Myriad Responses to the Global Financial Crisis

Yes, dear reader…we are on the job. Reckoning away…

And we are spoiled for choice this morning…so much to reckon with.

First, let’s begin with the US stock market. Up…down…up again. The Dow rose 150 points, Wednesday. Gold fell $4. What does that tell us? Nothing…

Meanwhile, in Europe, poor Ireland is suffering. On Wednesday, it agreed to further spending cuts…and to higher taxes too. Talk about austerity…! These guys will do practically anything to protect their bankers.


Ireland’s government said it will cut spending by about 20 percent and raise taxes over the next four years as talks on a bailout of the country near conclusion.

Welfare cuts of 2.8 billion euros ($3.8 billion) and income tax increases of 1.9 billion euros are among the steps planned to narrow the budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product by the end of 2014. The shortfall will be 12 percent of GDP this year, or 32 percent including a banking rescue.

So far, the Irish people go along…like beasts of burden. Dumbly. Humbly. Fumbly. Whose side is the government on, they must wonder. We watch in amazement…we want to see how far they’ll go.

Of course, they’re not the only ones who seem willing to put up with anything. In the US, the central bank has pledged to reduce the value of Americans’ savings…to cut their real incomes…and make everything they buy more expensive.

Hey, whose side are they on?

A judge in England just handed down a jail sentence to four counterfeiters in Leeds. He said the clink was appropriate because the counterfeiters might have “undermined confidence in the system” and “caused a lot of people to lose money.”

If you get jail time for that, Ben Bernanke better watch out!

Meanwhile, millions of Thanksgiving travelers got to try out the TSA’s new “Grope and Fondle” system of terrorism fighting. Yes, the video proof is all over the airwaves…photos of the TSA patting down toddlers and grabbing crotches…

How much of this will Americans take? We wonder about that too.

Elsewhere, many people have decided they have had enough. Unfortunately, the ones who have had enough were the ones already getting too much – that’s right, the zombies.

Here’s the story from Associated Press:

Anger and fear about Europe’s seemingly unstoppable debt crisis coursed through the continent Wednesday. Striking workers shut down much of Portugal, Ireland proposed its deepest budget cuts in history and seething Italian and British students clashed with police over education cuts.

In Lisbon, strikers all but closed the airport, stranding passengers who couldn’t get in or out of the country.

“People have to fight for their rights,” Moreira, 51, told The Associated Press. “People have to fight against what is happening.”

Government policies have “sent people into poverty and misery,” said union leader Manuel Carvalho da Silva, noting that Portuguese civil servants will see wage cuts averaging 5 percent next year.

Italian students occupied university buildings and piazzas to denounce education cuts being debated by Parliament, clashing briefly with police in Rome and blocking five main bridges over the River Arno in Pisa.

In Britain, students decried government plans to triple tuition fees.

“Education is not a rich kid’s game,” said Tash Holway, a 19-year-old student in London. “If this keeps up, the entire industry will change. It won’t be about talent, but only about who can pay.”

Tempers even flared at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, where British legislator Godfrey Bloom was expelled from a debate on Ireland’s financial meltdown after he called a German legislator an “undemocratic fascist.”

So you see, dear reader, there was too much for us to reckon with. We couldn’t help ourselves…

Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning