Tag: Spain

Down Goes Europe

Gulp:

The euro zone debt crisis dragged the bloc into its second recession since 2009 in the third quarter despite modest growth in Germany and France, data showed on Thursday.

The French and German economies both managed 0.2 percent growth in the July-to-September period but their resilience could not save the 17-nation bloc from contraction as the likes of The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Austria shrank.

Economic output in the euro zone fell 0.1 percent in the quarter, following a 0.2 percent drop in the second quarter.

Those two quarters of contraction put the euro zone’s 9.4 trillion euro ($12 trillion) economy back into recession, although Italy and Spain have been contracting for a year already and Greece is suffering an outright depression.

This has an effect on our export of course. And given this week’s surge in jobless claims and the looming fiscal cliff, we could be looking at real trouble ahead.

The usual suspects are blaming “austerity” but that ignores the critical point: Europe is not the United States. We have a little leeway in how much money we can borrow (although that leeway is running out). Europe does not. Whether it’s good for the economy or bad, budget balancing is something they have no choice about.

That having been said, I’m curious about what the future brings. Economist are projecting a further contraction in Q4 followed by a stagnant 2013. But this will test their theories. If the Europeans can get their finances under control, this could work like the Reagan recession did — an awful hangover from years of bad fiscal policy followed by an expansion. The crisis Reagan faced was different: it was monetary, rather than fiscal. But they share an underlying truth: swallowing a bitter pill for future solvency.

(Of course, all bets are off if the Germans and French get tired of being dragged into the mire by the PIIGS.)

Protests and marches are going on around the Continent but I’m not sure what they expect. There’s no magic money tree the EU can shake to make this “austerity” unnecessary. The Euros are running out of Euros. Protesting and marching in the streets is not going to change that reality.

Get ready for a stock market hammering today..

And it’s this time mostly courtesy of our Western European socialist economies that have wasted 2 years trying to pretend they can keep the EU together AND keep their craddle-to-grave socialist nanny states. But alas, the end is near:

For two years now, Eurozone leaders have tried to deny reality, concocting one temporary bailout scheme after another in an effort to sweep Europe’s budget problems under the rug. But this game is nearing its end, says Rupal Ruparel of London-based think-tank OpenEurope.

A crisis that began in countries like Greece that seemed too small to worry about has now spread to countries like Spain and Italy that are big enough to take the whole Eurozone down. The only way to actually solve the problems, says Ruparel, is to acknowledge the facts: “Austerity” programs won’t help countries pay back their debts. Either the whole Eurozone has to combine its fiscal spending–a solution in which German taxpayers would pay for Greece’s deficits–or the debts have to be restructured.

Ruparel believes the “fiscal unity” solution is politically untenable. So that leaves restructuring. A planned restructuring will be painful, Ruparel says, but it will be a lot less painful than a market-forced one. And the sooner Europe’s leaders acknowledge this and get cracking, the better.

We are running out of other people’s money. In Europe they already have massive systems of wealth transfers that would make US demcorats swoon, and yet, they still have not been able to make their nanny states fiscally solvent. Even the Germans are coming to grips with the reality that while on their own they might have lasted a few more decades, the rest of the Eurozone will drag them down in a matter of years if not months.

Get ready for a bumpy ride as the world’s sock markets react to this reality and stocks likely plunge again today. of course, this is all “bad luck” to the collectivists, not the fact that the nonsense they believe in can’t work.

UPDATE: And if the European concerns aren’t enough to make the stock market take a tumble, we get some more ”bad luck”, from team Obama, where the community organizer is now not only trying to blame Wall Street, and not Washington D.C. and himself, for the economic morass we are in, but suggesting we should spend a lot more yet again!. Isn’t the definition of insanity that you are trying to do the exact same stupid shit over and over again, and expecting this time to produce different results?