As the previously documented sovereign event approaches, the uncertainty that remains draws me closer to the prosperity that will effect the collective consciousness of my readership connection. To further dissect the economic scenario that is playing out, I will offer some thoughts on where things are, what could cause things to reverse, as well as how to best prosper from the sovereign contagion that is spreading like wildfire.
In my prior post, I outlined the sovereign default risk that we face—somewhere, sometime soon. Several geographies are flashing extremely risky scenarios. Greece is in need of a bailout and they lay on the precipice of disaster if some aid is not found. Any proposal of aid I have seen will not be a solution, rather a band-aid on a broken bone. However, a band-aid could buy Greece some time–which they are in dire need of.
Economic woes in Ireland are severe, and they are not being given the focus they require. Further trouble in the place where I kissed the Blarney Stone could be the impetus for the contagion to spread further, causing the market dislocation that I anticipate.
Risk in Dubai is priced where it was at the height of 2009. Further trouble and inability to restructure will cause fallout in Dubai—which will affect Europe, which will effect Greece, and the dominoes will continue to tip. Last week in Dubai, I found money dealers paying extremely large mark-ups for physical gold. Indeed, rumors of gold being used as legal tender in Dubai are true. Again we see my thesis substantiated: the risk aversion trade here is not the US Dollar, rather the precious metals–gold and silver.
Spain: The Wild Card
All of the above geographies could stabilize, or with further troubles, could act as catalysts for the contagion to spread quicker than it already is.
I’d note that Spain was a large driver of contagion over the past two years. The housing bubble in Spain was by far the largest real estate bubble compared to anywhere else. They also face a severely high unemployment rate. However, even with all this trouble, spreads on banks in Spain are not showing the stress they should. When the stress of the housing bubble and unemployment rate percolates into Spanish banks, it will be easy for Spain to pick up where it left off. More in need of a bailout this time, Spain will contribute to the strain in Europe, affecting Greece, affecting Ireland…tip, tip, tip.
All That Glitters
Though the catalyst remains uncertain, the looming event is undeniable. Remember, when the entire universe lunges to take risk off the table in a reaction to what I anticipate, gold will stand, glittering amidst the debris. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: if you don’t own gold, you should.
And the beat goes on.