More Europe bailout news. Last week, the world was elated with news that the Federal Reserve and five other central banks got together to prop up Eurozone banks drowning on sour sovereign debt, but the crisis is far from over. The latest scheme is for countries to trade sovereignty over their budgets in return for more bailout money. The Sunday Times is reporting the ECB is putting together €1 trillion that will be used for a “colossal” intervention in European bond markets. The paper goes on to say, “The cash injection will only be carried out if leaders can agree on handing over more fiscal control to the EU and for strict controls to be imposed on nations struggling to control their debts.”
Ann Barnhardt, an outspoken commodities brokerage owner who shot to notoriety because she closed her doors in the wake of the MF Global bankruptcy, says it will take much more than €1 trillion. Barnhardt thinks the MF Global implosion and coordinated action by central banks is an early sign of systemic failure approaching. In an interview last week, she said, “Europe is done. Europe is mathematically impossible. It cannot be saved. You even want to make a start at trying to bail out Europe, we’re talking $25 trillion JUST TO START…we’re in excess of $100 trillion to bail out Europe.”
You think the $100 trillion number is a little high? That is the exact same number that came out of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland at the beginning of the year. While Barnhardt thinks the entire commodities market has been “destroyed” and a collapse is near, an article on Jesse’s Café American speculates a coming gigantic confiscation scheme is in the works. The story says, “At some point a ‘black swan’ event, or perhaps something the classical world would have simply called ‘nemesis,’ is going to knock the US futures market off its foundations. The government and exchanges will seek to force a solution on market participants through the de facto seizure of positions and accounts, with a settlement dictated by the Banks. MF Global looks like a dry run for that much larger default.”
Another ominous view of the EU was reported by NewsMax.com on Friday. The story said, “Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King has told banks to get ready for a Eurozone collapse, according to The Courier newspaper in the United Kingdom. . . . “Maybe it won’t break up, maybe it will continue in various forms, but maybe there will still be questions of default.” The default probability was echoed by Nigel Farage, Member of the European Parliament, who said Sunday the big intervention spearheaded last week by the Fed spells trouble. Farage said, “I think what it tells you is there must be, there just has to be, some very major banks that are teetering on the edge of collapse.”
Economist John Williams from Shadowstats.com said in his latest post, the downfall of the European Union is not near as troublesome to the world as a collapse of the U.S. dollar. Williams said, “In contrast, the deliberate debasement of the U.S. dollar, and the unwillingness or inability of the U.S. government to address its long-range insolvency, promise an ultimate collapse of the U.S. currency that will leave the U.S. dollar absolutely worthless to its holders. The hoopla out of the major central banks, on November 30th, over renewed coordinated global efforts at maintaining banking-system liquidity, suggested a rapidly deteriorating circumstance. Further, the continued lack of meaningful growth in either the U.S. broad money supply measure, or in domestic bank lending, remains suggestive of deteriorating banking stability in the United States.”
Jim Rickards, author of the new best-selling book called “Currency Wars,” thinks the risk of a meltdown is greater than most experts think. Rickards said in an interview over the weekend, “The likelihood of a collapse is higher than a lot of analysts assume . . . therefore we are in very dangerous territory. . . . Ben Bernanke is probably a greater threat to US dollar stability than the Chinese Communist Party; his beliefs on monetary policy aren’t dynamically stable. He believes there’s no limit to the amount of money you can print, and if the economy is in trouble, print more, and if bank’s are in trouble print more, and if Europe’s in trouble print more. . . .The Fed thinks they’re playing with a thermostat at home–but in reality, they’re playing with a nuclear reactor–and the danger is they melt the thing down.”
On the geo-political front, Iran claims it has shot down a U.S. spy drone over the weekend and is threatening to retaliate. The Telegraph is reporting, “Iran’s military said on Sunday it had shot down a US reconnaissance drone aircraft in eastern Iran and warned it would retaliate on foreign soil for the incursion.” The Iranians have become the black sheep of the world ever since the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed it is developing nuclear weapons earlier this year. What do you bet the downed drone had something to do with spying on that program? Sanctions have been building against Iran from around the world, but the smell of war is in the air. Meanwhile, a story recently on Chinese state run Television said China would side with Iran if it were attacked, even if it means “World War Three.”
If war breaks out in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s first move would be to shut down oil flow from that region by closing off the Straits of Hormuz. 40% of the world’s oil moves through this narrow 30 mile passage every year. Between war or sanctions, oil prices will spike and push a world economy teetering on the brink over the edge into an abyss. If the global economy is not killed off by the EU debt crisis, it would surely collapse under the weight of $300 barrel oil. Never in history has the world been this close to total financial chaos and nuclear war at the same time.