Irresistible Force Meets Immoveable Object
You cannot cure debt with debt.
—Apparently commonsense remark popularized by the crisis; attributed also to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN an irresistible force hits an immoveable object? Argumentative children love to needle their parents with this hypothetical question and are never satisfied with the right answer. The right answer is that there is no answer. Because there is no such thing in nature as an infinite force or an object with infinite inertia, the outcome depends on whether the force is more enormous than the object, or the other way round.
In the months after September 15, the seemingly immoveable object was the world economy, paralyzed by ...