May 20

Asked whether he would repeat an assurance he gave in late 2012 that Greece wouldn’t default, Wolfgang Schäuble told The Wall Street Journal and French daily Les Echos that “I would have to think very hard before repeating this in the current situation.” To which Moody’s had just one thing to add: there is a high likelihood of an imposition of capital controls and a deposit freeze.”


greek atm line

The Gloves Come Off: Moody’s Warns Of Greek “Deposit Freeze” As Schauble “Won’t Rule Out Default” (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2015):

Ever since Syriza took over the Greek government and has refused, at least until now, to concede to every Troika demand of perpetuating a status quo which it was elected with a mandate to overturn, Europe has done everything in its power to make not only Syriza’s life increasingly difficult and hostile, but has taken every opportunity to turn the Greek population against its rulers, in hopes that a more “moderate”, technocrat government would replace the “radical leftists.” So far it has failed, despite the best attempts by the ECB and the European Commission to sput a terminal bank run. Continue reading »

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May 20

Greece-Euro

Greece Says That It Will Default On June 5th, And Moody’s Warns Of A ‘Deposit Freeze’ (Economic Collapse, May 20, 2015):

The Greek government says that a “moment of truth” is coming on June 5th.  Either their lenders agree to give them more money by that date, or Greece will default on a 300 million euro loan payment to the IMF.  Of course it won’t technically be a “default” according to IMF rules for another 30 days after that, but without a doubt news that Greece cannot pay will send shockwaves throughout the financial world.  At that point, those holding Greek bonds will start to panic as they realize that they might not get paid as well.  All over Europe, there are major banks that are holding large amounts of Greek debt and derivatives that are related to the performance of Greek debt.  If something is not done to avert disaster at the last moment, a default by Greece could be the spark that sets off a major European financial crisis this summer. Continue reading »

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May 20

greece

Greece To Tax Bank Transactions, Says IMF “Won’t Get Any Money” On June 5 (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2015):

On Monday we got still more bad news for Greece. Around one-third of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc opposes further aid for Athens meaning the Chancellor faces an uphill battle in convincing German lawmakers to keep Greece on life support. Meanwhile, a new report from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises suggests that each day without a deal costs the Greek economy €22.3 million.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Tuesday’s headlines are even worse.

First, up is parliamentary speaker Nikos Filis confirming what the IMF leaked on Saturday: without a deal, Greece will default on June 5.

Via Reuters:

Greece will not be able to make a payment to the International Monetary Fund that falls due on June 5 without a deal with its international lenders, the government’s parliamentary speaker said on Wednesday. Continue reading »

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May 18

–  Shape Of Greek Endgame Emerges: IMF Discussed “Cyprus-Like” Plan After Tsipras Warned Of Looming Default (ZeroHedge, May 18, 2015):

The IMF discussed a “Cyrpus-like” take it or leave it solution for Greece last week, FT reports. With the countdown to outright insolvency down to two weeks, PM Tsipras will meet EU leaders in Latvia on Thursday to make one last push for a last minute deal. Meanwhile, the fate of the Greek banking sector hangs in the balance as the ECB has come under fire for the monetary financing of the Greek government.

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May 17

“Even as the establishment of new supranational lenders suggests the US-dominated multilateral institutions that have characterized the post-war world are proving unable to meet the needs of modernity, both Congress and the President have stymied IMF reform measures, sending a message to China and others that US hegemony will not die without a fight.”


Belligerent US Refuses To Cede Control Over IMF In Snub To China (ZeroHedge, May 17, 2015):

One story that’s been covered extensively in these pages over the past several months is the emergence of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The bank began to attract quite a bit of attention in early March when the UK decided, much to Washington’s chagrin, to make a bid for membership. The dominoes fell quickly after that and within a month it was quite clear that The White House’s effort to discourage its allies from supporting the new institution had failed in dramatic fashion.  Continue reading »

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May 16

parthenon

Greece Will Default On June 5 Without Deal, IMF Leaks (ZeroHedge, May 16, 2015):

Another week came and went with no breakthrough in negotiations between Greece and its creditors. The IMF is now fed up and has reportedly refused to be a part of any new bailout program for Greece, after Athens drew down its SDR reserves to makes its latest payment to the Fund. That money will now need to be repaid and in a move that surely marks the new gold standard for absurd circular funding schemes, Greece will likely look to use the next tranche of IMF money to payback its IMF SDR reserve which it tapped to pay the IMF. The country’s public sector employees live in limbo, not knowing from one week to the next whether they will be paid and commuters are now subjected to a 50 second looped highlight reel of the Nazi occupation meant to rally the country behind the government’s quarter trillion euro war reparations claim (they might as well just ask for a ‘gagillion’) on Germany which has now become the symbol of tyranny and debt servitude for many Greek citizens.  Continue reading »

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May 15

China requests IMF recommend renminbi as a reserve currency (Government Slaves, May 14, 2015)

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May 12

“Greece tapped emergency reserves in its holding account at the IMF in order to make a 750 million euro payment to the Fund on Monday meaning that, as predicted, the IMF is now paying itself. Athens has one month to replenish the account. Meanwhile, the Fund has indicated it wants no part of another Greek bailout. And just to confirm how terminal the situation for Greece is, MarketNews just reported that Greece now has a paltry €90 million in cash reserves left. The end of the world’s most drawn out tragicomedy is finally nigh.”


Greece

–  Greece Effectively Defaults To IMF Using SDR Reserves To “Repay” Fund; 1 Month Countdown Begins (ZeroHedge, May 12, 2015):

When Monday’s Eurogroup meeting concluded without an agreement between Greece and its creditors, it should have been game over for Athens. With pensioners at their breaking point and with local governments reluctant to comply with a decree mandating a sweep of excess cash reserves, the idea that Greece would somehow be able to scrape together €750 million euros to make a scheduled payment to the IMF today seemed far-fetched at best which is why we asked the following question Monday afternoon:> Continue reading »

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May 09

H/t reader M.G. (commenting on this article Japan National Debt Rises To ¥1,053,357,200,000,000):

“Thanks to Fukushima, Japan is finished, but nobody dares to say so. They always kept a strong fiscal house……but can no longer do so, and their national debt is growing to unsustainable levels.

The same story with most of the western world……debt, and more debt.

Now, Greece’s situation has moved out of control………nothing can save it, but the debt funded stock markets continue to climb…happy days are here again.

From the Guardian…….”


Tsipras sees ‘happy ending’ for Greece in crisis talks as €750m repayment nears (Guardian, May 8, 2015):

Greece’s embattled prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has insisted he is confident of a resolution to the country’s debt crisis, as his government struggles to meet a €750m (£545m) repayment to the International Monetary Fund next week and avoid default.

Greece is starved of cash but senior EU officials say there is no prospect of a deal releasing bailout money when the eurozone meets on Monday in Brussels. Continue reading »

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May 04

“Greece is so far off course on its $172bn bailout programme that it faces losing vital International Monetary Fund support unless European lenders write off significant amounts of its sovereign debt, the fund has warned Athens’ eurozone creditors,” FT reports, indicating that the organization may force the ECB and implicitly the German taxpayer to take the hit if Greece wants to receive the last tranche of aid under its existing program


Greece

IMF Splinters From Rest Of Troika, Threatens To Cut Off Greek Funding (ZeroHedge, May 4, 2015):

At this point it’s become fairly obvious to even the most casual observer that Greece is headed for some manner of default. The only real question is who gets shorted and when, as well as a relatively new question: which debt will Greece will default on first (just because it has so many choices). Continue reading »

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May 03

draghi prayerMario-Draghi-Just-EvilHyper-Mario-Draghi

“Stop Being So Negative”: Putting It All Together (ZeroHedge, May 2, 2015):

Putting it all together

Considering:

1) governments are unable to eliminate deficits

2) global government debt is increasing exponentially

3) 0% interest rates are allowing governments to borrow more to pay off old loans and fund deficits

4) Global growth is declining despite money printing and bailouts And, we’ve saved the latest and greatest fact for last: as stunning as 0% interest rates sound, the mathematically-challenged-fantasyland called Europe has just one upped everyone by introducing NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES.

As of writing, over 25% of all bonds issued by European governments has a guaranteed negative return for investors. Continue reading »

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Apr 26

parthenon

Capital Controls Arrive: Greece Begins Confiscating Deposits Of “Small Debtors” (ZeroHedge, April 26, 2015):

Last week, the Greek government issued a decree which called for local governments to transfer excess cash to the central bank so that Athens would be able to pay pensions, salaries, and the IMF. The move is expected to raise as much as €2 billion to help keep the country afloat while the country’s “amateurish, time-wasting gambler” of a FinMin feebly attempts to find some kind of middle ground with his EU counterparts and as PM Tsipras pulls out all the stops including the old EU Summit sideline end-around with Merkel and the wild card energy gas pipeline advance from Gazprom (which may portend the dreaded “Russian pivot”).

If the “temporary” local government reserve sweep constitutes what we have branded “soft” capital controls, we now have the first evidence that the “hard” variety may have arrived because as Kathimerini reports, Greek debtors are having their deposits seized in lieu of payment. Continue reading »

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Apr 21

gold_bar2

– The Mystery Of China’s Gold Holdings Is Coming To An End (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015):

Back in 2011, Zero Hedge first asked the key question that matters to the gold market: what are China’s true holdings of physical gold.

As is well known, the last time China did provide an update of its official gold inventory was in early 2009 when it disclosed to the IMF some 1,054.1 tons of gold held at the PBOC headquarters (or elsewhere).  The problem is that this number is now very outdated, and substantially undercuts China’s true gold holdings. Continue reading »

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Apr 20

As a side note:

If you take advice from Krugman, then you are either a bloody idiot, …

Paul-Krugman-Keynesians-Fail

… or an elite puppet (or both).


–  Did Greece Just Launch Capital Controls: “Mandatory Cash Transfer” Decreed Due To “Extremely Urgent Need” (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2015):

We warned last week that capital controls were inevitable and it apears the first steps have been taken (very quietly):

  • GREECE ISSUES DECREE: LOCAL GOVTS OBLIGED TO TRANSFER DEPOSIT RESERVES AT CENTRAL BANK

So, following the pension fund raid, the Greek government is now centralizing all Greek cash citing an extremely urgent and unforeseen need.”.

One wonders if this is per Krugman’s advice?

Tsipras-Krugman

As Bloomberg reports: Continue reading »

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Apr 16

If you said these are all things that current or former IMF heads are or have been accused of, you are 100% correct.


IMF

Spot The Common Theme: Prostitution Scandals, Kickbacks And Money Laundering (ZeroHedge, April 16, 2015):

First it was DSK with his ‘frequent’ sex-parties, rape charges, and pimpin’ hookers.

Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) – who denies charges of pimping – has told a court in northern France that prosecutors had greatly exaggerated the frequency of his “licentious evenings.” In fact, as The BBC reports, DSK explained (with a straight face) that he took part in only a few rare sex parties – “only 12 parties the last 3 years.”

As he took the stand on Tuesday, Mr Strauss-Kahn said: “I committed no crime, no offence.”

“The prosecution gives the impression of unbridled activity,” he told the court. But, he added: “There were only 12 parties in total – that is four per year over three years.”

Then came Christine Lagarde’s corruption and kickbacks scandal.

In 2008, Lagarde decided to allow an arbitration to end a dispute between Bernard Tapie, a businessman and supporter of then President Nicolas Sarkozy, and former state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais. Lagarde, who was put under investigation for “negligence” by the Cour de Justice de la Republique, denied any wrongdoing, saying it was the best option for the state. Continue reading »

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Apr 14

xi-jinping-vladimir-putin

Russia officially joins $50bn China-led infrastructure bank (RT, April 14, 2015):

On Tuesday Russia officially becomes a founder of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It means Russian companies can take part in infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region, and could attract foreign investment into Russia.

Russia applied for membership as a founding member of the AIIB 2 weeks ago, along with another 52 countries. The founding members have the right to establish the rules guiding the bank’s activities. China reportedly had rejected requests from North Korea and Taiwan to join the AIIB. The final list of the bank’s founding members will be announced on April 15. Continue reading »

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Apr 14

Sure!


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greece isn’t preparing default – Tsipras dispels rumor (RT, April 14, 2015):

Greece isn’t planning a debt default, contrary to reports in the Financial Times, says Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“Greece … is not preparing for any debt default and the same goes for its lenders. Negotiations are proceeding swiftly towards a mutually beneficial solution,” Prime Minister Tsipras’ office said in a statement, Reuters reported.

Greece is scheduled to make several payments to the IMF in the next few months. On May 1 €203 million is due, another €770 million on May 12, and about another €1.6 billion in June in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an artificial currency created by the IMF that the institution uses to give out extra funds. Continue reading »

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Apr 11

bis-bank-for-international-settlements-basel-switzerland

Meet The Secretive Group That Runs The World (ZeroHedge, April 11, 2015):

Over the centuries there have been many stories, some based on loose facts, others based on hearsay, conjecture, speculation and outright lies, about groups of people who “control the world.” Some of these are partially accurate, others are wildly hyperbolic, but when it comes to the historic record, nothing comes closer to the stereotypical, secretive group determining the fate of over 7 billion people, than the Bank of International Settlements, which hides in such plain sight, that few have ever paid much attention.

BIS committee

This is their story.

BIS table

First unofficial meeting of the BIS Board of Directors in Basel, April 1930

* * *

The following is an excerpt from TOWER OF BASEL: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World by Adam LeBor.  Reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs.

The world’s most exclusive club has eighteen members. They gather every other month on a Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in conference room E in a circular tower block whose tinted windows overlook the central Basel railway station. Their discussion lasts for one hour, perhaps an hour and a half. Some of those present bring a colleague with them, but the aides rarely speak during this most confidential of conclaves. The meeting closes, the aides leave, and those remaining retire for dinner in the dining room on the eighteenth floor, rightly confident that the food and the wine will be superb. The meal, which continues until 11 p.m. or midnight, is where the real work is done. The protocol and hospitality, honed for more than eight decades, are faultless. Anything said at the dining table, it is understood, is not to be repeated elsewhere. Continue reading »

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Apr 09

IMF Payment Sends Greek Yields Lower; Athens Warns “Next Month Is A Different Matter” (ZeroHedge, April 9, 2015):

A central bank official, according to The FT, said that Greece has repaid the €450m it owed the International Monetary Fund today. Bond yields have fallen across the Greek curve with 10Y GGBs now at 11.1% (down 70bps from Tuesday’s highs). Greek stocks are not as impressed and are giving back their gains. Tsipras, on return from Moscow, explained Greece “was not a beggar…asking other countries to solve its problem,” but as a senior Greek official earlier this week said that while it would be able to make Thursday’s IMF repayment, it will still exhaust its cash reserves very soon and “next month is a different matter.” HSBC points out that the real crisis point looms on the 12th May and FinMin Varoufakis warns the “asymmetric union” that they “have learned nothing from economic history.”

Greece Wins More ECB Emergency Cash (Bloomberg, April 9, 2015):

Greece secured an increase in emergency funding available to its banks as Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he’s confident of reaching an aid agreement with European partners this month.

The European Central Bank’s Governing Council raised the cap on Emergency Liquidity Assistance provided by the Bank of Greece by 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to 73.2 billion euros in a telephone conference on Thursday, said two people familiar with the discussion. That was more than the 700 million-euro increase granted last week. An ECB spokesman declined to comment. Continue reading »

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Apr 09

euro-coin

EUpocalypse Now?! Greece Demands WWII Reparations From Germany (The Corbett Report, April 7, 2015):

Regular readers of this column will remember when I “boldly” predicted that Syriza would change nothing regarding the Greek status quo and that those celebrating the party’s election win earlier this year were going to be as sorely disappointed as Obama’s “Hope & Change” cheerleaders. Actually, it wasn’t such a bold prediction for those who understand that the only meaningful changes that are ever going to happen are going to be structural changes implemented bottom-up in peer-to-peer decentralized economic systems that have nothing to do with regional currencies, central banks or deals with the IMF, but some people treated it as a bold prediction.

Sadly enough for the Greek people (with whom I truly do sympathize) that prediction was all too accurate. Since Syriza’s dramatic “no talks with the troika” rhetoric to their talks with the troika (oh, I’m sorry, the “Brussels Group“) to their inevitable complete cave-in (and re-cave-in) they have fallen all over themselves to make their payments to the banksters, complete all the bankster-assigned homework, and pledge their fealty to the banksters (in the only language the banksters understand, of course: fiat debt money and austerity conditions). And still, the banksters use every opportunity to remind Syriza and its supporters who’s really calling the shots in Athens (hint: it’s not Tsipras). Continue reading »

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