Those of you just tuning in should know this: Europe is in substantial economic trouble.
At this point there's little more to say about how they got here. Let's leave it at absurd treaties, mutual distrust, and pigheaded machismo as the short-answer reasons why they're fighting to save their unity. Think WWI just prior to Archduke Franz Ferdinand getting shot and you have the general idea.
"We are directionally moving toward the abyss," says Euro expert, native Italian, and founder of the Zebra Fund Fil Zucchi.
As has long been apparent, the crux of the issues are the differing principles and needs of the nations involved. Zucchi says the best solutions require printing money and risking inflation; prospects instinctively horrifying to the member nation with the most sway in the Eurozone: Germany.
Until "the Germans and to a certain degree the French decide to accept inflation, there's no way out," Zucchi tells me, putting a damper on the otherwise upbeat Festivus charity event.
Zucchi notes that Germany's history with inflation doesn't bode well for a comprehensive solution to Europe's woes anytime soon. The country's "DNA is to prevent inflation (and not) repeat the Weimar scenario just like our DNA is prevent deflation and another depression."
Given this inherent fear of inflation and the political impracticality of forcing French or German citizens to bailout the weaker members of the Eurozone, hoping for the best seems unrealistic. That said, Zucchi is guardedly optimistic about Europe's ability to avoid the worst.
"I am somewhat hopeful we are not going to see a violent uprising," he offers. So there's that.
"If the ECB went all-in there would be an extension of the amount of time to deal with the debt crisis," concludes Zucchi with relative optimism.
From Zucchi's mouth the EU leaders' ears over the next two days. At this point the markets would likely be more than happy to have a little more time regardless of the price that would be paid down the road.