For years, almost nobody paid attention to the sky-is-falling alarms of Edward Hugh, a gregarious British blogger and self-taught economist who repeatedly predicted that the euro zone could not survivewrites Landon Thomas Jr regarding the unheeded Cassandra about Europe’s fiscal problems, in what must surely be encouraging news for bloggers the world over.
Living a largely hand-to-mouth existence here on his part-time teacher’s salary, he sent one post after another into the Internet wilderness. It was the height of policy folly, he warned, to think that aging, penny-pinching Germans could successfully coexist under one currency umbrella with the more youthful, credit-card-wielding Irish, Greeks and Spaniards who shared the euro with them.
But now that the European sovereign debt crisis is rattling world markets, driving the euro lower almost every day and raising doubts about the future of the monetary union, his voluminous musings have become a must-read for an influential and growing global audience, including policy makers in the White House.
He has even been courted by the International Monetary Fund, which recently asked him to fly to Madrid to assist in its analysis of the Spanish economy.