While hope has long been dismissed as a strategy among the investing public, for game-theory expert (and Greek FinMin) Yanis Varoufakis, "hope" appears to be all he has left. Reflecting on James Byrnes 1946 speech, Varoufakis explains a “Speech of Hope” for Greece would make all the difference now – not only for us, but also for our creditors, as our renaissance would terminate the default risk.
After disappearing from the public scene last November when his term in EC expired, Herman has re-emerged, or rather, reincarnated into his new role. And while it is not hardly as dramatic as the emergence of a Hermina van Rompuy, his new role will surely raise several (knowing) eyebrows. Meet: Japan's new Haiku Ambassador.
- China stocks fall, led by ChiNext, on margin tightening; Hong Kong down too (Reuters)
- Bond market sell-off rumbles on, stocks feel the pinch (Reuters)
- Bond Rout Wipes Out 2015 Gains as Traders Stay Glued to Screens (BBG)
- Greek Groundhog Day Continues With Talks Failing to Break Impasse (BBG)
- Greece and Its Creditors Agree on Some Measures in Bailout Talks (WSJ)
- 'Bellingcat Report Doesn't Prove Anything': Expert Criticizes Allegations of Russian MH17 Manipulation (Spiegel)
- GE Said to Hire Banks to Start Sale on $20 Billion Assets (BBG)
- Alibaba Pictures plans $1.6bn share sale (FT)
- How Companies Justify Big Pay Raises for CEOs (BBG)
A man of distinction in today’s world is a man that throws his money in military monkey business, the shenanigans that our wealthiest nations excel at.
Greece has received what The New York Times recently described as “dueling sales pitches” on two proposed natural gas pipelines, with the US pressing Athens to support The Southern Gas Corridor rather than Gazprom's Turkish Stream project. It appears Moscow may have made the more convincing case because, much to Washington's dismay, Greece is set to sign an MOU for the Greek portion of The Turkish Stream pipeline in June.
The EU issued a press release this morning which could perhaps be summed up in 2 words - "not fair." Following the denial-of-entry by Russia of several EU politicians, Russia has released a list of 89 names who will face travel bans - of exactly the same type as EU and US enforced upon numerous Russian elites. Europe is displeased that Russia would dare do unto them as they have done unto others... "we deem this measure as totally arbitrary and unjustified," they exclaimed, adding, "we don’t have any further information on the legal basis or the criteria or the process of these decisions."
There is always a way out for Greece. But at what cost?
There are many things going on in the Greece vs Institutions+Germany negotiations, and many more on the fringe of the talks, with opinions being vented left and right, not least of all in the media, often driven more by a particular agenda than by facts or know-how. What most fail to acknowledge is to what extent the position of the creditor institutions is powered by economic religion...
Representatives from the European Union recently closed out a summit in Riga to decide the future of EU visa policy with respect to Ukraine. Once again, Ukraine was denied visa-free access to the EU, proving that “European support” for Ukraine against Russia is just hot air and empty promises. There are, however, 19 other countries, which will be joining the EU visa-free list as of July 1, 2015.
With French ministers crowing about their better-than-expected GDP data (+0.7%) as some trend reversal that heralds a revolution, it appears Vladimir Putin is about to put a dent in their hopes and dreams. As Sputnik News reports, Moscow has finally given up on the $1.3 billion deal for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers and plans to build its own. Even worse for France, now Russia will discuss only the sum that Paris should pay Russia for the failed contract. However, as with everything in the world, there may be aulterior motive, as China comes sniffing as a white knight for the amphibious vessels (at a reduced price) and then sells to its 'ally' Russia (who has already pocketed the contract cancellation fees).
There has to be a very clear line between central banks and governments. The latter should never be able to influence the former, because it would risk making economic policy serve only short term interests (until the next election). Likewise the former should stay out of the latter’s decisions, because that would tend to make political processes skewed disproportionally towards finance and the economy, at the potential cost of other interests in a society. This may sound idealistic and out of sync with the present day reality, but if it does, that does not bode well. It’s dangerous to play fast and loose with the founding principles of individual countries, and perhaps even more with those of unions of sovereign nations.
The first rule of “Project Bookend” is that you don’t talk about “Project Bookend.” In retrospect, maybe the first rule should have been “you don’t accidentally e-mail ‘Project Bookend’ to a news agency.”
While admitting that reaching agreement between the two countries will be difficult to achieve, George Soros - speaking at The World Bank's Bretton Woods conference this week - warned that unless the U.S. makes 'major concessions' and allows China's currency to join the IMF's basket of currencies, "there is a real danger China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the threshold of a third world war."
"German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble conceded the possibility that Greece may need a parallel currency alongside the euro if the country’s talks with creditors fail," Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile, "sideline" negotiations between Greek PM Tsipras and Angela Merkel breakdown in Riga.
- U.S. vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane (Reuters)
- Bank of Japan Chief Cheers On Tokyo’s Surging Stocks (WSJ)
- Merkel Stamps Out Optimism on Greece After Tsipras Talks (BBG)
- Greece sees reforms deal with lenders in next 10 days (Reuters)
- Why Greece’s Syriza party is not sticking to the script on an IMF deal (Channel4)
- Why Does Putin Care Who Runs a Tiny Balkan Nation? Gas Pipelines (BBG)
- U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed Before Yellen Speech (BBG)
- German Business Confidence Declines as Risks Cloud Outlook (BBG)