Sometimes a chart says it all. Its no wonder the lamestream media completely ignore the Icelandic success story because to follow would mean the end of the Euro. Taxpayers must be forced to prop it up at all costs so we know where Cyprus is heading judging by this chart.
April 2, 2013
October 26, 2012
During the week the Greek finance minister was caught out lying about a troika bailout outcome but now Greece needs to face up to labour reforms over the weekend or else…
Tim Geithner’s carefully scripted plan to avoid European “reality” until the US election is unraveling. While previously Greece was not supposed to be an issue until after November 6, the recent escalation with the Greek FinMin openly lying about a Troika interim bailout outcome (which may or may not happen, but only following yet another MoU which would see Greece fully transitioning to a German vassal state in exchange for what is now seen as a €30 billion shortfall over the next 4 years, and which would send Syriza soaring in the polls in the process ensuring that a Grexit is merely a matter of time) has forced a retaliation. According to the Greek press, the Troika now demands that Greece resolve its objections to labor reforms (which as reported earlier have forced the ruling coalition to split) by Sunday night, or else… The implication, it appears, is that absent a compromise, the next Troika tranche of €31.5 billion is not coming, and Greece is out.
“The government is facing a Sunday deadline for a full agreement on the package of measures that will see it cash in the next bailout tranche of 31.5 billion euros. The three-day extension it got in order to get maximum backing within the three-party coalition will be necessary as minor partner Democratic Left insists on an improvement in the terms concerning labor reforms that it staunchly opposes.” Will Greece come through in the clutch? And if not, just what happens with the EURUSD on Sunday night as Greece calls the Troika’s bluff? Deja vu shades of early summer, and plunging European risk come to mind…
It will not be an easy agreement to reach and any fallout will be assessed on Monday by the Euro Working Group.
The Euro Working Group (EWG) of eurozone finance ministry officials will convene again on Monday to discuss whatever conclusions Athens has come to and prepare the blueprint that the Eurogroup of euro area finance ministers may discuss on Wednesday through a video conference that sources from Brussels say is likely to take place in order to discuss Greece.
The prime minister appears determined to have the measures passed immediately through Parliament, either in one or in two draft laws, ordering on Thursday the preparation of the bills required.
At the same time there are also disagreements within PASOK, the other minor coalition partner, as a number of deputies are threatening to vote against a Finance Ministry measure regarding privatizations.
September 5, 2012
The bankers demands get more and more brazen but this latest one takes the biscuit. According to a leaked Troika letter, Greeks are about to be asked to work a 6 day week. This comes on top of a OECD report in 2010 which said the Greeks are the 2nd hardest workers in the world, after the South Koreans.
Area: Flexibility of labour arrangementsMeasure: Increase flexibility of work schedules:• Increase the number of maximum workdays to 6 days per week for all sectors.• Set the minimum daily rest to 11 hours.• Delink the working hours of employees from the opening hours of the establishment.• Eliminate restrictions on minimum/maximum time between morning and afternoon shifts.• Allow the consecutive two week leave to be taken anytime during the year in seasonal sectors.
Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart has criticised her country’s economic performance and said Africans willing to work for $2 a day should be an inspiration.
“I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens.”
August 9, 2012
Nobody is brave enough to finally pull the plug on Greece and force it to exit the euro so the game continues. The Troika are due to release their report in September but in the meantime on 20 August a €3.2 billion bond is due to be paid. The ECB has stopped accepting Greek collateral. So where does Greece get its funding from? And here lies the fragility of the monetary system because Greek is printing its own money and everyone is turning a blind eye.
A lot of politicians in Germany, but also in other countries, issue zingers about a Greek exit from the Eurozone and the end of their patience. Yet those with decision-making power play for time. They want someone else to do the job. Suddenly Greece is out of money again. It would default on everything, from bonds held by central banks to internal obligations. On August 20. The day a €3.2 billion bond that had landed on the balance sheet of the European Central Bank would mature. Europe would be on vacation. It would be mayhem. And somebody would get blamed.
So who the heck had turned off the dang spigot? At first, it was the Troika—the austerity and bailout gang from the ECB, the EU, and the IMF. It was supposed to send Greece €31.2 billion in June. But during the election chaos, Greek politicians threatened to abandon structural reforms, reverse austerity measures already implemented, rehire laid-off workers….
The Troika got cold feet. Instead of sending the payment, it promised to send its inspectors. It would drag its feet and write reports. It would take till September—knowing that Greece wouldn’t make it past August 20. Then it let the firebrand politicians stew in their own juices.
In late July, the inspectors returned to Athens yet again and left on Sunday. After another visit at the end of August, they’ll release their final report in September. A big faceless document on which people of different nationalities labored for months; a lot of politicians can hide behind it. Even Merkel. And the Bundestag, which gets to have a say each time the EFSF disburses bailout funds.
Alas, August 20 is the out-of-money date. September is irrelevant. Because someone else turned off the spigot. Um, the ECB. Two weeks ago, it stopped accepting Greek government bonds as collateral for its repurchase operations, thus cutting Greek banks off their lifeline. Greece asked for a bridge loan to get through the summer, which the ECB rejected. Greece asked for a delay in repaying the €3.2 billion bond maturing on August 20, which the ECB also rejected though the bond was decomposing on its balance sheet. It would kick Greece into default. And the ECB would be blamed.
But the ECB has a public face, President Mario Draghi. He didn’t want history books pointing at him. So the ECB switched gears. It allowed Greece to sell worthless treasury bills with maturities of three and six months to its own bankrupt and bailed out banks. Under the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), the banks would hand these T-bills to the Bank of Greece (central bank) as collateral in exchange for real euros, which the banks would then pass to the government. Thus, the Bank of Greece would fund the Greek government.
Its against the governing treaties but when has that stopped the elites in the EU who can break the rules whenever it suits them. As Eddie Van Halen once said, “To hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.”
Precisely what is prohibited under the treaties that govern the ECB and the Eurosystem of central banks. But voila. Out-of-money Greece now prints its own euros! The ECB approved it. The ever so vigilant Bundesbank acquiesced. No one wanted to get blamed for Greece’s default.
If Greece defaults in September, these T-bills in the hands of the Bank of Greece will remain in the Eurosystem, and all remaining Eurozone countries will get to eat the loss. €3.5 billion or more may be printed in this manner. The cost of keeping Greece in the Eurozone a few more weeks. And on Tuesday, Greece “sold” the first batch, €812.5 million of 6-month T-bills with a yield of 4.68%. Hallelujah.
“We don’t have any time to lose,” said Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker. The euro must be saved “by all available means.” And clearly, his strategy is being implemented by hook or crook. Then he gave a stunning interview. At first, he was just jabbering about Greece, whose exit wouldn’t happen “before the end of autumn.” But suddenly the floodgates opened, and deeply chilling existential pessimism not only about the euro but about the future of the continent poured out. Read….. Top Honcho Jean-Claude Juncker: “Europeans are dwarfs”
June 2, 2012
Russia Today have reported signs of the Greek Drachma appearing on Bloombergs Ticker while Bloomberg themselves have said that its a test. It has since been removed.
Traders around the world have been staring at their Bloomberg screens, hardly believing their eyes. The electronic information platform has been showing details for possible Greek Drachma trading.
The Bloomberg helpdesk described it as “an internal function which is set up to test.”
The news comes in the wake of the heated discussions over the future of the euro zone and the membership of Greece. While many experts insist that Greece should leave the Euro and default, some suggest it should remain the union and introduce a parallel currency to the Euro to repay the country’s debt.
The Head of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer said on Tuesday that Greece will be able to remain a member of the union. “Greece will have the opportunity to solve the huge problems that it is facing. Continuing support from the EU will contribute to this, in case, of course, the very Greeks would want that,” Hoyer said.
And a survey at the weekend showed that Greeks prefer to stick to the Euro and not revert to the old drachma.
The Greek Drachma details have now been taken down from the Bloomberg service.
June 1, 2012
The power generation companies in Greece for some time are struggling to pay their bills. This time the natural gas supplier DEPA has called enough is enough, pay up or else. It’s the last thing a struggling economy needs and hopefully disaster can be averted.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s power regulator RAE told Reuters on Friday it was calling an emergency meeting next week to avert a collapse of the debt-stricken country’s electricity and natural gas system.
“RAE is taking crisis initiatives throughout next week to avert the collapse of the natural gas and electricity system,” the regulator’s chief Nikos Vasilakos told Reuters.
RAE took the decision after receiving a letter from Greece’s natural gas company DEPA, which threatened to cut supplies to electricity producers if they failed to settle their arrears with the company.
May 31, 2012
Normally a country in debt crisis would devalue its currency, suffer short-term pain and then reap the rewards of instantly being cheaper. Although in the case of Greece which doesn’t have a strong export industry it would still have a massive benefit if it was to leave the euro. In the case of Iceland, it successfully devalued and is growing its economy again, although it has mainly escaped the attentions of the presstitutes. There you have it, the MSM and EUssr does not want Iceland’s success story to be told for the same reason it doesn’t want Greece to leave the euro, because it knows this is the correct way to handle the debt crisis and other countries would want to follow.
The elites of the EUssr are desperate for Greece to remain with the euro because its eventual successful recovery with a new currency with cause the euro to collapse. Consider the following article on FT from Arvind Subramanian (a Senior Fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, which counts amongst its directors numerous influential Bilderberg members, including former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former United States Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and Bilderberg kingpin David Rockefeller). Someone is scared!!!
Expelled from the eurozone, Greece might prove more dangerous to the system than it ever was inside it – by providing a model of successful recovery.
There is an overlooked scenario in which default is not a disaster for Greece. If this is the case, the real, more existential threat to the eurozone might be a very different one, in which the Greeks have the last laugh. Consider that scenario.
The immediate consequences of Greece leaving or being forced out of the eurozone would certainly be devastating. Capital flight would intensify, fuelling depreciation and inflation. All existing contracts would need to be redenominated and renegotiated, creating financial chaos. Perhaps most politically devastating, fiscal austerity might actually need to intensify, since Greece still runs a primary deficit, which it would have to correct if EU and International Monetary Fund financing vanished.
But this process would also produce a substantially depreciated exchange rate (50 drachmas to the euro, anyone?) And that would set in motion a process of adjustment that would soon reorientate the economy and put it on a path of sustainable growth. In fact, Greek growth would probably surge, possibly for a prolonged period, if it adopted sensible policies to restore rapidly and sustain macroeconomic stability.
Examples of successful devaluations
What is the evidence? Just look at what happened to the countries that defaulted and devalued during the financial crises of the 1990s. They all initially suffered severe contractions. But the recessions lasted only one or two years. Then came the rebound. South Korea posted nine years of growth averaging nearly 6 per cent. Indonesia, which experienced a wave of defaults that toppled nearly every bank in the entire system, registered growth above 5 per cent for a similar period; Argentina close to 8 per cent; and Russia above 7 per cent. The historical record shows clearly that there is life after financial crises.
This would also be true in Greece, even allowing for the particularities of its situation. Greece’s low export-to-GDP ratio is often said to preclude the possibility of high export-led growth. But that argument is not ironclad because crises can lead to dramatic reorientations of the economy. India, for example, managed to double its similarly low export-to-GDP ratio within a decade after its crisis in 1991, and doubled it again in the following decade even without a big currency depreciation.
Suppose that by mid-2013 Greece’s economy is recovering, while the rest of the eurozone remains in recession. The effect on austerity-addled Spain, Portugal and even Italy would be powerful. Voters there would not fail to notice the improving condition of their hitherto scorned Greek neighbour. They would start to ask why their own governments should not follow the Greek path and voice a preference for leaving the eurozone. In other words, the Greek experience could fundamentally alter the incentives for these countries to remain in the eurozone, especially if economic conditions remained grim.
At this stage, politics in Germany would also be affected. Today, Germany grudgingly does the minimum needed to keep the eurozone intact. If exit to emulate Greece becomes an attractive proposition, Germany will be put on the spot – and the magnanimity it shows in place of its current miserliness will be the ultimate test of how much it values the eurozone. The answer might prove surprising. The German public might suddenly realise that the eurozone confers on Germany not one but two “exorbitant privileges”: low interest rates as the haven for European capital and a competitive exchange rate by being hitched to weaker partners. In that case, Germany would have to offer its partners a much more attractive deal to keep them in the eurozone.
Such a scenario would be rich in irony. Greece is viewed as the pariah polluting the eurozone; its expulsion might make it a far bigger threat to the single currency’s survival. If a eurozone exit creates the conditions for a rebound in Greece, it may prove an infectious model. The ongoing Greek tragedy could yet turn out not too badly for the Greeks. But tragedy it might well be for the eurozone and perhaps for the European project.