Gold To Be Remonetized

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Interesting interview with John Butler over the future and eventual re-monetization of Gold. Butler claims there is a massive financial earthquake to come with paper currencies are repudiated. 2008 was only a fore-shock.

The German Bundesbank under the Constitution can go to court if it feels the German currency (i.e euro) is under threat from the ECB. In that case the markets would immediately react negatively and the “shit would hit the fan”. In other words, the future of the euro may well be in the German Bundesbank’s hands.

Eurozone Banks Stop Lending To Each Other

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The eurozone banks have stopped lending to each other in a clear sign that mistrust has entered the system. We already know that Deutsche Bank is 60 times over leveraged with a massive derivative exposure. As Irish economist Karl Whelan put it best “At any point in time, this thing can blow up”.

euroEUROZONE banks are refusing to lend to peers in other countries in the common currency bloc, signalling a worrying fall in confidence that appears to have worsened since the Cyprus bailout earlier this year, data analysed by Reuters shows.
European Central Bank data shows the share of inter-bank funding that crosses borders within the eurozone dropped by one-third, to just 22.5pc in April from 34.5pc at the start of 2008.

The silent retreat to within national borders is most pronounced in the troubled economies of southern Europe, but is even seen in Germany.

Cross-border inter-bank funding of German banks was down by 11.2pc year-on-year in March, equivalent to banks elsewhere in Europe withdrawing €29.5bn from its biggest economy.

Eurozone banks’ stock of lending to their Greek peers was a startling 68pc lower in April than in the same month a year earlier, equivalent to €18bn withdrawn. In Portugal, the decrease was roughly a quarter.

The ECB figures include lending between separate banks in different eurozone countries and within a single banking group to its cross-border units.

CYPRUS

Faltering confidence may be responsible for the reduction in cross-border lending, due in part to a bailout of Cyprus that closed one of its two main banks.

Lobbyists for the banking industry also say a soon-to-be-finalised EU law making it possible to impose losses, or “haircuts”, on bank creditors could hurt confidence.

“At any point in time, this thing can blow up,” said Karl Whelan, an economist at University College Dublin, warning of a potential spillover on to regular savers.

“We are relying on an absence of panic among depositors while we sit around and work out who to haircut. There is a risk of large-scale deposit withdrawals in Spanish banks, in particular. They are the obvious tinder box.”

A spokesman for the European Central Bank countered that the trend was due to a general shift towards secured lending and funding via retail deposits. Banks were deleveraging, which increases the importance of stable retail deposits. (Reuters)

Source: Irish Independent

ANALYSIS: WHY THE REAL EU FUHRER IS NOW MARIO DRAGHI

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During the week the Telegraph broke the story of how the ESM will be used to bailout broke banks. The article from the Slog explores how all the power now resides with Draghi.

ANALYSIS: WHY THE REAL EU FUHRER IS NOW MARIO DRAGHI.

German Court Case Has Potential To Force Euro Exit

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Last summer to avert the euro crisis, Mario Draghi announced Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) to support the Spanish and Italian bonds. Now finally the German constitutional court is to hold hearings this week on the legality of the ECB using OMT as a tool to finance deficits in bankrupt states. Already Bundesbank’s Jens Weidmann has submitted a report to the court objecting to OMT but the panel looks split and the ruling could go either way. This has the potential to possibly force a German euro exit or at very least throw the eurozone back into a full blown crisis.

Udo di Fabio, the constitutional court’s euro expert until last year, said the explosive case on the legality of the European Monetary Union rescue machinery could provoke a showdown between Germany and the European Central Bank (ECB) and ultimately cause the collapse of monetary union.

“In so far as the ECB is acting ‘ultra vires’, and these violations are deemed prolonged and serious, the court must decide whether Germany can remain a member of monetary union on constitutional grounds,” he wrote in a report for the German Foundation for Family Businesses.

“His arguments are dynamite,” said Mats Persson from Open Europe, which is issuing its own legal survey on the case on Monday.

Dr Di Fabio wrote the court’s provisional ruling last year on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the €500bn (£425bn) bail-out fund. His comments offer a rare window into thinking on the eight-strong panel in Karlsruhe, loosely split 4:4 on European Union issues.

The court is holding two days of hearings, though it may not issue a ruling for several weeks. The key bone of contention is the ECB’s back-stop support for the Spanish and Italian bond markets or Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), the “game-changer” plan that stopped the Spanish debt crisis spiralling out of control last July and vastly reduced the risk of a euro break-up.

germanThe case stems from legal complaints by 37,000 citizens, including the Left Party, the More Democracy movement, and a core of eurosceptic professors, most arguing that the ECB has overstepped its mandate by financing the deficits of bankrupt states.

Berenberg Bank said the case was now “the most important event risk” looming over the eurozone, with concerns mounting over an “awkward verdict” that may constrain or even block ECB action.

Dr Di Fabio said the court, or Verfassungsgericht, does not have “procedural leverage” to force the ECB to change policy but it can issue a “declaratory” ultimatum. If the ECB carries on with bond purchases regardless, the court can and should then prohibit the Bundesbank from taking part.

The Bundesbank’s Jens Weidmann needs no encouragement, say experts. He submitted a report to the court in December attacking the ECB head Mario Draghi’s pledge on debt as highly risky, a breach of both ECB independence and fundamental principles. The ECB does not have a legal mandate to uphold the “current composition of monetary union”, he wrote.

Dr Di Fabio said it was hard to imagine that an “integration-friendly court” would push the EMU “exit button”, but it can force a halt to bond purchases. This may amount to the same thing, reviving the eurozone crisis instantly.

“It would pull the rug from under the whole project. It is the OMT alone that has calmed markets and saved the periphery,” said Andrew Roberts from Royal Bank of Scotland. Mr Draghi said last week that the OMT was the “most successful monetary policy in recent times”.

The court dates back to the Reichskammergericht of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1490, but it was revived after the Second World War along the lines of the US Supreme Court.

It has emerged as the chief defender of the sovereign nation state in the EU system, asserting the supremacy of the German Grundgesetz over EU law, hence the German term “Verfassungspatriotismus”, or constitution patriotism.

The court backed the Lisbon Treaty but also ruled that Europe’s states are “Masters of the Treaties” and not the other way round, and reminded Europe that national parliaments are the only legitimate form of democracy. It said Germany must “refuse further participation in the EU” if it ever threatens the powers of the elected Bundestag.

It issued another “yes, but” ruling last September. It threw out an injunction intended to freeze the ESM, but it also tied Berlin’s hands by capping Germany’s ESM share at €190bn, and blocked an ESM bank licence. It killed off hope of eurobonds, debt-pooling, or fiscal union by prohibiting the Bundestag from “accepting liability for decisions by other states”.

Crucially, the court said the Bundestag may not lawfully alienate its tax and spending powers to EU bodies, even if it wants to, for this would undermine German democracy.

Chief Justice Andreas Vosskuhle said at the time that Germany had reached the limits of EU integration. Any further steps would require a “new constitution”, and that in turn would require a referendum.

 

Source: The Telegraph

EURO: Cock-Up or Conspiracy?

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Godfrey Bloom MEP discusses how the Euro was doomed to failure to force fiscal integration. Where is the democratic remit for fiscal integration since nobody was asked?

Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider, Professor of Law at Erlangen-Nurnberg University said of the euro:

The euro will inevitably fail. It was always clear that the euro-project would not succeed. Already in 1993 I have processed the Maastricht law suit that was mostly against the introduction of the monetary union. Without the consent of the nations comprising the EU, the euro is being used as a political lever to make the EU a super state that, for example, goes against Russia, and at the same time, serves as a counterbalance against China, the USA and other economic giants. But this lever was always economically doomed to failure.

 

German Finance Minister Who Launched Euro, Calls For Its Breakup

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euroThat the euro has been a disaster is now beyond question.  Even the German Finance Minister, Oskar Lafontaine who was responsible for Germany launching the euro is now calling for its breakup. He believes countries would unite against Germany, forcing change. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes:

Oskar Lafontaine, the German finance minister who launched the euro, has called for a break-up of the single currency to let southern Europe recover, warning that the current course is “leading to disaster”.

“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said.

“The Germans have not yet realised that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, blaming much of the crisis on Germany’s wage squeeze to gain export share.


Mr Lafontaine said on the parliamentary website of Germany’s Left Party that Chancellor Angela Merkel will “awake from her self-righteous slumber” once the countries in trouble unite to force a change in crisis policy at Germany’s expense.

His prediction appeared confirmed as French finance minister Pierre Moscovici yesterday proclaimed the end of austerity and a triumph of French policy, risking further damage to the tattered relations between Paris and Berlin.

“Austerity is finished. This is a decisive turn in the history of the EU project since the euro,” he told French TV. “We’re seeing the end of austerity dogma. It’s a victory of the French point of view.”

Mr Moscovici’s comments follow a deal with Brussels to give France and Spain two extra years to meet a deficit target of 3pc of GDP. The triumphalist tone may enrage hard-liners in Berlin and confirm fears that concessions will lead to a slippery slope towards fiscal chaos.

German Vice-Chancellor Philipp Rösler lashed out at the European Commission over the weekend, calling it “irresponsible” for undermining the belt-tightening agenda.

The Franco-German alliance that has driven EU politics for half a century is in ruins after France’s Socialist Party hit out at the “selfish intransigence” of Mrs Merkel, accusing her thinking only of the “German savers, her trade balance, and her electoral future”.

It is unclear whether the EU retreat from austerity goes much beyond rhetoric. Mr Moscovici conceded last week that the budget delay merely avoids extra austerity cuts to close the shortfall in tax revenues caused by the recession.

The new policy allows automatic fiscal stabilisers to kick in, but France will stay the course on the original austerity. “It is not about relaxing the effort to cut spending. There will no extra adjustment just to satisfy a number,” he said.

Mr Lafontaine said he backed EMU but no longer believes it is sustainable. “Hopes that the creation of the euro would force rational economic behaviour on all sides were in vain,” he said, adding that the policy of forcing Spain, Portugal, and Greece to carry out internal devaluations was a “catastrophe”.

Mr Lafontaine was labelled “Europe’s Most Dangerous Man” by The Sun after he called for a “united Europe” and the “end of the nation state” in 1998. The euro was launched on January 1 1999, with bank notes following three years later. He later left the Social Democrats to found the Left Party.

Remember Helmut Kohl’s recent comments on introducing the euro in an interview that was conducted by Jens Peter Paul, a German journalist in 2002, but only recently published. Kohl said that he would have lost any popular vote on the euro by an overwhelming majority.

“If a Chancellor is trying to push something through, he must be a man of power. And if he’s smart, he knows when the time is ripe. In one case – the euro – I was like a dictator …

“I knew that I could never win a referendum in Germany,” he said. “We would have lost a referendum on the introduction of the euro. That’s quite clear. I would have lost and by seven to three.”

So there you have it, stuck with a currency that was rammed through against peoples wishes and a completely predictable disaster. Of course a currency union, as the elites point out, cannot work without a fiscal union. That has always been the end game, to hand over all economic power to the EUSSR. In other words a “power grab”. Hegelian dialect, the method to implement something you want by creating a problem which induces a reaction , whereby you already have the solution. After all, the Soviet Union was based on Hegelian dialectic techniques.

Source: The Telegraph

Solvenian Banks Close To Collapse

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After Cyprus, next up looks to be Slovenia. Over the weekend there has been an official denial that the banks are about to collapse and we know what that means. If it does turn out to be the case, then another  “bail in” would cause panic right across the Euro area.

 

SloveniaTYE2012Are Slovenian depositors about to get Cyprus’d with a wealth/deposit confiscation?  If the intensity of the denials by Slovenian officials are any indication, a bank crisis is imminent for the tiny balkan nation. 
New Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek attempted to calm Slovenians over the weekend stating: We are absolutely no Cyprus. We don’t need help. All we need is time.
If and when the 2nd bail-in episode in the EU is attempted, expect all hell to break loose across the European banking system as depositors in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and even France realize that as DISELBOOM openly admitted, Cyprus really was the template for bank failures going forward.

As the AP reports, the official denial is in:


Slovenian officials have a message for the world: Don’t panic — we won’t be the next to fall.
The tiny European Union member is trying to convince its people and foreign investors that it won’t be the next in line for a banking system collapse and a messy international bailout.
“We are absolutely no Cyprus,” says new Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek. “We don’t need help. All we need is time.”

Contrary to PM Bratusek’s claims, a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation claims that the equity in Slovenian state banks has been “virtually wiped out.”:

The Alpine country’s banks have been on a lending spree for years, loaning money to unprofitable state companies or privileged officials who used the cash to buy the firms they ran, using the state assets as collateral.
Many such businesses have now collapsed or have huge debts. A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation says that the equity of the state banks has been “virtually wiped out.” As much as 15 percent of all loans are now non-performing, the third-highest ratio in the eurozone, the Paris-based group said.

Which brings us to the important question: Exactly how much gold does Slovenia supposedly own as its reserves that are about to be confiscated by the ECB?  3.20 tons according to Slovenia’s latest report…all likely stored in London and already rehypothecated and leased to bullion banks 1,000 times over.

Que the MSM reports that Slovenia’s 3.2 tons of gold will need to be liquidated.

Source: SilverDoctors

Nigel Farage: This European Union Is The New Communism

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Nigel Farage (MEP) latest attack on the EUSSR. On the day of the funeral of Margaret Thatcher it must be acknowledged that she saw through the frailties of the euro.  Full transcript is below.

The Full transcript:

eussrno1Years ago, Mrs Thatcher recognised the truth behind the European Project. She saw that it was about taking away democracy from nation states and handing that power to largely unaccountable people.

Knowing as she did that the euro would not work she saw that this was a very dangerous design. Now we in UKIP take that same view and I tried over the years in this parliament to predict what the next moves would be as the euro disaster unfolded.

But not even me, in my most pessimistic of speeches would have imagined, Mr Rehn, that you and others in the Troika would resort to the level of common criminals and steal money from peoples’ bank accounts in order to keep propped up this total failure that is the euro.

You even tried to take money away from the small investors in direct breach of the promise you made back in 2008.

Well the precedent has been set, and if we look at countries like Spain where business bankruptcies are up 45% year on year, we can see what your plan is to deal with the other bailouts as they come.

I must say, the message this sends out to investors is very loud and clear: Get your money out of the Eurozone before they come for you.

What you have done in Cyprus is you actually sounded the death knell of the euro. Nobody in the international community will have confidence in leaving their money there.

And how ironic to see the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev compare your actions and say, ‘ I can only compare it to some of the decisions taken by the Soviet authorities.’

And then we have a new German proposal that says that actually what we ought to do is confiscate some of the value of peoples’ properties in the southern Mediterranean eurozone states.

This European Union is the new communism. It is power without limits.
It is creating a tide of human misery and the sooner it is swept away the better.

But what of this place, what of the parliament? This parliament has the ability to hold the Commission to account. I have put down a motion of censure debate on the table. I wonder whether any of you have the courage to recognise it and to support it. I very much doubt that.

And I am minded that there is a new Mrs Thatcher in Europe and he is called Frits Bolkenstein. And he has said of this parliament – remember he is a former Commissioner: ‘It is not representative anymore for the Dutch or European citizen. The European Parliament is living out a federal fantasy which is no longer sustainable.’

How right he is.

Source:  ZeroHedge

Looks Like European Banks Were Given the Nod Over A Year Before Cyprus Went Bust

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Core European banks made a lot of money leaving money on deposit in Cyprus. While locked in for a year a nice profit could be made at 4.9%. Bit of coincidence then that this money made it out in time suggesting that most of them knew over a year in advance of when the collapse would come. Charles Hugh Smith takes a look at what led up to the Cyprus Banking collapse.

Longtime correspondent David P. (proprietor of Market Daily Briefing) charted some very interesting data that enables us to follow the money–specifically, Eurozone money in the “foreign deposit sources” (deposits in Cyprus banks that originated from outside Cyprus).

It appears the key preliminary step of the Real Cyprus Template is that money-center banks in Germany and other “core” Eurozone nations pull their money out of the soon-to-implode “periphery” nation’s banks before the banking crisis is announced.

As David observed, “I think this explains a lot about something that has always puzzled me: why the delay in resolving Cyprus after the Greek haircut?”

Here is David’s explanation and two key charts:

“The Cyprus situation had been simmering for at least a year when in March of 2013 it finally broke; Cyprus had a week to take care of its banking situation or else face a cutoff of access to the eurosystem by the ECB. This brought matters to a head; the Cyprus Bail-In was finally settled upon, where uninsured depositors in the two largest banks in Cyprus took major haircuts, and must wait for return of their money until the assets of the banks are run down.

The banking problems in Cyprus had their roots in the Greek Sovereign Default, and were known by the general public for about a year prior to the recent default; a New York Times article dated April 11, 2012 lays out the particulars.

Looking at Cyprus bank security assets in data provided by the ECB, the problems were visible earlier – right after the first Greek haircut in mid 2011, and a second haircut finalized in early 2012. This was a 11 billion euro hole in a system with 100 billion in assets total, centered upon two banks that held half the deposits in the system.

Greek Crisis Timeline

Date Event
April 2010 Greek Sovereign Bonds Declared Junk
May 2010 110 Euro bailout, no haircut
July 2011 “Private Sector Involvement” decided at EU Summit
Oct 2011 130 Euro bailout, 53% face value haircut
Mar 2012 Haircuts take effect; actual haircut 85%

You can see the effects of the increasing haircuts in the chart below. The chart lists all types of bonds owned by all the banks on Cyprus. The red line is the important one. It shows “all off-island Eurozone Government Bonds.”

Put more simply, that red line represents Greek Government debt owned by the two banks on Cyprus that failed. It went from a 12 billion euro value in mid 2011, down to a 1 billion euro value in early 2012. That’s an 11 billion haircut – all due to the Greek Default.

So why did the eurozone wait so long to resolve the problematic Cypriot banks with their 11 billion euro hole that was clearly serious in the middle of 2011, and becoming blindingly obvious by 2012? Therein lies a story – it has to do with banking, and how banks make money. The explanation is a bit complicated, but bear with me.

Bank deposits are grouped into 3 primary categories: deposits from households, from corporations, and from other banks. Households and corporations typically have a long standing relationship with their bank; they only move their deposits slowly, and most of this sort of depositor uses time deposits to maximize their interest income. Deposits from other banks are what we might term “hot money.” They arrive quickly, and depart just as fast. But why would a bank deposit money with another bank? The simple explanation is: interest rate spreads.

Let’s imagine you ran a German bank, and you paid very low rates to your overnight depositors. You have a great deal of really cheap money on your hands. What are your options to make money? You can either loan money to German homeowners one by one, but there are only so many German homeowners, and they only want to borrow so much money. So after loaning all you can loan, you search the world to try and find another bank that is advertising high rates for deposit money, and you stumble on the banks in Cyprus.

Rate Deposit Type & Location
0.55% German Overnight Deposit
1.1% Cyprus Overnight Deposit
2.8% Cyprus Savings Deposit (1 year)
4.9% Cyprus Time Deposit (1 year)

Now then, if the Bank of Cyprus doesn’t go under, this is free money. How much are we talking about? Subtract the rate for the overnight deposit in Germany from the time deposit on Cyprus (4.9 – 0.55) then multiply by 60 billion euros. That ends up being 2.61 billion euros in profit. Per year! Cost? One guy at a computer hitting the “transfer” button on his keyboard in Dusseldorf!

This sure beats trying to loan money to a bunch of German homeowners one by one! But the key to this free money is, your bank must be able to get its money out of Cyprus prior to any trouble.

And the barrier to getting the bank’s money back is those Time Deposits (the deposits paying the most interest) are stuck in Cyprus for a year. So in order to avoid loss, you have to see into the future one year and stop rolling your bank’s time deposits one year before those Cyprus banks go under. Otherwise you will have collected that 4.9%, then suffered a 30-60% uninsured depositor haircut. And a haircut is not a good way to ensure your banker bonus for the year.

So with this hypothetical strategy in mind and being mindful of the dangers of default and the timeline of when things occurred, take a look at the following chart of “foreign deposit sources” (deposits in Cyprus banks that originated from outside Cyprus) and see for yourself how well each foreign participant did in anticipating the eventual banking system crisis.

 

  • Black: Eurozone [German & French] Banks
  • Red: Cyprus people and businesses
  • Blue: Cyprus Banks
  • Green: Banks outside the Eurozone
  • Orange: Russian “Mobsters” & Brits

Looking at the timeline, even as late as the end of 2011, when it was clear Greece would default and the banking regulator had to know the banks in Cyprus were doomed, the amount of Eurozone-bank derived deposits in Cyprus was over 20 billion euros, a good portion of which would be subject to massive losses if the Cyprus Template were to be applied at that moment.

[Note that 20 billion euros was – at that time – the same size as the “Russian Mobster” Money.]

But at that moment, as a result of the “collecting the spread” strategy, some big chunk of that money were likely in time deposits, unable to be withdrawn. That money couldn’t flee, not just yet.

But as time passed, those Eurozone bank deposits were slowly reduced down to 10 billion euros, a reduction of 50%. Presumably, as the time deposits expired, the money was brought back to the fatherland.

And then suddenly the President of Cyprus was informed he had 1 week to solve the banking situation that had been pending for more than a year.

In looking at the movement of capital prior to the default, we can give a grade to each participant, as a result of their apparent ability to assess the the danger to their deposits.

The clear winner: Eurozone Banks. Those guys were geniuses. They were the only participant to seriously reduce holdings prior to the default.

Participant Grade
Eurozone [German & French] Banks B+/A-: almost perfect
Cyprus People & Businesses F: completely unaware
Cyprus Banks C-: slightly more aware
Banks Outside Eurozone F: completely unaware
Russian Mobsters F: completely unaware

So it is expected (and a bit sad) that households and businesses don’t leave their banks readily, so its not surprising they stayed on board right up until the end.

What is fascinating to me is that the banks that were NOT in the eurozone clearly had no idea what was coming, and the banks actually ON Cyprus only had an inkling, and that only at the last minute. Given both the timing and the form of the Cyprus bank resolution was in the hands of the ECB, as well as French and German politicians, is this astounding ability of the Eurozone banks to avoid losses truly a surprise?

One question that might be asked is, if the Eurozone banks knew what was going to happen, why not withdraw all their money from the banks on Cyprus?

First, only half the banking deposits on Cyprus were involved in the bail-in. Perhaps the 10 billion euros in remaining Cyprus-EZ bank deposits are in other healthy Cyprus banks. Another explanation is that only a subset of the eurozone banks were well-connected enough to receive advance information.

One last point. Since now we understand how perfectly the well-connected eurozone banking establishment identifies issues in member nation’s banks, and how adept it is at avoiding uninsured depositor haircuts, we might find it useful to watch deposit flows of these Eurozone banks going forward.

They might well provide us insight as to where the next set of banking issues might arise, and perhaps more importantly, what the timing of these issues.”

Thank you, David, for sharing your finding with us. We can now see there are two Cyprus Templates:

1. The public-relations/propaganda model

2. The real one, that enables “core” eurozone banks to pull their deposits out of periphery banks before the deposit expropriation and capital controls kick in.

Why are we not surprised the entire charade and expropriation is rigged to benefit the core banks? For more on the core/periphery structure of the Eurozone, please read The E.U., Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model (May 24, 2012)

To fully understand the Eurozone’s financial-debt crisis, we must dig through the artifice, obfuscation and propaganda to the real dynamics of Europe’s “new feudalism,” the Neocolonial-Financialization Model.

Source: OfTwoMinds

Iceland Vs Greece

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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.

Iceland Vs Greece – who made the right decision?

Global Risk

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Grant Williams explains Global risk and hedging through a Gold leasing system which is about to collapse.

Euro Crisis Explained

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Clarke and Dawe sum it up 🙂

Ways Around Cyprus Capital Controls

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It looks like the Cypriot banks are going to be in a lot worse shape when they open than first thought. Cypriot capital controls don’t apply to branches in foreign countries and this is being used by people to withdraw deposits from the struggling banks. This will necessitate a much bigger haircut when the dust settles.

Then this morning the 20%-40% seizure of the depositor’s money, which was the range that had been discussed, was now admitted by the Finance Minister in Cyprus today to be more like an 80% expropriation and a timeline to get any money back of six to eight years. This is, I suspect, because while the banks were closed in Cyprus that they were still open in Greece and Britain so that certain monies crept out during the night, and probably big money, so that the banks in Cyprus are in far worse condition than previously thought or admitted.
 
Then, of course, because the EU Finance Ministers were not going to meet again and re-open this fiasco; more money had to be seized from the depositors. Now the Dutch Finance Minister chaired the meeting on Cyprus. He was the one that directed the entire affair on Cyprus and the template that he revealed was fist denied then admitted, then denied by the ECB and confusion reigned supreme. Now here comes the first pig; the representatives of the Eurozone finance ministries released a document this morning stating that Cyprus was not the template for future bail-outs. I suppose it was initially written in German and translated into English however they must have forgotten to translate it into Dutch. This is because when the Dutch Finance Minister was asked about this document, and he is the Chairman of the Finance Minister group remember; he said he knew nothing about the document.

…………

the banks of Cyprus just re-opened in Greece this morning. I don’t know, the flights from Moscow to Athens must be jammed. There are no capital controls in Greece so you can take out what money you like while the banks in Cyprus are still closed and now subject to capital controls. “Sense” and her brethren “logical,” “rational” and “coherent” must have all departed from Europe in a huff. No one could make this up; no one.

Source: ZeroHedge

Anti Euro Sentiment Growing

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euroRight across the eurozone people are waking up to the damage the euro has done to their economies. In Italy there is a growing backlash against the euro as both Berlusconi and Grillo have an anti euro policy. It now seems Germany is getting in on the act.

 

Anti-euro movements were pushed aside or squashed by political establishments across the Eurozone. There is, for example, Marine Le Pen, of the right-wing FN in France—“Let the euro die a natural death,” is her mantra. Though she finished third in the presidential election, her party has next to zero influence in parliament. Austria has Frank Stronach, who is trying to get an anti-euro party off the ground, without much effect. Germany has the Free Voters, an anti-bailout party that has been successful in Bavaria but not on the national scene.

Then Italy happened. Two anti-austerity parties with no love for the euro, one headed by Silvio Berlusconi the other by Beppe Grillo, captured over half the vote—and locked up the political system. Newcomer Grillo had thrown the status quo into chaos, for better or worse. Suddenly, everyone saw that anger and frustration could accomplish something.

It stoked a fire in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s euro bailout policies—“There is no alternative,” is her mantra—hit increasing resistance, particularly in her own coalition, but wayward voices were gagged.

“Time has come,” Konrad Adam called out as a greeting to the crowd Monday night and reaped enthusiastic applause. Despite the snowy weather, over 1,200 people had shown up at the Stadthalle in Oberursel, a small town near Frankfurt, for the first public meeting of the just-founded association, Alternative for Germany (AfD), that isn’t even a political party yet, and that wants to be on the ballot for the federal elections on September 22.

So Adam, one of the founders and a former editor at the Welt and FAZ, was pressed for time. It’s wrong to say there’s no alternative to the euro bailouts, he said. “Politics is nourished by alternatives.” He introduced his demands:

– Dissolution of the “coercive euro association.” An orderly end of the monetary union. Countries should be able to legally exit if they “could not, or did not want to remain.” The euro would be replaced by parallel national currencies or smaller, more stable monetary unions.

– Observance of the rule of law, specifically the laws laid out in the now totally flouted Maastricht Treaty that specified, for example, that no Eurozone member would guarantee the debts of other members.

– A referendum if “the basic law, the best constitution that Germany ever had,” were modified to allow the transfer of sovereignty to a centralized European state.

The event had been opened by co-founder Bernd Lucke, an economics professor who’d been a member of Merkel’s CDU for 33 years until he abandoned it in 2011 over her bailout policies. So he hammered her. “We have a government that has failed to comply with the law and the rules and the contracts, and that has blatantly broken its word that it had given to the German people,” he said to rousing applause.

But this wasn’t the radical fringe of Germany. The mood was enthusiastic and serious. The people weren’t so young anymore. Supporters, by now 13,000, were a well-educated bunch, with a higher concentration of PhDs than any party. Among the early supporters were prominent economics professors, ex-members of the CDU, and even Hans-Olaf Henkel, the former president of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), an umbrella lobbying organization representing 100,000 businesses. And so the event was orderly, a picture, as the Wirtschafts Woche described it, of the “German bourgeoisie.”

Many supporters hailed from the center-right CDU and FDP, but AfD didn’t want to be categorized in the classic scheme of left and right. “We represent non-ideological values that people of different views can share,” Lucke said.

A claim that was validated: 26% of Germans would consider voting for a party that would steer the country out of the monetary union. They came from all political directions: on the right, 17% of CDU voters and almost a third of FDP voters; on the left, 15% of SPD voters, 27% of Green voters, and 57% of Left voters.

The challenges are huge. One is fragmentation. It would be difficult to get people from that kind spectrum to agree on anything. Another is time. The founding convention will be on April 13 in Berlin. By June 17, the party and sections for each state must register with the federal election office. By July 15, the party must collect signatures in every state amounting to 0.1% of the electorate or 2,000, whichever is lower, just to get on the ballot. But Lucke was optimistic. “With you, we can easily get the signatures,” he told the crowd.

It will be tough. Merkel is immensely popular. The major parties are well-oiled political machines. The AfD lacks truly prominent personalities, experienced politicians, economically powerful supporters, financial resources, structure…. And its platform is still skimpy.

But it doesn’t need to govern. The parliament let itself be intimidated by the executive branch “through the assertion that there is no alternative,” Lucke said. When the AfD arrives in parliament, “it will cause the large parties to begin to rethink.” This would lead to “a critical questioning of the monetary union.” And to a look at the very alternatives that Merkel said didn’t exist.

There have been waves of threats by Eurozone politicians to bully people into accepting “whatever it takes” to keep the shaky monetary union glued together. These threats peaked last year with disorderly default, and when that wasn’t enough, with collapse of the Eurozone. But now, the ultimate threat has been pronounced: war. Read…. The Ultimate Threat In The Euro Bailout and Austerity Racket: War

Source: testosteronepit

Euro May Have To Devalue By Mid Year

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In an original interview with Handelsblatt, Felix Zulauf founder of  Zulauf Asset Management in Switzerland has declared that the euro will most likely experience a crisis by mid year and will have to devalue.

euroThe Euro crisis will escalate again says Felix Zulauf. Swiss money manager is preparing for a collapse of the stock market. But even greater is his concern that angry citizens could take to the streets.

The markets were expecting the world economy to recover, but he suspected that neither the economy nor corporate earnings would develop as hoped. Once the distance between “wish” and “reality” became apparent, “it could cause a crash.”

Timeframe? This year. Optimism might hang in there for a while; the second quarter would be more problematic. Over time, downdrafts in some markets could reach 20% to 30%. Despite the incessant insistence by Eurozone politicians that the worst was over, he didn’t see “any normalization.” The structural problems were still there, they’ve only been hidden, “drowned temporarily in an ocean of new liquidity.”

“Look at the economic data,” he said. “There is no visible improvement.” As if to document his claim, the Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index was released. It dropped again after three months of upticks that had spawned gobs of hope that “the worst was over.” Business activity has now declined for a year and a half. New orders, a precursor for future activity, fell for the 19th month in a row. While Germany was barely in positive territory, France’s PMI crashed to a low not seen since March 2009 and was on a similar trajectory as in 2008—when it was heading into the trough of the financial crisis!

Sure, the financial markets calmed down, but only because the ECB pulled the “emergency brake” by declaring that it would finance bankrupt states so that the euro would survive. It was a signal for the banks to buy sovereign debt. Borrowing from the ECB at 1%, buying Spanish or Italian debt with yields above 5%, while the ECB took all the risks—”a great business for the banks,” he said. As a consequence, the banks were once again loaded up with sovereign debt. “The problems weren’t solved but kicked down the road,” he said.

Politicians would muddle through. Government debt would continue to rise. But next time something breaks, the pressure would come from citizens, he said. Standards of living have been deteriorating. Many people have lost their jobs. Real wages have declined. “We’ve sent millions into poverty!” People were discontent. And it was conceivable that “someday, they could go on the street and attack these policies.”

Mid year is the timframe for the euro to hit a crisis. Draghi will have no choice but to “lira-ize” the euro.

Countries were devaluing their currencies to gain an advantage. This “race to the bottom” could escalate to where governments would impose limits on free trade. The devaluation of the yen would hit other countries. In Germany, it would pressure automakers, machine-tool makers, and others. By midyear, he said, “Europe will reach a point when it can no longer live with this euro.”

It would have to be devalued. France’s President François Hollande was already agitating for it. “And he has to because the French economy is in a catastrophic condition. It’s no longer competitive. France is becoming the second Spain.”

But didn’t the ECB emphasize that the exchange rate was irrelevant for monetary policy? And wasn’t the Bundesbank resisting devaluation?

“The policies of the Bundesbank are unfortunately dead,” he said, and its representatives were only “allowed to bark, not bite.” Monetary policy at the ECB was made by Draghi, “an Italian.” He’d push for the “lira-ization of the euro,” he said, “not because he likes it, but because he has no choice.” It was the only way to keep the euro glued together. “Mrs. Merkel knows that too, but she cannot tell the truth; otherwise citizens would notice what’s going on.”

So what does Zulauf recommend ?

Given this dreary scenario, what could investors do? Long-term, equities were a good choice, he said, but this wasn’t the moment to buy.

Gold? That it was down from its peak a year and half ago was “normal,” he said. Currently, gold funds were forced to liquidate, which could cause sudden drops, but it also signified “the end of a movement.” He expected the correction to end by this spring. “Long-term, the uptrend is intact,” he said.

Bonds? They had a great run for 30 years but were now “totally overvalued”—in part due to central banks that had bought $10 trillion in debt “with freshly printed money” over the past five years. Debt markets were completely distorted, but central banks would be able to hold the bubble together for “a while longer.” So he admitted, “Last summer, I sold all long-term debt.”

But where the heck was he putting his money now? That’s when he made his sobering remark, “I’m sitting on cash.”

Source: Testosteronepit, Handelsblatt

CEO Of Saxo Bank Says Euro Is Doomed

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Another name added to the list of people who believe the end of the euro is a matter of time. Lars Seier Christensen the co CEO of Saxo Bank has delivered his frank views on the euro.

Lars Seier Christensen, co-chief executive officer of Danish bank Saxo Bank A/S, said the euro’s recent rally is illusory and the shared currency is set to fail because the continent hasn’t supported it with a fiscal union.

“The whole thing is doomed,” Christensen said yesterday in an interview at the bank’s Dubai office. “Right now we’re in one of those fake solutions where people think that the problem is contained or being addressed, which it isn’t at all.”

………..

While the euro has strengthened, the economies of Germany, France and Italy all shrank more than estimated in the fourth quarter. Ministers from the 17-member euro area met during the week to discuss aid to Cyprus and Greece as a tightening election contest in Italy and a political scandal in Spain threaten to reignite the region’s debt crisis.

“I’d be a bigger seller of the euro at anything near 1.4,” according to Christensen, who said he isn’t making any speculative bets against the currency.

France is the danger ahead.

“Another possible fallout is getting rid of some of the countries that are being ruined by being in the euro, notably the southern European economies,” Christensen said. “People have been dramatically underestimating the problems the French are going to get from this. Once the French get into a full- scale crisis, it’s over. Even the Germans cannot pay for that one and probably will not.”

………..

“It’s the political world that has been extremely supportive of the euro, not for economic reasons but for political reasons,” said Christensen, a long-time critic of the single currency who now lives in Switzerland.

Source: Bloomberg

 

 

 

 

EU Moving Towards EUSSR

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How long before the EU becomes the EUSSR?

 

Related Story: EU provides funding for propaganda

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

Jan 2013: 20 Facts About The Euro Collapse

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The lamestream media are hell-bent on covering up the real state of the euro zone, even going onto to praising Mario Draghi for his money printing powers as the EU claps itself on the back for getting a bizarre Nobel Peace prize. The following article helps to bring some focus on whats really happening under the veneer. This is what happens when politicans take on too much debt on behalf of the nation.

euroThe economic implosion of Europe is accelerating. Even while the mainstream media continues to proclaim that the financial crisis in Europe has been “averted”, the economic statistics that are coming out of Europe just continue to get worse. Manufacturing activity in Europe has been contracting month after month, the unemployment rate in the eurozone has hit yet another brand new record high, and the official unemployment rates in both Greece and Spain are now much higher than the peak unemployment rate in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The economic situation in Europe is far worse than it was a year ago, and it is going to continue to get worse as austerity continues to take a huge toll on the economies of the eurozone.

It would be hard to understate how bad things have gotten – particularly in southern Europe. The truth is that most of southern Europe is experiencing a full-blown economic depression right now. Sadly, most Americans are paying very little attention to what is going on across the Atlantic. But they should be watching, because this is what happens when nations accumulate too much debt. The United States has the biggest debt burden of all, and eventually what is happening over in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece is going to happen over here as well.

The following are 20 facts about the collapse of Europe that everyone should know…

#1 10 Months: Manufacturing activity in both France and Germany has contracted for 10 months in a row.

#2 11.8 Percent: The unemployment rate in the eurozone has now risen to 11.8 percent – a brand new all-time high.

#3 17 Months: In November, Italy experienced the sharpest decline in retail sales that it had experienced in 17 months.

#4 20 Months: Manufacturing activity in Spain has contracted for 20 months in a row.

#5 20 Percent: It is estimated that bad loans now make up approximately 20 percent of all domestic loans in the Greek banking system at this point.

#6 22 Percent: A whopping 22 percent of the entire population of Ireland lives in jobless households.

#7 26 Percent: The unemployment rate in Greece is now 26 percent. A year ago it was only 18.9 percent.

#8 26.6 Percent: The unemployment rate in Spain has risen to an astounding 26.6 percent.

#9 27.0 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Cyprus. Back in 2008, this number was well below 10 percent.

#10 28 Percent: Sales of French-made vehicles in November were down 28 percent compared to a year earlier.

#11 36 Percent: Today, the poverty rate in Greece is 36 percent. Back in 2009 it was only about 20 percent.

#12 37.1 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Italy – a brand new all-time high.

#13 44 Percent: An astounding 44 percent of the entire population of Bulgaria is facing “severe material deprivation”.

#14 56.5 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Spain – a brand new all-time high.

#15 57.6 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Greece – a brand new all-time high.

#16 60 Percent: Citigroup is projecting that there is a 60 percent probability that Greece will leave the eurozone within the next 12 to 18 months.

#17 70 Percent: It has been reported that some homes in Spain are being sold at a 70% discount from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble back in 2006. At this point there areapproximately 2 million unsold homes in Spain.

#18 200 Percent: The debt to GDP ratio in Greece is rapidly approaching 200 percent.

#19 1997: According to the Committee of French Automobile Producers, 2012 was the worst year for the French automobile industry since 1997.

#20 2 Million: Back in 2005, the French auto industry produced about 3.5 million vehicles. In 2012, that number dropped to about 2 million vehicles.

Source: thecomingdepressionblog

Berlusconi Hints At Italy Returning to Lira

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Berlusconi has mentioned in the past of Italy possibly returning to the Lira and has is at it again as he warns of an Italian exit from the eurozone unless the European Central Bank gets more powers to ensure lower borrowing costs.

Reminding the world of just the kind of truthiness that got him sacked originally by that other Italian, the Ex-Goldmanite Mario Draghi, back in November 2011, and which the world has to look forward to when Silvio Berlusconi returns to power some time in 2013, even if not as PM (a position he currently has a snowball’s chance in hell of regaining based on current political polls), Reuters informs us that the Italian, who certainly has not read the Goldman book on status quo perpetuation, just said the unimaginable: the truth. To wit: “If Germany doesn’t accept that the ECB must be a real central bank, if interest rates don’t come down, we will be forced to leave the euro and return to our own currency in order to be competitive.” Berlusconi said in comments reported by Italian news agencies Ansa and Agi. The 76-year-old media tycoon has made similar remarks in the past about the possibility of Italy, or even Germany, leaving the euro, but has often at least partially rectified them later.” Not this time. Now with Germany and the Buba folding like a broken chair, Silvio is coming back and knows he can demand anything and everything, and Germany has no choice but to accept, Merkel reelection in a few months be damned.

Perhaps the former PM who recently got engaged to this 28 year old girl who obviously loves him for his personality has read our little primer on what happens in a Europe in which external devaluation (i.e., FX) is not a possibility, and where another 30-50% drop in PIIGS salaries would be neccesary to restore competitiveness. That, or a return to the Lira of course. And Berlusconi has seen that in the duel between Greece and Germany so far the former (and specifically its creditors) have gotten all the advantage. It is only a matter of time before he parlays that negotiating approach to Italy as well, and in the process destabilizes whatever artificial balance the ECB may have created.

….

Enjoy the little European respite ladies and gents, because in a few weeks, the Magic Money Tree-free reality is coming back with a vengeance.

Source: ZeroHedge

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