Welcome to Eurozone Idol

 | Oct 19, 2011 | 7:57 AM EDT  | Comments
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European stocks are clinging on to gains in midday trading. Let's say for argument they're boosted by Wall Street, which was boosted by the Guardian's EFSF deal story, which in turn is being denied by other unnamed officials.

Still, it's enough for a 1% gain on the major indices and gains for the euro against the dollar, further Spain downgrade aside.

Now, the macro chatter is about whether €2 trillion for the EFSF is even possible, if it were to be agreed. Citigroup's chief economist has some in-depth analysis and comes up with really at most €1 trillion. Noriel Roubini agrees, Tweeting that with such a bazooka "only 200bn is left for Italy/Spain after funds 4 Gre/Ire/Por."

Some people have already written off Greece's eurozone survival. That's not new. But offering a cash prize to anyone who figures out how to achieve it is. And fun!

Lord Wolfson, CEO of UK retailer and clothing brand Next, is offering £250,000 for the best plan to end the euro without a global meltdown. It's possible he toyed with the idea of a lifetime of Next clothing, but even economists have their fashion standards. So it's cash (not euros, naturally) for the winner.

About 200 economics departments will be contacted for entries for the Wolfson Economics Prize. The decision process is short on details, but hopefully it will be like "American Idol." Economists have to camp out in front of convention centers to get their big shot at impressing the judges. Someone from U of Chicago will reluctantly walk away in tears telling the judges that they won't take her dream of growth-oriented adjustment programs away as Wolfson (first name Simon) smirks.

The latter stages could focus more the finalists and Joseph Stiglitz could remind everyone he's not here to be liked, but to win. ("This is NOT the Wolfson Best Friend Prize, it's the Wolfson Economics Prize!")

Actually, the whole reality show genre could be the answer for the euro. So, I respectfully submit my plan for an orderly euro break up: The Sovereign Debtette.

For 26 grueling episodes, nation-state suitors will line up to see who wins the hand and debt obligations of Greece, in return receiving sandy beaches, great food and more mythological history than you can shake a stick at. Greece gives out olive branches at the end to determine who's still in the running.

We could even open it up to corporate consortiums. Goldman (GS) could get a team together and play as The 1%. Apple (AAPL) and its huge cash pile would probably wait until it could fulfill its destiny to wed iTaly or iReland.

Hopefully this idea gets full consideration, but if it takes off I recommend boosting the cash prize. After all, Wolfson contributed £300,000 to get the Conservative Party elected, which just resulted in flat-lining the UK economy.

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