Vitaliy Katsenelson’s Contrarian Edge: World leaders are taking investors down a dangerous economic path

Conditions for investors around the world are getting worse.

Let’s start with Europe, the world’s second-largest economy. The European Union is a collection of states that are vastly different from one another. They are separated by culture, language (which impedes labor mobility, resulting in semipermanent labor productivity disparity between countries — think Greece and Germany), economic growth rates, indebtedness and history.

European political (EU) and monetary (EMU) unions were great experiments that made a lot of sense on paper. Europe, at roughly the same-size population and economy as the U.S., was at a competitive disadvantage as dozens of currencies embedded extra transaction costs in cross-border trade, and each currency on its own had little chance of competing with the U.S.

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