Apparently pretty close according to Morgan Stanley who believe; “the risk of a credit crunch in Southern Europe is growing”. European share marketing is in melt-down as investors worry about both the eurozone debt crisis and the continuing weak US economy, despite the recent upturn in their employment figures (see here).
Greece is suffering social and financial agony, Italy is looking for ways out of its debt and Portugal is still struggling. Spain’s unemployment rate has rocketed to the highest in the EU, at 21.3%, and is particularly high among the under-25s, at 44.6% (source BBC news). Is it any wonder the Spaniards are getting indignant as the stock markets reflect the financial turmoil of Europe?
Meanwhile closer to home; the average pay gap between public-private sectors ‘widens’ in the UK (BBC news) and up to 75% of workers face further pay freezes (see here). With the decline of final-salary pension schemes likely to continue, many workers are likely to discover they won’t even be able to afford to retire (see here). Millions of people are to face a “bleak old age” because they are falling through the cracks of private sector pension provision, a review suggests (see here). It doesn’t look like it will get better for our kids as even the Bank of Mum & Dad is also set to go bust.
And now you daren’t even take your mind off things by going on holiday (unless you’re an MP); there’s every chance the travel company will collapse just like Brighton-based Holidays 4 UK recently, always assuming you can actually afford the bloody holiday in the first place? With all this social doom and financial gloom is it any wonder the serfs are revolting throughout the EEC?
Personally I have to say I’m not that bothered. I’m looking forward to the return of bartering and paying one grote for my tankard of beer, a bowl of mutton stew and a wedge of crusty bread… So long as I have my health, my family and some form of shelter!
But it’s not all bad news (apparently) as the average house prices are up slightly and the majority of economists (polled by the BBC) expect interest rates will remain unchanged until next year. You just have to remember it will all be ok in the end because… We’re all in this together!
- Indignants march towards Brussels (bbc.co.uk)
- One week to Armageddon – still no agreement on US debt (politics.ie)
- Markets in crisis – Collapse 2.0 or par for the course? (simplybusiness.co.uk)
- Economic turmoil: This is probably not the time to panic | Michael White (guardian.co.uk)