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The 5 Most Important People in the Euro Crisis

Who matters, and what roles they'll play in the weeks ahead

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#5: Andreas Voßkuhle, President of the German Federal Constitutional Court

Most readers will never have heard of Andreas Voßkuhle, and if there are no major complications on Sept. 12, he might remain all but anonymous for the rest of his life, at least outside of Germany. But if Voßkuhle becomes a household name, you will know that something went terribly, terribly wrong.

Sept. 12 is the date on which the German court will decide whether Germany’s participation in the eurozone bailout facilities is legal under Germany’s constitution, known as the “Basic Law” (see “What Keeps Me Awake at Night”).

Most observers expect the court to more or less toe Angela Merkel’s line and acquiesce to the eurozone bailout facilities, with perhaps a few conditions and caveats added in for good measure.

But if Mr. Voßkuhle and his fellow judges rule that German participation is unconstitutional, then two years’ worth of painful negotiations go out the window and we go back to square one. I would see a global meltdown on par with post-Lehman 2008 as being virtually guaranteed at that point, and I do not believe that the euro would survive in any form that we would recognize.

I doubt whether Mr. Voßkuhle wants that on his conscience, and I am betting that the court rules favorably. But you can bet I’ll be sitting on the edge of my chair when the ruling is announced.

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA, is the editor of the Sizemore Investment Letter, and the chief investment officer of investments firm Sizemore Capital Management. Sign up for a FREE copy of his new special report: “Top 3 ETFs for Dividend-Hungry Investors.”

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