Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Through their strongarm tactics, France and Germany may have brought forward the crisis that they wished to prevent. Confidence in the markets, in currencies and in the sovereigns (now degraded to players, not makers)are intertwined with politics. The fragility of the Irish administration was evident: a small majority evaporating fast and a hostile electorate slavering to boot Fianna Fail out.
Into this scenario came the ECB, the IMF and the Ministers with secretive negotiations and sniping about mythical notions of solidarity. This evening brings no respite. Uncertainty shrouds all of the suspect countries, including Portugal and Spain. Britain is beholden to the tune of billions, using the austerity cheque to shore up black holes. No wonder the Eurosceptics have found full vigour on this waste.
Instead there was a sense of growing unease in the markets amid evidence that investors felt Portugal would not survive without aid. Dealers said sentiment in the markets was reminiscent of the days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
Markets can move far faster than politics or institutions. Especially when a coalition government has collapsed and the prospective winners of a future election are not lined up behind the bailout. Although Cowan's done deal consigns their economic plans to the ashes.
The only question is whither the crisis? Do we see a scrubfire, with a collapse in confidence for the €; all buyers treating the currency as a toxic bucket of debt. There will be no political response immediately. How can there be? But all bets are off: radicalism is on the table.