Dec 06

- Italy’s credit rating lowered by S&P (The Local, Dec 6, 2014):

Standard & Poor’s on Friday lowered Italy’s credit rating by one notch on concerns about weak growth and increasing debt while maintaining a stable outlook.

S&P dropped Italy’s long and short-term sovereign credit rating to ‘BBB-/A-3′ from ‘BBB/A-2′, the ratings agency said in a statement. Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Flashback:

- Vladimir Putin Lashes Out At America For Killing Gaddafi And Backing Protests


- West’s action in Libya in 2011 was a ‘mistake’ – Italy’s foreign ministry (RT, Dec 5, 2014):

Western countries made a ‘mistake’ three years ago, when they intervened in Libya to overthrow the Gaddafi regime, according to Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The statement came amid reports of the US discussing airstrikes on Libya’s territory.

Three years ago we might have made a mistake, when international forces interfered without thinking through the scenario, what will happen afterwards. Italian voice was too weak,” Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni said in a TV interview with national broadcaster RAI, as quoted by Tass news agency. Continue reading »

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Nov 15

- Italy’s Grillo Rages “We Are Not At War With ISIS Or Russia, We Are At War With The ECB” (ZeroHedge, Nov 14,  2014):

Next week, Italy’s Beppe Grillo – the leader of the Italian Five Star Movement – will start collecting signatures with the aim of getting a referendum in Italy on leaving the euro “as soon as possible,” just as was done in 1989. As Grillo tells The BBC in this brief but stunning clip, “we will leave the Euro and bring down this system of bankers, of scum.” With two-thirds of Parliament apparently behind the plan, Grillo exclaims “we are dying, we need a Plan B to this Europe that has become a nightmare –  and we are implementing it,” raging that “we are not at war with ISIS or Russia! We are at war with the European Central Bank,” that has stripped us of our sovereignty.

 

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Nov 06

Globe-Earth-World

- The Economy Of The Largest Superpower On The Planet Is Collapsing Right Now (Economic Collapse, Nov 5, 2014):

How do you fix a superpower with exploding levels of debt, that has a rapidly aging population, that consumes far more wealth than it produces, and that has scores of zombie banks that could collapse at any moment.  You might think that I am talking about the United States, but I am actually talking about Europe.  You see, the truth is that the European Union has a larger population than the United States does, it has a larger economy than the United States does, and it has a much larger banking system than the United States does.  Most of the time I write about the horrible economic problems that the U.S. is facing, but without a doubt economic conditions in Europe are even worse at the moment.  In fact, there are many (including the Washington Post) that are calling what is happening in Europe a full-blown “depression”.  Sadly, this is probably only just the beginning.  In the months to come things in Europe are likely to get much worse. Continue reading »

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Oct 28

- When Stress Tests Fail – Italian Banks Are Collapsing (ZeroHedge, Oct 27, 2014):

Despite the ban on short-sales – which has never worked in the past to do anything but instil fear in traders’ holding long positions – Italian banks are in free-fall following the utter failure of Draghi’s stress tests to encourage confidence in the European banking system.

  • INTESA, UBI, UNICREDIT, MONTE PASCHI SUSPENDED IN MILAN, LIMIT DOWN

Given the post-“whatever-it-takes” world of domestic sovereign bond-buying, it is no surprise that Italian govvie risk is jumping higher and the FTSEMIB is plunging.

“A relief rally would not be justified,” said Michael Woischneck, a portfolio manager at Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. “There are still a lot of problems to fix, and Italian banks still have a lot of work to do. Even for the banks that passed, what is there to be relieved about? They still have to find a business model and figure out how to get unanswered questions that a stress test just cannot answer.”

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Oct 26

Hundreds of thousands rally in Rome in protest over ‘anti-job’ reforms (PHOTOS) (RT, Oct 25, 2014):

Protesters from all over Italy have packed the streets of Rome to express their anger at labor market reforms, one of the main building blocks of the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s policy.

Up to 1 million people flooded the streets of the Italian capital, the organizers of the rally said. Up to 300,000 more participants were set to arrive in Rome throughout the day to take part in the protests, including a boat and two chartered planes from Sardinia.

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Oct 24

- ‘They said I have Ebola’: Angry bus passengers attack Guinean woman in Rome (RT, Oct 23, 2014):

A Guinean woman has been attacked in a bus in Rome by angry passengers who told her she was infected by Ebola and had to get off the bus, Italian media reports. She was taken to hospital suffering from multiple bruises.

Fataomata Sompare, 26, was about to get off the bus on Monday, said Il Messaggero, an Italian newspaper, as cited by the Local.

A teenage girl who was on the bus with her friends saw Sompare and began accusing her of having the deadly virus. Then some of the teen’s relatives started beating the woman. Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- Kudos To Herr Weidmann For Uttering Three Truths In One Speech (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Oct 17, 2014):

Once in a blue moon officials commit truth in public, but the intrepid leader of Germany’s central bank has delivered a speech which let’s loose of three of them in a single go. Speaking at a conference in Riga, Latvia, Jens Weidmann put the kibosh on QE, low-flation and central bank interference in pricing of risky assets.

These days the Keynesian chorus in favor of policy activism is so boisterous that a succinct statement to the contrary rarely gets through – especially at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street yarn factory. But here’s what penetrated even Brian Blackstone’s filters:

“The biggest bottleneck for growth in the euro area is not monetary policy, nor is it the lack of fiscal stimulus: it is the structural barriers that impede competition, innovation and productivity,” he said.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

- Strange Liaisons? Putin Visits Berlusconi’s Home At 3am After Warning Merkel Of Gas Squeeze (ZeroHedge, Oct 17, 2014):

It appears Bunga-Bunga boy still has something to offer the international elite. After a lengthy meeting with Germany’s Angela Merkel (at a hotel in Milan) where Putin warned of “big transit risks” in delivery of Europe’s gas as Ukraine is “starting to siphon off our gas from the export pipeline,” and threatening to respond by “reducing flows by the amount stolen;” Putin decided the place to be was 78-year-old Berlusconi’s house at 3am. Finally, it is worth noting that Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was scheduled to meet with Frau Merkel this morning – we assume to plead his case for why gas transit should flow through his nation (and beg for some more support).

As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »

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Oct 16

Reality is still the same, only the GDP figures are different.

Mission accomplished!


hookers-drugs-italy-recession

- Sex, drugs and…Hookers and dope bring Italy out of recession (RT, Oct 15, 2014):

Illegal economic activities such as drugs and prostitution are apparently responsible for having lifted Italy out of economic recession. EU data calculations have demonstrated that the black market has significantly boosted GDP figures.

Italy is technically no longer in economic recession because of the addition of figures from illegal activities.

Continue reading »

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Aug 29

- ‘TTIP agreement is an attack on people, society and environment in both Europe and the US’ (RT, Aug 28, 2014):

In TTIP talks the US and the EU are working on behalf of big businesses trying to attack the most prized social and environmental standards that people have fought for years to uphold and develop, executive director of War on Want John Hilary told RT.

RT: Italy has written to its EU partners calling for the details of talks on the vast trade deal with the United States to be made public. What do you think about this initiative?

John Hilary: I think it is a very important initiative on the part of Italy because we have been told that the details of the EU-US trade deal are completely secret. They have put a 30-year ban on all the key documents that we would like to see to really open up the heart of these negotiations. The main [thing] what Italy is calling for here is absolutely right: there needs to be a great deal of transparency to shed light on that moment, to the completely secret negotiations. The problem really is though that Italy is only asking for a particular piece of information to be made public, which actually has been leaked many months ago. So in a way they are trying to deal with something which is no longer an issue. The key documents that we need to see are the US documents, which are completely and utterly barred to all members of the public. Continue reading »

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Aug 15

Reserve Currency Status

- 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

Continue reading »

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Aug 09

- Online petition urges ‘Nuremberg for Israel’ over ‘genocide of Palestinians’ (RT, Aug 6, 2014)

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Aug 09

- Italy Moves Into Recession & the End of Democracy (Armstrong Economics, Aug 7, 2014):

Italy has entered that phase of zero-point growth. Italy’s people have been beaten by Europe and no longer expect recovery. But then, yesterday, the Statistical Office of the economic data for the second quarter of 2014 released economic numbers that ??froze a dumb look even on the faces of the hardcore pessimists. For the second time this year, Italy experienced a slump of its gross domestic product by 0.3% year on year. The economic data is so bad to the point it has not been seen for 14 years, that everyone no matter what side of the political fence is whispering or shouting the same world – “Recession!”

Italy-GDP

The advantage of Italy and its legendary corruption has been its equally inefficient government that has allowed the people to just ignore it and get along with life in the real world of the underground economy. When you look at the numbers at the gross level, one cannot imagine how Italy has functioned economically. However, looking closer one sees the vibrant underground economy that has allowed the people to make their own living and still prices, taxes and debt per capita are much lower than everywhere else in Europe, Italy’s real problem – it joined the Euro which did not benefit the Italians and only increased their national debt in “real terms” as the Euro rallied to excessively high levels in this wave of deflation. Continue reading »

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Aug 07

Italy

- The European “Recovery” Is Over: Italy “Unexpectedly” Enters Triple-Dip Recession (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2014):

Goodbye European recovery, we hardly knew you. It must have come as a huge shock to all hypnotized lemmings aka “sophisticated investors” who have been following the manipulated, artificial yields in the Italian 10Y relentlessly declining and thus suggesting at least some economic stability, when an hour ago instead of reporting a 0.1% increase for its Q2 GDP as widely expected, Italy “unexpectedly” reported a sequential contraction of -0.2% down from a -0.1% drop in Q1, and officially the start of yet another, its third since Lehman, recession. Then again, considering Italy’s youth unemployment of over 40% just hit a record high, we use the term “unexpectedly” rather loosely.

 

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Jul 28

- The Italian Government Owes Over $100 Billion To Private Suppliers (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2014):

Much has been said in the popular press about Italy’s surprising economic recovery (which based on recent data is starting to lose steam), as well as its much improved fiscal picture (even if the country’s public debt hits record highs quarter after quarter and the bad debt within its banking system just rose by 24% from the prior year, to €169 billion the highest since 1998). Little has been said about just how Italy managed to pull this economic miracle off. The answer: robbing private suppliers to pay Paul, or rather, the public sector.

According to Reuters, the Italian state owes some 75 billion euros ($102 billion)to private suppliers, as reported by the Bank of Italy. The unpaid bills have starved companies of cash and triggered layoffs, factory closures and bankruptcies.

Continue reading »

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Jul 15

putin smile

- 9 EU countries ready to block economic sanctions against Russia (RT, July 15, 2014):

France, Germany, and Italy are among EU members who don’t want to follow the US lead and impose trade sanctions on Russia. US sanctions are seen as a push to promote its own multibillion free-trade pact with Europe.

“France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, and EU President Italy see no reason in the current environment for the introduction of sectorial trade and economic sanctions against Russia and at the summit, will block the measure,” a diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS. Continue reading »

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Jun 25

GOT FOOD?


polar-bear

- “Megablizzard” forecast for eastern Australia (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

“Best snowfalls in a decade.” Maybe the “storm of the century.”

- Aleutian volcanoes waking up (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

Five volcanoes now simultaneously active, the most activity in 26 years.

- Record snowfall in Norway (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

First time since records began that snow has been recorded in June.

- Surprise Snowstorm Clobbers Rockies (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

June 20, 2014 – “A bizarre June snowstorm hit Glacier National Park in Montana and parts of Utah and Idaho this week,

- Confirmed – Earth’s protective magnetic shield is weakening (Ice Age Now, June 22, 2014):

The most dramatic declines are occurring over the Western Hemisphere, says European Space Agency. Continue reading »

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May 22

From the article:

The punchline:

Therefore Renzi will have a greater margin this year to spend” without breaching the deficit limit, he said.


- Hookers And Blow: How Changing The Definition Of GDP Officially Jumped The Shark (ZeroHedge, May 22, 2014):

A year ago it was the US which first “boosted” America’s GDP by $500 billion – literally out of thin air – when it arbitrarily decided to include “intangibles” to the components that ‘make up’ GDP (in the process cutting over 5% from the US Debt/GDP ratio). Then Spain joined the fray. Then Greece. Then the UK. Then Nigeria, which showed those deveoped Keynesian basket cases how it is really done, when it doubled the size of its GDP overnight when it decided to change the base year of its GDP calculations. Now it is Italy’s turn, and like everything else Italy does, this latest “revision” of the definition of GDP easily wins in the style points category. As Bloomberg reports, “Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year.” Yup: blow and hookers. And that, ladies and gents, how it’s done. Continue reading »

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May 11

- Angela Merkel On The Ledge: “This Is Not Fair… I Am Not Going To Commit Suicide” (ZeroHedge, May 11, 2014):

What is most remarkable about the following detailed FT profile of the Cannes November 3-4, 2011 G-20 summit (when Europe, knowing well virtually every other option had been exhausted and was forced to grovel for Chinese cash)…

cannes 2011_0

…is not that Obama, facing an election and fearful of what a Eurozone disintegration and depression would mean to the US economy and more importantly, to his re-election chances,  managed to bring German chancellor Angela Merkel to tears, which he did…

To the astonishment of almost everyone in the room, Angela Merkel began to cry.

Das ist nicht fair.” That is not fair, the German chancellor said angrily, tears welling in her eyes. “Ich bringe mich nicht selbst um.” I am not going to commit suicide.

For those who witnessed the breakdown in a small conference room in the French seaside resort of Cannes, it was shocking enough to watch Europe’s most powerful and emotionally controlled leader brought to tears.

But the scene was even more remarkable, those present said, for the two objects of her ire: the man sitting next to her, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the other across the table, US President Barack Obama. Continue reading »

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