I could not work out who initially started the whole thing, but, well, it’s there and since yesterday, I’m a proud member of it: The “PIIGS plus” club on Twitter.
Originally, it consisted of several economists and financial journalists from Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (the inglorious PIIGS countries) who all run an English accout on Twitter. Founding members were:
- P ortugal - @LISwires (EU and Portugal economy watch, tweeting from Lisbon) and @JotaNR (another Portugese journalist who does an occasional tweet in English)
- I reland - @LorcanRK (Chief Europe Strategist at Trend Macrolytics, tweeting from a rural spot in western Ireland)
- I taly – @FGoria (Fabrizio Goria - Financial reporter with Italy’s business daily “Il Sole 24 Ore”, tweeting from Rome)
- G reece - @MatinaStevis (Greek financial journalist, tweeting from London)
- S pain – @Suanzes (Pablo Rodriguez, journalist with Spain’s daily “El Mundo”, tweeting from Madrid)
I’m not sure which role @TheStalwart (Joseph Weisenthal with Business Insider) plays in the PIIGS club, but history teaches that it’s always a good idea for Europe to have Americans on the boat. We might really need them again – hence, we should also invite @economistmeg (Megan Greene, tweeting about the Euro crisis from London) to become a memeber.
Yesterday, Matina had the courtesy to invite me (@olafstorbeck on Twitter) to the PIIGS club as well:
“I think we oughta have a German”
The Greeks are really clever, aren’t they? Given our economic might, we can easily digest a second German. Hence I cordially invite @patrickbernau (Business and Finance editor, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, tweeting from Frankfurt and Cologne).
I really received a very warm welcome:
“Olaf is joining us? and paying? Great, I’ll order some food”
“Gut Welcome Olaf, our lender of last resort ”
@LISwires, however, was a little bit more sceptical:
“I truly hope the entry of @OlafStorbeck does not mean a German move to the periphery.”
I tried to play the party pooper, insisting that
“we will be broke soon, too”
and the PIIGS club
“won’t fancy my bailout term”
but could not get through. Hence I suggested that I split the bill with my dear Dutch friend @went1955 (Robert Went, Economist at Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy) who remarked that we need the Austrians and the Finns too.
That’s a smart move, and we already found someone in Vienna: @LukasSustala (Lukas Sustala – financial journalist at the Austrian daily “Der Standard” who - hold your breath – co-managed a macro hedge fund [probably HE is to blame for the whole mess].
Lorkan also tweeted that he is in Iceland right now and could take care of them as well. However, Pablo Rodriguez rightly quipped:
“In Iceland? Then Britons pay!”
This is the point where @timharford (Undercover Economist at the FT; presenter of More or Less, Radio 4, tweeting from Hackney) joins the club. Tim’s making money hand over fist with his brilliant new book “Adapt”, so I’ll guess he can bail out Iceland on his own.
So the “PIIGS plus” club is almost complete but we’re still open for suggestions, of course. You can follow us on Twitter using this list.
I do wonder about one thing, however: Where are the French when you need then?
Update: The “PIIGS plus” club is growing – we now have a Frenchmen (@pierrebri - Pierre Briançon, Reuters Breakingviews European editor. Pierre tweets from London, but it’s only two hours to Paris by train, though) and a Belgian econimst (@pdegrauwe - Paul DeGrauve, professor in Leuven). Additionally, @plegrain (Philippe Legrain – a Brit working as an advisor to Baroso in Brussels) must not miss.
Philippe, you’ll work it out, won’t you?