Photo: Disney / Marvel
Recall the climactic battle at the end of The Avengers. It kind of explains the current state of the European financial crisis and the looming departure of Greece from the euro.The EU’s indebted members such as Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal—the PIIGS—think of them as Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Hawkeye.
Now, the PIIGS are all under constant, unending attack from financial markets who don’t believe they can pay their bills and might have to leave the euro—just like the Avengers were besieged by the Chitauri alien army that just kept pouring down into Manhattan from that portal in the sky above Stark tower.
Loki, the trickster Asgardian god who just wants to see the world burn? Well, that’s Alexis Tsipras, the hardcore Greek leftist politician who wants the country to ditch austerity and keeps making market-rattling pronouncements.
Now, as you may remember, the Avengers were badly losing that big battle, overwhelmed by wave after wave of alien invaders. Then the Hulk showed up. And the Hulk smashed the aliens and Loki. Smashed them real good.
The Hulk, here, is Germany (and the European Central Bank). Germany could come to Greece’s rescue by giving its blessing to more inflation or stimulus or euro bonds or what have you. Germany could smash all the speculators and short-sellers.
But for the moment at least, the Hulk is still Bruce Banner and he’s grabbing an early dinner at Tony Stark’s favourite shawarma joint. And the crisis continues.
Fade to black …
Is The Avengers an intentional financial allegory from director Joss Whedon, kind of like The Wizard of Oz is supposedly an allegory for 19th century monetary policy? (Yellow brick road = the gold standard. The Wicked Witch of the East = Wall Street.) I would guess not, but it does have some fun, explanatory power!
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