Iceland

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Frontrunning: September 30





  • Government Heads Toward Shutdown (WSJ), First U.S. Shutdown in 17 Years at Midnight Seen Probable (BBG), Congress in game of chicken (RTRS)
  • Italian Premier Pursues Last-Ditch Rescue of Government (WSJ)
  • Election risk rattles Italian government bonds (RTRS)
  • Obama and Ryan Stay on Sidelines on Budget (WSJ)
  • Volcker Rule Costs Tallied as U.S. Regulators Press Deadline (BBG)
  • Faltering Chinese Factory Growth Adds to Rebound Fears (FT)
  • Health Law Hits Late Snags as Rollout Approaches (WSJ)
  • Apple Overtakes Coca-Cola as Most Valuable Brand, Study Finds (BBG)
  • Euro-Area September Inflation Slows More Than Forecast on Energy (BBG) - Puting will fix that shortly
 
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Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Starting All Over The World





Now that "bail-ins" have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world. As we warned two years ago, "the muddle through has failed... and there may only be painful ways out of this."

 
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Iceland Borrows European "Template" - Removes Large Deposit Guarantees





Following the crisis in October 2008, Iceland's government declared all deposits in domestic financial institutions were 'blanket' guaranteed - an Emergency Act that was reafrmed twice since. However, according to RUV, the finance minister is proposing to restrict this guarantee to only deposits less-than-EUR100,000. While some might see the removal of an 'emergency' measure as a positive, it is of course sadly reminiscent of the European Union "template" to haircut large depositors. This is coincidental (threatening) timing given the current stagnation of talks between Iceland bank creditors and the government over haircuts and lifting capital controls - which have restricted the outflows of around $8 billion.

 
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Guest Post: 5 Years Of Financial Non-Reform





Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the largest global financial crisis since the Great Depression, outsize banking sectors have left economies shattered in Ireland, Iceland, and Cyprus. Banks in Italy, Spain, and elsewhere are not lending enough. China’s credit binge is turning into a bust. In short, the world’s financial system remains dangerous and dysfunctional. Worse, despite years of debate, no consensus about the nature of the financial system’s problems – much less how to fix them – has emerged. And that appears to reflect the banks’ political power. Unfortunately, despite the enormous harm from the financial crisis, little has changed in the politics of banking. Too many politicians and regulators put their own interests and those of “their” banks ahead of their duty to protect taxpayers and citizens. We must demand better.

 
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Frontrunning: August 14





  • Vocal billionaire activist IRR - 150x: Icahn bought $1 billion of AAPL stock, seeks $150 billion buyback (BBG)
  • BlackBerry Said to Have Sought Buyers Since 2012 (BBG) - for a phone or the entire company?
  • IPhone Fingerprint Reader Talk Boosting Biometric Stocks (BBG) - also, the NSA will need to grow its Utah data center
  • UPS Jet Crashes in Birmingham, Ala. (WSJ)
  • America's Farm-Labor Pool Is Graying (WSJ)
  • Hong Kong Lowers Storm Signal as Typhoon Closes on China (BBG)
  • Indian submarine explodes in Mumbai port (FT)
  • BofA Banker Sued by Regulator Later Joined Fannie Mae (BBG)
  • Software that hijacks visits to YouTube uncovered (FT)
  • Chinese Billionaire Huang Readies Iceland Bid on Power Shift (BBG)
  • China to launch fresh pharmaceutical bribery probe (Reuters)
  • Defeat at J.C. Penney Hurts Ackman as Performance Trails (BBG)
 
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Guest Post: Think Those Are Dollars In Your Wallet? Think Again!





Here’s a question– if you’re in the Land of the Free, do you think those green pieces of paper in your wallet are dollars? They’re not. Those green pieces of paper are Federal Reserve notes. “Notes” in this case meaning liabilities to the central bank of the United States. That makes you, me, and anyone else holding those green pieces of paper essentially creditors of the Federal Reserve, whether we signed up for it or not. And at this point, thanks to a long-standing policy of wanton money printing, the Fed has more liabilities than ever before in its history. By an enormous margin. Given that the Fed’s assets are so closely tied to the finances of the US government, the outlook should concern independent, thinking people. The US, Japan, and Europe are already too indebted to bail out their central banks. An insolvent government cannot bail out an insolvent central bank.

 
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Here's What Happens When A Central Bank Goes Bust





Over the past several decades, people around the world have become so brainwashed that few people really give much thought anymore to the safety of their currency. It’s not something people really understand... there’s apparently some Wizard of Oz type figure at the top of the hill pulling all the levers of the monetary system. And we just trust them to be good guys. This power rests primarily in the hands of four men who control roughly 75% of the entire world money supply. So, how are they doing?

 
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A Different View Of The Iceland "Recovery"





Without doubt, Iceland was the canary in the coalmine for the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding across the world right now. Today, Iceland is held up as the model of recovery. 'Famous' economists like Paul Krugman praise the government for rapidly rebuilding the economy without having to resort to austerity. This morning’s headline from The Telegraph newspaper sums it up: “Iceland has taken its medicine and is off the critical list”. It turns out, most of these claims are dead wrong. Despite being so widely reported by the mainstream financial media, Iceland is not a story of model economic recovery. It’s a story of how to fool people. And for now, it’s working.

 
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Latin American Countries Recall Ambassadors From Spain, France, Italy And Portugal Over Snowden "Neo-Colonial" Flap





The global fallout from the Snowden affair continues to reverberate following the latest news that four Latin American countries - Brazil, Argentina, Urugay and Venezuela - announced on Friday they would recall their ambassadors from the countries that blocked their airspace to Bolivia's Evo Morales following false rumors he was carrying Snowden, forcing an emergency landing in Austria. The four countries said this incident violated international law. As a result of Obama's "neo-colonial" practices in Europe, as Uruguay's foreign minister Luis Almagro denounces Europe's servile compliance with pax AmericaNSA, the Mercosur ambassadors in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal will be pulled back for consultations.

 
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Iceland Denies Snowden's Bid For Citizenship





So much for Iceland's bid as the world safe haven from government (and intellectual status quo) persecution. The tiny country that was such a vocal supporter of Julian Assange, and which originally was speculated as being the final destination of Snowden upon his departure from Hong Kong, has just opined on his request for Icelandic citizenship, and the answer is a resounding no, following the country's "parliament voted not to debate it before the summer recess" Reuters reports.

 
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Say Hello to Inflation, Inflation is Dead





When enough of us realize the extent of inflation, bond buyers will likely demand higher coupon rates; the government's cost of debt service could soar. 

 
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Snowden Withdraws Russia Asylum Request; Nine Countries Deny Application





Things are turning from bad to worse for the real-life version of The Terminal's Edward Snowden, who a day after applying to 21 countries for political asylum has been flooded with rejection letters near and far, even as he was forced to cancel his application to his current host nation, Russia, after being told he would have to stop leaking secrets as a condition to stay. More from the FT: "The 30-year-old fugitive’s options narrowed further on Tuesday when China reacted coolly to the idea of him moving there, Poland rejected an application and other European nations said asylum requests had to be made in the country."

 
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The 21 Nations That Edward Snowden Is Applying To For Asylum





Are these the only truly free countries left in the world - those that are not joined at the hip with the United States and ready and willing to do Obama's bidding at the drop of a hat? The NSA's most infamous whistleblower certainly thinks so.

 
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The Secret Sauce Of Iceland's Success Story: Debt Liquidation?





That Iceland is so far the only success story in the continent of Europe, which continues sliding into an ever deeper depressionary black hole, as a result of the complete destruction of its financial sector and its subsequent rise from the ashes, is by known to most. What is still not exactly clear is what conditions have allowed success and growth to flourish in a barren wasteland where 60% youth unemployment is increasingly the norm, and where economic "outperformance" is measured in shades of red. As it turns out, perhaps the biggest jolt to Icelandic economic growth is what we said was the correct prescription for resolving not only the US but global growth malaise that struck in 2008: debt liquidation.

 
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Snowden Lands In Moscow; Next Rumored Stops: Cuba, And Finally Venezuela





Moments ago Edward Snowden landed at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, but since the American citizen has no Russian visa he will remain in the transit zone. And as Reuters reports, we now have some details on his next destinations, at least according to an Interfax source at Aeroflot: first Havana, Cuba, and finally Caracas, Venezuela as had been speculated earlier (although this may well be misdirection). Oddly enough, no Iceland (for now).

 
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