"Vast liabilities are being switched quietly from private banks and investment funds onto the shoulders of taxpayers across southern Europe. It is a variant of the tragic episode in Greece, but this time on a far larger scale, and with systemic global implications."
If 2016 was the year of the breakthrough, 2017 could see the status-quo fightback, with Europe likely to form the battleground ahead of pivotal elections. And, while next month's general election in The Netherlands may not be the biggest showdown of the year, the outcome could set the tone for 2017.
In the week before VP Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America's "steadfast and enduring" commitment to the European Union, Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon met with the German ambassador and delivered a different message. Bannon, according to Reuters' sources, signalled to Germany's ambassador to Washington "that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis."
Eurozone private sector and manufacturing growth unexpectedly jumped to the highest since 2011 in February and job creation reached its fastest since August 2007, propelled by strong demand and optimism about the future, the latest Markit PMI survey found. The Markit Eurozone PMI registered 56.0 in February, up from 54.4 in January , the highest reading since April 2011.
Whether it is due to overnight news that much of the recent rally may have been due to one specific fund's cover of a synthetic "short SPY" trade, or just because algo traders have gotten a case of overbought robotic vertigo, S&P futures dropped 0.2% in early Thursday trading as risk appetite fizzled and European shares dropped on concern the longest rally since July 2015 went too far, while the yen, bonds and gold advanced as the dollar fell.
German politics = boring politics – in recent decades this equation has generally held true. And yet, with the new Europe we face, that perhaps is no longer the best thing for them to be. Suddenly politics in Germany has become very interesting and the race for the chancellorship looks open again.
This is a complicated mess. Berlusconi wants election in 2018 so he would be able to run. Renzi wants an election this year as does Beppe Grillo. But Renzi also wants to squash opponents of Renzi-ism first. This may push back elections to August.
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"... rather than strengthening established media institutions, banning fake news might very well undermine them in the eyes of the public. If alternative outlets are prosecuted or shut down, mainstream media risk being seen as unofficial propaganda tools of the powers that be. "
" Trump is a symptom of a diseased societal, political and economic paradigm, as opposed to the disease itself. Trump was a reaction, and the way the Democrats handled the primary was the final nail in the coffin in sealing his victory. People became so fed up with the insanity of the fake left, many of those who didn’t even like Trump decided to roll the dice with him anyway."