March 31, 2012
dollar, iran, oil, rice, sanctions, trade, uruguay, us
The sanctions against Iran have in recent months resulted in countries trading with Iran for oil using commodities and non US dollar currencies. The latest, has been Uruguay announcing that it is going to trade rice for Iran’s oil. These sanctions have clearly backfired and only hasten the end of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Already this week at the BRICS summit there has been calls for a “BRICS Bank” which would reduce dependence on the western-led financial institutions, the IMF and World Bank as well as signing two landmark agreements aimed at eventually replacing the dollar with their own currencies for trade amongst themselves.
Uruguayan Agriculture Minister Tabare Aguerre says his country is ready to export rice to Iran in exchange for Iranian oil in the face of the US-led unilateral sanctions on Tehran.
“If Iran is willing to barter oil for rice we will do it and we will take out currency from (the operation),” Reuters quoted Aguerre as saying on Friday.
Uruguay, which is Latin America’s top rice exporter, sold 90,000 tons of rice to Iran in 2011.
Aguerre’s remarks came as the US and EU have imposed tough financial and oil sanctions against Iran since the beginning of 2012, claiming that the country’s nuclear energy program includes a military component.
March 31, 2012
$17 trillion, costs, obamacare, Sessions, us
Originally Obama claimed Obamcare would cost less than $1 trillion, but Senator Sessions and his staff went through the figures and found that its more closer to $17 trillion when looking at its long term requirements.
This latest revelation means that total underfunded US welfare liabilities: Medicare, Medicaid and social security now amount to $99 trillion! Add to this total US debt which in 2 months will be $16 trillion, and one can see why Japan, which is about to breach 1 quadrillion in total debt (yen, but who’s counting), may want to start looking in the rearview mirror for up and comer competitors. And while Obama may have been taking creative license with a number that is greater than total US GDP, he was most certainly correct when saying that Obamacare would not add a penny to US debt. Because the second the US government comes to market to fund a true total debt/GDP ratio of 750%, it is game over, and the Fed will have its hands full selling Treasury puts every waking nanosecond to have any time left for the daily 3pm stock market ramp.
March 30, 2012
anglo, ben gilroy, debt, ireland, odius, people for justice
Ben Gilroy of People for Economic Justice served papers on the Irish Government over its handling of bank debt.
On Tuesday 27th March Ben Gilroy, John Squires and ‘People for Economic Justice’ served a summons on the Irish government to answer charges of illegal activity over the bank bailout. The bailout is illegal under Bunreacht Na hEireann, the Irish Constitution.
It is also illegal under international law.
An injunction was applied for to prevent the payment of a €3.1 billion euro Anglo bond due to be paid this Saturday 31st March 2012.
The judge has given two weeks for the State to respond.
These debts were taken on without the consent of the Irish people and were not taken on for the benefit for the Irish people(odious debt).
Under International Law the doctrine of Odious Debt applies to the case in Ireland and this debt does not have to be repayed. Normally this is adjudicated either in New York or UK using Domestic Agency Law). In this case the agent (Irish Government) must act in the interest of the principal(Irish people) otherwise the Irish government is breaking the law. Of course taking on Anglo Irish Bank’s debt certainly was not in the interest of the Irish people since it really only loaned to developers. Anyone who aids (ie the banks) the agent in defrauding the principal is also guilty of a crime.
March 29, 2012
attack, date, iran, Israel, moon, USS Enterprise, war
As the USS Enterprise makes its way through the Suez Canal, the US will shortly have 3 aircraft carriers in position in the Gulf. Israel cabinet has approved a strike on Iran. Azerbaijan has granted Israel access to airbases in its territory along Iran’s northern border for potential use in a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
ZeroHedge has calculated the most likely dates of attack based on the new moons (when most attacks begin) for the year ahead. Although certainly not a foregone conclusion, anyone who has being paying attention would agree it does look very likely that once the war machine gets going, its hard to stop.
See also Banks love war.
Remember our debt expansion chart below. What always happens?
March 29, 2012
debt/gdp, germany, Mark Grant, spain, zerohedge
Mark Grant on ZeroHedge has broken through the official Spanish BS and calculated the debt/GDP figure at 133.8%.
Below is the breakdown for not only the national debt but also for the debt Spain owes in relation to commitments to the EU and ECB.
Spain’s GDP $1.295 trillion
SPAIN’S NATIONAL DEBT
Admitted Sovereign Debt $732 billion
Admitted Regional Debt $183 billion
Admitted Bank Guaranteed Debt $103 billion
Admitted Other Sovereign Gtd. Debt $ 72 billion
Total National Debt $1.090 trillion
SPAIN’S EUROPEAN DEBT
Spain’s Liabilities at the ECB $332 billion
Spain’s Cost for the EU budget $ 20 billion
Spain’s Liabilities for the Stabilization Funds $125 billion
Spain’s Liabilities for the Macro Fin. Ass. Fund $ 99 billion
Spain’s Guarantee of the EIB debt $ 67 billion
Spain’s Total European Debt $643 billion
Spain’s National and European Debt $1.733 trillion
Spain’s OFFICAL debt to GDP Ratio 68.5%
Spain’s ACTUAL Debt to GDP Ratio 133.8%
Click here for breakdown of Germany’s debt/GDP of 140%.
March 29, 2012
gdp, great depression, recession, recovery, UK
Looking at the chart below will tell you the the UK’s recovery since 2008 has been much slower than even the recovery after the Great Depression.
So what went wrong. Well according to economist (and external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee) Adam Posen when looking at the US recovery compared to the UK
Cumulatively, the UK government tightened fiscal policy by 3% more than the US government did – taking local governments and automatic stabilizers into account – and this had a material impact on consumption. This was particularly the case because a large chunk of the fiscal consolidation in 2010 and in 2011 took the form of a VAT increase, which has a high multiplier for households. The fact that British real incomes were hit harder than American households’ incomes by energy price increases could be ascribed in large part to the past depreciation of Sterling, which also hit real incomes directly. All combined, these factors significantly dampened consumption growth in the UK, with knock on effects on investment and stockbuilding.
Source: The Economist
March 28, 2012
bankrupt, court, david mcwilliams, default, ireland
David McWilliams writes for the Irish Independent of cases currently going through the Irish Court system and points out that this is a sign of mass defaults that are to come. As David sat in court observing so big names including being pursued by the banks for millions what of the millions of struggling taxpayers saddled with huge personal debt.
And this is the point of it all, down at the courts we see a huge amount of effort and huff and puff much of which is pointless because so many people and companies are bust.
And it is only the tip of the iceberg. The next phase of the Irish economy’s story won’t be the recovery but the mass default phase and it will imply the banks will need yet more capital. When that capital is unforthcoming, we will have another bank crisis.
The banks don’t have the capital necessary to foreclose on thousands of defaulters. If they foreclosed now, they’d simply go bust. However, by not actively foreclosing they will just go bust passively, slowly, zombie-like.
The charade replayed every day at the Four Courts is the canary in Ireland’s default coalmine. The people yesterday in the courts are those who can still afford the theatre of defence. For most debtors, this is a luxury that only the “soon-to-be-poor” can still indulge.
This is only the beginning.
Far from the majesty of the Four Courts, lies the County Registrar’s Court. Here we see what’s going on further down the food chain. This is where the small fry — those thousands who borrowed too much to finance the first-time houses — are being pursued by banks.
The banks, which have been bailed out by the State, are not down here yet because of the implicit “moratorium” against foreclosing given in exchange for state money. But this won’t go on indefinitely because the longer the banks remain zombies, the more the real productive part of the economy grinds to a halt for the want of credit.
Finally a great realistic sumation of the economy by McWilliams.
It might have escaped you with all the talk of China and referendums and promissory notes, but Ireland slumped back into recession last week. House prices fell more in February than ever before and unemployment and emigration continue to rise. As basic economics suggests, too much debt combined with asset price deflation and an overvalued currency without the ability to print our own currency tend to strangle the economy.