1) A senior official from a AAA country in Europe, saying of the euro – “It seems we have created a machine from hell, that we cannot turn off.”
2) A senior official from a country that is in trouble with the markets saying that – “For us Europe was a dream, but now it is a nightmare” – and concluding that the only option was for his country was to leave the euro. I asked him whether this was official policy. He said – no, but he personally could not see any other way out.
3) A Brussels-based official who says that he is thinking of “Armageddon plays”. In other words, what to do with his money, if the euro breaks up. His conclusion – “Buy land in New Zealand. If war breaks out in Europe, you can always go and live there, grow your own food and sell vegetables to the Chinese.”
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“When it becomes necessary for a state to declare itself bankrupt, in the same manner as when it becomes necessary for an individual to do so, a fair, open and avowed bankruptcy is always the measure which is both least dishonorable to the debtors and least hurtful to the creditor” –Adam Smith