This past week I was in Paris when share prices of France’s largest banks Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, and BNP Paribas plummeted due to concerns over exposure to Greek debt. At the same time, fears about Italy's fiscal problems embroiled global markets. At every meeting people asked me, “Will China bail out Europe?” Even rumors that China would step in and buy Italian bonds calmed markets and share prices rebounded.
Some analysts like Fareed Zakaria have called on China to become a "responsible stakeholder" by buying Italian bonds because the "crisis will quickly morph into a global one, possibly a second global recession. And a second recession would be worse because governments no longer have any monetary or fiscal tools."
Zakaria argues a weak Europe hurts Chinese interests as it is now China’s largest export destination, accounting for 22 percent of total exports. However, it is doubtful China will be able to save Europe — only Europe can save Europe.
Since the crisis started, far too many politicians have looked for easy solutions like lower interest rates rather than restructuring economies to rebuild confidence and create job opportunities. Buying Italian bonds will not save Europe. It will only avert a crisis until a few months down the line when fears about Spain or Portugal hit the world.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page