By David Haggith, the Great Recession Blog.
At long last the tyranny of the global financial elite has been slammed good and hard. You can count on them to attempt another central bank based shock and awe campaign to halt and reverse the current sell-off, but it won’t be credible, sustainable or maybe even possible.
The central bankers and their compatriots [in politics] … have well and truly over-played their hand. They have created a tissue of financial lies; an affront to the very laws of markets, sound money and capitalist prosperity…. So there will be payback, clawback and traumatic deflation of the bubbles. Plenty of it, as far as the eye can see….
On the immediate matter of Brexit, the British people have rejected the arrogant rule of the EU superstate and the tyranny of its unelected courts, commissions and bureaucratic overlords…. Smaller government—–at least in geography—–is being given another chance. And that’s a very good thing because more localized democracy everywhere and always is inimical to the rule of centralized financial elites. (David Stockman — Contra Corner)
Stockman’s lucid thoughts reverberate like an echo in current time to something that I wrote back in February:
Britain is now debating leaving the European Union, making Brexit as big of a deal as Grexit. With the growing flood of immigrants through Europe, working its way to Britain, the British exit is gaining support. More economic disintegration within the Eurozone will certainly strengthen the case for a little more separation from the European Union…. So, Europe is its own volcano, ready to break apart on all sides…. A worldwide eruption, which I call the Epocalypse, will shatter the landscape — is already shattering the landscape…. You might not like the prediction (I know I don’t), but it doesn’t matter if you like it (any more than it matters if I like it). I’m not looking to see what I want to see; I’m looking to see what is, and reality doesn’t care what I like. It doesn’t ask me what it should be. Those with eyes wide open will see the fissures that are opening up everywhere, and that will give them the outline of things to come. So, you can see what is coming…. it is those fissures that the Epocalypse will burst open. Humanity will be forced to face its flaws. (“Hell Week for the Global Economy“)
The biggest rip in the European fabric I envisioned as being likely has happened, forcing all of Europe to face its flaws. As I’ve said all along, the stresses in Europe were only building. Its leaders, like Merkel, are blind to the stresses they are creating with their immigration policies and central planning. It have maintained those stresses would continue to build until the volcano blew and have said this would be the year of the great eruption.
When you see the sides of the volcano bulging and cracking, you know the eruption is imminent. That is why I placed a worldwide economic apocalypse — the Epocalypse — as happening this year. That the explosion in Europe — apparently unexpected by many who are now scrambling to recover or by a market that priced in a British “remain” vote — was Brexit first and not Grexit only means the eruption is more like the Yellowstone super volcano than Mount St. Helens. One of the biggest pieces of the EU broke off, not one of the smallest.
Mohamed El-Erian, former co-CEO of PIMCO, described the fractured blow-up this way:
Socio-political disconnects are everywhere: The “leave” decision is about much more than a narrow majority of citizens refusing to follow their political leaders. It should be seen as a notable rejection of the political and business elites, as well as “expert opinion.” And it also illustrates the regional divides that prevail following a period of low growth, especially growth that has benefited some groups more than others…. The Brexit referendum decision ended up boiling down to a gross oversimplification — one that pitted economic wellbeing versus regaining sovereignty over immigration…. The “leave” vote is likely to embolden the anti-establishment movements that have already been gaining traction in much of Europe. (Newsmax)
The fact that this explosion could easily embolden other outraged people to blow out more sides of the EU is the main reason the central planners of Europe are worried and enflamed. Angela Merkel overplayed her hand on immigration (and many other things). On Thursday, she got her hand chopped off when one of the biggest regions of the European Union said it has had enough and broke away. Like leaders in the US, Merkel was quite simply too insensitive toward regional concerns about rampant immigration, believing she knew what was best and that all of Europe would go along with her endlessly stuffing more and more people of diverse cultures together.
The British Exodus could easily create an undertow that draws other nations away from the EU in its wake like being caught in the slipstream of the Queen Elizabeth II.
Europe’s own leaders are talking about its possible disintegration of the EU
Another positive — for I see the British courage to break away as positive — is that this injury to European globalization will seriously neutralize the central powers that be. Now that they know major portions of their economy can and will cut themselves off, they won’t feel so empowered to force their dictates upon failing economies like Greece, Spain, and Italy. They now know they are far from immune to a mass uprising against their poorly painted dreams.
Interestingly, as hard hit as British banks were by the Brexit, European banks got hit much harder. Europe is roiling more from the British exit than Britain because this is an existential threat to the European Union by virtue of its solid proof that the EU can, indeed, blow up.
France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Hungary look a little dicy in their attachment, too:
- Marine Le Pen has pledged to hold a referendum like the Brexit referendum in France if she wins the presidency of France next year. Watch to see if she gains traction in the elections now that the UK proved it can be done.
- The Netherlands have been talking about a Nexit lately as the vast majority of voters there rejected a treaty between the EU and Ukraine while Dutch officials have complained about immigration damaging Dutch culture.
- Hungary has warned that Europe needs to change its ways, especially with respect to immigration.
- The leader of Poland’s ruling party says the EU treaty, itself, needs to be renegotiated in light of Brexit.
Even the major pushers of European unification are showing that Brexit is a disaster for Europe that threatens its existence:
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There is no point beating about the bush: today is a watershed for Europe, it is a watershed for the European unification process.“
- The very fact that the EU’s president Jean Claude Junker says that Brexit is not the end of the EU indicates many are fearing it could be.
- Billionaire George Soros said Britains choice to leave the European Union makes “disintegration of the EU practically irreversible.”
If this is an existential crisis for Europe, as many are saying, this makes Brexit a euro crisis, too, and maybe the beginning of the end for the European Central Bank — at least as we now know it — for its greatest challenges are now before it, rather than behind it. At a time when it must be nearing exhaustion and has already gone into what bankers are calling “negative interest rates” to no positive effect so far, it suddenly has numerous bigger problems dumped upon it.
My contention all along is that the pressures for great economic collapse are building and the capacities of central banks to do anything about them are already greatly over-extended. So, all nations enter this messy divorce within Europe far weaker than they were when the Great Recession began.
For every reaction there is an equal and opposite action
I expect there will also be a verbal counter assault on the Brits by the Eurocentrics who will try blame the Brits for every financial whoa that befalls the earth. I suspect many Eurocentrics will refuse to see Brexit as a failure of their own ideas but see it as a failure brought about by those who rebel against their ideas — never mind that the swelling pressures from European unification have been plainly evident for years.
The days ahead are likely to become a time when the spin doctors go to work. At the moment, we have the moaning of the globalists, who are mostly admitting that a big part of this eruption was due to rampantly stepped-up immigration policies; but that is because this has thrown them off balance. First comes disbelief, then outrage. I am hoping, however, that the shear magnitude of the failure will leave then unable to even attempt to paint this as a problem the UK caused.
You have to wonder why Eurocentrists were so incredibly blind that they didn’t see this reaction coming as they continued to push the throttle forward on immigration, deep into the red zone. But that’s where anti-democratic central planners always fail. They fail to see the pressures and problems they are creating because the center is too far from the periphery — too out of touch.
The falling apart of Europe isn’t happening because a people rebelled against the great idea of the European unification. It began because the EU was fractured and held together by mud, so it was easily breakable in the first place. Those fault lines widened under the Great Recession and deepened as a result of recovery solutions that carved deeper holes of debt beneath the fault lines. The EU has lost any resiliency it might have had, becoming brittle as result of all of the debts that it has socialized and overpressured as a result of its leaders stuffing divergent people into the union in blind belief that the masses will continually do as they’re told.
Artificially-elevated financial markets were at the risk of either a policy disruption or a market accident. Brexit could well turn these two risks into reality. – Mohamed El-Erian
Brexit is the trigger, not the cause, of the EU’s existential problems. It is, in fact, the first major result of the EU’s existential problems — simply the first boulder to dislodge in the upheaval of a mountainside. Brexit is not the magma deep beneath the volcano; it is the explosion on top.