Greece Proposes To Become A Tax-Collecting Police State: Will "Wire" Tourists And Unleash Them As "Tax Inspectors"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/06/2015 15:14 -0400
"We propose the following: that large numbers of non-professional inspectors are hired on a strictly short-term, casual basis (no longer than two months, and without any prospect of being rehired) to pose, after some basic The very 'news' that thousands of casual "onlookers" are everywhere, bearing audio and video recording equipment on behalf of the tax authorities, has the capacity to shift attitudes very quickly, spreading a sense of justice across society and engendering a new tax compliance culture - especially if combined with the appropriate communication of the simple message that the time has come for everyone to share the burden of public services and goods."
- Yanis Varoufakis
So today what is different is not the Wall Street spiel that Nasdaq is anchored by the likes of Apple rather than Webvan. Since the two days of March 9 and 10 in the year 2000 when the Nasdaq closed over the 5,000, the financial markets have been converted into central bank managed gambling halls and the global economy has bloated beyond recognition by 15 years of non-stop financial repression. Back then, a few hundred stocks were wildly over-valued based on monetizing eyeballs; now the entire market is drastically overvalued owing to the false financial market liquidity generated by $14 trillion of central bank asset monetization - mostly public debt - since the turn of the century. As a result, the global financial system and economy are orders of magnitude more fragile and vulnerable to collapse than they were 15 years ago.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the US Congress this morning at 11ET to issue a high-profile warning against what he considers an ill-advised nuclear deal with Iran. This brings to a head weeks of tension between Israel and The White House and numerous politicians (including The President) will boycott be absent during Bibi's speech. In what NYTimes calls an 'implicit challenge to Obama', Bibi plans to outline his case for a tougher strategy to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and to dissect the flaws of an agreement that has been emerging from American-led negotiations; gambling that disclosing compromises the U.S. made in trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran will delay or derail any agreement.
"The Fed is out of control," exclaims David Stockman - perhaps best known for architecting Reagan's economic turnaround known as 'Morning in America' - adding that "people don't want to hear the reality and the truth that we're facing." Policymakers are "taking our economy in a direction that is dangerous, that is not sustainable, and is likely to fully undermine everything that's been built up and created by the American people over decades and decades." The Fed, Stockman concludes, "is a rogue institution," and their actions have led us to "one of the scariest moments in our history... it's a festering time-bomb and we're not sure when it will explode."
Despite a 7% rise in actual tourist arrivals to Macau from China during this Lunar New Year's holiday, 'The Year of The Goat' is off to an extremely inauspicious start. As Bloomberg reports, even with expectations of a 40% drop, Macau casino revenues is now projected to crash a stunning 53.5% from last year. While a decline in VIP gambling was expected (due to, among other things, Xi's extreme crackdown on corruption - and the Macau money laundering schemes), JPMorgan notes, this was still "shockingly bad," as "even premium mass demand remained very muted," and marks the ninth straight month of decline, the longest losing streak since monthly records started in 2005.
When the German/Eurogroup decision came to throw either their own biggest banks, or the grandmas of a co-member nation of the currency union under the bus, they didn't even hesitate since they have control over the perfect vehicle for such tasks: the ECB (an allegedly neutral institution that in reality peddles political influence in a way that guarantees the poorer countries will always wind up footing the bill). For those of you who don’t want to wake up one day to find their own grandmas crushed under the same bus the Greek yiayia’s are under as we speak, it would be beneficial to ponder how perverse this all is, not just the isolated events but the entire underlying system that produces them. Banks are more important than people, certainly grandmas.
Financial repression "is going on on several fronts conducted by different people for their own agendas, though they all seem to be mutually supporting... There is a lot of collusion - the cancer which started in the US Financial System has spread globally... You now have two parties with the same head and reporting to the same masters. There is no longer any countervailing power."
Government mandated fiat currency simply does not work in the long run. We have empirical evidence galore – every fiat currency system in history has failed, except the current one, which has not failed yet. The modern fiat money system is more ingeniously designed than its historical predecessors and has a far greater amount of accumulated real wealth to draw sustenance from, so it seems likely that it will be relatively long-lived as far as fiat money systems go. In a truly free market, fiat money would never come into existence though. Greenspan was wrong – government bureaucrats cannot create something “as good as gold” by decree.
The trouble with the money printing madness in the Eccles Building is that it generates huge deformations, misallocations and speculative excesses in the financial markets. Eventually these bubbles splatter, as they have twice this century. The resulting carnage, needless to say, is not small. Combined financial and real estate asset markdowns totaled about $7 trillion after the dotcom bust and $15 trillion during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The Wall Street casino is now festooned with giant deadweight losses waiting to happen. But perhaps none is more egregious than Tesla - a crony capitalist con job that has long been insolvent, and has survived only by dint of prodigious taxpayer subsidies and billions of free money from the Fed’s Wall Street casino.
When a member of the New York Fed staff releases a paper on the topic of Anxiety, Overconfidence, and Excessive Risk Taking, and in which there is a section on "Self-Manipulation with Alcohol and Drugs", which explains that "pathological gambling is more common among people with alcohol use disorders," adds that "there is evidence that drugs are used strategically to induce performance changes, and particularly so for individuals with greater degrees of horizon-dependent risk aversion", observes that 'Anecdotal evidence on the “widespread use of [...] cocaine by professional traders” is consistent both with strategic self-manipulation and with our observations about cross-sectional overconfidence across environments", and finally recommends to all the risk-averse BTFDers and BTFATHers, that "the performance of anxiety-prone individuals should then improve with moderate levels of drug-induced overconfidence"one should probably listen and trade - since the Fed's only remaining wealth effect and "monetary transmission channel" is to BTFATH - while both drunk and high.
"...there seems to have been a shift from using derivatives as a hedging tool, to using them more for alpha generation [as] most products are now used more for adding risk and directional views."
ZIRP forces retirees and the baby boomers to become more frugal based on lower interest income... this is DEFLATIONARY and has crippled consumer spending.
China’s stock market is on fire but its economy is cooling off. Can the divergence last? And what’s next for China? Stay tuned to find out.
What neither the Saudis, nor the US shale companies, and certainly not their investors, who lately seem to get their investment advice from the Cartoon Network, know is even if every last US shale company is Friendo'ed, there is an even more insidious group of drillers and oil extractors waiting behind them, backed by an even greater monetary bubble and an even more clueless group of sources of cash, just waiting to step in and become the next marginal oil producer.
President Of Euro Parliament Warns Greece Risks National Bankruptcy; Varoufakis Replies: "Greece Already Is Bankrupt"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 20:00 -0400
With the ECB escalating matters this afternoon, the craziness of European leaders talking past one another in an effort to create the next headline-driven narrative continued to gather pace today. That idiocy was nowhere more obvious than when EU President Martin Schulz warned ominously that Greece risks national bankruptcy if it continues down the path of non-agreement when Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has previously explained quite clearly that "Greece is already bankrupt."