"If we want everything to stay as it is, everything will have to change."
– from The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought, and that's sort of exactly the Mexican story. It took forever and then it took a night."
– Rudiger Dornbusch
Europe's leaders are committed to keeping both the euro and the eurozone as it is. But for it to do so, everything must change, as the wonderful quote from the 1958 Italian novel suggests. This is no easy task, as no one wants a change that will impact them negatively; and there is no change that will allow things to stay the same that does not impact all severely, as we will see. In the third part of a continuing series, we look at the actual options that are available on the menu of choices, or as one group called it, the menu of pain. I offer some guideposts that we should watch for along the way, and end by offering a suggestion as to what Europe should do. As has been the case in this series, I do my best to offend everyone at some point. If by some small, unintended oversight I do not, then wait another week, I will get to you. What else are friends for?
But before we take on Europe, let me quickly tell you to save the date for my annual Strategic Investment Conference, co-sponsored with my partners, Altegris Investments. And what a lineup we have this year. Already scheduled are my friends Dr. Woody Brock, Mohamed El-Erian, Marc Faber, Niall Ferguson, bond-fund star Jeff Gundlach, Dr. Lacy Hunt, David Rosenberg, as well as your humble analyst. And there are a few more blockbuster names we are close to finalizing. Most people who attend think this is simply the best investment conference of the year, and I think this one looks better than ever. It will be May 2-4 in the San Diego area. I will soon give you details about where you can go to register, but for now put it in your calendar. What better way to think about how to invest in these times than to hear some of the best minds in the world, all in one place?
As this letter will suggest, I don't think this is the year you want your portfolio in typical long-only funds. There is a lot of tail risk this year coming from Europe. For those who are accredited investors and interested in alternative investments like hedge funds and commodity funds, which can help you navigate through these volatile times, let me suggest you go to The Mauldin Circle and register, and my friends at Altegris Investments will give you a call. I am finishing up a new Accredited Investor Letter, and they will send it to you for free as our way of saying thanks for talking with us. Now, let's jump right in.