Sorting through the Brexit mess

By Yale BockMarketsCovestor

Britain is considered the birthplace of freedom with the Magna Carta.

It is responsible for the spread of joint stock companies and capitalism with the East India Company, from which the United States is partly derived from in the form of the Plymouth joint stock group.

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The feisty Brits decided to take history in their own hands yet again by voting on a referendum to leave the European Union.

In my opinion, the vote reflected the sentiment against the EU’s oppressive rules on trade, immigration–and for self-determination.

Investor Impact

Regarding the implications for financial markets, in my opinion the immediate questions revolve around currencies and the stability of the European Union.

Volatility in the currency market has been enormous, especially for the British pound which has flirted with 30-year lows against the US dollar.

Some traders believe more pain is in store and with leverage so extensive in the currency markets, the turmoil could spill over into global stock markets moving forward.

Messy Divorce

It will take up to two years of negotiation for the Brits and Euros to decide on how to resolve their affairs.

In the meantime, the other members of the European Union that are not necessarily in love with the current state of affairs are now lining up to challenge the existing structure.

In my opinion, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal could follow the Brits out.

Much of the reasoning for why Britain should leave was based on trade imbalances favoring the rest of Europe, and these conditions are pervasive in many of the other participating countries.

Germany

Germany is the massive beneficiary of the EU, so in my opinion Angela Merkel has the most to lose if the the other members decide to take a hike as well.

The EU leadership in Brussels wants a quick negotiation with the Brits to set an example for the rest of the members.

Good luck with that as outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated everything is on hold until October when new Tory Party leadership is picked.

In the UK, Scotland voted 62% to stay in the European Union, and now it looks like the Scots will want to leave as well.

Ladies and gentleman, we have a mess, pure and simple, and it will take time to get it sorted out.

Many well known investors like George Soros and Stanley Druckenmiller have been long gold, and they benefited as it gained $50 in recent trading.

The dollar saw strength and oil fell a touch. With all the questions about what follows, it is hard to believe gold would not be a safe haven.

Here in United States, one implication in my view is that the US Federal Reserve now has the cover to do nothing on the interest rate front for the rest of the year.

Photo Credit: Freestocks.org via Flickr Creative Commons

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