Hedge funds bet against the euro

A currency exchange worker holds a handful of euro notes in London.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: This crisis in Greece has battered Europe's single-currency. And some of this weakness has been caused by foreign exchange speculators. They've been "shorting" the euro, betting it will fall further. Here's Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman with more.


Mitchell Hartman: Hedge funds and other investors have bet nearly $8 billion against the euro. That's the biggest short position ever taken on the currency.

It's a bet that struggling countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain won't cut spending enough to control their deficits. And that Europe's central bank and strong economies like Germany won't step in. The short position against the euro is now pressuring European bank officials to help the weakest countries stabilize their finances.

Jan Randolph analyzes market risk at IHS Global Insight in London:

Jan Randolph: So far we've seen words-good sounding words-of support. Although they've made it absolutely clear the action has to take place in the front lines with regards to Greece, Portugal, Spain. As long as they take action in the right direction, they will be ultimately supported by the rest of the eurozone.

Randolph says the euro may well rise long-term, since the fundamentals in many European economies remain strong.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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