At The Milken Institute conference yesterday, Hugh Hendry delivered his usual eloquent and critical insights on the state of Europe. Beginning with the statement that “All of Europe has defaulted”, the canny-wee-fella(translation: shrewd and cautious young chap)explained that “The political economy in Europe is such that the politicians chose to default on their spending obligations to their citizens in order to honor the pact with their financial creditors and so as time goes on, the politicians are being rejected.” Between France’s election of Mr. Hollande and Luxembourg’s ‘when times get tough you have to lie’ Juncker, Hendry says the only inspiration for Europe is fiction as “you just can’t make up how bad it is” as he goes on to discuss the precedent for a way forward, the grotesque distortions of fixed exchange rate regimes, why Weimar happened, why the transfer union will never happen, Ayn Rand’s reality, and fear politicians are feeling.
The entire discussion is well worth watching for a sense of the underlying reality in Europe.
The underlying reality that what the European monetary union is about is not about preventing a third so-called European civil war, it is essentially about making someone (France, Germany or both) a Great Power, a European Hegemon, and a global player.
Starting at around 12:00, Hugh begins his must-watch discussion…
And begins again at around 30:00, Hendry discusses the British perspective on the impeccable logic of the German mind and why the transfer union will never happen in Europe…and why Wiemar happened…
At around 46:00, Hendry addresses Germany’s emerging housing bubble (and why it won’t occur) and the two forms of leverage in the world.
From 52:40, Hendry takes on the view of (disagreeing with) a weak USD and the US being supplanted as a global leader
Hendry confesses to not being able to finish reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged at around 1:02:00 and explains why (apart from its length and lack of pictures)…noting that is too depressingly real in its description of the world we live in today…
We have reached a profound point in economic history where the truth is unpalatable to the political class – and that truth is that the scale and magnitude of the problem is larger than their ability to respond – and it terrifies them.
Concluding at 1:10:10 – “we are single-digit years away from the most profound market clearing moment”