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Forecasting fallout in European disunion

Commentary: Economic lifeboat is too small to save all

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Nothing matters right now except Europe. The technical and real failures in the stock market, better jobs numbers, quibbling about recovery sustainability -- all sideshows. Default in Europe is not merely inevitable, but under way. Sometimes default comes in one "swell foop," and other times progressively or displaced, as now: a bank run in Europe is gathering speed, anticipating ultimate default. Hence the 10-year Treasury note to 3.39 percent, mortgages at 4.875 percent. Europe coming apart confirms three large and acutely human lessons: the game-theory of bailouts, the morality of lifeboats, and the Newtonian physics of hot stoves. Imagine that your house is on fire. Further, the tinderbox next door is inhabited by a neatnik-retentive who has hoses stacked at every bib. YOU: Could I borrow a few? NEIGHBOR: Use your own. YOU: I only have one, and it burned up. NEIGHBOR: You shoulda thought of that. YOU: But, your house is going to catch fire. NEIGHBOR: Not ...