Friday, December 21, 2012
Crisis Enters Its Political Phase
Wall Street Journal
December 20, 2012
It may be hard for some to take, but acting on the confident statements of Europe's leaders at the start of this year about the survival of the euro zone could have made you a lot of money. Holders of Greek, Portuguese and Irish government bonds, among others, have made substantial profits as bond yields have fallen substantially.
It's a point José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, made in a brief interview on Thursday: "Those who have made their calculations based on our assessment have gained, and those who were predicting other things have been proven wrong."
The outlook for the euro zone has improved, he said. "Why? Because we have shown we mean business when we say we are ready to do whatever is necessary to secure financial stability in the euro zone."
This year has seen, he said, an announcement by the European Central Bank of a new policy to shore up government-bond markets, actions to control public finances, some ambitious economic reforms, a strengthened bailout fund, proposals to tighten economic integration and the first steps toward a single banking union in the euro zone.