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USA As Seen By Europe: The Next Greece?

Tyler Durden's picture


By now everyone knows how Americans feel about America: one quarter of the population (the half of the less than half that voted) is convinced the US is plunging into a socialist void that would make the USSR proud, another quarter of the population is furious at the wealthy and demands that they be taxed up the wazoo because "they didn't build that" but certainly profited from it, and is demanding wealth and income redistribution, while the silent majority is quietly picking up whatever pieces it can, and batting down the hatches, seeing very well, beyond the fog of bias and subjectivity, the inevitable epic deleveraging disaster, followed by even more epic printing that is coming this way. But how does the rest of the world see the US, especially now that the fiscal cliff (and the much less discussed debt ceiling debate: why, we don't know - it was "merely" the debt ceiling that led to a 20% drop in 2011). Yesterday, German financial media Spiegel provided a glimpse into just how Europe, which is knee deep in it as well, sees America. The verdict: the next Greece.

From Spiegel:

The US has more in common with heavily indebted southern European countries than it might like to admit. And if the country doesn't reach agreement on deficit reduction measures soon, the similarities could become impossible to ignore. The fiscal cliff looms in the near future, and its not just the US that is under threat.

The US has finally voted and the dark visions of America's future broadcast on television screens across the country -- and most intensively in battleground states -- have come to an end. Supporters of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had developed doomsday scenarios for what would happen if their candidate's opponent were to win. Four more years of Obama, the ads warned, would result in pure socialism. A Romney presidency would see the middle and lower classes brutally exploited.

But following Obama's re-election, Americans are now facing a different, much more real horror scenario: In just a few weeks time, thousands of children could be denied vaccinations, federally funded school programs could screech to a halt, adults may be forced to forego HIV tests and subsidized housing vouchers would dry up. Even the work of air-traffic controllers, the FBI, border officials and the military could be drastically curtailed.

That and more is looming just over the horizon according to the White House if the country is allowed to plunge off the "fiscal cliff" at the beginning of next year. Coined by Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke, it refers to the vast array of cuts and tax increases which will automatically go into effect if Republicans and Democrats can't agree on measures to slash the US budget deficit.


Plunging Growth

As good as an instantaneous halving of the budget deficit might sound, the landing after a plunge off the fiscal cliff would be a hard one. Were taxes to be ratcheted up at the same time as state programs were slashed, it would have an enormous effect on the economy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 2013 growth would immediately drop by four percentage points, making a recession unavoidable. The number of unemployed would be two million higher than without the cuts.

It is an eventuality that doesn't just put fear into the hearts of Americans. In its annual report on the US, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) referred to the fiscal cliff as the largest risk currently facing America. Investors have already reportedly become more cautious in the face of the looming cuts. Should politicians not agree to a credible plan for reducing US debt, it could ultimately harm the credibility of the dollar as a reserve currency. More immediately, the IMF writes in its World Economic Outlook report published in October, the drastic cuts "would inflict large spillovers on major US trading partners." In other words, an already fragile Europe would become even weaker.

As such, Germany won't be the only country watching closely as US Congress struggles to reach an agreement in coming weeks. Should the US economy radically slow down next year, "it could in the current atmosphere of uncertainty result in a global loss of confidence that would lead to a collapse in investment worldwide," according to the annual report of top German economic advisors released on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the experts warn, simply postponing measures to address the debt and budget deficit problems "would also have long-term costs in the form of still higher sovereign debt."


The Greek Model?

What, then, is the solution? In the end, the US could arrive at a compromise similar to the one that appears to be forming for Greece: austerity measures combined with more time to achieve budget deficit reduction targets. The drastic cuts currently looming are essentially a kind of debt brake, but it is one with no flexibility built in whatsoever. The US economist Denis Flower proposed in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE that Washington should introduce a law mandating long-term debt reduction, but which allows higher deficits in times of crisis.

US politicians, no doubt, would not be fond of hearing their country compared to Greece. After all, the heavily indebted euro-zone country was used during the presidential campaign as a caricature for the horrors of European-style socialism. But their current finances are not dissimilar, with one difference being that the US can't count on outside help as the Greeks have received.

It remains to be seen how US politicians choose to approach the problem. Republicans, having defended their majority in the House of Representatives, could simply let the country plunge off the cliff in the hopes that it would be blamed on Obama. Or, on the other hand, their willingness to compromise may have been increased by virtue of losing the presidential election badly. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner on Wednesday pledged to work closely with the White House as negotiations begin. He said that lawmakers won't be able to solve the country's problems overnight, but said that voters "gave us a mandate to work together to do the best thing for our country."

Greece's economic problems and the resulting austerity packages it has passed have plunged the country into five straight years of recession. Germany, Europe and the world are hoping that the same fate is not in store for the US.

Read the full article here


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Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2964411 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Heaven forbid that the DHS would become the next neo-nazi party.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:33 | 2964476 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Just waiting for the new uniforms....they are all set on bullets.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:41 | 2964750 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

The new uniforms are on order from Hugo Boss. They still had a bunch of them sitting in a warehouse outside Munich.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:38 | 2964503 semperfi
semperfi's picture

along with the New Black Panther and labor union thugs

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:41 | 2964513 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:49 | 2964544 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture


.....and teaming with bold useful idiots.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:26 | 2964681 Seafarer57
Seafarer57's picture

...and I'm stuck in the middle with you.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:44 | 2964509 redpill
redpill's picture

DHS? Pfft. Just wait until they move Frau Napolitano over to Attorney General. Waco will look like a baby shower in comparison.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:49 | 2964545 semperfi
semperfi's picture

yep - an officer in The Kenyan Thug's Army

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:25 | 2964679 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Spot on.Eeegads I hate that bitch. There's something about Napolitano & Boehner that keeps me awake at nights.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:44 | 2964524 Gully Foyle
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:18 | 2964412 PartysOver
PartysOver's picture

Well, no shit Sherlock

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:22 | 2964435 orangedrinkandchips
orangedrinkandchips's picture

that phrase never gets

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:45 | 2964528 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


It fucking does if your name is Sherlock.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:51 | 2964549 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Is you name Sherlock sparky?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:53 | 2964560 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Dude, is Gay porn all you think about?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:01 | 2964584 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I think about all kinds really. Besides according to the last election it's now totally legal.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:26 | 2964453 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The prez is going to let us in on the solution at 1:05PM Eastern today.  Me thinks we will be joining the Eurozone so we can solve our problems by pooling all of our debt.  Then the Eurozone becomes "too big to fail."

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:35 | 2964474 Rainman
Rainman's picture

5 minutes after close on a Friday.... I expect a big green crap and tax turd will be tossed into the punchbowl.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:37 | 2964493 Bawneee Fwank
Bawneee Fwank's picture

I bet 1:30 or 1:45...fucker is never on time

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:58 | 2964578 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Orville: Do you have a brother whose first name is Sherlock? 
Sigerson Holmes: I do not.
Orville: You do have a brother?
Sigerson Holmes: I do.
Orville: Might I inquire as to his first name?
Sigerson Holmes: "Sheer luck."

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:18 | 2964414 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture

does greece have the reserve currency?

does greece have $100 trillion in assets?


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:27 | 2964455 Rubicon
Rubicon's picture


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:37 | 2964501 Orly
Orly's picture

Where have you been and what gives you the right to talk sense?


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:45 | 2964530 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

only REAL difference so far:  the US has a printer and Greece doesnt. 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:57 | 2965039 carguym14
carguym14's picture

The other "real" difference?

Guns and ammo-it will not be pretty when the party starts.....

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:04 | 2964598 DosZap
DosZap's picture

LOL, this is rich, WE see them as the next GREECE.................they are in worse shape than  we are....................

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:18 | 2964641 larz
larz's picture

Hey sick of punx How long do think it will remain reserve currency at this rate (China etc)? do you even know how close that is to imploding? Did you also know those assets pale in comparison to liabilities? Are you underwater on a mcmansion bragging about what a palace it is? Did you borrow all your money from family and friends whom are all sick of lending to you and are beginning to ask for it back? blah frickin blah blah.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 15:36 | 2965612 TMLutas
TMLutas's picture

Only one thing is going to save us and that is that nobody has figured out a reasonable departure destination for their cash. Individuals might bail in any direction but the big money can't move easily and rapidly into smaller markets without destabilizing their destination. All the big markets are in the same boat, filled with too many idiots. 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:35 | 2964721 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

So it all belongs to the government and the Obamites?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:35 | 2964722 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

So it all belongs to the government and the Obamites?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:10 | 2964852 tsx500
tsx500's picture

No.  And No.  But , they don't have Obama.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2964419 LMAO
LMAO's picture

In the end, the US could arrive at a compromise similar to the one that appears to be forming for Greece: austerity measures combined with more time to achieve budget deficit reduction targets.

What budget?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2964451 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

to continue the quote:


 ...The drastic cuts currently looming are essentially a kind of debt brake, but it is one with no flexibility built in whatsoever. The US economist Denis Flower proposed in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE that Washington should introduce a law mandating long-term debt reduction, but which allows higher deficits in times of crisis.


it will be a constant crisis from now on. anyone who has decent intelligence and is even halfway paying attention knows how this ends.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:33 | 2964708 odatruf
odatruf's picture

How it will end?

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.


~ The Poet, NH

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:05 | 2964836 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Fuuuuck. We've been in a crisis  for the better part of a decade.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:31 | 2964701 odatruf
odatruf's picture

Further, what austerity?

Ah, they must mean that we not be allowed to continue the current obscene rate of spending plus inflation.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2964420 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

I always wear plunge protection.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:22 | 2964437 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Commence "going greek" jokes in 3 2 1...

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:35 | 2964482 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Americans have been taking it Greek-style for years.


It's an ass fucking joke for those not in the know.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:36 | 2964488 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

I'm heading for a random dungeon, anyone want to come?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2964422 WaEver
WaEver's picture

Back in the USSA

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2964425 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

yep...doesnt take much of a rally now post election for the "sell into" crowd to show up

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:22 | 2964433 Jason T
Jason T's picture

what? you mean the 10%+ GDP twin deficits Obama just inherited from Obama?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:28 | 2964459 edifice
edifice's picture

He didn't build that. Oh, wait...

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:50 | 2964548 bobnoxy
bobnoxy's picture

You're right. Congress hasn't passed one of his budgets yet. That puts the blame on those clowns with ''the power of the purse'', or Congress. And since tax policy and spending starts with the Republican led House, well, there you go.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:26 | 2964683 divide_by_zero
divide_by_zero's picture

The Republicans have passed budgets, it's just that Harry Reid will not even bring them to the floor , the Senate hasn't passed one in 3 1/2 years. When they brought a couple of Obama's to the floor they failed by a 97-0 and 99-0 vote(! The reason is the $850 billion stimulus got cooked into the baseline, they don't want to risk that coming out in reconciliation or even being brough up in public at all. So the continuing resolution rolls on with supplemental funding.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:02 | 2964820 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Aren't you the one who didn't even know Obama signed NDAA, then after several posters pointed that out to you, you said Obama was forced to? Yes, I do believe you're the one.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:07 | 2964844 Overfed
Overfed's picture

The Statist cum-guzzlers swear up and down that the Republicans made O'bomb-a sign NDAA 2012. Dumbfucks.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:22 | 2964434 geewhiz190
geewhiz190's picture

asinine piece

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:23 | 2964442 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:34 | 2964477 Cugel
Cugel's picture

Same old stuff. You'd think the whole purpose of an economy was to maximize government revenues.

BTW, Der Spiegel's headline from the other day: “America Has Already Lost Tuesday's Election, Destroyed by Total Capitalism". If only.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:23 | 2964888 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Well what are they gonna say? Der Spiegel telling someone they've been "Destroyed by Fascism" would just be too ironic.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:45 | 2964529 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

anyone who can write drivel about addressing the deficit but not right now is disingenuous at best.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:22 | 2964436 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The U.S. is screwed up, but that is like the Crack addict, telling the Coke head he has a drug problem...

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:28 | 2964439 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Just an FYI, it's "battening" down the hatches, not batting (paragraph 1) - if you take a bat to your hatches they'll break or won't seal properly ;->

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:40 | 2964508 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

Here's another related malapropism from when I was a kid.  One of my friends used the imaginative term, "battlin' down the hatches".  It's a hard concept to get exactly correct.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:49 | 2964546 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

My favourite is 'I could care less'. Which implies that you do care, at least a little bit.


The proper form is 'I couldn't care less', which means it's impossible for you to give less of a shit. Cos you already totally don't give a shit!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:56 | 2964571 madcows
madcows's picture


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:12 | 2964856 tsx500
tsx500's picture

my favorite is "Forward" !

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 14:06 | 2965084 SilverFish
SilverFish's picture

My fav was "He got in trouble, so now he's trying to use me as an escape goat"

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:41 | 2964516 Orly
Orly's picture

I thought he was talking about quilting.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:48 | 2964540 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Orly, I was doing some research last night, and saved this piece for you. Australia Is Expensive, And The U.S. Is Cheap - Seeking Alpha

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:17 | 2964639 Orly
Orly's picture

Bling!  He nailed it when he said lots of things have to go wrong in the US in order for the USD to remain so weak.  Gonna make my bank on the AUD returning to 0.80 relative to the USD, just watch me.

It's not time yet but as things start to go right in America and investors turn their attention to other hard and soft assets instead of commodities, then the AUD will come off extraordinarily.  It is already making lower highs from the all-time peak but my bet is that there are many players in the game that have high stakes set on a higher AUD and they will try to move the pair higher.  Just the other day you mentioned some big money with buy positions set at ~1.05-level AUDUSD, so one more ramp may be in order, if nothing but to lure the retail money in and kill them with the short.

Thanks for saving that article for me.  I appreciate it.


P.S. I set another long position in USDJPY this morning after getting it handed to me yesterday.  The bounce started at the 61.8% retracement level of the spectacular move higher from about ~11 Sep 2011 to ~15 Feb 2012.  I think it could double-top (83.5).  Green pips to you and thanks again!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:23 | 2964668 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 That U/J long is probably a pretty good R/R at these levels... You might want to wait for POTUS and the House speakers speeches to end first.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:02 | 2964590 Dirtt
Dirtt's picture

Almost. The original saying is "Battens & Hatches!".

Battens support the roach of the sail giving it support. When faced with stormy weather, you drop the sails so high winds don't thrash you about. As you drop the sails you remove the battens." Battens down!"

Of course a failure to shut the hatches will allow the cabin to fill like a floating fish bowl until the boat sinks. So if you take the time to lower the mainsail and jib you better close your hatches too.

"Battens down & Hatches!!!!!!!" has morphed into "Battening down the hatches" and then bastardized into "Batting down the hatches!"

But your right about taking a bat to your hatches. It's as asinine as leaving your battens and sails up in a storm. But don't worry Ben & ZIRP can buy you a new boat. Of course he doesn't give a flying fuck about your life. 

Ready about? Hard to lee!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:02 | 2964823 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

Damn it. I've spent hoursa sicne Tuesday abotu midnight batting the shit out of them.  Now you tell me.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:23 | 2964440 jjsilver
jjsilver's picture

 What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it.  You felt it your entire life; Something
is wrong with the world.  You don’t know what it is, but it’s there.  Like a splinter in your mind,
driving you mad. The Matrix is everywhere.  It is the world that has been pulled over your
eyes to blind you from the truth, WHAT TRUTH? That you are a slave.  Like everyone else,
you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. 
A prison for your mind. Morpheus

Until you understand what it is and how to detach from it, you will NEVER be free.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:36 | 2964491 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Somebody has been off their meds for a couple of days, right buddy?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2964446 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Algo fueled stock markets, oil addiction, millions on foodstamps, sharp rise in weapons sales and a raped greenback. Buying your own debt because China goes into gold. Oh yeah, above ground electricity....

Well, at least the US is not Uganda.

A waste, such a beautiful country.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:26 | 2964449 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Typical socialist tactics - Europe did the same thing in the 1990s accusing Clinton of creating McJobs - and then the Euro windbags took a trip to California and had heart attacks at the size of the high tech industry.


So here we go again - don't look at me, says the socialist.   Look at those guys, they're worse.  This approach keeps the lemmings under control.  Germany will likely be the last pin to drop in Europe.


This world will be a better place when Europe collapses - no more UN/Euro nuisance factor to contend with.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:00 | 2964582 Marco
Marco's picture

A large high tech industry fueled by foreign investment which subsequently collapsed, repatriating a huge amount of dollars and allowing the US to keep the game going for a little while longer.

The world would be a better place if the US ran a trade balance as well ... I think neither of us will get what we want for the time being.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:39 | 2964738 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

so for you it's 100% cut and dried that "europe is socialist" and that the UN - conflated with the Euro - is a "nuisance factor"

of course it would never dawn to you that your outlook might be a nuisance factor to nearly the whole world, eh?

explain me in simple words why do you think that ZH has so many articles about China, Japan, Europe, etc

hint: the shortest word is called interconnection

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:27 | 2964907 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"so for you it's 100% cut and dried that "europe is socialist""

Yes. It has been for well over a century, something about Otto von Bismarck and his spiritual successor Adolf Hitler, among so many many others.

The rest of your post doesn't make any semblance of sense, no comment.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 17:42 | 2966186 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

as much sense as this new fashion of looking at Otto von Bismarck as a socialist, eh? I understand even Tyler Durden has this opinion.

Has someone researched who brought this fable to the world? And why so many are swallowing it whole?

A socialist. Go wonder. Then the Kaiser must have been at least a communist.

Perhaps I have to write an article about dear Fürst Otto, might be fun...

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:28 | 2964458 Calidreaming
Calidreaming's picture

I really like that Interactive Brokers commercial

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:03 | 2964826 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

Needs more naked chicks.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2964460 Fort
Fort's picture

There is so much misunderstanding between the continents; you know what surprises me the most the view of the Americans living here in Europe for years if not decades that I personally know and I have the privilege of knowing quite a bunch of them. I'm the one defending the US (albeit there is not much left to defend) while they go on about how bad good old US is. You are probably not surprised those US people over here all love Obama and all love the socialist Europe Utopian state.

Sometimes (and I know I should not because considering everything it is pretty sad) I'm really laughing my ass off.



Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2964461 adr
adr's picture

I know a lot of people that tried to vote by leaving for lunch early, the lines were longer than an hour and they had to go back to work. They tried to vote after work, but the lines were even longer then and many of the polling locations ran out of ballots. Of course these were in suburban locations.

The great thing about voting when you are on welfare, is you don't have a job to worry about. You don't even have to worry about making choices in the booth because your ballot was probably already filled out for you.

America, where every vote counts, unless you are a middle class white guy.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:38 | 2964502 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


I saw that episode of South Park too.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:21 | 2964651 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

If you are a middle class white guy, you should be smart enough to get a permanent absentee ballot, and vote from the comfort of your home and mail in your ballot a week or so ahead of time - if you insist on voting.

Or you can continue to whine about the lines at the polls.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:30 | 2964463 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

New OK Law To Kick Drug Users Off Welfare

Utah company lays off 100, blames Obama

Time To Get Out Of Market: Layoffs Spread Far And Wide, Capital Gains Taxes Will Skyrocket, JC Penny Report A 26.1% Drop In Same-store Sales, Greek 5bn Bond Expires Next Friday And No Solution Yet, And Bankers About To Be Arrested In LIBOR CASE

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:39 | 2964504 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Thank god Utah accepts Gold and Silver as currency.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:33 | 2964935 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"New OK Law To Kick Drug Users Off Welfare"

Aaand the state creates another fucking problem for itself. Now the druggies will have no money to support their habit and turn to petty crime and end up in ERs and mental health facilities - taxpayer funded, not to mention the policing costs. Fucking brilliant you goddamn fools!


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:30 | 2964467 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Here is a fictional end-game series:

5 parts....

You will be delighted to see who gets it in the end....

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:58 | 2964798 Marco
Marco's picture

Ah damn he had such a good run until this :

"upper-crust families with hereditary wealth, those whose fortunes depended on paper assets found themselves plunged into poverty."

That's hugely unrealistic ... it's not like they just own derivatives, they own stock, deeds, collateralized debt ... the ownership of productive capital is just as concentrated as the ownership of financial capital. This idea that a financial collapse can simply reset the clock is hopelessly optimistic.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:17 | 2964870 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:41 | 2964966 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

If they have 2 brain cells, they own companies, mines, farms, warehouses, vehicles, commodities, tanks full of fuel, guns, ammo, land, real estate, and so on.

"upper-crust families with hereditary wealth, those whose fortunes depended on paper assets" --- the author wishes the wealthy were that fucking stupid.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:34 | 2964470 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

USA the next Europe?  Some of you haven't been paying attention... the world economy at large and all it's people are being rendered insolvent in one wide all inclusive swipe... USA the next Europe, is nonapplicable.  The powers that be are making sure we are ALL IN THE SAME BOAT when the smoke clears.  That will make it much easier to obtain the consent/cooperation of people, businesses, states, countries and the United Nations/internation banking community.  A new system is coming, it is globalist in nature and it will leave a bad taste everyone's mouth (but the elite) but it will be framed as better than world-wide insolvency which they'd say would cause the sky to fall.  When we're all broke and desperate it will be easier to implement all sorts of big government plans that would have otherwise been unacceptable to the masses.  The big hammer is falling but moving so slowly the dim-witted under it don't notice. 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:35 | 2964941 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Evil flourishes when good men do nothing... but don't kid yourself, good men won't be doing nothing for much longer.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:32 | 2964471 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

"But following Obama's re-election, Americans are now facing a different, much more real horror scenario: In just a few weeks time, thousands of children could be denied vaccinations, federally funded school programs could screech to a halt, adults may be forced to forego HIV tests and subsidized housing vouchers would dry up. Even the work of air-traffic controllers, the FBI, border officials and the military could be drastically curtailed."

No problems there for me.  I guess it is nice to not depend on government for every aspect of my being. 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:37 | 2964497 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

"horror scenario - govt drastically curtailed" ?????

Celebrate, wish it could happen every day.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:41 | 2964514 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Of course, in this world of "give me other people's taxes" (corporate bailouts, QE, social welfare, MIC welfare, et al) the cliff will be jumped Evel Knievel style, circa December 31, 1967 -

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:40 | 2964507 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Dr. Richard Head

I think roads are nice.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:42 | 2964521 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

They sure are, but the excerpt that was picked didn't say a god damned thing about roads.  I fucking hate that arguement, as Federal income taxes are going to pay for everything BUT roads.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:49 | 2964539 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Dr. Richard Head

I enjoy it when they enforce food safety laws.

The price of Gold and other metals are tied to the dollar.

States receive federal money for highway maintenance.


to inspect food, maintain clean water and air, consumer product safety standards, insure bank accounts, regulate insurance policies, license medical professionals, conduct diplomacy, provide for defense, negotiate trade deals, and yes borrow money and maintain a currency and much more. Deliver the mail, collect garbage, respond to disasters

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:57 | 2964574 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Let me repeat myself, because it is fun.  The items detailed in the selection of the article I quoted DO NOT contain roads or FDA as being part of the cuts.  I was speaking directly to the pieces of the article that were quoted.  Go back to Capital Hill or whatever government agency for which you work.  You have food to inspect and roads to repair.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:24 | 2964607 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

"States receive federal money for highway maintenance." - I wish they would spend it on highway maintenance after receiving the money.

On all the other items you wish govt would do (except deliver mail & defense), they FAIL, F A I L !!!!!!!

$3Trillion per year to do a shitty job or not do at all, fucking joke is on all of us.

Central Govt's don't exist to beneift their people, they exist to rip them off (reference: read History).

Local Gov'ts not so much but still require an eagle eye on them to prevent corruption.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:44 | 2964979 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Pay for it yourself.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:36 | 2964480 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the europeans envy the USD reserve. And thus commodity protection whatever happens. The Euro, whats left of it, is pure defensive play, never made it to the true first division.  Now its burning half the community. And they fear for their welfare state model, which is crazy, as labour is the one asset we don't lack but we don't want to use. Instead we abuse those of foreign lands! Go figure that out! What a crazy conundrum. Its the capital markets which have gone bubble crazy and polluted the labour markets, not vice versa! 

The US asset market is all foreplay orchestrated by CBs and no follow thru... but even that hits the wall of diminshing returns. People get tired of HFT foreplays, it dries out the wet perfume spice and makes it all mechanical. Keeps the intelligent from being inventive.

The market kicks the happy hormones only when there is true challenge and adventure; a true voyage, not a hyped one. 

Who wants to be part of an industrial food chain from Monsanto to Walmart via Groupon and Mcdonalds? No spice there only bare survival. And that, if you are not on food stamps!

Uber America? A place for old men and no young'll fall like Jericho's walls or a bad soufflet. 

Bottom America? Carrying guns and running errands for NDAA or chasing illegals along Mexicana land. 

Middle America? Vanishing prairie of Cheyenne autumn. 

Both sides of the pond its a first world autumn that is dead scared of frosty winters for years to come.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:36 | 2964487 jaygould
jaygould's picture

"By now everyone knows how Americans feel about America......"

what an amazingly stupid, immature, self-serving/loathing comment!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:36 | 2964490 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I would love to see just how they would solve our problems. Extend the tax cuts and extend the spending while issuing more debt? The can has been kicked too far.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:39 | 2964505 Joe A
Joe A's picture

USA = Greece? Without the good food but with guns and bullets.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:41 | 2964512 northerngirl
northerngirl's picture

Let's face it we are a country of looters.  With each election all we do is send more representatives to office to increase the looting.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:42 | 2964518 semperfi
semperfi's picture

And that's what we signed up for last Tuesday here in the USSA.  Anal raping. Good and hard. No Greece. Its what we voted for, its what we deserve. I hope the Kenyan Thug and his Army give it to us good and hard, so that it blows up as soon as possible so all the fucking thugs and parasites are fucked, having their big daddy govt security blanket and baby bottle taken away.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:24 | 2964669 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

Buy bullets while you still can. It ain't gonna end pretty. The parasites are going to be seriously pissed when their SNAP cards stop working.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:31 | 2964921 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Brass... the new gold. I'm investing heavily!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:40 | 2964961 Helvetico
Helvetico's picture

Thugs and parasites? I hope you're not referring to the United States Marine Corps. Those guys deserve their monthly handouts for being dumb enough to implement US foreign policy in exchange for PTSD. 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:42 | 2964519 youngman
youngman's picture

Lets see...will the Democrats cut anything....all I hear is new programs cost money...much more money than any tax revenue increases they want...will the Republicans be able to cut anything....not in ten years..and they will be called out by the press as murderers and such...our 1.2 trillion will soon be 2 trillion and 3 by next year....and the 47% will be 60%....and the top 1% will have dropped to the top the others left...they will hide unemployment with student stamps...disability payments...all of these will skyrocket as a hidden welfare...or not so end..the decline of the USA is well under way and the death is soon to follow....5 years max I think

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:29 | 2964692 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Exactly right.

This goose that used to lay golden eggs consistantly, has been strangled to death and is now just a carcass held up by puppetmasters strings.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:14 | 2964861 Overfed
Overfed's picture

The chairsatan should just kick down a couple of million to each of us. Now we're rich and the problem is solved. Socialism can work, people! /s

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:52 | 2965008 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

You've got it all wrong! Haven't you heard every liberal's favorite Nobel luareate economist and all-around douchebag Paul Krugman? Spending of the deficit variety is exactly what this country needs! More programs! More people on welfare is good news! More people on Medicaid is good news! More people in Section 8 housing is good news! The only way to provide the American dream is for the government to buy it on credit, and we all deserve it, so shut up or you're just being ungrateful!

Why would Democrats (or Republicans) ever cut spending? IN THEIR INSANE CARGO CULT, GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS WHAT DRIVES PROSPERITY. You cannot reason with these people, their only solution to failure is to throw more money into the pit.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:43 | 2964523 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

while the silent majority is quietly picking up whatever pieces it can, and batting down the hatches, seeing very well, beyond the fog of bias and subjectivity, the inevitable epic deleveraging disaster

In your dreams!!!!


The half the population you refer to are all 'ignoring the problem' and 'hoping it wil go away' - or 'distracting themselves with other things'.

The are NOT preparing for anything - in fact they are the most dangerous of all - they are the ones who will instantly panic when the dawn breaks on their dream.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:46 | 2964532 MiniCooper
MiniCooper's picture

Tyler you are missing the point.

The US just announced it wasnt going to implement Basle III.

Nothing else matters, if banks can operate with no capital and free money. There just had to be something announced today to stop the market slide.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:05 | 2964601 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

I was wondering how long it would take for the bastards to worm their way out of that one. Going from 2% requirement for solid assets to 7% always looked like a non-starter to me. There probably aren't enough solid assets to go round, for one thing. Too many that should be dependable and relatively risk free have been rehypothecated to hell and back, renering them essentially worthless. And I bet a lot of the solid-seeming assets that are available aren't as lily-white as they appear, if one was able to examine the entire paper trail. Which, of course, the banks will never allow!


How long until we get a rash of 'if the US banks ain't doing it, then we aren't either!' from other countries' major banks?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:46 | 2964534 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Actually the USA surpassed(only word I can think of,niot right)some years ago.

Just accounting tricks hiding it.

Just waiting on the others things Greece is currently experiencing.

Sure it will not be long coming.

FORWARD into the valley of death they rode....

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:48 | 2964542 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Wed before Thanksgiving will be the Reid-Boner photo op when everyone is not paying attention.  Will slide a delay on everything with almost no impact on the debt whatsoever but it will be spun as good for jobs and good for America.  At this point, why get worked up over $16, $30 or $50T in is like me having an $8M mortgage but being able to print bills in my basement.  As long as I don't run out of ink and no one calls me on it, the game can go on for a decade.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:52 | 2964556 Richard Whitney
Richard Whitney's picture

Der Spiegel is playing to a local audience which loathes the United States. Most of their pro-euro articles declare that the problem is being solved by the EU lie du jour. They mix the latest acronyms into the article, LTRO or OTM or whatever and, bingo! - there is hope. But reality is relentless, so since it can't be viewed directly they have to spin it that others also have the problem. And nothing warms their heart more than hearing that the United States has the same problem. This article deflects attention from their certain doom to the fantasies they have about their relation to the United States. 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:36 | 2964945 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

"nothing warms their heart more than hearing that the United States has the same problem"

When your language has a word like schadenfreude you might as well indulge in it. Or maybe they're just worried the US will stop buying all those Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, etc. If the US tried living within its means sales of those brands would definitely suffer.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:55 | 2964569 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

"the silent majority is quietly picking up whatever pieces it can, and batting down the hatches, seeing very well, beyond the fog of bias and subjectivity, the inevitable epic deleveraging disaster, followed by even more epic printing that is coming this way."


That sums me up. We are fucked. I realize this. I prepare for this. The sad thing will be seeing the dipshit majority that just blissfully fiddles on with their iCrap and circus. I see them on Facebook posting their inane chatter and spending away on bullshit. NYC is getting a tiny sliver of the shitstorm coming. Americans will make greek riots look like fucking fiddle sticks once they get the memo that they have been sold out. By that time I will be on the family farm with the rest of us manning the turrets and harvesting crops as I pick off the obamaphone missing suck monkeys searching for mas chichis de governmento.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:32 | 2964699 HobbyFarmer
HobbyFarmer's picture

I agree with what you're saying....from personal conversations with people, NOBODY I speak to understands what is going on.  If they did, there would be a mass rush to farmland and rebuilding of local community. 

The eye rolling I get when I mention writing in Ron Paul on the ballet is evidence enough to me where our nation stands.

When the rioting finally begins in America, it will be lights out, far too late, and you (everybody) had better be where they intend to be long term.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:03 | 2964591 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

Greece is being forced to face its liabilities by external political forces.

The U.S. will eventually be forced to face its liabilities by internal market forces.



-One is the reserve currency of the world, the other is not.

-One has the largest printing press on Earth, the other doesn't have any whatsoever.

-One is the largest consumer of oil on the planet (driving the world economy with its consumption), the other barely imports a little more than Mexico.


To sum up:

One is a shaking lunatic holding an empty bottle and screaming at passersby, "Give me some vodka, NOW!"

The other is a sociopath with the world's largest nuclear arsenal calmly saying, "I don't want the world, I just want your half."



Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:12 | 2964629 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

sad to say, the "silent majority" simply did not vote in this presidential "election".

if you believe these numbers, it wasn't even the noisy 47% who voted for obama, since romney got half the popular vote. 

the sadness is that most people did not even bother to vote at all

i acknowledge that this site is somewhat akin to a "quack" site, but I just cannot find official numbers for those who did not vote in either this election or the 2008 election.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:44 | 2964977 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"the sadness is that most people did not even bother to vote at all"

What's sad about that? It just means that most people know that the U.S. government is a corrupt piece of shit....

Sat, 11/10/2012 - 06:52 | 2965402 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

i think of myself in the "if only government wasn't so corrupt, we could all be paid what we are worth" camp. your side is the "underverse". I prefer my soul not to be begin with the letter R!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:20 | 2964647 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

More can kicking.

Successful budget resolution.


Your vote matters...


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:21 | 2964650 lindaamick
lindaamick's picture

Let's face it the US is a parasite on the world. The two sides of the coin in USA are the same. 

One side claims that the poor and lower class are lazy shirkers who want something for nothing and that they are the producers and hard workers.  The other side claims that the elites and corporate oligarchies get all the welfare in the manner of subsides, tax havens, and no prosecution for white collar crimes. 


I say, all Americans are predators and parasites.  We have been schooled that way.

Look in the mirror.  I am one of them also.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:21 | 2964653 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

The Germans hate us for our gold that used to be their gold that actually now along with our gold all belongs to the Chinese who already hate all of us more than we hate each other so - OPA! Where's my handkerchief - I have a sudden urge to dance in a circle!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:25 | 2964677 Orly
Orly's picture

Good one!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:25 | 2964672 Gimp
Gimp's picture

Euro-trash piece. We can print ourselves into oblivion and be just fine...I think, right Ben?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:37 | 2964733 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

US debt is closer to Germany levels than to Greece levels.  They are just frightened by the apparent disorder of U.S. politics.  But, what looks like disorder to some may just be complexity.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:38 | 2964735 Manipulism
Manipulism's picture

Sorry ZH, but Der Spiegel is NOT financial media.

It is one of our leading,worst propaganda MSM piece of media shit.

Noting else, and everything they write has an agenda.

Ask who ist behind that.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:40 | 2964744 dinastar2
dinastar2's picture

So what's the big deal ? You will DEFAULT on your debt (US T bonds ) by hyperinflation et voilà....

The chinese-Japanes will get mad at you and finally invade the west coast to take some collateral

and put you back to hard so many people who defaulted ( argentinians Greeks Russians ...)

Besides that you ahve alot of assets ( cheap energy shale gas some bright minds in computing, aircraft , military science...)

you can trade off.

A moment of shame will not kill day you'll be back on your feet

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:40 | 2964746 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

Let's go over the fiscal cliff.  The air is too thin up here.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:53 | 2964793 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Once the US debt becomes bad enough it can seize it's citizens assets tyo pay off the banksters. Sheep will gladly support shearing for government aid.

The way to take down the US as other countries know is not via the military, but ecomonically. It's working.

Take away strategic industrys (overseas outsourcing) and then technology. Get more people dependent on food stamps, free phiones, section 8, etc.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:55 | 2964799 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

If you are under 40, you are fucked.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:24 | 2964899 KingTut
KingTut's picture

Not true.  This house of cards won't last that long.  It's a pile of crap was created by the "Greatest Generation", and dumped on theri children, the Baby Boomers.  Of course, baby boomers are not without our  faults.  We were spoiled, and we screwed off like no tomorrow in the 60's.  Worse, our kids are more spoiled than we were!  But we will pay the price for decades of profligacy, not you.   

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:46 | 2964986 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

The quickest way to address the debt and the interest on that debt is to cut benefits/entitlements, whatever you want to call them.

I expect an increase in the minimum age first.

A reduction later (since government WILL NEVER CUT SPENDING).

Finally, a panel will review net worth and determine if you "have the resources" and therefore you don't need the aid, so you won't get any.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:57 | 2965034 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"I expect an increase in the minimum age first."

Babies to born at age 18 so they can take on student loans and welfare right away?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:30 | 2964925 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Joe, I feel I must amend that statement, We are all f--cked!

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:06 | 2964843 woggie
woggie's picture

thye beast is on the gobble and all the matters is we're all headed for it's belly

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:09 | 2964850 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

"growth would immediately drop by four percentage points, making a recession unavoidable"

At least on ZH we can put that nonsense to bed. Timmay borrows 10% of GDP in deficit spending. Therefore, true, earned GDP is 10% lower than the published figure. Added to that is the global fixation on the concept of "growth". GDP which remains at a constant level is a perfectly acceptable premise. A continuously compounding percentage increase (i.e. Groth") is not required or mathematically feasible. The only problem is that the Fractional Reserve Banking system requires growth. Without it, there are not enough new loans added to M2 to make up for what is being withdrawn (repaying capital plus interest) when the interest was never printed. We're in this paradigm of requiring perpetual growth to fuel a mathematically impossible model.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 15:59 | 2965719 Orly
Orly's picture

"We're in this paradigm of requiring perpetual growth to fuel a mathematically impossible model."

Excellent analysis.  I wish everyone understood that.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:18 | 2964873 KingTut
KingTut's picture

The premise of this article is total crap, but, hey, it got you to click on it.

The Greeks are being systematically destroyed from the outside.  It is a less bloody version of the Nazi invasion in WW II.  The Greeks should have dumped the EU long ago, but of course they are being held hostage to the "European Dream", that is rapidly turning into a nightmare.  Greek austerity is turning Greece into a prison camp.

The US faces a similarly proportioned mountain of debt, but we are comparatively masters of our own destiny.  Of course, we can't agree as to what our destiny should be, but that's a different issue.  The US will not adopt "austerity" in the sense that we will pay our debts back in full in a currency held high by German efficiency.   We will inflate our way out of our debt, and anyone who doesn't like like it can F himself.  Although our Fiscal Cliff looks ominous, it is really is a set of minor problems and opportunties.  I have no doubt we will squander the opportunities, and sweep the problems under the rug.  It's just pretty easy to avoid the consequences for the time being.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:41 | 2964964 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"It's just pretty easy to avoid the consequences for the time being."

Which will just make our eventual reckoning worse, which makes me happy. Fuck the United States... :-)

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:23 | 2964892 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

"FBI Border Officials"  ????

That has to be the comic line of the day.  Are these guys like the Greeters that say hello to you when you enter Walmart?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:29 | 2964916 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Lower goverment deficits mean higher banking credit for consumers ...higher personel debt levels....higher leverage


The banking system has proven it is unable to create wealth when it gives out credit.


its role is often to eat up the suplus the goverment  (although also in debt to the bank) has created.


See French fiscal investments in Nuclear during the 70s if you don't believe me.


The goverment gets into debt to the bank to increase core productive capacity , the banks then eat the surplus the goverment created via giving out loans for consumer items.

Thats how it worked up to the 70s even.

Now the banks don't want the goverments to increase productive capacity yet still want the rent paid on time.


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 14:01 | 2965064 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

America gloated over WWII as much as the Soviets. This is just payback.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!