The Unseen Danger in Europe’s Economic Crisis
America’s banking crisis tore into Europe with shocking ferocity. Governments from London to Berlin are assessing the carnage and scrambling to prop up collapsing banks. With more failures expected, and unemployment rising, Europe may be facing its gravest crisis since the 1930s. And when Europe is faced with crisis, history says we had better beware: Earthshaking events often soon follow.
The global depression of the 1930s was not just an economic crisis; it was a political and social one too. That disaster sowed the seeds for the rise of radical nationalistic and totalitarian movements around the world. In Russia and elsewhere, it emboldened communism. In Japan, it empowered the Cult of the Emperor. In Italy, Mussolini’s fascists rose to the fore, in tandem with the Falangists of Spain. In France, it was the Croix-de-Feu.
In Germany, it was the Nazis.
People were desperate, and leaders with radical solutions gained power.
The current global economic crisis is creating desperation in Europe again. We need to take notice: The last worldwide financial catastrophe left more than dead banks. The Great Depression only ended when the world went to war. That economic crisis ended in a global bloodbath!
A Series of Economic Shocks
Right now Europe is shaken. After Lehman Brothers fell in America in September, dominoes across the Continent began cascading. UK mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley came crashing down; so did Iceland’s three largest banks, eventually plunging the small Nordic nation into bankruptcy negotiations. In Germany, Hypo Real Estate Holdings, the largest commercial property lender in the nation, had to be propped up by the government in order to keep it from falling and taking a whole lot of people with it.
Then, the biggest shock to that date hit Europe. Fortis, the 300-year-old bastion of Flemish finance, narrowly avoided tumbling into oblivion by a Dutch and Belgian nationalization on September 28.
The next day, Dexia, a financial company whose roots stretch back to 1860, was felled and hurriedly propped up again by the French, Belgians and Luxembourgers. In Switzerland, banking giants ubs and Credit Suisse are teetering on the edge, and it is unclear whether even the Swiss government possesses the resources it would take to save them from falling. In Denmark, a host of smaller banks are ready to tip over.
But the dramatic nature of the European crisis was made most clear after Ireland issued what the Telegraph called the “most radical bank bailout” in years—a blanket guarantee covering its entire banking sector (Oct. 5, 2008). Irish taxpayers are now responsible for $400 billion, twice the nation’s gross domestic product. Then Germany went one step more radical and announced it would federally guarantee all private savings accounts, thus setting off a rush of other European governments to guarantee their respective financial industries.
The European banking sector resembles the carnage in America. The Telegraph claimed the European Central Bank may be losing control. “The ecb is no longer able to inject liquidity because the money is just coming back to them again,” said Hans Redeker, currency chief at France’s bnp Paribas (Sept. 30, 2008). UK economist Barry Gills explained that “there is no expectation that loaning money will be profitable and not loss-making” (EUobserver, Sept. 30, 2008). As a result, European banks are taking emergency loans from the ecb, but instead of lending it out to cash-strapped individuals and corporations, they are hoarding it to protect themselves—at the safest place possible: in money accounts at the ecb.
In reality, the European economy is faltering. The eurozone economy shrank during the second and third quarters of 2008. France and Germany are already in recession, and the European Commission expects Britain and Spain to enter recession soon too. Meanwhile, eurozone unemployment hit 7.5 percent in August, and Germany is now expected to join France, Italy and Spain in the ranks of those with growing numbers of unemployed.
Historically, Europe, especially Germany, facing an economic crisis is not a good sign.
Bismarck’s Blueprint for Economic Growth
The rise of the Nazis and Hitler’s grab for power following the hyperinflationary years of the Weimar Republic may be the most infamous case of a radical leader vaulting to power to save the people from economic problems, but it was hardly without precedent. Comparisons to this time period are already being made—and by German leaders. Germany’s interior minister warned that an economic depression could turn many of his own people to extremism. “We learned from the worldwide economic crisis of the 1920s (1930s) that an economic crisis can result in an incredible threat for all of society,” said Wolfgang Schäuble in an interview with Der Spiegel. “The consequences of that depression was Adolf Hitler and, indirectly, World War ii and Auschwitz” (Oct. 6, 2008). Schäuble indicated that a similar scenario could happen again if the current economic crisis is not properly managed.
Time after time, it was the pretext of a “crisis”—economic, religious, social, military or otherwise—that opened the door for Europe’s most notorious leaders—Charlemagne, Louis the xiv, Napoleon, Bismarck—to rush through and grab power, then unite nations and start bloodbaths.
Otto von Bismarck was a master of using “crisis” to further Germany’s advantage. In Chancellor Bismarck’s day, Germany was booming, and consequently had the most modern and most powerful army in Europe. To further his pan-Germanic goals, and to break the political deadlock between his royalist party and the liberals who were trying to divest the king of his authority, he decided he needed a crisis that would allow him to cement power.
“If there is to be revolution, we would rather make it than suffer it,” he infamously said. So he created a crisis with Austria. Through belligerence and malicious international alliances, Bismarck forced his chosen enemy, Austria, into action—action he could exploit. Austria, seeing the looming threat from Germany and knowing that its outdated and cumbersome military would take many weeks to marshal, began mobilizing for defense. Bismarck pounced on this as the opportunity to claim that Austria was about to attack. The resulting Seven Weeks’ War was an astounding and rapid victory for Germany and its modernized army.
“By defeating Austria … and consolidating all of Germany north of the Main River, [Bismarck] was able to offer the parliamentarians something that was even more precious to them than their parliamentarianism: a united national state. It was an offer they could not refuse” (Theodore S. Hamerow,Otto von Bismarck and Imperial Germany).
The results were startling. The war ended the political conflict. Elections returned a massive royalist victory, and even the liberals now supported Bismarck. As prime minister, foreign minister and chancellor of the new German Confederation, Bismarck was conveniently able to rewrite the Prussian (German) Constitution without opposition. Thanks to a homemade “crisis,” Germany had conquered Austria, and Bismarck had conquered Germany.
It didn’t stop there for the Iron Chancellor. To expand Germany’s reach, and his own influence, Bismarck became a master at instigating crises that in turn swayed opposing public opinion to his side. This allowed Germany to pursue militaristic goals and become the dominant power in Europe, crushing France, Denmark and other countries in the process.
The Euro’s Creators Knew This Was Coming
For years, European leaders have been anticipating an economic crisis such as what we see today—a crisis that would allow them to sweep away national sovereignties and consolidate power “for the greater good.”
The European Commission’s top economists warned politicians back when the euro was created that it might not survive a crisis. Analysts have long envisioned that because it has “no EU treasury or debt union to back it up” and a “one-size-fits-all regime of interest rates [that] caters badly to the different needs of Club Med and the German bloc,” the day would come that economic crisis would threaten the EU (Telegraph, Oct. 5, 2008).
The fathers of the euro did not dispute this. They knew the European economic union was risky, but they saw it as an acceptable risk—Bismarck might have even called it a desirable one—as a last-ditch option to force the pace of political union. As the Telegraph said, “They welcomed the idea of a ‘beneficial crisis.’” And as “ex-Commission chief Romano Prodi remarked, it would allow Brussels to break taboos and accelerate the move to a full-fledged EU economic government” (ibid.).
Europe’s founders now have their “beneficial crisis.” But it will not be Brussels that will come out on top of the federalist European superstructure. We can expect that it will be the European nation with the best economy, strongest banking sector, and the largest gold reserves in Europe and maybe the world. It will be the nation that dominates the European Central Bank: Germany.
German banking officials have been awaiting the opportunity to assert control over the European economic union. UK author and political economist Rodney Atkinson wrote in the Salisbury Review that a member of the German Bundesbank once commented after being warned that the one-size-fits-all euro could cause serious economic problems, “Good, that means we can use the crisis to acquire the kind of power which otherwise might not be given to us” (April 2008).
Watch: The European crisis will not only act as a catalyst to unite Europe, but it will also cement the status of its leader, Germany.
A crisis-responsive, German-dominated, united Europe is around the corner—and history shows that is not a good thing.
A Modern-Day Hitler
The Bible prophesies that just such a European superpower—a revival of the ancient Holy Roman Empire, to be led by Germany—will thrust itself onto the world stage during a time of great crisis and drag the world into war again.
In Daniel 8:23, God says, “And in the latter time of their kingdom when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” This is the political beast—in the tradition of Frederick ii, Otto the Great and Hitler—that is about to rise up and astound the world!
Continuing in verse 24: “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power.” There will be nine other nations or groups of nations in the beast alliance besides Germany, and this German leader, a “king of fierce countenance,” will control them all. But when this prophecy says “not by his own power,” it means that the real power behind the beast is Satan (Revelation 13:4).
Continue reading Daniel’s prophecy to see what this man is going to do and how he will influence the fate of mankind.
This coming leader may already be working behind the scenes.
Continental European leaders are again blaring warnings of threats to Europe’s safety and security. Europe is in “crisis.” Don’t be caught unaware! A new superpower is about to rise. Europe’s war-filled history in such circumstances is about to come to life once again.
To get a more detailed picture of where this European crisis is heading, request a free copy of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.