In early 2015, after seeing a staggering $1.4 trillion in Euro area government debt trade at negative interest rates (the number has since grown to $6 trillion) we wondered when the bailout of insolvent governments was going to make its way to other debtors. Our question was quickly answered when we found that a negative rate mortgage had been issued by Nordea Credit, a bank in Denmark. Recently, even the WSJ finally stumbled on this bizarre inversion of traditional borrower obligations.
We noted at the time that this this was the first of many such paradoxes, as eventually more and more banks would begin to fall in line with ECB expectations and lend at slightly negative (at first, then progressively more negative) rates, rather than lose even more money as a result of leaving cash in the ECB deposit facility.
This is just the beginning: according the Danish media outlet, as a result of variable-refinancing, as recently as a week from now “a greater share of customers could have a negative rate.” Continue reading »
The Netherlands and Sweden have joined France on Saturday in coming out strongly against the re-licensing of glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe. The remarkable rebellion against the World’s most used herbicide is likely to delay the expected March 8 EU vote by member countries on the re-licensing of the chemical.
Public pressure against glyphosate in countries across Europe has been intense, with nearly 1.5 million people petitioning the EU’s health commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, for a ban on the substance, the Guardian reported. Continue reading »
Original article in Dutch:
Watch the video here:
ZAANDAM – Tientallen bewoners van het asielzoekerscentrum in Zaandam keerden zich afgelopen nacht tegen ambulancebroeders en politie. Aanleiding voor het geweld was een zelfmoordpoging van een asielzoeker.
– Asylum seekers come to blows with rescuers:
ZAANDAM – Dozens of residents of the refugee center in Zaandam turned last night against paramedics and police. The reason for the violence was a suicide attempt by an applicant.
According Noordhollands Dagblad the ambulance crew was called because an applicant had injured himself with a large knife. To treat him the brothers wanted to bring the man to the ambulance, but the residents wanted to do this myself against the wishes of the ambulance personnel. It got out of hand, when the police became involved. Continue reading »
As regular readers are by now acutely aware, Europeans are growing increasingly frustrated with officials’ response to the bloc’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
To be sure, some countries were skeptical from the very beginning. Take Hungary for example, whose firebrand PM Viktor Orban built a series of migrant-be-gone fences late last summer and defended them with tear gas and water cannons.
Be that as it may, most Europeans were willing to give refugees the benefit of the doubt. That began to change after attacks on Paris killed some 130 people in November and sentiment took a decisive turn for the worst earlier this month when scores of sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by men of “Arab origin” on New Year’s Eve created a bloc-wide scandal. Continue reading »
Anyway, speaking of wearing skirts, here’s one way to keep the rapists at “arm’s length” …
Hundreds of men have taken to the streets of Amsterdam to express their solidarity with the victims of sex attacks that hit the German city of Cologne and other places in Europe on New Year’s Eve.
The demonstrators braved the January cold in the Dutch capital, marching in mini-skirts, accompanied by female protesters, too. Continue reading »
And Jean-Claude Juncker wouldn’t lie to you, or would he?
Juncker: ‘Dutch “NO” will result in big continental crisis’
In April the Dutch people will vote on the European-Ukraine association treaty. In an interview with the NRC, a Dutch leading newspaper, Juncker warned the Dutch voters a “NO” will lead to a big continental crisis. “Russia and anti European movements will profit from a Dutch No, the Dutch has to vote yes for reasons not related to the treaty, the Dutch should act like an European strategist” according to Mr Juncker.
It’s been noted that web searches for driving lessons in exchange for sex, or ‘a ride for a ride’ as the practice has been dubbed, have recently increased in popularity.
– Dutch Refusal to Reveal MH17 Crash Documents ‘Confirms Western Involvement’ (Sputnik, Aug 14, 2015):
The Dutch government’s refusal to unseal information regarding the actions of the Cabinet in the aftermath of the MH17 flight crash indicates Western countries’ involvement, Christopher Black, a prominent Canadian international criminal lawyer, told Sputnik on Friday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier, Dutch television news service RTL Nieuws made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for details about the actions of Dutch authorities in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines crash in southeastern Ukraine, which was refused by the Ministry of Security and Justice.
“The fact that they refuse to release the report indicates that the report would point to the West being involved, or the Ukrainians at least, in the shoot-down of that plane,” Black said.
The lawyer added that the Dutch government would have released that report weeks ago if they had proof that Russia or Donbass militias were involved in the MH17 crash. Continue reading »
– Chance of frost in the Netherlands (Ice Age Now, July 9, 2015):
Frost on the ground in July is a rarity.
9 July 2015 – A rare cold night in July with minimums between 5 and 10 degrees and very local as possible frost on the ground!
The lowest temperatures are expected over the sandy areas in the center and east of Brabant, the Veluwe and Twente, reports Weather Plaza. Frost on the ground in July is a rarity. In the past 45 years it was only five times previously. Continue reading »
– Record cold in the Netherlands (Ice Age Now, June 7, 2015):
In Twente and Noord-Brabant weather records were broken between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Since measurements began in 1951, it has never been so cold on June 7, reported weather bureau Meteo Group.
Sunday morning it was Twente minus 2.2 degrees Celsius. In Brabant came to freeze to the ground, albeit narrowly by 0.2 degrees.
– NATO & allies stage thousands-strong drills across Europe (RT, May 4, 2015):
Three sets of military exercises kicked off in Europe on Monday, involving thousands of servicemen from a variety of NATO nations and their allies, amid a wave of similar action across the area.
Estonia is holding its largest-ever military drills. Named Siil-2015 (Hedgehog), the maneuvers involve about 13,000 personnel. The number includes about 7,000 reservists, along with members of the volunteer Estonian Defense League.
Siil-2015, scheduled to last until May 15, also involves forces from the US, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands. American troops, who are staying in Estonia as part of the massive training operation Atlantic Resolve, will bring four Abrams main battle tanks to the exercise. British, Belgian and German air defense units, as well as several NATO warplanes, will also take part. Continue reading »
“Pornography, violence and obscenity on TV and in movies will be increased. People will be desensitized to violence and porn and made to feel life is short, precarious and brutish.”
– Dr Richard Day
– Dutch Central Banker Fired For Being A “Nazi Cross-Dressing, Nymphomaniac, Dominatrix” Prostitute (ZeroHedge, April 16, 2015):
They say don’t let money printing get to your head, but for one now former central banker it is far too late.
The identity of the former employee of the Dutch Central Bank in question is unknown, what is known is that the money authority of the Netherlands has fired a 46-year-old female employee who for 6 of her 8 years with the central bank made money on the side as a “dominatrix prostitute who described herself as a high-class nymphomaniac and earned €10,000 a week dressing up as a Nazi and whipping men.”
While her real name remains unknown (although having worked previously for both ABN-AMRO and ING Bank it is only a matter of time before her ex-colleagues identify her) her “professional name” is public: Conchita van der Waal, as is her motto: “the kinkier the better”. Her role at the Dutch Central Bank is also unknown but according to the Irish Times she had a “supervisory” role. Continue reading »
– The Mystery Deepens: Dutch Central Bank Denies Reports It Bought Gold For The First Time In 17 Years (ZeroHedge, Jan 27, 2015):
Overnight, there was much commotion in the precious metal space when, out of the blue, the IMF reported that months after announcing it had unexpectedly repatriated over 120 tons of gold from the NY Fed, the Netherlands had also purchased some 10 tons of gold in the open market, taking its total to 622 metric tons, the highest since 2007, a period in which it had been unchanged for 8 years.
This was promptly reported by both Reuters:
Netherlands added to its gold reserves for the first time in 16 years. It bought nearly 10 tonnes in Dec to bring total to 622 tonnes
— Anantha (@AnanthalakshmiA) January 27, 2015
The Netherlands added to its gold reserves for the first time since 1998 as the ninth-biggest holder boosted assets to the highest in seven years, while Russia bought for a ninth month, International Monetary Fund data show.
Bullion reserves in the Netherlands climbed to 20 million ounces or 622 metric tons in December, the highest since 2007, after being unchanged at 19.7 million ounces from December 2008 through November, the IMF’s website showed. Russia, with the fifth-biggest hoard, held 38.8 million ounces last month, the most in at least two decades, the data show. Continue reading »
– World Reserve Currencies: What Happened During Previous Periods Of Transition? (Economic Reason, Aug 11, 2014):
The decline of the US dollar hegemony is ever so clear today and this article aims to provide the reader with what exactly happened during past periods of reserve currency transitions. Historically, when a reserve currency transitioned over to a new one, it marked a pivotal change for the world. The economic paradigm shifted and the rules of the game changed. This time will be no different when the US dollar loses its status as the reserve currency!
The transition process of the world reserve currency brings much uncertainty
– Europe Agrees To Disagree Over New Russian Sanctions (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2 014):
As usual, Europe is talking out of both sides of its mouth (or other orifices). On the one hand, we are told:
- EU foreign ministers failed to agree new sanctions against Russia at a Brussels meeting
And on the other hand:
- Dutch minister says EU imposing new sanctions on officials over Russia
So – which is it Europe? Continue reading »
– ‘Public has no idea how NATO spends money’: Dutch auditors call for more transparency (RT, June 11, 2014):
Dutch auditors claim NATO member states – which contribute to the organization’s budget from a combined $1 trillion in defense spending – are largely unaware of how these funds are being spent, as most of the alliance’s expenditures remain classified.
For decades the accounting records of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which marked its 65th anniversary in April, remained largely ‘blotted out’ as classified, leaving billions of NATO dollars unaccounted for, claim auditors from the Netherlands. Continue reading »
– Massive Explosion Rocks Shell Oil Production Plant In The Netherlands (ZeroHedge, May 3, 2014):
Moments ago a massive explosion, accompanied by a raging fire seen from miles away, occurred at a Shell Oil production plant in Moerdijk, Netherlands, reports the Omroep Brabant. Two “enormously loud bangs” were reported by bystanders. Bystanders reported a pink flash of light followed by flames that were meters high. According to a Dutch reporter, the explosion shook the neighborhood houses as if an earthquake occurred. Marieke van Wijk of the Safety Mid and West Brabant reports that the fire occurred during an exchange of services.
“The blaze is pretty intense and the smoke goes straight up. Hazardous substances are igniting high in the air. “Stay at least always the smoke,” adds the municipality of Moerdijk.
No evacuation of local residents has been ordered so hopefully the damage is contained.
This is what the facility looked like before the accident:
— Martijn Standaart (@MStandaart) June 3, 2014
And this is what it looks like right now: Continue reading »
– Dutch MP Geert Wilders: EU cares about expansion, not Ukraine (RT, May 2, 2014):
The EU is responsible for “the mess” in Ukraine, Geert Wilders, Holland’s Party for Freedom leader, told RT. Wilders wonders why the bloc has got involved in a country where half the population is against joining Europe.
Wilders, who was speaking exclusively on RT’s SophieCo, believes the EU should have kept out of the conflict and only made things worse by giving the country hopes of a pre-accession treaty to the union, when the people of Ukraine were not in unison about joining the organization.
“It was a very delicate balance in Ukraine with 50 percent looking eastwards, towards Russia, and 50 percent of the population looking westwards, towards the European Union. So I think it was very irresponsible what the EU did; they should have kept out of it,” Wilders said.
– NATO To Boost Air, Warship Presence Around Russia; Netherlands May Deploy F-16s To Ukraine (ZeroHedge, April 16, 2014):
If there is was one way to assure a certain escalation in Ukraine hostilities beyond what has already happened, it is for NATO to do precisely what Russia warned it should not do: build up its presence in the surrounding countries. Which is why we find it somewhat puzzling that NATO announced it would do just this when as the Guardian reported, the military alliance said it would step up its presence around Russian borders to “reassure eastern European member states.” Continue reading »
–ABN Amro Ex-CEO Found Dead (ZeroHedge, April 6, 2014):
A mere two weeks since former JPMorgan banker, Kenneth Bellando jumped to his death, Bloomberg reports that the former CEO of Dutch Bank ABN Amro (and his wife and daughter) were found dead at their home after a possible “family tragedy.” This expands the dismal list of senior financial services executive deaths to 12 in the last few months. The 57-year-old Jan Peter Schmittmann, was reportedly discovered by his other daughter when she arrived home that morning. Police declined to comment on the cirumstances of his (and his wife and daughter’s) death. This is not the first C-level ABN Amro banker to be found dead. In 2009, former CFO Huibert Boumeester was discovered with (assumed self-inflicted) shotgun wounds.
Former ABN Amro Group NV Netherlands Chief Executive Officer Jan Peter Schmittmann, his wife and a daughter were found dead at their home today after a possible “family tragedy,” Dutch police said.
“The bodies of a father and mother and their daughter were found at the property” in the town of Laren, 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Amsterdam, Dutch police said in a statement on their website today. Leonie Bosselaar, a police spokeswoman, said in a telephone call with Bloomberg News that the deceased were Schmittmann and two family members.
– Dutch government to pay Microsoft ‘millions’ to extend XP support (Dutch News, April 4, 2014):
The Dutch government has signed a ‘multi-million euro’ deal with Microsoft for continued support for its Windows XP systems, according to website Webwereld.
Between 34,000 and 40,000 Dutch national government civil servants are still using computers equipped with Windows XP, even though Microsoft is ending its support for the programme this month.
– Dutch court rules in favor of unblocking Pirate Bay as ban ‘ineffective’ (RT, Jan 29, 2014):
People in the Netherlands will soon have access to The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most censored file-sharing websites, as a court in The Hague ruled that Dutch ISPs need to stop blocking the site after the ban proved ineffective against piracy.
The Court of The Hague released its verdict that two leading ISPs operating in the country – XS4All and Ziggo – no longer have to block access to file sharing website The Pirate Bay.
– Netherlands loses ‘AAA’ credit rating at S&P (MarketWatch, Nov 29, 2013):
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded its long-term sovereign credit rating on the Netherlands to AA+ from AAA, citing growth concerns. S&P said the country’s growth prospects are weaker than it had previously anticipated. “We do not anticipate that real economic output will surpass 2008 levels before 2017, and believe that the strong contribution of net exports to growth has not been enough to offset a weak domestic economy,” S&P said in a statement. The outlook is stable, reflecting the agency’s view “that risks stemming from low growth and the related fiscal outturn are balanced against strong export performance, a net creditor position, and high GDP per capita.”
– Alcoholics paid with beer to clean Amsterdam’s streets (RT, Nov 19, 2013):
In order to keep Amsterdam clean, the city now hires chronic alcoholics. For five cans of beer, tobacco and about $13 in cash per day they have to sweep the city’s streets. The new project aims at tackling anti-social behavior by keeping addicts busy.
Alcoholics start their work day at 9 am – not with brooms in hands, but rather with two cans of beer. They end their work at 3 pm – also with a can of beer. Sometime in the afternoon anti-social workers are offered a hot meal, which is served with two cans of beer.
For every day they turn up at work, the Rainbow Foundation that runs the project gives alcoholics, in addition to beer, 10 euro ($13) and a half-pack of rolling tobacco.
Continue reading »
– The Chinese Can Now Buy Real Estate and the Dutch Can Order Food Online with Bitcoin (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 9, 2013):
Understandably, pretty much all of the focus on Bitcoin as of late has been on price appreciation considering the extraordinary move it has undergone. Specifically, it has quadrupled in value from the post Silk Road shutdown lows a little over a month ago. While understandable, it’s a bit unfortunate at the same time. The focus on price is taking away from the great strides being made in its acceptance, and at the end of the day, it is acceptance that gives ultimate value to Bitcoin not buyers and sellers. In that spirit, I want to highlight two recent significant early adopters of Bitcoin, both overseas.
Soft drinks should carry tobacco-style warnings that sugar is highly addictive and dangerous, a senior Dutch health official has warned.
– Sugar is ‘addictive and the most dangerous drug of the times’ (Telegraph, Sep 17, 2013):
Paul van der Velpen, the head of Amsterdam’s health service, the Dutch capital city where the sale of cannabis is legalised, wants to see sugar tightly regulated.
“Just like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is actually a drug. There is an important role for government. The use of sugar should be discouraged. And users should be made aware of the dangers,” he wrote on an official public health website.
“This may seem exaggerated and far-fetched, but sugar is the most dangerous drug of the times and can still be easily acquired everywhere.”
Mr Van der Velpen cites research claiming that sugar, unlike fat or other foods, interferes with the body’s appetite creating an insatiable desire to carry on eating, an effect he accuses the food industry of using to increase consumption of their products.
– 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 »