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This Super Bubble Is About to Pop

by Doug Casey, International Man:

France’s new president can’t keep the European Union together.

In early May, France elected globalist darling Emmanuel Macron. His victory gave the EU a short-term boost. However, it did not change the fundamental problems with Europe’s artificial mega-state.

Doug Casey agrees…

Doug Casey: The EU was built upon a foundation of sand, doomed to failure from the very start. The idea was ill-fated because the Swedes and the Sicilians are as different from each other as the Poles and the Irish. There are linguistic, religious, and cultural differences, and big differences in the standard of living.

Artificial political constructs never last. The EU is great for the “elites” in Brussels; not so much for the average citizen.

Meanwhile, there’s a centrifugal force even within these European countries. In Spain, the Basques and the Catalans want to split off, and in the UK, the Scots want to make the United Kingdom quite a bit less united.

You’ve got to remember that before Garibaldi, Italy was scores of little dukedoms and principalities that all spoke their own variations of the Italian language. And the same was true in what’s now Germany before Bismarck in 1871.

The chances are better in the future that the remaining countries in Europe are going to fall apart as opposed to being compressed together artificially.

I think it’s unlikely the Europe of tomorrow will look anything like the picture below.

Europe is far more likely to splinter and eventually resemble the map below. It shows what Europe would look like if all its current separatist movements were to succeed.

Right now, Italy is Europe’s weakest link.

Italy has one of the most indebted governments in the world. It’s borrowed over $2.4 trillion. Its debt-to-GDP ratio is north of 130%. (For comparison, the US debt-to-GDP ratio is 104%.)

But the situation is actually much worse.

GDP measures a country’s economic output. However, it’s highly misleading. Mainstream economists count government spending as a positive when calculating GDP. A more honest approach would count it as a big negative.

In Italy, government spending accounts for a whopping 50%-plus of GDP. Remove that from the calculation, and I suspect we’d see how hopelessly insolvent the Italian government truly is.

In other words, Italy is flat broke.

I don’t see how the Italian government could possibly extract enough in taxes from the productive part of the economy to ever pay back what it’s borrowed.

Meanwhile, Italian government bonds are in a super bubble…

They’re currently trading near record-low yields. (When bond prices go up, bond yields do down.)

Over $1 trillion worth of Italian bonds actually have negative yields.

It’s a bizarre and perverse situation.

Lending money to the bankrupt Italian government carries huge risks. So the yields on Italian government bonds should be near record highs, not record lows.

Negative yields could not exist in a free market. They’re only possible in the current “Alice in Wonderland” economy created by central bankers.

You see, the European Central Bank (ECB) has been printing money to buy Italian government bonds hand over fist. Since 2008, the ECB and Italian banks have bought over 88% of Italian government debt, according to a recent study.

This is stunning.

Read More @ InternationalMan.com

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