A few years ago, I was convinced that Greece would have to leave the European Union within months.  So, I made some bets.  Of course, I lost those bets. At the time, I attributed my losses to underestimating Europeans’ fear of repeating the 20th Century’s violence and their conviction that only some sort of union… Read more

In this article, Joshua Brown argues that the impacts of Greek default are likely to be small.  He correctly points out that Greece’s economy is really pretty small in the scheme of things. But does that really mean that the impact of a default is really small?  I think most of the time it would,… Read more

Europe has been in the news a lot lately. One day it has a plan to, temporarily at least, deal with the debt problems of delinquent members, and markets climb. The next day there is a glitch and markets fall. What is going on here? Why are markets so spooky? We’re witnessing what are almost… Read more

Today’s decline in market values, and particularly in the financial sector, has to reflect more than new employment data.  I’m thinking that market participants are coming to see that the risk of at least one  sovereign debt default is higher than previously thought.  A realistic assessment of the risks and potential impacts on the Euro,… Read more

The Eurozone is a confederation of 16 European countries. When joining, countries abandon control of their currency to the European Central Bank, and they agree to significant constraints on their monetary policy. Why would they do this? Countries join hoping to benefit from increased trade efficiency and access to markets. Are the benefits of joining… Read more