Feb 16

- Greece matters: Anti-Euro AfD polling 5.2% in #Hamburg state election, acc to ARD. Merkel’s CDU plunges to 16%, Free Democrats 7%. SPD 47%. (InvestmentWatch, Feb 15, 2015):

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Feb 13

Yanis-Varoufakis

- Greek Gambit Succeeds As Germany Said To Ease Bailout Terms (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2015):

With tax receipts tumbling and ELA funding hitting its limit, the Greeks are up against it. On the other side, the Greek strength in the face of EU’s demands (and Eurogroup’s realization of the uncertainty this could lead to) has apparently led to the start of compromise. As Bloomberg reports,

  • *GERMAN, GREEK OFFICIALS SIGNAL COMMON GROUND ON AID DEAL
  • *GERMANY SAID NOT TO INSIST ALL PARTS OF CURRENT BAILOUT STAY
  • *GREECE SAID TO BE OPEN TO SURPLUS, PRIVATIZATION DEBATE

As Merkel noted earlier, “Europe is always about finding a compromise,” and it appears they are getting closer  – as long as a ‘program’ continues. Bundesbank’s Weidmann has noted that Grexit would not solve either side’s longer-term problems.

Continue reading »

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Feb 11

- Europe’s Greek Showdown: The Sum Of All Statist Errors (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Feb 10, 2015):

The politicians of Europe are plunging into a form of ideological fratricide as they battle over Greece. And “fratricide” is precisely the right descriptor because in this battle there are no white hats or black hits—-just statists.

Accordingly, all the combatants—the German, Greek and other national politicians and the apparatchiks of Brussels and Frankfurt—- are fundamentally on the wrong path, albeit for different reasons. Yet by collectively indulging in the sum of all statist errors they may ultimately do a service. Namely, discredit and destroy the whole bailout state and central bank driven financialization model that threatens political democracy and capitalist prosperity in Europe——and the rest of the world, too.

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Feb 11

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of France Francois Hollande during a meeting in Kremlin on February 6, 2015.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of France Francois Hollande during a meeting in Kremlin on February 6, 2015.

- Giving ultimatums isn’t the way to talk to President Putin – Kremlin (RT, Feb 9, 2015):

The Kremlin has commented on media reports of an ultimatum issued by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Vladimir Putin, saying that issuing such demands is no way to talk to the Russian president.

“We’ve already said everything about the tone of the negotiations. Nobody has ever talked to the president (Putin) in the tone of an ultimatum – and couldn’t do so even if they wanted to,” Dmitry Peskov, Russian presidential press-secretary, told Govorit Moskva radio station.

The press secretary previously said the five-hour talks between Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were “substantive and constructive.” Continue reading »

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Feb 10

Yanis Varoufakis Sums Up Europe In One Sentence

Varoufakis Blasts ECB “Has Lost Control Of Monetary Policy” As Germany Tells Greece: “There Is No Way Out” (ZeroHedge, Feb 9, 2015):

“There is no way out” for Greece from its treaty obligations warns German lawmaker Michael Fuchs (Angela Merkel’s deputy caucus chairman) telling Bloomberg TV that conditions set for Greece by The Troika (EU, ECB, IMF) for bailout funds “have to be fulfilled…. That’s it, very simple.” The Greeks remain adamant that they will not ask for an extension to the bailout mechanism with both Tsipras and Varoufakis confirming that a bridge agreement is required and the latter adding “the ECB has lost control of monetary policy,” demanding the Troika structure come to an end. Then German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble exclaimed at the G-20 meeting that “Greece either has to find a way to get bridge financing, or, if they want to do it with us, they need a program,” seeming to push the door open to possible Russian financial aid for Greece as Europe’s pivot to Putin appears to be rising. Continue reading »

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Feb 09

No 741831

- Europe, US Risk Off After Greece Rejects European Ultimatum, Ukraine Peace Talks Falter (ZeroHedge, Feb 9, 2015):

In the absence of any notable developments overnight, the market remains focused on the rapidly moving situation in Greece, which as detailed over the weekend, responded to Europe’s Friday ultimatum very vocally and belligerently, crushing any speculation that Syriza would back down or compromise, and with just days left until the emergency Eurogroup meeting in three days, whispers that a Grexit is imminent grow louder. The only outstanding item is what happens to the EUR and to risk assets: do they rise when the Eurozone kicks out its weakest member, or will they tumble as UBS suggested this morning when it said that “the escalation of tensions between the Greek government and its creditors is so far being shrugged off by investors, an attitude which is overly simplistic and ignores the risk of market dislocations” while Morgan Stanley adds that a Grexit would likely lead to the EURUSD sliding near its all time lows of about 0.90. Continue reading »

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Feb 08

putin smile

- Europe Fractures: France Pivots To Putin, Cyprus Offers Moscow Military Base, Germany-US Splinter On Ukraine (ZeroHedge, Feb 8, 2015):

Following yesterday’s summary of the utter farce that the Minsk Summit/Ukraine “peace” deal talks have become, the various parties involved appear to be fracturing even faster today. The headlines are coming thick and fast but most prescient appears to be: Despite John Kerry’s denial of any split between Germany and US over arms deliveries to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier slammed Washington’s strategy for being “not just risky but counterproductive.” But perhaps most significantly is France’s continued apparent pivot towards Russia… Following Francois Hollande’s calls for greater autonomy for Eastern Ukraine, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has come out in apparent support of Russia (and specifically against the US), “we are part of a common civilization with Russia,” adding, “the interests of the Americans with the Russians are not the interests of Europe and Russia.” Even NATO appears to have given up hope of peace as Stoltenberg’s statements show little optimism and the decision by Cyprus to allow Russia to use its soil for military facilities suggests all is not at all well in the European ‘union’.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier doubled down on Germany’s rejection of weapons deliveries to Ukraine in a speech here Sunday… Continue reading »

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Feb 04

- Back To Square One: Germany Throws Up All Over Varoufakis Proposal, Calls Greek Plan “Half-Baked” (ZeroHedge, Feb 3, 2015):

If there was any confusion how Germany would react to the latest Greek plan, even though as we explicitly stated yesterday, the “new” Greek plan is really the “old” Greek plan but repackaged semantically for appeal to German taxpayers, even as the proposal to involve Europe’s public entities in a distressed debt restructuring is a non-starter, all confusion can be now abandoned following remarks by Merkel’s ally Kauder in which he not only called the Greek debt plan “half-baked” saying he will no longer respond to new proposals from Athens “every day”, but making it clear that there will be no renegotiation of the existing bailout proposal saying “we have agreements with Greece and not with a government – and these agreements have to be adhered to.

 …

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Feb 03

Yanis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister

- Greece FinMin: “No U-Turn” In Our Position; “Write-Off Can Occur In Several Methods” Spokesman Adds (ZeroHedge, Feb 3, 2015):

Yesterday, when we reported on the FT’s take of the supposed Greek flip-flop, we said that contrary to the official interpretation of Greece ending its demands for a hard debt write-down and replacing it with a proposal for a debt exchange, we stated that “the Greeks themselves realize that this proposal is nothing but a debt haircut under a different name, but hope that Europe will pull an Obamacare and bet on the “stupidity of their own taxpayers” to let it slide without anyone noticing. To wit: “[Varoufakis] said his proposal for a debt swap would be a form of “smart debt engineering” that would avoid the need to use a term such as a debt “haircut”, politically unacceptable in Germany and other creditor countries because it sounds to taxpayers like an outright loss.” Continue reading »

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Feb 02

- Europe Fractures: France “Prepared To Support Greece” In Debt Renegotiations (ZeroHedge, Feb 1, 2015):

Despite Angela Merkel’s insistence on numerous occasions this past week that there will be “no debt renegotiations,” it appears a schism at the core of Europe is opening. As France24 reports, following a meeting between France’s finance minister Michel Sapin and Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, the press conference had a considerably more amicable tone that Friday’s Dijsselbloem dissing. “France is more than prepared to support Greece,” Sapin said adding that Greece’s efforts to renegotiate were “legitimate.” Sapin urged a “new contract between Greece and its partners.”

As France24 reports,

France’s Socialist government offered support Sunday for Greece’s efforts to renegotiate debt for its huge bailout plan, amid renewed fears about Europe’s economic stability.

Continue reading »

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Jan 31

- 30Y German Bund Yield Plunges Under 1% – Record Low (ZeroHedge, Jan 30, 2015):

“…but it can’t go any lower, right?” On the heels of yesterday’s German deflation and today’s near-record EU wide deflation prints… and the ongoing tumble in inflation expectations post-Q€ – the rush for the safety of Bunds continues (and with it the arb-drag on US yields) as for the first time ever, 30Y German Bunds yield below 1%…

 

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Jan 30

- Alexis Tsipras’ Open Letter To Germany: What You Were Never Told About Greece (ZeroHedge, Jan 29, 2015):

Authored by Alexis Tsipras via Syriza.net,

Most of you, dear [German] readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence.

In 2010, the Greek state ceased to be able to service its debt. Unfortunately, European officials decided to pretend that this problem could be overcome by means of the largest loan in history on condition of fiscal austerity that would, with mathematical precision, shrink the national income from which both new and old loans must be paid. An insolvency problem was thus dealt with as if it were a case of illiquidity. Continue reading »

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Jan 26

poverty-rates-in-germany
Poverty index from 2007

- Millions of German workers in poverty (Deutsche Welle (DW), Jan 24, 2015):

More than three million Germans can barely make ends meet despite being in work, according to a German newspaper. Growing numbers of struggling workers are cutting back on heating and food.

About 3.1 million wage and salary earners in Germany had an income below the poverty threshold, according to Saturday’s edition of the Saarbrücker Zeitung newspaper.

The paper cited an overview from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office showing the most recent available data, which covered the year 2013. It also showed the numbers of workers struggling to make ends meet jumped from about 2.5 million in 2008 – an increase of 25 percent in five years. Continue reading »

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Jan 19

gold repatriation

- Germany’s Bundesbank Resumes Gold Repatriation; Transfers 120 Tonnes Of Physical Gold From Paris And NY Fed (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2015):

Three weeks ago, when looking at the latest NY Fed data of foreign gold held at the largest central bank gold vault in the world, we showed that in the month of November not only was a near record amount of gold withdrawn from the NY Fed, which at 42 tons was the single biggest monthly outflow at the NY Fed in over a decade…

Ny Fed gold November

… but that though the end of November, all of the Netherlands’ 122 tons of gold withdrawals had been fully accounted for. This brought up an interesting question: Continue reading »

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Jan 11
hamburger-morgenpost
Burnt and damaged files are seen in the courtyard of German regional newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost editorial office in Hamburg, northern Germany, on January 11, 2015 after an arson attack. (Bodo Marks / DPA / AFP )

- Arson at German paper that reprinted Charlie Hebdo cartoons (RT, Jan 11, 2015):

A German newspaper, the Hamburger Morgenpost, that reprinted the Charlie Hebdo cartoons says it suffered an arson attack overnight.

The incident happened at about 2 am local time.Unidentified people threw stones and an incendiary devices into the building housing the “Hamburger Morgenpost” tabloid newspaper in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city.

“Rocks and then a burning object were thrown through the window,” a police spokesman told AFP. “Two rooms on the lower floors were damaged but the fire was put out quickly.”

Nobody was hurt in the attack, police say.The newspaper said there were no people inside the building when the attack happened.

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Jan 11

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L) give a joint press conference after their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 8, 2015.(AFP Photo / John Macdougall)

- ​‘Soviets invading Germany, Ukraine:’ Berlin faces tough choice on PM Yatsenyuk’s WW2  (RT, Jan 10, 2015):

This week, Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the USSR had invaded Germany and Ukraine in WW2. Despite attempts by the Western press to bury the story, Russia is now demanding answers from Berlin.

Nothing is louder than silence. I know this, you know this and you can be sure that Angela Merkel knows it too. Why then is the Chancellor’s government refusing to comment on Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s extraordinary remarks? The reasons are complex, as I will shortly outline. First, though, here’s what Yatsenyuk actually said.

“All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany,” he told German-state broadcaster ARD. “We need to avoid [a repeat of] it.”

“Nobody has the right to rewrite the results of the Second World War,” he also added. “Russia’s President Putin is trying to do exactly this.” Continue reading »

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Jan 07

parthenon

- Bild Warns German Govt Fears Greek Bank Runs, Financial System Collapse; Prepares For Grexit (ZeroHedge, Jan 6, 2014):

 It has been a busy few days for Germany. In the space of a week, they have warned Greece “there will be no blackmail,” adding that a Greek exit from the euro was “manageable,” only to hours later deny (clarify) these comments. This was then followed up with beggars-are-choosers Syriza demanding any ECB QE must buy Greek bonds (or else) – which Germany has flatly ruled out – only to see today that Syriza is practically guaranteed to win a “decisive victory” at the forthcoming snap election. So it with a wry smile that we note Bild reports tonight that the German government is preparing for a possible Greek exit, warning of financial system collapse, bank runs, and huge costs for the rest of the EU.

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Jan 03

Greek atm

- The Gloves Come Off: Germany Says Grexit “Manageable” As Tsipras Demands Greek Debt Writeoff (ZeroHedge, Jan 4, 2015):

With just three weeks until the Greek snap elections on January 25 in which Tsipras’ Syriza is virtually assured of victory (unless somehow G-Pap’s “new and improved” political party manages to steal enough votes to prevent this, although one wonders what his political campaign will be: “vote for us because this time we know how to avoid a sovereign bankruptcy”), Germany takes yet another opportunity to remind the Greeks that it won’t be blackmailed (spoiler: it will) into another year of funding the insolvent Greek state which in turn will pretend to engage in another year of “reforms” (spoiler: it won’t). Recall it was on New Year’s Eve when Merkel’s chief advisor Michael Fuchs explicitly used the “blackmail” word saying: Continue reading »

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Jan 03

- 5Y German Bond Yield Goes Negative For First Time Ever (ZeroHedge, Jan 2, 2015):

How do you say Japanization in German? 5Y German bonds just traded at -0.1bp yield (below Japan’s 3bp 5Y yield)…

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Jan 01

crash-dollar

- Jim Willie: DOLLAR DEATH: Global Trade Using Dollars Down 50%! (Grams Gold, Dec 26, 2014):

This transcript of the interview with Jim Willie in early December 2014 highlights the importance of gold on the world stage, as well as other important events that are taking place.In the video interview titled, “No Prisoners in the Global Money War,” Willie says, “I think we have acceleration on the systemic breakdown globally. There is no asset foundation to the US banking system anymore. It’s just a bunch of ‘spinning derivatives on computer trades’. Continue reading »

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