Tuesday, November 08, 2011

And You Thought Greece Was the Only European Country You Needed to Worry About

The bond market is starting to signal that it has little faith in Italy's ability to repay its debt. With Italian Bond Yields Surging, Key 7% 10-Year Yield Looms - WSJ.com (They always do this in the financial sections of papers so here goes - When the price of a bond goes down, the yield goes up. High rates are a sign we don't believe your promise to pay.)
-The embattled Italian government's bond yields pushed above 6.5% Monday for the first time since the introduction of the euro, a move that portends an even tougher financial struggle for the country in the months ahead.
For comparison, US ten-year notes are currently holding a rate of 2.11%. And that is slightly higher than it was a few weeks ago.

So will Italy need a bailout? Let's hope not. As the 3rd largest economy in the Eurozone, it is too big to be bailed out.

And if that wasn't enough, Spain is still struggling. Spain unemployment claims in October up by 134,000 - BusinessWeek
Last week the government said the jobless rate now stands at 21.5 percent and the economy posted zero growth in the third quarter. The Bank of Spain says the stagnation is bad news for government efforts to meet deficit-reduction goals.
That is a pretty bad unemployment rate, and it is likely to get worse.

Meanwhile, Greek Unemployment Hits 17.6%, and is likely to get worse. (Youth unemployment is approaching 50%.)

These are not the signs of health economies.

So Ireland and Portugal needed bailouts. Greece got one bailout and needs (at least) one more. The Italians, and Spaniards are having problems - if not actually needing a bailout right this minute. So how long are the Germans supposed to keep handing out money? Forever? Maybe Germany should get out of the Eurozone.

The point is, all these wonderful socialist nirvanas seem to be crumbling, houses of cards, built on debt they have little to no hope of paying back. (Did they ever?) Greece lied to get into the Eurozone, so it knew it couldn't match the requirements. And the Greek government had to know, even if the people weren't paying attention, that the "game of debt" was going to come to a halt sooner rather than later. (You don't wake up one day and discover you can't pay back half your debts. You get into that position one day at a time, one decision at a time, one bureaucratic snafu at a time.)

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