The Greek debt crisis presents danger for all of Europe, according to experts at firms such as BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager.
The crisis has hit southern European bond markets hard, and some experts say Europe’s Monetary Union (EMU) may be torn asunder.
“The risk of contagion is a real one,” Scott Thiel, head of European fixed income at BlackRock, told The New York Times.
“Investor sentiment is now focused on countries like Spain and Portugal, where fundamentals are weakest.”
Part of the problem for the EMU is that while the European Central Bank controls much of the continent’s monetary policy, fiscal policy remains under the auspices of individual governments.
And many of those governments have been fiscally irresponsible.
“We have a centralized monetary policy, but we allow budgets and wages to move in different directions,” Paul De Grauwe, an economic adviser to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, told The Times.
“Without a political union, in the long run the euro zone cannot last.”
Compounding the problem is that France and Germany are weathering the economic storm better than their neighbors.
So it would be difficult to create a common economic policy in any case.
Experts aren’t impressed with European governments’ actions so far.
“No measure of official reassurance would be enough unless the nations in question retain credibility in financial markets, which remains to be seen,” Geoffrey Yu, a currency strategist at UBS, told Bloomberg.
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