Jul 17

Cyprus - Despite 16 months of capital controls, banks still pitifully capitalized

- Cyprus: Despite 16 months of capital controls, banks still pitifully capitalized (Sovereign Man, July 15, 2014):

It’s been over a year since the banking system in Cyprus officially went bust.

On Friday, March 15, 2013, practically everyone in the country went to bed thinking that everything was just fine.

Many had probably gone to the bank that very day to do business, or logged on to an Internet banking platform.

Yet the very next morning, they woke to a completely new reality: the nation’s banks were broke, and the government was in no position to rescue them.

Continue reading »

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Jul 15

putin smile

- 9 EU countries ready to block economic sanctions against Russia (RT, July 15, 2014):

France, Germany, and Italy are among EU members who don’t want to follow the US lead and impose trade sanctions on Russia. US sanctions are seen as a push to promote its own multibillion free-trade pact with Europe.

“France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, and EU President Italy see no reason in the current environment for the introduction of sectorial trade and economic sanctions against Russia and at the summit, will block the measure,” a diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Germany Blesses “Bail-In” Deposit Confiscation Plan For Failing EU Banks (ZeroHedge, July 9, 2014):

One year earlier than required, the German government approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks across Europe. As WSJ reports, Germany “leads the way” in Europe by implementing European rules quickly and “creates instruments that allow the winding-down of big systemically relevant institutions without putting the financial stability at risk.” What this means is that taxpayers (theoretically) will not be on the hook (though in reality we are sure the mutually assured destruction defense will be played – especially if Deutsche runs into problems) but as German authorities explain, “This ensures that in times of crisis mainly owners and creditors will contribute to solving the crisis, and not taxpayers.” As a gentle reminder – creditors includes depositors… remember Cyprus?

As WSJ reports,

Germany’s cabinet Wednesday approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks beginning in 2015, one year earlier than required under European-wide plans that set rules for failing financial institutions. Continue reading »

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Jun 27

spain_flag_burning

NIRP Strikes: Spain To Create Tax On Bank Deposits (ZeroHedge, June 26, 2014):

It was a little over a year ago, just as the Cyprus deposit confiscation aka “bail in” was taking place, when we asked, rhetorically, if “Spain is preparing for its own deposit levy” when an announcement by Spain’s Finance Minister, Montoro, hinted at the imminent arrival of just that.

Specifically we said: Continue reading »

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Mar 20

- Another Russian Oligarch Dumped All His Stocks Ahead Of The US Sanctions (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2014):

Last week we discovered that Gazprom’s Chairman Viktor Zubkov sold his entire stake in the company days before the Crimean invasion (and subsequent sanctions and asset freezes). Today, on the heels of the latest round of US sanctions against Russia’s so-called “Putin cronies”; Cyprus-based oil trader Gunvor Group announced that co-founder Gennady Timchenko (estimated wealth $8.5 billion) – who was named on today’s sanctions list – sold his entire 44% stake in the company yesterday. The question is – as we show below – did the US Treasury tip Timchenko off to what was coming?

Gennady Timchenko

Gunvor Ensures Continued Operations

Anticipating potential economic sanctions so to ensure with certainty the continued and uninterrupted operations of Gunvor Group Ltd’s activities, the shares of the company held by Mr. Gennady Timchenko were sold on March 19 from his personal holding vehicle to Mr. Torbjorn Törnqvist personally.

Continue reading »

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Mar 19

- Has The World Gone Mad (Again)? (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2014):

A few select headlines from the day that made us, well, wonder…

  • OBAMA’S GOAL IS FOR RUSSIA TO STEP BACK IN CRIMEA, LEW SAYS (hope and change?)
  • CHINA SHOULD LOOSEN RESTRICTIONS OVER HOME PURCHASES: SEC. NEWS (but, but, but the reforms?)
  • DONETSK GOVERNOR (AND BROTHER) HAD MOAT DUG OUT ON RUSSIAN BORDER (and filled with crocodiles?)
  • BEIJING TO SPEND 20M YUAN TO CHANGE WEATHER TO CUT SMOG: DAILY (winning the war on weather and hence the economy)
  • PUTIN SPOKESMAN SAYS UKRAINE FORCES MUST CHOOSE SIDES: BBC (hhmm, tough decision)
  • FLAHERTY SAYS DECISION TO LEAVE POLITICS WAS NOT RELATED IN ANY WAY TO HIS HEALTH (just being pissed off)
  • CARNEY SAYS LOW RATE ENVIRONMENT IS CONDUCIVE TO COMPLACENCY (and water is wet and we’ll keep doing it)
  • IRS INFORMS EMPLOYEES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION DATA BREACH (shame really)
  • UKRAINE FAILS TO SELL DEBT AT DOMESTIC AUCTION: FIN MIN. (but TSLA did – shoulda sold stock)
  • BANK OF CANADA’S POLOZ SAYS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT RECENT ECONOMIC SOFTNESS IN CANADA IS ALL DUE TO THE WEATHER. (wait what?)
  • ESTONIA’S PRESIDENT ILVES SAYS EU RESPONSE “SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT THE PRICE OF GAS” (what else is there?)
  • U.S. TREASURY CORRECTS TICS DATA RELEASED EARLIER TODAY (#Ref/0)
  • KERRY SAYS PUTIN SPEECH “DIDN’T JIBE WITH REALITY” (YouTube reality?)
  • UKRAINE MAY SEEK COMPENSATION FOR CRIMEA ASSETS: PETRENKO (we don’t recognize it unless you pay us?)
  • MERKEL SAYS NO CHANGE IN RUSSIA G-8 STATUS FOR NOW (nope, they’d have to really cross the red line)
  • RUSSIA FELT ROBBED BY BREAKUP OF SOVIET UNION, PUTIN SAYS (uh oh)
  • CYPRUS OPPOSES MORE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA: FOR’N MINISTER (RIK) (just capital controls is good)
  • SUGA: WILL DEAL APPROPRIATELY WITH PUTIN’S PLANNED JAPAN VISIT (umm what?)
  • PUTIN: RUSSIA WILL NEVER SEEK CONFRONTATIONS IN WEST, EAST (fingers crossed?)
  • JAPAN HALTS TALKS WITH RUSSIA ON VISA ISSUANCE (and nobody cared)
  • WHITE HOUSE CARNEY “I WOULDN’T IF I WERE YOU” INVEST IN RUSSIA (what do you think of TWTR?)
  • JAPAN DISPLAY STARTS TRADING 15% BELOW IPO PRICE IN TOKYO (shoulda IPO’d in USA)
  • VIETNAM DELAYS SOME BAD DEBT CLASSIFICATION UNTIL APRIL 2015 (will all be fixed by then)
  • SUGA: ABENOMICS WILL WITHOUT DOUBT LEAD TO ECONOMIC REVIVAL (yep no dooubt about it)

Has the world gone totally mad?

And then there’s this:

  • Fed Tightening May Begin Sooner Than Thought: Hildebrand in FT (not holding our breath) Continue reading »

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Oct 15

- When countries go broke (Sovereign Man, Oct 14, 2013):

It’s become almost cliche these days to point out how many governments are broke beyond belief.

In Japan, where the country’s debt level already exceeds 200% of GDP, the government has to finance 46% of its budget by issuing more debt.

Continue reading »

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Oct 13

“They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes, drums… drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow lurks in the dark. We can not get out… they are coming.”
- Gandalf (reading)

- They’re Coming For Your Savings (Dollar Collapse, Oct 12, 2013):

Another of history’s many lessons is that governments under pressure become thieves. And today’s governments are under a lot of pressure.

Before we look at the coming wave of asset confiscations, let’s stroll through some notable episodes of the past, just to make the point that government theft of private wealth is actually pretty common. Continue reading »

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Sep 25

- Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Now Starting To Happen All Over The Globe (Economic Collapse, Sep 24, 2013):

Now that “bail-ins” have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again.  In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world.  As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a “bail-in” is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy.  Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.  The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe.  It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well.  From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish.

Let’s take a look at a few of the examples of how Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is now moving forward all over the globe: Continue reading »

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Sep 14

- Marc Faber On Protecting Wealth In The Coming Collapse

Faber begins by noting that “a deflationary bust, whenever it may happen (tomorrow or 10 years), is inevitable; and is the opposite of an increase in prices from inflation.” Of course, it is the central banks’ response to even the fears of that bust (e.g. whether it washes around the world – from EM to DM) that will turn an asset-deflationary bust into a hyperinflationary collapse in fiat currencies; and focused on the long-term, ‘Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report’s’ Marc Faber looks at how to preserve wealth through this as he ranges from the obsolescence risk of equities to the political risk of real estate and banking risks of cash and deposits. Faber reflects on various lessons from the past (hyperinflations, wars, banking crises) and geographies as he moves from asset class to asset class highlighting the pros and cons of each. Preferring a mix of gold and diversified real estate (and not government bonds), Faber warns investors to be highly skeptical of anyone who believes they can forecast what is going to happen over the next 5-10 years.

Starting at around 3:35, Faber begins to focus on wealth preservation… (the preceding discussion of higher education’s failings are also worth the time).


YouTube

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Sep 03

And here’s a reminder on how humane our government really is:

Flashback (MUST-READ!):

- Former UK ambassador Craig Murray: CIA sent people to Uzbekistan for extreme torture, to be ‘raped with broken bottles,’ ‘boiled alive’ and ‘having their children tortured in front of them’ (The Raw Story)


- The Troodos Conundrum (Craig Murray, Aug 31, 2013):

The GCHQ listening post on Mount Troodos in Cyprus is arguably the most valued asset which the UK contributes to UK/US intelligence cooperation.  The communications intercept agencies, GCHQ in the UK and NSA in the US, share all their intelligence reports (as do the CIA and MI6).  Troodos is valued enormously by the NSA.  It monitors all radio, satellite and microwave traffic across the Middle East, ranging from Egypt and Eastern Libya right through to the Caucasus.  Even almost all landline telephone communication in this region is routed through microwave links at some stage, picked up on Troodos.Troodos is highly effective – the jewel in the crown of British intelligence.  Its capacity and efficiency, as well as its reach, is staggering.  The US do not have their own comparable facility for the Middle East.  I should state that I have actually been inside all of this facility and been fully briefed on its operations and capabilities, while I was head of the FCO Cyprus Section in the early 1990s.  This is fact, not speculation.

It is therefore very strange, to say the least, that John Kerry claims to have access to communications intercepts of Syrian military and officials organising chemical weapons attacks, which intercepts were not available to the British Joint Intelligence Committee.

Continue reading »

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Aug 31

- Russia Restructures Cyprus Debt; Cyprus Prohibits US Strikes On Syria (ZeroHedge, Aug 31, 2013):

Yesterday afternoon, Russia agreed to restructure Cyprus’ EUR 2.5 billion loan terms to a much more affordable 2.5% semi-annual coupon through 2016 and a principal re-payment over the following four years. While probably still out of reach for the desparate economy, it was a positive step. Of course, this ‘offer’ by Russia has its quid pro quo. This morning, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stated that Cyprus territory will not be used to launch military strikes against Syria, as “Cyprus wants to live up to its responsibility as a shelter if needed for nationals of friendly countries who evacuate from Middle East”. It would appear Obama’s influence is fading everywhere…

Cyprus is located ~183 nautical miles west of Syria and is the EU member nearest to Syria. Continue reading »

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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%.

Continue reading »

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Jul 17

- Cyprus Resists International Pressure To Sell Gold Reserves (ZeroHedge, July 17, 2013)

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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.”

Continue reading »

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Jun 12

- Europe’s EUR500 Billion Quasi-Quantitative Easing (ZeroHedge, June 12, 2013):

Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box, Five Eurozone countries now have loans for half a trillion Euros.

These members of the Euro currency union are receiving loans from the one of two bailout funds which are financed by the other 12 Eurozone members. On top of that are the emergency loans from the International Monetary fund (IMF) and bilateral loans from the solvent countries to the bankrupt nations. Continue reading »

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Jun 04

- 18 Signs That Massive Economic Problems Are Erupting All Over The Planet (Economic Collapse, June 2, 2013):

This is no time to be complacent.  Massive economic problems are erupting all over the globe, but most people seem to believe that everything is going to be just fine.  In fact, a whole bunch of recent polls and surveys show that the American people are starting to feel much better about how the U.S. economy is performing.  Unfortunately, the false prosperity that we are currently enjoying is not going to last much longer.  Just look at what is happening in Europe.  The eurozone is now in the midst of the longest recession that it has ever experienced.  Just look at what is happening over in Asia.  Economic growth in India is the lowest that it has been in a decade and the Japanese financial system is beginning to spin wildly out of control.  One of the only places on the entire planet where serious economic problems have not already erupted is in the United States, and that is only because we have “kicked the can down the road” by recklessly printing money and by borrowing money at an unprecedented rate.  Unfortunately, the “sugar high” produced by those foolish measures is starting to wear off.  We are going to experience a massive amount of economic pain along with the rest of the world – it is just a matter of time.

But for the moment, there are a lot of skeptics out there.

For the moment, there are a lot of people that are declaring that the problems of the past have been fixed and that we are heading for incredibly bright economic times ahead.

Unfortunately, those people appear to be purposely ignoring the economic horror that is breaking out all over the globe.

The following are 18 signs that massive economic problems are erupting all over the planet… Continue reading »

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Jun 02

- Marc Faber: “People With Financial Assets Are All Doomed” (ZeroHedge, June 1, 2013):

As Barron’s notes in this recent interview, Marc Faber view the world with a skeptical eye, and never hesitates to speak his mind when things don’t look quite right. In other words, he would be the first in a crowd to tell you the emperor has no clothes, and has done so early, often, and aptly in the case of numerous investment bubbles. With even the world’s bankers now concerned at ‘unsustainable bubbles’, it is therefore unsurprising that in the discussion below, Faber explains, among other things, the fallacy of the Fed’s help “the problem is the money doesn’t flow into the system evenly, how with money-printing “the majority loses, and the minority wins,” and how, thanks to the further misallocation of capital, “people with assets are all doomed, because prices are grossly inflated globally for stocks and bonds.” Faber says he buys gold every month, adding that “I want to have some assets that aren’t in the banking system. When the asset bubble bursts, financial assets will be particularly vulnerable.”

Excerpted from Barron’s:

On the error of the Fed’s ways:

Continue reading »

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May 16

- Russian Pacific Fleet Warships Enter Mediterranean For First Time In Decades, To Park In Cyprus (ZeroHedge, May 16, 2013):

Earlier we reported that the US has now officially landed a Marine force in Israel as well as an assault ship, in a visit that the US Navy promptly assured “is not associated with, nor a reaction to, any world events.” It seems we were not the only ones who read this justification somewhat skeptically: so did Russia. And in a historic event, the Russian Pacific fleet, for the first time in decades, crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean, direction Cyprus’ port of Limasol (hi Cyprus – Russia will be arriving shortly) in what is now the loudest implied warning to the US and Israel amassing military units across Syria’s border that Russia will not stand idly by as Syria is used by the Israeli “Defense” Forces for target practice. “The task force has successfully passed through the Suez Channel and entered the Mediterranean. It is the first time in decades that Pacific Fleet warships enter this region,” Capt. First Rank Roman Martov said. This is what is also known as dropping hints, loud and clear.

The group, including the destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, the tanker Pechenga and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krylov left the port of Vladivostok on March 19 to join Russia’s Mediterranean task force.


Admiral Panteleyev destroyer


Admiral Nevelskoi

Continue reading »

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May 08


YouTube Added: 07.05.2013

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– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
– CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
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