Apr 12

- 72% Of Greeks Need More Work To Make Ends Meet (ZeroHedge, April 12, 2014):

Almost 10 million out of 43.7 million part-time workers in the European Union were under-employed in 2013. As Bloomberg Brief’s Niraj Shah notes, based on Eurostat’s Labour Forces Study, a record 72 percent of Greek part-time workers wished to work more hours compared with 4.2 percent in the Netherlands.

20140411_part

Maybe the Dutch should lay some more people off to lower their bond yields? As we explained in great detail here, the Greek “recovery” is a mirage and these numbers do not lie.

Source: Bloomberg Briefs ( @economistniraj )

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Apr 09

- More Americans Go Hungry Than All But 2 European Nations (ZeroHedge, April 8, 2014):

Since 2007, when the financial crisis touched down across the world, the proportion of people going hungry in Europe has soared, according to the OECD. As Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, the number has doubled in Greece alone from 8.9% in 2007 to almost 18% currently unable to afford food. Across the European Union, the proportion of people going hungry ranges from 4.6% in Germany to over 30% in (ironically) Hungary. However, before one gloats at the weakness in Europe and the cleanest dirty shirt the US pretends to be, at 21.1% of Americans unable to afford food, only Hungary and Estonia are in worst shape

USA USA USA…

population-unable-to-afford-food

Source: @economistniraj via Bloomberg Briefs

 

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Mar 27

Greece-01

- Greek Supreme Court Rules “Bank Deposit Confiscation” Against The Constitution (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2014):

While we are sure the governments and their IMF handlers will find a way around such annoyances as the rule of law, the Greek Supreme Court just ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. We humbly suggest the Ukrainian courts be rapidly brought to a decision on the same ruling, before IMF hands start dipping into pockets.

As Keep Talking Greece explains,

Greece’s Supreme Court ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. The judges had taken up a debtor’s complaint filed in 2006. The debtor had seen his pension being grabbed from his bank account due to debts to the tax office.

Continue reading »

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Mar 23

AGAIN:

The Ukraine is on track to be the next country that will be raped & pillaged by the IMF financial mafia.

Greece has been warned before:

“The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.”

See also:

- Pensions In Ukraine To Be Halved – Sequestration Draft:

The self-proclaimed government in Kiev is reportedly planning to cut pensions by 50 percent as part of unprecedented austerity measures to save Ukraine from default. With an “empty treasury”, reduction of payments might take place in March.


- EU-Ukraine trade pact paves way for brutal austerity (WSWS, March 22, 2104):

Amid intensifying US and European Union sanctions and military provocations against Russia, the EU and the Western-backed government in Ukraine yesterday signed a pact that paves the way for brutal austerity measures and free market “reforms.”

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is based on the deal that former President Viktor Yanukovych’s Ukrainian government rejected, leading to the US- and EU-instigated protests and violence that ousted him last month.

The pact, signed in Brussels, declares that the Ukrainian government must “embark swiftly on an ambitious program of structural reforms” and submit to “an agreement with the [International Monetary Fund].” The plans being drawn up are based on the “Greek model”—the savage cuts imposed on Greece by the IMF and the EU that have produced a massive growth in unemployment and poverty.

Continue reading »

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Feb 15

20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire

- 20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire (Economic Collapse, Feb 14, 2014):

If you have been waiting for the “global economic crisis” to begin, just open up your eyes and look around.  I know that most Americans tend to ignore what happens in the rest of the world because they consider it to be “irrelevant” to their daily lives, but the truth is that the massive economic problems that are currently sweeping across Europe, Asia and South America are going to be affecting all of us here in the U.S. very soon.  Sadly, most of the big news organizations in this country seem to be more concerned about the fate of Justin Bieber’s wax statue in Times Square than about the horrible financial nightmare that is gripping emerging markets all over the planet.  After a brief period of relative calm, we are beginning to see signs of global financial instability that are unlike anything that we have witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008.  As you will see below, the problems are not just isolated to a few countries.  This is truly a global phenomenon.

Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks have inflated an unprecedented financial bubble with their reckless money printing.  Much of this “hot money” poured into emerging markets all over the world.  But now that the Federal Reserve has begun “tapering” quantitative easing, investors are taking this as a sign that the party is ending.  Money is being pulled out of emerging markets all over the globe at a staggering pace and this is creating a tremendous amount of financial instability.  In addition, the economic problems that have been steadily growing over the past few years in established economies throughout Europe and Asia just continue to escalate.

The following are 20 signs that the global economic crisis is starting to catch fire: Continue reading »

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Feb 13

- Greek Unemployment Hits New Record; People Employed Drops To Record Low; 61.4% Of Youth Without A Job (ZeroHedge, Feb 13, 2014):

Something funny happened on the Grecovery: the Grecession…. Actually, make that the Gepression. In a nutshell – according to Elstat, Greek unemployment in November rose to a record high on both a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis with 28% of the labor force without a job, the number of people unemployed rose to a record high 1.382 million, even as the number of labor inactive people keeps rising, hitting 3.377 million and on its way to catch up with the rapidly declining 3.55 million people employed, which incidentally in November also posted a new record low. And tying it all together was the Greek youth unemployment rate which posted a record high for November at 61.4%, and after a few months of declines which gave some hope that things are indeed improving is back to its old, soaring ways.

Greek employment table:

Greek Emp Table

Record low number employed: Continue reading »

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Feb 02

Third Greek Bailout Package Is Finally On Deck (ZeroHedge, Feb 2, 2014):

As noted on Friday, the Greek soap opera, in which Europe pretends to bail out Greece when it is just bailing out its insolvent banks by not touching the status quo, and Greece pretends to reform and comply with austerity reforms when it merely continues to spend as before until the money runs out and the entire act is repeated, is about to enter its third act.

Continue reading »

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Jan 31

- Greece Is Back: Germany, France, Creditors Hold Secret Meeting Due To Greek Bailout “Mounting Concerns” (ZeroHedge, Jan 31, 2014):

There was a time – roughly between May 2010 and the spring fall of 2011 – when all the world had to worry about was Greece. Then the realization finally dawned that since a Grexit from the Eurozone would kill the EUR and the European integration dream with so much “political capital” invested, crush Deutsche Bank, and bring back the much dreaded (by German exporters) Deutsche Mark, it became clear that there is no fear that Greece, which is now a decrepit shell of a country with a collapsed economy and society in shambles, has now become a slave state to European bureaucrats, business and banks (in Nigel Farage’s words), will never be formally kicked out of Europe and only an internal coup would allow it to finally break free from the clutches of unelected European tyrants. And then the world moved on to more important things: like Japan, China Emerging Markets and how they are all enjoying the Fed’s taper. Sadly, we have to report, that Greece is once again baaaaack. Continue reading »

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Jan 25

- Europe’s Modest Proposal To End Unemployment: Slavery (ZeroHedge, Jan 24, 2014)

Having spent weeks talking amongst themselves about the chronic and dangerous rise of youth unemployment in Europe (as we warned here), the Center of planning and Economic Research in Greece has proposed a controversial measure. As GreekReporter reports, the measure includes unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees. “Unpaid” work sounds a lot like slavery to us… but it gets better; the report also suggested “exporting young unemployed persons.” No comment… Continue reading »

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Jan 16

- Nigel Farage Booms “Europe Is Now Run By Big Banks, Big Business, And Big Bureaucrats” (ZeroHedge, Jan 15, 2014):

With Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras settling into his role as EU President, UKIP’s Nigel Farage stunned the “Goldman Sachs puppet” with a 150-second tirade of truthiness he has likely never experienced. Farage sacrastically remarks how Greeks “will be dancing in the streets” at Samaras’ ‘successful’ negotiation on MiFiD reminding him that “60% of youth are unemployed and the neo-nazi party are on the march.” Europe is now run by “big business, big banks, and big bureaucrats,” Farage goes on, suggesting the smarmy-looking Samaras should “rename his party from New Democracy to No Democracy.” People do not want a United State of Europe, the outspoken UKIP leader explains, they want a “Europe of sovereign states,” and concludes ominously, “the European elections will be a watershed.”

…And you come here Mr Samaras and you tell us that you represent the sovereign will of the Greek people? Well, I’m sorry, but you’re not in charge of Greece, and I suggest you rename and rebrand your party – it’s called ‘New Democracy’, I suggest you call it ‘No Democracy’.

Because Greece is now under foreign control. You can’t make any decisions, you’ve been bailed out, and you’ve surrendered democracy, the thing your country invented in the first place.

And you can’t admit that joining the euro was a mistake – of course Mr Papandreou did that didn’t he, he even said there should be a referendum in Greece and within 48 hours, the unholy trinity (troika) that now run this European Union had him removed and replaced by a ex-Goldman Sachs employee puppet.

We are run now by big business, big banks and in the shape of Mr Barroso, big bureaucrats…

Ouch!!

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Jan 09

European-Union

- If You Are Waiting For An “Economic Collapse”, Just Look At What Is Happening To Europe (Economic Collapse, Jan 8, 2014):

If you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the “economic collapse”, just open up your eyes and look at what is happening in Europe.  The entire continent is a giant economic mess right now.  Unemployment and poverty levels are setting record highs, car sales are setting record lows, and there is an ocean of bad loans and red ink everywhere you look.  Over the past several years, most of the attention has been on the economic struggles of Greece, Spain and Portugal and without a doubt things continue to get even worse in those nations.  But in 2014 and 2015, Italy and France will start to take center stage.  France has the 5th largest economy on the planet, and Italy has the 9th largest economy on the planet, and at this point both of those economies are rapidly falling to pieces.  Expect both France and Italy to make major headlines throughout the rest of 2014.  I have always maintained that the next major wave of the economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.

The following are just a few of the statistics that show that an “economic collapse” is happening in Europe right now:

Continue reading »

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Jan 08

- Spain Youth Unemployment Rises To Record 57.7%, Surpasses Greece (ZeroHedge, Jan 8, 2014):

There has been much speculation recently about some immaculately conceived Spanish economic recovery. And while it has certainly sent the local Ibex stock market soaring, we fail to see any indication of such a recovery, at least in official economic data. The latest example being, of course, today’s European unemployment for November, which at the Euroarea level remained flat at 12.1%, which also is the all time record high following a prior revision. However, what is more troubling is that according to the official European statistics keeper, Spanish unemployment in November was 26.7%: tied for the all time high seen in October and hardly an indicator of some imminent economic renaissance. There is, of course, always December – that month in the New Normal when hiring really picks up. Continue reading »

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Jan 07

- Chart Of The Day: Greek Poverty (ZeroHedge, Jan 6, 2014):

And now, the saddest chart of the day: Greek poverty since the crisis, and in 2013, when the so-called “Grecovery” arrived.

Greek Poverty

Here is how Greek Kathimerini describes the fact that nearly half of all Greek incomes, some 44%, had an income below the poverty line in 2013 according to estimates by the Public Policy Analysis Group of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB).

The poverty threshold is measured as 60 percent of the price-adjusted average income in 2009, or up to 665 euros per person per month and up to 1,397 for a couple supporting two underage children. The AUEB researchers also found that last year 14 percent of Greeks earned below the adequate living standards, compared with 2 percent of the population four years ago.

The blame, of course, was placed squarely on austerity, or the fact that Greece, whose epic socio-economic problems stem primarily from its massive overleveraging leading up to 2008, did not leverage some more to “fix” itself.

Continue reading »

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Dec 14

- Peripheral Europe’s New Normal: 50 Applicants For One Minimum Wage Job (ZeroHedge, Dec 13, 2013):

While it is arguable whether two instances of the same event are sufficient to indicate a pattern, when it comes to Europe under the New (feudal) Normal we are willing to make a generalizing extrapolation. Recall a week ago when we reported that hours after unleashing a campaign to hire 400 employees for its brand new megastore in the Mediterranean city Valencia, Ikea’s servers in Spain promptly crashed after the company got at least 20,000 applicants (and possibly many more that would have registered had the system not experienced its Obamacare moment). The punchline here, of course, is not the dilapidated server infrastructure of Ikea – in a world in which nobody spends any growth CapEx any more that is to be expected – but that there were 20,000 applicants for what were effectively 400 minimum wage jobs, or, said otherwise: 50 candidates for each job. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the mythical recovery that Spain’s premier Rajoy fabulates in people’s minds on a daily basis. Needless to say, the 2% “success rate” of applicants means it is three times harder to get a minimum wage job in this European country than to get into Harvard. Today, we find the same 2% number in action once again, as if by magic, only this time relating to minimum wage job applicants in that other European basket case – Greece.

From Keep Talking Greece

More than 18,000 candidates for 390 job vacancies at €580 gross

Continue reading »

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Dec 04


YouTube

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Nov 29

- Europe’s Peak Youth Unemployment Gets Peak-er (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2013):

Despite a ratings ‘upgrade’ Spain’s youth unemployment rate has re-surged to a record 57.4% (just below that of Greece which still tops the scary chart list at 58%). Italy and Portugal also saw notable rises (despite the former’s record low short-dated bond yields) at 41.2% and 36.5% respectively. Ireland and France saw modest improvements but overall the Euro-zone’s youth unemployment just keeps rising. In spite of all the rhetoric from Merkel, Van Rompuy, and Barroso, 24.4% of Europe’s under-25 population is unemployed

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Nov 26

BEFORE:

- About 50% Of New Greek HIV Cases Are SELF-INFLICTED TO RECEIVE €700 Per Month Benefits

AND NOW ….


- WHO apologises for claiming half of Greek HIV infections are self-inflicted (Guardian, Nov 26, 2013):

WHO blames ‘gross editing error’ for report claiming half of new cases are acquired deliberately by people trying to claim benefits

The World Health Organisation has apologised and blamed an “editing error” for claiming in a September report that half of the new HIV cases in Greece were acquired deliberately by people trying to claim government benefits.

In a correction issued on Tuesday, the WHO said the report should have read that “few” new cases of HIV are deliberate.

“This was just a gross editing error for which the WHO apologises,” said a WHO spokesman, Gregory Härtl.

Continue reading »

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Nov 25

- Half Of New Greek HIV Cases Are Self-Inflicted To Receive €700 Per Month Benefits, Study Finds (ZeroHedge, Nov 25, 2013):

When one reads the following stunning, and tragic, excerpt from the World Health Organization’s recent report “Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region: final report” what can one say but… Grecovery.

From the WHO:

Case study: countries’ experiences of financial crisis – Greece

Suicides rose by 17% between 2007 and 2009 and to 25% in 2010, according to unofficial 2010 data (398). The Minister of Health reported a further 40% rise in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Suicide attempts have also increased, particularly among people reporting economic distress (610). Homicide and theft rates have doubled. HIV rates and heroin use have risen significantly, with about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of €700 per month and faster admission on to drug-substitution programmes. Prostitution has also risen, probably as a response to economic hardship. Health care access has declined as hospital budgets have been cut by about 40% (398) and it is estimated that 26 000 public health workers (9100 doctors) will lose their jobs (611). Further cuts are expected as a result of recent negotiations with the IMF and European Central Bank.

But at least they have the Euro.

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Nov 17

- Nobel Winner Dares To Go There: “No Reason To Fear Deflation… Greece May Benefit From Gold Standard” (ZeroHedge, Nov 16, 2013):

“Historically, there is no reason to fear deflation,” Nobel Laureate Thomas Sargent explains to Germany’s Wiwo.de, “we all benefit from lower prices.” Crucially, he continues, “countries with declining prices, such as Greece, must improve the competitiveness they have lost in recent years,” requiring falling wages and rising productivity (and falling unit labor costs) which will lead to companies cutting prices, “this is not a dangerous deflation, but part of the necessary correction so that these countries are internationally competitive again.” That central banks pursue an inflation rate of around 2%, Sargent blasts, is because they consider it their job to “make bad debt good debt,” adding that inflation is “a major redistribution machine – reducing the real debt burden for the benefit of creditors and devaluing the assets of the creditors.” A return to a gold standard,he concludes, to prevent governments and central banks from limitless money-printing “would not be foolish.”

Thomas Sargent (via Wiwo.de) dares to go there (and is likely about to be stripped of his Nobel)… Continue reading »

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Nov 11

Flashback:

- 20,000 U.S. M-16 Assault Rifles Stolen From Unguarded Warehouse In Kuwait


Greece intercepts mystery ship with 20,000 Kalashnikovs onboard (RT, Nov 10, 2013):

The Greek Coastguard has intercepted a Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship with around 20,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles on board. The intended destination of the vessel, halted near the Imia islets in the eastern Aegean, remains unknown.

The cargo ship Nour M, intercepted on Thursday night, was taken to the island of Symi the following morning under the escort of Coastguard vessels, where it was soon thereafter led to the island of Rhodes.

The vessel’s Turkish captain and seven crew members, two of whom were Turkish and five of whom were Indian, were placed under arrest, coastguard sources told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).

Continue reading »

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Nov 01

- All-Time High Unemployment: The Economic Depression In Europe Just Keeps Getting Deeper (Economic Collapse, Oct 31, 2013):

The unemployment rate in the eurozone is higher than it has ever been before.  This week we learned that eurozone unemployment came in at an all-time high of 12.2 percent for September.  Back in January 2012, it was sitting at just 10.4 percent.  So anyone that believes that “things are getting better” in Europe is just being delusional.  In fact, the economic depression in Europe just keeps getting deeper.  The funny thing is that the mainstream media will barely call what is going on in Europe a “recession” even though the unemployment rates in both Spain and Greece are now much higher than anything that the United States ever experienced during the “Great Depression” of the 1930s.  There haven’t been as many headlines about the financial crisis in Europe lately because the ECB has been papering over the debt problems of the periphery (at least for the moment), but the economic conditions on the ground for average Europeans just continue to get even worse.  Later on in this article, you will read about a 25-year-old Spanish man with three college degrees that moved to London in a desperate search for a job who is now cleaning up poop for a living.  The economic collapse of Europe continues to march on, and there is no end in sight.

All you have to do is look at the latest unemployment numbers to realize that things are getting worse in Europe. Continue reading »

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Oct 13

“They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes, drums… drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow lurks in the dark. We can not get out… they are coming.”
- Gandalf (reading)

- They’re Coming For Your Savings (Dollar Collapse, Oct 12, 2013):

Another of history’s many lessons is that governments under pressure become thieves. And today’s governments are under a lot of pressure.

Before we look at the coming wave of asset confiscations, let’s stroll through some notable episodes of the past, just to make the point that government theft of private wealth is actually pretty common. Continue reading »

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Oct 07

- Greece Considering Confiscation Of Private Assets (ZeroHedge, Oct 6, 2013):

The last time we opined on the possibility of a Cyprus-style “bail-in” in Greece, which is essentially a legally-mandated confiscation of private sector assets held hostage by the local financial system, until such time as the balance sheet of said financial system is viable, we were joking. Well, not really joking.

But not even we thought that a banking sector “bail in”, in which unsecured bank liabilities, which include bonds and of course deposits, are used as a matched source of extinguishment of non-performing bad debt “assets” could spread to the broader economy, and specifically to unencumbered private sector assets. Alas, this is precisely what Greece, which is desperately to delay the inevitable and announce it needs not only a third but fourth bailout, appears keen on doing.

As Kathimerini reports, the Greek Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is “seriously considering drastic measures in order to obtain the social security contributions owed by enterprises and to avoid having to slash pensions and benefits.” What drastic measures? “The ministry is planning to force companies to pay up or face having their assets seized, so that the 14 billion euros of contributions due can be recouped.

After all, it’s only “fair.”

Kathimerini is kind enough to layout the clear-cut problems with this plan which will further crush any potential rebound in the Greek economy: Continue reading »

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Sep 26


Greece ‘backsliding in democracy’ in face of joblessness, social unrest, corruption and disillusion with politicians, says thinktank

- Greece On The Verge? Military Special Forces Have 15 Demands… Or Else (ZeroHedge, Sep 26, 2013):

Greek government authorities are on alert after a union of Greek army reservists of Special Forces issued a statement urging the Greek administration to step down and make way for a national unity government. As Keep Talking Greece notes, the statement on the union’ website included 15 demands – including the resignation of the Greek President – and urged people to gather at the infamous Syntagma Square on Saturday. The statement was interpreted by some as a call to a “coup d’etat” – denied by the union – but prompted Greece’s Supreme Court to meet to discuss it.

The 15 Demands…

Continue reading »

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Sep 05

The worst is over???

This (total) collapse has really only just begun.


- Spain youth unemployment reaches record 56.1% (Guardian, Aug 30, 2013):

Number of young Spaniards belonging to ‘lost generation’ is up 2% since June, despite government claims that the worst is over

Youth unemployment in Spain has reached a new high of 56.1%, a quarter of the 3.5 million under-25s jobless across the eurozone, according to the latest Eurostat figures.

The number of young Spaniards belonging to what has become known as the lost generation is up 2% since June to 883,000. Only Greece has a higher percentage of young people out of work, at 62.9%.

Among adult males, Spain has the highest unemployment at 25.3%, higher even than Greece. Despite the government’s claims that the worst has passed and that employment reforms will encourage firms to hire, the figures suggest it will be a long time before any upturn in the economy is reflected in a declining jobless rate. With the holiday season coming to a close, the numbers are likely to rise as workers on seasonal contracts go back on the dole.

Continue reading »

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Aug 05

- Uncollected Greek Taxes Rise To Record €60 Billion, One Third Of Greek GDP (ZeroHedge, Aug 5, 2013):

While Europe, and especially Germany has been understandably “displeased” with having to provide billions in bailout upon bailout funding to Greece every year starting in 2010, all the more so following recent news that Greece has already spent some 75% of its bank bailout cash with no discernible improvement in its economy to show for it, Europes’ taxpayers will unlikely be any more pleased to learn that as of the end of June, a whopping €60 billion in past due taxes (an all time record) was owed by Greek businesses and individuals to the state. This is an amount that is 20% greater than the entire external cash handed over by the Troika to keep Greek banks afloat, and represents nearly 30% of imploding Greek GDP.

Perhaps instead of spending money on trips by its premier and/or think-tanks on how to mutually assure itself another few billion in Troika cash to plug this budget hole or that, Greece should invest a few grand to buy the ink it needs to print tax forms, streamlining its tax collection department (on those days it is isn’t on strike of course) and generate some real IRR.

Kathimerini has the full story:

Taxpayers’ and businesses’ outstanding debts to the state increased by 3.7 billion euros this year to reach a record 59.77 billion euros at the end of June.

There was an increase of 613 million euros between May and June alone, the general secretariat for public revenues said.

Continue reading »

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Jul 22

- Euro Area Government Debt Rises To New Record High (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2013):

While the European economy may be moving in a straight line from upper left to lower right, the same can not be said for the level of debt in Europe, which has taken on the inverse trajectory. As per the just released quarterly update of Euro area government debt, in Q1 2013, total government debt in Europe as a % of GDP just hit a new all time high of 92.2%. This compares to 90.6% in the previous quarter, and up from 88.2% in Q1 2012.

The proud Q1 debt-to-GDP outliers, where the local economies are expected to continue plunging and thus send the stock markets (if mostly that in the US) surging, are the following: Continue reading »

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Jul 14

- 10 Reasons Why The Global Economy Is About To Experience Its Own Version Of “Sharknado” (Economic Collapse, July 13, 2013):

Have you ever seen a disaster movie that is so bad that it is actually good?  Well, that is exactly what Syfy’s new television movie entitled “Sharknado” is.  In the movie, wild weather patterns actually cause man-eating sharks to come flying out of the sky.  It sounds absolutely ridiculous, and it is.  You can view the trailer for the movie right here.  Unfortunately, we are witnessing something just as ridiculous in the real world right now.  In the United States, the mainstream media is breathlessly proclaiming that the U.S. economy is in great shape because job growth is “accelerating” (even though we actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month) and because the U.S. stock market set new all-time highs this week.  The mainstream media seems to be absolutely oblivious to all of the financial storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon.  The conditions for a “perfect storm” are rapidly developing, and by the time this is all over we may be wishing that flying sharks were all that we had to deal with.

The following are 10 reasons why the global economy is about to experience its own version of “Sharknado”…
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 02

From the article:

If we were Greek depositors, we would make prudent use of the ‘mattress alternative‘ right about now…


- Greece Gets Three-Day Ultimatum From Europe To Fix Itself, Or Else (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2013):

Yesterday it was the Egyptian military giving president Morsi a two day ultimatum before things “deteriorate”, now it is the Eurozone giving Greece a three day ultimatum to “deliver on the conditions attached to its international bailout in order to receive the next tranche of aid” or else.

This links back to the FT report from June 20 that the IMF told Greece it has until the end of July to plug its budget holes, or else. In other words, simple escalation. Of course, maybe it should have been made apparent to Greece back in May 2010 at the time of the first (of many) bailouts that all those tens of billions in sunk costs are actually supposed to lead to economic reforms instead of perpetuating a broken and corrupt political system in which all in efficiencies and failures are blamed on evil (f)austerity.

From Reuters:

Greece has three days to reassure Europe and the International Monetary Fund it can deliver on conditions attached to its international bailout in order to receive the next tranche of aid, four euro zone officials said on Tuesday.

Continue reading »

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