Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Europe vs. the World - Can the E.U. survive this debacle?

As we have been facing this complete freefall in the market (can someone say capitulation?), I think we need to evaluate where to put our hard-earned dollars when it comes to the equities market. As I've stated before, I believe that we are facing deflation, in spite of all the unsuccessful US actions to increase the money supply, and try and shore up the lending system. With lending at a standstill, and deleveraging already underway with the banks, I often wonder where to put my money. But a more pressing issue to the world should be, how will the E.U. deal with this?

The reason why this question is so pertinent is that the European Union has one central bank for those countries that use the Euro (so U.K. is excluded among a group of the E.U. countries). That assists the Euro-zone in creating a central interest rate, and a central monetary policy. The big problem within the E.U. is that each country has its own Treasury function, and each country still has its own government with its own budgetary system. Because of this, countries in the Eurozone will decide to take different actions to shore their economies, thereby affecting all countries in Europe. This can create a worse problem than in the rest of the countries around the world. When a country doesn't control its own monetary policy, but controls the treasury function, it can only hinder coordinated attempts to stabilize an economy. I will be interested to see how Europe copes with the current meltdown, and I even feel there is a remote possiblity that the Euro could be rejected in some countries and even the total rejection of the European Economic Community by others.

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