Opinion: (Vladimir Potanin, the owner of a 30-percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer): “European leaders grappling with the euro zone debt crisis have an unsolvable problem that will lead to economic decline and a loss of manufacturing power to rivals…
“‘If I was a politician in Europe, I would commit suicide…. There is really such a big difference between the interests of different countries, I simply do not understand how you can match the interests of Germany and Greece.’…
“But he said the European Union had expanded too fast and had no mechanism to balance the interests of different members in the euro zone.
“‘The euro zone has two very bad options,’ he said at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit held at the Reuters office in Moscow.
“‘Either exclude a country from this zone, which would be awful politically as far as I understand, or stay where they are and cut expenditure. But not everyone is ready to cut expenditure.’
“Potanin said the global shift of manufacturing to emerging markets was draining the wealth of many European countries which had sought to support artificially high living standards with borrowing.
“‘In business it is much clearer: You have a unit that doesn’t perform, you give the management of the unit time to change,’ he said.
“‘But what happens if the unit does not begin to perform? You close it. But you cannot simply close a country like Greece.'”
My Comment: The crisis will swallow everyone! Get ready for the fact that your industrial capacity will be needed only in as much as it sustains a reasonable lifestyle. Forget about production growth! Business magnates are just playing a numbers game with production figures to see how they measure up.
The economy of the future is aimed only at providing reasonable human needs, and the crisis will bring authorities and managers of industries and commerce (by awareness or suffering) to the understanding of this condition of nature and the need to work only for this purpose.