Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Follow the Money

I'm not a fan of the European Union, to say the least. I think it is bad for America and bad for Europe. The current EU-wide financial crisis over the fate of the Euro does not make me feel any better.

Europe's various financial crises logically need force behind any solutions. Sure, it needs to be the power to coerce financial sanity. But that kind of power ultimately rests on military and police powers. The choice on this solution is drawing near, as Stratfor writes:

Europe is on the cusp of change. An EU heads-of-state summit Dec. 16 launched a process aimed to save the common European currency. If successful, this process would be the most significant step toward creating a singular European power since the creation of the European Union itself in 1992 — that is, if it doesn’t destroy the euro first.

Once a singular European power is created, in fact, getting out of that union will be problematic. Stratfor notes the bloody American civil war and the wars of German unification in the same century, as battles between local control and central power, and does not make the comparisons lightly:

Europe simply isn’t to the point of willing conglomeration just yet, and we do not use the American Civil War or German unification wars as comparisons lightly. STRATFOR sees the peacetime creation of a unified European political authority as impossible, since Europe’s component parts are far more varied than those of mid-19th century America or Germany.

Indeed. Whatever the Europeans cobble together on a voluntary basis to resolve the current crises will not last. They cannot, if based on voluntary agreements. At some point, some country will want out of the deal--either because they don't want to repay the loans they took or don't want to pay the loans of others that they guaranteed--risking a lot of loans going bad and sending ripples of bad economic effects across the continent (and perhaps the world). As we've been reminded since 2008, financial-induced recessions are not easy to cope with.

At some point, to safeguard everyone in the EU and keep the money moving, the European Union will send in the cops or send in the troops to enforce a BrezhnEU Doctrine that denies any once-sovereign country from pulling out of the EU and sending the banking stack of cards tumbling to the ground.

On such pretty little stacks of paper currency, is empire built. Look out for a Brussels document entitled, "Sovereignty and the European Obligations of EU Countries." Once that is published, it's too late.