Counterparties: Euro next

June 18, 2012

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Sunday’s Greek election ended with a narrow victory for the conservative, pro-bailout New Democracy party, which now must try to form a coalition government. That is, of course, the same untenable status quo that preceded the election.

Meanwhile, the NYT reports that European leaders are working toward a “grand vision” that, at first blush, sounds a lot like the many vague promises we’ve heard from eurozone officials before. The plan this time is to prevent bank runs and what the NYT’s Jack Ewing calls the “vicious cycle of government debt problems turning into banking crises”. But like everything in Europe, the politics of this are tricky; Lisa Pollack walks us through who wants banking union, a closer political union, a fiscal union or some permutation of the three.

There are already indications a banking union is on the horizon: European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso reiterated his earlier statement that some form of deposit guarantee system and resolution authority will be proposed by this fall. You can wait until then, right?

In the interim, Tim Duy thinks the only way to stop lurching from one sovereign-debt panic to another (aka the status quo) is for the ECB to be able to act as lender of last resort when euro zone countries are at risk of default. Hugo Dixon says that as imperative as a banking union may be, it will take years to complete.

Years, unfortunately, is exactly what Europe doesn’t have. Spanish 10-year bond yields are back above 7%, European bank stocks dropped, and Greek banks look shakier. – Ben Walsh

On to today’s links:

Dear Mark Zuckerberg, humankind’s capacity to self-obsess actually has its limits – Ad Age
Morgan Stanley demanded full control of Facebook’s IPO and is now set to get most of the blame – WSJ

Yes, executive pay is still rising – NYT

Obama administration’s homeowner refinancing program helps big banks earn $12 billion – WSJ
“Every region of the world is experiencing some type of slowdown” – Bonddad

How the ECB began dictating political policy in Europe – Slate
The Fed has a brand-new approach to inflation – but it’s just not using it – Economist
“Batten down the hatches” and other nautical or weather-related metaphors for the global economy – Nouriel Roubini

David Grann explains his reporting process – and his 200-to-300-page outlines – Nieman Storyboard
The New York Times deigns to partner with BuzzFeed – Capital New York

New Normal
Drugs, gangs and sexual abuse: Life at a privatized New Jersey halfway house – NYT

How depressives search the Internet – NYT

HENRYS (High Earners Not Rich Yet): the potentially made-up demographic that is threatening the U.S. recovery – Bloomberg

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