Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Europe to lead the financial collapse of the West?

In case you haven't noticed - and, in lieu of the press generated by the recent battle royal over how much to increase the U.S. national debt, most of you probably haven't - Europe is on the brink of financial collapse. But before you shed too many tears for the Mother Continent, save a few for America because at the pace we're going, we're next.

Expert economists, who have watched the financial situation in Europe deteriorate over the past year, have watched its politicians and policymakers make one bad fiscal decision after another, each of which has served to perpetuate, if not accelerate, the continent's impending economic collapse.

Though Europe's fiscal problems are systemic, they first began to manifest in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, where the global economic downturn badly exposed these nations' habitual overspending. Most of it was on social benefits and entitlements that they haven't been able to afford for years, but they were able to buy mostly by borrowing against their future (sound familiar?).

In Greece in particular, the overspending has put the national debt at about €300 billion, or $413 billion, which is larger than the country's entire annual GDP. Worse, though Greek lawmakers and European Union officials tried to implement austerity measures, they were vehemently opposed by the nation's entitlement generations. In response, workers across the country staged strikes that closed airports and government offices, courts, schools and other public offices. (more)