Why is Europe such a basket-case? A nettlesome, complicated and important question, that. Part of the answer lies in that which the EU was designed to transcend: the national character of the individual European states. Greek profligacy, Irish impulsiveness, Spanish intemperance, Italian corruption — the old clichés return.
In this fascinating essay (warning: some rough language), Michael Lewis examines the peculiar character of Germany in light of the slow-motion dissolution of the European project purposed toward the integration of Germany’s mercantile economy with the consumptive European periphery. Ironies and telling anecdotes abound in the article. Well worth a read.