June 30th, 2015
What has really been going on in Europe over the past 5 years, if the debt load kept creeping higher, and yet little money was actually making its way to the broader population? The answer is simple: abuse of taxpayer funding, also known as fraud and corruption. As Italy's TheLocal reports, the EU anti-fraud office, Italy currently has 61 open investigations into fraud involving EU funds. This means Italy has the second highest number of investigations in the EU, ranking just below Greece's neighbor to the north, Bulgaria.
"On a more personal level, how can public service be promoted as an ideal to young people when this sewer corrupts our Republic? At this point in early twenty-first-century America, the greatest service our nation’s young people could provide is to lead an army of outraged young Americans armed with brooms on a crusade to sweep out the rascals and rid our capital of the money changers, rent seekers, revolving door dancers, and special interest deal makers and power brokers and send them back home to make an honest living, that is, if they still remember how to do so."
"I think China may be more important than Greece. Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble."
Like it or not, Bitcoin is an alternative to the fiat fraud money that is the backbone of the status quo. Since Tsipras proposed the Greferendum, Bitcoin has surged 12% as perhaps - away from the cornered and manipulated precious metals markets - faith in fiat is faltering...
While perhaps not on the scale of China or Russia assistance, Turkey has thrown its hat into the Troika-Greece farce by offering financial assistance to its embattled neighbor. As ekthimerini reports, "We are ready to help Greece survive its economic crisis with cooperation in tourism, energy, trade," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said and Turkey's left-wing parties showed solidarity by adding, "we believe that apart from imposing austerity policies on peoples of Europe, there can be more reasonable agreements." While no aid has been asked fro Turkey says it is ready to evaluate options.
Is it just election fever, or is Argentina serious about reclaiming the Falklands Islands?
Europe is imposing capital controls… next up will be border controls.
Anyone trading the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF should take a cue from Howard Marks and ask themselves the following question: can an ETF be more liquid than the assets it references?
With the ECB reneging on its responsibility as lender of last resort – not the first time it has used its power to political ends in Greece – Greek banks may soon be forced to “bail-in” deposits – i.e. confiscate the cash of their customers.
Update: EU finance ministers to hold call on Greek request for ESM loan.
GREECE ASKS FOR 2-YR BAILOUT PROGRAM FROM ESM: PM'S OFFICE
As Gallup's Consumer Confidence plunges, The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence explodes higher from 94.6 to 101.4 (smashing expectations of 97.4). After missing by the most in 5 years in April, higher gas prices, market instability, and growing social unrest appear to be the perfect recipe for improved consumer confidence as The Conference Board data nears the highest since 2007. The biggest driver of the headline spike is the surge in "expectations" - in other words, hope - which jumped from 86.2 to 94.6, although expectations for higher incomes finally began to drop back to reality.
Chicago PMI has now missed 4 of the last 5 months and printed sub-50 contractionary indications for 4 of the last 5 months. June's data improved from May (rising from 46.2 to 49.4) but missed expectations and is the weakest June print since 2008. Notably, away from 2015, June's print is the weakest since September 2009. Under the covers it was ugly - employment plunged to the weakest since Nov 2009, order backlogs plunges to the lowest since September 2009, and prices paid rose again (pressuring margins).
Cheap, easy credit has created moral hazard and nurtured magical thinking throughout the global economy.
In the latest example that there are generous, perhaps even noble people, still left, Crowdfunding site Indiegogo has released a crowd sourced "Greek Bailout Fund" which in just 1 day has already managed to raise around €100,000 from over 6,300 contributors. Noble, generous... and quite idiotic, for one simple reason - the math is horribly wrong.