By Peter Switzer, Switzer Super Report
D-Day for Europe and the world's financial markets looms, not on Friday with the Jackson Hole Symposium in Wyoming, but next Thursday when the European Central Bank (ECB) outlines its game plan for liquidity and bond-buying in Europe.
Trying to explain this to my news buddies, where you often have to show them the potential extremes of an upcoming story, I said a bad ECB decision on September 6 could send stocks slumping down like last August and September and could even sow the seeds of a severe recession next year or even a depression!
I don't think this will happen. In fact, I think the ECB will deliver at least OK news and that could lead to a mild sell-off on the basis that markets often buy the rumour and sell on the fact (i.e., the news).
However, I'm hoping for better than expected news on Europe's plans, which could actually excite the market.
Of course, I did use the word "hope" and hope is not a strategy for investors, but this is the flip side of the worst-case scenario.
The news next week will have a big bearing on what will happen to the global economy and therefore stocks next year. And right now the experts I respect are split on the future, which should not surprise anyone who has tried to work out financial markets in the past.
Dick Bove of Rochdale Securities is a buyer of stocks, but Dennis Gartman of the Gartman Letter is "exiting stocks" he told CNBC. Meanwhile, Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon in the USA is predicting a decade of low growth for the United States based on historical trends, while Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, is tipping a strong 2013.
He expects a third stimulus package (quantitative easing three ? QE3) to eventually come after the US Presidential election in November. He has 2014 at 4% growth and clearly isn't in the 'decade of low growth' camp.
US economic repair
On Wednesday night