Slow Motion Disaster Speeding Up

Michael Stephens | November 29, 2011

In a recent interview Dimitri Papadimitriou talked about the EU leadership’s failure to prevent the euro crisis from entering its terminal phase and ran through the likely repercussions for the US financial system.  Papadimitriou cites $3 trillion in exposure for US finance, half of which is mutual fund investments in European banks and sovereign debt—and he notes that this doesn’t even include the fallout from any unraveling of credit default swaps.

Unless the European Central Bank steps up as lender of last resort (an announcement that it is willing to engage in unlimited purchases of sovereign debt should be sufficient), we will see the end of the euro project, says Papadimitriou.  He contrasts the Federal Reserve’s $29 trillion worth of pledges to save the banking system with the anemic actions of the ECB (less than half a trillion euros so far).  This is, says Papadimitriou, a truly historic moment we are witnessing, as the European project falls apart before our eyes.

Listen to the interview with Ian Masters here.

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