Stratfor discusses the Eurozone crisis, and once more they manage to put more relevant information into a single of their reports than one will find if scouring the MSM for a month:
Media reports to the contrary, Greece’s return to the market does nothing to resolve Greece’s systemic economic deficiencies. Instead, it enables Greece to build up more debt, which will leave it a permanent bailout state for the foreseeable future.
Germany stands increasingly alone as the guardian of the very European order that allowed it to prosper and quelled its historical insecurities about its neighbors.
Nearly six years have gone by, and the European system remains as dysfunctional today as it was then. Great Depression-levels of unemployment have become the norm in Southern Europe, and have begun to creep northward.
Growing numbers of the unemployed and underemployed are fertile ground for political radicalism. Now, hopelessness about the future of Europe is moving into the mainstream. In election after election from France to Hungary, nationalist and Euroskeptic parties continue to gain in popularity to the point that they are becoming entrenched parts of the political system.
They remain a minority, for now. But many of them, in particular the National Front in France, have had to moderate some of the more radical parts of their platforms to break into the political mainstream. As popular discontent against what is seen as the failures of the pro-European mainstream parties grows alongside the economic crisis, so does support for some of the more nationalistic policies espoused by the far right.
National elites have a tendency to deride what they perceive as loud and unrefined fringe groups, and to show considerable surprise when they become a political mainstay.
The thinking has also changed within the German leadership, for whom austerity used to be a quasi-religious mantra and fears of inflation bordered on irrational.
Calls for the European Central Bank to replicate the policies of its overseas counterparts have grown louder. These often overlook the fact that unlike the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, which have guaranteeing employment as a charter goal, the sole mandate of the European Central Bank is to ensure price stability, much like the German Central Bank on which it was modeled.
I don’t agree with most of the prescriptions since Stratfor still thinks in a commodity-money world, but the analysis is as always spot-on, honest, and won’t reach the majority of the population.