Germany Hits Record Population Growth


Armstrong Economics Blog/Germany Re-Posted Oct 4, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

There are now 84 million people living in Germany, according to the German Federal Statistical Office. This has nothing to do with the birth rate, which is on the decline. Instead, the number of Ukrainians seeking refuge in Germany caused the population to grow by 750,000 this year.

The population in Germany grew by 0.1% or 82,000 in 2021. In 2022, the population has already increased by 1% or 843,000 people. Germany has not experienced such a large influx of refugees since 2015 when Angela Merkle welcomed all Syrians into Germany. Nearly one million people entered Germany in 2015, mostly fleeing war in the Middle East. It proved to be a disaster as Germany did not have the means to care for all the new arrivals, and the cultures did not integrate well.

Germany is not likely to see as strong of an influx since other European nations are opening their borders to Ukrainians. Poland has already permitted 6.56 million Ukrainians to enter their borders. Yet, Poland has reported that tens of thousands of Ukrainians who fled are now returning. Those returning are likely men who want to fight. Germany reported that most of their new refugees are women (501,000) as well.

The culture integration is easier compared to the 2015 refugee crisis, but do these European nations have the infrastructure and financial means to support so many additional people? Those who fled Syria had nothing to return to as their nation did not receive endless funds from the West. On the other hand, Ukrainians who fled likely plan to return once the war is over. The question becomes when can I return as everything indicates that this war is only getting started.

Putin is at War with the West – Not Ukraine


Armstrong Economics Blog/War Re-Posted Sep 22, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Vladimir Putin’s recent speech is making headlines as people falsely claim Russia is about to launch an all-out nuclear attack. Putin is sticking to his same plan and says it in his opening statement: “The subject of this address is the situation in Donbas and the course of the special military operation to liberate it from the neo-Nazi regime, which seized power in Ukraine in 2014 as the result of an armed state coup.” Russia must now play defense as they are no longer simply battling Ukraine.

Putin stated that in 1991 the West prided itself on dividing the USSR, and believes “now is the time to do the same to Russia, which must be divided into numerous regions that would be at deadly feud with each other. They decided these plans years ago.”

Putin knows that he is fighting a NATO offensive and not simply Ukraine and directly calls out Washington, London, and Brussels. He correctly stated that the West first set out to demonize Russia and spread “Russophobia,” as they did during the Cold War. NATO and the West are now the opponents of Russia in this proxy war, while the Ukrainian people are merely cannon fodder used to usher in this new world.

Putin has been trying to reclaim land since 2014. He had no plan to seize Ukraine, but did want to reclaim the Donbas. This is much bigger than Russia v Ukraine as he fears he must act on the offensive against most of the world’s superpowers who want to seize Russia. They are shoving endless funds into Ukraine because they expect a prize in the end. Putin stated that he attempted peace talks, but the West shot them down because they craved war.

“After the start of the special military operation, in particular after the Istanbul talks, Kiev representatives voiced quite a positive response to our proposals. These proposals concerned above all ensuring Russia’s security and interests. But a peaceful settlement obviously did not suit the West, which is why, after certain compromises were coordinated, Kiev was actually ordered to wreck all these agreements.

More weapons were pumped into Ukraine. The Kiev regime brought into play new groups of foreign mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained according to NATO standards and receiving orders from Western advisers.”

This will not end well; the West made it clear that peace would not be an option. Zelensky is simply the face of a much larger plan at play that involves an ongoing plot to seize Russia, which has been happening behind the scenes for decades.

Achtung! Producer Prices in Germany Jump 7.9 Percent in August to 45.8 Percent, Highest Jump in Prices in History of German Economy


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 20, 2022

The statistics behind the energy impact upon the German economy, the largest economy in the European Union, are almost unfathomable in scale.  There is no way for the German industrial economy to continue with this level of price pressure.  Stick a fork in the current creation of German industrial products and exports, the inflection point of feasibility for continued production has been crossed.  They are done.

According to release statistics from the German economic ministry, energy prices in August were more than double the same period last year, up 139%.  The monthly increase was more than 20.4% higher than July.  Additionally, producer prices for electricity rose 174.9% compared with August 2021 and by 26.4% in a single month.

This jaw-dropping increase in energy cost has resulted in German manufacturing prices for industrial goods jumping 7.9% in August alone, with a year-over-year increase in the cost to manufacture goods at 45.8%.  That is the highest rate of price increase since Germany began recording their statistics in 1939.

BERLIN, Sept 19 (Reuters) – German producer prices rose in August at their strongest rate since records began both in annual and monthly terms, driven mainly by soaring energy prices, raising the chances that headline inflation will surge even higher.

Producer prices of industrial products increased by 45.8% on the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office reported on Tuesday. Compared to July 2022, prices rose 7.9%, it added.

The surge was considerably stronger than expected, with analysts having forecast a 37.1% year-on-year rise and a 1.6% monthly rise, according to a Reuters poll.

In July, the year-on-year increase had been 37.2% and in June 32.7%.

Energy prices in August on average were over double the same period last year, up 139%, and 20.4% higher than the previous month, the office reported. (read more)

Once again, my friends…. Pretending meets reality!

What does this mean in practical terms?

Firstly, it means the people within Germany and the larger EU will not be able to afford goods if the increased price to manufacture them is passed on to customers.  German industrial goods, including the heavily dependent auto sector, will hit the market at double the price from last year.  Exported goods, again assuming the government doesn’t provide some sort of subsidy to offset, would also double.

Secondly, it means the prices of used goods will increase in value.  With imported vehicles holding that scale of increased manufacturing price, I would expect to see German automobile dealers in the U.S. sending out incentives to purchase used BMW’s, Audi’s and Mercedes for the products that are not produced in North America.

Lastly, on a global scale, Germany is dependent on selling industrial equipment to Asia and North America in the manufacturing sector.  With declining demand for finished products -the result of inflation- there was already a lowered demand for machinery, machined tools and heavy equipment.  Downward pressure due to a lack of demand, combined with upward price pressure to manufacture the industrial products, creates an even worse scenario.

Right now, Germany is on the cusp of a full-blown economic meltdown, and as we have seen recently German Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (pictured below) has no idea how to handle it.

~ The Pretenders ~

Putin & October


Armstrong Economics Blog/Politics Re-Posted Sep 17, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Despite all the propaganda that was put out by John McCain, Putin was selected by Yeltsin because he was being blackmailed on the one side by the oligarchs in July 1999 and the communists on the other who introduced a motion in the Duma to impeach him for corruption that was related to the Bank of New York scandal.

Putin NEVER sought to resurrect the old USSR. In fact, he was the ONLY Russian leader to even criticize Lenin as just a bolshevik who destroyed a great empire of the Tsars. Lost in the pages of history, Russia at the time in 1917 had the largest gold reserves of any nation. Those gold reserves vanished and to this day have not been found. It was believed that they were hidden to prevent the Communists from seizing them.

Putin was there to restore Russia after the oligarchs plundered it and the Harvard boys who advised Russia on how to make the transition from Communism to Capitalism utterly never understood the most basic element of such a transition – the people. Putin’s most important achievement of his 20 years in power was restoring normalcy and stability to Russia. He went after the oligarchs and told them they could keep their money, but to stop interfering in politics.

The unwritten history that has been omitted from all books on the subject is that in 1991 when the USSR collapsed, NATO solicited Gorbachev to join NATO. That was one of the reasons there was a coup against him for the hardliners saw this would be a surrender of Russia to the USA. That is when Yeltsin stood on the tank and became President. Yeltsin was himself corrupt and he actually facilitated the rise of the oligarchs.

When Yeltsin turned to Putin out of desperation, the people cheered for Putin was neither an oligarch nor a communist. Despite the propaganda from the West, Putin truly enjoyed a 70%+ approval rating for the people neither wanted to lose all freedom to the communists and the oligarchs exploited the people to gain wealth.

Putin has refused to institute a draft to shore up Russian forces. However, despite all the propaganda that pours out of Ukraine, removing Putin will turn Russia very hard right and they are already criticizing Putin for being too soft.

There has been the strategy that inflation is rising and if Putin is smart, he will turn off the gas to Europe for the winter and show them how insane this is to (1) fuel a proxy war against Russia, and (2) push this Great Reset and the Green Agenda.

Basically, the hope remains that the West loses interest in supporting Ukraine as the costs rise. That’s been Russia’s hope and Ukraine’s dread before, but it seems more unlikely than ever at the moment before winter comes.

The most serious threat to Putin is losing the support of the elites. At the moment, Putin is the balance in the middle between hawks who want to see him crush Ukraine, and doves who want a peace settlement. As it stands now, the hawks would win for the West does not seek any peace and Zelensky says Kissenger is living in 1938 and refuses to yield one inch of territory to Russia. The Ukrainian Neo-Nazis instantly attacked the Donbas in 2014 and even put out a slogan that Crimea will be Ukrainian or Crimea will be depopulated. The hatred there is not going to ever vanish. The only reasonable solution is to allow the Donbas to vote, but since they are mostly ethnic Russians, Kyiv will never accept their vote.

It appears that the volatility will rise after this coming week. The Ukrainians may be forcing Putin’s hand to placate the Hawks since the Doves have been rejected by the West. NATO was Behind the Surprise Offensive In Kharkiv. Yet this victory for Ukraine was more of a staged PR event. The region was being held by local police units, not the Russian army which is in the South. Russia has achieved a 10:1 kill ratio against the Ukrainians in the region of the Donbas which is key. The Ukrainian forces that attacked Kharkiv were in effect a NATO army with the full support of Western intelligence and tactics. Because Kharkiv was held by police-type forces rather than the Russian army, it was clearly done for a PR event to raise morale and to get the West to send more money under the theory that Putin is on the run.

Panicked Germany Seizes Russian Energy Company Rosneft, Uses National Trusteeship to Control Oil Refinery – The Current Economic Outlook of Europe, Full State Control of Critical Energy Production


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 16, 2022 | sundance

Welcome to the new “democratic norms” in the industrialized west as Germany seizes the private assets of Russian owned energy company Rosneft; because oil refining is critical to fuel prices and German has just realized their vulnerability.

Within this new Build Back Better system, driven by the policies of western nations, it appears things are changing quickly.  Democracy or capitalism in Germany is now quickly dispatched, as socialism -state control- becomes the priority.

Heck, I’m old enough to remember when everyone decried China’s authoritarian economic model for doing the exact same thing as Germany (a few months ago).  But, well, we must pretend not to notice these things comrades….

(Reuters) – BERLIN, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Germany took control of a major Russian-owned oil refinery on Friday, risking retaliation from Moscow as Berlin strives to shore up energy supplies and meet its European Union commitment to eliminate Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

The economy ministry said it was putting a unit of Russian oil firm Rosneft (ROSN.MM) under the trusteeship of the industry regulator and taking over the business’ Schwedt refinery, which supplies 90% of Berlin’s fuel.

“This is a far-reaching energy policy decision to protect our country,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a news conference to present the government’s plans to put the Schwedt refinery under the control of the Federal Network Agency regulator. (read more)

Who knew economic security was national security?

Now, let’s start talking about USA food exports, shall we?

Also, I’ll take “Things That Won’t End Well” for $1000, Alex.

Deutsche Bank CEO Says a Recession is Inevitable


Armstrong Economics Blog/Germany Re-Posted Sep 9, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Yet another head of the financial system is coming out and warning that a recession is inevitable. Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing echoed the words of BoE’s Governor Andrew Bailey and blamed the coming recession on the war in Ukraine. “We will no longer be able to avert a recession in Germany. Yet we believe that our economy is resilient enough to cope well with this recession — provided the central banks act quickly and decisively now,” Sewing said.

Going a step further, Sewing blamed China along with Russia. “When it comes to dependencies, we also have to face the awkward question of how to deal with China. Its increasing isolation and growing tensions, especially between China and the United States, pose a considerable risk for Germany,” he warned. Around 12% of German imports and 8% of exports come and go from China. Sewing would like to see a declining dependency on China rather than strengthening their relationship.

Neither China nor Russia are to blame for Germany’s situation. Russia was simply a diversion to draw attention away from the collapse of the European economy. Negative interest rates beginning in 2014 wiped out pension funds and proved that the central bank was not thinking long-term. COVID restrictions killed the supply chain, and Germany’s insistance in backing Ukraine eliminated what could have been a lucrative pipeline. Had the pipeline gone through, Europe would not have an energy crisis! Ever since COVID, we have witnessed a rising trend of civil unrest. Politicians have been working hard to create war with Russia deliberately, all cloaked in their real objective of controlling the planet.

When the energy crisis is unavoidable for the average person and the standard of living declines, the politicians will point to Russia and China. The decline began long before Russia lined the border of Ukraine, and China is demonized for simply existing. They would never blame their fiscal mismanagement or detrimental policies for the undoable damage they have created. If Germany falls, all of Europe will follow.

German Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck, Under Fire as Energy Driven Reality of Economic Collapse Starts Sinking In


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 7, 2022 | Sundance

German Minister of Economics Robert Habeck is under fire after his comments during an interview with an ARD broadcaster on Tuesday evening.

The conversation surrounded the astronomical rise in the price of energy taking all the income away from people who would purchase other goods and services. As Germans no longer can afford purchases, the stores and businesses can no longer operate.  Minister Habeck was asked if that means a wave of bankruptcies and business closures are forecast.

Mr. Habeck responded that businesses can stop operating, but that doesn’t mean they will go insolvent.  Just because the business loses most or all of their revenue, doesn’t mean they will go bankrupt.  That doesn’t make sense, Minister Habeck was pressed to apply commonsense. If businesses close to save money, workers are not employed. If workers are not employed people do not earn income.  If people do not earn income, the economy worsens.

Habeck had no response other than an economically detached “Green Party” perspective that businesses will not go bankrupt just because they are not operating. However, his facial expressions reflect that he knows what comes next, total economic collapseWATCH: 

(Reuters) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck faced a backlash on Wednesday for saying he could imagine parts of the economy stopping production due to rising energy prices that German firms say are threatening their existence.

Asked whether he expected a wave of insolvencies at the end of this winter due to companies’ rising energy bills, Habeck said “No, I don’t. I can imagine that certain industries will simply stop producing for the time being.”

The answer, in an interview with ARD broadcaster on Tuesday evening, sparked criticism of the minister in charge of Europe’s biggest economy, with mass-selling Bild newspaper saying Habeck “has no idea about the economy.”

Friedrich Merz, the conservative opposition leader, also took the opportunity to criticize Habeck, Germany’s second most popular politician, saying he and his ruling coalition were not taking energy and economy questions seriously.

“One could see how helpless Mr. Habeck you are with these questions last night on German television,” Merz told the lower house of parliament.

Habeck’s comments come as economists and industry groups warn that rising energy prices are a growing risk for Germany’s medium and small-sized businesses, which form the backbone of the economy.  (read more)

Things are about to get very spicy in Germany as the reality of the unsustainable Build Back Better agenda starts to sink in.  The intellectual disconnect from an economic minister to the consequences of an energy policy removing trillions of dollars from the economy is stunning.

Russia Shuts Down Nord Stream 1 Gas Pipeline, Gasprom Sends out Eerie Video ‘Winter is Coming’


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 6, 2022 | Sundance 

Well, it looks like it’s official now. After several days of sporadic reporting on Russia’s decision to shut down the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline into western Europe, it looks like the valves have been shut down until EU sanctions against Russia are removed.

Strategically the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is the major gas supply route into Germany, Europe’s largest economy. As noted by Reuters, “European gas prices, as measured by the benchmark Dutch TTF October gas contract, rose by as much as 30% on Sept. 5, amid growing fears of a total shutdown of Russian pipeline imports ahead of the European winter.”

Europe was already going into a deep economic recession due to inflation created by pre-existing green energy policy.  The Nord Stream shutdown will make things exponentially worse as energy prices skyrocket.  The Russian owned energy company Gasprom sent out a video that can be best described as psychological warfare.  WATCH:

.

Wow, Europe Household Electric Bills Estimated to Jump by $2 Trillion Next Year, That’s 12% of Their GDP


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 6, 2022 | Sundance

What is predicted to happen in Europe is just stunning, literally stunning.

♦Context – According to official data from the World Bank, the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the European Union was just over $17 trillion US dollars in 2021. That is the last calculated measure.  The combined GDP value of European Union represents roughly 12.78 percent of the world economy.

According to analysts for Goldman Sachs, the current energy crisis in Europe has increased electricity prices at a rate that is increasing almost daily.  Within the data it is now estimated that households within the EU will pay an additional $2 trillion for electricity in the next year.

Put that $2 trillion into context with their GDP, and that scale of energy cost would be wiping out 12% of the purchasing strength within the total EU economy.  Forget about buying anything else, if this analysis is correct Europeans will be buying food and energy, nothing else.

If you consider what that means, it is bordering on full economic collapse of western Europe.

What is being described above is what we posited when we outlined the impact of the “Energy Economy” {Go Deep}.  When you suck 12% of the purchasing power out of an economic engine simply to maintain the status of current energy use, everything else starts to collapse.

Also keep in mind we are only talking about the direct impact of $2 trillion in electricity cost.  The downstream consequence is far greater because everything created, produced, or manufactured, including food, is dependent on electricity – which will drive the final cost to produce of all those products even higher.

The damage is almost unimaginable in scale.

[Fortune] – European households should brace for an expensive winter owing to the continent’s deepening energy crisis that will likely send electricity and heating bills soaring.

Energy affordability in Europe is reaching a “tipping point” that could peak next year, with total spending on bills across the continent growing by 2 trillion euros ($2 trillion), a Goldman Sachs research team, led by Alberto Gandolfi and Mafalda Pombeiro, said in a note published Sunday.

Many European households are already feeling the bite of a steadily worsening energy crisis, brought on by Russian natural gas producers intermittently pausing flows along the critical Nord Stream pipeline following Western sanctions this year.

Energy bills at some restaurants and coffee shops have already more than tripled this year, but with threats looming that natural gas supply from Russia could become even tighter as the Ukraine War rages on, analysts warn that Europe’s coming struggles are set to rival some of the worst energy crises on record.

“The market continues to underestimate the depth, the breadth, and the structural repercussions of the crisis,” the Goldman Sachs analysts wrote. “We believe these will be even deeper than the 1970s oil crisis.” (read more)

The economic contagion will not be isolated to Europe.

The impacts to the social fabric are also almost unquantifiable in scale.

Example: What happens to migration patterns when economic migrants are now considered a threat to scarce resources?

While the US is not quite in the same level of energy desperation, what we were discussing last week is an example of the problem we too may face.

Let’s say you are an average USA Main Street household with an income around $100,000/yr, and you now face an increase in electricity rates from $300 to $500 due to Joe Biden’s new national energy policy known as the Green New Deal.  That’s $200 more per month for this initial economic/energy “transition” moment.

That extra $200/month equates to $2,400 per year.

That $2,400 per year is static economic activity.  Meaning nothing additional was created, and nothing additional was generated.  The captured $2,400 is simply an increase in the price of a preexisting expense.

Take that expense and expand it to your community of 100 friends and family households.  The $2,400 now becomes $240,000 in cost that doesn’t generate anything.  $240,000 is removed from the community economy.  $240,000 is no longer available for purchasing other goods or services within this community of 100 households.

The economic purchasing power of the 100-household community is reduced by $240,000 per year.

Take that expense and expand it to your county of 10,000 households.  Now you are reducing the county economic activity by $24 million.  In this county of 10,000 households, $24 million in economic transactions have been wiped out.  Meals at restaurants, purchases of goods and services, or any other spending of the $24 million within the county of 10,000 households (approximately 25,000 residents) has been lost.

Now expand that expense to a larger county, quantified as a mid-size county, of 50,000 households.  The mid-sized county has lost $120 million in household economic activity, simply to sustain the status quo on electricity rates.  Nothing extra has been generated. $120 million is lost.  The activity within the county of 50,000 households shrinks by $120 million.

Expand that expense to a large county of 100,000 households, and the lost economic activity is $240 million.

Expand that expense to a small state of 1 million households (2.5 million residents), and the lost economic activity is $2.4 billion.

Expand that expense to a state with 5 million households (approximately 12 million residents) and the economic cost is $12 billion in lost economic activity unrelated to the expense of maintaining the status-quo on electricity use.   This state loses $12 billion in purchases of goods and services, just to retain current energy use.

These examples only touch on household expenses.  The community, county and state business expenses for offices, supermarkets, stores, etc. are in addition to the households quoted.

Meanwhile the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the community, county and state, remains static because the GDP is calculated on the total value of goods and services generated in dollar terms.  The appearance of a static GDP is artificial.  In real Main Street terms, $12 billion in economic activity is lost, but the price or increased value of electricity hides the drop created by the absence of goods and services purchased.

Fewer goods and services are purchased and consumed.  However, statistically the inflated price of electricity gives the illusion of a status quo economy.

Now expand that perspective to a national level and you can see our current economic condition.

All of this is being done under the justification of “climate change.”

Previously I would have said this level of economic impact in Europe would lead to a total revolt against the government.  However, with the backdrop of the recent COVID lockdowns and government control mechanisms in mind, and looking at the citizen compliance that took place in response to those government mandates, it is now more likely the citizens in Europe will simply bow to the energy control mechanisms of the governing authority.

It’s almost as if the COVID compliance effort was the test…