FX Concepts' John Taylor: "The Economic Reality Will Eventually Destroy Greece And Europe"; Warns Of Civil War

Tyler Durden's picture

John Taylor of the world's largest currency hedge fund FX Concepts, whom we recently presented as opining that the Euro would drop to $1.20, is pretty much certain what the final outcome from the events in Europe will be: "The powerful elite political forces, and their co-opted market allies, involved in this  fanciful decision-making can not control the economic reality that will eventually destroy Greece and Europe." That's about as short and sweet as it gets.

Greece Is Out, We Just Have To Sort Out the Details

April 8, 2010

By John R. Taylor, Jr.

Chief Investment Officer

Global monetary and macro economics have become more like the literary nonsense in Alice in Wonderland. It is great fun to read, but unfortunately for all of us, we are living through this economic house of mirrors, which is more and more rapidly spinning out of control. The situation in Greece is the most poignant example at the moment. Although there do not seem to be more than 100 people in all of New York City that have any interest or concept of what is going on in Greece and within the euro, the events of the next few months will have a tremendous impact on the world. If the political actors in this tragedy-comedy play their roles well – staving off collapse – our suffering will be worse. There is no way to win. The powerful elite political forces, and their co-opted market allies, involved in this fanciful decision-making can not control the economic reality that will eventually destroy Greece and Europe. Hopefully, they will be forced to give up before the damage is too severe. The quicker the crisis comes, the better for the world, but almost everyone is working in the other direction, stretching it out to inflict maximum pain. At this point, the best way out for Greece is very clear. Greece should pull out of the euro this weekend, issue new drachma notes as soon as possible, and let the lawyers clean up the mess. If I were running Portugal, Italy, or Spain I would do the same thing – the first one out is the winner.

Our office has done a non-exhaustive, but quite extensive search of the research coming from banks, and it made no difference whether it was from Anglo-Saxon or European names, it was all positive for the rest of the year. Greece will make it! Fantastic cash flow projections, great statements about ‘never giving up,’ assessments of how horrifying it would be to leave the euro, and legal issues galore. Almost not one of these major institutions issuing these studies talked about how horrifying it would be to remain in the euro, how many man-hours of work would be lost, and how lives would be destroyed. There was no comparative studies section, which would have compared what we already know from Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland. Internal devaluation is hell. We believe the Baltic states will make it because they would eat grass and leaves to stay out of the hands of the Russian bear next door, and if Europe follows its Greek strategy much longer, they might have to. Remember, retail sales in Latvia were down 30.2% last year and this year they should decline another 10% or so. My heart goes out to them, but their country is in a much better situation to suffer this internal devaluation process than Greece, as international trade is a much bigger factor of GDP. Latvia can win even if the Germans are determined to have no wage growth, positive productivity growth and no appreciable CPI movement, but the Greeks and the other southern Europeans are more rational than the Lats. There is nothing but politics that says that Greece can make it through this process. Although politics includes compromise when it is working, the breakdown of politics is war. Usually the war implied in this famous aphorism would be between states, but in this case it would be between the people and the government that has failed them. The Greek government can’t follow the current course. On the issue of ‘internal devaluation,’ the European political elites are way out of touch with their people: almost no one will stand for it. The political maze we are entering might have many twists and turns with distorting mirrors, but money is money and its powerful logic will win in the end. No matter how many speeches and new regulations are made, the Greek economy will continue to deteriorate, dragging down the rest of Europe far more powerfully than its 3% implies. Please let the Greeks out and please restructure the euro, or drop the whole idea. If you don’t, the future will not be pretty.

h/t Teddy KGB

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RowdyRoddyPiper's picture

"...and now we resume our original programming after this short word from one of our sponsors..."

ratava's picture

Greeks and the other southern Europeans are more rational than the Lats.

You lost me there.

pan-the-ist's picture

The ability to rationalize your situation.  If you are down to earth (like the Lats living next to Russia), you tend to avoid rationalization because you have a better grasp of reality.  See cognitive dissonance.

Isleman75's picture

One point is dead-on. A very small number of people in this country have any clue whatsoever about what is about to go down worldwide.

SheepDog-One's picture

I agree Isleman75, look at all this hand wringing over Greece...anyone with a functioning brain knows the USA is in FAR worse shape, only thing to extend and pretend the innevitable utter collapse is Ben Shalom Bernankes magical printing machine and a lapdog media to keep the panicky dumb herd placated a bit longer! USA is far worse than Greece!

So all the chicken bone readers can keep looking at the squiggly lines and say where the 'best investment' is right now, I say one morning we'll see something horrible happened in the world that throws it all on our ear and everyone is left holding the bag! 

Really, most of the time I just want to shake even smart people and say 'DONT YOU GET IT YET'! What the hell, the only reason the markets have been going up for a year is printing trillions and pumping stocks and the rest of it, someone SOON has got to pay for that!

BTW ZH where is the morning musings on the terrible miss on the jobs front? What are you guys slipping? Knock off the squiggly line chicken bone BS!

jdrose1985's picture

This is simply an issue of labor vs management. Someone earlier today said the average Greek would not be affected by this fiasco. Hello...the real world is calling.

orchestrated by the same powers who have been funding both sides of wars for hundreds and thousands of years

Mercury's picture

Imagine the irksome news of the French Revolution spreading through the upper reaches of European governments and the nervousness it caused.

Now imagine it with 24hr news and youtube.

Even a few images of government officials being somewhat mistreated would have a much  greater destabilizing effect than fretting about 3% of GDP.  I'm not hoping for or pushing violence but it's recent, considerable absence has been quite the exception in European history.  I wouldn't rule it out.

ZackAttack's picture

government officials being somewhat mistreated would have a much  greater destabilizing effect


We should really keep an eye out for that.


overmedicatedundersexed's picture

plane flying into gov offices was no big deal

militia arrests nothing to see here move along

seems the masses are stirring

A golf star requires 98 body guards

just below the surface there is something moving

aaronvelasquez's picture

Kind of like watching for legless zombies in the tall grass?

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Jan 6, 2009 ... German billionaire Adolf Merckle, one of the 100 richest people in the world, has killed himself by jumping in front of a train..

Apr 4, 2010

VOW3:GY Volkswagen AG



MrPalladium's picture

Wow. Classic illustration of the investment return on cultivating a welfare dependent population!

ED's picture

Its all Greek to me. Money is a peculiar thing - everything and nothing all at once

Racer's picture

And in the meantime, petrol prices in the UK hit all time high...


thanks in the most to Robber Brown's yet even more tax hikes on fuel and his stupidity



doublethink's picture


"It's Time."


Fitch Tells Greece To Call The IMF




james.miller's picture

(Reuters) Greece is at risk of a rating downgrade if the high borrowing costs persist, Standard and Poor's said today.

Noble Tirrel's picture

Greece is fckd, no doubt about it. Deficit out of control, banks run...

But current state of affairs is good for Germany, not bad.

With the Euro, Germans have a huge market for their machinery exports; low interest rates ensure their southern "partners" will have a lot of credit to spend; higher efficiency ensures competing southern industry will be killed.

Outcome: massive capital outflows to Germany and massive expansion of local industry during last decade at the expense of its "partners".  

Great business for the Mittelstand.

Why should they shut it down? Germany will help, because then it helps itself. But will ask for a political price of that.

And the bogeyman of the hun running Europe will arise again.


SheepDog-One's picture

Right, 'the average Greek worker will hardly be effected by this economic collapse...we estimate the Greek worker can easily put in 20 hour workdays the rest of their lives while we sit on our fat corrupt asses here in Gubmint and collect more billions for ourselves'!

What the hell, has the whole world lost its damn mind?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"What the hell, has the whole world lost its damn mind?"

When viewing insanity and insane actions from the outside minority (and presumably the sane) point of view, it's reasonable and even expected to become confused and disorientated. But once again, it's a matter of context and viewing angle and not of the mental state.

One can not hope for sane actions in the context of insanity. At best, one can only hope for insanity or un-sane actions. While this might just seem to be a play on words, view it from a different point of view. Sanity and insanity is determined by the majority, not solely or exclusively by reason or logic.

From the world's point of view, you sir have lost your mind. Time to move closer to the center of the herd and the comfort and certainty of the like minded. It's also warmer there.

SV's picture

An apropos response for your namesake... you need to tone it down for the people that are just coming to the board.  You may make their brain hurt for weeks trying understand a logic conundrum.  

As for me, I think it's best stated by Minor Threat, we're all "Out of step with the world."

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Truth be told, I'm simply trying to work it out myself in order to maintain sanity in an insane world. You know the routine of the insane (viewed from the majority's "sane" point of view) talking to myself, walking around in logic circles, following bread crumbs up dark alleys only to find dead ends or unfinished freeway bridges. It's cold out here and I'm hoping I can generate some warmth from the increased brain activity. Ironically the insane (but warm) majority would inform me it's wasted energy and thus an insane activity.

When you're freezing cold, there is no such thing as wasted energy, only survival.

SheepDog-One's picture

Thats true no doubt, in their view I am the one who has lost his mind, or as Obama likes to say, 'has become troublesome'....AH yes time for 'off to ze CAMP'!!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

That phrase "has become troublesome" is frightening in it's implications because it mimics language used by the Nazi regime as they began the implementation of their "final solution".

Code words must always be parsed because the powers that be will always telegraph their intentions. It's part of their code of "fair play" where they give the "troublesome" a head start with ample warning before blowing their heads off.

Assetman's picture

Yeah... I think we're coming to the day when the Greek government is about to tell their employees that there is no government pension.

This, just before they hand out the pink slips.

Eally Ucked's picture

N.America including Canada and Europe finally facing reality and reality is very ugly. Just look at components of GDP for Canada (latest data):

Services 72.5 % and Goods Producing 27.5%!!!!!!!!!

Now in goods producing industries natural resources are 15% and construction is 21%, agriculture 7.3% and utilities 9% the rest is manufacturing.

Now tell me why CDN$ is so strong currency? Probably because natural resources, ha, ha!

In services main item are financials at about 29%, the rest is moving Chinese products around, massage parlors, entertainment and of course Big Government!

Situation is similar in US and Europe with slight differences. So it looks to me that we are playing, vacationing, selling and building houses, governments spending and Chinese delivering goods for us to have better time, meanwhile we burn oil like crazies moving Chinese stuff around N.America.

We need more financial wizards to fix our situation and continue on playing!

three chord sloth's picture

Do you think our political class will ever admit they made a huge mistake, and there is no such thing as a healthy post-industrial economy?

Robb's picture

Too much sensationalism, almost sounds desperate. Hope he has tight stops on his short.

Catullus's picture

Austerity is realizing the promises made to you are bullshit. There is no "government austerity". There's only austerity measures taken by the government when the population realizes the emporer has no clothes.

nedwardkelly's picture

"the European political elites are way out of touch with their people"

The European political elites? By European do they man almost ALL political elites?

How are the political elites in the US any more in touch with their people? There's a complete disconnect, it's just that here, most people are too busy watching american idol to give a shit.

Every day there's more news on how the government is dancing to a different drum when it comes to economic realities. Take this clown for example:


Has a $115k salary to just make 2 phone calls a day. That's the best solution these dipshit government assholes, who are ultimately under the domain of some political 'elite' asshat, can come up with for this situation. It's insane, where's the rational, logical evaluation of the situation?

Or this shit:


83% of Gov jobs earn more than their equivalent private sector jobs. That's BEFORE factoring in the completely absurd benefits. Why? Who thinks this shit is ok?

Hugh Janus's picture

yeah, and can you believe they used the save on big mike last night?

Hulk's picture

Has a $115k salary to just make 2 phone calls a day

Thats nothing, I reported 3 federal employees,making from 120k to 150k a year , for not showing up at all. Took IA 8 months to investigate. IA's findings: No evidence of waste, fraud and abuse.Un fucking believable. Interesting that they started coming to work, for a while at least.Now that several months have elapsed since IA finished the investigation, they are right back to not showing up for work. Federal employees are in essence, welfare recipients. Most fed emps  could not hold a job in the private sector, where I was trained... I can find no one, no matter how high I go, who gives a shit about any of this...

Shameful's picture

Wow and I thought my friend catching his boss sleeping at work everyday and jerking it to porn was nice.  I have to imagine catching your boss in office (with door open) dick in hand is an interesting conversation.  He must be a model employee since he walks in the doors :)

Whole system is built on corruption and not making waves.  Know of another guy that was running a computer consulting business out of his office...on the Gov's hours using gov resources.  I can only hope that when the system breaks these guys will have to face the grim reality of the private sector. 

Though part of me has to ask myself "Shameful why are you busting your ass in a woefully understaffed department when you could be sleeping in your office at a gov job..." and then I feel like I'm the dumb one.  No one wants the gravy train to end.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

No, you are doing the right thing busting your ass at work.

Gravy trains always end in a wreck.

Work more + spend less = We have a winner.

MaxPower's picture

I was entirely surrounded by these knuckle-dragging defenders of mediocrity every single day for 18 years. Be grateful you got an IA investigation. You should ALL go visit your state's National Guard facilities and ask them what their technicians are doing.

My suggestion? Show up around 3:30 on a Friday afternoon and demand to speak with a few of them. They won't be there, but their time sheets will reflect otherwise. Once you're done, head out to the local golf course, marina, or bar. You'll find them there instead.

The most often-used quote around my squadron, other than "all rag-heads must die," was, "technicians: welfare with dignity."

I was physically sick to my stomach as I drove to work there for probably the last three or four years of my servitude. Can't believe I lasted as long as I did.

pdr's picture

Guys, guys, wake up and smell the feta cheese. Georgie Paps calls Angela,Dominic,Nicolas and Jean Claude - asks for 50 yards on Monday morning ,gets it at 5.5% or whatever- and this whole thing just goes away (for this year at least).

Leo Kolivakis's picture

One thing missing from Taylor's analysis:

Disclaimer: I am short the euro like a motherfucker!

Drachma ain't coming back John, not now, not ever. It's dead, for good.

(Mind you, as a tourist, I miss the good old drachma days!)

ZackAttack's picture

The debt's denominated in euros anyway. First thing that would happen is the drachma would get killed.


I've never understood how this helps them with their current obligations, any more than a simple default.  Forcing them to issue debt in dollars has been the way the US has screwed emerging markets for decades now.

akak's picture

"Drachma ain't coming back John, not now, not ever. It's dead, for good."

After all the unprecedented financial and monetary events of the last 2 1/2 years, I have to laugh at the smug arrogance and ongoing head-in-the-sand attitude of anyone who would dare to proclaim virtually ANYTHING as impossible anymore, least of all in the political sphere. 

Please tell us again, Leo, how the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns, GM and Lehman, or the nationalization  of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, or the federal government's wholesale bailing out of Wall Street megabanks despite the outrage of virtually every average American, or the government takeover of medical (NOT "health"!) care, or the collapse of the housing and real estate markets, or any number of 100 different developments over the last 2 years were "impossible" as well.

The only thing that is "dead for good", or that deserves to be, is the clueless, business-as-usual arrogance and blinkered myopia that comments such as yours represent.

Tic tock's picture

Ever look inside a german car, fantastic grasp of function.And that's all that a government is there for: to provide planning of services for the people. Only the bizarre clusterfuck of the UK and the US apparachiks feel subliminal influence is some virtuous right of statehood. 

bugs_'s picture

The Munder Economic Reality Fund.

ignorant's picture

Totally lost ,

is that mr Taylors' wishfull thinking or an order ?


truth miner's picture

Initial claims up here in the states and Greece is officially on fire.  Even in this extremely overbought market, U.S equities will not pullback substantially.  WTF,  this is beyond comprehension...

Bam_Man's picture

Strange things happen as the "event horizon" draws nearer.

Comrade de Chaos's picture

"the first out is a winner"


Generally agree, however if you lose less than your neighbor, you still lose. At any rate the first step is awfully hard to make but once the precedent is established - every little disagreement will cause a lot of "I am leaving byaches or else" threads around EU.



Samsonov's picture

War?  Nonsense.  There is no one to wage war against besides the politicians; Greece is still a democracy last I heard, so removing them requires no violence.  Sure, a few may be splattered with eggs or yelled at, but no worse.  They will simply be replaced with someone else who promises that the pension checks will keep coming.

Thunderlips's picture

Greece should just default.  Western Civilization was founded on defaults, Solon led the country out of debt by defaulting in 6th Century BC.  Had the Athenians decided to go on austerity and pay off the creditors instead of defaulting, life would be very different.  Debt isn't the end of the world, the idea that debt is this godawful noose that's inescapable is malarky pushed by banksters and usurers.  Money is a measure of wealth, the wealth doesn't change; just change the unit of measurement.

No nation in history got rich paying off it's debts, but many got rich not paying.  Remember the Continental Scrip of the Revolutionary War? 

Loans are contracts like any other contract, and contracts are broken and renegotiated all the time.  You think any government could get public support for an invasion of Greece over debt, particularly when half the population themselves (not to mention most Western Governments) are prolifigate spenders with massive deficit expenditures of their own?

buzzsaw99's picture

...the European political elites are way out of touch with their people: almost no one will stand for it.

But they do tolerate it quite nicely, here and there, so far. Someday, an hundred years from now, when the elites are being burned at the stake, they still won't have a clue.

youngandhealthy's picture

This article and its argumentation is something I see over and over again in the anglo-saxon press i.e. FT, WSJ, and at zero hedge. The success and the future prospects of the Euro seems to be an "itchy" thing for the Brits and US. As soon as there is some problems in the Euro area the journalist are all over the floor talking about the demise of the Euro currency. Why is that? I dont understand the arguments and the stupidity in bringing it up time and again. This includes smart guys as Martin Wollf.

The Euro is one of the reserve currencies of the world and achieved this status in about 10 years. No one is arguing for California to leave the USD (cmp with Greece). An to argue for IMF to help California with their problems would be an insult to the Americans.

The Euro is here and it will be there for many more decades than most of us will live through.