By Brian S. Weinstock
Is America’s dominance in capitalism clearly over?
The NYSE merger is one of survival both for the NYSE and for the German securities exchange Deutsche Boerse.
The NYSE is inefficient, i.e. the pit, traders on the floor. Lower fees and better efficiencies created the mess at the NYSE. The NYSE has too many outdated traditions which created numerous types of inefficiencies, forcing the NYSE into a downward position. Even the NASDAQ was doing better than the NYSE regarding efficiencies via electronic trading.
We live in a global economy. There are trading exchanges all over the world, i.e. China, Tokyo, Brazil , Russia, India, Australia, London, etc. The stock exchanges in China and Brazil are some of the largest in the world. Everybody in the world can access securities exchanges via the Internet.
The dollar is weak right now. Europe has a debt crisis and the Euro is not so stable.
Not long ago, one of Europe’s leading independent forecasters for the Treasury asserted that the Euro could collapse as a result of Europe’s debt crisis. The European Central Bank’s Governing Council Member asserted that it is not up to the bank to save countries where governments run the risk of being insolvent.
Right now, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain have a lot of debt problems and plenty of entities are buying more insurance at higher prices to cover potential losses in those countries.
Germany had good growth in 2010 but their economic model is centered around exports, i.e. cars and machines. Asia (China) drove Germany’s growth in 2010. Can Germany sustain their economic model since other European countries (mainly southern Europe) have stagnant economies re: exports and imports? The European debt crisis has pushed the Euro down which has made German exports more competitive.
Right now, US exports are even better than German exports because the US dollar is weak, too.
Since Germany appears to be in the best economic position in Europe more people are putting capital in Germany when investing in Europe. German exporters could take a huge hit if Europe’s debt crisis runs into other European countries.
Who knows what will happen because regulators have to look this over. Also, there are may political issues with this deal starting with a fight over what to name the exchange. Politicians could crush the regulatory process simply because they do not like the proposed name. I suspect it will go through because both exchanges need this for survival.
I think the NYSE deal is a play on a world asset which is undervalued as a result of a weak US dollar.
Ex: InBev could not purchase AB if the US dollar was strong. InBev took advantage of a weak US dollar and is now dealing with a lot of debt and debt service. The strength of the US dollar runs in cycles just like the markets. Will the US dollar stay at its current value forever or remain at lower values when priced against other global currencies? I suspect not.
The World Bank has predicted a global growth of 3.3% for 2011. Europe’s debt crisis is a huge factor which could derail any global recovery.
The European Central Bank has asserted that inflation may be around for months in Europe which would probably require a European interest rate hike which would make borrowing from global banks tougher than it already is.
However, major companies are lean and mean now and sitting on trillions of dollars of cash. In addition to inflation and a debt crisis, the 17 member European nation is still facing 10% unemployment which was after a recent drop. Also, housing prices continue to drop in Europe although it appears that it has bottomed out.
Is America’s dominance in capitalism clearly over? I would say no since nothing is clear right now with global economies, global financial markets and global debts and debt service.
02/18/11 9:48 AM
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