The most important debate of our lifetimes is now ongoing. For many, the answer will be existential. First, the question: Should the ECB “write the check’ for the euro area national governments? In thinking about the answer to this all-important question, I prefer to shift the focus by changing the verb “should” to “will”.
Answering this slightly different question is much more important than answering the first question for you as an investor, a business person and as a worker. If the ECB writes the check, the economic and market outcomes are vastly different than if they do not. Your personal outlook as an investor, business person or worker will change dramatically for decades to come based upon this one policy choice and how well-prepared for it you are.
The emphasis is in the original. What happens if the ECB doesn’t? Harrison games it out in his post. You really need to read it. It contains the line: “This is a true Armageddon and Depression scenario.”
Paul Krugman says that Harrison is right about how our world could unravel very quickly, and very soon:
Crunch time. If prejudice and false notions of prudence prevail, the world is about to take a major change for the worse.
I would just like to point out that the big US banks’ exposure to European debt could exceed $4 trillion.
Willem Buiter warns that Europe could have only days before a sovereign Eurozone default triggers Armageddon, absent the ECB taking radical action.