Europe Must Burn the Bridges and Create the Eurobond. US, UK Must Stop Myopic Opposition to Financial Transaction Tax

There is popular support for further European integration, as the Irish vote shows. Furthermore, that may be the only opportunity for the survival of the common currency in the form we know it today. Nonetheless the ECB must be given the authority, if it does not have it already, to devalue the euro and make the economies of the common currency more competitive.

Above all, they all must act fast. There must be a calculated decisiveness in their actions. Actually I tend to think that the two steps – eurobond and devaluation – must be taken together.

Irish Vote Yes in Fiscal Pact Referendum – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

The main stumbling block toward the eurobond is of course Germany although several other countries bordering the Baltic and North Seas are also opposed to the idea for obvious reasons: The eurobond would make borrowing to them more costly than with the national notes is today. But that is what unity is all about. Germany and the others can more than recoup their loses by keeping the huge common, duty free market to their products. The latter will most likely change very rapidly if the euro disappears in which case we may see intra-Europe commerce plummet.

This is actually the great opportunity for Germany to redress the wrongs of two world wars. Yes, Germany has paid huge reparations in the past but this would be a voluntary act, saving the continent’s economy, perhaps the world economy. It would be a reversal of roles: Germany saving the world economy that we screwed up; the opposite from 1939-45.

The exit of Greece from the eurozone is almost inevitable now, due to the country’s political atmosphere. The question now is whether damage control by the ECB, IMF, will be effective enough in dealing with the separation.

ECB chief calls euro ‘unsustainable,’ slams Spanish bank response – The Washington Post.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that he believed the euro zone’s current structure  is unsustainable, and added that the region’s governments must surrender far more budget and regulatory power to a central authority if the currency union is to be saved.

As he spoke, the Irish did their part.

The eurozone crisis is affecting the U.S. tremendously but the greatest contribution we could offer to help, instead of sermonizing, is to cease the opposition to the financial transaction tax (FTT) – intended to diminish wild speculation in the financial markets. We triggered this global crisis and it is it the least we could do. But we do not support the (continental) European proposal because of Wall Street’s influence in Washington. I do believe the republican candidate Romney is also clueless in this regard and will cave in to the same forces. We, with the UK, stand alone on the rock of idiocy.

Regarding the FTT, the UK (that is the conservative government) is just being the little selfish twerp that it has been since taking office. UK’s GDP is much more dependent on The City than their continental neighbors are on their respective financial markets. And PM Cameron’s policies reflect that fact.

Our economic sluggishness today is in part caused by Europe’s crisis and Europe’s crisis is caused, in part, by our political surrender to the influence of money. Everybody will lose unless we have the courage to change.

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Euro News: France, Turkey in a Row Over French Genocide Law. ECB Lends €489 Billion to 523 European Banks in Massive Effort

BBC News – Turkey recalls envoy from France over ‘genocide’ bill.

The proposed law makes it a crime in France to deny genocide when it has occurred. Turkey on the other hand, has the official position of denying the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by its precursor, the Ottoman Empire, during WWI.

Turkey also resents French opposition to its entrance in the European Union. French president Nicholas Sarkozy has blatantly said that Turkey does not belong in Europe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/business/a-central-bank-doing-what-central-banks-do.html?hp

The massive offer is initially at rate of 1% and the rate may be lowered within days. The banks will borrow and it is expected that they will put the money to two main uses:

1. Purchasing sovereign bonds which are offering a much higher interest so the banks are enticed by pocketing the difference but in the process they increase the demand for sovereign bonds of the troubled PIIGS and that will lower the interest those nations have to offer to sell their bonds. This is like the ECB buying sovereign debt (something that Germany opposes) by proxy.

2. Increasing the money supply may loosen lending to the private sector thus spurring the continental economies, most of which are almost in recession.

France, Germany, Poland Join Forces to Save Europe. Britain Out

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-16104089

New agreement signed today met objections from Britain and Hungary. Britain was then left out of the agreement, more isolated than ever.

This agreement is a step in the right direction: Tighter unity.

Will it calm investors? We will see today. But I am optimistic.

Debt Crisis Bring Former Foes — Poland and Germany — Closer Than Ever – NYTimes.com.

The greatest achievement of the European Union has been, without a doubt, peace – as British PM Chamberlain naively claimed after Munich in 1938: “Peace in our Time”.  And nothing exemplifies this more than the alliance of centuries-old enemies, Germany, France, and Poland in a bid to save United Europe.

During the XVIII century, Poland’s kings did not follow a line of succession but were elected by the nobility and that created weaknesses and internal divisions which were exploited by the countries’ powerful neighbors, Austria, Prussia, and Russia. By the end of the century, the 3 powers carved Poland.

A Polish state, under the name of Duchy of Warsaw was restored by Napoleon I, who also had a Polish mistress, countess Maria Waleska, but with the retreat of the French from eastern Europe in 1813, the Duchy was overrun and erased from the map.

Poland was restored by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, invaded by the Soviet Union in 1920 (the Poles beat the attack with French help at the gates of Warsaw), invaded again by Germany in 1939, and was a battlefield between the retreating Germans and the Soviet army in 1944/45.

After 1945, Poland fell behind the Iron Curtain and then it enthusiastically re-joined Europe after the fall of Communism in 1990.

As a side note, the Polish Communist Party returned to power in free elections and then voted out again after a period of time.

Central Banks Take Joint Action to Ease Debt Crisis

Central Banks Take Joint Action to Ease Debt Crisis – NYTimes.com.

Very timely move as credit is tightening and numerous nations , including the U.S. depend on borrowing. Without readily available credit, any chances of growth are null.

At the core of the issue is that Chinese banks are also hoarding cash under orders of the government to reduce leverage and the money supply. The Chinese are worried about inflation.

In Europe, numerous banks are over-exposed with large holdings of sovereign debt. Just yesterday numerous banks were downgraded, including all the major American banking institutions.

Then investors do not trust sovereign bonds any longer, not after they lost 50% of their loans to Greece. The German 10 years notes offered last week received cool reception even though Germany is viewed as the most stable economy in the E.U.

The possible way out I see at this point is to further the union of Europe, democratizing the E.U – so that member of the European parliament are elected by the people – and establishing a supranational control system for national budgeting and eurobonds. The question is whether European political leaders can move fast enough or achieve those goals at all.