Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Gold And Silver Voodoo Analysis Price Forecasts - Austin_Galt
2.UK Saved From I.S. Threat But Scottish Independence Nightmare is Not Over! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Silver Price At or Very Close to an Important Low - Clive_Maund
4.Gold And Silver - PetroDollar On Its Deathbed? PMs About To Rally? No - Michael_Noonan
5.Gold and Silver Bear Phase III Dead Ahead - Rambus_Chartology
6.Stock Market Major Selloff Looms - Zeal_LLC
7.Inflate or Die! When Leverage Fails and Market Hope Turns to Fear - Ty_Andros
8.Gold Price Very Close to an Important Low - Clive_Maund
9.Market Forecasts for Stocks, Gold, Silver, Commodities, Financials and Currencies - EWI
10.U.S. Aggression - Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire? - Paul_Craig_Roberts
Last 5 days
Stock Market Wil-e-Coyote Moment May Have Arrived - 1st Oct 14
Europe Teetering the Ddge of a "Japan-style" Deflation - 30th Sept 14
Economists Economic Atonement - 30th Sept 14
Everything You Need to Know About the Stock Market S&P Index Until Christmas - 30th Sept 14
Singapore Becoming Global Gold Hub - Launches Kilo Bar Contract And Gold ATMs - 30th Sept 14
Germany Fights on Two Fronts to Preserve the Eurozone - 30th Sept 14
Turn the Tables on the Gold and Silver Market Manipulators - 30th Sept 14
U.S. 2014 Election Business as Usual - 30th Sept 14
Gold - Time to Buy the Dip? - 30th Sept 14
Urging Investors to Stay Liquid for the Coming Gold Stocks Boom - 30th Sept 14
The Japanese Deflation Myth and the Yen’s Slump - 29th Sept 14
Epic Investor Optimism that Can Be Reversed Only by a Huge Stocks Bear Market - 29th Sept 14
Russia’s Gokhran Buying Gold Bullion In 2014 and Will Buy Palladium In 2015 - 29th Sept 14
The End of Monetary Policy - 29th Sept 14
Here's What Rising Interest Rates Really Do to Your Shares - 29th Sept 14
Is a Credible Stock Market Top Forming? - 29th Sept 14
Silver Price At or Very Close to an Important Low - 29th Sept 14
Gold Price Very Close to an Important Low - 29th Sept 14
Nihilism And The Unknown Future - 29th Sept 14
Stock Market S&P, NAS Change In Trend? None Apparent, But A Caveat - 29th Sept 14
UK Saved From I.S. Threat But Scottish Independence Nightmare is Not Over! - 29th Sept 14
U.S. Aggression - Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire? - 28th Sept 14
Currency Wars and the Death of the Euro - Audio - 28th Sept 14
Obscure Maritime Law Practically “Guarantees” Profits for These Energy Companies - 28th Sept 14
Stock Market Primary IV Underway? - 27th Sept 14
Darwin And The Climate Apocalypse - 27th Sept 14
The Global Middle Class and Copper Consumption, A Stop Spike Event - 27th Sept 14
Can Money Save The Climate? - 27th Sept 14
Gold And Silver - PetroDollar On Its Deathbed? PMs About To Rally? No - 27th Sept 14
Debt and Inflation Consquences of American Fear - 27th Sept 14
U.S. and Global Confidence are in Divergence - So Are Stock Markets - 27th Sept 14
Are U.S. Cars About to Crash? - 27th Sept 14
Why the U.S. Created and Armed ISIS From Libya to Syria - 27th Sept 14
Stock Market vs the Developing Bear Market for Liberal Democracy? - 26th Sept 14
Stock Market Major Selloff Looms - 26th Sept 14
How My Charts Uncovered Two Big Stocks That Are Soaring Like Small Caps - 26th Sept 14
What Cycles Reveal About Stock Market Crash - 26th Sept 14
Gold Not A Safe Haven On Terrorism, Middle East Bombing, Russia ... Yet - 26th Sept 14
Valuing Gold and Turkey Farming - 26th Sept 14
Gold $1200 Underpinned by Physical Demand - 26th Sept 14
Inflate or Die! When Leverage Fails and Market Hope Turns to Fear - 26th Sept 14
Market Forecasts for Stocks, Gold, Silver, Commodities, Financials and Currencies - 26th Sept 14
Gold and Silver Bear Phase III Dead Ahead - 26th Sept 14
The Home Depot Breach Boils Our Blood – and It Should - 26th Sept 14
Why the Pundits are Wrong About Crude Oil Prices - 26th Sept 14
Where’s the Economic Growth? - 26th Sept 14
Stock Market Future Bull - 25th Sept 14
The Specter of Global Debt Default is Once Again Rearing its Head - 25th Sept 14
All Major Market Analysis and Forecasts Investor Open House has Started! - 25th Sept 14
Federal Reserve Policies Cause Booms and Busts - 25th Sept 14
Currency Wars Deepen - Russia, Kazakhstan Buy Very Large 30 Tons Of Gold In August - 25th Sept 14
Strong U.S. Dollar Pressures Gold - 25th Sept 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The Most Exciting Event in the History of Technical Analysis

Sovereign Crisis from Economic Stimulus to Debt Austerity Snowball Effect

Economics / Economic Austerity Jun 18, 2010 - 11:26 AM GMT

By: Mike_Larson

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleA blockbuster draft report from the European Commission saw the light of day recently, thanks to some reporting from Bloomberg. It highlights an incredibly dangerous Catch-22 facing many sovereign nations — the “Snowball Scenario.”

Let me give you an example how this works …


Suppose country A’s economy goes into the tank. The government responds by borrowing boatloads of money and spending like mad on stimulus packages.

The markets allow it to go on for a while. But then investors start to get antsy about all the debt being added to the government’s balance sheet. So they start dumping its bonds, driving prices lower and rates higher. That, in turn, forces the country to implement austerity measures to get its debt and deficit under control.

The problem?

Those moves send the economy BACK into the crapper! Government spending has to rise yet again to pay for things like unemployment insurance, new stimulus packages, and so on … at the same time tax revenues fall. That drives debts and deficits even higher.

The end game in this snowball scenario? A sovereign default!

And that’s not just a theory. In fact …

Snowballs Are Already Rolling Downhill in Spain, Greece, and Portugal

Spain is trying to slash its budget deficit from 11.2 percent to 9.3 percent in 2010 and 6 percent in 2011. Portugal wants to cut its deficit from 9.4 percent to 7.3 percent this year and 4.6 percent next year. They plan to do so by some combination of pension freezes, wage cuts, new taxes, and other measures.

But the European Commission, which is the executive arm of the European Union, says that probably won’t be enough. Its conclusion?

“While the newly announced measures are significant and the targets imply impressive budgetary consolidation, more measures are needed to meet those targets.”

The EU has told Spain and Portugal to get their budgets back in shape.
The EU has told Spain and Portugal to get their budgets back in shape.

In plain English, the message is “Get even tougher! Crack down more! Slash spending! Raise taxes!”

But as the Commission admits, the governments it is counseling face “low GDP growth, poor competitiveness, stable or declining prices and wages and high real interest rates.” So it’s virtually impossible to avoid a “snowball effect on the government debt.”

Stay Cautious! Stay Safe!

Bond traders aren’t dumb. They can see this coming from a mile away. Yields on Spanish 2-year notes shot up recently, then eased a bit. But now they’re rallying yet again — hitting a new cycle high just this week.

Spanish borrowing costs have skyrocketed from 1.51 percent in March to 3.29 percent, the highest in 17 months! It now costs more on a relative basis for Spain to borrow than it does the euro-area’s main economy, Germany. And it’s the highest that the 10-year Spanish/German yield spread has been since 1999 — when the euro currency debuted.

Portugal is seeing costs rise, too. It’s paying 5.58 percent to borrow money for 10 years, up from 4.15 percent back in April.

Reports are surfacing that Spain may need a 250 billion euro ($307 billion) credit line from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and possibly the U.S. Treasury.

Naturally, policymakers are denying that anything is in the works. But what do you expect them to do? These guys said the same thing about Greece, claiming it wasn’t at risk of defaulting. Then they pushed through a $135 billion bailout!

Use market rallies as selling opportunities.
Use market rallies as selling opportunities.

In short, this sovereign debt crisis is playing out just like the private credit market crisis did before. It comes in waves — with periodic sharp drops triggered by some event, then some kind of bailout that makes everybody breathe a temporary sigh of relief, and finally yet another plunge as another hole appears in the dike.

My advice?

Don’t get suckered in by the short-term rallies. This sovereign debt crisis is nowhere near over, and that means you have to stay cautious and safe in your investments.

Consider using inverse ETFs to hedge risk, keeping positions small, and dumping stocks into sharp rallies if you’re lucky enough to get them.

Until next time,

Mike

This investment news is brought to you by Money and Markets. Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Jim Green
18 Jul 10, 16:23
Response to article

I think your article is right on. It seems we are chasing a moving target. We pin that target down for a moment's notice and somehow it seems to escape and cause chaos in financial markets. It also seems there is not a right or wrong answer to ours, or the EU's financial woes and taking a more risk averse stance might prove to be the winner in all of this.


Post Comment

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

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014