Elliott's Paul Singer On The 3 Things You Have To Believe To Be A Euro Bull

Tyler Durden's picture

Excerpted from Elliott Management's Letter to investors (via Paul Singer),

The Euro reminds us of the weather in London: One minute you are basking in sparkling sunshine, and the next minute the sky opens in a deluge reminiscent of Noah’s flood.

Could it really be that peripheral countries’ interest rates are plunging and borrowing costs have converged to pre-crisis levels, Greece is issuing debt, and the euro crisis is over forever, but Mario “Whatever-It-Takes” Draghi is musing about starting QE now? Have policymakers lost touch with reality to such a startling degree that they now reach for the QE bottle like it is some 1850s cure-all nostrum, regardless of what is wrong with the patient? All we can imagine is the good doctor, handle bar moustache and full regalia, sitting behind his desk: “You have the vapors? Take this QE, you’ll feel better. Ma’am, you have a little hysteria? QE is just the thing! Sir, this QE will cure that headache! Son, you need some inflation, so QE is just right for you.”

There is nothing – we repeat, nothing – that is being done at present to enable Europe to perform better economically, to encourage its unemployed to get off the dole, or to empower its peripheral countries to deal with their underperformance on a sustainable basis. In this context, the bloc’s primary focus on generating inflation is nothing short of astounding.

Indeed, one could analogize this currency union at the present moment to a labor camp in the middle of a frozen waste: It is really bad to be locked in, but if you are obedient, you will at least get your next serving of bailout gruel, whereas if you are not obedient, you will be cast out into the howling cold of devaluation and collapse. Lure them in, load them up with debt and whip them into line … is this the plan that the Brussels crowd devised in the 1990s?

This is obviously preferable to constant and terrible continental warfare, but is it sustainable? How will it end? The spectacle is akin to a hair-raising (albeit slow-motion) TV series. Two years ago, it was about to collapse. Today it is working. What will happen on the next episode?

All of this talk may seem flip and sardonic, but it is really amazing that this currency union sans sovereignty has lasted so long – long enough to make Rube Goldberg drool with jealousy. Nobody knows how it will ultimately turn out, but we must admire in a sense the gall of politicians who think they can stay the current course and therefore must believe that citizens will stand for no growth and high unemployment forever.

Below are some specific outcomes that must be assumed to justify continued stability in the Eurozone, given current pricing of stocks and bonds:

1. Italy’s current government will succeed in solving its problems in the promised 100 days, and there will be no talk of elections that might be won by the comedian (who wants out of the Euro).


2. The Spanish and Italian unemployed will wait patiently for the good jobs they want without causing any social unrest or political turmoil.


3. The higher trading value of the euro will not cause even more pain to the countries that would have already devalued their currencies more than 50% against the current euro price if they were not in the Eurozone. (Remember, if you cannot devalue, you have to increase productivity to be competitive with Germany and the rest of the world. Easy, right?)

Do any of these outcomes seem likely? Tune in next year...

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Have policymakers lost touch with reality to such a startling degree that they now reach for the QE bottle like it is some 1850s cure-all nostrum, regardless of what is wrong with the patient?"

"There is nothing – we repeat, nothing – that is being done at present to enable Europe to perform better economically....."

QE is not the answer because QE is just a one act play. The only alternative to folding up the tent and going home once the play has run its course is to replay the one act over and over and over again.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

And how many years has Europe been on the precipice?  They have been saying for years now that Greece would be a domino, and that others would then fall...

Yet Europe (like the USA) keeps on muddling through -- #GROWING since 2009!

I think you have it, Mr. Dissonance, this will drag out longer and longer and longer, until it no longer does.  QE4EVA, until forever arrives.

"And when would that be, Mr. Bearing?"

I have no idea........

Spitzer's picture

-Greece, Portugal and Spain are all running current account surpluses.(since 2012)

-The EU is China's biggest trading partner (not the US)

-The EU has the most gold (10,000 tons)

-Greece is the most fuct state in the EU and it is the smallest. California is the most fuct state in the US and it is the biggest.

-All of the ECBs "QE" has been sterilized

- the relationship between the size of the ECB balance sheet and the local stock market (FEZ) is pretty much absent.

-since 09, but the Fed ‘only’ expanded its balance sheet by 70%, against 76% of the Bank of Japan. The Eurozone expanded by 11%

And the dollar is the cleanest dirty shirt ? MY ASS IT IS.



old naughty's picture

They'll vote Nigel in...And that will be it.

wee-weed up's picture



One must believe in many more than 3 things to be a Euro bull...

How about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Obozo's Hope&Change, etc., etc...

tonyw's picture

"...it is really amazing that this currency union sans sovereignty has lasted so long..."

DoChen is correct, most things go on for longer than you usually imagine, so not amazing at all but expected.

The other side to that saying is things can turn out a lot worse than you imagine.

The EU politicians are committed to the EU "whatever it takes" so it is not about whether it makes sense or is good for the people or economies but since bigger bureaucracy is better for almost all political classes, how much pain can the people take until they rise up and demand solutions.


JR's picture

The Fed, on the backs of the American taxpayer and his standard of living, is bailing out the EU. That’s why it is still alive.

Tyler Durden wrote on 02/09/2013 that “the result is that of the record $1.8 trillion in cash sloshing within the US financial system (consisting of US and foreign banks), a record $955 billion, or 52.6% of total is now allocated to foreign banks.”

And concluded: “What is, however, known beyond a reasonable doubt is that at least through this point, the sole beneficiary of the Fed's open-ended quantitative easing which launched in September of 2012, and which was supposed to help lower US unemployment and raise inflation (it will certainly succeed in that eventually, and what a smashing success it will be), are once again solely foreign - read almost exclusively European - banks.”

Tyler wrote again on 03/09/2013, for “those who have been following our exclusive series of the Fed's direct bailout of European banks (here, here, here and here)… while we don't know what the cash is being used for, we know that sooner or later, sometime around December 2013, when European, pardon, foreign bank holdings of US reserves, i.e., USD cash, hits well over $1.5 trillion, and when the Interest on Excess Reserves starts going up and the Fed is directly providing tens of billions in interest payment to European banks, some Americans may be angry to quite angry with that development.”


Texe Marrs wrote “just as I told you it would in my new video, Die, America Die! in December (2011?), our criminal government and its scandalously corrupt Fed Reserve Bank secretly ‘printed’ over $1.1 trillion and electronically gave this gigantic bonanza to Europe’s Central Bank (ECB) and to a number of banks in Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium,Switzerland, France, Portugal, and elsewhere.

“These European institutions, because of their greedy ponzi schemes that had failed, were on rubbery, last legs and the whole of Europe was about to go bankrupt.”

Marrs gave credit to Gerald O’Driscoll, former head of the Dallas Federal Reserve whose column on December 28, 2011, in the Wall Street Journal and ignored by the rest of the media,“exposed these unethical acts of his former associates at the Fed” – revealing “the Fed’s pumping up Europe with hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and its efforts to hide these unseemly transactions…”

Never mind that “the Fed has no authority for a bailout of Europe.”


The Federal Reserve's Covert Bailout of Europe: When is a loan between central banks not a loan? When it is a dollars-for-euros currency swap, by Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr.:


Ghordius's picture

"The Fed, on the backs of the American taxpayer and his standard of living, is bailing out the EU."

this is wrong on many levels

First, having the FED printing the global reserve currency raised American taxpayer standards of living. For a while. The 1971 Nixon Shock was our shock, not for Americans. It's us that sent goods for promises "as good as gold" that weren't such anymore. It's us and the rest of the world sending containers full of goods and getting them empty back, together with promises. Realize that the FED's actions are felt first the rest of the world, and then by US citizens

Second, this "the FED is bailing out EuroBanks" is pure propaganda based on the Great Trillion Swap between the FED and the ECB. which was reversed

Third, it's ALWAYS about the FED's PRIMARY DEALERS. Which are all megabanks. With huge US subsidiaries (with the exception of that strange PD, China). Yes, some of them look like "eurobanks". For example that monster that calls itself Deutsche Bank. Nominally based in Germany. Though note who leads those banks, particularly the American and British sections where all the goodies come from, and you'll find a network of Anglo-American bankers with a few Indians sprinkled in. Who is quoted regularly by ZH from DB? Jim Reid. An American resident in... London. just as an example


tonyw's picture


"..."The Fed, on the backs of the American taxpayer..."

it has been a long time since the US taxpayer properly funded things, rather it has been by borrowing or more lately by Ctrl-P


JR's picture

Obviously, you are not a tax payer; you are a tax taker, perhaps one of the 47%, perhaps a recent immigrant.  Taking, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean taking from the government; it means taking from the people who already are here, who fund the “government” to support the 47%.

When a man's in line at the grocery store and the person in front of him is using an EBT card, he is paying for her groceries. It’s the same as her saying…

“I have no money; the guy behind me is going to buy mine.”

And you want more

JR's picture

Your 1950s propagandizing of America’s greatness is clearly false, of course. But one wonders what your motive is that now the banker cartel is actually burning innocent people in lands far away.

America’s standard of living (destruction of the culture, vast unemployment, the world's greatest maufacturing base offshored to communist and Third World countries by New York-based investment bankers, stagnant wages and workers displaced by waves of illegals taking American jobs and communities) is hardly the issue.

It is clearly the era of liberty lost and many observers have seen it coming long before the 1950s. Your material is damaging; it gets people killed.

America was great because she had a government by the people, for the people and of the people. America is lost because she no longer has representative government elected by the people. She has representative government owned and operated by the international lobbyists. She lost her greatness beginning in 1913. The combination of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and passage on February 3, 1913, of the 16th amendment establishing Congress's right to impose a Federal income tax gave the private banking cartel, the "Fed," the permission to take the people’s money and form Leviathan – the current massive central government birthed by the money trust for the money trust, the triumph of Wall Street over the will of the people.

Cathartes Aura's picture


"america" is a named tax-farm, used to fatten up the herd, taxing 'em as they were fed to grow.

and now it's time to use the cattle-prod to abattoir.

other fenced & named lands are being given the "america" tax-farm-treatments, and they too will eventually be culled when their use-fullness peaks.

of course, the "american" herd believes in their "god-given" exceptional-ness, but so does every other meme-fed herd.

the banking class writes the story, the herds fight the wars, and profits are made all around.

when has it EVER been otherwise.

((clue?  they get the herd to see nations as "she"))

JR's picture

when has it EVER been otherwise.

Before Senator Aldridge’s private train on the siding in New Jersey, 1910, and seven men representing one-fourth of the wealth of the world journeyed to a Georgia island, and crafted a banking monopoly that would eat the American Dream and a representative government put together by the likes of James Madison.

Yes, it existed. And when these competitors came together to form the banking partnership with the government, called the Federal Reserve System, the clock began ticking on an eventual confrontation between the tyrants and the patriots who will take them on.

We are fighting for a cause that will turn these insiders to outsiders;  that is our reason for fighting. If I read your comment correctly, you are suggesting that there is no reason to fight.

Cathartes Aura's picture

JR, I know that chapter of the narrative, and it was indeed a PART of the narrative, but it was not the beginning of the story.

and the "cause" you believe you are fighting for includes a lot of religion-story too, and that is a distraction-technique that weaves its way through History too.

particularly when it gets into the artificial "gender" chapters, which morph depending on which "head-god" is being referenced. . .

this construct of minds captured is what needs to be under-MIND, it needs to be seen through, and discarded.

it won't of course, not in group'd perspective, but we only wake up One at a Time, not en-masse.

JR's picture

IOW, “As consumers have adjusted to becoming less wealthy, their attitude toward debt in general has changed." ..... Cleveland Fed's Sandra 'oh Sandy' Pianalto. – Zero Hedge, Lies, Damned Lies, And Pianalto's QE/Deleveraging Lies

Fed Translation: The good news is, the people are beginning to live with their chains.


To which Sam Adams answered long ago: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”

The good news from Sam:

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."


kellycriterion's picture

Gordo, don't expect ZeroHeroes to have long attention spans , understand cause and effect or economics. Ceap energy? dirt cheap consumer goods? That's nothing They're incensed them furriners get anything in exchange. Why if we would just confiscate hundreds of billions from multinational operations everything would be fixed.

JR's picture

…don't expect ZeroHeroes to have long attention spans ,understand cause and effect or economics. Ceap energy? dirt cheap consumer goods?

And don’t expect Zero Hedge readers to buy the propaganda that everything is fine with the so-called manipulated markets, fake economic data, lying government-paid economic prostitutes, financial media cover-up and a government run by the cartel. Thank goodness ZH readers and the Tylers have an attention span that cuts through the lies and propaganda.

In the meantime, perhaps, you can explain the cause and effect on Americans’ standard of living of predatory lending based on collateralized debt obligations, along with credit default swaps and bank fraud, insiders vs. outsiders in the new American economic “system,” taxpayer bailouts of the TBTFs, self-regulation and deregulated banking in reference to Lehman and Rubin, the consequence of mismarking to accounting fraud, the impact of derivatives worldwide and perhaps a small primer on derivatives 101 for the average guy’s understanding, and casino banking, in general.


And, oh yes. And how banks are a “service” and the effect of Goldman Sachs’s hoarding of commodities for profit and the effect on gasoline prices for the average American? And, if time, any investment advice on bonds would be helpful now that the Fed has a handy interest rate lever and no longer needs rely on market supply and demand.

Again, thanks.

I Write Code's picture

Have policymakers lost touch with reality to such a startling degree that they now reach for the QE bottle like it is some 1850s cure-all nostrum, regardless of what is wrong with the patient?

How many guesses do I get?

Let's see, if I prescribe this nostrum I earn a a hundred billion dollars a year for my own account and if I don't I don't.  Hmm, ...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Singer, cut the fucking crap! The EU is the Bitch of the US Neocons, and the ECB is The Fed-EU -- with the Goldmanite alumni & friends stretching their squid tentacles everywhere, and the NSA listening to every bathroom fart.

Stop deflecting and redirecting The Argument, when the reality is that the fiat USD and its UST sales would've tanked by now, if the ECB were not "swapping gob" with the Fed.

Ghordius's picture

Interesting. I thought for a moment to read

"that Neo-Con bitch was heard saying that the EU's opinions on Ukraine don't matter and the US will solve this through the UN"

Ghordius's picture

fascinating, captain

indeed, the two swapped a trillion. and many of us suspect that it was to help the megabanks. the meme "eurobanks" helps hiding that they are US Primary Dealers, btw

but the swap was reversed. indeed, if you look carefully, the ECB has reduced it's UST's, over the last 10 years. sharing FX reserves *reduces* the single member's NCB's needs for global currency

BandGap's picture

To me there is no argument or discussion. Think about it this way - what if collapse is a process and not an event. A journey from A------>B on a road.

As I said before, it's like  movie "The Sixth Sense". Bruce Willis goes through a series of events with the child that sees dead people hoping to cure him. There are clues about the real circumstance all along the way but it is not until the end that he realizes he is the person who is dead.

We are already dead, the collapsing is taking place all around. It isn't an event and we are nearing the end of the road.


Aussiekiwi's picture

Europe will Print...eventually

Spitzer's picture

Until it does, its the cleanest dirty shirt. The next time I hear someone on TV say that the dollar is, Im going to reach through my screen and scull fuck them.

q99x2's picture

First I must mention that Singer is a financial pervert.

Second, I hope he loses everything.

Curt W's picture

I have spent my whole life looking for something. 

When I was 9 I would spend hours pedaling up that hill only to come down in a quarter of the time.

But recently I have known that QE is my Goal,


Stocks valued at 52 times future earnings and a middle man taking my profits during the trade.


Bliss can not be far off.

Cabreado's picture

"it is really amazing that this currency union sans sovereignty has lasted so long"

No, it's not, now that we see the forces in play.
But you write the "letters to investors" -- so how did you miss it?

"but we must admire in a sense the gall of politicians who think they can stay the current course..."

In what sense would that be, that admiration?

elwind45's picture

Europe stealing want it already owns

JR's picture

“In Money, Power and Wall Street, one gets that feeling that the U.S. is not a country with a banking problem, but a bank cartel with a country.”

That’s how Blaise Thompson in Culture Wars magazine sums up his review of Jim Gilmore’s DVD, stating that both this documentary and Inside Job by Charles Ferguson are economical on the truth in that their suppressed proposition is “that Something Bad would have happened had the banks failed.”

Well, yes. But the banks did fail and now the whole world is mired in bankruptcy. Fiat funny money neither trumps morality, nor in the end does it trump the market.

And just because “the happy hypocrites of the Morgan Mafia, who let the derivative genie out of Pandora’s Box ‘would rather feel compunction than know how to define it,’” says Thompson,  it doesn’t solve the WMD problem. “Greenspan himself admits a Ph.D. in mathematics couldn’t understand the cabbala of the financial markets…even though the basic equations governing the universe would fit on a piece of foolscap.”

Or, as G.K. Chesterton said: “Science in the modern world has many uses. Its chief use is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.”

And, so, governments playing along with Fed systemic risk -- unregulated OTC derivatives, financially engineered bubbles, financial WMDs, and QE,  “the errors of the rich” -- have put the financial wellbeing of the US and the EU in financial jeopardy, bordering, IMO, on financial collapse. Writes Thompson:

“Just as a volunteer army and robotic warriors enabled the president to make war without congressional approval, so deregulation has delivered the country into the hands of systemic riskers.

“Swaps were a way to weaponize financial markets.

“The lesson of the First World War was that Europeans would fall before Maxim guns as easily as natives. The lesson of the subprime meltdown was that the West could be defrauded as easily as the Third World.

Thompson continues:

“Europe’s declining population meant places like Greece were full of CFIs, or Credulous Frenetic Investors. This was a match made in heaven for bankers addicted to toxic waste. Governance arbitrage or ‘the discipline of the market’ is shorthand for selling CDOs to nuns.

“Is Larry Summers visible among the guests at the Fearless Vampire Killers ball? No, because derivatives cast no shadows.”

Offthebeach's picture

There are no counterparty risks, until that day.

Next one won't be controllable without significant physical repression of the masses. Dictatorships, rationing, martial law . The masses will welcome it, if sold well.

Wahooo's picture

Will see if the library has that today.

Oldwood's picture

We know it is not sustainable and WILL end. What is amazing is how long it will last till it does upend, legs kicking and arms quivering in last gasps. Admittedly I tire of the endless collapse of tomorrow, but it is interesting.

Just exactly how long can a zombie function without living flesh to feed on?

the tower's picture

Why is the Euro always seen as different fom the US$ and UK£?

In effect we are talking abouit a group of states with a shared currency, ruled by a centralized government.

The only exception might be that under EU law a state can issue its own currency, next to the Euro.

It might very well be that individual states start doing this, which could even bolster the Euro.

trader1's picture

what government is not by definition centralized?

types of decision-making can be distributed (a la the 10th amendment of the us constitution), but any system of governance requires decision-making that is centralized (i.e., the three federal branches of us government).


in any case, your scenario is less likely than the pound going the way of the dodo bird.  

how else will london survive as a financial centre if every transaction is subject to a tax?  

london, and therefore the UK, will eliminate the pound as a transacting currency to avoid unnecessary forex taxes.

this assumes that they are smart and can swallow their pride, but it's really not that hard...

smacker's picture

"...under EU law a state can issue its own currency, next to the Euro."

Since when??

Ghordius's picture

? there are no such restrictions, laws or directives or treaties

On the continent, we even have private currencies

In the UK you'll find the Scottish Pound banknotes

and the Bank of France issues two multinational currencies for African nations

smacker's picture

So why does Greece not return to using the Drachma and Spain the Peseta. Dump the Euro??

The issue of Grece being thrown out of the Euro several years ago was hotly debated.

Ghordius's picture

how about 65% of Greeks NOT wanting to return to the Drachma? And a Greek parliament reflecting this view?

Ghordius's picture

the treaty forbids throwing out a member NCB, though. the hot discussions were fringe politics "irritants", not serious. Part of the haggling...

smacker's picture

That's disingenuous methinks.


Whilst I accept that any EZ member state could create a thing like Bitcoin, that would be unoffical and not the national currency.

Where the Euro is concerned, each member state signed up to using it and it only as their official national currency. Hell, that's what the EZ is all about. It was never a pick 'n mix arrangement. Greece, by reverting to the Drachma, would have to leave the EZ and the people are scared stiff of doing that. The pols want to stay in because they have other agendas and don't give a rat's ass about the people.

Making it out as a trivial decision is not true.

Ghordius's picture

the official currency is the one you use for taxes

there were discussions of splitting corporate and personal taxes - with each a currency. It's a still available option

anyway, Greece could have reverted to the UK's stage: shareholder of the ECB, part-member of the EZ, keep the ECB seat and yet still tax in Drachmas

my point: they could do many things. yet they do want the EUR. that's as much a fact as the opposite in the UK and Denmark

i_call_you_my_base's picture

"they could do many things."

This is a disingenuous statement and you know it. They could do anything if they disregard all consquences. EU leaders put a hell of a lot of pressure on Greece to stay in and retain the currency. You make valid points, but you can't just ignore this fact.

Anyway, no one "wants" a currency. The idea is absurd. They only want the function of the currency. The greeks are just afraid of what might happen on the other side. They don't want the EUR they are just afraid of not having it.

You position everything pro-EU. You need to at least pay some lipservice to balance.

Ghordius's picture

how about: they don't want the Drachma back? Better?

yes. Options and... Consequences. Yet the tenor here is that they don't have options in the first place, and this is quite more disingenuos

balance? here? No way I can achieve balance here, alone. I try to stick to facts and offer my opinion where there aren't any

for example that many misunderstand sovereignty with freedom of action without consequences. Greeks *have* the first

i_call_you_my_base's picture

The distinction is irrelavant. If I am a prisoner of war, I may have the freedom to try to escape, but also the consequence of being shot trying to do so. Do I then argue the merits of being a prisoner of war, and extol the virtues of my choice?

Greece suffers from what many of us suffer from, which is a contrived consequence produced by the leadership. An imposed fear of the other created by those in power. "Freedom" under this construct is a farce.

Ghordius's picture

fitting metaphore. If you are POW, you are treated with HONOR by PEERS under a TREATY. and you'll reciprocate at the next reversal. that's the european way, our consensus since a couple of centuries, and those among us who do otherwise are considered war criminals
Again, it's about sovereignty, not freedom

i-dog's picture

+1 ... with a caveat: That WAS the way of European war ethics UNTIL the vengeance wreaked at the end of WWII ... and ever since.

And standing behind the proxy players (like Muslim Brotherhood, Al-CIAda, and the Rwandan genocide ... to name just a few examples) still makes the NATO/EU powers just as complicit as the financed, trained and armed perpetrators.

Ghordius's picture

in WWII you have to differ: the Wehrmacht accorded honorable POW status to certain nations... and the SS "took care" of the others

yet I sense this "own your shit" attitude in your words. yet NATO is not EU is not the single nations. Both France and the UK have their fingers in many dirty pies, for example. But how about... Hungary? or Ireland? or Andorra? Your examples are about things where the CIA alone, as agency, has more fingers in them than 20 europes

Muslim Brotherhood? In the 50's France and the UK were already landing in Egypt. And Uncle Sam whistled them back. just as an example

falak pema's picture

You know what will set the Euro ball rolling again ?

Its the banks getting constrained real tight; aka the City machine and the WS machine getting off the financialised economy to allow the real economy to grow. 

But that is not on the cards until the IMF/BRICS impose on the USA a watering down of the USD hegemony in the currency mix. Its these twin pillars that feed the financialised system most. 

Looks like Putin is now pushing that agenda to faster resolution as he has taken the bull by the horns. 

Reset and bank restructuring and nation deleveraging via some semblance of growth will only be possible in that context. Once the ECB knows that the banks will not bring down the sovereigns like in 2008/2010. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine to Syria to Japan vs China, we see the old financial system and US hegemony still play the old tune; but not like the neo-cons, more is soft power mode. Until reset hits the global system.  

Psychological climate of US power meme is changing as Putin chimes the global bell of resistance. If he can maintain his thrust and federalize the Ukraine patchwork to resolve this Eurozone crisis the US will have lost a major play based on their old unilateral ways and they will have to register that change of world governance.

Tipping times. 

BandGap's picture

If the options suck, they really aren't options. It's like having terminal cancer - choosing between letting things painfully run their course, choosing chemo that extends life (miserably) but doesn't cure the disease or comitting suicide and ending the pain. It is so easy to stand back and consider the merits of all these "choices" but in the end the result is still the same.

It's always easier to be the second jumper. TPTB have to make sure there is no first