Saturday Ramble: 11.11.11 — good or bad?
The Thaler, an early single currency for northern Europe
As well as Armistice Day, today is also 11.11.11, an occurrence of huge significance for those latterday Pythagoreans who take numerology seriously.
As a psychologist of sorts I’ve never been able to whip up any enthusiasm for the numbers game. It has a ring of primitivism about it, a shamanic straining to make sense of the world, rather like those cosmology boffins whose batty theories about the universe give us so much raucous entertainment. Try reading Prof. Brian Cox’s latest slim volume on Quantum physics — it will drive you mad. (I’ll be reviewing it at a later date).
Back to 11.11.11. Let’s take a look at how things are right now. Well, it’s raining outside my window and fairly dark and dreary. Not auspicious at all, but hardly unusual for a November day in the Westcountry. Oh, and there’s a full moon, again a regular monthly occurrence.
But hang on, the Eurozone is collapsing around our ears and it can’t be long before an unstoppable contagion is raging through the world’s banking system.
Even mighty HSBC — whose strength is in the East, far away from the Oompah euro currency area and its lederhosen-clad officials in barmy Brussels — is voicing serious concerns.
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, is talking about a “lost decade”, and that starts now. To make matters worse, “adverse feedback loops” are setting in as financial and economic misalignments feed on each other.
It’s hard to discern any clarity among Teutonic policymakers beyond a cleaving to the lessons learned during the two Great Inflations of the 20th century. Generals always fight the last war, it is said, and German politicians are not noted for being light on their feet.
Defending a lost cause is probably the best we can expect, and a decade or two of grinding deflation for the already impoverished southern and western European peoples.
However, as a few notable commentators have pointed out, the least horrible solution would be for a new Hanseatic League* to be formed, within the EU and with its own currency, historically, the Thaler. This bloc would include the wealthy core countries of the north.
The Latins and the Irish would retain the euro and their debts remain denominated in that currency. France would fight to be in the strong core currency, but its debt dynamics point to the Latin bloc, as does Italy’s. The alternative would be a return to their legacy currencies.
At a stroke, the 40pc or so loss of labour competitiveness built up over the past 12 years would begin to lift. The internal “balance of payments” crisis, which is destroying the Eurozone and its disadvantaged members, would begin to right itself.
The tectonic plates of policy would be moving with the immense forces of nature, not against them. If we are prompted to pray for anything, it should surely be for that.
At present, we are still in the destructive phase, but if Chancellor Merkel can be persuaded to go back to the future, 11.11.11 could be working a magical miracle right before our eyes.
* The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages and early modern period (c. 13th–17th centuries). The League was created to protect commercial interests and privileges granted by foreign rulers in cities and countries the merchants visited. The Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and furnished their own protection and mutual aid. Despite this, the organization was not a city-state, nor can it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoyed autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city. Wikipedia.
… who is the author of The Eternal Quest for Immortality: Is it staring you in the face? Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.
Mysticism in the Modern World is coming soon.
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