• 22 Feb 2013 at 4:16 PM

Eurozone Edges Ahead in Race to Bottom

The eurozone is poised for an historic achievement, and it didn’t even need a fiscal cliff, sequester or irresponsible government-by-brinksmanship to do it.

The euro-area economy will shrink in back-to-back years for the first time, driving unemployment higher as governments, consumers and companies curb spending, the European Commission said.

Gross domestic product in the 17-nation region will fall 0.3 percent this year, compared with a November prediction of 0.1 percent growth, the Brussels-based commission forecast today. Unemployment will climb to 12.2 percent, up from the previous estimate of 11.8 percent and 11.4 percent last year.

How have they reached such a remarkable milestone? Paul Krugman would, no doubt, blame austerity. The European Commission seems inclined to agree.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, forecasts a 0.3% contraction for 2013 and sees falling spending by businesses, consumers and national governments pushing euro-zone unemployment to a new high. Mass joblessness is expected to increase in the countries hardest hit by the crisis, with the average unemployment rate expected to reach 27% in Greece, 26.9% in Spain and 17.3% in Portugal.

But Olli Rehn, the guy at the EC who’s in charge of this mess—insofar as anyone at the EC is in charge of anything—won’t be brought low by facts, figures or failure. No sir. You’ve just got to sift through the shit to find the occasional (German) pearl.

While “hard data” has been disappointing, there also has been more encouraging “soft data” that points to better times, he told reporters today.

EU Says Euro Area to Shrink in 2013 as Unemployment Rises [Bloomberg]
Euro-Zone Economy to Shrink in 2013 [WSJ]
Euro zone economy to shrink again in 2013, EU says [Reuters]
Germany Powers Ahead of Euro-Zone Neighbors [WSJ]

10 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (10)

  1. Posted by Guesti | February 22, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    I suppose it's sad that I no longer have the willpower to scan the 3 or 4 sentences you manage to put together for some hate material. Instead I'm going to tee this one right off since your BS is actually starting to hinder one of the small pleasantries I have left.

    Please stfu .. If I wanted a bunch of links to articles I never was going to read anyway I'll use my terminal. Since I only can see 2-4 articles before they get lost in the DB blackhole I would really appreciate it if you would refrain positing whatever it is you think this qualifies as so I don't lose the articles I came here to read in the first place.

    – 87 hours deep and one Shazar article away from losing it

  2. Posted by Guest | February 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Here's a quick primer that may be a worthwhile read for you Jon;

    Maybe slip Matt a $100 to ghost write some articles for you? Gotta establish credibility somehow…..

  3. Posted by OttoVinDieselBismark | February 22, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    'sift through the shit to find the pearl'

    Shazar, is this what that fat German chick told you immediately after granting you permission to take a dump on her pooter?

  4. Posted by Short Shazar | February 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Something tells me Shlazznasty doesn't have an extra c-note lying around his mom's basement.

  5. Posted by Guest | February 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I think you meant to title it "Shitzar Edges Ahead in Race to Bottom"

  6. Posted by Guest | February 22, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    'Race to the bottom' and 'sift through shit'

    Appropriate descriptions of Shazam's writing style.

  7. Posted by Scatman Shazar | February 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Think the dupmer/dumpee relationship might have gone the other way.

  8. Posted by asianbankingsensation | February 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    I know that nobody likes me, but this shazar guy really sucks

  9. Posted by UKOUTOFEU | February 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    As someone who lives in the Eurozone, I agree with this article completely. I think the Germans are deliberately killing the Eurozone by keeping the Euro high vs the Dollar and sinking any country which is not as efficient as Germany (as in every other country in the Eurozone!)

    *UK out of the EU please!

  10. Posted by The whole set | February 25, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I would rather hang out with the Encyclopedia Britannica guy than listen to any origanl idea Shazar has …..period!