Iceland

Debt: War And Empire By Other Means

The economic hitmen have honed their skills among the poor and relatively defenseless, and have been coming closer to home in search of new hunting grounds and fatter spoils. There is nothing 'new' or 'modern' about this. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past or in a book, it is happening here and now. "Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain. As a result, whatever is fragile is defenseless before the interests of the deified market, which becomes the only rule."

Bank Of Greece Pleads For Deal, Says "Uncontrollable Crisis", "Soaring Inflation" Coming

As the war of words between Athens and Brussels reaches a fever pitch ahead of Thursday's Eurogroup meeting, the Bank of Greece has made a plea to both sides as capital controls and a "Lehman Weekend" loom. "A manageable debt crisis, as the one that we are currently addressing with the help of our partners, would snowball into an uncontrollable crisis, with great risks for the banking system and financial stability. An exit from the euro would only compound the already adverse environment, as the ensuing acute exchange rate crisis would send inflation soaring.

"Horrified" Syriza Hardliners Back "Immediate" Greek Bank Nationalization, Euro Exit

Caught between a recalcitrant Left Platform and exasperated creditors, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras must decide how he wants history to remember his tenure as Prime Minister. Either he will be the leader who allowed Greece to crash out of the euro on its way to a redomination-driven economic collapse, or he will go down as the fiery advocate for change who caved under pressure and allowed the troika to stamp out democracy in the place where it was born. 

Why Greek Pensions Have Become The Biggest Hurdle In The Bailout Negotiations

"Why insist on pensions? Pensions and wages account for about 75% of primary spending; the other 25% have already been cut to the bone.  Pension expenditures account for over 16% of GDP, and transfers from the budget to the pension system are close to 10% of GDP.  We believe a reduction of pension expenditures of 1% of GDP (out of 16%) is needed, and that it can be done while protecting the poorest pensioners."

Frontrunning: June 11

  • Pope urges Putin to make 'sincere, great effort' for Ukraine peace (Reuters)
  • Merkel Tells Tsipras It’s Time to Back Talk With Policy Action (BBG)
  • 'Greek tragedy' needs happy ending now: EU's Moscovici (Reuters)
  • Vulture Funds Circle Greece Targeting Europe’s Best Trading Bet (BBG)
  • Germany against third aid program for Greece under any circumstances, says daily (Reuters)
  • Biggest OPEC Members Pump Record Oil With Rally in Jeopardy (BBG)
  • Greek ruling reversing pension cuts will cost state 1 to 1.5 bln euros (Kathimerini)
  • China’s Former Security Chief Zhou Yongkang Sentenced to Life in Prison (WSJ)
  • MSCI backs itself into corner on China share inclusion (Reuters)

Frontrunning: June 9

  • Greece Said to Submit Revised Budget Plan in Bid for Funding (BBG)
  • Protesters seek firing of Texas officer who threw girl to ground (Reuters)
  • HSBC to cut 50,000 jobs in quest for higher dividends (Reuters)
  • U.S. base shipped live anthrax to 19 states plus D.C.: Pentagon (Reuters)
  • Obama Administration Opens Door for More Student-Debt Forgiveness (WSJ)
  • China Said to Weigh Margin Finance Rule Change Amid Stock Boom (BBG)
  • Doctor who trained U.S. troops suspended for macabre techniques (Reuters)
  • Exxon to Face Regulators’ Questions Over Quakes (WSJ)

"New Silk Road" Part 1: Changing Global Economics Forever

China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world. It is also seen by many as the first shot in a battle between east and west for dominance in Eurasia. For the world at large, its decisions about the Road are nothing less than momentous. The massive project holds the potential for a new renaissance in commerce, industry, discovery, thought, invention, and culture that could well rival the original Silk Road. It is also becoming clearer by the day that geopolitical conflicts over the project could lead to a new cold war between East and West for dominance in Eurasia.

What Will Happen To You When The Dollar Collapses?

The day after the crash (and thereafter), what will be the currency that is used to buy a bag of groceries, a tank of petrol, a meal at a restaurant? Certainly, the need will be immediate and will be on a national level in each impacted country, affecting everyone. Many believe the US will be prepared ahead of time with a new, electronic currency - US citizens will then become the most economically controlled people in the world, overnight. A further possibility is taking place in Mexico today. Mexico is remonetising silver. As the Great Unravelling proceeds, we would be wise to monitor what happens with the Libertad in Mexico and watch for a similar return to precious metals in other jurisdictions.

America Ranks Below Israel In World Happiness Index

USA USA USA #15? Despite aerial bombardment, growing tensions with every neighbor, and the almost ubiquitous daily car-bombs, Israelis are "happier" than Americans according to Bloomberg's world happiness index. Happiness, it appears, is most abundant a long way from the equator with Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Canada all topping the list; whereas the unhappiest nations are all in Saharan or sub-Saharan Africa (apart from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan).

Will the New Banking Proposals In Iceland Save It From Economic Instability?

The central bank-controlled 100% reserve system of sovereign money will indeed mitigate much of the fluctuations associated with modern day fractional-reserve banking. However, it is not a panacea against systemic distortions of economy. Centralizing any power, especially one as important as the creation of money, will inevitably lead to cronyism. And while perhaps less likely to occur than under the current system, there still will exist a risk government manipulation of credit markets which will lead to the business cycle.

Iceland Stuns Banks: Plans To Take Back The Power To Create Money

Who knew that the revolution would start with those radical Icelanders? It does, though. One Frosti Sigurjonsson, a lawmaker from the ruling Progress Party, issued a report today that suggests taking the power to create money away from commercial banks, and hand it to the central bank and, ultimately, Parliament.