The Social Depression Within Europe's Recession

When people become desperate or hope-less, two things tend to coalesce; 1) they become easily led by charismatic leaders (no matter how crazy the ideas would appear previously), and 2) they resort to actions deemed previously un-possible. Putting a roof over your family's head, feeding your kids (or yourself), or buying the next iPad can drive people to these acts of desperation. Greece's homelessness rate has risen 25% since 2009 (with 20,000 living on the streets of Athens) and over 30% are at risk of poverty (with Ireland close behind). Suicide rates had risen by 40% in the first half of 2010 (and Greece was still relatively low). HIV infections from injecting drug-users has surged 20-fold in two years! And while crime rates remain among the lowest in Western Europe, robberies have surged since 2005 and prison populations (per capita) are on the rise - though, thankfully not as bad as in the US (yet). With sovereign bond spreads at multi-month lows, stocks at multi-month highs, and Barroso et al. claiming victory at every opportunity, perhaps some internal (Farage-like) reflection on the social depression they have enabled is required.

Europe's poverty and homelessness rates are surging...

Suicide rates are picking up...

and HIV infection rates are just exploding!!

Europe's crime population is rising notably...

...but for now - Europe remains considerably less crime-ridden than the US... (odd coincidence that prison population started to soar after Nixon ended Bretton Woods)...

The Bank of Greece warned the nation’s social cohesion is under threat after figures in its interim report on monetary policy for 2012 forecast total output is set to contract 24 percent between 2008 and 2013. The economy will probably shrink more than 6 percent this year and as much as 4.5 percent in 2013. Unemployment may exceed 26 percent in 2013, compared with 7.6 percent in 2008, the report said. Joblessness among teenage girls reached 75 percent in the second quarter.

Source: Bloomberg Briefs

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