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The Economist - probability of a catastrophic break-up of the euro zone

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by ATCclears, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    This is dated February 15, so it doesn't reflect very recent events in Greece.


    We have lowered the probability of a catastrophic break-up of the euro zone
    February 15th 2012

    In the light of the ECB's actions, and the response of the markets, we have lowered the probability of a break-up of the euro zone from 40% to 30%. That we are still attaching a nearly one-in-three chance to a collapse of the single-currency area means we are not convinced that the authorities have fully addressed most of the risks. Greece, where negotiations on a bailout package have been fraught, could yet be the trigger for a disorderly default, with a significant contagion risk for Italy, Portugal and Spain. We would also like to see more than one month of relative market stability before we declare the worst of the crisis over. Issues surrounding the "fiscal compact"—an agreement to police budgetary spending in euro zone countries—are not resolved, and the size and functioning of the euro zone bailout fund is far from settled. In short, any number of trigger points could cause a sudden deterioration in euro zone sentiment, eroding market confidence in a matter of days and sending government bond yields soaring. These market developments could race well ahead of any political effort to contain them (much as US officials in late 2008 were unable for many months to contain the crises at Lehman Brothers and AIG, a US insurance company). A break-up of the euro zone would trigger a depression in Europe and a serious recession for the global economy.