20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

The next Great Depression is already happening - it just hasn't reached the United States yet.  Things in Europe just continue to get worse and worse, and yet most people in the United States still don't get it.  All the time I have people ask me when the "economic collapse" is going to happen.  Well, for ages I have been warning that the next major wave of the ongoing economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.  In fact, both Greece and Spain already have levels of unemployment that are greater than anything the U.S. experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Pay close attention to what is happening over there, because it is coming here too.  You see, the truth is that Europe is a lot like the United States.  We are both drowning in unprecedented levels of debt, and we both have overleveraged banking systems that resemble a house of cards.  The reason why the U.S. does not look like Europe yet is because we have thrown all caution to the wind.  The Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow and the U.S. government is savagely destroying the future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have by stealing more than 100 million dollars from them every single hour of every single day.  We have gone "all in" on kicking the can down the road even though it means destroying the future of America.  But the alternative scares the living daylights out of our politicians.  When nations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy tried to slow down the rate at which their debts were rising, the results were absolutely devastating.  A full-blown economic depression is raging across southern Europe and it is rapidly spreading into northern Europe.  Eventually it will spread to the rest of the globe as well.

The following are 20 signs that the next Great Depression has already started in Europe...

#1 The unemployment rate in France has surged to 10.6 percent, and the number of jobless claims in that country recently set a new all-time record.

#2 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole is sitting at an all-time record of 12 percent.

#3 Two years ago, Portugal's unemployment rate was about 12 percent.  Today, it is about 17 percent.

#4 The unemployment rate in Spain has set a new all-time record of 27 percent.  Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#5 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Spain is an astounding 57.2 percent.

#6 The unemployment rate in Greece has set a new all-time record of 27.2 percent.  Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#7 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Greece is a whopping 59.3 percent.

#8 French car sales in March were 16 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#9 German car sales in March were 17 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#10 In the Netherlands, consumer debt is now up to about 250 percent of available income.

#11 Industrial production in Italy has fallen by an astounding 25 percent over the past five years.

#12 The number of Spanish firms filing for bankruptcy is 45 percent higher than it was a year ago.

#13 Since 2007, the value of non-performing loans in Europe has increased by 150 percent.

#14 Bank withdrawals in Cyprus during the month of March were double what they were in February even though the banks were closed for half the month.

#15 Due to an absolutely crippling housing crash, there are approximately 3 million vacant homes in Spain today.

#16 Things have gotten so bad in Spain that entire apartment buildings are being overwhelmed by squatters...

A 285-unit apartment complex in Parla, less than half an hour’s drive from Madrid, should be an ideal target for investors seeking cheap property in Spain. Unfortunately, two thirds of the building generates zero revenue because it’s overrun by squatters.

“This is happening all over the country,” said Jose Maria Fraile, the town’s mayor, who estimates only 100 apartments in the block built for the council have rental contracts, and not all of those tenants are paying either. “People lost their jobs, they can’t pay mortgages or rent so they lost their homes and this has produced a tide of squatters.”

#17 As I wrote about the other day, child hunger has become so rampant in Greece that teachers are reporting that hungry children are begging their classmates for food.

#18 The debt to GDP ratio in Italy is now up to 136 percent.

#19 25 percent of all banking assets in the UK are in banks that are leveraged at least 40 to 1.

#20 German banking giant Deutsche Bank has more than 55 trillion euros (which is more than 72 trillion dollars) of exposure to derivatives.  But the GDP of Germany for an entire year is only about 2.7 trillion euros.

Yes, U.S. stocks have been doing great so far this year, but the truth is that the stock market has become completely and totally divorced from economic reality.  When it does catch up with the economic fundamentals, it will probably happen very rapidly like we saw back in 2008.

Our politicians can try to kick the can down the road for as long as they can, but at some point the consequences of our foolish decisions will hunt us down and overtake us.  The following is what Peter Schiff had to say about this coming crisis the other day...

"The crisis is imminent," Schiff said.  "I don't think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems."

"We're broke, Schiff added.  "We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out."

Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 14,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security.

"It's not that the stock market is gaining value... it's that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency... a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception," he said.

"The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he noted. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode."

So please don't think that we are any different from Europe.

If the United States government started only spending the money that it brings in, we would descend into an economic depression tomorrow.

The only way that we can continue to live out the economic fantasy that we see all around us is by financially abusing our children and our grandchildren.

The U.S. economy has become a miserable junkie that is completely and totally addicted to reckless money printing and gigantic mountains of debt.

If we stop printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.

If we continue printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.

Either way, this is all going to end very, very badly.

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Abraxas's picture

Europe has never been in a better shape. It's just some bad data and data can be manipulated. 

true brain's picture

#10; I'm surprised at Netherland. Supposed to be conservative; look like they got the american disease, consume and consume even more.

Skateboarder's picture

Overwhelming desire to acquire more shit than a human needs is now a global disease.

DaveyJones's picture

The age 20 is the most significant of the twenty

the poor bastards will become angry bastards. See Popo

knukles's picture

French car sales are 16% lower?

Well of course!
Nobody buys a French car FFS....

prains's picture


people are back to living in caves in the 21st century

James_Cole's picture

Vice on HBO had half an episode last week on the crisis in Europe, recommended for anyone on here that's curious about whats going on in the streets of Italy and Greece. 

Supernova Born's picture

I've been all over Europe.

I've been to Walmarts all over America.

I have to hope Walmart is not a place to contemplate America's future.

Troll Magnet's picture

Hey, we have K-Marts, too. Don't hate us because we're rich!

Hengist's picture

My wife actually worked for an auditing firm that was tasked to find out why K-Mart was failing, she was personally responsible for crunching the numbers by hand no computers involved.   What she found was that the trucking firms were double billing or overbilling and that the check out staff were robbing the company blind in "ethnic" areas as well as massive shop lifting in said stores by staff and customers.  Needless to say K-Mart took the PC route and closed down profitable stores in white areas to support the "ethnic" stores.  The rest is as we say history, the truth and reality is a stranger to upper management.

Bee's picture

How long ago was this?

Kobe Beef's picture

Hey now, hater. Everybody knows ethnic shoplifting is social justice. Kmart didn't build that.

Race Car Driver's picture

> Vice on HBO had half an episode last week on the crisis in Europe ...


On the TeeVee?! Really!

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Hey............ I have a French car, a Peogeot 407 SW GT, it is a great car when it works.

Dugald's picture

  "Peogeot"  Merde! not another Frog car??

_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

So Peugeot even misspelled their brand name on your car?

Catch-22's picture

… 504 was a classic, even made it into “The Dukes of Hazard” TV Series ...



Edit: The legs on that thing!!!

spine001's picture

The Netherlands doesn't need to worry. Now they have an Argentinean Queen. Look at the track record of Cristina Kirchner president of Argentina...:)

Until next time,


Joe A's picture

Nope. During the boom of the 90s people started borrowing and spending money like crazy. People took overvalue on their mortgages to prop up their houses or spend the extra money on consumers products etc. NL is the only place in the EU where you can deduct the interest rate of your mortgage from your taxes. All that to stimulate the sales of houses and to keep the banks and real estate and construction maffia happy. Then came the 2008 crisis. People lost their jobs, could not keep up with their mortgage payments and lost the house (and their marriages). Now we have a situation where prices of houses have dropped while the mortgages of course are still the same. Nobody is buying so the housing market is stuck. The housing market needs to corrected but that would mean that a lot of people will go bankrupt. But I don't pity them. People never questioned where the money came from and thought that sky is the limit. But the sky might fall on them. Unemployment is rising and the economy not growing. But everybody is oblivious about it. Instead, they all curse the Southern European countries. But that thing will boomerang.

swedish etrade baby's picture

"NL is the only place in the EU where you can deduct the interest rate of your mortgage from your taxes"

I disagree. Its the same in Sweden

thisandthat's picture

Same in Portugal - interests and amortizations with mortgages are deductible too, though (increasingly) limited in value.

piliage's picture

Yes, you certainly can in Belgium.

Sudden Debt's picture

yep, that's why everybody buys a house in Belgium. it's cheaper to buy than to rent.
But that leaves a big problem for those trying to invest in real estate because the revenue is shitty. and that's when they pay rent because those who are renting are the young kids and the insolvent once. And once they are in, even if they don't even pay first rent, it can take up to 3 to 4 years before you can kick them out and by than they mostly trash the place.

I had 3 appartments I rented out and with constant repair costs, begging for my rents, it just wasn't profitable at all to keep them.

RKDS's picture

Perhaps I've been influenced by slumlords in my area, but renting is a complete scam.  They never do any maintenance on the property, never fix anything that breaks, never communicate clearly about anything, always find some way to steal the excessive deposits they demand in spite of never putting a cent into upkeep, etc.  And then they have the unmitigated gall to come with their hand out expecting to profit at such and such a rate?


couvrot's picture

Minor correction: just like in the US, you can deduct your mortgage interest payments from your income NOT from your taxes.

hansg's picture

I find that statistic extremely hard to believe, unless it includes mortgage debt. Houses are expensive in the Netherlands. Even the cheapest apartment costs the equivalent of a few years of fulltime work.


UK debt marsh's picture

Yes it does include mortgage debt.

It is still the second highest in Europe, after Denmark.

All Dutch stats this year have looked sick - retail sales have slumped.

Ghordius's picture

then it's not consumer debt, it's total household debt

Metalredneck's picture

From my family history; keeping Dutch women happy is a provider's nightmare.  Conspicuous consumption at its finest.

RKDS's picture

Number 5 is not at all surprising though.  You're 22-23 when you graduate from college.  Then you go looking for a job and the pinheads want 10 years experience with Windows 2008.  If you never learned to lie or can't rely on nepotism, finding work to support yourself fresh out of school can be really hard.

americanspirit's picture

true brain - I spoke to some friends in the Netherlands about this and they tell me that it isn't the ethnic Dutch who are living on credit, it is mostly the immigrants. Native Dutch people still for the most part own their homes, many of them mortgage-free, and they have significant savings. One friend of mine pointed out that the phenomenon of immigrants running up massive credit and then defaulting isn't limited to the Netherlands. It has apparently become well-known that anyone can get multiple lines of credit just of the boat, so to speak, and can live it up for years with no consequences. When it all falls apart, they simply head home - where they have been stashing substantial assets during their stay in the EU. It is simply a new way to loot and pillage Europe.

Son of Loki's picture

They need moar "shovel-ready jobs" ... like we have....

true brain's picture

By the time it really hits; they would pray for war. At least they get military ration before being blown to bits.

Law97's picture

Like digging front line trenches.

Totentänzerlied's picture

The only trenches they'll be digging are Minecraft trenches in between drone-piloting shifts in an air-conditioned trailer.

TuesdayBen's picture

I suppose that burying war dead would qualify as shovel-ready work. Wouldn't it?

Yes_Questions's picture



Yep.  And watch the nationalist pride start to bloom in the Euro Countries as the propoganda sets the local brand of brown folk on the hot list of the reason why things are so fucked.

Especially the muslim, brown folk.

Anything to cast eyes of blame off of The City.

Or Washington, for that matter.

piliage's picture

Want to know a dirty little secret about Brussels? Brussels has about 21% unemployment. Yep, that high. Why you ask? The socialist party, to stay in power, has had an open door immigration policy to North Africa and uses immigration to pack the voter rolls. You can vote in Belgium even if you are not a citizen and obtain the most generous welfare benefits in the world just by having a residence card. Brussels, along with the absurd unemployment rate also, rather unsurprisingly, has one of the highest crime rates of any capital city in Europe too. You see, the socialist party has a very lax approach to law and the majority of judges are socialist.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

@ Brussels.....now we know where Oblahblah got his vision.

knukles's picture

Bring the beggars in, fund a better then subsistence lifestyle, grant all due rights as nominal citizenry, let them vote and voi-l-a a solid libtard voting block.
An enslaved people, the Free Shit Army is.

Pure fucking evil

piliage's picture

Hey Knuck, you'll love this. The only good thing about this arrangement in Brussels is that the 'underclass underprivileged youths' of Brussels have now taken to removing the wealth of the Eurocrats at random on the street, in daylight, often a block or two from the commission or the parliament. It is the ultimate karma circle and couldn't happen to a nicer group of folks.

To quote my favourite curse of Frank Zappa, "may your shit come to life, and kiss you."

Acet's picture

Every politician in power all over Europe was busy packing the Welfare rolls for their own gain. Even Thatcher in the UK (supposedly the ultimate conservative) was filling the Disabled rolls with perfectly able people just so that her unemployment numbers would improve.

Then there was the whole open door immigration policies, supposedly to bring needed qualified people in and yet always done in such a way that Western countries overwelming imported the poor and unspecialized peasants of 3rd world nations (which would then undercut the wages for the local unspecialized workers, with said locals ending up on welfare). This was great news for the well-connected companies that had lobbyied hard for just exactly that sort of immigration policy, who then had lower manpower costs and bigger their profits (just go into any retail store owned by a tax evading big corp - for example Starbucks or Tesco - here in London to see what I mean). Unsurprisingly the age of open door immigration policies and outsourcing coincinded with the growth of CEO income from 43 times average worked salaries to 1000+ times average worker salaries.


piliage's picture

filling the Disabled rolls with perfectly able people just so that her unemployment numbers would improve.

Page 2 of the Obama administration play book as well

CheapBastard's picture

Brussels is so friggin dangeorus at night now it's crazy...and how about that neighbporhood near the downtown train station...when you get off the train out the station you feel like your in Mali.