Raging against its German creditors, the new Greek government is demanding reparations for Nazi-era depredations. Herewith - from Jim Grant’s archives - some timely context both for the Greek negotiating position and the underlying monetary issues.
The future of Europe now depends on something apparently impossible: Greece and Germany must strike a deal.
... And all of this takes place in broad daylight, in front of the entire American population, which is too bored, too lazy, and far too distracted by collecting the government handout equivalent of plastic beads, spending on 99 cent apps and watching the Grammys to care.
Controlling (stabilizing) today’s perception of tomorrow’s economic strength attached to (and thus backing) the USD is the Fed mandate. For if we lose control of today’s false perception well then god only knows what tomorrow’s given value may be. This is the absolute ‘mandate’ of central banking.
Today the financial system is even more leveraged than in 2007… backstopped by even less high quality collateral. And this time around, most industrialized sovereign nations themselves are bankrupt, meaning that when the bond bubble pops, the selling panic and liquidations will be even more extreme.
It never fails: every time redenomination risks and the specter of the (New) Drachma rear its ugly heads, Greeks, like dutiful Austrian economists, realize that Neoliberal economics is nothing but a steaming pile of drivel that only works when everyone is "confident" and gets deeper in debt with a smile on their face while failing in every other instance, and decide that the time has come to convert their paper wealth into hard assets. It happened in 2010, in 2012, and now that Greece is on the verge of its third Grexit in the past 5 years, it is happening again. "The one thing everyone knows about gold is it is a good thing to hold if your currency is about to devalue,” Matthew Turner, an analyst at Macquarie Bank Ltd., said via phone. “It would be understandable for Greeks to buy gold because they are afraid of losing their money.”
- The terms of a compromise are easier to see than the willingness to compromise. At the time of writing, Greece is deadlocked in its bilateral discussions, as well as with the troika members.
- Breaking the deadlock voluntarily may not be easy. Political realities in the rest of Europe argue against granting the Syriza-led government concessions on debt or fiscal relief. Yet the Greek government feels it has a mandate to demand such relief.
- Hence, outside pressure—in the form of financial and market dislocations—seems necessary to focus minds.
Stunning Chart Of The Day: For The First Time Ever, Central Banks Will Monetize More Than 100% Of Global Sovereign DebtSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/09/2015 10:38 -0500
For the first time ever, "developed" central banks are now monetizing more than 100% of global sovereign debt issuance!
Albert Edwards' On The Next Shoe To Drop: The Realization That Core Inflation In The US And Europe Are The SameSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/08/2015 20:14 -0500
"The next shoe to drop will be the realisation that the US recovery is stalling and outright deflation is as big a threat there as it is in the eurozone. Indeed my former esteemed colleagues Marchel Alexandrovich and David Owen pointed out to me that if US core CPI is measured in a similar way to the eurozone (i.e. ex shelter), then US core CPI inflation is already pari passu with the eurozone ? despite the former having enjoyed a much stronger economy!"
“In effect, there is nothing inherently wrong with fiat money, provided we get perfect authority and god-like intelligence for kings.” Aristotle (?2,400 years ago)
“Remember what we’re looking at. Gold is a currency. It is still, by all evidence, a premier currency. No fiat currency, including the dollar, can match it.” Alan Greenspan (2014)
In the face of Turkish President Recep Erdogan's increasingly harsh rhetoric towards The West and slamming the central banks for its "independence" warning that it will "be held accountable" if the decision on interest rates is wrong - which has sent the Lira to record lows - Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc appears to have come out today to try and calm the situation. Fearing that "Turkey could cease to be a governable country," Arinc called for a softening of political language, as he warns "the polarization of the masses, frightens me."
Today's obvious mispricing of sovereign bonds is a bonanza for spending politicians and allows over-leveraged banks to build up their capital. This mispricing has gone so far that negative interest rates have become increasingly common. Macroeconomists will probably claim that so long as central banks can continue to manage the quantity of money sloshing about in financial markets they can keep bond prices up. But this is valid only so long as markets believe this to be true. Put another way central banks have to continue fooling all of the people all of the time, which as we all know is impossible.
One of the bigger problems facing the new, upstart Greek government, which has set before itself the lofty goal of overturning 6 years of oppressive European policies and countless generations of Greek cronyism, corruption and tax-evasion is not so much the concern about deposit outflows and bank runs - even though it most certainly will be in the next few days unless the Tsipras government finds some resolution to the dramatic standoff with Merkel and the ECB - but something far more trivial: running out of money.
Less than a day after the head of the SNB hinted at the possibility of capital control, the head of the largest Swiss cantonal bank, and the fourth largest Swiss Bank, the Zurich Cantonal Bank or ZCB, came out and explicitly said what so many fear (and which warning they would ascribe to as the case may be "yellow journalism"), namely that "lowering Swiss National Bank’s already negative interest rate further or implementing capital controls would be "dramatic" but "certainly possible."
We are in record territory and demand for gold and silver keeps rising...