Friday, May 31, 2013

UNCHARTED TERRITORY … OR HAVE WE BEEN HERE BEFORE?

IS THE WORLD EXPERIENCING GLOBAL BIRTH PAINS IN PREPARATION OF A NEW WORLD ORDER OR ARE WE EXPERIENCING "WISHFUL THINKING BEFORE GLOBAL COLLAPSE" OF THE CONCEPT OF PRIVATIZED CENTRAL BANKING?

PERHAPS IT IS THE CASE OF TOO MANY MOVING PARTS WITHOUT COLLABORATION AND COORDINATION OR AS THE OLD FARMER FROM MAINE WOULD SAY, "CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE!

THE THREE CARD MONTY OR SHELL GAME IS FINISHED!  TIME FOR REAL "HOPE AND CHANGE" … THE HOPE THAT ONE (AN INDIVIDUAL) CAN STILL HAVE A REAL FUTURE, A FAMILY AND HAPPINESS AND HAVE SOME CHANGE LEFT OVER FOR RETIREMENT.

TIME FOR GLOBAL MONETARY CHANGE AT THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL … 

THE WORLD HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE THIRD WORLD WAR, A REAL LIFE AND DEATH DRAMA, WITH MANY SIDE SHOWS CHARACTERIZED AS CONFLICTS, AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, SYRIA, OR THE ARAB SPRING OF LYBIA AND EGYPT … 

THE GLOBAL NEWS CYCLE, LIKE THE DRONING MANTRA BRINGS THE EVER SHRINKING WORLD INTO OUR OWN BACKYARD OFTEN AS AN UNWANTED TRESPASSER OR PERHAPS AN A WELCOMED GUEST WITH GLAD TIDING.

NONETHELESS, SUCH INTRUSIONS WHILE UNWELCOME IN OUR PSYCHIC CLOSET, ALREADY FILLED WITH USELESS AND UNWANTED EVENTS AND MEMORIES, IS HAPPILY ACCOMMODATED.  WE TEND TO BE CREATURES OF HABIT AND WITH OPEN ARMS GREET VISITORS, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.  

THEN, THERE ARE THE MUSING OF "LOW INFORMATION VOTERS" (the ugly) WANDERING THE LANDSCAPE OF LIFE IN SEARCH OF SOME IDENTITY AND BELONGING.  THEIR VIRTUAL IDENTITY AND BELONGING IN CYBERSPACE HAS MERELY CREATED STRESS AND TENSION IN THEIR ALREADY FRAGILE LIFE OF NEEDS AND WANTS.  YET,  LIKE POCKET LINT THEY TEND TO SHOW IN "FLASH MOB FASHION" AT THE MOST IN OPPORTUNE TIMES AND PLACES.

SO, HAVE WE AS A CULTURE AS HUMANITY BEEN HERE BEFORE … YOU BET!  WORLD WAR II WAS THE FIRST EXPERIENCE OF "MUSICAL CHAIRS" ON THE WORLD STAGE.  WHEN THE MUSIC STOPPED THERE WERE BOAT LOADS OF DISPLACED, UNHAPPY AND SULLEN BRETHREN LOCK STEPPED IN THE FOG OF HOPE AND CHANGE.  LIKE AN ERRANT WAVE CRESTING THE PRISTINE BEACH CARRYING WITH IT REFUSE AND DEBRIS; OR THE WAVE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. YEP, WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.   



Record unemployment, low inflation underline Europe's pain


By Robin Emmott and Martin Santa
BRUSSELS | Fri May 31, 2013 7:18am EDT
(Reuters) - Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank's target, underscoring just how severe a challenge EU leaders face to revive the bloc's sickly economy.
Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April, statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995.

With the euro zone also in its longest recession since its creation in 1999, consumer price inflation was far below the ECB's target of just below 2 percent, coming in at 1.4 percent in May, slightly above April's 1.2 percent rate. [This is more than a story about relative comparisons of percentages … this is a story of the future and the picture is poorly lit.]

That rise may quieten concerns about deflation, but the deepening unemployment crisis is a threat to the social fabric of the euro zone, with almost two-thirds of young Greeks unable to find work exemplifying southern Europe's threat of creating a 'lost generation'.

Economists and policy makers have expressed concern that the greatest threat to the unity of the euro zone is now social breakdown from the crisis, rather than market-driven factors. [So, aren't wars really about social breakdowns?]


In France, Europe's second largest economy, the number of jobless rose to a record in April, while in Italy, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in at least 36 years, with 40 percent of young people out of work.

Some economists expect the ECB, which meets on June 6, to act to revive the economy and go beyond another interest rate cut to consider a U.S.-style money printing program known as quantitative easing. [No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein]

"We do not expect a strong recovery in the euro zone," said Nick Matthews, a senior economist at Nomura International in London. "It puts pressure on the ECB to deliver even more conventional and non conventional measures." [Perhaps jobs are the best delivery!]


In the past, the euro zone has needed economic growth of around 1.5 percent to create new jobs, according to Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING. With the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasting this week that the euro zone economy would contract by 0.6 percent this year, unemployment is set to worsen long before it turns around.

"We do not see a stabilization in unemployment before the middle of next year," said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Economist at Credit Agricole in Paris. "The picture in France is still deteriorating."

5.6 MILLION YOUNG JOBLESS

ECB President Mario Draghi, whose bold decision-making helped protect the euro zone from break-up last year with a plan to buy the bonds of governments in trouble, has so far preferred to leave the onus on euro zone governments to reform.

A majority of economists polled by Reuters do not expect the ECB to cut its deposit or main refinancing rates in the coming months, although the OECD this week called for the bank to consider quantitative easing. [Was it not the economists that got us into these problems in the first place, so, what makes them believe they have the vision and ability to correct the problem now?]
The Commission, the EU's executive, told governments this week they must focus on reforms to outdated labor and pension systems to regain Europe's lost business dynamism, a move to shift focus away from debilitating budget cuts towards growth. [It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master. ~Ayn Rand]



EU leaders meeting at the end of June in Brussels are expected to put the problem of joblessness at the forefront of their summit.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs the meetings, said last week youth unemployment was one of the most pressing issues for the 27-nation European Union as a whole.

Ministers from France, Italy and Germany, meeting in Paris this week, called on their counterparts to help tackle youth unemployment, with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble describing it as a "battle for Europe's unity".

In April, 5.6 million people under 25 were unemployed in the European Union, with 3.6 million of those in the euro zone.

Even if governments take on unions and vested interests to enact reforms, they will take time to produce benefits.

The impact of the euro zone's debt and banking crises has been sapping confidence from companies and households.

Private consumption saved Germany from slipping into recession in the first three months of this year, but retail sales still fell unexpectedly in April because of the cold European winter.

Meanwhile, French consumer spending dropped again in February, falling by 0.2 percent after contracting in January. French household purchasing power contracted in 2012 for the first time since 1984.