* * *
Having cornered the central banker market, with its alumni manning key positions at most central banks, Goldman has decided to tip its cards into its next zone of interest: geopolitics, and has done so by hiring none other than the former head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker’s predecessor and one-time Nigel Farage nemesis, Jose Manuel Barroso as an advisor and non-executive chairman of its international business.
Barroso served as president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, from 2004 to 2014 and was prime minister of Portugal from 2002 to 2004.
Here we go again …
Unless they are tilting at windmills, the rhetoric this morning from Ukraine’s defense minister is the strongest and most actionable yet. Via his Facebook page, Valeriy Galetey accused Russia of “open aggression,” and explained that:
- *RUSSIA SHIFTED TO ‘FULL-SCALE’ INVASION OF DONBAS, GELETEY SAYS
- *UKRAINE HALTS ATTEMPTS TO DISLODGE REBELS: DEFENSE MINISTER
- *UKRAINE SHIFTS FOCUS TO HALTING RUSSIAN INVASION, GELETEY SAYS
Earlier in the morning, US Senator Bob Menendez said he has “no doubt Russia has invaded Ukraine,” and following Ukraine requests for assistance from Europe and US, NATO responded by noting a reaction force or 3-5,000 can be ready in 48 hours.
– EU leaders draw up plans to send gas to Ukraine if Russia cuts off supply (Guardian, March 7, 2014):
Europe braced for possible battle with Moscow after Gazprom threatens to cut off gas supply if Ukraine does not pay bill
EU leaders are rapidly drawing up plans to send some of their stocks of Russian gas back to Ukraine and other eastern European countries that need it, if Vladimir Putin reacts to western sanctions over the Crimea crisis by starving the continent of energy.
Russia’s largest gas producer, Gazprom, said on Friday that Kiev had missed a deadline to pay $440m for gas received in February and threatened to cut off the country’s supply if it did not make the payment.
– The Chart That Shows Why EU’s Barroso Is A Liar (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2014):
Despite record levels of unemployment across Europe (most specifically among the youth), record high (and surging) levels of loan delinquencies, and collapsing credit creation, the leaders of the EU continue to peddle their own brand of dis-information and willful blindness. While UKIP’s Nigel Farage tongue-lashings are normally enough, EU’s Barroso this morning unleashed the following:
- *EU’S BARROSO SAYS ECONOMIC GROWTH ‘SLOWLY RETURNING’
- *EU’S BARROSO SAYS EU AT TURNING POINT IN CRISIS
However, as the following chart of earnings estimated for European firms shows, there is absolutely none, zero, nada sign on a ‘turning point’ and, as we have noted previously, unless the EUR weakens significantly, Europe will rapidly dip back into re-re-recession once again.
– Rampapalooza As Cyprus-Troika Reach Deal (Updates) (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2013):
UPDATE: It appears the ‘deal’ to default/restructure the banks has been designed to bypass the need for parliamentary votes, since it is theoretically not a tax.
While we have little color on what kind of carnage the President of Cyprus had to accept to his fellow countrymen, the news is that :
- *CYPRUS, TROIKA REACH AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE, EU OFFICIAL SAYS
- *DEAL MADE AT DINNER WITH DRAGHI, LAGARDE, VAN ROMPUY, BARROSO
The terms, unsurprisingly what zee Germans wanted, are:
i) Laiki to be wound down;
ii) Bank of Cyprus to survive but with deposit haircuts, and
iii) deal would see secured deposits in Laiki moved to Bank of Cyprus.
In other words, a deal far worse then the original on proposed by the Eurogroup last week – when the banks still existed. The key appears to be the ‘saving’ of the insured depositors (crucial to avoid a pan-European bank run) and the crushing of the ‘whale’ depositors.
– The euro crisis is over, declares José Manuel Barroso (Guardian, Jan 7, 2013):
The euro has been saved and the euro crisis is a thing of the past, European commission president José Manuel Barroso has declared.
But his optimistic comments and the prospect of looser rules for banks failed to lift markets, which ended a strong run of recent gains.
“I think we can say that the existential threat against the euro has essentially been overcome,” Barroso said in Lisbon. “In 2013 the question won’t be if the euro will, or will not, implode,” he said.
Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute, at the Marriott Hotel in Munich, Germany, on November 3rd, 2012. Celente was holding a presentation later on on the Internationale Edelmetall- und Rohstoffmesse, the largest precious metals conference in Europe. You can find Gerald Celente at trendsresearch.com and trendsjournal.com.
YouTube Added: 25.10.2012
– Nigel Farage On The Total Subjugation Of Europe (ZeroHedge, Oct 23, 2012):
Forget black swans, Nigel Farage is rapidly turning himself into the black sheep of the EU Parliament with his constant stream of truthiness and honest pragmatism. It seems the broadly nodding-donkeys that fill the chamber remain cognitively dissonant to any and everything in the real world – hanging instead on the next soundbite from Van Rompuy or Barroso on how well things are going, or how the crisis is ‘almost’ over. If only the Germans would bless them all with their money. In one his plainest-speaking rants, Farage provides clarity to his ‘peers’ on just exactly what the bailouts of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and soon to be Spain and Italy are actually about – the “total subjugation of the states to a completely undemocratic structure in Brussels.” Is it any wonder Samaras and crew – while happy to accept cash and make promises – are pulling away from yet another (this time is the last time) Troika-driven austerity push? “The euro-zone is in a very dark place; economically, socially, and politically.”
Some mind-blowing quotes in here as Farage refers to the leaders of Italy and Spain and their remarkable nonsense…
Listen to the entire 3:30 – it is frightening just what is occurring on the ground across the pond from a US nation with eyes only for the election for now…
YouTube Added: 23.09.2012
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage full speech at the UKIP 2012 Conference
– Former ECB Chief Economist Says ECB Is In Panic, As Czech President Warns The End Of Democracy Is Imminent (ZeroHedge, Sep 22, 2012):
If anyone thought the bad blood between Germany and the rest of the insolvent proletariat, aka the part of the Eurozone which is out of money (most of it), and which has been now confirmed will be supporting Obama (one wonders what the quid for that particular quo is, although we are certain we will find out as soon as December), complete collapse of the Greek neo-vassal state of the globalist agenda notwithstanding, had gone away, here comes former ECB chief economist Juergen Stark to dispel such illusions. In an interview with Austrian Die Presse, the former banker said what everyone without a PhD understands quite well: “The break came in 2010. Until then everything went well…”Then the ECB began to take on a new role, to fall into panic…. Together with other central banks, the ECB is flooding the market, posing the question not only about how the ECB will get its money back, but also how the excess liquidity created can be absorbed globally. “It can’t be solved by pressing a button. If the global economy stabilises, the potential for inflation has grown enormously… It gave in to outside pressure … pressure from outside Europe” Why, whichever bank headquartered at 200 West, NY, NY might he be referring to?
He added that “panic” about the eurozone breaking up was “nonsense” but that the only way to end the crisis was for member states to bring down their debts and implement structural reforms to boost economic growth.
“Governments have recognised that returning to budgetary discipline is indispensable. Markets focus much more on whether states will be able to service their debts in five years’ time,” he said.
Mr Stark quit in late 2011, following in the footsteps of former Bundesbank head Axel Weber, who stepped down earlier in the year from Germany’s central bank because of unease about the ECB’s policies.
Mr Weber’s successor Jens Weidmann was the only member of the ECB’s policy-setting governing council to vote against the bank’s new programme earlier this month.
“Weidmann’s arguments … should not be made light of,” Mr Stark told Die Presse. “The way in which his position has been publicly commented upon by the ECB leadership has crossed the line of fairness.”
And speaking of continuing takeover of the world by a few not so good banks, a loud warning that the advent of globalist influences (i.e., bankers) is taking over Europe and that the “destruction of Europe’s democracy is in its final phase” comes not from some European (or American… or Zimbabwean) fringe blog, but from the 71 year old president of the Czech Republic, someone who certainly knows about the difference between communism and democracy, Vaclav Klaus. In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, “Václav Klaus warns that “two-faced” politicians, including the Conservatives, have opened the door to an EU superstate by giving up on democracy, in a flight from accountability and responsibility to their voters. “We need to think about how to restore our statehood and our sovereignty. That is impossible in a federation. The EU should move in an opposite direction,” he said.”
– Farage’s Berating Rebuttal Of Barosso’s ‘State-Of-The-Union’ Banalities (ZeroHedge, Sep 12, 2012):
MEP Nigel Farage provided a much-needed dose of reality to the peculiar pontifications of Barroso’s state of the union speech last night. Concerned at the fanaticism of Europe’s ever more concentrated power-base, summed up by his interpretation of Barroso’s call for a federal union of states (cue Darth Vader music): “while the nation state should continue to exist, it mustn’t have any democratic power,” the Englishman goes on to deride Mario Draghi’s unlimited money bazooka – though we suspect Farage’s belief that “money doesn’t grow on trees” will soon come into question day after day. Super Mario as much as implied that he “will fight to the last German taxpayer to keep the Mediterranean countries, that should never have been in the Euro, in there,” but for a sense of just how ludicrous things are becoming in the EU, this clip is important as he reminds us of Monti’s (monstrous Mario) recent statement that “nation-state democracy will bring down the European Union.” Farage fears this rumbling facade over a crisis could go on for a decade, we can only hope not – one way or another.
Barroso’s 6100-word SOTU Wordcloud – need…political…union…states…
– Farage On The ‘Scientology-Like’ Cult Of The Euro (ZeroHedge, July 13, 2012):
In an extended discussion with various pro- and con- European Parliamentarians, everyone’s favorite (well, most forthright, for sure) British MEP, Nigel Farage, opined on entering the hallowed halls of Europe’s Hogwarts-like hub in Brussels that he is surprised:
“After five (soon to be six) nations already bailed out, that so few people inside these institutions are even prepared to contemplate that there might be something wrong with the Euro project”
adding that he feels that:
“he is surrounded by some weird cult – that, even after disaster, continue to believe”
the longer interview:
YouTube Added. 19.06.2012
– Farage On Barroso: “He’s A Deluded Communist Idiot” (ZeroHedge, June 20, 2012):
Commenting on the incredible circle-jerk that Europe (sovereign-to-banking-system) has become, the outspoken UKIP MEP Nigel Farage exclaimed to FOX Business in this best-ever-rant clip that “The whole thing is a giant Ponzi scheme, isn’t it?” Goaded somewhat by the interviewer’s questions citing Barroso’s intimation that the US is to blame for Europe’s problems, Farage opines that “Barroso is a deluded idiot” and a communist who supported Chairman Mao. The contagion effect from the US financial crisis did have impacts on Europe, there is no doubt, but as the frustrated Farage notes: the reason the Euro is in the state it is in is that they put together a completely artificial currency with countries that never fitted together on top of which was added a regulatory cost burden through excess regulation on the environment and employment legislation that is driving parts of Europe towards being a third world country; “America, you are not to blame”. The clip goes on to discuss the circular bailout fantasy, the taxpayer burden leading to a democratic revolution, and at the end of the day “this whole thing is going bust” as the likable libertarian notes that European leaders believe that “well-educated bureaucrats know better than we the poor peasants how best our lives should be led” which is the same path that led to the economic and social crash-and-burn in the Soviet Union.
An Epic Rant…
YouTube Added: 18.04.2012
– Nigel Farage Batters Barroso But Noyer Self-Deludes On European Crisis Ending (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2012):
Juxtaposing the market’s recent movements, Nigel Farage’s ‘when-not-if’ perspective on the end of the Euro, Weidmann’s concerns, and now ECB’s Noyer stunning self-delusion that, as Bloomberg notes:
*NOYER SAYS STEPS TO EXIT EURO CRISIS BEGINNING TO BEAR FRUIT
*NOYER: BANK FUNDING, MONEY MARKET CONDITIONS ARE MUCH BETTER
*NOYER: RECENT EXCEPTIONAL STEPS LET BANKS, GOV’TS STRENGTHEN
*WEIDMANN: RENEGOTIATION OF AUSTERITY A ‘BLOW TO CREDIBILITY’
is more than some can bear. As Mr.Farage notes, in the face of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Europe, Barroso and his colleague’s ever-smiling perspective on the Euro, “look ridiculous”. With Spanish yields over 6%, banks trading at near record high levels of funding costs, Italian risk elevating, political event risk becoming critical, and now macro data turning even worse perhaps Noyer’s comments that “delaying fiscal consolidation may lead to greater risks” are spot on – and yet nation after nation rises-up votes to ‘deny’ austerity.
– ‘All final salary pension schemes will close under new EU rules’ (Telegraph, Feb. 14, 2012):
Many businesses could also be pushed into insolvency by European pension proposals, risking significant job losses, three industry bodies have warned.
In a letter to José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, ahead of EU directives due this week, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warned that the new rules would have a disastrous impact.
“By demanding dramatic increases in funding from employers, the commission’s plans would – at best – force all remaining defined benefit schemes to close and – at worst – push many businesses into insolvency, leading to significant job losses,” they wrote.
Taxpayer money at work!
Rivalry between the EU president Herman Van Rompuy and the European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, whose title is also president, over who is Europe’s true leader on the world stage meant that the pair and their entourages, would not share one aircraft.
Mr Van Rompuy, Belgium’s former prime minister before he took the EU post, did not offer Mr Barroso space on an aircraft supplied to him by the Belgian air force at cheap rates.
Instead, Mr Barroso was forced to charter a 15-seater plane, said to be a Learjet, at high commercial rates to carry himself, Baroness Ashton, the EU’s trade commissioner and a group of officials to Russia.
Air Charter Service, a London based company, estimated the cost of Mr Barroso’s Brussels to Russia air taxi would be between £50,000 and £70,000.
Meanwhile, Mr Van Rompuy, accompanied by fewer than 15 officials, travelled in a 35-seat Embraer 135 jet, charged only at the cost of the aircraft’s fuel consumption. Both planes left Brussels within four hours of each other for Nizhny Novgorod in the Volga-Vyatka region of Russia to hold talks on behalf of the EU with President Dmitry Medvedev.
The European Commission and Mr Van Rompuy’s office defended the arrangement by saying that the EU’s two most senior officials were too busy to co-ordinate their diaries and too important to travel in one aircraft.
From the article: “… a well-covered auction of €1.25bn of Portuguese debt…”
That said, with fundamentals no longer relevant, the only catalysts the market is concerned about for the next several days will be the plethora of bond auctions with Portugal coming to market tomorrow, followed promptly by Spain. Both are expected to price their issues at or near all time wide levels, which explains why the ECB has been in the market all day today, buying up every piece of paper available in an attempt to stabilize the market ahead of tomorrow.
Jose Barroso, head of the European Commission, called on EU leaders to boost the firepower of the EU’s €440bn (£366bn) bail-out fund and beef up its role, allowing it to intervene with pre-emptive bond purchases to help states under threat.
“It is important for the markets to know that Eurozone leaders are committed to do whatever is necessary,” he said, hoping for action as soon as early February.
He also proposed a “new phase of European integration” with far-reaching oversight of the budgets, pensions, labour markets, and trade flows of EU states to prevent a recurrence of the imbalances that led to the EMU debt crisis.
Mr Barroso said the fund boost was a “precautionary” move, not directed at any one country. The gambit is risky since it may be taken by investors as a sign that Brussels fears imminent contagion to Spain, deemed too big for the current fund.