The experiment that was The European Union is beginning to disintegrate as the haves will want to jettison the have-nots. My guess is that there will be two Euros, one for the northern countries like Germany and France (not Ireland) and another currency for the PIIGS countries.-Lou
Roubini Maps Out Nightmare Scenario of Domino Debt Collapse in Europe
“We have too much private debt in the case of Ireland,” according to Nouriel Roubini.
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But the nub of the crisis is this: “We have decided to socialize the private losses of the banking system. Now you have a huge increase in public debt—going from 7 percent to 100 percent of GDP. Soon it will be 120 percent.”
And, turning more broadly to the rest of Europe, “Greece is already at 120 percent.”
Roubini believes that further attempts at intervention have only increased the magnitude of the problems with sovereign debt. He says, “Now you have a bunch of super sovereigns— the IMF, the EU, the eurozone—bailing out these sovereigns.”
Essentially, the super-sovereigns underwrite sovereign debt—increasing the scale and concentrating the problems.
Roubini characterizes super-sovereign intervention as merely kicking the can down the road.
He says wryly: “There’s not going to be anyone coming from Mars or the moon to bail out the IMF or the Eurozone.”
But, despite the paper shuffling of debt at the national level—and at the level of supranational entities—reality ultimately intervenes: “So at some point you need restructuring. At some point you need the creditors of the banks to take a hit —otherwise you put all this debt on the balance sheet of government. And then you break the back of government—and then government is insolvent.”
And then there is the case of France. “Sarkozy came to power saying ‘I’m going to do lots of reform.’ He has not done it. Right now, he is weak. He might lose the election. And, therefore, they are going to delay fiscal austerity and reforms.”
And that, according to Roubini, is a major problem for the fiscally challenged French.