Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Stock Market Trend Forecast Early 2022 - Tech Growth Value Stocks Rotation - 18th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Setting Up For A 'Mini-Crash'? - 18th Jan 22
Mobile Sports Betting is on a rise: Here’s why - 18th Jan 22
Exponential AI Stocks Mega-trend - 17th Jan 22
THE NEXT BITCOIN - 17th Jan 22
Gold Price Predictions for 2022 - 17th Jan 22
How Do Debt Relief Services Work To Reduce The Amount You Owe? - 17th Jan 22
RIVIAN IPO Illustrates We are in the Mother of all Stock Market Bubbles - 16th Jan 22
All Market Eyes on Copper - 16th Jan 22
The US Dollar Had a Slip-Up, but Gold Turned a Blind Eye to It - 16th Jan 22
A Stock Market Top for the Ages - 16th Jan 22
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22
Best Metaverse Tech Stocks Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 14th Jan 22
Gold Price Lagging Inflation - 14th Jan 22
Get Your Startup Idea Up And Running With These 7 Tips - 14th Jan 22
What Happens When Your Flight Gets Cancelled in the UK? - 14th Jan 22
How to Profit from 2022’s Biggest Trend Reversal - 11th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Ready To Drop To 4400SPX? - 11th Jan 22
What's the Role of an Affiliate Marketer? - 11th Jan 22
Essential Things To Know Before You Set Up A Limited Liability Company - 11th Jan 22
NVIDIA THE KING OF THE METAVERSE! - 10th Jan 22
Fiscal and Monetary Cliffs Have Arrived - 10th Jan 22
The Meteoric Rise of Investing in Trading Cards - 10th Jan 22
IBM The REAL Quantum Metaverse STOCK! - 9th Jan 22
WARNING Failing NVME2 M2 SSD Drives Can Prevent Systems From Booting - Corsair MP600 - 9th Jan 22
The Fed’s inflated cake and a ‘quant’ of history - 9th Jan 22
NVME M2 SSD FAILURE WARNING Signs - Corsair MP600 1tb Drive - 9th Jan 22
Meadowhall Sheffield Christmas Lights 2021 Shopping - Before the Switch on - 9th Jan 22
How Does Insurance Work In Europe? Find Out Here - 9th Jan 22
MATTERPORT (MTTR) - DIGITIZING THE REAL WORLD - METAVERSE INVESTING 2022 - 7th Jan 22
Effect of Deflation On The Gold Price - 7th Jan 22
Stock Market 2022 Requires Different Strategies For Traders/Investors - 7th Jan 22
Old Man Winter Will Stimulate Natural Gas and Heating Oil Demand - 7th Jan 22
Is The Lazy Stock Market Bull Strategy Worth Considering? - 7th Jan 22
METAVERSE - NEW LIFE FOR SONY AGEING GAMING GIANT? - 6th Jan 2022
What Elliott Waves Show for Asia Pacific Stock and Financial Markets 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
Why You Should Register Your Company - 6th Jan 2022
4 Ways to Invest in Silver for 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
UNITY (U) - Metaverse Stock Analysis Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 5th Jan 2022
Stock Market Staving Off Risk-Off - 5th Jan 2022
Gold and Silver Still Hungover After New Year’s Eve - 5th Jan 2022
S&P 500 In an Uncharted Territory, But Is Sky the Limit? - 5th Jan 2022

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

European Politicians Fiddling While the Euro Burns

Politics / Euro Oct 07, 2011 - 02:58 AM GMT

By: John_Browne

Politics

Last week, eurozone finance ministers postponed, yet again, the most difficult decisions on the Greek debt crisis. The assembled powers could have forced an orderly Greek default or they could have taken steps to push Greece out of the union. Instead, they simply bought time until the next major rollover of Greek debt - which comes due in November. I don't expect much to come from the brief respite.


Much of the prevarication can be attributed to political disagreement in Germany, where some see the current crisis not only as a means to further European unification, but also as an opportunity to extend German influence throughout the continent.

Other Germans, particularly those in the south, see the crisis as a means to roll back the flawed structure of the eurozone. The resulting indecision is allowing adverse sentiment to set a time-bomb under the euro.

In truth, recovery has no chance of taking hold without a clear idea of what Europe may look like politically in a few years. Today, there is a desperate need for a momentous decision by Germany.

Rest assured these are problems that can't be swept under the rug. Greece now has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 173 percent. Simply put, it is hopelessly bankrupt. The 'troika' of the EU, ESM, and IMF are demanding that Greece accept more austerity in return for more funding. But, already, austerity is reducing Greek GDP and tax revenues while creating civil unrest and a greater demand for social security payments.

The austerity medicine in Greece is also creating similar problems for Italy and Spain, whose economies are much, much larger. Spain has twice the outstanding debt of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal combined. Italy has five times that amount. The sums needed to rescue Spain or Italy would stretch even Germany to the limit of solvency.

Already, the euro is falling fast even against the deeply flawed US dollar. As I see it, there are three possible conclusions to the crisis:

  1. The euro splits into two parts: one for the cash-generating northern countries and one for the Mediterranean countries, possibly including France. This two-tiered system would take into account the differences in economic reality for the two regions and would provide much more financial flexibility.
  2. Some of the Club Med countries are forced to leave the euro, re-issue their own currencies, and attempt to generate earnings to repay debt.
  3. The euro ceases to exist. As the world's second currency, this would result in a short-term stampede into other fiat currencies such as the yen, Swiss franc, Norwegian krone, Australian and Canadian dollars, even sterling, but predominately into the US dollar.

Any one of these outcomes is preferable to the unsustainable status quo. But an orderly Greek default combined with an exit from the euro would be the best strategy to move forward. Unfortunately, this option is unpalatable to internationalist politicians, who want to maintain the pan-European government, and the banking system, which is choking on bad sovereign debt. Still, talk is growing.

If a default does come, the big question is how much creditors could lose through debt haircuts. Recently it has become clear that the 21 percent haircuts for private holders of Greek debt, which had been agreed on in July, may have to be deepened to 40 or even 50 percent. However, calculations will need to me made as to how much losses can be accepted by the banks before their insolvency threatens the solvency of their own nations. Very few observers know for sure how much bad debt lurks on the balance sheets of the big European banks. This question alone threatens further and more dramatic contagion.

Eurozone governments, in particular Germany, France, and Belgium, have long 'persuaded' their banks to load up on PIIGS sovereign debt. Now, unsurprisingly, a PIIGS default threatens German, French, and Belgian banks. France has some of the largest banks, all carrying unknown amounts of these toxic assets. BNP, Credit Agricol, and Societé Géneral alone have combined assets (of all sorts) of some $7 trillion. This staggering sum is equal to about half the US Treasury's massive debt. However, the French economy is less than one fifth the size of the US economy. If losses related to bad sovereign debt were to push any of these banks into default, the ramifications could be dire for France.

The world's immediate economic future rests with a prompt decision by Germany to abandon its dreams of empire and cut off funding for the PIIGS. Such a move would protect Germans from unlimited bailout requests, save the people of the PIIGS from unnecessarily harsh austerity measures, and provide a needed reprieve for the euro and international fiat currencies. For an even more in depth look at the prospects of international currencies, download Peter Schiff and Axel Merk's Five Favorite Currencies for the Next Five Years.

Subscribe to Euro Pacific's Weekly Digest: Receive all commentaries by Peter Schiff, Michael Pento, and John Browne delivered to your inbox every Monday.

By John Browne
Euro Pacific Capital
http://www.europac.net/

More importantly make sure to protect your wealth and preserve your purchasing power before it's too late. Discover the best way to buy gold at www.goldyoucanfold.com , download my free research report on the powerful case for investing in foreign equities available at www.researchreportone.com , and subscribe to my free, on-line investment newsletter at http://www.europac.net/newsletter/newsletter.asp

John Browne is the Senior Market Strategist for Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.  Mr. Brown is a distinguished former member of Britain's Parliament who served on the Treasury Select Committee, as Chairman of the Conservative Small Business Committee, and as a close associate of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Among his many notable assignments, John served as a principal advisor to Mrs. Thatcher's government on issues related to the Soviet Union, and was the first to convince Thatcher of the growing stature of then Agriculture Minister Mikhail Gorbachev. As a partial result of Brown's advocacy, Thatcher famously pronounced that Gorbachev was a man the West "could do business with."  A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Britain's version of West Point and retired British army major, John served as a pilot, parachutist, and communications specialist in the elite Grenadiers of the Royal Guard.

John_Browne Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in