Cents of reality from the home of the dollar

Wednesday 30th May 2018

That funny old thing called The Wall Street Journal, more conservative than a Brooks Brothers’ shirt and famously captured by Rupert Murdoch from a bizarre American family – of which Google and have fun if you have the time  – anyway the good old WSJ has a curious news taster called “The 10 point”.

So, does than mean ten news points in the bulletin? Well, not quite. But if you’ve been an inky fingered printer, you’ll know that the ’10 point’ refers to a size of printing type – and in the old days that was the size in which the opinion column in the WSJ was set.Thus as a nod to tradition, it suits an mature organ to have a vintage moniker..I’m sure you get the drift.

But  through the column of the  rather quaint title , our cousins across the pond who read the paper have some interesting things to say on the latest EU crisis.

When and indeed before, the euro was allowed birth, I likened the potential success of a common currency across a number of very different economies, to the history of the world’s greatest currency, the dollar. In the United States, it was the ‘united’ that gave the greenback its  intrinsic value. The ‘united’ was a political union which then could create and use a common currency. That was the dollar.

So, to  Italy. Here’s one reader: “Italy is a surprise. The EU has been a huge benefit to the the Italian economy. What is needed is a national identity to prevent independent nations and politicians from withdrawing – we needed a Revolutionary War and a Civil War to become one country…”

And another, replying to the same column : “the Eurozone is an unsustainable collective with indecently elected leaders who are forced to toe the EC line. Rightly or wrongly the Italian voters have rejected forced EU policies…it is time for EU leaders to come together and figure out ways of dismantling the EU.”

Our cousins are a a funny bunch, but they have a history of connectivity over borders. Not good, not bad, but unstoppable. Italy’s present soap opera  is no death knell to the EU project..their politicians are wilier than that – as is a population that has been  happy with a technocrat administration on  and off for years. However the ‘populist’ vote – I invert the commas because I am of a generation that thought the result of a democratic election/referendum is broadly the baseline from which our electives conspire.

Thus said..it’s getting once again to a hot summer on the streets twixt the youngsters who’ll fight the water cannons and the dull stuff from the EC/AEU

Little fissures in the EU edifice build day by day.

Michael

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