Anthony Hilton: Ramsay the right recipe to save euro? Dream on
Saturday 21 July 2012
This week's most imaginative plan for the eurozone came from Lombard Street Research, a City economics consultancy. It suggested Gordon Ramsay, the chef who sorts out troubled restaurants, should give it the Hell's Kitchen treatment.
It was not wholly tongue in cheek. Underneath the theatricals and foul language, the Ramsay formula is simple and widely applicable. First, it demands strong leadership. Europe badly needs someone like Ramsay to cut out the baloney and take charge.
Second is clear vision. Ramsay says successful restaurants have a simple defining theme that potential customers can understand and relate to. Voters also need a vision for Europe they can relate to.
Third, deep-clean the kitchen. Failing restaurants often have filthy kitchens. Rather than deal with the problem, owners try to conceal it. What better description could there be for the bad loans rotting inside Europe's banks? Next, simplify the menu. Too much complexity causes confusion, bad service and ultimately failure. Europe's menu of solutions to its crisis is just as overcomplicated and just as likely to fail in the end.
Finally, though this link is a bit tenuous, source local ingredients. Make the best of what you have locally and have the confidence to reinforce that success rather than seek blindly to copy what others do.
But it is all a dream. Can you ever imagine a day when Europe's leaders would believe things had got so bad they could use a British chef in the kitchen, let alone around the conference table?
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