EU mulls bank law to impose losses on depositors [Reuters]

European Union ministers will consider a proposal this week to impose losses on interbank deposits of lenders in dire financial trouble as they shape a draft EU law introducing powers that would also penalize those with big savings.

Such an idea, should ministers back it, could further rattle the confidence of lenders, already nervous about draft legislation to determine who alongside shareholders should suffer losses when a bank gets into trouble.

EU finance ministers, gathering in Dublin this Friday, will discuss how to shape this law that could take effect from 2015, covering what is known as bank recovery and resolution.

The talks follow the recent decision to impose heavy losses on some depositors in Cyprus, in return for an international bailout. That set a precedent, which is likely to be mirrored in these EU rules, making losses for large uninsured savers a permanent feature of future banking crises.

But the ministers will have to tread carefully in their discussions.

ECB President Mario Draghi recently cautioned that Cyprus’s bailout was “no template”, in a bid to ease market fears that bank deposits would in future be fair game for international lenders supporting struggling euro zone countries.

In a document prepared by government officials in Ireland, which as holder of the rotating EU presidency will chair the ministers’ gathering, they write that interbank deposits of less than one month should also be penalized.


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European Commission Announces “Full Engagement” In Agenda 21 [explosivereports]

On February 27, the European Commission published a document announcing it will take on itself the “lead role” in global environmental governance through “a unified policy framework”- in effect aligning itself with Agenda 21.

In the 30-page document titled A Descent Life For All the EC says it aspires to a “leading role” in an “overarching framework” towards global governance. The commiszars profess to care about worldwide poverty, environmental degradation and other no-brainers, carefully handpicked by an elite-class prepared to use any and every pretext behind which power is being centralized at the international level at the expense of sovereignty at the national one.

“The world has undergone enormous change over recent years”, the document reads, “including major shifts in the global economic and political balance, increased global trade, climate change and depletion of natural resources, technological change, economic and financial crises, increased consumption and price volatility of food and energy consumption, population changes and migration, violence and armed conflict and natural and man-made disasters, and increased inequalities.”

Quite some parade of calamities the EU is willing to tackle. A lead role is what they work towards, the authors state- and the EC Commiszars are perfectly willing to “debate” their plans with the European (only in name) parliament. A few exceptions aside, this parliament consists of nodding, dozing- sometimes outright sleeping individuals who are there to approve the commission’s proposals and send their lunch-bills to the European taxpayer:

“The EU needs to engage fully in the forthcoming international processes with coherent and coordinated inputs at the UN and in other relevant fora. In this respect, the adoption of this Communication should be followed by a debate with Council and Parliament during the spring of 2013 for the development of a common EU approach for the next stages of the ongoing processes (…)”

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Eurozone unemployment hits new record high of 11.8% [RT]

People wait to enter a government-run employment office in Madrid January 3, 2013. (Reuters/Susana Vera)

People wait to enter a government-run employment office in Madrid January 3, 2013. (Reuters/Susana Vera)

Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached a record high, increasing to 11.8 per cent in November, the EU’s statistics office reports. Spain and Greece are suffering the most with roughly one in four workers unemployed.

On Tuesday Eurostat released the detailed report about November’s unemployment figures along with data on the past 12 months.

According to the report, some 2 million people throughout the Eurozone lost their jobs between November 2011 and November 2012. The total number of jobless workers reached 18.8 million.

Spain and Greece top the list of countries with the highest unemployment rate, with 26.6 and 26.0 per cent (for September) respectively. The lowest rates were registered in Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Latest figures also show that youth unemployment has risen from 24.4% from 23.9% a month ago.

But while youth unemployment was at 8.1% in Germany and 9.7% in the Netherlands, in Spain and Greece it was 56.5% and 57.6% respectively.

In total Eurostat reported that 18,820,000 people are now out of work in the euro area.

Both Spain and Greece have been rattled by massive, sometimes violent, protests and numerous strikes throughout 2012, as people vent their frustration to severe cuts and rising unemployment.

The anti-austerity protests came to a climax on November 14th when millions of people took to the streets in 23 countries across Europe to mark the European Day of Action and Solidarity.


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Eurozone’s economy continues to deteriorate at ‘alarming pace’ [Telegraph]

The flash estimate out this morning by Markit shows the PMI Composite Output Index was little-changed in November up to 45.8 from 45.7 in October.

October’s reading had been the lowest since June 2009.

Activity has now fallen in 14 of the last 15 months, with the exception being a marginal increase seen in January.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said the eurzone economy continued to deteriorate at an “alarming pace”.

“Officially, the region saw only a very modest slide back into recession in the third quarter, with GDP falling by a mere 0.1%, but the PMI suggests that the downturn is set to gather pace significantly in the fourth quarter,” he said.


Cracking EU flag - concept representing euro default / debt / break up of the European Union


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‘Nazis out!’ Greek protesters attack conference, throw coffee at German diplomat

Dozens of Greek activists protesting austerity policies broke into a conference and clashed with police in a protest against a German government official.

Law enforcement officers used truncheons and teargas to disperse some 250 activists in the northern city of Thessaloniki, where a meeting of Greek and German mayors was taking place.

Riot police formed a shield around German Consul Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier, who was attending the event, after some of the protesters stormed into the conference center complex. The intruders were trying to pelt the diplomat with bottles of water and coffee.

The protestors changed “Nazis out” and “This will not pass”, while holding mock gravestones and banners proclaiming “Fight until the end!”

A protester holds a plackard of  German Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring a Hitler moustache near the Greek parliament in Athens during a demonstration against the vist of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 9, 2012. (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)

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Europe Faces a Multi-National General Strike Against Austerity [world.time]

Austerity has spawned general strikes in individual countries across the troubled European Union. But this week may see something to add to the union’s tensions: a coordinated, multi-national mega-strike. Organized labor plans a general strike against the E.U.’s austerity policies, borderless and spanning the south of the continent. With more than 25 million people out of work, Europe’s biggest unions have vowed to lead marches and demonstrations on Nov. 14 that unite opposition parties, activist movements like Spain’s M15 and a growing sea of unemployed to challenge their national governments, banking leaders, the IMF and EU policymakers to abandon austerity cuts ahead of a high-stakes budgetmeeting in Brussels later this month.

What makes Wednesday’s strike even more threatening to Europe’s managerial elite is the strong support it is receiving from traditional labor groups that rarely send their members into the streets—foremost, among them, the European Trade Union Confederation, representing 85 labor organizations from 36 countries, and totaling some 60 million members. “We have never seen an international strike with unions across borders fighting for the same thing—it’s not just Spain, not just Portugal, it’s many countries demanding that we change our structure,” says Alberto Garzón, a Spanish congressman with the United Left party which holds 7% of seats in the Spanish Congress. “It’s important to understand this is a new form of protest.”

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Europe’s young rebels [Bild]

Million people stopped work. The European Trade Union had called for a “Solidarity Day” to the austerity measures. In Spain and Portugal was the traffic to a standstill, flights were canceled, schools and factories closed.

Young people in particular made their anger on Wednesday. You get the crisis will be felt particularly hard in Spain, youth unemployment is over 50 percent in Portugal and Italy at 35 percent.

Not all the protests were peaceful: traditional In Madrid protesters clashes with the police, the officers used a rubber bullets. In Rome, the police arrived with armored vehicles in front against rampaging students.

In Spain and Portugal in the morning nationwide, 24-hour general strike began, while the workers were called in Italy and Greece for several hours of work stoppages. In Belgium to participate railwaymen at the strike action.


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Eurozone nears Japan-style trap as money and credit contract again [TheTelegraph]

The broad M3 gauge — watched by experts as an early warning signal for the economy a year or so ahead — shrank by €30bn and is now down by €143bn since April. This is highly unusual.

The narrow M1 gauge watched for signals of activity six months head has held up better but also contracted in September, falling by €16bn.

“The message is clear,” said Lars Christensen from Danske Bank. “The ECB needs to stop obsessing about fiscal issues and do real quantitative easing (QE) if it wants to stop the eurozone going the way of Japan.”

Loans to firms and households fell 1.3pc as banks continue to shrink their balance sheet to meet tougher rules. Private bank lending has been falling almost continuously since April.


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EU approves tough round of sanctions on Iran [RT]

The EU has approved one of the toughest sets of sanctions yet on Iran’s nuclear program. It includes banning the import of Iranian natural gas into union nations.

The sanctions also include a ban on financial transactions between European and Iranian banks, with some exceptions for those involving humanitarian aid, food and medicine purchases.

The decision was made during Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

“The [EU] Council has agreed additional restrictive measures in the financial, trade, energy and transport sectors, as well as additional designations, notably of entities active in the oil and gas industry,” a written statement issued by the European Union council said.

Further export restrictions were imposed on industrial software, graphite, and the metals which the EU believes could be used to develop ballistic missiles. The new restrictions also prohibit eurozone companies from providing shipbuilding technology and classification services to Iranian tankers and cargo vessels.

The sanctions aim to pressure Iran to cooperate in talks regarding its nuclear program. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the new sanctions were a “sign of our resolve in the European Union that we will step up the pressure.”

And that pressure is expected to continue until Iran agrees to negotiations.


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The Nobel WTF Prize [Azizonomics]

So the European Union won the Nobel Peace prize for “having over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

Is this a joke? Nigel Farage thinks so, exclaiming that ”this goes to show that the Norwegians really do have a sense of humour.”

The Telegraph reports:

The award of the prestigious prize sparked a mixed response in Greece, where living standards have crashed as the economy has contracted 20 per cent in the last three years, despite bailouts totalling 240 billion euros (£200 billion).

With social tensions still high, more than 7,000 police had to be deployed to protect Mrs Merkel on a visit to Athens this week, when she was derided by some as a reincarnation of the Third Reich.


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IMF: Eurozone unemployment to exceed that of Middle East and North Africa [soberlook]

The latest IMF report (here) projects next year’s unemployment in the Eurozone to be the highest among all the major world regions – exceeding even the rising levels of unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa.




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G7: Europe will tell US to deal with ‘fiscal cliff’ [Telegraph]

Finance ministers of Germany, France, Italy and Britain will meet those from the other major developed economies in the Group of Seven at a dinner in Tokyo on October 11.

“Developments in the euro area are not the only source of risks for the global economy,” says a document with the main European policy messages prepared for the G7, Reuters reported.

“Risks emanate also from fiscal uncertainty in the US, the decelerating recovery in Japan and slowing growth … in several emerging market economies, especially in China,” it said.

Eurozone states in the G7 have long been under pressure from the rest of the world to deal decisively with the debt crisis that has so far ensnared Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain and undermined investor confidence globally.

At the G7 meeting in Tokyo, which comes just before the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund, eurozone officials will explain what they have done so far to deal with their problems and point a finger at Washington as a potential source of future economic disruption.

The euro sign sculpture stands outside the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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Summary of tax rates in the Eurozone [SoberLook]

Here is a good summary of key tax rates across the Eurozone as well as recent changes. As always it’s a delicate balance between revenue and growth. In Spain (and Italy to some extent) tax increases have materially dampened economic activity.


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Mario Monti explains why the eurozone rescue plan is not yet working [arabianmoney]

Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy, spoke with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker in New York today about considering another term after elections. He discussed why the EU’s new bailout fund hasn’t been used yet, saying ‘because it is being finalized. And in particular I think there is still some refinement ongoing on the precise nature and modalities of the conditionality that would have to be associated to the European Central Bank intervening in the markets to buy the bonds of a specific country.’

Monti also said that his biggest fear is that ‘the political leaders of Europe do not involve enough attention to coping with the increasing resentments of one country vis-a-vis another country of the increasing attitude of nationalism, the many backlashes against integration that are there.’

Monti on why he clarified a potential second term in office earlier today:

‘I don’t think it’s a change. I confirm that I will not run for elections. And that is for two reasons. One I want to stick to my position of being outside, I don’t say above, but outside the parties. And secondly, people go to elections, become members of parliament. I am already a member of parliament being senator for life.’


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The ECB managed to increase broad money supply in the Eurozone but is unable to improve credit conditions [SoberLook]

The ECB’s massive balance sheet expansion during the past year succeeded in generating growth in the euro area’s broad money supply.

ECB balance sheet (€mm)

However the increase in money supply is yet to translate into material growth in credit. The two indicators have diverged.

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In the Eurozone, the more things change the more they stay the same: structural adjustments remain elusive [SoberLook]

Back in early July we saw the post-EU-summit euphoria quickly fade as the new initiatives discussed at the meeting stalled at the implementation stage (see discussion). It certainly feels as if so much has happened since then. But has it? Other than Draghi’s backstop to support short-term sovereign paper, what has really changed in terms of the union’s structure and other summit initiatives? Here is the latest on some of these efforts.

1. Spain has not seen a cent of the €100bn bank bailout funds that were pledged by the Eurozone’s leadership so far. The funds are surely coming, but it has been almost four months (see discussion). We are seeing the best of the EU’s bureaucracy in action.

2. Pan-Eurozone bank supervision implementation has also stalled.

Reuters: – Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Cyprus last weekend failed to agree on the framework for banking union, with Germany and others concerned that deposit guarantees will put them on the hook for banks in Greece or Spain by using deposits in their local banks to fund rescues in other countries.

… The European Commission unveiled sweeping plans for the ECB to supervise all euro zone banks last week as a first step toward a banking union, though Germany immediately raised objections that the proposals risked overstretching the ECB.

… The euro zone risks disintegration unless governments can agree on a banking union underpinned by a universal deposit safety net, former European Central Bank policymaker Athanasios Orphanides said on Saturday.

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You’re Dreaming If You Think The Euro Crisis Is Resolved []

The German edition of Der Spiegel opens the new week on Monday morning with a series of articles on the European situation, which make clear, as if that were still necessary, that Europe is still an absolute mess. You know, just in case you thought it was not. That Mario Draghi’s latest unlimited whatever it is had somehow chased away the demons.

First, Der Spiegel writes that the Greek deficit is twice as high as previously thought,, at €20 billion, according to a preliminary version of the long awaited troika report. The gap has to be closed for the next tranche of bailout money to be paid.

Second, eurozone countries plan to let the ESM balloon to over €2 trillion ($2.6 trillion). Remember that the German Constitutional Court limited Berlin’s part to about €119 billion recently. Creative accounting to infinity and beyond. The efforts to keep the union together will blow it apart.

Third, former German FInance Minister Steinbrueck works on a banking plan that would split up investment and retail activities for Germany’s banks (including Deutsche), think Glass Steagall. He wants to ban commodities speculation. And he wants a bank-ESM, a fund paid for by banks that can be used to bail them out, rather than taxpayer money.

There’s lot more going on, and going wrong, in Europe, no matter what Draghi does, and no matter what plans José Manuel Barroso unveils. When I saw that the latter was seriously talking about establishing a European army, I couldn’t help thinking: will it bring all those translators to the battlefield too?

Europe is not a country, it is not a culture, and it is not a language. It is a loose union that consists of many of each. Europe can hold together in times of plenty, and it will fall apart in meagre times. The only thing Europeans have power over – to a degree – is how the process of unravelling will unfold; they can’t stop the process. The present attempts to hold the union together at all costs will be extremely costly, they have zero chance of succeeding, and they will lead to violence. The alternative, an attempt to live together as good and peaceful neighbors outside of a currency union, is not even considered. And I’m pretty sure it won’t be until it’s too late.

Hedge fund king Ray Dalio last week expressed the same fears I have been hammering on for months now, see for instance Project Europe is OverDear Angela, It’s Time To Do The Right Thing and A Big Bad Brick Wall. I will always be reluctant to evoke Hitler’s name, because it will inevitably be interpreted by many people as over the top fear-mongering, and because of the WWII survivor stories I grew up with, but the principle remains the same. A few weeks ago, I finally did resort to using the name, for the simple reason that in my view the threat in Europe is growing by the day:


What Makes Mario Draghi So Dangerous For Europe

Europe is creating conditions – of misery, poverty and hopelessness – in a number of its member states [..], that are not unlike those that provided the space needed by the likes of Hitler and Mussolini to rise to power in the 1920s and ’30s. And that is a grave danger.


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Europe’s most powerful countries call for elected EU president [Telegraph]

In a document released on Tuesday after a meeting between 11 foreign ministers in Warsaw, the bloc, which includes all the largest Europeancountries outside Britain, charted a vision for the “future of Europe”.

As well as calling for a single, elected head of state for Europe, the bloc demanded a new defence policy, under the control of a new pan-EUforeign ministry commanded by Baroness Ashton, which “could eventually involve a European army”.

In order to “prevent one single member state from being able to obstruct initiatives”, a reference to British opposition to a European army, the German-led grouping demanded an end to existing national vetoes over foreign and defence policy.

This would give the EU the power to impose a decision on Britain if it is supported by a majority of other countries.

The plan, which has the backing of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Holland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and Portugal the plan, is likely to fuel calls for a British referendum on membership of the European Union.


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Greeks work the longest hours in the EU; and other facts about the Greek labor markets [SoberLook]

There has some confusion about the labor market situation in Greece. To clarify, here are the latest statistics:

1. Greek official unemployment rate is just under 24%.

2. Greek youth unemployment is the highest in the Eurozone, just under 54%.



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EADS and BAE propose EU-based merger to rival US defense giants [RT]

Europe’s top aerospace company and the continent’s biggest defense contractor are in talks over a 38 billion-euro merger that would create an EU-based giant to rival America’s Boeing.

The conglomerate would have a unified board and management structure: EADS, the parent of Airbus SAS, would control 60 percent of the company, and London-based BAE would own the rest.

The merger would be the biggest shake-up in European aerospace and defense manufacturing in more than a decade, and could lead to a major reshaping of the global defense industry.

Linda Hudson, CEO of the US division of BAE Systems, believes the proposed deal comes at an ideal time, given the slowdown in US and European defense spending and an industry-wide contraction in defense budgets. The conglomerate would be less vulnerable to the inevitable ups and down of the aerospace sector.

“It’s a win-win proposition for both companies in this environment,” Hudson told Reuters.

The move comes as part of a decade-old plan for Europe to create a pan-continental competitor to Boeing, the biggest commercial aerospace company in the US and Europe’s second-largest defense contractor.

Airbus A380 (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)


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Germany’s constitutional court won’t delay bailout fund ruling [Reuters]

Germany’s Constitutional Court said on Tuesday it would not postpone its long-awaited ruling on the legality of the euro zone’s bailout fund, despite a last-minute legal challenge by a eurosceptic lawmaker.

The court said it would go ahead with Wednesday’s ruling on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the fiscal compact for budget discipline, whose implementation has been delayed for months by the German judges.

The Constitutional Court issued a brief statement saying the ruling at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Wednesday “will go ahead as scheduled”, meaning conservative lawmaker Peter Gauweiler’s last-minute challenge would not cause further delays.

The court in Karlsruhe did not go into the merits of his complaint, lodged at the weekend after the European Central Bank announced its plans for unlimited purchases of bonds of crisis-hit euro states to reduce their borrowing costs.

He argues that Germany should not ratify the ESM until the ECB rows back on the bond-buying plan which he sees as a threat to the German budget. The constitutional court should therefore possibly postpone its decision on the fund, he said.

German legal experts believe the court will approve the new permanent bailout fund and the budget deal, while possibly imposing tough conditions limiting Berlin’s flexibility on future rescues.

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QEurope [angrybearblog]

I am generally skeptical about the importance of further QE in the USA, but I am definitely not skeptical about the effectiveness of the the leaked European Central Bank plan to purchase unlimited amounts of European Government debt.  The reason is that there are government bonds over here which terrify investors.  That means that the amount which private investors must hold should have a fairly large effect on the price (different European government bonds are not at all close substitutes).

The leaked plan is a compromise between the sane and the German (two of my best friends are German) .  Importantly the ECB will not place an upper limit on yields on bonds, that is promise to buy any amount if the price falls below some level.

The purchased bonds must be fairly short term bonds (the aim seems to be to make the intervention as ineffective as possible).  Jana Randow and Jeff Black  at Bloomberg report that up to three year bonds will be bought.  Again this is based on leaks.  Alarmingly Il Corriere della Sera reports both this claim and the dramatically contrasting claim (from a source identified only as “German speaking”) that the bonds will be of duration only up to 1 year.  That would be almost pointless.    I can’t get the corriere link (I read the article in the dead tree version and search ilcorriere is horrible).  The key passage is “Draghi ha citato l’esempio di titoli circolante sul mercato secondario con scadenze ‘fino a tre anni’ secondo alcune fonti, o ‘al di sotto di un anno’, secondo altre che parlano Tedesco.” that is “Draghi gave an example of bonds on the secondary market with maturity “up to three years” according to some source, or ‘less than one year” according to other sources who speak German.”

In comparison QE II consisted of purchases of 7 year notes and Twist of (sterilized) purchases of 30 year bonds.  My view is that QEII was totally pointless (didn’t even statisticall significantly affect the price of 7 year bonds) and Twist was at least better than QEII.  So 3 years is not long enough.  On the other hand, Spanish, Italian, Irish, Portoguese and especially Greek (PIIGS) bonds are not at all like US Treasuries.  They are not close substitutes for money at alllll (I personally will absolutely not exchange any of my money for any such bond with maturity over 3 months).

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Everything you need to know about the September 12 German court decision that could rock the entire world [Yahoo]

The eurozone is running out of bailout cash, and the German Constitutional Court now holds the fate of Europe in its hands.

The European Financial Stability Facility, the original euro area bailout fund established in the summer of 2010, is down to about €248 billion of lending capacity left after existing bailouts for Greece, Portugal, and Ireland are accounted for.

Spain and Italy – the next two countries expected to be in line for a bailout – could have combined financing needs as large as €703bn over the next two years, according to Citi estimates, dwarfing the existing capacity of the EFSF.

Those huge numbers underscore the need for the additional firepower of the European Stability Mechanism, the new bailout fund expected to replace the EFSF and make available hundreds of billions of euros in additional lending capacity to struggling member states.

However, the ESM has still yet to be ratified, which has many counting chickens before the eggs have hatched, so to speak.

The 16 judges that sit on the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany need to sign off on the fund’s constitutionality in order to make the fund operational – and the Court is widely expected to do just that when they deliver a ruling on ESM ratification on September 12.


President of the German Constitutional Court Andreas Vosskuhle (4th R) reads the verdict on the German government's European Stability Mechanism and the Euro Plus Pact in Karlsruhe June 19, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/Files


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The “Pauperization Of Europe” [TestosteronePit]

It started on Monday. “Poverty is returning to Europe,” said Jan Zijderveld, head of Unilever’s European operations, in an interview. The British–Dutch consumer products company, third largest in the world, was adjusting its commercial strategy to this new reality, he said, by redeploying to Europe what worked in poor countries of the developing world. Now the stars of the industry are affirming it. “The logic of pauperization,” L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon called it on Wednesday.

“If Spaniards are down to spending on average €17 per shopping trip, I can’t sell him detergent for half of his budget,” Zijderveld explained. “In Indonesia we sell individual packages of shampoo for 2 to 3 cents and still earn a fair amount.”

That this strategy was widespread in Asia I found out in Vietnam in 1996. I cut my finger at a table at a café in Hué as we were getting up. So, walking down the dirt street, I licked my finger to keep the blood from dripping on my clothes. The girl I was with, shocked by my barbaric behavior, took me to a street stall and bought me one singled Band-Aid, which cost as close to nothing as you could get. [My overland solo adventure from the Mekong Delta across Asia and Europe is the topic of a forthcoming book. The first in the series, Big Like: Cascade into an Odyssey—a “funny as hell non-fiction book about wanderlust and traveling abroad,” a reader tweeted—is available on Amazon.]

By looking at Europe, particularly Southern Europe, as a market with the characteristics of developing countries, Unilever has transitioned from seeing the debt crisis as a temporary event to seeing it as a trend to which it had to adjust its strategies. So now in Spain, it sells its “Surf” detergent in packages that are good for five loads. In Greece, it sells mashed potatoes and mayonnaise in small packages. And in Great Britain (!), it’s implementing the same strategy. Because people are running out of money. And it’s been successful. Since they started this in 2011, sales have stopped falling; and in the first half of the year, they edged up 1.1%. But higher input prices have exerted pressures on margins and profits.


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Anti-EU, Anti-Brussels Sentiment Rises in Netherlands; Don’t Expect Much From a “Merkollande” Summit [Mish]

Emile Roeme, a socialist running on an anti-Brussels, anti-austerity plan is likely to become the next prime minister of the Netherlands.

On the extreme right, populist Geert Wilders wants the Netherlands to withdraw from the eurozone completely.

The centrists who support the nannyzone feel squeezed in the middle, and their days appear numbered.

In a case of Dutch Discontent, Socialists Ride Wave of Anti-EU Sentiment

 The economy is in trouble and unemployment is rising — in the Netherlands as in much of the rest of Europe. Ahead of upcoming elections, the Socialists are riding a wave of euro-skepticism and may emerge as the strongest political force in the country.

According to the polls, [Emile Roeme] the former elementary school teacher could become the next prime minister of the Netherlands.



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