Wolf Richter

French Megabank: “Germany Should Leave The Eurozone”

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.

Seems The NSA Spied On Me When I Lived In Belgium

Another Edward Snowden revelation indicates that I, a humble, incoherent, harmless, and (mostly) law-abiding American, may have gotten tangled up in the NSA’s vast spying dragnet for inexplicable reasons of national security. It’s getting personal.

Japan Is Used To Natural Disasters, But This One Is Man-Made

The dogfight over Japan’s biggest problem, its gargantuan government deficit, entered its annual ritual of leaks and pressure tactics that usually lead to a pre-Christmas draft budget with an even bigger deficit. But this time, it’s different. Very different.

The Most Despised Tax-And-Retreat French President Sinks Deeper Into Economic Quagmire

“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.

Gagging Doubt: French Crackdown On French And American Bloggers Who Question Megabank Balance Sheets

France’s Financial Markets Authority slapped fines on two bloggers, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Chevallier and American Mike “Mish” Shedlock, “for having spread inexact information about the level of indebtedness” of megabank Société Générale. Instead of going after banks, bank regulators are going after bloggers! It’s more convenient.

Use Bitcoin As A Currency, Get Wiped Out (The Government Likes It That Way)

Four years after its creation, folks are still arguing over what bitcoin is: “investment opportunity of the millennium,” “part of a societal revolution,” a security, a currency, a casino token? Whatever. But US regulators now have a strategy for killing it as a currency.

Here Is Proof (Provided By Japan Inc.) Why Abenomics Fails The Real Economy

The beneficiaries of Abenomics are now coming out of the woodwork with soaring profits – but they’re doing the opposite of what Abenomics promised they’d do: they’re diversifying away from Japan.

Extortion Over Minimum Wage In Germany: BMW, Daimler, VW Threaten to Offshore Production

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.

Municipal Bankruptcy? Why Not! And so The Floodgates Open

Individual investors have a unique opportunity now to buy sewer bonds – yup, that’s where they belong – issued by a bankrupt county to pay off holders of defaulted sewer bonds who’ll get a fashionable haircut as part of the deal – a deal made in bond-bubble heaven.

NSA Spying Crushes US Tech Companies in Emerging Markets (“An Industry Phenomenon,” Says Cisco’s Chambers)

Cisco CEO John Chambers had a euphemism for it during the earnings call: “challenging political dynamics” in China, without ever naming the NSA. Then there was India and others, including Russia where Snowden is holed up, and where sales outright collapsed.