Why Europe’s Piigs Are Flying

Europe stocks tumble as debt stalemate digs in

Log In About Nicholas Vardy Nicholas A. Vardy is Chief Investment Officer at Global Guru Capital , a fee-only, SEC-registered investment-advisory firm where he manages money for high-net-worth clients. Vardy is also the editor of three investing and trading services at NicholasVardy.com . He appears regularly on the Fox Business Network and CNBC Asia, and is a highly-rated speaker at investment conferences around the globe. Nicholas regularly contributes his market views on his company blog . You can also follow Nicholas on Twitter @NickVardy or email him at nvardy@globalgurucapital.com . /conga/trading-deck/bios/vardy_nicholas.html 280395 The trading deck is powered by By Nicholas A. Vardy, CFA Europe is the continent U.S investors love to hate. After all, the “Old Continent” is synonymous with financial crises, stagnating economies, and the unintended consequences of dysfunctional economic integration. Yet, with Europe officially out of recession, the “Old Continent” is showing a spring in its step. Investor sentiment toward Europe is the best it’s been in two years. The economic headlines in the United Kingdom though not in the euro zone are positively chipper.

Inhospitable Europe

Baby undergoes circumcision Photo: REUTERS The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a body composed of five left-wing political organization that include the Socialist Group, the Alliance of Liberal Democrats for Europe and the Group of the Unified European Left, has identified circumcision as a violation of male childrens physical integrity. Luckily, PACE, which has called to adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted, is powerless to make binding laws. Nevertheless, PACEs resolution reflects a growing trend in Europe against religious practices such as circumcisions and ritual slaughter that Europeans deem barbaric or inhumane. Increasingly, the approximately 1.4 million Jews living in Eastern and Western Europe are being made to feel unwelcome. As French journalist and writer Michel Gurfinkiel noted in an essay that appeared in August in Mosaic, an online magazine of Jewish thought: Once again, Jews are accepted on condition: that they separate themselves from their brethren in Israel and join the official European consensus in demonizing the Jewish state; that they learn to accommodate the reality that so many ethnic Europeans hate them and wish them ill, and that Islamists on European soil seek their extinction; and that in the interest of justifying their continued claim to European citizenship, they accept Europes proscription of some of the most basic practices of their faith. Reading through the report Marlene Rupprecht, a member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party, prepared for PACE, one gets the distinct impression of tendentiousness, as if her real goal was to proscribe a basic practice of the Jewish faith and in the process she did not allow the facts to get in her way. In a section titled Arguments regularly presented in favor of male circumcision and its legal authorization, Rupprecht rightly notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision in 2012 found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, because it prevents urinary tract infections, acquisition of HIV, transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, and penile cancer. She also notes that the World Health Organization recommends circumcision because it reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60 percent. So far so good. But then, inexplicably, under the same section where she is supposed to be arguing in favor of circumcision, without warning while discussing religious justifications for the practice, she refers to circumcision as the dark side of their [Jews and Muslims] own religion, traditions and, finally, identity. So much for objectivity. Even more bewildering are the arguments Rupprecht marshaled against circumcision. She manages to find a slightly out-of-date British Medical Journal article from 1949 that found no medical justification for routine neonatal circumcision. (She failed to mention a 2002 BMJ article that found circumcision to be linked to lower rates of cervical cancer.) Bizarrely, she cites a well-known TV documentary by Victor Schonfeld, called Its a Boy, that sought out, and found, some of the negative aspects of circumcision. And though she claims repeatedly that circumcision may have serious short-term and long-term consequences for the health and well-being of boys and men, no where in her report does she bring evidence to this effect. Reading Rupprechts report, which was endorsed in a 78 to 13 vote with 15 abstentions by left-wing lawmakers from 47 European countries, one cannot help but wonder whether PACE in a dubious invocation of childrens rights is attempting to create a European continent with no Jews. And if this is coming from Europes Left, which should be more sensitive to the infringement of Jews basic religious liberties, what should be expected of the xenophobic Right and the fast-growing Muslim minorities with their blatant anti-Jewish/anti-Israel agendas? In short, Europe is fast becoming an inhospitable place for Jews yet again.

in London , the biggest increase since Sept. 27. The Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly speculative-grade ratings jumped 8.5 basis points to 395 basis points. House Republicans will not back raising the governments $16.7 trillion borrowing limit unless the Democrats agree to other provisions, Boehner said in a TV interview yesterday. Both sides have 10 days to end their standoff before the U.S. exhausts measures to avoid breaching the debt ceiling and risk defaulting on its payments, according to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. The markets have entered the week on the back foot with the U.S.s ongoing fiscal impasse weighing on risk appetite, Richard McGuire and Lyn Graham-Taylor, fixed-income strategists at Rabobank International in London, wrote in a note to clients. Nevertheless, the continued modest nature of the risk off move associated with the fiscal impasse indicates the market remains broadly confident a solution will ultimately be found. Average yields on investment-grade bonds in euros rose 12 basis points last week to 2 percent, the highest since Sept. 18, Bloomberg bond index data show. Yields on junk-rated notes fell 10 basis points to a seven-week low of 4.7 percent. Bond Debut In the new issue market, bioMerieux , a French developer of tests for HIV and hepatitis, is debuting 300 million euros ($407 million) of seven-year notes to yield 3 percent to 3.25 percent, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lloyds Banking Group Plc, (LLOY) the U.K.s biggest mortgage lender, is selling as much as 1 billion euros of five-year bonds to yield about 65 basis points more than the mid-swap rate. German building materials maker Xella International Holdings Sarl begins meeting investors in Europe today to market 200 million euros of five-year payment-in-kind toggle bonds. The securities, which may be rated B3 or six levels below investment grade by Moodys Investors Service, will be issued through the companys Xella Holdco Finance SA unit, the person said.

Credit Risk Climbs in Europe as U.S. Deadlock Threatens Default

Just add items to create a watchlist now: LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (MC) Add By Barbara Kollmeyer , MarketWatch MADRID (MarketWatch) European stock markets took a hit on Monday as investors moved into the second week of the U.S. debt-negotiation stalemate and shutdown, with the weekend offering no hope for a near-term resolution. Risk-sensitive energy and bank stocks bore the brunt of losses, while drug stocks also fell. Paring some of its earlier losses, the Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/zigman/2380150 XX:SXXP -0.62% still fell 0.7% to 307.65, touching levels not seen since early September. The index closed out last week with an 0.7% loss. Click to Play The Next 24: Economic Data Waits for Shutdown J.P. Morgan kicks off earnings season – and thank goodness for that, because there may be a very empty economic calendar to trade off. And Alcoa, Yum Brands, Wells Fargo are set to report next week. Laura Mandaro has the Next 24. There were few gainers and plenty of decliners, including LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA /quotes/zigman/165816 FR:MC -2.04% /quotes/zigman/165816 FR:MC -2.04% , which fell more than 1.4%. In a report published Sunday , Reuters said analysts are growing increasingly concerned about the luxury groups brands and are worried these wont be able to provide alternative growth now that cash cow Louis Vuitton has fallen on tough times. Staying on luxury goods, shares of Burberry Group PLC /quotes/zigman/307688 UK:BRBY -1.84% fell 1.5% after Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts warned in an interview with Les Echoes that the Chinese slowdown may be the new reality rather than a temporary lull.