Friday 23 March 2018

David McWilliams: Prepare for titanic struggle as Draghi turns euro into lira

Picture: @stephenbyrne86
Picture: @stephenbyrne86

WELL that didn't last long, did it? The financial market euphoria, which greeted the announcement that the ECB would buy bonds in unlimited quantities, has melted away. In its place, the realisation that Europe's economy is weakening quickly is puncturing short-lived optimisms.

Yesterday, we had more evidence from Germany that business confidence is ebbing more quickly than anyone anticipated. The IFO index of businesspeople's expectations about the future has now fallen for the fifth consecutive month.

The rolling recession, which started with the collapse of Lehman, initially affected highly leveraged countries like Ireland, Iceland and Greece, then mutated into a slump in Spain and Italy and it is now moving in a crashing wave to the core of Europe. Affecting France at the beginning of this year, it is now being felt in the industrial powerhouse of Europe, Germany.

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