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Europe is already in recession. The 4Q leading indicators are down. Germany, which is expected to underwrite the rescue of insolvent countries, is expected to slow further from its already slow growth rate.

Europe may be in recession, but there is one thing I can say positive about German exports. They really do make great cars.

DW and I have each been driving BMWs or MBs since the 80's (I've just passed 16 years/160,000 miles with my current MB C-Class).

On Saturday, I test drove the (recently released in the US) BMW X-1 (crossover/small SUV). It's been out in Europe for many years and in Canada for a couple of years.

It is a great car. If I can improve my cashflow situation in the current environment (sort of like wishing upon a star), I'm definitely going for one of these little machines. A real joy to drive.

In the meantime, I'll keep plodding along in the same the German car I've had since 1996, when the bubble was just beginning.

Yes, it's been that long since we had a generally "upbeat" outlook among young people in this country.

Generation Opportunity noted it’s important to realize that “the declining labor participation rate has created an additional 1.715 million young adults that are not counted as ‘unemployed’ by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.”

If the labor force participation rate were factored into the calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.7 percent.

“[July’s] unemployment number [was] another indicator of the far greater, more fundamentally devastating, and still under-reported story impacting young Americans,” Conway announced... “For nearly three and half years, young Americans have experienced historically high unemployment levels – levels that are among the highest since the end of World War II – that tell the story of millions of delayed dreams and careers of the next greatest generation.

Anyway, the Germans do make excellent (and safety-minded) cars.

It's a shame that the rest of Europe is such a mess.

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