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Friday, 9 December 2011

Crystal balls

Speaking to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, the Chancellor urged the public not to assume that a eurozone disintegration would be felt in the UK for only one or two years. "There would be enormous damage," Mr Osborne said. "Those who say we'd have a year or two of hardship and then bounce back out of it may be somewhat optimistic."

Which is all very interesting, but pointless.  Osborne no more knows what the outcome would be than any other commentator.  When Mervyn King is asked what is going to happen next he replies that he doesn't know, so how the hell Osborne thinks he knows is beyond me.

The more likely outcome is that there will be little obvious impact jut as there was little immediate impact when the euro was created.  The Greek baker, the German butcher and the French candlestick-maker will continue with their business as before.  Governments will still pay rates of interest according to the risk of their non-payment and life will carry on with or without the euro and with or without the UK.

The only tangible difference will be whether if Britain is marginalised, will it want to continue to contribute a net £8 billion a year to the EU?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed. Never has it been more true to wheel out the ancient cliché that "what the markets don't like is uncertainty". Every finance ministry and bank will be gaming the outcome, in exactly the same way as the commentators are not.

If there is any prediction worth making it is that, whatever happens, things will not be as bad as the doomsayers are making out. We will adapt. It's what we do. The world will continue to go round, and people will continue to trade - more or less successfully.