Mar 25

H/t reader M.G.:

“More on Greece vs. Eurozone………………. appears the Greeks are not getting any more money. Add in “worsening deposit flight” the politically correct version of bank runs………..their language is beyond belief………and the fact all capital (funds) are vanishing.”


Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras p

- Europe blocks desperate Greek attempt to stay afloat (Telegraph, March 25, 2015):

Eurozone says it is “legally impossible” to return €1.2bn in rescue funds to cash-strapped Athens

The Greek government will not receive €1.2bn (£883m) in European rescue funds after officials ruled the Leftist government had no legal claims on the cash.

Athens requested a return of the funds it said were erroneously handed to creditors from Greece’s own bank recapitalisation fund, the Hellenic Financial Stability Facility (HFSF). Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 24

FYI.


- George Soros Warns Greece “Is Going Down The Drain” (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2015):

“Right now we are at the cusp,” billionaire George Soros tells Bloomberg TV in this brief clip, the chances of Greece leaving the euro area are now 50-50 and the country could go “down the drain.” The 84-year-old fears that talks between Greece and ‘the institutions’ could “break down,” adding that  “Greece is a long-festering problem that was mishandled from the beginning by all parties,” concluding that the chances of Greece leaving the euro area are now 50-50 and the country could go “down the drain.” Finally, Soros notes, what worries him the most is Ukraine. Continue reading »

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

Mar 24

VaroufakisPool

- Lifestyles Of The Not So Austere & Socialist: Island Villa Edition (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2015):

Two weeks ago Twitter got a gift when Yanis Varoufakis posed for a Paris Match photo shoot which depicted the Greek FinMin living a not-very-austere looking lifestyle. While the pictures didn’t show Varoufakis being chauffeured around in any Rolls Royces, they did include one shot of what appeared to be a rather ostentatious picnic (with the Acropolis in the background) that contrasted starkly with the plight of the large number of Greeks who now have difficulty scraping together meals. It also came at a time when the government was actively considering borrowing money from public pension funds to make debt payments to the IMF and the ECB. At the time, we said the following:

As the Greek people live in perpetual fear of financial ruin and are subjected, on a near hourly basis, to rumors about just what kind of humiliation they may be forced to endure next in order to insure that Christine Lagarde gets the money she needs to prop up Ukraine for another couple of months, Yanis Varoufakis isn’t about to roll over and allow his people to drown in despair. On the contrary, the finance minister apparently believes the best way to restore the faith is to show the Greek people just how good life could be.

One possibly fake middle finger kerfluffle and exactly no progress with European creditors later, we discover that Varoufakis has a vacation villa that he’s willing to rent for the bargain price of just €5,000/week. For those who are interested, here’s an idea of what you’ll get for your money.

Varoufakis-Views_0

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 23

No Cash Accepted

- Fighting The “War on Terror” By Banning Cash (Mises Institute, March 22, 2015):

It was just a matter of time before Western governments used the trumped up “War on Terror” as an excuse to drastically ratchet up the very real war on the use of cash and personal privacy that they are waging against their own citizens.

Taking advantage of public anxiety in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, France has taken the first step.  It seems the terrorists involved partially financed these attacks by cash, as well as by consumer loans and the sale of counterfeit goods. What a shockeroo!

The terrorists used CASH to purchase some of the stuff they needed–no doubt these murderers were also shod and clothed and used  cell phones, cars, and public sidewalks during the planning and execution of their mayhem.   Why not restrict their use?  A naked , barefoot terrorist without communications is surely less effective than a fully clothed and equipped one.

Despite the arrant absurdity of blaming cash and financial privacy for these crimes,  French Finance Minister Michel Sapin brazenly stated  that it was necessary to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy.” Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 23

FYI.


grexit-3

- Why Greece is the lynchpin that could unleash economic collapse, domestic martial law and global war (Natural News, March 23, 2015):

I wish I could download to your brain everything you need to know about the European Crisis unfolding right now. The possibility of the breakup of the European Union could be the spark that sets off the global debt implosion that leads to violent conflict across the globe.

The actions of Greece, it turns out, could set off a chain reaction that leads directly to a Wall Street panic and the “bail-in” seizure of your savings accounts at your favorite hometown bank. It could also radically destabilize Eastern Europe, heightening the risk for conflict between Russia and Western European nations (including NATO members like the United States).
Continue reading »

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

Mar 23

H/t reader squodgy:

“Relentless vilification of Vladimir Putin by the PTB will lead to eventual nuclear conflict which they want and will be protected from….So, the war will result in the sacrifice of the little people….as always.”


- Top Russia Scholar Stephen Cohen: War between NATO and Russia a Real Possibility (Russia Insider, March 20, 2015):

  • Round Table on “Defining a new security architecture for Europe that brings Russia in from the cold” was held in Brussels on March 2.
  • The organizer of the event was the American committee for East West Accord.
  • Three key presenters were American scholars Professor John Mearsheimer and Professor Steve Cohen, and publisher-editor of The Nation, Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
  • Q&A session was conducted by VIP guest panel which included five Members of the European Parliament from Left, Center and Right party groupings, two ambassadors and other senior diplomats from several missions, a senior member of the EU External Action Service, and Professor Richard Sakwa, author of the recently published Frontline Ukraine.
  • The first speech at the roundtable was delivered by John Mearsheimer, which we wrote about previously.

Professor Stephen Cohen is one of the most respected authorities on Russia among American and Western scholars. He is an American scholar of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. His academic work concentrates on modern Russian history and Russia’s relationship with the United States.

The key points of Cohen’s extraordinary speech: Continue reading »

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

Mar 23

time has run out teaser

- Germany Gives Greece One Final Ultimatum After Friday’s “Optimistic” Talks Devolve Into Disagreement And Confusion (ZeroHedge, March 22, 2015):

On Friday, the main catalyst that launched the early ramp in the EURUSD, subsequently sending both the Dax over 12,000, and the US stock market soaring, was speculation and hope that the latest round of Greek talks on late Thursday night ahead of tomorrow key meeting between Tsipras and Merkel in Berlin, had gone well, and there was a reason to be optimistic about the near-term for a Greece which increasingly more see as on the verge of expulsion from the monetary union. We explained as much, although we added the provision that at this point it is likely too late to do much if anything about Greece in “German DAX Surges Over 12,000 On Greek Optimism, But The Money Has Run Out.”

Now, courtesy of reporting by the FT, we can also rule out any of the so-called optimism in the aftermath of Thursday’s talks because as Peter Spiegel reports, not only was there no real consensus, but the talks “ended in disarray”, and even though “Greece’s prime minister and fellow Eurozone leaders emerged from a meeting early on Friday morning touting a breakthrough agreement to unlock much-needed bailout funds for Athens — only to fall into disagreement hours later about what it all meant.” Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 21

russia-war


- NATO Launches “Wide-Scale” War Games Near Russian Border, Creates “Line Of Troops” (ZeroHedge, March 21, 2014):

Washington looks to be throwing more than the full faith and credit of the US government behind Ukraine. On the heels of news that the US is set to guarantee a Ukrainian international bond issue (while Greek pensioners implicitly subsidize the country’s natural gas exports), NATO is in the midst of conducting large scale military maneuvers along the Russian border in a move Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says encourages “Kiev to pursue a military solution.” Over the course of 10 days, NATO will parade 120 combat vehicles across the region in an effort to prove how quickly the West can confront perceived Russian aggression.

Here’s more from Military News:

The [Russian] ministry warned that it hopes Europe “does see the risk of unconditionally following advice from U.S. generals and will not opt for approaches that will rule out the risk of a slide towards a military confrontation between Russia and NATO.”

While the U.S. Army acknowledges the convoy’s movement is “a highly visible demonstration of U.S. commitment to its NATO allies,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army Europe, insists “the focus should be on what is the desired end state, and can we get there using diplomatic and economic pressure and support.”

So basically, the US is saying the following: “…although we’re intent on showing just how quickly we can deploy our forces in the event an armed confrontation becomes necessary, we hope you’ll see this for what it is which is our best effort demonstrate that we long for a peaceful solution.” We’ll let you judge for yourself how committed the West is to a peaceful resolution (note the US soldier teaching the small child how to fire a high caliber weapon):  Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mar 21

shadow

- In Italy, They’re Now Taxing Shadows (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2015):

As Greece struggles to convince the world it’s serious about adopting a series of reforms designed to bolster its economy including cracking down on rampant tax evasion, the Syriza government may want to look to Italy for creative ideas on how to boost government revenue. As Italian newspaper Leggo reports, store owners in Conegliano are now faced with the unfortunate (albeit comically absurd) proposition of paying taxes on shadows. 

The rationale appears to go something like this: an awning casts a shadow on public property and therefore you must pay to use that property. Here’s more:  Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 20

Putin chessProvoking World War III - Antagonizing the Dragon and Bearobama-putin-middle-fingerWW3-World-War-3-WWIII-WW-III

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

- Russia Under Attack (Paul Craig Roberts, March 20, 2015):

Dear Friends,

This is my quarterly call for your support. This website has achieved some stability because a number of readers contribute monthly. However, as our readership expands, the percentage of readers who support the site has declined. This is known in economics as the “free rider” problem. “Free riders” are people who partake of the benefits but do not contribute to covering the costs.

This is your site. Our agreement is that I write for you as long as you support the site. The articles require a lot of effort and cause me much grief. I have no confidence that there is an ounce of integrity or morality anywhere in the US government.

Those of you who are committed to the website are deeply appreciated. The rest of you need to show your support.

Readers ask me, “what can be done.” All that can be done is that people become informed so that when economic collapse or military defeat causes a loss of confidence in the ruling elite, Americans will have some chance of retrieving the situation.

Russia Under Attack

Paul Craig Roberts

While Washington works assiduously to undermine the Minsk agreement that German chancellor Merkel and French president Hollande achieved in order to halt the military conflict in Ukraine, Washington has sent Victoria Nuland to Armenia to organize a “color revolution” or coup there, has sent Richard Miles as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to do the same there, and has sent Pamela Spratlen as ambassador to Uzbekistan to purchase that government’s allegiance away from Russia. The result would be to break up the Collective Security Treaty Organization and present Russia and China with destabilization where they can least afford it. For details go here: http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/18/4656

Thus, Russia faces the renewal of conflict in Ukraine simultaneously with three more Ukraine-type situations along its Asian border.

And this is only the beginning of the pressure that Washington is mounting on Russia. Continue reading »

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

Mar 20

greece beggar

- Shocking austerity: Greece’s poor lost 86% of income, but rich only 17-20% (Keep Talking Greece, March 20, 2015):

Greece’s unbalanced austerity and drastic increase of poverty. The poorest households in the debt-ridden country lost nearly 86% of their income, while the richest lost only 17-20%.  The tax burden on the poor increased by 337% while the burden on upper-income classes increased by only 9% !!! This is the result of a study that has analyzed 260.000 tax and income data from the years 2008 – 2012.

According to the study commissioned by the German Institute for Macroeconomic Research (IMK) affiliated with the Hans Böckler Foundation: Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 20

H/t reader squodgy:

“This is too good to miss….classic sitcom material, IMF sounds like Sheldon Cooper…..”


- IMF said to call Greece most unhelpful client in its history (Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg, March 18, 2015):

ATHENS — International Monetary Fund officials told their euro-area colleagues that Greece is the most unhelpful country the organization has dealt with in its 70-year history, according to two people familiar with the talks.

In a short and bad-tempered conference call on Tuesday, officials from the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission complained that Greek officials aren’t adhering to a bailout extension deal reached in February or cooperating with creditors, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the call was private. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 20

the-unraveling

- The Unraveling Is Gathering Speed (OfTwoMinds, March 18, 2015):

Debt saturation and debt fatigue = diminishing returns on central bank tricks.

Does anyone else have the feeling that things are not just unraveling, but that the unraveling is gathering speed?
Though quantifying this perception is more interpretative than statistical, I think we can look at the ongoing debt crisis in Greece as an example of this acceleration of events. Continue reading »

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

Mar 20

ecb-frankfurt

- The tower of EVIL (The Ugly Truth, March 18, 2015):

Esteemed reader Kittie Kittie mentioned that today the ECB opened its new headquarters in Frankfurt (seen above). Lots of Jews showed up at the opening ceremony, including Salomon Korn, Head of the Jewish Community Frankfurt.

I discussed the following matter in the “Truth About Money” series, but I wish to do it again here, in simpler terms.

If you can understand the following items, then you will understand more about euro-zone economics than do most “experts.” Instead of your eyes glazing over when you read some financial commentary, you will see through the lies, and declare “bullshit!”

Please ask questions if the material is not clear, or is poorly worded.

The Tower of Evil in Frankfurt is the headquarters of the euro scam, which works like this… Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 19

Varoufakis-austerity-editionLagarde-Varoufakisscrewed

Related info:

- ECB Prepares For Grexit, Anticipates 95% Loss On Greek Debt


- After Pillaging Pensions, Greece Raids Utilities To Repay Troika; Bonds Plunge As Bank Run Accelerates (ZeroHedge, March 19, 2015):

Following yesterday’s news that the ECB is now running simulations on what a Grexit would mean for Greek bond prices (spoiler alert:
“fundamentals” suggest a 95% loss), overnight we got more confirmation that Mario Draghi continues to tighten the screws on the Greek sovereign corpse, when Bloomberg reported that the ECB once again raised the maximum amount of emergency liquidity available to Greek lenders by €400 million, but less than the Greek central bank requested, people familiar with the decision said. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 19

1984 George Orwell

- 1984: France Will Counter Terrorist Attacks on Free Speech by… Attacking Free Speech? (The Daily Sheeple, March 18, 2015):

George Orwell wasn’t psychic; he was a time traveler, and we’re permanently falling down the rabbit hole of 1984.

If you live in France, your right to visit certain websites has just been terminated by the almighty government.

Why? Because terrorism.

According to a report by Glenn Greenwald, “What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in Its Name?,” the French Interior Ministry has now ordered that five websites be blocked by the government because they have officially been accused of promoting terrorism.

And this is just the beginning.

Greenwald explains: Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mar 19

From the article:

“The law would enforce fines of up to $79,000 US for any breaches, with up to six months in jail for any staff involved, French Socialist Party legislator Olivier Veran, who wrote the amendments, told newspaper Le Parisien.”


- France Set To Ban Skinny Girls In Show Of EU Solidarity (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

Who says the eurozone doesn’t project a united front? Even as misguided analysts on the sell side throw out reckless language like “redenomination risk” and irresponsibly suggest that the EMU is in fact nothing more than a “collection of fixed exchange rates,” evidence abounds that the core and the periphery are most assuredly on the same page. If you need proof, just look at the convergence in EMU member policy as it relates to the weight of runway models.

Here’s more from CBC: Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 18

A clip of the police using water cannon on protesters and some of the highlights of today’s protest so far:

Live webcast from Frankfurt down below.


- Violent Clashes Break Out Next To New ECB Headquarters In Frankfurt As Thousands Protest Austerity: Live Webcast (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

It’s not just Greece which is protesting the utter lack of reforms enabled by the ECB known as “austerity” – as of today so is Germany itself with the so-called #Blockupy movement. According to local media reports, the start of anti-austerity rallies in Frankfurt coincided with the European Central Bank opening its new headquarters, whose occupants are now besieged by tens of thousands of protesters, so perhaps #OccupyQ€ would have been more appropriate. Police said they expect around 10,000 anti-capitalist protesters, marching under the banner of leftist alliance Blockupy, to attend the rally, with a march through the city planned for later in the evening. The result is what according to a police spokesman “is one of the biggest deployments ever in the city.

As the photos below shows, several police cars have been set on fire, with windows being smashed and demonstrators throwing stones at police ahead of the massive demonstration on Wednesday, and as riots break out across Frankfurt even as thousands of police respond with water cannon, pepper spray and mass arrests.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mar 18

drachma 10000

- ECB Prepares For Grexit, Anticipates 95% Loss On Greek Debt (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

Dear Greek readers: the writing is now on the wall, and it is in very clear 48-point, double bold, and underlined font: when the ECB “leaks” that it is modelling a Grexit, something Draghi lied about over and over in 2012 and directly in our face too, take it seriously, because it is time to start planning about what happens on “the day after.” And incidentally to all those curious what the fair value of peripheral European bonds is excluding ECB backstops, the ECB has a handy back of the envelope calculation: a 95% loss.

Which also is the punchline, because while the ECB is making it very clear what happens next in the case of a “Graccident“, it has yet to provide an explanation how it will resolve the billions of Greek debt held on its own balance sheet which are about to be “marked-to-default“… Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 18

Varoufakis-TsiprasPutin

- Greek PM To Meet With Putin Amid Cash Crunch (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2015):

With Greece digging around in the couch cushions to try and scrape up €2 billion by Friday in order to make payments to the IMF, the ECB, and Goldman, and with celebrity FinMin Yanis Varoufakis doing his absolute best to sink the entire ship with a series of epic PR faux pas, one is left to wonder just where Athens will turn when Berlin and Brussels finally reach the end of their ropes with what increasingly looks like gross incompetence in the Aegean. We may have gotten the answer to that question today via Reuters:

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Moscow on April 8 after being invited to talks by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Greek government official said on Tuesday.

Greece’s government has previously said Putin had invited Tsipras to visit Moscow on May 9 and it was not immediately clear if that trip had been changed. It would be Tsipras’s first official visit to Moscow since being elected in January.

There you have it. As Syriza faces the unenviable proposition of either completely giving up on its campaign promises or plunging the Greek economy and banking system into a drachma death spiral, it appears as though Athens is playing the one card it has left, which is threatening to effectively surrender itself to the Kremlin. As Reuters notes, this wouldn’t be the first time Greece has (maybe) inadvertently created speculation around the possibility that Moscow could end up being the White (or Red) Knight:  Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,