Saturday, 9 June 2012

The eurozone on the brink: Spain asks for invitation to beggars´ banquet

Spain has now declared that it will join the not anymore so exclusive club of eurozone beggars: 
Spain indicated during a conference call of the euro zone's 17 financeministers that it wanted aid for its banks but would not specify the amount until two independent consultants deliver their assessment of the capital needs some time before June 21.
Roger C. Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners and former deputy Treasury secretary under President Clinton from 1993 to 1994 describes the dire situation for the entire eurozone:
Europe is on the verge of financial chaos. Global capital markets, now the most powerful force on earth, are rapidly losing confidence in the financial coherence of the 17-nation euro zone. A market implosion there, like that triggered by Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, may not be far off. Not only would that dismantle the euro zone, but it could also usher in another global economic slump: in effect, a second leg of the Great Recession, analogous to that of 1937.
This risk is evident in the structure of global interest rates. At one level, U.S. Treasury bonds are now carrying the lowest yields in history, as gigantic sums of money seek a safe haven from this crisis. At another level, the weaker euro-zone countries, such as Spain and Italy, are paying stratospheric rates because investors are increasingly questioning their solvency. And there’s Greece, whose even higher rates signify its bankrupt condition. In addition, larger businesses and wealthy individuals are moving all of their cash and securities out of banks in these weakening countries. This undermines their financial systems.
It should again be stressed that the euro crisis is entirely self afflicted. The politicians - among them Germany´s Helmut Kohl - who created the common currency, against the advice of most economists are the ones to be blamed.

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