Governments and companies around the world have been preparing for a collapse of the Eurozone—simple prudence requires them to do that. Theoretical exercises for a hypothetical scenario, they call it. But recently, these theoretical exercises have taken on practical overtones. And even the public is now encouraged to prepare for the demise of the euro.
The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The New York Times, and other mainstream media have engaged in an obvious and silly boycott of presidential candidate Ron Paul. Report after report about the Republican primary excluded him, though occasionally they’d mention his name—to be fair and balanced. But if you haven’t read The New York Times recently, you missed something BIG.
Australia: A tall chick in a bikini walks along the beach, face shaded by a floppy hat. She carries a bag in one hand, sandals in the other. Her boobs sway and her hips swing and her inner thighs rub together as she puts foot before foot in the loose sand.
“Look at that babe,” he says.
“Holy moly,” I observe in my perspicacious manner.
Sarkozy will be the only French president since World War II with two recessions under his belt, if current forecasts are correct. Recessions are rare in France: between the war and the financial crisis, there were two. Against this backdrop, Sarkozy faces a tough reelection campaign. And front runner François Hollande has vowed to oppose the German dictate on how to save the Eurozone. So it might all unravel.
In France, the litany of job reductions continues. Today, it was Air France. It followed automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën, French banks, nuclear-power conglomerate Areva, drug maker Sanofi, newspapers, ferry operator Seafrance, etc. It’s tough out there. And now, France’s heavily subsidized signature industry—wines—got slapped in the face. By China.
The US trade deficit with China will hit a record $300 billion for the year, a big hit to the economy. It’s politically convenient to blame China, particularly its yuan policy. But the driver is a broad strategy by US corporations to shift an increasing range of economic activities to China. And now a trade war has broken out. Politicians, have a word with your corporate sponsors!
Udon noodles came, like so many things in Japan, from China. Kūkai, a Buddhist monk from the province of Sanuki on the Japanese island of Shikoku, had brought them back. Today, the province is called Kagawa Prefecture, but the noodles are still called Sanuki udon—which sparked an international dispute between Japan and Taiwan. All because of a noodle guy.
“The scariest part isn’t the jump,” says Te, the Maori driver of the 4×4, as he turns into Skippers Canyon Road. He laughs maniacally, contorts his bulbous body back to us, and bares his teeth. “It’s the drive!”
“I’m very happy with the result,” Merkel told the cameras. But the agreement may be illegal under EU law and may devastate weaker economies. It elevated Germany to a leadership role that other countries perceive as domineering. By isolating the UK, it cut a deep gash into the EU. And it can’t be put into a treaty. But it did offer a compromise of sorts.
An ominous trend picks up speed: the middle class is shriveling. In 1980, 60% of Californians lived in middle-income families. By 2010, only 47.9% did, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute of California. Main culprits: declining incomes and disappearing jobs. And where the heck is the recovery?