As we are all painfully aware, one of the harshest economic crises in history has hit the EU. In September 2008, after a decade long party filled with risky games, the financial markets woke up with a serious, throbbing hangover. Head spinning, and reeking of toxic assets, they reached for the hangover cure – the magic pill to soothe that ache. Unfortunately the headache pill that the markets reached for, and swallowed in copious amounts, turned out to be most Member States public budgets. In short, having partied so hard for 10 years, the financial sector then decided to raid the medicine cabinet of the very people who had not been invited; you and me. Amazingly, such behavior does not induce a sense of shame – far from it. Instead financiers are now saying that it is the public budget’s fault that there are no pills left in the cabinet and that everyone else should go without medicine.
This sorry tale is the real story of the financial crisis.