OK I’m pushing the point quite hard here, but what I want to emphasise is that a European blog in a global world has a pretty broad reach. The latest round of US employment figures are in, and they are nowhere near as pretty as everyone (including even me) was expecting. Over 400,000 people stopped looking for work due to the fact they considered the jobs weren’t available. The most important thing is that manufacturing industry is expanding production without hiring, in fact jobs were lost, while hours worked went down not up as they should have if the recovery was really gathering momentum.
So the situation is extraordinarily complex, the big Asian wheel keeps on rolling, the US turns round and round but not quite quickly enough, energy leaks out of the system, and we here in Europe catch the backdraft. Which means that today the euro touched another record high of $1.2868 before falling back slightly. Economics as they say is not a zero sum game, so among the possible results are both win-win, and lose-lose. America’s discomfort is not our great opportunity.
Meantime back over here the Parmalat scandal trundles on with the Bank of America offices in Italy being raided, and Grant Thornton expelling its Italian business – which currently has two of its partners in prison – from its global network.