By Don Quijones: Europe’s elite seeks to completely redraw the continent’s political and economic map – with or without the consent of the people – taking the countries of Europe towards an arranged political marriage of convenience. Of the elite’s convenience.
Entries in Europe (314)
By Hilary Barnes, Euro Politico Twitting: The French have the idea that the way to keep the business sector flourishing is to stop larger companies from closing any of their plants. Now they have a law to back it up. No more jobs will be lost. Anybody can see that.
Danièle Nouy, chair of the ECB’s newfangled bank regulator that doesn’t exist yet, had a term for it: “do whatever has to be done” so that the banking sector “is seen as sound and safe and transparent.” Is seen as.... Smoke and mirrors.
By Don Quijones: By deciding to warn his customers about the risks of these toxic financial products — they should never have been sold to savers — branch manager Gómez Ortega set himself on collision course with the bank's head office in Madrid.
His US visit might give the French President the boost he sorely needs at home, because at home, things are getting mired down. The economy shriveled or had no growth in five of the last eight quarters. The dominant government sector is well, but businesses are failing in record numbers.
The ECB’s money-printing and bond-buying promise, lovingly dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions, became the bailing wire and duct tape that has kept the Eurozone together to this day. Turns out, it’s illegal under the EU treaties and unconstitutional in Germany.
It’s not like Europe is out of the woods, after years of recession, lurching from bank bailout to country bailout, and sweeping remaining fetid matters under the rug. But its banks are now sinking deeper into an even greater morass: the emerging-markets fiasco.
By Don Quijones: "We will not be taking any questions on the specifics of the Spanish situation."
Not that 2013 was such a great year in Germany, economically speaking, with growth stalling at barely above the zero line. But it was a superb year for extracting taxes from hard-working people. And it shoved Germany deeper into two decades of retail quagmire.
By Hilary Barnes, Euro Politico Twitting: Someone in the French government deleted 3,300 French names from a purloined list of accounts at HSBC Switzerland. Their revelation would have left the despised French "political class" red-faced and in deep trouble.
By Hilary Barnes, Euro Politico Twitting: Fallacious economic thinking is prevalent among politicians, but one had hoped that French President Hollande, who taught economics in his time, knew enough to make him a relatively safe bet if elected president.
By Don Quijones: Normally these two worlds co-exist relatively peaceably, barely cognizant of the other’s existence. Every now and then, their paths may intersect, only to quickly decouple. But this week they suffered a head-on clash.
Since 2012, German economic growth has been back where it was when Germany was called the “Sick Man of Europe.” Only this time, Germany has been anointed the model economy for others to follow and admire.
Germany has its own JP Morgan, mired in a swamp of sordid scandals, investigations, lawsuits, and fines. Now a letter by the banking regulator was leaked that blasts Deutsche Bank's internal investigation of the rate rigging scandal as a senior management whitewash.
By Don Quijones: On the surface and on the pitch, Spanish football has never been better. The national team of once-perpetual underachievers has won two European Championships and one World Cup in the last six years, a feat unmatched by any other European nation.
The Piranha of Portugal: Greatest Counterfeiter Of All Time (Or: Any Real Difference Between Keynesianism And Counterfeiting?)
Bryan Taylor, Chief Economist, Global Financial Data: Who was the greatest counterfeiter of all time? Governments have done more to destroy their own currencies than all counterfeiters put together, but “government” is not the correct answer.
President Hollande has a solution to France’s economic quagmire, with odds like a lottery. He’d launch a “responsibility pact” – one of his many phrases to haunt him later. It would be a radical shift. When you come to the end of your bumpy road, veer to the right.
By Don Quijones: The EU is riddled with fatal flaws and defects, including the single currency. However, by far the greatest — and certainly most dangerous — structural flaw is its gaping democratic deficit.
Apparently, it has been impossible to sell Greece any weapons at all, not even a water pistol, without bribing officials at the Defense Ministry. But it takes two to tango. And in holier-than-thou Germany, the defense industry has been all too eager to dance with Greece.
By Don Quijones: In most places these days, it’s probably easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than it is to pass a corrupt CEO of a failed bank through a wide-open prison gate. But a judge in Spain tried – and it's costing him dearly.