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Debt-Deflation-Contagion Panic: It’s a Bloody Mess

From Big Government:

Panic has gripped stock markets worldwide over the Greek debt crisis and the threat of a debt-deflation contagion through banks in Europe (primarily) and the U.S. that own the bonds of Greece, Portugal, Spain, and so forth. If these bond asset prices collapse totally, lending facilities would be badly crimped for both the short and long term. And that, in turn, would damage prospects for economic recovery.

The Dow closed yesterday off nearly 350 points. Earlier in the day the Dow was down 850 points, though there is talk of computer glitches and technical problems that may have temporarily undermined trading. Either way, the market is getting creamed as a result of the Greek story.

The real winner? Gold. It’s up about $25, to $1,200. People want real money. They do not trust the debt-laden currencies of Europe and the United States. Or for that matter Japan. Gold is fast becoming, once again, a reserve currency of choice.

Meanwhile, the EU/IMF bailout package for Greece, which does include draconian budget cuts, contains a 2 percentage point increase in the VAT tax that is anti-growth. Steve Forbes correctly said Wednesday on CNBC that the Greeks should be slashing spending and should move to a flat tax, just like the countries in Eastern Europe. I gave him a Nobel Prize for that.

Read the rest at Big Government.


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