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 04

- Portugal’s Insolvent Banco Espirito Santo To Be Bailed Out, Existing Equity To Be Wiped Out (ZeroHedge, Aug, 3, 2014):

  • Portugal may use the Resolution Fund to recapitalize Banco Espirito Santo, Diario Economico reports, citing unidentified people linked to the process.
  • Resolution Fund may inject more than €3 billion
  • A “bad bank” may be created for the toxic assets of the credit portfolio
  • Solution aims to rescue Banco Espirito Santo without spending taxpayers’ money, and is being prepared by the government and the Bank of Portugal
  • From Aug. 4, Banco Espirito Santo will leave the stock market and will be 100% owned by the Resolution Fund, an entity created in 2012 and financed by Portuguese banks and by revenue from the special contribution that the banking sector pays the Portuguese state

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Jul 30

Banco Espirito Santo Plunges: Shareholder Meeting Cancelled Due To “Unexpected Facts” (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2014):

With all other operating holdcos having already declared bankruptcy, the anxiety over Banco Espirito Santo is growing (despite DE Shaw and Goldman Sachs recommending investors buy the shares). Despite Bank of Portugal reassurance last night that “BES is able to raise capital), the stock is plunging on news of “unexpected facts” this morning…

  • *BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO SAYS SHAREHOLDER MEETING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO “UNEXPECTED FACTS”
  • *BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO FALLS MORE THAN 13% IN LISBON TRADING

Remember, this is systemic (as the Portugues President has warned), and the contagion is potentially global… not “contained.” Continue reading »

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Jul 23

- Portugal President Admits Espirito Santo Failure Could Be Systemic As Another HoldCo Goes Bankrup (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

As RioForte joins its parent ESI in bankruptcy, in a strangely honest turn of events from a European leader, Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva warned on Monday that fallout from the financial troubles of the founding family of Banco Espirito Santo (BES) could affect the wider economy. With Portugal’s hope-strewn GDP growth expectations at only 0.9% for 2014, they do not have much room for disappointment before the nation (whose yields remain near record lows) double- or triple-dips back into recession. Silva concluded, “We cannot ignore that there will be some impact on the real economy,” which is odd given every talking-head has explained it is “contained” and “priced-in.”

Rioforte joins ESI in bankjruptcy…

  • *RIOFORTE SAYS IT SEEKS PROTECTION FROM CREDITORS
  • *RIOFORTE SAYS FILING IS LINKED TO DIFFICULTIES AT ESI

Just another default in the chain Continue reading »

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Jul 19

Holding Company Of Portugal’s 2nd Largest Bank Just Filed For Bankruptcy Protection (ZeroHedge, July 18, 2014):

Following this morning’s farce of huge investor demand and then Bank of Portugal’s Costa ‘hoping’ for demand from investors willing to pile more money on losing money into Espirito Santo, it appears things have escalated rapidly…

*ESPIRITO SANTO INTERNATIONAL SAYS IT CAN’T MEET OBLIGATIONS
*ES INTERNATIONAL APPLIES FOR `CONTROLLED MANAGEMENT’ REGIME UNDER LUXEMBOURG LAW

The “controlled management” application is the equivalent of declaring a breakup or controlled bankruptcy process (as we explained here). ESI is the ultimate HoldCo in the Banco Espirito Santo family.

 

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Jul 15

- The Next Domino: Espirito Santo Holding Company Preparing To File Bankruptcy (ZeroHedge, July 15, 2014):

While Banco Espirito Santo continues to exist on fumes and life support (that last ditch equity injection by Baupost a week ago may not have been Seth Klarman’s wisest investment), a key link in the Espirito Santo Holding Company structure is preparing to default. According to Reuters:

  • ESPÍRITO SANTO GROUPS HOLDING COMPANY RIOFORTE PREPARING TO FILE FOR CREDITOR PROTECTION IN LUXEMBOURG – SOURCES

For those confused, “creditor protection” =  bankruptcy.

Which one is RioForte again? We showed this handy org chart a few days ago, here it is again. Continue reading »

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Jul 12

Wile_E_Coyote-Dont_Look_Down

CEO Of Europe’s Largest Insurer Pops The Utopia Bubble: “Nothing Is Solved And Everybody Knows It” (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2014):

It’s one thing for a tinfoil fringe blog to repeat, month after month, that nothing in Europe has been fixed, that Draghi’s disastrous policies are merely concentraing and stockpiling even more unresolved problems – for now ignored courtesy of the gentle sprinkle of ZIRP, or rather NIRP “fairy dust” – and that just like Portugal showed panic can grip the entire continent literally overnight because everyone knows this. It is something entirely different for the CEO of Europe’s largest insurer to make the same statement.

From Bloomberg:

When asking Allianz SE’s chief investment officer about the euro area’s sovereign debt woes, be prepared for an emphatic response.

The fundamental problems are not solved and everybody knows it,” Maximilian Zimmerer said at Bloomberg LP’s London office. The “euro crisis is not over,” he said.

While extraordinary stimulus from the European Central Bank has encouraged investors to pile into the region’s government bonds this year, that’s not a sufficient remedy for Zimmerer, who oversees 556 billion euros ($757 billion) at Europe’s largest insurer. Countries are still building up their debt piles, and that’s storing up trouble for the future, he said.

Continue reading »

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Jul 10

- Futures Tumble, Bunds Soar To Record, Gold Surges As Europe Is Broken Again; Espirito Santo Halted (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):

But… but… the VIX said everything is ok, and European rates were the lowest they have been in centuries… How can something possibly go wrong?

It just did.

20140710_banco1

The scandal which we first reported yesterday, after observing the record collapse in the bonds of troubled Portuguese lender Espirito Santo International following the failure to make a bond payment, has quickly escalated and overnight went nuclear. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Always wanted to know the feeling of being in the eye of a monster hurricane?

Well, we all are in the eye of the biggest financial monster hurricane ever created, right now.

It’s already bad, but this is really nothing compared to what is coming.


- Frontrunning: July 10 (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):

  • Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
  • Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
  • French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
  • U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)… finds terabytes of porn
  • It’s Congress’ fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
  • Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
  • Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
  • Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Portugal’s Largest Bank Misses Bond Payment; Bonds Collapse (ZeroHedge, July 9, 2014):

Brussels, we have a problem. As we warned 6 weeks ago, Espirito Santo International SA – is in a “serious financial condition” according to a central bank driven external audit by KPMG identified “irregularities in its accounts.” Sure enough, the ‘ponzi-like’ maneuvers have left the bank unable to pay its bonds as Bloomberg reports bonds plunged to record lows after a parent company delayed payments on short-term notes. More importantly, given the divisively dependent nature of the domestic sovereign bond market (and hence the health of the EU) and its banking system, it is noteworthy that Portuguese bond risk has surged to 4 month highs with the biggest 2-day spike in a year. As one analyst noted, “The bigger question is whether the government will have to get involved,” leaving the EU taxpayer on the hook once again (for fear of M.A.D. threats) as most critically, it “will have to step in to prevent systemic repercussions?

20140709_ESP

As Bloomberg reports,

Banco Espirito Santo has been “adequately isolated” by the Bank of Portugal from the financial problems, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Luis Marques Guedes said on July 3. The bank was the only one of the three biggest publicly traded Portuguese lenders that didn’t request state aid after the country received a European Union-led bailout in May 2011. Continue reading »

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May 26
Snow closes roads in central Portugal

- Snow closes roads in central Portugal (The Portugal News, May 21, 2014):

While most of Portugal is currently experiencing strong winds and lower than average temperatures, residents in the Serra da Estrela in central Portugal have seen roads shut down due to heavy snow falls.

Access to the peak at Torre were cut on Tuesday evening and remained closed on Wednesday morning, local CDOS rescue services said.

The cooler weather is expected to last until Friday before clearing for a more spring-like weekend across Portugal.

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Feb 05

leviathan-to-eat-401k

- The Countdown to the Nationalization of Retirement Savings Has Begun (International Man – Casey Research, Feb 5, 2014):

Simply put, the new myRA program put forward by Obama is at best a sucker’s deal… or worse, it’s a first step toward the nationalization of private retirement savings. (Note: If you haven’t yet heard of myRA, I’d strongly suggest you read this excellent overview by my colleague Dan Steinhart.)

Even before the new myRA program was announced, there had been whispers about the need for the US government to assume some risk for US retirement accounts. That’s code for forced conversion of private retirement assets into government bonds.

Continue reading »

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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 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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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

- Latin American Countries Recall Ambassadors From Spain, France, Italy And Portugal Over Snowden “Neo-Colonial” Flap (ZeroHedge, July 13, 2013)

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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

- Meanwhile, In A (European) Galaxy Far, Far Away… (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2013):

Submitted by Bill Blain of Mint Partners,

Another day of fraught wonderment ahead of us. What does it all mean? China economic data increasingly suggests there is a serious problem, (that’s still a few points below crisis – but recent experience suggests the politics of mobs can turn ugly with surprising speed!). On the other hand, yesterday’s US auctions went swimmingly well – so we can all relax about the taper? Er.. no. And while Spain gets a cheeky 15-yr bond issue completed (driven on the back of a large single order we strongly suspect), the Italians then get downgraded because of the weakening economy, deteriorating competitiveness and 1.9% negative growth outlook… “You can’t make this stuff up,” comments Chris, my head of Govvie Trading. 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

- Airplane Of Bolivian President Denied Passage Over French, Portuguese Airspace Due To Snowden Suspicions (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2013):

Moments ago a rather surreal episode of international diplomacy, or rather lack thereof, took place when the airplane of Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria over suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, a claim Bolivian authorities denied. The reason: France and Portugal reportedly refused to allow the flight to cross their airspace due to concerns that Snowden may have been aboard the plane. It is what international law allows countries to deny their airspace to presidents of sovereign countries, when the only transgression is unproven speculation of harboring a whistleblower. Of course, with both insolvent countries bent over and in dire need of some all too precious Uncle Sam liquidity, we can see how they would do anything and everything to gain some favor with Obama.Per RT, David Choquehuanca, the Bolivian Foregin Minister, refuted the idea Snowden was on the plane, saying “we don’t know who invited this lie, but we want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”

Others in South America are also angry, with Ecuador foreign affairs minister Ricardo Patino taking the lead: Continue reading »

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Jun 12

- Europe’s EUR500 Billion Quasi-Quantitative Easing (ZeroHedge, June 12, 2013):

Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box, Five Eurozone countries now have loans for half a trillion Euros.

These members of the Euro currency union are receiving loans from the one of two bailout funds which are financed by the other 12 Eurozone members. On top of that are the emergency loans from the International Monetary fund (IMF) and bilateral loans from the solvent countries to the bankrupt nations. Continue reading »

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Jun 06

Related info:

- Bilderberg 2013: Full List Of Attendees

- British Taxpayers To Pay ‘MILLIONS’ Towards Secretive BILDERBERG Meeting Security


Conspiracy theorists claim it is a shadow world government. Former leading members tell the Telegraph it was the most useful meeting they ever went to and it was crucial in forming the European Union. Today, the Bilderberg Group meets in Britain.

- Bilderberg Group? No conspiracy, just the most influential group in the world (Telegraph, June 6, 2013):

“The abuse is terrible,” said Peter Mandelson, leading the walking party through the throng of protesters and carrying the group’s uniform orange ski jacket under his arm.

Amid the din, Peer Steinbruck, the former German Finance Minister, pointedly refused to break off his conversation with Thomas Enders, the head of defence giant EADS. Behind him, Eric Schmidt, the Google chairman, picked up the pace along the narrow road and kept his eyes fixed on the Suvretta hotel ahead. Franco Bernabe, the vice chairman of Rothschild Europe, grinned through the chorus of booing and chanting in German down megaphones, before ducking under the police tape and into the safety of the hotel’s grounds.

It was June 2011. Demonstrations were sweeping through the stricken eurozone, China and North Africa. And in tranquil St Moritz, high in the Swiss alps, half a dozen of the most powerful men in the West had taken a break from a weekend of intensive and strictly confidential debate to walk in the woods, when their paths crossed with the protesters who had come from around the world to keep an eye on them.

The gathering was entirely innocent, the walking party would insist. But what were they doing there?

No such encounters will take place in Watford this week, as the Bilderberg, the annual conference for 140 of the world’s most powerful, meet for four days at The Grove, a £300-a-night golf hotel close to the M25. The entire hotel has been booked out, and a high fence erected around the exclusion zone. Armed checkpoints have been set up on local roads, and locals must show their passports to enter their own driveways. The Home Office may foot the bill. A US news site dedicated to uncovering conspiracies had booked a room for last week but were told by phone not to turn up.

Continue reading »

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Jun 04

- 18 Signs That Massive Economic Problems Are Erupting All Over The Planet (Economic Collapse, June 2, 2013):

This is no time to be complacent.  Massive economic problems are erupting all over the globe, but most people seem to believe that everything is going to be just fine.  In fact, a whole bunch of recent polls and surveys show that the American people are starting to feel much better about how the U.S. economy is performing.  Unfortunately, the false prosperity that we are currently enjoying is not going to last much longer.  Just look at what is happening in Europe.  The eurozone is now in the midst of the longest recession that it has ever experienced.  Just look at what is happening over in Asia.  Economic growth in India is the lowest that it has been in a decade and the Japanese financial system is beginning to spin wildly out of control.  One of the only places on the entire planet where serious economic problems have not already erupted is in the United States, and that is only because we have “kicked the can down the road” by recklessly printing money and by borrowing money at an unprecedented rate.  Unfortunately, the “sugar high” produced by those foolish measures is starting to wear off.  We are going to experience a massive amount of economic pain along with the rest of the world – it is just a matter of time.

But for the moment, there are a lot of skeptics out there.

For the moment, there are a lot of people that are declaring that the problems of the past have been fixed and that we are heading for incredibly bright economic times ahead.

Unfortunately, those people appear to be purposely ignoring the economic horror that is breaking out all over the globe.

The following are 18 signs that massive economic problems are erupting all over the planet… Continue reading »

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Jun 03

- The Full List Of 2013′s Bilderberg Attendees (ZeroHedge, June 3, 2013):

The only thing more ominous for the world than a Hindenburg Omen sighting is a Bilderberg Group meeting. The concentration of politicians and business leaders has meant the organisation, founded at the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem in 1954, has faced accusations of secrecy. Meetings take place behind closed doors, with a ban on journalists. We suspect the agenda (how the US and Europe can promote growth, the way ‘big data’ is changing ‘almost everything’, the challenges facing the continent of Africa, and the threat of cyber warfare) has been somewhat re-arranged as market volatility picks up and the status quo begins to quake once again.  The annual gathering of the royalty, statesmen, and business leaders, conspiratorially believed to run the world (snubbing their Illuminati peers and Freemason fellows), will take place this week at the Grove Hotel in London, England.

The Telegraph provides the full list of attendees below – for those autogrpah seekers – including Britain’s George Osborne, US’ Henry Kissinger, Peter Sutherland (the chairman of Goldman Sachs), the Fed’s Kevin Warsh, Jeff Bezos?, Peter Thiel, Italy’s Mario Monti, and Spain’s de Guindos.

Bilderberg delegates in full

  • Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
  • Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
  • Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
  • Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
  • Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc Continue reading »

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Apr 30

- 20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe (Economic Collapse, April 29, 2013):

The next Great Depression is already happening – it just hasn’t reached the United States yet.  Things in Europe just continue to get worse and worse, and yet most people in the United States still don’t get it.  All the time I have people ask me when the “economic collapse” is going to happen.  Well, for ages I have been warning that the next major wave of the ongoing economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.  In fact, both Greece and Spain already have levels of unemployment that are greater than anything the U.S. experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Pay close attention to what is happening over there, because it is coming here too.  You see, the truth is that Europe is a lot like the United States.  We are both drowning in unprecedented levels of debt, and we both have overleveraged banking systems that resemble a house of cards.  The reason why the U.S. does not look like Europe yet is because we have thrown all caution to the wind.  The Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow and the U.S. government is savagely destroying the future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have by stealing more than 100 million dollars from them every single hour of every single day.  We have gone “all in” on kicking the can down the road even though it means destroying the future of America.  But the alternative scares the living daylights out of our politicians.  When nations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy tried to slow down the rate at which their debts were rising, the results were absolutely devastating.  A full-blown economic depression is raging across southern Europe and it is rapidly spreading into northern Europe.  Eventually it will spread to the rest of the globe as well.

The following are 20 signs that the next Great Depression has already started in Europe… Continue reading »

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Apr 13

-The Entire Economy Is a Ponzi Scheme (ZeroHedge, April 13, 2013):

Bill Gross, Nouriel Roubini, Laurence Kotlikoff, Steve Keen, Michel Chossudovsky, the Wall Street Journal and many others say that our entire economy is a Ponzi scheme.

Former Reagan budget director David Stockman just agreed:


YouTube Added: 10.04.2013

So did a top Russian con artist and mathematician.

Even the New York Times’ business page asked, “Was [the] whole economy a Ponzi scheme?

In fact – as we’ve noted for 4 years (and here and here) – the banking system is entirely insolvent. And so are most countries. The whole notion of one country bailing out another country is a farce at this point. The whole system is insolvent.

As we noted last year: Continue reading »

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Apr 07

- Portugal Considers Paying Public Workers In Treasury Bills Instead Of Cash (ZeroHedge, April 7, 2013):

As reported late on Friday, just as the market closed, the Portuguese constitutional court decided that several provisions of the country’s 2013 budget were not constitutional. According to the high court, cuts in wages and pensions of public employees were unfair (there’s that word again) because they targeted only the public sector. The court rejected plans to cut one of the 14 paychecks that public workers usually get each year and to slash 6.4% from pensions for retirees.  This coincided with the government warning that the court’s decision would put into question the country’s ability to fulfill its €78 billion international bailout program, which in turn would send bondholders of Portuguese sovereign debt scrambling for the exits as suddenly the country may find itself in the ECB’s “dunce” corner, with Draghi preparing to pull a “Berlusconi” on a government which can’t even whip its judicial branch in line. However, of more immediate concern is how will the government now plug a hole of up to €1.3 billion in its €5.3 billion 2013 budget. A solution has, luckily, presented itself: bypass the unconstitutional provisions by paying government workers not in cash, but in government bills! From the WSJ:

The Portuguese government is considering a plan to pay public workers and pensioners one month of their salary in treasury bills rather than cash after a high court ruled out wage cuts, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday.

Continue reading »

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Mar 30

- Betray Your Bank Before Your Bank Betrays You (Bloomberg, March 28, 2013):

What’s a Slovenian with several hundred thousand euros in the bank supposed to do? Spread it out among at least a few different banks, that’s what. Or move the money out of the country, while it’s still possible.

Imagine what must be on the minds of any savvy depositors still left at Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d., now 79 percent- owned by Slovenia’s government. It was one of only four lenders in October that failed the European Banking Authority’s latest capital-adequacy test, a ritual best known for how lax its standards are. One that flunked was Bank of Cyprus Pcl, where uninsured depositors face 40 percent losses as part of the country’s bailout terms. Another was Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, also known as Laiki Bank, where uninsured deposits will fare far worse and the bank is being shut.

Cypriot banks’ customers were complacent after uninsured deposits went unscathed in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal, the first euro-area countries to seek international rescues. Slovenians won’t have that excuse should their country be next.

Continue reading »

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Mar 26

- EUR Fades As Portugal Admits Cyprus Deal “Sets Precedent” – (UPDATE – Denied) (ZeroHedge, March 26, 2013):

UPDATE: Well that didn’t take long – The Portuguese Finance minister just denied his earlier comments and added that the Cyprus deal is NOT a template for future actions (EURUSD doesn’t believe him).

  • *GASPAR SAYS CYPRUS DEAL NOT A `TEMPLATE’ FOR OTHER COUNTRIES

The shambles continues in Europe. This morning we saw a plethora of EU officials explaining how the Cyprus ‘deal’ is a unique, one-of-a-kind debacle helping to talk back #DieselBoom‘s mis-words, only to have their credibility destroyed by the actual transcript and his actual words. Then we get the fact that a new EU-wide bill on deposit bail-ins is introduced… and now the Portuguese finance minister has added to the dysphoria by explaining that, “the Cyprus deal sets Euro precedent on deposit protection,” and we therefore assume on deposit impairment. It seems EURUSD also sees this…

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Mar 16

- For Everyone Shocked By What Just Happened… And Why This Is Just The Beginning (Zerohedge, March 16, 2013)

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