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
Inflation and the Crazy Crypto Markets - 23rd Oct 21
Easy PC Upgrades with Motherboard Combos - Overclockers UK Unboxing - MB, Memory and Ryzen 5600x CPU - 23rd Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks Q3 2021 - 23rd Oct 21
Gold calmly continues cobbling its Handle, Miners lay in wait - 23rd Oct 21
US Economy Has Been in an Economic Depression Since 2008 - 22nd Oct 21
Extreme Ratios Point to Gold and Silver Price Readjustments - 22nd Oct 21
Bitcoin $100K or Ethereum $10K—which happens first? - 22nd Oct 21
This Isn’t Sci-Fi: How AI Is About To Disrupt This $11 Trillion Industry - 22nd Oct 21
Ravencoin RVN About to EXPLODE to NEW HIGHS! Last Chance to Buy Before it goes to the MOON! - 21st Oct 21
Stock Market Animal Spirits Returning - 21st Oct 21
Inflation Advances, and So Does Gold — Except That It Doesn’t - 21st Oct 21
Why A.I. Is About To Trigger The Next Great Medical Breakthrough - 21st Oct 21
Gold Price Slowly Going Nowhere - 20th Oct 21
Shocking Numbers Show Government Crowding Out Real Economy - 20th Oct 21
Crude Oil Is in the Fast Lane, But Where Is It Going? - 20th Oct 21
3 Tech Stocks That Could Change The World - 20th Oct 21
Best AI Tech Stocks ETF and Investment Trusts - 19th Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Will Investors Dump the Laggards? - 19th Oct 21
The Most Exciting Medical Breakthrough Of The Decade? - 19th Oct 21
Prices Rising as New Dangers Point to Hard Assets - 19th Oct 21
It’s not just Copper; GYX indicated cyclical the whole time - 19th Oct 21
Chinese Tech Stocks CCP Paranoia, VIES - Variable Interest Entities - 19th Oct 21
Inflation Peaked Again, Right? - 19th Oct 21
Gold Stocks Bouncing Hard - 19th Oct 21
Stock Market New Intermediate Bottom Forming? - 19th Oct 21
Beware, Gold Bulls — That’s the Beginning of the End - 18th Oct 21
Gold Price Flag Suggests A Big Rally May Start Soon - 18th Oct 21
Inflation Or Deflation – End Result Is Still Depression - 18th Oct 21
A.I. Breakthrough Could Disrupt the $11 Trillion Medical Sector - 18th Oct 21
US Economy and Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 17th Oct 21
The Gold Price And Inflation - 17th Oct 21
Went Long the Crude Oil? Beware of the Headwinds Ahead… - 17th Oct 21
Watch These Next-gen Cloud Computing Stocks - 17th Oct 21
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Euro Trashed?

Economics / Euro Feb 10, 2010 - 04:36 PM GMT

By: John_Browne

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe European experiment with a trans-sovereign currency is facing its first acid test. The flashpoint today is Greece, which looks set to default on its debt barring some outside intervention. While many commentators have been squawking about the immediate crisis as if it were the end of life on Earth, I would like to zoom out and discuss the history and longer-term outlook for the euro and its parent, the European Union.


The launch of the euro was a major milestone in the sixty year process of European federalization. Economic considerations have always led the charge, from a normalization of tariffs to a free-trade area to a customs union. Still, the launch of a pan-European fiat currency and central bank without a unified political apparatus behind it was always considered a risky move.

Since its launch, the euro has outperformed expectations, establishing itself both as the world's secondary reserve currency and the second most traded currency after the U.S. dollar. Because of this stellar introduction, the euro has been proposed as the new primary reserve currency in place of a devaluing U.S. dollar. However, its unusual foundation presents risks to which most investors are unaccustomed.

In essence, the euro was created as a lever to encourage a complete European political union rather than as a currency representing a call on an already unified economy, as with the U.S. dollar. Jean Monnet, one of the EU's founding fathers, is reported as saying, "Europe's nations should be guided towards the super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose but which will inevitably, and irreversibly, lead to federation."

The currency has largely succeeded in creating the will for a federal Europe among the member states' political classes; however, the citizens have voted again and again to maintain their countries' independence since 2005. Thus, the Union was already losing momentum when the latest financial crisis struck.

The combination of tight credit markets and high debt-to-GDP ratios caused bond yields for the EU members collectively known as PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) to fly upward. As a result, Greece is now in acute jeopardy of officially defaulting on its debts. Because a political union was never implemented, Greece cannot be compelled to slash its budget, nor can it assume the Union will prevent its fiscal failure.

This explains why investors are making short-term trades out of the euro and into the dollar. While the Greek deficit-to-revenue ratio is roughly equal to that of California in 2009, the latter functions with an implicit (although untested) guarantee that the U.S. government will step in before they are forced to default. The EU offers no such backing to its member-states. In fact, recent questions have arisen out of Germany, the primus-inter-pares of EU members, concerning the legality of the European Central Bank (ECB) or the European Union ever giving direct aid to the Greek government.

While many assume that either Germany, an ad-hoc group of European states, or the IMF will bail out Greece, such a result would represent a temporary fix rather than a policy precedent. The move would pose more questions than it answers. If Greece were to be thrown a lifeline what would happen if Portugal, and then Spain, were to ask for equal consideration? Will Greece be spared expulsion from the eurozone if it fails to take the austerity measures necessary to restore solvency? If not, what message does that send to Ireland, which chose to slash its budget rather than wait for a bailout?

These problems did not spring from the æther. The architects of the euro, in pursuit of their political agenda, willfully disregarded the historical divide between the Nordic economies, which have practiced low inflation and fiscal discipline, and the Mediterranean, high-debt, easy-money economies. While there were strict economic, monetary, and budgetary criteria for entry into the currency, one can reasonably suspect that enforcement was lax or the numbers were fudged. After all, the southern states' balance sheets tilted deep into the red soon after acceptance in the Union. Now, however, the ECB prevents them from monetizing the debt.

So, we are witnessing the results of this inherent contradiction.

If the EU becomes the "bailout union," a free-ride area where entitlement spending in Greece is underwritten by German taxpayers, then the euro will stabilize in the short-term, as investors face reduced uncertainty. However, this will lock the Union on a trajectory to gradual monetary collapse - the path currently being followed by the U.S. dollar.

If Greece is left to face the consequences of its profligacy, then the integrity of the euro will be preserved. The key in this scenario is whether Greece leaves the euro, or the Union, when it defaults. If it does, we could see weaker economies cast out one-by-one until Europe returns to a system of national currencies, with perhaps a rump euro uniting the Nordic block. If Greece defaults but remains in the block, then short-term shock will give way to a renewed confidence in the euro as a lasting reserve currency.

The future of the EU is being tested severely, together with much of the wealth of investors who have diversified into its currency. Likely, this crisis will draw the EU member states into a covert political struggle over the future of Europe. As this battle ebbs and flows, both the euro and the U.S. dollar likely will suffer great volatility. Those of us parked in the safe harbor of gold may benefit greatly from this transatlantic turbulence.

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