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Forbes Magazine might have just put German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the throne for the "Most Powerful Woman" in the world, but at home her less exulted throne of government is shaking.
Germany is playing a cat and mouse game with less successful European economies as negotiations over the euro zone crisis continue at the country level, Giles Keating, head of research at Credit Suisse, told CNBC Friday.
The world could be heading into another fully fledged credit crisis, according to Satyait Das, the author of Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk.
In any murder mystery film, it pays to watch the boring gray man (or woman) in the corner; quiet, unobtrusive characters can be deadly. So, too, in finance. Four years ago, the giant US money market funds seemed some of the dullest actors in the global financial scene. But in 2007, they quietly helped to spark the crisis in the mortgage-backed securities world.
Right now "Europe's financial system is insolvent," Scott Minerd, CIO of the fixed-income firm Guggenheim Partners, told CNBC Thursday.
The German stock market's wild ride, continued concerns over Greece, and uncertainty about what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will say about the U.S. economy are pressing on the stock market, despite Thursday's earlier news about Warren Buffett investing in Bank of America.
Chris Wheeler, bank analyst at Mediobanca joined CNBC to discuss the latest news on the European markets and what would happen if the Greek bailout fails.
"Greece has most definitely been cut loose by the markets, the question is whether it will now be cut loose by the politicians," Steve Barrow, head of G10 research at Standard Bank, told CNBC.
The idea that Paulson needed a crisis in order to solve a bigger crisis could be seen by some as a post-game rationalization by the former official, but it raises some interesting questions for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Europe's ongoing sovereign debt crisis.
On July 21, EU leaders agreed to a second bailout for Greece, one that was supposed to draw a line under the euro zone debt crisis and give the new government in Athens a chance come to grips with the huge debts it inherited when it was elected. One month later, and the situation appears to be getting worse rather than better, according to Simon Derrick, the head of currency research at Bank of New York Mellon.
"I think the German PMI announcement will have an impact on spread widening, because investors will see it as an indication that the world is slowing, Germany is slowing, and in general, risk is increasing," Adrian Schmidt, FX strategist at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, told CNBC.
Euro bonds are exactly the “wrong answer” to the current crisis and would merely lead the euro zone to a "debt union" rather than a “stability union” according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Europe’s economic and monetary union as constructed does not work and the euro zone needs some collective and determined leadership according to Jim O’Neill, the chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
"How does this thing end? It ends when the politicians stop kicking the can down the road and they allow Greece to default and they allow Greece to exit the euro," says one money manager.
An almost across-the-board flight from risk assets continued on Friday, as European shares flirted with 2-year lows. But with technical analysts saying that stocks might be oversold and continued concerns over the security of sovereign debt, some analysts say that now might be the time to buy equities.
Spain will announce further austerity measures on Friday in a bid to fend off debt market attacks but avoid the kind of drastic cuts that could damage the ruling Socialists' chances in November's general election.
The “Euro bond” solution to the euro zone’s sovereign debt problems appears to be an idea whose time has come, Moorad Choudhry writes.
A viewer tweeted me last week (@louisabojesen) saying "Don't phone lines exist between Berlin and Paris? Why was the face-to-face meeting necessary between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel?"
The stock market is "simply flipping out" by selling off American banks, but the drop in European stocks is justified, Richard Bove told CNBC Thursday.
Even as France and Germany were proposing new euro zone reforms, Finland was inking its own deal with Greece. Now others want in.