European officials have met all weekend. They’ve had five meetings and basically the best they can come up with is that this summit was “prepatory work” for four more meetings on Wednesday with supposedly some “real” answers on that night.
However, the European officials are talking about making changes to their treaty which would require the involvement of all 27 EU nations and not just the 17 that share the euro. I can’t imagine that getting resolved very quickly.
It’s been my experience that the more nations you involve, the less that gets done. Look at how much more the G-7 used to get accomplished over the new, larger G-20. “More” sounds powerful until you realize that nothing happens unless you can get at least the bulk of them to agree on something … so getting 27 government officials to agree on most anything will be nothing short of a miracle.
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It seems the market “voted” that way too because when the currency market opened up on Sunday night the euro immediately fell against the dollar.
Now, with all of that said, the European leaders did provide some more “temporary Band-Aids” which they are so good at doing.
They’re going to give Greece another $11 billion. (And that’s $11 billion that none of these other nations will ever see again in my opinion.)
They also seem to agree that the European banks need to be recapitalized with at least 100 billion euros ($139 billion) to increase the leverage of the 440 billion euro EFSF fund.
They also agree that these European banks need to write down their Greek debt by about 50 percent which is much more than the 21 percent that banks were currently planning on doing.
France of course (which is in hock the most with these Greek bonds) wants the European Central Bank (ECB) to use their buying power to beef up the EFSF fund.
However, Germany’s Merkel wasn’t agreeable to this…and so that’s not going to happen. Bottom line, whatever Germany doesn’t agree to won’t happen.
So where does this all take the euro? Likely lower until some concrete details are worked out and some solid steps are taken to implement the plan.
Right now they’ve had meetings to plan meetings. Real businesses could never work this way. Yet for some reason, governments think they can.
I’m not sure they realize the “house is on fire” and they’re wanting to have meetings about how the fire should be put out.
Some scenarios require quick action. All along they’ve been dragging their feet on this for two years now. All it’s doing is hurting Europe which is further spreading to hurting the global economy.
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I’m not sure what these guys are smoking, but they’d better get off of it and get down to business. If not, elections aren’t going to look pretty for them next time. But even before that, it’s not going to look good for the 7 billion people that populate the planet!
So now the important date to watch for is Wednesday the 26th, now that they’ve got all of their “prepatory meetings” out of the way. I’m not sure what that meant. Maybe they met to sharpen their pencils or something.
Anyway, the suspense won’t be good for the euro. The lack of coordinated efforts from the EU officials isn’t helping things either. So if something doesn’t happen soon, the euro will get slammed. This would help the dollar though but not necessarily U.S. stocks.
And if the Greek debt contagion solidly spreads to Spain and Italy, it’s almost certain to make its way across the ocean to the U.S. and affect us in so many ways. The global economy is so much more “joined at the hip” than it used to be.
So this is why Americans need to care about what’s going on over in Europe.
If something isn’t resolved soon, it will further affect your stock portfolio.
For currency traders, it will clobber the euro and boost the dollar for now if they don’t resolve this issue quickly and decisively.
About the Author: Sean Hyman
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