Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive and co-chief investment officer of PIMCO, wrote an op-ed piece for Reuters today stating that “the time has come for a more decisive European approach,” referring to the acute debt problems in peripheral European nations i.e. the PIIGS.
The occasion was yesterday’s action where Portugal’s parliament rejected the government’s austerity budget, which led to the government’s collapse as the Prime Minister resigned and new elections will be forthcoming.
Futures spoke to El-Erian in our January issue where he said, “European officials failed to get ahead of the crisis,” and intimated that the threat of contagion existed.
His more recent analysis indicates that they are no closer to a solution. “Over a year into the debt crisis, the collective designing Europe’s response has managed to limit disorderly debt contagion but is yet to come up with an approach that solves the problems of the highly indebted peripheral economies,” El-Erian wrote, adding, “The longer Europe persists with a policy approach that has visibly failed to improve conditions … the greater the probability of cascading costs and risks.”
El-Erian derided ECB officials for kicking the can down the road, something of an epidemic on both sides of the pond. FX Concepts Chairman and CEO John Taylor weighs in as well on the health of the Eurozone in our current issue.
What appears to be clear — and not just regarding Europe and the peripheral Eurozone countries — is that while a specific day of reckoning was averted through the various bailouts by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, the underlying weakness that brought world economies to the brink is still with us and still needs to be addressed. And at some point we will run out of road.