If one recalls the emphasis with which German politicians acted during the last financial market crisis and literally invaded southern European states with their troika and sacrosanct austerity rules with bizarre seriousness, it seems more than understandable why the term ''Schadenfreude'' is now doing the rounds among those who were once on the Teutonic moral pillory of ''guilt and atonement''.
The proof that shadow budgets, fiscal megalomania and reputation-damaging creative accounting are not specialties of the Southern Europeans has now been provided by a coalition of convinced political benefactors, green world saviors and pseudo-market economists, who have managed to add at least one more curiosity to the process of state failure: the mountain of debt redeclared as ''special assets''. This conceptual twist appears so curious in its shrill antinomy that those once scolded will certainly have difficulties transferring it into their own semantic theater of distraction.
But the ECB will certainly be on hand to provide expert translation advice and assistance. After all, it has to ''finance'' all the happily sprouting special assets.