In my most recent monthly column in Le Monde – Économie – published on May 9th, I point out the fact that underlying the negotiations held since 2008 in view of a financial overhaul, there is an implicit premise that the representatives of the financial community have the ability of relating with the common good. The period 2007 to 2009 provides us however with sufficient evidence to falsify such an optimistic hypothesis. I suggested in conclusion that appropriate measures be implemented now with no further consultation with the financial community.
In his recent post entitled “C’est raté!” François Leclerc reports on the disastrous meeting of European finance ministers that was held on May 8th in Luxemburg. Since early last year, this was the umpteenth meeting aiming at solving the crisis in the euro zone. It is not without reason that François entitled his post: “Fiasco!” And indeed he could have entitled his whole series of articles about the euro crisis: “Fiasco!” from the first one to number 14th. As with the case of the financial overhaul, the time has come to draw the conclusion that the negotiating partners have no ability for solving the problems of the hour: opportunities for finding a solution did exist in sufficient number and they were all allowed to go. Nothing has been achieved but delaying until 2013 the time for a solution – still very shaky in its terms –because of the various balloting concerns of each of the governments involved.
In February of last year, one of my posts here was entitled “The House is on Fire!” More than one year has passed since, the fire is still smoldering and the final conflagration is imminent. The shock resulting from the final conflagration of the euro zone would be equivalent to the one that resulted from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. It is now known that if the global financial system miraculously survived it has been at the cost of all concerned nations’ economic health.
Because negotiators who secretly met in Luxemburg on May 8th once again did not achieve anything despite the looming conflagration, the inescapable conclusion is that they will never get anywhere: their credibility has been lost as the months went by, from one unsuccessful meeting to another fruitless meeting. Therefore, as in the case of a financial overhaul, what is needed now is to change the entire formula. The time has come to think out of the box, to summon up the resources of lateral thinking without any further delay. The old ways of thinking and doing did not lead us anywhere but inexorably into the abyss. The work method needs to be changed, right now!