Tuesday, May 22, 2012

John Mauldin's Outside the Box: One Europe/Many Germanys

One Nation (under Germany)

John Mauldin

May 21, 2012

For this week's Outside the Box I want to share with you a singularly interesting conversation between Niall Ferguson and Ben Laurance, in the Sunday Times of London. What really grabbed me about it was the way Niall goes right out on a limb and yet makes such a convincing case that, when push really comes to shove, Germany will bite the federalist bullet, because it's overwhelmingly in their interest to maintain a united eurozone.

"I am not a federalist," says Ferguson. "But the costs of the single currency disintegrating are really so high and would impact so many people, that the only responsible thing for me to do is to argue urgently for the next step to a federal Europe. I see no alternative at the moment that isn't a great deal worse."

And the other option? "On the other hand — and this is the message to Angela Merkel — to use George Bush's phrase: this sucker's going down. We've reached that point."

Niall has never shied away from addressing the big questions. His latest tour de force, Civilization: The West and the Rest (just released in paperback in the UK, as Civilization: The Six Killer Apps of Western Power), demonstrates how Europe went from being a fractious, disease-ridden fourteenth-century backwater to global dominance, through the development of six "killer applications": competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic — and is now experiencing a precipitious decline (along with the rest of the West).

Are the stakes really that high? You bet. Everywhere I go, people are talking about and working hard on solutions to the issues that will make or break us in the coming decade.

Source: JohnMauldin.com (http://s.tt/1ctbm)


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