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  • Stability Of The European Union (15) August 3 To October 25, 2012 188 comments
    Oct 25, 2012 8:26 PM

    I changed the name of this Insta on Nov 21, 2010, after Ireland said they are seeking a bailout.

    This Instablog is the result of a question by one of the Renegades in OptionsGirl [OG] Quick Chat 90
    tinyurl.com/24y6u87

    Basically, what I wanted to address was what shoe is going to fall first, the US Dollar, or the Euro... I also wanted to see if there was any evidence for a time estimate with respect to issues for the Euro.

    I added more information on August 21, 2010.

    ____________________________________________
    Things are not looking good for Greece. I don't think they are going to be able to service all that debt. Enormous cuts in spending accompanied with increased taxes will likely destabilize their government. Remember, they can't print money as a way out of their debt trap. Investors are going to buy the safest assets in this environment. That should drive Greece's bowering rate higher. Here is some relevant information from a recent Bloomberg article:
    ___________________
    (August 13) Spanish, Greek Bonds Fall on Renewed Growth Concern; Bunds Gain By Anchalee Worrachate

    On August 13, the extra yield, or spread, investors demand to hold Greek 10-year securities instead of equivalent-maturity German debt, Europe's benchmark, rose 11 basis points to 808 basis points. That's the most since May 7, before the European Union announced a 750 billion-euro financial backstop for the region's most indebted nations.

    Concern some European nations would struggle to pay their debts helped boost demand this year for bunds, the region's benchmark securities. Spanish bonds returned 1.5 percent this year and Irish debt 0.5 percent, compared with an 8 percent gain from German securities, according to indexes compiled by European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. Greek bonds lost 19 percent.

    Data today showed Spanish banks borrowed a record amount from the European Central Bank in July as investors shunned the indebted nation's lenders. Borrowing rose 3.1 percent to 130.2 billion euros ($167 billion) from 126.3 billion euros in June, according to daily averages compiled by the Bank of Spain.

    Spanish bonds are heading for their first weekly loss in five on renewed concern that climbing borrowing costs for Spanish regions put the national budget at risk.

    Catalonia, which accounts for a fifth of Spanish gross domestic product, has been shut out of public bond markets since March and the extra yield it pays over national government debt has almost tripled this year.

    The yield spread between 10-year Irish bonds and the benchmark German debt widened to 294 basis points today, the most since June 29, as investors bet the government will have to inject more capital into banks, including Anglo Irish Bank Corp.

    Ireland's borrowing costs rose at an auction of its six-and eight-month bills yesterday as investors demanded higher compensation for risk facing the government's finances. The country will sell 2014 and 2020 bonds debt next week.tinyurl.com/2dtuc5v
    ______________________________________________

    While the US is in a somewhat similar position, the US can print money, and our bonds have not be rated as junk. The higher the interest rate, the higher the perceived risk. The higher the interest rate, the deeper into the debt trap you go.

    I conclude that the Euro will drop relative to the dollar as money seeks less risk. How rapidly will this occur? I think the following chart provides some evidence with respect to timing.

    From June 2010 to August 2010 the average ten year Greek bond interest rate went from 64% of its peak crisis level to 85.5% of the peak crisis level.

    As of August, the Greek ten year bond interest rate is at the second highest level its been at over the past five years.

    If the interest rate is proportional to risk, than in the last three months, the risk level of the Greek ten year bond has increased at an average rate of 7.2% per month [ (85.5 - 64)/3 ].

    I suppose a natural accompaniment to shorting the Euro would be to go long on the dollar. This assumes that the debt crisis of the European Union will reach critical mass in advance of the US dollar.

    ______________________________________________________
    Added August 21, 2010

    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

    =================
    Added September 29, 2011.

    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-thrid (36.7%) of EFSF commitments. All by themselves, Italy and Spain have a financial commitment of almost one-thrid (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) Europe's Scariest Chart Just Got Scarier. From: Zero Hedge, by Tyler Durden. 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)

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

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Comments (188)
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  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Lost in translation? Unbelievable. So now the markets are responding based on poor translations.

     

    "The confusion and disappointment yesterday were a result of Draghi’s bold comments the week before, where he had raised expectations for a significant policy announcement. It begs the question, what has happened over the past week to cause the downshift in tone? Is it possible that the stiff resistance from Bundesbank president, Jens Weidmann, was so strong that Draghi had to reassess what tools he had at his disposal? Or was this just a translation error between English speaking traders and an Italian central banker who is still in his first year on the job."
    3 Aug 2012, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Hmmm.

     

    Ph.D. at M.I.T.
    Formerly executive both at the World Bank and Goldman Sachs.
    A Trustee at Princeton and the Brookings Institution.

     

    Clearly he lacks the experience and education to speak transparently in English.

     

    Yup. Its either that or part of the 24 hours news cycle's ongoing attempt to waste 23 hours and 59 minutes of our time with inane useless news.
    3 Aug 2012, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    At moments like this I harken back to the point in time when I stopped watching "news" roundtables where media interviews media, with both sides of the equation clueless. Bad enough that this was passing as "expert commentary", but then we see the rare moment when one of the media pundits tosses what we here in the South call "a hissy fit".

     

    The ancients had a latin phrase to cover a similar revelation, ie "in vino veritas". Today we might assume the media ego is drunk or drugged (it might even be true), but I find their near-pornographic revelations track quite well with a cold, logical review of their past acts.

     

    In this case, there are agendas a'plenty that COULD explain the mismatch between intent and presentation, but I would be content with the "usual suspect", ie, simple galloping incompetence.

     

    I don't know much about Draghi, but from Jon's review I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

     

    LOL, the episode that pops into my head is the one where some towering legends of modern media (aka, pack of moronic hyenas) were informed that the family of a dead hero had denied their demand that they be allowed to film the grieving family members as they met his flag-drapped coffin at the airport.

     

    The talking head with the perfect hair blew up, and shouted at his long-suffering producer "How does the government expect me to shape public opinion if they keep blocking my visuals?"

     

    Yes, it was his job to "shape public opinion", NOT inform the public, or even to simply report the news.

     

    Its the ugly truth beneath the story - almost any story - involving the modern media. Assume they have a venal, self-serving agenda behind everything they say and do, and you will not be far wrong.
    3 Aug 2012, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Eloquent assessment of media situation today TB.

     

    I forgot to link Draghi's WikiPedia page:
    http://bit.ly/N826qp
    and his Bloomberg bio page:
    http://bit.ly/Qn91yP
    3 Aug 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    TB: Greetings. Well said!
    10 Aug 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2140) | Send Message
     
    And speaking of media; has anyone noticed how CNBC is "looking and feeling" more like Bloomberg each week that passes? It's not any one thing, it's the whole gestalt of the programming. Interesting ;-)

     

    I wonder whose numbers were slipping wrt Bloomberg? :-)
    3 Aug 2012, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greece's government will be able to access an extra €4B of financing after the ECB acceded to a Bank of Greece request to increase to €7B from €3B the amount of T-Bills that the latter can accept as collateral for emergency liquidity assistance.
    ----
    Borrow money from the ECB to pay the interest on more bowered money from the ECB.
    5 Aug 2012, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    Yep. Its the American way...
    5 Aug 2012, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    Axel Merk wrote that Draghi is a genius and Merk is now long the euro.
    I read the essay and just don't see the genius, but we'll see if Merk is right and if the Euro and the eurozone strengthens.
    After reading all those articles that predict the ez will send the world into a recession and possibly knock the earth off its axis in time for the Mayan end of world, I'd sure like to believe Draghi is a genius, even if I don't understand it!
    7 Aug 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >optionsgirl ... If the markets can rise on virtually no really economic activity, fewer workers/customers & growing debt, Draghi is indeed a genius because some one thinks so. Action and performance have no value today.
    7 Aug 2012, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I added four interesting charts on Italy today, sourced from Bloomberg's BRIEF
 August 7, 2012, available on "The Big Picture" site: http://tinyurl.com/8lt....

     

    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 http://tinyurl.com/8fp....

     

    I think this is an interesting read. Their figures on the size of the Shadow Economies is in the same ball park as the Bloomberg charts.
    7 Aug 2012, 07:18 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Data on page 104 of 2nd links looks accurate, in comparing to the small pool of empirical data from my own life experience. Cool stuff. Thanks FPA.
    8 Aug 2012, 05:13 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I was also very impressed with that article Jon. Size, Causes and Consequences is what I refer to as an work of scope. I wish more research journals published articles of that nature.
    8 Aug 2012, 07:10 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Must save the Euro in order to not become insignificant.

     

    “We’re not numerous enough, we’re declining in number, we’re losing economic power, and if we don’t have this common currency, politically we won’t have any significance.”

     

    http://bit.ly/RsCLKB

     

    Seems to be some of that worrying about keeping up with the Jones'.

     

    Use gold....bet that will get you some significance.
    9 Aug 2012, 06:56 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Here is a good example of how politicians think.

     

    One potential approach being considered to reduce the "size" of Greek debt is to allow the funds Greece has received and will receive from the EFSF for bank re-capitalization to not go through the government’s account. This would lead to a 17% decrease in the Greek debt to GDP ratio.

     

    So the approach is to manipulate the perceived "size" of the Greek debt to GDP ratio metric as opposed to reducing the debt load. This is the same approach being used in Spain. I can see it now, 'Our policy has reduced the Greek debt to GDP ratio by 17%'. Markets pop, the press rejoices. Greece has demonstrated improvement, and as a result they will receive additional funding (debt). The can gets kicked down the road. Meanwhile, the actual debt levels increase because they are bowering more and more money. Than comes the day when Greece can't meet their debt obligations again.

     

    It's a game of musical chairs. What counts is to make sure you have a chair when the music stops. You can bet the puppet masters will have those chairs and everyone else will be left holding an empty bag.
    12 Aug 2012, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    Merkel and her party are facing the perfect storm next year. They are going to lose big in the upcoming elections, and we may even see a schism between her and the nationalist Bavarian wing of her alliance.

     

    I anticipate a resurgence in fascist influence on the left, particularly in the powerful German green party.

     

    German politics in their next election will point the way for where the EZ and in fact the entire EU will go.
    12 Aug 2012, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >tripleblack ... "I anticipate a resurgence in fascist influence on the left"(??) OK, I need your definition of "fascist" or maybe "left". History shows fascism as not being an political/economic system of the "Left".
    12 Aug 2012, 11:56 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    In the context of German politics, I am characterizing the parties in opposition to Merkel's center-right alliance as "left". Since virtually ALL European parties now contain broad socialist planks in their basic makeup, the term socialism is more blurred than in American politics. The Green Party has, like many major environmental movements, been highjacked to some extent to supply a political mechanism for some groups that are using them for their own ends, ie, some folks that I view as "fascist". These people seek power for its own sake (again, a common thread for fascists everywhere) and find that using the structure (ie, the "Left" alliance which stands in opposition the Center-Right alliance) already in place for the Green Party can work for them.

     

    The original Nazis of course called themselves "National Socialists", but they were only hijacking any true socialist underpinnings in order to secure power and to initially conceal their fascist plans. Whatever portions of the economy they decided not to subsume into direct government ownership (a disingenuous nod to traditional teachings from Karl Marx), they left standing in a condition of private ownership but government control, a classic and corrupt fascist infrastructure. When they promptly eliminated the democratic trappings as they took power, they took the next step to Mussolini's aptly named "Totalitarianism".

     

    I see the "legitimate" German Left as vulnerable to the inroads of fascism, DR. I look for the neonazi movement to fade, as they are subsumed into something more subtle. Tensions within eastern Germany, with the hangover from Communism still strong, will be involved.
    12 Aug 2012, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    EU thinks Romanians aren't moving fast enough to impeach... When is a state sovereign?
    http://yhoo.it/Sccuhc
    12 Aug 2012, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    There is a difference between imposing a tax, and imposing a tax you can collect.

     

    http://bit.ly/PezttD
    13 Aug 2012, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2140) | Send Message
     
    France should tax all food 50% at point of retail sale and forbid private gardens.

     

    Makes as much sense as thinking they will collect much from their "millionaire tax". Actually, I believe the income tax is a political cover/gimmick to justify broad based tax increases. France is rather high up on the doomsday list for a debt black hole.
    13 Aug 2012, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » August 14, 2012 - Real numbers:
    Greece sells €4.06 B in 13-week Treasury bills yielding 4.43%.
    14 Aug 2012, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I see I left off the question mark after Real Numbers...
    Those bonds were sold to pay the ECB interest on other bonds. Guess who bought those 13 week T bills.... Right... the ECB. So in effect, the yield number is rigged...

     

    This is the way the EU is going to fix things,,, they are going to fix the numbers... of course, the whole house of cards will come crashing down at some point, probably when the Germans say "Um mit dieser Hölle"
    14 Aug 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    FPA: Greetings. It's the same everywhere. The numbers rackets are blooming big and small. Bailouts of GM and Chrysler are magically showing a profit when we bought at $50 and it's selling for $20. Here the unemployment numbers are so flexible as to be meaningless. They are revised around to the point where you just lose interest. It's a shell game that is rapidly running out of road for the can kicking to continue. I'm going to Milwaukee tomorrow for some R&R I'll try to keep current.
    14 Aug 2012, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/OY7QCR

     

    Could this be an indication that the German court will not pave the way for bailouts in September? If so, this will make it harder for Draghi (though not totally out of the question) to make the ECB much more accommodative. The US 10 yr is edging around 1.80. With some "not horribly disappointing" economic data for the rest of Aug, it climb its way up to 1.95. Then if Jackson hole at the end of this month and Draghi disappoint, it could plunge back down to 1.40 or 1.35.
    15 Aug 2012, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    This makes me think September will be met with more jawboning from the ECB.

     

    http://bit.ly/NsIWQa
    16 Aug 2012, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    "Germany’s director at the European Central Bank has thrown his weight behind mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt to prevent the disintegration of the euro, marking a crucial turning point in the eurozone debt crisis."

     

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
    http://bit.ly/QUERzf

     

    Resistance against the inflationary money printing is futile.

     

    "Mr Asmussen [German ECB currency surfer dude] confirmed that purchases may be “unlimited” in scale, a far cry from the half-hearted intervention of the past two years, which failed to stem capital flight."

     

    "The Daily Telegraph can confirm reports in Der Spiegel that ECB technicians are examining plans to cap Spanish and Italian bond yields, among other options. This may prove to be the “game changer” that critics around the world have been demanding for two years."
    21 Aug 2012, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2115) | Send Message
     
    Hi Jon,
    Resistance against the inflationary money printing is futile. (attributed to the economic Darth Vader)
    Hmm, looks like that pit just keeps getting deeper and wider.
    21 Aug 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    I was thinking more along the lines of The Borg http://bit.ly/O0MbJy

     

    ... but I'm open to suggestions for the intergalactic evil leadership of money printing
    21 Aug 2012, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    Lovecraftian is how I view the tentacular spread of fiat currency abuse...

     

    "CTHULU".

     

    Central Triumverate of Huge, Ugly, Lying Users.
    21 Aug 2012, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I am thinking I will believe it when I see it because it will kill Merkel's reelection bid. Alas, lately I have been wrong on just about everything. So plan accordingly.

     

    I am going back into my cardboard box now before the denizens of Ratville lynch me for loosing their money on my poor decisions.
    21 Aug 2012, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Rattie, I am with you on that, but I see it from very very dark rose colored glasses. Who ever replaces Merkel will be dead set against this..... until they are in office. German voters to be taken to the wood shed. Much like those of us here with our own election.

     

    Meet the new boss....same as the old boss. Big spenders are everywhere. The solutions are simple...reform a lot or spend a lot. We are all stuck, europe included, with big spenders and no reformers.
    21 Aug 2012, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Genug! German for enough.
    Genoeg! Dutch for enough.

     

    Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter says donor states and Austrian taxpayers have reached the “uppermost limit” of their capacity to absorb bailouts for other nations.

     

    http://bit.ly/NWD39K
    27 Aug 2012, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    The Northern Europeans are certainly very vocal that they don't want to be part of a Southern bailout. Got Krona?
    27 Aug 2012, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2140) | Send Message
     
    I wonder, do northern Europeans have any more say in what their national governments actually DO then we Americans? The word "democracy" seems to develope an infinitely flexible meaning once a nation gets over a few million people in it. Sheeple have very short attention spans, after all.
    27 Aug 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Angela, Merkel reveals the real situation in the EZ. http://bit.ly/U6hJSl
    27 Aug 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Shades of Gresham's Law.

     

    http://wapo.st/PnfuWv
    28 Aug 2012, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Some folks figure it out right away. Good for them.
    28 Aug 2012, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    A barter system has emerged in Greece as well. I suspect we will see more and more of this type of economic activity as things continue to deteriorate in the EZ. http://bit.ly/NCLfuc Could it happen here?
    29 Aug 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2115) | Send Message
     
    RBF,
    There was a discovery channel show about barter and services hour swapping a couple of years ago that showed what was happening in the Seattle and some other areas.
    29 Aug 2012, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    stildazed: Greetings. Barter has represented the most common form of trade throughout the history of our species until very recently. I'm not surprised to find it reemerging all over the planet as things go south. Barter is more reliable than fiat currency when the chips are down and it allows for specialization of labor.
    29 Aug 2012, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >RBF ... I don't have the link but I read a fortnight ago that there is district in Greece that has broken out of its barter system and developed a currency that is used for trading between cities. If the whole world is dedicated to supporting bondholders and their insurance (derivatives) to not take a loss, there is no alternative but to abandon the elites and get back to business.
    29 Aug 2012, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    They call it a Drachma or something as I recall. It was around before the Euro and will undoubtedly make a comeback when Greece departs the Eurozone.
    29 Aug 2012, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >RBF ... No, it wasn't named the for the former national currency. It had a city or regional name. Anyway, I'd like nothing better than to see a collapse because I think it will happen anyway or we will zombify until revolutions break out. Creative destruction is part of the system so many people say they believe in. It would have been a lot easier on the population if it had happened when it should have back in 2009 but sooner or later we're going to get down to the Swedish solution.

     

    If I find that story, I'll post a link. It was interesting but might be too socialist for most here but shows that a bottom up economic system can and does work.
    29 Aug 2012, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >RBF ... Update: I'm sorry to say that I can't find the story I read about a small group of farming communities. It has been buried by the barter system story in Volos and their currency called a TEM. Still looking.
    29 Aug 2012, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    DRich, one of these?

     

    http://bit.ly/UdlhCC

     

    http://bit.ly/Udlg1f

     

    http://bit.ly/NyKbNO

     

    HardToLove
    30 Aug 2012, 06:43 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Sometimes sarcasm doesn't come off well on the boards.
    30 Aug 2012, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Sound familiar?

     

    http://bit.ly/N29kza
    30 Aug 2012, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    To now?

     

    How?

     

    Godwin's Law wins again http://bit.ly/rztitO
    1 Sep 2012, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    The reason Godwin's law applies is because the longer gov intervention continues in the name of the "common good" the longer people have to start understanding the similarities among all socialist's dogma. The NAZI's didn't invent what they believed. It had evolved over a long period of time from Fuedal roots. Its basic themes are still what is driving most of Europe today. It is an old tale for mankind that has many different versions but the same basic theme - those that can control force are able to take advantage of those without force. This is why the basic ruling model of Europe and all societies is basically a small ruling, wealthy elite that control force and coercion runnning rough shod over everyone else, and everytime the same excuse of the "common good" is used.
    2 Sep 2012, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Richter in 1893 predicted that one day Germany would turn socialist, and that they would have to build walls to keep people in.

     

    Isn't it interesting that capital rules are also being proposed all over Europe to "keep capital in".
    2 Sep 2012, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Here is how it is familiar.

     

    http://bit.ly/R9ce6J

     

    Europe has been using the failed polices of not just the last "8" years, but of the last few centuries. All they do is change the name of the play book. They just can't let go of the presence of coercion in their economy. It will be bubble after bubble, followed by burst after burst, all paid for by the general populace.
    5 Sep 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    It's missing the part about this all being Bush's fault.
    31 Aug 2012, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    It was the Jews fault back then. Notice they still had to have someone to blame.
    31 Aug 2012, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    This isn't idle chatter invoking Nazi imagery. They're still active in Germany. We saw the Greek elections and their own brand of anti-Jewish verbalized sentiment. I don't need convincing that the hate and blame, however unjustified and implausible, is palpable.
    1 Sep 2012, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Completely supported by the behavior of the OWS movement. No press coverage of all that though or very little,very late and low key.
    1 Sep 2012, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Hate rises as economies fall. There are neo-Nazis everywhere. I've seen the Nazi flag waved during a rock concert on the parliament square in Ulaanbaatar... and yes, there are folks reading Mein Kampf in Mongolian. Bizarre, but poverty and lack of economic opportunity breeds hate as an answer/excuse.
    2 Sep 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » (September 1, 2012) France Nationalizes Its Second Largest Mortgage Lender

     

    The French government announced the nationalization of troubled mortgage lender Credit Immobilier de France, which is the country's second largest mortgage specialist after an attempt to find a buyer for the company failed. http://tinyurl.com/cx2...
    1 Sep 2012, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    The more I hear from Draghi, the more I think he is setting up the scenario that he is going to buy bonds no matter what the German court decides.

     

    "Mr Draghi maintained that the move would not break existing treaties"

     

    Maybe what he does on the 6th is to provide an outline of bond buying but not an announcement. Then if the court decision goes his way, then the political winds would seem to be signaling that ECB action has the green light. If the court decision goes against him, then he can say he told everyone that the overarching goal is one of monetary policy and this gives him the authority to engage in any action he deems necessary to satisfy that mandate.

     

    http://bit.ly/OVgfZg
    4 Sep 2012, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    So, are they growing the balance sheet or not?

     

    http://bloom.bg/OaTnbb
    5 Sep 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » (September 9, 2012) Troika and Greece Can’t Agree on Spending Cuts. From: Greek Reporter, by Andy Dabilis

     

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ hopes to quickly resolve disagreement with his reluctant coalition partners over another $14.16 billion in spending cuts have faded quickly after the country’s international lenders nixed some of the ideas and said there is a “long way to go” before they can endorse any plan.

     

    Meanwhile, Greece's statistics agency says industrial production has dropped 5.0% on the year in July. Manufacturing output fell 7.8% and production at mines and quarries slipped 2.6%.
    10 Sep 2012, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Looks like a delay could be in the works, but you gotta love those hats.

     

    http://bit.ly/U4sv9U
    10 Sep 2012, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I suspect the fix is in, but their could be strings attached.
    10 Sep 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Excellent headline (Debt crisis: German court may delay euro ruling - live)... I love watching live feeds of delays.

     

    This is why I spend hours trying to film trees when there's no breeze.
    10 Sep 2012, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    "One plaintiff, Peter Gauweiler, a Bavarian lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling bloc"

     

    Bavarian. Interesting. A gentleman with whom I have an association is Swiss. He has interests in the US and Europe, and has spent quite a bit of time in both places. He remarked to me the other day that his impression of the Bavarians is that they are "fed up". Bavaria is one of the most productive places in Germany and not to mention Europe. The cost of integrating the East Germans was enormous. Imagine a few generations of communists who had been taught that they should be paid for nothing, and then trying to integrate them. Now it is as if the Bavarians are being asked to pay for this again. It was an interesting comment he made.

     

    I have a feelings the Bavarians will find out what the result is when two wolves and a sheep are voting what to have for dinner.

     

    http://bloom.bg/O89qBc
    10 Sep 2012, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    The Bavarians are members of Merkel's coalition, but they are very different... I have predicted that they will ultimately distance themselves from her after the next election in 2013, which the center-right (with the Baviarians being the "right") coalition will lose imo.
    10 Sep 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » As suspected, there will be strings attached -

     

    September 12, 2012 German Constitutional Court refuses to block ESM. From: MarketWatch, By William L. Watts.

     

    Germany’s top court rejected calls to block ratification of the European Stability Mechanism clearing the way for implementation of an important tool in Europe’s effort to contain its three-year-old debt crisis.

     

    In the decision the judges rejected six requests for an injunction to prevent Germany’s president from signing the treaty establishing the 500 billion euro ($643.7 billion) permanent rescue fund.

     

    Unlimited Bond Purchases:
    The decision clears the way for the European Central Bank [ECB] to employ the program of unlimited bond purchases it detailed last week. That plan relies on distressed countries, such as Spain and Italy, applying to the ESM for help. The ESM would then buy government bonds in the primary market, while the ECB would make purchases in the secondary market in an effort to reduce the risk tied to fears of a euro breakup.

     

    LIMITS:
    The court, however, put limits on the fund. The court said that liabilities can’t exceed the €190 billion in German financial guarantees granted when parliament approved the fund without further approval from the Bundestag. http://tinyurl.com/8fa...
    --------
    More on that Limit:
    * Germany must set cap for liability under ESM when ratifying.
    * Germany must make sure its ESM share is capped at EU 190 bln.

     

    I think this means that the 'Unlimited' ECB Bazooka (ESM) is now capped at EUR 190bn from Germany.

     

    The market reaction appears to be priced in so far, except for Gold.
    12 Sep 2012, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Those limits strike me as less firm than the U.S. debt ceiling.

     

    Sounds good now, will get blown through in the next couple of years.

     

    What's the enforcement of such a limit?

     

    ***

     

    Time warp back to the beginnings of the EMU when countries were going to be penalized for not balancing their budget... until France couldn't balance its budget and there were no consequences.
    12 Sep 2012, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Less firm than the US debt ceiling? Thats an interesting thought.

     

    I may be mistaken, but in Germany, I believe the court can require a vote by the people if they think the politicians are in violation of the rights of the people with respect to the use of taxpayer funds.

     

    The last thing the politicians want is to allow the people to vote on the issue. So long as the court is not in the pocket of the politicians, they seem to have an effective check and balance operating.

     

    I don't think that kind of action happens in the US. Over here if the debt ceiling exceeds the legal limit approved by Congress, Congress seems to always increase the limit.

     

    Has there ever been a legal challenge against constantly increasing the debt ceiling? Is that kind of question within the scope of our supreme court?
    12 Sep 2012, 08:16 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Time will tell... but my guess is we'll read this in 12 to 24 months:

     

    Faced with the collapse of the entire European continent, a German courtroom ruled today that the country could quintuple its previous $190 billion ceiling on the country's participation in the ESM.
    12 Sep 2012, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    The 190 is based on what was ratified. What's to stop the members from amending the agreement and then ratifying higher amounts in the amendment?
    12 Sep 2012, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    We should remember that this limit will ultimately apply (at most) to Germany's fraction of the total... And presumably like everything which becomes part of a government budget, will get perpetuated and increased on a regular (probably yearly) basis.
    12 Sep 2012, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » September 12, 2012 Rajoy says Spain may not need a bail out after all.
    Based on an article posted on: ZeroHedge

     

    The last think Rajoy wants is to have to submit to the EU Austerity police. My guess is the statement was made because the market has priced in the save part of Spanish sovereigns with the Spanish 10 year sliding to multi-month lows.

     

    However, Goldman hoped that Spain would request a bailout as soon as Friday because there is a large (and uncovered) redemption looming at the end of October and Spain is running out of cash.

     

    Those lower yields on the Spanish 10 year were probably based on the assumption that the ECB had their back. But if Spain does not ask for a bailout and submit to the conditions, the ECB can't buy the bonds.

     

    As a result, it appears likely that the as the market realizes that without the ECB's explicit bond buying support, there is no reason to buy the bonds of a country with 25% unemployment, a massive budget deficit, an imploding housing market, and insolvent banking system. And what has been a buying euphoria may well become a selling revulsion. http://tinyurl.com/8md...
    12 Sep 2012, 07:48 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » From: Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

     

    Spain is considering asking for assistance from the ECB's bond-buying program, PM Mariano Rajoy has told Finnish newspapers. While Rajoy ruled out asking for a full bailout and taking orders over the budget, he has no objection to IMF monitoring. His comments indicate that Spain would apply for the precautionary assistance program, which carries lighter conditions.
    12 Sep 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    You know, he's right. The US adopted European gov internventionist policies, and the US injured the golden goose that pays for much of Europe's welfare state.

     

    http://bit.ly/TSgVBv
    12 Sep 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    My response to Senor Barroso would be caveat emptor, and "do your own due diligence".
    12 Sep 2012, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Right. Aren't they supposed to be the best and brightest? Thus they make the claim that they should be in charge because they won't make mistakes. Instead all we get is excuses. "Its the US's fault, its Bush's fault, its the weather, its the earthquake, we need more control, etc, etc".
    12 Sep 2012, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Many countries had real estate bubbles at the same time. That suggests the root of the problem was was an overarching organization not related to national interests. I nominate the global financial system as the source of the problem.
    12 Sep 2012, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    It is an old fashioned gov induced asset bubble via subsidies and regulations (regulations are subsidies for big business - like a big bank - its why the banks get so big). It is a centuries old pattern. We need to recognize these patterns, and learn to play them.
    12 Sep 2012, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • DigDeep
    , contributor
    Comments (2356) | Send Message
     
    described well hoop
    I question...don't think the Fed will move with immediate new qe;

     

    - too blatant if they react to markets request for further asset pump
    - EU new qe in the offing
    - last fall with EU LTRO, the Fed only did additional twist
    - last fall s&p 1100, 1430 now

     

    I think new qe is priced in.
    we shall see
    12 Sep 2012, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    DigDeep

     

    I've been thinking about the Fed move quite a bit. A theory I have now is that the Fed will mimic what the ECB and German court have just delivered. Both the ECB and German court delivered the ability to ease but with conditions. Its sort of like asking the most popular girl in school on a date, and she says yes but never gives a date. So now you have this great expectation that keeps you going, but you never know when it will happen.

     

    I can see BB doing something similar. So he says something like, "We plan to engage in a $600 billion large scale asset purchase, when the conditions warrant such purchases", or he might say, "We plan on a asset purchase program to begin in October. The details of the purchases will be outlined in the minutes." Then the minutes reveal the program is only $50 billion, but the headline of asset purchases hit anyway.

     

    The pattern of late seems to be specific promises mitigated by vague circumstances that will limit those promises. So BB can promise something, but add conditions that give him latitude to not act. The elation translates to risk on, and a rally ensues.

     

    I could see 1450+ in the S&P and 1.85 on the US 10yr if this scenario plays out.
    12 Sep 2012, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • DigDeep
    , contributor
    Comments (2356) | Send Message
     
    you might be right - I'm sick (& tired) of CB action driving markets... and not driving the base economy. Not that they can effectively do much more than ZIRP. For the EU more debt is supposed to solve a debt problem. For us, more liquidity that goes to trading desks and idle reserves....more of the same? Maybe BB surprises with no interest on the reserves -- more manipulation on top of more interventions....great.

     

    Unbelievable to me (and a few short positions I'm sitting on) that the Fed is in the business of risk-on support. I've got a fairly thick skull.

     

    Also strange to watch EUR/USD climb while the EU is in further debase mode.
    12 Sep 2012, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Turn up the volume:

     

    Farage's Berating Rebuttal Of Barosso's 'State-Of-The-Union' Banalities http://tinyurl.com/9d3...
    12 Sep 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    The exchange with the Austrian rep at the end was most telling. EU powers continue to expand without regard for democracy.

     

    Its a very difficult thing to challenge. There isn't a particular entity to throw out of office.
    12 Sep 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2140) | Send Message
     
    Jon: Which is exactly what the eurocrats WANT! Rule by functionaries who are not under any form of democratic control by the people affected by their decisions.

     

    Are the Europeans (the actual people) really foolish enough to allow it to happen? Can the blatant lie of "don't worry, we will take care of all the nasty problems for you" actually be swallowed?

     

    Although, the US doesn't seem all that far behind the EU on shelving democracy "for the duration of the emergency". Said emergency to be defined by those not elected. Nasty future, if it happens.
    12 Sep 2012, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    What would be the iconic symbol of people's frustration with the EU, EMU, etc?

     

    What are they going to do? March on Brussels? March on Strasbourg?

     

    Who can they vote for? They vote for opposition parties and then those people support "Europe" too.

     

    What's left? Xenophobia, the far-right and the far-left. Centrist politicians have abandoned the voters.

     

    ***

     

    I heard Chirac's speech after the French people voted against the EU Constitution. It was like a bad conciliatory speech after losing a political race.

     

    I don't know what Reagan, Clinton, Bush or Obama learned when they walked into the White House for the first time that changed the plans they had before they walked through that door. I don't know what happens to the heads of European states when they walk through that door for the first time either... but something seems to pressure them all toward supporting the continued growth of European technocracy.
    12 Sep 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    It's the modern progressive wet dream of the government being run by an expert bureaucracy beyond the reach of those ignorant voters.
    13 Sep 2012, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Modern? Progressive? Sounds to me like you just described the old method of aristocracy. Perhaps we are witnessing how an aristocracy gets started.
    13 Sep 2012, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » (September 13, 2012) Greece will need a third bailout package from the euro zone.
    From: ZeroHedge

     

    * IMF officials say Greece will need a third bailout
    * IMF says Greece can't fill funding gap on its own, up to Eurozone and ECB to find money for Greece
    * Greece met only 22% of program targets for 2011
    * Euro exit would set Greece back by many decades
    - - -

     

    Greece will need a third bailout package from the euro zone, and the country's European creditors will have to find the money for it, according to a senior International Monetary Fund official, Thanos Catsambas.

     

    Troika representatives are currently in Athens to assess Greece's situation and the possible disbursement of a €31 billion loan, part of a second bailout package that totaled €173 billion. However, officials now suggest they don't expect a final decision on how to proceed with Greece until November.

     

    Meanwhile, the coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is facing growing public anger as it is tries to revive delayed structural reforms and implement fresh cutbacks of around €11.5 billion over the next two years.

     

    Mr. Catsambas insisted that it has to be the euro zone and ECB that take the strain of filling the rest of the gap because:

     

    "Extension of repayment of the IMF loans is impossible as all terms and conditions of IMF loans to all countries are based on rules that are not negotiable." The failure of Greece to implement its agreements, and the lack of a sustainable debt trajectory, make it impossible for the IMF, under its own charter, to lend any more.

     

    Mr. Catsambas said that the previous coalition government under Lucas Papademos, who took over from George Papandreou in November last year, estimated that "only 22% of the commitments under the troika-supported program were implemented" in 2011. Mr. Catsambas noted that the public sector still needs to be shrunk as a result.
    ----
    Wrong Mr Catsmbas... You can't borrow your way out of debt. Greece needs to totally default on all of its loans and concentrate on growth measures. I see a reelection in the near future.

     

    Meanwhile: Greek finance minister denies report that Greece needs a third bailout. And the Country's positions are formulated only by himself and prime minister Samaras
    13 Sep 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Germany should buy Greece. It would be cheaper for them.
    13 Sep 2012, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Just don't expect much until after the election in the US. Funny how almost everything is being delayed until NOV some time or even later in some cases.
    13 Sep 2012, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >FPA .... Are we here yet?

     

    http://bit.ly/QR2XRr
    13 Sep 2012, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Merkel was quite specific that Greece needed to fulfill its commitments in order to get the next bailout tranche. I would say meeting 22% of the commitment targets is not quite the same as meeting its commitments. Will Germany back-pedal, or is it the Guillotine? I don't see how they can back-pedal so what's left ...
    13 Sep 2012, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    The Greek FinMin may be hoping that the war reparations "work group" finishes its mission before EOY to gain another leverage point with the Germans -- unless of course the Germans decide to settle the issue in Drachmas:

     

    Tuesday, September 11, 7:51 AM The Greek finance ministry sets up a "working group" to scour the archives and figure out how much Germany might owe in reparations for Nazi war crimes. "Greece has never resigned its rights," says Deputy finmin Christos Staikouras. A report is expected by year's end. This should help thaw relations between the two countries. 12 Comments [Global & FX]
    13 Sep 2012, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    Greece will get some form of bailout, though perhaps not according to "the schedule". And we should not be shocked when much later we learn it was heavy with secretive American support.
    13 Sep 2012, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Yes, I think he and Nigel are right on. The best solution for debtor countries that are effectively bankrupt is to default. Backing up bad loan decisions by banks with taxpayer’s money is madness because it means that risk is no longer in the decision process for the purchase of sovereign bonds. It's a free ride for the banks to make these highly profitable crap bond purchases because they know the Central banks will loan the debtor country the money to make the payments. In the ECBs situation, its the ECB that is making the loans so the debtor country can pay interest and principal to the ECB for a previous loan - Madness!

     

    Once the taxpayers are on the hook to guarantee these bad loans, the Central Banks start printing, which acts as a hidden tax on the taxpayers. The taxpayers are told the cost of a loaf of bread is now $4 because of inflation. But my guess is most inflation is caused by the application of a hidden tax through various manifestations of quantitative easing. Having your money in cash hidden under your mattress means nothing because the Central Bank, through its policies is systematically decreasing its valuation. You still have XXX in currency, but it no longer buys XXX in goods and services. Meanwhile, that same devalued currency is being used to pay taxes, and the government finds that it can't pay its bills anymore because of price increases that the Central Bank induced. Madness.

     

    There should be a separation between investment banks and regular banks. That's one way to insure that regular banks are limited in the types of investments they can make. Once the distinction between an investment bank and a regular bank was removed, some banks grew huge, and they started making risky investments. Once they got really big, they became too big to allow to fail requiring that their BAD decisions be backed up by taxpayer money. I think the repeal of Glass Segal was the cause of a lot of these problems.
    13 Sep 2012, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >FPA ... I agree and would add that the insane idea that risk can be avoided via derivatives has got to collapse and come out of the dark, unregulated, unreserved corners of the banking system because the common people can be made the ones to assume those risks. It's a wonderful world when your part of a little cadre of fellow travelers that can own the money, assets, media & government.
    13 Sep 2012, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    DRich: Greetings. Well said and sad but true.
    13 Sep 2012, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    "Once the distinction between an investment bank and a regular bank was removed"

     

    The investments driving the runup in bank size were given lower risk weightings by the examiners. Govt bonds and mgts had anywhere from a 0% to 50% risk weighting depending on the asset class. Steven Segal, er I mean Glass Stegall would have done nothing to prevent this.

     

    Make no mistake, this entire bubble was caused by gov regulations not because of a lack of them.

     

    The other thing that will happen with the ECB intervention is that banks will not need to attract as many deposits. This means they can lower rates on deposits and/or increase fees. This means people that preferred the "safety" of banks will now see their incomes go down. Its not so much inflation that will hurt, but inflation and the loss of income that will be the outlet for the physics of the world catching up to these people.
    13 Sep 2012, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4543) | Send Message
     
    >robert.b.ferguson ... Thanks for the kind words ... and just so you know, for future reference, those thoughts came from an unapologetic, Keynesian Socialist that is growing tired of waiting for a rational (in my point of view) solution. You'll hate it.
    13 Sep 2012, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2140) | Send Message
     
    Jon, talk about a wasting asset!
    13 Sep 2012, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    DRich:Greetings. I acknowledge the truth. The truth has no agenda it's only the truth. We are all waiting for a rational solution that works. Thus far none has been forthcoming.
    13 Sep 2012, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    The problem with all the potentially successful solutions is that they all have a common fatal failing: They greatly reduce the concentration of power of those making the decisions. Its rare to find a single politician or bureaucrat that would tolerate this, and hopelessly naive to expect a large herd of them to do so.

     

    The alternative is for the sheeple to shift their trend toward less willingness to assume responsibility for their own welfare, and toward shifting the burden from government onto their own shoulders. I gauge the likelihood of this as essentially the same as that of electing by random chance a majority of politicians all determined to cut their personal power back to a shadow of its current state.

     

    About now I envision one of the ETrade baby scenes, where he sarcastically informs his woeful friend: "...this is my surprised face."

     

    *Whooooa!!*
    13 Sep 2012, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Term limits http://www.goooh.com and tax reform http://bit.ly/rGDLwm would go a long way towards achieving that.
    13 Sep 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    TB,
    Your reference to a "common fatal failing" and the ETrade baby -- opened the door to post my favorite spoof on the ads: E-Trade Baby Loses Everything...(humor) http://bit.ly/QohIoY
    13 Sep 2012, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    On the ETrade site they have a group of videos called (I think) the ETrade Baby bloopers...

     

    Irresistable.

     

    Loved yours too!
    13 Sep 2012, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    ETrade baby always cracks me up. Thanks.
    13 Sep 2012, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » This long comment really does not belong here. If there is further interest in debating the regulation and deregulation issues, I can create another blog for the discussion. It's a very interesting area. Like many complex issues, its not a black and white issue. There is truth on both sides of the issue. But I think the evidence clearly indicates that lack of regulations was a significant factor in the financial mess we are still suffering through... here are some comments on the issue...

     

    The repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 was a continuum of the deregulation movement. The idea of this movement is that banks can regulate themselves, that government had no place in overseeing finance and that the free market works best when left alone. Subsequent deregulation and oversight on derivatives was removed through the passing of the Financial Derivative Regulation / Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

     

    The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 exempted derivatives from regulation, supervision, trading on established exchanges, and capital reserve requirements for major participants. The use of derivatives grew dramatically in the years preceding the crisis. The volume of CDS outstanding increased 100-fold from 1998 to 2008, with estimates of the debt covered by CDS contracts, as of November 2008, ranging from US $33 to $47 Trillion.

     

    Total over-the-counter derivative notional value rose to $683 Trillion (!!) by June 2008, of which 8% were CDS. CDS are lightly regulated.

     

    Required disclosure [regulation] of CDS-related obligations has been criticized as inadequate. Insurance companies such as American International Group (AIG), MBIA, and Ambac faced ratings downgrades because widespread mortgage defaults increased their potential exposure to CDS losses. These firms had to obtain additional funds to offset this exposure. AIG's having CDSs insuring $440 billion resulted in its seeking and obtaining a Federal government bailout.

     

    When investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008, there was much uncertainty as to which financial firms would be required to honor the CDS contracts on its $600 billion of bonds outstanding.

     

    Economist Joseph Stiglitz summarized how credit default swaps contributed to the systemic meltdown: "With this complicated intertwining of bets of great magnitude, no one could be sure of the financial position of anyone else-or even of one's own position. Not surprisingly, the credit markets froze."

     

    NY Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo argued in April 2009 for the regulation of CDS and capital requirements sufficient to support financial commitments made by institutions. "Credit default swaps are the rocket fuel that turned the subprime mortgage fire into a conflagration. They were the major cause of AIG’s – and by extension the banks’ – problems. In sum, if you offer a guarantee – no matter whether you call it a banking deposit, an insurance policy, or a bet – regulation should ensure you have the capital to deliver."

     

    He also wrote that banks bought CDS to enable them to reduce the amount of capital they were required to hold against investments, thereby avoiding capital regulations. Warren Buffett famously referred to derivatives as "financial weapons of mass destruction" in early 2003.

     

    The repeal of Glass-Steagall was not the only cause of the crisis, but its repeal was a factor that made it much worse. What about the effect of those government programs for first time home owners. More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages came from private lending institutions in 2006 and the share of subprime loans insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac decreased as the bubble got bigger. Irrespective of their small contribution, those government programs were terrible. But the fundamental problem was not the government programs. The fundamental problem was banks being in a hurry to issue loans to unqualified people. Why did that do that? They did it so they could sell the paper to create derivatives, which were than re-rated as AAA.

     

    Yes, I think banks should be regulated in a way that they can't destroy the financial system. Its a balance. Stopping them from some actions unnecessarily hurts their business. Stopping them from other actions protects the consumer and the financial system from a meltdown.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    "further interest in debating the regulation and deregulation issues"

     

    I'd be interested in that. Understanding how gov coercion can transfer wealth in an economy is a vital part to understanding how to invest to protect yourself.

     

    Move your comment there, and let's go for that, that is if there is enough interest.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Excellent post FPA.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    "that lack of regulations"

     

    We could also talk about this. I see this as one of the main reasons why gov regulation of voluntary transactions is flawed. If they are never there when you need them, then how can you claim they are so reliable?

     

    Sounds like fun.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    or this

     

    "credit default swaps contributed to the systemic meltdown:"

     

    If gov wasn't inducing the risk, then there would have been no risk to insure.

     

    Just think about this when it comes to the ability of a gov to induce bubbles.

     

    http://bit.ly/uRnDRv

     

    OK. I'll stop now.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » ok... I will create a specific Insta on the subject and copy the relevant comments over. I hope to have it up by tomorrow.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9806) | Send Message
     
    FPA: I love the idea. Another great place to vent! To share. To learn.

     

    Maybe you could tie in both regulations and policies. I'd love a Concentrator where we archive the idiotic bills that our congressman debate. This could be on a state level, too.

     

    I read last week where Uniontown, PA, is applying to the state of PA for $500,000 to build three homes. Three homes? Exactly what is this going to accomplish?
    13 Sep 2012, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Sounds good.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » sorry gang... I am under the weather... will be back soon.
    14 Sep 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    feel better FPA
    14 Sep 2012, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    FPA: Greetings. Nothing serious I trust. I hope you feel better very soon. Relax and enjoy the week end as much as possible.
    14 Sep 2012, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    You MUST recover quickly, Rat. You failed to submit your SA Form-129-S (request for permission to be ill), and your loyal fans just will not accept a substitute!

     

    Seriously, positive karma tranmission... Engaged.
    14 Sep 2012, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9806) | Send Message
     
    Mercy: That was hilarious. I've already sent it out to many pals and family members. Thanks.
    13 Sep 2012, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    "Spain’s economy minister, Luis de Guindos, continues to stall on a decision whether the Country will make a formal request for aid. Spanish officials want to insure that the conditions are the lightest possible. However, Europe has yet to spell out what exactly those conditions would be. The unknown will prevent Spain from requesting aid for now. The ECB cannot buy Spanish debt under its new OMT program unless Spain formally requests aid."

     

    The OMT could drag out a while before it is utilized. First I wonder how long it might take before the conditions for applying become eased. Then I wonder just how high the markets will go with a Fed and ECB balance sheet a trillion $/Eur larger.

     

    The trick will be the impact from commodity prices (oil, gas, food, etc), and not to mention if war breaks out in the ME.
    14 Sep 2012, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Nothing of note will happen before NOV 6th.
    14 Sep 2012, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    From Sovereign Man's daily newsletter (free newsletter, thus reposting here) (sovereignman.com)

     

    Who has the best line of BS?‏ [surely he is referring to a Bachelor of Science]

     

    Date: September 14, 2012
    Reporting From: Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius

     

    Have you ever noticed how it seems like the public can only handle one major issue at a time?

     

    Ten years ago it was terrorism. Then it became the war in Iraq. Then anthropogenic climate change became all the buzz. Then gas prices went through the roof and people forgot all about the environment.

     

    For the past few years, it's been the 'global financial crisis,' or as I prefer to call it, the end of the grand fiat experiment.

     

    The market, likewise, has an equally limited attention span, and investors seem capable of focusing on only one crisis at a time. For the past few years since the euro crisis broke, attention has shifted regularly... primarily between fiscal woes in Europe, and fiscal woes in the United States.

     

    This cycle has repeated itself with a period of 6-12 months, oscillating between euro fear and dollar fear. The headlines support this. The entire summer was dominated by catastrophic predictions about Europe, and insipid hope that the US economy was recovering, albeit slowly.

     

    [should be a chart here that shows an alternating pattern between "dollar fear" and "euro fear" - can't copy charts in comments]

     

    Now, with the German Constitutional Court having fully confirmed that the ECB will fight 'to the last Germany taxpayer' (in the words of Nigel Farage), and Mr. Bernanke having engaged in QE3, it seems the market's attention has flipped once again: Europe is fixed, and the US is screwed.

     

    In the last few weeks we've seen the euro shoot up over 4% against the dollar and US treasury yields rise, indicating a great shift of capital across the Atlantic. The market has spoken: the coast is clear in Europe. For now.

     

    No doubt, the market's premise here is fatally flawed. Both of these currencies have deep, fundamental, inescapable weaknesses, underpinned by huge debts and intellectually reprehensible economic theories.

     

    Even a child knows that you do not create wealth by printing money. You do not create jobs by printing money. This is not the path to prosperity.

     

    In the case of the dollar, the market is taking its cues from one man-- Ben Bernanke. And in the case of the euro, for the most part, the market is taking its cues from ECB president Mario Draghi.

     

    In other words, the fate of trillions of dollars worth of global capital flows which affect exchange rates, interest rates, derivatives, commodity prices, and people's livelihoods around the world, fundamentally comes down to which one of these two guys has the best line of BS to sell the market.

     

    This is a completely absurd system. And I'm convinced that at some point in the hopefully near future, people will look back and wonder how we could have allowed ourselves to be defrauded like this.

     

    In the meantime, while the big institutions that have to manage hundreds of billions of dollars are trapped within this financial system, you and I can opt out of it. All we have to do is take those silly pieces of paper and trade them for something real like gold and silver.

     

    Until next time,

     

    Simon Black
    Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
    14 Sep 2012, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Jon, Springer: Greetings. That's a good read, thanks.
    14 Sep 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Even more shades of Gresham's Law.

     

    http://bit.ly/OEAWfl
    19 Sep 2012, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » A Sinking Ship
    Spanish bank loan delinquencies rose to a 50-year record 9.86% with the last four months seeing unprecedented acceleration in the rate of bad loans. €172 billion of the €1.7 trillion in Spanish financial assets are no longer generating cash flow. This amounts to about 17% of total Spanish GDP.

     

    In addition, Spanish bank deposits fell 7 percent from the beginning of January through the end of July, compared with a 4 percent drop the previous six months.
    http://tinyurl.com/9p8...
    19 Sep 2012, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Sorry gang, still under the weather... only doing minimal posting...

     

    September 20, 2012. Reality Strikes As Italy Slashes Economic Growth, Hikes Deficit Forecast. From ZeroHedge.

     

    * Italy revises 2012 GDP to -2.4% from -1.2%

     

    * italy revises 2013 GDP to -0.2% from growth of 0.5%

     

    * italy raises 2012 deficit target to 2.6% from 1.7%

     

    * italy revises 2013 deficit to 1.6% of GDP from 0.5%

     

    http://tinyurl.com/8df...
    20 Sep 2012, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    FPA: With numbers like those showing you should stay away longer - they might make you more ill! :-))

     

    Get better sooner!

     

    HardToLove
    20 Sep 2012, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks HT... I wonder how Italy thinks they are gong to get their GDP from -2.4% to -.2% in a year. That's an increase by a factor of 11.
    Instead of facing reality, they just lie.
    20 Sep 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    FPA: They could take a page from the U.S. and use "hedonistic adjustment"?

     

    :-))

     

    HardToLove
    20 Sep 2012, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » LOL... .thanks for that HT.
    20 Sep 2012, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Its not just countries that are considering leaving the Euro. Now you have political subdivisions considering the value of secession.

     

    http://bit.ly/NEUEWR

     

    Who will wear the blue and who will wear the grey.
    20 Sep 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » September 21, 2012 - Athens Municipality Runs Out Of Cash; Suspends Operations.

     

    The municipality will operate with just skeleton staff. Trash will only be collected from outside schools. Mayor Sotiris Douros wants the government to reduce from 11.5 percent to 5.5 percent the interest rate on a loan to the municipality. Douros argues they can't pay the monthly loan payments of 500,000 euros.
    ---
    Good buy tourism?
    21 Sep 2012, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    Unbelievable FPA. Remember when Greek debt was "the cause" of all of our market gyrations? Now we rarely hear a peep -- but the downward spiral continues as your post confirms. Guess everything is relative -- now the bigger dominoes occupy the headlines.
    21 Sep 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Good buy? or good bye?

     

    Could be both... for most, it is good bye, but for some it is a good buy.

     

    Anyway... heading toward winter months now when its gray and rainy now...
    21 Sep 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Sept. 23, 2012 - Troika said to estimate Greece budget gap at $26B. From: Bloomberg, by MarketWatch with contributions by Marcus Walker in Berlin.

     

    Greece faces a budget shortfall of about 20 billion euros to satisfy international conditions for emergency aid, almost DOUBLE previous estimates, reports Der Spiegel, citing preliminary findings by the Troika.

     

    Euro-zone officials admit that the 173 billion EUR bailout plan agreed with Athens in March is badly off track. Greece has been waiting since June for its next slice of that package, a EUR 31 billion payment from the euro-zone bailout fund and the IMF. However, the EU and the IMF have stated that the country can only receive the next tranche of financial aid after its budget gap is closed.

     

    Greek Prime Minister Samaras has asked a number of times whether Greece's public creditors including the ECB would be willing to write off [haircut] part of the country's debts.

     

    The European Commission wants to decide on the matter at the EU Council in mid-October, Berlin thinks reliable numbers will only be available by November at the earliest, the magazine reported. http://tinyurl.com/9jv...
    23 Sep 2012, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It's reported today that almost a third of all business in Athens have now been shuttered, and winter is coming.
    25 Sep 2012, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    FPA: Greetings. I hope you're feeling better. As MJ pointed out the Greek tragedy continues to get worse but gets very little attention as the larger PIIGS are now dominating the stage. It appears as though Athens has lost what little leverage they had when they could generate headlines by just making noises about default, exiting the Euro etc.... Now all of that is baked in and they will apparently be left to their own devices. Just what would make the numbers coming out in NOV more reliable for Germany then any others? It's just a shell game in the EZ now. Perhaps they are waiting for their "Rich." cousin Ben in America to come riding to the rescue.
    25 Sep 2012, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2115) | Send Message
     
    RBF,
    Again? Can't you imagine the uproar if BB sneaks a few more trillion to europe?
    25 Sep 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Stilldazed: Greetings. I am almost certain that is what he intends. Everything is on hold until after the US election. Much will depend on which of the Repulicrats win.
    25 Sep 2012, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Don't forget about the swap lines.

     

    http://bit.ly/Q6H2k5
    25 Sep 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Bloomberg - Spain's inflation rate increases from 2.7% to 3.5%. That's an increase in the inflation rate by 29.6%.
    ===
    Part of the reason for this is Spain's recent increases in tax rates. For example, among other tax increases Spain recently increased the value added tax [VAT] by 16.7%. In general, countries that increase consumption taxes will experience price inflation.
    28 Sep 2012, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    That's still a mild reaction to such a large tax increase...

     

    There's more there than meets the eye. VAT rules are infamous for governments picking winners and losers, and I also wonder how they account for taxes as a component of their inflation figures...

     

    Our most headlined inflation figures are worthless in that they are designed to ignore huge sectors of our economy. Does Spain also do this, and coincidentally focus the weight of their VAT on areas which are NOT included? We ignore energy costs, for instance, and those are also some of the most heavily taxed sectors in Europe...
    28 Sep 2012, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I was looking at that also Trip... here are some of my findings:

     

    The tax increases, write Spanish economists Juan Ramón Rallo, Ángel Martín Oro and Adrià Pérez Martí in a paper published today for the free-market Cato Institute, have left Spaniards paying among the highest income tax rates in Europe.

     

    “Following the tax increase, Spanish individuals will be paying one of the highest personal income tax rates in Europe. For instance, from 2012 onwards, only Sweden and Belgium, with 56.4% and 53.7%, respectively, will have a higher top marginal income tax rate than Spain, which stands at 52%. However, if one takes into account local surcharges imposed by some Spanish regional governments, the top marginal rates rise further. In Catalonia, for example, the top tax rate is 56%.”

     

    For just about any income, Spanish tax rates are higher than in France, Britain, Italy and Germany, they say, adding:

     

    “All of those countries enjoy a considerably higher income per capita than Spain and thus can more easily withstand higher taxes than a poorer country. With Rajoy’s tax hike, Spain suffers from the worst of both worlds: very high taxes combined with decreasing income and employment levels. At 23%, Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union.” http://tinyurl.com/8fe...

     

    This was written in February. The current unemployment rate in Spain is 25.1% as of July. I believe that high tax rate is killing business and increasing unemployment.
    28 Sep 2012, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    Worth watching what happens when Spain's bank stress test results go public estimated around noon ET after their market closes today. Some are speculating "the Spanish bank stress tests will say €100-150 bln is necessary, higher than the €60bln mentioned." http://bit.ly/UyeyBu
    28 Sep 2012, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    If you believe the tests.

     

    http://fxn.ws/S6y6kr
    28 Sep 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I think it's ill advised for Merkel to go to Greece next week.
    6 Oct 2012, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    CHUCKLE OF THE DAY:

     

    "Monday, October 8, 2:12 PM The now-officially launched European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is assigned a AAA rating at Fitch. Among the positives is the ESM gets paid first, i.e., a "preferred creditor status." Also, the ESM's €500B in lending capacity is backed by €700B of callable capital (about €230B of which comes from Spain and Italy). The circle is complete."
    Oy.
    9 Oct 2012, 03:02 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2115) | Send Message
     
    OG,
    Great, there really is perpetual motion!!!
    9 Oct 2012, 03:28 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    I gave myself a loan once, but the interest rates were a killer, so I defaulted and then got a government bailout...

     

    Oh wait... was that college?
    9 Oct 2012, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    For students today those loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The law changed under Bush 2. http://huff.to/QQZPTY
    9 Oct 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Today's e-mail from Sovereign Man seems worth sharing here with its comments about Spain, Andorra, Italy and capital controls (again, please note that this is a free newsletter and I'm not sharing anything that could not be accessed for free by anyone):

     

    Date: October 10, 2012
    Reporting From: Madrid, Spain

     

    It takes all of three seconds on the ground in Spain to realize that this country is hurting. Big time.

     

    I was just here three months ago, eight or nine months before that. Each time it seems worse-- more strikes, more homeless, more unemployed, more unrest, more storefront vacancies. It's amazing what the combination of debt, deceit, and a bona fide banking collapse can do to a nation.

     

    In a most intellectually disingenuous statement, European leaders recently announced that Spain is A-OK and would not require a bailout. I suppose it's true to a degree. Spain doesn't really need a bailout. More like an exorcism. Or at least last rites.

     

    After all the debt, austerity, government collapse, riots, etc., there's a new crisis du jour here: the banking system. Individuals, businesses, and institutions are all predicting a breakup of the eurozone, and nobody wants to have cash in this country on the day they introduce a new currency (and then immediately proceed to devalue it.)

     

    Consequently, depositors are moving money out of the country en masse, often to the tiny principality of Andorra next door-- a highly capitalized, low tax banking jurisdiction. This leaves the already thinly-capitalized Spanish banks in an even weaker position.

     

    As you probably know, the way the banking system works in most of the world is a complete fraud. Most banks only hold a tiny percentage of their customers' deposits in cash. The rest is 'invested' (gambled) or loaned to a bankrupt government.

     

    This is a high-risk model that only works well when people have tremendous confidence in the system. The moment there are more than a handful of depositors wanting their money back, the bank has a big problem.

     

    This is happening nationwide in Spain, so the entire banking system has a problem. Nearly every bank here is technically insolvent... and yet they have droves of customers trying to withdraw funds that aren't there.

     

    As such, the IMF is now recommending that Spain (and other nations in the eurozone periphery) take action "at the national level" to stem this flight of funds and prevent people from moving money abroad.

     

    Of course, they won't come right out and say it, but there's a name for 'national level' action to stem the international flight of funds. It's called capital controls.

     

    This is when governments restrict the free-flow of funds across borders, often -requiring- that citizens hold a rapidly depreciating currency at sub-inflation rates.

     

    It's one of the worst forms of theft imaginable-- robbing the purchasing power of people's savings and incomes, all to meet some unachievable objective, or for 'the greater good' as defined in the sole discretion of the ruling elite.

     

    Over the summer while in Europe, I saw early signs of capital controls being rolled out.

     

    In Italy, for example, the government imposed bank withdrawal limits... essentially holding people's savings captive. Then they initiated strict border controls with Switzerland in an attempt to thwart citizens trying to sneak cash out of the country.

     

    It's going to happen here in Spain as well. And unfortunately, the people who didn't see the writing on the wall and take action early are going to find the door shut in their faces by the next wave of regulation.

     

    Moving some savings abroad isn't the sort of thing where you want to run with the crowd. As with anything, the dynamics change quickly when the idea becomes mainstream. Smart, thinking people ought to recognize the signs early and be well ahead of the crowd.

     

    Until tomorrow,

     

    Simon Black
    Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
    10 Oct 2012, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    The G20 sanctioned capital controls. Serious efforts have been mounted since to push Obama to alter varioius Federal laws (the idea seems to be that he do this as an "emergency measure" by Executive Order) currently on the books that block the use of capital controls and penalize their use by trading partners. Geithner has also come out in favor of capital controls. The IMF completely flipped on its earlier resistance to capital controls in 2009 and 2010, and is now overtly pushing them.
    11 Oct 2012, 07:24 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    In 1893 Richter predicted that Germany would turn socialist, and that they would have to build walls to keep people in. People tend to flee tyranny, even when it is masked in altruism. First, their money leaves, followed closely by their bodies. If they have no money, then it is just their bodies (like immigrants from Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s).

     

    In regimes where you need people to be slaves you have to build walls, like they did in Eastern Europe, or in the slave South, where they had to chain the slaves down. This is why there were so many immigrants that died on the Titanic in steerage. They were fleeing the overly taxed and regulated economies of Europe. Now, electronic walls are being considered to keep people from fleeing the overly taxed and regulated economies of Europe, yet again.

     

    If the US were smart, it would reverse course from following Europe, and reduce regulation and gov taxation via gov spending, and all those "capital refugees" would come to the US. The extra supply of capital would truly reduce financing costs in the way its supposed to be done, and Europe' stupid policies would wind up being cheap financing for our recovery.
    11 Oct 2012, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2140) | Send Message
     
    I have noticed that pols rarely do the intelligent thing if it involves ANY short term Threat to their re-election chances. Even confusing the sheeple with a monetary policy change could be defined as a Threat by the elected class. Confused sheeple might huddle around the "wrong" pol.

     

    Democracy in action at the national level is not a pretty sight these days.
    12 Oct 2012, 01:51 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    Move over President Obama! And the Nobel Prize is awarded to...(drum roll)... THE EU.
    That prize money should go a long way toward stabilizing the European economy.
    Oy.
    12 Oct 2012, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    Yes, OG, but I also heard that the #2 nomination spot went to Antarctica -- since they are a continent that has ALWAYS been at peace. LOL.
    mj
    13 Oct 2012, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    aaahhh... some folks forget the 400 Year Penguin War from the 8th century to 4th century B.C.....

     

    but seriously...

     

    I had some time on my hands recently, and thought a good deal about what the heck the Nobel Peace Prize folks were thinking.

     

    I believe their point is more about there not being a war in any EU member states for the last 67 years is an indicator that the EU project has been a success. Being that prior to the EU, Europe had two wars bloody enough to be called World Wars, the Peace Prize folks are crediting the EU with creating stability in the region.

     

    I don't think the award has much to do with the oppressive technocracy and unstable currency, EXCEPT to point out loudly to Europe and the world what the alternative was before the EU existed.
    13 Oct 2012, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2115) | Send Message
     
    JS,
    I have a hard time finding any credibility with the Nobel prize after they gave Obama a prize just after he took office, because he wasn't George Bush.
    14 Oct 2012, 03:21 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    In a ironic way the Nobel committee is right on the money. Europe HAS managed to discover a formula for peace. The fact that its salient features start with self-emsaculation followed by outright destruction of its own cultural value system, followed by installation of a mass cult focused upon a suicide pact...

     

    Is perhaps a downside.
    15 Oct 2012, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    Here is the best op piece I've read on the EU award. In just a few sentences, this writer masterfully summed it up better than I ever could.
    http://bit.ly/Ro6HFu
    14 Oct 2012, 05:08 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    Thx OG. I agree with the author that "this isn't the committee's worst choice." I would add that at least they didn't award the EU with the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences ...
    mj
    14 Oct 2012, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    O.G.: Reflected many of my thoughts even before I read the piece.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Oct 2012, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Separatist Fever:

     

    Secessionist Wave Sweeps Belgium, Ending 90 Years of Socialist Rule in Antwerp

     

    In a vote on Sunday that is likely to have serious repercussion down the road for the euro zone, as secessionist wave sweeps Belgium

     

    Flemish nationalists made sweeping gains across northern Belgium in local elections on Sunday, a success that will bolster separatists hopes for a break-up of the country. Bart De Wever, leader of the New Flemish Alliance, is set to become mayor of the northern city of Antwerp, Belgium's economic heartland, after his party emerged as the largest one ending about 90 years of socialist rule.

     

    Soon after the ballot results emerged, Mr De Wever, who had turned the tough mayoral race into a referendum on Flanders independence for Belgium, demanded that the country's prime minister give greater independence to the Dutch-speaking north. Flanders, which is the most economically prosperous region of Belgium, has long resented financing the ailing economy of French-speaking Wallonia, and Sundays victory will strengthen their demand for self-rule. http://tinyurl.com/9jm...
    -----
    In Spain, separatist fever rises in time of crisis
    http://tinyurl.com/9bu...
    14 Oct 2012, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    FPA: and here the good old U.S. equities market has been pricing in only the Fed's liquidity and acting like Europe was all solved now that they have there Bernanke version in play.

     

    Wonders never cease!

     

    next thing the market will start pricing forward earnings based on expected GDP behavior around the world!

     

    Nah! That wouldn't be fairyland enough!

     

    Thanks for those links!

     

    BTW, is it just me or is there something "magical" about Q4? ISTR Europe kicking up a new fuss around this time the last couple of years. Probably bad memory on my part.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Oct 2012, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The structure of the EU is exhibiting increasing signs of coming apart at the seams. The question is can the financial overlords keep the governing body together using more and more Band-Aids? We will know a lot after the next EU meeting this month.

     

    Meanwhile, we have this:

     

    England leaving the EU?
    The chances of Britain leaving the EU rose dramatically last night after it emerged that one of David Cameron’s closest Cabinet allies believes it is time to tell Brussels bluntly: ‘We are ready to quit.’

     

    Education Secretary Michael Gove has told friends that, if there was a referendum today on whether the UK should cut its ties with Brussels, he would vote to leave. He wants Britain to give other EU nations an ultimatum: ‘Give us back our sovereignty or we will walk out.’ Mr Gove insists the UK could thrive as a free trading nation on its own like Norway and Switzerland

     

    The disclosures are the latest evidence of a turning point in Britain’s relationship with the EU, which is currently gripped by the euro crisis. http://tinyurl.com/8nv...
    ---
    My guess is this is a squeeze play in an attempt to give Britain additional bargaining leverage.
    14 Oct 2012, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    My understanding of the U.K. being in the E.U. was that they were there to prevent Europe from federalizing and keep E.U. development in check.

     

    [I've believed this pretty steadily for 20 years, and haven't seen much of anything to contradict this belief.]

     

    If the countries against a federalized Europe leave the E.U., then the doors would be open - a major tactical error by a nation that doesn't want a federal Europe.
    14 Oct 2012, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I don't see Europe ever federalizing. Their individual histories and nationalistic pride are not compatible with federalization. The way I see it the EU is under a lot of pressure at this time, so it's a good time for the Brits to stir the pot and see what concessions they can shake out. If Britain were to exit at this point, it could encourage several other countries to follow. If nothing else, the bad publicity is something the EU should want to avoid at this juncture.

     

    I don't see a complete federalization of the EU banking system either. Individual countries budgets are already supposed to be somewhat controlled by the Maastricht treaty, and we can see how well the countries conformed to the guidelines they signed on budget and debt restrictions. Those guidelines were ignored, leading to too much debt. Even the notion of restricting free movement between the different countries is breaking down.
    14 Oct 2012, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    N.Farage won't be out of a job anytime soon, imo! I'd miss his barbed wit...
    14 Oct 2012, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Hell, Nigel is the chief pot stirrer.
    14 Oct 2012, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Nigel also tends the fire and keeps it quite hot!!!
    16 Oct 2012, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2022) | Send Message
     
    Do the Swiss have a better read on EU "instability" than many others do?:

     

    "The Swiss Army is preparing contingency plans for violent unrest across Europe. ... One of the world’s richest nations openly expressed concerns over the possible outcome of Europe’s continuing financial troubles, and is currently conducting army exercises against the possibility of riots along its borders...

     

    [The Swiss Defense Minister] accompanied by whispers from the top uniformed leadership in Switzerland, is trying to raise awareness that Europe’s massive fiscal-cum-political crisis could get very unpleasant ..."
    http://bit.ly/OByIfR
    15 Oct 2012, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5782) | Send Message
     
    Will France be pushing out Spain and Greece from the headlines by this time next year?

     

    http://bit.ly/RB1Apa
    16 Oct 2012, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5060) | Send Message
     
    Moodys warns on weak German Banks! (They just noticed all the bank debt German banks hold in weaker EZ countries, and that the German Banks are not so profitable-LOL.)
    19 Oct 2012, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » EU Meeting:
    EU leaders committed to establishing a euro-area bank supervisor by year-end, leaving the door open for supplying direct aid to Spanish banks.

     

    Germany and France argued about the timing. Berlin has insisted the supervisor function be effective before the ESM can begin cash injections into Spanish banks, those transactions are not foreseeable to occur until the latter half of the year, around the time of Germany’s national elections [1 September and 27 October 2013. The carrot is ESM cash injections].

     

    However, the agreement upset German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's efforts to delay and limit the scope of European banking supervision.

     

    Germany has been averse to see its politically sensitive Savings and Cooperative banks come under outside supervision. It rejects any joint deposit guarantee under which wealthier countries might have to underwrite banks in poorer states.

     

    The final deal came after the leaders of France and Germany held a private meeting after numerous public clashes over greater EU control of national budgets.
    [Nothing like secret back room discussions to instill confidence.]

     

    A French government source said the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) could start recapitalizing troubled banks as early as the first quarter of 2013, but a German source said it was "very unlikely" to happen so soon.
    [Apparently the secret back room discussions did not include agreement about a time line]

     

    Merkel earlier demanded broader authority for the executive European Commission to veto national budgets that breach EU rules.
    [This is the stick... Good luck on that!].

     

    Merkel said a December EU summit would make decisions on these issues of closer euro zone economic governance.

     

    And now we move into political theater...

     

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was praised for the country’s efforts in sticking to its austerity plans. “We welcome the determination of the Greek government to deliver on its commitments and we commend the remarkable efforts by the Greek people,” the 16 other euro-area leaders said in a statement released about 3 a.m. today in Brussels. “Good progress has been made to bring the adjustment program back on track.”
    http://tinyurl.com/92m...
    ----

     

    Lots of determination and good progress... So the next tranche is a go. Take on more debt to service current unsustainable debt levels. I can't wait to see the spin on the Troika's report and the Greek peoples reaction to yet more calls for austerity from their elected representatives.

     

    Meanwhile, Spain's politicians are twisting in the wind as they face the loss of sovereign control over tax rates and how collected taxpayer revenues will be spent in order to bailout their bankrupt banks. Banks that took on massive amounts of high risk, high return investments because they knew their risks would be covered by the taxpayers because the banks were too big to fail.

     

    The EU is a fantasy built on an illusion of prosperity. But now, the illusion is crumbling, replaced by the reality of crushing debt and perpetual servitude to the new order. I suspect the day of Wrath is rapidly approaching for Greece...
    http://tinyurl.com/ykz...
    20 Oct 2012, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The Troika's latest demand is that all senior officials at the Ministry of Finance, including all current Greek tax inspectors, be fired by Friday because of corruption and incompetence.

     

    The Troika's plan is to "collect record amounts of money in record time". This involves interviewing 2,235 new tax investigators with no written exam who will be judged on how much money they bring in. Their maximum tenure is one year before re-applying. http://tinyurl.com/8ku...
    ---
    So basically, the Troika wants control of the Greek ministry of Finance. If you don't agree with the Troika's highhanded approach, you get fired and replaced by a Troika yes man. It sounds like the Troika's uniform includes jackboots.
    22 Oct 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    A wry smirk is creeping across Orwell's face in his grave...
    22 Oct 2012, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    FPA: Greetings. Thanks I'll repost on the Breakfast Club which didn't have this choice bit of information.
    22 Oct 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Maybe they can hire some mafian thugs from Italy to do the collections....or is that basically what they are up too. No written exam just performance required. Time to invest in casts cuz I think theres gonna be a lot of leg breaking going on over there.
    24 Oct 2012, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Moody’s Cuts Ratings on Catalonia, Four Other Spanish Regions.

     

    Moody’s decision to cut the regions was driven by a deterioration in liquidity positions, as evidenced by limited cash reserves as of September 2012, and their significant reliance on short-term credit lines to fund operating needs. Moody’s also said that Catalonia, Andalucia and Murcia face large debt redemptions this quarter when bonds issued in 2011 are due to mature.

     

    And a report in El Confidencial claims that Spain's budget deficit will overshoot the EU target of 6.3% and hit at least 7.3%, driven by a €10.5 billion deficit in the social security system, destroying promises made in last month's Spain's "reform" package.
    23 Oct 2012, 07:51 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    The regional bank run is ongoing... The ECB will back them, one way or another, probably with direct loans.

     

    The budget deficit target of 6.3% was widely disregarded (and has never been supported by most of the new government), and it is widely thought that 7.x% has been the likely reality for months now. I believe the EZ powers will support a higher level (as if they had a choice) in this range.
    23 Oct 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    7.3%.

     

    I can hear Gomer Pyle now telling Sgt Carter: "Well suprise, suprise Sgt Carter, that ole thing just popped right up there like a possom up a persimmon tree." " We had no idea it was gonna happen."
    23 Oct 2012, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    Yep...

     

    Gaarrleee....
    23 Oct 2012, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » (October 23, 2012) Nigel Farage On The Total Subjugation Of Europe http://tinyurl.com/8ff...
    23 Oct 2012, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8164) | Send Message
     
    Europes Ron Paul!!!!
    24 Oct 2012, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » (October 24) Confusion Reigns:
    Greece FM says the Trokia deal has been reached... in reaction, Germany says the deal has not been reached.
    24 Oct 2012, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13483) | Send Message
     
    Germany will fold.
    24 Oct 2012, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5953) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » New Concentrator here:
    http://tinyurl.com/9lk...
    25 Oct 2012, 08:31 PM Reply Like
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