Haris Theocharis, the Troika-supported general secretary of Greece’s public revenues was forced to resign following press leaks about "government discontent" at his handling of tax issues - most notably the retroactive taxation of gains on Greek government bonds. As KeepTalkingGreece notes, Theocharis was a hardliner, a devoted supporter of the loan agreements and their implementation and kept loading the Greek taxpayers with new burdens and exorbitant fines. However, the resignation of the country's top tax-collector is "a cause of serious concern," according to EU spokespersons.
- Inside the White House's decision to free Bergdahl (Reuters)
- Dimon’s Raise Haunts BNP Paribas as U.S. Weighs $10 Billion Fine (BBG)
- Jobs Are on the Line as Banks' Revenue Slides (WSJ)
- Wall Street Adjusts to the New Trading Normal (WSJ)
- Nothing like objective, intense probes: GM recall probe to clear senior execs, finds no concerted coverup (Reuters)
- ECB ready to cut rates and push banks into lending to boost euro zone economy (Reuters)
- China Should Resist Further Stimulus, IMF Says (BBG)
- Carney Finds Ally in Draghi as Key Rate Kept at 0.5% (BBG)
- Assad wins Syria election with 88.7 percent of votes (Reuters)
Why low inflation in Europe is not caused by too high of interest rates and why a 10-15 bp cut in rates will not succeed.
It would appear there is only so much the Greek people will stand for. With a fragile coalition increasingly tilting to a more euro-skeptic (give us more money or else) perspective, the cleaning ladies of Greece have exploded onto the streets with great vengeance and furious rebukes at the riot police. The reason for this chaos - they were asked to clean up this mess in the finance ministry...
“I say to all those who bet against Greece and against Europe: you lost and Greece won. You lost and Europe won.” - Jean-Claude Juncker...
[Spoiler Alert: No, it's not over yet]
The officially released agenda of the prestigious Bilderberg club meeting (attendees listed here) is not true, claims Russia Today show host Daniel Estulin, a longtime watcher of the ‘secret world govt’ group. He says he obtained the real agenda for this year’s gathering in Copenhagen. An insider leaked the list of talking points for the ongoing Bilderberg conference to the investigative journalist last week, he said. The list has nine items, seven of which he shared... from Nuclear diplomacy and the disturbing rise of Nationalism; it was a focus on Barack Obama's foreign policy that drew our attention most closely...
The Keynesians have failed. Japan has proved it. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world… and the markets catch on.
Wondering why the extreme left (we are not happy and need moar bailouts) and extreme right (this European 'union' thing is not working out so well for us) have become so euro-skeptic? Perhaps the following chart from Bloomberg Brief's Niraj Shah will clear up any questions. The ratio of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU increased by 0.5 percentage points in 2012 to 24.8% or 124.2 million people, according to figures updated this week. The risk increased most in bailed-out nations Greece and Cyprus, where the rate rose by 3.6 and 2.5 percentage points, respectively. The Netherlands had the lowest risk at 15%.
There has been a lot on bond buying in Europe and that enthusiasm has transferred over to the US in anticipation of Draghi's massive bond buying stimulus program similar to that of the U.S. Fed.
The IMF has lied (about 'not' proposing a 71% income tax) and has been shown as a serial over-optimistic forecaster (world growth disappointments and hockey sticks) but the simply incredible hope that Christine Lagarde's PhDs created in their growth expectations for Ukraine make their Greece "Oops" moment look like nothing. As CFR rebukes, we see the IMF’s growth forecasts for Ukraine and Greece not as forecasts at all, but rather as assumptions necessary to justify the IMF’s interventions. Credibility -> 0.
The melt up is accelerating and with the momentum tailwind back, newsflow is once again irrelevant: any news that are even remotely good are trumpeted, and any bad news - such as Europe's right storm rising in the northern states, and left storm surge in the states that demand more handouts from the northern states or China sinking a Vietnamese boat, the most serious bilateral incident since 2007 - are once again (and as usual) nothing more than a catalyst for even more liquidity injections. End result: the S&P futures this morning are 5 points above Goldman's year end target of 1900 and 45 points away from its June 30, 2015 target. Can this breakneck scramble on zero volume continue until Grantham's bubble peak level of 2,200 is hit? Well of course: after all anything goes in the centrally-planned new normal. To be sure, this is an equity only phenomenon: moments ago the Bund future hit its highest level since May 19, while the 10 Year remains unchanged at 2.53% as it continues to price in the new "deflationary" (and Japanese) normal. And as has been the case during all such divergences of late, either bonds or equities are making a horrible mistake: the question remains: who? Since all equities are doing is tracking FX pairs to the pip and have completely forgotten all about fundamentals, we have a pretty good idea what the answer is.
Earthquake? What earthquake?
The recent public outcry over high frequency trading is pointless. Solutions exist. Virtually every comparable market in the world uses them already. But, some electronic exchanges may not willingly adopt them. Doing so may disrupt their current business model. The incentives are misaligned, and competitors or regulators may need to force the issue to see change. Luckily, the issue to be forced is far simpler than most think. It’s time to add quality to the matching process.