It's Official & As I Foretold Years Ago, Greece Is Now In A True Depression As Reality Hits Greek BanksSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/23/2012 10:28 -0400
Who beleves the Euro-Depression will really just stop at Greece? Here's tons of supporting evidence that the biggest financial disruption & largest wealth accumulation opportunity of this lifetime is nigh upon us. Remember how the robber barons from the US depression era got started?
All you need to read and some more.
According to Mark Grant, it's over: "There are only two ways out of the current dilemma and that is growth which is not possible as the European economies contract and fare worse as the result of the austerity measures or Inflation; which Germany can’t stomach. The “at the very bottom of the barrel” answer then is not an economic response at all but a question of politics. The answer is actually when some nation cannot take it anymore; either the funding and the increase in national debt and the resultant credit downgrades or in receiving and the pain inflicted upon the populace. From the funding perspective it will be when the debts of the givers begin to match the debts of the borrowers. From the recipients it will be when the core nations decide that no more money will be given and so they will leave the funding nations and their banks with the debts and return to their own currencies and devalue. Which one comes first can only be answered by Divine Providence but I do not believe the train wreck can be stopped. I do not believe, any longer, that the catastrophe can be avoided and I would begin to immediately plan for an event that will eclipse the American financial crisis of 2007-2009 because this one will be far worse."
Update: according to Belgian Le Soir, first exit polls show that Hollande is not surprisingly ahead, with 27% of the vote, 25.5% for Sarkozy, 16% for Marine Le Pen, and 13% for Jean-Luc Melenchon. More or less just as expected, and setting the stage for the runoff round which will be Hollande's to lose. French speakers demanding a minute by minute liveblog, can find a great one over at Le Figaro, and an English-one can be found at France24.com
As of 8 am CET, polls are open in the first round of the French presidential elections where voters are expected to trim the playing field of ten to just two candidates, incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy and his socialist challenger Francois Hollande, who will then face off in a May 6 runoff, where as of now Hollande is expected to have a comfortable lead and take over the presidency as the disgruntled French take their revenge for an economy that is contracting, an unemployment rate that keeps rising (see enclosed) despite promises to the contrary, and as their to "express a distaste for a president who has come to be seen as flashy following his highly publicized marriage to supermodel Carla Bruni early in his term, occasional rude outbursts in public and his chumminess with rich executives.....France is struggling with feeble economic growth, a gaping trade deficit, 10 percent unemployment and strained public finances that prompted ratings agency Standard & Poor's to cut the country's triple-A credit rating in January." In a major shift for the country, Hollande would become France's first left-wing president since Francois Mitterand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard-d'Estaing in 1981. As Reuters reports, "Hollande, 57, promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million)." The Buffett Rule may have failed in the US but La Loi de Buffett is alive and well in soon to be uber-socialist France. Yet it is not so much Hollande's domestic policies, as his international ones, especially vis-a-vis the European Fiscal Treaty, Germany, and most importantly the ECB, that roiled markets last week, causing French CDS to spike to the widest since January. In other news, goodbye Merkozy, hello Horkel as the power center shifts yet again to a new source of uncertainty and potential contagion.
In all of the polls for the last six months the socialist, Francois Hollande, is ahead in the run-off election between 6 and 16 points. The first bout is April 22 and the Concours d’Elegance is May 6. Now no one that is not French can understand the French well. The psychology of this nation is singular. What Mr. Hollande’s win will mean for France is something to be carefully considered. A tax rate on the wealthy at 75%, renegotiate the EU fiscal pact, raise the minimum wage, impose more governmental spending, a decrease in the retirement age and a hostility directed at the banks and other financial institutions that may be described as combative or perhaps virulent and a complete change in attitude and direction from Napoleon’s strutting reincarnation also known as Sarkozy. Furthermore, no one is paying particular attention to the announcement of an upcoming EU meeting to propose reintroduction of border controls between France and Germany but it is a clear sign of Federalism on the wane and of Nationalism coming to the fore.
- Current account surplus recycling goes global: BRICS demand bigger IMF role before giving it cash (Reuters)
- Obama oil margin plan could increase price swings (Reuters)
- Britons Abandoning Pensions Amid ‘Outdated’ Rules (Bloomberg)
- Hedge-Fund Assets Rise to Record Level (WSJ)
- Way to restore confidence: SEC considers case against Egan-Jones (FT)
- Qatari wealth fund adds 5% Tiffany stake (FT)
- "Do we file?" Dewey Pitches Plan for Rescue (WSJ)
- French president slips further behind Socialist challenger Hollande (ANI)
- Nine U.S. Banks Said to be Examined on Overdraft Fees (Bloomberg)
- Capital Rotation: Investors fret on emerging markets and look to U.S. (Reuters)
- Verizon's Answer to iPhone: Windows (WSJ)
While Germans work longer hours and retire later....
Greece was the first country to defect from the non-default game theory regime of the European Union (a move which ultimately will be in its great benefit, as it is forced, very shortly, to default higher and higher into the 177% of GDP secured debt, until finally even the Troika's DIP loan is impaired). It has also become the first country to demonstrate that people can, contrary to apocalyptic claims otherwise by the global banker consortium which realizes oh too well it will be its death if people stop playing by the broken rules, exist under a barter regime. The video below shows how the Greek town of Volos develops its own bartering system without the aid of the euro. Yes - it can be done, especially since one is forced to produce in order to consume, and borrowing infinitely from the future becomes impossible.
Investing in an uncompetitive company in the ugly EU auto market to bail out its own failing subsidiary.
Sure enough, just out from the FT: Argentina will not pay Repsol of Spain what it is asking ($10.5bn) in compensation for nationalization of YPF, says deputy economy min
... but will settle for what it ends up getting: nothing. Of course, in the meantime, there will be a lot of kicking and screaming, but that's great: Risk On - Off markets demand distractions. From the FT: "These acts will not go unpunished" said Antonio Brufau, Repsol’s executive chairman during a two-hour press conference on Tuesday, at which he attacked Argentina’s “revisionism” over YPF’s success, and its energy policy over the past decade." Said otherwise, this aggression will not stand, man. Ok, fine. Here is Argentina's counteroffer.
- This is just hilarious on so many levels: Japan Will Provide $60 Billion to Expand IMF’s Resources (Bloomberg) - just don't look at Fukushima, don't look at the zero nuclear plants working, don't look at the recent trade deficit, and certainly don't look at the Y1 quadrillion in debt...
- US Senate vote blocks ‘Buffett rule’ (FT)
- Reserve Bank of Australia awaiting new data before considering rate move (Herald Sun)
- Merkel Offers Spain No Respite as Debt Cuts Seen As Key (Bloomberg)
- RBI cuts repo rate by 50 bps; sees little room for more (Reuters)
- China allows banks to short sell dollars (Reuters)
- Central bankers snub euro assets (FT)
- Shanghai Econ Weakening’ Mayor Vows to Pop Housing Bubble (Forbes)
- Wen's visit to boost China-Europe ties (China Daily)
- Madrid threatens to intervene in regions (FT)
The time has come to raise the 'noise' level for global markets to Defcon 3 as Clive Hale, of View from the Bridge, discusses his four largest stressors currently. Instead of going 'hmmm' as Grant Williams regularly does, Hale is screaming 'aaargh' as he sees Japanese radioactivity uncertainty, market manipulation, the main-stream media's anaesthetising propaganda, and finally the euro (that last lingering but fatally flawed bastion of european union) plethora problems all increasingly weighing on global macro concerns.
Each day then that passes, as the cash river runs dry, will change the dynamics of the investment world. The biggest change that I see forthcoming on the landscape, beyond those which I have noted, I believe will take place in Germany. China is heading towards some sort of landing and most of Europe is now officially in a recession. The bite of the austerity measures will deepen the process and between the two I think we will begin to see a decline in the finances of Germany which will bring all manner of howls and screams. Germany cannot keep heading in one direction while the rest of its partners founder all around them. The demands of Berlin are self-defeating eventually as demand falls off and I think we are just at the cusp of deterioration in Germany. The problem, all along, has been that Eurobonds or other measures representing a transfer union will cause the averaging of all of the economies in Europe so that the periphery countries benefit with a higher standard of living while the wealthier nations have standards of living that decline as the result of accumulated debts for the troubled nations. This will bring out nationalism again in force as the grand dream succumbs to the grim reality of the costs for nations that have lived beyond their means. The Pied Piper always gets paid and Hamelin still rests upon German soil.
- Downgrades Loom for Banks (WSJ)
- China Loosens Grip on Yuan (WSJ)
- Sarkozy Embraces Growth Role for ECB (WSJ)
- A Top Euro Banker Calls for Boost to IMF (WSJ)
- Wolfgang Münchau - Spain has accepted mission impossible (FT)
- Hong Kong Takeovers Loom Large With Banks Lending Yuan: Real M&A (Bloomberg)
- Banks urge Fed retreat on credit exposure (FT)
- Drought in U.K. Adds to Inflation Fears (WSJ)
- France faces revival of radical left (FT)
- Euro Area Seeks Bigger IMF War Chest as Spanish Concerns Mount (Bloomberg)