Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

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    Default Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Is the End of the EU here? | TheBlaze.com

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blaze
    When Otmar Issing joined the European Central Bank Executive Board in 1998, free market advocate and Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman sent him a friendly note: “Dear Otmar, congratulations on an impossible job.”

    Friedman, of course, had no faith in ability of the Euro to stand the test of time. Today, long after Issing’s retirement, it looks like investors are finally beginning to understand what Friedman was talking about.

    “Banks, investors and companies are bracing themselves for the possibility that the euro will break up — and are thus increasing the likelihood that precisely this will happen,” Martin Hesse writes for Spiegel Online (as translated from the German by Paul Cohen).

    “There is increasing anxiety, particularly because politicians have not managed to solve the problems. Despite all their efforts, the situation in Greece appears hopeless. Spain is in trouble and, to make matters worse, Germany’s Constitutional Court will decide in September whether the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is even compatible with the German constitution,” the report adds.

    This anxiety has been exacerbated by the growing tension between lender and borrower countries. Prominent German officials have called for the expulsion of Greece from the 17-nation union while France’s socialist government has called for more “shared sacrifice.” Meanwhile, in the financial markets, the back-and-forth bickering between eurozone officials has accomplished one thing: It has weakened the euro.

    And you better believe the banks are worried.

    “Banks and companies are starting to finance their operations locally,” said former chief economist at Deutsche Bank Thomas Mayer.

    In fact, a growing number of euro banks have drastically reduced their investments in risky EU countries and, as the report notes, the flow of money across borders has dried up.

    “According to the ECB, cross-border lending among euro-zone banks is steadily declining, especially since the summer of 2011. In June, these interbank transactions reached their lowest level since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2007,” Spiegel reports.

    Adding to the growing financial storm is the fact that the fear of a collapse isn’t unique to Euro banks. Major private companies are also wary.

    “There’s been a shift in our willingness to take credit risk in Europe,” announced Shell CFO Simon Henry, adding that the company had opted to invest in U.S. bonds and use U.S. bank accounts rather than risk anything in Europe.

    “Many companies are now taking the route that US money market funds already took a year ago: They are no longer so willing to park their reserves in European banks,” said Uwe Burkert, head of credit analysis at the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg.

    And although the U.S. dollar isn’t exactly in the best place right now, many investors believe it’s far preferable to what’s going on in the EU.

    “We notice that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sell Asians and Americans on investments in Europe,” asset manager Vorndran told Spiegel, adding that although the U.S., Japan, and the U.K. “are all lying in the same hospital ward,” as he puts it, “it’s still better to invest in a weak currency than in one whose structure is jeopardized.”

    But more than market reactions and more than private companies shying away from the struggling currency, the one thing we should probably keep our eyes on are the old “short-selling” pros, that is, John Paulson (who made millions off the U.S. real estate crash) and, of course, billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

    “Paulson, who is now widely despised in America as a crisis profiteer, announced in the spring that he would bet on a collapse of the euro,” Hesse writes.

    At the same time, George Soros said in April that — were he still active trader — he would bet against the euro if EU officials failed to establish a central authority to deal with the crisis (as he so graciously suggested they should).

    So far, neither Paulson’s nor Soros’ predictions have come true, but, as Spiegel puts it, “the deciding match still has to be played.”
    Investors appear to be bracing for the collapse of the house of cards. History suggests that a massive selloff or collapse in the markets happens in September and October, as that's when investments for the next year are calculated and planned for. If the Euro is going to collapse in the very near term, it will likely happen during that time. A Euro collapse itself is likely to come next year if it comes, but the markets will be expecting it, and it's within the realm of possibility that a collapse could happen in the next few months.

    A full bore Euro collapse will annihilate the economy across the world, even here in the United States. It will set off a true repeat of the Great Depression again, where the world will be mired in economic pain. A lot of the same issues that caused the Depression here in the U.S. are rearing their ugly heads again. There is financial chaos in Europe. There is a rising power in the East (China), but even China is not immune to what is happening as their economy is beginning to sputter. The stock market is overbloated on a slow struggle upward. And there is a crippling, widespread drought in the American Midwest. All the pieces are in place for another repeat.

    I only hope it isn't true, as the last thing the world needs, in this era of nuclear weapons, is a repeat of the 30s.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    I can't see this happening, Eurocrats would rather the Spanish and Greeks endure endless suffering and hardship that admit the Euro was flawed from the outset. Us Eurosceptics were dismissed and told how soon we would all be clambering to join the Euro. All this pain is being caused because people are so adamant they will never admit they were wrong.

    And as we saw in May and June, the greeks while unhappy with their lot in keeping the Euro alive, would rather suffer the economic pain, than admit they aren't suitable to be a part of the Euro and they see it as a step backwards and it would be a mark of shame on them if they left. So the pain there will continue, and the Euro will likely survive. The only time the Euro will collapse is if the benefits of a weak Euro on the German economy no longer outweigh the costs and they decide to call time on the whole idea.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Or if the German courts declare all of it unconstitutional, Germany makes a speedy exit of the euro which causes the euro to collapse.

    But the Euro collapsing is going to hinge on its financial future. What backs the Euro? What gives it value? This, I think, is why the U.K. stayed out of the whole fray and kept their (more valuable) currency.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Eredar Warlock View Post
    Or if the German courts declare all of it unconstitutional, Germany makes a speedy exit of the euro which causes the euro to collapse.

    But the Euro collapsing is going to hinge on its financial future. What backs the Euro? What gives it value? This, I think, is why the U.K. stayed out of the whole fray and kept their (more valuable) currency.
    I very much doubt the German court would be willing to single handedly bring down the Euro. The Lisbon treaty contravened the German Constitution, and yet the Supreme Court allowed it to stay. Similar to the healthcare debate, it probably is unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court didn't want to strike it down as they knew the chaos that would ensue if it were struck down.

    Ever since the removal of the Gold standard, no currency has any guaranteed value. The UK public have never wanted to join the Euro but our elected politicians have. Part of the reason Thatcher was forced to resign was because her cabinet wanted to go into the Euro she did not. They put us in the Exchange Rate Mechanism with all the other countries but our economy went through a really rough patch and we were forced out (thank god) a day called Black Wednesday, the British Pound and the Italian Lira were removed from the ERM, in 1997 when Blair came to power, Italy rejoined the ERM and Blair wanted the UK too as well, but thankfully Gordon Brown ( a man I really really do not like or agree with politically) did not want us to join and as Chancellor of the Exchequer (basically a Finance secretary) threatened to resign over it, and it was dropped.

    But even in this chaos, and the threat of break up, Estonia joint in January, and Poland has indicated they want to join it too. Even in the UK, 3 senior Politicians, Ken Clarke justice secretary, and Ed Milliband, leader of the opposition, and our Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg still continue to support British membership of the Euro, even though the ship is clearly sinking.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Whether a collapse is likely or not, this very real risk is precisely why I am glad we have kept our own currency here in the UK.
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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebelle View Post
    Whether a collapse is likely or not, this very real risk is precisely why I am glad we have kept our own currency here in the UK.
    You're not the only one. I'm happy that my country, Denmark, have kept our own currency as well, despite the politicians wanting to do so. It's only because of the public raising their voices whenever they approach the topic that prevents them from considering it (fortunately).
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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Does this constantly has to be the headlines over in the U.S.? Alarmist coverage persuading people to opt out is probably the biggest factor in the Euro's current slip. You're not exactly helping either, neither will your non-Euro currencies keep you floating were the Euro to sink.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulletproof Scales View Post
    Does this constantly has to be the headlines over in the U.S.? Alarmist coverage persuading people to opt out is probably the biggest factor in the Euro's current slip. You're not exactly helping either, neither will your non-Euro currencies keep you floating were the Euro to sink.

    ~Not the time to boast about my country not having to pay for Greece/Spain.
    It's making headlines because people are scared about this. As you said, if the Euro falls, then there will be a tonne of collateral worldwide, even for countries that don't use the Euro - the British Pound, the US Dollar and the others.

    Now, as a British person I could go "Hahaha this is why I love that we stayed with the Pound" but frankly, this is worrying. You know who I have to blame though? Angela Merkel. Francois Hollande needs to man up and take her on face to face over Europe over her plans for austerity, when we should be focusing on growth. The German government saying to just let Greece leave the Euro and crash to "make an example" (which was said in recent days) is appalling when you consider that this is affecting people's lives (hell, I read a report yesterday about how Spanish people have resorted to selling egg and sperm cells just to get any money). Instead of letting these countries fall and their people suffer, we should be trying to avoid that happening.

    On a national level, at least in the UK, we've lost all faith in our politicians anyway. We have George Osbourne (our chancellor!) saying "We're all in this together", yet it was in the news this week that his parents are "downsizing" to a multi-million pound house while keeping their old one so they can sell it at a time where it will make more money. The cabinet here is filled with Eton prepboys who probably don't even know what an umbrella is because they haven't even had to think about a rainy day, so how can we trust them?

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulletproof Scales View Post
    Does this constantly has to be the headlines over in the U.S.? Alarmist coverage persuading people to opt out is probably the biggest factor in the Euro's current slip. You're not exactly helping either, neither will your non-Euro currencies keep you floating were the Euro to sink.

    ~Not the time to boast about my country not having to pay for Greece/Spain.
    Two reasons: Economies are linked. If Europe goes into a death spiral of financial failure, it dramatically harms U.S. and Chinese exports. Demand collapses, and the U.S. slips from it's current stagflation into a recession again, and an even worse one (Doomsayers predict that the U.S. markets could slide 7000+ points from current highs). It also gives the U.S a view into our own financial future if we do not get our fiscal house in order. Granted, the U.S. situation is different as current economic conditions are driven largely by the housing market which is hard to repair through government action without causing another bubble to burst in the future.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Greece leaving the Euro, does not necessarily mean a collapse of the Euro. Greece is not a big player like France or Germany, while the Eurozone would take a very big hit if Greece left the Euro, a loss of confidence being the main reason, the Euro could easily survive, and in the short term it will devalue as investors don't trust it, but in the long term future, we're talking a few years here, with the less stable economies removed from the Eurozone, it could be quite a high value currency, though the Germans don't want that as it harms their exports.

    At the moment, I'm not ashamed to say, some of the scenes in Greece, have actually made me cry, this is a European nation, the birthplace of western values imposing the harshest of cuts on its people, families unable to afford food, kids fainting in school due to starvation. And it's stupid stubbornness and pride from the politicians (and quite a few of the people) that they don't want to leave the Euro because they see it as shameful as they are basically admitting defeat. Though they would be a lot better off without the harsh economic sanctions and cuts imposed on Greece, they could devalue, set up capital controls to stop capital flight, and begin the healing process. It will take years to heal completely, but it's better to start the long healing process as soon as possible rather than carrying on with harmful economic cuts.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    Greece leaving the Euro, does not necessarily mean a collapse of the Euro. Greece is not a big player like France or Germany, while the Eurozone would take a very big hit if Greece left the Euro, a loss of confidence being the main reason, the Euro could easily survive, and in the short term it will devalue as investors don't trust it, but in the long term future, we're talking a few years here, with the less stable economies removed from the Eurozone, it could be quite a high value currency, though the Germans don't want that as it harms their exports.

    At the moment, I'm not ashamed to say, some of the scenes in Greece, have actually made me cry, this is a European nation, the birthplace of western values imposing the harshest of cuts on its people, families unable to afford food, kids fainting in school due to starvation. And it's stupid stubbornness and pride from the politicians (and quite a few of the people) that they don't want to leave the Euro because they see it as shameful as they are basically admitting defeat. Though they would be a lot better off without the harsh economic sanctions and cuts imposed on Greece, they could devalue, set up capital controls to stop capital flight, and begin the healing process. It will take years to heal completely, but it's better to start the long healing process as soon as possible rather than carrying on with harmful economic cuts.
    It would be too expensive for Germany if Greece left the Euro. Also, the Drachma would return extremely devalued.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshawott View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    Greece leaving the Euro, does not necessarily mean a collapse of the Euro. Greece is not a big player like France or Germany, while the Eurozone would take a very big hit if Greece left the Euro, a loss of confidence being the main reason, the Euro could easily survive, and in the short term it will devalue as investors don't trust it, but in the long term future, we're talking a few years here, with the less stable economies removed from the Eurozone, it could be quite a high value currency, though the Germans don't want that as it harms their exports.

    At the moment, I'm not ashamed to say, some of the scenes in Greece, have actually made me cry, this is a European nation, the birthplace of western values imposing the harshest of cuts on its people, families unable to afford food, kids fainting in school due to starvation. And it's stupid stubbornness and pride from the politicians (and quite a few of the people) that they don't want to leave the Euro because they see it as shameful as they are basically admitting defeat. Though they would be a lot better off without the harsh economic sanctions and cuts imposed on Greece, they could devalue, set up capital controls to stop capital flight, and begin the healing process. It will take years to heal completely, but it's better to start the long healing process as soon as possible rather than carrying on with harmful economic cuts.
    It would be too expensive for Germany if Greece left the Euro. Also, the Drachma would return extremely devalued.
    Which is what we want. As a devalued currency would make greek exports cheap, making their economy more competitive. At the moment they aren't competitive at all because they're products are more expensive as they are valued along with countries like Germany.

    If you impose Capital Controls, that stops all the Euros in the country fleeing to other Eurozone countries and yes when the Drachma devalues it will mean things for ordinary Greeks will get a lot more expensive. But it's the medicine they need. It's like ripping off a band aid, it will hurt at first, but it's better than the alternative which is greece just getting worse and worse.

    The problem with economics, is that economic policy is linked to politics, Politicians can't make decisions for the long term good of the country because if it hurts in the short term, they will be out of office.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshawott View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    Greece leaving the Euro, does not necessarily mean a collapse of the Euro. Greece is not a big player like France or Germany, while the Eurozone would take a very big hit if Greece left the Euro, a loss of confidence being the main reason, the Euro could easily survive, and in the short term it will devalue as investors don't trust it, but in the long term future, we're talking a few years here, with the less stable economies removed from the Eurozone, it could be quite a high value currency, though the Germans don't want that as it harms their exports.

    At the moment, I'm not ashamed to say, some of the scenes in Greece, have actually made me cry, this is a European nation, the birthplace of western values imposing the harshest of cuts on its people, families unable to afford food, kids fainting in school due to starvation. And it's stupid stubbornness and pride from the politicians (and quite a few of the people) that they don't want to leave the Euro because they see it as shameful as they are basically admitting defeat. Though they would be a lot better off without the harsh economic sanctions and cuts imposed on Greece, they could devalue, set up capital controls to stop capital flight, and begin the healing process. It will take years to heal completely, but it's better to start the long healing process as soon as possible rather than carrying on with harmful economic cuts.
    It would be too expensive for Germany if Greece left the Euro. Also, the Drachma would return extremely devalued.
    Which is what we want. As a devalued currency would make greek exports cheap, making their economy more competitive. At the moment they aren't competitive at all because they're products are more expensive as they are valued along with countries like Germany.

    If you impose Capital Controls, that stops all the Euros in the country fleeing to other Eurozone countries and yes when the Drachma devalues it will mean things for ordinary Greeks will get a lot more expensive. But it's the medicine they need. It's like ripping off a band aid, it will hurt at first, but it's better than the alternative which is greece just getting worse and worse.

    The problem with economics, is that economic policy is linked to politics, Politicians can't make decisions for the long term good of the country because if it hurts in the short term, they will be out of office.
    That may help the tourism industry as vacationers come seeking bargains. But hopes of a broader export-led recovery may be little more than a chimera, said Mr. Mihalos, the chamber of commerce president.

    Aside from shipbuilding, most of Greece’s industrial base has eroded in the 30 years since the government nationalized large areas of industry. Wealth-generating businesses diminished, and tens of thousands of laid-off workers were absorbed by the state to reduce unemployment.

    Today, Greek exports of manufactured products account for only 10 percent of gross domestic product, compared with a 30 percent average for the rest of the euro zone. In addition, Greece’s adoption of the euro hastened a steady shift away from agricultural production. Today, Greece imports nearly 40 percent of its food, most of its medicine and almost all of its oil and natural gas, a situation that may lead to shortages if international suppliers halt business for a period.
    Greece is no longer an export-heavy country at all; so while some companies may benefit from competitive rates due to a devalued currency, the vast majority would not. When you balance the amount of cheap exports, compared to more expensive imports, it's not worth it at all - especially when you would be gambling with the lives of around 10 million people.

    Even large Greek exporters that might benefit from a devalued currency are opposed to a return to the drachma, fearing damage to the country’s image as a place to do business.
    Also no, Greece don't want that either.

    The Eurozone is the largest economy in the world; Greece leaving could be devastating to it due to its infrastructure not being designed for members leaving and it could be far worse than the Lehman brothers collapse; such as leading Germany into recession and inflation in other Eurozone countries, as well as big problems outside of Europe to the intricate nature in which economies are wound together.

    Greece can not do an Argentina because they don't have their own currency to devalue; it would take 7-8 months to make one and then devalue it. How can they last that long without money? Simple - they can't. People won't be putting Euros in the bank due to fears of them turning into weakened Drachmas over night. Distributing them to ATMs etc would take a really long time and the entire banking system would have to be reconfigured. Germany has stored Deutsch marks, but Greece has destroyed all Drachmas so there is none in reserve either.

    If you're dying, cutting off your arm won't stop you from dying. The problem is not with one individual part of the system; it's with the system itself.

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    for the Eurozone to survive they need to cut all of the bad or red inked assets and focus on the more stable assets. for the Euro to survive they need a General Motors style reorganization. cut the brands that were in red and only holding the company back (Hummer, Saab, Pontiac, and *sob* Saturn) by releasing the major imdebted and irresponcible contries such as greece from the eurozone .and allowing the parts of the company to stay (chevy Gmc cadillac, buick opel, vauxhall, holden) that allow the eurozone to rework itself back to stability with stable countrys such as Germany, Sweden and the UK torebenift europe. tough cuts will ahve to be made all over eurpoe (as seen with the Opel Crisis) on par with the US cutting back but for eurozone to survive this is VITAL

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    Default Re: Investors Brace for Euro Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by 97SaturnSL1 View Post
    for the Eurozone to survive they need to cut all of the bad or red inked assets and focus on the more stable assets. for the Euro to survive they need a General Motors style reorganization. cut the brands that were in red and only holding the company back (Hummer, Saab, Pontiac, and *sob* Saturn) by releasing the major imdebted and irresponcible contries such as greece from the eurozone .and allowing the parts of the company to stay (chevy Gmc cadillac, buick opel, vauxhall, holden) that allow the eurozone to rework itself back to stability with stable countrys such as Germany, Sweden and the UK torebenift europe. tough cuts will ahve to be made all over eurpoe (as seen with the Opel Crisis) on par with the US cutting back but for eurozone to survive this is VITAL
    Except if you read my above post you'll know why just kicking out the worst hit countries is a very, very bad idea. I hope you don't think of me as rude for saying this, but can you please look deeper into complicated issues such as this financial crisis before making such broad statements?

    This isn't Greece's fault; this isn't Spain's fault; this isn't Ireland's fault. It's a fault with the system - those countries may have been hit the hardest first, but they are not the main cause and they will not be the last. If Southern Europe were to leave the Euro, the currency would instantly revalue meaning that German exports will become much more expensive and thus lose export markets that it really needs (such as China), which could take the country back to the stone age.
    (Also, the UK being stable? We're in a double dip recession!)

    Things most likely won't move until Germany is hit harder - as unfortunately, Angela Merkel seems to be the de facto leader of the European Union and the German elite are still doing okay financially. What needs to happen is, other EU leaders need to get behind Francois Hollande and pretty much tell Merkel that her austerity can bugger off. We don't need austerity and cuts, we need growth.

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