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Der Verkauf Ist Verboten - Germany Considers Ban On Sovereign Bond Sales

Tyler Durden's picture


When back in August, Europe declared a short selling ban of any financials (here we are willing to channel Romney, and make a $10,000 bet with anyone that said ban will never be lifted), and which as we predicted has had no favorable impact on bank stocks which have since tumbled, we suggested that the next step will also be the final one: the passage of laws prohibiting sales of any kind. As usual we were partially joking. And as so often happens, we are about to be proven right again. As the FT reports in its headline article today, whose gist is simple enough, that Europe is on the verge, it is the tactically-placed final paragraph that is of particular curiosity. It says the following: "Speaking on the fringes of a start-of-year retreat of her Christian Union lawmakers in the city of Kiel, Ms Merkel said she would consider calls from her party colleagues for legislation to bar institutional investors such as insurance companies from selling bonds when ratings were downgraded, or fell below investment grade." Allow us to recopy and repaste the key part: "legislation to bar institutional investors such as insurance companies from selling bonds."

And there you have it: after everything else has failed, the state, not the politically independent, if at least on paper central bank, is about to formally enter the capital markets. And yes, first it will be a ban of selling on downgrades, then it will be a ban of selling on any downtick, and finally it will be a ban of selling anything and everything.

Naturally, since whatever is left of the market is still oddly rational, and somewhat forward looking, those who are still foolishly long the bonds will dump them asap, before this idiotic law is passed and finally crashes the European market.  Correction: the market will be there, but it will consist entirely of the ECB only buying bonds, and never selling to comply with German capital control laws. Because after all Frau Merkel has elections to consider, and it will hardly be beneficial if the Dax were to be cut in half in an election year.

We do find it odd that insurance companies are being targeted - as these, just like AIG, are being completely ignored for the time being. Perhaps not much longer, and goes back to our thesis that Allianz & Generali, aka "A&G", are about to be the European equivalent of AIG, whose demise also began with that one particular rating agency downgrade.

And for anyone who thinks this form of lunacy is limited to Germany, we have news: it isn't. With Obama facing a daunting reelection task, one can be 100% certain that this and other potential laws are being contemplated (not least of which is the one-time financial asset tax as explained here back in September), and will likely take place just as soon as QE3, which SocGen believes will begin in March, fails completely to do much if anything about the market collapse, let alone the economy, the unemployment rate, and inflation.


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Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:13 | 2065032 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture


Ho. Ly. Shit.

Note to self: never buy another sovereign bond again, as you'll never be able to get unstuck from the tar baby.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:33 | 2065078 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Frei Märkte, baby!


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:40 | 2065094 trav7777
trav7777's picture

the entire systems of bond ratings are complete bullshit anyhow.  They should all be D

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:11 | 2065145 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



In a world of hold to maturity who the fuck will bid the long bond?


Yield rally cometh!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:38 | 2065207 xela2200
xela2200's picture

I think they mean sell short. Otherwise, say bye bye to bond "market."

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:27 | 2065308 Manthong
Manthong's picture

I forget, is it the first or last ones out of a Ponzi that make out best?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:29 | 2065587 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Capital Controls?

Capital I say. On that Note(!), why is so important to be the King of the Hill? CapitOl hill? 

OT, but not really, the net is being cast widely, so no one population group panics completely. in India right now, the hot topic is Internet Censorship. Google, Yahoo and FB are on the dock. The problem? Painting politicians in bad light, aka...telling the truth. 

India. focus is Internet Censorship and population tagging through universal ID, Eu is sovereignity loss and capital controls, ME is "No Rules apply", China is failure of Klepto-pseudo-capitalism, South America is Drugs and the new communists (and cancer???)....

Not sure if I'm conveying what I'm seeing, it's like various memes, that can easily be gathered into a master meme of "This just dos not work" when the time is right.



Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:24 | 2065741 Tyranny is Love
Tyranny is Love's picture

Deleted comment

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 06:57 | 2065935 Hober Mallow
Hober Mallow's picture

I think its a misreading of someone in the communication chain.

What Merkel probably meant is that she would like to have legislation NOT REQUIRING ANYMORE that those investors CAN ONLY INVEST in AAA instruments.

As you may know, currently, there is legislation specifying those kind of things. Merkel is probably talking about laxing those requirement not imposing aban on trade.

I hope so.



Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:04 | 2065471 caconhma
caconhma's picture

A holly smoke. Here comes a moment of complete desperation when EU leaders are losing their mental capacity to function. It is just insane.

We are reaching the end-game.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:33 | 2065516 Michael
Michael's picture

Does anybody know the exact day the NASDAQ/Dot-Com bubble went bust?

Does anybody know the exact day the housing bubble went bust?

I know these two economic bubbles did in fact go bust, but can anybody pinpoint the exact days?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:51 | 2065536 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture




Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:18 | 2065566 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I'm late in responding, but I bet the translation is garbled.

It makes far more sense to assume that Merkel is proposing that insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors not be forced to sell (i.e. not be required by law to only purchase & hold) sovereign debt having investment grade status, for purposes of liability on such holdings/purchases.

If the translation others are coming to is correct, then it's very scary to think of what lay ahead.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:15 | 2065735 lewy14
lewy14's picture

I believe you will be proven correct in this instance.

Still, if you think about how bankruptcy happens - gradually, and then suddenly - one day we will all be surprised at the pace of events.

One day, the glaciers will sprint.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 03:34 | 2065857 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

A correction to what I wrote above, even though lewy got it (and other apparently did, too):


I wrote that

It makes far more sense to assume that Merkel is proposing that insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors not be forced to sell (i.e. not be required by law to only purchase & hold) sovereign debt having investment grade status, for purposes of liability on such holdings/purchases.

There's a NOT that should have been in there, as in:

It makes far more sense to assume that Merkel is proposing that insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors not be forced to sell (i.e. not be required by law to only purchase & hold) sovereign debt NOT having investment grade status, for purposes of liability on such holdings/purchases.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 04:39 | 2065885 Blank Reg
Blank Reg's picture

Now THAT makes sense. Even Merkel isn't that bat shit crazy!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:58 | 2065539 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I've concluded that the global equty market collapsed in July of '07.  Is there a day for the housing market?  Probably not, but the time I use was the summer of '05.  Is there a day for any major collapse?  Not since the late Reagan signed the PWG has there been anything but a controlled market.  In fact, when something big does happen, it is the PTB flexing nuts.  For example, the Flash Crash:  They were reminding Congress who holds the purse strings.  The Fall of '08, when Paulson threatened Martial Law and dropped the indexes through the floor, same thing.

So your point is well taken; the real collapses are subdued and slow until a trigger point happens which can be blamed for a sudden move.  For example, let's say the Fed issues QE X, and then the next week Iran closes the straight, well QE X combined with the rest of this financial shitshow was enough to crater the Fiat Ponzi, but any collapse will be blamed on Iran.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 10:35 | 2066074 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



The slowest train wreck in history ever......makes sense it's also the biggest.


Take public funds and short gold....and at the same time buy gold with private funds....pretty it as many times as the markets will allow. Hence the speed of the train wreck.


Throw a little dab of crazy into the mix to freeze everyone else.....hell of a recipe.



Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:08 | 2065937 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

but can anybody pinpoint the exact days?

I want to propose that you look at a different moment: the first moment when the smartest players first realize: We Are Doomed.  The moment when the designer of the Titanic, sitting in his suite, sees the coffee in his cup trembling and thinks "Oh shit."  The moment when Chuck Yeager's engine flames out on the new big jet, and he thinks "Oh, fuck me."

The ship keeps floating for a long time after that moment.  The jet still climbs higher.  But you're doomed.

For the dot-com bubble, I say that moment was the day had its IPO.  (November, 98?)  It went from $1 to $17 in a New York minute, and the WSJ reported the next day that, of all the people who bought the stock, 90% did not know what business the company was in. 

And I thought "Oh, shit."




Sun, 01/15/2012 - 10:25 | 2066075 zhandax
zhandax's picture

Or when the designer of the Titanic realizes, "Oh shit, Johnny Morgan is eradicating Astor, Guggenheim, and Straus, on my boat!"

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 12:45 | 2066275 eurusdog
eurusdog's picture

What ever she meant, without clarity, the market will panic by getting out of everything just in case the worst is realized.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:11 | 2065259 akak
akak's picture

I would like to see the bond rating system use the names of metals rather than mere letters, to whit:


Mercury (a special sub-category for bonds which are particularly "liquid")
Lead (a special sub-category for bonds which are prone to rapidly sinking)



Or, perhaps we could make some analogies with chemical bonds, in order from most to least strong:


   (1) Triple
   (2) Double
   (3) Single

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:14 | 2065279 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

You forgot the loosest bond of all: James Bond!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:22 | 2065296 philipat
philipat's picture

Or, to quote Rosie, "Bonds have more fun"?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:43 | 2065340 Manthong
Manthong's picture

“A baited banker thus desponds,
From his own hand foresees his fall.
They have his soul, who have his bonds;
‘Tis like the writing on the wall.”

“The Run Upon the Bankers” (1720), Jonathan Swift
Quoted by Mark Steyn “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon”, (2011),  p2


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:57 | 2065464 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

+1      Great quote.....a classic.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:05 | 2065545 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

You left out tungsten it is a new day --  LOL!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:12 | 2065485 stocktivity
stocktivity's picture

Angela knows Benny has her backside covered....ahhh Gez...what a thought.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:07 | 2065549 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

send her his geethner

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 09:39 | 2066038 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Send Turbotax.



Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:06 | 2065137 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

The old bag of tricks has a huge collection in it...
But is this correct? Can't find any German sorce...
Only on the FT? "Considering calls from backbencher of the CDU".
Methinks the FT is on a strange path again...
The FAZ online writes "Der Gesetzgeber könne dafür sorgen, dass bestimmte Anleger weniger stark vom Urteil der Agenturen abhängig seien", which is definitely not the same.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:12 | 2065271 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

It's "allow to keep", not "bar to sell".
HUGE DIFFERENCE. Dear ol' FT not up to it?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:36 | 2065431 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

Same thing... allow to keep it (at face value until maturity) because being forced to sell at a loss will break things beyond repair.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:13 | 2065560 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

I agree.
I think they're setting up a stage to push pension funds and insurers to park money in Bunds and hold to maturity.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:37 | 2065436 Vengeance
Vengeance's picture

Good job Ghordius! Looks like you were one of the very, very few to use their brain and check other sources as ZH has completely misconstrued the facts as I am certain they had read some of the other articles floating around that illustrate much more clearly what Merkel was referring to versus the "selling bonds will be illegal" that ZH so MSM like had their headline read for sensationalism.

To the other readers here, Zh does a great job (they used to do a fantastic job) of writing some very interesting and often entertaining pieces on the markets and I often recommend this site to friends and acquaintances whom have an interest in the market, while at the same time cautioning them to take everything said here with at least a few large grains of salt.

So seriously, before jumping on the comment band wagon and taking everything ZH reports at face value, use your brains first. I'm sure the Tylers often sit back, read some of the comments here and have a great laugh at some of the idiodic lemming-like behaviour many of you commentersdisplay despite espousing the exact opposite and calling other people sheeple!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:02 | 2065474 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

Link to your "other source"?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:49 | 2065447 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Thank you for the clarification.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:12 | 2065942 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

FT kann Deutsch ja ganz gut verstehen, wenn Sie verstehen wollen.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 12:52 | 2066290 Mountainview
Mountainview's picture

Another prove: Merkel has a Sovjet view on financial markets

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 15:36 | 2066719 Mountainview
Mountainview's picture

Sovjet spirited Angela- command economy soon ( in Europe)

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:07 | 2065386 Vengeance
Vengeance's picture

Yep. Fuck holding sov. paper as even with CDS protection the collectors of the premiums (banks) are trying to wriggle out of those payouts, too!

But regarding the article, I think that this point from the FT article (can't sell bonds) is assuming readers have more info concering this point. Merkel wasn't saying that investors CAN'T sell. From what I understand of her comments (from other sources like Reuters) this article is more than likely referring to what she had said previously regarding downgrades and that they (EU govt's) will look into legislation and see if it can be changed so that institutional investors don't have to sell debt based on ratings (downgrades) from (US) ratings agencies... That if they can change the legislation, it would allow these institutions to do their own homework on the credit ratings of debt they wish to purchase instead of having to follow ratings agencies ratings.

But even changing the legislation is blatantly self serving for the govt's, and also the fact that the ratings agencies are trying to claw back credibility after their massive collective failures re subprime debacle is just as self serving.

Regardless of each group trying their best to eschew their own self-serving interests, two facts remain. 1) gov't paper is junk world-wide and 2) Ratings Agencies are full of fucking shit as well as the truth is that there are few if any AAA deserving nations [FULL STOP]

I'm Canadian and our debt shouldn't be triple A as rated by S&P. In fact, the most ironic thing here is that when they downgraded Canada back in the early 1990s, Canada's debt-to-GDP was less than it is now. In fact, a couple years after the downgrade to AA+ on Canada's sov. debt the debt-to-GDP ratio peaked at 68%. Depending on whose numbers you look at today, the current debt-to-GDP in Canada is at best 68% and at worst 81% (or thereabouts - sources are IMF, World Bank and OECD) so the current debt-to-GDP ratio is at best matching the peak in the mid-1990s when Canada was AA+ and we are currently AAA? How the fuck does that make sense?!?!?!

My point from this illustration is to back up my comment that there at best very few true AAAs and more likely next to none.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:18 | 2065405 Vengeance
Vengeance's picture

Here's the link to the article which talks about the legislation change idea I mentioned:Merkel vows faster eurozone reform after downgrades - Reuters

And the relevant part of the article:

Meanwhile, in a move to circumvent their influence, Germany's Merkel backed a proposal to reduce the reliance of institutional investors on ratings agencies, which some of her allies say are politically driven.

The idea would be to introduce legislation to allow institutional investors to evaluate risk themselves and make decisions independent from the U.S.-based agencies.

"I think it is very useful to look at this and see where if necessary we can make changes to legislation," Merkel said at her party meeting.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 00:13 | 2065617 Vengeance
Vengeance's picture

A quick comparison between Weiss Ratings and S&P Ratings (I think all the S&P ratings reflect the recent downgrades):



Country         Weiss Ratings     S&P Ratings
Australia         C+                        AAA
Austria            B+                       AA+
Belgium          C                          AA
Canada           C-                        AAA
China              A-                        AA-
Denmark         B                         AAA
Finland            C                        AAA
France            C                         AA+
Germany         C+                      AAA
Greece            E                        CC
Hungary          C-                       BB+
Iceland            D+                     BBB-
India               C                        BBB-
Ireland            E+                      BBB+
Italy               C-                       BBB+
Japan             C-                       AA-
Netherlands    B                        AAA
New Zealand   C                        AA+
Norway          B+                      AAA
Portugal         D+                     BB
Russia            C+                     BBB+
Singapore       A+                     AAA
South Korea    B+                     A+
Spain             D+                     A
Sweden          B                       AAA
Switerland      A-                      AAA
United Kingdom  C-                  AAA
United States     C-                   AA+


Comparison of Ratings Scales

Ratings       Bands     Weiss          S&P                     Moody's                 D&P/Fitch
Secure         1             A+, A, A-      AAA                     Aaa                        AAA

                   2             B+,B, B-        AA+,AA, AA-        Aa1, Aa2, Aa3         AA+, AA, AA-


                   3             C+,C, C-        A+, A, A-, BBB+   A1, A2, A3              A+, A, A-, BBB+                                                                                               BBB, BBB-            Baa1, Baa2, Baa3    BBB, BBB-        

Vulnerable    4             D+, D, D-      BB+,BB, BB-,        Ba1, Ba2, Ba3,        BB+, BB, BB-, 
                                                      B+, B, B-              B1, B2, B3              B+, B, B-


                   5             E+, E, E-,      CCC+, CCC, CCC-   Caa1, Caa2,           CCC, CC, C, RD           
                                                      CC, C, D, NR          Caa3, Ca, C


Understand the Weiss Ratings Scale

1. For all of the rating scales it compares, the GAO uses the Weiss scale as its standard to help identify two broad categories — secure and vulnerable. On the Weiss Ratings scale, the dividing line between secure and vulnerable is between the grades of C- and D+. On the rating scales of the other agencies, it is between a BBB/Baa and a BB/Ba or equivalent. In other words, a downgrade to D+ by Weiss is the equivalent of a downgrade to speculative grade or “junk” by the other agencies.

2. Within the secure category, the GAO identifies three bands. It considers

  • Weiss A grades equivalent to the triple-A grades of the other agencies;
  • Weiss B grades equivalent to their double-A grades; and
  • Weiss C grades equivalent to their single-As and triple-Bs.

3. Within the vulnerable category, the GAO identifies two bands. It considers

  • Weiss D grades similar to the double-Bs and single-Bs of the other agencies, and
  • Weiss E grades as corresponding to the various C and D grades of the others.
Sun, 01/15/2012 - 00:46 | 2065711 SilverDoctors
SilverDoctors's picture

Jim Willie on how UniCredit is about to take down a dozen western banks. 

So next on tap is UniCredit going bad, going bust, failing, turning to dust. And when that happens look for at least another couple Italian banks to also go bust. And when that happens look for the French banks to go bust. The three major French banks. Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, and Societe Generale. And when that happens look for at least one or two London banks to go bust- they’re all inter-connected!  When one or two banks go down, it’s going to hit overnight, hit rapidly, and probably involve a dozen banks. That’s my feeling Doc.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 03:30 | 2065853 Element
Element's picture

Think I'll go an enjoy the last few months of peace and plenty.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:39 | 2065957 Vaiman
Vaiman's picture

Rather than let these major banks fail, I'm sure the govt will step in to bail out Unicredit.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 04:31 | 2065881 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

Weiss ratings? Youve gotta be shitting me. A bigger fucking joke than the 3 'known' agencies.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:43 | 2065954 Vengeance
Vengeance's picture

Because you are so obviously an expert on credit ratings and such that you can easily (and have most definitely done so already as you do this for fun right?) go through the methodology and calculations that each agency uses and that is what you are so clearly basing your pulchritudinous and infallible logic on, correct?

I imagine your own methodology on ratings is much more complicated and involved. Unfortunately for you and your aspiration of one day being a world renowned credit analyst, well this is most likely not to be actualized as drawing in crayons on pink (cause you're a flaming asstard) construction paper and posting 'your' garbage, err... I mean 'ratings' on your fridge in your run down, flea ridden trailer to show off to your ass-munching, mullet sporting 'friends' (*wink wink) are much more detailed and insightful than any one of the 3 'known' agencies or Weiss' ratings, right?

So seeing that you have some aversion to Weiss ratings (failed bathroom stall 'meeting' in an airport perhaps?), please do share and explain, to us mere mortals if you are able to dumb it down to our level, using your oh so eloquent prose the 'why' behind your dismissal and contempt for Weiss ratings.  Or even better, spare us any of your further enervative gibberish of pretending you know fuck all about what you are talking about. Leave the discourse to educated adults and if in the future should your opinion be wanted (highly implausible), I'll contact you personally and give it to you. 

So instead of spouting of banalities, why not take the time to actually compare the ratings posted (we'll use S&P as a proxy for the 3 'known' agencies) and see which companies' ratings seem to be more in line with reality.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not about to sit down and take the time to devise my own method for rating sovereign debt (assuming I even could), so if I had to choose one of the ratings agencies to follow it would be Weiss instead of the 3 'known' agencies as not only did they [Weiss] downgrade the US ahead of S&P's downgrade, but at least, as one example, they have Ireland in the right category as an E+ seeing that they had to take bailouts to avoid defaults, etc. However, S&P has them rated a BBB+ the exact same as Italy and Russia... Would you, in your humble opinion, agree with the S&P that Ireland deserves to be rated the same as those two countries despite neither of them having to be bailed out? Trick question! Remember, if Anyone wants your opinion, I'll give it to you so stay stupid and shut the fuck up!

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 09:43 | 2066040 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I like for my ratings to chocked full of official propaganda.....thank you very much.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:25 | 2065417 bilejones
bilejones's picture

I'm sitting on a lot more cash than I want to be, basically because there's no market that isn't either absolutely corrupt or likely to be fucked over by the polticians, or both.


I've started to poke around looking a mixed use commercial real estate, god help me.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:33 | 2065430 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

Trade forex. What a rush.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:12 | 2065484 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Mixed use commercial real estate?  You mean like a combo GM seed factory/hospital/funeral home/sausage factory?


That would be an awesome investment.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:35 | 2065521 buckethead
buckethead's picture

Long soilent green.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 09:55 | 2066051 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture


Soilent green....the twinkes and wonder bread of tomorrow......literally.


Just in time for the BK......whew.......that was close.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 11:31 | 2066140 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Speaking of mixed use and Twinkies, a few years ago, the Romano family of Macaroni Grill fame "diversified" into surgical weight loss clinics. 

The problem is this isn't diversification, but rather vertical integration.


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:15 | 2065492 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word........Plastics.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:43 | 2065959 Vaiman
Vaiman's picture

Go hard with that tip....Dustin!!!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:43 | 2065528 midtowng
midtowng's picture

There's nothing wrong with sitting on cash when there are no obvious investments out there. Especially in this economy.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:12 | 2065732 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Unless the cash in whatever currencies you're holding is devalued.

Then you're SOL.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:02 | 2065544 CuriousPasserby
CuriousPasserby's picture

Farmland with natural water supply. Food is the most basic need.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:10 | 2065553 tom a taxpayer
tom a taxpayer's picture

How about a game of poker?

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:17 | 2065945 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Yes!  Excellent idea!  I've never played poker before!  Let's use real money!  Hey, what's an "inside straight"?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:52 | 2065453 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:35 | 2065520 midtowng
midtowng's picture

When the status quo has their backs to the wall, they will rob whoever it takes.

Remember Argentina: they took everyone's retirement savings. And they are starting to seize pension funds in Europe.

   Nothing is safe if it has debt or taxes attached to it.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:30 | 2065590 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

When the status quo has their backs to the wall, they will rob whoever it takes.

Remember Argentina: they took everyone's retirement savings. And they are starting to seize pension funds in Europe.

   Nothing is safe if it has debt or taxes attached to it.

Yes I think you've hit the nail on the head. That's why I think real estate is such a bad investment. You don't really own anything, they will just turn up the tax dial until it turns into an asset seizure. Especially if it's "productive" land, like commercial property or - drumroll please - farmland.

By the way, the US Feds have already shown no compunction about pilfering government pensions. They will steal anything that isn't nailed down, if it gets bad enough.



Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:52 | 2065964 Vaiman
Vaiman's picture

So sitting in cash is the last place you want to be.  That's the first thing they take.  Buy up commodities that are in short supply.  China divested huge amounts of US cash over the last while and bought up natural resources.  They are preparing for what lies ahead.  JMO

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:07 | 2065548 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Pure rhetoric.  Come on.  Most people on this board know better.  Goldman Sachs would never allow it.  Don't forget who really rules the world!

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 07:54 | 2065965 Vaiman
Vaiman's picture

Tears For Fears knows!!!

Everbody wants to rule the world.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 00:52 | 2065664 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:14 | 2065734 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Monocle is the 10 ring, unless you're tossing bratwurst at him.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 04:07 | 2065869 Haddock
Haddock's picture

Buy and hold. Beaches.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 11:16 | 2066105 Reggie Middleton
Reggie Middleton's picture


Help me out here. This is surprising,,,, how??? From the article I posted earlier this week -  The Biggest Threat To The 2012 Economy Is??? Not What Wall Street Is Telling You...

As excerpted:

I believe Germany poses the biggest threat to global harmony for 2012. Here's why...

European banks are (in addition to borrowing on a secured basis from those customers they usually lend to) also paying insurers and pension funds to take their illiquid bonds in exchange for better quality ones, in a desperate bid to secure much-needed cash from the ECB, which only provides cash against collateral. This may not be as safe a measure as it sounds. Below is a sensitivity analysis of Generali's (a highly leveraged Italian insurer, subscribers see File Icon Exposure of European insurers to PIIGS) sovereign debt holdings.


As you can see, Generali is highly leveraged into PIIGS debt, with 400% of its tangible equity exposed. Despite such leveraged exposure, I calculate (off the cuff, not an in depth analysis) that it took a 10% hit to Tangible Equity. Now, that's a lot, but one would assume that it would have been much worse. What saved it? Diversification into Geman bunds, whose yield went negative, thus throwing off a 14% return. Not bad for alleged AAA fixed income. But let's face it, Germany lives in the same roach motel as the rest of the profligate EU, they just rent the penthouse suite! Remember, Germany is not in recession after a rip roaring bull run in its bonds, and I presume the recession should get much deeper since as a net exporter it has to faces its trading partners going broke. Below you see what happens if the bund returns were simply run along the historical trend line (with not extreme bullishness of the last year).


Companies such as Generali would instantly lose a third of their tangible equity. This is quite conservative, since the profligate states bonds would probably collapse unless the spreads shrink, which is highly doubtful. Below you see what would happen if bunds were to take a 10% loss.


That's right, a 10% loss in bunds translates into a near 50% loss in tangible equity to this insurer, which would realistically be 60% plus as the rest of the EU portfolio will compress in solidarity. Combine this with the fact that insurers operating results are facing historically unprecedented stress (see You Can Rest Assured That The Insurance Industry Is In For Guaranteed Losses!) and it's not hard to imagine marginal insurers seeing equity totally wiped out. The same situation is evident in banks and pension funds as well as real estate entities dependent on financing in the near to medium term - basically, the entire FIRE sector in both European and US markets (that's right, don't believe those who say the US banks have decoupled from Europe).


The damage to banks will probably be worse due to the higher level of leverage in European institutions. This is saying a lot since Italy's Generali is truly levered up the ASS! 

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 11:39 | 2066152 ronin12
ronin12's picture

People should reject sovereign bonds for the simple fact that if you want to be free, you shouldn't fund your slavemasters.

Starve the beast.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:13 | 2065033 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:20 | 2065037 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I'm in " Victom Mode"

 I Before (e) except After C

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:17 | 2065038 Kali
Kali's picture


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:21 | 2065052 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

We live!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:52 | 2065114 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

They Live

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:59 | 2065124 ZeroSpread
ZeroSpread's picture


Opus - Live is life



Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:42 | 2065222 q99x2
q99x2's picture

If that is what straight people act like when they go to concerts then human I'm not.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:04 | 2065546 CuriousPasserby
CuriousPasserby's picture

I like Laibach's version much better.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:12 | 2065153 SloMoe
SloMoe's picture

Gnarly, dude...

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:15 | 2065154 SloMoe
SloMoe's picture

Double post. Crap...

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:18 | 2065040 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

They are on fucking drugs!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:24 | 2065060 StockProdigy
StockProdigy's picture

Power is an addictive drug.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:54 | 2065116 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Bunga Bunga!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:43 | 2065227 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Boobies work quite the same.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:45 | 2065104 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

lolmao500 reacted thusly:

They are on fucking drugs!

Dude, you're giving drugs a bad name. Even on four hits of Goofy® blotter I never saw anything as crazy as this.


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:06 | 2065144 sulfur
sulfur's picture

apparently a combination of hopium and power give you a nice hit of disillusion

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:50 | 2065042 ZeroSpread
ZeroSpread's picture

You can't let the free market point out where we're are heading..

Or..maybe it's just a warning? /sarc


Merkel has surprised before. The "Mädchen" came across as innocent but nobody threatening her power won. 


Where can I buy CDS on CDU?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:18 | 2065043 Kick_the_Kan
Kick_the_Kan's picture

Not sure I believe it but if they are considering it than they are getting really desperate. Could trigger a stampede 

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:21 | 2065053 seek
seek's picture

Just saying something about this could trigger a stampede -- it's bizarre that they would talk about it openly.

If you want capital controls to work, they have to be a surprise. I wonder if Germany is trying to force a sell-off for some reason?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:19 | 2065044 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Wouldn't that force anyone to preemptively sale any bond they hold if they even try to pass this shit?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:38 | 2065086 Mike2756
Mike2756's picture

We'll see on Monday.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:30 | 2065591 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

I have been saying that for countless weeks now. Talk about being frozen.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:54 | 2065356 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

By saying you are considering or would make the selling of bonds illegal you ensure the selling of bonds which in turn creates the law that was mentioned basically overnight...

It's not the act of selling that is scary but the reality that it may be illegal to do so that creates this cluster-fuck of a circle-jerk.

Combine this with the reality that people are probably ready to dump their bonds and you get a huge knee-jerk down if not a collapse entirely leaving yours truly (ECB, troika, etc) and Benny boy left to do the dirty work of funding these profligate morons.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:53 | 2065358 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Seems so, but, sounds like a hell of a deal.

Prevents MF Global type shit.



Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:19 | 2065045 StockProdigy
StockProdigy's picture

Merkel is the new Putin.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:26 | 2065065 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 That my friend is a bit of a stretch. Glad to have you on bord ( Board).

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:35 | 2065082 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

Or Nixon with zero understanding of economics. Bond freeze-wage and price freeze, what's the f***in' difference.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:50 | 2065111 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

StockProdigy sagt:

Merkel is the new Putin.

Merkel, das Geistig behindert Trüffelschwein.


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:15 | 2065157 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Nothing new to this, old school schoolmates somehow , still unproven. Why would she had been pressured into domestic Stasi if out of Russia with full KGB credentials ? IM Erika
is the file to blackmail her in Europe, in the big game she `ll be the last bitch to smile, fake as it is.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:13 | 2065278 akak
akak's picture

Merkel is the new Putin.

At the very least, she is certainly a Puta for the central banksters.
And a very cheap and easy one, too.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:26 | 2065302 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I bet she still doesn't fly in helicopters....

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:56 | 2065344 akak
akak's picture

I hear they now have heavy-duty, double-rotor choppers that should be up to the task.  But if she ever happens to fly on a commercial flight with Newt "angry attack muffin" Grinchgrinch, I sure hope the pilot does his weight-balance calculations first, or there's gonna be trouble.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:15 | 2065493 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Double-rotor might have helped her, as long as the cross-over power supply works properly and BOTH engines don't quit:

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:20 | 2065048 weltvermesser
weltvermesser's picture

EUDSSR - here we are. next germany to announce a 10 year plan for whole europe. and then kim yong un as finmin of united eudssr.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:20 | 2065050 Captain Planet
Captain Planet's picture

Hast du ne Mark?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:24 | 2065058 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Too much " alcohol" after a downgrade? Are you Irish?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:39 | 2065093 Mike2756
Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:22 | 2065056 hrischuk
hrischuk's picture

There is a tipping point when the sheeple will stop grazing and look up in bewilderment.  Then anger.  Then fury.

Should such a stupid proposal be laid open to the US public, all the baby boomers will selfishly rise up and do what they do so well -- protect their selfish interest.  That interst is their 401K and retirement funds.

Trully there is no bottom to the well of political stupidity.  To even propose such a thing is to show that you are in a bubble that does not comprehend human nature -- meaning that you have lost sight of your own humanity.  You have become sub-human, non-thinking, worse than a sheeple because the sheeple understand reality but choose not to deal with it.  The author of this proposal has lost sight of reality.

No words can express the utter vacuum of thought that Frau Merkel demonstrated.

Precious metals in hand my friends.  Cash too.  Food, medicine, aspirin (a-la Greece), bullets, guns, and community.

I cannot believe it.  I really, really cannot believe it.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:35 | 2065197 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

"There is a tipping point when the sheeple will stop grazing and look up in bewilderment. Then anger. Then fury."

Wouldn't that have to be long after the non-sheeple hit the streets and start shooting, as opposed to sitting around tapping at their keyboards?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:45 | 2065230 xela2200
xela2200's picture

I saw a movie once where the sheep dog went crazy. He herd the flock off a cliff. They all jumped and died. Except the dog. The pastor shot him after He found out. The point is that everyone does what they know and often miss the bigger picture. The sheeple will NEVER stop grazing and look up.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:56 | 2065365 Stu Pedassle
Stu Pedassle's picture

"The sheeple will NEVER stop grazing and look up."


Must.... watch.... Tebow.... and.... then..... check.... facebook


The sad reality is that the above describes the mindset of the vast majority of your countrymen this evening.  Boiling frogs isn't hard to do if you are patient enough.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:45 | 2065443 chinaguy
chinaguy's picture

Must.... watch.... Tebow.... and.... then..... check.... facebook.


The "banana republication" of America continues unabated as the sheeple stagger about in their pop culture stupor..........

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:39 | 2065525 prains
prains's picture

"bananafication" of America

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:14 | 2065562 Oleander
Oleander's picture

A YoNanna in every home!   





(Its a real product)




Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:32 | 2065749 brettd
brettd's picture

I am amazed at how quick, easy and comfortable it is to become a fascist country.

Appoint a few Czars, stiff some bondholders, get the elected representitives to throw up their hands and defer to unelected technocrats....

Seemed like a good idea at the time.....

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:58 | 2065467 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

It's time better spent than, say, watching the SC debate

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:12 | 2065394 DosZap
DosZap's picture



Should such a stupid proposal be laid open to the US public, all the baby boomers will selfishly rise up and do what they do so well -- protect their selfish interest.  That interst is their 401K and retirement funds.


Are you stupid, or just a dumb ass. Your telling me, if you were a Boomer you would not protect your lifes savings?,your a frigging loon.

HELL yes you would, if not send me all your assets, I will take em off your hands, since your not so SELFISH.

Oh, wait!!!, you say you have PM's & Cash TOO!!!...............within the text of your assinine comment, your also a hypocrite.


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:40 | 2065519 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Selfish bastards. They worked all their lives and now they want to use their life's savings to live the reminder of their lives relaxing. The gal of these bastards. Just because they pay a home, put children through school, paid taxes for decades and saved some money on the side. What now they want to stop working? Fuck them. Grandpa needs to get a second job right now. And, He better not get sick or He is dead. Social Security only gives $250 for funeral, so He is in the red already. He needs that job at McDonalds just, so that He can die.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 23:10 | 2065554 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

It's their fault for trusting their kidnappers with their money.  If they baby boomers had any moxie they would not have invested in the Fiat Ponzi in the first place.  What is a hippie with a 401k?  A sellout.  The Baby Boomers are a generation of sellouts.

They protested the system, and they had a minor victory when the draft was cancelled, but the Military Industrial Complex used this to their advantage and now take the poor saps who need financial help to enlist. 

Then the Boomers get caught living the American dream.  They may smoke pot in the 80's, but they do it in big lavish houses, while their dollars fund wars in South America.  They drive in circles, get divorced, cheat on their wives; they change nothing fundamental about society, this after they were so in touch with love just a decade before.

The Boomers, as individuals, are nice people.  But they sold out to the Man; the same man they swore to keep from taking their freedom.  The Boomers aren't evil, they are spineless.  And now old, they are tired.  TPTB have them right where they want them.  A lot of this financial collapse is actually directed at the Boomers for ever getting in their way in the first place.  And if we give them credit, the Boomers did prolong the destruction of America, but they lack the energy now to do much about it.

And this by no means is a shot to the gems in the dirt.  There are many from this generation that still fight the good fight.  But look around, and think about how many more there could have been, and if there had, the world would be a better place.

So in conclusion, the Boomers are no different from any generation, except they put themselves on a pedastool, which is very dangerous.  As the Hagecure reads, "A person is most vulnerable when they think they have accomplished a goal; they become complacent in their ways."  The Boomers thought they had won the war, when it was only a battle.  They stopped fighting, and now, they will have everything they worked their lives for taken from them.

And somewhere David Rockefeller is smiling.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:54 | 2065774 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

+!  Well said and Oh so true...

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 12:15 | 2066196 xela2200
xela2200's picture

lol If You think that generation has its problems. Wait until you see the latest generation coming out. Pampered, spoiled, padded play grounds, and toffies for everyone. I was reading about the new generations that are starting out their careers. One of the HR managers mentioned how she was getting calls from the mothers asking how their kids did on the interview. A kid from a friend of mine ask him why vampires now a days are so gay (sorry for the political incorrectness). The kid mentioned how the vampires from before looked so menacing. I just laughed.

I feel bad for them as they are probably the first generation that will see scarcity and experience wars at never before seen scales. The 1900s was a century of abundance. We dogged out everything that we needed and placed our garbage in the adjacent hole. We polluted and consumed everything. Generation-Y poor bastards. We are going to leave them in debt, without resources, ill prepared, and in a dirty environment (hope they like the heat). They will have to toughen up fast.


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:24 | 2065059 PontifexMaximus
PontifexMaximus's picture

This is the joke of the century! Ma ci prendiamo tutti per i fondelli! Ich glaube, die hat den 1. April vorgezogen!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:26 | 2065062 agent default
agent default's picture

Ok, it's about time to totally withdraw ratings on all European sovereign debt. Send them all to NR/RW.  It will not be the beginning of the end, but at least it may be the end of the beginning.  Enough with these totalitarian good for nothing jackasses, that cannot face up to the results of 30+ of nonsense politics.  And do the same for the US. Either that or end the FED/ECB central banking roberbarrons.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:25 | 2065063 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Jesus, she is stupid.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:38 | 2065088 agent default
agent default's picture

Uh, raised in East Germany,  some sort of president of communist youth or something in the Karl Marx Unveristy, her Stasi file "missing" from public records when all Stasi files became public record after unification.  That fucking Honecker relic, the fossilized remains of the epitome of failed systems, is now allowed to have an opinion about free markets and capitalism.  Well thank the Fritz voter over this.

  I blame the US.  Stalin should have been handed the whole of Germany in exchange for a few East European countries.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:29 | 2065425 Stu Pedassle
Stu Pedassle's picture


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:28 | 2065182 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Jesus, she is stupid."

You're not going to reach him tonight.  He has His hands full with Tebow.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:26 | 2065064 Nozza
Nozza's picture

Roll on Monday. institutional investors will dump bonds.

1819 - it took 4 years to get over :(


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:27 | 2065067 Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones's picture

Well, I guess that does it: Monday is bond fire sale day.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:28 | 2065310 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Does that mean they'll celebrate Black Monday in Euroland, too?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:27 | 2065068 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Selling made illegal? Who knew? Haha.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:18 | 2065159 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

no selling for a while..  well at least until we can ramp inflation maybe 10% or so per year for the next few years.. then maybe we'll let you sell but even that is doubtful.. we'll see, ask me later..  just sit tight buckeroo no selling for you.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2065070 Mae Kadoodie
Mae Kadoodie's picture

The Horror.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2065071 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

Mensch Meier!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:30 | 2065073 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Ah man...even on a Saturday...up the Banana Republic Tree we go.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:35 | 2065081 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 You actually believe that? I love you C- Dad! +1

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:59 | 2065128 knowless
knowless's picture

how will legislating against the credit agencies actually forestall sell offs?

all it will do is ensure that all credit ratings are meaningless, causing chaos, right? because as investors attempt to redefine independently of the established ratings system who merits funding; events would come to light or be triggered which would expose the fraud.. right?

or is everything right with the world, and that is why germany is making it illegal to sell an asset based on an established ratings system?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 19:38 | 2065208 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 You my friend are opening a " GREAT" discussion!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:19 | 2065268 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

what's with the space after the first " quote"?

yup. Boo! Sell sell sell, er wait a minute.
front running? perception management?
making a market (or not?)
Hey, let's throw this at the wall, see if it sticks.

does the extra drama (help) legitimize anything?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:31 | 2065319 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Sorry my hand was in the " Salsa Jar" . Those taquitos work wonders!

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 20:33 | 2065322 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Bananas grow on palms.  Trees are dicots.  Palms are monocots, or large grass.

Hence, "green shoots" are growing a new Banana "Republic"....

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:30 | 2065074 QuietCorday
QuietCorday's picture

Woah ... the implications of Merkel even considering this are, well, our house has just gone to DEFCON 2.

They are gonna take everyone down with them; they are going to gut Europe.

This is going to end up in war.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:31 | 2065075 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the end of the market, to avoid the end of crony capitalism; what a quandry when the king renounces his own religion....We are there.

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:31 | 2065076 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

This will restore the markets confidence...

Confidence in tangibles that is....

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 18:41 | 2065077 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Die Gotter haben wohl Sinn Fur Humor! I need to reset the linguistics keys.

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