The Beginning of the End of Europe
BY GONZALO LIRA
Yesterday, the European contagion spread to Italy and Spain. The sovereign debt of those two countries swooned—for no discernible reason.
No discernible reason whatsoever: The Italian and Spanish bond markets just sort of . . . plopped, like when a learning-to-walk toddler suddenly plops on his behind? Exactly like that: For no reason whatsoever.
The only conclusion that I can draw from this Monday swoon is that we’ve hit the tipping point: This is the start of the eurozone endgame. It is now only a matter of time before the eurozone breaks apart. Therefore, get back in your seats, buckle up, and brace yourselves good—‘cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Let me explain my thinking:
For those of you who somehow have missed out on this movie: Europe has been in trouble because the nations of the periphery—Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, the so-called PIIGS—have massive sovereign debts which they simply cannot pay.
Regardless of how the debt of the PIIGS got to be the size that it is, none of them can survive without cash: Cash to maintain their government services, and cash to pay off their debts.
In the case of all the PIIGS, they need more debt in order to raise the cash they need to pay off the old debt. They are simply not generating enough revenue to survive.