Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brexit fallout, Bitcoin rise

In recent days, the blogosphere has been abuzz with the news of Britain leaving the European Union.

While the UK claiming its economic freedom and independence can be seen as a positive in an abstract sense, the reaction in global financial markets has been volatile to say the least.  For one, European bank stocks saw their greatest two day loss in history.

Of course, in today's global financial marketplace, the shockwaves that have only just begun to emanate from Britain already seem to be causing chaos around the world.  U.S. stocks saw a steep selloff early this week, although they have since rebounded somewhat.  See for current global stock market indexes and commodity pricing such as oil and gold.

In addition, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has come out with his usual fear-mongering perspective, predicting this to be the start of a fresh financial crisis.  As Bloomberg puts it:

" That decision led to a “terrible outcome in all respects,” Greenspan, 90, said in an interview with Bloomberg Surveillance on Monday in Washington. “It didn’t have to happen.” 

“The EU is fundamentally a very good idea,” Greenspan said. “It’s a free trade-zone structure, which we need an awful lot of, so that the choice of Britain to stay in the EU and yet out of the euro zone was, I thought, the most sensible action that could be taken.” "

It seems logical Greenspan would want the EU to encompass as many nations as possible, given that he was once a central banker himself.  A prime player in the modern power structure, his reaction appears predictable.  

I find it fascinating to see how the people of Britain vying for economic independence creates uncertainty and turmoil in global markets.  On the one hand, it can be seen as a positive - people awakening to the tyranny of central banking and the myriad ways in which such a macro event effects their lives on a micro scale.  Yet at the same time, as we have seen, the marketplace does not deal well with such destabilizing events.  Uncertainty creates chaos.

Order always comes out of chaos, however.  And although this may be the most shocking event in world financial news since 2008, it ought to be seen in a positive light, all things considered.  

The event has certainly boded well for holders of Bitcoin.  The  non-fiat digital currency has seen its market cap increase by a  whopping $3 billion USD over the past several weeks, totaling over $10 billion today.  This amounts to a nearly 50% increase from its previous $7 billion, which has led to a corresponding price rise in USD terms approaching 50% - from about $450 in May 2016, to about $640 in June 2016.