Wry & Dry

Europe's Pearl Harbour

Otto Von Bismark, that 19th century master of political machinations, whose shrewd leverage of people's fear united Germans into Germany, would suggest to W&D that what America needs is an external threat to unite its disparate internal political process.  And Donald Trump's popular-ism and popularity is the miserable evidence of that very broken political system.

No, W&D doesn't have another Pearl Harbour in mind.  In fact, it's not obvious what would work.  But you get W&D's drift.

Now take that thinking to Europe.

Europe is in a political and fiscal mess. The Greek financial shambles shredded Europe's tidy political, monetary and economic union.  And just as it was safe to go back into the water (i.e. the European economy was slowly moving forward), a wave of economically-idealistic but irrational populist political movements have boomed in, especially, Spain and Portugal.  And in France, flailing socialist President Hollande has an upcoming election and hence has returned to his unreformist but popular habits.

And then along comes one of the largest and most concentrated mass-migrations of people in history, which will strain the European economy and create massive social division.

The ebbing political and economic mess has had its star billing taken by the refugee crisis.  And the UN High Commissioner for Refugees forecasts another one million refugees will hit Europe this year.  Whew.  But is the refugee crisis the Pearl Harbour moment for Europe?

W&D ponders that someone will grasp the European refugee crisis and use it as a mechanism to force some unity of political thinking in Europe.  And hence some unity of economic and fiscal thinking.  There will be dissolution of Schengen (i.e. free movement across borders).  But this will not cause the demise of the euro.  There is no link between a common currency and how long you have to wait to cross a border.  

Bureaucrats prepare for all sorts of contingencies.  They see the survival of the common currency as the key to the long-term success of a United States of Europe.  Schengen and other idealistic niceties can wait.

And whilst many politicians dance in the ballroom of short-term idealism, bureaucrats look at the ballroom through the windows from the reality of the cold and long-term outside.  

Ballroom

 

The ballroom of political idealism

W&D knows that bureaucrats have an innate ability to out-survive politicians.

Conclusion, W&D foresees the indefinite suspension of Schengen, the survival of the euro and greater unity of economic and fiscal thinking.

Now, back to the coming train-wreck of Donald Trump... The first real test is the Iowa 'primary' on 1st February, when the first of each states' delegates to the respective political parties' Convention will be elected.