Money Morning Mailbag: The Euro and Other Hot Topics Spark Reader Debate

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The Money Morning Facebook page is gaining more members daily and the Money Morning Mailbag feature is fueling a record number of reader comments and e-mails, giving us a better picture of how readers feel about recurring content like the euro, company profits, and emerging economies. Some articles like the evaluation of Australia's mining super tax have sparked lengthy reader conversation and argument we enjoy observing - and hope readers enjoy being a part of.  

Here is another look at some recent articles generating the most attention and some additional links for further reading. 

We've Seen it All Before

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. ~Ecclesiastes 1:9

Reader Rich L. disagreed with our May 18 article about the stock market's new world order, contending that Wall Street never does anything new - it just recycles and repackages its old tricks in new ways:

"This sounds way too much like the 'new paradigm' that the tech bubble of the late '90s and 2000 promoted. There is no new paradigm or new world order when it comes to how the markets work. There can be manipulations that temporarily distort the market, but it does not usher in a new way for the markets to work. Please refrain from printing articles that purport such utter nonsense!"

-- Rich L.

More info on the tech bubble and the stock market "new world order":

The Euro: Concern Outweighs Convenience

The debate over the euro's future will continue each day Greece and its Eurozone partners' debt crises remain unstable. Here are some comments from readers living on the frontlines in the Eurozone nations and some in response to a Money Morning article describing George Soros' take on the euro's flaws:

"I have never had much faith in the euro because it involves too many countries in any decision, and enlarging the original group has just diluted the fiscally responsible with those who never have been fiscally or politically well run. Many of them have historical grudges and behave like a bunch of jealous siblings.

Unwinding is probably out of the question at this time and would only create more uncertainty in what is already a serious global financial situation. Having all currencies backed by either a gold or silver standard would be the ultimate guarantee that might calm all markets - but I cannot imagine that happening right now.

I agree with [George] Soros .The whole financial system is rotten and all the governments and banks are just playing monopoly with virtual paper money that has very little true value anymore. I am old enough to remember papering a washroom with Deutschmarks after the last world war...maybe that is where the U.S. dollar and a few other currencies are headed now.

Wish I had a better suggestion."

-- Cherry

"Until there is some kind of equality through out the EU, how can anyone expect the euro to have a higher value? For instance, salaries vary too much between countries. Benefits for self-employed people who are forced to close their businesses are non-existent in Spain where I live.

Across the EU we need to get more people back to work. Cost of living increases daily. There are speculations that Spain will need serious financial help to meet retirement pension payments as soon as the middle of this year.

Many of the EU countries do not count unemployed self-employed in their data, so what are the real figures? Protesting will occur in more countries!"

-- Jill P.

"It's great not having to change your money when going away for a short weekend in Europe. Saying that, the British are wise to control their own currency and should not have to bail out Greece or any other 'PIIGS' country."

-- Posted to MM's Facebook page by David B.

"The real goal of the euro was a first step toward a 'European Union.' This would be an unambiguously good thing for the United States, for Europe and for the world. Outside of the U.S., Europe represents a large majority of the rest of the world's economy - China is only barely larger than Germany. Europe has relied on US hegemony for military stability, and has tried to avoid the tax of the dollar's 'privilege' by the creation of the euro without the rest of the U.S. baggage.

The creation of a political union took hundreds of years in the U.S., and was only finalized in the decades after the Civil War. It does not appear that Germany wants much of the great European experiment. Despite the overreach of our federal government, let's hope Germany blinks. Our grandchildren will live in a better world if there is a balance of three great powers a hundred years from now.

The costs are small in the perspective of time."

-- Bob G.

More info on the euro:

GM Fuels Mixed Feelings

A couple of days ago we took a look at General Motors' progress as it logged its first quarterly profit since 2007. While GM speaks with optimism about its performance, there is still a long road to travel before the company stabilizes. Reader thoughts ran from cynical to optimistic: 

"GM's claim on having paid back all the debt to the taxpayers is likely a statement even a used-car salesman would not have made. We, the taxpayers, are involuntarily forced to purchased $40+ billion of its otherwise worthless stocks. In effect, GM's profit would likely have evaporated were it forced to pay back the 'loan' provided by us at an interest rate commensurate with its credit rating."

-- John C.

"If you're someone who is in the financial trading business, as myself, you would have to say with all honesty GM's recovery so far is quite remarkable! Those who are negatively reporting to the contrary probably don't like GM no matter what they do."

-- "Dan9876"

"Thanks for the update on GM. Great insight. Hope to hear more as I am considering
investing when it goes public again."

-- Renee G.

More info on General Motors:

Let the World Cup Games Begin

Earlier this week we took a look at what South Africa hoped to gain by hosting the World Cup in June. Many have voiced uncertainty that the country can provide enough amenities and security for the millions of tourists to have a safe and comfortable experience. South Africa has struggled with convincing skeptics the country could create a suitable venue; although some locals offer a more optimistic first hand view:

"Let the doubting thomases of the gang, come let's enjoy the game! We are more than ready for you. Viva 2010 in South Africa!"

-- Posted to MM's Facebook page by Lebelo Serutla

"Will all the money spent really generate a return to the economy? Imagine how many people could be housed and fed with all the money spent...

Oh yes I know who will benefit - Mr. [Jacob] Zuma and his mates!"

-- Harry

"The good or bad organizing of sport in a country is not important. The important matter is whether the organizing can promote the political-economic-social-environmental health of that society or not. We expect that South Africa will serve the 2010 World Cup to demonstrate its effort to build a society acceptable for all nationalities and different social statuses."

-- Khoa V.

More info on the economic implications of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa:

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