Early last month, Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, blamed“irrational behaviour” for the failure of the BoE’s recent forecasting models. The failure to spot this irrationality had led policymakers to forecast that the British economy would slow after last June’s Brexit referendum. Instead, British consumers have been on a heedless spending spree since the vote to leave the European Union; and, no less illogically, construction, manufacturing, and services have recovered. Haldane offers no explanation for this burst of irrational behaviour. Nor can he: to him, irrationality simply means behaviour that is inconsistent with the forecasts derived from the BoE’s model. It’s not just Haldane or the BoE. What mainstream economists mean by rational behaviour is not what you or I mean. In ordinary language, rational behaviour is that which is reasonable under the circumstances. But in the rarefied world of neoclassical forecasting models, it means that people, equipped with detailed knowledge of themselves, their surroundings, and the future they face, act optimally to achieve their goals. That is, to act rationally is to act in a manner consistent with economists’ models of rational behaviour. Faced with contrary behaviour, the economist reacts like the tailor who blames the customer for not fitting their newly tailored suit.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Relatives of the 12 people killed in December when a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin have expressed their dismay at the negligent way they say they have been treated by German authorities. About 50 people who lost loved ones in the Islamic State-claimed terrorist attack reportedly told a private meeting called by Germany’s outgoing president, Joachim Gauck, and the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, they felt abandoned at a deeply upsetting time. Relatives said the first official communication they had with authorities was a bill sent to them by the coroner’s office. The letter reportedly included a warning that if the bill was not paid within a certain timeframe, the recipients would face legal action. One relative told Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt newspapers that when she received the letter she had thought at the very least it would be a letter of condolence from Berlin’s mayor. Those who were certain that their family members were among the dead said they were prevented by security personnel from entering the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church on Breitscheidplatz for a religious service held the day after the attack on 19 December. The reason they were given was that high-ranking German politicians – including Gauck – were among the guests. According to the papers, which reported on the four-hour meeting at Gauck’s Bellevue Palace, the president told the relatives he was distressed to hear they had been unable to enter the church and that he had not known about it at the time.
Monday, January 30, 2017
The templates for recent relationships between the American Head of State and the British Head of Government have not been inspiring. We had Mr Blair’s obsequiousness to Mr Clinton and Mr Bush; Mr Brown’s near-invisibility to Mr Obama; and the conspiracy of cynicism between Mr Cameron and Mr Obama that led to the disastrous (from Mr Cameron’s point of view) interference by the last president in our referendum campaign. Watching the press conference held by Mrs May and President Trump, it seemed this Prime Minister had, commendably, adopted a dignified approach of her own. Indeed, I would go further: from what emerged, Mrs May seemed to have done a superb job in furthering British interests, and those of the West, in her meeting with Mr Trump. She should be congratulated. She acted precisely in accordance with the realities of our present politics. There was no fawning.
Monday, April 25, 2016
In October 2013, the provisions of articles 12 and 13 of the Law no. 193/2000 concerning abusive clauses in contracts concluded between professionals and consumers, with the modifications that were made to them by the Law no. 76/2012 for the implementation of the Law no. 134/2010 concerning the Civil Procedure Code. Article 12 stipulates: "If the use of adhesion contracts which include abusive clauses are found, the control entities stipulated in Art. 8 (ed. note: the authorized agents of the National Consumer Protection Agency and authorized specialists of other entities of the public administration, depending on their competences) will notify the court from the domicile, or the headquarters of the professional, and demanding that the professional be required to amend the ongoing contracts, by removing the abusive clauses they may contain. (...) The consumer protection associations (...) can sue professionals that use adhesion contracts that contain abusive clauses, with the courts stipulated in paragraph (1), and ask the latter to decide the cessation of their use, by eliminating the abusive clauses". Article 13 states: "The court, if it finds the existence of abusive terms in the contract, requires the professionals to change all ongoing adhesion contracts, as well as to eliminate all abusive clauses from boilerplate contracts, meant to be used as part of the professional activity". There are several ongoing "class action" lawsuits filed by the ANPC, especially against banks. The Parakletos Association has intervened in seven of the ANPC cases against the banks, as a third party. The leaders of Parakletos state that, through the ruling in the ANPC/OTP Bank case, lays the groundwork for the straightening of all the contracts between professionals and consumers, when they contain abusive clauses, without the consumers in question having to resort to individual lawsuits.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
The economic system worldwide is a total shambles thanks to central bankers and governments who think they can print away their problems and 2008 never happened. Now the under the counter QE will be joined by QE4 and then its off to hyperinflation as all the bankrupt banks and companies who pay their workers peanuts have to be saved because they cannot survive in the world they created. A total and utter shambles...I'm never sure why there is so much concern about liquidity or lack of it in fixed income or equity markets. If investors want to sell something that they own, they can only sell it at the price that another investor is prepared to pay for it. If that price is lower than the price someone else was prepared to pay a month ago, or a week ago, or if the price is less than the seller was hoping to achieve, so be it. It's not the end of the world. They can decide not to sell at the lower price and hold on to their asset, or they can bite the bullet and sell. Bonds and shares are designed to be long term investments. There is no fundamental right for an investor to redeem that investment whenever it suits him. If he wants out of the investment, he has to sell it and he can only sell it to someone else who wants to buy it - at a price that person wants to buy it at. Why are so many people getting worked up about this?...The EU has legislated a mechanism to prevent a bank crash, it is based on the Cyprus model and amounts to using your money as the bank's assets. "You see, when you open an account with a bank, you are investing in that bank". As someone who has owned bank shares and bank bonds, that is news to me, but, the rules are there to be changed at will by the people with the power to do so, and they have. The statement above indicates that your money is just as likely to be misappropriated sitting in a bank as it is if it were under your mattress. It might be prudent to move your money into a Mutual or if a small amount, take it out and stick it under the garden shed or something.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The International Accounting Standards Board® (the Board) today issued a new accounting Standard, called IFRS 16 Leases. It replaces accounting requirements introduced more than 30 years ago that are no longer considered fit for purpose and is a major revision of the way in which companies account for leases. Leasing provides an important and flexible source of financing for many companies. However, the old lease accounting Standard (IAS 17 Leases) makes it difficult for investors and others to get an accurate picture of a company’s lease assets and liabilities, particularly for industries such as the airline, retail and transport sectors. Listed companies using IFRS Standards or US GAAP are estimated to have around US$3.3 trillion of lease commitments; over 85 per cent of which do not appear on their balance sheets*. That is because leases to date have been categorized as either ‘finance leases’ (which are reported on the balance sheet) or ‘operating leases’ (which are disclosed only in the notes to the financial statements). This somewhat arbitrary distinction made it difficult for investors to compare companies. It also meant that investors and others had to estimate the effects of a company’s off balance sheet lease obligations, which in practice often led to overestimating the liabilities arising from those obligations. IFRS 16 solves this problem by requiring all leases to be reported on a company’s balance sheet as assets and liabilities. Accompanying the Standard, the IASB has also published a separate Effects Analysis, which outlines the costs and benefits of the Standard. It clearly demonstrates the need for the Standard and that the benefits outweigh the costs. The Board has given careful consideration to feedback received and has introduced several cost-saving measures for preparers, such as exempting ‘small ticket’ items as well as leases of 12 months or less. The publication of a separate Effects Analysis follows on from a report to the IFRS Foundation Trustees in November 2014 by the Effects Analysis Consultative Group. The Effects Analysis can be accessed here. A separate Project Summary, including an overview of the project history and how the Board has responded to stakeholders’ comments during the development of the Standard, can be found here. *Based on a sample of 30,000 listed companies using IFRS or US GAAP, over 14,000 companies disclose information about off balance sheet leases in their 2014 annual reports. The future payments for off balance sheet leases for those companies totalled US$2.9 trillion (on an undiscounted basis).
Monday, January 18, 2016
The E.U. Commission has already written to the Polish government asking how its new media law will work with EU rules on media freedom. Schulz described the government’s actions as a “dangerous Putinisation of European politics”, while Oettinger suggested Poland should be put under rule of law supervision, legislation designed to deal with “systemic threats” to EU values. Responding to the criticism, Poland’s government summoned Germany’s ambassador for talks and warned Brussels not to interfere in its affairs on the basis of “biased and politically engaged” reports. The defence minister Antoni Macierewicz went further, saying Poland would not be lectured by Germany “on democracy and freedom”, while his colleague, justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro, wrote an open letter to Oettinger alluding to the Nazi occupation of Poland. “Such words, said by a German politician, cause the worst of connotations among Poles,” Ziobro wrote. “Also in me. I’m a grandson of a Polish officer, who during World War II fought in the underground National Army with ‘German supervision’.”
Friday, December 18, 2015
There is no jobs growth. The total hours worked in the US economy is the same as 15 years ago and most of the other economic indicators have been going south for months. The Fed is trapped and there is no way they can raise rates other than by a purely token amount without sending the whole thing rapidly to the dogs; in fact a recession next year is odds even if the Fed does nothing. We will get Big Bust 2 within the next 18 months...THERE WILL BE NO RATE RISE! Yellen knows full well you can't taper a Ponzi, so unless Goldman Sachs has massively shorted the markets and ordered its central banker minions to hike rates to crash the markets, Yellen will come up with yet another in her endless list of excuses to punt yet again on a rate hike. THERE WILL BE NO RATE RISE. Period. It's not like the Fed has any credibility left to lose. ..According to some soothsayers, there will be a 0.15% Fed rise BUT....after New Year there will be some more easing, say....$50 Billion. This time around the money printing will be in subsidies for the middle income earners. If the FED does not do this there will be turmoil and public protests. The Obama admin does not want this, not after the California shootings and most probably some more in the Christmas holiday season. The Obama gov needs the support of the public NOW more than ever....The Fed exists solely to further enrich the already super-rich. That means facilitating the looting and asset-stripping of the "middle income earners" (a soon to be extinct class) as part of the Fed's "No Billionaire Left Behind" monetary policy. The Fed will NEVER subsidize or otherwise give a damn about "middle income earners," much less savers, pensioners, and non-speculators, with whom it is in a state of undeclared financial warfare...The whole casino economy is built around perceptions. There are no relations between economic fundamentals and the value of the stock markets or the amount of public and private debt. A simple lack of confidence or misplaced rumor can cause a panic among investors. And then there's the trillions of debts owed in US dollars by entities who don't use the U.S. dollar as there native currency., Yellen will not raise rates in the absence of some exogenous event, i.e. a phone call from Goldman Sachs or the bond market going haywire as "investors" belatedly realize Yellen & her central banker cohorts are going to inflate away all government and TBTF banker debts and liabilities.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
The far-Right Front National was thwarted in its bid to clinch a historical electoral victory in France on Sunday after failing to secure power in any of the country’s 13 regions, early results suggested.
The ruling Socialists of President François Hollande appeared to have fared better than expected, taking six regions, while the opposition centre-Right also took six, including the Paris region for the first time since 1997. Voting had taken place under high security with France still under a state of emergency exactly a month on from the jihadist attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives – a climate that helped the FN reap historic gains in round one a week ago. But in a major upset - IT IS CLEAR THAT THE ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN "DOCTORED" by the organizers (fake results) , Marine Le Pen, the FN leader, failed to take power in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, losing heavily to Xavier Bertrand, the candidate of Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-Right party The Republicans (formerly the UMP). The results will come as a major relief to the Socialists, who had controlled all but one of France’s regions before the elections and had expected a pendulum swing to the opposition.
President Hollande clearly hopes his party’s decision to pull out of two regions where the FN stood a chance of winning will give it the moral high ground ahead of 2017 presidential elections and bolster its claim to being the “only rampart against the far-Right”. The organizers, and I mean the thieves represented by a young stupid gigolo named Manuel Valls, the prime minister, who had warned of future “civil war” should the FN take power, said: “Tonight there is no relief, no triumphalism. The extreme-Right threat has not been averted. I have not forgotten the first round results.” They will do all they can and more to prevent the people from expressing their ream choices.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Europe braced for a revolutionary Leftist backlash after Greece .. He has vowed to block anti-austerity measures such as reverses to wage cuts, rehiring of public sector workers, and halting privatisations. A constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds majority vote in the country's 230-seat parliament. It cannot pass with the support of the Socialists who are the second largest party in parliament. If the motion fails, Anibal Cavaco Silva, the president, faces the choice of appointing a caretaker regime for six months, or relenting and allowing the Leftists to enter power.
He is due to make a decision in the coming days. Indebted Portugal is still the problem child of the Eurozone . The political stalemate comes as Portugal's economy has stalled. GDP growth ground to a halt at just 0pc in the third quarter for the former bail-out country. Portugal's former international creditors in the IMF and Brussels have urged any new regime to continue cutting government spending, reduce debt levels and make crucial economic reforms. "Since the onset of the eurozone crisis, Portuguese voters have shown remarkable loyalty to their traditional political parties," said Ben May at Oxford Economics. "The pace of structural reforms has dwindled and could even go into reverse under a Left-wing alliance", he said
Friday, August 28, 2015
Greece's creditors have voiced "serious concerns" about the sustainability of the country's debt ahead of a vote on a third bail-out deal in Athens that is likely to cement a split within the government. Analysis prepared by the country's European lenders projected that Greece's debt share would rise to 201pc of gross domestic product (GDP) next year. Debt is only expected to fall to 175pc by the end of the decade, even if Greece implements all the terms of its €85bn (£61bn) rescue package and raises €13.9bn from a privatisation drive. This means the country would not get its debt pile down to 120pc of GDP - which has long been viewed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the target to get Athens back to a sustainable debt level - until 2030, two decades after the country's first bail-out. Just another example of post democratic EU. The Greek people vote in a referendum against an austerity package,this after they had voted in an anti austerity government. Result, the same government accept an EU bailout based on austerity measures the Greek population voted overwhelmingly against.To cap it all these stringent measures will be enforced by Brussels bureaucrats,all very undemocrat but typical of EU control. The flaw in 'democracy' is that you can vote yourself more than you can pay for. When that happens you lose your right to self government. Democracy ends at your borders. You cannot vote yourself access to other peoples money.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
At the moment the Greek government receipts are used to pay for pensions and public salaries. Afterwards there is practically no money left to pay for social, health, education, traffic, communication, military etc. All these items are paid by credits from partners. Interests and debt repayment is only done by partners. Without a "haircut" on pensions and public salaries Greece has not even a slight chance to survive..."To relieve the present exigency is always the object which principally interests those immediately concerned in the administration of public affairs. The future liberation of public revenue they leave to the care of posterity." -Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776) 2010. Greece was about to default on its debts. As usual, politicians and bureaucrats blamed everyone but the perpetrators — the politicians and bureaucrats. They claimed that the only way to relieve the crisis of debt was debt itself. Problem: An excess of borrowing behavior by Greeks.
Goal: To have saved the Big Banks, mainly in France and Germany. Plan: To allow Greeks to default to non-banking creditors; have the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund lend even more money to Greece in order to give Big Banks time to rid themselves of basically worthless Greek debt; then, when Greece finally defaults, charge the taxpayers in the European Union, that phony paradise of united social democracies, for the losses to the ECB and IMF. Measurement: Success for bankers, bureaucrats, and politicians. Failure for taxpayers. There were alternatives more fair and just; for example, see "Debt & the Race to the Bottom" at ... http://nationonfire.com/catego... In 2015. Greece defaults. Consequence? Another rescue from the EU in exchange for more Greek promises.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
"The United States is a nation-state with enough of a sense of shared political community to accept majoritarian democratic rule. Unlike the eurozone. Germany and France sharing a government? Hard to imagine. Germany and Greece? Impossible." An excellent point, but the writer seems to ignore the obvious conclusion: that a common currency cannot exist where political traditions and aims are so incompatibly diverse. The point about the US - constantly swept under the carpet - is that for all the foundation state freedoms, no single state (not even the southern Confederacy) was completely self-governing, racially and linguistically distinctive and hostile to its neighbours for any length of time - and certainly not for a millennium. It became a country dominated by the politics and philosophy of English liberalism and united colloquially by the English language. The glaring exceptions were weeded out by the Louisiana Purchase and the wars with Mexico. France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain (for example) are the five most unlikely candidates for political union imaginable. The way Greece has been treated is treason. Treason against basic human rights, treason against the very reason of existence of the EU, treason against the fathers of Democracy as we (thought to) intend it, treason against any decent and modern view of society... I am not Greek, but I do sympathize for them. and if I will be burdened with £20 to help them pay their debts, well...better reason than pay £300 for a stroll to Parliament, is it?
Shame on all European politicians...but...hey! Where the REAL POLITICIANS are...? all gone fishing, I guess...only profiting gangsters remained...that's why the likes of SNP and UKIP are taking spaces...So, indeed, shame on all of us that defend a society based on money.
I am not Labour, but...welcome Corbyn! You may be able to bring back some common sense here!
Shame on all European politicians...but...hey! Where the REAL POLITICIANS are...? all gone fishing, I guess...only profiting gangsters remained...that's why the likes of SNP and UKIP are taking spaces...So, indeed, shame on all of us that defend a society based on money.
I am not Labour, but...welcome Corbyn! You may be able to bring back some common sense here!
Friday, July 17, 2015
One of the European officials said that the four major Greek banks - National Bank of Greece, Eurobank, Piraeus and Alpha Bank (all of which have subsidiaries in Romania) - could become two. "The Greek economy is in ruin. That means that banks need a reboot", according to the quoted source, which stressed that prompt action will be necessary in the event of any bail-out between Athens and the Eurozone, adding that Cyprus could be a model in that regard. Another official said that even though the mergers of banks are necessary, that measure would be a process that could take a long time. Ever since autumn last year, there have been rumors circulating in the Romanian market that talks concerning the merger between Bancpost and Piraeus Bank or Banca Românească had taken place. Banking market sources told us, at the time, that the financial institution that would acquire Bancpost would be designated following the decisions made at the level of the parent banks, headquartered in Athens. In the beginning of October 2014, the press wrote that Piraeus Bank was considering acquiring Bancpost from Eurobank, in exchange for selling its Bulgarian subsidiary or those in Bulgaria and Serbia together. According to a scenario presented in a reorganization plan drafted upon the request of the General Competition Department of the European Commission, the Piraeus plan proposes for the Greek banks to consolidate their Balkan operations through exchanging branches, in order to reach critical masses on those respective markets, as written on October 8th by Greek portal Sofokleous10. At the time, Piraeus representatives were saying that the operations in Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Cyprus were viable and of strategic importance for the group. The Greek press had written, a few days earlier, that Banca Românească, the subsidiary of National Bank of Greece (NBG), the biggest bank in Greece, was for sale. The four major Greek banks - Eurobank, Piraeus, Alpha and NBG - have not yet succeeded in merging, even though in the past, a merger agreement was signed between Eurobank and NBG, which was later cancelled, in the beginning of last year.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
European Commission will use €7bn from an EU bail-out fund for Greece, as Tsipras says banks might not reopen for months
What is legal basis to use EFSM? The treaties establishing the new rescue fund ruled out the use of the previous EFSM to rescue a eurozone member. Mr Dombrovskis is asked on what the legal basis is for using the moribund fund. "Given the very difficult situation, and given the urgency, and given the way we are addressing the real concern, I think it is still possible," he says. "There are technical interpretations of this decision. There is a political problem that needs to be addressed. At the end of the day, the decision is to be made by the Council. Currently, we don't have better solutions on the table." He adds that by just helping one eurozone country, and not the bloc as a whole, the Commission can get round its own prohibition.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says Germany sees no basis at present for entering negotiations on a new bailout program for Greece. Steffen Seibert said Monday that Germany respects the "clear 'no' vote" by Greeks against austerity measures demanded by creditors and that "the door for talks always remains open." However, he said the conditions are "not there at present to enter negotiations on a new program." He said the "no" vote is a vote against the principle - still supported by Germany - that solidarity requires countries to take responsibility. Seibert says Europe will explore what possibilities there are to help Greek citizens and "a lot will depend on what proposals the Greek government now puts on the table." Regarding requests by Athens to restructure its debt, finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said: "I can see no reason to enter into discussions." Meanwhile, ECB governing council member Christian Noyer said that Greece's debt cannot be restructured. "Greek debt held by the Eurosystem is debt that cannot by its very nature be restructured because that would be monetary financing of a state," he said...The French advisor went on to say that Merkel had gone out on a limb to reach a compromise with Greece over a credit deal.
"Merkel was very open to negotiations with Greece, showing patience and even a sort of maternal protection regarding Alexis Tspras," he said. France's Socialist government still hopes to avoid Greece leaving the euro, but France's opposition conservatives are now calling for Greece's orderly exit from the eurozone. Alain Juppé from Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right Republicans party, said: "Greece is no longer capable of sticking to the disciplines of the eurozone."
"We must help it to organise its exit without any drama."...Angela Merkel displayed "maternal protection" towards Greece's Leftist prime minsiter Alexis Tsipras who betrayed the trust of the German Chancellor and François Hollande - despite France's more conciliatory line with Athens, according to a French presidential aide. The comment comes as the French and German leaders are to meet in Paris at 6pm local time (5pm BST) to discuss the Greek crisis, followed by a working dinner at 7.30pm at the Elysée Palace. The Hollande advisor's comment to AFP suggests France is hardening its line as facilitator vis a vis Greece and aligning itself more with Germany in a bid to show a united Franco-German front. The aide admitted Hollande got his fingers burned after seeking a compromise with Greek PM Tsipras, saying: "It will be difficult with Tsipras. There's a real problem of trust between him and us and us and him." Brussels to Greece: we're going to make your life much harder That was quite the press briefing from Commission vice-president Dombrovskis. In short, Brussels will not be giving the Greek government anywhere near an easier ride after last night.
• "The place of Greece is and remains in Europe", but when pressed, Mr Dombrovskis did not repeat that Greece's place remained in the single currency
• Brussels questions the legality of the referendum and the nature of the question: it is "neither legally nor factually correct"
• The Commission will not carry out any talks with Athens before they get a mandate from the eurozone's finance ministers who are meeting tomorrow
• Greece's vague promise of debt relief as agreed back in 2012 is now no longer on the table after the second bail-out expired last week
• The No vote has made life much more "difficult" for the Greek government, but the ball is in their court to now come up with some credible reforms
Monday, June 22, 2015
EU council chief Donald Tusk has left his meeting with Mr Tsipras and given a short statement to reporters. Here's what he had to say: "I have called this summit because time is running out, not only for Greece but all of us. We only have one week before the current programme expires. This means the lets-wait-and-see strategy must end. "It is my responsibility to ensure we respect all taxpayers in all a countries. If they hadn't borne the burden of austerity, they wouldn't be able to help Greece today. " I am absolutely convinced that the blame game leads nowhere. I want all cards on the table. This doesn't mean negotiating technical details, but to end the political gambling. Since I called this informal meeting, some promising things have happened, including today's talks. And the latest Greek prosposals are the first real proposals in many weeks, although they still need an assessment from the institutions. "We must avoid the worst case scenario, which means an incontrollable, chaotic Greixdent." ...George Saravelos of Deutsche Bank highlights that the only thing keeping Greece in the euro is the ECB. The central bank moved to raise its ceiling on emergency funds today by a further €1.3bn as the country is in the throes of a bank run. Saravelos now thinks the ECB will now be called upon every day to hike its liquidity limit to prevent a banking collapse. But, in order for that to happen, European leaders need to provide some positive signs out of tonight's series of meetings. Some insights: Written acknowledgment of progress is likely to be required to maintain ongoing ECB financing of Greek banks, with the central bank approving an additional increase in ELA provision to the Greek banking system this morning given accelerating deposit outflows. Given the scale of deposit outflows and ECB discomfort with rising exposure, ELA approval is likely to take place on a daily basis over the course of the week depending on the evolution of talks. If progress is achieved over the course of the day, the Euro leaders summit is likely to open discussions for post-programme arrangements, though press reports that a parallel discussion around a "plan B" of a breakdown in talks is also possible. The Euro leaders summit is likely to address some of the parameters for a third programme, inclusive of the potential for debt relief. We would expect a re-affirmation of the November Eurogroup 2012 commitments on the latter to be the most likely outcome. Nothing is likely to be finalized unless a full staff-level agreement has been reached between Greece and its creditors over the next few days. There will be a second (and likely last) opportunity for Greece to be discussed at the Euro-area leaders level in Thursday/Friday’s EU leaders’ summit.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The EU is increasingly weaker and it is becoming impossible to control the processes that are taking place on its territory, informs Sputnik International, which states that Europe will become a playground for the US and Russia, which are trying to expand their influence. According to the publication Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, the EU is no longer capable of controlling the processes that are happening on the European continent because the policy is dictated by NATO, led by the US, and the European governments are mere members of the audience. According to the German newspaper, the government led by Angela Merkel is weakened by the espionage scandal, while the EU is no longer a community of values, just a purely economic community, in which every party is trying to balance its selfishness. The EU is helpless when its conflicts appear on the European territory, Sputnik International further shows, and it says: "Whether it's Greece, Ukraine or Macedonia, the EU governments have proven incapable of making efficient decisions and are only acting as observers. For example, this is valid for the conflict in Ukraine, where the United States have forced the European governments to impose economic sanctions on Russia, one of the most important trade partners of the EU, Sputnik International also says, which adds that now, the EU has to pay twice: first of all the business sector is suffering significant losses because of Russia's sanctions, and second of all, European taxpayers have to finance new loans to keep Ukraine's economy afloat. According to the German newspaper, the EU is becoming a playground for Russia and the US, which are trying to extend their areas of influence in the region: "Europe is a major energy market if the US decides to export the technology of hydraulic fracking and Russia is trying to secure its exports of natural gas". "It is highly unlikely that the two opponents will have a monopoly, but even without it, both of them can earn a lot of money", the article further states. Thus, the outrageous statement of American official Victoria Nuland - "Fuck the EU"- seems to have become a reality, the EU states. According to Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, this negative trend is the logical consequence of the contradictory development of the EU, which is derived from the paradox of arrogance and of the strife within the EU.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Greece's finance minister has ramped up the political stakes in his country's debt drama, by personally telling President Barack Obama to push eurozone creditors over his country's bail-out crisis. In an 12-minute exchange with the President on the sidelines of an event marking Greek Independence day, Mr Varoufakis is reported to have repeated his desire for the US leader to influence events. Mr Obama is reported to have responded by urging flexibility from both parties.
Greece's Leftist government has looked to the White House to play the role of honest broker in protracted negotiations with its international creditors. Following Syriza's election in January, the President called for an end to harmful austerity policies and the introduction of a "growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits.” ... Hopes of a deal before a meeting of the eurozone's finance ministers on April 24 have rapidly faded as both sides show no signs of bridging their differences over Greece's cash-for-reforms bail-out extension. "In the absence of a deal in the next few weeks, the government might not be able to avoid default, which – we fear – would likely raise the risk of Grexit," said Reinhard Cluse at UBS. The situation has become increasingly critical as Greece's public funds dwindle and the government faces a near €1bn IMF bill in the first two weeks of May. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde repeated that she would not countenance any delay in payment to the Fund. “We will do everything we can so lending to the Fund remains the safest lending route any debtor can adopt. That is my determination” said Ms Lagarde. ... Unfortunately for the Greeks, this is not Obama's call to make here. The Euro Zone is left to its own faltering accord. Quite sometime ago, Greece was thrown out of the Markets, and there is very little anyone can do to get Greece back in with all of this airing their dirty laudry infighting. Calmer heads did not prevail after the Greeks elected this Syriza government. Austerity and internal deflation have political consequence. The EU wont work with Syriza, but an overwhelming majority of Greeks approve of them. Would not be at all surprised if we see a Grexident soon. Only then will all of the self appointed experts report what really went wrong here, just like with Lehman. Heads will roll after the fact. Not Obama's call to make. His advice? Play nice guys. Geithner shook his head in disbelief at how this matter was handled quite sometime ago as well. Little good anyone can do the Greeks now. This situation calls for Greek self help. No not the Troika's prescription. Sorry to say, there is no way around declaring insolvency, rebooting, and starting over.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Excerpt from TOWER OF BASEL: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World by Adam LeBor ... : The world’s most exclusive club has eighteen members. They gather every other month on a Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in conference room E in a circular tower block whose tinted windows overlook the central Basel railway station. Their discussion lasts for one hour, perhaps an hour and a half. Some of those present bring a colleague with them, but the aides rarely speak during this most confidential of conclaves. The meeting closes, the aides leave, and those remaining retire for dinner in the dining room on the eighteenth floor, rightly confident that the food and the wine will be superb. The meal, which continues until 11 p.m. or midnight, is where the real work is done. The protocol and hospitality, honed for more than eight decades, are faultless. Anything said at the dining table, it is understood, is not to be repeated elsewhere. As a result of allegations that the BIS had helped the Germans loot assets from occupied countries during World War II, the Bretton Woods Conference recommended the "liquidation of the Bank for International Settlements at the earliest possible moment". This resulted in the BIS being the subject of a disagreement between the non-governmental U.S. and British delegations. The liquidation of the bank was supported by other European delegates, as well as the United States (including Harry Dexter White, Secretary of the Treasury, and Henry Morgenthau), but opposed by John Maynard Keynes, head of the British delegation.
Fearing that the BIS would be dissolved by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Keynes went to Morgenthau hoping to prevent the dissolution, or have it postponed, but the next day the dissolution of the BIS was approved. However, the liquidation of the bank was never actually undertaken. In April 1945, the new U.S. president Harry S. Truman and the British government suspended the dissolution, and the decision to liquidate the BIS was officially reversed in 1948.
One strongly suspects that Roosevelt was assassinated because of this. Cui Bono. Ditto Kennedy, who opposed the Federal Reserve, an unconstitutional abomination, with his famous executive order 11110. Again that was quietly forgotten about after the events in Dallas. One must always analyse subsequent events to understand who benefited from these atrocities... The BIS has the right to communicate in code and to send and receive correspondence in bags covered by the same protection as embassies, meaning they cannot be opened. The BIS is exempt from Swiss taxes. Its employees do not have to pay income tax on their salaries, which are usually generous, designed to compete with the private sector. The general man- ager’s salary in 2011 was 763,930 Swiss francs, while head of departments were paid 587,640 per annum, plus generous allowances. The bank’s extraordinary legal privileges also extend to its staff and directors. Senior managers enjoy a special status, similar to that of diplomats, while carrying out their duties in Switzerland, which means their bags cannot be searched (unless there is evidence of a blatant criminal act), and their papers are inviolable. The central bank governors traveling to Basel for the bimonthly meetings enjoy the same status while in Switzerland. All bank officials are immune under Swiss law, for life, for all the acts carried out during the discharge of their duties. The bank is a popular place to work and not just because of the salaries. Around six hundred staff come from over fifty countries. The atmosphere is multi-national and cosmopolitan, albeit very Swiss, emphasizing the bank’s hierarchy. Like many of those working for the UN or the IMF, some of the staff of the BIS, especially senior management, are driven by a sense of mission, that they are working for a higher, even celestial purpose and so are immune from normal considerations of accountability and transparency....The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), is the bank for central banks. Its current members [ZH: as of 2013] include Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England; Mario Draghi, of the European Central Bank; Zhou Xiaochuan of the Bank of China; and the central bank governors of Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Canada, India, and Brazil. Jaime Caruana, a former governor of the Bank of Spain, the BIS’s general manager, joins them.