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Eurocalypse: The Battle of France Has Begun

The rapidly escalating Eurocalypse has reached a dangerous new stage.  The markets are starting to panic about France.  The panic is overstated; the concern is real.  France by many measures is less worthy of an AAA credit rating than the US and slow growth threatens to undo France’s planned deficit cuts.  The French equivalent of a balanced-budget amendment is now on the table.

Market panic is now feeding on itself, and participants have lost all faith in governments.  (Best indicator of that is the skyrocketing price of gold; to buy gold at $1800 an ounce is to say that you believe the end of the world is already here.)

It’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson kind of day.  Events are in the saddle and ride mankind.

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  • WigWag

    Anyone who tries to force austerity on the French is in for the fight of his life. Unlike peaceful government workers in Wisconsin who are content to hold sit-ins and advocate for recall elections, the French are too invested in liberté, égalité, and fraternité to react non-violently to economic calamity.

    Nor will the French react the way the British are. The rioters in Great Britain are mostly lower class ethnics and working class white youth (interestingly London’s Muslim Communities have been quiet and the leaders of these communities have banded together to form vigilante groups that threaten to fight the rioters).

    In France, it’s not the Muslims in the Paris suburbs or in Marseille that the government needs to worry about, it’s the average French citizen. Anyone who doubts the possibility that millions of ordinary French might take to the streets in a violent way doesn’t know the French very well.

    If things deteriorate in France, watch for the resurrection of Robespierre. He’s dying to come back, and he has a little toy called the guillotine that he just might bring with him.

  • Jim.

    The interesting thing here is that people are not hoarding the actual metal; they are buying gold-backed paper. So no one is betting that civilization itself will collapse, just most currencies / equities.

    @WigWag – Apparently you don’t know France very well either. Paris may well do what you say, sure; so might its suburbs. But there has traditionally been a great divide between Paris and the Countryside. Think the divide between Niork and “Flyover Country”, only bigger.

    If France needs to do something to bail out its workers, there’s talk of splitting the Euro in two on North/South lines, with France getting to pick which direction it jumps. They could join with Spain, Italy, Greece, etc, and enjoy a devalued currency.

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