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IMF “Shock Therapy”

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Great description of how the IMF destroys countries for the purpose of asset stripping.

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Christine Lagarde Due To Be Charged In Connection With £270million Fraud and Embezzlement Scam

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IMF head Christine Lagarde is to appear in court to hear whether she is to face charges into fraud and embezzlement in relation to allegations that she interfered with a trail. Not just any trail,  Bernard Tapie benefited to the tune of €400millon and the taxpayers had to fork out. Now we know why she is qualified to lead the IMF 😉

A French government  minister last night called on Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, to resign if she is charged with fraud and embezzlement.

She was questioned by magistrates in Paris yesterday over a £340million payout of public money five years ago to convicted conman Bernard Tapie.

As she appeared in court, there were calls for her to stand down from  her high-profile £305,000-a-year job if she is charged.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Minister for Women’s Rights, said: ‘Knowing the IMF and the way this type of institution works, I tend to think that if she was placed under investigation, she would without doubt be asked to quit her post.’

Last night the court adjourned after 13 hours sitting but it was widely predicted Mrs Lagarde, 57, would be placed under investigation by the Court of Justice of the Republic, equivalent to a suspect being charged in the UK.

She faces allegations that she stepped in to settle a long- running legal battle in which Tapie claimed he was cheated out of millions by Credit Lyonnais bank over the 1993 sale of his sportswear company Adidas.

Mrs Lagarde ordered a panel of judges to arbitrate and they awarded Tapie 400million euros (£340million) in damages paid from taxpayers’ money. Prosecutors suspect Tapie received favourable treatment in return for supporting ex-president  Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential elections.

They have suggested that Mrs Lagarde – who was France’s Finance Minister at the time and the first woman ever to hold the post – was partly responsible for ‘numerous anomalies and irregularities’ which could amount to complicity in fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

There is no suggestion Mrs Lagarde profited personally in any way from the final settlement.
The affair has become a huge embarrassment to France and the IMF.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was forced to quit the IMF two years ago after being accused of trying to rape a hotel chambermaid in New York, charges which were later dropped.

Her grilling by prosecutors comes after police raided her £1million Paris apartment in March.
Mrs Lagarde’s lawyer, Yves  Repiquet, said the inquiry was ‘in no way incompatible’ with her new job, adding that he expected the case to be dismissed.

She has denied any wrongdoing, saying: ‘If it’s decided to continue with this inquiry it won’t be particularly surprising. Personally, it doesn’t worry me at all – I didn’t benefit personally.’

But it has been widely reported in the French media that investigators intend to charge her with fraud  and embezzlement.

Le Monde reported that magistrates had already written to Mrs Lagarde to tell her not to expect any special treatment because of her high-profile international job.

Tapie was jailed for six months in 1997 for corruption and match- fixing while he was the owner of  Marseilles football club.

Source: Daily Mail

Ireland to Sell 80Yrs of Harvesting Rights To Its Forestry, To Save 3 Weeks Of Interest Repayments

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As a condition of the IMF/ECB/EFSF “Troika”  loan for the amount of  €67.5bn Ireland must generate €2 billion from the disposal of State-owned assets and companies. As part of this, the government has plans to sell off the harvesting rights to the states forestry for the next 80 years.

The proposed €600 million that they will receive would pay off 0.4% of the national debt currently standing at €140bn, or to put it another way, 3 weeks loan interest on the national debt.  The Irish Timber Council said the proposed sale could lead to the closure of all ten of Ireland’s sawmills with the loss of 2,500 jobs. Coillte the public body in charge of the forests which accounts for 7% of the landmass of Ireland employes over 12,000 people whose jobs are at risk. The amount raised would potentially be only half of what the country would lose in lost earnings, redundancies and costs of replacing the trees.

How ironic that Labour, one of the government parties looks to have backtracked on another promise. In their election manifesto (p36) , Labour had a commitment to forestry as follows

labour

 

Thank you IMF 😦

IMF-and-debt

IMF Tells Ireland No More Austerity Next Year

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In October the IMF admitted that its Fiscal Multiplier(is not 0.5 percent but really 0.9-1.7) used for justifying austerity measures was wrong and in fact the implication was that austerity doesn’t work. Now shortly after Ireland announced the 2013 budget, the IMF has asked that Ireland does not implement austerity measure next year. It was worried that Irelands growth which is already weaker than forecast may hinder its ability to re-enter the bond markets.

IRELAND should not impose further austerity even if growth targets are missed next year, the IMF has said.

The agency also called on Europe to honour pledges to help make Ireland’s debt more sustainable, in its latest review of the country’s finances.

It outlined fears that growth may be weaker than expected during 2013 – but does not advocate more austerity.

Instead it advises the coalition that if it is failing to reach economic targets next year, it should not rush to bring in any further cutbacks, for fear of damaging any fragile growth. Instead the economic targets could be pushed out until 2015 to help recovery.

The IMF made the statement as it approved its eighth review of the bailout programme, authorising the release of a further €890m funding under the bailout terms.

It said Ireland had so far shown “steadfast policy implementation” with the conditions of the bailout programme, despite slower growth this year.

It is predicting more gradual economic recovery with growth of 1.1pc in 2013 and 2.2pc in 2014. But with many economists forecasting growth of less than 1pc in 2013, there is a real threat to Ireland’s chances of getting out of bailout and back to the markets as planned in 2014.

The IMF says that if growth is weaker than forecast and economic targets begin to slip, the Government should not introduce extra cuts or a mini-Budget. Instead the Government should wait until 2015 before taking extra measures, in order to protect whatever growth there is.

IMF deputy managing director David Lipton said: “The program with Ireland has now been in place for two years and the Irish authorities have consistently maintained strong policy implementation.

“The authorities have demonstrated their commitment to put Ireland’s fiscal position on a sound footing, with the 2012 deficit target expected to be met even though growth has been low.

“Nonetheless, if next year’s growth were to disappoint, any additional fiscal consolidation should be deferred to 2015 to protect the recovery.

“Continued strong Irish policy implementation is essential for the programme’s success,” said Mr Lipton.

In what may be a reference to the ongoing negotiations on repayment of Anglo Irish debt, Mr Lipton called on European partners to deliver on pledges to help Ireland.

“Ireland’s market access would also be greatly enhanced by forceful delivery of European pledges to improve programme sustainability, especially by breaking the vicious circle between the Irish sovereign and the banks.”

The IMF also said that the banking sector needs to be reformed and shored up to help improve lending. “Vigorous implementation of financial sector reforms is needed to revive sound bank lending in support of economic growth,” it said.

Source: Irish Independent

Time For Ireland To Default

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David McWilliams writes of Greece’s latest debt deal and how the smart option for Ireland now is to default. Of course when the country is run by school teachers and ex unionists there is no chance, as their only focus is securing funds to pay public sector wages as well as their own.

McWilliams has consistently argued against Irelands odious bank debt which lets face it is just being paid back for bondholders who gambled badly. Now is the time to push for a debt deal. Unfortunately the Presstitutes refuse to debate openly the merits of reneging on payments to bankers. Equally discussion of pulling out of the euro has been muted least it catch on.

ireland toxicbankGreece has defaulted again, and the financial markets have shrugged their shoulders. The euro remained unchanged versus the dollar. The Greek stock market even rallied. What does this tell us? It tells us that, as this column has argued again and again, the markets have no memory. Because it improves the overall position of a country, a debt restructuring will be welcomed since it adheres to the golden rule: a broken balance sheet is made better by less debt not more debt.

The media is reporting this as a “deal” in Greece. It is not, it is yet another default from a country where the economy is destroyed and needs to be nursed back to health rather than punished.

The big news for Greece and for us is that the troika has accepted that the country must be healthy in order to pay debt. This logic applies to Ireland too. Before we focus on the implications of the latest Greek default for us, let’s look at the broader picture. And before you think that I am advocating we follow the Greek route, I am not, I am simply pointing out the reality of the global economy and the realpolitik at the centre of Europe.

Effectively, the troika and the Europa group of Greece’s creditors have “agreed” (rather they have had their hands forced) to restructure their bailout loans. Interest rates will be lowered and even deferred to give Greece breathing room.

The crux of the agreement is that Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio should reach 175pc in 2016 and 124pc in 2020. So 120pc has become the new sustainability.

It has also calculated that this is how capitalism works. In a crisis, the debtor and the creditor suffer, they both lose out and that’s how the system works. It is called co-responsibility.

The eurozone’s economy is in tatters, carrying too much debt, unable to grow. Italian consumer confidence has fallen to a record low this month. It is now at the lowest level since the series began in 1996. The only countries that seem to be keeping their necks above water in Europe are Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. This is hardly a reassuring picture, is it?

As the great deleveraging continues and unpayable debts can’t be paid, it would be surprising if Athens is the only government to choose to face down its creditors.

This all brings us here to Ireland as we continue to squeeze the economy dry, foisting austerity upon austerity and the local economy falters. Next week will be more of the same. We have been at this for five years now and there is no sign of recovery. It is increasingly clear that the Irish domestic economy will not recover as long as the crushing debt burden on the country’s young workers is not lifted.

And as we all buy and sell to each other in the local economy, your spending is actually my income and my spe- nding is your income. And if we all stop spending at the same time and the Government exacerbates this by slashing spending simultaneously, who is spending? And if no one is spending, who is earning? And if no one is earning, who can possibly be saving without earning?

So you see that what sounds good for the individual, such as “I am saving”, is only good for me if others continue to spend; if we all save at the same time, there is no income.

Now as these macro-economic targets that the Government and the troika set themselves are always debt expressed as a percentage of income, if our income is falling because no one is spending, then debt expressed as a percentage of income will be rising, not falling.

Now is the time to push for a debt deal, instead of the excuses pushed by the government for nearly two years as to why they haven’t.

This is why there has to be a debt deal for these hundreds of thousands of mortgages underwater. We already have 128,000 mortgages in arrears. This figure is rising consistently. There are 400,000 tracker mortgages which will only get more expensive as interest rates eventually rise over the course of the mortgage. These people will face default when this moment arrives and our banks will be bust again.

Now is the opportunity, when the EU is doing deals all over the place, to propose a big bank solution for Ireland’s mortgage debt. Such a deal would aid the Irish recovery, the EU would have the victory it so craves and ordinary Irish people would have the debt relief they so desperately need.

This would allow the economy to breathe again and it could be made the centrepiece of Ireland’s EU Presidency in the next six months. The EU President sets the EU agenda for the period when it has this role. Let’s not miss this chance.

Otherwise Ireland will become known as the country that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The Greek deal is an opportunity; let’s not throw it away.

Source: David McWilliams

Turkish PM Calls For Gold Standard

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The Turkish PM, Erdogan has called for a return to the Gold Standard in a scathing attack on the IMF. Interesting that the call for the use of gold as money is becoming more mainstream.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan states that instead of ruling the world under the pressure of the dollar the IMF should switch to using gold.

During his stay in Indonesia, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan brought up an interesting suggestion for the International Monetary Fund.

Stating that although IMF assistance may appear to be a prescription for some nations, in fact quite the opposite, the fund has often caused serious problems for countries in trouble, Erdoğan asks why it is that the fund uses dollars instead of gold.

Expressing that he doesn’t feel it is right for the IMF to act according to one nation’s currency, Erdoğan states, “The IMF extends aid on a who, where, how and on what conditions bases. For example, if the IMF is under the influence of any single currency then what, are they going rule the world based on the exchange rates of that particular currency?

Why do we not switch then to a monetary unit such as gold, which is at the very least an international constant and indicator which has maintained its honor throughout history. This is something to think about.”

IT IS IMPERATIVE THE IMF AND OECD CHANGE

Explaining that Turkey had to pay a heavy price for the agreement they made with the IMF, Erdoğan stated, “We have not made a stand-by agreement for the past three periods. In April, we will have zeroed out our debt completely and we have no intentions of working with the IMF again.”

Prime Minister Erdoğan went on to state: “One would hope that the IMF would help countries in trouble, however at present this is not the case. This is what we need to achieve.”

Erdoğan also said he believed the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Security and Co-operation n Europe (OSCE) and the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD) need to all undergo a reform.

Source: Sabah

IMF Admits Austerity Doesn’t Work

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Probably one of the biggest stories this year and completely missed by the MSM has been the IMFs change of the fiscal multiplier, that it bases its austerity on, from 0.5 to 0.9-1.7%. This is for all practical purposes an admission that austerity does not work. Try telling that to the Irish, Greek, Portuguese, Argentinians and other countries worldwide that have been on the receiving end of the IMF’s policies.

Courtesy of Steen Jokobsen, chief economist at Saxo Bank in Denmark
Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/10/imf-admits-it-prescribed-wrong-medicine.html#DI5sYuUoQDPyZmOT.99

Is IMF short for I must fail?

Fiscal Multipliers are wrong, IMF admits – the biggest macro story this year

The big story this week is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) admission that the fiscal multiplier is not 0.5 percent but really 0.9-1.7 percent according to Financial Times article It’s (austerity) Multiplier Failure

This is actually not just big news, but massive news! For the IMF to let alone realize and then admit this is central to the outlook for growth and fiscal deficits across all economies. Let’s walk through the maths here:

The fiscal multiplier defines that 1 percent of austerity will net cost 0.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) – but now the IMF says it is higher. Hence, its whole approach of austerity at any cost is losing its academic as well as practical application.

If the fiscal multiplier is larger than 2.0 percent you have an extremely vicious circle. You are enforcing a diet which will kill the patient rather than heal him, as for every percent you reduce in spending you lose 2 percent in growth.

The bigger the hole you dig, the harder the climb back up! Do you think it is a random decision that the IMF made 1.7 percent the top of its range? Hardly!

The fact that only FT Alphaville in its “The IMF game changer” has spotted and written about this is close to being scandalous. It tells us that the Anglo Saxon press’ need for supporting Keynesian initiatives (buying time, maximum interventions and pretend-and-extend) at all costs is done for political reasons rather than for finding real solutions to this crisis which is now spinning out of control as systemic risk is at an all-time high.

The IMF has increased the systemic risk by extending the payback period of central planners’ calculations (much lower growth and higher fiscal/structural deficits). The market knew this, but it is such naive forecasts produced by the IMF which dictate policy recommendations for the debt crisis. The IMF is ironically seen as the ‘expert’ although it has experiences considerably more failure than success in its “helping efforts” – think Asian Crisis, Russia, EU debt crisis! The IMF is asking for your patience – extend-and-pretend squared is here!

It is sad that it took this long though! This has been discussed at length before by me (interview in April with TradingFloor.com), plus in the FT (whose writers deserve much credit). The most prominent voice on this topic has been Soc. Gen’s excellent economic team led by Ms Michala Marcussen – who I happened to study with a couple of ‘wars’ ago at the University of Copenhagen.

What we need now is for policymakers to start producing credible forecasts which politicians cannot misuse. The IMF started this, so will the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England take note? Will the Congressional Budget Office in the US reduce its growth forecast? (See link for how this has been done in the past). Probably not, but the IMF’s admission this week is a game changer. You can’t save yourself to prosperity, not even in the eyes of central planners anymore! The IMF admission also proves what we have known for a long time: Macro stinks!

Finally, and most importantly, this creates a need for something new – which is the very theme I keep emphasizing. Let’s work on creating the fundamentals for the micro economy which will create more jobs. The strongest multiplier, after all, remains taking one person out of the unemployment queue and putting them into a job. This reduces the subsidies needed as the person earns a taxable salary, is probably less ill, feels better, spends more etc. So the real challenge the IMF and other central planners need to realize is: You can help, but only by going away and taking a holiday. The S&P 500 (excluding financials) has a Return on Equity (ROE) in excess of 20 percent this year. It is based on an economy growing at 2.0 percent! So, do you need more proof?

President Clinton is in growth terms one of the most successful US presidents in history. What did he do politically for eight years – except for smoking cigars? Nothing! Belgium was without a government for almost two years and every single macro indicator improved during this spell. I rest my case! Let’s have total radio silence for five years and we will all be in a better place!

Mike Shedlock goes on to say

Wrong Medicine In terms of governments doing nothing for five years (as in no more stimulus) I am in agreement, if that is what Steen means (but I am not so sure that’s precisely what he means). Nonetheless, while were at it, let’s get rid of Fed meddling as well.

As for the multiplier theory, the IMF is now saying it prescribed the wrong medicine.

What was a .5 multiplier is now a range of .9 to 1.7. Anything close to or above 1 means austerity can never work.

No doubt, Krugman will be crowing “I Told You So” over this, but there is not an Austrian economist anywhere that was in support of the massive tax hikes we have seen. Reduction in government spending was not the problem. Rather massive tax hikes and lack of badly-needed reforms was the problem.

Certainly what we know is austerity cannot work “as implemented” but I said that years ago. We have seen massive tax hikes and few work rule and pension reforms. We needed lower taxes, less government, and massive work rule reforms (and still do).

Blaming the problems on “austerity” will get a lot of sympathy from Keynesian clowns, but they cannot distinguish good medicine from cow patties.

Source: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/10/imf-admits-it-prescribed-wrong-medicine.html

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