Europe, Unemployment and Instability … The global financial crisis of 2008 has slowly yielded to a global unemployment crisis. This unemployment crisis will, fairly quickly, give way to a political crisis. The crisis involves all three of the major pillars of the global system — Europe, China and the United States. The level of intensity differs, the political response differs and the relationship to the financial crisis differs. But there is a common element, which is that unemployment is increasingly replacing finance as the central problem of the financial system. – Stratfor
Dominant Social Theme: Unemployment will be the next great crisis for Europe to overcome. Fascism may be the result.
Free-Market Analysis: We generally distrust Stratfor analyses because over the years it's become fairly obvious that they have an agenda beyond their stated goal – or so we have decided, anyway. But this particular publicly available analysis is a pretty good one … though with a major caveat that we will discuss below.
The thrust of the analysis (see excerpt above) is that a debt crisis is giving way to an unemployment crisis. This may seem obvious but nonetheless is likely a valid "big picture" explanation of what is going on.
For investors in various European ventures, the lagging economies of Southern Europe and the inability of Brussels to create economic progress must be both noticeable and worrisome. Here's more from the article:
Europe is the focal point of this crisis. Last week Italy held elections, and the party that won the most votes − with about a quarter of the total − was a brand-new group called the Five Star Movement that is led by a professional comedian. Two things are of interest about this movement. First, one of its central pillars is the call for defaulting on a part of Italy's debt as the lesser of evils. The second is that Italy, with 11.2 percent unemployment, is far from the worst case of unemployment in the European Union. Nevertheless, Italy is breeding radical parties deeply opposed to the austerity policies currently in place.
The core debate in Europe has been how to solve the sovereign debt crisis and the resulting threat to Europe's banks. The issue was who would bear the burden of stabilizing the system.
The argument that won the day, particularly among Europe's elites, was that what Europe needed was austerity, that government spending had to be dramatically restrained so that sovereign debt − however restructured it might be − would not default.
One of the consequences of austerity is recession. The economies of many European countries, especially those in the eurozone, are now contracting, since austerity obviously means that less money will be available to purchase goods and services. If the primary goal is to stabilize the financial system, it makes sense. But whether financial stability can remain the primary goal depends on a consensus involving broad sectors of society. When unemployment emerges, that consensus shifts and the focus shifts with it. When unemployment becomes intense, then the entire political system can shift. From my point of view, the Italian election was the first, but expected, tremor.
This is good, common sense analysis but you won't read it yet in most mainstream publications. However, eventually you will. That's because Friedman is providing us with a dominant social theme: That fascism is a growing danger in Europe. This is the corollary to the larger unemployment analysis.
Friedman is blunt enough. He writes: "The Five Star Movement's argument in favor of default is not coming from a marginal party. The elite may hold the movement in contempt, but it won 25 percent of the vote. And recall that the hero of the Europhiles, Mario Monti, barely won 10 percent of the vote just a year after Europe celebrated him."
Notice that he writes, "The elite may hold the movement in contempt." This is highly doubtful given that "Nobel" prize winner Joe Stiglitz and George Soros both are apparently involved in backing a movement that has come from nowhere to become a dominant Italian party in only a few years. FDR once said there are no "mistakes" in politics. Beppe Grillo's party is not a mistake.
Nonetheless, Friedman – who must clearly know about the involvement of top globalists in Grillo's party – persists in his warnings about fascism.
Fascism had its roots in Europe in massive economic failures in which the financial elites failed to recognize the political consequences of unemployment. They laughed at parties led by men who had been vagabonds selling post cards on the street and promising economic miracles if only those responsible for the misery of the country were purged.
Men and women, plunged from the comfortable life of the petite bourgeoisie, did not laugh, but responded eagerly to that hope. The result was governments who enclosed their economies from the world and managed their performance through directive and manipulation.
This is what happened after World War I. It did not happen after World War II because Europe was occupied. But when we look at the unemployment rates today, the differentials between regions, the fact that there is no promise of improvement and that the middle class is being hurled into the ranks of the dispossessed, we can see the patterns forming.
Again, this is probably a deliberate misreading of history. There is no doubt at this point that fascism in Germany and probably in Italy was funded by the West – particularly Swiss banks, Wall Street and even the Bush family, which was fined in 1942 for its persistent investments in German industrial companies during wartime.
One can also make a case – and we have – that the European crisis is partially an artificial one, created by the same big banks that Europe is now so determined to rescue. The solution is austerity, and it has set half of Europe aflame.
Probably none of this is merely "accidental." The globalists behind the EU have stated repeatedly that they needed a financial crisis to abet a deeper union. And as the crisis itself deepens, managed movements like Grillo's will probably be repeated.
Is Europe is to be bludgeoned by austerity and panicked by a faux-fascist movement in the hopes the EU can be continuously deepened and strengthened as a result? If this is the case, have top Eurocrats miscalculated?
Food for thought: The 21st century is not the 20th, and the Internet Reformation is a process not an episode.
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