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Missed it by >that< much.
I posted part of this in another thread, but it's even more relevant in this one, and I've included a link to a PRI/BBC podcast that you can listen to that gives a great sense of how angry northern europeans are, and how this anger is rapidly growing as they are becoming aware of the reality that some of their politicians are contemplating literally crushing their economic health in an attempt (what will ultimately be a futile one, to add insult to their long term economic injury, IMO) to keep the EU together and the euro as a common currency:
The BBC aired a special today whereby they interviewed people in the Netherlands who want to go back to the guilder and leave the EU, and the far right party there, which used to be non-relevant, now has the 2nd most seats in parliament and is positioned to upset the majority party soon.
The main reason? The cost of living/inflation.
Let them print euros to infinity and beyond, which is the ONLY way to save anything remotely approximating what is now the European Union, as holders of sovereign debt get paid back with used toilet paper, and as inflation absolutely enrages people in Europe who tend to be much less even tempered than the Dutch, and watch what happens.
Anyone who actually believes that the European Union can be saved at this point is beyond delusional. If it's "saved," the "save" won't last very last.
Here's the BBC/PRI Podcast (Dutch clamoring for leaving the euro):http://pri.org/files/audio/neuro_989037576.mp3
No one knows what is about to happen. I tend to think it's going to fall apart, as I ponder back on that BBC story, and remember the Dutch who were interviewed, and who were now supporting the right wing party gaining strength, all say that they're not going to see their living standards erode even more "to support those Italians, Greeks & Portuguese," and I'll paraphrase this part..."who are living large off of our sacrifice and suffering."
And this is the crux of the problem.
Anyone living in whatever counts for a solvent nation in the EU, mainly in the north, is already taxed to death, and despite the euro rising in relative value against the USD since its inception, it actually buys less and less in Europe due to a whole host of factors.
Nigel Farage, who I actually like, even if he hams it up and is very much the attention whore, is essentially right: It was flawed thinking that led to the belief that a cobbled together union of different nations, cultures, regions, values, beliefs and economic, social and political systems/practices could ever be able to use a common currency, essentially all being joined at the hip and being forced into an arrangement where the responsible must perpetually (and it will be perpetually, I assure anyone) bail out the irresponsible.
If those Dutch (and Germans, and etc etc) think they're getting screwed now, just wait until the ECB printing begins. They haven't seen anything yet. And the ECB printing HAS TO BEGIN AND ACCELERATE LIKE CRAZY if the only possible way to save the EU is to be implemented, to wit, having the ECB monetize the debt of what are incredibly indebted EU Member States (PIIGS+France+UK).
Most people are focused on the PIIGS, when in fact, France is in terrible financial condition, also, and England has the highest official (unofficially, the numbers and percentages are all multiples higher) debt to GDP ratio, which stands at 1000%.
If they implement the austerity + the ECB purchase of indebted EU Member State sovereign government debt which necessitates the massive dilution of euros via the printing press, the end result is going to be incredible economic, political and social tensions within the EU, which rip the EU apart at the seams, at any rate.
Anyone who believes a soft landing type rescue of the EU can be accomplished is just not plugged into reality. Everyone who thought that this experiment would work didn't think hard enough about possibility (and now factual occurrence) that some many nations would live far beyond their means for a long time, and when the tide came in, these accumulated years of irresponsibility would have to be paid for from the pockets of those who did not - let Germans & others see what's effectively going to be a massive rise in their cost of living and massive reduction in their quality of lives, and watch the pot boil over.
They knew at the outset that it wouldn't work, a necessary intermediate step. Now lets see if they think they can pull off the next stage.
Nigel Farage must be breathing down David Cameron's neck.
Who the hell cares what bloody Britain has to say. They're a nation of royal family souvenir salesmen outside Buckingham Palace. Let Germany figure it out and everyone else just do as your told, and all will be well.
To be honest, I'm glad one politician is not going to play these games with a union that should not even exist. Unfortunately, that happens to be a only a Brit ...
Awesome Avaatar sqz. What a visual. If only our world could revolve like that.
And even Farrage's Barrages are for a stronger britain, which is not exactly good thing, going by their history.
I personally feel that European citizenery, after a good 40 post war years, are being readied, angered, brainwashed to enlist again. Perhaps a lightly stoked EU/Russia tension, some shut off gas supplies in the bad winter coming....
All in all..... March 2012 is a joke, clearly the implosion is well before that.
"If only our world could revolve like that."
"I personally feel that European citizenery, after a good 40 post war years, are being readied, angered, brainwashed to enlist again. Perhaps a lightly stoked EU/Russia tension, some shut off gas supplies in the bad winter coming...."
...dutch folks think they are paying Italians, Greeks, etc to party?
Divide and Conquer...only the bank gets paid and/or survives.
"And the guilty party: An agreement at 27 fell through after British Prime Minister David Cameron demanded concessions that Germany and France were not willing to give, one of the officials said."
Well, well, wasn't this unexpected. Wonder what concessions Cameron wanted? Nothing to do with British Banks?
sqz, re. the "union that should never exist" - what would your alternative be? You know it should be called a Confederation instead of a Union, at least at the current stage...
Exactly. Britain is as big an economic basket case as the PIIGS. Now that fisccal unity is on the table in addition to the unsustainable monetary union, Europe can show the world how fragmented it really is.
fragmented? LOL Is fragmented good or bad?
The French and German were basically demanding for the UK to jump on a sinking ship and play by the same rules as the French and German. Of course the Germans want everyone on the same playing field, they are dominating the EU's economy. It would be like a minor league baseball/soccer player demanding everyone in the majors play on his level. Let.it.crash.
Hm, Bundesbank, Slovakia, Finnland, Netherlands ... all protested but got muted and menaced .
But €U- ductape can't hold forever.
FARAGE is a fringe Politian in the uk. The inertia in british politics means you have a choice of two parties. Both are virtually the same.
Sounds just like the US. It's called "Divide and conquer" and is played by TPTB in both countries.
Thank you Truth,
I read your earlier post on this and tried to find the BBC vid but could'nt. I have family in the Netherlands and am interested as to what happens to their bank accounts if things come undone (I have my speculations but they think Im nuts when I tell them about things on here).
I can answer that question.
The only option left for the EU is ECB printing, which will inflate the monetary base substantially and debase the Euro.
Their bank account may still be there but the Euros in it will have less and less purchasing power.
Not only will that be the case (increasingly so going forward), but that's already been the case, and if anyone listens to that podcast I linked, the Dutch are complaining they've lost nearly half their purchasing power since switching from the guilder to the euro in 2002.
frankly they must just luv to complain rather than figuring out that they need to shield themselves in PMs.
...an arrangement where the responsible must perpetually (and it will be perpetually, I assure anyone) bail out the irresponsible...
...an arrangement where the responsible must perpetually (and it will be perpetually, I assure anyone) bail out the irresponsible...
Just how different is what you are describing from the US, the common currency and the different cultures? You have responsible and irresponsible States and Corporations. Even within single European countries like for example in Germany, you can distinguish between the "haves" and the "have nots".
It can work depending on the legal framework and the will power to merge closer into a single entity with one constitution, one tax code, essentially one budget. Maybe European visionaries are still 500 years too early?
While only an imbecile would NOT concede that the U.S. is drowning in debt, in terms of social, political, cultural, economic, language similarities, etc. etc. between the 50 (or 57) U.S. states and those that comprise the 27 EU Member States, they are universes apart.
I do realize accents are different in Wisconsin and Laredo, diets are somewhat different in San Diego versus Biloxi, and that if you order BBQ in Memphis, TN vs Lockhart, TX you won't get the same thing - but c'mon. Let's be honest. Even a Tuscaloosan & Manhattanite would appear to be twins relative to the cosmically and radically different Athenian and Berliner, standing side by side.
"Nigel Farage, who I actually like, even if he hams it up and is very much the attention whore, is essentially right: It was flawed thinking that led to the belief that a cobbled together union of different nations, cultures, regions, values, beliefs and economic, social and political systems/practices could ever be able to use a common currency, essentially all being joined at the hip and being forced into an arrangement where the responsible must perpetually (and it will be perpetually, I assure anyone) bail out the irresponsible."
That is all true, but even so, Farage does offer humor in politics that few others provide. I want to see him at Von Rumpoy just to see that EU maggot squirm.
The anger from the Netherlands is somewhat misplaced. Their rise in their cost of living is not related to Portugal and Greece. It is from the EU itself. Tens of thousands of chickenshit regulations are there to ensure employment of the hordes of EU bureaucrats that are gutting the producer class of any nation, and that is hardly confined to the Euro zone.
All of the crap from the ECB and CBs that claim to be saving the slobs that they refuse to allow a vote on their enslavement is just a screen to feed themselves and the bankster rackets that they bow to. Get it over before Christmas.
"As for the Eurozone lasting through January 1 of 2012, let alone March... good luck."
Well, thanks for the good luck wishes! (So if by Easter the EZ is still here ZH is going to rethink some little details?)
Dear Nigel represents those who think that all things beginning with Eur- are quite silly, yes.
But there is quite a lot of folks here that do have this - let's call it "dream". You can't change the continent and the peoples but you can try to change the treaties between them towards a better future.
The regulations from Brussels are still probably cheaper if done by one set of bureaucrats then by 17 or 27 sets - may I remind everybody that "regulations" are both a) instruments of trade agreements (and trade wars - just think about Microsoft & the EU) and b) somewhat necessary for the smooth functioning of a common market and c) have to be seen in the context of global trade? As much as I personally hate them, if I were in charge I could not really slash more than a third to half of them - and before you howl, yes, I know what I'm talking about in producing "real things" in the EU. Remember the scandals with Chinese Toys, just as an example.
The anger from the Netherlands? Well, could they really have a super strong currency at this stage of the currency wars? Have you any idea how interconnected Holland is with the rest of the EU? Without the EUR we would have frantic meetings of state heads and CBs endlessly discussing currency depreciations, floors (like the CHF) and pegs. And lots of speculative attacks by Soros wannabes. This just as a topping to the current crisis that has not only it's source in the overspending of decades but also a lot with globalization and the exchange of portfolio elements across the globe (otherwise every country would only have an internal sov debt).
Realists (inside and outside the Netherlands) know that: a) every member country is free to leave and b) it's cold out there when you are alone.
I'm Dutch. Your bogeymen don't scare us anymore.
We constantly hear how much prosperity Europe has brought us, and how much we will lose when we return to the guilder. Well, the first is already proven to be a lie and no one appears willing to show us calculation on what we lose when remaining with the euro. And that's really all the evidence we need.
Bring on the guilder.
Excellent. Bring on the guilder. OK. And then? A "floor" to the EUR like Switzerland's SNB has set? Or to float freely?
I'll leave out the bogeymen of how to cope with the speculation, which is rampant thanks to all the super-liquidity.
Don't get me wrong, I consider the Netherlands as the trading nation since centuries, I'm sure you would cope, better than most.
Nevertheless, a breakout of the Netherlands would immediately pose the question about how your CB would have to position itself.
Again: A "floor" to the EUR like Switzerland's SNB has set? Or to float freely?
The first option is not that smart - why bother at all, then?
And the second is somewhat, let's say, "interesting" and would get the Dutch export oriented companies screaming for the first option. The EZ is your market nr.1, switch to the "rest of the world"? Tie with the global reserve currency?
We are in the first (downward) leg of a currency war. That's a fact. I remember how the "architects" of the EZ had this distint scenario in discussion when they proposed the EUR - as a way to cope with them. We just had two currency wars, and they were ugly.
Amsterdam used to be a very cool place but when i was last there in 2005 it was a real shithole.
What happened and will you ever get it back?
and the dutch euroskeptics don't scare anyone either. like the spaniard, the german, the italian, the french etc etc ones. that's because most of them are not euroskeptics because of outright nationalism but because they're affected by the crisis. we can say that the bulk of them are people that associate past good times with objects that populated that past (the old shining currency) assuming that reinstalling those fetishes will bring back those good times. it could be fascinating but it's wrong. dangerously wrong.
BTW you're wrong in thinking Ghordius rationality is to be ignored because of the fact that you irrationally associate good times, where there was no global systemic crisis, with your old currency. the problem is that you fail to understand that this is not a euro/EZ crisis, this is a global systemic crisis that will affect all the world. in different ways and in different stages (bringing also geopolitical dislocation). the current focus is on EZ and that serves well certain interests that so can breathe. but it won't last.
I think it's important to sail the troubled water in the immediate but it's crucial to never lose the sight of the big picture, the medium-long term. the big picture is made also of: never underestimate and forget the positives of the EU project, having big muscles will be of great importance in the post crisis (where the US will lose its current status).
The solution is not to kick the can down the road.
- "I'm Dutch..."
- I'm so sorry. it must have been hard on your parents.
Gold and silver guilders. :-)
we should count the times the euro/EZ has been proclaimed (wished) dead here and generally by anglosaxon media (eurosadism is fashionable there). we should set a prize for when they reach 100 (I think some of the contenders are near). as a prize I suggest a EU flag.
BBC can go anywhere in EU and find people moaning about EU just like you can find people moaning about the government everywhere. politicians and banks are not really appreciated among the general public recently, you know. rightily so, I might add.
UK being against further integration is news only for those who were not paying attention. I actually thought that further integration should have been limited to the EZ since the start. the others will follow.
IMHO UK clarifying its stance is good. giving the excuse to go with a 2 speed EU means also that EZ can speed up the steps towards more integration. In few words: the UK break is no more there.
eurosadism, yeah! I wonder if anybody remembers EFTA?
The FT claims Mr. Cameron has 80 tory backbencher that clamor for a EU referendum in the UK - oh, how I wish they would finally do one... and then? Back to EFTA?
Actually the media in the US keeps pushing the lies of your leaders that someone is going to provide the much needed liquidity. It is a global crisis, but what you fail to realize is that the rest of the developed world is just as fucked as Europe. The EU will be the first to crash (Germany will not print), then it will be anyone's guess to know who crashes next. If we do have the vast exposure to your banks that ZH says, we will most likely be next. It also might be any of the property bubbles bursting in China, or any of the country's exporting their commodities to them.
The only problem I have with Ghordius and you is that you want Europe to be saved at all costs, so they can survive until the next crisis. Understand that what we are saying is that the WORLD ECONOMY IS FUCKED, not just Europe.
or me and Ghordius can see how important EU is so the need of saving it at all costs. because those dearely costs, and the transformation they will bring, will become benefits in the long term.
no matter the crisis EU will survive, like the US or UK will survive. all of them changed but not destroyed. the post crisis world will be different but it's not gonna be the end of the world. when one realizes that then the long term become as important as the the short term, if not more.
I personally like this recipe to ride the crisis
the 3 main points being:
read the whole article by leap/E2020 for details. i for example think that for the 1st priority EU can find allies in china, russia and others.
I don't hold my breath till when these priorities are embraced by politicians. things are going to get even nastier for politicians to abandon their financial pimps and embrace the rage of the voters.
"saving it at all costs" I hope this is a French hyperbole, "all" is a bit much
1. First priority reads a bit like "let's piss off the 'mericans", I prefere a "global currency" without the "reserve" part - which is best translated as "reserve" = "the only one that counts".
2. Second priority reads also very badly for USUK eyes - yes, the TBTF banks problem has to be solved, but it won't be nice. Restructuring is bad enough, through nationalization it's worse. USUK does hate nationalizations. Really hate them, they think it's worse then communism.
3. Third priority sounds like what China is doing or what the US did during the Depression.
I do like the EU, the only club of sovereigns that allows you to join and leave and join again, yes.
I also like the EZ, which is really not much more than an international multi-currency peg.
yes, at "all" costs is obviously a hyperbole (but not a french one, a sardinian one). I actually just used the definition used by Bobbyrib himself. I should have used "...". and of course it is always a good idea to state your opinion and leave the others to state their own. :)
about UK, Cameron has officially stated that EU general interests collide with UK ones. that is going to generate repercussions on a political level isolating UK, also because it looks like noone has followed them.
i wonder who's holding the bag on that counterparty risk?
No kidding, its all for not and most of europe know it. The ones that want to keep the Euro are the bankers and the elite, because of their assets.
>> Most people are focused on the PIIGS, when in fact, France is in terrible financial condition, also, and England has the highest official (unofficially, the numbers and percentages are all multiples higher) debt to GDP ratio, which stands at 1000%.
Ahum.1: the UK is not a Eurozone (EZ) country.2: yes their debt is shocking but it's not 1000% of GDP, it was ca 150% of GDP early 2011 when using comparable numbers.
The UK has problems, but they are not a problem for the Eurozone.
Please note that the numbers that you've heard for any EZ country INCLUDES the cost of financing failed banks and other financial institutions. The UK has been playing hide and seek with their numbers.
Debt to GDP (now): The average Debt to GDP ratio for the EZ countries is about 85% (that average includes all PIGS). Finance deficit (YE 2011): The financing deficit for EZ countries at year end 2011 is estimated to be between 4-5% on average.Import/export: The EZ countries have an export surplus (they make more money exporting goods than they have to pay for imports).
Compare this to the real problem countries, let me call them the 'USUK' countries:Debt to GDP (now): US > 100%, UK> 150%Finance deficit (YE 2011): US 10-13%, UK 12-15%Import/export: serious export deficits, no end in sight (a slight improvement was noted for the US I think).
Note also that with the exception of Greece, none of the PIIGS has this string of bad numbers. E.g. Spain's Debt/GDP ratio is not even that bad (about 65%), most PIIGS have financing deficits at year end much lower than either UK or US. Most PIIGS have improving trade deficits, but like USUK they often still have export deficits. The PIIGS are mostly (i.e. except GR) improving their finance deficits, the UK and US are failing to do so; in fact the all important deficits are worsening for the USUK countries.
Most UK debt is held by non-UK entities. US idem ditto.Compare this with Japan or Italy: most of their debt is held by their own citizens & pension funds. The EZ is a lendor, the amount owned to EZ institutes and individuals is larger that they amount owned by them to non-EZ entities. Compare this with USUK. The UK owes more money to foreign countries than the amount owned to them by others (by a very large margin, net deficit of more than 500 Billion GBP); and the US ..., well ask the Chinese ;).
So let's be realistic.Who do you think can repay their debts: USUK or EZ?
The EZ is of comparable size to the US (the EU as a whole is larger), the UK is smaller than DE and comparable to or somewhat larger than say FR or IT.The EZ central bank has done QE for about 200 Billion EUR.The UK central bank has done QE for about 200 Billion GBP, an amount in the same order as the whole EZ (!).The US central bank has done QE for a whopping 2000 Billion USD (not counting hidden & ongoing programs).The UK's BoE bought 150% of the bonds issued by the UK government this year (the DMO issued GDP 40 B this year, the BoE bought 60 B, so the general market bought minus 20 B of that issue ... LOL).
So it is clear that the EZ has to increase printing money (ahum QE-ing) by a factor of 10 to come close to US and by a factor of about 6 to come on par with the UK.Who do you think is printing it's way to massive inflation: USUK or EZ?
Ergo: the emperor has no clothes on.When people start to realize that, what do you think happens with USD or GBP vs EUR ...?
Ceterum censeo OTC esse delendam
It would have been better had I specified total debt to GDP as a %, and not merely government debt, given the focus on sovereign debt as of late.
Assuming Haver Analytics, which I believe is a semi-independent affiliate of Morgan Stanley, has their data set in good shape, total debt (governmental, household, financial, non-financial) as a % of GDP is far and away the highest in the UK out of any developed nation in the world, at just under 1000%.
In the developed world asylum of debt addicts, the UK is 'Chief Crazy Pills', full on lobotomy (and a huge reason why is their cesspool, gangrenous financial sector, which is a plague and scar upon the land):
And let me state, in anticipation of what I assume may be part of your response, that in the final analysis, if one assumes that this debt gets repaid, even if by devalued fiat and therefore as just a mere technicality and not truly in substance, there won't be any difference between how financial sector debt and governmental debt is prepped and treated, as the financial sector debt will all be nationalized anyways (thus ultimately becoming governmental debt).
OK I see & agree. I just wanted to make sure we use comparable numbers (i.e just government debt including already commited support for financial institution deficits).
I agree that the UK debt is even worse than 150%, but it's difficult to get real good comparable numbers when we start to include estimates of monies owned for such things as entitlements or future bank failures. I often see huge & differing numbers quoted for say the US on top of their already huge normal government debt, e.g. government pensions, social security entitlements etc). The 150% for the UK includes the money already spent by the UK on the banks; in that way we can compare it to say the IE numbers, which do include all monies spent on banks (otherwise IE would be fine).
I think it would be OK to include estimates for pension entitlements, for all the countries where those pensions are not (fully) funded.
For example in the Netherlands all government pensions are fully funded (i.e. are covered by monies invested in independant pension funds). In the US or UK, on the other hand, (most of) the government pensions have to paid from the current income, which implies that their total debt will increase significantly over time; or you could say that they have an even larger 'real' debt. To understand the amounts involved: one of those NL government pension funds (the APG, formerly ABP) has more than $300 billion in assets for about 2.7 million particpants. Scale that up to UK size & indeed the UK debt situation starts to look bleaker and bleaker.
On the other hand I'm not so sure that all debt assigned to Financials in that link you gave is really UK; couldn't it be that some of it is owed by the London offices of non-UK banks ? And yes when those banks fail than especially the US and UK ones will have a huge problem, given their current exposure in the OTC markets. And most of that additional debt will indeed need to be nationalised ... But how much? How many will fail?
Anyway I've seen several of these charts & they all seem different. So when comparing debt I like to use comparable numbers which are reasonably certain (comparing apples to apples). And in that sense the UK government debt is already on par with or worse than GR. Luckily the UK is not part of the EZ so they can simply do their silent default by devalueing GBP.
europe was always going to be a federation, with a single currency/trade/fiscal union.
how to get there was problematic due to cultural divergence and friction.
this cris is a godsend for eurocrats, and they are not about to waste it.
Better luck next time, "Max." What a great show that was. We could use a few re-runs now, to distract us from our depressing reality.
Told ya so it's going to be march kick it one more last time
Will they just finally admit the Euro is a complete failure and get it done with?! Germany has it's Deutsche mark ready to go again.
They have managed to drag the game out for over a year. Just end the Euro and get on with it. All the B.S. is getting real old now.
They know the Euro is dead and we know the Euro is dead - Let's have the frickin funeral now!
Universal translation of the event.......................
"Ladies and Gentlemen. The Merde, shitzen, and ca-ca, has hit the fan all at once. Hence we will need lets say until March 2012 or so to clean the blades and try anew again. Thank you for your vote of confidence going forth."
Sounds like a translation from someone who knows. Seems simple and I agree. Shoot it in the head and let it die.
If your flyin', I'm riding.
Good to see you again CD!!
I'll be, Cameron and Merkel are Cancers. It's much easier to pick up the cards after the house collapses.
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