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Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Threat from Europe

Sir Mervyn king, Governor of The Bank England, has spoken forthrightly this morning about the threat from Europe.

Using phrases such as:

- "Exceptionally perilous conditions";
- "Major solvency concerns";
- "Systemic crisis"

Clearly shows that he is very worried, and that the threat to the UK from the Eurozone crisis is worsening.

Sir Mervyn has called for UK banks to increase their capital reserves (via cutting dividends and bonuses, not cutting lending), not because they are under capitalised (they are better capitalised than European banks) but because it is "sensible and desirable to build resilience to threats to UK stability."

The "threat" of course comes from Europe.

How will this all end?

Here are six possible scenarios:

1 The Euro is devalued in order to keep all member states together and ease the pain on PIIGS.

2 PIIGS leave the Euro en masse, and in an "orderly" fashion. The Euro remains relatively stable as remaining countries in it are stable

3 PIIGS leave the Euro one by one in a disorderly fashion, as markets push Euro down and yields up.

4 Eurozone leaders create a "big bazooka" to deal with the short term confidence issue, and move towards full fiscal/political union in medium term (the Euro stabilises).

5 Eurozone leaders fail to create big bazooka but continue to work towards medium term fiscal union, markets tear Eurozone apart.

6 Germany leaves Eurozone and the remaining members devalue Euro.

To my view options 3, 5 or 6 are the most likely.

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