Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics

From Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box

Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics

“There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”


                                       -Mark Twain

It has often been said by me, over the last ten years, that if one cannot ascertain the truth then one should not put money in that enterprise. It seems like a relatively simple perscription that I have formulated. There is nothing false or complex in this equation. Probably a number approaching one hundred percent of all of the world’s financial institutions would agree with the general precept and yet; that is not how some behave on an ongoing basis which I find quite astonishing. It is surely a matter of human psychology and of accepting what we are told rather than making a realistic appraisal of the facts. It continues to amaze me that various groups continuously try to reorganize the truth to their own benefit, falsify the truth,  on the assumption that you will believe what they tell you without investigation.

“And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.”


                                     -William Shakespeare

What I find particularly difficult is what they are doing in Europe and continue to do because they are formulating systemic lies and they are doing it knowingly, purposefully; with the single motivation being to fool people. It can no longer be said that it is not systemic as the European Union does not object, has not objected, so that even Germany and the Netherlands and Finland have become accomplices to the schemes. Because the State says it is so does not make it so and this is a history lesson that we all should have learned long ago!

As I have counted the contingent liabilities, the dervivatives, the sovereign guaranteed bank debt, the sovereign guaranteed regional debt, the sovereign guaranteed corporate debt and included it in the debt to GDP ratios of various nations you have been given a MUCH more accurate appraisal than the untruths handed out by various nations and by the EU/ECB and the IMF. I have heard the argument that both methodologies are valid and I have stated, strongly, that this is NOT the case. These uncounted liabilities are just as real, just as valid and just as potentially costly to the European nations that do not count them. A debt is a debt and to not to count it for the singular purpose of trying to mislead people is a scam, a lie and the pig is no better looking because you paint it blue. Europe hands the official data to the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal,the BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News et al so that they can repeat it and repeat it again in the singular hope that it will be believed and that people/institutions will continue to finance the European nations and banks on the basis of the untruths of what they officially place in the Press.

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves to those we let slip out.”


                                       -Winston Churchill


The new ploy here is to place the banks’ Real Estate holdings in some financial vehicle so that it is no longer on the balance sheets of the banks. There is only one purpose of this and this is to prevent the banks from going bankrupt. There is nothing more or less to this paradigm than that. The Spanish banks are carrying their Real Estate loans at vastly inflated valuations and real valuations would cause bankruptcy so remove the loans off the books, keep them as obligations of the bank in some off-balance sheet vehicle,counted by no one, and then the banks appear to be just fine and they can raise private capital based upon their improved financial condition which is not only gimmickery but out and out Fraud by any rational person’s assessment. There are no particularly nice words for what they are doing but “con,” “hustle,”  “flimflam” and “swindle” are all quite applicable. As Spain engages in this Sting there has not been one dissent, not one voice raised  in objection to this plan. Not even the IMF has uttered one word so that I am forced to state that the IMF and all of the European institutions are guilty of the crime and are every bit as accountable as Spain.

“He who profits by the crime; commits it.”




According to Reuters, Italy is going to propose to the European Union that they should exempt borrowing used to pay their commercial obligations from their calculation of public debt. Monti, the article states, is also going to propose exempting the counting of public debt used for investments. You may be sure that Italy’s $211 billion of derivatives will now be entitled an “investment.”  Now all of this will lower Italy’s debt to GDP ratio which is the real reason for these proposals and so even worse falsified numbers can be handed out to the Press in hopes that money will be invested in Italy based upon not just inaccurate but offically countenanced manufactured data. This way not only the debt to GDP ratio can be falsified but the growth numbers, the fiscal targets and a raft of other numbers that will no longer be real but just a systemic figment of Europe’s imagination.


“All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.”


                                         -Mein Kampf

Now I am quite aware that it is not polite in Europe to recall the travesty of Word War II. I am perfectly aware that no one on the Continent likes to discuss what happened some seventy years ago when Germany ran the greatest propoganda machine on Earth and almost took over all of Europe by its use of lies and deceptions along with its armies. Yet, being aware, I will not ignore the historical repeat of a European Union engaged in systemic distortions of the truth and I make no apologies for bringing it to your attention. When a nation or nations purposefully pervert the truth then we all should be afraid; very afraid.

“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin – more even than death...Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”


                                         -Bertrand Russell


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