Nicolas Sarkozy

Previewing Tomorrow's Fed Announcement From A Game Theory Perspective

There’s a lot of chatter out there that the Fed will hold off on a taper announcement, but will put some sort of limit on the overall size of this latest round of QE launched in September 2012. In other words, monthly purchases will continue at the current rate, but this will no longer be a QE-forever program. From a CK game perspective, placing a limit on the QE program is a more market-negative statement than a taper. This is what I’m going to be watching for tomorrow, along with whatever dovish (market-positive) language is inserted around forward guidance on rates. And then the battle for meaning and interpretation will be joined …


Draghi's Termination Of Berlusconi Explained: Sylvio Threatened To Leave Euro

Ex-ECB insider Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi has once again proved that conspiracy 'theory' in the new normal is the same a conspiracy 'fact'. As The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard notes, Bini-Smaghi's new book details Silvio Berlusconi seriously floated plans to pull Italy out of the euro in October/November 2011, precipitating his immediate removal from office and decapitation by EMU policy gendarmes. Specifically, he discussed (threatened?) Italian withdrawal from the euro in private meetings with other EMU governments, presumably with Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy. Bini-0Smaghi's tell-all goes further, noting that Merkel continued to think that Greece could be thrown out of the euro safely as late as the early autumn of 2012. It appears - just as we have always believed - that all is not well under the surface in Europe and that Dragji is in charge.

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Qatar has enough natural gas to make every citizen of the country wealthier than any other in the world. Sheikh Tamim bin Khaifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar is a new ambitious determined leader that plans to make Qatar a prominent country in the world.

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The USA Has Got it All Wrong

The USA puts men behind bars for revealing what the country and the world should have been told a long time ago: the laws are different for those in one place that is high on the hill and for the rest of the population we can whistle until the cows come home because those laws will be applied in a different way

Guest Post: Central Banks – Words and Deeds

On occasion of an address to economists at a conference in France, Bundesbank  president Jens Weidmann reminded the audience that 'the ECB cannot solve the crisis', because it is due to structural reasons and therefore requires structural reform. Weidmann rightly fears that governments will begin to postpone or even stop  their reform efforts now that the ECB has managed to calm markets down. In a Reuters article on the topic, a number of people are quoted remarking on ECB policy. What is so interesting about this is how far removed from reality general perceptions are when it comes to judging current central bank policies. In short, Weidmann wants to end the three card Monte, whereby commercial banks buy the bonds issued by governments because they don't have to put any capital aside for the purpose, which bonds they then can in turn pawn off to the central bank for refinancing purposes. Weidmann wants to see the connection between banks and sovereigns severed, a connection that has been fostered by governments over many centuries in order to enable them to spend more than they take in through tax revenues.

From 9/11 To PRISMgate - How The Carlyle Group LBO'd The World's Secrets

The short but profitable tale of how 483,000 private individual have "top secret" access to the nation's most non-public information begins in 2001. "After 9/11, intelligence budgets were increased, new people needed to be hired, it was a lot easier to go to the private sector and get people off the shelf," and sure enough firms like Booz Allen Hamilton - still two-thirds owned by the deeply-tied-to-international-governments investment firm The Carlyle Group - took full advantage of Congress' desire to shrink federal agencies and their budgets by enabling outside consultants (already primed with their $4,000 cost 'security clearances') to fulfill the needs of an ever-more-encroaching-on-privacy administration.

France Telecom CEO In Custody Over Corruption Probe

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."

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Political Polling Popularity?

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 Countries

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.

The End Of The Central Bank Put: From Mugabenomics To MadMaxnomics

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.

Frontrunning: March 22

  • 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)

IMF's Lagarde Flat Raided Over French 'Payout' Probe

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?)

The Latest Evader Of The French Millionaire Tax: The Former French President

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.