Als je het artikel in de Telegraph gelooft, zal er heel snel groot nieuws komen. Het vorige hoofd van de Bundesbank, Karl Otto Pohl heeft gewaarschuwd dat Ierland en Griekenland in gevaar zijn om failliet te gaan en gedwongen kunnen worden uit de EMU te treden.
Is dit het begin van het einde van de euro?
Pohl vreest dat Duitsland voor de ellende moet opkomen en dat het beter is om die ellende door te schuiven naar het IMF. Dat is EU-solidariteit!
Angela Merkel sprak al bereidheid uit om Ierland te redden. Al kan daarbij ook het omkopen van de Ieren voor het verraad van Lissabon een rol spelen!
Het onderstaande artikel uit de Telegraph zegt dat de echte paniek wel heel dicht bij is.
Belangrijk om te lezen en te trachten er een mening uit te halen over wat je nu privé kunt doen. Hoe kom jezelf en je geliefden het beste door deze door politici gecreeerde crisis?
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Are Germans giving up on the euro *http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/ambrose_evans-pritchard/blog/2009/02/26/are_germans_giving_up_on_the_euro Ex-Bundesbank chief Karl Otto Pohl has just said that Ireland and Greece are in danger of defaulting on their sovereign debts and/or may be forced out of the Euro, for those who may not be aware of his Sky interview by my colleague Jeff Randall.
“I think there are countries considering the possibility. It would be very expensive,” he said. “The exchange rate would go down, 50 or 60% and then interest rates would go sky high because the markets would lose all confidence.”
Professor Pohl said Germany’s political class is afraid their country will ultimately have to pay for the EMU mess. His view is that the burden should be shifted to the IMF (ie. the US, Canada, Japan, Britain). Thanks a lot Karl Otto. You broke it, you fix it.
This is more or less what ex-foreign minister Joschka Fischer has been saying in London over the last two days, although his main point is that Russia is now the equivalent of Germany in the 1930s: an embittered nation with a revanchist and dysfunctional leadership class.
Mr Fischer now thinks monetary union is beyond saving. A massive rescue will be needed. It will not be forthcoming. German-French relations are the worst since the war, he said. The European insitutions have lost virtually all authority in this crisis. The half-century Project is collapsing. .. or words to that effect, from what I hear.
As regards Prof’s Pohl’s comments, they are revealing. Why should the currencies fall 60pc unless they are massively overvalued? If they are massively overvalued by anything like this amount – or even half – how can they possibly rectify this within the eurozone? Is Germany going to inflate at 10pc to let them claw back competitiveness? Of course not. This is pure madness.
Prof Pohl shrinks from the implications of his own logic, as almost everybody does in Euroland when they near the high-voltage line. EMU is inherently unworkable. It was launched before there had been real convergence of productivity growth rates, wage bargaining systems, legal practices, mortgage markets, etc, and without the fiscal transfers and debt union that makes monetary union work (badly, but on balance positively) in, say, the US, Canada, and Britain. The destructive effect has now brought the EU project to this unhappy pass, where even Joschka Fischer is giving up on it.
I remember hearing Joschka give a speech in Strasbourg eight years ago in which he said the euro was a powerful federalizing force – “quantum leap” – that would lead ineluctably to full political union. Here is the piece I wrote.
He seems to have changed his mind.
On the same theme, three notes have hit my desk on the risk of EMU break-up/default — one from France, one from Benelux, and one from a Swede in the City
1) Laurence Chieze-Devivier from AXA Investment Managers — in “Leaving the Euro?” — says that the rocketing debt costs of Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Italy are taking on a life of their own. (Italy has just revised is public debt forecast from 2010 from 101pc to 111pc. That is a frightening jump. While the CDS default swaps on Irish debt is are at 376 basis pouints. Austria is at 240. This is getting serious).
It is far for clear whether all these countries will accept the sort of drastic retrenchment required to stay in EMU. “By leaving the euro, internal adjustments would become less ‘painful’. An independent currency would re-establish economic competitiveness quickly, not achieved by a sharp drop in employment or wage cuts”.
Mr Cheize-Devivier makes a point often missed. Countries in trouble may not have a choice. “In our view a FORCED EXIT could be provoked by investors’ distrust.”
The AXA view is that the crisis will ultimately lead to the creation of a new EU machinery — in effect, an EU economic government — ensuring the survival of EMU.
(This, of course, is what many Brit, Danish, Swedish, and Gallic eurosceptics always suspected, which is why wanted their countries to stay out. Romano Prodi candidly said once that the euro would lead to a crisis one day that would let the EU do things it cannot do now)
2) Carsten Brzeski for ING in Brussels said the eurozone laggards were more likely to default than pay the punishing costs of leaving EMU.
“It is difficult to believe that Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, would be better off outside the eurozone. While a government could possibly get away with a redenomination of its debt, the private sector would still have to service its foreign debt. We believe any attempts to leave monetary union would lead to the mother of all crises, and total isolation in any future European integration”
Mr Brzeski said the bigger danger is that countries will face a buyers’ strike for their debt as a flood of bond issues across the world saturates the markets.
“A further worsening of the crisis could lead to (partial) sovereign defaults in one or several countries.”
Others would launch come to the rescue. The “No-Bail” clause in the Maastricht Treaty would be ignored. The EU would instead use the “exceptional occurences beyond its control” clause (Article 100.2) to do whatever it wanted.
There would be a price. “The country in question could be partly warded and have to fuilfil strict controls”.
Quite. This is another long-held fear of eurosceptics: that EMU would lead to vassal states.
3) Gabriel Stein from Lombard Street Research in “A Road-map for EMU break-up” says the euro has shielded weaker member from a currency crisis in this global recession, but only the cost of letting imbalances get further out of hand. Currency crises are often good. If you don’t get tremors, you get an earthquake.
Mr Stein says a country like Italy that has lost some 40pc in labour competitveness could in theory do what Germany has done for the last 13 years after the D-Mark was locked into the euro system at an overvalued rate. It could screw down wages but that was during a period of global growth. No Greek or Italian government is likely to opt for mass unemployment, or stay in power if it does so. (Actually, I would go further. I doubt whether Italy can possibly do this. Germany was able to pull it off because the Club Med states were all inflating merrily. Italy would have to deflate against a low-inflation Germany. If Italy deflated with a public debt of 111pc of GDP, it would face a debt compound trap. In my view, Italy is already past the point of no return.)
Mr Stein’s piece is a study of break-down mechanics. What would actually happen? The country’s parliament could pass a law redenominating debt into the new Lira, Drachma, or whatever. But there would be a pre-emptive run on bank deposits long before then. “Anyone not desirous of losing money would presumably see the writing on the wall and transfer any funds beyond the reach of the state. In other words, close down that account with Monte dei Paschi di Siena and open a new one with Commerzbank in Germany”.
Such a wholesale shift would lead to a collapse in the money supply, perhaps equal to the 38pc contraction in M3 from October 1929 to April 1933 in the US — but concentrated in a much shorter period. “Banks would be forced to call in outstanding loans, bring about a collapse in the country’s business.”
That is something I never thought of before. Italy is really damned if it does, and really damned if it doesn’t. Lasciate Ogni Speranza, Voi Che Entrate EMU