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France Is Bankrupt Admits French Minister

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The French Minister of Labour let the cat out of the bag and admitting France is bankrupt. Funny to see Hollande trying to put the cat back in. We can’t have the truth getting out there 😉

Things in France must not be very serious, because the French labor minister accidentally let the truth come out a little earlier today. As the Telegraph reports, France’s labour minister sent the country into a state of shock on Monday after he described the nation as “totally bankrupt.

Remember: France is one of the supposedly stable countries in Europe.

“Michel Sapin made the gaffe in a radio interview, which left French President Francois Hollande battling to undo the potential reputational damage. “There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state,” Mr Sapin said. “That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.” It appears that once one wipes out the propaganda and the smooth politico talk, things are bad and getting worse at Europe’s core. “Data from Banque de France showed earlier this month that a flight of capital has already left the country amid concerns that France’s Socialist leader intends to soak the rich and businesses. The actor Gérard Depardieu has renounced his French citizenship and decamped to Russia in protest, while David Cameron said Britain will “roll out the red carpet” to attract wealthy individuals. Pierre Moscovici, the finance minister, said the comments by Mr Sapin were “inappropriate”.”

Source: ZeroHedge

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Draghi Silences German Finance Minister Over Cyprus “let them default” Comments

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There is one word within the EUSSR that’s never to be uttered and thats DEFAULT. No matter what, bank debt must be honoured, God forbid they loose one cent and that is at the heart of the matter in Germany. Just before the German parlimentary elections, nobody wants to be seen bailing out Cyprus or more importantly shady Russia money via the back door since the majority of Cyprus’s debt is owned to Russia.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has publicly stated that he doesn’t think a Cyprus default would have much harm on the euro. Draghi’s response was of the line, “you are a lawyer so STFU”.

A debate has been raging in Germany about Cyprus. Not that the German parliament, which has a say in this, wouldn’t rubberstamp an eventual bailout, as it rubberstamped others before, but right now they’re not in the mood. Cyprus is too much of a mess. Bailing out uninsured depositors of Cypriot banks would set a costly precedent for other countries. And bailing out Russian “black money,” which makes up a large portion of the deposits, would be, well, distasteful in Germany, a few months before the federal elections.

For the tiny country whose economy is barely a rounding error in the Eurozone, it would be an enormous bailout. At €17.5 billion, it would amount to about 100% of GDP: €10 billion for the banks, €6 billion for holders of existing debt, and €1.5 billion to cover budget deficits through 2016. The new debt, a €2.5 billion loan that Russia extended in 2011, and other debt would amount to 150% of GDP, according to Moody’s. Unsustainable. So haircuts would be necessary. But whose hair would be cut?

As always, there is never an alternative to a bailout. “It’s essential that everybody realizes that a disorderly default of Cyprus could lead to an exit of Cyprus from the Eurozone,” said Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. “It would be extremely stupid to take any risk of that nature.”

A risk German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble would be willing to take. He’d been saying publicly that it wasn’t certain yet that a default would put the Eurozone at risk—”one of the requirements that any bailout money can flow at all,” he said. Cyprus simply wasn’t “systemically important.” In fact, there were alternatives.

Heretic words. He needed to be shut up, apparently. And that happened at the meeting of Eurozone finance ministers a week ago, details of which sources just leaked to the Spiegel.

The meeting was marked by the transfer of the Eurogroup presidency from Jean-Claude Juncker to the new guy, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Cyprus was also on the agenda, but not much was accomplished, other than an agreement to delay the bailout decision until after the Cypriot general elections in February. The government has resisted certain bailout conditions, such as the privatization of state-owned enterprises and the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments for salaries. Now, everyone wanted to deal with the new government.

The put down.

But what didn’t make it into the press release was that ECB President Mario Draghi, bailout-fund tsar Klaus Regling, and Olli Rehn, all three unelected officials, had formed a triumvirate to gang up on Schäuble.

That Cyprus wasn’t “systemically important” was something he kept hearing everywhere from lawyers, Draghi told Schäuble at the meeting. But it wasn’t a question that can be answered by lawyers, he said. It was a topic for economists.

A resounding put-down: Schäuble, a lawyer by training—not an economist—wasn’t competent to speak on the issue and should therefore shut up!

The smoke and mirror argument the triumvirate used was that a Cypriot default would affect Greece, which is true, but for German taxpayers it would be extremely distasteful for the majority of this bailout to go to shady Russian depositors.

The two largest Cypriot banks had an extensive network of branches in Greece, the triumvirate argued. If deposits at these branches weren’t considered safe, Greek depositors would be plunged again into uncertainty, which could then infect Greek banks and cause a serious relapse in Greece.  

If Cyprus went bust, they contended, it would annihilate the flow of positive news that has been responsible recently for calming down the Eurozone.

For weeks, all signs have pointed towards an improvement, they argued. Risk premiums for Spanish and Italian government debt have dropped significantly, and balances between central banks, which had risen to dangerous levels, have been edging down. If the money spigot were turned off, this recovery could reverse, they argued. Contagion would spread and could jeopardize Ireland’s and Portugal’s return to the financial markets.

Further, Cyprus was carrying its portion of the bailout funds and therefore had a right to its own bailout—a legal argument even a mere lawyer should be able to grasp.

And so, letting tiny Cyprus default could tear up the rest of the Eurozone, they argued—saying essentially that bailouts were a delicate con game, and that Schäuble, by digging in his heels, was blowing it up.

Eurocrats bitch slap the German Finance Minister and tell the Germans to hand over the cash. If this show of force from the bankers doesn’t demonstrate who holds the balance of power in eurozone then I don’t know what will.

It made for another bitter Eurozone irony: the democratically elected finance minister of a country whose taxpayers have to pay more than any other for the bailouts got shut down by unelected Eurocrats who, in a continued power grab, postulated that Cypriot banks, their bondholders, their depositors, even their uninsured depositors, even Russian “black money” depositors had a “right” to the German money (and anyone else’s). And if Schäuble refused, it would blow up the entire Eurozone. Schäuble’s response hasn’t bubbled to the surface yet. And bailout queen Chancellor Merkel, who is trying to avoid tumult ahead of her elections, has a new headache. Read…  Russian “Black Money” Threatens To Boot Cyprus Out Of The Eurozone.

Source: Testosterone Pit

John Williams: May 2013 – End of Road For The Dollar

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John Williams(shadowstats.com) in an interview with Greg Hunter goes through the latest government figures.

  • US Consumer accounts for > 70% of GDP.
  • Average guy is not keeping up with inflation.
  • The consumers liquidity is getting worse.
  • The real cost of living is 7-9%.
  • 2012 fiscal deficit was $6.9 trillion.
  • Fed is monetizing the debt and not enough is being raised in taxes to meet the debt.
  • Hyperinflation by 2014.
  • Dollar sell off in the 3-4 months.

British Economy Now Worse Than When In The Great Depression

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A few days ago Max Keiser on the BBC’s flagship Daily Politics show explained why in his opinion the UK economy is “screwed”. The Washington’s Blog has put forward its reasons for why the UK is in a worse position now than it was in the Great Depression. As usual, a chart can say it best and the velocity of money graph below does just that.

Royal Bank of Scotland Says Worst Economy Since Before Queen Victoria Was Crowned

Leading British newspaper the Telegraph reports today:

Ministers today admitted Britain is facing “very, very grave difficulties” after figures showed the economy did not grow at all in 2012.

***

Economists from the Royal Bank of Scotland said the last four years have produced the worst economic performance in a non post-war period since records started being collected in the 1830s.

***

It’s the worst economic performance since at least 1830, outside of post-war demobilisations,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s worse than the 1920s, it’s worse than the Great Depression.”

He said the economy has been “heading this way for a long time” because of the scale of the problems that came to a head in the 2008 financial crash.

***

The top economist at RBS, which is mostly owned by the Government, said it is difficult to recover when much of the world is facing similar problems.

“It’s the scale of what happened in 2008 but also the build-up to that,” he said. “Compared with other recessions [like in the 1980s and 1990s], this is happening all over the world. There’s not a quick and easy way to export your way out of this.”

(In a separate article, the Telegraph notes that the UK is heading for an unprecedented triple dip, as its economy shrunk .3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012).

We’ve repeatedly warned that this is worse than the Great Depression …

What Do Economic Indicators Say?

We’ve repeatedly pointed out that there are many indicators which show that the last 5 years have been worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s, including:

Mark McHugh reports:

Velocity of money is the frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services. It is a far better indicator of economic activity than GDP, consumer prices, the stock market, or sales of men’s underwear (which Greenspan was fond of ogling). In a healthy economy, the same dollar is collected as payment and subsequently spent many times over. In a depression, the velocity of money goes catatonic. Velocity of money is calculated by simply dividing GDP by a given money supply. This VoM chart using monetary base should end any discussion of what ”this” is and whether or not anybody should be using the word “recovery” with a straight face:

 British Economy Is WORSE than During the Great Depression

In just four short years, our “enlightened” policy-makers have slowed money velocity to depths never seen in the Great Depression.

(As we’ve previously explained, the Fed has intentionally squashed money multipliers and money velocity as a way to battle inflation. And see this)

Indeed, the number of Americans relying on government assistance to obtain basic food may be higher now that during the Great Depression. The only reason we don’t see “soup lines” like we did in the 30s is because of the massive food stamp program.

And while apologists for government and bank policy point to unemployment as being better than during the 1930s, even that claim is debatable.

What Do Economists Say?

Indeed, many economists agree that this could be worse than the Great Depression, including:

Bad Policy Has Us Stuck

We are stuck in a depression because the government has done all of the wrong things, and has failed to address the core problems.

Instead of bringing in new legs, we keep on recycling the same old re-treads who caused the problem in the first place.

For example:

  • The government is doing everything else wrong, as well. See this and this

This isn’t an issue of left versus right … it’s corruption and bad policies which help the super-elite but are causing a depression for the vast majority of the people.

Source: Washinton’s Blog

Irish Town Marches For 100 Weeks To Protest Odious Bank Debt

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The people of Ballyhea in Cork, Ireland have spent each sunday for 100 weeks marching in protest against the bank debt that Irish politicians have forced onto the taxpayers of the country. The bravery of this town has almost been completely ignored by the Irish Presstitutes but story went international as Aljazeera has reported on it. One community has woken up generating hope and energy for others to follow. 

The European Central Bank has rejected Ireland’s proposals to restructure some of the country’s huge debts.

The government wants to avoid paying tens of billions of dollars over the next decade to underwrite a failed bank.

But one community in southern Ireland is unwilling to accept the terms of the bailout, blaming the government and banks for the economic crisis.

Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reports from the town of Ballyhea.

Source: Aljazeera

WGC: Chinese Move Toward Gold Backed Yuan

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Its been discussed by gold bugs over the last few years but Keith Barron in an interview with King World News talks about  the World Gold Council’s commissioned a report which basically says the Chinese are looking to launch a gold backed yuan. Jim Rickards in his book Currency Wars has written about the obvious move for China to back the yuan with gold and its no secret that China with its large dollar reserves are not happy with how its being debased.  With every major Central Bank flat-out printing money combined with gold repatriation stories and hedge fund Pacific Group converting its holdings to physical gold, one cannot help wonder that 2013 could be a very significant year for gold.

The second thing I want to make KWN readers aware of is the report which was commissioned by the World Gold Council.  This is an incredible document, especially coming from the World Gold Council because it’s basically saying that the Chinese are going to back their currency with gold.  This would, in turn, displace the US dollar and make the Chinese yuan the world’s reserve currency.

 The Chinese are sitting on piles of dollars right now, and while the US continues its decline, the reality is that all of the fiat currencies are in a race to the bottom.  We just saw the Bank of Japan yesterday talk about opening up QE and printing vast sums of money.  This will be an attempt to reverse their deflation with inflation.  This move by the Japanese is very, very bullish for gold.

 But between what is happening with the set up for the coming short squeeze in gold, coupled with the Chinese moving to back the yuan with gold, and the shortages we are seeing in the silver market, the outlook for gold and silver going forward are spectacular.  Quite frankly, the gold and silver bulls are going to begin to trample the bears at some point in the near future.”

Last month Stephen Leeb spoke of a chinese diplomat admitting China’s intention only to backtrack shortly afterwards.

There is a ritual we see in overnight trading.  Gold is usually up $4 or $5 at around midnight or 1 AM east coast time.  I’ll be watching gold trade at this time and I can’t count the number of times that in just a minute or two, instead of gold being up $4 or $5, it’s now down $20.  No one is trading at 12 or 1 or 2 in the morning.  Somebody is doing this and it always happens when there is no liquidity.  So you have a game of desperation going on here and the Chinese are aware of this. 

 I was just speaking to a Chinese diplomat and I said to their diplomat, ‘Your two most important commodities are water and gold.’  And this diplomat said to me, ‘Yes, we need gold to back up the yuan.’  Well this diplomat realized very quickly they had made a terrible mistake in admitting that and began to back off and stated, ‘No, it’s not to back the yuan.  It’s because of jewelry.’  But it was too late, the horse had left the barn so-to-speak.

 So the Chinese get this in spades.  The only way for them to become the world’s powerhouse and continue accumulating materials in the resource war is if they have a currency that’s backed up by gold or they have the actual physical gold itself.

The bottom line here is that when I see gold engaged in one of these drops I know it doesn’t make any sense.  The Chinese let the price of gold dip because they are smart buyers and we are playing into their hands with this ridiculous manipulation.

 This game of manipulation we are engaged in with the gold market is going to stop sooner rather than later.  Time is running out on these schemes and when it does stop and when they lose control, you had better be positioned in gold because this will be a bull market to end all bull markets.”

World Gold Council : – Gold Renminbi Mulit Currency Reserve System

Federal Reserve Loves Inflation

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100 years of the Federal Reserve summed up by one chart.

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