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"Whither Europe?" - UBS' George Magnus Asks What Happens After The ECB Prints

Tyler Durden's picture


'By George' author, UBS George Magnus asks the right question, and one posed by Zero Hedge two weeks ago, namely even assuming Germany relents and allows the ECB to print, what happens then? "Some argue that Germany will, sooner or later, capitulate on this issue too, since the only real alternative to the ECB adopting a full lender of last resort role is the slimming down of the EZ in what would be dangerous, unpredictable and almost certainly acrimonious circumstances. If the crisis escalates alarmingly, the ECB does look a little more likely to be given the light to widen its remit, even if under conditions. But then what? How would German voters and the powerful banking elite react to ECB policies that would turn the Bundesbank white? And what would the political consequences of further printing of money be? I ask the questions not to disagree, but to emphasise that what many of us think as the logical way out also has consequences that may not be immediately transparent."

Full remarks:



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Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:08 | 1902665 TeamDepends
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"Tough year(s)" is the new depression.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:28 | 1902731 trav7777
trav7777's picture

the answer:

A) the Fed prints

B) the BOE prints

C) the BOJ prints

D) all of the above

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:30 | 1902743 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Good thing modern OSes are 64-bit. They're gonna run outta digits, otherwise.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:51 | 1902801 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Naw, we can and do get by with 32 bit wide registers, you just use sceintific notation. you lose precision, but nobody cares about that except for Mitt Romney. Seriously. About a year ago, Tyler released some photos of the Pentium 2 based PCs Brian Sack runs the POMO operation with. not sarc.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:49 | 1902799 Momauguin Joe
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Uncle Warren provides a blinding glimpse of the obvious: "The system as presently designed has revealed a major flaw. And that flaw won’t be corrected just by words. Europe will either have to come closer together or there will have to be some other rearrangement because this system is not working”

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:38 | 1903370 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

No rearrangement can compensate for the real major flaws in Europe; not enough real production to actually meet all the social promises that have been made, and disastrous demographics which will continually make the problem worse.  Devalueing the currency and wiping out the middle class, as advocated by clowns like George Magnus, will only speed up the destruction, and hasten the onset of the next Hitler or Stalin. The Germans know this.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:34 | 1903047 Jonbutterfly
Jonbutterfly's picture

I do agree. But here is another question I want to ask on top of all thoughts coming from the above article: "What is happening to democracy in Europe?" I am from Europe although I decided to live abroad. It seems to me that we move away from a free society and I can see the same trend going on in the United States as well. I would not feel comfortable living in a society where cameras are instaled into public street lights. It has to much of a touch of 1984 from Georg Orwell!

Papandreu wanted to ask the Greeks if they want accept the conditions demanded by the EU. Insteed of leting decide the people they put an Ex JPMORGAN manager in charge. This is not democracy!

I like this video, especially due to the fact that a !Russian! news station  is the author. What a twisted world we live in. DJIA

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:10 | 1902670 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

slimming down of the EZ in what would be dangerous, unpredictable and almost certainly acrimonious circumstances.

Gee, yeah, luckily the current status quo is all about unicorns, CONfidence, prospeeretee and stabeeletee.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:14 | 1902671 Cognitive Dissonance
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"I ask the questions not to disagree, but to emphasise that what many of us think as the logical way out also has consequences that may not be immediately transparent."

We all know where this road ends folks. We just don't want to admit it while we're all on the Road to Perdition.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:16 | 1902688 CPL
CPL's picture

Let them walk the road.  There is no sense in attempting to change the motivation or dogma of the human race, allow the situation to happen and just sit tight.


We'll rebuild it once the fools are finished destroying themselves over paper.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:19 | 1902703 redpill
redpill's picture

Dead EU walkin', I say we gotta dead EU walkin' heeyah!

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:41 | 1902773 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

It ain't just EZ: The whole Global Ponzi is imploding. Totally self-referential, correlated and dependent on mutual secrecy 

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:09 | 1902887 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

Collapse in the long run is a good thing: it erases the debt, erases the bad institutions and bad currencies.

In the short run it might be painful without gold and silver, water and canned food, but who on ZH doesn't have that?

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:55 | 1902818 greased up deaf guy
greased up deaf guy's picture

"what many of us think as the logical way out..."

speak for yourself, buddy.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:41 | 1903380 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

Exactly, and this article is pure sell side crap for failing to recognize it.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:18 | 1902672 Popo
Popo's picture

Last sentence: "But the reality is the reluctance of creditors to get deeply involved in a debtcrisis, which they claim was not of their making. This is not a blame game, but a recognition of the need for symmetric behaviour".


Good luck with that.   What is "needed" and what is both politically and realistically viable are completely different subjects.    To discuss what is "needed" without a discussion of viability is a waste of ink.  Typical beurocratic idiocy.  Go home.


Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:12 | 1902674 hedgeless_horseman
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If your only tool is a printer, then every problem is deflationary.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:13 | 1902681 GeneMarchbanks
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Twain thief ;)

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:11 | 1902675 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

First you print then you hope.

... something ... more hope...


Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:27 | 1902729 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

At least we still manufacture something...

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:38 | 1902759 economessed
economessed's picture

Debt instruments?

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:11 | 1902676 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture

What should happen then is very clear.

A terrorist attack by Germans on the ECB, an assassination of Mario Draghi and a burning down of the ECB tower.

That's what should happen.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:21 | 1902709 French Frog
French Frog's picture

Poor lil ECB tower: not yet finished yet some hoodlums want to burn it down already!

The times we live in...


Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:12 | 1902678 KNiCKER
KNiCKER's picture

The concequence is that my money will be cut in half with (ONLY) 7% inflation over a 10 years time span...

Wages off course will not rise with inflation... Fuck them!

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:13 | 1902679 Zola
Zola's picture

"the logical way" ??? What a wishful thinking...

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:17 | 1902693 redpill
redpill's picture

There hasn't been anything logical in Europe since the Vereinsthaler.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:27 | 1902728 hedgeless_horseman
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Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:36 | 1902749 magpie
Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:40 | 1902768 john39
john39's picture

uncanny that the same fascist symbols show up over and over throughout history...  the eagle being just one example.  stranger still that almost no one even bothers to figure out the symbolism...

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:46 | 1902786 magpie
Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:17 | 1902691 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

I am still waiting for the currency version of stamps[dot]com. Every man, woman and child in this nation should have the ability to print up their own monies. After all, the Constitution never gave permission to a private central bank to create the nation's currency. Let's get the party started!

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:33 | 1903041 trav7777
trav7777's picture

you already can- it's called an IOU

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:45 | 1903087 DosZap
DosZap's picture


No it did not,but CONGRESS did.

So, so much for wishful thinking.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:17 | 1902692 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Gonna save this report for later. It is over, just over. How about BAC with a 4 handle, possible? You bet.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:17 | 1902694 agent default
agent default's picture

Germany will not debase the Euro to save the PIIGS, that much is true.  They want the ECB to hold its firepower for the time this mess hits Germany nad the core it self.  Now, you can count on it hitting the core and Germany, because they may better off than the PIIGS but not that much better off, they too have huge debts, they have pretty much lost the southern Eurozone export market (broke remember?) and they do have a pile of unfunded liabilities.  The ECB will eventually have to print to bail out the core.  The periphery will have splintered off by that time.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:17 | 1902695 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

What happens next?

The PIIGS realize that there is absolutely no incentive to push through unpopular austerity measures, not when the ECB will monetize any future government spending. All bailout countries will keep promising to make reforms, only in as neccessary to secure the next month's bailout. Eventually the ECB's balance sheet expands by trillions of Euros, and then they go all out Goodfellas style. 

When you can't borrow another dime from the bank and can't buy another case of booze. You bust the joint out, you light a match.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:24 | 1902718 g speed
g speed's picture

yep- +1

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:18 | 1902697 The Ram
The Ram's picture

More like 7% a month once things really kick-in here circa beginning of 2012.  Stock-up.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:18 | 1902699 defn8Dog
defn8Dog's picture

Not just printing but unlimited printing as the PIIGS run wild.

Either that or, Europeans at War.  Real bullets, but also great shoes, boots and finely cut commado suits, for the perfectly suited guerilla. 

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:20 | 1902706 imsaul0968
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For those of you who invest in an IRA or for long term goals, theres a better approach than buy,hold,hope. Stocks follow the economy so analyzing the economy, specifically the factors that are "leading indicators" and having exposure to equities only when the economy is headed in the right direction and avoiding equities in favor of safe haven baskets is a much more logical approach. And missing the major drawdowns is the only way to help ensure meeting your goals.  If you are interested in investing in a portfolio that tactically invests in equity and safe haven baskets via ETF's automatically, please email me at:

and I'll add you to the weekly market commentary & portfolio update distribution list.  Its free to add you and you can follow along our model and our views.  We have been RISK-OFF since 6/30 so have missed all this wicked volatility. Currently invested in short duration treasury baskets as flight to safety drives interest in our debt. 

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:25 | 1902707 redpill
redpill's picture

We won't print, we'll just buy an infinite number of bonds.




P.S. Christine "Legerdemain" Lagarde is on board, too

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:23 | 1902716 BlueStreet
BlueStreet's picture

What happens after the ECB prints?  We all book those cheap European vacations.  

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:24 | 1902722 Robot Trader's ...
Robot Trader's brother's picture

full remarks is a blank page.

is that the future..???

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:24 | 1902725 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Print? Sleep well for a night. Then wake up to a gloomy morning


Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:29 | 1902730 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Next? Everybody prints!

Then someday, it all gets rolled up into one great big giant ball called an IMF Consol (or something similar), where ZIRP is instituted in perpetuity, and a single choke-hold upon the people of the world is achieved. Instead of interest, a global admin tax will fund its "maintenance." Think of it as the next ban on usury, while negating the effects of repudiation of odious debt. TADA!

They've got more eggs to break first, though. Germany and the US, in particular. And of course, nearly ALL of the world's banks, sans a few of the privileged ones.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:29 | 1902736 BandGap
BandGap's picture

What's the over/under for the Huns to tell the ECB to shove it?

It's funny, the die has been cast but everyone is jockeying for the last to feel the sting of the icy water.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:30 | 1902739 ex VRWC
ex VRWC's picture


PIIGS need to become more like Germans, but you cannot force them to, or they will fall into deflation.

Germans need to become more like PIIGS and increase consumption, but you cannot force them to, or they will revolt and throw out their government.

You cannot propose empty guarantees to solve this.  Only real money in the form or printing will do.  We should print the money because a small amount of inflation should be OK.

As Europe collapses they are looking to Asia as the market for their exports, since they won't be able to export to each other.


Can I get paid the big dollars to produce 'analysis' like this?  

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:30 | 1902741 Canucklehead
Canucklehead's picture

If the ECB prints, it will only be a matter of time before they eat their "seed corn".  Everyone knows this.  If Germany were to relent, all of Aesop's fables (mankind's experience) will be replaced with binary oughts and naughts.  The Borgs will rule the world. 

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:38 | 1902758 Soda Popinski
Soda Popinski's picture

Ben will be as environmentally sound as possible.  Think how many printer cartridges he will save by digitally expanding the feds balance sheets.  The EPA should give him a medal.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:38 | 1902761 Stockmonger
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Not surprisingly, nowhere do the words "default" or "restructuring" appear in this banker analysis.  The "only" way out is for everyone to surrender sovereignty to the United Bankster Guild, but in the meantime the ECB should print money to ensure that our bond cash flow is undisturbed.

These people are like vampires demanding that they have unfettered access to the central blood bank for transfusions.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:39 | 1902764 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Answer: there is no clean solution either way. And don't think it's just EZ I'm talking about. 

Global Ponzi is imploding before our eyes

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:41 | 1902771 hannah
hannah's picture

i can tell you exactly what will happen......

......the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain,the ecb will print, the germans will complain.

then they are all dead!

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:44 | 1902772 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

George Magnus of UBS writes in his tract posted above:

« The recent troika report on Greece offered a candid admission that austerity had backfired (my language, not theirs) but it’s not clear anyone is listening. The self-evident logic is that it is simply not possible for the private and public sectors to deleverage simultaneously without causing a depression unless you have flexible policy tools including the exchange rate. » (p.5)

Austerity doesn't work within the Eurozone, precisely because countries don't have currency flexibility, that's a point ... along with the fact that the EU authorities admit that they created the Greek disaster with the policies they imposed.

But with that big question of, What will happen when the ECB prints?, so nicely teased out in the lede ... I read the whole piece, and at the end George Magnus has nothing to say about it! He asks the question, and that's the end of the piece! Sheesh! ... Make a guess at least, George, that's why they pay you the big fiat notes there at UBS.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:44 | 1902781 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

Let's fix what is broken beyond repair, shall we?  

Albert,  we are still repeating the failures expecting a different outcome. Oh and one more thing;  humanity hasn't yet embraced the need to determine the definition of fact.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:48 | 1902792 vegas
vegas's picture

What happens?

Finger pointing and scapegoats when SHTF. Round up all the usual suspects Louie, cause when inflation hits, economies crumble, gold soars with no offers, and the riots in Greece of late look like Boy Scout picnics, even the Pope will be blamed.

If I'm Silvio B and G-Pap, I would make sure the gold I stole was safe and my mercenary guards are all well paid-up, because the fingers will first be pointed at them. Let the revolution begin in 5...4...3...

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:48 | 1902797 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

All those giant thinkers see the demograhic catastrophe in front of us and advocate to allow for more immigration to ease burden on the states. So where those people will come from to save Europe? Muslim countries, Africa or maybe from S.America? For them only head count is important and we see now new immigration becomes unacceptible to population of Eurpoe (and in for that matter in US and Canada). Now what they see is that all those social systems are not sustainable and have to be dealt with, we coming to fast solutions for that problem, start wars to lower density of population (the problem is - mostly young people are dying), kill all old fuckers using some ingenious method or cut them off from any support of state, they were paying for those benefits over their lifes but states spent all those monies for armies, wars, expanding influence and all that shit, who cares.

Meanwhile MR Buffet+MR Gates+MR Slim can pay for Greece's problems and still can live in luxury. Maybe Mr. Manus can drop few millions into rescue pot, as he's probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of the system and then maybe some other fuckers will join that worthy cause. 

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:02 | 1903191 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Eally Ucked

 kill all old fuckers using some ingenious method or cut them off from any support of state, they were paying for those benefits over their lifes but states spent all those monies for armies, wars, expanding influence and all that shit, who cares.

the old fuckers, I have a better idea,you GO FIRST.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:20 | 1903236 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture


I leave you with your government free jewish world to reach pinnacles of happiness.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:56 | 1902821 spanky bernanke
spanky bernanke's picture

Germany is slow to print but when it does it's impressive. They can even make Spanky blush, and that is a very hard thing to manage.


But China is flittering on the edge, they won't be a player. The Zero Hedge pointed out the effect of The EU CDS reneging on Greece. How quickly it has begun.

Que the divestment. Print to cover. Wheelbarrow for a loaf of bread. Power vacuum creates Hitler? And with the temporary freedom of the internet we get to watch.

Long on popcorn.




Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:00 | 1902837 Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

The ECB will print,the Germans people will have no say,can kicked down road for a few more years,this is gonna be long drawn out and very painful,since when did politicians ever make the right decisions-even when their choices were obvious?

This time they are being threatened and bribed to acquiesce to money printing as the alternative will be the "the end of the world etc etc".

Western governments have massive unfunded welfare liabilities that would have been unaffordable with a healthy growing economy,now, after the various property based ponzi schemes have collapsed,there is no more growth and hence government borrowing has gone exponential,spending cannot be cut as this would act as a drag on "growth"-(the only growth left is as a result of government spending and property),add in bankster bailouts-current AND future, and the system implodes under the weight of debt and the inability to fund it -classic CATCH 22,there is no way out.

Buy wheelbarow futures you Germans,you are about to feel the force of the printing press.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:04 | 1902862 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

This won't end well.

U.S. Q3 GDP Revised Down To 2%, Europe Continues Down Ski Slope

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:18 | 1902945 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

Everyone see that market ramp for the President speaking shortly ?

WOW +100 points in 12 minutes !

I guess that makes him special !

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 13:39 | 1903074 spekulatn
Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:41 | 1903388 Cliff Mclane
Cliff Mclane's picture

I am from Germany and I can assure you that no one really knows what will happen in Germany. I am part of a generation that grew up with the certainty that next year the income will be bigger than the year before. At the end of the nineties that came to an end. Wages rose not at all in real terms. Nevertheless pensioners (and I know a lot of them) were convinced that public debt would be too high only after their deaths. Quite often I heard the opinion: that is not my problem, I am too old.

That has changed in the last months. Many people from different backgrounds do not believe any longer that problems will be solved quickly or smoothly. I  asked the postal worker who delivers our mail, my colleague at the office (tax authority) who told me that he advises his children to get a very good education but not to save any money because it will be worthless in the near future), someone who should advise people where to put their money ( his advise: buy gold and keep some cash at home), in fact I acted as a kind of mini-interviewer for Infratest. The mood is gettinger darker by the week.

A poll for the FAZ (a national newspaper) revealed that politicians  are not trustworthy ( 2 p.c. believe they tell the truth). But more impoartant is the fact that BILD -Zeitung , a tabloid, published an article "Bring the Bundesbank-Gold back home!" Some years ago readers could not care less but now even these details get attention. BILD-readers are regarded as rather dumb people, but now even they are cautious.

The parties a the German National Front (Christian democrats, Social Democrats etc) cannot contain the anger any longer. Opposition parties are usually shown as racists, as super-brown  gangs and so on but this time the problem is money not the Turks or Arabs. You cannot portray Hans-Olaf Henkel or Frank Schaeffler as Nazis.The Pirate Party in Berlin that got a lot of votes in Berlin is a sign of things to come. They have no program, only vague ideas. Even our local "conservative" MP is irritated. His own staff does not believe what he says.

So we get a lot of bad wheather in Germany but we are accustomed to sunshine (mostly) only.

Adolf Hitler is dead but I know a lot of people who have homes, insurance assets etc to lose. They will act in time.

The German political landscape could be quite different in six months time. You do not see what really happens when you look at German public TV . In this respect Germany today is like the German Democratic Republic in 1989.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:50 | 1903431 gianmarco
gianmarco's picture

can you tell this magnus guy works for a bank?

print baby print, so we can go on with this giant ponzi scam. and if the people find that their savings are wiped out by inflation, who cares?

this guy is clearly insane, he advocates a system based on paper and debt. like we havent seen how well it works


and the cynism... if europe becomes a totalitarian megastate run by unelected bureacurats, thats good.


george magnus, go and set yourself on fire

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 15:21 | 1903574 Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

Cliff.I feel sorry for you and your people,they are about to be sold down the river by a bunch of lying,incompetent and treacherous traitors.We in the Uk are used to it,and it is too late for our country but for Germany, there is still time.

By the time the German people realise what is going on,how the false promises of how the various fudges and bailouts won't lead to inflation or loss of purchasing power,it will be too late,their money and their security will have gone.

Banks run governments now-it has become so blatant that they don't even try to hide the fact, it doesn't matter who you vote for,the only hope people have are the extreme parties in each country(the brown shirts you refer to)but most people are afraid to consider for fear of being called racist or simply that they lack the credibility of mainstream parties.But when you consider the damage these so called professional politicians are doing to countries across Europe,can the alternative be any worse?-and they will have one thing going for them-they are not controlled or bribed by the bankster elites.This and this alone should be the reason the electorates should vote for them.The current political parties are only going to preserve the current bankster controlled corrupt system.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 15:29 | 1903667 zerotohero
zerotohero's picture

First post here ever - from a Canadian view of things we're scared shitless by what is going down in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. being our largest trading partner puts us in a vulnerable position (bent over). We are convinced though that the U.S. will start printing and in the very near future. Have any of you read The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin? It maps out the creation of the Federal Reserve and the names of the individuals who got together to create this "monster". After reading it and now witnessing the unraveling of the capitalist system we have in place - it truly is a massive ponzi / pyramid system that has run its course.

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 00:56 | 1905670 Tompooz
Tompooz's picture

I would be surprised if countries like the Netherlands or Finland do not have a ready plan B, just in case Germany decides to return to the DM. 

The difficulties are in the Euro denominated contracts, but some ready-off-the-shelf legislation could do wonders when it  comes to bringing back Guilders and Markka's, pegged to the new Deutschmark.

There have already been parliamentary requests to commission cost/benefit studies on exiting the old Euro.

I would not be surprised if UBS and others are doing such studies in-house right now.

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