Jul 04

Largest Austrian Bank Crashes After “Revealing” 40% Surge In Bad Debt Provisions, Record Loss (ZeroHedge, July 4, 2014):

Update: just as expected, the confidence-preservation brigade is quick on the scene:

  • HUNGARY LOAN-REFUND LAW VIOLATES RULE OF LAW: BANK ASSOCIATION 
  • HUNGARY LOAN-REFUND LAW DAMAGES INVESTOR CONFIDENCE, BANKS SAY

Because clearly marking loans to fair value would crush investor confidence. And clearly investors are dumb enough not to realize that it is precisely by hiding what is beneath the surface, that they have zero confidence in the system.

* * *

Ever since 2012, when we first revealed that the biggest problem plaguing Europe’s financial sector is the $2 trillion+ in bad debt on the books of European banks (not our numbers, the IMF’s), it became clear that the only way Europe can avoid a complete financial meltdown coupled with currency disintegration, is if it can constantly keep rolling over said bad debt (obviously the only way to do that would be to create an epic debt bubble leading managers of other people’s money to do idiotic things like buy Spanish debt at 2.75%). This is why not only the BOJ launched its mega QE in 2013, but why Draghi also kicked in with NIRP a month ago: the logic – do anything and everything to reflate the biggest credit bubble possible as otherwise European banks will have no choice but to face up to their trillions in bad loans. Continue reading »

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Jul 03

Lagarde-Christine

- Christine Lagarde – The Most Dangerous Woman in the World – IMF Advocates Taking Pensions & Extending Maturities of Gov’t Debt to Prevent Redemption (Armstrong Economics, June 28, 2014):

I have gone on record that the most dangerous organization is the now French led IMF with Christine Lagarde at the helm, which has presented a concept report that debt cuts for over-indebted states are uncompromising and are to be performed more effectively in the future by defaulting on retirement accounts held in life insurance, mutual funds and other types of pension schemes, or arbitrarily extending debt perpetually so you cannot redeem. Yes you read correctly, The new IMF paper is described in great detail exactly how to now allow the private sector, which has invested in government bonds, to be expropriated to pay for the national debts of the socialist governments.

I have been warning that there is an idea that has been running around behind the curtain that the national debt of the USA could be settled by usurping all pension funds in the country. Here is a remarkable blueprint that throws all previous considerations concerning the purchase of government bonds over the cliff. The IMF working paper from December 2013 states boldly:

“The distinction between external debt and domestic debt can be quite important. Domestic debt issued in domestic currency typically offers a far wider range of partial default options than does foreign currency–denominated external debt. Financial repression has already been mentioned; governments can stuff debt into local pension funds and insurance companies, forcing them through regulation to accept far lower rates of return than they might otherwise demand.”

id/Page 8 (IMF-Sovereign-Debt-Crisis)

Already in October 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), suggested the Euro Crisis should be handled by raising taxes. The IMF lobbied for a property tax in Europe that should be imposed where there are no such taxes. The IMF has advocated for a general “debt tax” in the amount of 10 percent for each household in the Eurozone, which also has only modest savings. Continue reading »

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Jun 11


Added: Jun 8, 2014

Description:

http://usawatchdog.com/negative-inter… – Andy Hoffman of Miles Franklin warns the negative interest rates installed by the ECB last week signals big trouble. This is a major alarm bell for everyone and a major inflection point. Now, the central banks have dared go where even the Bank of Japan has not gone, which is to take rates to a negative level. You can’t go lower than negative. You go too negative, and people realize it doesn’t work, and people realize there is nothing left.”
Continue reading »

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Jun 11

eurozone_matches_euro_on_fire_collapse

- Alasdair Macleod: All You Need To Know About Negative Interest Rates (ZeroHedge, June 10, 2014):

Last Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) took the historically unprecedented step of lowering certain of its interest rates below 0%. In a report to our premium subscribers immediately following the announcement, Chris likened the move to the policy equivalent of dropping a neutron bomb.

In the days following, despite the ECB attempting to clarify its stance further, many questions still linger; most notably: What exactly will the implications of this negative interest rate (NIRP) policy be?

We’ve asked our European correspondent, Alasdair Macleod, to lay things out in black as white as much as is possible. In this detailed podcast with Chris, he explains exactly what steps the ECB is undertaking, what the most probable ramifications will be, and where the highest degrees of risk now lie:  Continue reading »

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Jun 10

EinsteinInsanityQuote

- Little by little, we went insane (Sovereign Man, June 9, 2014):

“Are we finished ? The answer is no.”

– Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, 5th June 2014, having just cut ECB deposit rates to minus 0.1 percent.

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

– Ernest Hemingway.

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

– Vladimir Lenin.

If it looks like insanity, smells like insanity, tastes like insanity, feels like insanity and struts about barking, “This is insanity”, then perhaps it might just be insanity.

“We were in the jungle. We had too much money. We had too much equipment. And little by little, we went insane.”

Not the words of Mario Draghi – yet. They are the words of film director Francis Ford Coppola in relation to his magnum opus, ‘Apocalypse Now’, a film that so outrageously exploded beyond its budget and beyond any reasonable compass that during its making it started being referred to as ‘Apocalypse Later’. Continue reading »

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Jun 07

Exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Many thanks to Wolf Richter.

See also:

- Even The Record Stock-Market Bullishness Is Fake (Testosterone Pit, June 6, 2014)


Selling Your European Stocks Before Everyone Sees This Chart? (Testosterone Pit, June 7, 2014):

Flogging savers until their morale improves, that’s how ECB President Mario Draghi is going to fire up the economy in his bailiwick. Among other things, he announced that the ECB would lower key interest rates from nearly nothing to next to nothing and impose negative deposit rates on the reserves that banks stash at the ECB.

The goals beyond destroying savers? Hammering down the euro, but given the efforts by the Fed, the Bank of Japan, and others to hammer down their own currencies, it’s going to be a slog. And motivating over-indebted companies to borrow even more to invest in worthy projects that don’t exist – because if they existed, banks would have already gone after them, awash in liquidity as they are. Continue reading »

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Jun 06

- NIRP Has Arrived: Europe Officially Enters The “Monetary Twilight Zone” (ZeroHedge, June 5, 2014):

Goodbye ZIRP, hello NIRP. Today’s decision by the ECB to officially lower the deposit facility rate to negative (as in you pay the bank to hold your deposits) is shocking, but not surprising: we previewed just this outcome precisely two years ago in “Europe’s “Monetary Twilight Zone” Neutron Bomb: NIRP

Here is what we wrote in June 2012 about Europe’s unprecedented NIRP monetary experiment.

Just because ZIRP is so 2009 (and will be until the end of central planning as the Fed can not afford to hike rates ever again), the ECB is now contemplating something far more drastic: charging depositors for the privilege of holding money. Enter NIRP, aka Negative Interest Rate Policy.

Continue reading »

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Jun 05

H/t reader J. S.:

“The EU is getting desperate,

I didn’t really think they would do it but they did.”


- Updated: ECB Cuts Interest Rates, Introduces Negative Deposit Rate (Kitco News, June 5, 2014):

Following its monthly monetary-policy meeting Thursday, the European Central Bank cut interest rates on its main refinancing operation at by 10 basis points, bringing it down to 0.15%. As expected the central bank introduced a negative deposit facility rate with a 10 basis point cut, bringing it to minus 0.10%

The ECB also dropped its marginal lending facility rate by 35 basis points to 0.45%. Continue reading »

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May 31

The Euro currency sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt

- Here Comes QE In Financial Drag: Draghi’s New ABCP Monetization Ploy (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, May 30, 2014):

You can smell this one coming a mile away:

The European Central Bank and Bank of England on Friday outlined options to reinvigorate the market for bundled bank loans, which was “tarnished” by the global financial crisis, saying a better-functioning market for asset-backed securities can help boost lending to the private sector, particularly small businesses.

Yes, the ECB is now energetically trying to revive the a market for asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) – the very kind of “toxic-waste” that allegedly nearly took down the financial system during the panic of September 2008. The ECB would have you believe that getting more “liquidity” into the bank loan market for such things as credit card advances, auto paper and small business loans will somehow cause Europe’s debt-besotted businesses and consumers to start borrowing again  thereby reversing the mild (and constructive) trend toward debt reduction that has caused euro area bank loans to decline by about 3% over the past year.

What they are really up to, however, is money-printing and snookering the German sound money camp. That is, the ECB is getting set to launch QE in financial drag by purchasing or discounting ABCP while loudly proclaiming that it’s not “monetizing” any stinking sovereign debt! Continue reading »

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May 15

Putin chess

- Russia Dumps 20% Of Its Treasury Holdings As Mystery “Belgium” Buyer Adds Another Whopping $40 Billion (ZeroHedge, May 15, 2014):

Back in mid-March, there was a brief scare after the start of the Ukraine conflict, when Fed custody holdings plunged by a record $104.5 billion (if promptly bouncing back the following week), leading many to believe that Russia may have dumped its Treasurys, or at least change its bond custodian. We noted that we wouldn’t have a definitive answer until the May TIC number came out to know for sure how much Russia had sold, or if indeed, anything. Moments ago the May TIC numbers did come out, and as expected, Russia indeed dumped a record $26 billion, or some 20% of all of its holdings, bringing its post-March total to just over $100 billion – the lowest since the Lehman crisis.

Russia TSY March

20140515_TIC1

But as shocking as this largely pre-telegraphed dump was, it pales in comparison with what Zero Hedge first observed, is the country that has quietly and quite rapidly become the third largest holder of US paper: Belgium. Or rather, “Belgium” because it is quite clear that it is not the country of Begium who is engaging in this unprecedented buying spree of US paper, but some account acting through Belgian custody.

This is how we explained it last month: Continue reading »

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Apr 29


Added: Apr 25, 2014

Description:

Trends Guru and forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente joins Sheila Zilinsky the Weekend Vigilante on his plan for a one-two punch to the globalist agenda and we take back the greatest country in the world

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Apr 19

- “Everything we are told about deflation is a lie” (The Cobden Center, April 9, 2014):

“The European Central Bank has given its strongest signal yet that it is prepared to embrace quantitative easing to prevent the euro zone from sliding into deflation or even a prolonged period of low inflation.”
– ‘Draghi strengthens QE signal’, Financial Times, April 4, 2014.

Yes, heaven protect Europe’s embattled citizens and savers from a prolonged period of low inflation. How could they possibly survive it ? Continue reading »

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Apr 05

Spain-And-Italy-Are-Toast-Unless-Germany-Allows-The-ECB-To-Print-Trillions-Of-Euros

- European Central Bank “models” €1 trillion in money printing (ZeroHedge, April 4, 2014):

Update: in direct flashback from the summer of 2011 when the ECB leaked news only to retract it within minutes, this just happened:

  • CONSTANCIO: DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT 1 TLN-EURO QE MODEL REPORT

For those who have forgotten, here is the ECB playbook: leak “false” rumor, gauge market reaction, then promptly deny said rumor knowing quite well how the market will respond when the real news hits. Rinse repeat.

* * *

When in desperate need to crush your currency (being bought hand over fist by the Chinese), so urgently need to boost German exports, since you are unable to actually do QE as per your charter, what do you do if you are Mario Draghi? Well, you leak, leak, leak that you are contemplating QE, and then you leak some more. Such as today.

From Bloomberg: Continue reading »

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Feb 07

- German Top Court Finds ECB’s OMT Is Illegal, Then Promptly Washes Its Hands Of Final Decision (ZeroHedge, Feb 7, 2014):

In what was a shocking and disappointing at the same time decision, overnight the German Constitutional court, which had been contemplating the legality of the ECB’s still non-existent OMT program, conceived in July 2012 to prevent the collapse of the Eurozone and still only existing in Mario Draghi’s head as it has zero legal documentation supporting it, said that, in its judgment, the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions program likely exceeded the central bank’s powers.

“There are important reasons to assume that [the OMT] exceeds the European Central Bank’s monetary policy mandate and thus infringes the powers of the member states, and that it violates the prohibition of monetary financing of the budget,” the German court said Friday. “Subject to the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Federal Constitutional Court considers the OMT decision incompatible with primary law,” the German court said.

Continue reading »

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Feb 06

- Germany’s DAX Halted On Draghi-Driven Dump (Zerohedge, Feb 6, 2014):

No sooner had the ECB statement been released with its disappointing lack of unsterlizied QE or negative rate promises than European stocks mini-flash-crashed. Most notable was Germany’s DAX which collapsed over 200 points only and was promptly halted in the futures markets. Only to magically re-appear after the halt almost unchanged…

201402056_DAX_0

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Sep 29

- Berlusconi Has Last Laugh As Italy Scrambles To Contain Fallout From Government Collapse (ZeroHedge, Sep 29, 2013):

Following yesterday’s unexpected (if not shocking) news that ministers from Berlusconi’s PDL have resigned en masse in order to push for new elections, leading to the latest Italian government crisis (in a long and distinguished series), Italy’s premier Letta and president Napolitano are scrambling to preserve some stability, and not only they but moments ago Ansa reported that the management and supervisory boards of Italian megabank Intesa are set to meet at 6 pm, as not even the most optimistic see an easy way out of the political dead end Italy has found itself in now.

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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Jul 15

From the article:

“Gold is the absolute best and only bet against currency collapse—which is coming, courtesy of central bank irresponsibility.”

PHYSICAL gold and silver are the absolute best and only bet against the greatest financial/economic collapse in known world history that is well on its way.

Food, water, a (self-sufficient, fully equipped) remote farm and like-minded friends are still more important.

This is the Greatest Depression.

FYI.


- Gold is a Crap Investment—Unless… (Gonzalo Lira, July 15, 2013):

About gold as an investment, Barry Ritholz said it best:

This is not to say gold is not affected by Macro issues. But that is very different than saying Gold has a fundamental value, an intrinsic worth. It does not. [. . .] Gold is not, and can never be, an investment. It has no true intrinsic value, no cash flow, no earnings, no coupon[,] no yield. What people call fundamentals are nothing more than broad macro analysis (and how have your macro funds done lately?). Gold is the ultimate greater fool trade, with many of its owners part of a collective belief theory rife with cognitive errors and bias. [bold emphasis in the original]

Continue reading »

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Jul 12

Europe’s debt-crisis strategy is near collapse. The long-awaited recovery has failed to take wing. Debt ratios across southern Europe are rising at an accelerating pace. Political consent for extreme austerity is breaking down in almost every EMU crisis state. And now the US Federal Reserve has inflicted a full-blown credit shock for good measure.

A leaked report from the European Commission confirms that Greece will miss its austerity targets yet again by a wide margin Photo: Reuters

- The wheels are coming off the whole of southern Europe (Telegraph, July 10, 2013):

None of Euroland’s key actors seems willing to admit that the current strategy is untenable. They hope to paper over the cracks until the German elections in September, as if that is going to make any difference.

A leaked report from the European Commission confirms that Greece will miss its austerity targets yet again by a wide margin. It alleges that Greece lacks the “willingness and capacity” to collect taxes. In fact, Athens is missing targets because the economy is still in freefall and that is because of austerity overkill. The Greek think-tank IOBE expects GDP to fall 5pc this year. It has told journalists privately that the final figure may be -7pc. The Greek stabilisation is a mirage.

Italy’s slow crisis is again flaring up. Its debt trajectory has punched through the danger line over the past two years. The country’s €2.1 trillion (£1.8 trillion) debt – 129pc of GDP – may already be beyond the point of no return for a country without its own currency.

Standard & Poor’s did not say this outright when it downgraded the country to near-junk BBB on Tuesday. But if you read between the lines, it is close to saying the game is up for Italy.

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Jul 08

- Greece Calls Europe’s Bluff Again, Gets More Money (ZeroHedge, July 8, 2013):

Five days ago the latest episode of the endless “Europe pays Greece to pay Europe” charade played out when the Eurozone gave Greece its latest three-day “ultimatum” to fix itself or else. Obviously, Greece did not fix itself, but since the three day ultimatum ran out two days ago, and since the BBG ticker for the Greek currency is still not XGD, one can assume that the latest European bluff, especially one coming 2 months before Merkel’s reelection when nothing is allowed to disturb the precarious European house of insolvent cards, was just that: a bluff.

Continue reading »

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