International Forecaster Weekly

The Future Of The Euro Zone Is Sealed

Euro exposure to toxic waste derivatives probably much more than what was reported, a payable end to the european crisis, morbid stories of currencies, a new banking system must be put in place. Two years left for the Euro.

Bob Chapman | November 16, 2011

It wasn’t all that long ago that industry estimates were that the issuance of credit default swaps in Europe, CDS, were about $18 billion. At the same time on the street it was estimated that the exposure was $75 billion. We estimate $150 billion - this represented insurance on the holders of bonds issued by Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. The Bank for International Settlements says that figure is now $518 billion. As we have noted before the big problem is counterparty risk. When CDS, credit default swaps, are triggered to default will the counterparties pay up? Even if writers are buying from one another someone has to get caught holding the bag and loose money. That is where the risk comes in.

We are seeing a change in tactics by Europe’s politicians as they head toward allowing euro zone members to leave the arrangement. The realization is that no matter what, the five weak nations cannot compete with the stronger euro zone countries. They want legislation for their exit and to allow them to remain in the European Union. They obviously know that if they all or in part leave the euro they’ll probably default as well, in whole or in part. The derivative writers contend if the owners of bonds agree to take a 50% loss on bonds then the insurance doesn’t take effect. Fitch, the rating service says yes it is a payable default. We will see who is correct. We agree with Fitch.

At least for the moment bond yields in Europe seem to be finding balance and the euro seems to want to do the same. Pressure is still being applied and yields will probably move up over the next six weeks and we could see the euro at $1.30. the French and Germans are exposing a smaller euro zone finally facing reality, although the euro was all they cared about in the first place. Excepting Germany, most bonds were lower.

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At the beginning every sovereign was going to be bailed out if necessary. Germany believed 2 years ago it would cost $1 trillion, we said $4 trillion. When Germany admitted to $3.5 trillion two months ago they knew then they and the other solvent countries couldn’t carry the burden without going under themselves. That was very short sighted of Germany. If they had made these decisions earlier they wouldn’t have had to make them now in a crisis where the problems are spiraling out of control. What poor preparation and planning. This should have been over last summer, but no they had to have their summer vacations. These people live in la la land. This corrupt socialist model does not work as many socialist countries have discovered.

The future of the euro zone is sealed. There will be six less participants a year from now. The European economy will have 1% negative growth next year and lower growth the following year. In Europe several more members will be forced to phase out the euro and return to their own currencies. We see this as the best option Europe’s one-worlders can hope for. What we are seeing is not a liquidity issue. These five countries are broke and all the saviors can do is throw good money after bad.


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We hear morbid stories of the terrible results of changing currencies, some of which are true. You know what the problems are. You just avoid them. Everything has to be done ahead of time. You simply trade in each euro for ½ drachma or lira and seven days later there are no more exchanges. There is a 50% devaluation and a total default on debt. The government in question has to either bail out the banks or lets them go under. Either way a new banking system has to be put in place. In order to prepare for such events you simple exchange euros for gold and silver coins and bullion. Only keep enough euros to survive.

The troubles in Europe are not going to go away anytime soon. Expect two years or less before the euro is history. This will cause a rising dollar temporarily, but do not be deceived, it won’t last long.