The Italian Connection

By Willis Eschenbach [Note updates at the end] – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Since the earliest days of the current pandemic, Italy has been the scary member of the family that you absolutely don’t want to emulate, the one cousin that gets into really bad trouble. The Italians have the highest rate of deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus, and their numbers continue to climb. Here’s the situation today.

Figure 1. Deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus expressed as deaths per ten million of the country population. Percentages of the total population are shown at the right in blue. All countries are aligned at the date of their first reported death. Most recent daily chart and charts of previous days are available by going here and scrolling down.

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Will Brexit And Coronavirus End The EU?

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The EU and euro face a sudden deterioration in economic conditions due to the coronavirus, which seems certain to widen the differences between Germany and the spendthrift Mediterranean members. But a more immediate problem is the increasing likelihood that the ECB will lose control over financial asset prices, particularly those of government bonds.

In the short-term, it seems likely the euro will rise against the dollar as currency and financial distortions, principally in the fx swap market, are unwound. However, the eurozone faces a developing financial crisis comprised of the following elements: a collapse in economic activity, escalating payment failures, a drastic contraction of bank credit and a collapse in bond prices, as well as the medium used to buy them (the euro).

Eventually, Germany is could go it alone by introducing a gold-backed mark, which will only happen after the European Project is finally abandoned.

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Vote-Weary Spain Holds Election

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

Spain held its second parliamentary election in just over six months on Sunday, with voters likely to deliver an even more fragmented parliament with no clear winner and a sizeable showing by the far-right.

Opinion polls show the Socialists in the lead but likely to win slightly fewer seats than in April’s vote, while the conservative People’s Party (PP) could gain strength and the far-right Vox could become the country’s third-largest party, just months after winning its first parliamentary seats.

Spain has been struggling to put stable governments together since 2015, when new parties emerged from the financial crisis following decades during which power oscillated between the Socialists and the PP.

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Is Turkey The Snowflake That Unleashes The European Banking System Avalanche?

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Week in Review – Science Edition

By Judith Curry – Re-Blogged From Climate, etc

A few things that caught my eye the past 4(!) weeks.

A hidden province of volcanoes in West Antarctica may accelerate sea level rise [link]

The Dominant Role of Extreme Precipitation Events in Antarctic Snowfall Variability buff.ly/2U3stFU

The Strength of Low-Cloud Feedbacks and Tropical Climate: A CESM Sensitivity Study buff.ly/2NiqxqB

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ITALEXIT: Italy’s Debt Crisis

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

ITALEXIT: Italy to crash out of Euro and ‘rock EU to its foundations’
– Italy’s debt crisis will lead to default, exit from the euro, or both claims respected economist Bootle
– Italy has fallen back into recession with its economy shrinking by 0.2% in the last quarter
– “When Italy finally blows up, it will cause both a banking crisis that will shake the European economy and a political crisis that will rock the EU to its foundations”

by Roger Bootle of Capital Economics in the  Daily Telegraph

Last week’s data showing a drop in Italian GDP in Q4 of last year confirmed what many observers had already suspected: Italy is in recession.

Or rather, in another recession, for this follows similar phases in 2008, 2011 and 2012.

Where is this going to end?

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Italy Calls Europe’s Bluff, And The Euro Loses Either Way

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

When Italy elected a bunch of rowdy populists back in March, the rest of the eurozone assumed (or at least hoped) that the weight of responsibility would bring Rome back into line. But so far the Italians appear to be serious about ending austerity and forcing the ECB to finance their spending ambitions. The just-passed Italian budget calls for a rising deficit, in direct disobedience of Continental (read German) authorities.

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