Guest Post: The Tiresome Eurozone Soap Opera Has Entered Re-Runs

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Tiresome Eurozone Soap Opera Has Entered Re-Runs

The Eurozone "drama" needs some fresh plot developments; it has become boring.

What's more tiresome than a hastily rehearsed soap opera that replays the same boring plots again and again? Re-Runs of that soap opera. The Eurozone "drama" is now in re-runs and I for one am switching channels. Nothing will change until some critical part of the worm-eaten, corrupt construct of artifice and denial collapses in a heap. Until then, all we have is replays of the same boring plot lines:

Put-upon Greece: We were just minding our business here in the sunny south, living happily on borrowed billions in a thoroughly corrupt Status Quo, and suddenly we're debt-serfs squeezed by rapacious Eurozone enforcers of the banking cartel. What did we do to deserve this? It's not fair.

Put-upon Germany: We were just minding the store here, racking up 40% of our GDP in exports and raking in bank profits loaning money to our Eurozone compatriots, when suddenly everyone who's lived beyond their means demands that we refinance their debts because we're rich. Excuse us, but did anyone look at how we got rich? Hard work, cuts in spending, high taxes and a tight lid on wages. What did we do to deserve this? It's not fair.

Married couple in counseling: France and Germany: It's all his/her fault. They never bothered to understand me, etc.

The lit-fuse terrorist: Either refinance our debt and bail out our Status Quo, or we're gonna blow up the Eurozone!

Is anyone else tired of the entire cast and threadbare plotlines? The "crisis" drama could be dispensed with in short order:

A. The bickering couple(s): get a divorce and quit blaming the other.

B. Insolvent banks: fire the management and liquidate the banks in an orderly fashion, following the well-established model: clear the books of impaired assets, and let the market price those assets. Any losses are passed through to the shareholders and bondholders. Once the losses have been taken, recapitalize the banks with new bonds and/or shares, and establish prudent lending guidelines. Prohibit backstopping or bailouts by central banks or Central States.

C. Unsustainable pensions, budgets, deficits, etc.: only spend what is collected in tax revenues, period. Stop living in the past and borrowing from future taxpayers.

On the macro scale, the Eurozone's systemic problems boil down to these realities:

1. No household or economy can sustainably spend more than it reaps in surplus. The net surplus (what's left after paying the expenses of producing goods and services) can either be spent on consumption, invested in productive assets or leveraged into debt. If it is leveraged into debt, then the interest eventually consumes the entire surplus and the entity enters a death spiral.

The only way to be able to spend more is to generate more surplus. It's that simple.

2. The demographics of a dwindling workforce and an expanding populace of State dependents cannot be gamed or disappeared by artifice. The entire developed world is facing the impossibility of one full-time worker supporting one State dependent. Here in the U.S., there are 115 million full-time private-sector jobs and over 110 million dependents on the State just in the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Add in all the other State dependents and the ratio is perilously close to 1-to-1. (That Which is Unsustainable Will Go Away: Medicare May 16, 2012)

(Recall that all Federal spending is "pay as you go"--there are no vast pools of money laying around in trust accounts. If Social Security expenses exceed SSA tax revenues, the Treasury sells bonds to cover the shortfall.)

I don't have the figures on hand for Europe, but if all State dependents and only full-time jobs are counted, I am confident the ratio in most of the Eurozone is close to 1-to-1: one full-time worker for every State dependent.

3. "Growth" based on debt and the build-out of China is over. The "growth" story in Europe over the past decade was essentially debt-based: real estate bubbles in Ireland, Spain and elsewhere, and debt-based consumption everywhere. China is massively overbuilt and has gargantuan levels of overcapacity in virtually every industry. Selling luxury cars to China may appear to be a good business, but 500+ spontaneous citizen demonstrations a day portend game-changing blowback to corrupt officials buying Audis and Cayennes by the thousands.

4. Everything that is held away from market forces eventually snaps back and faces market pricing of risk, valuation and surplus, i.e. reality. Unrealistic pensions, unrealistic spending, unrealistic budget projections--all will increasingly be exposed to market forces, one way or another.

5. A nominally capitalistic economy without collateral is living on borrowed time (and borrowed money, needless to say). Correspondent David H. summed this up very succinctly:

What we are all living through today is the failed experiment of trying to run a capitalist economy on no REAL capital. This not only crimps wealth and the overall standard of living, but also elevates the perverse over the rational.

The entire Eurozone "drama" is the result of the perverse being elevated over the rational. As Yeats so aptly phrased it, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

The Eurozone soap opera is truly a tale "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," until the rubber band snaps and reality intrudes.

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AlaricBalth's picture

Classic Greek tragedy/comedy.
Euripides could not have written a more complex script.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Europe, Europe, Europe...

+ 1, but for other other financial news:

Google: "Review of Barron's -- Dated 18 June"

Manthong's picture

So where in this soap is the gay guy that used to be the token bit part but now is the lead?

Richard Chesler's picture

If you were betting on a different outcome, you need to have your imbecile head examined.

Leechfucks beget leechfucks of the leechfucks, for the leechfucks, by the leechfucks.

There WILL be fireworks, just not yet.

derek_vineyard's picture


wake me when the script changes

flacon's picture

clear the books of impaired assets, and let the market price those assets.

I'm in for a 2005+ home, 4 bedrooms, nice suburb... I'll pay $10,000, not $400,000...

wisefool's picture

Would you accept $10,000 per year in property taxes? The threat of violence is really important to "Mathematicians"


Manthong's picture

You nailed it...  the next "twist "in this pathetic story.

wisefool's picture

Hey folks. Lets get though some admissions.

  • A tax code is for people who do not have anything better to do, and I like low IQ people showing up on my door. But I dont like people named Timmah! Diogenies has his hands full of merkel.
zaphod's picture

Go on zillow and look at homes in detroit.

You'll find homes clearing for ~$2.5K with $1.4K in taxes.

Think I'm kidding, here:

Prometheus418's picture

I like the part with the $9 estimated mortage...

Shit, I'm a poor guy, and I have enough to buy that place with one of my boxes of silver.  Too bad it's near Detroit.  If that makes it here, I'm going to be a landlord real quick.  If nobody wants to rent, I'll get a bulldozer and surround myself with farmland- only about a mile to the city limits, I can do that at those prices.

wisefool's picture

I think some of your ideas are good. But I admit you are smarter than me. Instead of investing in property, would you be willing to invest in Education? LLM taxs is a good start.

Worst case you help Timmay out.

koperniuk666's picture

Does anyone know why this area is so cheap??


Is it 'multicultural' by any chance........

rocker's picture

The County I live in just sent me the new apraised value of my property and home.  Up a measly 100%. I could not believe it.

To make me feel better they said acutual tax bill can not increase by more than 10% a year. "Unless that too is revised".

We are so fucked in America. So fucked............   No longer the land of the free with alienable rights.

We are worse than Japan now.

neidermeyer's picture

Lawmakers urge Obama to take hard stance with Putin during G20 summit

Prediction: Obama will take a wide stance with putey Pute...

mcguire's picture

the drama in europe doesnt really start until the UFOs appear during the london olympics.. 

Michael's picture

This US tragic/comedy is starting to pick up steam. No one likes the Fox news/MSM selection for republican nominee, so we're going to fuck over the whole system by all voting for Obama again, because it doesn't matter who's POTUS.

Give This Election To Obama And Be Done With It 

This is not to say we in the Liberty movement are giving up. Quite the contrary. We understand that the Neo-Conservative Republican Right marginalizes any individual who speaks about less government. The media is in such cahoots with government that the Liberty voice is being shut down completely, except through the internet. Heck, Fox News got rid of the show Freedom Watch with Judge Napilatano and they claim to be “Fair and Balanced,” “Looking out for you,” and wanting to “Keep Freedom Alive.”

But the Internet itself is being threatened by those from the Left and Right who want to keep their power alive. These leaders in the Senate and the House need to be watched and exposed when they infringe upon our freedoms.

That is why I would prefer this next election to be a Democrat winner rather than a Republican while at the same time have the House and Senate divided so nothing gets passed. The system will implode upon itself the next four years. It’s simple math. From the ashes the Old Republican Party can set the country back on Liberty track, full steam ahead.

A Vote for Obama May Be the Best Thing That Has Ever Happened to the Liberty Movement

slewie the pi-rat's picture

troll alert:  this is an ori- type string-jump spam for glennB TV subscription;  my post-sweep was clear for my software, but i just kwik-swept the obvious

dude!  stop!

slewie the pi-rat's picture

if you think mittens is a neoCon  than you are correct that voting 4 prez0 is the correct move

is mittens a neoCon? 

personally, i think so;  therefore i agree with you politically here

but i don't know what will happen, next, in the shape-shifting

here, you will get junked, michael, b/c the mittens support is here, politically, on zH

many/most of the mittens supporters here simply appear to be part of a mindless movement to portray him as "againstSocialism/likeReagan&maggieT"

they are here in droves!  many of them "time bombs" from after the last election when the Tparty did so well w/ theRepublican party in the off-year 2010 House election

but mittens ain't T, imo;  he's neoC 2_slewie_2;  and these guys are here in perfect harmony with the "contact" design that sac (& tyler) served up to them organizationally, to take over the site for political purposes and (trust me) m.o.n.e.y.

so fuk em!  we like to dance!  L0L!!!

Crisismode's picture



Sadly, you've gone off your meds one more time again.


Take a deep breath, have a glass of water, take your pills, and . . .


just relax.



slewie the pi-rat's picture

i don't have meds

you may have me mixed up with a fake slewie or you may just be a shitheaded asswipe whose mother is a fuking whore

either way, you take up too much space saying nothing...

slewie the pi-rat's picture

this pathetic toy-boy has two posts in two weeks and wants to be my fuking doctor?  L0L!!!

Michael's picture

I would really like to see a Black President do the right thing for the people in my life time, the first Black President.

I'd really like to see him come through for us but I think he's mentally ill. I'd like to be wrong. 

I don't give a rats ass he's from Kenya for now, I can use that later...

CompassionateFascist's picture

Go over to Occidental Dissent and look at the essay on what happens to countries during/after the "1st Black President". 

mcguire's picture

yeah, i'd say most ZH readers see past the false right/left paradigm.. 


Lednbrass's picture

Left vs. right is a legitimate philosophical and political fight, its dem vs. repub and most of the assorted inter party squabbles around the world that is as phony as pro rasslin'.

"And here comes the Chicago Wonderboy off the top rope, he hits Dollar Bill with the Flying Venezuelan Atomic Wedgie! Dollar Bill is down for the count, but here comes his manager Lloyd Dimon Masters, and hits the Wonderboy with his cane! The Wonderboy is reeling"!

In the next episode they switch sides between who plays the heel and who plays the babyface and most of the marks remain clueless.

mcguire's picture

"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy."

-- Carroll Quigley, Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

Vic Vinegar's picture

When I first heard this quote I was pissed off with blind rage.  I mean, holy shit, this stuff actually exists!

And the people that made me aware of the quote were saying in my ear: you know what dude, they wanna get you!  They wanna destroy America.  And your family!

But as time goes by and I have a chance to look at it objectively, I think C-Quiqs is coming from a place of understanding.  

I mean, deep time, thought and money wasn't put into this b/c it had no value.  Now the pros and cons of that value should be actively debated.  I've yet to see a media outlet do so.  It's either: a) this stuff is pure evil (i.e., Patriot webistes) or b) not talked about but spoon-fed to us (i.e,, MSM).  It would be nice to have a real debate about world government but I doubt that's gonna happen.  And I sure as shit doubt anyone cares about your opinion or mine.

CompassionateFascist's picture

For what it's worth, CQ was one of Bill Clinton's mentors. 

Harbanger's picture

Mittens may be a neocon, true,  but he's well aware of the liberty movement and it's ability to mobilize and win elections. 

Vic Vinegar's picture

he's well aware of the liberty movement and it's ability to mobilize and win elections. 

What does this mean?  For example, I'm well aware of litterbugs, people getting high on bath salts and Lindsay Lohan, but that awareness doesn't = anything meaningful.  How is Mitt's awareness different?

Harbanger's picture

Good question.  Politicians generally couldn't care less what the population thinks unless data is given to them by their  "political handlers" guaging polling data.  Times have changed (technology).  People are becoming aware and we are seeing them LIE to the pollsters.  (check the data vs outcome) Why? because it's politically correct and they're learning the game.  The msm can't make a prediction now and it's driving them nuts.  Mittens knows that the grass roots are now organized and came out in droves in 2010 to put the brakes on spending.  It's true that money will flow to the "predicted" winner (whomever) but it doesn't mean they can win without ground support. 

Vic Vinegar's picture

The msm can't make a prediction now and it's driving them nuts.

I don't think this is the case at all.

I also don't think you are worth responding to genuinely at all, but hey - we all fuk up from time to time.  I mean, slewie still wants to fuk baby_BLYTHE and far be it for me to deny him that fantasy.

At this stage of the game, you should either be: a) locked in your bunker, munching on freeze-dried turkey tetrazzini and cluthcing coins or b) racking up credit card debt at the Gap.  

Place your bets, spacemonkeys!

Michael's picture

I notice the MSM are consolidating sides and choosing Romney currently as their chosen POTUS. They all work for the same club. But the point is, the Ron Paul Crew can currently choose Obama as the next POTUS by Tweet to all vote for Obama, getting sweet revenge on FOX and the msm for that purpose only. And maybe we will.

And stop making slewie look so good.

slewie the pi-rat's picture


michael!  k.i.s.s.:  if mittens is a neoCon, which he is, are you sure he should be put in charge of the country to "fix the socialism"?

yes? or no?  that would be the vote and it ain't about no rPaul tweets or we doing anything

mittens is a neoCon

that is either ok with a person in 2012 or it isn't

some people don't like liberals, muslims, jews, blacks, reds, asians, zoroastrians.  me?  i don't like neoCon presidents [or fuking banksters!]

so i won't vote rowA

and it is just that simple for me

but if h_banger and tyler and dCasey want to vote for mittens, i will still respect them, even though people with green hair or mouse ears wouldn't be caught dead in such propwashed acceptability

you really had it right in a coupla sentences there, earlier, so try to keep in touch with how simple that was to actually get along with me, too, when you were thinking straight...

so that's that!  hava nice time till ya vote!

Jena's picture

Where, really, is there evidence that spending would slow under Mittens?  I understand that is what the red team sells but if I remember right the rate of increased spending was pretty steep during the GWB years, too.  If we get a Rep. Senate and House, we won't hear any arguments about increasing the debt ceiling, it'll just levitate.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Obama (and my comment history will likely demonstrate that).  I just want to know why the confidence in Romney.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

hey, h_banger! 

i don't consider you a troll here

but you are representative on what i am seeing on zH, in gereral, so thank you for dialogue

again, the neoCon thing is a stopper for many;  others hate prez0 so much they think another neoCon would be ok

and there are a lot of them in the "financial" community

neoCon isn't cool w/ slewie b/c it appears to me to be the full-blown blossom of fascism in the US

now that is a personal opinion and what slewie sees;  but i will own it and put it out there for you also,  h_banger, ok?

many here including myself see both candidates as paid-for corpo-fascists;  i haven't voted for a Party candidate4prez in over 3 decades and i didn't vote for prez0 in '08, b.c i knew he was bullshit on wheels;  but i may vote for him in november

there are no surprises in anything here for people who understand the game

pick yer poison 101

you want a white-bread chickenshit lying neoCon mormon billionaire fascist vote mittens!  you want a socialist commie pinko lying fuking nigger fascist vote prez0 with slewie and michael!

we can do this!  L0L!!!

Vic Vinegar's picture

And your comment - brilliant and rooted in decency - means nothing.

You didn't vote in 2008?  Who gives a shit, who gives a fuck?  I voted for Wayne Allan Root because he was the VP nominee of my party.

The party of principle, right?  

you want a white-bread chickenshit lying neoCon mormon billionaire fascist vote mittens!  you want a socialist commie pinko lying fuking nigger fascist vote prez0 with slewie and michael!

OK - I'll vote slewie and michael.  What of it?

slewie the pi-rat's picture

my comment was not directed to you, vic

it was directed specifically to h_banger and it was about something inportant to us, i would hope: him and me;  not you

my comment was meant to convey certain meaning to the person to whom it was addresed

this isn't the chat room, ok?

you are not clear enuf right now to understand what we are talking about

and that's not my problem, vic

Harbanger's picture

Slewie, I totally understand what you're seeing.  It sucks, it's wrong, it's been going on for so long it seems like there's no way out.     Here's what I see.. the vision of our founders... to empower "us the peeps" to govern ourselves.  They gave us the way thru our Constitution, for the 1st time in history techonolgy is allowing us to make the dream a reality.  If not, I prefer to die alone at peace with my creator than to be a slave.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

we may prefer different fascist bastards, but if the dream is freedom, may liberty be the awakening...

Harbanger's picture

I like you slewie, though sometimes you're a little dense.  You know I don't prefer any fascist.  I'm simply projecting future political moves.  How can liberty be the awakening of the dream for freedom?  Just think about the linear order of cause ,effect and consequence.  At some point I'd like to play a little prediction game with you for fun.  We'll start by predicting prices and events 2-3  months out. 

CompassionateFascist's picture

The point is, Mittens is a soporific; Obama viciously polarizes. I like polarization, especially the kind that leads to Civil War and Real Change. We all should like polarization. And vote accordingly. 

Michael's picture

I know slewie, that kind of stuff I post must really make their heads explode. You know the big money can't avert their eyes form ZH, the #1 financial blog on the internet.

And because everyone in the country agrees with me whoever gets in the POTUS position means nothing will change, and the fucking over of the civilians will continue, we might as well have some fun with them and all voters should vote in Obama again.

Vic Vinegar's picture

Agree that ZH is the #1 financial blog on the internet.  It's much more than that, too.

But what about this buddy:

And because everyone in the country agrees with me whoever gets in the POTUS position means nothing will change

Who are you hanging with?  I wanna meet those peoples.  Most people I meet still feel pretty passionate about Mittens or Obama.