European 'Austerity' Update

Tyler Durden's picture

As we highlighted a few months back for Spain, the word 'austerity' appears to mean something different than we thought. Portugal just announced:

  • *PORTUGAL SAYS JAN.-OCT. SPENDING RISES 0.7%           :1174Z PL

and to help cover that anti-austerity 'rise' in spending:


Hhhhmm, well at least the deficit reduced modestly thanks to some chicanery transferring pension benefits. We are sure this 'diligent austerity' is why the bonds have rallied 100bps this week and everyone is patting the Portuguese on their back for 'following the Troika program'!

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Induced Coma's picture

We are so F*cked




ZerOhead's picture

Don't give up hope yet...

Rumor has it Intergalacitic Space Aliens are working out a top-secret global bailout through the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Denver Branch.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Cut or die.  Austerity is required.

Note that Weidman said this morning the ECB's help in the Greece situation can only be advisory.

Everyone is making positive noises while they each and every one of them say they won't allow the items that HAVE to happen for the positive noises to actually mean anything on Monday.

The European way is to sprint for microphones and say reassuring things even as Greece starts to miss payments and is declared in default.  The quotes that day will be "this is not a serious matter and there is no question that Europe will soon reach a decision on a plan."

Then Greece has no money and gunfire starts in Athens, and the guys will run for the microphone saying "we are going to have another meeting and everyone is confident we will reach an agreement."



Matt's picture

It has "worked" for the last 2+ years, so why not? Sometimes, I think maybe they will actually pull this off and instead of a collapse, this will just drag out for 20 or 30 years until the demographic shifts and other issues work themselves out.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

What's a collapse?

Is the only delimiter bullets in brains?  Or maybe it's 50% cuts in pension payments (which have happened).

OneTinSoldier66's picture

I love it when the Government cuts spending. To see what it's like you humans would need to come and visit my planet, which actually uses to logic to solve problems. It's the planet Vulcan.

Ajas's picture

Vulcan must have very productive old people then.  Pretty soon the idea that the pension scam that sunk Hostess and is sinking USPS will sink this country will gain real traction ... either because of foresight or inevitability ... and the younger, still-productive majority will go Hostess on that lockbox.

Spain is just a very large first domino.

Winston Churchill's picture

Didn't know that Portugal used baseline budgeting.

Live and learn.

Börjesson's picture

You keep repeating this dumb argument. Why? In any country with a social security system, spending will go up when times are bad and people need more help. That doesn't mean they're not cutting in other areas, where they have more control over expenditure.

I have no idea what Portugal specifically has or hasn't cut, so I'm not praising their austerity as such. I'm just refuting your flawed argument that increased spending means there hasn't been any austerity.

Nothing To See Here's picture

So your argument is that when times are bad, you can keep spending more in order to maintain your lifestyle and use the bad times as an excuse to convince your bank that you are austere?

Banks may be immoral, but they are not stupid.

mjcOH1's picture

"I have no idea what Portugal specifically has or hasn't cut, so I'm not praising their austerity as such. I'm just refuting your flawed argument that increased spending means there hasn't been any austerity."


We have officially declared austerity!   This will require 2 trillion euros per year in increased expenditures (to be paid by someone else).

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Suppose times are going to be bad perpetually from now on.  Then what?

bank guy in Brussels's picture

What is more importantly 'austerity' is not the ZH meme and theme, but more in destroying the pensions and minimal incomes of workers and the poor

ZH favours a definition re the alleged goal of government economising overall, that is something different

This is a word game, we need to be clear

Yes it is generous bailouts for banks and bondholders, adding to government spending and total debt

But it is brutal 'austerity' for the workers and common people that leads to economic death spirals, suicides and strikes and riots and, upcoming


monopoly's picture

It appears their knowledge and interpretation of math is a little different from what I learned. But then again, what the hell do I know.

Zero Govt's picture

it was bad maths in Govt (and banking) that got them into this dire/stupid situation and it's bad maths that also don't add up to anything like the word "austerity" both maths and the dictionary trashed.. par for the course of Govt's throughout history

Stop Paying Tax the maths for the parasites and what austerity means

Yen Cross's picture

   • More people walking and living off the land...

   • More people not working...   

  Welcome back to the "stone age"...

Nothing To See Here's picture

Once they're done raiding pension funds, whatch them raid everything else, in the name of prosperity and beyond.

buzzsaw99's picture

If a choice has to be made between paying the bankers or paying the pensions we know damn well who is going to get clipped.

Zero Govt's picture

yes because "democracy" is all about the people

and the bankers puppets, sorry public representatives, cheer for the people in policy decisions

as we see in Greece and Ireland the Govts are really sticking it to the parasites that cause all the problems

Thank heavens Christine Lagarde has pinpointed the problem though Buzz, taxpayers not paying enough to bailout the politicos and bankers from their errors. Fab IMF problem-solving that. 


viator's picture


"you keep using that word. i don't think it means what you think it means."

Inigo Montoya

Vegetius's picture

Well Surprise,Surprise!  This is not just a couple of countries in the EU they are all at it. Take the so called best boy in the class Ireland, they have done nothing and have no intention of doing anything. I meet these F**Kers all the time and its the same song all the time, its the Micawber defence that "something will turn up" and thats all they have. Well that and stealing everything that is not nailed down. Because if you have Gold, Cash or indeed anything of value these guys are going to come after it mouthing some pious platitude

Of course they forget Micawbers advice to David Copperfield

My other piece of advice, Copperfield, said Mr. Micawber, you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and and, in short, you are for ever floored. As I am!

- Charles Dickens

Mongo's picture

Where is that boy... that would bring balance to the farce...

booboo's picture

Government: An asset stripping mechanism. Most common theme promulgated prior to full on attack, "We are from the government and we are here to help"

Known defence: If confronted by one Government worker, Stick gun in their face and remove their wallet, write down their address and tell them "you know where they live now too"

If confronted by two, tell them your brother works for DHS. You are not lying, (the brother hood of man and all that, blah, blah.

If confronted by many, pretend to be a Obama voter and drool, that you favor confiscation of wealth, show them your ID, tell them you love drone attacks, wish they would drone attack you so you can feel loved. Have them photo your tatoos and describe your significant others tatoos.

q99x2's picture

Banksters taking down EU just like they did Argentina in the past. Greece looks identical to Argentina's low point. Next Spain and Portugal.

magpie's picture

One difference, they still have their 'hard' currency.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Low point?

Don't you get it?  This is forever.  It's all downhill from here.  Argentina has not seen its low point because the points will continue to descend.

This is what happens when it requires more and more joules to get oil out of the ground. There is no fix for this.

Maghreb's picture

If that was the case the crisis would be hitting people who use more fossil fuels first. Don't buy that bullshit greenwashing excuse for ponzinomics. Europe has always used far less oil than the U.S. France is on 90 percent nuclear with very very effective public transport systems they are still taking a beating. Iceland will be full geothermal and hydrogen by 2025 they were the first to go. Even OPEC countries who would be gaining leverage are taking a beating because in 2007 energy use dropped for the first time ever in human history. This is a debt crisis not an energy crisis. Peak whatever you want it CAN be worked around perhaps even with minimal loss of life or economic slowdown. Peak Oil, Peak Uranium, Peak phosphorous its all Newspeak for peak humanity and an excuse for whatever horrors the criminals that caused this have planned for when the SHTF.

Non Passaran's picture

Well said. Mr. Crashy likes to repeat his PO theory here on ZH.

Portugal: interesting to see that, earlier this week I was wondering how come their yields were falling. Now we know, things are going great just like Merkel and euroclowns said.

Matt's picture


It doesn't matter who uses more oil. You either need to produce oil (Norway does, some other places but Europe is mostly importer) or provide something the oil people need. The United States produces food for something like 2 billion people extra, in addition to its own population.

The Arab populations have increased 10-fold in the last hundred years. Do you think the desert suddenly provides ten times as much food? Since they need food and America needs oil, trade happens.

The only reason there is a debt crisis is because energy production and consumption is not growing by 7 percent each year, as it did from around 1870 until about 2005.

If you still believe that there are a small group of people in charge, that have a plan, and that they actually have the competence and capability to pull off such a plan, I don't know what to say. I used to think the same, but recent events have persuaded me that the all powerful wizard is an illusion, and the whole thing is being ran by an old man sitting behind a curtain.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

1) Not use.  Depends on.  And not fossil fuels.  Oil.  Not energy.  Oil.  Only oil puts food on your grocery store shelf.  Not nuclear power.  Not solar.  Not anything but oil.  As for 'depends on', Argentina's oil production was generating serious tax/royalty revenue for the government and all of a sudden that flow reversed.  They are an oil importer now.  That's why they raged about the Spanish oil company.  The oil output slowed and destroyed their budget.

2) Europe is more compressed.  They transport food shorter distances.  Iowa to NYC is 1000+ miles.  Refrigerated trucks and trains that run on diesel.  France is only 250 miles across the whole country.

3) Know the intricate specifics of peak oil.  Don't let the words hit you as some sort of amorphous ideological thing because it's not at all that.  It's a very precise mathematical definition.  It's not price dependent.  It's not conservative or liberal.  It's math.  The production of an oil well rises, peaks, and falls in terms of barrels/day.  That is very precisely and specifically what it means.  It doesn't mean anything else.  It's extremely popular for articles to start out saying "The Peak Oil theory says as price rises that demand . . . " or "The Peak Oil theory says we will run out of oil by 2015 . . .".  It doesn't say anything other than the very specific mathematical description of the graph -- oil output from the ground -- for an oil well -- or an oil field -- will rise, peak, and then decline.  Period.  And full stop.  Nothing more or less than that.  It can't be argued with.  All wells and fields DO do that.


Dawnofinsanity's picture

What they say:  

  • *PORTUGAL SAYS JAN.-OCT. SPENDING RISES 0.7%           :1174Z PL

and to help cover that anti-austerity 'rise' in spending:


What they don't say:

It will lower Portugal's deficit to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 from a previous 5.0 percent of gross domestic product.  With a GDP of 170 billion that's still deficit spending of $7.65 billion.  However, with fall in revenues then no doubt they will actually be back at 5% which is the threshold they are not supposed to hit.

seataka's picture

When the stakes get too high it seems the thing that matters is who has the cash, not who owes whom, it is good to be owed money, but you cant spend it. Same idea applies to physical assets. When the stampede begins to prevent firther losses of what you have instead of further pursuit of  future, promised, paper, income...well, it's gonna be a heck of a stampede.

booboo's picture

Double trouble

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

These PIg economies cannot & will not be allowed to  adjust as their spending is directed towards foregin inputs and goods , destroying all internal commerce.

Cork citiy streets were full of cars today and yet the pubs are empty.


This is a massive monetary and subsequent physical misallocation when looked at with Irish eyes.

dinastar2's picture

When personal spending rise and taxes received are lower it means people are tapping their matress, their spare money to pay for normal expenses, while the ever slowing economy produces and sells less, hence the lower tax receipt by the govt.

woggie's picture

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

Zero Govt's picture

"..the word 'austerity' appears to mean something different than we thought.."

think Jabba the Hut saying he's going on a "diet" ...then ordering his usual 24 Big Macs for his lunch. 

Words and actions almost never correlate amoung the political (parasite) class ..same as it ever was.