The attack on Charlie Hebdo…
The near-bankruptcy of Greece…
The massive influx of refugees from Syria…
And the terror attack on the “City of Light”…
That’s how a video begins on Time Magazine’s website celebrating Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, the de facto leader of Europe, and their “Person of the Year.”
As they put it, 2015 has been the most tumultuous year for Europe in recent memory. And Merkel, for all her “merkeling,” embodies Europe’s ideals of openness and solidarity in a time when both are being tested.
If it’s been said that nobody gets rich off the news, then the same runs true that once the mainstream media catches onto you as a trend, or when your name becomes a verb, it’s over!
By the time everyone and their dog knows a person’s name, the S-Curve has already matured, so to speak. Their popularity is no longer on the upswing – it’s already reached peak saturation. And no one stays on top forever.
It’s like the human model of forecasting:
When everything’s been great for a number of years, everyone thinks the coast is clear and that we’ll never have a recession again.
Then when things start to go topsy-turvy, they all assume it’ll be a soft landing and that no major damage will ensue. How bad could it be?
And then after the demolition when they realize it can and did get pretty bad, they think it’ll never get better. Again, how could it?
People never learn from history and very obvious cycles!
We’re at the top of a very long and massive boom since 1983, thanks to baby boom spending. And you know what that means.
Everyone’s looking for a soft landing here, there, and even in massively overbuilt China.
So for Merkel to be on Time’s cover is like Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos being on the cover in 2000 at the top of the tech bubble.
Of course, given that Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe, nobody sees the trouble brewing. They’re oblivious to the incurable balances the euro has created in trade in Europe…
And even more blind to the fact that Germany will have the absolute worst demographic trends between now and 2022 – even worse than Japan from 1990 to 2003!
Look at this chart for Germany’s spending wave ahead…
Now that’s what I call falling off a demographic cliff!
It’s so bad that Germany doesn’t even recover into the next or subsequent generations! And notice this spending wave is already starting to decline.
And then there’s the massive refugee problem which Merkel has had to reverse her position on as, I expected. There have been over 800,000 asylum-seekers this year, and a projected three million more wanting to come to Europe.
These people may one day become productive younger workers, but no time soon. In the meantime, they come at a huge expense to whoever brings them in. I mean nothing by it – it’s just the hard, financial truth!
Then there’s a slew of past due bank loans which I covered recently, and of course southern Europe leads the pack! Nothing has been done to restructure debt except to forgive loans in Greece. And that means Europe’s debt problem is just begging to erupt again.
Make no doubt about it – the U.S. is going to have a major crisis, but nothing compared to what Europe is about to see with its strongest country, Germany, leading the way down in the years ahead.
Let’s see how popular Merkel is then.
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