Europe Is On Strike As Its Economy Continues To Implode, Stock Futures At Highs

Tyler Durden's picture

If May Day is when Europe celebrates labor and jobs (if any), November 14 is its opposite, bizarro cousin as today Europe wakes up to a dead(er than usual) economy. The reason: virtually every European country is on strike. From BusinessWeek: "Spanish workers staged a second general strike this year as unions across Europe prepared the biggest coordinated protests yet against budget cuts that policy makers say are needed to end the region’s debt crisis. In Spain, unions said most auto and metal workers joined the strike, even as power demand was just 13 percent below usual. One of Portugal’s two biggest labor groups also called a strike, partial walkouts are planned in Greece and Italy, and French unions are urging workers to join protest marches. “This is a strike against the suicidal economic policies of the government,” Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, head of Spain’s CCOO union, told supporters late yesterday." In other words, Europe's economy which is already doing swimmingly, is about to see 1/60th of its Q4 GDP removed as virtually no economic goods or services are produced today.

And speaking of "swimmingly", the Greek economy shrank 7.2% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Greek statistics authority said on Wednesday in its first estimate for the period. The authority said Greece, in its fifth year of recession, contracted further than the 6.3 percent 12-month recession posted for the second quarter of 2012. In other words, the economic contraction accelerated in the quarter ended September 30.

Elsewhere, "Euro-area industrial production dropped the most in more than three years in September, led by double-digit declines in Portugal and Ireland. Output in the 17-nation euro area fell 2.5 percent from August, when it increased 0.9 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had projected a drop of 2 percent, according to the median of 35 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, September output slumped 2.3 percent. European companies are struggling to maintain sales and earnings as the euro-area economy weakens under pressure from the fiscal crisis and faltering global growth." In other words, the whole world is slowly grinding to an economic halt, and people in the socialist continent celebrate by striking, coming soon to an America near you.

In other news, the IMF said that it wants a "real fix, not a quick fix’ in Greece. "Speaking during a visit to Malaysia, Lagarde said that all of Greece's partners shared the same goal of putting the country's recovery programme back on track. "All partners share the same objectives and the same concerns, in other words (that) Greece is ... returned to economic stability, can reaccess markets as soon as possible," Lagarde told reporters. "Obviously from the IMF's perspective, we expect a real fix, not a quick fix, and that means clearly debt that is sustainable as quickly as possible." So... what the IMF has been doing in Greecefor the past 3 years, that was a "real fix"?

Concluding today's bad news rout from Europe was the UK, where jobless claims rose more than expected as the labor market slowed, the BoE cut the UK outlook and warned of a risk of "persistent low growth", and Germany auctioned off its first negative yield bond since July.

All in all, one can see why equity futures are on fire.


The full recap from Deutsche Bank

One week on from the US Presidential election result, and we’re no closer to a solution on the fiscal cliff with 48 days left in the year. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Obama will begin budget negotiations by calling for $1.6trn in additional tax revenue over the next decade, double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011 (which ultimately fell apart). The seemingly hardline approach sets the scene for tough negotiations with congressional leaders on Friday. The President has called a press conference today where he is likely to provide more detail on the aforementioned tax revenue increases which are reported to include raising taxes on corporations and allowing tax cuts to expire for top income earners (Washington Post, WSJ).

In terms of the markets, a late sell-off in US equities led by technology stocks (-0.90%) marked an otherwise quiet day. The S&P500 closed -0.4% lower, after shedding 0.65% in the final hour of the session. This took us to the lowest level since August 2nd. President Obama’s tweet, in the final hour of trading, that "I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced” didn’t help markets hoping for a more conciliatory tone, but probably summed up the state of play of negotiations thus far. US 10yr treasury yields closed at 1.594%, slipping back below the 1.60% mark, and threatening to break out of the 1.6% to 1.8% trading range that has held since August.

Ahead of today’s FOMC minutes, Fed vice-chair Janet Yellen commented that the Fed is considering tying Fed policy to inflation and unemployment targets. Yellen added that the Fed has a target jobless rate range of 5.2% to 6% and that employment targeting may mean that the Fed will tolerate a temporary deviation from inflation ranges. If such a policy comes to pass this is quite a big deal and would need even more money creation.

Asian markets are relatively mixed overnight with gains seen on the Hang Seng (+0.85%) and Nikkei (+0.2%) but the Shanghai Composite (-0.25%) and KOSPI (--0.1%) are underperforming. China’s current President Hu Jintao declared the 18th national party congress officially over today. All eyes are on the final makeup of the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest decision making body of the Party, which will be unveiled tomorrow. Markets are hoping for a substantial representation of reform-minded members. The latest power data in China showed electricity consumption rising 6.1% yoy in October, up from September’s low of 2.9%yoy, providing incremental confidence to some on the trajectory of the Chinese economy. The benchmark Asian IG credit index is trading flat while the Australian dollar is trading marginally higher (0.1%) against the greenback.

Over in Europe, the Stoxx600 closed 0.79% higher led by gains in the peripheries (IBEX +1.66%, MIB +1.4%). Most of the gains came late in the session on the latest Greek headlines suggesting that the troika is bundling the next 3 disbursements for Greece into one payment (totalling more than EUR44bn). However investors were (once again) disappointed later in the US session as German FM Schauble and Greek PM Samaras both said the idea was only being discussed at this stage.

Schauble added that while it was “logical” to combine disbursements, control mechanisms were needed to ensure that Greece keeps to reforms. 10-year Spanish bond yields rose 7.5bp at one point yesterday (to just under 6%) before rallying to close 4bp lower at 5.85%, helped by a re-run of reports that a Spanish bailout is imminent.

Turning to the day ahead, the main focus will be on the FOMC minutes which may provide more detail on policy options following the end of Operation Twist next month. We may also get more detail on Yellen’s inflation/employment targeting plans. In terms of data, US  retail sales and the BoE’s inflation report are the main economic releases. Reuters is reporting that Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and Italian unions have planned a coordinated “European Day of Action and Solidarity”, with strikes against austerity policies. Obama’s press conference is scheduled for 1:30pm US EST today, after which the president will meet with a number of business leaders to discuss his budget proposals.

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disabledvet's picture

I cannot deny the truth of this comment. Still...isn't there room for something productive to say here? Like "this is end of the world stuff" we already know about and is therefor priced in? Besides (obviously) not ALL of Europe is this way. This site being very pro German lays out in great detail how "this is not a German problem." And indeed to date there is much truth to that as well. Still the Germans didn't invent economics...although Bitler did solve the problem of unemployment quite quickly during the Depression.

WaEver's picture

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.....Still applies to our age with its automatic tootbrushes and iWhatever

Big Slick's picture

"There was a king with a square jaw and a Queen with a plain face on the throne of England...

... and there was a bloodthirsty clown, who would lure children into the sewer and swallow them whole!"

new game's picture

lower lows and lower highs except what you need to live - new norm, same game just in overdrive to where-

ah, glad you ask, the fucking cliff - don't ya know?!

AynRandFan's picture

The obvious implication is that equity prices are being denominated by ever smaller units of currency. A more interesting question is the relative effect of the contraction in choice of liquid investments having any upside potential, now that bonds have nowhere to go but down.

new game's picture

supply and demand still works?

eclectic syncretist's picture

With the fed saying they will be trying to keep bonds up for the next four years or more I wouldn't bet on an imminent drop, just yeilds getting crushed by inflation.

AynRandFan's picture

Yup, but the danger is that the Fed loses control of interest rates in the general economy.  It works like this -- banks say their loan rates are 3% (for example) but they don't lend any money at that rate because no one qualifies for such loans.  People actually borrow at 7% or 10% or more.  This happens all the time, for example in the mobile home lending world.  There, actual completed loans are usually around 13%.

Joe A's picture

Virtually every country in Europe is on strike??? So far only Spain and Greece with strikes planned in Italy and France. So no strikes in UK, Bel, NL, Ger, Aus, Lux, Swe, Den, Hun, Slo, Fin, Pol, etc.

Ghordius's picture

Virtually, not factually. It's a socialist continent and it's on strike. Period. ;-)

Slartibartfast's picture

The sooner they default, the sooner they re-set. Just dragging out the inevitable by continuing to support the unsustainable. The Age of Neo-Feudal corporo-banking must end. For those who fear the socialist bogeyman and the 're-distribution of wealth', the joke's on you...the big banking cartels have just about re-distributed all the wealth there is straight into their own pockets, and it's still not enough. It's not left versus right's become a worldwide dictatorship of non-productive capital.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

slarti, you see trees and miss the forest..socialism is the tool they are using you ass.

Slartibartfast's picture

...then it's not really socialism, is it, Dullard! Just like 'neo-conservative' and 'neo-liberal' have nothing at all to do with either 'conservative' or 'liberal'. 'Left' and 'right' have nothing to do with 'fascism' or 'dictatorship'; it's whatever 'flavour' delivers the power. You're hung up on labels and missing the big con. Whether it's Monopoly, Backgammon or Sorry, if the dice are loaded then the 'game' IS the dice.

AynRandFan's picture

Finally, I agree with you.  It is all about power.  Unfortunately, with socialism, the people vote to give power to the Animal Farm elite.  At least with fascism you aren't fighting against an entire population of people with no integrity or sense of self-reliance.

Slartibartfast's picture

Bit of a sweeping generalisation there. Ms. Rand herself went on old age security with nary a blush. If farmers choose to cooperate in their purchases to bring down the cost of production, isn't that 'socialism' (collective action towards a shared benefit)? And yet their bottom line is improved and is therefore good for business.

It's mystifying why people insist on one label over another when everything depends upon context and situation. The big enemy remains concentrated non-productive capital that takes over the reins of power, regardless of system. A good idea is a good idea...why throw it away for nothing more than a desire to adhere to an ideology? Greenspan was a devout Randian acolyte and look at the mess he made. If a 'socialist' framework benefits a few, it ain't really socialism.

eclectic syncretist's picture

"The privately owned Federal Reserve Bank was granted a monoploy for the issuance of banknotes in the USA - the Federal Reserve Note. Some people think the Federal reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders. As the Fed creates new money, much of it is loaned to the government, which must pay interest on the "debt". The government in turn levies income taxes on the citizens to pay the interest on the debt"

The banks are the biggest welfare recipients of all.

AynRandFan's picture

It's the rich people's fault, but said using a lot more words than necessary.

Of course, for every lender there's a borrower, for every corrupt politician there's a lot of stupid voters.

Dealyer Turdin's picture

Well, a lot of stupid votes, anyway. They're not elections, just electrons. Washingtron, Sacramentron, Coloradtron, Textron, Nevadtron, Arizontron, CPU party vs the RAM party.

(Don't worry, they won't actually use the CPU or the RAM...)

PolishHammer's picture

Union workers strike in their own interests which are exactly opposite the interests of the army of the unemployed.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

When union workers throw molotov cocktails, it's called "protesting". When unemployed societal roadkill throw molotov cocktails, it's called "rioting" or "terrorism".

Urban Redneck's picture

In their perceived interests, not their actual interests.

orangegeek's picture

Europe is down across the board this morning.


Dow pre-market is up.  Let's see how long that lasts.


And for all you Chinese cheerleaders, the Shanghai topped in 2009 and less so in 2010 and has been falling since.  It's beginning to look a lot like De-flation, everywhere I go!!!

Grand Supercycle's picture

WILE E.COYOTE crash update:

When EURUSD hopium finishes, SPX downtrend can resume.

Winston Churchill's picture

Hari Kari or Sepuku ?

Same result.

Anasteus's picture

Yeah, so the IMF wants a 'real fix, not a quick fix' in Greece. Fine, then get Greek, Italian, Portuguese, German and French banks involved bankrupt, allow dumb private and public investors for massive write-off, investigate Goldman, Super Mario, the European cronies for their participation on fabricating the fake economic metrics and do your due dilligence considering the respective conclusions, allow for punishing corrupted politicians and stop feeding irresponsible and incompetent banking and political oligarchy.

Easier said than done, IMF, isn't it?

Newsboy's picture

Global Austerity IS THE PLAN for global warming and the end of growth.

(Ssshhh, it's a SECRET)

Banks can do quite well in long depressions.

They are ratcheting it down.

Everything is under control...

northerngirl's picture

The world is upside down, and instead of saying, "The world is upside down", all effort is put into hiding the fact that it is upside down.  The truth is the truth no matter how many people say different.  Let the looters continue to loot, because nothing will change until people have destroyed their country, sovereignty, and their lives.  Don't worry Europe we American's are with you!  God help us!

Madcow's picture

people are not realizing that the bankers WANT things to get worse and worse and worse in Europe.  

5 more years of this and there will be 80% unemployment, mass starvation, ubiiquitous bankruptcy .... 

that will allow the bankers to swoop in and confiscate >90% of Europes homes, businesses, factories, city parks, etc - 

the have to keep pretending they agree there is a "crisis" that must be "dealt with" becuase the public would not accept that what is happening now IS the plan. 

and the pain is just getting warmed up.  ican't imagine what this will look like 5 or 10 years from now.  probably something a lot closer to "Mad Max" or "Children of Men"

Those that lacked the forsight to flee the continent unfortunately get what they deserve

AynRandFan's picture

It's the rich bankers' fault.  Why, because . . . they want to confiscate everything?

At least when it used to be the Jews' fault, who were the bankers mainly, we could say it was racism.

rustymason's picture

I thought is was all the fault of Hitler or the Germans (Same thing, natürlich).

Invisible Hand's picture

This is OT but...

Saw a Frenchman's take on what the election means for America and thought it was very interesting.

It even mentions Zerohedge!

You may not like it, but perhaps it will make you think.

I tried to argue some of the same points before the election but I am no where near as persuasive.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

"The one man who will kill your Republic is the one man who will last give up and renounce it. Don’t you dare be that man."


I love it! That's a kindred spirit to "They can have my rifle when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers".

falak pema's picture

very well written and romantic perspective, written like Horatio on the bridge, or a latter day son of Lafayette at Yorktown.

It should please all those "patriots" who lost their souls in Vietnam and elsewhere. Good "pick-me-up" medicine.

There is not a word of ethics in it. For a frenchman like me this harangue is a betrayal, or negation,  of Enlightenment. But then the french, like all other nations, produce shoes in all sizes and men of all bends. That is the legacy of free will.

I like the style if not ALL the substance. 

AnAnonymous's picture

'Americans' and their hatred for the most obvious facts...

'American' politicians are servants, as they are supposed to be by the very principles of 'americanism'.

'American' politicians are servants to the 'american' King class, aka the 'american' middle class.

In every 'american', you'll find this taste and need for a fabled past: US Americans started as radical freedom for individuals supporters.

And they were so radical in their freedom for individuals support they kept slaves.

That is what 'americans' call being radical.

Actually, the English King was a more radical supporter for freedom of the individual than the US Americans.

'Americans' cant deal with the idea that 'americanism' is what has shaped the world of today. They have to invent a fabled past to later confirm a devolution, a degeneration of their so loved 'americanism'

Yet the most basic observation shows no devolution or degeneration of 'americanism'

The US, the mecca of 'americanism' set the tune:
masquerading coercion for freedom, masquerading propaganda (later fantasy) for truth, masquerading injustice for justice. That has been the 'american' recipe from the start.

Racism being a vital component of 'americanism', 'americans' thought that the bad sides of 'americanism' could not hit them. It was for others. As for today, they are discovering that the 'american' process of decivilization needs to be fed and fed fat people.

And who has grown fatter than the 'american' middle class, that class that has been protected from the bad consequences of 'americanism'?

Way too many 'americans', so few Indians...

RougeUnderwriter's picture

We are not to far behind. What happens to us when the global economy falls off a cliff. Contagion in the banking system, lack of jobs, stagnent growth - it's not just Euro Land. The EU is running out of moves and we just keep printing money.

AynRandFan's picture

The natural progression of blame-shifting:

First, "It's Bush's fault."

Then, "It's rich people's fault."

And finally, "It's foreigner's fault." (Take your pick, but probably Iran or China).


AnAnonymous's picture

Everyone but 'americans' fault...

akak's picture

Everyone but Chinese Citizenism citizens fault --- they are certainly not the #1 blobber-upper of world natural resources, and are all, to a person, as guilt-free and innocent as newborn babes (well, as innocent as newborn Chinese Citizenism baby boys --- the worthless "half human, half thing" baby girls often do not fare so well).

BraveSirRobin's picture

And if all else fails, "Kill the Jews." It's so convenient they are also all rich and control everything. So you get to kill 2 birds with one stone.

Unfortunately for the blame crowd, they now have nuclear weapons, so the task is a bit more dangerous.

Tricky little bastards - arn't they?

Zero Govt's picture

“This is a strike against the suicidal economic policies of the government,” Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, head of Spain’s CCOO union..

a Unionist at last standing up against suicide socialist spending???

er, no ..damn. He doesn't want austerity (Jabba the Hut Govt on a diet) he wants more, more, more glutony and continued State obesity ...worked in Greece didn't it!

pashley1411's picture

Its not over until the Vandals cross the Rhine.   Until then, all noise and smoke.

BraveSirRobin's picture

Miramanee certainly got the thread going in different direction.

Sounds like he took a Brain Chemistry 101 course recently.

He seems to have discovered that people of like mind tend to congregate to discuss their ideas, and when challenged, tend to defend the same, and are not easily swayed to the next opinion presented without strong evidence. Perhaps a Noble prize is on the way.

I can't wait to read another inciteful and enlightening Miramanee post.

<<You can paraphrase me with "No shit, Sherlock.>>

trx's picture

I disperati:

Seems like the Italians have come up with another some kinda income booster - according to the Danish website they're now suing analysts ant both S&P and Fitch for "negative" reports on the state of the Italian economy...

Just two weeks ago the Italian authorities  jailed seven seismologists for not have been warning "enought" about a forthcoming earthquake that killed 300 people.

It fits the pattern, thou....


Today's audiovisuel European summary:

Snapshot in Time (Rip This Joint) 11142012