Monday, December 12, 2011

John Mauldin: A Player to Be Named Later

We have come to the end of yet another European Summit that was supposed to be the one to fix the problem. If you are confused as to what happened then you are not alone. Was it something we will look back on in ten years and say, "This was where it all started," or will it be viewed as just another meeting in what will prove to be a string of even more meetings? I will argue that both views are the correct answer, depending on your frame of reference.

But what did come out of the meeting was that some very clear lines were drawn. Will those lines look like the one that Colonel Travis drew with his sword at the Alamo, where those who crossed and joined him knew their fate? Or will it be more like the fabled French Maginot line, thought to be impregnable, which Germany simply went around? Stark comparisons, I know. But then, the choices and sides of the lines you choose to be on offer very stark consequences.

I should acknowledge that I spent a great deal of time the last two days reading and talking with friends from around the world, trying to make sense of the omelet that we were served in Europe. Exactly what is in it? This letter is somewhat speculative on my part, taken from my gathered impressions over the week and informed by my readings over the years. I will use some simple analogies to try and make things clear. And I know that using such simple devices has its limitations, but those are the tools that I have to work with. They will have to suffice. I hope they also inform.