The Price of Austerity
With each passing day, the evidence continues to build that Europe is already mired in a moderate recession. With pan-European fiscal policy centered squarely on austerity as a means to reduce high levels of sovereign indebtedness, the risks of a more severe recession -- or worse -- continue to build. Regular readers will recognize that this has been my base-case forecast for 2012, and unfortunately it appears to be accurate. Although U.S. equity markets continue to defy gravity by rising strongly into the second quarter, a period of pronounced indigestion appears to have finally arrived.
Investors in Europe can attest to the speed and ferocity of declines when optimism fades. In just one month, broad European indices have declined more than 7%, retracing more than a third of the cumulative advance from the October 2011 reaction lows. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index is currently testing the 30-week moving average just above 250, which is also the first level of Fibonacci support. With selling pressure building, this index will likely break another 4% and test more significant support near 240....635 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.
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