Stocks plunged worldwide and oil closed below $80 today on news that Germany will end its European Union membership effective 2012.
Financial analysts and global security experts are unable to predict how the unexpected move will shape an increasingly interconnected world. This much is known, nobody knows why the Germans made this decision, they won’t say why, and we have no way of making them talk.
It now appears the EU exit has been under consideration for some time, with the United States being in the loop from the start. Chancellor Merkel’s recent Washington visit completed months of high level negotiations on the topic.
While reasons for the split have not been officially stated, a few international hedge fund managers were willing to speculate. Said Gordon Gekko of investment giant Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, “Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I had no idea Merkel had that kind of vision. Seen as a corporation, the EU clearly has some under-performing business units. The thing to do is cut your losses and unload the losers. Politically you can’t kick them out of the EU, so Merkel’s done the next best thing.”
Timing of the EU exit announcement has also been a subject of controversy. Some have pointed to the ongoing NATO operation in Libya as a ‘tipping point’ in already strained relations. Absent any, but perfunctory, involvement from the United States, Germany or the UK, the initiative has not gone well according to military analysts. One source said, “Italians, the French, put them in fighter planes and they are very dangerous; mostly to each other.”
The Merkel administration remains silent on the underlying motives for this historic decision. Yet perhaps Hans Schultz summed it up best, speaking from his Bavaria retirement cottage. Schultz, formerly an official in the Helmutt Kohl administration, still maintains close ties in Berlin.
“Liebchen, it’s like this, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, they all dreamed of dominating Europe by force and failed. We modern Germans have accomplished that by peaceful means for about fifteen years now. Turns out, it’s not much fun dominating Europe after all. Other than that, I know nothing! Nothing!”