NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Most people don't comprehend the significance of the new bank "bail-in" model of bank restructuring in Europe. Major bank runs are a serious threat.Therefore, you should have your trigger finger ready to sell. Obviously, that means European stocks and ETFs such as iShares MSCI Spain Capped Index Fund ( EWP), iShares MSCI Italy Index ( EWI) and iShares MSCI France Index ( EWQ). But it also includes U.S. stocks and ETFs such as SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DIA) and PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ) that will feel the impact of global turmoil emanating from Europe if bank runs start. Watch European interbank lending rates closely. A spike in these rates will be your signal to sell stocks globally and take profits. How should this affect your portfolio management? If bank runs are not triggered in Spain or elsewhere in southern Europe, perhaps not at all. In the absence of external shocks, I am bullish on the U.S. economy and markets, as I have written at Seeking Alpha.
As this op-ed published at Worldcrunch illustrates, the German press is picking up on this story with relish, emphasizing the fabulous and largely untaxed earnings of spectacularly wealthy Mediterranean scions. This is exactly the sort of "red meat" that Angela Merkel wants to feed to the Germans in the lead-up to German elections. She has built her political reputation as the champion that protects the savings of hard-working and thrifty Germans. When and if Spaniards come hat-in-hand looking for money to bail out their banks, Merkel is going to be able to point to this study. More importantly, she will be able to say, with some justification, that voters in Germany (who have read or heard of the study) will simply not allow her government to bail out rich Spaniards and Italians who evidently can afford to bail themselves out.