Exciting countries get exciting acronyms, at least in financial circles. Fast-growing Brazil, Russia, India and China, for example, are called Brics, the very initials implying solid growth. Other countries are less fortunate. Take Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, sometimes described as the Pigs. It is a pejorative moniker but one with much truth.
Eight years ago, Pigs really did fly. Their economies soared after joining the eurozone. Interest rates fell to historical lows – and were often negative in real terms. A credit boom followed, just as night follows day. Wages rose, debt levels ballooned, as did house prices and consumption. Now the Pigs are falling back to earth.