Euro

On January 1, 1999, 11 European countries came together in an attempt to form an economic and monetary powerhouse. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain were the first members of the eurozone.

Today, 17 of the 27 members of the European Union (EU) are part of the eurozone, the name for the collection of EU countries that utilize the euro. Over the last decade, the euro has become one of the world’s most powerful currencies, used by more than 320 million Europeans in twenty-three countries.

In 2011, the United States exported $268 billion in goods to the eurozone and imported $368 billion, making it the America’s biggest trading partner. According to S&P 500 data, roughly 14% of all S&P 500 company sales come from Europe. Not surprisingly, economic deterioration in the eurozone would have serious implications for the U.S. (Source: “Trade in Goods with European Union,” United States Census Bureau web site, last accessed December 19, 2012.)

The European debt crisis cannot be laid solely at the feet of the U.S. financial crisis. There was a build-up of debts in Spain and Italy before 2008, but it had little or nothing to do with governments. The private sector—companies and mortgage borrowers—were taking out huge loans. When southern European countries joined the eurozone, interest rates fell to unprecedented lows, fuelling a debt-laden boom.

That said, the European debt crisis became critical after the U.S. financial crisis of 2008–2009, as the slowing global economy exposed unsustainable financial policies of certain eurozone countries. In October 2009, Greece’s new government admitted the budget deficit would be double the previous estimate and would hit 12% gross domestic product (GDP). After years of uncontrolled spending and non-existent fiscal reforms, Greece was one of the first countries to buckle under the economic strain.

Fast-forward to the present, and the European debt crisis is pushing the 17-country eurozone toward recession, helping drag down the global economy. Ten European countries have already slipped into a recession. Three more have needed to be bailed out in order to avoid default.

In Spain, where the unemployment rate is 25%, there have been general strikes and civil unrest. In France, the European Central Bank (ECB) injected more than a trillion dollars to rescue three of the country’s largest financial institutions. Seven European countries have changed leadership because of the crisis, and Greece reneged on $133 billion in debts.

The chance of an economic recovery for the eurozone has been fading. With huge question marks looming over the health of some of the region’s biggest economies, a near-term rebound for the eurozone seems very unlikely. That may have to wait until 2014, maybe even later.

While Germany and France, the two largest eurozone countries, are expected to avoid recession, the euro will need to weaken in value for southern European nations to eliminate their current deficits and cut reliance on foreign borrowing, or to export enough to return to growth.

The multiple sovereign debt crises of European countries have placed pressure on the euro currency. With general high unemployment rates and anemic GDP growth, avoiding a recession doesn’t look likely.

Long term, we do not believe the euro will survive. We believe that Germany, the sole growth engine of Europe, made a mistake in joining the euro currency. And, at some point, we expect Germany to either withdraw from the 17-country eurozone or simply ask the weaker European countries to leave the euro currency.

For Americans, the struggles of Germany and the eurozone are a constant reminder of the interconnectedness of the global economy. What happens with the euro will have a profound affect on the value of the U.S. dollar and the price of gold bullion. You can find regular commentary on the euro in Profit Confidential.


Economic Collapse: EUR/USD Exchange Rate Could Crash 20%

By Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Economic CollapseIf you think Greece is holding back the eurozone from an economic collapse, you may be mistaken. At least, that’s according to former hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs alumnus Raoul Pal. In an interview with CNBC’s Fast Money on July 31st, the publisher of the Global Macro Investor newsletter and the founder of Real Vision TV.

Economic Collapse: Italy Youth Unemployment Hits Record High 44.2%

By Saturday, August 1, 2015
Italy Youth Unemployment Hits Record High 44 PercentImage by Tax Credits
Youth unemployment hit a 33-year high in June, according to the latest data from the Italian national statistics office, signaling the troubled country and the wider eurozone area could be on the verge of economic collapse. It’s the disappointing unemployment rate that indicates the economic collapse would
.

NASDAQ Hits Record High on Google Inc. (GOOG) Earnings, Economic Data

By Friday, July 17, 2015
NASDAQ Hits Record HighThe NASDAQ opened higher on Friday July 17th after strong earnings results from Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG, GOOGL) and positive economic data. This could eventually give clues on the timing of an interest rate increase. The U.S. dollar is heading for its biggest gain since May after economic data increased the possibility of an interest.

NASDAQ Opens Higher on Strong Economic Data

By Thursday, July 16, 2015
NASDAQ Opens Higher Economic DataThe NASDAQ opened higher on Thursday, July 16th, as investors cheered a Greek bailout approval and strong corporate earnings. European stocks climbed and bond yields fell on Thursday after the Greek’s parliament approved a proposed bailout plan. Eurozone stocks rose 1.5% to 3,676 points and Germany’s DAX rose 1.6% to 11,722 points..

NASDAQ: Here’s Why Stocks Are Heading Higher Today

By Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Stocks Are Heading Higher TodayThe NASDAQ opened flat on Tuesday July 14th amid disappointing data in retail sales. Abroad, investors remain uneasy about talks surrounding Greece’s bailout package. European shares turned lower on Tuesday after a four-day rally due to uncertainty over whether the measures would be passed in Greece’s parliament. The yield .
Sep. 1, 2015
Trailing 12-month EPS for Dow Jones companies (Most Recent Quarter) $1014.15
Trailing 12-month Price/earnings multiple (Most Recent Quarter)

17.44

Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend Yield 2.71%
10-year U.S. Treasury Yield 2.14%

Immediate term outlook:
The bear market rally in stocks that started in March 2009, extended because of unprecedented central bank money printing, is coming to an end. Gold bullion is up $1,000 an ounce since we first recommended it in 2002 and we are still bullish on the physical metal.

Short-to-medium term outlook:
World economies are entering their slowest growth period since 2009. The Chinese economy grew last year at its slowest pace in 24 years. Japan is in recession. The eurozone is in depression. With almost half the S&P 500 companies deriving revenue outside the U.S., slower world economic growth will negatively impact revenue and earnings growth of American companies. Domestically, America’s gross domestic product grew by only a meager 2.3% in the second quarter, which will negatively impact an already overpriced equity market.

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