With the turmoil in Greece proving once and for all that in the absence of a fiscal union, the EMU simply cannot function or if it does, it will be subject to episodic crises stemming from endemic differences of opinion on fiscal policy, outsiders could be forgiven for looking upon the currency experiment as an abject failure.
Indeed, the struggle to secure a bridge loan for Athens last week underscored the degree to which non-euro countries are reluctant to put their taxpayers on the hook for problems which they believe are the result of an ill-fated attempt to unite fundamentally different economies and governments under a single currency.
Given the above, we weren’t surprised to learn that Poland and the Czech Republic are out voicing their reservations about running into what is effectively a burning building. Here’s The Telegraph on Poland:
Poland will not join the euro while the bloc remains in danger of “burning”, its central bank governor said.Continue reading »
“Chirac and many others were appalled as I told them in 1998… joining the euro would exacerbate recession in some countries, and that some would find themselves ‘trapped in a burning building with no exits’ – a phrase that brought me a fair amount of controversy and abuse… I hope the eurozone leaders meeting today will remember that those of us who criticised the euro at its creation were correct in our forecasts. Otherwise they risk adding to the monumental errors of judgment, analysis and leadership made by their predecessors in 1998.”
Europe’s leaders must face the truth that the single currency now poses fundamental threat to global financial stability
By Liam Fox MP, Conservative MP for North Somerset and former Defence Secretary
There will be a temptation to gloat over the Greek crisis over the next week and a queue of people waiting to say “I told you so”. Both would be unwise.
Whether Greece exits the eurozone or not (and it is an increasingly absurd charade), there remain a number of uncomfortable truths that the rest of the countries of Europe, whether in the eurozone, the EU or neither will have to confront. The first is that Greece is a failing state, something that will have implications far beyond the merely financial. Long before the financial crisis hits the global economy in 2008-09, Greece was in trouble.
I wish I could download to your brain everything you need to know about the European Crisis unfolding right now. The possibility of the breakup of the European Union could be the spark that sets off the global debt implosion that leads to violent conflict across the globe.
The actions of Greece, it turns out, could set off a chain reaction that leads directly to a Wall Street panic and the “bail-in” seizure of your savings accounts at your favorite hometown bank. It could also radically destabilize Eastern Europe, heightening the risk for conflict between Russia and Western European nations (including NATO members like the United States). Continue reading »
Dear Greek readers: the writing is now on the wall, and it is in very clear 48-point, double bold, and underlined font: when the ECB “leaks” that it is modelling a Grexit, something Draghi lied about over and over in 2012 and directly in our face too, take it seriously, because it is time to start planning about what happens on “the day after.” And incidentally to all those curious what the fair value of peripheral European bonds is excluding ECB backstops, the ECB has a handy back of the envelope calculation: a 95% loss.
Which also is the punchline, because while the ECB is making it very clear what happens next in the case of a “Graccident“, it has yet to provide an explanation how it will resolve the billions of Greek debt held on its own balance sheet which are about to be “marked-to-default“… Continue reading »
With everyone’s attention focused these days on Greece’s Tsipras (and Varoufakis), and also casting concerned glances at Spain’s Pablo Iglesias, head of the poll-leading Podemos party which may well be the next Syriza, many have forgotten that Italy has its own “anti-austerity” voice, that of Beppe Grillo, a voice which had been relatively quiet in the recent past. However, judging by his latest blog post, he too will want to be heard in the seaschange in Europe in the aftermath of the Syriza surge and the resultant chaos that has shaken the Eurozone to its core.
The Eurozone chess game has entered its third and final stage. Germany wins in three moves – Euro, deflation and purchase of public debt by the ECB (QE) – and in the last few years it has found a way to maximise its profits and reduce to zero its risks as Europe’s creditor.
Still negotiating Athens and the Euro-partners about new grants.Behind the scenes alternatives are already being played: The ECB is preparing by SPIEGEL information on the Greek exit from the euro before.
Frankfurt – The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing for a Greek exit from the monetary union. To that effect, Employees by information obtained by SPIEGEL, an internal simulation games by how the rest of the euro zone could be held together.
Despite all the denials to urge the European monetary authorities the Greeks to finally introduce capital controls. According to the findings of the ECB, the Greeks have a day more than one billion euros abroad.Continue reading »
“There is a great game of poker taking place for the future of this currency,” Nigel Farage exclaims as he deservedly takes a small victory lap over his warnings of the anti-democratic nature of the dis-union that has been created. As his warnings that “the EU will crush, and kill, and destroy nation state democracy,” have gone unheeded, this last week has seen The Eurogroup’s behavior justify everything Farage has feared… Juncker: “there can be no democratic choice against the Euro.”
As we explained yesterday, when we wrote that “Greece Gambles On “Catastrophic Armageddon” For Europe, Warns It “Only Has Weeks Of Cash Left“”, and as confirmed further by today’s fire and brimstone speech by Greek PM Tsipras, in which he not only did not concede one millimeter to Europe but raised the stakes even higher, by promising among other things to raise the minimum wage and to halt foreclosures, Greece is now betting everything that Europe will not allow it to exit, hoping that “this time is not different”, and the existential terror that would be heaped on the Eurozone as forecast in 2012 by the likes of Citi’s Buiter and IIF’s Charles Dallara, will still take place, and Europe will concede that spending a few more billion on Greece’s bridge program is worth to avoid what could potentially spiral into an out of control collapse.
To be sure, that is precisely what Yanis Vaourfakis implied today when he said that “if Greece is forced out of the euro zone, other countries will inevitably follow and the currency bloc will collapse, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday, in comments which drew a rebuke from Italy.” Continue reading »
Yesterday the European Central Bank acknowledged that the currency it manages is being sucked into a deflationary vortex. It responded in the usual way with, in effect, a massive devaluation. Eurozone citizens have also responded predictably, by converting their unbacked, make-believe, soon-to-be-worth-a-lot-less paper money into something tangible. They’re bidding gold up dramatically.
So after falling hard in 2013 and treading water for most of 2014, the euro price of gold has gone parabolic in the space of a couple of months. This sudden rather than gradual awakening is the standard pattern for a currency crisis, mainly because it takes a long time for most people to figure out their government is clueless and/or lying. But once they do figure it out, they act quickly.
Europe’s gold chart isn’t as dramatic as Russia’s (see it here) because Europe doesn’t depend on oil exports and the euro, while dropping versus the dollar, isn’t yet in free-fall. But with another trillion euros due to hit the market in the coming year, and a series of currency union-threatening political crises in the pipeline, the flight to safety could easily become a stampede.
Europe and Russia, meanwhile aren’t the only countries with incipient currency crises. Here’s gold in Canadian dollars: Continue reading »
… because there would be nothing more ironic if the man who “broke the Bank of England” ended up being FXCMed himself by another central bank, over two decades later and just as he was set to finally retire, at the age of 84, formally, something he supposedly announced in Davos yesterday. Continue reading »