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Don't Just Stand There, Do Something, Europe: Seven And A Half Things

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European Central Bank president Mario Draghi expressed his frustration yesterday that Europe's politicians aren't doing more to solve the debt crisis.
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi expressed his frustration yesterday that Europe's politicians aren't doing more to solve the debt crisis.

Thing One: Latter-Day Neros: Mario Draghi has had just about enough of European politicians fiddling while Europe burns.

The European Central Bank president yesterday, with a "note of frustration and urgency" in his voice, according to the New York Times, spit fire at European leaders (cough -- Angela Merkel -- cough) who refuse to do anything to shore up the structure of the continent's political and monetary union with stronger fiscal ties like, oh, say, jointly issued bonds. Or a European banking union. Stuff like that. The kind of stuff that apparently gives Germany the willies. But Europe is getting increasingly sick of Angela Merkel and Germany's foot-dragging, Bloomberg writes. Draghi has been able to ease the symptoms of the debt crisis, offering temporary relief in the form of lower interest rates and massive money dumping. But Draghi can't do everything. The root causes of the crisis, and of future crises, have to ultimately be solved by the cowering, terrified politicians like Merkel.

While Merkel and the rest of Europe dithers and hems and haws, the crisis just gets worse. European unemployment jumped to a record 11 percent in March and April, the EU's statistics office said today. European stocks and the euro are tumbling yet again, and people are actually getting negative yields on ultra-safe German debt, Reuters notes -- meaning they are paying for the privilege of not having their money set on fire in other investments. Meanwhile, capital is fleeing Spain, the Financial Times writes; Asian economies are suffering, notes the Wall Street Journal; and American multinationals are battening down the hatches, according to the WSJ. The whole world will soon be feeling Draghi's frustration with Merkel and the rest of Europe's politicians.

Thing Two: China's Currency Relapse: Things are getting so bad in China that it is starting to roll back some of the gains its yen has made in recent years, in a desperate effort to help out its exporters, The New York Times writes. This will not make American politicians happy, just in time for the election! But the economic situation is getting worse in China, no thanks to the recession in Europe and the slowdown in the U.S. -- China this morning reported another decline in factory activity in May, Reuters writes.

Thing Three: Data Deluge: Back in the U.S., we get a ton of economic data dumped on us this morning, headlined by the May jobs report. All indications are that the report will be another weakish one. Economists on average expect 150,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs and an unemployment rate holding at 8.1 percent. But Wall Street is braced for another disappointment like April's report. And even if the report comes in as-expected or a little better, the labor market is still far from healthy. Also due today are key reports on personal income and spending in April and factory activity in May. These reports could help set the tone for the market for the next month, affect the presidential election and maybe inspire more easing from the Federal Reserve.

Thing Four: JPMorgan's Troubles: Armed with some Dodd-Frank regulatin' authority, regulators are widening their probe of JPMorgan's $3 billion (and counting) loss in credit derivatives, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, Bloomberg writes that Bruno Iksil, "the London Whale" who did all the money-losing for JPMorgan, had been taking giant risks for years before the blow-up.

Thing Five: Nasdaq Not Playing Nice: You might think that the Nasdaq stock exchange, after screwing the pooch with the Facebook IPO, would be trying to make nice with Nasdaq market makers who lost millions on the IPO. You'd be wrong, says Reuters: "Since then, the exchange has done little to conciliate market making clients - a number of which lost tens of millions of dollars each due to the trading problems. There has been no outright apology."

Thing Six: Can't Talk About The Weather: Hurricane season starts today, and it could be a bad one, given the warm winter and already-hot spring. Making matters worse, our ability to forecast the weather is on shaky footing, as our weather satellites increasingly fail and fall out of the sky, Climate Central scientist Heidi Cullen warns in a New York Times op-ed. Welcome to Austerity World.

Thing Seven: Zombie Funds! As if investors didn't have enough to worry about, this is happening: Zombie funds. A little-known corner of the investing ecosphere, zombie funds are private-equity funds that have a ton of client money and a bunch of bad assets that they can't sell and are near the end of their functioning life, so they can't buy more stuff. So instead they just eat away at client fees, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Thing Seven And One Half: Survive the Zombiepocalypse In Style: Clearly the end times have begun, what with the naked zombies eating people's faces and all. So you're going to want to go ahead and get you and your family into a safe place, somewhere you can ride out the Zombiepocalypse in comfort and style. If you have a spare million or two lying around, you can buy a condo unit in a converted underground missile silo in Kansas, BuzzFeed reports. Amenities include guns and ammo, a "military grade security system" and a pool with a waterfall. All units are unfortunately sold out, including the dentist in unit 3A. But maybe some of the current owners, who bought full-floor units for $2 million or half-floor units for $1 million, might be willing to sell at the right price. Then again, can you really put a price on your family's safety from the zombies?

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Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

8:30 a.m. ET: Jobs report for May

8:30 a.m. ET: Personal income and spending for April

10:00 a.m. ET: ISM manufacturing index for May

10:00 a.m. ET: Construction spending for April

Corporate Earnings:

Nothing much.

Heard On The Tweets:

@ObsoleteDogma: When USTs hit 220-year lows, that's the bond vigilantes' way of telling us the deficit is too big, right? That's how this works?

@justinwolfers: Compare GDP and GDI over the past 3 Q's. GDP: +1.8, +3.0, +1.9% = lackluster. GDI: +2.6, +2.6, +2.7 = above-trend growth that reduce unemp.

@zerohedge: GREEK POLL SHOWS 56% THINK THERE IS NO LIKELIHOOD OF EURO EXIT Need to hike fire and brimstone-mongering to Max

@SteveMartinToGo: Use this algorithm to maintain obesity and get around proposed over-sized soda ban in New York: Buy two

@JHWeissmann: Has anyone considered that Mayor Bloomberg might just want all the soda for himself?

@EpicureanDeal: The only outcome stupid, unenforceable laws generate is the conversion of citizens to scofflaws. Well done, El Bloombito.

-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.

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