The other day in the FT, Klaus Regling suggested that it was ignorant ‘outside “experts”‘ — Americans, one presumes — who are the most pessimistic in their assessment of whether the euro will survive. On the contrary: knowledgeable Europeans, and especially those of a pro-EMU bent, are among the most alarmed right now, since they can see what way this thing is heading if Europe’s leaders continue to muddle through, kicking cans down the road, and erecting firebreaks around burning bushes (to use Olli Rehn’s unintentionally brilliant metaphor).*
* Rehn is so fond of this metaphor that he has now used it twice: first in May, when discussing Greece, and second in November, when discussing Ireland. If you’re living in a burning bush, you don’t need a firebreak. How far will the fire have to spread before the fire brigade gets called in?