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European Debt Crisis

Scientists question Draghi’s bumblebee metaphor

Stephen Beard Aug 3, 2012
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Jeremy Hobson: The parent company of British Airways and Iberia made the startling announcement that it’s preparing contingency plans for a possible Spanish exit from the euro.

This comes just a day after the head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi failed to impress global markets with his plan to save the euro.

And when he resorted to the insect world to bolster the eurozone, entomologists were not impressed either. Marketplace’s Steven Beard reports from London.


Stephen Beard: Of all Mario Draghi’s recent remarks, this was the most curious. He said the euro is like a bumblebee.

Mario Draghi: The Flight of the Bumblebee.

Under the law of aerodynamics, the bumblebee shouldn’t fly — said Draghi — but it does. And he claimed it’s the same with the euro. When it was lauched, it confounded the critics, took off and didn’t crash. But Draghai admits some things changed. The currency’s having a bumpy ride. He said the bumblebee will have to mutate into a honeybee.

Johnathon Neal, a professor of entomology from Indiana says that’s not reassuring.

Johnathon Neal: If we wait for a bumble to magically transform into a honeybee, we will wait for a long time. They diverged evolutionarily millions of years ago.

Maybe that was Mario’s real message, the real sting in the tail. It could be many years before the eurozone is buzzing again.

From London, I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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