The idea for this book was hatched during a European Union summit in
Brussels, but it was in a bar adjacent to the former U.S. Embassy building
in Berlin that the opportunity to write it fi rst became reality. After
nearly three years of turmoil, the story of Angela Merkel and Europe’s
debt crisis had reached critical mass. As our colleague John Fraher, one of
Bloomberg’s managing editors, put it: The planets had aligned and now
was the time to grasp our chance. Within two days we were at our writing
desks, suddenly realizing the magnitude of the project.