What will Happen to Currencies if the Euro Collapses?

April 30, 2010

Let us start off by saying that we do not see the Euro collapsing and being shelved, at least not yet, anyway. No exit process was written into their rules anyway. But it is technically possible, so better to be forewarned. What would prompt such a collapse? The future of the Euro lies in the hands of its members, especially Germany - the richest and strongest member of the Eurozone. It would be because the leading member [Germany]) felt it to be in their national interest(s) to let it fall. There would be absolutely no philanthropy in the process should anybody exit or if the Euro disappeared. Principally, would Germany, et al, gain more by leaving the Eurozone than staying in it? It may be more in their interests to have the poorer nations ejected from the Eurozone to keep the big benefits and to lose the problems. Then they would hold onto the Euro. But what would any of these possibilities result in? [Subscribers will receive the last paragraph on the impact on gold]

Full Collapse

Simply put, the Eurozone would revert to what it was before the Euro existed. The European Central Bank would have to return all of its gold to the member States in proportion to their initial contributions. Their old currencies would have to be resurrected and Euro reserves converted back to the mix passed to the European Central banks from the beginning of the Eurozone.

Dollar & [or if by then the Yuan was internationalized] Yuan reserves would be built up again to replace the lost Euro reserves. The world's Foreign Exchange Markets would be in chaos. Confidence in most if not all currencies would almost disappear. By extension the ripple effect through the economies of the world and business in general, would be destructive. There would be a huge scramble for all hard assets, but particularly precious metals. Briefly the U.S. Dollar would reign as king.

Partial Collapse

More likely the Eurozone will shrink first. The poorer Southern countries of the E.U. would be cast out of the Eurozone and would have to revert to their previous currencies. Spain would return to the Peseta, Greece to the Drachma, etc.

The example of Argentina un-pegging from the U.S. Dollar should be seen as the precedent for this process. The wealthy of Argentina found their capital hammered when it was forcefully converted from the U.S. Dollar to the Peso in that process too. So the lifting of deposits, which is happening now, from the banks in Greece, Portugal and now Spain, was only to be expected. If they had their own currencies, either the fall in the value of those currencies would deter that capital flight, or the imposition of Exchange Controls would block it.

In the case of Europe, we would also expect to see Exchange Controls imposed immediately all countries that leave the Eurozone did so. This would prevent the capital hemorrhaging from the country that left the Eurozone in disgrace. The exchange rate of the exiting countries would initially fall heavily then take a long time to recover, if they managed to recover economically at all. By leaving the zone, these countries, would ensure they would suffer at least one, if not more, decades of growing poverty, much as is expected to happen with them remaining inside the Eurozone.

With the richer nations remaining in the Euro, the exchange rate of the Euro would soar at first, hammering its global trade competitiveness but attracting the world's capital. It would jump against all currencies, but most decisively against the U.S. Dollar, as its indebtedness would fall and prospects would improve.

If Germany Leaves The Eurozone

It is possible in one scene to see Germany recognizing no further advantage of remaining in the E.U. and opting to leave. This is unlikely, but technically possible. If it were to do so, there would be few really strong economies left behind, in the zone. This would be a disaster for the Euro, which would tumble against the U.S. Dollar. If the poor countries of the Southern part of the Eurozone remained in the E.U., then the Euro would remain on an ever deteriorating slope.

Germany would return to the Deutschmark and follow a similar currency path that it experienced prior to the creation of the Euro. This would mean repeated upward revaluations, usually preceded by denials of such revaluations from the Bundesbank.

In that event, the U.S. Dollar would be favored as the global reserve currency almost exclusively and would rise on foreign exchanges, despite so many reasons why it should fall. It would in fact be falling but slower than other important currencies, giving the impression of strength in weakness. This is until the full international appearance of the Yuan.


Resource producing currencies would soar. In an attempt to lower their exchange rates they would turn to lowering their interest rates in the hope of maintaining the export competitiveness of their locally manufactured goods. With resources having an international market price, outside their own currency, such nations would drive down their exchange rates, provided local inflation allowed it [As China is doing now and as was suggested by the I.M.F. recently].

The overall result would be a volatile and damaging use of currencies as part of trade wars. Should that happen, Protectionism and Exchange Controls would become commonplace, particularly in smaller economies.

As China grows in international importance over the next decade, we believe that the Yuan would quickly become of equal importance to the U.S. Dollar and move into center stage as a global reserve currency. This would accompany pricing of goods [imports] in Yuan and exports from China in the currency of each importer's currencies. We believe China is very aware of this and has made plans for the Yuan to internationalize.

With Foreign Exchanges becoming increasingly volatile, confidence mercurial and uncertainty hanging over both the present and the future, assets, particularly internationally-mobile assets, such as precious metals would be increasingly sought after as a counter to all currencies.

What Will Happen to Gold in the Above Scenario?

Subscribers only


Gold Forecaster regularly covers all fundamental and Technical aspects of the gold price in the weekly newsletter. To subscribe, please visit www.GoldForecaster.com


Legal Notice / Disclaimer

This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. Gold Forecaster - Global Watch / Julian D. W. Phillips / Peter Spina, have based this document on information obtained from sources it believes to be reliable but which it has not independently verified; Gold Forecaster - Global Watch / Julian D. W. Phillips / Peter Spina make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Gold Forecaster - Global Watch / Julian D. W. Phillips / Peter Spina only and are subject to change without notice. Gold Forecaster - Global Watch / Julian D. W. Phillips / Peter Spina assume no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. Furthermore, we assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this Report.

Julian Phillips is the Founding Partner of Gold Forecaster - Global Watch and Silver Forecaster [incorporating Platinum]. Mr. Phillips analyzes the gold, silver, and platinum market alongside the macro economic currency aspects of these precious metals. He covers the shares involved in these sectors and publishes numerous articles on specialist websites concerning precious metals. Mr. Phillips is also a specialist in Exchange Controls and international currencies. He has qualified to be a member of the London Stock Exchange. His working life has focused on Gold/Currencies/Fund Management and now Silver and Platinum. Additionally, Mr. Phillips has spent some years in capital creation in currency distressed countries through exchange control incentives. Mr Phillips is also the Chairman of Stockbridge Management Alliance Ltd. a company that offers gold storage in a way designed to prevent its confiscation should such an order be issued in any country. His websites are at http://www.goldforecaster.com  and http://www.silverforecaster.com/.

With gold stolen by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro from the Inca Empire in 1532, Spain financed its conquest of Europe.

Gold Eagle twitter                Like Gold Eagle on Facebook