The Dreaded D Word

For those irked by displays of economic self-righteousness, one word sums up the emotions aroused by Germany's current economic plight — schadenfreude, joy at another's misfortune. For years, Germany, like Japan, held itself up as an economic paragon. The mighty deutsche mark was the very icon of sound monetary management; Bundesbank presidents scolded fellow Europeans as feckless passengers on a gravy train pulled by the German locomotive.

How are the mighty fallen. It isn't just that Europe's largest economy is at a standstill, with unemployment at almost 10%. What's truly frightening is that inflation in Germany is so...

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