The Mortgage Crisis Hits France Front And Center: Are French Bank Nationalizations Imminent?

Tyler Durden's picture

Name the plunging bond below:

If you said some sovereign or corporate issue based out of Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, or even Greece you would be close... but no cigar. No - the bond in question is an issue of Caisse Centrale du Credit Immobilier de France (3CIF), which together with its sister entity CIF Euromortgage (CIFE), is  a 100% subsidiary of Credit Immobilier de France Development (CIFD), which as Fitch describes it, is a French "housing loans specialist, with business exclusively directed to France." CIFD is in turn owned by Procivis Group, which just happens to be France's second largest full-service real estate group.

In other words, CIFD, together with its subsidiaries 3CIF and CIFE represent a critical glance into the functioning (or lack thereof) of the French mortgage market. The various CIF mortgage entities are related as per the following Org Chart:

A brief summary on the Procivis Group, of which the CIF entities are a part of, via Fitch (bear with us - this is important):



Mortgage financing in France continues to be predominantly distributed through the biggest retail and saving banks in the country. Specialist banks thus have a modest cumulative market share (10%-12%), but benefit from their wide range of products to maintain their franchise. CIFD offered 15 products at end-2011 and has developed some innovative services (eg, price insurance under which the difference between the sale price and the original price paid by the borrower, if negative, is covered up to EUR40,000 by the insurer). Its specialisation and its strong expertise in the French housing market represent key strengths compared with more global peers, as they enable the group to provide bespoke products to its customers. CIFD extends loans predominantly to private individuals, but also caters for investors' needs. The latter accounted for c.21% of the bank's loan portfolio at end-September 2011. While CIFD has its own widespread lending network, approximately 65% of the loans originated by the SFRs in 9M11 were brought in by intermediaries such as real estate agents, building property developers and brokers. CIFD is also trying to extend the number of bilateral partnerships it has with corporates. On top of loans to employees of the French groups Electricité de France and Gaz de France (EUR1.2bn loans combined at end-2010, 9M11 new loans up 30% yoy), the bank launched an offer with Crédit Social des Fonctionnaires in September 2011, targeting first-time home-buying civil servants. CIFD's SOFIAP subsidiary is dedicated to providing housing loans to SNCF employees (French railway company).




CIFD is owned by 56 Sociétés Anonymes Coopératives d'Intérêt Collectif pour l'Accession à la Propriété (SACICAPs), whose mission is assigned by the state despite their private-sector status, and which together with Procivis Immobilier make up the Procivis group. The SACICAPs use dividends up?streamed from their competitive subsidiaries to grant subsidised housing loans and build social housing in cooperation with local authorities and social housing entities. Procivis Immobilier is France's second?largest full-service real estate group.


The SACICAPs are held by numerous shareholders that, by law, have to include local authorities and social housing entities. Shareholders consist principally of local institutions. Fitch does not believe they can be relied on to support CIFD in case of need.


Solidarity Mechanisms Within CIFD


A cross-support mechanism has been in place since 2004, and covers all the entities of the group. Under this mechanism, each member's commitments are backed by the equity of all group entities, including non-controlling interests. CIFE benefits from this mechanism, but does not contribute to it. Additional solidarity requirements exist through the group's status as a "réseau" (equivalent to a network under French banking law), under which its central body –CIFD – has the power to enforce any measure that it deems necessary.


Corporate Governance


CIFD is not publicly listed, and the level and frequency of financial disclosure, although satisfactory, reflects this. The 12 members of CIFD's board of directors are representatives of the SACICAPs. The undiversified nature of CIFD's business and the moderate size of its operations help to facilitate control and oversight of the bank's operations by the executive team and the board of directors.




Given the prevailing depreciated economic and market environment, which weighs on lending volumes, interest margins and fees, the bank's profitability is likely to be under significant pressure over the next couple of years. Expanding its insurance solutions, leveraging alternative commercial channels (eg, bilateral partnerships), maintaining a high degree of specialisation, and continuing its cost integration are the cornerstones of CIFD's strategy.


Within a continued period of market turbulence, clear emphasis has been placed on maintaining sound liquidity and cautious risk monitoring.

* * *

For the longest time, CIF was well off everyone's radar. All that changed two weeks ago, on May 8, when trading of securities issued by 3CIF and CIFE was suspended at the request of French and Luxembourg regulators, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. The result was an immediate plunge as there was little to no additional clarification about the sudden trading halt, leading many to speculate the worst - namely that underlying operations had deteriorated substantially, to the point where little to no collateral and/or cash flow was left to service liabilities.

It subsequently surfaced that the halt was driven by a failure of the bank to file accounts by an April 30 deadline, which in turn prompted speculation that the group's rating would see multi-notch downgrades, something which as explained below, would have profound impact on the wholesale market-funded mortgage lender, as well as on the far broader French cover bond market

Peripheral news only made it worse. As IFRE reports, "A report on French news website Mediapart likened the bank to Northern Rock. Last month, the same news outlet had warned of the risk of a small French Lehman Brothers, without naming the entity, explaining that a severe downgrade could activate some expensive guarantee mechanisms similar to margin calls. Moody’s had indicated in February that it could downgrade 3CIF by up to four notches, as part of a sweeping European bank rating review. The second Mediapart story was published on Tuesday, a public holiday in France. Unsurprisingly, the senior bonds, which remained free to trade, came under huge pressure the following day."

Sure enough not only bonds of 3CIF, but more importantly, of covered-bond issuer CIF Euromortgage were likewise crushed beginning Tuesday:

But the biggest wildcard was what rating Moody's would cut 3CIF to as part of its wholesale bank downgrade initiative announced back in February. Well, on Thursday the rating agency released its updated view on 3CIF, which in many ways was a crushing blow to the company which now has no choice but to be nationalized:

Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the standalone bank financial strength (BFSR) of Caisse Centrale du Crédit Immobilier de France (3CIF) to E/caa1, outlook developing, from C/a3 on review for downgrade. The rating agency is maintaining the review for downgrade initiated on 15 February 2012 on 3CIF's long- and short-term debt and deposit ratings of A1 and P-1, respectively.


The long-term ratings now incorporate 12 notches of systemic support (previously two notches), based on the rating agency's view that the French public sector is highly likely to provide both financial support over the short- to medium-term and assistance in orchestrating a longer-term adaptation of 3CIF's business model, which is currently unviable. Should such support not be forthcoming promptly, or should attempts to achieve a longer-term solution fail, Moody's would expect 3CIF's long-term debt rating to transition down close to Caa1 (the standalone financial strength rating implied by 3CIF's BFSR).

In other words, Moody's has given France a loud and clear notice that while it will has not yet downgraded the non-standalone ratings of 3CIF, so critical for various collateral call arrangements, absent explicit government support, or an acquisition of the troubled lender by a third party, this downgrade would be imminent as "The long-term ratings now incorporate 12 notches of systemic support (previously two notches), based on the rating agency's view that the French public sector is highly likely to provide both financial support over the short- to medium-term and assistance in orchestrating a longer-term adaptation of 3CIF's business model, which is currently unviable." 

To summarize: 3CIF has an "unviable" business model whose long-term rating would be 12 notches below the provisional and pending downgrade A1 currently retained, or roughly Caa1. Needless to say, a Caa1 rating would unleash a full blown AIG-type collateral call on every entity in the org chart shown above.

Sure enough, Moody's continues:

Should such support not be forthcoming promptly, or should attempts to achieve a longer-term solution fail, Moody's would expect 3CIF's long-term debt rating to transition down close to Caa1 (the standalone financial strength rating implied by 3CIF's BFSR).

It gets worse:

Moody's decision to downgrade 3CIF's BFSR to E/caa1 from C/a3 is based on the rating agency's assessment that the bank is no longer
viable without ongoing financial support and ultimately a more durable solution. While 3CIF's interest margin and asset base have shown some resilience throughout the recent crisis, its business is entirely wholesale-funded, thus making it vulnerable to debt market disruptions and to loss of investor confidence. The firm currently has very limited access to private-sector financing, and the rating agency sees no prospect of that changing in the foreseeable future. Moody's notes that the trading of securities issued by 3CIF and CIF Euromortgage was suspended on 8 May 2012 at the request of the French and Luxemburg regulators, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier.


The rating agency notes that the group has a policy of maintaining a liquidity buffer equivalent to at least six months of financing needs. This should leave the group with sufficient liquidity to meet maturing debt obligations for several months. However, given recent developments, Moody's believes that there is a high risk that this liquidity buffer will erode steadily over that period. These significant liquidity risks imply that the group is likely to become wholly reliant on liquidity support from the French public sector, and ultimately to require some form of more permanent solution, which would likely involve a merger, strategic investment, or other joint venture with a third party facilitated by the government. Moody's believes that the group's adjusted BFSR/standalone credit assessment at E/caa1 reflects this risk. The developing outlook reflects the uncertainty surrounding the strategy of the bank and the authorities' plan to address the weakness in the bank's funding profile, as well as the potential for the group's financial strength to be materially improved, if a credible strategy were to emerge.

Which means that France's new president has one option only: to step in and bail out a bank within days of his inauguration, or else see the first domino of the housing market tumble.

At the same time, Moody's has raised its assumptions of systemic support to reflect its view that the French public sector is highly likely to provide liquidity assistance over the short- to medium-term if required by 3CIF, in order to allow time for a longer-term solution to be identified and implemented. Moody's also considers it likely that the French public sector will provide assistance in orchestrating a longer-term adaptation of 3CIF's business model. The rating agency's expectation of a strong willingness on the part of the government to support 3CIF reflects the importance of the bank's lending activities to the French housing market, especially in assisting less privileged households, and the broader implications of further disruptions in 3CIF's operations. A further factor underpinning Moody's assumption of government support is 3CIF's public sector ownership via the 56 "sociétés anonymes coopératives d'intérêt collectif pour l'accession à la propriété" (SACICAPs), which are social housing companies that operate under private law with a locally-anchored and diversified ownership, spread across "colleges" including social housing associations ("organismes HLM") and local governments ("collectivités territoriales").

Moody's logic explained: everyone hates banks and bankers, but when their jobs is to "assist less privileged households" bailing everyone out is ok. Better still, would be if someone were to come and purchase CIFD outright. Sadly, as Retuers reports, this isn't happening:

The issuer has been put up for sale with HSBC acting as an advisor to the borrower, financial daily Les Echos reported last Thursday. HSBC has refused to comment.


The search for a buyer has so far proved fruitless. Caisse d'Epargne, part of the BPCE Group, and Banque Postale, which is currently looking to grow its retail covered bond business, were considered strong possibilities. BPCE, however, has ruled itself out, while Banque Postale has declined to comment.


An acquisition of 3CIF by La Banque Postale, a government-backed institution, could be an indirect nationalisation and would have the added bonus of avoiding any involvement from the French Treasury.

Alas, as IFRE adds, Banque Postale just denied any such speculation:

Caisse d’Epargne, part of the BPCE Group, and Banque Postale, which is currently looking to grow its retail covered bond business, are strong possibilities for a merger, a source said on Wednesday. However, a spokesperson for BPCE dismissed the suggestion that it might be a suitor.

Which leaves just one option:

A direct nationalisation would likely mean some form of capital injection - an unpalatable outcome given the new government rhetoric and the fact that the existing owners' stake would have to be wiped out. CIF is 100% owned by 56 regional cooperative entities.

Oops. And to think that Hollande was so dead set on an outright war with bankers... The realization that his very first act of any importance would be an outright nationalization just makes things so very amusing.

The saga could have political implications for newly-elected president Francois Hollande who promised the French electorate he would not bail out the country's financial institutions at the expense of the taxpayer.


"3CIF have no choice but to be nationalised," said a senior official at a French bank. "It has already done the rounds with French banks and it looks like no one wants to buy it."


The nationalisation option was echoed by other bankers, who point to 3CIF's conservative residential mortgage lending operations as well as its reliance on wholesale funding.

And while Hollande's dithering would likely have disastrous implications for one specialist mortgage provider, the reality is that the fallout would be far, far greater, if CIF Euromortgage were to suffer the same fate as its pari passu sister entity. Because as the following thoughts from BNP confirm, the fun is just getting started.

On 30 June 2011 CIFEUR had covered bonds outstanding with a total volume of €24.8bn. 74% of the collateral of these bonds consisted of CIF senior mortgage securitisation tranches, the rest of the cover pool comprised of a mix of Mortgage Promissory Notes, Replacement Assets and external European RMBS tranches. At the end of 2011, the over-collateralisation stood at 6.7%. The covered bonds are currently rated Aaa by Moody’s (on review for downgrade) and AAA by Fitch. The issuer states that its annual covered bond funding needs range between €3 to €4bn.


According to a report from Fitch from July 2011, proceeds from the senior securitisation tranches and external RMBS tranches are accumulated in an account held by 3CIF. The internal guidelines of CIFEUR specify that its exposure must be towards banks that are rated at least P1/F1, a downgrade of 3CIF below that level could therefore force CIFEUR to find a different account bank. This in turn would mean that cash flows accumulating from the asset side would have to be held outside the group. If 3CIF acts as swap counterparty for CIFEUR, a downgrade of 3CIF could also create the need to find alternative swap counterparties.


The suspension of the covered bonds, which is an unusual step, has caused spreads to widen both in the group’s unsecured and covered bonds.


We expect spreads in CIFEUR’s covered bonds to remain under pressure as long as the uncertainty about the reasons for the suspension and the speculation about the group prevails. Despite this uncertainty, we hope that the systemic importance of the covered bond product in France (market volume is in excess of €300bn) would be reason enough for official bodies to deal with this matter in a manner that avoids market disruption and reputational damage as much as possible.

Bottom line: absent Hollande breaking his key election promise, not only does the French mortgage market "get it" once Moodys follows up with the non-standalone rating downgrade (forget French Fitch - they will never issue a report that will results in the slow-motion death of the French mortgage market), but the contagion immediately spreads to the entire French covered bond market on the sudden uncertainty whether the French state will backstop the hundreds of billions in related bonds, putting the entire concept of a "covered bond" in jeopardy, with potentially sweeping consequences to a trillion+ market.

As to questions of how CIFD allowed its funding and liquidity to, stealthily, get to a point where the entity needs an immediate nationalization of its suddenly "unviable business model", here it is from Fitch:

Liquidity is managed through a significant ECB-eligible-for-repo asset portfolio (EUR1.8bn after a haircut at end-November 2011). Moreover, through CIFE, the bank has the ability to package covered bonds from its own loan portfolio, which could be used as collateral for repo with the ECB, although packaging would require a three- to four-week delay. The two sources of liquidity provided a combined EUR3.2bn buffer at end-November 2011, which would have allowed the bank to sustain an eight-month period without any access to wholesale markets while maintaining the projected new lending volumes at the same time (against an internally set six-month limit). Instances of closed secured funding exist (end of 2008), and CIFD has successfully used its packaged loans for repo transactions with the ECB. Since 2008, CIFD has stopped buying RMBS and now favours covered bonds.

Ah yes, nothing like the ECB quietly stepping in and providing "liquidity" in exchange for repoable collateral of worthless value... until the stakes get so high that the lack of even one cent in incremental pledgable collateral results in something nobody could have foreseen, namely a full blown bank run.

Something tells us we have seen this before... Oh yes - Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and of course Italy. In other words, as CIF was running out of real assets, the ECB allowed it to hypothecate via the repo market whatever dregs it could scrounge, (even if that meant bonds which are a liability yet promptly converted into an asset by the magic of shadow banking's repo operations), on and off balance sheet, and pledge to Mario Draghi in exchange for 100 cents to the Euro collateral value: precisely what prompted us to explain back on March 21, when the market was at its 2012 highs, "Why NOTHING Has Been Fixed In Europe (And Why LTRO 3 Is Not Coming)."

At the end of the day, Europe's main problem was, is and continues to be the active disappearance of any and all cash and money good assets, as well as collateral, as it is increasingly pledged (or re-pledged once repo mechanisms get involved) to other financial institutions, and primariliy to the ECB, in exchange for short-term funding (read loans, further explained here "Encumberance 101, Or Why Europe Is Running Out Of Assets").

Alas the can kicking time is now over. And what many took for sacred previously, such as the French mortgage market, has suddenly, just like every other contraption of modern financial markets, been shown to be simply the latest naked emperor in a city full of in kind dressed supreme rulers.

And what it all boils down to is this: will Hollande, for all his pompous rhetoric, immediately do what the market expects him to, which is to unleash the French nationalization machine, first with CIFD, and soon, many other insolvent banks, or, will he stay true to his word, and watch as risk assets crash and burn all around him. Perhaps the question is better posed to the French citizens: is their hatred of bank bailouts greater than the fear of facing the fair value of all assets absent central bank and sovereign backstops?

Which, incidentally, is the number one question that will once again face everyone in the "developed" world. Back in 2008 the answer was made clear, even with a solid dose of buyer's remorse in the years that followed. What will it be this time around? Because if Greece has so far been the only country willing to let it all go, and prepare to exist in a world unburdened by a bank-imposed status quo, the only reason for this is that Greek citizens have already lost so much, that the opportunity cost to overturning the status quo is virtually nil. What will it be the taxpayers of all other developed, pardon insolvent welfare-state, countries?

h/t Lizzie363

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Sudden Debt's picture

Lets put some HOLLANDAISE sause on it!

Rainman's picture USA in '08 this calls for leadership from a Socialist SuperHero !

Spastica Rex's picture

The Most Holy Invisible Hand will prevail in the end. Economic Armeggedon is nigh and the Anti-Hands are on the move.

Oh regional Indian's picture

L'imbroglio Immobiliere...

I can see a great, French film there...



Spastica Rex's picture

If I had money, I would come and hang out with you for a while, Vivek.

We've got an annular eclipse sheduled this afternoon in Washington State, USA.


Colombian Gringo's picture

At least the French have good food, wine, culture, fashion and beautiful women to offer, unlike Greece. So, as long as the ladies in Pigatelle drop their prices, France will survive.

robertocarlos's picture

The Russians just won the World Hockey Championship and Oveckin is headed straight to France to celebrate.

MisterMousePotato's picture


(Somebody had to say it.)

TBT or not TBT's picture

The ladies in Pigalle use birth control, and abortion as birth control, and so do the culturally French French women, too much.    This is the reason Europe is facing a long depression.   Not enough natives, not enough natives working, all thanks to the  state replacing or trying to replace the role of families in preserving and  advancing civilisation.


Some will object that France is at replacement, but I counter forcefully that the French in France are not at replacement.

Others will say, sure, but in the US you have the same thing with hispanic immigrants.     But the immigrants in France are not western.   They are dictatorship and tribalism compatible throwbacks to barbarous ages, incompatible with the rights of man, the values of la Republique, etc.    

Hispanics in the US integrate pretty well, producing family oriented kids who come to speak english like natives, albeit with an average lesser investment in higher education than some other immigrant or ethnic categories.

PontifexMaximus's picture

Don't worry the pieds noirs will compensate it

TBT or not TBT's picture

A l'ancienne, vous vouliez dire?

Joseph Jones's picture

In his epic book circa 2007 Marching Toward Hell, the great author Michael Scheuer eloquently quotes several leading demographics authorities.  All guaranteed that Europe would become a Muslim continent, and the only remaining question was, "How much blood would spill" in the process. 

The Westernized (read "Judaized" or Rabbinical Talmudized) world's bigotry and racism (worship of Judaic male as god) soon reach its end.  Outgoing President George Washington predicted what would come of being married to nations such as Israel (the most hated people and nation in man's history), and that end quicly approaches.      

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Yea so when the radical islamists burn down france blame the zionists.

Notice anywhere the caveman go they drag society backwards with them?

Was Mohammed Al Akbar taken as a posting nick?

Aslam Alekem

TBT or not TBT's picture

"Durka Durka Durka" is taken too?

Illustro's picture


You my friends fail to see the truth. You have been brainwashed by hatred. All who live in Israel live under a democracy with inalienable rights. Muslims can practice their faith peacefully side by side with Jews and Christians. Israel is 20% Muslim.  Now look at the Arab nations where Women are salves of a barbaric and archaic culture. Muslim nations forbid Jews or Christians from acquiring citizenship and the building of their religious temples. Islam is the one bent dominating the world and is clearly on a mission to create their own new world order much like the elite agenda of a NWO. The Muslim view is a socialist, totalitarian dictatorship just with Sharia law enforced on the none-believers like you and me.

Harlequin001's picture

I live in a Muslim State that has lots of Christian churches. and Budhist temples, and Sikh, and Hindu, I could go on.


Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Go on? Doing what? 

Posting the usual littany of delusional nonsense?

The number of synagogues and churches in the middle east is but a small fraction of what it was 100yrs ago.

I live in a muslim state where if I walk down the street with an anti allah sign I would be killed.

Should I go on?




Prometheus418's picture

Hell, there are Muslim areas in Minneapolis, MN that are like that- and that was before 9/11 and our destruction of Iraq and Libya.

But I think you're missing the point.  The problem isn't necessarily Islam (though I'll concede that my reading of the Koran wasn't all that heart-warming,) the problem is that we (the US) keep invading them to blow their shit up, take their oil, and spread "democracy."  

If a foreign government flew in and carpet-bombed my town for any reason, I'd be every bit as violent as any Moslem extremist.  And the odds are, I'd be more effective at retaliating, with the resources and training at my disposal.  And even though I'm not a Christian myself, my first move would be to grab a Bible and start preaching from it- knowing that that is a proven way to convince those around me to die for my cause.  I've been behind a lot of velvet curtains in many different denominations, and it's been my experience that most clergy are atheists anyway- being a "man of god" tends to be a job or a means to power for most, and if those people have an agenda, they have no qualms about using the pulpit to further it.  Hell, I've done it myself- it's just that we live in a relatively comfortable society, so the manipulation tends to be fairly low-level and relatively harmless, tending more towards shearing the flock to line the offering baskets than to building armies of fanatics for war and terrorism.  The real reasons behind religious moves are generally pragmatic- the church meetings I used to participate in were nearly identical to the engineering meetings I participate in now.  The goal is always to achieve the intended result- not to please God or any other mystical motivation.  Sure, there are probably monks somewhere who live pure and pious lives of deep introspection, but I'd bet your local priests and pastors are no kind of saints.

People are people- and whether you cling to a Bible, a Torah, or a Koran, no one is going to convince you to lay down your life unless an outside force is threatening you.  Sure, some Mullahs may want to kill the infidel in peace time, but a fruit vendor on the streets of Baghdad just wants to sell fruit, until you kill his family and blow up his cart.  I don't buy any of the nonsense either way- Islam is not an inherently peaceful religion, but none of the big three are, and Moslems are not inherently violent and evil- the ones I know here in America are just like anyone else, though perhaps more nervous than most in the last decade.  Hell, the church I was ordained in way back when had much more violent and extreme rhetoric than any of the major three players, and I haven't even had occassion to be in a fistfight in over 15 years- as long as me and mine are left alone to live our lives in peace, there is no reason to raise a ruckus.  I don't expect they'd want to be our buddies anytime soon, but ending the US forays into the Middle East would likely starve the extreme factions of support in under a decade, and we'd be able to ratchet this mess down to dirty looks and muttered curses rather than bullets, bombs and beheadings.

I don't worry about Moslems- I worry about the US government.  Sure, there may be blowback from all the nasty things done in our collective names, but it's nothing compared to the horror show that our own banks and political apparatus have involved us in.  I'd rather deal with suicide bombers and IEDs than stealth inflation and the slow forced march to a totalitarian police state enforced by the most lethal military human kind has ever seen.  Rather die as a free man with the slim chance of being killed by shrapnel than chained to the yoke and whipped for the rest of my days, myself.

Incubus's picture

Gary Oldman, is that you? 



matrix2012's picture

Prometheus418, what a BRILLIANT exposition and identification of the ROOT CAUSES !!!


Disenchanted's picture



Xkwisetly Paneful  wrote

"I live in a muslim state"


So why don't you move your sorry ass out of that state? Move to the 'land of milk and honey' that you seem to love so much.

Let me wouldn't be able to emigrate to Israel because you don't meet the (racist, supremacist)'requirements', do you?


Or are you just another 'managed persona'?


US military creates fake online personas


 4:54PM GMT 17 Mar 2011


The $2.76m contract was won by Ntrepid, a Californian firm, and called for an "online persona management service" that would enable 50 military spies to manage 10 fake identities each.


The personas should be "replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent", a US Central Command (Centcom) tender document said.


It added: "Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.


"Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms."


The project would be based at MacDill Air Force base in Florida, The Guardian reported. The contract was first revealed by The Raw Story, a US news website.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Which Muslim State, pray-tell?    Leaving that out is kind of a big BS/propaganda signal, Harlequin001.

deflator's picture

 I'll take a hard working hairy assed Greek woman over French whore any day. If you get a smart hardworking Greek woman, you get her father and relatives too.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Uh, you better be really greek if your worried about the father and such, a french woman shaves her knuckles, and knows her way around a bed. If your greek, bring greece......

TBT or not TBT's picture

Nah, in pornified Eutopia, all the women you might like to shag are well shaved, with a landing strip at most, in France or Greece.    And then there are the muslim world immigrants.

Nassim's picture

Greek boys are good looking and not all French ladies are like Adjani (half Algerian and half German).

Oh regional Indian's picture

bob, you and your missus would be very welcome here, I assure you. Just got to be abale to handle some spice, some edge, is all.

:-) Siriusly.

And the eclipse, I feel it. 

Very potent, portend-y!


Spastica Rex's picture

Believe it or not, I grew up eating Gujarati food. I made palak chole for lunch today and it was really hot. And I'm personally all edges, metaphorically speaking.

Maybe someday, teacher.


Oh regional Indian's picture

:-) I used to say Yummy till someone reminded me that Yama = God of death in the Indian Pantheon.

So, Gujarati food eh? My favourite, if only perfectly sweetened, You'll have to tell me circumstances someday.


CPL's picture

Don't worry with the fire sale in peoples pension values and private&public pensions you should be able to trade an ounce of silver for the rights to it.


Man it's going to be weird news wise tommorrow.  It's always weird with the leadship shitshow get together to figure out how to fleece the shit out of the world population.


How are things in India?  I'm getting some weird news on power grid problems and severe coal/diesel shortages again.  Are you getting hit with it ORI?



Oh regional Indian's picture

Power situation is a total joke here CPL. Residences run a LOT on Battery backed UPS. In fact, UPS companies bribe power guys to switch off at peak heat, 3 PM, so we go buy the UPS, whose hand bill was conveniently stuck in your wiper yesterday. Or last week.

India is the world's most capitally in-efficient country. Electricity is it's achilles heel.

And it's stuck with jaw crushing determination to the western way, ill fitting and power hungry as it is for the miliue...

Epic disaster unfolding.

But man, if you think America has been Hopeyed, India has been drinking the Hope Kool Aide since our supposed independence. 

Actually, bluntly (hah!), a shit-show...



Joe Sixpack's picture

The most amazing site I saw in India is the following (2007/2008):


I am being driven out of Mumbai. As we leave town I see a huge sign. Picture of an immaculately dressed indian man in a sharp western suit. The sign reads "Millionaire". The sign was huge. The poles must have been at least 6' in diameter.


At the feet of the poles on the millionaire sign is a shanty town. shacks fabricated from corrugated aluminium, scrap wood, card board. Children running barefoot in dirt streets with runoff water streamlets.


In that scene I saw the reality of India. I do hope things change for the better, and I realize there has been some progress towards that.



Winston Churchill's picture

I remember coming out of the doors of Bombay airport at 5am

to the sight of 200 defecating shanty town dwellers,crapping on

the "grass' circle.My girlfriend back then,didn;t speak at all for a month.

Hope thats changed,the electricity obviously hasn't.

nmewn's picture

Oh hell, Crap Circles Bitchez!!!

RafterManFMJ's picture

My girlfriend back then,didn;t speak at all for a month.


So net on net, it really was positive?

Harlequin001's picture

If you go back twelve times a year you can enjoy a life of absolute wedded bliss!

RafterManFMJ's picture

Read a stat on India that made me say, Wow a few days ago. It was that only 3 or maybe 7 percent of Indians actually work at a job where they recieve a paycheck. The rest farm or barter. No clue what this forbodes, but it is significant.

Never been to India though my wife is Indian via Singapore. And she is 3rd generation in Singapore with most of her family emmigrating to Austrailia.  But we did watch slumdog millionaire.

deflator's picture

 Showed up at an Indian restaurant for lunch a little before opening here in the States but the door was unlocked and there were at least 10 men sleeping on the floor. The manager quickly came out and clapped his hands and everyone jumped up and became busy.

endicott glacier's picture

Yes the reserve bank declared inflation problem under control and dropped rates by 50bps. The heat from ensuing inflation is going to drive lot of people out of the kitchen if it already isn't. India/China have to choose wisely between lot of inflation but masses working vs low inflation and lot of unemployment and they faithfully follow the genius in charge Ben B. I think the whole world is overdoing on real estate building, and need to find other ways of creating jobs since there is already excess real estate capacity.

Heweliusz's picture

Armaggedon? I am very pessimistic for France (and Europe, et al.), but this line dropping from 101 to 96, and that other one dropping from 107 to 104, somehow don't look like a real armaggedon to me.

For a country where bank run supposedly started 8 months ago (, I was awaiting some worse news.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Q)  How did you go broke? 

A)  Two ways:  Gradually, then all at once.

-approximate quote from Hemmingway

Anyway, the point is, these countries on the edge of solvency full of private banks and other important financial entities will go broke slowly(as they have been for a few decades), then nearly all at once, when no one will buy their bonds anymore.   The only way they can go back to "gradually" is exiting the international systems they are locked into, both monetary and political, with a step function down, then more gradual decline.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


I was awaiting some worse news.

Names seen in the CIFD org chart: Charles le Prince and Angelo du Mozillo.


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Only for borrowers, investors, and taxpayers.


Charles Wilson's picture

Rainman, you are perfectly and completely correct.

"Hail, Caesar!!!"

That's what the Groupthink is asking for.  "Let us keep our jobs managing the serfs (and let us keep our pay...) while you LEAD us out of our wilderness.  'N could you raise someone else's taxes while you're at it?"


Wakanda's picture

mmmm - egg yolks, butter, and lemon

That will make anything better!

CPL's picture

I want pie now for some reason.

Thomas Anderson's picture

Maybe an eggs florentine for breakfast Monday morning for Monsieur Hollande!  I wonder which French banks tied to the mortgage industry will get attacked by shorts over the summer...