Money Morning's Chief Investment Strategist, Keith Fitz-Gerald has kept our readers on the bleeding edge of developing financial stories for nearly a decade.
Keith's broad and deep knowledge of the global financial markets - he splits his time between residences in the U.S. and Japan and sees far more than your U.S.-locked analyst - gives him a unique perspective on how the macroeconomic patterns affect the micro environment in which individual investors make their decisions.
He recently returned from Europe and was featured on Fox Business with Stuart Varney. We caught up with Keith just as he returned from the studio with our own questions about his trip, and asked him to share his insights with Money Morning readers.
Keith sat down with Private Briefing's Executive Editor Bill Patalon over the weekend.
Here's what Keith had to say...
The Eurozone Hangs On By a Whisker
Four days after the Italian elections only one thing is clear: A majority of Italian voters have rejected austerity.
The problem is their victory came up short by the slimmest of margins.0.36%. That's the difference between a firm new government that could move Italy out of the Eurozone and the constitutional logjam Italian voters woke up to the next day.
As it is, they could roll the dice on a new election, but that could also make matters worse.
Since Italy's a big country with a chunky economy, that's likely bad news for us all.
The Eurozone Crisis is Far From Over
The Greek election last weekend has brought us a brief reprieve. The nation and the Eurozone have stepped back from the brink.
But the larger truth is that little has changed.
Yes, the Eurozone has survived its latest test, yet there is little indication where it will go from here. Considerable continental support for the common currency remains, and EU officials will soon introduce initiatives to consolidate banking and financial policy in the European Union.
Still, the problems keep mounting, and there is very little resolve to fix them.
At this point, a lot of actions (or lack of actions) could still upset the entire apple cart.
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The Fate of the Eurozone Hangs on Sunday's French Elections
It now looks as though Nicolas Sarkozy's days are numbered. In the balance lies the fate of the Eurozone itself.
It appears Socialist Francois Hollande will win the French election runoff on Sunday and that June's legislative elections will give the Socialists a powerful position in France's parliament.
Added to these developments is the good chance that both the major existing parties in Greece's parliament, which had jointly agreed to the bailout deal, will be voted out of office on Sunday as well and replaced by a motley set of far-lefties.
So while the Eurozone has been quiet this week, the calm is deceptive with the elections on Sunday.
Meanwhile, most of the worry in the Eurozone centers on Spain - which is quite foolish.
Spain recently elected a center-right government with a large majority, which is clearing up the mess left by its predecessors. The country does have a 25% unemployment rate, but that's a function of Spanish labor law and excessive welfare payments, both of which the current government is addressing.
Spain's budget deficit is also smaller than France's, as is its debt level. In fact, Spain's debt and deficit burdens are lower than both Britain and the United States. Spain is not the issue.
Considerable Danger in the EurozoneAs for Greece, it is a shambles.
The truth is it should have been chucked out of the Eurozone two years ago, when it was first revealed that its governments had been consistently lying about its budget numbers.
Had that happened, the new drachma would have sunk to about a third of its former value, and Greek living standards would have reduced by half, all without anything but market forces to be blamed.
Now hundreds of billions of euros have been poured into the country, and its ungrateful electorate is determined to elect every nut-job it can rake up. The whole Greek rescue project has been a complete waste of time and money, and should be ended forthwith.
Fortunately, throwing Greece out of the Eurozone will not destroy the euro - after all, nobody was relying on the strength of the Greek economy in their calculations of the euro's value.
However, France is a different matter entirely.
Unlike Greece, if France gets into serious trouble, the remaining "solid" euro economies led by Germany are not big enough to save it.
And, led by Hollande, France looks to be in considerable danger.
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