Currencies

Paraphrasing Mark Twain's famous words, media predictions of the Eurozone's and euro's death have been greatly exaggerated, as things are looking up for the beleaguered union and its currency, notes MoneyShow's Howard R. Gold, also of The Independent Agenda.

This week, the self-styled global elite and their accompanying  media hordes gather in Davos, Switzerland, for several days of schmoozing and pontificating about the state of the world in 2013.

In many ways, things are better than in 2012. Though unemployment remains high in some countries and the global recovery looks fragile, some big political uncertainties (like the US election) are off the table and the dysfunctional US Congress has stepped back twice from the fiscal brink.

But most important, the Eurozone doesn't look like it's going to implode. In fact, The Economist reported, "the invalids in Europe's medical ward are making a remarkable recovery."

I discussed that in my column last week, where I noted with some surprise that the southern European debtor countries-the "invalids" of Italy, Spain, and Greece-have been among the best performing stock markets in the world over the last few months.

But they're not the only big winner from the Old Continent in global markets; that "invalid" among global currencies, the euro, has quietly mounted an impressive comeback of its own.

Since last July 24, when it traded below $1.21 (near its 2010 low under $1.20), the euro has gained 10%, to $1.33 as of Wednesday. That's a big move in the currency pit.

And it most likely will continue. In fact, said Axel Merk, president of San Francisco-based Merk Investments, which runs currency mutual funds, the euro may become the "rock star" of global currencies.

OK, I'll give you a minute to scrape your jaw off the floor. But then consider this: Merk thinks that the euro is not just the "least bad" of the major currencies. No, the European Central Bank is managing the euro well, he said, and the single currency's valuation remains attractive, even after its recent move.

"Everybody hates the ECB, but we think they're the poster children.for how to do it right," Merk told me in an interview.

First came ECB president Mario Draghi's now-famous speech last July in which he pledged to do "whatever it takes to preserve the euro." That caught hedge-fund short sellers flat-footed and sparked the big rallies in European stocks and the euro that have lasted until this day.

Peter Coy of Bloomberg BusinessWeek called it "the speech that saved Europe."

Actually as Reuters pointed out, "Draghi was in no position to guarantee 'whatever it takes.'" But after weeks of wrangling, he announced that the ECB was prepared to buy "unlimited" amounts of bonds of even the weakest European countries.

NEXT PAGE: What the ECB is doing right

Tickers Mentioned: FXE