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Decision Time For Europe: The Definitive Presentation On The Future (Or Lack Thereof)
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Decision Time For Europe: The Definitive Presentation On The Future (Or Lack Thereof)

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Decision Time For Europe: The Definitive Presentation On The Future (Or Lack Thereof)

When dealing with the daily barrage of headlines from Europe, it is easy to get lost in the trees and forget what the forest looks like. That's perfectly understandable - after all, it is precisely the intention of the Eurocrats to confound everyone with noise, so any track of the fact that the big picture is unfixable is if not lost then promptly forgotten, with reactionary newsflow dominating the flawed decision-making process. Luckily, the fact remains that no matter what, no matter the scale of lies out of Europe, the problem still remains: the math just does not make any sense. Conveniently reminding us precisely of this, we present to our readers the must read presentation by Swiss private bank Pictet titled "Decision time for monetary union" which puts the forest right back into focus, and explains why all attempts to kick the can down the street will be met with a prompt and furious response by the bond vigilante crowd, which has now officially been thawed out of cryogenic stasis. Because, all noise aside, the Eurozone has two options - continue the current course which is catastrophic: "Current response to the crisis has created conditions leading the euro area towards depression" or accept the reality and do something about it, yet "things are going to get worse before European authorities decide to wheel out their heavy artillery." Said otherwise: lose-lose. So without further ado, let's dig in...

1.Italy has put its head above the emergency parapet

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2. The good news: Italian public accounts well on track
  • Italy and Germany are the rare countries likely to record primary surpluses in 2011
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3. The bad news: Italian public debt: a weighty millstone



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4. All benefits from the creation of the euro have been erased: Spreads above levels prevailing before the euro's birth

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5. The light at the end of the tunnel is a trillion and a half euro oncoming train: €1,500bn to be financed in peripheral euro area states between now and 2014

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6. From Arab Srping to European Winter: Winter and springtime will be busy seasons for refinancing

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7. Surveys now clearly in recession territory
  • Only the post-Lehman deterioration was as rapid as the current downswing
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8. Orders/inventory ratio has continued to deteriorate
  • As a result, production has to be scaled back further
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9. The bad news: Recession looming
  • Q3 should turn out better than heralded by surveys, but full-blown recession is likely to hit this winter
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10. The worse news: Threat of a credit crunch looming
  • Bank deleveraging will translate into shrinking credit
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11. The worst news: Current response to the crisis has created conditions leading the euro area towards depression
  • Germany's refusal to back other member states' debt has brought about a savage repricing of the risk. Highly indebted countries have become insolvent owing to the steep increase in their debt-servicing bills.
  • The German recipe for solving the crisis is geared towards deleveraging all economic agents simultaneously. This is
    utopian. This policy will brutally
    • depress aggregated demand – most European economies are likely to sink into recession this coming winter
    • limit the availability of credit
  • This is the route that led towards the Depression of the 1930s.

12. What can be done - a blend of measures:
  • German recipe combined with a lack of means will not stop the crisis spreading
  • Response should be two-fold
1 . Urgent measures: stop the haemorrhage

<blockquote>



<ul>ECB interventions to be increased (SMP: 180bn)
EFSF guarantees (


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