As Thousands Of Italians March Against Austerity On "No Monti Day", Berlusconi Threatens To Scuttle Monti GovernmentSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/27/2012 13:52 -0500
First, it was Greece who failed to stick with the "do not rock the boat until the US election" script so meticulously crafted by Tim Geithner, and now it is Italy's turn as Europe threatens to come unhinged precisely in the week when complete peace and quiet is needed to avoid deflecting attention from the peak season of the US presidential theater. As Reuters reports, "Tens of thousands of people marched through Rome in a "No Monti Day" on Saturday, some throwing eggs and spraying graffiti to protest against austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Mario Monti's government. Appointed in November when Italy risked being sucked into the euro zone debt crisis, Monti has pushed through painful austerity measures to cut the country's massive debt, including tax hikes, spending cuts and a pension overhaul. "We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that are destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care," said demonstrator Giorgio Cremaschi... In another demonstration in northern Italy, a small group of protesters scuffled with police near where Monti was addressing a rally on the theme of family values." So who gets to capitalize on the latest bout of surging discontent with the Goldman appointed technocrat? Why the same man who yesterday was sentenced to several years in jail (a sentence that will be never carried out of course), Silvio Berlusconi, and whom the ECB singlehandedly took down nearly a year ago, when it sent Italian bond yields to record highs: "The center-right bloc will decide "in the next few days" whether to withdraw confidence for Prime Minister Mario Monti in parliament or support him until elections in April, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday. Monti's government of non-elected technocrats is backed by the center-left, the center and the center-right. It would have to resign if it lost the support of the entire center-right."
The most important alliance within the EU, the one that has ultimately defined the union's course over the past few decades, is the French-German axis. It appears that this is no longer the case. The once so strong friendship is in danger of fraying ever since the socialist Francois Hollande has become president of France. Not only was he elected on an 'anti austerity' platform (disguised as a 'pro growth' agenda, which is of course one of the most laughable misrepresentations ever), it has turned out that his big-brother, anti-free market socialist agenda wasn't merely an electoral ploy to differentiate himself from Sarkozy. He actually means it. One thing is certain: the markets have not yet fully assimilated what is going on here.
- OECD: Japan Public Debt in 'Uncharted Territory' (WSJ)
- Germany holds firm on Greece as IMF pressure mounts (Reuters)
- Schäuble and Lagarde clash over austerity (FT) - it would be great if someone actually implemented austerity...
- Merkel hints at tax cuts for growth boost (FT)
- Hollande Robbed of Growth Engine as Companies Cut Investment (BBG)
- Romney Narrows Gap With Obama in Swing State Polling (BBG)
- Sluggish Growth Seen Into Next Year (WSJ)
- Softbank Founder Has 300-Year Plan in Wooing Sprint Nextel (BBG)
- Singapore Forgoes Currency Stimulus on Inflation Risk (Bloomberg) - as does China day after day
- Sharp Jabs Dominate Combative Vice-Presidential Debate (WSJ)
- Japan and China Agree to Hold Talks on Rift After Noda Call (Bloomberg)
“The worst enemy of France and of all nations that aspire to prosperity and liberty.”
Unelected bureaucrats, politicians, and bankers
“Hit the road, rich idiot”
- Looks like the troops won't be steamrolled: JPMorgan Blaming Marks On Traders Baffles Ex-Employees (Bloomberg)
- The Goldman "Huddle" goes to Blackrock - Surveys Give Big Investors an Early View From Analysts (NYT)
- At least housing has bottomed: London House Prices Plunge As Supply Rise Adds To Lull (Bloomberg)
- Christine Lagarde and Nicolas Sarkozy embroiled in new corruption inquiry (Telegraph)- at least that fraud they created: Others helped them create it.
- Heat Leaves Ranchers a Stark Option: Sell (NYT)
- Merkel Gives No Ground on Demands for Oversight in Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)
- The euro skeptics have the best lines again (FT)
- Wen Says China’s Economic Recovery yet to Show Momentum (Bloomberg)
- Europe’s Banks Face Tougher Demands (FT)
- Madrid Region To Sell 100 Office Buildings Amid Austerity (Bloomberg)
- China eases taxes for foreign companies (FT)
- Most Germans Reject Ceding Sovereignty to EU, Stern Poll Shows (Bloomberg)
- How Stockton went broke: A 15-year spending binge (Reuters)
- Manchester United Shoots for $100 Million IPO (WSJ)... with 4x leverage and Jefferies as underwriter
- Iran says can destroy U.S. bases "minutes after attack" (Reuters)
- Poison claims spark call for Arafat exhumation (FT)
- Diamond Would Be Catch for Investment, Private Equity (Bloomberg)
- Investors may shun big Libor lawsuit and go it alone (Reuters)
- New Particle Found, Consistent With Higgs Boson (WSJ)
- Chinese riot police clash with protesters (FT)
- Euro-Area June Manufacturing, Services Output Contracts (Bloomberg)
- Utilities Struggle to Restore Power in East (WSJ)
- Dark economic clouds gather anew over Obama campaign (Reuters)
Things in broke Europe are becoming stranger by the minute. Stepping away from the Bank of England telling private institutions what to do, and overriding fiduciary responsibility, we now shift to France, but not in the context of the Second Great Socialist Revolution and its Fairness Doctrine annex, but to the home and office of ex-president Nicholas Sarkozy whose home and office where just raided according to Politique in connection with long-running allegations that his presidential campaign had been illegally funded by France's richest woman Lilliane Bettencourt. Do you see what happens Larry when there are no PACs and it is illegal for rich people to outright bribe politicians?
Months ago, I forecast that Germany will walk before it goes “all in” on the EU to prop up everyone else. I believe that day is fast approaching. Unless Angela Merkel wants to commit political suicide, she will be forced to protect Germany’s domestic issues. Whether this comes as a result of Germany pre-emptively leaving the Euro or doing so after one of the PIIGS has already left remains to be seen. But in the end, Germany WILL WALK IF IT HAS TO.
Leading all others “by the nose through the ring.”
"The next stage in the crisis will be blatant blackmail....
With their refusal to accept money from the bailout fund to recapitalize their banks, the Spanish are not far from causing the entire system to explode. They clearly figure that the Germans will lose their nerve and agree to rehabilitate their banks for them without demanding any guarantee in return that things will take a lasting turn for the better."
As noted earlier, Europe has been so obviously crippled by years of brutal austerity (which, as we pointed out before never actually happened), that it has had to experience the supreme indignity - a miserable two years of plunging flat GDP growth. Because under the old normal, it appears that unless one is issuing massive debt, pardon "growing", society grinds to a halt. Well, it appears that France has finally had enough, and as of today, "the French government approved a measure Wednesday that will lower the retirement age to 60 from 62 for a narrow group of workers, partly reversing unpopular pension reforms made by former President Nicolas Sarkozy as he sought to improve France's public finances." Obviously, this means that more welfare funding will have to be sourced as all else equal, this means less money will be produced by the country's workforce, and more money will be consumed by its retirees. Who will do it? Why German of course. Because after Merkel caved first on Greece, and then on Spain, it is now game over for German "prudence" and everyone will line up at the trough. Congrats Berlin: we can only hope you have discovered those magical money-growing trees. You will need them.
Here we go again. Back in July 2011 we wrote an article entitled "The Real Banking Crisis" where we discussed the increasing instability of the Eurozone banks suffering from depositor bank runs. Since that time (and two LTRO infusions and numerous bailouts later), Eurozone banks, as represented by the Euro Stoxx Banks Index, have fallen more than 50% from their July 2011 levels and are now in the midst of yet another breakdown led by the abysmal situation currently unfolding in Greece and Spain.... Although the last eight months have not played out the way we would have expected for gold, they have played out the way we envisioned for the banks. The question now is how long this can go on for, and how long gold can remain under pressure in a banking crisis that has the potential to spread beyond Greece and Spain? So much now rests on the policy responses fashioned by the US Fed and ECB, and just as much also rests on what's left of European citizens' confidence in their local banking institutions. Neither of these things can be precisely measured or predicted, but we continue to firmly believe that depositors in Greece and Spain will choose gold over drachmas or pesetas if they have the foresight and are given the freedom to act accordingly. The number one reason we have always believed gold should be owned, and why we believe it will go higher, is people's growing distrust of the banking system - and we are now there. We will wait and see how the summer develops, and keep our attention firmly focused of the second phase of the bank run now spreading across southern Europe.