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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Feb 10

- French Socialist Nightmare: ‘The State Cannot Do Everything’ (Testosterone Pit, Feb 8, 2013):

The preannouncement came Thursday evening: PSA Peugeot Citroën, France’s largest automaker, would have a write-down of €4.7 billion. On top of a hefty operating loss. It would be colossal. An all-time record. Rumors spread immediately that PSA would need a bailout. The second in four months.

PSA passenger car sales in France dropped nearly 17% in 2012 from an already awful 2011. In January they dropped another 16.7%. Sales for all automakers dropped 15%, and PSA’s market share had eroded further. Kia-Hyundai sales jumped 21.2%, the only major automaker with gains. Even Volkswagen Group got clobbered: down 23.9%. PSA isn’t internationally diversified enough. It doesn’t have much in China and nothing in the US, the largest markets in the world, both growing. It’s mired in Europe where auto sales have ground to a halt. It’s bleeding €200 million a month. It’s trying to lay off 8,000 workers and shutter its plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois. And its Banque PSA Finance was bailed out last October with €7 billion in taxpayer money.

The government was so worried that it was actively studying a bailout, sources told the Liberation after the losses were announced. It was just hypothetical. “But if a capital infusion would become inevitable, the state could participate,” the source said. Instantly, a cacophony of discord erupted—within the Socialist government.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 09


YouTube Added: 07.02.2013

- ‘EU Parliament no better than banana republic’ with PR campaign (RT, Feb 8, 2013):

As eurozone leaders lock horns over the budget deal, speculation is rife the EU is set to invest millions in a PR campaign against online critics. It puts the EU Parliament on a par with so-called ‘banana republics’, MEP Nigel Farage told RT.

“The words ‘legal’ and ‘European Union’ don’t fit together. Nothing matters here, there are no rules,” says the UK Independence Party’s Nigel Farage of the EP plan to spend huge sums of taxpayer money on social network smear campaigns against those who speak out against it.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 02

- How The Fed’s Latest QE Is Just Another European Bailout (ZeroHedge, Feb 2, 2013):

Back in June 2011 Zero Hedge broke a very troubling story: virtually all the reserves that had been created as a result of the Fed’s QE2, some $600 billion (which two years ago seemed like a lot of money) which was supposed to force banks to create loans and stimulate the US (not European) economy, ended up becoming cash at what the Fed classifies as “foreign-related institutions in the US” (or “foreign banks” as used in this article) on its weekly update of commercial banks operating in the US, or said simply, European banks. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 27

- Daniel Hannan Destroys The 3 Unquestionable Myths Of Our Crisis (ZeroHedge, Jan 26, 2013):

The past and present bailouts of each and every bank (and ‘important’ industry) will, one day, be seen as a generational offense is how MEP Daniel Hannan begins this thoroughly British demolition of the three critical myths surrounding the crisis, that despite market optics, we are still living through. From the idea that capitalism has failed (it has not in his view, it has been ravaged by political pandering), to the crisis being caused by lack of regulation, and that greed is the single-driver of the mess that we remain in; Hannan suggests in a brief but extremely eloquent debate that there is a world of difference between being pro business and pro market as he destroys any semblance of credibility that the political (and elite) class has echoing a young Ron Paul in his thoroughly libertarian free-market sensibilities.


YouTube

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 26

You can’t make this stuff up!


- Italian Scandal Widens As Italy’s Third Largest Bank Set To Get Third Bailout In 3 Years; Draghi, Monti Implicated (ZeroHedge, Jan 26, 2013):

While little has been said in the mainstream western press about the ongoing fiasco surrounding Siena’s Banca Monte dei Pasci, Italy’s third largest bank and the world’s oldest which may get its third bailout in three years - or even be nationalized – as soon as today, for fears that it may break the thin veneer of “recovery” in the European financial system, the situation on the ground in Italy is getting more serious by the minute, and will have implications on both next month’s general election, on Mario Monti, on Silvio Berlusconi, on frontrunner for the Prime Minister post Pier Luigi Bersani, and reach as far up as the head of the ECB – Mario Draghi.Several hours ago, on Saturday morning, the four-member board of the Bank of Italy – this time without its prior president Mario Draghi – met to consider the position of scandal-hit bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena and decide whether to authorize its request for 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of state loans.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 10

- Secrets and Lies of the Bailout (Rolling Stone, Jan 4, 2013):

It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?

Wrong.

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 09

- Facing backlash, AIG won’t join suit against U.S. (USA Today/AP, Jan 9, 2013):

NEW YORK — Facing a certain backlash from Washington and beyond, American International Group won’t be joining a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. government.

AIG was legally obligated to consider joining the lawsuit being brought against the government by former AIG Chief Executive Maurice Greenberg, who claims that the terms of the $182 billion bailout weren’t fair to AIG shareholders.

The prospect of AIG joining the lawsuit had already triggered outrage. A congressman from Vermont issued a statement telling AIG: “Don’t even think about it.”

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Jan 09

- AIG Considers Suing US Over US Bailout Of AIG (ZeroHedge, Jan 8, 2013):

Sometimes you just have to laugh – or you will cry. In what could well have been Tuesday Humor if it wasn’t so real, the AIG board (fulfilling its shareholder fiduciary duty) is considering joining Hank Greenberg’s suit against the government over the cruel-and-unusual bailout that saved the company. The $25bn lawsuit, as NY Times reports, based not on the basis that help was needed but that the onerous nature “taking what became a 92% stake in the company with high interest rates and funneling billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients” deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment (prohibiting the taking of private property for “public use, without just compensation”). The ‘audacious display of ingratitude’ comes weeks after the firm has repaid the $182 billion bailout funneled to it and its clients by an overly generous Treasury. The firm has asked for 16 million pages of government documentation, this “slap in the face of the government” portends a question of whether the government will sue The Fed for enabling the recovery that strengthened Greenberg’s case that the bailout was so harsh. Happy retirement Tim Geithner.

- Lawmakers outraged after AIG announces potential suit against US over bailout (FOX News, Jan 9, 2013):

As American International Group Inc. weighs whether to join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse, U.S. lawmakers have a message for the insurance behemoth: “Don’t even think about it.”

In a letter to AIG Chairman Robert Miller, U.S. Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Michael Capuano, D-Mass., characterized the insurer as the “poster child” for Wall Street greed, fiscal mismanagement and executive bonuses.

“Now, AIG apparently seeks to become the poster company for corporate ingratitude and chutzpah,” the letter read. “Taxpayers are still furious that they rescued a company whose own conduct brought it down. Don’t rub salt in the wounds with yet another reckless decision that is on par with the reckless decision that led to the bailout in the first place.”

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Jan 08

- Greek Banks To Merkel: “Please Ma’am, Can We Have Some Moar”, Or Here Comes Bailout #4 (ZeroHedge, Jan 7, 2013):

As loathed as we are to say “we told you so,” but we did and sure enough eKathimerini is reporting this evening that: thanks to the ‘voluntary’ haircuts the Greek banks were force-fed via the latest buyback scheme and the political uncertainty causing non-performing loans (NPLs) to rise (in a magically unknowable way), they will need significantly more ‘capital’ to plug their increasingly leaky boats. The original Blackrock report from a year did not foresee a rise in NPLs (which Ernst & Young now estimates stands at 24% of all loans) and the buyback dramatically reduces the expected profitability of the banks as it removes critical interest payments that would have been due. Whocouldanode? Well, plenty of people who did not just buy-in blindly to the promise of future hockey-stick returns to growth. Expectations are now for the Greek bank recap to be over EUR30bn.
Via eKathimerini,

The country’s main banks are considering requesting additional funds for their recapitalization.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 06

- Here Comes The Student Loan Bailout (ZeroHedge, Jan 5, 2013):

2012 is the year the student loan bubble finally popped. While on one hand the relentlessly rising total Federal student debt crossed $956 billion as of September 30, and was growing at a pace that will have put it over $1 trillion by the end of 2012, the one data point confirming the size, severity and ultimately bursting of this latest debt bubble was the disclosure in late November by the Fed that the percentage of 90+ day delinquent loans soared from under 9% to 11% in one quarter.

Which is why we were not surprised to learn that the Federal government has now delivered yet another bailout program: this time focusing not on banks, or homeowners who bought McMansions and decided to not pay their mortgage, but on those millions of Americans, aged 18 to 80, that are drowning in student debt – debt, incidentally, which has been used to pay for drugs, motorcycles, games, tattoos, not to mention countless iProducts. Which also means that since there is no free lunch, all that will happen is that even more Federal Debt will be tacked on to replace discharged student debt loans, up to the total $1 trillion which will promptly soar far higher as more Americans take advantage of this latest government handout. But when the US will already have $22 trillion in debt this time in four years, who really is counting? After all, “it is only fair” that the taxpayer funded “free for all” bonanza must go on.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,