The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Betting on the unthinkable in the euro zone

James Saft Great Debate -- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Some crises bring partners closer together. Some, as investors in the euro zone are likely to discover this year, drive them further apart.

Look for rising tensions about fiscal and monetary policy among the bloc's 16 member nations, and for a bigger penalty to be imposed on the euro and some euro zone assets against the possibility of a breakup or a secession from the currency group.

The liquidity crisis of last year left smaller members of the euro thanking their lucky stars they were inside a big warm tent with a major currency and critically, a powerful central bank that could help banks and maintain order in financial markets.

Ireland and Greece, to name but two, could look at the disaster in Iceland, which suffered a banking and currency collapse, and see the real tangible benefits of membership.