– CEO Of Europe’s Largest Insurer Pops The Utopia Bubble: “Nothing Is Solved And Everybody Knows It” (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2014):
It’s one thing for a tinfoil fringe blog to repeat, month after month, that nothing in Europe has been fixed, that Draghi’s disastrous policies are merely concentraing and stockpiling even more unresolved problems – for now ignored courtesy of the gentle sprinkle of ZIRP, or rather NIRP “fairy dust” – and that just like Portugal showed panic can grip the entire continent literally overnight because everyone knows this. It is something entirely different for the CEO of Europe’s largest insurer to make the same statement.
When asking Allianz SE’s chief investment officer about the euro area’s sovereign debt woes, be prepared for an emphatic response.
“The fundamental problems are not solved and everybody knows it,” Maximilian Zimmerer said at Bloomberg LP’s London office. The “euro crisis is not over,” he said.
While extraordinary stimulus from the European Central Bank has encouraged investors to pile into the region’s government bonds this year, that’s not a sufficient remedy for Zimmerer, who oversees 556 billion euros ($757 billion) at Europe’s largest insurer. Countries are still building up their debt piles, and that’s storing up trouble for the future, he said.
As Zimmerer was speaking, investors were getting a reminder of the volatility that was rife through the sovereign debt crisis that started in 2009, as sliding stocks and bonds of Portuguese financial institutions rippled across the region’s markets. Amid a four-day slump, yields on Portugal’s 10-year bonds ended yesterday 279 basis points higher than their German counterparts, the widest spread since March 18. The securities recovered some of their losses today, tightening the spread to 268 basis points at 10:27 a.m. London time.
“There is only one country where the debt level last year was lower than 2012 and this is a signal the debt crisis can’t be over, only a recognition of the debt crisis has changed,” Zimmerer said on July 9. “If the debt levels are not going down in the end we will have a problem, that is for sure.”
Here’s the punchline: everyone knows that Draghi, the unelected dictators of Europe, and all of its bankers are lying when the say day after day that things are better. However, at least there was unanimity in the “head-in-the-sand” exercise, which recall from game theory works only if all participants in the charade agree to the ignore reality.
Today for the first time, a “member of the club” finally called out Europe on its bullshit: something that is not allowed under game theory. What’s worse, he made it quite clear that everyone else knows they are not only lying to others, but lying to themselves.
What happens next may be very unpleasant, because as always happens, following protracted periods of denial, and Europe has been living in a vacuum completely dislocated from reality for exactly two years since Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” speech, there is very violent convergence between reality and idiocy. And Europe is just about due for precisely that kind of denial-shattering convergence.