Euroland & the Gold Rebound
BY JIM WILLIE
An important reversal of focus, expectation, and direction has taken place in Europe. Put aside the sovereign debt mess that will not go away. It will not be fixed, despite all the effort and talk and deal making. They must prepare for a string of bank failures and a Greek default. Every solution executed or proposed or pending involves the same lunatic device of creating more debt or more money to solve a problem caused by too much credit creation and unchecked monetary creation. For 18 months the Euro had traded on the back of the European Central Bank monetary policy, on interest rate judgments and expectations. To be sure, the PIIGS sovereign debt situation has dominated the news. However, that disaster has played out in the member nation bond yields, like Greek yields shooting toward 100%, like the bigger southern periphery nations jumping over the critical 5% level. During all the maelstrom of the wrecked bonds, arguments over bank bailouts, haggling over funding the stability facility, and political footdragging, the Euro had maintained a 140 exchange rate for a long time. The impetus for the rise from 130 to 147 in the Euro currency from the beginning of year 2011 had been the clear move by Trichet of the Euro Central Bank to break ranks with the US Federal Reserve. Outgoing chief Trichet hiked the official rate by 25 basis points several months ago, attempting to make distance from the USFed. He made defiant comments implying a reckless pattern at the USFed. He cited rising price inflation threats and the lack of desire to continue to stimulate on the monetary side. The rate hike was criticized widely for its direct impact on PIGS nations. Their mortgage rates and other related internal bank mechanisms caused damage to the southern banks. They were already teetering.