Hark! The Herald Angels Aren't Singing

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

“No matter where you stand, no matter how far or how fast you flee, when it hits the fan, as much as possible will be propelled in your direction, and you will not possess a towel large enough to wipe all of it off.”
                                           -The Wizard
Coming Attractions
You thought it was tough; it is going to get tougher. You thought that Europe would not affect America and that we lived in some sort of bubble over here; think again. You thought that the liquidity provided by the world’s major central banks would carry us across the divide and intact; keep dreaming. We are at the cross roads, at breakpoint, where solvency is no longer overcome by liquidity because the politics is dysfunctional and because after you get to “unlimited” and “uncapped” there is nowhere further to go. We have arrived at that long dreaded moment where decisions will have to be made, will be forced to be made by the economic plights of Greece, Spain and Portugal that can no longer be shunned or twisted perversely under the banner of “More Europe” as Nationalism and self-preservation take root on the Continent and the effects of the austerity measures in Europe slows down and stops the economies in various nations which then impacts the earnings of American companies in a significant manner. Put succinctly; European austerity has arrived in the United States.
Riches to Rags
The situation in Greece is dire. The country is weeks away from being insolvent. The IMF and many European nations will not fund, the leaked Troika report, overly optimistic by any stretch of any rational mind, still puts Greece in a sinkhole that cannot be climbed out from no matter what scheme is suggested or utilized. Even using their fanciful projections it will require some $40 billion in immediate new funding when Germany probably can’t get the votes for it and when Austria, the Netherland and Finland have already said “No.” Meanwhile in Athens there has been no compromise and no agreement among the coalition parties so that the government may well topple and new elections would have to be called. The IMF wants the ECB and/or the EU to write off part of their Greek debt, which has been refused by the ECB and Germany so that the hours tick away, no resolution is found and the cash in Athens dwindles. If Greece actually defaults the shock will be systemic. More than $500 billion in sovereign debt obligations, $90 billion in sovereign derivatives and more than $1.3 trillion in total debt and if the plug is actually pulled either by a refusal to fund or a refusal to accept the terms and conditions of funding then I believe the correct phrase for the reality that will ensue is “Pop Goes The Weasel.”
Jack is Out of the Box
Spain is going nowhere and fast! The truth here is that the Spanish are twisting in the wind trying to find a way, any way, any possible way so that they can get money from the EU without having their finances audited or verified. The country is literally falling apart in the meantime with unemployment rising past 25% this morning while the talk and banter continues and while Germany, stuck in a Pandora’s Box of their own making, denies that Spain needs any help at all and that it is a matter of “readjustment.” The Germans must be kissing ostrich’s these days because there is no one else there with them in the hole in the sand where they have buried their head.
Just as Greece is about to run out of money; Spain is not far behind. In the end Spain will ask for the bailout because there will be no other choice and, a close examination of their finances will assure you; there is no other choice. Their calculation of their regional debt problems and of their bank problems has all of the accuracy of firing a canon at Bermuda and hitting some town in Latvia. I have been repeating this for over a year now but the top is about to be blown off the barrel and so I repeat it again; “Just because you do not count it does not mean that it is not there.” The actual, real debt to GDP ratio for Spain is over 200% when you count all of their liabilities and not just the ones that they wish to include. Payment is now coming due and a handout from Europe is the only way out so if Rajoy claimed “A great victory for Europe” in the last go round it must be that the Saints and Apostles are about to show up in Madrid when the next bailout is announced. However it will not be the “Saints That Come Marching In” but the Germans with calculators and computers and it will be the end of the siestas and of too much wine at lunch. Poor Don Quixote; his worst fears are about to arrive at the gates.
"Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news hath but a losing office, and his tongue sounds ever after as a sullen bell, remembered tolling a departing friend."
                  -William Shakespeare, Henry IV
So be it!

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mrktwtch2's picture

please tell us something we dont know already!!

GetZeeGold's picture



Well apparently someone didn't know that....and now they're pissed off to find out they were the last to know.

toady's picture

Definitely not the last to know. Large chunks of the population still believe in hope & change.

But more people wake up every day.

JPM Hater001's picture

Men go mad in herd and only wake up slowly and one at a time...and I dont know any of them...because I am alone in my world of reality...or something like that.

BigJim's picture

You have to hand it to Mark Grant - day after day, month after month he manages to write a few hundred words saying essentially the same thing.

I don't think I could do it - I'd start worrying people were finding me a bit repetitive.


Well, repetitive maybe, but he has found 37 different ways to stay interesting saying the same thing. He ain't no Reggie Middleton though. Thank God for that.

Muddy1's picture

Yawn, same story a different Friday.  The financial failures of these nations have been discussed for months here on ZH and on other sites.  The sky is falling!  If it does, eventually we'll get through it.

macholatte's picture




The can shall be kicked!

"So let it be written. So let it be done."

JPM Hater001's picture

Clearly BigJim you dont regularly attend church.  They've been saying the same thing for 2000 years and people attend by the billions.

Repetition works.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And it will take much longer to play out than either you or I expect.

Don't underestimate the effect of momentum or the abject apathy of the population.

<We gotta get out of this place...if it's the last thing we ever do.>

madcows's picture

Don't underestimate a politician's willingness to avoid hard decisions and leadership, especially in an election year.

eigenvalue's picture

A Finxit may end this farce.

GetZeeGold's picture



Hope so...hit the Easy button a jillion times.....no go Amigos.

eigenvalue's picture

Bingo. Merkel doesn't have the guts to stop funding Greece or pull a Gerxit since she has an election in 2013. Unless Greece wants to leave the Eurozone on its own, a Grexit is a pipe dream. 

john39's picture

>>And it will take much longer to play out

Maybe, but consider the opposite... this collapse has already been postponed so many times that the risk for a sudden violent event is much higher now... and it has to happen at some point.  how will you know when that event is right on the doorstep?


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It appears to me that our thinking about what is coming ends at "the collapse".

So.........what happens after the "collapse" and isn't that all part of "the" collapse?

toady's picture

Post-collapse scenarios vary too widely. Everything from a a violence free debt jubilee leading to a utopian society to a total nuclear annihilation.

I'm thinking somewhere in between.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Things are never as good or as bad as they seem, unless it involves genocide or mass suicide. Then it's definitely worse.

JPM Hater001's picture

"And it will take much longer to play out than either you or I expect."

Im in the mood for quotes today.

"Jack, how did you go bankrupt?"

"Slowly at first, then all at once."

The slow phase has ended.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

So trickle down economics doesn't work?? Who would have thought??

Unprepared's picture

Yes, but tackle down economics was proven to work.

madcows's picture

The last 5 years has been trickle down?  The collapse had nothing to do with Barney Frank fucking the director of Fannie/Freddie Mac?  Government malfeasance?  It had nothing to do with banks being massively leveraged, or MBS's, CDS's or Glass-Siegel?  It had nothing to do with banks making bad loans to bad borrowers?  Nothing to do with the Fed blowing bubbles or unbalanced budgets, or trade deficits or high oil and food prices or multiple wars?

Solely attributable to low tax rates for the rich.  Brilliant.  You should have your own show on MSNBC.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Trickle down free market economics has failed. Contrary to the predictions of Chicago economists, large corporations DON'T just take care of the poor. Instead they simply keep all the money for themselves. I want some of that wealth. Where's my fair share??

bigkansas's picture

I believe that John Galt has it, Now where did he go...

cifo's picture

What's wrong with you? You started to sound serious.

toady's picture

Don't trickle down my back and tell me it's raining.

WhiteChrist's picture

Hark! The Lord is speaking sheerly in naughts and ones. Thou hadst gotten thy fair share if only thou hadst been wise enough to buy these cheapings, which are the Lord's. As for today's rikescraftmen, they are where they are in that they have cared for the arm and needy among us. They have shewn their worth. Shape up and buy. AAPL at 610 and AMZN at 230 are great buys. The Lord will uphold these stocks. We should fear the Lord's anger if the S&P were to reach 1400. As soon as the fool putteth in a stop, the Lord runneth him over.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"The collapse had nothing to do with Barney Frank fucking the director of Fannie/Freddie Mac?"~


Madcows, how could you say such a thing? And it just goes to show just how much you know! You have your story completely backwards. Barney has always been a bottom. /sarc off

adr's picture

trickle down economics works under a true free market system because it allows for competition which creates many small companies, which in the aggregate create more wealth for more individuals than any single monopoly ever could.

100k small electronics stores can make 100k people moderately wealthy. One megastore can make a handfull of people obscenely wealthy, but pay 99% of the employees minimum wage.

When you had the mom and pop stores on every corner, they could all make a middle class living off it. They pretty much all lived in the community as well. This ensured the community would remain strong as the business was tied directly to it.

The middle class comes from ownership. Mom and pops can't shuffle money to NY banksters, so they were eliminated. There went the middle class.

JPM Hater001's picture

"So trickle down economics doesn't work?? Who would have thought??"

Try Harderer

ebworthen's picture

When, oh when, will reality intersect with politicians and the markets?

JimBowie1958's picture

When, oh when, will reality intersect with politicians and the markets?


Markets are about meeting demand and require realism skills, so where they see a shortage, markets see opportunity to expand.

Bureacracies are about budgeting a fixed (lol) budget and require bean counting skills, so where they see a shortage, they see rationing required.

Politicians are about selling fantasy to voters and require story telling skills, so where they see a shortage, they see flying unicorns shitting old gold nugets into everyones pocket.

Imminent Collapse's picture

I can't believe that they have held on this long.  An amazing balancing and bullshit act has levitated the system beyond my wildest imagination.  But ultimately, reality will set in and the hangover will begin. 

WhiteChrist's picture

Thou hadst better believe! There will be no hangover or breakdown. Forswear freedom, thought and other such childish dreams. Buy these cheapings. Begin with homeloan-backed sickerhoods. Everything is on sale, thanks to the Lord. Behold, there is no Christ but White Christ, and man is His foe!

dontgoforit's picture

Daddy told you to quit drinking your pee or you would go effin crazy....well, there you are, effin' crazy.  dipwad

Bay of Pigs's picture

"The situation in Greece is dire. The country is weeks away from being insolvent."

We've heard that for 3 or 4 years now.

IndicaTive's picture

Yep. In weeks+1 hour they are always re-solvent.

Salt's picture

Absolutely. And it shall remain that way till it's not.

Oh regional Indian's picture

BOP, thing is, when massive change hapens, it's usually binary adn then everyone is screaming "Why didn't anyone see this coming!!!!!"


Rock/Hard place for forecasters.


earleflorida's picture


the great 'barb' says it so subtlety... k`not even a rubicon`esque can escape it's gordian tenor! 

youngman's picture

What is sad is this has been going on for 2-3 years now...and the politicians and Central Bankers have said it has been fixed 100 times maybe....so now they have no more faith of the people....so this is where it falls apart...

And MDB...trickle down works...Socialism does not

The Axe's picture

ZH should focus on what it does best.....which is NOT after-hour trading activity!!!

adr's picture

You mean we shouldn't look at the fact the darling stocks were rightfuly hammered after missing earnings, and then miraculously were sent all the way back up for no apparent reason.

toady's picture

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

LoneStarHog's picture

Yawn! ... Always old news presented to the choir as something new ... So, "Jack Is Out Of The Box"? ... Then put Jack back and pull up your damn zipper.

lolmao500's picture

Especially with Japan on the brink ($5.9 trillion), China on the verge of unrest ($7.3 trillion), Spain with 25% unemployment ($1.5 trillion), France with insane economic and social policies ($2.8 trillion) and the US ran by mad men ($15.3 trillion)...

This will NOT END WELL.

fonzannoon's picture

Haha consumer setntiment highest level since consumers got the shit beat out of them.

Dareconomics's picture

The biggest coverup is this year's financing needs. Spain claims that it is 95% done with its bond issuance, but this cannot be true: