Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Are UK Savings Interest Rates Finally Starting to Rise? Best Cash ISA 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Inflation Tsunami - Supermarkets, Retail Sector Crisis 2017, EU Suicide and Burning Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Big Moves in the World Stock Markets - Big Bases - Rambus_Chartology
4.The Next Financial Implosion Is Not Going To Be About The Banks! - Gordon_T_Long
5.Why EU BrExit Single Market Access Hard line is European Union Committing Suicide - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Trump Ramps Up US Military Debt Spending In Preparations for China War - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Watch What Happens When Silver Price Hits $26...  - MoneyMetals
8.Stock Market Fake Risk, Fake Return? Market Crash? - 2nd Mar 17 - Axel_Merk
9.Global Inflation Surges, Central Banks Losing Control and Triggered the Wage Price Spiral? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Why Gold Will Boom In 2017 - James Burgess
Last 7 days
Political Week Presurres US Stock Market - 25th Mar 17
London Terror Attack Red Herring, Real Issue is Age of Reason vs Religion - 25th Mar 17
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate - 25th Mar 17
Unaccountable Military Industrial Complex Is Destroying America and the Rest Of The World Too - 25th Mar 17
Silver Mining Stock Fundamentals - 24th Mar 17
A Walk Down the Dark Road of Bad Government - 24th Mar 17
Is Stock Market Flash Crash Postponed Until Monday? - 24th Mar 17
Stock Market Bubble and Gold - 24th Mar 17
Maps Of Past Empires That Can Tell Us About The Future - 24th Mar 17
SNP Independent Scotland's Destiny With Economic Catastrophe, the English Subsidy - IndyRef2 - 24th Mar 17
Stock Market VIX Cycles Set To Explode March/April 2017 – Part II - 23rd Mar 17
Is Now a Good Time to Invest in the US Housing Market? - 23rd Mar 17
The Stock Market Is a Present-Day Version of Pavlov’s Dog - 23rd Mar 17
US Budget - There’s Almost Nothing Left To Cut - 23rd Mar 17
Stock Market Upward Reversal Or Just Quick Rebound Before Another Leg Down? - 23rd Mar 17
Trends to Look Out For as a Modern-day Landlord - 23rd Mar 17
Here’s Why Interstate Health Insurance Won’t Fix Obamacare / Trumpcare - 23rd Mar 17
China’s Biggest Limitations Determine the Future of East Asia - 23rd Mar 17
This is About So Much More Than Trump and Brexit - 23rd Mar 17
Trump Stock Market Rally Over? 20% Bear Drop By Mid Summer? - 22nd Mar 17
Trump Added $3 Trillion in Wealth to Stock Market Participants - 22nd Mar 17
What's Next for the US Dollar, Gold and Stocks? - 22nd Mar 17
MSM Bond Market Full Nonsense Mode as ‘Trump Trades’ Unwind on Schedule - 22nd Mar 17
Peak Gold – Biggest Gold Story Not Being Reported - 22nd Mar 17
Return of Sovereign France, Europe’s Changing Landscape - 22nd Mar 17
Trump Stocks Bull Market Rolling Over? You Were Warned! - 22nd Mar 17
Stock Market Charts That Scream “This Is It” - Here’s What to Do - 22nd Mar 17
Raising the Minimum Wage Is a Jobs Killing Move - 22nd Mar 17
Potential Bottoming Patterns in Gold and Silver Precious Metals Stocks Complex... - 22nd Mar 17
UK Stagflation, Soaring Inflation CPI 2.3%, RPI 3.2%, Real 4.4% - 21st Mar 17
The Demise of the Gold and Silver Bull Run is Greatly Exaggerated - 21st Mar 17
USD Decline Continues, Pull SPX Down as well? - 21st Mar 17
Trump Watershed Budget - 21st Mar 17
How do Client Acquisition Offers Affect Businesses? - 21st Mar 17
Physical Metals Demand Plus Manipulation Suits Will Break Paper Market - 20th Mar 17
Stock Market Uncertainty Following Interest Rate Increase - Will Uptrend Continue? - 20th Mar 17
Precious Metals : Who’s in Charge ? - 20th Mar 17
Stock Market Correction Continues - 20th Mar 17
Why The Status Quo Is Under Increasing Attack By 'Populist People Power' - 20th Mar 17
Why the SNP WILL Destroy Scotland, Exit UK Single Market for EU - IndyRef2 - 19th Mar 17
Crypto Craziness: Bitcoin Plunges on Fork Concerns, Steem Skyrockets and Dash Surges Above $100 - 19th Mar 17
What ‘Ice-Nine’ Means for Your Money - 19th Mar 17
Stock Market 4 Year Cycle - 18th Mar 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Elliott Wave Trading

It’s Time to Stop Putting a Patch on the Euro

Currencies / Euro Mar 16, 2017 - 02:43 PM GMT

By: Rodney_Johnson

Currencies Andreas Georgiou can’t catch a break.

The Greek statistician moved back to his home country in 2010, at age 50, to help right the financial ship. He left Washington, where he had spent 21 years working for the International Monetary Fund, to take over the agency that reports Greece’s financial health.

Part of the problem with Greece is that no one knows exactly how big their problems are, since the numbers weren’t exactly accurate.


Georgiou quickly realized that the country’s budget deficit in 2009 wasn’t 6% of GDP, as Greece’s statistics service had previously said. Or even 10%. He revealed to the world that it was closer to 15%. His calculations followed accounting procedures required of all Eurozone members.

And that was the problem.

His countrymen arrested him, accusing him of overstating the financial woes, leading to austerity and hardship. He could stand the name-calling and personal threats, but when strangers started threatening his daughter, he called it quits and returned to the U.S. where he teaches.

But his troubles aren’t over. Every time his case comes up – and is dismissed, because the accusations against him are bogus – the judge allows for more investigation. So prosecutors simply refile, hounding a man for telling the truth.

That’s the problem with the euro. It’s based on a lie that bankers and politicians keep repeating.

Namely, that very different countries, with different business cycles and views of credit, can all use a common currency without any distortion. Right.

These people have been invading and killing each other for centuries, they speak different languages and have wildly different governing structures. It was never going to work.

But everyone got something out of the arrangement, at least for a little while.

Stronger countries like France and Germany tied their fate to weaker countries like Italy and Greece because it put a lid on their currency, which helped exports.

Weaker countries hitched their wagons to stronger countries because it gave them a lower cost of capital when selling government bonds and making private loans. Car loans in Italian lira carried a much higher interest rate than Italian car loans in euros right after Italy joined the common currency, even though the backing was ostensibly the same.

It was perfect! Right up until it wasn’t.

The Greeks lie about their finances and carry billions of dollars of bad debt.

The Germans refuse to borrow, wanting to save for the future instead.

The Italians pray for a growth miracle to bail out their ailing banks.

If the euro didn’t exist, then the Greek currency would rightfully be in the toilet, the German currency would be the most expensive on the planet, and every other euro member would be somewhere in between.

On the euro, everyone that uses it is holding hands, angry at each other and demanding accountability that will never come.

The powder keg will blow up when a weak link, like Greece or Italy breaks and leaves the euro, or a nationalist like Marine Le Pen in France pulls the plug for political reasons.

The currency of weak countries will immediately fall in value.

When the dust settles, the euro will contain Germany and a few stragglers, and it will soar in price, reflecting the real value of the German economy.

We’ll be right back where we started, with investors correctly doubting everything financial that comes out of Greece and Italy, and the Germans struggling to hold down their currency so they can keep the BMWs and Mercedes’ rolling out the export door.

As difficult as the adjustment will be internally for each country, it will be even worse for foreign central banks.

Those holding euros will have to choose how much of each currency they want to buy as reserves. Or, they could take the easier path. Buy dollars.

All of the craziness I expect on the Continent points to one thing – a stronger U.S. dollar. It won’t reflect a robust U.S. economy or tranquil U.S. politics. Instead, it will represent a bunch of scared investors looking for a safe haven for their assets.

The biggest shame of it all is that this ugly process will have taken a decade to unfold, and will have stolen untold billions, if not trillions of dollars from investors in the form of artificially low and even negative interest rates as central bankers tried to hold the euro together.

Better to rip off the Band-Aid quickly, like Georgiou did, and be done with it.

Rodney

Follow me on Twitter ;@RJHSDent

By Rodney Johnson, Senior Editor of Economy & Markets

http://economyandmarkets.com

Copyright © 2017 Rodney Johnson - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Rodney Johnson Archive

© 2005-2016 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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife