Well, stocks have rebounded, and the eurozone crisis has disappeared from the news. Does it mean the problem is solved? No. Angela Merkel puts it quite accurately: “We must make it very clear to people that the current problem, namely of excessive debt built up over decades, cannot be solved in one blow, with things like euro bonds or debt restructurings that will suddenly make everything okay. No, this will be a long, hard path, but one that is right for the future of Europe.”
Yep, there is no quick fix for the euro crisis problem. As a young man (well, I think I’m young anyways) I find the future rather disturbing. Everyone seems to be looking for a quick fix. Obama’s “change you can believe in” campaign was on fire because people wanted Obama to end the pain within his first term. Same for the Tea Party. When they saw problems weren’t disappearing, they began to find someone else who seems to be able to instantly solve the problem.
The sad reality is, the current problem (sovereign debt) can’t be solved overnight, due to a combination of factors including democracy being inefficient, capitalism not bringing us to an ideal market balance, and budgets being hard to cut (kill the old people, or sell the young people’s future? you decide).
Many people probably already realize this isn’t a “let’s fix this in one presidential term” problem, but one that you have to slowly work out over the years. By years I mean decades. Let’s revisit how the Depression played out.
A long, and painful fall. And let’s not forget it took almost years for the market to return to the pre-1930s levels. This doesn’t mean the finance industry is screwed. It just means we have to do things differently. It’s not about calling higher and higher target prices anymore, or how low it will go if there is a double-dip.
It’s about a new way to look at the market. News tends to make us myopic, and I think the first step is actually to break from the myopia of the news. If the eurozone crisis doesn’t pop up for a few days on the headlines, it doesn’t mean it went away. It simply means the problem isn’t front page material anymore. Though this seems like common sense, lots of people forget about it, and panic (hence the occurrence of irrational crashes). Look forward and backward, and remember that the world isn’t constrained to whatever is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.