Already a CLASSIC.
The defining book for the current
Macro Economic Environment
RESEARCH ANALYTICS for the GLOBAL MACRO
BUY ANY BOOK
GET 2 MONTH SUBSCRIPTION TO
EURO EXPERIMENT: German Steel or Schmucks?
I have long written that the European Monetary Union (EMU) constitution and Euro currency should be viewed in the context of a risky bet versus a sound regional monetary strategy. The odds of the EMU’s survival are presently reflected in a plunging Euro, despite a historic and unprecedented intervention. This indicates that the EMU’s existence in its current form is now a bad bet.
The good news is that this is becoming obvious and it suggests that the serious governance flaws of the 17 year Euro Experiment may finally be addressed. It took a crisis to see its first test, which has been the generally accepted view of when the euro experiment would prove its viability. The established momentum of the EU since its inception and its broad acceptance prove that its survival is presently a matter of European preference with most Eurozone members feeling it an absolute necessity. We'd therefore expect to see the EU constitution reformed. What should concern investors the most however is how the mechanics of what will be a ‘forced reform’ will unfold. The highly visible process will have profound implications to the stability of global financial markets and to a very tenuous global economic recovery.
I see the long standing philosophical difference between Germany and France to be at the core of this potentially very public resolution. During the recent behind closed door emergency bailout negotiations, these differences are reported to have come to the fore. Additionally, Frau Merkel and Monsieur Sarkozy are very different personalities. Will Frau Merkel show German Steel or as the German tabloid Bild proclaimed on news of the Euro bailout, become ‘schmucks’? Will Sarkozy the ever populist media hound prove to be a true diplomat or display what Germans perceive as insulting French arrogance? Unfortunately, the world must wait and watch while financial markets will no doubt fluctuate wildly on the uncertainty of the outcome.
What financial markets are oblivious to is just how crafty these two politicians are. There is more going on regarding a European strategy than the media once again fails to recognize.
For the accompanying slide presentation see: EU - All In!
WHY THE EURO EXPERIMENT IS FLAWED
The core issues with the Euro Experiment which need to be resolved are about a workable governance structure. They can be summarized as follows:
The International Herald Tribune outlines the issue as follows:
Let’s briefly consider the leadership responses to recent issues through the lens of the first three political altercations or ‘political dances’, to see if we can get a clearer view of how this ‘forced reform’ I mentioned above will unfold.
1- THE GREEK BAILOUT
2- THE EU SHOCK & AWE “TARP”
3- GERMAN UNILATERAL NAKED SHORT BAN
LIKELY APPROACH TO ‘FORCED REFORM’
Germany talks of ‘economic governance’ while France talks of ‘economic government’. When you explore them you find there is a significant cultural difference. To Germany the word government implies that an outside body would control economic policy as opposed to governance that would convey the idea of structure, framework and sanctions.
According to Stratfor: "Germany now senses the opportunity to reform the euro zone so that similar crises do not happen again. For starters, this will likely mean entrenching the European Central Bank's ability to intervene in government debt as a long-term solution to Europe's mounting fiscal problems. It will also mean establishing German-designed European institutions capable of monitoring national budgets and punishing profligate spenders in the future. Whether these institutions will work in the long term - or fail as attempts to enforce Europe's rules on deficit levels and government debt have in the past - remains to be seen. But from Germany's perspective, they must."
LIKELY APPROACH TO ‘FORCED REFORM’
It is in Monsieur Sarkozy’s interest to fight for a US like Keynesian solution with excess money printing. This would ‘kick the can down the road’ and avoid an impossible ‘austerity cuts’ war with French unions and workers. He sees what is happening in Greece as something he is likely to face in 8-12 months. The current increasing Credit Default Swap (CDS) rates for France also reflect this concern by investors.
Ulrike Guerot, senior research fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) suggests that Monsieur Sarkozy would respond: 'what is so wrong with inflation of four percent? It will be competitive inflation. But for the Germans, inflation at four percent is evil".
Alexander Law, chief economist at the Xerfi consultancy in Paris believes “France and Germany will have to start speaking the same language or else the euro will disintegrate. I think that France will end up agreeing with everything Germany says, because they have to, but then they will simply continue to flout the rules as they have done in the past".
THE FORM THE CHANGES WILL TAKE
Having played the schmuck, Germany is likely to win the dance finale. With the Euro approaching its original 117 value or very near parity to secure German support (who are going to be the big taxpayers behind successful ongoing bailouts), Germany must feel ‘German Steel’ has been brought to bear in resolving the EU crisis. Even a smart Sarkozy will know when it is time to lose a hand to keep his winnings.
CRAFTY POLITICIANS & SLY CENTRAL BANKERS
Now the shocking truth - ALL THE HARD WORK AS NOW BEEN DONE!
Politicians and strategists always wait to employ a crisis event to enact politically difficult solutions. Whether “False Flag’ operations or just opportune timing, history is replete with them. Experienced politicians wait for the public to demand action during a crisis, and then make their move just when the public is willing to accept any action rather than no action.
A shrewdly crafted political strategy or a well coordinated plan of the central bankers or circumstances; I will let you be the judge.
The two major issues facing Europe have actually subtly been addressed and all that is now left to do is to go through the public dance of appearing to take actions to resolve the crisis. The two critical achievements that were central to an EU survival solution were:
According to Martin Wolf at the Financial Times:
Martin Wolf’s concise description of the German economic machine is enlightening:
Steven Pearlstein writes on Germany in the Washington Post:
GEAB LEAP E2020 in GEAB #45 report:
According to Daniel Amerman:
With both of these key goals now secured, (which would have never been achieved in public debate) the public discussion over the wording of the reform can take place. As mentioned earlier, the ongoing volatility of the financial markets will give the politicians the cover to force these changes through their respective sovereign political apparatus.
We should likely expect the 27 member European Union to soon become more vocal since any and all decisions will have a profound impact on their economies. We'll likely see the emergence of a couple of leaders to counterbalance German and French parochial views and lead to a more collective, cohesive EU view of itself as a political entity versus a bundle of disparate views.
What this means is we may see the final emergence of a United Sovereign States of Europe (USSE). This would be a blended version of US capitalism and Eastern European socialism. You can likely expect Merkel and Sarkozy to be strategizing to be its first President.
(1) 05-16-10 GEAB N°45 GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin LEAP
(2) 05-14-10 Eurozone Rescue: Nuking the Savers to Bailout Bankers Daniel R Amerman
(3) 05-15-10 ECB Abandons Independence and Prints $1Trilion to Prevent Euro-Zone Collapse John Mauldin
(4) 05-18-10 Single currency bloc plays ‘beggar-my-neighbour’ Martin Wolf, Financial Times
(5) 05-18-10 Beggar thy neighbor: Martin Wolf is singing from my songbook Edward Harrison, Credit Writedowns
(6) 05-18-10 Germany, Greece and Exiting the Eurozone Stratfor
(7) 05-16-10 “440 Million Europeans Have Just Joined a New Country” John Rubino, DollarCollapse.com
(8) 05-19-10 The Irony Of The Euro Crisis: This Is What The World Would Be Like Under The Gold Standard The Pragamatic Capitalist
(9) 05-17-10 Here's Why Germany Really Can't Share A Currency With The Rest Of Europe Vincent Fernando, Business Insider
(10) 05-07-10 Greek Debt Crisis Raises Doubts About the European Union IHT
(11) 05-19-10 Economic governance divides France and Germany Reuters
For the complete research report go to: Commentary
Sign Up for the next release in the Euro Experiment series: Commentary
The previous Euro Experiment article: EURO EXPERIMENT: EU BULLIED INTO $1T BANKING BONANZA
Gordon T Long
Mr. Long is a former senior group executive with IBM & Motorola, a principle in a high tech public start-up and founder of a private venture capital fund. He is presently involved in private equity placements internationally along with proprietary trading involving the development & application of Chaos Theory and Mandelbrot Generator algorithms.
Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, you are encouraged to confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.
© Copyright 2010 Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which Mr. Long believes reliable, but he does not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that Mr. Long may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Mr. Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from him.
Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, we recommend that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.
Copyright and Disclaimer
© Copyright 2010, Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which the Gordon T Long. believes reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that the Gordon T Long. or its principals may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Gordon T Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from us.