Monday, September 29, 2008

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #284: EuroZone 2

I want you to notice just how rapidly things are deteriorating. Four days ago in Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #241: EuroZone, I quoted:
“The situation we face here in Europe is less acute and member states do not at this point consider that a US style plan is needed,” said Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s economics commissioner, in a tense session at the European Parliament.

That is now thoroughly null and void. Here's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in one of his longest columns, listing crisis after crisis in Europe: Banking crash hits Europe as ECB loses traction

Choice excerpts:
Analysts say German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck may have spoken too soon when he crowed last week that the US would lose its status as a superpower as a result of this crisis. He told Der Spiegel yesterday that we are "all staring into the abyss".

Emphasis added by me.

Carsten Brzenski, chief economist at ING in Brussels, said the global crisis was now engulfing Europe with devastating speed.

"We are at imminent risk of a credit crunch. Key markets are not functioning properly. The Europeans thought the sub-prime crisis was just American rubbish that the US should clean up itself, but now they are finding out that it is their rubbish too," he said.

Data from the IMF shows that European banks hold 75pc as much exposure to toxic US housing debt as US banks themselves. Moreover they have mounting bad debts from the British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Scandinavian, and East European housing markets, where property bubbles reached even more extreme levels that in the US.

Emphasis added by me.

Like an out of control treadmill, things are going faster than anyone expected.

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