And this is semiconductor sales we are talking about, one of the best but toughest ways to create value and wealth.
in Europe's case consumer electronics is not such a large factor; we
more or less got out of that some time ago. Philips is now a
"life-style" company and Nokia, former top dog in the mobile phone
sector, is now just one of the pebbles adding momentum to the European
landslide. So we are talking about a 13.6 percent drop in a figure that
is more heavily weighted towards automotive, industrial and medical
electronics, supposedly markets that are more immune to the vicissitudes
of fickle consumer sentiment.
The SIA/WSTS figures hint that
Europe could be about to face a further collapse that strikes at the
heart of its ability to work its way out of its problems.
role as the leading country in Europe that has pursued an economic
policy with manufacturing exports at its base has never been more
important. But any, much needed, resurgence of industry is clearly under
pressure as companies may choose to try and avoid the perceived
inclemency of the European climate.
And lest you think it could
not happen here; remember the social chaos, hyperinflation and
dependence on American loans faced by the Weimar Republic in the 1920s.
And it was just a few short years ago that Europe was talking about the Euro replacing the USD as the global standard.
Just imagine what would happen to the US, if our economy worked like that of the Eurozone. Imagine, for example, that different states set their own government funded entitlement programs and their own affinity for government as the main employer of the work force, and then expected to be supported by other states with less generous policies. And imagine further that the work force was disinclined to move to states that had the jobs. It would never work.
I don't see any evidence of the structural reforms needed to have a viable common currency. Does anyone else? How can individual countries continue year after year with deficit spending, resulting in sharply increasing debt over time, and expect other countries to pay that off out of the goodness of their hearts?
The way this worked in the past was that each country could establish its own monetary policy, e.g devaluing their currency to "pay" the bills accumulating from overly generous entitlements, and they would move on. The real wealth would obviously decrease, in comparison to other countries, but at least they weren't asking taxpayers from other countries to fund their largesse.
Sorry, but I've never understood how this experiment was supposed to work, nor why so many countries were so eager to join in, even dating back to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.
Worrying indeed. It would be interesting to see the latest quarter GDP figures from across Euroland. My impression is that Germany is holding well (as Expat Canuck said above). Britain and France also do not seem in big trouble (again this is just anecdotal from my recent trips). Not sure the same could be said about Spain and Italy though. Europe needs a coordinated response to this crisis, and that is not happening... yet....
As an expat Canadian now living and working in Germany, I don't really see any sign of a slowdown. The auto industry is going flat out and the joke is "Euro crisis, What Euro crisis?" To be honest though, we are starting to see an influx of Greeks, Spaniards and Italians coming into Germany looking for jobs. While this is good news for the Germans in that they're attracting the best and brightest, it is disasterous for the rest of Europe as the talent they need to recover is now gone, and gone for a long time. Hopefully the rest of Europe will come to realize the need for sensible policies so as to prevent themselves from going over the edge of a cliff.