How the US Has Perfected the Use of Economic Imperialism Through the European Union!

Reggie Middleton's picture

The IMF, like many other international institutions, asserts that it
has a “preferred
creditor status”
, and this has been a practiced convention in the
past. Thus, IMF has de facto seniority rights over private creditors
despite the fact that there is no legal or treaty-based foundation to
support this claim and this seniority of rights for IMF will continue
under the recent EU rescue plan announced as well as it has not been
noted otherwise implicitly nor explicitly. This is the reason why
Sarkozy said it is a said day when the EU has to accept a bailout from
the IMF (aka, the US). The EU now, and truly, contains a significant
parcel of debtor nations.

To add fuel to this global macro tabloidal fire, the Euro members’
loan will be pari passu with existing sovereign debt i.e. it will not be
considered senior. Although there is no written, hard evidence to
support this claim, it is our view that otherwise there will be no
incentive for investors to hold the debt of troubled countries like
Greece, which will ultimately defeat the whole purpose of the rescue
package. Moreover, there are indications that support this idea. As per
Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, “We are not talking about a
special preference for the eurogroup loans, that’s not possible because
then you would have the situation that already-existing rights of
creditors at the moment would be harmed.” (reference
Of course, if more investors did their homework and ran the numbers,
that same disincentive can be said to exist with the IMF’s super senior
preference given the event of a default and recoverable collateral after
the IMF has fed at the trough.

The ramifications:

IMF’s preferred creditor status coupled
with the expensive Euro members’ loans which are part of the rescue
package can create a public debt snowball effect that could push the
troubled countries towards insolvency when the IMF debt becomes
repayable in three years time. This could be seen particularly in case
of Greece (subscribers, please reference Greece
Public Finances Projections
). Even if
all the spending cuts and revenue raising are achieved as planned for Greece, its debt will peak
to 149.1% of the GDP in 2013. Please keep in mind that these numbers are
based on what we perceived (as does simple math) to be pie in the sky
optimism. I urge all readers to reference Lies,
Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to


Notice how dramatically off the
market the IMF has been, skewered HEAVILY to the optimistic side.
notice how aggressively the IMF has downwardly revsied their
forecasts to still end up widlly optimistic. image018.png

Ever since the beginning of this crisis,
IMF estimates of government balance have been just as bad…


Many of my readers have inquired as to why the IMF has been so
inaccurate in their estimates throughout the crisis. I doubt very
seriously that it is a case of ineptitude. If one were to be a skeptic,
and realize that the IMF charges stringent rates and can (and does)
usurp the hierarchy of the claims upon assets upon its entrance, then
one can clearly see a motivation in undershooting certain estimates. I
am not saying that this is the case, but I would be remiss in failing to
broach the topic. Remember, this is not your typical mainstream media
publication. Nothing is off limits.

IMF Economic Forecasts (%) 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Economic Growth 04 -2.6 1.1 2.1 2.1
Debt as % of GDP 133.3 145.1 148.6 149.1 144.3
Budget Deficit 8.1 7.6 6.5 4.9 3


The year 2013, with a IMF-proclaimed debt ratio of a tad under
150%, is the time when Greece will have to refinance the debt to pay the
IMF (remember the charts above that show how optimistic the IMF has
been historically). However, since the current debt raised by Greece is
at fairly high rates, new debt will only be available at much higher
rates (as markets should price-in the risk of high debt rollover) unless
there is some saving grace of a drastic plunge in world wide interest
rates and a concomitant plunge in the risk profile of Greece. At a 150%
debt ratio, historically low artificially suppressed global interest
rates that have nowhere to go but higher and prospective junk ratings
from the US rating agencies, we don’ t see this happening. Thus, the
cost of borrowing for in 2013 is likely to be much higher in the market
than the nearly five percent for the existing debt. Greece will either
be unable to fund itself in the markets at all, and will have to
convince the Euro Members and the IMF to extend the three-year lending
facility just announced (reference What
We Know About the Pan European Bailout Thus Far
) or, it will get
the debt refinanced at very high rates. In both cases the total debt as a
percentage of GDP will continue to rise, and this is not a sustainable
scenario over the longer-term. In addition, if it accept the EU/IMF
package and there is an event of default or restructuring, the IMF will
force a haircut upon the private and public debtors beyond what would
have normally been the case. This essentially devalues the debt upon the
involvement of the IMF, a scenario that we believe many sovereign
bondholders (particularly Greek, Spanish and Irish) may not have taken
into consideration. This also leaves the possibility of a significant
need for many banks to revalue their sovereign debt – particularly Greek
sovereign debt – holdings.

As illustrated above, there is a higher probability for a Greek
sovereign debt restructuring in 2013, which will definitely not hurt IMF
(since it has a preferred right) but the Euro Members and other
investors who will be holding the Greek debt.


Members’ quotas and voting power, and Board of Governors

Major decisions require an 85% supermajority.[19]
The United States has
always been the only country able to block a supermajority on its own.[20]

Table showing the top 20 member countries in terms of voting power
(2,220,817 votes in total):[21]

IMF member country↓ Quota: millions of SDRs↓ Quota: percentage of total↓ Governor↓ Alternate Governor↓ Votes: number↓ Votes: percentage of total↓
United States United States 37149.3 17.09 Timothy F.
Ben Bernanke 371743 16.74
Japan Japan 13312.8 6.12 Naoto
Masaaki Shirakawa 133378 6.01
Germany Germany 13008.2 5.98 Axel A. Weber Wolfgang
130332 5.87
United Kingdom United
10738.5 4.94 Alistair Darling Mervyn
107635 4.85
France France 10738.5 4.94 Christine Lagarde Christian Noyer 107635 4.85
People's Republic of China China 8090.1 3.72 Zhou Xiaochuan Hu Xiaolian 81151 3.66
Italy Italy 7055.5 3.24 Giulio Tremonti Mario Draghi 70805 3.19
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 6985.5 3.21 Ibrahim
A. Al-Assaf
Hamad Al-Sayari 70105 3.16
Canada Canada 6369.2 2.93 Jim Flaherty Mark Carney 63942 2.88
Russia Russia 5945.4 2.73 Aleksei Kudrin Sergey
59704 2.69
Netherlands Netherlands 5162.4 2.37 Nout
L.B.J. van Geest 51874 2.34
Belgium Belgium 4605.2 2.12 Guy
Jean-Pierre Arnoldi 46302 2.08
India India 4158.2 1.91 Pranab Mukherjee Duvvuri Subbarao 41832 1.88
Switzerland Switzerland 3458.5 1.59 Jean-Pierre
Hans-Rudolf Merz 34835 1.57
Australia Australia 3236.4 1.49 Wayne
32614 1.47
Mexico Mexico 3152.8 1.45 Agustín
31778 1.43
Spain Spain 3048.9 1.40 Elena Salgado Miguel
Fernández Ordóñez
30739 1.38
Brazil Brazil 3036.1 1.40 Guido Mantega Henrique
30611 1.38
South Korea South Korea 2927.3 1.35 Okyu
Seong Tae Lee 29523 1.33
Venezuela Venezuela 2659.1 1.22 Gastón
Parra Luzardo
Rodrigo Cabeza Morales 26841 1.21
remaining 166 countries 62593.8 28.79 respective respective 667438 30.05

source: Wikipedia

And the economic trench warfare continues on as nationalistic pride
gets in the way of practicality and progresss, politics as usual…

Britain must fend for
itself in event of crisis, French official warns
:Britain should not rely on EU help in the
event of a renewed financial crisis after refusing to sign up to the
bulk of a €500bn (£429bn) rescue package for the eurozone, the head
of the French financial markets watchdog said.

The UK is to be served up next. No
Need to fret, we have that covered:
Public Finances March 2010
(subscriber edition).

The Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis

The Asset
Securitization Crisis
of 2007, 2008 and 2009 led to the demise of
several global banks and institutions. Central bank induced risky
asset bubbles gave rise to, what was popularly considered and reported
as through the popular media, a rapid recovery. The reality was that
the insolvencies that marked the crisis were passed on, in part, to the
sovereign nations that sponsored the Crisis, and as the chickens came
home to roost the Asset Securitization Crisis has now blown into a
full Sovereign debt crisis.

The Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis,
to date (free):

  1. The
    Coming Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis
    – introduces the crisis
    and identified it as a pan-European problem, not a

    Latest Pan-European Sovereign Risk
    Subscription Research – The Good Stuff!!!

    Intelligence Note For All Paying Subscribers on European Bank

    File Icon A Review of the Spanish Banks from a
    Sovereign Risk Perspective – retail.pdf

    File Icon A Review of the Spanish Banks from a
    Sovereign Risk Perspective – professional

    File Icon Ireland public finances projections

    File Icon Spain public finances projections_033010

    File Icon UK Public Finances March 2010

    File Icon Italy public finances projection

    File Icon Greece Public Finances Projections

    File Icon Banks exposed to Central and Eastern Europe

    File Icon Greek Banking Fundamental Tear Sheet

    File Icon Italian Banking Macro-Fundamental
    Discussion Note

    File Icon Spanish Banking Macro Discussion Note


  2. What
    Country is Next in the Coming Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis?

    – illustrates the potential for the domino effect

  3. The
    Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis: If I Were to Short Any Country,
    What Country Would That Be..
    – attempts to illustrate the highly
    interdependent weaknesses in Europe’s sovereign nations can effect even
    the perceived “stronger” nations.

  4. The
    Coming Pan-European Soverign Debt Crisis, Pt 4: The Spread to Western
    European Countries

  5. The
    Depression is Already Here for Some Members of Europe, and It Just
    Might Be Contagious!

  6. The
    Beginning of the Endgame is Coming???

  7. I
    Think It’s Confirmed, Greece Will Be the First Domino to Fall

  8. Smoking
    Swap Guns Are Beginning to Litter EuroLand, Sovereign Debt Buyer

  9. Financial
    Contagion vs. Economic Contagion: Does the Market Underestimate the
    Effects of the Latter?

  10. Greek
    Crisis Is Over, Region Safe”, Prodi Says – I say Liar, Liar, Pants on

  11. Germany
    Finally Comes Out and Says, “We’re Not Touching Greece” – Well, Sort

  12. The Greece and the Greek Banks Get the Word “First”
    Etched on the Side of Their Domino

  13. As
    I Warned Earlier, Latvian Government Collapses Exacerbating Financial

  14. Once
    You Catch a Few EU Countries “Stretching the Truth”, Why Should You
    Trust the Rest?

  15. Lies,
    Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to

  16. Ovebanked,
    Underfunded, and Overly Optimistic: The New Face of Sovereign Europe

  17. Moody’s
    Follows Suit Behind Our Analysis and Downgrades 4 Greek Banks

  18. The
    EU Has Rescued Greece From the Bond Vigilantes,,, April Fools!!!

  19. How
    BoomBustBlog Research Intersects with That of the IMF: Greece in the

  20. Grecian
    News and its Relevance to My Analysis

  21. A
    Summary and Related Thoughts on the IMF’s “Strategies for Fiscal
    Consolidation in the Post-Crisis

  22. Euro-Gossip
    Debunked, Courtesy of Trichet and the IMF!

  23. Greek
    Soap Opera Update: Back to the Bailout That Was Never Needed?

  24. Many
    Institutions Believe Ireland To Be A Model of Austerity
    Implementation But the Facts Beg to Differ!

  25. As I Explicitly
    Forwarned, Greece Is Well On Its Way To Default, and Previously
    Published Numbers Were Waaaayyy Too Optimistic!

  26. LTTP
    (Late to the Party), Euro Style: Goldman Recommends Betting On
    Contagion Risk In Portuguese, Spanish And Italian Banks 3 Months After

  27. Beware
    of the Potential Irish Ponzi Scheme!
    Daisy Chain Effect That I Anticipated Appears To Have Commenced!
  28. How
    Greece Killed Its Own Banks!
    The BoomBustBlog Sovereign Contagion Model: Thus far, it has been
    right on the money for 5 months straight!
  29. With Europe’s
    First Real Test of Contagion Quarrantine Failing, BoomBustBloggers
    Should Doubt the Existence of a Vaccination

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jmc8888's picture

The Euro is Britain's way of controlling Europe.  Monetarily at least.

Notice THEY never got in.  Notice their leaders never 'pushed' to get in either. 

So yes, the U.S. has seniorage, BUT, the treasury and federal reserve are goldmanites and queen lovers.  So who REALLY runs it? England, and the queen's monarchy.

Who runs the fed? Why it's majority foreign owners.  *cough* england.

Wall Street is the outgrowth of London's markets.  Started by the same monetarists. 

So when you the squid, and the federal reserve having such power, you really could say that ENGLAND, or the QUEEN REALLY hold all the cards.

Remember Geithner = Squid

Bernanke = federal reserve

IMF = Geithner and Bernanke

Thus IMF is said to be U.S., but it's really for the queen and her monetarists (the squid)....just like the euro.

The monetarists games go quite far and complex, but it really is all out there in the open.


kaiserhoff's picture

create a public debt snowball effect that could push the troubled countries towards insolvency when the IMF debt becomes repayable in three years time.

Reggie, you're better than this.  Greece doesn't have three years.  They might have 3 weeks!  This of over/done.  Their government kaput ist.

The paper is just paper.  Enough mit dem goat roapers.  Go where the front is.

2discern's picture

Expanded behind the scenes view of the global cabul $ manipulation

see link-


JR's picture

The collateral is devalued by having the IMF step in front of existing claim holders.  – Reggie

Reggie, this is the ballgame.  This is the essence of the bailout events in the Eurozone. The IMF has the U.S. taxpayer as the underwriter.

The underwriter word is one that Bernanke uses to calm whenever waters begin to look troubled: “unlimited.”   Instantly the worries of the socialists and the bankers ease knowing they won’t have the German people as the referee. Of course, the IMF takeover of any nation’s economy is bad news for the people.  And it’s bad news for the underwriter of the world’s debt—the American middle class. 

The truth is, there’s no such true concept as “unlimited,” and when the final verse begins to be sung, the United States will face bankruptcy.

SNAFU's picture

Just spoke to General Ripper.  He is certain the EU are siphoning his Precious Bodily Fluids.  Ft. Detrick has been sealed.

Greenhead's picture

In the event of foreclosure/default, what collateral is available from a bankrupt sovereign nation?  In the old days, tribute was extracted by force.

Leo Kolivakis's picture


Greece just approved drastic pension reforms and Spain is following suit. Please, please, stop publishing doomsday scenarios that are not taking into account these major reforms. It won't be easy, but you might be surprised to see these countries come out ahead in five years.

Reggie Middleton's picture

You seem to be missing the point Leo. The collateral is devalued by having the IMF step in front of existing claim holders. How is that a "doomsday scenario"? You toss that term around much too lightly. Listen, Spain, Portgual, and Greece could default and it still wouldn't be doomsday. It would simple be several sovereign defaults, all of which have probably defaulted before in the past and the world still survived. Tone down the drama.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

No drama, but the IMF should have received preferred status since it ponied up crucial financing for this bailout. You seem to be convinced that debt defaults are on their way, and that this won't be a big deal. I disagree, it will be a big deal and that's why they acted so forcefully. At the end of the day, the idiots who were lending Greece billions of euros forgot to ask a few simple questions, like what percentage of your economy is public sector as opposed to private sector?

Reggie Middleton's picture

Actually Leo, there is drama. Don't you recognize any delta between a "big deal" and "doomsday"? Isn't there some middle ground? The path of least resistance will be a default. Read Professor Rogoff's latest book, "This Time It's Different". 600 years of history show that it really is not different this time around...

The EU members contributed a lot more than the IMF, thus using your logic they should get even more preference than the IMF, correct? The facts on the ground imply otherwise.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Wrong, I said the IMF provided crucial financing and they were made out to be the bad guys, imposing austerity measures on Greece. The Euro patsies were not able to do this, so they brought in the IMF. I read Rogoff's book, and I do think that some form of restructuring will take place in the next few years, but not outright default.

JR's picture

Leo, I disagree. This is financial oligarchy, saving the banks from losing on their toxic mortgages and debts, using the IMF as enforcer, using the IMF to bail out the banks. And it’s not just a financial war, it’s a social war that guarantees that the standard of living of the Greeks, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Italians, the Irish…will be crushed; guaranteeing that “a dictatorship of capital shall reign.”

As Economist Michael Hudson said: “In today’s world, the easiest way to obtain wealth by old-fashioned 'primitive accumulation' is by financial manipulation.” He calls it “a lapse back into neofeudal debt peonage.”

It is largely a question of timing, he says: “That’s what the financial sector plays for – time enough to transfer as much property as it can into the hands of the banks and other investors. That’s what the IMF advises debtor countries to do… This is the underlying lawless character of today’s post-bubble debts.”

Warns Hudson, “Anything that bolsters IMF authority cannot be good for countries forced to submit to its austerity plans. They are designed to squeeze out more money to pay the world’s most predatory creditors…

Speaking of Latvia, Hungary in 2009, Hudson said: “Debtor countries must borrow a trillion from the IMF not to revive their own faltering economies, not to pursue counter-cyclical policies to restore market demand (that is only for creditor nations), but to pass on the IMF “aid” to the poisonous banks that have made the irresponsible toxic loans. (If these are toxic, who put in the toxin?”

As to Greece in 2009, Hudson said in THE IMF RULES THE WORLD: “Where has this economic crisis come from? It is not a natural disaster. It is not a storm that has blown in off the sea. It is a manufactured crisis, created by international banks that prey on the weak. There is no new and sudden shortage of raw materials, labor, food, or other tangible goods in Greece that are the causes of true crises in meeting people’s needs. There is the same capacity for production as before the crisis began”

And he asks: Will the debtors fight back?

Leo Kolivakis's picture

I know and admire Michael Hudson. The problem is that the banksters own us all, he just doesn't want to admit it.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

1.  What is the enforcement mechanism for the austerity measures?

2.  Are the austerity targets achievable?

Keep in mind Leo, in regards to #2, that a cut in government spending also means a cut in resultant tax revenue on the back end.  I think they are not correctly accounting for this.  The government spending cuts are going to need to be much more draconian than is currently proposed to hit that 3% target.

Reggie Middleton's picture

OK, I'll bite. How is the IMF financing more crucial than the rest of the EU? Germany insisted on harsh auterity measures, as did the ECB. What's the difference, and how is the IMF made out to be the "bad guys" as compared to the other parties mentioned.

I do think that some form of restructuring will take place in the next few years, but not outright default.

I lend you money and we have terms that you pay it back at par plus interest. If you don' t do that, you defaulted on our agreement. We can make up names to call it whatever we want so the technical term "default" doesn't have to get thrown in the mix, but at the end of the day, I didn't get paid as originally agreed and that is deflationary. It is, by all intents and purpsoses, a default on the orignal agreement.


Leo Kolivakis's picture

It's all a matter of haircuts. Had the IMF not been part of the deal, Greece would have defaulted outright, and those German and French bondholders would have taken a much deeper haircut. That's why the IMF had the leverage to get the terms it got.

Reggie Middleton's picture

The IMF gets aggressive terms in every deal it does. The guys on the other side don't have a lot of bargaining power. The terms that the IMF are no different (materially) than it usually gets. The amount that the IMF is giving is a minority, thus I don't see how you are coming up with a default without the IMF participation, particularly an outright, immediate default.

Please explain, justify (or you can just admit that it isn't the case, that is if you beleive it is not).

As it stands now, in the case of a default or restructuring, those standing behind the IMF will be getting a decent sized haircut (over 30%) as it is.

Leo Kolivakis's picture


The EU could have bypassed the IMF but chose not to. Think about why and you'll find your answer.

Reggie Middleton's picture

Leo, that doesn't add to the credibility of your reply. I asked you for a direct justification and you tell me to think about something and I'll have my answer. Why don't you do the thinking and give me the answer?

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Ok, let me spell it out for you. No IMF, no way Germany or France were going to impose austerity measures on Greece. Also, no IMF, no way the Fed was going to open those dollar swap lines to help Europe. It's that simple. The Americans control the show. If they didn't get what they wanted, an imminent outright default was in the cards, and those German and French banks would have taken much deeper haircuts than what they will take in the future when they do restructure Greece's debt.

Reggie Middleton's picture

Germany made it clear from the start that stiff austerity was the term du jour, hence I disagree with your assertion.

The Fed has opened up the swap lines in the past, and didn't do so for charitable reasons. Read my post on FICC risk and bank implosions on my blog. The Fed can't afford for Euro banks to start calling on those faux hedges. That's why the lines are open.

"Americans control the show"


If they didn't get what they wanted, an imminent outright default was in the cards, and those German and French banks would have taken much deeper haircuts than what they will take in the future when they do restructure Greece's debt.

Any haircut you get before adding on a trillion dollars of debt and the IMF standing in front of you for $120 billion is going to be less then the one you get afterwards. I don't see your point here! Do you actually believe Greece will earn their way out of this, because if they don't then its defaultsville!

Leo Kolivakis's picture


Let's agree to disagree. Greece will do whatever it takes to fix its tax system and cut costs. It will not grow its way out of this problem, but the sums involved are so trivial that the EU will cary them, especially if they see some real efforts of reform.

RichardENixon's picture

You might want to hold that thought until we see how that general strike in Greece plays out.

kaiten's picture

Oh, someone´s missing a point here. It´s an EU/IMF bailout, so clearly EU countries will be acting/voting as one. US may have the most votes individually, but jointly EU countries have more.

IMF countries quota:

EU countries - 31,78%, USA - 17,09%, Japan - 6,12% ....

Reggie Middleton's picture
  1. The US still has the right to singularly vote down a supermajority, and it is the only single state to be able to do that.
  2. We see how well the EU has agreed on things in the past when time was of the essence
  3. The EU voluntarily took subordinate positions to existing claimholders, that was the purpose of the bailout. The IMF has never inferred such
kaiten's picture

Well, I simply think that you make too far-sighted conclusions made mostly on assumptions. Sure, Greece can go wrong, but it can also go right. Who knows? But if you only focus on negatives, you cant see the whole picture. And that´s not journalism. Although, perhaps, it´s not intended to be.


Popo's picture

True that. Although, in two years time, Germany might not be so aligned with the rest...

kaiten's picture

Sure, it might not be. Isolationism makes a lot sense in 21.century.

Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Well, no Hope, but surprising the hopium addicts by adding several more states to the Union, united under the USD, now that's change!


Nothing wrong with economic imperialism Reggie, as long as the great USA is the imperialist.

(See the suit wearing zombie, he'll explain all).


Ps- Are there any Red Roof Inns over there? Usually not my style, but since we own them now I figured why not visit some friends in the EU.

WaterWings's picture

Yeah. And I ain't payin' for the mini-bottles. I own this, bitch!

williambanzai7's picture

"Preferred Creditor Status," is that sort of like the exemption that holders of derivative claims get from bankruptcy preference claims in a Chapter 11 proceeding?

John Self's picture

Probably more like the treatment of secured creditors in bankruptcy -- lower classes can't get anything until the more senior class gets paid in full.  Derivatives counterparties get some beneficial treatment, but not to the same extent or in the same way.

DudleyDoRight's picture

I see your point, but it is tempered by the fact that lenders must exercise due diligence.  Creditors need to take haircuts, moral hazard must be diminished.

tim73's picture

Canada is there! It must be evil!

doggis's picture

reggie - you rock! i think your work defines excellence.

John Self's picture

I agree.  I've given Reggie a hard time once or twice about the self-aggrandizing language that he uses.  But looking only at the substance, Reggie's work is meatier and more thorough than almost anything else I've seen.  Basically, he does the work so that the rest of us can back up our half-baked contentions.

Reggie Middleton's picture

It's good that you can have such positive comments about the free samples that I give out. I assume you would love the paid stuff. It is the higher level stuff that Sprott, et. al. refer to when they coment on the work.

Thanks for the supportive words.

mikla's picture


We've talked about the structural problems that IMF activity won't fix (big debt getting bigger), but the seniority rights of the IMF loans is a novel point:  It might be practiced, but it's not explicitly written that you can enforce this seniority over sovereigns.

Really nice work, and a novel point.

Reggie Middleton's picture

Blush... blush...

Just wait until word of the guaranteed haircut to the haircut gets out from my blog (subscribers will actually have haircut examples to show their clients by the end of the day).

lucky 81's picture

deck chairs on a sinking ship. let the band play on. long physical gold and silver.