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World economics made comprehensible for children under 10… and me.

JP MORGAN, a New York based financial services firm, has released a diagram in their publication Eye on the Market, which explains the Eurozone debt crisis with Lego men.

Angry chefs, medieval soldiers, and a Formula One driver show where each major player will shift the burden of bailout costs. Eye on the Market gives a full explanation of what each Lego figure represents. Below, a summary.

Photo: JP Morgan

1. The Euro Periphery: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain
2. The CDU, CSU, and FDP parties, which control the Bundestag (German federal legislation)
3. Finland
4. The Green and Social Democratic parties, which oppose the Bundestag
5. Bundesbank, or German federal bank
6. The IMF
7. The European Central Bank
8. Poland
9. France
10. EU taxpayers in core countries, all looking peeved
11. The EU commission and Euro Group finance ministers
12. EU shareholders and bondholders

World Events


About The Author

Anne Merritt

Anne Merritt has lived in Canada, Europe, and Asia. She teaches ESL, writes, haggles, hikes, and wears sunscreen fanatically. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail,, and The Compass. Check out her blog.

  • Zak Erving

    Maybe it’s my age-long affinity for Legos.

    Maybe it’s my wanting to learn more about the inter-weavings of politics and economy and not knowing where to start.

    Maybe it’s both.

    Regardless, I wish more things were explained with Legos. (Like the Brick Testament!)

  • umbrarchist

    So where is the DEPRECIATION that Europeans have lost on automobiles over the last 50 years?  Where are the economists talking about planned obsolescence?  Is going into debt for stuff designed to become obsolete merely buying your way into slavery while economists talk about growth and pretend the depreciation is not happening?

    • Ott

      umbrarchist I’m not sure what you’re trying to say but it seems like you oppose buying cars because they lose value over time? But everything loses value over time. Cars are actually one of the most value adding devices that have been invented, it is literally one of the most important inventions of the western civilization and much responsible for our wealth. Money is nothing but a trade component for work. And cars do _a lot_ of work. So cars actually bring value to people’s lives, they enrichen us, they redeem us.

      Even the misguided green wingers with their ideology see this when they kids and try to maneuver things around with public transport: it doesn’t work, or it requires too much effort to be useful.

      In any sense, you should let individual people define what is valuable for them. If you don’t want a car then don’t buy one. Meanwhile 90% of other people will do so and will be happy about owning one.

      The truth about the debt crisis is simply that the public sector should stop spending money, stop borrowing money and stop printing money, but mostly stop spending and planning because that is the cause for all this nonsense and circus. Let the private markets work and marvel the results.

      • umbrarchist

         Look dude, it is 42 years after the Moon landing and we have computers everywhere.  5 years before the Moon landing the SR-71 Blackbird could do 2000 mph at 80,000 feet.  25 years before the Moon landing WWII planes were dogfighting at 400+ mph.

        The point is not that they depreciate, which is inevitable, but that they probably depreciate 2 or 3 times as much as they should and the Economics Profession says NOTHING ABOUT IT.

        When Ford introduced the Model-T it sold for $850.  By the time it was discontinued it was down to $300.  He did that by not changing the design.  But that was before engineers knew how to design planes that could do 400+ mph.  Ford probably should not have kept the design that long because the technology was still advancing.

        But these cars still just roll along the ground at less than 130 mph and I think the claims of improvements are gross exaggerations for the sake of marketing.  Anybody can look up the specs on WWII airplanes.  And those planes were designed without computers.

  • umbrarchist

    It is curious how double-entry accounting was invented in Italy 700 years ago and yet the schools can’t make it mandatory even tho we have cheap computers everywhere.

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