Whatever the eventual financial costs to EU taxpayers of a Greek default, the political costs of a Greek exit are likely to be seen as unacceptable. Most likely the EU will allow a covert Greek default, disguised for the time being by extended repayment schedules, bogus refinancing formulae and possible delayed haircuts as bonds mature. They may insist that such moves are not a technical default. Despite that absurdity, our obedient press corps may even concur with such a characterization, and investors may be so thrilled that a relief rally occurs in stocks and bonds. Extend and pretend will once again be the only acceptable manner to confront our intractable problems.
As we move toward the second half of 2015, signs of financial turmoil are appearing all over the globe. Slowly but surely, we are starting to see the smart money head for the exits. As one Swedish fund manager put it recently, everyone wants “to avoid being caught on the wrong side of markets once the herd realizes stocks are over-valued“.
The economic hitmen have honed their skills among the poor and relatively defenseless, and have been coming closer to home in search of new hunting grounds and fatter spoils. There is nothing 'new' or 'modern' about this. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past or in a book, it is happening here and now. "Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain. As a result, whatever is fragile is defenseless before the interests of the deified market, which becomes the only rule."
The troika of Greek creditors has gone into full-frontal morals-be-damned attack mode. This has turned into the kind of economic warfare one would expect to see between sworn and lethal enemies, that the US would gladly use against Russia for instance, but not between partners in a union founded on principles based entirely and exclusively on being mutually beneficial to everyone involved. And all EU nations should understand by now that this is not about Greece anymore, it’s about all of them.
Gold aided by a softer dollar, the Greek debt debacle and the U.S. Federal Reserve chairperson, Janet Yellen’s dovish comments from this week’s monetary policy statement.
- Greek PM optimistic on debt deal as banks bleed (Reuters)
- Greek central bank chief says banking system stable (Kathimerini)
- ECB Said to Confer on Emergency Greek Aid Amid Cash Flight (BBG)
- More tax "avoidance": Citigroup to shift European retail banking HQ to Dublin (Reuters)
- Florist's tip led police to Charleston shooting suspect (USAToday)
- Asian shares edge higher on Fed caution, China sell-off intensifies (Reuters)
- Toyota in damage control mode after American exec arrested (Reuters)
- Venezuela Oil Loans Go Awry for China (WSJ)
"Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable," Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books, with the danger imminent if Chinese economic reforms fail forcing President Xi Jinping to "foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power." These "conflicts" would present themselves in the form of a Sino-Russo alliance which could draw the entire world into war.
"Greece not only does not have the ability to pay this debt, but also should not pay this debt first and foremost because the debt emerging from the Troika’s arrangements is a direct infringement on the fundamental human rights of the residents of Greece. Hence, we came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious."
The tension in the Eurosystem is getting unbearable...
As the war of words between Athens and Brussels reaches a fever pitch ahead of Thursday's Eurogroup meeting, the Bank of Greece has made a plea to both sides as capital controls and a "Lehman Weekend" loom. "A manageable debt crisis, as the one that we are currently addressing with the help of our partners, would snowball into an uncontrollable crisis, with great risks for the banking system and financial stability. An exit from the euro would only compound the already adverse environment, as the ensuing acute exchange rate crisis would send inflation soaring.
- Greek central bank issues 'Grexit' warning if aid talks fail (Reuters)
- Kerry says 'patience wearing thin' on Syria's Assad (Reuters)
- Juncker accuses Athens of misleading Greek people (FT)
- Al Qaeda kills two Saudis accused of spying for America (Reuters)
- Hedge-Fund Bet Hits Pensions (WSJ)
- ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao Worked With Fund Network Now Under Investigation (WSJ)
- 'Me? Rich?' U.S. presidential hopefuls play middle-class card (Reuters)
- You’ve Been Warned: Central Bankers Turning Less Market-Friendly (BBG)
U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed ‘Trade’ deals are actually about whether the world is heading toward a dictatorial world government - a dictatorship by the hundred or so global super-rich who hold the controlling blocks of stock in the world’s largest international corporations - or else toward a democratic world government - which will be a global federation of free and independent states, much like the United States was at its founding, but global in extent. These are two opposite visions of world government; and Obama is clearly on the side of fascism, an international mega-corporate dictatorship... What’s at stake here is nothing less than whether the future of the United States, and perhaps even of the world, will be democracy, or else fascism.
With his back against the wall, and with Syriza party hardliners apparently no closer to backing concessions, Alexis Tsipras looks set to once again play the ‘Russian pivot” card, as the Kremlin says a “working meeting” between the Greek PM and Russian President Vladimir Putin is now scheduled for Friday in St. Petersburg.
As expected, earlier today the pro-ECB top European Union court found that Draghi's impromptu announcement of an OMT, which was basically the wrapping of his "whatever it takes" policy from 2012 to prevent the collapse of the Eurozone when peripheral bond yields were hitting daily records, was perfectly legal.
"...a bigger bundle of platitudes and insincerities has not been served up since the heyday of Nixon. As the politicians are so fond of saying these days, make no mistake, Hillary is the New Nixon."