Despite claims of austerity and Germany’s threats to get tough with debtors, the European Union agreed to another big bailout over the weekend and saved Spain, for now.
Greece soon will be back in the news and some of the politicians in that country seem to be pushing for a larger bailout and less national responsibility.
After rushing to Spain’s assistance, Europe’s leaders may feel they have no choice but to help Greece and the downward spiral that is modern Europe will continue.
Despite all the reporting on the bailout over the weekend, little has been said about where the 100 billion euros ($125 billion) will come from or how Spain found an additional 30 billion euros for those same banks over the past month.
While some complain that the European countries are not very productive, they have become very adept at manufacturing euros. The 100 billion euro bailout from this weekend is equivalent to about 8.9 percent of Spain’s economy.
Greece has needed help that already totals more than 40 percent of its GDP and more will likely be required. Spain is also likely to need more.
The country’s prime minister admitted that bad debts total at least 180 billion euro and unemployment sits near 25 percent, making it difficult to increase tax revenue.
At some point, European leaders will most likely decide the only to save the euro is to devalue the euro and print enough to cover the outstanding bills.
That will be inflationary unless economic activity collapses. Either outcome will have a large impact on the United States since more than 20 percent of U.S. exports have historically gone to this troubled region.
Inflation may be subdued for now but one day, all these billions will have to be repaid or inflated away. At $125 billion a week, that day is nor far off.
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