Ethan A. Huff
Aug 30, 2012
The future does not look very promising for the euro, the flailing currency of the European Union (EU). Speculation among many bankers, company executives, investors, government officials, and others that the euro is about to completely unravel are actually helping to fuel the currency’s decline, say some, a process that many others, including euro architect Otmar Issing, have long believed was inevitable anyway.
The ongoing debt crisis in the “Eurozone,” or the bloc of European countries that are part of the EU, is only continuing to worsen, and EU officials have been unable to come up with a viable policy solution to jump start the EU economy. Meanwhile, the local economies of Greece, Italy, and Spain are in rapid decline with no end in sight, and countries like Germany and Finland that have had to continually prop them are up are growing weary of having to keep the ship afloat, so to speak.
Many European banks have stopped lending across their own countries’ borders, investors have pulled their assets out of European markets, and the Constitutional Court of Germany, one of the key countries holding the EU together, will soon determine whether or not its continued bailout efforts for the worst performing countries in the EU are even legal in the first place. All the signs, in other words, are pointing to an eventual euro collapse.
“Banks, investors and companies are bracing themselves for the possibility that the euro will break up — and are thus increasing the likelihood that precisely this will happen,” writes Martin Hesse for Spiegel Online. “The most radical option to protect oneself against a collapse of the euro is to completely withdraw from the monetary zone.”
Euro architect admits currency in decline
Even Issing, the former chief economist at the European Central Bank who originally helped found and establish the euro, believes the currency was merely an “experiment,” and one that the financial markets of the world are no longer taking seriously. Over the course of this slow debacle, many investors have switched to tangible investments like real estate, rather than take their chances on the euro.
Even the U.S. dollar, which has been on a downward spiral of its own, is viewed by many as more viable than the euro. Because the dollar is perceived as being weak rather than structurally unsound, it is preferable to the euro, and is considered to be the “lesser of two evils.” And it is becoming increasingly obvious that no matter what policy measures are put into place at this point in time, there may be no way to save the euro.
“Over the long term, the monetary union (of the euro) can’t be maintained without private investors,” says Thomas Mayer, a former chief economist at Germany-based Deutsche Bank. If politicians keep trying to prop up the currency with bailouts and other failed policies, he adds, the euro “would only be artificially kept alive.”
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This article was posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 2:57 am