I traveled to Germany last week ready to see some hand wringing and hear tales of woe. Russia’s unsettling hints about escalation raise the specter of nuclear war in Europe. The loss of cheap Russian gas leaves millions of German households potentially exposed to heating and power shortages as winter nears. Spiraling energy prices have forced some energy-intensive businesses to slow production.
It’s more than war. Covid rates are spiking again. Global financial markets are melting down. The worst inflation since the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany is eroding the savings of the thrifty middle class.