Monday, October 24, 2011

Euro Rising Amid Escalating Debt Crisis; Gold Worth $11,000/Ounce?

There are now differing views over the ongoing European debt crisis, which made Monday a banner day for the pair trade of short US dollar/long US stocks.

The view widely held by Wall Street influencers is the one promoted by the well-compromised "news" organization, Reuters, a proxy for the Wall Street/Washington oligarchy currently under attack by the Occupy Wall Street and other, spawned protest movements. Reuters reports that there is growing confidence that the EU leaders will forge a broad agreement with which to deal with the Euro-zone's debt issues by Wednesday of this week. Such wishful thinking pushed the Euro to a six-week high against the dollar, sparking the rally in US equities on the cheaper - for now - US dollar.

Alternately, NPR, in the embedded radio clip below, headlined its story Agreement On Debt Crisis Eludes EU Leaders, citing differences in approach by the various leaders amid calls for austere cutbacks in Italy to stem its own set of problems.

Realistically, nobody has a very good handle on where this is all headed, though widespread agreement seems a long shot. Greece has needed two rounds of bailout money already, and the country has been forced to suffer through doubt, derision, protests, strikes and riots in recent days as the government agreed to severe austerity measures, cutbacks in services and layoffs to help the government avoid running out of money.

Some kind of European plan is supposed to be released to the public by Wednesday, so there's probably no reason for stocks or the Euro/Dollar trade to deviate much until then. Details of the plan have been hashed about, though nothing is for certain except that it will include bailout money for some of Europe's largest banks (called: recapitalization) and some funding and dispersal mechanisms for the EFSF, the newly-created sovereign debt fund that is supposed to provide much-needed liquidity to the Euro system. Of course, the Euro money machine is beginning to look a lot like another global Ponzi scheme, with indebted countries providing funding through various channels to even-worse indebted nations like Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Anyone with a view of history longer than his or her current lifespan might have a better idea of where the Greek crisis is headed and it is most certainly not a happy place. Usually, when governments spend or steal too much of their citizens' money, overtaxing and under-delivering on promises and services, it means the end of the reigning regime, either trough violent overthrow or peaceful negotiation, though the former, albeit it's bloody features, has been more successful through the pantheon of history in securing the absolute rights of individuals while removing parasitic forces of government from the inflicted nation.

In Greece, it appears that the rowdy protesters have slowly but steadily been gaining ground and, with the emergence of Occupy Wall Street and other such groups, populist movements seem to be spreading faster than government efforts to defame or derail the groups. One interesting development was Michael Moore's appearance on CNBC this morning.

While the interview was not a first for Moore on CNBC, the filmmaker and champion of the "little guy" was allowed on air for over 11 minutes, and made some strong points on the inequitable economic situation facing all but America's wealthiest people. The piece is well worth the viewing time, as Moore made his case to Carl Quintanilla, a reporter and anchor who might just have something of a conscience.

One other story of note on the day is James Turk's elegant arithmetic in making his case why gold should be $11,000 an ounce. (PS: at a 16:1 gold:silver ratio - the traditional ratio - that would make the current silver price of around $31 per ounce, seem even more ridiculous. Something along the lines of $687/ounce would be appropriate.

Dow 11,913.62, +104.83 (0.89%)
NASDAQ 2,699.44, +61.98 (2.35%)
S&P 500 1,254.19, +15.94 (1.29%)
NYSE Composite 7,547.63, +116.53 (1.57%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,988,391,000
NYSE Volume 4,291,371,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4660-1018
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 125-24
WTI crude oil: 91.27, +3.87
Gold: 1,652.30, +16.20
Silver: 31.64, +0.45

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