Markets swoon, hit by thunderbolt news of a Greek debt referendum (video)
Stock markets in the US and Europe fell Tuesday, stunned by news that Greeks will vote in January on national austerity measures tied to resolving Greece's sovereign debt woes.
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“Will the German and French banks collapse?” Bryson asks. “I don’t think that will happen.”Skip to next paragraph
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On Tuesday, investors continued to shed bonds issued to the Italian government.
On Monday investors got a Halloween-type preview of potential dangers in the European debt situation when MF Global, a large commodity trading operation run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, declared bankruptcy.
MF Global had $6.3 billion in European sovereign debt on its books, as Mr. Corzine, also a former top executive at Goldman Sachs, tried to make MF Global into a company that used its own capital to trade. His big bet: European debt. Complicating the MF situation, regulators are now looking into the possibility that the company commingled customer funds with its money.
Mr. Dickson views the European debt problem as a play with many acts. “It will continue to play out until they [European nations] get their economies going and governments get their fiscal spending levels reduced.”
Dickson says the US stock market will get over its “Euro shock” in a day or two. “I expect there will be some announcement designed to placate the financial markets,” he says.
This weekend the G20 will meet in Cannes, France. Leaders need to implement the eurozone rescue deal in full and coordinate stimulative measures to avert a second global recession, writes Jan Randolph, the head of sovereign risk for IHS Global Insight writes in a preview of the meeting.
So far, European nations have yet to complete the funding of €400 billion for the European Financial Stability Facility, which is supposed to help combat the debt crisis. Recently, European leaders said they would expand the fund to €1 trillion.
“Delays in implementation to raise EZ [eurozone] bank capital, enhance the EFSF [European Financial Stability Facility] bailout fund’s firepower to 1 trillion euros and cauterize Greek government debt, still threaten massive seizure in global banking and thereby precipitate a global recession,” he writes.
The stock and bond markets will also be watching the actions of the Federal Reserve, which meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Mr. Stein does not expect much news from the actual announcement the Fed makes at the end of every meeting. But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will take questions from the media afterward.
“I think the reporters will be pushing him on the Greek debt issue,” says Stein.