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Spanish Minister Laughed At For Bullshitting

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At this stage nobody fully believes that Spain doesn’t need a bailout. For various reasons (don’t want to damage Obama’s re-election chances being one) it hasn’t requested one but its a matter of time. So when the Spanish Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos turns up at the London School of Economics and tells them everything is honky dory and there is no chance of Spain requesting a bailout, he got the response you would expect. Laughter !!

You know that something is seriously wrong with your economy when you tell an audience of learned academics and students at an elite university that your country doesn’t need a bailout, and the room rings with the sound of laughter.

Spanish Economy Minister Luis De Guindos Addresses Media
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Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos speaks during a news conference.

That’s what happened when Spanish finance minister Luis de Guindostook to the stage at the London School of Economics (LSE) and became an unexpected comic figure on Thursday evening.

“Spain doesn’t need a bailout at all,” de Guindos said, straight faced and somber, as mirth spread throughout the audience — even de Guindos’ assistant interpreter couldn’t mask a smile.

Not to be perturbed by the disbelieving audience, whose giggles audibly spread throughout the room, de Guindos said that Madrid’s reform program was sufficient to stave off a full sovereign bailout and that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) bond-buying program would suffice to help Spain recover.

“What we have is a proposal from the European Central Bank to trigger intervention in the secondary market with certain conditions,” he said. “They have demanded that in order to intervene … they want certain conditionality.”

De Guindos, speaking in broken but clear English, said that Spain supported the ECB’s bond-buying scheme and that there was a distinction between Spain seeking a full bailout that would be overseen by the troika (the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) and accepting the enhanced credit line that the ECB is offering through bond buying, called the Outright Monetary Transactions.

De Guindos stated that as well as the ECB’s actions it was important that “the commitment of European institutions for the future of the euro[EUR=X  1.3052    0.0035  (+0.27%)   ] was demonstrated in the form of a commitment to fiscal union.

 “Spain is going to actively support a banking union for the euro zone, a fiscal union for the euro zone,” he said. “In order for Spain to recover, it’s extremely important to dispel and to eliminate all doubts about the future of the euro.” 

As in comedy, timing is everything and de Guindos’ comments come after weeks of speculation and market frustration over whether or not Spain will seek a bailout. 

The nervousness and chagrin of European stock markets has been seen in Spanish bond yields edging up towards 6 percent and a week of choppy trade as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denied a report that he would seek a full bailout for Spain this weekend.

Descending from comedy to farce, the finance minister’s presentation was interrupted by protestors in the LSE audience holding a banner saying “Spain for Sale” and heckling the minister.  Unpopular austerity measures have caused several days of protests in Madrid as thousands of demonstrators called for the end of budget cuts and the dissolution of government.

De Guindos told the London audience that Spain faced no other choice.

“Sometimes governments have to take unpopular decisions,” de Guindos said. “I fully understand the discouragement of the population because of these measures, but we believe these measures are totally necessary to return Spain to a stable situation to return to growth in the future.”

Despite the laughter caused by de Guindos’ bailout comment, the economic reality confronting Spain is sobering. Unemployment now affects one in four people, and businesses, large and small, are abandoning the country in droves causing government tax revenue to tumble

Added to pressure on the government is a forthcoming decision by Moody’s, which could downgrade the country’s credit rating to junk status, along with warnings from Fitch and the country’s central bank governor issued on Thursday.

The chances of any light relief for Prime Minister Rajoy look slim as he attends the so-called Club Med summit in Malta this weekend.

Rajoy will meet his French and Italian counterparts, Mario Monti and Francois Hollande at the summit. 

Reuters reports that Italy and France, fearing contagion from Spain into their own beleaguered economies, will look to persuade Spain’s leader to cut to the punchline — and seek a bailout.

Source: CNBC

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October Is The Month For Stock Market Crashes

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Stock market crashes have a habit of happening in October something I’m sure Obama does not want to happen so close to the election. But even if nothing happens the fundamentals are examined in an article from theeconomiccollapseblog which takes a closer look.

In the financial world, the month of October is synonymous with stock market crashes.  So will a massive stock market crash happen this year?  You never know. The truth is that our financial system is even more vulnerable than it was back in 2008, and financial experts such as Doug Short, Peter Schiff, Robert Wiedemer and Harry Dent are all warning that the next crash is rapidly approaching.

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world and Wall Street has been transformed into a giant casino that is based on a massive web of debt, risk and leverage.  When that web breaks we are going to see a stock market crash that is going to make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  Yes, the Federal Reserve has tried to prevent any problems from erupting in the financial markets by initiating another round of quantitative easing, but 40 billion dollars a month will not be nearly enough to stop the massive collapse that is coming.  This will be explained in detail toward the end of the article.  Hopefully we will get through October (and the rest of this year) without seeing a stock market collapse, but without a doubt one is coming at some point.  Those on the wrong end of the coming crash are going to be absolutely wiped out.

A lot of people focus on the month of October because of the history of stock market crashes in this month.  This history was detailed in a recent USA Today article….

When it comes to wealth suddenly disappearing, October can be diabolically frightful. The stock market crash of 1929 that led to the Great Depression occurred in October. So did the 22.6% plunge suffered by the Dow Jones industrial average in 1987 on “Black Monday.”

The scariest 19-day span during the 2008 financial crisis also went down in October, when the Dow plunged 2,675 points after investors fearing a financial collapse went on a panic-driven stock-selling spree that resulted in five of the 10 biggest daily point drops in the iconic Dow’s 123-year history.

So what will we see this year?

Only time will tell.

If a stock market crash does not happen this month or by the end of this year, that does not mean that the experts that are predicting a stock market crash are wrong.

It just means that they were early.

As I have said so many times, there are thousands upon thousands of moving parts in the global financial system.  So that makes it nearly impossible to predict the timing of events with perfect precision.  Financial conditions are constantly shifting and changing.

But without a doubt another major financial collapse similar to what happened back in 2008 (or even worse) is on the way.  Let’s take a look at some of the financial experts that are predicting really bad things for our financial markets in the months ahead….

Doug Short

According to Doug Short, the vice president of research at Advisor Perspectives, the stock market is somewhere between 33% and 51% overvalued at this point.  In a recent article he offered the following evidence to support his position….

● The Crestmont Research P/E Ratio (more)

● The cyclical P/E ratio using the trailing 10-year earnings as the divisor (more)

● The Q Ratio, which is the total price of the market divided by its replacement cost (more)

● The relationship of the S&P Composite price to a regression trendline (more)

Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, has been one of the leading voices in the financial community warning people about the crisis that is coming.

During a recent interview with Fox Business, Schiff stated that the massive financial collapse that we witnessed back in 2008 “wasn’t the real crash” and he boldly declared that the “real crash is coming”.

So is Schiff right?

We shall see.

Robert Wiedemer

Economist Robert Wiedemer warned people what was coming before the crash of 2008, and now he is warning that what is coming next is going to be even worse….

“The data is clear, 50% unemployment, a 90% stock market drop, and 100% annual inflation . . . starting in 2012.”

Harry Dent

Financial author Harry Dent believes that the stock market could fall by as much as 60 percent in the coming months.  He is convinced that stocks are hugely overvalued right now….

“We have the greatest debt bubble in history. We will see a worldwide downturn. And when you are in this type of recessionary environment stocks should be trading at five to seven times earnings.”

So are these guys right?

We shall see.

But I do find it interesting that some of the biggest names in the financial world are currently making moves as if they also believe that a massive financial crisis is coming.

For example, as I have written about previously, George Soros has dumped all of his holdings in banking giants JP Morgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

Infamous billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, the man who made somewhere around 20 billion dollars betting against the U.S. housing market during the last financial crisis, is making massive bets against the euro right now.

So where are these financial titans putting their money?

According to the Telegraph, both of these men are pouring enormous amounts of money into gold….

There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).

Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.

At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros’ cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson’s funds. These are significant positions.

So why would they do this?

Why would they pour millions upon millions of dollars into gold?

Well, it would make perfect sense to put so much money into gold if a massive financial crisis was coming.

So is the next financial crisis imminent?

We will see.

Most “financial analysts” that appear in the mainstream media would laugh at the notion that a stock market crash is imminent.

Most of them would insist that everything is going to be perfectly fine for the foreseeable future.

In fact, most of them are convinced that quantitative easing is going to cause stocks to go even higher.

After all, isn’t quantitative easing supposed to be good for stocks?

Didn’t I write an article just last month that detailed how quantitative easing drives up stock prices?

Yes I did.

So how can I be writing now about the possibility of a stock market crash?

Aren’t I contradicting myself?

Not at all.

Let me explain.

The first two rounds of quantitative easing did indeed drive up stock prices.  The same thing will happen under QE3, unless the effects of QE3 are overwhelmed by a major crisis.

For example, if we were to see a total collapse of the derivatives market it would render QE3 totally meaningless.

Estimates of the notional value of the worldwide derivatives market range from 600 trillion dollars all the way up to 1.5 quadrillion dollars.  Nobody knows for sure how large the market for derivatives is, but everyone agrees that it is absolutely massive.

When we are talking about amounts that large, the $40 billion being pumped into the financial system each month by the Federal Reserve during QE3 would essentially be the equivalent of spitting into Niagara Falls.  It would make no difference at all.

Most Americans do not understand what “derivatives” are, so they kind of tune out when people start talking about them.

But they are very important to understand.

Essentially, derivatives are “side bets”.  When you buy a derivative, you are not investing in anything.  You are just gambling that something will or will not happen.

I explained this more completely in a previous article entitled “The Coming Derivatives Crisis That Could Destroy The Entire Global Financial System“….

A derivative has no underlying value of its own.  A derivative is essentially a side bet.  Usually these side bets are highly leveraged.

At this point, making side bets has totally gotten out of control in the financial world.  Side bets are being made on just about anything you can possibly imagine, and the major Wall Street banks are making a ton of money from it.  This system is almost entirely unregulated and it is totally dominated by the big international banks.

Over the past couple of decades, the derivatives market has multiplied in size.  Everything is going to be fine as long as the system stays in balance.  But once it gets out of balance we could witness a string of financial crashes that no government on earth will be able to fix.

Five very large U.S. banks (including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Bank of America) have combined exposure to derivatives in excess of 250 trillion dollars.

Keep in mind that U.S. GDP for 2011 was only about 15 trillion dollars.

So we are talking about an amount of money that is almost inconceivable.

That is why I cannot talk about derivatives enough.  In fact, I apologize to my readers for not writing about them more.

If you want to understand the coming financial collapse, one of the keys is to understand derivatives.  Our entire financial system has been transformed into a giant casino, and at some point all of this gambling is going to cause a horrible crash.

Do you remember the billions of dollars that JP Morgan announced that they lost a while back?  Well, that was caused by derivatives trades gone bad.  In fact, they are still not totally out of those trades and they are going to end up losing a whole lot more money than they originally anticipated.

Sadly, that was just the tip of the iceberg.  Much, much worse is coming.  When you hear of a major “derivatives crisis” in the news, you better run for cover because it is likely that the entire house of cards is about to start falling.

And don’t get too caught up in the exact timing of predictions.

If a stock market crash does not happen this month, don’t think that the storm has passed.

A major financial crisis is coming.  It might not happen this week, this month or even this year, but without a doubt it is approaching.

And when it arrives it is going to be immensely painful and it is going to change all of our lives.

I hope you are ready for that.

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