As the European financial system collapses all around, there is one certainty - that the Germans will be ok. The German economy has stood proud with its moustache bristling for decades now, an economic miracle throughout bad times and good. So how has Germany managed to keep this up? I spoke to three economists to find out.
Financier Goldie Goldstein thought the answer was obvious. "It's gold," she said. Germany has huge gold reserves, the second highest in the world after the US. This guarantees the country's economic stability during difficult times. So how did Germany get such a large amount of gold, I asked. Mrs Goldstein said she didn't know exactly how, but she did know that Germany's reserves reached its current levels in about 1945, and that much of it is held in Swiss bank accounts.
Industrialist Norbert Wankel thought the secret to Germany's economic success lay in the attitude of its workers. He told me they are very hard-working and loyal, as well as efficient. There is also a well-known saying in German which sums up this philosophy - "Ich war nur Befehlsempfänger" or "I was only obeying orders".
Business tycoon Davros Dusseldorf, who owns the famous Dusseldorf chain of German towns, thought the answer was more to do with German companies' aggressive attitude. "Ve like to do ze take overs," he said. "Ve always take over ze veaker companies, and ve exterminate zeir bad practices. By removing ze veaker elements, ve ensure zat ze strongest survive. Our companies are so efficient, zey are ze master companies. Veakness vill not be tolerated! Exterminate!"