With the euro-crisis threatening the economies of Europe, the United States, and Asia, the usual suspects are coming up for blame. Bankers and corrupt regulators face scorn from the left and much of the right. Yet those perhaps most responsible for the world's dismal economic future have names many would not recognize. Indeed, the people who have done the most to screw up Europe would be able to walk down almost any street in the world without being recognised. It's time to meet them!
1. Pierre Moscovici, French Minister of Finance
France’s relatively new government has been engaging in policies that seem perfectly designed for rapid economic collapse. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, the French government insists on pursuing policies that will impoverish one of Europe’s major economies.
Moscovici, a former member of the Revolutionary Communist League, has had an important role implementing these changes. He has called for increased fiscal union, the introduction of Eurobonds, and he wants to grant more power to the European Central Bank. Because France wields a huge amount of influence in Europe, and with the eurozone collapsing, Moscovici’s influence will become more apparent and dominant in the coming months.
Memorable quote (speaking at a previous European summit): "We made our first steps toward integration—a banking union, fiscal union, budgetary union and further on political union."
Next: A level of fiscal activism that would make Ben Bernanke blush.