In my view, the EU, as unwieldy as it is, was worth a try, and I still feel that way. Let's see what
it brings over the long run, as long as most people in it want to keep it. Perhaps inexcusably, I have
been very relaxed about the financial crisis the EU is facing, figuring if there is a will there is a
way for the EU to get past this current struggle. What's worse, I have a little investment banker in
my nature and believe in sensible creative financing to meet pressing financial need, if you can gin
up people's confidence sufficiently to go along with it. The EU can always be unraveled and the
lights can always be turned out on the financially weak countries within it. All fodder for future
historians who would be called upon to document and explain the sequences of disorder and
destruction that would follow. But, this is a huge and fascinating socioeconomic experiment, and
it appears the EU, by again stepping up financial rescue and stabilization efforts, desires to press
on. More power to them, especially when you consider that the 100 years of Europe's history prior
to the founding of the EU was among the most deadly and destructive the world has ever known.
The challenges ahead are huge. The PIIGS and Belgium have dire financial problems, the ECB is
broke and the banking system is way short of needed capital. There will be strains for years, but
Europe has been rebuilt stunningly before and this time it is only the bankers and insurance
companies which are bombed out.
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!