow bend the unforgiving laws of mathematics.

Keynes, challenged on the long-run implications of his economic theories, quipped, “In the long run, we are all dead.” He might just have well said, “Après nous, le déluge.” We have sold our birthright for a mess of pottage, and our children and grandchildren will wear our shackles.

And a good Monday morning to all of you. ..bruce w..

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Category: Economics, Eurocrisis, Geopolitics, Main, Recession Watch, Sea of deficits

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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