The flow of immigrants to Europe stems from the Western states’ military interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have contributed to the emergence of terrorist groups in the Middle East, Czech President Milosh Zeman told local media.
– S&P Dares To Go There: Downgrades European Union To Negative Outlook (ZeroHedge, Aug 3, 2015):
Just a few short years after they dared to downgrade the US, S&P has unleashed their worst on Europe:
- *EUROPEAN UNION OUTLOOK REVISED TO NEGATIVE FROM STABLE BY S&P
- *S&P: EU TO AA+/NEGATIVE FROM AA+/STABLE – FOREIGN CURRENCY LT
We are sure this will be met by S&P office raids throughout Europe, litigation over somethhing or other, and denials broadly from any and every unelected member of EU’s elite… because “when it’s serious you have to lie.”
As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »
– Greece May Miss ECB Payment As Germany Says Bailout Timeline Is Unrealistic (ZeroHedge, Aug 1, 2015):
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras won a hard fought victory over party rivals on Thursday when Syriza’s central committee voted to postpone an emergency congress until after formal discussions on the country’s third bailout program are complete.
Syriza has been grappling with bitter infighting since more than 30 MPs in Tsipras’ parliamentary coalition defected during a vote on the first set of bailout prior actions, forcing the PM to rely on opposition votes to clear the way for formal discussions with creditors. The party dispute was exacerbated by reports that ex-Energy Minister and incorrigible Grexit proponent Panayiotis Lafazanis (along with several Left Platform co-conspirators) planned to storm the Greek mint and seize the country’s currency reserves. Continue reading »
– Revolving Door on Steroids – New Bank of England Policymaker Allowed to Retain Financial Interest in Hedge Fund (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 31, 2015):
Can’t a guy enjoy a beautiful Friday in Colorado without being bombarded with another gigantic oligarch scam? I guess not.
Today’s article takes the revolving door theme to a whole other level. It even puts the recent revelation that law firm Covington and Burlington kept an office empty for Eric Holder while he was head of the Department of Justice to shame. You can’t make this stuff up.
New Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe will retain a financial interest in one of the world’s biggest hedge fund firms while he sets interest rates, an arrangement that Britain’s finance ministry said posed no conflict of interest. Continue reading »
– History is Repeating – German Government Launches Investigation of Journalists for Treason (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 31, 2015):
If it were up to the Federal Attorney General and the President of the German Domestic Security Agency, two of our reporters would soon be in prison for at least two years. Today, we were officially informed about investigations against our Markus Beckedahl, Andre Meister and an unknown“ party. The accusation: Treason.
Widespread outrage across Germany is erupting following the revelation that the nation’s Attorney General has launched an investigation into treason charges for two journalists working for Netzpolitik.
The charge is treason. The crime is journalism.
– Italy Youth Unemployment Hits Record High 44.2%, Concerns Rising “Recession Exit May Be Unsustainable” (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2015):
While the overall unemployment rate for the Eurozone also unchanged at 11.1%, it was renewed concern about what is going on in Italy, where unemployment rose from 12.5% to 12.7%, while Italy’s youth unemployment rate, which surprisingly jumped by nearly 2% to 44.2%, a record level. As Bloomberg put it, “Italy’s jobless rate unexpectedly rose in June as businesses continue to dismiss workers amid concerns that the country’s exit from recession may not be sustainable.”
– An Exasperated Tsipras Calls For Syriza Referendum On Bailout Cancellation (ZeroHedge, July 30, 2015):
Anyone who thought Greece’s third bailout program was a done deal or that, at the very least, the market would get a few months of respite before having to grapple with daily Grexit headlines again, got a rude awakening late last week when reports of a secret plot (hatched by ex-Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis along with several Left Platform co-conspirators) to storm the Greek mint and seize the country’s currency reserves underscored the deep divisions within Syriza and betrayed the extent to which passing a third set of prior actions and sealing the deal on an ESM program would prove to be anything but simple.
Just days after Lafazanis’ plan leaked last week, Kathimerini claimed it had transcripts from a conference call between former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and international hedge fund managers during which Varoufakis described yet another secret ploy to return the country to the drachma by way of establishing a parallel payments system set up using surreptitiously obtained tax filer ID numbers. Later, the full audio recording was released. Continue reading »
– Total Collapse: Greece Reverts To Barter Economy For First Time Since Nazi Occupation (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2015):
Months ago, when Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis, and their Syriza compatriots had just swept to power behind an ambitious anti-austerity platform and bold promises about a brighter future for the beleaguered Greek state, we warned that Greece was one or two vacuous threats away from being “digitally bombed back to barter status.”
Subsequently, the Greek economy began to deteriorate in the face of increasingly fraught negotiations between Athens and creditors, with Brussels blaming the economic slide on Syriza’s unwillingness to implement reforms, while analysts and commentators noted that relentless deposit flight and the weakened state of the Greek banking sector was contributing to a liquidity crisis and severe credit contraction.
– Tsipras Threatens Snap Elections As Syriza Rebellion Threatens To Derail Bailout (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2015):
With creditors now on the ground in Athens, and with a third prior actions vote in parliament due at the first of August, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras spoke out about the new bailout “deal”, debt re-profiling, the referendum, party politics, and the possibility of early elections in an interview with Sto Kokkino radio station.
– Greek Economy Faces Total Collapse As Doctors Flee, Retail Sales Plunge 70% (ZeroHedge, July 28, 2015):
Back in May we outlined the cost to the Greek economy of each day without a deal between Athens and creditors.
At the time, a report from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises showed that 60 businesses closed and 613 jobs were lost for each business day that the crisis persisted without a resolution.
Since then, things have deteriorated further and indeed, with the imposition of capital controls, businesses found that supplier credit was difficult to come by, leading to the very real possibility that Greece would soon face a shortage of imported goods, something many Greeks clearly anticipated in the wake of the referendum call as evidenced by the lines at gas stations and empty shelves at grocery stores.
– Poland, Czech Republic Won’t Join “Burning” Euro (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2015):
With the turmoil in Greece proving once and for all that in the absence of a fiscal union, the EMU simply cannot function or if it does, it will be subject to episodic crises stemming from endemic differences of opinion on fiscal policy, outsiders could be forgiven for looking upon the currency experiment as an abject failure.
Indeed, the struggle to secure a bridge loan for Athens last week underscored the degree to which non-euro countries are reluctant to put their taxpayers on the hook for problems which they believe are the result of an ill-fated attempt to unite fundamentally different economies and governments under a single currency.
Given the above, we weren’t surprised to learn that Poland and the Czech Republic are out voicing their reservations about running into what is effectively a burning building. Here’s The Telegraph on Poland:
Poland will not join the euro while the bloc remains in danger of “burning”, its central bank governor said. Continue reading »
– Concerned About “Treason” Charges, Varoufakis Issues Public Statement On “Cloak And Dagger” Drachma “Plan B” (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2015):
Over the weekend, the media world was abuzz with the leaked recording made during a July 16 “Greek Day” meeting by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) which included a group of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and life insurers in which it was reveaked that Yanis Varoufakis had been in the process of preparing Greece for a cloak and dagger “Plan B” which included as its highlight a process for returning to the Drachma.
Overnight, the Telegraph’s Ambrose-Pritchard reported that “Mr Varoufakis told the Telegraph that the quotes were accurate but some reports in the Greek press had been twisted, making it look as if he had been plotting a return to the drachma from the start.
“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.
“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said. Continue reading »
– Goodbye Troika: Germany Rides Into Its Greek Colony On The “Quadriga” (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2015):
With creditors’ motorcades having officially returned to the streets of Athens in the wake of Greek lawmakers’ approval of the second set of bailout prior actions last Wednesday, tensions are understandably high.
After all, these are the same “institutions” which Yanis Varoufakis famously booted from Greece after Syriza swept to power in January, and they’ve come to represent the oppression of the Greek people and are now a symbol of the country’s debt servitude.
Although an absurd attempt was made to rebrand the dreaded “troika” earlier this year, the new and rather amorphous moniker – “the institutions” – never really stuck and perhaps because everyone involved felt the need to put a new name to the group that Greeks regard as the scourge of the Aegean in order to make negotiators feel safer on their trips to Athens, creditors have now added the ESM to their collective and rebranded themselves “The Quadriga.”
– The Full Audio Recording Of Varoufakis’ Drachma Plan B (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2015):
On Sunday, in “Reports Of Secret Drachma Plots Leave Tsipras Facing Fresh Crisis“, we outlined an alleged “cloak and dagger” (to use Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s words) plot spearheaded by Yanis Varoufakis, to set up a parallel banking system for Greece that could be activated in the event pressure from Brussels and the ECB crippled the country’s ability to transact in euros.
According to a recorded teleconference between the former FinMin and “international hedge funds” heard by Kathimerini, Varoufakis planned to create secret accounts using tax filer numbers for individuals and corporations which he would obtain by hacking into the troika-controlled General Secretary of Public Revenues. Greeks would be made aware of the accounts’ existence in the event the banking system ceased to function altogether, and Athens would effectively facilitate payments through the new system in defiance of the EMU. Clearly, this would not have been well received by Brussels – especially the bit about hacking their software – but ultimately, because the new system would be entirely controlled by Varoufakis’ finance ministry, it could be converted to the drachma immediately. Continue reading »
– Europe’s New Colonialism: ECB Rejects Greek Request To Reopen Stock Market (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2015):
It has been one month since Greek capital controls were imposed, and as we explained earlier, Greece is nowhere closer to having its deposit limits lifted. In fact, with several more months of capital controls at least, the Greek banks are likely to suffer ongoing balance sheet impairments which will ultimately result in depositor bail-ins, with Germany already pushing for haircuts on deposits over €100,000.
However, when it comes to banks there is at least still the illusion that Greece has some residual sovereignty. The reality is that it does not, as Greece is no longer an independent nation, and as of July 15, the Greek “In Dependence” day, every Greek decision needs to get pre-approval from both the ECB, Brussels and, naturally, Berlin. Continue reading »
– Reports Of Secret Drachma Plots Leave Tsipras Facing Fresh Crisis (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2015):
On Friday, we brought you the shocking story of the rebellion that never was in Greece.
According to FT, Former Greek Energy Minister and maverick among mavericks Panayotis Lafazanis convened a “secret” meeting at the Oscar Hotel in Athens on July 14 at which he attempted to convince Syriza hardliners (including, in FT’s words, “supporters of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez [and some] old-fashioned communists”) to storm the Greek mint, seize the country’s currency reserves, and, if necessary, arrest central bank governor Yannis Stournaras.
Obviously, the plan was never implemented, but if the story is even partly true it betrays the degree to which Greece teetered on the edge of social upheaval and even civil war in the days that followed PM Alexis Tsipras’ decision to concede to creditors’ demands and abandon not only Syriza’s election mandate but the very referendum outcome he had himself campaigned for just days prior. Continue reading »
– Greek Capital Controls To Remain For Months As Germany Pushes For Bail-In Of Large Greek Depositors (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2015):
Two weeks ago we explained why Greek banks, which Greece no longer has any direct control over having handed over the keys to their operations to the ECB as part of Bailout #3’s terms, are a “strong sell” at any price: due to the collapse of the local economy as a result of the velocity of money plunging to zero thanks to capital controls which just had their 1 month anniversary, bank Non-Performing Loans, already at €100 billion (out of a total of €210 billion in loans), are rising at a pace as high as €1 billion per day (this was confirmed when the IMF boosted Greece’s liquidity needs by €25 billion in just two weeks), are rising at a pace unseen at any time in modern history. Continue reading »
– Syriza “Rebels” Planned To Ransack Greek Mint, Seize Cash Reserves, Arrest Central Bank Governor (ZeroHedge, July 24, 2015):
Earlier this week, in an FT op-ed, Eurointelligence’s Wolfgang Münchau said that in his estimation, an EMU exit remains the most likely outcome for Greece. The reason, Münchau explained, is that “[Greek PM Alexis] Tsipras ended up with another very lousy bailout deal. And this one suffers from the same fundamental flaws as its predecessors.” Münchau went on to describe, in vivid detail, how he believes a Grexit would unfold:
My own most likely Grexit scenario is a different one yet again. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, hinted at this in his interview with the Financial Times last week when he said that he felt “something revolutionary” in the air. He is on to something. The most probable scenario for me is Grexit through insurrection.
Whether he knew it when he penned those words or not, Münchau’s vision for Greece nearly unfolded just over a week ago when, according to FT, Syriza’s Left Platform (led by outspoken former Energy Minister Panayotis Lafazanis) met in at the Oscar hotel in a “shabby” downtown district of Athens and plotted to ransack the Greek mint, seize the country’s currency reserves, and arrest central bank chief Yannis Stournaras. Continue reading »
– Troika Returns To A Conquered Greece Amid Anger, Security Threats (ZeroHedge, July 24, 2015):
“The letter has been sent,” a Greek government official told MNI on Friday, referring to a formal (if begrudging) invite from Athens delivered to the IMF and the rest of the dreaded troika.
The trio – comprised of the IMF, the ECB, and the European Commission – was famously booted from Greece in late January by a rambunctious Yanis Varoufakis who proclaimed that Syriza, which had just swept to power on an anti-austerity platform, didn’t “plan to cooperate with that committee.” Continue reading »
– Ongoing Greece Deposit Run Forces ECB To Boost Greek ELA Ceiling Yet Again (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2015):
Despite the imploring of Greek bankers for Greeks to “take your money out of your chests and houses – which are not safe in any case – and deposit at banks,” it appears the Greek bank deposit run continues. As The ECB just announced another €900 million increase in Emergency Liquidity Assistance, strongly suggesting that in the 2 days since the last increase, banks are once again insolvent facing a liquidity crunch as the “banks are trustworthy” propaganda falls on very deaf Greek ears.