European Union

George Soros: "Europe Is On The Verge Of Collapse"

"China will exert a negative influence on the rest of the world by reinforcing the deflationary tendencies that are already prevalent. China is responsible for a larger share of the world economy than ever before and the problems it faces have never been more intractable...the EU is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down. The EU now is confronted with not one but five or six crises at the same time."

Frontrunning: January 14

  • Islamic State launches militant assault on Indonesia's capital (Reuters)
  • Three winners emerge in $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot (Reuters)
  • European Stocks Tumble, Credit Markets Weaken on Growth Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks and commodity currencies floored by new oil plunge (Reuters)
  • China Bear Market Looms as PBOC Fails to Stop Flight to Safety (BBG)
  • Anxious phone calls, tense moments before Iran's Supreme Leader okayed U.S. sailors' release (Reuters)

Nigerian Currency Collapses After Central Bank Halts Dollar Sales To Stall "Hyperinflation Monster"

Having told banks and investors "don't panic" in September, amid spiking interbank lending rates and surging default/devaluation risks, it appears the massive shortage of dollars that we warned about in December has washed tsunami-like ashore in oil-producing Nigeria. Following the Central bank's decision this week to halt dollar sales to non-bank FX market operators, black market exchange rates spiked to 282/USD (vs 199 official) and CDS spiked to record highs implying drastic devaluations loom.

Frontrunning: January 12

  • Oil slips toward $30, traders bet on more falls (Reuters)
  • Oil Plunge Sparks Bankruptcy Concerns (WSJ)
  • RBS cries 'sell everything' as deflationary crisis nears (Telegraph)
  • World stocks drop but Europe shrugs off oil slide, China money market surge (Reuters)
  • Canadian Stocks Fall in Longest Slump Since 2002 as Oil Slides (BBG)
  • "Murderous" Yuan Rate Jolts Hong Kong as Top Currency Hub (BBG)

Man Who Stormed Paris Police Station With Meat Cleaver Tied To German Sex Attacks

The man who ran into a police station in northern Paris wearing a fake explosive vest, waving a meat cleaver, and shouting "Allahu Akbar" on the Charlie Hebdo anniversary once lived in a German refugee center and may have been involved in the New Year's Eve "sex mob" attacks. Walid Salihi used at least seven aliases while roaming around Europe committing what police say was a string of petty crimes including, but probably not limited to: "touching women's behinds at the disco," strangling a roommate, attacking a "passerby," and beating up a homeless man. 

Juncker: "Dutch 'NO' Vote Will Lead To A Big Continental Crisis"

In April the Dutch people will vote on the European-Ukraine association treaty.  In an interview with the NRC, a Dutch leading newspaper, Juncker warned the Dutch voters a “NO” will lead to a big continental crisis. “Russia and anti European movements will profit from a Dutch No, the Dutch has to vote yes for reasons not related to the treaty, the Dutch should act like an European strategist” according to Mr Juncker.

"They Want To Occupy Poland Again" - Merkel, European Union Compared To Nazis In Latest Diplomatic Spat

"I am not in the habit of replying to silly comments on Poland made by foreign politicians. Such words, said by a German politician, cause the worst of connotations among Poles. Also in me. I'm a grandson of a Polish officer, who during World War II fought in the underground National Army with 'German supervision.' I came to a sad conclusion that it is easier for you to talk about fictitious threats to media freedom in other countries than to condemn censorship in your homeland." - Polish justice minister Zibgniew Ziobro

The "Monsters" Unmasked: Cologne Police Admit "Most Of The Attackers Were Refugees"

While previously there was some ambiguity with regard to who actually perpetrated the attacks which allegedly unfolded in Cologne on New Year's Eve, authorities are now sure that "most" of those involved were "freshly traveled asylum seekers." From Die Welt: "Primarily it was the most Arab perpetrators to sexual offenses or, to put it from their point of view to their sexual amusement. A group of men circling a female victim, closes it and takes on the woman."

Slovak PM Closes The Door To Refugees: "We Don't Want What Happened In Germany To Happen Here"

Fico said Thursday his government sees what he calls a "clear link" between the waves of refugees and the Paris attacks and the sexual assaults and robberies during the New Year's Eve festivities in Germany. He says: "We don't want what happened in Germany to happen here."  Fico says "the idea of multicultural Europe has failed" and that "the migrants cannot be integrated, it's simply impossible."

Oil Tumbles After Saudis Slash Prices To Europe

"The Saudis are preparing for Iran’s return," said Mohamed Sadegh Memarian, who recently retired as the head of petroleum market analysis at Iran’s oil ministry, as they sharply cut the prices they charge for crude oil in Europe (to the biggest discount since Feb 2009). The move that will likely undercut Iran happens as sectarian tensions escalate between the rival Middle Eastern nations.