The Eurozone’s Autumn Hangover
NEW YORK – After a summer of Europeans forgetting their woes and tanning themselves at the beach, the time for a reality check has come. For the fundamental problems of the eurozone remain unresolved.
First, a trillion-dollar bailout package in May prevented an immediate default by Greece and a break-up of the eurozone. But now sovereign spreads in the peripheral eurozone countries have returned to the levels seen at the peak of the crisis in May.
Second, a fudged set of financial “stress tests” sought to persuade markets that European banks’ needed only €3.5 billion in fresh capital. But now Anglo-Irish alone may have a capital hole as high as €70 billion, raising serious concerns about the true health of other Irish, Spanish, Greek, and German banks.