In what may be the biggest story of the year, if confirmed, Greek newspaper To Vima reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for 10 billion dollars in order to print drachmas. But the real shocker: on the night of the referendum, word came from Russia that Putin did not want to support Greece’s return to the drachma. After that, Tsipras had no choice left but to “surrender” to German Chancellor.
In the latest example of what happens when circular funding schemes begin to trip over each other, National Bank of Greece has refused to participate in an auction for paper issued by the bailout fund which is set to recapitalize the Greek banking sector.
"The size of the required ‘upfront’ (i.e. to be introduced in 2016) principal haircut to be €110bn (60% of annual Greek nominal GDP in 2014). Note that we do not see much difference in an alternative scenario based on a ‘tranched’ principal haircut framework (of around €15bn per year), also starting in 2016. However, a ‘backloaded’ (i.e. to be introduced in 2022) approach relying on a single haircut would be more expensive, amounting to €130bn (72% of annual Greek nominal GDP in 2014)."
"We need to hang him on the courthouse square as soon as we get a hold of him."
– Former vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Saxby Chambliss, on Edward Snowden
What does an economy do when it no longer produces enough goods to pay its own bills? It “consumes”, meaning it cannibalizes (i.e. consumes) all of the accumulated wealth of that society. And when the “consumer economy” has cannibalized all that wealth? It turns to debt.
While the rest of the world attempts to convince themselves that a Chinese stock market bubble and bust is at worst irrelevant, CapitalEconomics notes, evidence that the labor market is coming off the boil arguably matters more to China’s economy. Chinese stocks futures are down 2% in today's pre-open after yesterday's whipsaw action as 'exit plans' for the stabilization were discussed (dumping stocks) and then denied (surging stocks) shows just how fragile (and quickly and entirely addicted to China's new 'measures' investors have become); but as BofAML warned earlier, selling pressure will likely remain relentless. Now that the spell is broken, we expect that many holders may want to sell to the forced buyers in the market.
While we have shown previously that over the past 30 years median incomes in the US have barely grown (indicative of a middle class whose income has been largely stagnant for some 35 years), we have never before shown just what how this middle class "stasis" looks like in comparison to other developed nations. Now, thanks to Max Roser and "Our world in Data", we know. Sadly, in this particular sample of median income growth since 1980, the US is dead last, behind such countries as the UK, Canada and even Spain and France!
Chinese Gold reserves jump 604 tons from 1,054 tons last reported in 2009 to 1,658 tons. Many gold observers ask: "Is that it"? Since 2009 China has mined over 2,000 tons of gold and imported over 3,300 tons of gold through Hong Kong*. Where did it all go?
Last Night's Gold Slam So Furious It Halted The Market Not Once But Twice, And The Funniest "Explanation" YetSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2015 15:35 -0400
Yesterday, just before the Chinese market opened, precious metals but mostly gold, flash crashed in milliseconds with a violent urgency never before seen. We documented the unprecedented event last night, but for those who missed it, the following chart from Nanex clearly lays out just how sudden the "out of nowhere" selling was, which led to not one but two 20-second halts in the gold futures market spaced out precisely 30 seconds apart as a result of a Velocity Logic (or lack thereof) event.
We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.
This is how democracy has died in America. The formula is simple: billionaires + their (and their many clergy’s) suckers = aristocracy. The result is, in any case, an aristocratic dictatorship, no sort of authentic democracy whatsoever. And, when even the Democratic candidate has gotten there by a string of lies and no substantive record on which voters can know that his assertions don’t match his real beliefs or commitments, the voters are trapped by the aristocracy: they’ve got nothing else to go on but the aristocracy’s lies, and the aristocratically owned ‘news’ media’s stenographic transmissions of their politicians’ lies to the public. The American Revolution (1765-83) overthrew Britain’s aristocracy here. But now, the American people need to overthrow America’s own aristocracy, or else simply accept fascism (rule by an aristocracy).
Many had believed that Russia was years behind the envelope when it comes to putting advanced robotic technology on the battlefield. Until today, when a video showcased Russia's latest military equipment in Sevastopol, ranging from the "Bastion" air defense and anti-ship complexes missile system to sniper rifles and special ops naval guns, also showed none other than the Platform-M combat robot mingling among the population of this most important Crimean city.
The WSJ has released yet another gold hit piece calling it a "pet rock' and gold bugs "subjects of a laboratory experiment on the psychology of cognitive dissonance" just one day after the PBOC reveals it has added the biggest amount of gold in history in order to "ensure security." But the biggest irony is that none other than Citigroup made a far bolder case that it is not the ownership of gold but of stocks that is the ultimate act of faith: "investors remain united in their faith in the central banks – if not for their ability to create growth, then at least in their ability to push up asset prices. And yet the limits of that faith are increasingly on display." So who is right?
Varoufakis Slams Bailout #3 As "Greatest Macroeconomic Disaster In History" While Tsipras "Doesn't Eat Or Sleep"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/18/2015 21:30 -0400
In an rare convergence of Greek and German viewpoints, overnight former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis told the BBC that "economic reforms imposed on his country by creditors are "going to fail", ahead of talks on a huge bailout. At the same time, Germany's most noted Eurosceptic, Hans-Werner Sinn, in an interview with the newspaper "Passauer Neue Presse" also earlier today warned that any new aid would be "totally worthless" and "would never come back." Meanwhile, the Greek PM, who is facing an economic abyss "does not eat, does not sleep, but he has no choice -- he has a debt to the people who put their faith in him" his mother Aristi Tsipras, 73, told Parapolitika weekly.
There’s simply too much debt and too little cheap oil for there to be any other trajectory to this story. We need to all prepare for the inevitability that, as the rot proceeds, the people of Greece will not be the only casualties of the banks' attempts at self-preservation. They'll try to throw all of us under the bus before taking any losses themselves.