Cashin Conjures Thatcher's Prophetic 'Euro Folly' Call

Tyler Durden's picture

The pending three-day rally that has seen European and US markets soar smacks of a short-covering squeeze, notes UBS' Art Cashin, as some of the biggest percentage gains came in the most heavily shorted stocks. While this is hardly surprising in this increasingly schizophrenic economy market, it is the long-term consistency and prophetic consternation of Margaret Thatcher's view of the Euro as "perhaps the greatest folly of the modern era" that sits uncomfortably with the Merkel comment-driven rally of this morning (for now).

UBS' Art Cashin: The Other Woman - Part II - My mention of Margaret Thatcher’s fears and concerns about the Euro brought two enjoyable results. First, it prompted some friends to pass along several articles on the topic - mostly from the UK Telegraph. Second, it allowed for a rather extended discussion of Thatcher’s foresight with my friend, Carl Quintanilla, in the last hour Tuesday of “Squawk on the Street”.

Thatcher called the concept of the Euro - “perhaps the greatest folly of the modern era”. As Peter Osborne noted in the Telegraph back in 2010:

Today, Margaret Thatcher’s autobiography, first published in 1993, reads like a prophecy. It shows how deeply and with what extraordinary wisdom she had examined Delors’ proposals for the single currency. Her overriding objection was not ill-considered or xenophobic, as subsequent critics have repeatedly claimed.


They were economic. Right back in 1990, Mrs. Thatcher foresaw with painful clarity the devastation it was bound to cause. Her autobiography records how she warned John Major, her euro-friendly chancellor of the exchequer, that the single currency could not accommodate both industrial powerhouses such as Germany and smaller countries such as Greece. Germany, forecast Thatcher, would be phobic about inflation, while the euro would prove fatal to the poorer countries because it would “devastate their inefficient economies”.


It is as if, all those years ago, the British prime minister possessed a crystal ball that enabled her to foresee the catastrophic events of the past year or so in Ireland, Greece and Portugal. Indeed, it is one of the tragedies of European history that the world chose not to believe her.

Thatcher’s warnings read like headlines on page 1 today. Leaders aren’t always listened to. How unfortunate.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
BlueStreet's picture

So much for the idea that 'Price is Truth.'



5880's picture

She made Reagan look like a sissy

LetThemEatRand's picture

They both thought deregulation -- especially of the financial industry -- was the key to long-term prosperity.   At least now we can look back with positive proof and declare that they were right.

goldm3mb3r's picture

There was too much regulation. What do you think the SEC, Fed, Treasury are there for? The regulation of the market would have prevented the kind of leverage and fraud that has ballooned under "oversight"

macholatte's picture

The enforcement of regulation of the market would have prevented the kind of leverage and fraud that has ballooned under "oversight"


there, fixed it for ya.

redpill's picture

We don't need regulation as much as we need consequences.  Over leveraging would not be prevalent if the bad actors were allowed to fail.  Instead we have bailouts and unlimited Fed lines of credit.  The logical reaction is to leverage since you can count on the central bank as a backstop.  You can take huge risks when you don't have to worry about the consequences of failure.

Conversely, in a country such as Switzerland where the bank executives themselves can be held personally responsible for a catastrophic loss, financial institutions fail very rarely.  

As long as we have the Federal Reserve aiding and abetting this situation, no amount of regulation is going to "fix" the problem.  And like a child predator, the Fed will keep on with its behavior until it is castrated and removed from society.

Atlantis Consigliore's picture

Free market capitalism and deregulation, is the key to growth and prosperity;

keysian printing, regulatory regimes, czars and crony capitalsim and a political

print ez FED Reserve leads to chaos and crony capitalism and collapse.

Be like Margaret, .....she made Ronnie ....


ms1408's picture

"Regulation" is just an opinion enforced through the barrel of a gun.

falak pema's picture

not if its voted, in due process, by sincere legislators. They do exist.

ZDRuX's picture

People are not interested in sincere legislators.

Just look at the president's election, it's all "Dancing with the stars" .. nobody gives a shit about morality or some made up imaginary virtues that they aspouse to posses.


Oh and news flash.. you don't get to vote on jack squat in this country (or any country). And no representative is accountable to anybody if he doesn't vote in favor of the people he represents. So good luck with regulating anybody.

Regulation is not the problem.. government is the problem.

goldm3mb3r's picture

But she did not tackle welfarism.

Winston Churchill's picture

She did break the quasi public unions.

All the gains,and a lot more, were squandered away by

the Labour  party anyway.

Maybe the last conviction politician.

piliage's picture

As someone who lived in the UK in the mid 80s, trust me, London bears NO resemblance to the socialist hell-hole it was 25 years ago. Sure, there are a few repositories of insanity, the tube workers union for example, but the overall sluggish worthless drunk at 11am union assholes are GONE. And good riddance. London was a shithole in the 80s.

Leaving London by ferry from Dover and arriving in France, the Netherlands or Belgium used to be like taking a time machine ahead by 10 to 15 years into the future.

Now, leaving Belgium gives the same feeling in reverse when you arrive at St. Pancras station. Belgium is stuck in 1985 and going in reverse, brought to you by socialist union asshole politicians.


falak pema's picture

take another rain check in twenty years time... I don't defend statism, but the current Oligarchy puts everything else to shame.

whatsinaname's picture

and who was advising her successors on managing the UK's economy ?

BandGap's picture

Is "iron" a verb or a command on that poster?


sbenard's picture

Maggie was amazingly prescient!

misterc's picture

Let's not forget the many, many fatalities caused by train accidents after Thatcher privatized the public train companies.
The guy from hat4uk barely survived on of those accidents, search his blog. 

GeneMarchbanks's picture


It's OK though cause he would have gone out like a soldier: with someone making a profit.

Kingbingo's picture

Let’s not forget how many fatalities have been caused by Vending machines falling on people trying to steal stuff out of them since Thomas Edison domesticated electricity……and other utterly spurious retard connections that don’t mean anything you leftie cock.


Maggie was a great woman, and a great leader.

Kingbingo's picture

Let’s not forget how many fatalities have been caused by Vending machines falling on people trying to steal stuff out of them since Thomas Edison domesticated electricity……and other utterly spurious retard connections that don’t mean anything you leftie cock.


Maggie was a great woman, and a great leader.

5880's picture

Mussolini was good with trains

Rubicon's picture

There wouldnt be any trains now if she hadnt!

bagehot99's picture

Entirely specious connection between privatized train companies and fatalities, which were caused (Clapham Junction) by human error. Privatized firms have a much stronger incentive to run efficient, safe businesses than do government bureaucracies. The idea that the public sector is beyond reproach is silly beyond measure, and truly shows intellectual laziness on the part of those that state it explicitly, or imply it as you just did. 

Kayman's picture


Precisely. This fiction about hiring more myopic, lazy, self-important government employees to save the rotten system they birthed, needs to be quashed.

We need a few government employees, but damn few.

Rip van Wrinkle's picture

Absolute fucking nonsense. There have been fewer deaths on the railway in the last 25 years than the previous 25 and the number of rail passengers has doubled in that time.

koperniuk666's picture

Fuck off Bob Crow (mister C) - You are not welcome here.

Train travel is hundreds of times safer that car travel - even in the UK during the 1980's when no-one had spent a penny of the permanent way for 40 years. ( and the performance of the infrastructure, in spite of this,  was a tribute to British engineering) 


piliage's picture

Oh Sure, there was nothing like the pleasure of taking a British Rail train from Kings Cross to Glasgow in 1985. Trains hours late, loaded with trash, overflowing toilets, 25 year old rolling stock from the 50s, incompetent staff who were drunk at noon and didn't give a damn.

I'll never forget the overnight train I took from Scotland to London in February of 1988 and the damn train had NO HEAT. Literally, there were dozens of us crowded into the cafe car trying to get hot drinks.

Britrail was shit. Get over it.

FullFaithAndCretin's picture

It is as if, all those years ago, the British prime minister possessed a crystal ball...

Actually, two crystal balls.

DeadFred's picture

Leaders aren’t always listened to. How unfortunate. Without the advantage of hindsight determining who is the leader vs. who is just governing is not an easy task. If you pay attention to the MSM you might think that Obama is a great leader. Should we listen to him? Maybe so if you have the same dietary preferences as a mushroom.

NumberNone's picture

+1.  Hard to justify listening to leaders when 99.9% of what they say is bullshit and the rest is inaccurate.  I'm sure at some point in the future they will find an Obama statement that was accurate and hail him as a great leader for example "Wow, Trayvon really was his kid"...or something along those lines. 


Oh regional Indian's picture

Make that Two Balls of Iron.

Truly, the Iron Lady.... shoved 'Great" Britain to the Extreme Right (Just like Her Buddy Ron Did for US) and then left it dangling for a hard move to the center ever since. A pendulous Prime Minister if there ever was one.

And look, it's getting harder and harder to tell these folks apart. Clinton, Bush Jr and Now O. Fraud Centrists....need take no positions at all.

From Thatcher's Euro Folly to Blair's complicit sell-out in 2004, they got what they wanted. Teh serf's had Football and warm beer. Now they have porn stars on Big Brother.

Enough Said.


Winston Churchill's picture


Stop drinking the Bung.

Center of what ?

Labour party extreme left socialism.

Or are you are a pure Marxist ?

Oh regional Indian's picture

Dude, don't mis-spell Ambrosia.

It's Bhang. Say it with your heart. ;-)


And then all the caste-system callers, note, Bhangi (untouchables) were those who drank Bhang.

What a contradiction in terms eh? The untouchables were those that drank the drink of the gods.

And Winnie, please. Thatcher was as far right as the electorate would elect. Same game, over and over and you just can't see the light?

As Left Follows right...., John Major was a Centrist (read weak conservative) and then of course came the Brown stuff.

And the rest, as they say, is His-Story.


Winston Churchill's picture

Spelling its name was optional when I regularly drank it.

A spiritual phase I went through in whats seems like many

re incarnations ago.

Many dawns at the Ghats of Benares(Varanisi now),very mellow.


Oh regional Indian's picture

Holy Bhang dude. You've been there!

Why in the world then would you ask me to slow down?

People are strange...


falak pema's picture

Ori, you forget what Maggy said about her achievement : My greatest is Tony Blair and what New labour has become...

She got that right, at least, even if Thatcherism has made Londonistan into pure unadulterated Oligarchy land and the rest of Britain into soon joining third world asupto neck  in debt, fast sinking land. And, she did tell Shell and BP to deplete North Sea Oil "as fast as they could" and they did it...

TJ00's picture

Extreme Right in the UK is Combat 18 and the National Front, Maggie was nothing like that. What she tried to do was to modernise the country which was in a crisis, we could have been like Greece is today. That's not to say she was correct on every call, she wasn't Iron enough to do what was needed to stop the IRA, namely take out their financial network in the US, Ted Kennedy and the like, fortunately for us Bin Laden mounted 9/11 and that stopped all but a trickle of money to Irish Republican terrorists as Irish Americans were confronted with what terror really means.

koperniuk666's picture

TJ100 -  you are right - Thatcher was brilliant. - she applied simple logic from simple empirical data;

  Most of what she wrote was prophetic of the situation today. ( Mostly because we have been here before - its just that the current politicians and electrorate werent around or don’t remember);


In “the downing st years “ p131 she says

‘as govts tried to stimulate employment by pumping money into the economy they caused inflation. The inflation led to higher costs. The higher cost meant loss of ability to compete. The few jobs that were gained were soon lost and so were a lot more with them. And then from a higher level of unemployment and inflation  the whole process starts again….’

simple stuff and not 'right wing'!!!

Unfortunately reading ability and an IQ above 20 are required to learn this simple lesson. And fuckwit cameron fails on both counts.

TJ00's picture

You are right about Cameron, I find it difficult to find any substantial differences between him and the opposition, the media tries to make tiny differences seem like huge gaps between them, I remember back in the Thatcher years there used to be debates, real ones, where facts were put forward and those in the Commons voted what they thought best, even if it was in opposition to their Party, some even resigning because of disagreements they could not settle, now it is all preening and soundbites, all that matters is who can fool the public the best, that's Blairs legacy.

Kayman's picture

I wonder if Bernanke has read page 131 ?

Rip van Wrinkle's picture

Which is two more than every western politician has now. Eunuchs!!

gjp's picture

A great, though well-intentioned, folly it is.  But the ultimate folly is the 'Bretton Woods II', non-gold backed, fiat currency (US dollar) system.  People are scared of the Euro more because it will probably bring the bigger folly down with it.  As well it should.

semperfi's picture

Only to be trumped by the folly of ignoring the Constitution, which, if followed, makes all arguments about fiat a moot point. Those who swore to uphold the Constitution that ignore it are traitors and therefore terrorists - who need to be, per NDAA protocol, picked up & hauled away in a black Suburban never to been seen again.

Samual Adams's picture

Traitors and people who commit treason over and over again out in the public.  Well those people used to be executed.   Now they are rewarded with we the people's  money.

Ignorance is strength

Peace is war

Freedom is slavery

falak pema's picture

traitors to what? Being a traitor to reason of police state, to opaque decisions made in whitehall  to invade Irak or Afghanisatan? To manipulate governments in Africa, like in Nigeria for over fifty years in order to help the Oil lobby cheat outirght that nation bleeding it white; to work for BP and the banks to corner Q-daffy, like Blair did,  and then burn him, when he becomes expendable, like Cameron did,  and extract part of his country's, albeit handled by Q-daffy's family, sovereign fund all or part of the 200 bilion sunk in first world assets and banks, is that really being a traitor?

Is that Wikileaks guy a traitor?

Rewarded by whom? Isn't it the Oligarchs who run the world, and hold their foot over "we the people's" necks? They would love to stifle the Internet.

Show me a patriot and I'll show you a....charlatan. Very appropriate today. In whitehall as in DC.

If the people were politically active in UK and USA the so called patriots who work for the Oligarchy would be called to task. 

semperfi's picture

Chalk it up to plain old human nature.  There are smart people. There are dum people. Always have been - always will be.  And some of the dummest I know have PhD's. 

FullFaithAndCretin's picture

Some of the dumbest I know know how to spell. And use an apostrophe.