Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mounting calls for 'nuclear response' to save monetary union - Telegraph

Spain's former leader Felipe Gonzalez warned that unless the European Central Bank steps into the market with mass bond purchases, the EMU system will lurch from one emergency to the next until it blows up.

Alluding to Portugal and Spain, he said a third country will need a rescue as soon as "January or February", and fourth soon after, at which point it will "contaminate the whole of Europe and get out of hand".

"If the ECB bought just a third as much public debt as the US Federal Reserve is doing, we could stop the speculation," he said.

Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup, said Greece, Ireland and Portugal are all insolvent already, and Spain is close behind. The combined rescue needs of these countries is likely to exhaust the EU's €440bn (£368bn) bail-out fund, which in reality has just €250bn in usable money.

"Once Spain needs assistance, the support of the ECB will be critical. As the sole source of unlimited liquidity and as an institution that can take decisions without the need for political or popular approval, it is the only institution that can take actions of sufficient size and with sufficient speed to stave off major financial instability," he said.

It's becoming more difficult to see how the Euro is going to survive... the end of the common currency I suspect

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