When the UK and US banks got into trouble all the European friends put on a knowing look. There you are, they said. That’s what happens if you don’t have our system based on solidarity and friendship. Thank heavens we set up the Euro and turned our backs on all that Anglo Saxon stuff.
So it came as a dreadful shock one day when they heard that the wolves were back attacking them. The wretched wolves had worked out that although they couldn’t gobble them up in the currency markets any more, they could gobble them up in the bond markets.
All those friendly countries having such a good time kept on borrowing the money they needed by issuing things called bonds. Unfortunately the wolves could sell these bonds, just as they had the currencies. The more they sold, the more it cost the countries to borrow extra money. Because some of them had borrowed so much, they couldn’t afford a big rise in the cost of their loans.
The wolves soon mangled Greece. Then they devoured Ireland, and moved on to Portugal. Each time the friends met and decided it was too dear to stop the wolves. They had one of their friends in the IMF, and the good old IMF came along and started lending money to the countries in trouble. When he was attacked with some unfair allegations, they put another friend of theirs into the top job at the IMF. That all seemed fine, until one day they were told that it was difficult to keep Italy in the game without going to the IMF.
(there are two possible endings to the fairy tale. Ending one is the unhappy one. Ending two is the happy one. You can choose which you like best – or you may think I’ve got them the wrong way round)
Because the wolves were so ravenous and angry, the friends met and decided they would feed the wolves so much they would slink away full or die of overeating. So they got what they said they wanted. They beat the wolves, and lived on with their single currency and their common bank account. The Germans just had to put up with printing lots of Euros, and with the value of their money going down.
Soon they started complaining that they had got what they wished for. The poorer countries did not grow. They had to keep cutting back what they spent. Their people got poorer. The richer countries kept bossing them about, telling them to tighten their belts more. Germany was not happy, because there was more inflation than they liked and they had been made to pay some big bills. They could not sell so much any more to the others, because they had all run out of money.
Because the wolves were so ravenous and angry the friends met and decided they could not beat them. So they decided to break up their currency, and recreate all the old currencies they used to have. Germany said she was fed up with paying so many of the bills. The poor countries said they were fed up with endless cuts and more commands. So they sadly ended the Euro. It was rough at first, but within a year the poorer countries were growing again and felt better about themselves. They could make more of their own decisions. And Germany found that just as she had before she could still export even though her currency had gone up. She just got more for what she sold. They were even allowed to choose their own governments again.