Monday, October 24, 2011

European Semi-Solution Extends the False Calm and indirect moratorium on Eurozone Investment

10/24/2011 Portland, Oregon - Pop in your mints…
Today after the western stock markets closed, the German lawmakers announced yet another plan in an attempt to stem the Eurozone’s tandem sovereign debt and banking crisis, which is rapidly accelerating.  The plan, according to AP, would boost the European Financial Stabilization Fund from its current 440 billion Euros approximately one trillion Euros.   
 
The one trillion Euro figure is an estimate due to the nature of the plan which involves enticing capital to invest in the Sovereign debt issues from Euro member states by creating an insurance fund to partially back sovereign debt issues that would otherwise attract little investor interest.
 
Think of it as a partial Fannie Mae guaranty for European Governments.  
 
There is a reason that foreign capital is hesitant to invest in Euro sovereign debt, and it is not for lack of enticement.  Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian bonds all offer fixed income investors a decent premium over other sovereigns for their perceived risk.  The problem from the point of view of the investors is that the premiums are not high enough if considered against the likely event that they will not get their principal returned.  The problem from the perspective of the Euro sovereign issuers is that they cannot realistically pay even these reduced premiums.
 
Once it is generally perceived that a nation state will default on its obligations, it is very difficult to attract capital, whether it be the purchase of sovereign bonds or investments in businesses located in the troubled country.
 
Default, while the most practical solution for any normal debtor, is apparently unacceptable for modern western nations.  For this reason, the Eurozone leadership is moving in slow, measured steps to appear to do just enough to preserve the credibility of the debt issued by the weaker, peripheral states such as Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
 
Will this latest Eurocrat concoction be enough?
 
For the moment, it may be.  The German Parliament must vote on their new obligations on Wednesday, just hours before the broader Eurozone working group is set to formally announce the plan, leaving no room for dissent, ala Slovenia earlier this month.  Once the political drama in Germany passes, it will be smooth sailing for the Euro and its sovereign debt markets…for about a week.  
The illusion of viability and solvency
At that point, it will again become clear that the banks and sovereigns will require additional funds (currently the estimate is north of 2 trillion Euros) in order to continue the illusion solvency.
 
The problem of Euro solvency is no secret.  This is why both banks and sovereign governments are having a great deal of difficulty getting credit from anyone other than other broke European governments, banks, the ECB, and the Federal Reserve.  This latter list of entities have two things in common.  First and foremost, they all have a vested interest in perpetuating the charade that the Euro is a viable currency.  Second, these entities, by virtue of their activities, can only destroy wealth and therefore must coerce the productive class into lending its resources.
 
To make matters worse, no one in their right mind can invest real capital in the Eurozone under these conditions.  With sovereign governments pushing austerity measures and increasing the confiscation of private assets via increased taxation, any further investment in the Eurozone must be properly seen as an act of charity.
 
Such is the paradox of solving debt problems by incurring more debt.  Once one believes that the debt cannot be repaid, this belief becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  The Eurozone is becoming the world’s latest example of this inescapable truth.
 
Meanwhile, commodity prices, which reflect the fruits of productive activities, are on the verge of exploding to the upside, signaling a growing distaste for fiat currencies.   Will this be the final, violent blow off in commodities?
 
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
 
Stay Fresh!
 
 
 
P.S.  For more ideas and commentary please check out The Mint at www.davidmint.com
 
Key Indicators for October 24, 2011
 
Copper Price per Lb: $3.46
Oil Price per Barrel:  $91.60
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,653 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,056,000,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,570,500,000,000 YIKES UP $1 Trillion in one year!!!!!!!