The Beginning Of The End
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11 Quotes That Show How Worried The Financial World Is About Europe Right Now

The recent elections in France and in Greece have thrown the global financial system into an uproar.  Fear and worry are everywhere and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.  All of the financial deals that Greece has made over the past few years may be null and void.  Nobody is going to know for sure until a new government is formed, and at this point it looks like that is not going to happen and that there will need to be new elections in June.  All of the financial deals that France has made over the past few years may be null and void as well.  New French President Francois Hollande seems determined to take France on a path away from austerity.  But can France really afford to keep spending money that it does not have?  France has already lost its AAA credit rating and French bond yields have started to move up toward dangerous territory.  And Greek politicians are delusional if they think they have any other choice other than austerity.  Without European bailout money (which they won’t get if they don’t honor their current agreements), nobody is going to want to lend Greece a dime.

And all of this talk about “austerity” is kind of silly anyway.  It isn’t as if either France or Greece was going to have a balanced budget any time soon.  Both nations were still running up huge amounts of debt even under the “austerity” budgets.

But the citizens of both nations have sent a clear message that they are not going to tolerate even a slowdown in government spending.  They want to go back to the debt-fueled prosperity of the last several decades, even if it makes their long-term financial problems a lot worse.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, Greece does not have that option.  Without the bailout money that they are scheduled to get, Greece does not have a prayer of avoiding a disorderly default.  Private investors would have to be insane to lend Greece money if the bailout deal falls apart.  Greece desperately needs the help of the EU, the ECB and the IMF and the only way they are going to get it is if they abide by the terms of the agreements that have already been reached.

The only way that Greece can avoid austerity at this point would be to leave the euro.  Nobody would want to lend money to Greece under that scenario either, but Greece could choose to print huge amounts of their own national currency if they wanted to.

The situation is different in France.  Investors are still willing to lend to France at reasonable interest rates, but if France chooses to run up huge amounts of additional debt at some point they will end up just like Greece.

What is even more important in the short-term is the crumbling of the French/German alliance on European fiscal matters.  Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy were a united front, but now Merkel and Hollande are likely to have conflict after conflict.

Instead of moving in one clear direction, the eurozone is now fractured and tensions are rising.

So what comes next?

Well, investors are not certain what comes next and that has many of them deeply concerned.

The following are 11 quotes that show how worried the financial world is about Europe right now….

#1 Tres Knippa of Kenai Capital Management: “What is going on in Europe is an absolute disaster…the risk-on trade is not the place to be. I want to be out of equities and very, very defensive because the situation in Europe just got worse after those elections.”

#2 Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman: “We’re going to have higher tensions, more uncertainty and most likely a weaker euro.”

#3 Nick Stamenkovic, investment strategist at RIA Capital Markets in Edinburgh: “Investors are questioning whether Greece will be a part of the single currency at the end of this year.”

#4 Jörg Asmussen, a European Central Bank executive board member: “Greece needs to be aware that there is no alternative to the agreed reform program if it wants to remain a member of the eurozone”

#5 Tristan Cooper, sovereign debt analyst at Fidelity Worldwide Investment: “A Greek eurozone exit is on the cards although the probability and timing of such an event is uncertain.”

#6 Art Cashin: “Here’s the outlook on Greece from Wall Street watering holes. If a coalition government is formed or looks to be formed, global markets may rally. Any coalition is unlikely to make progress on goals, since austerity is political suicide. There will likely be another election around June 10/17. A workable majority/plurality remains unlikely, so back to square one. Therefore, Greece will be unable to attain goals by the deadline (June 30). Lacking aid funds, pensions are suspended and government workers are laid off. Protestors take to the streets and government is forced to revert to drachma to avoid social chaos. Pass the peanuts, please.”

#7 John Noonan, Senior Forex Analyst with Thomson Reuters in Sydney: “Sentiment is very bearish, The euro is under a lot of pressure right now. I get the feeling that it’s going to be a nasty move lower for the euro finally”

#8 Kenneth S. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard: “A Greek exit would underscore that there’s no realistic long-term plan for Europe, and it would lead to a chaotic endgame for the rest of the euro zone.”

#9 Chris Tinker of Libra Investment Services: “It’s a binary decision. If Greece gets itself to the point where the European administration says, ‘We can’t play this game anymore,’ that starts a domino effect”

#10 Nicolas Véron, a senior fellow at Bruegel: “France has very limited fiscal space and actually has to engage in fiscal consolidation”

#11 80-year-old Greek citizen Panagiota Makri: “I’m confused. I feel numb and confused. Only God can save us now”

All of this comes at a time when much of Europe is already descending into a new recession.  Economies all over Europe are contracting and unemployment rates are skyrocketing.  Until things start improving, there is going to continue to be a lot of civil unrest across Europe.

Meanwhile, things are not so great in the United States either.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon claims that the U.S. economy is holding a “royal straight flush“, but the only part of that he got right was the “flush” part.

There are 100 million working age Americans that do not have jobs, the middle class continues to shrink, the rising cost of food and the rising cost of gas are severely stretching the budgets of millions of American families and the federal government continues to run up gigantic amounts of debt.

When Europe descends into financial chaos, the United States is not going to escape it.  The financial crisis of 2008 deeply affected the entire globe, and so will the next great financial crisis.

Let us hope that we still have a little bit more time before the next great financial crisis strikes, but things in Europe are rapidly unraveling and at some point the dominoes are going to begin to fall.

20 Signs That We Are Witnessing The Complete Collapse Of Common Sense In America

What do you do when an entire nation begins to lose the capacity to think rationally?  Many Americans spend a great deal of time criticizing the government, and there is certainly a lot to complain about, but it is not just the government that is the problem.  All over America, people appear to be going insane.  It is almost as if we have been cursed with stupidity.  Sadly, this applies from the very top of our society all the way down to the very bottom.  A lot of us find ourselves asking the following question much more frequently these days: “How could they be so stupid?”  Unfortunately, we are witnessing a complete collapse of common sense all over America.  Many people seem to believe that if we could just get Obama out of office or if we could just reform our economic system that our problems as a nation would be solved, but that is simply not true.  Our problems run much deeper than that.  The societal decay that is plaguing our country is very deep and it is everywhere.  We are a nation that is full of people that do not care about others and that just want to do what is right in their own eyes.  We hold ourselves out to the rest of the world as “the greatest nation on earth” and an example that everyone else should follow, and yet our own house is rotting all around us.  The words “crazy”, “insane” and “deluded” are not nearly strong enough to describe our frame of mind as a country.  America has become a sad, delusional old man that can’t even think straight anymore.  The evidence of our mental illness is everywhere.

The following are 20 signs that we are witnessing the complete collapse of common sense in America….

#1 According to Wired Magazine, FBI agents have been taught that they can “bend or suspend the law” as they pursue criminals and terrorists.  But when they break the law they become criminals themselves.

#2 A TSA manager (not just an agent) at Dulles International Airport was recently discovered to be running a prostitution ring out of a local hotel room.  TSA agents have been charged with crime after crime after crime and yet we continue to allow them to be in charge of airport security.

#3 CBS News is reporting that approximately 200 pieces of luggage a day are being stolen by employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport and authorities still have not been able to stop it.

#4 Visitors to the United States must now pay $14 to complete an online form that asks them a series of really bizarre questions.  For example, one of the questions asks visitors to the U.S. if they ever “collaborated with the Nazis”.

#5 The U.S. military is buying huge amounts of electronic parts from China (mistake number one) and a government investigation has uncovered the fact that a large percentage of these parts are counterfeit.  Yet the U.S.military continues to buy huge amounts of electronic parts from China (mistake number two).

#6 A high school senior in Indiana was recently expelled from school for cussing on Twitter.

#7 Police in Chicago apparently believe that our “First Amendment rights can be terminated” at their discretion.

#8 Americans are becoming very cruel to one another.  This is especially true when it comes to the weak and the elderly.  For example, two “caregivers” down in Georgia were recently charged with waterboarding an 89-year-old woman that had been entrusted to their care….

Police charge two caregivers at a Jonesboro facility with waterboarding an 89-year-old woman.

Clayton County police said Jermeller Steed and Cicely Reed held down Anna Foley after an argument that started over ice cream.

#9 An increasing number of American families are taking out student loans in order to pay for their children’s kindergarten tuition.

#10 One town in Massachusetts plans to distribute free condoms to children as young as 12 years of age.

#11 Children in America are exposed to enormous amounts of sexual material on television these days, but we are always so shocked when they try to act out on it.  The following is one very disturbing example that happened recently in Ohio….

Authorities in southwest Ohio have charged a 13-year-old boy with raping a 5-year-old girl at a McDonald’s play area.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the alleged assault occurred Oct. 29 at a McDonald’s in the Cincinnati suburb of Anderson Township. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Barnett says the girl’s grandmother was nearby in the restaurant at the time.

#12 The following is another example from Indiana of how our sexualized society is affecting our young children….

Fishers police said an 8-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were caught in a sexual act on a school bus.

The girl’s parents are now trying to determine if the February incident was a rape or molestation.

In a statement, police said a bus aid caught the girl and the boy “trying to have intercourse,” and that the “bus aid immediately separated the juveniles and informed the bus driver.”

#13 According to Natural News, the Michigan state government intends to raid private farms and kill pigs that have “the wrong hair color” even though some of these farmers have been raising these pigs for decades.

#14 An executive order recently updated by the Obama administration would give the federal government complete control over all food, all energy, all health resources, all transportation resources and “all other materials, services, and facilities” at the discretion of Barack Obama.  The wording of the executive order has been changed so that this can now be done even in “non-emergency” situations.  Very few Americans seem concerned by this.

#15 These days many Americans are very hesitant to get involved with helping out anyone else.  For example, an 86-year-old World War II veteran living near Detroit was recently brutally carjacked in broad daylight at a gas station.  He could not walk after the attack because his leg was shattered so he began to crawl across the concrete pavement to get help.  Sadly, many people walked past and drove past as if he was not even there.

#16 At one airport in Hawaii, TSA agents recently required one new mother to go to a public restroom and fill up the empty baby bottles she was carrying with her own breast milk before they would allow her to get on to her flight.  The following is how one local news station described the incident….

She claims agents told her she couldn’t take the pump on the plane because the bottles in her carry-on were empty.

“I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women’s bathroom. I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom. I was embarrassed and humiliated and then angry that I was treated this way.

When the bottles were full, she was allowed back on the plane.

#17 Massive brawls have been erupting at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants all over the nation.  Police responded to violence at one particular Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Pennsylvania 17 times in just one recent 18 month time period.

#18 Thieves in New Jersey have become so desperate for scrap metal that they have started breaking into churches and ripping the copper piping right out of the walls.

#19 Tide detergent has become an alternative form of currency on the streets of America and there has been an epidemic of Tide thefts all over the nation.  The following is from a recent article in The Daily….

Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid. 

One Tide taker in West St. Paul, Minn., made off with $25,000 in the product over 15 months before he was busted last year.

“That was unique that he stole so much soap,” said West St. Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver. “The name brand is [all] Tide. Amazing, huh?”

Tide has become a form of currency on the streets. The retail price is steadily high — roughly $10 to $20 a bottle — and it’s a staple in households across socioeconomic classes.

#20 New federal rules will severely restrict the kind of work that children can do on farms in America.  Kids will be banned from doing many of the most basic kinds of farm chores under the new regulations.  Perhaps the children can just sit inside and watch television while the adults do all the work.

As mentioned earlier, what America is experiencing is not just an economic collapse.  The truth is that our entire society is collapsing.

For many years our great prosperity masked much of our decline, but now our great economic strength is rapidly fading and it is becoming very difficult to deny how far we have fallen as a nation.

You can find more examples of how American society is decaying right here and right here.  Anyone with half a brain can see what is happening to the United States.  It really is sad, because America was once a truly great nation.

So is there any hope of a recovery?

Not if we keep going down the same path.

In the end, the choice is up to you America.

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