SCHADENFREUDE

Taking pleasure in others problems? It’s not a nice quality but let’s do some! Most European countries are blaming us for causing problems in mainland Europe with our withdrawal.

The truth is, several countries did not take their medicine after the financial meltdown of 2008. We and the Americans played, sadly, a major part in that meltdown BUT we learnt from it and our authorities hit the banks hard with fines; forced reductions in their size and insistence on higher reserves to make the banks more resilient

Some countries did not go on the wild lending binge that our banks did (e.g. Poland) and so did not have these challenges – But some did and would not face up to the issue. So when Italy whinges about us, remember that they have many banks with a huge proportion of bad debts that they won’t face up to. When Germany lectures us, remember their mighty Deutsche Bank also has these problems – and the numbers are huge!

They have not faced up problems even after all this time and they can’t blame us. Given the circumstances, you may enjoy their discomfort, I couldn’t possibly comment.

 

Chris Ingram 09/08/2016