In the UK Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard does the Netherlands in a way we don’t hear even from our own commentators:
As if matters were not bad enough already in Euroland:
Dutch retail sales collapsed by 11pc in April, even worse than the 9.7pc drop in Spain. (Royal holidays cannot explain this).
As you can see from today’s chart by Lombard Street Research, it is a sight to behold.
Charles Dumas from Lombard says the results of Europe’s “fiscal suicide pact” are becoming all too clear.
This is not contagion from Greece or any such nonsense. It is the result of the eurozone’s destructive policy mix.
As expected the Dutch housing market features in a big way. According to AEP, Rabobank said home prices have fallen 11pc from their peak in August 2008, or 15pc in real terms, leaving up to 500,000 people in negative equity. The stock of unsold properties has doubled to 221,000 since 2008, almost double the declared level in the US on a per-capita basis.
In and of itself that level is not high. There should be no tightening at all in the Netherlands given that it has a huge current account surplus. But the debt is going up fast, because contractionary policies are making the debt problems worse. The ECB is the real villain in AEP’s view.
Read it all! Contagion is reaching into the core. Has anyone heard from Jan Kees de Jager about this recently?
Oh, and: Can we leave now?
[UPDATE001] Just to hammer the point home, here’s Nigel Farage in yet another epic rant on the uselessness of the EUnion. This is one worth to watch…
[UPDATE002] On a related note: What superstate was in Europe, had 15 member countries, shared a single currency and yet within two years found nearly all it’s members withdrawn from the single currency? Richard Fernandez has the answer.