Dave Gonigam

It took a while…but the most clueless European is finally figuring out something the most clueless Americans have known for a year or two: They’ve been snookered.

Remember when Ben Bernanke told us that problems in the mortgage market were contained to the subprime sector? Then it became obvious they weren’t contained. But he promised they wouldn’t detonate the credit markets or take down major banks. And so on.

Europeans are living this right now, today. Leaders of the European Union assured them that problems in Greece would stay in Greece. Then the problems spread to Ireland. So EU leaders said if the Irish would just take a bailout, they’d come up with a plan to make sure nothing like this ever happened again.

This week, bond traders are calling their bluff. Yesterday, the yield on Spanish bonds grew from 5.21% to 5.46%. (It’s up again today, to 5.55%.)

Today, the yield on Italian bonds grew to 4.68%. The spread over similar German bonds – the benchmark of reliability – is its widest since 1997, when the euro was still a gleam in the eyes of central planners.

Credit default swaps on Irish debt, Portuguese debt, Spanish debt, Italian debt…they’ve all surged to record highs.

Thus, the euro has slid below $1.30 for the first time in two months. Not surprisingly, gold priced in euros hit a record of €1,059.

Priced in dollars, gold is looking pretty impressive too. The dollar index is merely firming up its position above 81…but gold has surged nearly $20, to $1,386. That’s within $40 of the record set just three weeks ago.

Dave Gonigam
for The Daily Reckoning

Dave Gonigam

Dave Gonigam has been managing editor of The 5 Min. Forecast since September 2010. Before joining the research and writing team at Agora Financial in 2007, he worked for 20 years as an Emmy award-winning television news producer.

Recent Articles

Video
Creditism and the Threat of a New Depression

Richard Duncan

In the 1960s, total credit in the U.S. broke the one trillion dollar mark...and since then, it has expanded over 50 times. But now, as Richard Duncan explains, the explosion of credit that's made America prosperous, threatens to take the entire economy down. And that could mean the return of another depression...


Advance Notice of the Next Market Crash

Chris Mayer

News flash: The future is uncertain. (Gasp!) But given this uncertainty how are you supposed to invest successfully? It would be nice to ride stocks on the way up... and bow out before the crash... but few are able to do it without sheer luck. Chris Mayer, searching for a successful method, looks back to the 1929 market crash for clues...


A New Bank that Challenges the US Dollar’s Reserve Status

Liam Halligan

As owner of the world's reserve currency, the US has enjoyed a cushy spot in the global economy. But with the rise of a group of rival countries the dollar's reserve status is under attack. And if it somehow gets knocked off its perch, the effects throughout the world (and in the US in particular) would be disastrous. Liam Halligan explains...


Diverse Opportunities in the Boomer-Controlled Market

Greg Guenthner

The US population is aging. The total number of births in the US peaked over seven years ago. And as the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement, it's becoming clear that there's no easy way to offset the trend. And that presents some unique investment opportunities most people have overlooked. Greg Guenthner explains...


5 Min. Forecast
What Your Grocery Bill Says About Your Investment Future

Dave Gonigam

Despite rapidly rising food prices, American households still spend relatively little on groceries. And while plenty of factors contribute to lower food costs in the US, that can lead to serious competition... and that means a good investment opportunity is right around the corner. Dave Gonigam explores...