May 05


YouTube Added: 03.05.2013

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May 04


YouTube Added: 29.04.2013

Commentary:

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
- Alan Greenspan

“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
- John Maynard Keynes

Quantitative easing = printing money = creating money out of thin air = increasing the money supply = inflation = hidden tax on monetary assets = theft!

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Apr 28


YouTube Added: 24.04.2013

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Apr 26

- Just Say Nein: Bundesbank Rejects OMT (Again) (ZeroHedge, April 25, 2013):

The last few minutes have seen markets taking a decidedly negative stance. Led by FX carry, risk-assets in general are rolling over. Some attributed it to Bernanke waking the devil from his slumber:

  • *BERNANKE SAYS VULNERABILITIES REMAIN IN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

but it appears that the decision of Germany’s Top court is the market-moving event:

  • *BUNDESBANK REJECTS OMT IN OPINION FOR TOP COURT: HANDELSBLATT

Instantaneously EUR is tumbling, financials are dropping, and the ‘promise’ of Draghi’s tail-risk killer is perhaps being removed. Remember, the high court is due to vote in June on whether the ESM is constitutional under German law and this rejection of ‘OMT’ leaves that decision much more in limbo than the market was expecting.

Via Bloomberg: Continue reading »

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Apr 18

Compare Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s article to …

- Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: The Assault On Gold – Assault On Gold UPDATE


- Fed and Bank of Japan caused gold crash (Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard April 17, 2013):

Commodity prices have been falling since September, culminating in a rout over the past two weeks. That is a classic warning for the global economy.

It is becoming ever clearer that the roaring boom in global equities since last summer has priced in an economic recovery that does not in fact exist. The International Monetary Fund has had to nurse down its global growth forecasts yet again. We are still stuck in an old-fashioned trade depression, with pervasive over-capacity in manufacturing plant and a record global savings rate of 25pc of GDP.

German car sales fell 17pc in March. That should puncture the last illusions that Germany is about to pull Europe out of a self-inflicted slump.

As you can see from the chart below, the divergence between stock markets and the Deutsche Bank index of raw materials is astonishing to behold, so like the pattern in early 1929. Continue reading »

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Apr 18

- Egan-Jones Downgrades Germany From A+ To A, Outlook Negative (ZeroHedge, April 17, 2013):

The more you try to shut them up, the more they have to say…Just out from Egan-Jones

4/17/2013: Federal Republic Of Germany: EJR lowered A+ to A (Neg.) (S&P: AAA) (3413Z GR)

Continue reading »

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Apr 18

- Farage Unleashed: “You Are Common Criminals” (ZeroHedge, April 17, 2013):

“Years ago, Mrs Thatcher recognized the truth behind the European Project,” UKIP’s Nigel Farage reminds his European Parliament ‘colleagues’, “she saw that it was about taking away democracy from nation states and handing that power to largely unaccountable people.” In one of his most wonderfully vitriolic remonstrations, the fiery Farage blasts Europe’s leadership, “this European Union is the new communism.” Slamming Olli Rehn and his Troika cohorts for “resorting to the level of common criminals and stealing people’s money”, Farage warns, rather chillingly, that, “it is power without limits. It is creating a tide of human misery and the sooner it is swept away the better.” Simply put, he concludes, the European Parliament is living out a federal fantasy which is no longer sustainable.

Full Transcript:

Years ago, Mrs Thatcher recognised the truth behind the European Project. She saw that it was about taking away democracy from nation states and handing that power to largely unaccountable people.

Knowing as she did that the euro would not work she saw that this was a very dangerous design. Now we in UKIP take that same view and I tried over the years in this parliament to predict what the next moves would be as the euro disaster unfolded.

But not even me, in my most pessimistic of speeches would have imagined, Mr Rehn, that you and others in the Troika would resort to the level of common criminals and steal money from peoples’ bank accounts in order to keep propped up this total failure that is the euro.
Continue reading »

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Apr 17

- Buy PHYSICAL Gold. NOW: The Discount of a Lifetime: Or Why You Must Abandon the Fake Paper Gold Market (Gordon Gekko’s Blog, April 17, 2013):

They just showed their hands. The paper Ponzi pyramid is wobbling. It’s time to go in for the kill.

Let me explain. But first let’s get a handle on what’s happening:

“We’ve traded gold for nearly four decades and we’ve never … ever… EVER… seen anything like what we’ve witnessed in the past two trading sessions,”

Dennis Gartman, via The New York Times

“This is an orchestration (the smash in gold).  It’s been going on now from the beginning of April.  Brokerage houses told their individual clients the word was out that hedge funds and institutional investors were going to be dumping gold and that they should get out in advance…it is the Fed’s concern with the dollar because the dollar is being printed in huge quantities at the same time that other countries are abandoning the use of the dollar as international payment.

The exchange value of the dollar is (being) threatened, and if that collapses the Fed loses control over interest rates.  Then the bond market blows up, the stock market blows up, and the banks that are too big to fail, fail.  So it’s an act of desperation because they’ve got to establish in people’s minds that the dollar is the only safe place, it is the only safe haven, not gold, not silver, and not other currencies.

Continue reading »

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Apr 17

“Cyprus’ Bottom”

Flashback: “Brown’s Bottom”


- Cyprus Finance Minister Sees Gold Sale Within Next Months (Bloomberg, April 17, 2013):

The Cypriot government plans to sell part of its gold reserves within the next months, a decision that needs to be approved by the country’s central bank, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said.“The exact details of it will be formulated in due course primarily by the board of the central bank,” Georgiades, 41, told Bloomberg TV’s Ryan Chilcote in an interview in Nicosia. “Obviously it’s a big decision.”

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is trying to unlock 10 billion euros ($13.2 billion) of loans from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund. To do so, he must come up with a further 11 billion euros through measures including a tax on bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros at the country’s two biggest banks, the sale of assets and gold and other tax measures.

Continue reading »

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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 12

- I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets! (ZeroHedge, April 12, 2013)

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Apr 12

- Cyprus Central Bank In Shambles Following Third Board Member Resignation (ZeroHedge, April 12, 2013):

Perhaps the most underfollowed story of the day is the blatant takeover of the Cypriot Central bank by the ECB, which as we reported earlier, has been ordered to sell their gold by the ECB’s Mario Draghi, even though the disposition decision of the “independent” central bank of the now insolvent nation is supposedly theirs. First it was this:

  • PANICOS DEMETRIADES SAYS CYPRUS CENTRAL BANK INDEPENDENCE UNDER ATTACK,
  • DEMETRIADES SAYS GOVT WANTS TO SELL GOLD WITHOUT CONSULTATION.

And now we learn that not one, not two, but three board members of the central bank have called it a day:

  • THIRD BOARD MEMBER OF THE CYPRUS CENTRAL BANK RESIGNS – CYBC

We are sure there are at least a few more board members who can resign topped off by Panicos himself bailing, before the entire central bank implodes, and there is nobody left in charge of the now obsolete monetary policy apparatus. What happens then: will Goldman appoint a new “technocratic” Board and governor, or will the country finally confirm that all European lies about member bank Independence is just one big lie?

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Apr 12

- EMU plot curdles as creditors seize Cyprus gold reserves (Telegraph, April 11, 2013):

First they purloin the savings and bank deposits in Laiki and the Bank of Cyprus, including the working funds of the University of Cyprus, and thousands of small firms hanging on by their fingertips.

Then they seize three quarters of the country’s gold reserves, making it ever harder for Cyprus to extricate itself from EMU at a later date.

The people of Cyprus first learned about this from a Reuters leak of the working documents for the Eurogroup meeting on Friday.

It is tucked away in clause 29. “Sale of excess gold reserves: The Cypriot authorities have committed to sell the excess amount of gold reserves owned by the Republic. This is estimated to generate one-off revenues to the state of €400m via an extraordinary payout of central bank profits.”

This seemed to catch the central bank by surprise. Officials said they knew nothing about it. So who in fact made this decision?

Continue reading »

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Apr 12

- Mario Draghi Orders Cyprus To Sell Gold To Cover Bailout “Shortfall” (ZeroHedge, April 11, 2013):

Update, and sure enough:

  • PANICOS DEMETRIADES SAYS CYPRUS CENTRAL BANK INDEPENDENCE UNDER ATTACK,
  • DEMETRIADES SAYS GOVT WANTS TO SELL GOLD WITHOUT CONSULTATION.
  • CYPRUS CENTRAL BANK GOV DEMETRIADES SAYS HE AND HIS FAMILY RECEIVED DEATH THREATS

As a reminder, Panicos holds the now obsolete position of head of the Cyprus Central Bank.

* * *

As was noted two days ago (so certainly not the news catalyst for today’s gold sell off as some are trying to make it appear) as part of its bailout expansion by 35%, Cyprus announced, then refuted, then re-admitted, it would need to fund a portion of the incremental €7 billion in cash demands by selling €400 million, or nearly all 13.9 tons, of its central bank gold. Today, we learn that this demand came from none other than the head of the ECB Mario Draghi. Bloomberg reports: “European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the profits of any gold sales by the Cypriot central bank must be used to cover losses it may sustain from emergency loans to Cypriot commercial banks.”

Of course, to make it seem that the Cyprus central bank is “independent”, the “European creditors today left a possible gold sale in the hands of the Cypriot central bank, which manages 13.9 metric tons of the metal, according to the World Gold Council.” Naturally, it would not be very politically correct to give the impression that it is none other than the collateral and asset-starved European central bank that is effectively running local monetary policy of its member states, and certainly would not make Cypriots, already devoid of their uninsured bank deposits, happy that the next demand by the ECB for the privilege of staying in the EUR is for them to hand over the only real asset their country has.

More from Bloomberg:

“The decision is going to be taken by the central bank,” Draghi said after a meeting of euro-area finance officials in Dublin. “What’s important, however, is that what is being transferred to the government budget out of the profits made out of the sales of gold should cover first and foremost any potential loss that the central bank might have from its ELA.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 12

- Carmen Reinhart: “No Doubt. Our Pensions Are Screwed.” (ZeroHedge, April 11, 2013):

“The crisis isn’t over yet,” warns Carmen Reinhart, “not in the US and not in Europe.” Known for her deep understanding that ‘it’s never different this time’, the Harvard economist drops the truth grenade a number of times in this excellent Der Spiegel interview. Sweeping away the sound and fury of a self-serving Federal Reserve or BoJ, she chides, “no central bank will admit it is keeping rates low to help governments out of their debt crises. But in fact they are bending over backwards to help governments to finance their deficits,” and guess what, “this is nothing new in history.”

After World War II, all countries that had a big debt overhang relied on financial repression to avoid an explicit default. After the war, governments imposed interest rate ceilings for government bonds; but, nowadays, she explains, “monetary policy is doing the job. And with high unemployment and low inflation that doesn’t even look suspicious. Only when inflation picks up, which is ultimately going to happen, will it become obvious that central banks have become subservient to governments.”

Nations “seldom just grow themselves out of debt,” as so many believe is possible, “you need a combination of austerity, so that you don’t add further to the pile of debt, and higher inflation, which is effectively a subtle form of taxation,” with the consequence that people are going to lose their savings. Reinhart succinctly summarizes, “no doubt, our pensions are screwed.”

This will take 3 minutes to read – read it. Understand what she is saying. Continue reading »

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Apr 10

- The Next Capital Control: Banning The €500 Bill (ZeroHedge, April 9, 2013)

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Apr 06

- Bank Of England Admits “Stocks Don’t Reflect Economic Reality” (ZeroHedge, April 5, 2013):

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (BoEFPC) warns there is “evidence of the re-emergence of… behavior in financial markets not seen since before the financial crisis,” citing the increased issuance of synthetic products and added that banks have “little margin for error against a backdrop of low growth in the advanced economies,” despite what we are told about their ‘fortress balance sheets. Bloomberg Businessweek adds that the BoE were careful not to scare the public, they add, events currently “did not appear indicative of widespread exuberance in markets. But developments would need to be monitored closely.” This following the Fed’s warnings of ‘froth’ in the credit markets suggests central bans are considerably more concerned at blowing bubbles than they want to admit in public. ECB’s Weber recently commented that he feared, “the recent rally in financial markets could be a misleading signal,” which appears confirmed by the BoEFPC noting that equity performance since mid-2012, “in part reflected exceptionally accommodative monetary policies by many central banks… But market sentiment may be taking too rosy a view of the underlying stresses.”

Via Bloomberg BusinessWeek,

The Bank of England said rising equity markets don’t reflect the underlying economic situation and warned that investors may be underestimating risks in the financial system.

Gains by equities since mid-2012 “in part reflected exceptionally accommodative monetary policies by many central banks,” the BOE’s Financial Policy Committee said today in London in the minutes of its March 19 meeting. “It was also consistent with a perception among some contacts that the most significant downside risks had attenuated. But market sentiment may be taking too rosy a view of the underlying stresses.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 04

- Mario Draghi Responds To Zero Hedge: “There Is No Plan B” (ZeroHedge, April 4, 2013):

This happened earlier today, at the ECB press conference:Scott Solano, DPA: Mr Draghi, I’ve got a couple of question from the viewers at Zero Hedge, and one of them goes like this: say the situation in Greece or Spain deteriorates even further, and they want to or are forced to step out of the Eurozone, is there a plan in place so that the markets don’t basically collapse? Is there some kind of structural system, structural safety net, especially in the area of derivatives? And the second questions is: you spoke earlier about the Emergency Liquidity Assistance, and what would have happened to the ELA in Cyprus, the approximately €10 billion, if the country had decided to leave the Eurozone?

Mario Draghi, ECB: Well you really are asking questions that are so hypothetical that I don’t have an answer to them. Well, I may have a partial answer. These questions are formulated by people who vastly underestimate what the Euro means for the Europeans, for the Euro area. They vastly underestimate the amount of political capital that has been invested in the Euro. And so they keep on asking questions like: “If the Euro breaks down, and if a country leaves the Euro, it’s not like a sliding door. It’s a very important thing. It’s a project in the European Union. That’s why you have a very hard time asking people like me “what would happened if.” No Plan B.

Secondly, I think the ECB has shown its determination to fight any redenomination risk. And OMT with its precise rules and acting within its mandate, is there to this purpose. So that’s the answer to the first question.

The second question was about the ELA, but again it’s related to “if Cyprus leaves”  and again we don’t have that in mind, so…. No Plan B.

Informative. We do have three follow up questions: Continue reading »

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Apr 03

- The Big Banks Are Recklessly Gambling With Our Money, And It Will Cause The Global Financial System To Collapse (Economic Collapse, April 2, 2013):

Have you ever wondered how the big banks make such enormous mountains of money?  Well, the truth is that much of it is made by gambling recklessly.  If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy.  If they lose on their bets, they know that the government will come in and arrange for the banks to be bailed out because they are “too big to fail”.  Either they will be bailed out by the government using our tax dollars, or as we just witnessed in Cyprus, they will be allowed to “recapitalize” themselves by stealing money directly from our bank accounts.  So if they win, they win big.  If they lose, someone else will come in and clean up the mess.  This creates a tremendous incentive for the bankers to “go for it”, because there is simply not enough pain in this equation for those that are taking the risks.  If the big Wall Street banks had been allowed to collapse back in 2008, that would have caused a massive change of behavior on Wall Street.  But instead, the big banks are still recklessly gambling with our money as if the last financial crisis never even happened.  In the end, the reckless behavior of these big banks is going to cause the entire global financial system to collapse.

Have you noticed how most news reports about Cyprus don’t even get into the reasons why the big banks in Cyprus collapsed?

Well, the truth is that they collapsed because they were making incredibly reckless bets with the money that had been entrusted to them.  In a recent article, Ron Paul explained how the situation played out once the bets started to go bad… Continue reading »

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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 30

- Betray Your Bank Before Your Bank Betrays You (Bloomberg, March 28, 2013):

What’s a Slovenian with several hundred thousand euros in the bank supposed to do? Spread it out among at least a few different banks, that’s what. Or move the money out of the country, while it’s still possible.

Imagine what must be on the minds of any savvy depositors still left at Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d., now 79 percent- owned by Slovenia’s government. It was one of only four lenders in October that failed the European Banking Authority’s latest capital-adequacy test, a ritual best known for how lax its standards are. One that flunked was Bank of Cyprus Pcl, where uninsured depositors face 40 percent losses as part of the country’s bailout terms. Another was Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, also known as Laiki Bank, where uninsured deposits will fare far worse and the bank is being shut.

Cypriot banks’ customers were complacent after uninsured deposits went unscathed in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal, the first euro-area countries to seek international rescues. Slovenians won’t have that excuse should their country be next.

Continue reading »

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Mar 29

You can’t make this stuff up!


- ECB Backs Dijsselbloem’s Liquidation Policy “Template” (ZeroHedge, March 29, 2013):

It appears the European Central Bank is having trouble keeping its lies straight. When Jeroen Dijsselbloem (“Diesel-BOOM”, “D-Boom”, or just “Diesel”) made his now infamous “template” comment last week, reality was shattered for many trend-following, momentum-monkey, hope-and-dreamers that actual real monetary pain could exist for a bank that was entirely incompetent (and insolvent). Instantly the rest of Europe stepped up to deny-deny-deny (as did D-Boom himself) explaining this was a ‘unique’ situation with French ECB Director Benoît Coeuré explicitly stating that Cyprus is not a model for future bank rescues.

However, as Reuters reports, it appears fellow-Dutchman and ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot said last night that there was “little wrong” with J-Boom’s comment and that “the content of his remarks comes down to an approach which has been on the table for a longer time in Europe. This approach will be part of the European liquidation policy. Further confirming D-Boom’s perspective, Knot added that, “there has to be transparency about losses in the banking sector… and banks have to wind down their loss-making operations.”

It seems that in 2012 the ECB split was between the Germans and Draghi on unlimited inflation threats; in 2013 it will be between those who want bail-ins and bail-outs.

Via Reuters,

European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaas Knot said on Friday there was “little wrong” with Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s recipe for dealing with future euro zone banking crises, a newspaper reported. Continue reading »

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Mar 27


YouTube Added: 19.03.2013

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Mar 27

- This Is How A Country Ends: Not With A Bang, But A Bailout (ZeroHedge, March 26, 2013):

Curious how in the New Normal a nation is brought to its untimely end without a single shot being fired? Dimos Dimosthenous, who has worked at the Bank of Cyprus for over 30 years, explains:

“That will be the end. Our jobs, our rights, our welfare funds will be lost and Cyprus will be destroyed.”

In short: not with a bang, but a bailout.

… But at least it still has the symbol for all that is wrong with the broke(n) status quo: the

First, however, much more pain, because as Cyprus’ FinMin Sarris said a short while ago, uninsured depositors in the second largest bank Laiki which is now pending lqiuidation, may lose 80% (read 100%… or more), and wait up to seven years for a payout. Of course, with the majority of the “evil, tax-evading Russians” long gone having used the chaos and assorted loopholes in the past week to get out of Dodge, the only people punished are assorted local hard workers, and domestic businesses, now set to liquidate as soon as they can afford the bankruptcy filing fee.

Finally, speaking of getting out of Dodge, it is surprising that while professing its love for all man-made bubbles and going all in stocks no matter the fundemantls, the firm that is the shadow overlord of Wall Street, BlackRock, is doing just that.

From the WSJ:

BlackRock Inc. the world’s largest money manager, has cut holdings of Italy and Spain government bonds over the past three months. The firm may shed more if the euro-zone’s growth outlook deteriorates.

We have been less enthusiastic about euro-zone sovereign debt compared to three to six months ago,” said Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of fundamental fixed income and co-head of Americas fixed income at BlackRock. “If growth continues to deteriorate in the euro zone, due in large measure to weak private-sector lending from a deleveraging banking sector, we would further reduce our positions in the euro zone, such as in Italy and Spain.”

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 24

- With Russia “Demanding Cyprus Out Of The Eurozone” Here Is A List Of Possible Russian Punitive Reprisals (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2013):

As has been made abundantly clear on these pages since the breakout of the latest Cyprus crisis, the Russian policy vis-a-vis its now former Mediterranean offshore deposit haven-cum-soon to be naval base, has been a simple one: let the country implode on the heels of the Eurozone’s latest humiliating policy faux pas, so that Putin can swoop in, pick up assets (including those of a gaseous nature, much to Turkey’s chagrin) for free, while being welcome like the victorious Russian red army saving Cyprus from its slavedriving European overlords (a strategy whose culmination Merkel has very generously assisted with).

Curiously there had been some confusion about Russia’s “noble” motives in Cyprus (seemingly forgetting that in Realpolitik, as in love and war, all is fair). We hope all such confusion can now be put to rest following the clarification by Jorgo Hatzimarkakis, the German Euro deputy of Greek origin, who told Skai television on Sunday morning that Russia did not want Cyprus to stay in the eurozone.

From Kathimerini:

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Mar 24

- Why Cyprus 2013 is worse than the KreditAnstalt (1931) and Argentina 2001 crises (A View from the Trenches, March 24, 2013):

The Cyprus 2013, like any other event, can be thought in political and economic terms.

Political analysis: Two dimensions

Politically, I can see two dimensions. The first dimension belongs to the geopolitical history of the region, with the addition of the recently discovered natural gas reserves. The historical relevance goes as far back as 1853, the year the Crimean War began. The Crimean War took place in the adjacent Black Sea, but the political interest was the same: To avoid the expansion of Russia into the Mediterranean. The relevance of this episode was the break-up of the balance of power established after the Napoleonic Wars, with the Congress of Vienna, in 1815. From then on, a whole new series of unexpected events would lead to a weaker France, a stronger Prussia, new alliances and a final resolution sixty years later: World War I.  It is within this same framework that I see Cyprus 2013 as a very relevant political event: Should Russia eventually obtain a bailout of Cyprus (as I write, this does not seem likely) against a pledge on the natural gas reserves or a naval base, a new balance of power will have been drafted in the region, with Israel as the biggest loser.

The second political dimension refers to a point I made exactly a year ago, precisely inspired in the KreditAnstalt event of 1931. In an article titled: “On gold, stocks, financial repression and the KreditAnstalt of 1931” I wrote: Continue reading »

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Mar 23

- Why Cyprus Matters (And The ECB Knows It) (ZeroHedge, March 23, 2013):

WHEN THE RED QUEEN IS AFTER YOUR HEAD

When Zig turns to Zag and the Red Queen is after your head then extraordinary care is necessitated. To quote Holmes, “The game is afoot” on the Continent.

I have been asked, with some frequency, why the bondholders have not been tagged in the Cyprus fiasco. That answer is simple. Most of Cyprus’s bonds are pledged as collateral at the ECB or in the Target2 financing program. Then one may also ask why the bonds of the two large Cypriot banks are not being hit. The answer is the same; most are held as collateral at the ECB or Target2. In both cases, remember uncounted liabilities, the government of Cyprus has guaranteed the debt. Consequently if the two Cyprus banks default it is of small matter as the sovereign has guaranteed the debt. However if the country defaults and leaves the European Union then it will matter and matter significantly as the tiny country of Cyprus would wipe out the entire equity capital of the European Central Bank. While it is not a matter of public record it is estimated that Cyprus has guaranteed about $11.6 billion of collateral at the ECB.

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