Kyle Bass had a humorous quote yesterday stating that you know “how screwed up Europe is as they now have a German Pope and an Italian head of the European Central Bank”. All we need to complete this European Bizarro World is to put the Brits in charge of culinary standards and the French in charge of the military; but I digress.
The truth is that the situation in Europe is decelerating into an abyss at an alarming rate. I believe they have less than 3 months, unless something radically changes, before they implode and drag the worldwide economy down with them. Disturbing data points are coming out on a more and more frequent basis. Here are 10 that provide a clearer picture on how desperate the situation is becoming:
1. 8.3% - England’s unemployment rate. This is the highest since 1996 and does not give an accurate insight to the true state of the unemployed as the amount of “disabled” increased from 600K to 2.6mm under 12 years of Labor Government.
2. 81% - The amount of German debt to their GDP and they have not even to begun to recapitalize their banks yet. Still think the Germans will backstop the rest of Europe?
3. $100B – The amount of Italian sovereign debt French banks hold. They also hold another $300B in loans to the Italian corporate sector.
4. 189bps – The new spread between French and German 10 year bonds. Still believe the market thinks France will retain its AAA rating?
5. 6.8% - The current rate on sovereign Italian 10 year debt, dangerously close to the 7% point of no return level that caused Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek bailouts.
6. 6.24% - The rate of Spanish 10 year debt. The rise here is happening somewhat under the radar, and it is the next worry for the continent.
7. .2% - The rate of European Union GDP growth in the third quarter. Very possible to see negative growth within the next two quarters which will make servicing debt even more difficult.
8. 300% - The amount of exports the U.S. sends to Europe compared with what we send to China.
9. 6.71% - What Hungarian had to pay to finance three month notes the other day. Hungary is already at the lowest investment grade rating which it is likely to lose soon. Is the country’s collapse priced into the markets?
10. 19% - The decline in the Stoxx European 600 since its highs in February, 1% away from official Bear territory.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.