Spontaneous combustion. Alien invasion. Zombie apocalypse. What do these have in common? Their likelihood is next to impossible. So why worry? This is how people tend to think about the financial system. Mentioning even the possibility, for example, that the US could default on its debt is met with so much scorn and contempt it would be safer to stand on the street corner warning about an alien invasion. The same goes for the imposition of capital controls. Or a collapse in the banking system. Or a currency crisis. And yet the most casual glance at the headlines proves that these events not only can happen, they do happen... and for one underlying reason...
"There is an estimated need of about 10 to 14 billion euros in new capital. Given the magnitude of the shock we have been through, regulators will take stock of the situation and the impact on non-performing loans."
Facing pressure from all sides, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras sells out voters and looks to push concessions through parliament ahead of Sunday deadline.
Greece has already collapsed, and the only real question is whether the ECB will give Greek depositors time to withdraw some of the €120 billion in deposits it holds hostage with the frozen ELA, or if the ECB will admit the truth about the Greek insolvent banking system risking Eurozone contagion. A better question is just what is the purpose of the IMF whose intervention in Greece can be described in one word: disaster. It can also be described in eleven, as the creator of the Taylor Rule, John Taylor, has done in a blog post which can be summarized as follows: IMF Loans To Greece Bailed Out Banks And Worsened The Situation.
The Fed’s Stanley Fischer has said that the U.S. was preparing such legislation – after Tucker had indicated that such legislation was in place. The EU is also at an advanced stage in forcing countries to ratify bail-in legislation. The legislation is being devised to protect the larger banks against the interest of both depositors, taxpayers and the wider economy.
It's officially Groundhog day... and month... and year... and so on.
"Chirac and many others were appalled as I told them in 1998... joining the euro would exacerbate recession in some countries, and that some would find themselves 'trapped in a burning building with no exits' - a phrase that brought me a fair amount of controversy and abuse... I hope the eurozone leaders meeting today will remember that those of us who criticised the euro at its creation were correct in our forecasts. Otherwise they risk adding to the monumental errors of judgment, analysis and leadership made by their predecessors in 1998."
We have been warning about the 'global war on pensioners' for a while (most recently here, here, and here) but the soul-destroying images of Greek pensioners' hopes being crushed bring that central-bank-driven repression front-and-center...
There is nothing incrementally new or different to what we revealed earlier in the leaked Greek proposal (i.e., no actionable pension cuts, no debt "reprofiling") and as Bloomberg makes it all too clear in flashing red headlines:
GREEK GOVT PROPOSAL SIMILAR TO EU COMMISSION'S JUNE 26 PROPOSAL
... or the one which 61% of the Greek people said no to.
The time of deflationary confiscation is coming closer for the remaining Greek bank depositors. Those who kept their cash in safe deposit boxes at banks are out of luck too: the government has decreed they may not take it out. This is something one needs to keep in mind – if one wants to keep cash outside the banking system, one cannot leave it in a bank safe deposit box either. The government will confiscate it when push comes to shove and the banks need to be rescued.
When the going gets tough, the taxed get going and that is what Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz thinks should happen. In a Time op-ed, Stiglitz warns (likely correctly) that if Greece continues with austerity, it would be depression without end; and so his solution is simple... "The U.S. was generous with Germany as we defeated it. Now, it is time for the U.S. to be generous with our friends in Greece in their time of need, as they have been crushed for the second time in a century by Germany, this time with the support of the troika." Strawman much?
The Austrian School of economics has a concept called a “crack-up boom” in which a critical mass of people conclude that their government is actively trying to devalue its currency. Consumers respond by front-running the government, spending their paychecks immediately in order to convert their soon-to-be-less-valuable money into real things. Merchants, not happy about the sudden influx of suspect currency (and sensing the panic of their customers) hold out for ever-higher prices, causing inflation to spike. But it’s a special kind of inflation, driven not by a sudden increase in the money supply but by collapsing confidence among holders of the currency. In a very short time, so goes the theory, the supply of stuff available for purchase dries up, prices hyperinflate, and the economy collapses. Welcome, in other words, to Greece...
Greece's outspoken Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis laid out the details for the country's pipeline project with Russia on Thursday and went out of his way to let PM Alexis Tsipras know that the referendum "no" vote is "not going to become a humiliating 'yes'".