Seismic Shift Hits Eurozone

Includes: FXE
by: Richard Bailey

What a difference a day makes.

In Europe, austerity is now out and growth is in. But there are still more than a few wrinkles to be ironed out. Bringing recessionary economies from a contraction to an expansion takes either a helluva lot of money or a helluva lot of debt forgiveness or a whole lot of both.

Until a credible plan begins taking shape that addresses the two critical issues going forward - where any new money may come from and who may forgive debt (answer: no one) - then the eurozone crises will be a potboiler of uncertainty for at least the next 60-90 days.

As I wrote last week for Seeking Alpha, this is no longer strictly an economic crises, this is a full blown political crises with world wide ramifications. Up until now decisions on the eurozone's finances were being made and announced by well-coiffed bureaucrats speaking to the moneyed elite at posh resorts.

Not anymore.

For the first time since the crises broke out two years ago the voters who are being asked to pay more and more while receiving less and less have had their say. These are the very people who have to live with the every day consequences of austerity

In Greece and in France the answer was crystal clear.

Voters have now clearly repudiated the German led insistence that governments make draconian reductions in spending while simultaneously raising taxes in order to service their sovereign debt safely and on time.

While that approach may make inordinate sense in theory, the list of national leaders who have tried to put in practice and have now been voted out of power or seen their governments fall after today's polling stands at 10 or 11.

Topping it off ... in minor provincial elections in Germany's northern state of Schleswig-Holstein Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat Party's backed slate of local officials lost to the center-left Social Democrats and their coalition partners the Greens Party.

While it is a long way from saying with any confidence that Merkel herself is in political trouble at home, she does need an electoral victory somewhere - anywhere at home or abroad - to buttress her position that austerity is the only way out of this crises.

Up until now decisions in the two year old euro debt crises have been made by central bankers, finance ministers, international bankers and EU/IMF/ECB bureaucrats. But with voters punishing elected officials for following the path to austerity - and it is the elected officials who ultimately make the decisions to fund organizations like the IMF and the ECB - we could and should expect to see much less bowing and scraping to international finance figures than we have in the past few months.

A seismic shift hit the eurozone and as a result all bets are off.

But if as we believe that you can't have political union without monetary union - which today's election has once again reinforced - then we are in for a long hot summer of political intrigue and financial market uncertainty as the European Union decides what it wants to be when it grows up or whether it wants to exist at all.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.