Central banks are trying to get money moving again, but it could all be too little, too late for Europe as the final countdown begins (not as cool as Andrew's musical references, but see what I did there children of the '80s?)
In the Matrix films you get a sense of deja vu when the machines controlling your experience of the world change something. In real life, you get the uncanny sense that you've said and done exactly the same things before as the powers-that-be refuse to change.
That’s what’s going on at the moment in Europe. Today we heard that the world’s central banks have all together opened the taps again. Well, strictly speaking, what the US Federal Reserve has done in tune with the European Central Bank and the Bank of England and the Swiss central bank and others is to slash the rate it charges on US dollar liquidity swaps. Don’t worry if this geek-speak makes little sense to you, it just means it’s a little cheaper for money to slosh around between banks.
Don’tcha just get that sentimental feeling, like its 2008 all over again? Of course you might argue that co-ordinated central bank action didn’t get us out of trouble then. There are plenty who talk to CNBC who say that everything governments and authorities have done since the financial crisis first reared its head has just been delaying the inevitable.
And the inevitable is very, very ugly. Swathes of failed banks and, beyond that, failed states.
Ollie Rehn, a European Commissioner has come out publicly to say that there are just ten days left to save the euro. And he’s not just any old commissioner, he’s the guy in charge of economic and monetary affairs. In the next ten days, he believes that Europe either has to come a lot closer together or face falling apart.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this “24 hours to save the earth” talk. British Chancellor George Osborne warned that there were just six weeks left to save the euro… nine weeks ago.
So perhaps there’s nothing to worry about. Perhaps we actually can fudge, delay, patch over and slosh some more money around until the desperately indebted countries grow their way out of debt and fragile banks find a new sense of purpose and confidence.
Yes, yes, and perhaps like in the Matrix, we can all learn to fly and dodge bullets if we just think about it hard enough.