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  • Stability Of The European Union (20) July 6, 2013 To August 28, 2013 142 comments
    Jul 6, 2013 3:50 PM

    Stability Of The European Union (19) April 18, 2013 To July 6, 2013This instablog is designed as an interactive News Concentrator devoted to news and discussions about the debt and associated problems in the EU and its member states.

    The top portion of the instablog contains useful background information/ charts.

    Up-to-date news content is posed in the comments area. So if you are interested in current news, read the comments.

    ____________________________________________

    A picture is often worth a thousand words. Here we have the Percent Economic Growth Rates for three countries: US, Greece, Germany. Note the distinct downturn in the US Economic Growth Rate.


    tinyurl.com/25vyea7

    Here is National debt as a percentage of GDP in 2009 for the Euro Zone. Look at Greece and Italy.


    tinyurl.com/2vvcnxv

    Here is Government deficit as a percent of GDP for 2009. Look at Greece and Ireland. Look at UK and Spain.


    tinyurl.com/2vvcnxv

    Here is the all important Jobs Picture as of March 2010. Look at Greece, Spain, Ireland and France.

    tinyurl.com/29grmpy

    =================
    EFSF

    What is the EFSF?:

    The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is a special purpose vehicle financed by members of the Eurozone to combat the European sovereign debt crisis. The €110 billion bailout to Greece is not part of the EFSF guarantees, but a separate commitment.

    When you look at the Guarantee commitments by the different euro zone countries [tinyurl.com/3xde35o] you will see something interesting. Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain (i.e., the PIIGS) account for over one-third (36.7%) of EFSF commitments. All by themselves, Italy and Spain have a financial commitment of almost one-third (29.8%) of the total EFSF commitment.

    ___________
    (October 23, 2011) I added this nice summary graphic of the Dominoes effect associated with the European debt crisis. You can also see the graphic and the accompanying article with the following link:

    (October 23, 2011) Guest Post: The European Financial Crisis In One Graphic: The Dominoes Of Debt. From: Zero Hedge, by: Tyler Durden.tinyurl.com/3ulxgmj

    The original copyrighted graphic is from Charles Hugh Smith (" 2011) attinyurl.com/ygsa6j

    Added February 9, 2012

    Greek General Government Debt Percent GDP
    tinyurl.com/73h5q2x

    (March 10, 2012) tinyurl.com/7moa6tg

    Unemployment for individuals less than 25 rose to 51.1 %, twice as high as three years ago as budget cuts imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as a condition for dealing with the country's debt problems have caused a wave of corporate closures and bankruptcies.

    Fantasy Greek GDP Growth Rates:

    In the fantasy report "Greece: Preliminary debt Sustainability Analysis" dated February 15, 2012 which I referred to as the "Deus ex machine" report one of the EUs key economic assumptions was that Greek GDP growth in 2012 would be -4.8% and -1% in 2013.

    The Greek economy saw growth rates of:

    -0.2% in 2008,
    -3.3% in 2009,
    -3.4% in 2010,
    -6.9% in 2011
    -7.5% in fourth quarter of 2011.
    (Data from John Mauldin report tinyurl.com/7axvcmw)

    I plotted the Greek GDP data below and projected the GDP values for 2012 and 2013 based on the current data. I also plotted the Greek GDP projections from the Deus ex machine report - blue line.

    There is no Greek stimulus, jobs are in freefall. Which projection do you believe?

    (March 29, 2012) Greek Deposit Run Update: Hopeless And Getting Worse. tinyurl.com/8425yf7

    ============

    Added April 27, 2012

    Q1 unemployment is now one quarter of the working population or 24.44%, up nearly 2% from the 22.85% as of December 31

    (click to enlarge)

    Global PMI Changes from March to April 2012

    (click to enlarge)

    From: ZeroHedge tinyurl.com/76d39dj

    FUNDING GAP

    (click to enlarge)

    From: ZeroHedge - tinyurl.com/88qfjmc

    Ten Year Bond Yield Curves as of 7/20/2012

    From: The Disciplined Investor tinyurl.com/7yg5zku

    (click to enlarge)

    Here are some interesting charts on Italy sourced from Bloomberg's BRIEF
August 7, 2012, available on "The Big Picture" site:tinyurl.com/8lty5uj.

    I verified the shadow economy figures in the following sourced article about shadow economies:

    Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences by FRIEDRICH SCHNEIDER and DOMINIK H. ENSTE, Journal of Economic Literature
Vol. XXXVIII (March 2000) pp. 77-114 tinyurl.com/8fpz6nz.

    (click to enlarge)

    (click to enlarge)

    (click to enlarge)

    (click to enlarge)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2013

    (click to enlarge)

    From: Labor Force Survey by the Hellenic Statistical Authority January 10, 2013 tinyurl.com/bzjlk4m

    (click to enlarge)

    From: Labor Force Survey by the Hellenic Statistical Authority January 10, 2013 tinyurl.com/bzjlk4m

    (click to enlarge)

    This chart is based on the data from the Hellenic Statistical Authorities Labour Force Survey published January 10, 2013.

    This shows the rate of change of unemployment among age groups from 2011 to 2012.

    Yet the Greek government, under the direction of the Trokia, is about to initiate an even more Draconian series of spending cuts and tax increases.

    Remember the IMFs fantasy report? GDP was supposed to start increasing again in 2012. Instead, it continued to fall, and this is one of the reasons why. They are systematically forcing people out of their jobs. No jobs, no income, no income, no spending.

    Yes, the 15-24 age group has unemployment at 56.6%, but as this chart shows, the older age groups are suffering a higher rate of increase of unemployment. So they are rapidly catching up.

    ============

    Latest youth unemployment chart as of May 31, 2013

    ----------------------------

    Remember, the top portion of this insta contains some useful historical information. CURRENT NEWS is posted in the comments area.

    WARNING: This is a no Troll Zone. If you are disruptive, your comments will be deleted.

Back To FocalPoint Analytics' Instablog HomePage »

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Comments (142)
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  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18439) | Send Message
     
    I think you need to paint a 'stache on that Merkel picture. :-))

     

    HardToLove
    6 Jul 2013, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » LOL I woud love to know the reason for that face at that time.
    6 Jul 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2305) | Send Message
     
    Sarkozy's breath?
    6 Jul 2013, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    LMAO!!!

     

    Maybe some of that Greek Feta cheese becoming gaseous?
    7 Jul 2013, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greece will get its next installments of 8.6 billion euros in aid from international lenders to keep the economy afloat, but it will be divided into three payments over concern that the government’s pace of reforms is lagging.

     

    Belgian Finance Minister Koen Geens said the loans would be divided into three groups: 4 billion euros by the end of July, another 1.8 billion from the IMF in August and the last 1 billion in October. The IMF will decide later this month on its 1.8 billion euros share of the bailout. http://tinyurl.com/l7s...
    8 Jul 2013, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    EZ update from zero hedge.

     

    "Meanwhile, In A (European) Galaxy Far, Far Away..."

     

    http://bit.ly/15f25cb
    10 Jul 2013, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Nice summary of the Greek situation today...
    ---
    New aid gives Greece summer respite before showdown. From: Ruiters, by Deepa Babington, Jul 11, 2013

     

    Kick the Can - again...
    Greece has scraped through its biggest political and financial challenge this year by securing a tranche of aid from international lenders but the reprieve may only be temporary.

     

    Crunch time for Athens will come at the end of September when EU and IMF inspectors are expected to return to discuss how to plug a budget gap for 2015 and 2016, raising the specter of more austerity cuts that may spark a new political crisis. Even if it survives that, Greece will still need more debt relief from the euro zone before it can get back on its feet.

     

    On Monday the lenders approved 6.8 billion euros from an emergency bailout put together in 2012 to keep the economy afloat and prevent a deepening of the regional debt crisis. The money spares Greece from defaulting on its debt in August and tides it over until after elections in Germany in September. But Greece will only get the full amount if the coalition government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speeds up reforms to get them back on the agreed schedule.

     

    "They're kicking the issue a couple of months into the future ... we're going to continue with this charade between the troika and the government where everyone knows what's going on - that it's entirely unrealistic for Greece to live up to its expectations, both in the short and long term."

     

    Financing Gap:
    The latest bailout review showed that after three years and 200 billion euros in aid Greece remains in trouble. Public sector reforms are elusive, tax collection is anemic, and debt is set to top 175 percent of gross domestic product this year. Even if Greece can get through its next review, it faces a financing gap that is only likely to be resolved by additional debt relief, this time borne by euro zone states long fed up of Greece's seemingly unending funding needs and failure to reform.

     

    IMF may need to bail:
    Complicating matters further, the IMF increasingly faces a questions over whether it can keep supporting a program that may not bring Greece's debt down to a sustainable level.

     

    Rock and Hard Place:
    With European paymaster Germany unwilling to risk a flare-up in the euro zone crisis before a national election, Greece faces its next major test in September when it must outline savings worth 4 billion euros to bridge a fiscal gap in 2015 and 2016. Trying to plug it with more austerity could mean the end for Samaras's shaky two-party coalition, which already lost a junior ally in June when he tried to meet public sector layoff targets by shutting the state broadcaster ERT and firing 2,600 staff.

     

    Samaras has already ruled out any further austerity measures for a nation faced with a 27 percent jobless rate and the Socialist PASOK party - his only remaining ally - has made it clear it will not support another round of painful cuts. "The economy and society can't take any more measures," a PASOK official said was the main message to the EU and IMF.

     

    "The flexibility of introducing additional austerity measures over and above those in the current program would be an extremely difficult task for the government given the state of the economy and unemployment," said Platon Monokroussos, an economist at Eurobank.

     

    Semi-Stealth Austerity Extensions:
    Instead of socially explosive layoffs or wage and pension cuts, the government could try and bridge the gap by extending special taxes and levies when they expire or through higher revenues from tax collection, though whether that will be enough to convince the troika remains to be seen. If the government survives that review without a fresh crisis, the focus will shift to closing the year with a primary surplus before interest payments. This would qualify Greece to seek further debt relief, which the IMF has been pushing for but the euro zone wants to avoid discussing until spring 2014.

     

    FUTURE DOUBTs:
    After a restructuring last year of privately-held debt, over 90 percent of Greece's outstanding public debt of about 300 billion euros is in the hands of official creditors, mainly euro zone states and the European Central Bank. [In other words EU taxpayers.] Many economists believe restructuring that debt is inevitable to make the numbers add up over the long term, not least because Greece's economy has consistently missed growth projections, and few believe there is any other way to bring debt to below the 120 percent of GDP target level by 2021. [If a restructuring occurs, it will have to be hidden from the taxpayers through deception.]

     

    In addition, funding from Greece's bailout ends in 2014, but Athens' assertion that it could start tapping the bond markets from next year to tackle its future funding needs are premature since yields soared in June. The IMF - which does not expect Greece to return to markets before the end of 2016 - estimates Greece could face a funding gap of between 5.5 and 9.5 billion euros over 2015-2016. http://tinyurl.com/k3l...
    11 Jul 2013, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    I don't think anyone posted it, but there is an article where the EU is wanting sole power to take over banks and handle liquidation but Germany is opposed to it. Germany is used to being in control, not the controlled.
    I suspect in re: to Greece, a couple of German banks are going under if Greece defaults and issues new currency. Germans don't want the EU delving into their finances. Too much dirty laundry. Much less the political fallout when it happens.
    11 Jul 2013, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    There are domestic political problems for Merkel if she allows this sort of US of E oversight for German banks. About 25% of her ruling coalition is centered on the Bavarian offshoot of her party, which is MUCH more nationalistic and truly conservative than she and the rest of her ruling party. They would bolt (and bring down the government) instantly upon the installation of this sort of mechanism.

     

    I believe that Merkel and many fellow travelers among the hard Left and Green parties WOULD welcome this sort of US of E federalism, so long as they had a large share in the power needed to shape it (and they would, and will, when the Left/Greens win power next September). Merkel will shift to head up the loyal opposition, while striving to sit on the angry and restive Bavarians. From her perspective, the upcoming period of Left/Green rule might even be seen as "necessary", to put people in position running Germany who CAN take the steps necessary to quash the German Constitution, courts, and nationalists who would seek to prevent the creation of a federalized US of E.

     

    AFTER it becomes reality, I would expect a reshuffling of the political party structure as the downside comes home to roost for the Left - the Greens lose traction because they have been so thoroughly subverted by the Left - and a centrist coalition can once again step in. I believe it will be a very SHAKY coalition, and Germany may come to resemble Italy for a while politically as they sort through various odd combinations trying to cobble together a cohesive ruling majority in the Bundestag...

     

    As for the banks, they will continue to march toward their united federalized/socialized future, where most of the current banks will be subsumed into much larger banks or the new version of "provincial central banks" which will replace current "national central banks" as the US of E gells around financial infrastructure.
    11 Jul 2013, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » July 17, 2013. Greece approves scheme to fire thousands of public workers. From: Reuters, by Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos

     

    Greece's shaky coalition government passed a bill to sack public sector workers as thousands chanting anti-austerity slogans protested outside parliament. The vote was the first major test for Samaras's two-party coalition since losing an ally over the abrupt shutdown of the state broadcaster last month, which left it with a scant five-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament.

     

    After midnight, 153 lawmakers out of the 293 present voted in favor of the bill, whose passage was required to unlock nearly 7 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in aid from European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders.

     

    The bill includes plans for layoffs of 25,000 public workers - mainly teachers and municipal police. [Bureaucrats typically respond to staffing reductions by cutting back on key services, thus magnifying effects of cuts.]

     

    The bill has triggered a week of daily marches, and strikes in protest. About 5,000 Greeks flooded the street outside parliament as the vote neared. The protest turnout was much smaller than protests last year.

     

    The reforms were passed hours before German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble - Europe's leading proponent of austerity arrives in Athens for his first visit to Greece since the debt crisis began in 2009.

     

    Before the vote, Samaras announced Greece's first tax cut since its crisis began nearly four years ago, in a bid to placate protests and an increasingly restive public mood. "We will not relax," Samaras said in a surprise television address to announce that value-added tax (VAT) in restaurants would be cut from 23 percent to 13 percent starting August 1.

     

    Samaras said the cut would help curb tax evasion, a major problem in the country and one of the reasons it slid into a debt crisis in 2009, but warned that if evasion persisted the VAT would revert to 23 percent.

     

    [No Mr Samaras, the VAT was cut because the Greeks convinced the Troika that there would be greater tax revenues with a 13% VAT on restaurants than with the 23% VAT. In other words, the threat to increase the VAT if tax evasion persists is yet more hog wash from Mr. Samaras.] http://tinyurl.com/mvm...
    18 Jul 2013, 02:35 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (6166) | Send Message
     
    "Samaras said the cut would help curb tax evasion"

     

    When a gov has become an agent of theft, one of the telling signs is tax evasion. In fact, one of the most honorable things a people can do when a gov becomes an agent of theft is engage in tax evasion. While it may be dangerous to do so, it is certainly not immoral. Is finding a way to avoid giving a thief your wallet immoral?
    18 Jul 2013, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Seems that they should have started with the 293 public slave masters. These austerity measures keep up maybe there will be 293 piked heads with that many openings for office. Things would change then. Wonder if the police that will be laid off work in the capital? In other wards have they eliminated their own body guards. Would they be that stupid? Putting their over bloated system back in balance is going to be quite dangerous I would think. Wonder what the breaking point will be?
    18 Jul 2013, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Just saw this 5 year outlook ranking for the EZ countries. It fits very well here.

     

    http://bit.ly/197OVU2
    19 Jul 2013, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    I guess a pair trade could work here. Sell EWP and buy ENOR for folks who do pair trades. If you can sell an ETF.
    19 Jul 2013, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    DG-

     

    Thanks for the European Outlook Rating charts from Bloomberg. It would be even more interesting if the US was included in the data.

     

    Buy PUTS in EWP and buy NORW- Options not available

     

    WT
    20 Jul 2013, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    Now that the fed policy is beginning to shift and higher interest rates have hit the EZ, see Germany's change in stance in the two posts below:

     

    4:07 AM Boosting economic growth should be given priority over cutting deficits - no, that's not an assertion from France but from none other than German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The just-finished G20 summit sent "an important signal, namely that we all agree that the most important task is to strengthen growth and create jobs," Schaeuble said. The meeting of finance ministers and central bankers laid the groundwork for discussions on fiscal policies when G20 leaders meet in September, including on country specific debt targets. (previous) Comment! [Global & FX, Top Stories]

     

    1:52 PM The Fed's policy shift must take place "in a proper manner," Indonesian finance chief Chatib Basri says, summarizing one of the issues discussed at a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers in Moscow. The group has committed to controlling any spillover from developed market tightening to emerging economies where yields soared and equities collapsed after Bernanke dropped the taper hint in June. The official statement also pays lip service to the destabilizing effect abrupt policy changes may have on emerging-market currencies. "We reiterate that … disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability," the group notes. [Global & FX] 12 Comments
    21 Jul 2013, 05:20 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    I could link to one of my comments from last year about the inevitability of EZ money printing (in large quantities), so this is a non-surprise. As usual, such a decision must originate with the powers within the EZ (chiefly Germany and France), but it will become policy as it becomes apparent that they have a structural recession taking hold. Since this also helps with bailing out various EZ components (from PIGS to banks to endangered economies like France), betting against the Euro will become a widespread strategy.

     

    With Japan printing yen as fast as they can, and even the normally strong commodity-based currencies like the A$ shrinking in value, this becomes a dominant theme within the global currency wars.

     

    The developing economies, having hitched their wagons to the major fiat currencies (and particularly the US$) will just have to ride out the currency wars as best they can. The impact will be felt everywhere. I would be interested in what the Swiss, for instance, are going to do in light of these developments...
    21 Jul 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    TB, I thought of that post and our conversations a year or two ago. I think my post below on fixing corp taxes is the first step. They have to have revenue to offset the currency drop that is happening and coming. No other way.

     

    Corporations are going to pay dearly for the no tax ways of the past.
    If it does like I expect, in a world of extremes...they will wind up paying too much....we always overreact and overshoot.
    21 Jul 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    The European tax system is an odd mixture of the old and the new. Early on the VAT was used to transform the corporations and cartels from inefficient tax collectors straight out of the 17th century (including no doubt a strong tendency to skim the proceeds) to non-participants in the tax flow. The positive side of the VAT revolution was that it helped the Europeans to temporarily avoid the worst of the blowback from their zero growth model. Had the VAT system been well-engineered, this could have worked well, but it was not, and the system has now broken down.

     

    By re-integrating the corporations into the tax system, the EU will be adding another layer of taxes to goods and services already burdened with a high tax load via the VAT. European companies operating in highly competitive markets will immediately become non-profitable (and start to vanish). When this happens, they will scream for help from government, which will materialize in the form of trade barriers and protective subsidies, re-visiting once again the darker days of the 70's and 80's when the process reached its predictable conclusion.

     

    The corporations will, indeed, pay a high price for a fatally flawed tax and spend system (as will everyone). Having already run out of OPM (other people's money), the EU is now searching for a new vein of OPM to mine. Multinational corporations give them the opportunity to tap into revenue flowing from other countries (and in the case of the EU, other mega-polities like NAFTA and China). Unfortunately, these companies are already poaching in other folks' ponds, and this will just intensify the geopolitical pressures driving things like the currency wars.
    22 Jul 2013, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (6166) | Send Message
     
    "They have to have revenue to offset the currency drop that is happening and coming. No other way."

     

    Talk about a fundamental misunderstanding of how a monopolized monetary system works. First, in a monopolized monetary regime, taxes don't "fund" the gov. Only when a PM is the money medium must a gov collect the medium in order to spend it. When the gov owns the medium, it just prints and then spends.

     

    Collecting the mediums, especially under some irrational predujice against corporations because Dancing With the Stars has told you to hate corporations, simply eliminates the mediums from the economy wherein they are being used to bid up asset prices.

     

    So, when you remove the mediums from the economy, they no longer exist to bid up asset prices. When that happens, asset prices will fall, people will see their wealth eroding, they will reign in their spending, and since we measure GDP in terms of spending, you set up the conditions for a recession.

     

    This PM mentality that still hangs around from Obama to Ryan to Krugman to Bernanke to many of the commentators here on SA is what blinds people to the mechanics of what is really causing what we have come to believe is the business cycle. What's really happening is this false belief by people that the gov must "manage" the economy.

     

    This leads to a perpetual fiddling with the hot and the cold of the monetary medium spigots and the results is policy that leads to creation or destruction of the mediums which leads to booms and busts of asset prices. If you can learn to understand this, then you can become Richard Cantillon in the struggle between Cantillon and John Law with regards to the Mississippi Bubble.
    22 Jul 2013, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    The G-20 has voted unanimously to fix the tax shelter for major corps. I think this will have a profound effect on earnings going forward. The bigger and more profitable, the more it will hurt. Especially in dividend growth. Corps have gotten by with paying almost zero taxes, and it may be coming to an end. This is just IMO, do your own DD. Below is an article on SA that highlights this risk:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    21 Jul 2013, 05:28 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (6166) | Send Message
     
    Yes. Its basically a sales tax that will lower economic growth and asset prices. It will make people poorer, with the exception of politicians who are the new aristocracy.
    22 Jul 2013, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » US Treasury Secretary Lew in Greece to discuss Greece's efforts to overcome a deep debt crisis.

     

    Greek officials say Lew is meeting with Finance Minister Stournaras and will later on Sunday meet Prime Minister Samaras at the Acropolis Museum. Samaras is due to visit the United States in early August, where he will meet President Barack Obama. http://tinyurl.com/n38...
    21 Jul 2013, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greece’s Debt Hits 160.5% of GDP
    From: Greek Reporter By Nicky Mariam Onti, July 22, 2013
    Figures from the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat showed that Greece’s public debt rose to 160.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of the year.

     

    Greek debt was 24.1% higher than in the first quarter of 2012 and 3.7% higher than in the fourth, the biggest increase in the EU, which saw debt jump in 24 out of its 27 members.

     

    Greece, is followed by Italy with 130.3%, Portugal with 127.2% and Ireland with 125.1%.

     

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been touting what he sees as an economic recovery beginning next year as part of what he called a “success story” under the coalition government of his New Democracy Conservatives and the PASOK Socialists, who are imposing more austerity measures on orders of the Trokia. http://tinyurl.com/kbp...
    ---
    GDP and tax revenues are shrinking, unemployment and borrowing are increasing, costs to service more and more debt are increasing.
    http://tinyurl.com/6xo6gv
    22 Jul 2013, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Zero-sum death spiral in progress, although I suspect Greece now has 2 economies: The "official" economy which is dying on the vine, and the underground illegal economy fueled by cash and growing like mad.

     

    The relative power of the government vs the gangsters (assuming they are still 2 separate classes, which may NOT be the case) is following a similar binary set.

     

    About the time that street crime becomes the dominant "industry" in the country, the corruption of the political process and public infrastructure will be near complete.

     

    Its as inevitable as gravity.
    22 Jul 2013, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Well said Sir!!
    22 Jul 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Spain taps social security reserve fund to pay pensions.
    From: Reuters

     

    Spain tapped its social security reserve fund for the second time in a month on Monday, the Labour Ministry said as unemployment and retirement costs deplete government funds.

     

    The government turned to the fund for 3.5 billion euros ($4.6 billion) on July 1 then for a further 1 billion euros on Monday. Record high unemployment, which hit over 27 percent in the first quarter, and a growing number of retirees on a state pensions have put an unprecedented strain on Spanish social security funds.

     

    The fund was worth 59.3 billion euros, or 5.65 percent of gross domestic product, after the operation on Monday, the Ministry said. http://tinyurl.com/kpu...
    22 Jul 2013, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    I wonder how it will go over when they say sorry to those on social security because they spent the money on over priced govt pensions. Somehow I do not see that going over very well......I could be wrong however.
    22 Jul 2013, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Before that happens, DG, they will rue the day they ever signed into the EZ... Because had they NOT done that, they would still be able to do what we do, just print more currency and run endless deficits to pay for social engineering experiments. Of course, I suspect they will also follow our (poor) example by mixing the SS trust fund monies into the general tax revenue, though with the opposite motive.
    22 Jul 2013, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    If it were not for that $500 trillion in derivatives the entire group of PIGGS would have filed bankruptcy, devalued and moved on.

     

    As it is, the devastation of ruining all the public infrastructure now will be a drag for years. Capitalism can not work when traders are the tail wagging the dog. Along with politicians owned by the big boyz who make out like bandits taking things over.
    22 Jul 2013, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4825) | Send Message
     
    >LT ... Derivatives are why we witness these insane EU sovereign "loans" to pay interest on debt. God save Deutsche Bank, Goldman-Sachs & friends. Incidentally, it is closer to $790T ... and then there is the Repo Market.
    22 Jul 2013, 09:50 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (6166) | Send Message
     
    Here's what happen without free markets.

     

    http://bit.ly/13XmG29
    23 Jul 2013, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Having the inability to print euros does indeed stifle some countries politician's grandiose dreams. Without that restriction we would have a slew of Argentinas to read about.
    23 Jul 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    True. Instead, we just have a very slow meltdown of a very LARGE Argentina to read about.

     

    What is noteworthy is the idea that (in this stretched analogy) they are dragging the rest of South America down the rabbit hole with them.
    23 Jul 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (6166) | Send Message
     
    Another similar analogy is gov insurance of bank deposits. The reason the FDIC came about, was because states used to attempt to insure bank deposits. So the states would regulate their banks with the promise of having no more bank failures and guessed what happened? The state deposit insurance funds kept going bankrupt. So the logic was, let's just move this to the national level, and get it away from the podunk states. At the national level, with national regulators, bank failures will finally go away. Well, we can see what happened.

     

    The reason for this is all very simple, gov regulations are simply gov sanctioned manipulation by politicians to use bank deposits to buy votes. So the regulators are just really an arm of politicians to inflate, and the result is the inflation creates bubbles in the asset classes being subsidized, and since inflation via gov is really just another term for stealing, then what you have are asset values that aren't really supported by real income levels of production.

     

    Something in the market will pop the bubble, and the ironic thing is that it is usually gov policy in another branch of gov. We saw this very thing in 2006 when BB inverted the yield curve and popped the real estate bubble that had occured via fiscal inflationary policies (subsidies) for real estate.

     

    Europe has a long history of gov manipulated markets (they call it gov regulation - as if no regulation would exist without gov as typified by the likes of John Kenneth Galbraith), and the result is bubbles and crashes and ever grinding austerity.

     

    So when their attention turns from the royal baby news, they start whining about deriviates, because the problem is not their faulty economic model of a gov coerced (price fixed) economy, its always some nebulous outside force that is causing all their woes. So what we are going to forever see out of Europe will be booms and busts because they just aren't wired culturally for anything else.

     

    The Bavarians need to seceed, like the wealthy did from Detroit (they went Galt), and leave these people to the realities of what happens when you think rhetoric can replace the economic laws of nature.
    23 Jul 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    There is also the possibility that the underground economy will bloom in a big way and slowly make the EU "government" impotent. What is needed is an alternate currency that will allow commerce without the Euro. Is it any wonder that the BigGov boyz and their central banker friends fight electronic/cryptographic money so fiercely? But market forces are powerful and government enforcement is dependent on bribe-able "enforcement officers". See descriptions of Italy's tax system. This could get very interesting.

     

    The PIGS are at the leading edge of the movement, with Greece out front. "barter credits (BCs)" anyone?
    23 Jul 2013, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Acute property slump takes hold in bailed-out Cyprus
    From: Reuters July 23, 2013

     

    Cypriot property prices recorded one of their steepest falls in years in the second quarter as an austerity-driven recession sapped demand in the country's property market. Second quarter annual declines - which ranged from a 12.6 percent price drop in the valuation of an apartment to a 23.3 percent fall for office space - were the sharpest recorded since the survey company started collecting data in 2009. http://tinyurl.com/lo9...
    23 Jul 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    "Bye-bye Ruskies. We will miss you..."
    23 Jul 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Here comes Blankfein and Dimon to help those poor people out-
    23 Jul 2013, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    I believe this Cyprus business will suffer "dearly" too. They do not have a paper euro (one euro) so Maya you might take notes from them to reveal how things might work out here.

     

    http://bit.ly/13fNP12
    25 Jul 2013, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10502) | Send Message
     
    Funny, doubleguns!
    27 Jul 2013, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Banks in Cyprus suffer plunge in deposits.

     

    http://bit.ly/172hZ9v
    25 Jul 2013, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Banco Espirito Santo, Portugal's second-largest listed bank by assets, swung to a sharper-than-expected first-half net loss of 237 million euros from a year-ago profit of 25.5 million euros as provisions for bad loans rose sharply.

     

    Go figure. They announce on a Friday too!!!

     

    http://reut.rs/15liwp1
    26 Jul 2013, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Maybe they shoot messengers there and these guys had the car loaded and ready to get out of Dodge when they did the announcement.
    26 Jul 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Cyprus 37.5% Depositor Haircut Upgraded To 47.5% From: Incyprus

     

    Authorities initially converted 37.5% of deposits exceeding €100,000 into equity and an additional 22.5% as a buffer in the event of further needs.

     

    However, now the Finance Ministry and the Troika appear to be converging on an agreement on the haircut of uninsured deposits over 100,000 euros in the Bank of Cyprus to be set at 47.5%.
    http://tinyurl.com/ltl...
    ---
    My guess is the agreement will have a clause to reset yet again. Why limit their theft to 47.5% when they can take what they want by just cooking the already cooked books?
    29 Jul 2013, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    And millions of depositors across EZ gasped!!

     

    Probably not since they are probably paying about as much attention there as folks are here. Blind fools being lead to the shearing bank. baahh, baaahhhh, baaaahhhhhh!!
    29 Jul 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    All is not lost as the WSB reported this morning that growth in manufacturing has expanded all across the EZ except Spain. I guess there wasn't enough ink to paper over their problems. http://bit.ly/15glGN6
    1 Aug 2013, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    The UK seems intent on resetting their place in the EU. http://yhoo.it/16YCFAg
    5 Aug 2013, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Troika Wants Greek Homes Repossessed
    From: Greek Reporter, By Andy Dabilis August 7, 2013

     

    The Troika is pressuring the coalition government led by Samaras to lift a ban prohibiting banks from confiscating homes worth more than 200,000 euros ($260,000) from Greeks that can’t afford to pay the mortgages because of austerity measures, job loses, et cetera.

     

    The idea of lifting the ban, which is set to expire at the end of the year, has riled even some government Members of Parliament, and has induced fury from the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

     

    The government is considering a partial lift on the ban, said Deputy Minister of Growth [Confiscation] Skordas, who suggested that allowing the auctioning of primary residences based on social criteria would be allowed. http://tinyurl.com/lje...
    ---
    Membership in non-confiscation social group equals those offering bribes, or being a politician?

     

    I think it's a safe bet that the taxes on those homes are not being paid either. So if the banks take possession of the homes, the banks now have to pay the taxes. Unless a convenient law is passed...

     

    Of course, real estate valuations have dropped by as much as 50% so there is no way the banks are going to be able to sell the homes at their initial book valuations. So either the banks take up to a 50% cut in book value which might cause another round of re-capitalization (freebies from the government paid for by the tax payers) or they become rental units. Lots of room for wheeling and dealing here which appears to be the Greek way.
    8 Aug 2013, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    The rabbit hole not only widens but deepens considerably.
    8 Aug 2013, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Odd that the socialists are so bent on protecting homes OVER $260k, while the little folk get raped. The politics in Greece never cease to amaze me.

     

    Also, FPA, are we sure that the $200k EU number is the "value" of the home, or just the "balance" on the mortgage? Those two numbers could have little in common. That ban seems very surreal to me, in any event.

     

    Also, I am wondering how many of those homes are already the property of something like our very own Freddie/Fannie government program? Will the foreclosures simply flow to the government balance sheet, or perhaps more interesting, are a lot of those mortgages held by other EU banks outside of Greece? With the penchant to sell mortgage paper like trading cards, I suspect those mortgages are spread all over Europe, rather than neatly confined among the long-suffering Greek banks.

     

    Its a very curious situation, and bears close scrutiny.
    8 Aug 2013, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Additionally will any entity be able to prove ownership of the notes in question? As TB points out they have been sliced, diced and packaged as MBS. We have seen numerous cases of foreclosures on primary mortgages and collection of seconds stymied because ownership of the note could not be established. Will that situation arise in the EZ as well? Stay tuned for another exciting episode of "As the stomach turns.".
    8 Aug 2013, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    Re: Greek house repositions.

     

    Perhaps if the house "owner" is reasonably connected, they will be allowed to occupy the house as caretaker after the bank "repossesses" it. Maybe they will even receive a small payment each month!

     

    There is no end to the ways this idea could be fiddled to allow everyone, especially the pols in power, to come out ahead. Money appears in banks? Troika requirements are met? Lawyers earn more money? Everyone wins!
    8 Aug 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Money appears in Banks? I would question that one!! (pops back down the rabbit hole laughing....hysterically and diabolically....not sure what is appropriate any more.)
    8 Aug 2013, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    Oh. Oh yeah. I forgot the banks are still carrying the loans on their books at full value ;-) So "never mind" about the money showing up on bank balance sheets idea.

     

    Then again, bankers are very inventive sometimes. Why I remember back in US of A in ought 7, or was it ought 8?........
    8 Aug 2013, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Unemployment in Greece reached a record 27.6 per cent in May, the statistics office said Thursday. Almost two-thirds of young people, 64.9 per cent, were without a job.

     

    The new figure was higher that the 27 per cent rate recorded in April and the 23.8 per cent in May last year. The employment outlook remained bleak as the Greek economy was expected to contract by at least 4.5 per cent this year, the central bank said. http://tinyurl.com/n93...
    9 Aug 2013, 03:14 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Tax men are not welcome in greek village as villagers chase tax men out of town. This sounds like a very greek approach to the problem.

     

    http://bit.ly/1cQtBSM
    9 Aug 2013, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    The Greek Mafia will be adding new employees for this purpose left and right. Their payroll must be huge by now...
    9 Aug 2013, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    GLOBAL LOOTING: The new EU bailin law was passed 8 days ago….did you notice?

     

    http://bit.ly/15WsoIy

     

    Wonder how quickly the bank runs deplete cash, I would have no cash in the banks. Credit union y'all.

     

    In case you do not want to read the link but want the jist of it.

     

    George Orwell could’ve dropped acid and still not come up with a scheme quite so assumptive and brazenly deranged as this one. It is based on the following insane principles:

     

    1. Putting money in a bank makes every citizen a creditor of that bank, equally prone to confiscation in order to repay….who exactly? The answer is, other banks it owed money. So it’s not really our money after all, it’s the banking sector’s money. After it’s been taxed by the Government, despite the fact that we earned it…it’s really all bankers’ money after all. Unbelievable.

     

    2. If we are prudent enough to keep money in smaller amounts in lots of accounts, we will have to pay a ‘penalty tax’ – well of course we will: I mean, given it’s never our money really – we’re just borrowing it, or something – then quite right too. And because it isn’t really our money, we shall be given strictly limited spending money per day. The brass neck is beyond belief.

     

    3. If you have been seditious enough in your life to actually make quite a lot of money legally, then within five days the money that was never really yours will be taken back by its rightful owners…the bankers….or the Government rescuing the bankers but without doing it in our taxes. Why five days – why not five seconds? I mean, it’s their money: we were just earning it for safe keeping, right? Of course we were.

     

    4. Anything is an exceptional circumstance if they say it is. Even the Nazis in 1933 had to burn down the bloody Reichstag to declare a State of Emergency. In 2013, it requires just one dumb, over-leveraged, f**kwitted bank to collapse under the weight of its CEO’s ego, and we’re all pauperised by Law.
    9 Aug 2013, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    It all makes perfect sense in a crony socialist/capitalist global order, DG.

     

    The banks are just a front FOR the government, with the blending of government and bank now a complete fact for all but the smallest such institutions (y'know, the category which is so rapidly vanishing from our economy, by some odd coincidence).

     

    The fact that some of the 2Bigs have not (yet) been nationalized is just a case where the government is using them to do things which government doesn't want to get caught doing, so the banks give them plausible deniability.

     

    People are slowly catching on, though...
    9 Aug 2013, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    I wonder what it takes to charter a state regulated credit union? There have to be enough intelligent retired folks around these days to pool some money and own a small financial institution. With REAL owner-investors, it might be a substantial improvement over fedgov regulated "banks". Would the fedgov allow such a CU to do real business? Make house and/or auto loans? Issue credit or debit cards?
    9 Aug 2013, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Around my area there are many of these, mostly evolved from major local businesses (Lockheed, BellSouth, Delta) and utilities (Georgia Power). They have expanded to serve just about anyone, but they are still member-owned.

     

    I quit doing business with banks decades ago, and never looked back.
    9 Aug 2013, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    The only thing commercials excel at is moving money. The CUs must use banks to clear transfers and that takes time in some cases. When I need to move money now, a wire or an online transfer is almost immediate. I also use PayPal transfers which may not be possible in a CU.

     

    I have a CU debit card that I use when traveling in foreign countries and pay no transaction fees. With most credit cards you get hammered in currency translations.

     

    Commercials have attempted to stymie CUs from doing some things like insurance and brokerage with limited success.

     

    Shakespeare had the right idea- "Hell is empty and all the devils are here. "

     

    WT
    10 Aug 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    "Hell is empty and all the devils are here. "

     

    They must have brought some she-devils too cuz its apparent they are breeding.
    11 Aug 2013, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Most of the she-devils are trained to be lawyers or heads of banks- or both.
    11 Aug 2013, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Bridgewater's Ray Dalio Warns Eurocrisis Is Not Over

     

    http://bit.ly/13SDcp1
    12 Aug 2013, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Dalio is my main trading guru- One of the few that has a philosophy that is geared not only to the almighty dollar. There is a people side to the guy.

     

    WT

     

    BTW - I was denied access to that link even though I am registered with ZH
    12 Aug 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    I am denied now too. Must have been only a short period of time one could view it. Interesting.....Should have copied the story and posted it here but I did not have a clue that would happen.
    13 Aug 2013, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10502) | Send Message
     
    French economy is a basket case:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    12 Aug 2013, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    "Year-on-year comparisons remained in positive territory, mainly because last year's numbers were so atrociously bad."

     

    That's exactly how I determine positive performance. Its not as bad as last year....LOL.
    12 Aug 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    This belongs here, I think. If its already been posted, FPA, just delete this post please.

     

    The comments are brief but pithy, too.
    13 Aug 2013, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    >Trip-

     

    Thanks for the link-

     

    Nice synopsis by Pater Tenebarum on the continuing and increasing economic plight of France-

     

    Excerpt-

     

    "...In France government spending amounts to a staggering 57% of GDP. There can be no genuine economic recovery under such circumstances. Germany is almost saintly by comparison, with government spending amounting to 'only' 44% of GDP, but even that proportion represents an immense burden on the economy.

     

    And yet, it is precisely this area in which no government in Europe is willing to take the necessary steps, unless it has gone bankrupt and is forced to act by the bailout conditions set by lenders. Even in those cases the demand to shrink the State is resisted at every opportunity (see the extremely sluggish process of shrinking public employment and selling state-owned assets attending the bailout of Greece)."

     

    WT
    13 Aug 2013, 09:57 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Anything more than about 20% represents a clear sign that the nation is a "federalized state" and has begun the long slog toward a crony socialist/capitalist regime. At 30% (where the US hovered for a very long time during the 20th century) there is apparently a point where a long term slowing of the rate of descent can be expected...

     

    At 40% the rot has taken control and the issue is no longer in doubt, only the timeline to eventual bankruptcy.

     

    The US is currently around 40%...
    13 Aug 2013, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Germany, France pull euro zone out of recession.
    From: Reuters, by Martin Santa
    Wed Aug 14, 2013

     

    The German and French economies grew faster in the second quarter, pulling the euro zone out of its longest recession.

     

    Growth in the 17-country bloc was 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, with its two biggest economies both revealing unexpected strength, data from the European Union's statistics office Eurostat showed on Wednesday.

     

    Germany grew 0.7 percent, its largest expansion in more than a year thanks largely to domestic private and public consumption. France's economy expanded 0.5 percent, pulling out of a shallow recession to post its strongest quarterly growth since early 2011. The turnaround was driven by consumer spending and industrial output, although investment dropped again.

     

    "For next year, our projections show the (European) recovery should be on a more solid footing, as long as we can continue to avoid new political crises and detrimental market turbulence," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said. He added there was no room for complacency.
    http://tinyurl.com/kbm...
    14 Aug 2013, 06:15 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Our QE dollars are having an effect since over 50% goes to EZ banks. Wait till the taper starts......wont be pretty or more likely it will only happen to the MBS purchases or the part to US banks..
    14 Aug 2013, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    I think you are right, DG.
    14 Aug 2013, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Germany I could see, but France with its out of whack govt. spending at 57% of GDP growing its economy by 1/2% amazes me.
    Aberration?
    14 Aug 2013, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    guns: Do you think there will actually be a "tapering" of the Fed Flood?
    Sure, they will talk about tapering, but that is most likely a ploy to make some short-sales money.

     

    Then again, maybe the cronies all held a meeting ( :-) and decided to short the market and then slow the printing to REALLY squeeze out the suckers.
    I just can't see the pols agreeing to tapering unless the Banksters have given them marching orders.
    14 Aug 2013, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    dg...the fed is controlling rates and the macro picture with words instead of policy moves. So far nothing has changed but interest rates are up 1 - 1 1/2 % and the real estate market sorta cooled a bit. It's still good, but even lenders are saying it has slowed down a bit, where they were covered up and behind.

     

    IMO, the banksters have given the orders, they have to have higher rates to grow earnings. Remember, they are all crooks and have forgotten how to make money banking.
    14 Aug 2013, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    I think they will slow down on the MBS purchases and if they slow down on bonds it will be our bonds first before EZ. I wish I had a perfect crystal ball so its just my guess. The problem is they know they are stuck with a self created disaster if they slow to quickly, quickly being a relative word there. The problem is the number (85 Bil) is such a huge number that anything that really counts is a big number too. 10 billion a month taper is not chump change.
    14 Aug 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    LT I agree they are all crooks but the FED is the bank that all the other banks visit while trembling on bended knee.

     

    Mortgage activity has collapsed over 50% in the past 3 months from that interest rate increase. Add more increase to that and the spigot will be nearly shut off for the housing market.

     

    http://bit.ly/16Lvzj1
    14 Aug 2013, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Oddly enough, the recent mortgage interest rate hikes might work to highlight "missed opportunity" for some folks. My daughter (now expecting her 2nd child) and her husband have been ignoring the housing market thinking they "had time" while they continued to live in an apartment. The recent news has caught their eye, however, and they are now asking questions...

     

    LOL, I had told them about the "good old days" during Carter stagflation when mortgages went for 15-16% interest, but now they are worrying that they might "miss out" on historic low interest rates (which now look a lot less "permanent" than they had thought).

     

    The response to the current chaos will not be linear, imo. We could see a rush to close in an attempt to "beat the increase", something which used to be a well-known phenomenon, but has languished during the zirp days.

     

    Look for brokers to start advertising "lock in services" for interest rates.
    14 Aug 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Deceit.
    14 Aug 2013, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    LOL, add DG's comment about QE $carry trades, and the news about sudden growth in spending in France and Germany...

     

    Its a magik trick. The magician just made the Eifel Tower disappear! Voila.
    14 Aug 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Smoke & mirrors and whistling past the graveyard-
    14 Aug 2013, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    To believe that "the European economies are improving" requires a suspension of disbelief at a level usually only necessary for fantasy novels. Bad fantasy novels :-)
    15 Aug 2013, 01:53 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    I don't know, SH, I think the bit about the Troika sucking the blood out of the whole continent would make a pretty decent vampire plot...
    15 Aug 2013, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    trip: Hence, my point ;-)
    15 Aug 2013, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The IMF's annual GDP European growth projections in 2016.
    http://tinyurl.com/kge...
    ---
    Hogwash.
    15 Aug 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2305) | Send Message
     
    What they wash PIIGS with?
    15 Aug 2013, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Very clever!!!
    15 Aug 2013, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » What is left after the pigs are washed off keeping in mind what the pigs like to wallow in :>)
    15 Aug 2013, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Hogwash Organic fertilizer!!! You could make a mint if labeled properly.
    16 Aug 2013, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Already being done, DG...
    16 Aug 2013, 06:48 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    What?!...Bubble and ego slowly deflating.
    16 Aug 2013, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    I saw another example yesterday, beer truck for a local brewery called "Fat Tire".

     

    Driver was sporting the appropriate appendage to match, naturally.
    16 Aug 2013, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Excellent beer. I have even been to the brewery. They have samples....hehe
    16 Aug 2013, 07:35 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    DG, did those free samples contribute to your personal Fat Tire?
    16 Aug 2013, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Not possible the samples were to small. The jugs we bought on the other hand...wellllllll

     

    Take a tour. Might have to enter your birthdate.

     

    http://bit.ly/13qqe3B
    16 Aug 2013, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    Had to run and get my glasses, I thought you said Flat Tire. ;-)
    16 Aug 2013, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    Looks like the US mkt's are in full blown correction mode now..

     

    IMO, I look for this to get a bit nasty before it's over and may be over an extended time. Usual bounces of course.. but otherwise flat to down until late fall rally.

     

    Buffett dumping KFT, MNDZ, buying energy. KO down, and the hedgies dumping big gainers and bought into APPL in the low 400's.
    This type of rotation could make it even nastier, but create bargains in some solid blue chips. XOM & CVX aready down 5% recently, and may go to 10% .... Will we rotate into the EZ stocks soon ?

     

    Bio-techs also catching upgrades on news too.
    15 Aug 2013, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    News from the Middle East just keeps getting worse. That almost has to affect the energy markets, with Europe being the closest big user of Mid-East oil.

     

    Can the EZ "happy thoughts" cloud be sustained? Duh. Large US companies with substantial sales there are sure to see the effects of the EZ degradation later this year, IMHO.
    15 Aug 2013, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Hillbilly wait till the suez gets a tanker sunk in it. That will give the EZ happy thoughts for sure.
    16 Aug 2013, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    DG: True. A few RPGs into a tanker from any of the large number of militant ME groups would jack up EZ oil prices rapidly. Ouch!
    18 Aug 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    Eurozone economist speaks to "recovery" in Europe and outlook for Greece.

     

    http://bit.ly/1cJuv68

     

    WT
    16 Aug 2013, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    At least he has his feet firmly planted on terra firma and does not have a bulbous red nose.
    16 Aug 2013, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    Maybe no red nose, but he is more cheerful then he has any reason to be. Then again, he "works for" Hollande. 'Nuff said.
    16 Aug 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Nigel Farage being hounded in Scotland and being called a racist because he complained about illegal aliens.

     

    Seems folks from the far left just love to throw that title around everytime they have nothing of substance to toss into the discussion. There is no difference in tactics it seems no matter where you go.

     

    He even wants family values. Go figure.

     

    http://bit.ly/17Spz6X
    16 Aug 2013, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I have been thinking of starting an Insta on Nigel Farage to highlight this man.
    18 Aug 2013, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18439) | Send Message
     
    FPA: Great idea on Nigel!

     

    HardToLove
    18 Aug 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    FPA,
    Gotta like the guy. With Ron Paul retired I'm not sure who we have in comparison any more.
    18 Aug 2013, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Rand Paul but not nearly the giant his father is.
    19 Aug 2013, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2305) | Send Message
     
    Give him time. Rand is shaping up nicely in his outspoken concerns about drones, spying and liberty.
    19 Aug 2013, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    Rand's thinking level is more like a shadow of Ron's. Sorry, but all you need to do is listen to him for a few minutes. Just not the horsepower Ron Paul has.
    19 Aug 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    I had a real problem with Rand on this issue. Apparently I was not alone. He obviously has a ways to go in the shape up category but he and Cruz, much further back, are leading the pack. Unfortunately most everyone else in the pack are statist idiots.

     

    http://bit.ly/17ZXeeX

     

    Statist idiots need useful idiots.

     

    http://bit.ly/17ZXdrl
    20 Aug 2013, 07:15 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    What I see everywhere are cracks in the Republican alliance. The biggest one runs right down the middle and separates the Moral Majority from the centrists/moderates. The wild card (and potential hammer to shatter the Republican party) is the Tea Party, which is showing clear signs of becoming an ACTUAL political Party.

     

    Oddly enough, the schism that pulls about half of the Republican Party into a new, breakaway Tea Party would also remove about 25% of the Democrat Party (Blue Dogs, centrists, and several fringe categories). The result would be three very nearly equal parties, though the Demicans and Republicrats would retain their institutional advantages until the new party could get equal recognition in the 50 states and the laws that rule their various primary and local voting systems.

     

    Whether this development will reach critical mass before the 2016 elections is still undetermined. I do not anticipate anything really new for 2014.
    20 Aug 2013, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5512) | Send Message
     
    TB, I agree with the nothing new for 2014.

     

    re: Rand Paul

     

    I am from KY, and will tell you guys that Rand Paul is not what you think he is. He is not his father and will never be, no matter what you hear on TV & his speeches.

     

    I am not going to expand on this topic, other than to warn you guys who loved his father. Rand Paul is a very poor choice for us all and pray tell he never sees the oval office or any other. He only won here because of a weak field and the Tea Party rant that carried many candidates into office.
    20 Aug 2013, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Rand is very typical of what the two partys deliver up each time and we have to decided which is the least smelliest turd. He stinks less than everything else the two parties have to offer but unfortunately he still stinks. I don't know if it can be washed off. Time and a lot of washing will tell.

     

    We need statesmen not politicians and we need this...to take the power back from the federal govt and return it to the states.

     

    http://bit.ly/1anTgTA
    20 Aug 2013, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greece will need third aid deal, German Finance Minister admits
    From: Reuters, by Gernot Heller, August 20, 2013.

     

    Germany's finance minister admitted for the first time on Tuesday that Greece would need a third aid package, as a source in Athens said the sums involved in any new deal would be far smaller than previous rescues.

     

    "There will have to be another programme in Greece," Wolfgang Schaeuble told a campaign audience in northern Germany, in comments that raised prospect of a step that could be deeply unpopular domestically just five weeks before national elections.
    http://tinyurl.com/k9a...
    20 Aug 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    >FPA-

     

    Thanks for the Greece update. I'm not surprised about the third boost but I just don't think it's enough. There has been so much resistance to common sense reductions which may never be put into place that the bail out funds may be "slightly diverted" from their intended purposes.
    20 Aug 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    TEN aid deals will not be "enough" for Greece. They, like any drug addict, need to be withdrawn from their credit drug and allowed to hit bottom, HARD. Then they might have a chance. As long as they have access to the "EU money fountain" there will be no reform.

     

    Given another few years of faux austerity, the Greek underground economy might be robust enough to carry them thru a weaning off of the Euro. Basically, board up the central government and let the market run for awhile. Use PM coins for distant trade. Individuals will be hurt but Greece might prosper.
    20 Aug 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Calling the financial support for Greece "aid" is like me calling paying my ridge-runner cousins' court costs a "loan".

     

    By now the Germans know why they are paying the money, and its not in expectations of getting the principal repaid, plus interest...

     

    Its one of the burdens of having "family".

     

    When the Germans figure out that the Greeks really are NOT family, this could get interesting.
    21 Aug 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I wonder when they will finally figure it out...
    21 Aug 2013, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    It may take 1 or even 2 political cycles (starting with the upcoming September elections) to get a clue.

     

    They will give the Left/Greens a shot, first. And might even give them 2...
    21 Aug 2013, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    >SH-

     

    You've got to learn to not mince words. How are readers going to really grasp your meaning?

     

    (:-)]

     

    Well said!

     

    WT
    20 Aug 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    WT: When I was working for a living I was often in trouble for stating what, to me, was the obvious truth. I never was any good at smoothing off the sharp edges and making nice politically. Needless to say I was often frowned at by "management". Luckily, my engineering designs and re-designs usually worked as required. They kept paying me for that reason.

     

    I like being retired! My wife just ignores my rants and all is well :-)
    21 Aug 2013, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    >SH-

     

    Not being a reticent wallflower myself I too no longer have to put up with a specific anatomical part presented as language by some.

     

    However when I rant and rave my wife thinks there is a pathology being evidenced.

     

    She may be correct.
    21 Aug 2013, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • Windwood Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (3347) | Send Message
     
    ECB rep pushing reforms in Athens-

     

    http://bit.ly/174spsC
    21 Aug 2013, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2357) | Send Message
     
    "ECB board member"

     

    OK, that explains why he sympathized with the Greeks but otherwise had no useful suggestions or coherent analysis of the mess. Drivel.
    I wonder if he is from Brussels? ;-(
    21 Aug 2013, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » How much do the Greeks owe?
    ----
    Greek public debt is currently EUR 321 billion (leaked from the IMF headquarters in Washington). http://tinyurl.com/mqh...
    26 Aug 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    The entire nation is insolvent, collectively and individually.
    26 Aug 2013, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Ha..... California has them beat at 848 billion and could soon top 1 trillion. Of course its 38 million folks in CA to 11.3 Million in Greece leaving Greece with a much higher debt load per citizen.

     

    http://cbsloc.al/1dkoFIC
    26 Aug 2013, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    California is a rich man with a spending problem, whereas Greece is a poor man with a spending problem...

     

    Both have a problem, of course, but Greece really has no possible solution without devastating consequences.
    26 Aug 2013, 05:51 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    "....without devastating consequences."

     

    Totally agree but that might be just a bit of an understatement.
    26 Aug 2013, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10502) | Send Message
     
    FPA: If this Syria thing blows up, is it okay to post stuff here? There are some investment ideas rolling around if NATO (or the US going it alone) decides to send in some Tomahawks.

     

    I am not sure QC is the place, and equally unsure this blog is the place to follow, comment, and develop investing ideas of what might just be an impending war.
    26 Aug 2013, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Sure Maya... It looks like England, France, and Cyprus are going to be involved, so it does fit here.
    26 Aug 2013, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10502) | Send Message
     
    Great! Thanks.

     

    The WS foresight boyz and girlz have already been all over this stock, possibly anticipating the coming war with Syria.

     

    200 Tomahawk missiles were fired into Libya. At a cost of $1.4M each, that was $280M worth of missiles.

     

    Raytheon makes the Tomahawks. Totally late on this one, as RTN has gone from $56.22 in mid-April, to $77.02 today, over a 40% pop in four months.
    26 Aug 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Maya if this leads to a much larger scale war that will be a cheap entry point.
    26 Aug 2013, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    I like tracking RTN, and have been long this stock several times over the years, with good results. It pays a nice dividend, too, for those who buy and hold.

     

    I believe the runup on speculation about the middle east started about 6 months ago, and the RTN chart is the roadmap to that idea. Unfortunately, I believe its as possible that the escalation in orders from the government as a result of this conflict has already been priced into the shares. IF this is the case, should they get additional orders, the price might move very little... And then there is the downside where the US does NOT go into Syria, in which case the stock could very well reset to its price from 3 or 6 months ago ($64 or $53).
    27 Aug 2013, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8635) | Send Message
     
    Yes TB I think you just showed the other side of the coin. So this is a coin toss at present.
    27 Aug 2013, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Yes. Even so, RTN is a bad news bellweather. If the short term gamble goes sour, its not hard to hold for another 6month or year, and see a new conflict flare up and lift its price.
    27 Aug 2013, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6190) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » New link to concentrator: http://tinyurl.com/okj...
    28 Aug 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
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