Europe's monetary and debt woes are now clearly having an effect on its ability to do business – which is a yet more frightening prospect, than the crisis we are already living with.
Because without the ability to do business Europe cannot even continue to generate the value it currently does and which it already overpays itself for in its aggregate life style. In fact, Europe needs to do much more business, and export it, to pay for the life-style it gives itself and reduce the national debts.
It may seem an apocalyptic view but there is the evidence in the latest numbers from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, published by the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Globally the situation is not good with semiconductor sales in March, April and May (which are represented by the three-month average ascribed by the SIA to May) generally down. The Asia-Pacific region is down 1.9 percent on the same period in 2011. The Americas region is down 3.2 percent. Japan is up 0.4 percent.
But look at this, the European region is down 13.6 percent compared with a year before. In global statistics terms that is a major percentage change. The equivalent figures in March and April were 15.4 percent and 14.4 percent. Basically it appears that in 2012 Europe's drawn-out financial woes are driving a significant chunk of business out of the continent.
It is likely that startup businesses are not happening, particularly in such countries as Greece, Portugal and Spain. Similarly inward investors are putting any plans they have on hold. "Let's not open up in Europe right now, best to see how the dust settles." And multinational companies are likely to be shifting their weight off their European foot and on to another, most likely in the Asia-Pacific region.
I would think that the personal credit card has had a major negative influence on economies around the world. Of course, I'd also say that it has had a major positive influence. I'm not sure we have any economic metaphors that aren't double edged swords.
Credit allows consumers to buy things that they couldn't or shouldn't afford. The purchase of those things makes opportunity for companies that build and sell those things, which increases jobs & disposable income which allows people that spend beyond their means to spend even farther beyond their means...
If more people were responsible with their credit and if the card companies weren't so predatory and exploitative, then I'd say on balance, personal credit cards have been a good thing.
"I think there is a case to be examined around whether much of the financial woes in the western hemisphere can be traced back to the creation and widespread use of the personal credit card."
I'd say, PERHAPS, but only in the sense that politicians are behaving more like irresponsible credit hard holders.
I just don't see anything mysterious about most of the problems that the Eurozone is facing, or even the US, to a greater extent. You cannot mandate wealth by government edict. You cannot promise generous benefits and generous, early, government-funded pensions, by edict. Just as you can't just use the credit card to buy everything you want, without understanding the constraints.
Chronic deficit spending is the irresponsible credit card holder. Ever increasing social programs are created by chronic deficit spending.
Feeling proud that the deficit one year is no greater than the deficit the previous year is ridiculous. A ploy used by devious politicians to bamboozle the hopelessly clueless.
Sooner or later, you have to pay the piper.
The US has one of the highest deficits in the world:
and also one of the highest public debts (as %age of GDP):
As has been pointed out, Germany is doing just fine. This is a crisis affecting Southern European nations and Ireland.
The origin of the problem was the financial industry was recklessly irresponsible. If engineers behaved like that they would be in prison.
If and engineer dreamed up something as daft as a credit default swap and mortgage backed securities, while thinking they could eliminate risk from subprime lending, then they really should not be allowed to engineer anything at all.....
Bert22306 said "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 seems to me this IS happening in the US today. States have great leeway in funding education and other social programs. Federal government funding of each state varies greatly compared to the revenue that is received from that state at the federal level. And many people may want to move to where the jobs are, but are under water on their mortgages and so they are trapped where they are until the housing market improves.
"Federal government funding of each state varies greatly compared to the revenue that is received from that state at the federal level. "
That is the key any1, a common currency implies a mechanism for fiscal tranfers from one part to the other. This is not formalised in the case of the Eurozone and that's what must happen now, otherwise the Euro is doomed.
Sure, NOW, and how is anyone surprised? This administration's bailout frenzy should have scrared the pants off anyone.
Check out this, to see the egregious nature of it. Starting in 2009. And not abating.
Like I said previously, the apologists like to bamboozle people into believing that if deficit spending stays steady, things are okay. But that's absurd. It means that year after year, you're spending ridiculous amounts more than you take in, putting the country deeper and deeper in DEBT.
What is brining several of the Eurozone countries down? This exact same attitude. The difference there being, those deficit-prone Eurozone countries expect the taxpayers of the more responsible countries to bail THEM out. That's what can't work. Our individual states are unable to operate independently that way.
This is why I feel that Obama and most of the congress are criminals. They never did anything right for the poor middle-class but they have done so many things to protect the upper class. For instance, why should a CEO be awareded with tens of millions of bonus while those cleaning the garbage bin can be chopped off at the instant of lesser profit. The income gap in corporate America keeps growing without an end in sight. Capitalism is a common excuse, or scape-goat. At the end, it is all down to greed, especially those in the politics, bankings, financials ...
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