Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pain in Spain

More bad news out of Europe this morning, where UK Q2 GDP came in much weaker than expected, at minus 0.7%.

Often it is the persoal details that really bring it home to you, rather than GDP statistics or debt yields. This is a sad but illuminating story in the NYT written by a New Yorker who owns a restaurant in a little town just north of Barcelona. Spain's glorious bar and restaurant culture is in sharp retreat.

If watching your own restaurant slowly starve to death is hard, watching them all waste away in a town of more than 20,000 people is shocking. The face-saving excuses I used when there was no money to buy food or drink are universal: "The delivery hasn't arrived." "I didn't like what was at the market." "The tap is broken." ..
So many colleagues have lost their entire life savings already, and many more will. We know the worst is yet to come.

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