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Excellent article examines German and European Crisis

"The problem here is simple and everyone knows the story by now. Germany benefited from a weak Euro relative to what it otherwise would have experienced had it not been a part of the EU.

Their growth and exports skyrocketed and the lesser nations from an economic and financial standpoint (often referred to collectively as the PIIGS) borrowed from Germany essentially to finance current account deficits as they took advantage of much lower interest rates due to their affiliation with Germany via the Euro.

These PIIGS lived up to their name in eating up every source of financing they could."

Its conclusion:

"You cannot borrow more than you can pay back and if you do, you will pay for it eventually either via war, severe or hyperinflation, deflation, depression etc.

The market won’t disappear and we will get back to the “good times” eventually. However, the 90s were an aberration where everyone made money like in the roaring twenties, and we all know what happened there.

We have a solid 5-10 years of pain before we can get our house in order and get back to a “normal” economy, if there is such a thing".

seekingalpha.com

Decorate your entrance hall with a parisian style 

Vosges Paris. A story in concrete and white.

One of those blogs with style. Its black and white images remind us to the Europe of the 20's. This one in particular: chic wardrobe with unique lighting.

A rural resort in Andalucia, Spain

Andalucía: land of the whitest white and the purest simplicity. Here's a rural resort in Vejer de la Frontera.

“I’m very proud of it. It’s our house, but it’s quite special because it’s one of the few houses in the town which has retained the really traditional style.” - Christina.

Welcome Beyond

Federal Housing Finance suits are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank

"The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.

The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. If the case is not filed Friday, they said, it will come Tuesday, shortly before a deadline expires for the housing agency to file claims".

nytimes.com

Seeking Space, Well-to-Do Londoners Dig Deep

"To compensate for the lack of natural light around his new basement swimming pool, one London homeowner installed an outdoor camera that projects real-time images of the changing sky onto the pool ceiling. To assuage the concerns of swimmers who hate cramped spaces, another resident dug down so far beneath the earth that his pool is 16 feet deep and has a high-diving board.

Britain is not immune from the housing slump, and London is still reeling from last month’s riots. But never mind. In a city that has some of the richest people and most expensive real estate in the world, well-off homeowners who have exhausted the traditional methods of home expansion — build up, or build out — are enthusiastically branching out the only other way possible: down."

nytimes.com