Friday, 27 February 2009

Euro collapse - unthinkable of course...

This article may well be dismissed as alarmist by all of the very same smart people who were adamant that the sub-prime crisis could not conceivably crash the financial system. It is not that the opinion is necessarily correct but having it articulated so clearly by someone with these credentials suggests that it is not "unthinkable"

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Hayman Advisors LP, the firm that earned $500 million betting on the U.S. subprime mortgage-market collapse, says Europe’s monetary union is about to fall apart.

Richard Howard, a managing director for global markets at Dallas-based Hayman, said Germany may opt to shore up its own economy, Europe’s biggest, rather than bail out fellow euro nations such as Austria, Italy and Spain as their banks sag under the weight of bad debts. That might lead to defaults and compel Germany to renounce the euro, he said.

“People said subprime could never blow up but it did and now they’re saying the exact same thing about the eurozone,” said Howard. “There’s no stopping what is now a downward spiral.” He declined to discuss his investments.

Hayman joins a growing number of investors seeing the possibility of a breakup of the $12 trillion euro bloc, conceived more than 10 years ago to cut unemployment, tame inflation and create a rival to the dollar. Societe Generale SA said this week Germany may refuse a bailout in an election year. ABN Amro Holding NV said Feb. 17 the crisis is “Europe’s subprime.”

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