Belfast Telegraph

EU has to up its game in great debt soap opera

Now we're in the zone. As eurozone leaders meet to discuss a way out of a crisis which has gripped not just the heart of the region, but also the heart of the world's financial system, the markets are at last looking a little healthier.

The FTSE closed yesterday up over 150 points with the old 'buy the rumour, sell the fact' adage becoming reality once again.

At the time of writing, the top bods at the International Monetary Fund and European Union have scoffed at the idea of another bailout, but that hasn't worried the markets which like to try and second guess the next movement in the great debt soap opera.

In fact, it's nothing more than a pipe dream thought up by the US Treasury Secretary in response to a question about what he thought might happen when the Eastenders-style drum beat signalled the dramatic end to this particular episode

But what could happen?

Basically - and I'm aware by using that word I'm living up to a previously mentioned suggestion that what follows may be a stab in the dark - EU officials realise their current plan to sort out the financial system is luke warm and for confidence to return they need to turn up the heat, as it were.

That would mean ramping up the amount of money they can throw at impoverished member nations by anything from €1 trillion to €4.5 trillion, apparently.

One of the suggestions being made is that a mega bank would be created.

It would be capable of lending where needed and which has access to European Central Bank funds, but does not act on behalf of the bank.

By doing this, the likes of Germany, which has been dead set against using its financial nous to pay off financial ineptitude in other countries, is distanced from any further lending and therefore Angela Merkel doesn't take a beating at the polls.

But of course this is all tittle tattle which, at the time of writing, has no substance.

The big worry now is that the EU fails to deliver or indeed delivers below the expectations of the market, something which could be worse than doing nothing at all.

If that situation emerges, take the second part of the earlier mentioned phrase and 'sell the rumour', sell it while you can.

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