The Pressure is On

undertheradar's picture

Sometimes I ask myself why I chose to do this. I'm sitting here thinking about all the things I have to do and if I start writing, will I actually write anything that's going to make an inkling of difference? Let the politicians, Central Bank Governors and rating agencies fall on their own swords. The world will sort itself out without any feeble attempt you come up with under the circumstances to change it, undertheradar. You're getting yourself worked up for nothing, and that's going to cost you mistakes in the rest of your messed up life.

But of course, this is one of the wagers I've placed and I can't really leave the table at this stage. Until I'm soundly cleaned out emotionally. But I studied economics and I'm not going to go back and figure out how to learn a real profession. There's some emotional necessity to use the useful insights I tried very hard to learn.

Enough preamble for today. I know most of you can read fast so you haven't wasted more than a few seconds of your time on the first bit.

The pressure is on in the Netherlands. We've been getting reprimands from Fitch and Klaas Knot, our newish DNB dude. Once again it's the same old refrain, reduce your bloody debt or you will pay the consequences. Easy for them to say in their positions. More fucking moralising about debt. I've been hearing the same story for 30 years. Oh yes, they were there too when the trusting souls loaded up on that debt and did nothing to introduce regulations to stop it.

Take our Central Bank Governor Knot. He was personal assistent to Wim Duisenberg back in his top years. So he has a personal attachment in keeping the euro alive. He's saying: you have to do something about that debt, folks. Household debt has run up to 249 percent of GDP. We have to act on the mortgage interest rebate. But the devil is always in the details, and he's not offering any. I have some ideas on how that might be done but I will leave them for the comments if anyone is interested.

And then, Fitch has issued some kind of ratings watch on the Netherlands. What's the affect of that potential downgrade going to be? Apparently they can say with some accuracy it will likely lead to a one percent rise in borrowing rates for our government. Do you see the pressure? How the hell do they know that? Can they see into the future any better from their paid-for perches? Let the storm come and blow the tweeters off as quickly as possible please. 

And did the Lombard Street study on leaving the euro wake anyone up? Well, the analysis was entirely flawed. The conclusions could never have been derived from the pieces of the analysis carried out says the CPB. Bunch of fucking wankers. They don't have the resources to carry out a thorough investigation of the matter and it wasn't asked of them. A few banks tried doing a similar study but they seemed to conclude it was all too complicated to figure out anyways. But of course the media has jumped on the study and used it primarily to disparage the poor piece of propaganda.

As usual, you're going to have to work for any more information from this point by posting questions, or observations, which I will address if I have time or motivation. Sorry for the attitude problem.

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The Alarmist's picture

One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger. He ran but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice.

As he hung there, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine.

Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. He plucked it and popped it in his mouth. It was incredibly delicious!

engineertheeconomy's picture

Why are bankers still wandering around free. Why aren't they all in jail. Same  for politicians. You certainly don't see either out in public often. If I were a banker or a politician I would fear for my life. And rightly so


undertheradar's picture

Perhaps a bit late, but if any of you want to puzzle through the 'second opinion'.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

Actually your first paragraph may be the most important. It's a quandary that many of us undoubtedly face: in the midst of epic criminality and a sleeping citizenry, we feel compelled to do something, but what? And in the meantime we have to feed our families. I struggle with this every day - hats off for stepping up and at least offering your voice.

Ghordius's picture

OT did you ever explain somewhere why you use this old map of the Netherlands? No Belgian or British complains yet? ;-)

More OT: The Slog recently had me laughing so hard I could barely stop - describing the rift between the UK and the EU continent so well in one phrase is priceless:

"The trouble with we English is that we moan all the time in the EU, and then obey the rules to the letter. We should adopt to Franco-German approach of zero moaning and then ignoring the Brussels bollocks entirely".

undertheradar's picture

Thanks for the link. Exactly what the imbalances are going to result in. WW3 - exactly where the other two left off ;)

bank guy in Brussels's picture

We haven't forgotten that modern Belgium was created via an 1830 revolution against Dutch rule that was imposed on us after Napoléon's defeat.

In 1830 Dutch troops killed several hundred rebellious Belgians, many buried at our Martelaarsplaats - Place des Martyrs ... whom we still honour ...

But that was back when Dutch people tended to be more dour Calvinist Protestants with sterner views re drinking and dancing and partying, rubbing against the looser party-life of drinking people in a Catholic country ... though our first King was actually a Protestant Lutheran, i.e., the drinking kind of Protestant ...

And during their 15 years of rule, the Dutch did build a nice royal palace for our King of the Belgians, now his more daytime palace and home to the Crown Prince.

And these days the Dutch send us lots of nice television shows, like their 'Wegmisbruikers', i.e., 'Abusers of the Road', where Dutch police have fun catching speeding automobile drivers, especially Germans ...

Shows which we often subtitle even though the spoken Dutch in Belgium is 95% the same ... and in Netherlands they subtitle the Flemish (Dutch-speaking) shows in reverse, too.

(Note to Anglos - in Belgium we have three national languages, Dutch (about 60%) French (about 38%) and also German, native in a very small region. Belgium is majority Dutch-speaking, but the capital Brussels, a Dutch-speaking city for centuries, started to become majority French-speaking after Belgium was annexed to France during the French Revolution. Brussels is our officially bi-lingual region but now mostly French-speaking, though many Flemish work here.)

NuYawkFrankie's picture

I've never eaten a Belgian waffle - but I can now say I've certainly heard one.

Nage42's picture

What do you call it when you laugh, bark, and fart at the same time?!?  I sure as hell don't know, but that's what just happened... should we call it the Belgium salute?




Ghordius's picture

I thought so... what? no mention of the Treaty of London?

The reason for the British Empire to enter WWI? That transformed a local to a global war?

@undertheradar, we demand you drop your aggressive/fascist/nationalist/imperialistic avatar! ;-)

undertheradar's picture

As soon as we stop losing territory ;)

Ghordius's picture

hahaha, this while you annect additional territory by evicting friendly peaceful fishes. polderizer aggressor nation, you...


btw, why don't you write an article explaining the Dutch trade flow and balances, with a focus on eurozone and non-eurozone? this would help a lot to understand what a "free Gulden" would face.

I still maintain the position that a Gulden would be immediately hiding under the skirts of the EUR with a floor/peg - as now the CHF. At least at this stage of the currency wars. We still are the trading continent - others, including the USA, could have a shot at autarchy. We can forget it, we have to trade to keep the head out of the water.

undertheradar's picture

Trade is the essence of this country's economy. Once the merry-go-round stops we're really in trouble. We know it. It is a topic that is worth investigating, and it has most certainly been on my mind. I'm glad you brought it up. 

Ghordius's picture

happy to be of service to the imperialist. you see, IMHO, when you have something to trade - and nobody disrupts your logistics with idiotic/politically motivated FX moves - you have something that you can give for something else. the FX can be solved, for that.

the basis of the barter that so many ZHrs talk about without having ever experienced a true black market in their whole life...

Lednbrass's picture


But I studied economics and I'm not going to go back and figure out how to learn a real profession.

Now that was just funny.

What is the general feeling of the people there about returning to the guilder? Is anyone advocating it seen as a lunatic, or does the population see it as an option? Dumb question to a degree, but I have never found an English language news site for your country and can only decipher a few words of your language through my limited German.

Im trying to understand the housing situation where you are, my impression is that its already expensive- is your market falling,rising, or stagnant right now with rates low?

undertheradar's picture

Here's one answer to a few of your questions taken from a while back:


And can you make this out? Once again, partial answer:


House prices fell more than 4 percent in 2011 on 7 percent fewer sales. But it certainly wasn't the first year prices started trending down. I am trying to find a 30 year graph for prices, mortgage debt etc. One of the main points of the rejection of the Lombard Street analysis was that 'consumption' was higher for the 5 years preceding the euro intro because of a massive spurt in home prices, so property prices rising slower after that had more to do with the slowing consumption growth under the euro than the fact that the euro introduced new factors. Of course, the guilder would probably have been stronger by now and consumption wouldn't have gained any more at any rate, maybe a few more vacations to a cheaper south, not sure. All speculation on my part. My point is a bunch of partial analyses have been carried out for this, but not much is really hitting the mark for anyone except the contractors.

And there are posters on ZH that include the Netherlands in their analyses. RM does quite a bit on commercial real estate here that's interesting, though I admit I don't entirely understand the mechanics he proposes for investors/banks to hedge themselves for falls.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

There is English-language news from both the Netherlands and Belgium.

For example, this from the Netherlands:

or this

And from Belgium, this from a Flemish (Dutch-speaking) news service:

undertheradar's picture

I have to be out for a bit, but I plan to answer this.

Ungaro's picture

If you don't have an attitude problem you are either ignorant or from another planet. Our governments are robbing us blind while the banksters get money for nothing and chicks for free. And not just chicks but our entire egg nest!

When ppl awaken, watch out. Only card the .gov have left to play is to fully legalize and tax the herb. The populace stays blissfully stoned and tax revenues go through the roof. Let's roll some good times!

GMadScientist's picture

Hmmm...legalization of something even dumb teenagers can grow might have a deflationary impact on that market that hampers your tax collecting.

But a tax on high-pressure sodium bulbs... ;)


IAmNotMark's picture

The government has LOTS of cards left to play.  War, martial law, capital controls...Double Plus Good I say!

Making pot legal makes too much sense.  It ain't gonna happen.  Keeping pot illegal makes too much money for too many people.  If anything, the Feds will increase the penalties for weed...more money and more control.

LowProfile's picture

IMO that attitude is not a problem.

Urban Roman's picture

You raise your rates, and we'll sit here and print euros at zero percent, thank you.

Ungaro's picture

The Third Reich has tried that and it did not work out too well.

LowProfile's picture

Actually, the Third Reich was the result of that.