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Portugal Is Latest Country To Go "MF Global", Raid Pensions Funds To Delay Fiscal Death

Tyler Durden's picture


About a year ago, we discussed the very troubling moves by insolvent countries such as Ireland and Hungary to "raid" their pensions funds for various fungible purposes, a move which in virtually every way a was a progenitor to the MF Global capital commingling, if not outright bankruptcy, and was explained as reflecting "a willingness by governments to use long-term assets to fill short-term deficits, including Ireland’s announcement last week that it would use the country’s €24bn National Pensions  Reserve Fund “to support the exchequer’s funding programme” and Hungary’s bid to claw $15bn of private pension funds back to the state system." While it was unclear precisely what the use of funds was, back then FN speculated that it pension funds were being tapped to boost sovereign debt bids. Which if true means that Europe's peripheral pensioners have seen about a 20% drop in the NPV of their retirement assets. Today we add Portugal to the list of countries committing an MF Global type crime on a global scale: the Telegraph writes: "Portugal has raided €5.6bn (£4.8bn) of pension fund assets in a controversial scramble to meet its deficit targets." And since the money is once again implicitly and explicitly used to patch broken fiscal models, it is as good as gone. Which in a paradoxical way is almost welcome, as the true Arab Spring will not come to Europe (and America) until the citizens don't read, in clear writing, that their welfare state entitlement benefits are gone.... They are all gone. And at that point there will be truly nothing left to lose.

From Telegraph:

The cabinet agreed to transfer the assets from four of Portugal’s biggest banks to the state balance sheet.


The assets will be used to bridge a gap needed to meet the fiscal deficit target of 5.9pc of GDP set by the terms of the country’s €78bn bail-out from around 10pc in 2010.


"This measure is more than sufficient to meet the budget deficit goal in 2011," said Helder Rosalino, secretary of state for central administration, on Friday.


Portugal said it had informed the EU and IMF and assured them it would be a “one-off”. However the 2010 budget was met by shifting three pension plans from Portugal Telecom on to the public social security system. The liabilities don’t count, yet.


There have been no complaints from Eurostat but Raoul Ruperal from Open Europe said: “This can’t be seen as a future revenue stream in any way.”

We wonder if "one-off" in this case is the same "one-off" that was supposed to happen when the Fed bailed out the world's banks in a "one-off" event... over and over and over.

h/t Dylan


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Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:26 | 1941601 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

MF has gone Global!


Corzine, the largest pile of steaming hot walrus shit to emerge from the US since Ken Lay.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:27 | 1941607 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

The Careless Whisper Saturday Update Because Drudge Is Sleeping


Grandma Bloodied At TSA Strip Search; Pants Down At JFK Airport

Headline Of The Day: "Jobless Rate Best In 2 1/2 Years"

NEWS VIDEO; 2 Swat Teams Handcuff Everyone Until They Show I.D.; Raid 3 Delray Beach FL Homes; No Drugs Found

Panty Party For Third Grade Girls, Hosted By Public School Teacher

Alabama Arrests 2nd Foreign Auto Exec; Not Enough Papers

Missouri To Mercedes-Benz; Move Your Factory Here, We Respect Hard Work & Beer

VIDEO; Women, Christians, Throw Newt Under The Bus

PHOTO OF THE DAY; Is America Ready For A Ginger In Congress? Joseph P. Kennedy #3 Considers

Drug Cartel Posts Public Message, Says Gov Controls Rivals

Coca-Cola Denies Involvement In China Poisoning Death

South Beach Hotel Owner Arrested; Displayed Art, No Permit

Michele Bachman; Gay Men Can Get Married As Long As Its To A Woman; Husband Marcus Agrees


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:32 | 1941622 CH1
CH1's picture

Yeah, Drudge has been sleeping a lot lately.

Ah well, it was good while it lasted. :(

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:36 | 1941629 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

A man's gotta drink! 

I mean eat! 

I mean sleep.  A man's gotta sleep.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:21 | 1941714 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Good thing the treasury already looted our social security system.. nothing left to steal.

Unless they can synthisize a swap and borrow against the reserves that SS Administration has.. just think about that one for a moment.

Oh.. and has Geithner paid FERS back for the $ .25 Trillion he appropriated from them before the debt increase?

And those funds were credited to employees accounts through deficit spending and corresponding borrowed money (treasuries).

So the treasury created a loan based on funds that came from a loan.


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:45 | 1941782 valley chick
valley chick's picture

Good question about FERS.  I saw it coming thanks to a friend and chose to withdrawl in my taxes (would have to anyhow) pay the penalty (dollar devaluing anyhow) and at least have something left.

Got physical?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:55 | 1942047 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Next one to go will probably be whatever is left in the postal pensions.

God only knows how they are going to handle that black hole except that they will have to be involved somehow.

Most folks don't even know they were turned into a GSE  few years back, but that really doesn't matter because they(we) are on the hook one way or the other.

Sure don't want to see the entire postal service going postal.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 22:08 | 1942794 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Wait til vets' beneficiaries actually figure this out, starting a couple years ago:

Trust us, the money's in the bank, check's in the mail, we're totally solvent!  Just like MF Global!


Sun, 12/04/2011 - 10:16 | 1943652 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Good question about FERS.  I saw it coming thanks to a friend and chose to withdrawl in my taxes (would have to anyhow) pay the penalty (dollar devaluing anyhow) and at least have something left.

That was an option. I chose to "gamble" on a TSP loan, paid it (myself) back, and opened another loan. I have to admit, when you think about instability and timing, it would be easier just to do what you did and take the tax hit, but so far "milking the cow" has worked according to plan.

Got physical?

The only retirement insurance to feel good about.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 19:56 | 1942572 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

Don't forget, Democrats have been working themselves into a lather for years thinking of ways to nationalize individual retirement accounts.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 17:06 | 1942214 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

sleep eat sex shit in no particular order

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:37 | 1941633 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Thank you CW.  It has been too quite on the news front for a day.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:42 | 1941640 Carlyle Groupie
Carlyle Groupie's picture

Grandma Bloodied At TSA Strip Search; Pants Down At JFK Airport
......TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein

A nice jewish girl protecting her host country.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:51 | 1941664 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

You would think that Jews and Blacks would be strong Constitutionalists, just based on history lessons.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:59 | 1941678 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Now that is funny.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:04 | 1941870 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Let me ask Goldman and Sachs about that....

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:20 | 1942116 MobBarley
MobBarley's picture

The old testament refers to the Jewish God as 'The Lord of Hosts'

THe Host with the most.

Oi LaVey

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 18:54 | 1942439 Hedge Fund of One
Hedge Fund of One's picture

... after the strip search of a fellow jewish girl.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 19:30 | 1942519 Carlyle Groupie
Carlyle Groupie's picture

So what are you saying, it's a scam so the jews have another method to fleece US taxpayers?

Now all the jews will get 'brutalized', 'abused', 'holocausted' by TSA and their sons will sue for distress because their moms beanie was tossed?

It's another nice day for the slaves.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:04 | 1941827 sabra1
sabra1's picture

hey TSA fools! betcha all have cancer working in those open microwave ovens! hope y'all have great medicade! you're gonna need it, suckers! to all nurses and doctors, if you've got a TSA agent that's bedridden, strip 'em down, and leave 'em! extra bonus if you shove objects up their butts!!!!!

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 05:30 | 1943443 DutchR
DutchR's picture

Combat dressed swat teams with automatic weapons?

USA,  such a fine country you've become........

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:27 | 1941608 Which is worse ...
Which is worse - bankers or terrorists's picture

Europe is no longer a going concern. Sell off the good assets, convert the debt into equity....

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:35 | 1941745 sunnydays
sunnydays's picture

Coming to the U.S. soon.  They stole the taxpayers money by taxes through bailouts.  That was not enough.  Then they got the Federal Pensions, that will not be enough.  Soon without warning everyone's money in their IRAs - and accounts will be taken..... but that will not be enough...... what will be after that..


The countries won't stop until they have every last penny from everyone.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:51 | 1942179 CatoTheElder
CatoTheElder's picture

It really is unfair to compare Ken Lay to Jon Corzine.

Sure, Lay's Enron made some really, really bad investment and trading decisions, grossly overpaid their executives, and used phony accounting to cover up their failures. But even Enron didn't brazenly steal money out of its customers accounts. Lay, Skilling and Fastow were really mundane financial fraudsters, albeit their scam was on a massive scale.

Jon Corzine has well and truly blazed new frontiers in financial fraud.

Like Ann Barnhardt says, Jon Corzine is not a stupid person. He didn't wake up one morning and think to himself, "I'm going to steal a billion dollars from customer accounts." Instead, he engineered the theft such that his political connections would allow him to get away with it.

Similarly, it's unfair to use steaming hot walrus shit to describe Corzine. You're confusing crap with crapitalism (ie, CRony cAPITALISM.)

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 18:58 | 1942448 max2205
max2205's picture

Timmaugh did it so now he's pushing it. Pensioners will die off through govt policies anyway and govts know they'll never have to pay 50% of liabilities. Perfect forecasting right?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 19:06 | 1942472 Akrunner907
Akrunner907's picture

The US has been raiding Social Security for years........and all that is left behind is special treasury receipts.  All the receipients will have to stand in line to collect from the treasury.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 20:06 | 1942558 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

I dunno. I think both Mssrs. Soetoro and Madoff make Corzine look like a piker.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:26 | 1941603 monopoly
monopoly's picture

And it begins.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:42 | 1941639 Long-John-Silver
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:51 | 1941663 nmewn
nmewn's picture

But but but...they praaahhhmised!!! Its gubmint digitized paper! In in in a gubmint maintained digitized account!!!

When ya ain't got nuthin, ya got nuthin to lose kid.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:13 | 1941699 Kayman
Kayman's picture

It is a very dangerous situation when people have nothing left to lose.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:25 | 1941722 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Not to worry...our best & brightest are workin on it ;-)

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:03 | 1941858 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I thought Bobby "bomb em all" McNamara was dead.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 20:20 | 1942618 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

"It is a very dangerous situation when people have nothing left to lose". Are you joking people have lost everything and still dont have the balls to do anything .America amounts to fat fucks that will take it up the ass forever, and if somone did make a stand they would be by themselves because all the spineless would come up withan excuse as why not to join. 

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:53 | 1941667 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

But maybe, just maybe, you've been delivered.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:54 | 1941669 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It actually stops right there. I've got my pension which comes in 30 years from. Ow already coverd ( i think) but for those who rely on a state pension of 800 euro a month it's already bad and if that one crumbles, god help us all!
What can they do? The retired i mean.
Over here retirerd people are allowed to go back to work to make a extra income, but who the fuck wants to go back into the workforce at age 70?
And what will they do? Clean toilets?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:18 | 1941711 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Just talked to a government employee on Thursday. He's retiring next year at age 57, will be collecting his government pension, and is going to work for... the government under contract.

What the fuck ?  Does anyone that collects a government paycheck understand the taxes, borrowing, and printing this takes ?  No wonder everything is going to hell.

Print, Benny, print, let's get this fire going !

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:03 | 1941866 cossack55
cossack55's picture

In a word, no.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:16 | 1942104 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

They got *theirs* and that's *all* that actually matters to them.
Like rats....for real.

Never mind where or who the "money" came from.
These kinds of people would sell out anyone to save themselves.
Zero integrity.


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 19:16 | 1942483 r00t61
r00t61's picture

I met a million and one people like this when I was in DoD Civil Service.  In fact, under Secretary Rumsfeld's tenure, this practice was encouraged, because, due to some accounting shenanigans, it was considered "cheaper" to hire contractors than it was to hire actual government workers.  We called it "the purge."  Once Secretary Gates came in, he canceled most of Rumsfeld's intitiatives, including this one, and so the government had to spend even more money re-hiring/re-training government workers that had been reassigned ("reprogrammed") to other commands during the "purge."

Most of my fellow government workers were pretty astute, and they generally seemed to understand the iron triangle of printing, taxes, and borrowing, but they had mortgages to pay, and kids to put through school, and they weren't about to screw all that up just because the government was going broke before their very eyes.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 22:17 | 1942813 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I had the "pleasure" of working some Forest Circus "contracts" back in '07.  At the Baldwin field office of the Huron-Manistee N.F., where they hadn't had a timber sale in over three years and most of the forest was falling down, and they were clearing areas to protect the Blue Karner Butterfly (endangered), I heard this from downstairs, as four of the ten "workers" were talking:

"Well, it's the first of the month.  Our welfare checks must be in."


Man, was I pissed that these useless fucks could sit around, circle jerk, and have Uncle Sugar farm out the work they should have been doing to one of the few "contractors" in the state that could actually plow through the twenty-something pages of forms to "qualify" to do the USFS's job for "cheaper" than they could.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 03:31 | 1943390 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Not unique to government. I know people in private sector that do this. Course, not  for long as almost no one young has a pension in private sector US anymore.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:48 | 1941796 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

It will go back to older times where the parents shack up with the kids. The kids work and the parents help tend the home, contribute a few hundred toward the food and energy bill and watch the Grandkids.

Those unfortunates without family will be in awful poorly run State facilities. Ageing folks don't live long with medical rationing, poor nutrition and being cold due to choosing between expensive medicine and energy.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 17:29 | 1942276 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

I'm 70 and I'll clean toilets. Then go to work at my second job as a short-order cook. Watch what you eat! And speaking of eating - check out what real men eat

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 19:18 | 1942489 r00t61
r00t61's picture

Hope he flosses to get those feathers out of his teeth.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:31 | 1941604 collon88
collon88's picture

But a big difference between Europe and the US is that US citizens have several hundred million firearms and Europeans (sans the Swiss of course) have none.  I expect "blood in the streets" and martial law before it's all over.  I hope I'm wrong.  

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:59 | 1941676 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It's true in the cities as there's a big control over there but at the country side, you would notice that ever roadsign has bullet holes.
Hunting rifles are big business in europe and even if open gun trade is illegal, i know a few place where you can buy guns and get them by mail.
There are also a hughe amount of antique weapons. Which are totally unaccounted for.
Second: look at the bosnian war. Anybody with a little bit of technical skills cn make a working gun. You can even make a pipe gun in 10 minutes and cartouches can be bought everywhere.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:44 | 1941780 johny2
johny2's picture

people can take a lot of hardship before they will actually rebel. Europeans and Americans are not even close to being hungry enough to rebel. The revoluton will start somewhere like India or China...and it won't be pretty.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:04 | 1941869 cossack55
cossack55's picture

You have heard about SB 1867 passing 97-3, yes?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 20:28 | 1942632 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

The only thing Americans do with there firearms is polish them.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 08:46 | 1943553 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Wrong. Americans use them regularly at the range, practising, go home and clean them, and re-stock spent ammo. Belive me, I see them at the range every week - teaching their kids, teaching their wives and girl friends, and getting smaller groupings themselves. EVERY WEEK I see them. And EVERY WEEK the range is getting more and more crowded. And no wonder, one of the best selling items LAST WEEK on Black Friday was fire arms. Americans polish their firearms on the front porch but take that as a warning - on the back porch they're plinking away, practising and getting a better aim. You misunderstand the situation and Americans.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:28 | 1941611 non_anon
non_anon's picture

coming soon to a country you live in

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:31 | 1941620 lapedochild
lapedochild's picture

Markets will love it, risk of the table.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:46 | 1941649 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture





......Game on!


Game on!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:37 | 1941630 rajat_bhatia
rajat_bhatia's picture


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:41 | 1941638 nah
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:43 | 1941642 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

All gone!

And don't forget that Geithner took half of one trillion dollars out of the US pension system before the debt ceiling was razed.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:01 | 1941680 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:43 | 1941643 monopoly
monopoly's picture

And just in today. Black Friday, apt name, saw the largest increase in the sale of.....Guns in the history of black Friday.

Up 35%. The largest "single day increase in sales"....Ever.

Change we can believe in!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:01 | 1941851 Peter K
Peter K's picture

That' why God (with a capital G) created money. To buy food and guns:) All else is excess baggage:))

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 10:42 | 1943678 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

To hear ol' Moses tell it, honest weights and measures (including money) and scheduled debt jubilees were features of an infinitely stable and sustainable system. But of course, certain folks like bankers and politicians know better that that.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:43 | 1941644 cat2
cat2's picture

Wasn't this already done in the US, raiding federal pension funds to keep the government running when the first debt limit was being debated?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:44 | 1941648 perchprism
perchprism's picture


This is why there's been nothing but a muted response to the theft by MF Global.  It's what the Obama regime plans to do too:  seize 401K and IRA accounts to stave off collapse.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:45 | 1941651 cat2
cat2's picture

It dosn't really seem nessessary in the US.  It would just piss people off.  They have a printing press to make up any shortfalls and are willing to use it.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:47 | 1941653 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

It will be done when the War starts. 

It is Patriotic to give your pension to fund the US.  It is your duty as an American!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:28 | 1941956 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

At my age by the time I get to retirement there will nothing left anyways. Why should I feel sorry for those older folks who had good careers while they were looting my future?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 20:36 | 1942648 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

Why do you feel sorry for these folk , if they cannot see this coming then they are to dumb to care about. fuck um

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 08:59 | 1943571 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Sell it, Market it, "Your Duty to America", "be Patriotic"

And don't forget to sell the great American divide - race wise, age wise - it was the blacks, the asians, the old people,

In the end, I hope we remember it was the fucked up government (and GS) that fucked us all - not our neighbors, not our grandparents.

Keep your eyes on the prize (Squids). Especially when they emerge from their bunkers 1 year after TSHTF. 

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:10 | 1941672 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

They have a printing press to make up any shortfalls and are willing to use it.

DOn't you get it yet? That's EXACTLY how they plan to seize your 401K: what good is your $1 million if they infalae away their own debt and a loaf of bread costs $3000? Or how bout a Weimar example : 4Triilion marks was worth 1 dollar in 1923. That was a planned collapse 

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:25 | 1942123 cat2
cat2's picture

Right that was my point.  They don't need to seize it.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 08:28 | 1943545 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If they use the printing press they seize much more than retirement funds, for example wages.  They'll try to seize retirement funds more directly.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:12 | 1941698 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

Well there is a difference. In theory, most 401Ks are holding equities, not debt instruments like bonds or cash. While a stock still might be paper, it does represent partial ownership. Bonds will be worth nothing.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:30 | 1941960 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Zero, that statement is true as long as a business tied to an equity stays in business. If it goes Chapter 7, the stock becomes worthless.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:47 | 1941652 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

In Portugal?

Relax pal. Who are you voting for in 2012?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:52 | 1941657 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Nothing like a little pension-tension to deal with during your comfortable retirement years. 


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:50 | 1941658 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Ha!  You didn't seriously think that you were going to get what we promised did you?  Ha!

 We also promised disaster relief, highway maintenance, food safety, jails for criminals, healthcare and oh yeah freedom of expression!  HA!

I know we promised but......HA!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:50 | 1941659 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

LOL!!! It's the American way!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:51 | 1941662 Hansel
Hansel's picture

Standard Operating Procedure

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:52 | 1941665 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

"It would be a one off"

Yeah right.

Just like the Central Banks saying that their monetization programs are "temporary".

Once this sh*t starts, there is no stopping it.


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:55 | 1941671 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Check out this latest from Mauldin (who I read occasionally to see what a certain mindset is thinking). Note how he drops the Germany will have to give up it's sovereignty idea so casually, giving it about the same importance as someone giving up a second piece of pie after dinner.

Does anyone know Mauldin personally? Is he as big an arrogant meglomaniac as he sounds? He even warns that the U.S. has to do the same. Wonder if he wants to also give up his freedom as an individual? People have lost all perspective. Insanity reign. It will be interesting to see how the Portuguese handle this latest theft, and whether Germans gladly hand over their sovereignty.

Below from Mauldin:


This is from my friend Dennis Gartman, writing this morning:

"Turning to the ECB, the new President, Mr. Draghi, has obviously taken on the most difficult of jobs and we've no choice but to admire him for the audacity necessary to take on a role such as his… especially at a time such as this. Yesterday, Mr. Draghi made a statement that we find tectonic-plating-shifting-like in nature when he said firstly that the ‘Downside risks to the economic outlook have increased.'

"They have indeed, and we've no problem with what he said for that is indeed the truth. Then, however, the plates shifted when he said, noting that the ECB's mandate, that price stability is to be maintained ‘in both directions.' In other words, the ECB's mandate forces the authorities to be concerned about deflationary risks as well as those inflationary.

"Did you hear the plates shifting? You should have for they have indeed shifted. Draghi's warning was that the authorities are just as concerned about deflation as inflation and that monetary expansion is to be considered just as has monetary contraction.

"So we are now… or shall soon be… faced with a monetary and political union that is manifestly different than that which the original united nations had signed up for AND we have a central bank intent upon fighting deflation as strongly as it has fought inflation. These are the attributes of a regime intent upon weakening, not strengthening, its currency in order to strengthen the economy and to save the union… if at all possible."

The coordinated central bank action will make dollars available to the ECB, which will in turn loan them to the national central banks, which presumably will loan them to their in-country banks, taking lower-quality collateral than the ECB (which under the rules they are allowed to do). Given the deflationary pressures that are the natural result of a recession and deleveraging/default, they can print a lot of money without igniting too much inflation. But I agree with Dennis; I just don't see how they can do so without seeing the valuation of the euro fall rather smartly.

Merkel and Sarkozy have told us they will meet Monday and announce a plan on December 9, when the full eurozone meets. Forget bazookas, this needs the equivalent of a howitzer. They are seemingly intent upon rewriting the treaty, which is the only way that the Germans will go along with any major ECB action. But by my reckoning, a few hundred billion, or even a trillion, is not major action, at least not on the level of what will be needed.

The price for German acquiescence will be a loss of sovereignty and the ability to run deficits of any real size for any appreciable length of time for the countries of Europe. Will the peripheral countries go along? Heck, forget them; will Finland go along? This situation has been coming along since the foundation of the eurozone. The early founders acknowledged that a tighter fiscal union would eventually be necessary if the euro experiment were to survive. And eventually is now. As in this month. Time is running out if they want to forestall a credit crisis that would be worse than 2008.

The world is watching, as what happens in Europe will affect us all, in every part of the globe. It could easily tip the US into recession, and it will only be worse for the emerging markets. For Europe, the Endgame is now. We can only hope they come up with a plan that avoids disorderly defaults and a crisis far graver than 2008. They have no good choices, only difficult ones and disastrous ones. Let us hope they choose wisely.

(And for my fellow Americans, note that we will face the same consequences if we do not get our own house in order, and very soon. This is more than an academic observation.)

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:01 | 1941681 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

I have found Mauldin to be a pompous ass and a compulsive name-dropper. And that is in print. I can only imagine how obnoxious and insufferable he must be in person.

All he cares about is selling books and seats at his seminars.


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:08 | 1941695 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

In case there's still any doubt, try to judge what they're going to do by looking at what they've done so far: 

-They don't hesitate to legally hide where your tax money is going and how it can be seized in the night and used without Congressional or any approval process. FOIA request revealed only 2 years later that $7.7 Trillion were gifted to banks in 08.

-They don't hesitate to manipulate ostensibly "free" markets

-They will confiscate wealth through inflation if they have to, Bernank already promised you that one. AND make sure you have no protection from interest rates because he commands them. 

-They can change the rules and laws on a whim: accounting practices? For the little people only. Jail for theft? Not if you're a crony. Taxes? Hahahahahahahahahahaha

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:22 | 1941717 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Good point. I also suspect that at this point on the corruption curve, most large money movements by the banks and government are completely hidden. Money is only computer entries at this point and I would be very surprised if there are not multiple trillions moving about that we never hear of. The telegraphed moves, like the coordinated central bank effort of last week, are purely for optics - control of public perception. Your life and work and savings are but the flash of a neuron in the "animal spirits" mind they are controlling. They believe reality is only what you (the collective) believes. Economics is now simply control of mass moods and beliefs. Money only an ephemeral idea that we should believe in for the system to function.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:36 | 1941750 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Your life and work and savings are but the flash of a neuron in the "animal spirits" mind they are controlling. 

Exactly. Pawns on a chess board. This is how absolute power corrupts absolutely. At first they exceed legal limits "for your own good" (ala 08 covert bailout and capital market operations). Then they inevitably have to keep the game going because one lie and pretend scenario has to be covered by another bunch of lies. Inevitably it reaches escape velocity where the only solution is to grab absolute power

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:51 | 1941793 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Agreed, and yet I do not believe it is going to work even though the whole plan was so carefully constructed. People like Mauldin seem to be aligning themselves with what they see coming for the sake of favor in the future. But as always, evil never realizes that in seeking absolute control it destroys what it is trying to control. If any humans are alive 30 years from now, they will talk about the failed hubris and it's terrible and pointless toll.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:59 | 1941842 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

Get out while you still can is the message from this powerful interview of Ann Barnhardt. Tyler should follow this lady for any material or interviews she comes out with. 

Ann Barnhardt: The Entire Futures/Options Market Has Been Destroyed by the MF Global Collapse

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 18:44 | 1942423 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Copied from somebody elses post in


BEFORE giving any weight to her assessment, take a look at who she is and what she says.  This woman is a right-wing religious wack-job -- she is dangerously crazy.

It gets really good around 6:00, lol.  Apparently, Satan inspired Mohammed to create Islam.  Like I said, dangerously crazy.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 13:56 | 1941673 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Hey what do Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria have in common?

The are all Med States.

So why is the first move of the Military Industrial Complex to go after the Med States?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:18 | 1941708 Elwood P Suggins
Elwood P Suggins's picture

Because they are having "Arab Spring" revolutions that is going to turn all of them in nice little passive democracies that we can be proud of.  And after that they'll all run to Israel and get down on their knees and kiss and lick Nuttyyoyo's ass and then we can all live happily ever after. 


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:35 | 1941744 vxpatel
vxpatel's picture

they are all muslim states...and israel is laughing/financing...

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:13 | 1941700 Scalaris
Scalaris's picture

Since it has already been established that no sacred boundaries or logic have been left in this tragicomedy of a global economic crisis, why don't they just un-ramp the markets for a while and then start buying "undervalued" banking stocks with their leveraged-to-infinity raided pension funds, before unleashing a relentless barrage of positive leaks via their MSM news-cycle cum rumour-mill, which will of course be followed by their kabuki treaty change theater, which upon conclusion and after rocketing markets to stratospheric and unrealistic valuations, will bring everything back to square one that is the realization of having too much debt and not enough capital, and the only viable solution is to go through a crap* period of austere measures and fundamental reforms, or print, dilute and hope that social deterioration will be so slow and painful, that people will eventually be too tired to realize.

* Capital  Regeneration Action Period


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:23 | 1941720 homer8043
homer8043's picture

How can something, pension benefits both public and private, that's mathematically impossible be gone? They never really existed except in the minds of the Baby Boomers. I think starting with Gen X, the assumption has become there are no pension benefits or at best, greatly reduced pension benefits. The sooner mathematical reality hits the Boomers in the face, the better. One step towards a half way funtional economy that probably won't happen anytime soon.

Speaking of Gen X, cue the Violent Femmes, "Gone Daddy Gone" when thinking about pensions.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:51 | 1941810 sabra1
sabra1's picture

until sheeple step up and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! nothin' will change! no wonder it's a free for all!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:56 | 1941828 Peter K
Peter K's picture

Socialism es muerte:) Any way you stack it up.

BTW, the Polish gov also raided their pensions this year 17.5bPLN ( approx. 6bUSD). It is becoming common practice.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:59 | 1941833 JR
JR's picture

The next step will be to go into safety deposit boxes in the bank and remove the gold rings. Governments have done this. And they always say it’s for something else rather than the true reason. It’s a fine line between this and Bernanke saying that savers are going to have to sacrifice for the economy and then giving savers' money, which is not considered  as “investment,” to the bankers. The point is that this money was the private property of those savers (and pensioners). Just because the Fed came up with some fancy monetary policy, like ZIRP, that money was not for the bankers to take.

The Marxists philosophy (and the Fed’s) is that every piece of property belongs to the state. That’s why, whatever the reason for the theft, they say it’s for the good of the country, i.e., we need to take the money you’ve put aside because we have an emergency, it’s for the common good, we all have to sacrifice…

As Press Core puts it: "It happened before and it is starting again.  Government confiscating (stealing) the people’s life savings.  Just like in 1929 the British government began its theft of the people’s life savings just before the Great Depression. ... 

Bringing the story up to date, "In March of 2011 the British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered British police to execute Operation Rize - raid and seize the entire contents (art, gold ingots, gold dust, jewelry and cash) of nearly 7,000 safety deposit boxes from three vaults in London. The British government simply told Scotland Yard that the safety deposit boxes were used by criminals to store cash, guns and drugs."

"When word spread about the government raid and theft of the contents of their safety deposit boxes people rushed to the bank vaults. The police arrested 146 and charged 30 (those with the most cash and gold in their safety deposit boxes) with trumped up pedophilia, money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms charges."

Continues PRESS Corp: “This isn’t the first time the British government ordered the seizure of its people’s deposits. Back in June 2008, 1 year after the global economic crisis began, police armed with automatic weapons were ordered by Gordon Brown to seize (to take by force) thousands of deposit boxes, ranging from small book-sized boxes to large walk-in safes in a string of west London raids…  Armed robbery is defined as a crime  involving the use of a weapon in the taking of money or goods in the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate presence.’”

On November 24, 2008, U.S. Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) wrote, In bailing out failing companies, they are confiscating money from productive members of the economy and giving it to failing ones. By sustaining companies with obsolete or unsustainable business models, the government prevents their resources from being liquidated and made available to other companies that can put them to better, more productive use. An essential element of a healthy free market, is that both success and failure must be permitted to happen when they are earned. But instead with a bailout, the rewards are reversed – the proceeds from successful entities are given to failing ones. How this is supposed to be good for our economy is beyond me…. It won’t work. It can’t work… It is obvious to most Americans that we need to reject corporate cronyism, and allow the natural regulations and incentives of the free market to pick the winners and losers in our economy, not the whims of bureaucrats and politicians.”

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:42 | 1942001 El Gordo
El Gordo's picture

Suppose they will start removing the gold from the teeth of the deceased?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 17:02 | 1942203 JR
JR's picture

Well, El Gordo, it can happen I guess when God finds excuses not to come around anymore... Your comment reminds me of a passage from John le Carre’s novel, The Russia House:

Katya “remembered how he had told her about visiting a mortuary in Siberia, a factory for the dead, situated in one of the phantom cities where he worked. How the corpses came out of a chute and were passed around a carousel, male and female mixed, to be hosed and labeled and stripped of their gold by the old women of the night…”

As le Carre would say, that’s what can happen when your economy’s a disaster, your ideology’s up a spout and your backyard’s blowing up in your face.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 08:35 | 1943548 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Do they remove viable internal organs from the deceased?  Without permission, I mean.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 02:28 | 1943316 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

The person is correct, Americans and most Europeans won't go Arab Spring until they don't get any of their govt. benefits.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:58 | 1941838 honestabe
honestabe's picture

And the US payroll tax cut is: taking money from social security retirement fund for spending now.

And the US federal employee retirement fund of 300B dollars was emptied this past  spring to spend now and the money of course was not returned.

And most of our private pension funds either don't exist or are poorly invested assuring future shortfalls so that money can be spent now.

And then there is the US consumer which believes that debt doesn't matter, even after retirement.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:16 | 1942094 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

and most people don't even realize that this tax cut is what funds social security. Rob Peter to pay Paul. Obama is easily the most deceitful politician in my lifetime and lays the groundwork for more class war fare.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:01 | 1941847 MiddleageThinni...
MiddleageThinninghair's picture

I skimmed the above posts.  I didn't see anyone remark on the fact that this was for fiscal budget goal for 2011, not 2012, which ends in less than a month (if they use the annual calendar). 

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:06 | 1941880 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

If these were "private" funds, how cna the gub'ment take them? Could have The People withdrawn their Mullah pre-theft and moved it to a different account?

just ask'n

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:12 | 1941899 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

buy and hold................... and watch them steal it............

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:29 | 1941959 willien1derland
willien1derland's picture

It is my wish that people start thinking for themselves - Currently, the people in government & positions of power are counting on the trend that the general population do nothing - How many times have we seen this SAME thing happen & nothing be done! The Portuguese government has just taken assets that do NOT belong to them - this is a heinous act by a desperate group of people who are best described as CRIMINALS - how is it that anyone can allow someone take what is not rightfully theirs without charge or consequence? The rule of law is collapsing for the same reason repeatedly - THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM COLLAPSED IN SEPTEMBER 2008 - the governmenets of the world are presenting the general population with a set of optics in the hope of placating the majority while those who know the truth are scrambling to aggregate power, assets, & contro - unfortunately the people, 99%, Sheeple, or whatever reference one uses need only remember one thing...this will only be tolerated for as long as the majority allows...I am simply disgusted by the acts of outright lawlessness by so-called 'governments' - it reminds me of a quote from Robin Hood when Robin indicated to Friar Tuck what he thought of the church. Friar Tuck responded "I love the Church; it is the clergy he had an issue with...and that is what I think we all need to remember - each of our countries have rich traditions, laws & structures which were created to serve its citizens, but, unfortunately, over time, have been corrupted...we need to differentiate between the country & its government & the PEOPLE who currently hold those positions of power - are they abiding by the rule of law? if not, it is encumbent upon ALL of us to address this corruption before any more damage is done - Portugal has NO RIGHT to annex the pensions it stole & if the EU, IMF, & any other entity does not question this action & no actions are taken NO ONE has the right to be surprised & cry foul when it occurs again...God Bless the people of Portugal as they are unfortunately the next in line to be traumatized.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:33 | 1942136 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

"They may fight subjective violence, but liberal communists are the agents of the structural violence that creates the conditions for explosions of subjective violence."

They take/ order to "do good"...thereby *reinforcing* the original horrible situation.

"it is what makes a figure like Soros so objectionable. He stands for ruthless financial exploitation combined with its counter-agent, humanitarian worry about the catastrophic social consequences of the unbridled market economy. Soros’s daily routine is a lie embodied: half of his working time is devoted to financial speculation, the other half to ‘humanitarian’ activities (financing cultural and democratic activities in post-Communist countries, writing essays and books) which work against the effects of his own speculations. The two faces of Bill Gates are exactly like the two faces of Soros: on the one hand, a cruel businessman, destroying or buying out competitors, aiming at a virtual monopoly; on the other, the great philanthropist who makes a point of saying: ‘What does it serve to have computers if people do not have enough to eat?’"

Now watch as presidents/governments do this.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 04:44 | 1943425 Peter K
Peter K's picture

With respect to Soros, I think his two faces are complimentary. ON the one hand he fights the evil capitalists. This makes him friends with the nomenklatura,  which in turn feeds him info on which he trades. Then he turns around and "shares" his good fortune with the lunatic left orgs that he funds, and where the nomenklatura get their payoff. Interesting fact, most of the Washington MSM sit on one or another of his boards. It is really a nice and cozy set-up.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:43 | 1942007 hungarianboy
hungarianboy's picture

yeh and we got a nice downgrade over here to junk.

Good luck. Goverments touching the pension funds will end BAAAAADDDDD!

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:45 | 1942012 El Gordo
El Gordo's picture

Actually, I suspect that they will be a little more quiet about it.  They will just decide that in order to maintain tax deferred status, these various retirement instruments should raise their percentage of US Treasury holdings to say around 99%.  That way you continue to hold your investments, and after all, what could be safer than loaning money to the government. 

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:29 | 1942129 tbd108
tbd108's picture

Is anyone aware of any of these pension confiscation operations where equities were stolen?

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:29 | 1942131 MobBarley
MobBarley's picture

The brothers will survive!

Sisters are doing it for themselves!

Let the chillun play!

Through the magik of quantum computing, all secrets will be known instantly!

Hacking the multiverse! And pwning it.

4096 bit RSA key? No problemo.

Entanglement with matter. It walks! It talks! It gives itself out as God!


Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:40 | 1942158 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

the criminal plutocrats are behind these confiscations of property - the vicious rockefeller-mic-yale-cia axis of wickedness....

pray to the lord god almighty to destroy these evil doers....he will soon answer affirmatively.....yahushua shall intercede for us....pray until justice is done and his righteousness established.

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 16:57 | 1942190 goldfreak
goldfreak's picture

Was this private money or government money  set aside for  government employee pensions? It's kind of not clear, but I guess it doesn't matter, pension money is pension money and not money to cover deficits

Sat, 12/03/2011 - 17:19 | 1942245 Joe Ploppy
Joe Ploppy's picture

MF is right.  "MFer" should be a new term to describe financeers and politicians that screw people over.

Corzine is an MFer.  Madoff is an MFer.  The Greek government is an MFer.  Skilling of Enron is an MFer.

Barney Frank is an MFer.



Sat, 12/03/2011 - 18:32 | 1942394 malek
malek's picture

Un-fucking-believable. And Eurostat is ok with this.

So where is the endgame? I'd say "Not far now...", to quote The Fifth Element...

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 00:02 | 1943064 smore
smore's picture

Listen to the most blistering summation of the MF fallout you have ever heard!  There is NO RULE OF LAW, GET THE F OUT OF PAPER NOW!

Dec/01/2011Ann Barnhardt: The Entire Futures/Options Market Has Been Destroyed by the MF Global CollapseBarnhardt closes her commodity brokerage firm in the wake of MF GlobalJim is joined by Ann Barnhardt, who recently closed her commodity brokerage firm Barnhardt Capital Management after the MF Global collapse. She believes that her client monies were no longer safe in the futures and options markets, and that the entire system has been 'utterly destroyed' by the MF Global collapse.James J Puplava CFP With Ann Barnhardt

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 01:04 | 1943205 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture

SP500 bull vs bear battle reverts to bearish bias after price action on Friday and more downside expected.

My long term indicators have continued to warn of US Dollar strength and EURO weakness and these signals have increased since 2009. The overdue dollar rally should be substantial.

Sun, 12/04/2011 - 13:49 | 1944283 de Cosmos
de Cosmos's picture

They got the money, hey
You know they got away
They headed down south and they're still running today
Singin' go on take the money and run...

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