Really? The Worst of the Euro Crisis Is Over?
You might not know it from the ongoing travails in Greece and Spain, but at least one high ranking European official said he sees light at the end of the debt crisis tunnel.
In an interview to be published Friday in Bild, Germany Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said, "I believe the worst is past" in the euro zone. His reason? Greece and others now see the error of their ways.
"The government in Athens knows that it cannot financially overburden other euro zone countries. They are thus pushing forward with the reforms," Schaeuble said.
Steven Englander, global head of G10 FX strategy for Citigroup, told CNBC Schaeuble's comments say as much about the U.S. as they do about Europe.
"Schaueble's comments are not market moving, but they highlight that the euro zone may be making more progress dealing with their fiscal situation than the U.S., for all the clumsiness of having 17 countries to deal with," he said.
"The euro zone's problem may be too much consolidation too quickly, and 2013 is bound to be a very soft year for growth," Englander added. "However, now their priority is shifting to find ways of stimulating growth. The contrast with the U.S. where the fiscal consolidation needle veers from minimal to excessive Is striking."
Englander also said that in his view, the euro is currently trading about 2 percent higher than statistical measures suggest is fair value, and he chalks that up to progress in averting fiscal disaster. In the U.S., meanwhile, "concern has mounted" about fiscal and monetary policy.
He's talking to you, Congress.
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