Today we got another morsel from the German export smorgasbord, along with a beautiful long-term chart from the German statistical agency that says it all.
Entries in Europe (292)
In Eurostat’s “harmonized” unemployment rates for EU Member States, Austria is the glory land for job seekers: 4.8% unemployment, in first place, a universe apart from Spain (26.7%) and Greece (27.3%). But this “harmonized” rate is bologna. Austria is facing a growing crisis.
Suddenly, there’s a solution to France’s economic crisis. Unlike the cacophonous clamor from the far right to drop the euro, this one is attractively presented with graphs and in terms that even a French politician might understand. And it’s not contaminated by partisanship.
"Insurrection" is showing up in the French media, though it's still more an exaggeration than a description. "Fiscal discontent” is better, but not broad enough. Now François Hollande, the most despised French President in the history of polls, is going to turn this mess around.
Germany has neither a minimum wage nor a government. Someday it might. If not, there will be new elections, and Chancellor Merkel might get pummeled because she’d be blamed for them. So she’s trying to form a coalition with the left-leaning SPD on whose list of campaign promises was a decent minimum wage.
The huddled masses yearning to breathe free in the EU drown by the boatload in the Mediterranean. They languish in detention centers in Greece and elsewhere. They’re maligned, hounded, sometimes killed. But it’s getting cheaper and easier for the rich.
By Don Quijones: Despite a miraculous economic “recovery,” EU-wide youth unemployment hit 24%. New records were set in Spain (56.5%), Greece (57.3%), Italy (40%), and France (26%). The warnings from history are clear: governments that allow youth unemployment to escalate, do so at their own peril.
There has been a symphony of calls for American investors to plow their money into European stocks. So, net inflows into European equity funds have set records, driven by euphoria about a presumed recovery. Equities soared. But turns out, reality has bad breath.
While the US government wants to get its hands on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and crucify him properly, the German government remains red-faced and tangled up in its own underwear. Yet among Germans, and their politicians, support for him is surging.
The euro, its dexterous management, the “whatever-it-takes” guarantees by ECB President Draghi, the trillions being shifted around to prop up banks and governments – all these efforts to keep the Eurozone duct-taped together have hit countries differently. Including France and Germany. They’re shooting at each other now, and hitting the ECB.
By Tim Parker, Benzinga Staff Writer: There’s bad news coming out of Ireland, but you’re not likely to feel too sorry for the victims. Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced that he’d take steps to plug a loophole that lets multinational corporations have a presence in the country but not pay the 12.5% tax on money crossing its borders.
European regulators are desperate. The only thing known about the holes in bank balance sheets stuffed with decomposing assets is that they’re deep. No one knows how deep. No one is allowed to know – not until Eurocrats decide who will pay for bailing out these banks. How do we know? ECB President Mario Draghi said that.
The Oktoberfest, one of the biggest beer binge events in the world, is closely watched for economic trends. Alas, this year was the second year in a row when, despite Teutonic organizational ingenuity and marketing muscle, the number of visitors and, most crucially, beer consumption “unexpectedly” dropped (as if we didn't have enough bad news already).
By Don Quijones: If recent reports from the Spanish government are to be believed, the Spanish economy is now officially out of the woods. Not only is the worst behind it, but it’s now positively humming along at a growth rate of, um, 0.1% per year. It is, as Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro put it, a “lesson to the world.” Oh really?
By Don Quijones: The Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy, steeped in a huge corruption scandal, took his unique brand of leadership onto the international stage, including the UN – with the most interesting results. While he was at it, he gave an interview on Bloomberg that quickly spiraled into such a disaster that he begged Bloomberg not to publish it. Oh my
Great Start in Germany: Three Days After Election Victory, Merkel’s Party Breaks Campaign Promise Of “No Tax Hikes”
Germans pay a lot of taxes. The value added tax was raised to 19%. The state grabs 42% of any income above €52,882 and 45% above €250,731. There’s the church tax, solidarity tax, gasoline tax.... Not much is left over when a German is done paying taxes. So, during the campaign, Chancellor Merkel’s party pledged categorically not to raise taxes.
By Don Quijones: If Spain and Catalonia were playing real, rather than figurative, Russian Roulette, the revolver would be loaded with two or three bullets. Now an extra one was slipped into a chamber: prize-winning economist Juan Valerde announced that Madrid may have to “bomb Barcelona” in order to put a halt to the region’s rising separatist aspirations.
By Don Quijones: Countries like Germany and Turkey have demanded explanations from the U.S. and U.K. governments regarding the NSA’s and GCHQ’s surveillance and wire-tapping program. But Spain’s Rajoy regime has remained conspicuously silent – despite the fact that this surveillance is a clear infringement of Spain’s domestic and external affairs.
The Big Shift: Chinese, Russians Replace People From (Formerly) Rich Countries As Big Spenders At Parisian Airports
In Paris, “Chinese” has a new meaning: money. This phenomenon shows up by the busload at luxury retailers where sales staff say a few words of bad Mandarin, instead of bad English, in hawking overpriced handbags and glittery baubles. Now Aéroports de Paris has put a number on it. A glimmer of hope for France, though perhaps of the wrong kind.
Germany’s industrial conglomerates and the vibrant Mittelstand (privately held enterprises that were world leaders in their niche until the Chinese came along), decorated with real wage declines since the heyday of Reunification... all have been bandied about as economic model for troubled, if unenthusiastic Eurozone countries. But there is a darker side.