Wolf Richter

Two Down-Under Comedians Explain QE

Hilarious explanation of QE and how it works: big industrial-strength printers all facing the windows.  

Clark & Dawe: The European Debt Crisis

This hilarious video by two comedians from down under explains better than anything else who exactly is going to do all the bailing out in the European debt crisis. .

Will the Euro Survive This Year?

The European Stability Mechanism and the fiscal union pact are the two ploys that were supposed to fix the Eurozone debt crisis and save the euro. They were put together in all haste after hectic summits with dog and pony shows designed to soothe edgy markets. Negotiations involved mud-wrestling and extortion. It’s been one heck of a ride. But now they’re in the hands of the German Constitutional Court – and there are no good options.

The German Constitutional Court Rules Against Euro Hysteria

Chancellor Angela Merkel did the right thing. She left Germany. And Germany is in turmoil. The bailout policies she and her government had pushed through and that parliament had passed just after the EU summit ran into discord, accusations, and threats. Everybody was applying pressure. And the Federal Constitutional Court will now have to decide—and it already made its first decision.

France, Germany, And The Reintroduction of the D-Mark

Germany and France exist in two different universes, apparently: France, safely ensconced in a Eurozone without bailouts and with nary a debt crisis on the horizon, debates its economic and social model. Germany sees a Eurozone ravaged by a debt crisis with mind-boggling bailout costs and risks that stir up a furor on all sides, and everything is getting questioned, even the euro itself.

The Fine Wine Bubble Blows Up

I love wine, but I’m leaning towards Californian wines; they’re awesome and grow in my extended neighborhood. More precisely, I love drinking wine, not keeping it locked up in a refrigerated vault, and certainly not investing in it. Hence, I have little sympathy for those who were buying high-dollar French wines for the purpose of investing in them, instead of drinking them, and I certainly don’t feel sorry for them in their plight. But a plight it is.

The Euro Crash Refuses To Go On Vacation

Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen set the scene for the long European summer break when she declared that Finland was a dedicated member of the Eurozone, eager to solve the crisis, but “not at any price”; it wouldn’t agree to take on “collective responsibility for debts and risks of other countries” via a banking union. And if push came to shove: “We are prepared for all scenarios, including abandoning the Euro.”

Whitewash versus Reality: “Disaster Made in Japan”

Today Japan brought its first nuclear reactor back on line, after having been nuclear-power free for two months. The government had stress-tested the reactor and had declared it safe—despite strong evidence to the contrary. Ironically, on the day that the reactor started generating electricity again, the Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission released its report on the Fukushima disaster—and it’s a doozy.

The “European Monster State”

Rather than solving the Eurozone debt crisis once and for all, the EU summit gummed up the bailout process with controversy in the very country that everyone is counting on to save the Eurozone, Germany—but also elsewhere—and nothing has been resolved. And as before, there’s Greece, inexorably tottering towards its more or less graceful exit from the Eurozone as… “The patience of the public has been exhausted.”

Piling Up: The Detritus of Failed Stimulus Policies

“Ugly” doesn’t even describe it. I’m not talking about today’s ISM index of US Manufacturing, which was quite ugly, dropping to the worst level since 2009; and whose all-important New Orders index was beyond ugly. And I’m not talking about today’s Global Manufacturing PMI, which was truly ugly, seeing its lowest level since June 2009. These are volatile indices that might turn around on a dime, though that appears to be wishful thinking.