The last time we encountered the name Stephane Richard, CEO of France Telecom Orange, he was deflecting poor iPhone sales on frugal customers. While we don't know if French customers have become less frugal in the past two months, we do know that Mr. Richard has bigger problems on his hands than declining top and bottom lines: such as suddenly being embroiled in the Bernard Tapie corruption scandal that previously focused on Christine Lagarde, and which this morning led to the CEO being held for questioning over his role in a 2008 arbitration process that resulted in a large pay-out to businessman Bernard Tapie, a judicial source said. "Richard was at the time head of cabinet to Christine Lagarde, who was finance minister to conservative former president Nicolas Sarkozy before she became head of the International Monetary Fund."
Popularity is something that can be determined by two things. Firstly, it doesn’t last! When too many people start liking you anyway, there is always someone that is there ready to knife you in the back. ‘Heil Caesar!’ soon turns into ‘Et tu, Brute’!
Just Say Non To The New "Sick Man Of Europe" - Support For EU Plunges In France And Most European CountriesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/13/2013 20:32 -0400
In some surprising news, and quite contrary to what its record low bond yields would indicate (for a key reason for said artificial demand for French, see The Greater Fool) today the Pew Research center released results from a poll of 7646 EU citizens in March 2013, showing that the new sick man of Europe is Europe itself, or rather the great unification project itself: the European Union. Perhaps most surprisingly, nowehere is this more evident than in France itself - the country where the idea of a European Union germinated in the first place - and where the decline in support for the EU has been the greatest in the past year, with just 22% responding affirmatively to the question whether 'economic integration strenghtened the economy', down from 36% a year ago, and the biggest drop of all surveyed EU member states.
Everyone learned a lesson from Cyprus, painful ones. German politicians learned a lesson too: that it worked!
There exists a super-Bernanke who proved also a super-Hollande, a gentleman who Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cannot compete with: his name is Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. When he took power, he seized the farmlands of one social group to give them to another social group. Afterwards, in part because the new social group did not manage the farms that well, the economy took a turn for the worse. Therefore, the state issued some bonds to finance its spending and asked the central bank to issue some money to buy this government debt. But they printed big time and turned the printing press into something of a cosmic proportion. According to Professor Steve Hanke from John Hopkins, monthly inflation was 80 billion percent, so per year it is a 65 followed by 107 zeros. This is what we call Mugabenomics, the conjunction of (i) state-forced wealth transfer between two social groups along with (ii) the monetisation of the debt. As we shall see below, Mugabenomics, or at least its mild version implemented now in the Western hemisphere, has drastic consequences on the final episode of the global financial crisis.
- Cyprus targets big depositors in bank plan (FT)
- Merkel Vents Anger at Cyprus Over Bailout Plan as Deadline Looms (BBG)
- Russia rebuffs Cyprus, EU awaits bailout "Plan B" (Reuters)
- Russia Rejects Cyprus Bid for Financial Rescue as Deadline Looms (BBG)
- Cyprus unveils shake-up as the clock ticks (FT)
- Remember Italy? Italy’s stalemate unnerves investors (FT)
- Credit Suisse CEO pay jump to fuel banker bonus debate (Reuters)
- Kuroda Rebuts Reflation Naysayers as BOJ Action Looms (BBG)
- Fund Manager Says 'Whale' Trade Was a Bet (WSJ)
- House averts government shutdown, backs Ryan budget (Reuters)
- Hong Kong Homes Face 20% Price Drop as Banks Raise Rates (BBG)
In a follow-up to investigations over alleged wrongdoing surrounding a EUR285mm payout by the then French finance minister and now IMF head, The Telegraph reports, Christine Lagarde's Paris flat has been raided. The fresh (if you're an orange) faced IMF Chief, of course, denies any wrongdoing in the case of a huge 2008 compensation payment to businessman supporter of ex-President Sarkozy. On the bright side, at least there were no indiscretions in hotel rooms involved (yet it seems she is following in the strong footsteps of her predecessor DSK - how can we not trust these people?)
That even former French president Nicolas Sarakozy plans to start a £1 billion private equity fund in London is not news: courtesy of ZIRP and the ongoing global reliquifiication of markets by every central bank as currency warfare goes ballistic, one would have to be seriously unlucky to chase the central planner inflated beta rally and not succeed (one would also have to be very unaware of the difference between nominal and real returns, but since that is most people these days, let's ignore that). What is news, is that as part of said transfer to the "asset management business" it is none other than the former French president who is next in line to evade Hollande's millionaire tax by crossing the Channel, and "redomiciling" himself in London.
With impeccable timing.
A “new era”: 48% of the French consider themselves living in poverty or on the way to it.
Certainly, don’t let the riffraff decide.
The upcoming week comes less loaded with policy events. The only major one is the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, however EU officials have already confirmed that no decision on the next Greek aid tranche will be made before the Troika’s next report on Greece’s adherence to the bailout conditions. Greece has scheduled an auction for Tuesday in order to roll over €3.1 bn in T-bills expiring by the end of the week. Additionally, in the US, the President has invited leadership of both parties for a first round of talks on the fiscal cliff. The data calendars also look lighter, with the publication of the FOMC minutes on Wednesday, and US Philly Fed on Thursday.
Regardless of who owns them
As Thousands Of Italians March Against Austerity On "No Monti Day", Berlusconi Threatens To Scuttle Monti GovernmentSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/27/2012 14:52 -0400
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.