French economy headed downhill with the rest of ’em

In today’s totally unsurprising news, France has joined the U.S. and the rest of the EU in bracing itself to weather yet another economic storm.

The Bank of France confirmed today that it forecasts only 0.2 per cent growth in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the government’s much-loftier 2.0 per cent expected growth.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a slowdown in France, the second-largest economy in Europe, spells trouble for everyone else.

“France and Germany have boosted the Eurozone’s lackluster growth rate, and a French slowdown would increase the risk that the bloc’s economy will stall, as the currency area struggles to rein in debt worries.

Slowing growth may also affect the government’s deficit-reduction targets, which are key to keeping the country’s triple-A rating. France’s deficit reached 7.1% last year, and President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to narrow it to 3% in 2013. Under the IMF’s less-positive growth projections, the deficit would reach 3.8% in 2013 and 3% in 2014.”

Luckily, the steady engine of American economic growth should keep the world economy afloat until all this blows over. Ha ha ha! Just kidding.

In reality, President Obama is set to address the public today after Standard and Poor made the ultra-controversial move to downgrade America’s credit rating. This came after the country nearly defaulted on its debt following a summer of heated (and incredibly partisan) battles over raising the debt ceiling.

Luckily, lawmakers have put politics aside to focus on recovery and common sense. Ha! Kidding again.

It’s so bad now that the International Business Times is predicting the Democrats will get their asses handed to them in the 2012 election.

“July’s jobs report was adequate, with 117,000 jobs created, but the nation is still short a staggering 14 million jobs — much of that job loss stemming from the financial crisis and 2007-2009 recession which Obama inherited.

But don’t misunderstand: the American people will not vote President Obama out of office because the opposition party, in this case Congressional Republicans, have offered any semblance of a better plan to address the nation’s number 1 problem — they haven’t. The Republican Party’s stance thoughout the financial crisis peiod has been appalling — they’ve amounted to: saying no, saying hell no, obstruction, and advocating reckless policies.”

Right, so the wheels are coming off on both sides of the Atlantic.. What’s happening in Asia then?

Oh. Shares in China and Hong Kong have dropped to their lowest levels since 2010.

Add to that the fact that Europe’s crisis is about to seriously ding the U.S., and Reuters reporting that globalization has essentially become sentient and will now destroy mankind, and you’ve got a pretty grim global snapshot for August 2011. Happy Monday everyone! 

Read stories that don’t make you want to hide in a nuclear bunker at the Carnet Atlantique.

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