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EU economy softens as German numbers decline

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If the German economy slips, there's going to be even more misery in Europe than exists today. Unfortunately there are signs of a GDP drop there which should not be a surprise for the export driven economy. If your export markets are all suffering, who is going to be buying?

Meanwhile Italian PM Mario Monti is telling everyone that the Eurozone has one week to save itself. Dramatic, but maybe he's not too far off either.

On top of this, the ratings agency Moody's just downgraded 15 of the largest global banks. Not that the ratings agencies have much of a respected track record, but the report does suggest things are not going as well as the banks suggest. Keep in mind too that the report is based on six month old data, so the situation is likely worse off for many of the banks.

While some of the banks on the list were hit harder than others, a few of the big name Spanish banks failed to make the bad list. In light of the deteriorating economy there, their claims of good health sound as unbelievable as JPMorgan's previous claim that no, they didn't need the TARP money. So the banking system all around is crumbling and they think it's not going to be a problem? Does anyone honestly believe that line anymore?

So lots of problems and very few answers right now for Europe. Germany has enjoyed the luxury of a growing economy but those days may be ending soon. A troubled German economy won't be helpful, though it may help wake up the hard liners who have been unproductive to date with repairing the eurozone.

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