Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

EU bailouts: Portugal’s next

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

The PIGS are oinking,
Portugal Pleads for Rescue
Bailout Request—Europe’s Third—Will Test the Euro Zone

Portugal is the third nation in the 17-member euro zone to turn to its peers for help, and one that has long been seen as a firewall between small economies whose bailouts are painful but manageable and large economies—like Spain—whose infection would set the crisis on

VIDEO: “Spain is the big worry.”

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‘A rather gross error’

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

EU sends out £4.4m diaries to schools which list Muslim, Chinese and Hindu holidays… but miss out Christmas and Easter

The European Union has sent millions of diaries to schools which list the dates of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivals – but omit any mention of Christian celebrations.

In an extraordinary move, three million 2011 notebooks were printed at a cost of £4.4million to the taxpayer. Around 350,000 of the diaries have already been shipped to schools in the UK alone.

There is no record for Christmas, Easter or Lent – despite bureaucrats carefully listing the EU’s self-styled ‘Europe Day’ on May 9.

Self-serving? Oh yes.

Those asking for an explanation got none,

EU officials have described the diaries as ‘a rather gross error’ but were at a loss to explain how it might have occurred.

Yeah, right…

The blogprof pounds on the EU with the big stick.

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USA to bail out EU?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Looks like it,
US Ready to Back Bigger EU Stability Fund: Official

The United States would be ready to support the extension of the European Financial Stability Facility via an extra commitment of money from the International Monetary Fund, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday.

There are contradictory reports regarding the extent of the proposed bailout, but

U.S. Treasurys’ prices fell and the euro strengthened against the dollar on Wednesday after the news that the United States would be prepared to support an enlarged EFSF.

If you are wondering why the US is contemplating this move, read this,
Europe’s Crisis Widens
Italy, Spain See Bonds Sink, Portugal Faces Rating Cut as Faith in Rescue Ebbs
. Money quote:

One reason the prospect of bailouts of weaker governments is no longer enough to win back investor confidence, economists say, is that they don’t solve the underlying problem: Several countries have more debt than their economies can cope with.

Like the USA, you mean?

But, don’t worry, be happy.

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“The Euro game is up!” VIDEO, updated

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Via PowerLine, which has the transcript, Nigel Farage Member of the European Parliament, on why the Euro should be “consigned to the dustbins of history,” as the PIIGS do down the drain,

UPDATE,
Roger Kimball has more on the EU’s financial crisis.

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The EU economic collapse explained VIDEO

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Via Dennis.

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“IF” the trouble starts?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The WaPo has an article on the EU’s disastrous economies:
One false move in Europe could set off global chain reaction

The article had a puzzling photo Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner holding a basketball, and the only tie-in to the article itself was a caption, “Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner in Beijing on Sunday. The euro crisis may discourage China from a currency policy he seeks.” That would be the least of his troubles. But I digress.

My inner pessimist – which is surprisingly strong these days – scoffed at this line (emphasis added):

If the trouble starts — and it remains an “if” — the trigger may well be obscure to the concerns of most Americans: a missed budget projection by the Spanish government, the failure of Greece to hit a deficit-reduction target, a drop in Ireland’s economic output.

************MIXED METAPHOR ALERT************
The following paragraphs have a variety of mixed metaphors. Please proceed with caution.

What do you mean, it remains an “if”? The PIIGS are in trouble, and it’s only a matter of time before the entire EU farm follows. The article itself points out that the handwriting’s not just on the wall, it’s on the markets:

That the dominoes can tumble fast was shown Thursday when a new and narrowly drawn stock-trading policy in Germany helped trigger a sell-off on Wall Street.

It marks a change, Barclays Capital chief European economist Julian Callow wrote in a Friday analysis, from a situation in which the bonds of European countries were considered to carry virtually zero risk to a “brave new world” where sovereign default in one of the world’s core economic areas is a tangible threat. Bank holdings of European debt are now being studied with the same focus given to holdings of U.S. mortgage-backed securities as the global financial crisis unfolded in 2008 — and with the same suspicion that problems in one part of the world could wreck others.

The most vulnerable European countries — Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland — may represent only about 4 percent of world economic activity, but “the debt crisis and its ripple effects are bad news for all corners of the world,” said Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad.

We can fool ourselves into thinking that it remains an “if”, but the only “if” is, “if it makes us feel good” in the middle of the storm.

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PIIGS in trouble – VIDEO

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Greek Bailout Already Making Situation Worse

The $146 billion bailout package approved this weekend for Greece is advertised as a move to “stop the worst crisis in the [euro]’s 11-year history,” but it is having exactly the opposite effect.

Tim Cavanaugh outlines five reasons why:

  1. First, the bailout, which effectively kicks Greece’s pending default forward, has not solved the problem that the cost of debt service for the PIIGS countries is increasing.
  2. while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking credit for bringing in International Monetary Fund support and forcing some tougher fiscal-cleanup conditions on Greece, the bailout does not address the counterproductive elements in Greece’s own so-called austerity package, including currency controls and cash-transaction limitations that will only slow the country’s economy.
  3. the move has only irritated German and French voters who are outraged at having to pay for the wastrelsy of a country that, it is now clear, should never have been a euro participant in the first place.
  4. the status of the euro itself has been undermined, not strengthened, by the bailout.
  5. As they have shown throughout this crisis, Greece’s strong and ancient socialist institutions can only respond to market discipline with violence.

Go read the rest of the post.

Bailouts don’t work: Greece’s Costs Exceed Bailout:

And yes, I know that PIIGS Not Kosher at Barclays Capital; now say “Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain” fast three times.

PIIGS in trouble – VIDEO

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Greek Bailout Already Making Situation Worse

The $146 billion bailout package approved this weekend for Greece is advertised as a move to “stop the worst crisis in the [euro]’s 11-year history,” but it is having exactly the opposite effect.

Tim Cavanaugh outlines five reasons why:

  1. First, the bailout, which effectively kicks Greece’s pending default forward, has not solved the problem that the cost of debt service for the PIIGS countries is increasing.
  2. while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking credit for bringing in International Monetary Fund support and forcing some tougher fiscal-cleanup conditions on Greece, the bailout does not address the counterproductive elements in Greece’s own so-called austerity package, including currency controls and cash-transaction limitations that will only slow the country’s economy.
  3. the move has only irritated German and French voters who are outraged at having to pay for the wastrelsy of a country that, it is now clear, should never have been a euro participant in the first place.
  4. the status of the euro itself has been undermined, not strengthened, by the bailout.
  5. As they have shown throughout this crisis, Greece’s strong and ancient socialist institutions can only respond to market discipline with violence.

Go read the rest of the post.

Bailouts don’t work: Greece’s Costs Exceed Bailout:

And yes, I know that PIIGS Not Kosher at Barclays Capital; now say “Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain” fast three times.

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Meanwhile in Madrid…

Friday, February 19th, 2010

A Cuban protestor demanding civil rights for all Cubans in the island prison chained himself in front of the European Union building in Madrid. He criticized the Spanish government for “their lack of interest in human rights or democracy” in Cuba.

Grecian formula

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

How do you walk the road to ruin?
The Greek Tragedy That Changed Europe
Greece’s dysfunctional economy is now at the heart of a rescue effort that could be disastrous for the entire continent—and the rest of the world.

But the Europeans have not been careful so far. The issues for troubled euro zone countries are straightforward: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (known to the financial markets, and not in a polite way, as the PIIGS) had varying degrees of foreign- and bank credit-financed rapid expansions over the past decade. In fall 2008, these bubbles collapsed.

Neptunos Lex (via Gerard) has Greek Lessons

Financial markets are telling us the euro zone is under threat, but the real message is much broader: Unsustainable debt dynamics can undermine us all.

“Everything on the table” means both higher and broader taxation, to be sure – but it also means touching previously untouchable mandatory spending accounts on popular middle class entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We are simply past the point, pace Paul Krugman, where we can just throw another trillion at it.

Unfortunately, we will throw another trillion, and then another.

AJ Strata ponders The Pending Implosion Of Liberal Socialism. He is a great deal more optimistic than I.