Thursday, November 17, 2011

Follow Up on EU Debt Crisis and Jim Cramer

I'm following up on my last post which suggested that EU money printing is certain, in my worldview.  Namely, the Europeans do not have the stomach for sufficient belt tightening.  Nor do they want to permit widespread default.  So, money printing appears to be the most likely option for them.  I'm not sure why Jim Cramer left that off the menu in his analysis today:

"So we spiral and we spiral, with every auction now turning into a down 1% rout at a minimum, and there are auctions as far as the eye can see and not enough money from different entities to buy them all.

Ways out? Default, which would be devastating but would allow for a new beginning somewhere down the road. Restructuring, budget reform, lower standard of living, increased savings rate to buy the bonds? Obvious. But have you thought about the problems we're having here with our own debt committee?"

Now, I think there is a limited possibility that I could be wrong and the Europeans will simply fail to be able to agree on money printing before certain countries are forced to default.  It's the option the Russians chose back in the late '90's and they've seemingly rebounded fine.  But the backstop against money printing, Germany, does not want to see default happen.  So the Germans will ultimately be presented with a choice:  print money, make up the difference out of their own coffers, or permit default.  Which would you choose?  And does anyone really believe that the Germans are resisting money printing because, as they say, they remember the lessons of The Weimar Republic?  I don't.

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