Les Miserables

Submitted by Mark Grant, author Out of the Box,

“If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!”
                 -Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
It is a convoluted world. The money rolls in from the Fed, the ECB and various European funds where money is pledged by each country and put up by none. Pledges, contingent liabilities, guarantees of bank debt are not counted but have not vanished and show up when the bills are due decreasing the assets of everyone.
The newly printed money must find a home and so supports the sovereign debt yields while costing each European government more in the process. Austerity fails, unemployment rises, economies decline, more taxes are applied and the use of newly printed money is the only thing that separates us from some sort of financial chaos.
The differential between the European economies and the European markets increases and the actual losses increase. Securitizations pledged at the ECB are massive and chock full of bad Real Estate and commercial loans that are hidden and swept under the rug in Frankfurt. It is a dangerous business and a charade of the worst kind as no one has any real notion of the danger.
“If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”
                  -Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
The Official French GDP                          $2.638 trillion
Admitted Sovereign Debt                          $2.37 trillion
Loans to the Nation                              $214.9 billion
Admitted Bank Guaranteed Debt                    $479 billion
Dexia Guarantee                                  $ 55.48 billion
Total National Debt                              $3.119 trillion

France’s Liabilities at the ECB                  $569 billion
France’s cost for the EU Budget                  $ 23.2 billion
France’s Liabilities for the Stabilization Funds $110 billion
France’s Liabilities for the Macro Fin Ass. Fund $203 billion
France’s Guarantee of the EIB Debt               $137.6 billion
France’s Total European Debt                     $1.043 trillion  
France’s National and European Debt              $4.162 trillion
France’s Official Debt to GDP Ratio                 90.2%
France’s ACTUAL Debt to GDP Ratio                   158%
I would say that Mr. Hollande has been a disaster for France. I state this not just based solely on economics but also upon their leadership in Europe. There was a time when Germany and France operated in some sort of tandem but now France has declined to a status where it gets the occasional nod from Berlin but that would be about the extent of it. It is now Germany and then everyone else in a pecking order designed and approved in Berlin where France ranks slightly ahead of Spain and Italy but not by much.
France, in fact, has joined their southern neighbors in both policy and adherence to the previously agreed upon guidelines. There is now only an admission of culpability and then the increase in debt, the extension of the debt to GDP ratios and the continual promises that it will all be better next year. This definition of “next year” will not be arriving however and so the economies worsen and the anguish of the deceit worsens the pain.


French confidence about the future is fading fast...

“Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him--he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.”
                -Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
The only way that the actual financials do not matter is if nothing matters. If the flood of money created from nothing overshadows all economic principles, obscures all accountability, hides any semblance of meaning in the debts one owes to the assets one has then nothing is relevant any longer.
Print forever. Lies without end. Reality redefined.
I, however, am not a member of this congregation. I do not believe in these Rites. They day is forthcoming when the mask will be torn away and the light will illuminate the face of the denizen.
I just sit quietly and wait.
“Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them.”
             -Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


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