Feb 01

italy bailout_0

- Italy Unveils Most Bizarre Bank Bailout Yet (ZeroHedge, Feb 1, 2014):

The biggest problem facing European banks – one we highlighted most recently yesterday when we showed the latest 20% surge in Spanish Banco Popular Non-Performing Loans to a fresh record – and one we have been covering since 2010, which as of 2012 amounted to some $4.5 trillion that needs to be “remedied” – is the staggering amount of bad debt on the books of Europe’s numerous banks, the bulk of which especially in the periphery are cojoined with their sovereign host in an unbreakable bond which despite Europe’s theatrical attempts to sever, only keeps getting stronger.

Continue reading »

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Dec 06

- The Spanish Government is Preparing Another Bailout of Billionaire Oligarchs (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 5, 2013)

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Oct 18


YouTube Added: 11.10.2013

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Oct 15


The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, professor of economics, founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Montreal and editor of the globalresearch.ca website.

- Shutdown of US govt & ‘debt default’: Dress rehearsal for privatization of federal state system? (RT, Oct 15, 2013):

By Michel Chossudovsky

The ‘shutdown’ of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible ‘debt default’ by the federal government, is a money-making undertaking for Wall Street.

Several overlapping political and economic agendas are unfolding. Is the shutdown – implying the furloughing of tens of thousands of public employees – a dress rehearsal for the eventual privatization of important components of the federal state system?

A staged default, bankruptcy and privatization is occurring in Detroit (with the active support of the Obama administration), whereby large corporations become the owners of municipal assets and infrastructure.

The important question: could a process of ‘state bankruptcy’, which is currently afflicting local level governments across the land, realistically occur in the case of the central government of the United States of America?

This is not a hypothetical question. A large number of developing countries under the brunt of  IMF ‘economic medicine’ were ordered by their external creditors to dismantle the state apparatus,  fire millions of public sector workers as well as privatize state assets. The IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) has also been applied in several European countries.

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Oct 08

- Buffett’s Bailout Bonanza (ZeroHedge, Oct 7, 2013):

In the past we have tried to show the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots in the US. Whether through this morning’s “aggregate” Main Street vs Wall Street chart or various anecdotal indicators of diverging confidence. However, no one signifies the beneficiaries of the status-quo-sustaining government bailouts and stimulus better than Warren Buffett (who now, like Obama, sees stocks are full valued). The following chart shows just how well one can do with a few billion in your pocket and an ear for what the Government will do.

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Sep 19

From the article:

The government’s bailout plan destroyed capitalism. In a capitalist system, those who stood to gain–and already made off with large gains—would have to bear the risk. The bailouts represented a corruption of capitalism. Crony capitalism violates the spirit of democracy established by the Founding Fathers of the republic known as the United States. I expressed these sentiments in a letter to the Financial Times on September 29, 2008.


- Why Obama Allowed Bailouts Without Indictments (Tavacoli Structured Finance, Sep 10, 2013):

By Janet Tavacoli

In November 2008, President Obama was elected, and he was sworn in January 2009. The country was promised change and reform. Recently two democrats close to the top of President Obama’s administration made excuses to me for the lack of financial reform in the United States. Their separately related versions were remarkably similar, so similar they seemed scripted:

The administration made a bargain, and I’m not sure it was the right decision. The world was teetering on the edge of collapse. There was a crisis of confidence. There would have been unimaginable consequences. So bad even your imagination can’t handle the truth?

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Jul 29

- Cyprus 37.5% Depositor Haircut Upgraded To 47.5% Brazilian Wax (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2013):

Once upon a time (in April), a few weeks after reversing its initial disastrous decision to haircut all deposits (including insured ones) the Troika slammed large Cypriot depositors (read evil Russian oligarchs) with a “bail-in” template, soon coming to all insolvent European nations, that included not only a forced assignment of equity in broke Cypriot banks, but far more importantly a haircut that amounted to 37.5% of deposits over €100,000. Since then a few things have happened in Cyprus, neither of them good, i.e., an a record collapse in bank deposits despite capital controls and a record crash in the local real estate market.The confluence of both these events meant that as bank liabilities shrank (deposits), asset fair values (home mortgages) collapsed even faster. Which, as we warned in March, would entail bigger and more aggressive deposit haircuts, and ultimately: another bailout of Cyprus (something the president floated but promptly denied upon rejection by Merkel ahead of her September elections). Today, we learn that while the inevitable next bailout of Cyprus is still on the table, the deposit “haircut” just upgraded to an aggravated Brazilian wax, as the 37.5% gentle trim initially proposed was revised to 47.5%.

InCyprus reports:

The Finance Ministry and the Troika appeared to be converging on an agreement on the haircut of uninsured deposits over 100,000 euros in the Bank of Cyprus at 47.5%.

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Jul 19

Related info:

- ‘I Refused To Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ – Barack Obama, October 2012 (Video)


- Obama To Detroit: “No Bailout For You” (ZeroHedge, July 19, 2013):

While in the past President Obama has been more that willing to throw good money after bad and “refuse to let Detroit go bankrupt,” it seems when push comes to shove – under the intense scrutiny of a nation awash in scandal, a drastically bifurcated congress – that despite the imploring from local congressmen for “moar” already – that the savior of the city will not this time ride to the rescue on his white horse. In a statement, the White House said they “are monitoring the situation in Detroit closely,” with no hint – just as they have made clear for months – of any sort of Federal bailout. As USA Today notes, the federal government provided federal loans to prevent New York City from declaring bankruptcy during the 1970s. But times have changed; the federal government has debt and financial problems of its own, and a Detroit bailout could run into significant opposition in Congress and cause serious damage in the Muni market.

While the GM debacle put pensioners ahead of creditors, it would be unprecedentedly bad for the massive Muni bond market should Obama acquiesce and change the law once again to put pensioners ahead of GOs…

The White House statement on Detroit.

The president and members of the president’s senior team continue to closely monitor the situation in Detroit.

While leaders on the ground in Michigan and the city’s creditors understand that they must find a solution to Detroit’s serious financial challenge, we remain committed to continuing our strong partnership with Detroit as it works to recover and revitalize and maintain its status as one of America’s great cities.”

Translation: “sorry guys, you’re on your own on this one!”

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Jun 29

h/t by reader M.G.:

“Just saw this story on Rt.com. The new plan is for investors to rescue the crumbling banks. Brilliant. What a way to get people to stop using banks! It is beyond stupid, it is outright stealing. Here is the link. I am too angry to say any more right now. Damn these thieving bastards!”



Eurogroup President and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem talks to journalists during a joint news conference with Portuguese Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar in Lisbon May 27, 2013.(Reuters)

- Investors to pay for bank failures – EU (RT, June 27, 2013):

European Union finance chiefs agreed Thursday investors and wealthy depositors will foot the bill for bank bailouts, in a break with the past convention of burdening taxpayers.

If pursued, bailout strategy, shareholders, bondholders and depositors with more than 100,000 euro will share the financial strain of saving a bank. Deposits under 100,000 will be protected.

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Jun 18

The Cyprus Bail-In Blows Up: President Urges Complete Bailout Overhaul (Full Letter) (ZeroHedge, June 18, 2013):

Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades has realized (as we warned), too late it seems for the thousands of domestic and foreign depositors who were sacrificed at the alter of monetary union, that the TROIKA’s terms are “too onerous.” Anastasiades has asked EU lenders to unwind the complex restructuring and partial merger of its two largest banks leaving EU officials “puzzled”, according to a letter the FT has uncovered, as “essentially, he is asking for a complete reversal of the program.” The EU officials claim that the failure to prepare for the bailout’s impact was partially the fault of Mr Anastasiades’ government, which voted down a first agreed rescue before succumbing to a similar deal nine days later.

The FT goes on to note that although the letter does not request it explicitly, Mr Anastasiades is in effect asking for further eurozone loans on top of the existing EUR10bn sovereign bailout – something specifically ruled out by a German-led group of countries at the time. The return of beggars-can-be-choosers we presume – or just token gestures to recover some populist support as the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

As we noted here (and on the chart below), it seemed pretty obvious where this was going to end – obvious that is to everyone except Europe’s victory-claiming politicians.

It seems the ongoing flood of capital (despite controls) and collapse of the economy that we discussed here is occurring at ever increasing pace – and demanding even more gold be sucked out of their vaults…

“Unless Cyprus implements some controls that truly work, at this pace its entire banking system will be completely deposit-free in under one year. And it will need to sell much more than all its gold to continue keeping the Troika happy and in compliance with all the future (because there will be many more) bailouts.”

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Apr 15

- Which Country’s Gold Will Be Sold Next? (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2013):

The first time the Status Quo/Troika tried to force a (not so) stealthy gold confiscation on an insolvent European country was back in early 2012, when as part of the most recent Greek bailout MOU, it was disclosed that “Greece’s lenders will have the right to seize the gold reserves in the Bank of Greece under the terms of the new deal.” However, the public outcry was so loud that the Troika had no choice but to shelve its plans and proceed with a full scale bondholder restructuring instead. Fast forward to last week, when Europe’s appetite for physical gold came back with a bang, this time as part of the Cyprus “Debt Sustainability Analysis“, and subsequent comments from Mario Draghi, demanding that tiny Cyprus, whose opposition, already weakened by the confiscation of uninsured deposits would be far less vocal than Greece’s, sell off €400MM, or virtually all of its sovereign gold, over 10 of its 13.9 total tons, to cover the excess costs of its ever ballooning sovereign bailout. Continue reading »

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Apr 11

- Cyprus Bailout Size Increases By 35% In One Month To €23 Billion, 120% Of GDP (ZeroHedge, April 11, 2013):

As was reported in the previously presented Cypriot Debt Sustainability Analysis, which among other things had this stunner inside of it, things in Cyprus have gone from bad to worse in the brief span of a month. 35% worse to be exact, because this is how much the total bailout of Cyprus has grown by in a few shorts weeks, from €17 to €23 billion, which happened because just as we predicted the stealth outflow from banks was much worse (read bigger) than previously reported, leaving banks with a far bigger hole to plug. This is problematic because at least previously the bailout as a percentage of GDP was in the double digits. No longer so, as the latest (and soon to be re-revised higher) bailout figure now stands at over 120% of the country’s €18.8 billion GDP (which itself is about to tumble following the collapse of the economy).

From the Guardian:

Crisis-hit Cyprus will be forced to find an extra €6bn (£5.1bn) to contribute to its own bailout under leaked updated plans for the rescue.

In total, the bill for the bailout has risen to €23bn, from an original estimate of €17bn, less than a month after the deal was agreed – and the entire extra cost will be imposed on Nicosia.

Continue reading »

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Apr 10

- Here We Go: Cyprus To Sell €400 Million In Gold, About 75% Of Its Total Holdings, To Finance Part Of Its Bailout (ZeroHedge, April 10, 2013):

Curious why every bank and their grandmother, and most recently Goldman today, has been lining up to push the price of gold as low as possible? Here’s why:

  • CYPRUS TO SELL 400 MLN EUROS WORTH OF GOLD RESERVES TO FINANCE PART OF ITS BAILOUT – TROIKA DOCUMENTS – RTRS

Or about 10 tons of gold. But… the bailout was prefunded and there was no need to provide any additional cash? What happened: was the deposit outflow discovered to have been even greater than the worst case scenario and thus Cyprus needed even more cash? As for the buyers? We will venture a guess: central banks buying at the lows.

Finally: congratulations Cypriots. You are now handing over your gold for the one time, unbeatable opportunity to remain a vassal state to the Eurozone. But at least you have your .

The good news: Cyprus will have at least another 4 or so tons after selling the 10 demanded now, before the Troika kindly requests that Cypriot citizens sell a kidney or two to pay for the ongoing deposit outflow from its insolvent banks, and indirectly, the endless bailout of the Euro.

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Apr 07

- Ireland, You May Very Well Be Bust & I Make No Apologies For What I’m About To Show You (ZeroHedge, April 7, 2013)

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Apr 03

- Visualizing The Cypriot Deposit Confiscation (ZeroHedge, April 2, 2013):

From ‘why Cyprus could not bail out its banks’ to its failed financing needs and the road to confiscation, Demonocracy provides the ‘everything you wanted to know about Cyprus’ infograph ‘but were afraid to read’.

Via Demonocracy,

The big depositors will get hit harder than expected, because a lot of money left the banks right before the banks went into lock-down.

Cyprus’ Banks are the first during the last 147 banking crises that will not get a single Euro from EU to bail out the banks. Greek branches of Cyprus banks had €15 Billion in deposits, they were sold last minute to another bank, by so they will not be included in sharing the losses- obviously suspicious. Some people are offering depositors to get their money out of Cyprus for a 20% fee. Cyprus officials are throwing around slogans such as “time for responsibility‘ (to pay up) just to turn around a week later and oppose it.

With the lack of backbone, the next political move is rather unpredictable. EU officials say Cyprus is a unique case, but EU has many countries with over-sized banking sectors.

The crash of Cyprus financial sector and government bailout sentences Cyprus to a long period of recession and debt. The list of demands by EU to Cyprus for accepting the €10 billion bailout includes things such as freeze on pensions, massive tax increase on just about everything and more taxes.

For America: Bernanke Fails to Answer Concerns about a Cyprus-Style Seizure of American Bank Deposits

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Apr 02

- The Great Cyprus Bank Robbery (Ron Paul, April 1, 2013):

The dramatic recent events in Cyprus have highlighted the fundamental weakness in the European banking system and the extreme fragility of fractional reserve banking. Cypriot banks invested heavily in Greek sovereign debt, and last summer’s Greek debt restructuring resulted in losses equivalent to more than 25 percent of Cyprus’ GDP. These banks then took their bad investments to the government, demanding a bailout from an already beleaguered Cypriot treasury. The government of Cyprus then turned to the European Union (EU) for a bailout.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

Flashback:

- How Iceland Overthrew The Banks: The Only 3 Minutes Of Any Worth From Davos (Video)

- Impossible In America: ‘Executives At Collapsed Iceland Bank Jailed For Fraud’ (Reuters)

- The Icelandic Success Story

- Iceland’s Economy Now Growing Faster Than The U.S. And EU After Arresting The Banksters

- Here Is What Happens If You Do Not Bail Out The Banksters And Avoid Getting Raped By The IMF

- Two Thirds Of Icelanders Oppose EU Membership

- A Lesson For Europe: Why Iceland Won’t Join The Euro (Video)

- Iceland Once Again Tells IMF, UK, Netherlands To ‘Go to Hell’; ‘Ice Torture’ Repayment Scheme Collapses


- Cyprus Parliament President Says “No Future” Under Troika, Calls For “Iceland” Solution (ZeroHedge, March 30, 2013):

Just last week Yiannakis Omirou, Cypriot House of Representatives President, was calling for the nation to accept it is “time for responsibility” as they progressed towards a final solution; and yet today, as Cyprus’ Famagusta reports, he believes the ‘Troika-imposed’ responsibility will, “turn Cyprus into a colony of the worst possible type.” His ‘Icelandic’ solution is to “leave the Troika and EMS behind,” to ensure “national independence, national sovereignty, moral integrity, and economic independence.” He may have a point; judging from the chart below of the Troika’s poster-child Greece, relative to Iceland, things are not going so well. As Omirou ominously concludes, “if we remain bound by the Troika and the memorandum Cyprus’ destiny is already foretold and there will be no future.”

Via Famagusta Gazette,

There is no other alternative but to free Cyprus from the bonds of the troika and the memorandum, House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou has said.

Continue reading »

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Mar 28

- Cyprus-Style Bank Account Confiscation Is In The New 2013 Canadian Government Budget! (Economic Collapse, March 28, 2013):

The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts.  In fact, Cyprus-style bank account confiscation is actually in the new Canadian government budget.  When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself.  And guess what?  It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons.  This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada.  “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?  In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be “bailed in” when they fail.  In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU.  I can’t even begin to describe how serious all of this is.  From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts.  This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.

What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it.  The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada. Continue reading »

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Mar 26

- What Dijsselbloem Really Said: Full “On The Record” Transcript (ZeroHedge, March 26, 2013):

Hopefully the memory of the new Eurogroup head, who in a one day lost more credibility than his admittedly lying predecessor Juncker ever had, will be jogged courtesy of this full transcript provided by Reuters and the FT of what he told two reporters – on the record – and for the whole world to read. Because, by now, we are confident everyone has had more than enough with watching the entire Eurozone rapidly and tragically turn itself into a complete and utter mythomaniac, kletpocratic circus.

Via The FT,

To clarify what Dijsselbloem said, we’ve decided to post a transcript of the portion of the interview dealing with how the eurozone might deal with bank failures in the future in light of the Cyprus example. The interview we conducted alongside Brussels bureau chief Luke Baker of Reuters (@LukeReuters) lasted about 45 minutes, and the portion on bank resolution lasted for about 10 of those minutes. The interview started out with some Cyprus-specific questions – like how capital controls might work, whether Dijsselbloem had learned any lessons form the Cyprus experience – and then shifted to a discussion about whether north-south relations were hampering EU decision making. That’s when Baker asked the first question about whether Cyprus set a precedent for future bank rescues…

Q: To what extent does the decision taken last night end up setting a template for bank resolution going forward?

A: What we should try to do and what we’ve done last night is what I call “pushing back the risks”. In times of crisis when a risk certainly turns up in a banking sector or an economy, you really have very little choice: you try to take that risk away, and you take it on the public debt. You say, “Okay, we’ll deal with it, give it to us.” Continue reading »

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Mar 24

From the article:

Deposits above 100,000 euros, which under EU law are not guaranteed, will be frozen and used to resolve debts, and Laiki will effectively be shuttered, with thousands of job losses.


The revised bailout plan may not require further parliamentary approval since the idea of a levy was dropped.

The tottering banks hold 68 billion euros in deposits, including 38 billion in accounts of more than 100,000 euros – enormous sums for an island of 1.1 million people which could never sustain such a big financial system on its own.

- Cyprus Reaches Bailout Deal With International Lenders (Huffington Post/Reuters, March 25, 2013):

* Deal to shut Laiki bank, transfer insured deposits

* Clinched hours before Monday deadline to seal EU bailout

* Without deal banks faced collapse, possible euro zone exit

BRUSSELS, March 25 (Reuters) – Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders on Monday for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout that will shut down its second largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians.

The agreement emerged after fraught negotiations between President Nicos Anastasiades and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – hours before a deadline to avert a collapse of the banking system.

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Cyprus bailout: Deal reached in Eurogroup talks (BBC News, March 25, 2013):

Eurozone finance ministers have agreed a deal on a bailout for Cyprus to prevent its banking system collapsing, officials say.

Reports suggest the deal will include a levy on deposits of more than 100,000 euros in Cyprus’ two biggest banks.

The levy on accounts in Laiki Bank – the country’s second-biggest – could be as high as 40%, correspondents say.

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Rampapalooza As Cyprus-Troika Reach Deal (Updates) (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2013):

UPDATE: It appears the ‘deal’ to default/restructure the banks has been designed to bypass the need for parliamentary votes, since it is theoretically not a tax.

While we have little color on what kind of carnage the President of Cyprus had to accept to his fellow countrymen, the news is that :

  • *CYPRUS, TROIKA REACH AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE, EU OFFICIAL SAYS
  • *DEAL MADE AT DINNER WITH DRAGHI, LAGARDE, VAN ROMPUY, BARROSO

The terms, unsurprisingly what zee Germans wanted, are:

i) Laiki to be wound down;

ii) Bank of Cyprus to survive but with deposit haircuts, and

iii) deal would see secured deposits in Laiki moved to Bank of Cyprus.

In other words, a deal far worse then the original on proposed by the Eurogroup last week – when the banks still existed. The key appears to be the ‘saving’ of the insured depositors (crucial to avoid a pan-European bank run) and the crushing of the ‘whale’ depositors.

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Cyprus Bailout Needs Rise By €2 Billion As Conditions Deteriorate Rapidly (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2013):

A week of closed banks, depositor angst, and economic malaise is creating an increasingly vicious circle for Cyprus (and implicitly the European Union). As Die Welt notes, because the economic data of the tiny ‘irrelevant’ island could be considerably worse than previously thought (or forecast by Troika) thanks to the distortions created this week by bank closings, several people around the Troika said the exact amount of the bailout remains uncertain and could amount to EUR2bn more than expected. With the Troika capping their handout at EUR10bn of the current EUR17bn needed (and the deposit levy reportedly filling EUR6bn of that EUR7bn hole), the need for a bigger bailout – which seems increasingly likely – will fall on Cyprus banks’ depositors (or taxpayers) leading to a hard-to-beat downward spiral. Simply put, the more deposits are pulled, the more deposits need to be confiscated; and with retailer stocks running low (“will last another 2-3 days”) and cash-on-delivery demanded, the real economy will “have a problem if this is not resolved by next week.”

Via The Guardian,

Retailers, facing cash-on-delivery demands from suppliers, warned stocks were running low. “At the moment, supplies will last another two or three days,” said Adamos Hadijadamou, head of Cyprus’s Association of Supermarkets. “We’ll have a problem if this is not resolved by next week.”

Via Die Welt (and Google Translate),

Cyprus needs a lot more money than expected

A few hours before the emergency meeting of the situation seems to capture from bankruptcy Cyprus to deteriorate: From Troika says that money could not exceed the estimated range.

Cyprus needs for information of the “world” more money to bail out its banks and the stabilization of its national budget. Not initially agreed 17 billion euros were enough states in the field of negotiations. The exact amount is not certain. Several people around the troika said the “world” that the increased demand would amount to around two billion euros.

Continue reading »

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Mar 23

- Former Cyprus Central Bank Head And Senior Fed Economist: “The European Project Is Crashing To Earth” (ZeroHedge, March 22, 2013):

Back in August 2011, one of the most prescient European (ex) central bankers, Cyprus’ very own Athanasios Orphanides was optimistic, but with a caveat: “I am optimistic that with the right actions and effort by all we will pull through this,” Orphanides told reporters after a meeting with Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias. They were Orphanides’ first public comments since warning authorities in a July 18, 2011 letter that Cyprus ran the risk of requiring an EU bailout unless urgent action was taken to shore up its finances.”

Two years later, following endless dithering and pretense that just because the ECB has stabilized the markets, all is well, and “action was being taken” when none was (because in the New Normal the lack of market collapse is somehow supposed to represent structural changes are taking place, which never actually happen), Cyprus is beyond the bailout stage – it is now quite literally on the verge of total collapse. This is also why Orphanides, who recently (and perhaps prudently) quit as Central Banker of Cyprus following a clash with the new communist government (and was replaced by a guy named Panicos), no longer is optimistic. “The European project is crashing to earth,” Athanasios Orphanides told the Financial Times in an interview. “This is a fundamental change in the dynamics of Europe towards disintegration and I don’t see how this can be reversed.

It can’t. Which is what we have been saying all along. But it apparently takes a former Federal Reserve senior economist to say the perfectly obvious, and for reality to finally hit front and center.

More from the FT’s interview with Orphanides:

This week’s events had made “a mockery” of EU treaties, he added. “It suggests that in Europe not all people are equal under the law.”

“We have seen other eurozone countries, the Netherlands, for instance, put national interests ahead of the European interest by trying to bring down the economic model of countries such as Cyprus or Luxembourg.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 23

- Troika Hikes Cyprus Bailout Demands, Says “Conditions Worsened” (ZeroHedge, March 22, 2013):

Just when you thought you knew the rules, the Troika has changed them… (via MNI)

  • TROIKA SAID CONDITIONS WORSENED, WANTS BILL TO REFLECT
  • TROIKA HIKED CYPRUS CONTRIBUTION TO E6.7 BN VS E5.8 BN:
    SOURCE
Moar Bigger Haircuts for the rich please – and following Schaeuble’s veiled threat (leave – we can handle it)…
  • *SCHAEUBLE: MARKET SEES EURO-ZONE BETTER PREPARED FOR TURBULENCE

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Mar 21

- National planning Cyprus-style solution for New Zealand (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, March 19, 2013):

The National Government is pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.

“Bill English is proposing a Cyprus-style solution for managing bank failure here in New Zealand – a solution that will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“If a bank fails under National’s plan, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.”

“The Reserve Bank is in the final stages of implementing a system of managing bank failure called Open Bank Resolution. The scheme will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their bank.

“Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat.

Continue reading »

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Mar 21

- New Zealand Government Now Planning a Cyprus-Style Confiscation to Fund Bank Bail Out (IntelliHub, march 20, 2013):

Many people around the world were relieved to learn yesterday that a proposed measure to fund a bailout in Cyprus was not approved by the local government.

The proposed plan would tax every single person in the country with a bank account, forcing them to fund a bank bailout that shouldnt even be happening in the first place.

However, fears that other governments may take similar measures have now been proven to be well founded, as the New Zealand government is considering a similar approach.

According to Scoop:

“The National Government are pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.  Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 20

- Cyprus Parliament Rejects European Bailout Proposal: Calls Germany’s Bluff (ZeroHedge, March 19, 2013):

Just as we predicted yesterday, the Cyprus bailout vote has not passed parliament in a move that was merely there to force Germany’s bluff.

  • CYPRUS BANK LEVY BILL DEFEATED WITH 36 VOTES AGAINST
  • CYPRUS BANK LEVY BILL DEFEATED WITH 19 ABSTENTIONS
  • CYPRUS PARLIAMENT VOTED IN SHOW OF HANDS IN NICOSIA
  • ANASTASIADES FAILS TO SECURE VOTES FOR DEPOSIT LOSS BILL

What happens now, nobody knows. Prepare for a litany of very angry headlines out of the inner sanctum of Europe’s despotic chambers. Hopefully Pisani can explain it all.

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Mar 20

- Europe’s Final Gambit: 20%-30% Haircut For Oligarchs To Force A Russian Bailout (ZeroHedge, March 19, 2013):

It now seems sure that the ongoing discussion in Cyprus’ government will see a “no” vote as the WSJ is reporting a rather stunning gamble by the Cypriots (and by Cypriots we mean European leaders) to force the Russians to bear the brunt of the cost of the bailout. The non-resigned Cypriot FinMin is heading to Russia to propose a deal that includes imposing a 20% to 30% levy on Russian-held deposits in Cypriot banks, which could cost them billions of euros. In exchange, Russia will be given equity in Cyprus’s future national gas company and some additional strategic benefits in the sector, while Russian investors would be given control of the board of directors at Cyprus’s banks. The apparent quid pro quo in this deal does nothing to hide the fact that private property was stolen and while pointing fingers just at the Russians may play well for PR purposes, it is described as “a long shot” as the Kremlin notes, “it’s practically impossible to talk without knowing details.”

Via WSJ,

The official said that Michalis Sarris, who is being accompanied by a delegation of businessmen, is going to propose a deal that includes imposing a 20% to 30% levy on Russian-held deposits in Cypriot banks, which could cost them billions of euros. In exchange, Russia will be given equity in Cyprus’s future national gas company and some additional strategic benefits in the sector, while Russian investors would be given control of the board of directors at Cyprus’s banks.

Continue reading »

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Mar 14

- UK Bankruptcy Tzar On Verge Of Bankruptcy (ZeroHedge, March 13, 2013):

Despite around $135 million in bailouts, the UK government’s Insolvency Service disputes its own insolvency. The FT reports that one British MP summed it up – “it is fair to say that if this was a company it would be in deep trouble.” The group, which polices bankrupt companies, liquidates failed businesses and disqualifies unfit directors, would be bankrupt were it not for the government’s cash injection. Dependent on fees and recoveries from bankrupt companies, the agency over-estimated its ability to recover assets from collapsed businesses. It dismisses the insolvency claims against itself however, noting the service is “living within its means” and expects to be deficit-free by 2015 (though it is unclear how unless they expect recoveries to rise dramatically or bankruptcies to increase significantly) as it is forced to provide services even when there is no prospect of recovering fees from bankrupt people or companies. Their rate of prosecution has dropped from 40% to 21% and even the creditor community has lost faith arguing that the agency’s model was “unreliable in the current economic climate” and required urgent reform.

Via The FT,

The UK government’s Insolvency Service is all but insolvent.

Experts suggest the group, which polices bankrupt companies, liquidates failed businesses and disqualifies unfit directors, would be broke had it not received an emergency injection of cash from the government. Continue reading »

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