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Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. But I can't by law give you advice, and I do make mistakes. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. Oddly enough, the expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would, or on the other hand happens more quickly than you expected. The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Step one

So the other Euro members managed to persuade/bully Unsere Angela to accept that the Spanish bank bailout funds are not to rank ahead of other Spanish government debt.  Good.  Common sense at last.  And they also decided that future bank bailouts will come from the stability fund and not have conditions. Έύρηκα!
Or perhaps, rather, wunderbar!


So at last we get a central bank with a central bank rescue system.  The euro area banks will be saved not by national governments but by the ESM (European Stability Mechanism, i.e., the Euro area governments collectively) and the ECB.  The way it happens in the US or Oz, where banks are saved even if they happen to be located in a state with problems.  The Fed doesn't refuse support to banks in Florida.  The RBA goes on supporting banks in Tasmania.  As they should.

Not yet a common fiscal system, but it's step one on a long road.  If the reports are true this is a huge step forward, and might actually save the euro and the world economy.  Key point:  this will separate bank solvency from sovereign solvency.  At least this particular pernicious feedback doom-loop has been terminated (bank failures >> bailouts >> higher government debt >> high interest rate >> more bank failures.)  About time.

Plus -- will wonders never cease? -- E120 billion "growth package".

Time to put money back on the table.  For the time being, anyway.

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