Thursday 23 February 2017

David McWilliams: We're at euro crossroads, but every route looks grim

In the past few days, I have bumped into many people on the street who are so confused by what they are hearing and they want to know what happens next. I have no inside knowledge, but my instinct tells me that the EU can't go on like this, limping from one crisis to another.

Yesterday, the crisis became more acute with the financial markets selling the bonds of Italy, Spain and even France. This is what happens in crises, the contagion becomes too much and everyone is engulfed.

The financial markets are no angels in this story. Those who believe that the markets are not trying to make money betting against the European elite are naive. In fact, any solution to this mess must have an element of capital controls embedded in it to control the excesses of the markets. It is simply not sustainable to have hedge fund managers in Greenwich Connecticut, who only pay 15pc of their income in tax to the US government, dictating what happens in Europe -- particularly as many of these people couldn't locate Berlin on a map.

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