Monday, December 8, 2008

Trichet’s Economy Hits Friedman’s Bump, Defies Breakup Forecast



"The euro area has so far defied Milton Friedman’s forecast that it would splinter as soon as the “global economy hits a real bump.” As it marks its 10th birthday, it’s hitting the biggest bump yet."

Yeah, but Friedman probably never thought the Fed would lend hundreds of billions to the Europeans to keep that from happening. If those loans were not made, Friedman's prediction would have come true.

Very ironic how we hear screams of "moral hazard" when applied to the U.S. and domestic policy, however, the mother of all moral hazard has been the Fed's decision to backstop the Eurozone. This eliminates all need for political and structural reform. Europe can continue as is, without having a viable fiscal and monetary authority, because it now has that in the form of the Fed and U.S. taxpayers.

5 comments:

googleheim said...

How are the US taxpayers on the hook for US Fed backstopping and catching-the-backs of the EUROS ?

I thought that if it was plain spending then we don't have to scoop up taxes from US citizens to pay it off, after all we are a sovereign nation ?

Or is that the spending and distributions by the FED to the EU do not fulfill the second side of the double entry accounting ?

i.e. exactly WHY do US citizens have to pay for saving the EU in the form of taxes ?

or is it that the spending should be spent on Americans first and foremost only Americans ?

googleheim said...

If an American entity owes a foreign entity ( say suppliers or whatever ) a lot of money, then they need a strong dollar to pay off that debt.

If a European entity owes an American entity a lot of money, then they need a weak dollar to pay off that debt.

If we spike the U$D, then the Euro boys will not be able to pay their bills and our double entry accounting ( debt to pay others, debt to receive from others )
could possible become single entry
in that they will not be able to pay us back.

There is a teeter tottering going on here that is trying to find an optimal and low potential stability minimum point.

We need to do this in phases so that all balance sheets can be in USA favor.

If the Eurozone is part of the USA stop-on-a-dime slam dunk, then how will they pay us what they owe us ?

ditto for the rest of the world.

how much leverage do we really need ???

Mike Norman said...

Technically taxpayers are not on the hook, however, the currency losses for the Fed may be quite real.

Mike Norman said...

The Fed might have been concerned that asset sales by European institutions would have a contagion effect. Still, it's a strange position given their comfort with letting Lehman go at the time.

googleheim said...

The Germs are overextended in Russia. Merkle is required by standard German hedging to smirk at USA and smile too. They are (over)extended in the Russian front which is all commodity based enterprises. Even Schroeder left office to go straight to the Ru$$ian oil fields so heroically.

Don't worry though however sardonic them fisch-kopfs are - we've got their back due to their double entry entwined with ours.

It's not a B.R.I.C house built by German efficient balanced budgets.