... European banks are loaded with bad and potentially bad IOUs from subprime governments, starting with Greece.
... On Wednesday, European leaders pledged to keep Greece in the eurozone after assurances from Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that his country was “determined to meet its obligations.” Ignore what those credit-default swaps on Greek debt are saying. Opa!
... yet markets respond to every straw in the drowning pool like the proverbially hyper-optimistic little girl who — when presented with a pile of manure on Christmas morning — beamed that there had to be a gift pony in there somewhere.
...China is reportedly to meet next week in Washington with the other BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia and India — to discuss how it might help Europe. However, the notion that they might be considering some kind of new “Marshall Plan” is delusional. Under the Marshall Plan, the United States helped a Europe ravaged by war and willing, indeed desperate, to work. Today’s Europe is ravaged by the delusions of social democracy, economic security and an ill-conceived single-currency area. Its economy has been undermined by its banks’ feeding its constituent countries’ debt habit.
... The biggest and most impractical plan of all is to deal with the problems of the socialist superstate by making it more super and more socialist. What is needed is a euro-wide fiscal and monetary policy. We know that this is a terrible idea because it is supported by George Soros. On past experience, the socialization of risk leads people ... to behave more like the Greeks than less like the Germans.
According to Mr. Soros ... the Germans are now too deep into the euro morass even to dream of escaping. Thus there should be a more powerful government in Brussels with the ability to tax Germans in order to spend like Greeks.
... ask not for whom the haircut looms. Given the scope of this crisis, it looms for all of us. Whatever the particular form in which the crisis is finally addressed, Greece will likely default, banks will go under, the consequences of government hubris will be felt around the world. And taxpayers will carry the can.
Friday, September 16, 2011
European debt crisis: “... the haircut looms ... for all of us”