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.
The NYT Exposes The Criminal Money-Laundering Underworld Supporting Manhattan's Luxury Housing BubbleSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/07/2015 16:02 -0400
“We like the money,” said Raymond Baker, the president of Global Financial Integrity, a Washington nonprofit that tracks the illicit flow of money. “It’s that simple. We like the money that comes into our accounts, and we are not nearly as judgmental about it as we should be”... Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on his weekly radio program in 2013, shortly before leaving office: “If we could get every billionaire around the world to move here, it would be a godsend.”
Needless to say, Greece is only the poster child. The McKinsey numbers above suggest that “peak debt” is becoming a universal condition, and that today’s Keynesian central bankers and policy apparatchiks are only pushing on a giant and dangerous global string. So now we get to ground zero of the global Ponzi. That is the monumental pile of construction and debt that is otherwise known on Wall Street as the miracle of “red capitalism”. In truth, however, China is not an economic miracle at all; its just a case of the above abandoned Athens stadium writ large.
The era of living off borrowed money is over in Greece, and the Greek people now have a choice: they can continue down the path of poverty by leaving their culture of corruption unchanged, or they can grasp the nettle and support a new culture based on transparency, fiscal prudence and strict adherence to the basic rules of monetary management.
- RadioShack files for bankruptcy; Sprint to take over some stores (Reuters)
- Kansas To Issue Bonds and Invest Proceeds to Boost Pension Returns (WSJ)
- Merkel to Make Last Push With Putin as Pessimism Prevails (BBG)
- Islamic State in Syria seen under strain but far from collapse (Reuters)
- Texas Swagger Fades Fast as Oil Town Squeezed Hard by OPEC (BBG)
- SEC probes Blackberry options trading ahead of Reuters report about Samsung talks (Reuters)
- Spanish Bonds Underperform Italy’s as Podemos Gains Popularity (BBG)
- Steelworkers Union Rejects Offer From Refiners (WSJ)
- Brazil January Inflation at Fastest Pace in Nearly 12 Years (BBG)
ECB putting interests of banks over those of people … again.
People versus the banks ... time to take a stand ...
President Of Euro Parliament Warns Greece Risks National Bankruptcy; Varoufakis Replies: "Greece Already Is Bankrupt"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 20:00 -0400
With the ECB escalating matters this afternoon, the craziness of European leaders talking past one another in an effort to create the next headline-driven narrative continued to gather pace today. That idiocy was nowhere more obvious than when EU President Martin Schulz warned ominously that Greece risks national bankruptcy if it continues down the path of non-agreement when Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has previously explained quite clearly that "Greece is already bankrupt."
CEO Of Brazil's Energy Giant Petrobras Resigns In Corruption Scandal Which Halted Sales Of Brazil Sovereign DebtSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 09:03 -0400
Back in September 2010, Petrobras conducted what was then the largest share sale (to date) in history, when US$72.8 billion worth of shares in the company were sold on the BM&F Bovespa stock exchange. Upon its IPO, Petrobras became the fourth-largest company in the world by market capitalisation. Those days are long gone now, and following the triple whammy of a Brazilian economy in tatters coupled with plunging oil prices and an unprecedented corruption scandal, not only is its stock plumbing unseen ultradeep water depths, but Petrobras has rarely been in a worse shape than right now. Which is perhaps why moments ago the CEO of the semi-national company - which was the largest in Latin America by revenue as recently as 2011 - Maria das Graças Foster, "resigned" according to a filing with Brazil's securities regulator.
Greece has been borrowing its way to disaster long enough. For its part, Greece stands at a fork in the road. Syriza can move aggressively to recover Greece’s democratic sovereignty or it can desperately cling to the faltering currency and financial machinery of the Euro zone. But it can’t do both. Now and again history reaches an inflection point. Statesman and mere politicians, as the case may be, find themselves confronted with fraught circumstances and stark choices. February 2015 is one such moment.
Because admitting that the Venezuelan utopia is failing due to the policies of Hugo Chavez' "socialist revolution" would leave the thread by which Venezuelan socialism hangs ready to snap, President Maduro has shifted the blame for hyperinflating-price-based staples shortages and food lines from a cut in oil revenues to the dastardly capitalists. As The BBC reports, Maduro ordered the arrest of executives of one of the country’s largest pharmacy chains for allegedly creating shortages of everything from diapers to heart medicine. A triumphant information minister proclaimed, "we came, we normalized sales, we summoned the owners, we arrested them and they're prisoners for having provoked the people with economic war."
The Greek Elites and kleptocrats are terrified of the discipline that leaving the euro will impose, but the general public should welcome the transition to an economy and society that has been freed from the shackles of Imperial debt and the kleptocracy that has bled the nation dry.
On the heels of worse than expected Manufacturing PMIs (both indicating economic contraction) and the "taking away" of Minsheng Bank's CEO in a clear signal that the corruption probe is refocusing on the banking industry, Chinese stocks and currency are tumbling. Retail investors dreams are going up in smoke as the Shanghai Composite suffers its biggest 3-week loss in over a year and tumbles to a 3.8% loss year-to-date - not what the gambling 'investors' were expecting. But perhaps more worryingly for Chinese officials is the continued selling pressure on the Yuan - now at a record 1.94% discount to PBOC's fixing - very close to forcing intervention of decision time on a wider peg-band or even more free-floating currency.
Chinese Corruption Probe Pivots To Bankers As Manufacturing Contracts At Fastest Pace Since August 2012Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/01/2015 13:29 -0400
With all eyes on China as the great Eastern hope for putting a floor under crude oil prices, last night's dismally disappointing Manufacturing PMI print looks set to remove that last pillar of 'demand' - artificial or not. Having fallen 6 months in a row and printing 49.8, missing expectations of 50.2 (3rd of last 4 months) and down from the prior 50.1, this is the first official contractionary signal for Chinese manufacturing since September 2012. With Industrial Enterprises in China seeing profits collapse at 8% YoY along with the slowest GDP growth (7.3% of magic unicorns and credit expansion) since Q1 2009, the PMI components' broad-based weakness show significant signs of a cyclical slowdown. What is perhaps most worrisome though is that with cries for more RRR cuts or government-sponsored largesse, the banking system has, it appears, become the new focus of the nation's corruption probes as the President of China Minsheng Bank was taken away by the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
UPDATE: "CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS" are over: VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL NOT ACCEPT SELF-PERPETUATING CRISIS
As Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (of "template" foot in mouth infamy) heads to Athens for talks today, Bloomberg reports the new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has a clear message for his European overlords of the past: “We don’t want the 7 billion euros...We want to sit down and rethink the whole program." While this exposes the nation's banking system to further runs, yesterday's revelation that Russia could step in with financing should they need it, leaves Dijsselbloem and Shulz with less and less leverage even as Spain's chief economic advisor warns, if Greece doesn't play along, "there will be problems on all fronts."
Say you are a socialist, and you have intervened heavily in the economy. Suddenly, things don’t work as you thought they would. Somehow, economic laws seem to refuse to bend to your will. However, you cannot really believe that since according to your convictions, wealth is a byproduct of government plans and decrees. So the solution to the unintended consequences of the initial intervention is to intervene further, in an attempt to refine the plan, so to speak. So you try again. And again. And again. Chances are, your name is Nicolas Maduro. In summary, the thread by which Venezuelan socialism hangs may soon snap.