今日の覚書、集めてみました 2012-06-01 18:58:45
Break up is trendy but what happens if the euro manages to survive?
By Damian Reece, Head of Business
Telegraph Blog: 9:18PM BST 31 May 2012
Suddenly it's fashionable to believe the eurozone is about to break up. Even six months ago that was thinking the unthinkable. Since when did we swivel-eyed, eurosceptic cranks become trendy?
The equity market seems to be thinking it. The bond market certainly is. The International Monetary Fund is preparing for it, and voters across bits of Europe are returning politicians who will cause it.
But stop. What happens if the euro hangs together? If the Greeks return the right parties in mid-June, the €1 trillion firewall is erected come July and Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel agree soothing words over growth, then surely the markets will rejoice. We could be looking at the mother of all rallies. With the FTSE 100 within a 4pc fall of the 5,000 level is it time to pile in? No.
A euro that stays together is the most bearish outcome for markets. There might be a short-lived relief rally but the problem of recession would remain. Saving the euro currency does not save the euro economy.
The most bullish outcome, however, would be if Spain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and maybe Italy, broke free (with a combined GDP to rival Germany). They would enjoy an immediate 30pc cost advantage thanks to devaluation, which would jump start growth.
The short-term shock would be extreme. So extreme that Germany would probably be forced to adopt its own stimulus measures to boost consumer spending at home, further speeding growth in Southern Europe. A smaller German surplus and more inflation would result, but that's no disaster, even for Germans.
Germany has got everything to gain from the euro surviving intact and everything to lose from its demise. For a much larger part of the eurozone economy, the opposite is true – how sustainable is that?
As the currency bloc fell apart there would be some short-term panic as the insolvency of banks, and some countries, was laid bare. But those self-same banks and countries are already insolvent, they're just being supported by the European Central Bank's emergency cash crutch. The current "save the euro" €1 trillion bail-out funds could just as easily be cast as a "save Europe" fund with exactly the same job of rescuing the zone's zombie banks but with the added prospect of economic growth, creating a quicker and more effective return to the black.
Stock markets won't rally until the unsustainable becomes, well, unsustainable, and a split begins. The same happened on Black Wednesday in 1992 when the UK left the ERM. Once Norman Lamont raised interest rates a second time in one day, to 15pc, the markets realised the game was up and far from falling, they started rising.