This will be one of the more controversial Outside the Box posts in a great long time. Indeed, I debated with myself at some length. It will make some readers mad, but I decided it is more important to make most readers think. And, as it happens, there are parts of this week’s essay that I rather aggressively disagree with. That being said, there is a great deal of truth here. This represents a serious body of thought that is being debated, and we need to hear all sides, rather than just the ones we like.
Michael Hudson is a research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, which is a serious place, so this is no ill-informed screed. I generally like their stuff.
Hudson first lays the European crisis at the feet of banks and the institutions (ECB, IMF, and the EU) that are taking the Greek (and other) bank debt and putting it into public hands. He has a very real point. Then he points out that Greece is far better off just walking away, a la Iceland (at least read the last part of this post, on Iceland). And in polls he cites, 85% of the Greek people are against taking on the debt and paying the banks.
As I wrote last week, there is a revolution going on all over Europe, slowly building up as people realize that the “solution” being offered benefits banks and not German taxpayers or Greek creditors. Ireland will be watching. There is no easy way out. If there is a referendum on this new “troika” proposal, it is likely to lose. This is not over.
Hudson offers a a lot of facts with his analysis. This is a little longer than most Outside the Boxes, but I encourage you to take the time to read it. It will make you think, that at least I can promise.
(Thanks to Yves Smith for posting this at Naked Capitalist.) And if you like this, be aware that I read scores (if not hundreds) of pieces each week for Outside the Box (yes, even here in Tuscany). And now I'll bring you the 5-10 best of the best each week as part of my new subscription service, Over My Shoulder. If you like Outside the Box, then you're going to love Over My Shoulder. It's like having your own personal filter – with decades of analyst experience and access to exclusive resources. If your time is as valuable to you as your investments, click here to find out more about how I help you home in on the essentials.
Tuscany is renewing my soul. What a contrast. Such beauty to view while I think about the ugliness of Greek debt. My good friends and old business partners Gary and Debi Halbert just showed up to spend a few days, and we have a local sommelier coming in to do a wine and cheese tasting in a few minutes, so I am going to call it a day. Have a great week.
Your getting ready to sample some Tuscan wines analyst,
I get a lot of client letters from various managers and funds, as you might imagine. I read more than I should. But one that shows up every quarter or so makes me stop what I am doing and sit down and read. It is the quarterly letter from Hayman Advisors, based here in Dallas. They are macro guys (which I guess is part of the magnetic attraction for me), and they really put some thought into their craft and have some of the best sources anywhere. So today we take a look at their latest letter, where they cover a wide variety of topics, with cutting-edge analysis and sharp insight. I really like these guys, and suggest you take the time to read the entire letter.
Today (Tuesday) is the day I want you to start buying Endgame. The early reviews on Amazon are quite gratifying – writing a book is damn hard work, so when people say nice things it just feels good. Have a great week! Now let’s jump into the Hayman client letter.
Can the credit crisis get any worse? In this week's Outside the Box my London partner Niels Jensen shows that it indeed can. Banks, and mainly European banks, have large exposure to emerging market debt of all types through both sovereign, corporate and individual loans. Just as banks have had to write down large losses from the subprime crisis and other related problems, next will come a wave of potential losses from yet another source. Niels then goes on to give us a look the size and problems with hedge fund deleveraging. Altogether, this is a very interesting letter and one that is written from a non-US point of view that I think you will find instructive.