Aug 23

- Citi Sees Greek Exit As Soon As September (ZeroHedge, Aug 22, 2012)

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Aug 20


YouTube Added: 15.08.2012

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Aug 17

- The Portuguese Run Out Of Gold To Sell (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2012):

“Business has gone from great to terrible in a matter of months. The sad truth is that most of my clients have already sold all of their gold rings,” is anecdotal evidence of a growing trend that Bloomberg reports in Portugal. Historically the home of Europe’s biggest relative gold reserves, cash-for-gold shops rose 29% in 2011 (average 2 store openings per day) – but now some are closing. Portugal’s gold exports increased by more than five times to 519.4 million euros last year from 102.1 million euros in 2009, according to data published on the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute’s website.

Continue reading »

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Aug 15

- The Financial Decline In Europe Continues (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2012):

Via Mark E. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

As Industrial Production falls -0.6% in Europe and as the economy shrinks -0.2% there is once again a good reason to pause to consider the ramifications for this going forward. As part of the data release this morning Germany and France did somewhat better than expectations but it was fairly marginal while the rest of the EU-17 continues to be mired in difficulties. Overnight LCH increased the margin requirements for both Spain and Italy as the banks of Spain keep increasing their borrowings at the ECB which is now at an all-time record. More troubling perhaps is the recent release of data from Italy which showed that their sovereign debt had ballooned to $2.437 trillion and the trajectory is more than troublesome. In 2010 and 2011 Italy’s debt was expanding by $7.90 billion per month but in 2012 Italian debt has increased by $11.73 billion per month for a projected $141 billion by the end of this year. In fact the Italian economy is shrinking by about   -2.5% while their debt is growing by 5.8% which is the baseline for an unsustainable situation if these trends continue.

To make matters worse Italy’s Industrial Production is down -8.2% from a year ago and down   -1.4% in the last month. I think Italy must be reassessed in light of the recent data and I would project further downgrades for the country and an increase in their bond yields as people recognize the severity of their problems. To me it looks increasingly likely that both Spain and Italy will soon line up at the feeding trough which is going to strain Europe, in my opinion, past the limits of what France and Germany can bear and then all of the superlatives and all of the great hype are going to come face-to-face with a very tough reality I am afraid. Continue reading »

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Jul 30


So get your popcorn ready!

Related info:

- CDU’s Michael Fuchs: ‘Greece Cannot Be Saved, That Is Simple Mathematics’

- Greece To Run Out Of Money And Go Bankrupt By August 20

- Spain Is Out Of Money In 40 Days … And ‘Spain Has No Plan B’ (FAZ)


- September: Crunchtime For Europe And Germany (ZeroHedge, July 30, 2012):

September will undoubtedly be the crunch time,” one senior euro zone policymaker said. “In nearly 20 years of dealing with EU issues, I’ve never known a state of affairs like we are in now,” one euro zone diplomat said this week. “It really is a very, very difficult fix and it’s far from certain that we’ll be able to find the right way out of it.”

As Europe’s fight with the twin demons of logic and math continues, time is running out. And as eurocrats take their mandatory vacations for a job well done and spend the next two weeks lounging on some Mediterranean island or listening to opera, Europe will enter hibernation mode, courtesy of a slow down in sovereign bond issuance, all of which however will change very quickly once September rolls in which as Reuters describes, “is shaping up as a “make-or-break” month as policymakers run desperately short of options to save the common currency.” It is then that we will find if all that money spent on newsletter promoting active prayer to push the hands of central planners in that direction or the other, was well spent, or just thrown in the same cash black hole which is the final restring place for hundreds of billions in “bailout money” which has achieved nothing but perpetuating the same destructive behavior that it was meant to change.

Reuters explains why September will also be known as the popcorn month: Continue reading »

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Jul 30

- For Italy, It Is Game Theory Over (ZeroHedge; July 27, 2012)

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Jul 12

- Scenes Of Despair (The Economic Collapse, July 10, 2012):

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that behind all of the horrible economic numbers that we hear about are millions of real people that have had their lives absolutely devastated by this economy.  Elderly couples are being brutally evicted from their homes, young families are living in their cars, terminally ill people are dying because they cannot afford medication that they need and millions of parents can’t sleep at night as they wrestle with anxiety over not being able to provide for their children.  Often those that lose their jobs or their homes discover that people start looking at them very differently and that there is very little compassion out there these days.  As you will read about below, one major U.S. bank is even kicking an elderly woman with stage 4 breast cancer out of her home because she cannot make her full mortgage payment each month.  When the next major global financial catastrophe happens, we are going to see a whole lot more economic despair.  Will society respond to that crisis by becoming warmer and more compassionate, or will the world around us become even more cold and even more cruel?  As bad as things are right now, it truly is frightening to think about what the world is going to look like after the next major economic downturn.

Many of the stories that you are about to read are truly heartbreaking.  Unfortunately, they represent thousands upon thousands of other stories that never make it into the news…. Continue reading »

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Jul 01

- Germany Cries: “Europe Is Coming For Our Money”, Greece Promptly Obliges (ZeroHedge, June 30, 2012)

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Jun 19

See also:

- Egan-Jones Ratings Company Downgrades Spain’s Credit Rating To CCC+ (Uganda’s Credit Rating Is B!)


- Spain Crisis: Bond Yield Hits Bailout Danger Zone (NPR/AP, June 18, 2012):

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s ability to manage its debt without an international bailout was thrown into doubt Monday after investors pushed its borrowing rates up to the level at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland had sought help.

Investor sentiment improved briefly in the morning as electoral results in Greece suggested the country would not drop out of the euro currency union, a scenario that would have put severe stress on Spain’s markets.

But that market relief quickly transformed into concern in Madrid as it became clear that Spain’s fundamental economic and fiscal problems remain huge.

The interest rate on Spain’s 10-year bonds — an indicator of market confidence in how well a country can pay down its debt —hit a fresh eurozone era high of 7.18 percent before easing in the afternoon and closing at 7.12 percent. It is the first time since Spain joined the eurozone that it ended above 7 percent. Stocks plunged 3 percent on Madrid’s main index.

The bond yield’s alarming quarter percentage-point rise put it firmly in the range that prompted the other three eurozone countries to ask for a bailout.

Continue reading »

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Jun 13


YouTube Added: 13.06.2012

- Farage: “The Euro Titanic Has Now Hit The Iceberg” (ZeroHedge, June 13, 2012):

In an epic rant, trumping Biderman, UKIP’s Nigel Farage appears to have reached the limit of his frustration with his ‘peers’ in the European Parliament after the Spanish bailout. Rajoy’s proclamation that this bailout shows what a success the euro-zone has been, sends Farage over the edge as he sees the Spaniard as just about the most incompetent leader in the whole of Europe (up there with favorites like Van Rompuy and Barroso). The erudite Englishman notes that by any objective criteria “The Euro Has Failed” expanding on the insane farce of Italy funding Spain’s banking bailout at a loss (borrowing at 6% to fund a loan at 3% as we discussed here). “This ‘genius’ deal makes things worse not better” as it merely drives other nations towards needing bailouts themselves and while his socialist colleagues in the room are mumbling and checking their blackberries, he reminds them that Spanish national debt will surge and that 100 billion does not solve the problem, and that if Greece leaves, the ECB is failed, is gone, and to rectify this there will be a cash call from the very same PIIS (Ex-G) that are tumbling towards the abyss. Blood pressure surges as he screams “you couldn’t make this up” concluding that “the Euro Titanic has now hit the Iceberg and sadly there simply aren’t enough lifeboats.”

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Jun 12

- Credit Suisse Explains “The Real Issue”, And Why There Is Two Months Tops Until France Is In The Bulls Eye (CBS News, June 10, 2012):

Credit Suisse’s William Porter is strangely laconic and oddly brief in his latest issue of the European Credit Flash titled “The Real Issue”:

“It’s all about Spain”, so now we are cutting to the chase. Recapitalization of the banks versus funding the sovereign is of course a semantic issue given the nature of the interplay. But it enables the attempted finesse we describe below.

“Portugal cannot rescue Greece, Spain cannot rescue Portugal, Italy cannot  rescue Spain (as is surely about to become all too abundantly clear),  France cannot rescue Italy, but Germany can rescue France.” Or, the credit of the EFSF/ESM, if called upon to provide funds in large size, either calls upon the credit of Germany, or fails; i.e, it seems to us that it probably cannot fund to the extent needed to save the credit of one (and probably  imminently two) countries that had hitherto been considered “too big so save” without joint and several guarantees.

The issue can be finessed for a while by addressing the issues as bank issues and recapitalizing the banks by bond transfer. This hides from the  (primary) market and is simply another manifestation of the “Sarko trade” given by the LTRO. That rally lasted four months. Given the market’s adaptive learning behaviour, we suspect that this finesse might last two. The eventual denouement should be flagged by symptoms of the failure of  the credit of EFSF/ESM and/or France.

And there you have it. As evidenced by today’s reaction to the bailout, which had a half life of 2 hours, and was a complete failure in 6, the market is learning much, much faster than expected. Which also means that Porter’s estimate for the length of time before the next wave of the contagion tsunami strikes somewhere in the middle of the 8th arrondissement is furiously optimistic, but we agree: 2 months tops.

Continue reading »

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Jun 12

As a side note: Gerald Celente officially supported Ron Paul … before.

Must-see!



YouTube Added: 09.06.2012

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Jun 09

- Friday Dump Complete: Moody’s Warns Of Spanish Downgrade, Threatens AAA-Countries In Case Of Grexit (ZeroHedge, June 8, 2012):

First we got Spain miraculously announcing late at night local time, but certainly after close of market US time, that the bailout so many algorithms had taken for granted in ramping stocks into the close may not be coming, because, picture this, Germany may have conditions when bailing the broke country’s banks out, and Spain is just not cool with that, and now, after the close of FX and futures trading, we get Moody’s giving us the warning the after Egan-Jones, S&P, and Fitch, it is now its turn to cut the Spanish A3 rating.”As Spain moves closer to the need for direct external support from its European partners, the increased risk to the country’s creditors may prompt further rating actions. The official estimates of recapitalising Spain’s banking system have risen significantly and the country’s indirect reliance on European Central Bank (ECB) funding via its banks has been growing. Moody’s is assessing the implications of these increased pressures and will take any rating actions necessary to reflect the risk to Spanish government creditors. Moody’s rating on Spain is currently A3 with a negative outlook.” Moody’s also warns, what everyone has known for about 2 years now, that Italy could be next: “However, Spain’s banking problem is largely specific to the country and is not likely to be a major source of contagion to other euro area countries, except for Italy, which likewise has a growing funding reliance on the ECB through its banks.” Of course none of this is unexpected. What will be, however, to the market, is when all 3 rating agencies have Spain at BBB+ or below, which as ZH first pointed out at the end of April will result in a 5% increase in repo haircuts on Spanish Government Bonds, resulting in yet another epic collateral squeeze for the country which already is forced to pledge Spiderman towels to the central bank.

From Moody’s

Moody’s: Developments in Spain, Greece may prompt euro area sovereign rating downgrades

Continue reading »

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May 27

- Are The Europeans About To Start The Second Half Of Our Great Depression? (ZeroHedge, May 27, 2012):

“Just when we think the worst is over – and let’s face it we have been in this crisis for five years – we get the second half; are the Europeans about to start the second half our Great Depression with massive bank runs” are the Jaws-music-inspired words that recent media-favorite (yes, us too) Niall Ferguson uses in an interview with CBC. His main concern is that this kind of (bank-run) event can quickly spiral out of the control of even the ECB as he uncomfortably conjures the image of the initial US stabilization that occurred in 1930 to May 1931 only to be knocked back into a greater depression by the failure of Credit-Anstalt, which set off bank failures and eventually defaults in 1932 on many government debts. The deposit run potential is the single-biggest reason to care about Greek-exit – in itself it is not large enough economically to interfere with global growth but it is the message and contagion that it sends that is critical in bringing forth a pan-European banking crisis and implicitly spilling over to the US and Asia via global trade and banking transmission channels. An excellent brief interview that summarizes the exact fears that face Europe and implicitly the US, explains the rather simple solution of fiscal federalism and the fact that today’s German politik is very different from 1989′s Helmut Kohl-era with regard to their commitment to the Federal outcome. His conclusions are worrisome. Germany is the key – and there is not a good understanding of financial markets in Berlin.

Six minutes well-spent on a Saturday evening…

Europe is a part of North America’s destiny because the financial systems are so intertwined – and remember even the all-knowing Fed massively under-estimated the second-order effects of Lehman.

“It’s a total fantasy to think that the meltdown that I am discussing that could happen in a matter of weeks would not have a major impact on North America’s prospects of sustained recovery.”

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Apr 26

- Germany Folding? Europe’s Insolvent Banks To Get Direct Funding From ESM (ZeroHedge, April 26, 2012):

We start today’s story of the day by pointing out that Deutsche Bank – easily Europe’s most critical financial institution – reported results that were far worse than expected, following a decline in equity and debt trading revenues of 23% and 8%, but primarily due to Europe simply “not being fixed yet” despite what its various politicians tell us. And if DB is still impaired, then something else will have to give. Next, we go to none other than Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid, who in his daily Morning Reid piece, reminds the world that with austerity still the primary driver in a double dipping Europe (luckily… at least for now, because no matter how many economists repeat the dogmatic mantra, more debt will never fix an excess debt problem, and in reality austerity is the wrong word – the right one is deleveraging) to wit: “an unconditional ECB is probably what Europe needs now given the austerity drive.” However, as German taxpayers who will never fall for unconditional money printing by the ECB (at least someone remembers the Weimar case), the ECB will likely have to keep coming up with creative solutions. Which bring us to the story du jour brought by Suddeutsche Zeitung, according to which the ECB and countries that use the euro are working on an initiative to allow cash-strapped banks direct access to funding from the European Stability Mechanism. As a reminder, both Germany and the ECB have been against this kind of direct uncollateralized, unsterilized injections, so this move is likely a precursor to even more pervasive easing by the European central bank, with the only question being how many headlines of denials by Schauble will hit the tape before this plan is approved. And if all eyes are again back on the ECB, does it mean that the recent distraction face by the IMF can now be forgotten, and more importantly, if the ECB is once again prepping to reliquify, just how bad are things again in Europe? And what happens if this time around the plan to fix a solvency problem with more electronic 1s and 0s does not work?

Here is Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid redirecting attention back to where it was all throughout the summer and fall of 2011, until the new Goldman-based head of the ECB relented days after his appointment: Continue reading »

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Apr 03

- 10 ‘Facts’ That Should Worry Europe’s Equity ‘Fiction’ (ZeroHedge, April 2, 2012)

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Mar 29

- EU – EFSF & ESM – A Whole Lot Of Nothing (ZeroHedge, Mar 28, 2012):

A quick look at the headlines:

€200 billion already committed. So the EFSF has already committed €200 billion.  So far I only see €63 billion of debt issued by the EFSF, so they have at least another €137 billion to fund.  The bulk of their issuance so far is back to back with a they made to Greece, hardly the best collateral.  For now I’m going to assume that there is no overcollateralization requirement and just €200 billion has been committed, but if the 165% overcollateralization is in place, then that would really be €300 billion of “guarantees” used up. Continue reading »

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Mar 03

- European Solidarity – “Everybody Knows The Spanish Are Lying About The Figures” (ZeroHedge, Mar 2, 2012):

Back in October, when Greece was rewarded with further bond haircuts for progressively missing its economic targets, even after having gotten caught on at least one occasion making its economy appear worse than it was, we said that it is only a matter of time before “Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy will promptly commence sabotaging their economies (just like Greece) simply to get the same debt Blue Light special as Greece.” In the aftermath of this statement, we got the Irish and the Portuguese proceeding to slowly but surely do just that. Today, it was Spain’s turn to make it 3 out of 4 after as Reuters noted so appropriately, “Spain defies Brussels on deficit target” clarifying that “Spain set itself a softer budget target for 2012 on Friday than originally agreed under the euro zone’s austerity drive, putting a question mark over the credibility of the European Union’s new fiscal pact. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy insisted he was acting within EU guidelines because the plan was still to hit the European Union public deficit goal of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013.” That Italy is sure to follow is absolutely guaranteed, however just because the ECB is now indirectly monetizing BTPs the true impact will be delayed far more, and instead of taking prompt steps to remedy the situation, the European complacency will be accentuated by the fact that bond yields are very low, and supposedly indicates the true state of the economy. No. All it indicates is the conversion of future inflation (courtesy of €1 trillion in new money in the past 3 months) for a very temporary respite before all hell ultimately breaks loose as countries pretend everything is ok as bond yields are pushed artificially low. And in doing nothing, the fundamentals in the economy only get worse and worse. Germany knows this very well, and the Economist explains the reaction to Spain’s surprising statement today perfectly…

A novice in European summits, Mr Rajoy has been playing a strange game. He was careful not to discuss specific figures with fellow leaders. But as soon as he emerged from the summit he declared that Spain’s deficit this year would be 5.8%, rather than the agreed target ratio of 4.4%. He insisted, though, that Spain would still fall below the 3% deficit limit in 2013, as planned.

Germany, moreover, seems to be in an intolerant mood. There is irritation that the Spanish government is delaying its budget pending regional elections in Andalusia that Mr Rajoy’s party hopes to win, and suspicion that it is inflating last year’s deficit figures to blame its Socialist predecessor. The commission says it wants to double-check the numbers. But a senior source in Berlin puts it more bluntly: “Everybody knows the Spanish are lying about the figures.”

Funny. And yet the people are supposed to believe in the mumbo jumbo that is Europe’s fiscal pact, or frankly anything else? Perhaps the senior source in Berlin should have just stepped up and told the outright truth: “Everybody knows that everyone in Europe is lying about everything.”

Continue reading »

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Feb 26

- Chart: ‘America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece’ (The Weekly Standard, Feb. 23, 2012):

The office of Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, sends along this chart, showing that ‘America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece,’ as well as Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain:

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Feb 16

Full article here:

- As Greece Crashes And Burns, Troika Arrives In Portugal With “Soothing Words Of Support” (ZeroHedge, Feb. 15, 2012):

What is better than a one-front European war on insolvency? Why two-fronts of course. But not before many “soothing” words are uttered (no really). From Reuters: “Portugal’s international lenders arrived in Lisbon on Wednesday to review the country’s bailout, with soothing words of support likely to dominate as Europe gropes for success stories to counteract its interminable Greek headache. As the euro zone’s second weakest link, Portugal’s ability to ride out its debt crisis will be key to Europe’s claim that Greece is a unique case. Despite a groundswell of concerns that Portugal – like Greece – may eventually have to restructure its aid programme, the third inspection of Lisbon’s economic performance in the context of its ongoing 78-billion-euro rescue should make that contention clear. “The review will be all about peace and harmony,” said Filipe Garcia, head of Informacao de Mercados Financeiros consultants. “The important thing for Europe is to isolate Portugal from Greece, to put it out of Greece’s way in case of a default or even an exit from the euro.” That makes sense – after all even Venizelos just told Greece that the country is not Italy. And if that fails, the Don of bailouts, Dr Strangeschauble will just give the country will blessing to use a few billion in cash. Oh but wait. It can’t. Because as as we pointed out in late January, and as the market has so conveniently chosen to forget, Portugal, unlike Greece, has simple, clean and efficient negative pledge language in its non-local law bonds. Which means “no can do” to any additional bailouts under its current capitalization. Which may very well mean that Portugal is stuck with its existing balance sheet unless the country succeeds in doing an exchange offer which takes out all UK- and other strong-protection bonds. All of them. And as Greece has shown, that is just not going to happen.

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Feb 14

- Moody’s warns may cut AAA-rating for UK and France (Reuters, Feb. 14, 2012):

Rating agency Moody’s warned it may cut the triple-A ratings of France, Britain and Austria and it downgraded six other European nations including Italy, Spain and Portugal, citing growing risks from Europe’s debt crisis.

- Moody’s cuts ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain (Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2012):

NEW YORK — Ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service on Monday downgraded its credit ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain, while France, Britain and Austria kept their top ratings but had their outlooks dropped to “negative” from “stable.”

Moody’s also cut its ratings on the smaller nations of Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta. All nine countries are members of the European Union.

London, 13 February 2012 — As anticipated in November 2011, Moody’s Investors Service has today adjusted the sovereign debt ratings of selected EU countries in order to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks emanating from the euro area crisis and how these risks exacerbate the affected countries’ own specific challenges.

Rating Action: Moody’s adjusts ratings of 9 European sovereigns to capture downside risks (Moody’s, Feb. 13, 2012):

Moody’s actions can be summarised as follows:

- Austria: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative

- France: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative

- Italy: downgraded to A3 from A2, negative outlook

- Malta: downgraded to A3 from A2, negative outlook

- Portugal: downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2, negative outlook

- Slovakia: downgraded to A2 from A1, negative outlook

- Slovenia: downgraded to A2 from A1, negative outlook

- Spain: downgraded to A3 from A1, negative outlook

- United Kingdom: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative

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Feb 04

You can’t make this stuff up!


- Friday Humor Part Dois – Banco de Portugal “Wink Wink” Edition (ZeroHedge, Feb. 3, 2012):

… the following seminar announcement from the Banco de Portugal, of all places, is truly priceless…

Source: Banco de Portugal

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Feb 03

Now who will tell them to protect their assets with physical gold and silver?


- 45% Of Greeks Have Never Used The Internet (ZeroHedge, Feb. 3, 2012):

If one were to consider that nearly half the population of a given country has never had the pleasure of killing otherwise efficient time with the likes of Facebook, and other fad internet sensations, one would assume that the efficiency of the population would be far higher than other places whose citizens spend every waking hour gazing at a monitor. One would be wrong. As the following chart from Eurostat via Goldman shows, about 45% of the Greek population has never used the internet. Surprisingly the balance of the PIIGS is not far behind, with Portugal, Italy and Spain hot on Greece heels (which 5 years ago had two thirds of its population never interact with the web). Is it possible that sitting in front of a computer, uploading millions of pics and “liking” this and that does indeed do miracles for globalization and corporate efficiency? Was Zuckerberg’s letter, gasp, 100% correct?

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Jan 31

- This is Europe’s Scariest Chart (ZeroHedge, Jan. 30, 2012):

Surging Greek and Portuguese bond yields? Plunging Italian bank stocks? The projected GDP of the Eurozone? In the grand scheme of things, while certainly disturbing, none of these data points actually tell us much about the secular shift within European society, and certainly are nothing that couldn’t be fixed if the ECB were to gamble with hyperinflation and print an inordinate amount of fiat units diluting the capital base even further. No: the one chart that truly captures the latent fear behind the scenes in Europe is that showing youth unemployment in the continent’s troubled countries (and frankly everywhere else). Because the last thing Europe needs is a discontented, disenfranchised, and devoid of hope youth roving the streets with nothing to do, easily susceptible to extremist and xenophobic tendencies: after all, it must be “someone’s” fault that there are no job opportunities for anyone. Below we present the youth (16-24) unemployment in three select European countries (and the general Eurozone as a reference point). Some may be surprised to learn that while Portugal, and Greece, are quite bad, at 30.7% and 46.6% respectively, it is Spain where the youth unemployment pain is most acute: at 51.4%, more than half of the youth eligible for work does not have a job! Because the real question is if there is no hope for tomorrow, what is the opportunity cost of doing something stupid and quite irrational today?

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Jan 29

- It’s Official: German Economy Minister Demands Surrender Of Greek Budget Policy, Says It Is First Of Many Such Sovereign “Requests” (ZeroHedge, Jan. 29, 2012):

While over the past 2 days there may have been some confusion as to who, what, how or where is demanding that Greece abdicate fiscal sovereignty (with some of our German readers supposedly insulted by the suggestion that this idea originated in Berlin, and specifically with politicians elected by a majority of the German population), today’s quotefest from German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler appearing in Germany’s Bild should put any such questions to bed. And from this point on, Greece would be advised to not play dumb anymore vis-a-vis German annexation demands. So from Reuters, “Greece must surrender control of its budget policy to outside institutions if it cannot implement reforms attached to euro zone rescue measures, the German economy minister was quoted as saying on Sunday. Philipp Roesler became the first German cabinet member to openly endorse a proposal for Greece to surrender budget control after Reuters quoted a European source on Friday as saying Berlin wants Athens to give up budget control.” And some bad news for our Portuguese (and then Spanish) readers: you are next.

More:

We need more leadership and monitoring when it comes to implementing the reform course,” Roesler, also vice chancellor, told Bild newspaper, according to an advance of an interview to be published on Monday.

“If the Greeks aren’t able to succeed themselves with this, then there must be stronger leadership and monitoring from abroad, for example through the EU,” added Roesler, chairman of the Free Democrats (FDP) who share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Continue reading »

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Jan 16

- Has The ECB Given Up On Portugal? (ZeroHedge, Jan. 16, 2012):

Despite disappointing auction results in France, the downgrade hangovers (sell the rumor, buy the news?), and increasingly likely Greek PSI talk epic-fail, most European sovereigns are rallying modestly on the day. Given the expected shift in the AAA benchmark used for margining (dropping higher yielding France ‘AAA’s as they are downgraded will lower AAA benchmark significantly and implicitly widen the yield differential for other sovereigns), it is perhaps no surprise that TPTB are active in BTPs (Italian bonds) but it appears that Portugal (admittedly illiquid) has been left to its own devices. Portuguese 10Y bond spreads to bunds just broke 1250bps, +180bps on the day and at record wides. Given the subordination concerns as ESM is accelerated, it is perhaps no surprise that the ECB’s SMP has seemingly decided that Portugal has crossed the Rubicon into Greece territory.

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Jan 14

See also:

- Marc Faber’s Latest Rant On Global Monetization Wars (Video)

… the majority of European nations deserve a CCC rating …

- The Real Dark Horse: S&P’s Mass Downgrade FAQ May Have Just Hobbled The European Sovereign Debt Market


- France’s credit rating downgraded in latest blow to euro zone (The Globe and Mail, Jan. 13, 2012):

The euro zone’s worst-case scenario of recession and default is looming larger after a mass debt downgrade of France and several other countries, and stalled Greek debt restructuring talks.

Standard & Poor’s stripped France of its prized triple-A rating and slashed the ratings of Italy, Spain and six other European countries Friday, continuing a disturbing pattern of the feared becoming reality in Europe’s smouldering debt crisis.

The move Friday crushed nascent hope that the region’s debt woes might finally be easing after successful bond auctions by Spain and Italy earlier in the week.

The most immediate problem for the euro zone is that France – its second largest economy – will now face significantly higher borrowing costs just as the region slides into recession.

Equally important, the downgrade makes it more expensive for the European Financial Stability Fund to raise cash because France is the fund’s No. 2 backer behind Germany. The EFSF, set up in 2010, is due to raise money in the markets on Tuesday.

Continue reading »

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Jan 14

From the article:

S&P may have just killed the European sovereign market by saying out loud what only “fringe bloggers” dared suggest in the past.


- The Real Dark Horse – S&P’s Mass Downgrade FAQ May Have Just Hobbled The European Sovereign Debt Market (ZeroHedge, Jan. 13, 2012):

All your questions about the historic European downgrade should be answered after reading the following FAQ. Or so S&P believes. Ironically, it does an admirable job, because the following presentation successfully manages to negate years of endless lies and propaganda by Europe’s incompetent and corrupt klepocrarts, and lays out the true terrifying perspective currently splayed out before the eurozone better than most analyses we have seen to date. Namely that the failed experiment is coming to an end. And since the Eurozone’s idiotic foundation was laid out by the same breed of central planning academic wizards who thought that Keynesianism was a great idea (and continue to determine the fate of the world out of their small corner office in the Marriner Eccles building), the imminent downfall of Europe will only precipitate the final unraveling of the shaman “economic” religion that has taken the world to the brink of utter financial collapse and, gradually, world war.

Here are the key take home messages from the FAQ (source): Continue reading »

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Dec 21

Recommended:

- Worse Than 2008 (ZeroHedge, Dec. 21, 2011)

Prepare for collapse.

Got physical gold and silver?

Don’t miss:

- Max Keiser And Gerald Celente On MF Global Bankruptcy Implications – The JP Morgan Connection – Goldman Sachs – CME (‘Chicago Mafia Exchange’) – Gold, Silver – Syria, Iran – Entire Financial System Collapsing, One Big Global Ponzi Scheme – False Flag, WW III – Bank Holiday, Economic Martial Law – ‘YOUR MONEY ISN’T SAFE’ (Video)


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Dec 01

Flashback:

- University of Texas Takes Delivery Of $1 Billion In Gold Bars After Cue From Hedge Fund Manager Kyle Bass, Storing It In New York Vault


- Of Imminent Defaults And Self Deception. Kyle Bass Prepares For The Worst (ZeroHedge, Nov. 30, 2011):

In his latest letter to LPs, Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, offers his tell-tale clarity on what may lie ahead for Europe and Japan. With his over-arching thesis of debt saturation becoming more plain to see around every corner, Bass bundles the simple (and somewhat unarguable) facts of quantitative analysis with a qualitative perspective on the cruel self-deception that we all see and read every day about Europe.

Whether it is Kahneman’s “availability heuristic” (wherein participants assess the probability of an event based on whether relevant examples are cognitively “available”), the Pavlovian pro-cyclicality of thought, or the extraordinary delusions of groupthink, investors in today’s sovereign debt markets can’t seem to envision the consequences of a default.

His Japanese scenario is no less convicted, as we have discussed a number of times, with the accelerant of this debt-bomb being the very-same European debacle and his time-frame for this is set to begin in the next few months.

Hayman_Nov2011

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