"The government's debt cannot grow indefinitely at a rate much faster than the economy itself grows, so ultimately, something has got to change — either taxes are raised, spending is reduced, or the real value of the debt is eroded through an increase in inflation, an outcome the Federal Reserve is committed to preventing." - Jeffrey Lacker, Richmond Fed
A US debt downgrade could trigger a stampede into the debt of healthier countries. Emerging market debt has a much rosier future of credit upgrades to look forward to than US bonds. A 6.44% yield on an appreciating asset. These days, many emerging markets have little or no debt. The sovereign debt crisis is sending bonds issues by financial responsible countries to decent premiums, while punishing the bad boys with huge discounts. Time to trade in Marilyn Monroe for Carmen Miranda? (PCY), (LQD).
In today’s financial world, a real life, real-time economic World Series of Poker is being played out before our very eyes between the Central Banks of the world’s largest economies. As opposed to the annual Las Vegas World Series of Poker tournament, the buy in at the Central Bank World Series of Poker table is exponentially steeper, in the range of trillions of dollars, yen, and Euros that have been used to monetize the world’s debt, and the stakes are default of sovereign debt and the accompanying collapse of that domestic fiat currency.
ECB's Juergen Stark Warns Of "Clear Risk Of Sovereign Debt Crisis," Cautions Recovery Largely Due To Massive Support By Governments And Central BanksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2010 22:00 -0400
The ECB's executive board member Juergen Stark had a rare admission (and even rarer for a central banker demonstration of rationality) that not only are most advanced economies about to enter a "third wave, a sovereign debt crisis in most advanced economies", not only is a "timely exit of extraordinary fiscal measures crucial in order to ensure a continued recovery", but that the mentioned recovery and economic improvements are largely as a result of "massive support measures taken by governments and central banks." In other words, the whole episode of the past year has been a one-time item which most analysts would exclude from "recurring operations" yet due to the magic of the Keynesian magic wand, the new normal is expected to persists as the magical "consumer" at some point takes over the recovery from the government effort. Alas, while the economy has indeed stabilized (effect), the cause continues to be purely based on governmental actions, as the consumer, and the private sector in general, continues retrenching. Too bad the US Federal Reserve has no aerobic critters than can formulate the same critical thoughts as Mr. Stark, or else they would realize that the path they are leading the US on is pure disaster, and furthermore, with the lessons from the last bubble fresh in everyone's mind, doing all they can to be branded mad, at least according to the Einsteinian definition of insanity: let's just keep flooding the system with money and keep hoping that something will change. In retrospect, pleading insanity in a decade when the entire western world is in ruins, before a tribunal of the people may not have quite the desired effect.
If the contents of this post doesn't give you pause and cause you to doubt the future of the Eurozone's integrity, I don't know what will. Here's a quick quiz. What well known (in name only) Italian American has a significant chunk of the European Union Sovereign nations apparently modeled their financial engineering from?
The fates of many European countries are now inextricably tied by what appears to be a poorly conceived methodology of handling diverse political and economic entities under a single currency without a truly authoritarian governing body. Basically, it's the old American saying, "Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians". When I first started this series, a few pundits accused me of being sensationalist. It's funny how a few days can bring so many to your side of the table. Now it is becoming much clearer that this is more of a pan-European issue than a pan-Hellenic one.
Yesterday we presented our views on why Europe's decision to tip over the first of the bailout dominoes will be inherently a catastrophic one in the long term, and will ultimately transfer the peripheral liquidity risk into funding, and ultimately, solvency (and once again, liquidity) risk to the very core. Today, Niall Ferguson joins in, in this latest Op-Ed in the Financial Times. "It began in Athens. It is spreading to Lisbon and Madrid. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding will remain confined to the weaker eurozone economies. For this is more than just a Mediterranean problem with a farmyard acronym. It is a fiscal crisis of the western world. Its ramifications are far more profound than most investors currently appreciate." In other words, Marc Faber 1, CNBC talking heads, 0... as usual.
It is beyond a hallucinogenic-induced pipe dream to even consider that the Eurozone will come out of this attempt at replicating the US "extend and pretend" policy intact and unscathed. The US won't even get away with it, and we have the world's reserve currency printing press in our basement running with an ink-based inter-cooled, twin-turbo supercharger strapped on that will make those German engineers green with envy, not to mention green with splattered Greenback printer ink as the presses go berserk!
The sudden surge of optimism regarding the global economy resulted in the massive reduction in the costs of sovereign debt insurance. While the drop is not a surprise, the reasoning and the actions behind it surely are.