Posted Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, at 8:25 AM
Kate McKenzie's puts it well, observing that when it comes to Europe "it's the balance of payments, stupid" not the government budget deficits as such that matter. A country like Spain that was running a very respectable government budget was still left exposed to crisis because of massive private sector borrowing. Ireland is much the same story. And she's got a chart illustrating that as of last year, at least, the imbalances within the Eurozone were still much much worse than they were eight years ago. The road back to a sustainable set of flows is awfully large and it involves Germany doing things (like trying to boost household consumption) that its political leaders seem to have no interest in doing.