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The Defiant Possum!

Yes, Greece is all over the news today, in many ways the people are now expecting a Grexit, the Greek exodus from the Euro. The people are reading more and more about the Greek way and no one is playing nice anymore. Even though readers might disagree with my view, which remains forever valid, let me show you the evidence that brought me to this!

The Centre Party, led by telecoms millionaire Juha Sipilä, must now put together a coalition. And if he invites the Finns into office too (Timo Soini, leader of Finns, who has already vowed to change’s Finland’s approach to Greece), we will see the complication regarding the chances of agreeing a third bailout for Greece. (Source: the Guardian). You see, Finland’s economy not in a great shape and they are now facing austerity. Sipilä had pledged a wage freeze and spending cuts to make it competitive again, which are issues that Tsipras is not addressing, which means that the Finns are no longer playing nice, one less vote that might have been in favour of any third bailout, now lost, the trip from Tsipras playing nice with the Russians did not help either. We now see a direct consequence on inaction where the observing it all are going more extreme, less positive towards the Euro. The Finnish Centrist Party is only a smaller step in the path that UKIP, National Front and the PVV are proclaiming. So, those who were rightfully sceptical of my predictions can now personally see the first of 6 steps fulfilling, the Pro-EU part in Finland lost and the Centrist party now has a staggering 49 seats, they are now in the centre of any coalition, gaining 14 seats. This is the danger I foresaw all along, even if many other parties were blind to this danger.

The second part was seen today when Fabrizio Goria (@FGoria) published the Barclays list on the payments that Greece has to make, these are only repayments and payments on maturity of bonds, the repayments are €1B by May 15th, €1.7B by June 17th, €4.7B by July 20th and €3.6B by August 20th. This brings the total repayments €10.7B before September 1st. Can anyone tell me how they expect to pull this off? Let us not forget that the days of the Onassis shipping fortunes are gone, the nation has a population of 11 million. We could state that it boils down to 970 Euros from every Greek (including the minors and babies), in addition to the taxation they are mostly not paying at present anyway. Add to that that many Greeks are living way below the poverty line.

So when we hear on French TV (iTele) the fact that Moscovici added that “Plan A is for Greece to remain in the Eurozone, and there is no Plan B. But there’s also no time for prevarication“, so in this story of ‘Moscovici the Possum’, playing dead to the realities of finance, where the next bailout of €7.2 billion, does not even cover the bills due before September 1st, which add up to a lot more than the bailout money that might not even come in. When we saw that the last payment was almost not made, when the Greeks pulled it off we saw the some triumphant pose of ‘we did it!‘, whilst we also saw that it cleaned out Greece for the most and that the payment made is only 10% of what is due over the next 18 weeks. This is the future I foresaw, one that could be done by nearly all using Excel or an abacus.

But this is not just about my view, others see it in the same way. Although, there is (as will be) an opposition view too and I do not ignore it. Foremost there is the eminent view of Simon Nixon from the Wall Street Journal. He stated: “One option is that Greece fails to get a deal with its creditors (quite plausible), runs out of cash (ditto) and then defaults on a debt repayment payment. But that wouldn’t immediately trigger Grexit“, which is where I am to some extent. Yet, he adds to that “How things play out after [a default] that will depend on who Greece decides to default on and the reaction of bank depositors. If Athens defaults on a government bond or loan, then the ECB will have to raise the price that banks pay to access emergency liquidity from the Bank of Greece, effectively depriving them of access to fresh supplies of euros. If Athens decides instead to default to its own citizens, perhaps by issuing IOUs to pay pensions and salaries, bank customers may start emptying euros from their accounts. Again, banks would quickly run out of collateral for emergency liquidity. In both cases, Athens would have to introduce capital controls and bank holidays to stop the financial system imploding. Some officials believe Greece could carry on for several weeks if not months in this state of limbo while still technically remaining part of the Eurozone“, I am not denying his view, he has a good grasp of things so he is probably a lot more correct then I am. Yet, my issue now is not whether they remain in the Euro, but the ramifications of Greece remaining in the Euro, regardless of the consequences and through the wheeling and dealing of several players who feel profitable if Greece remains in the Euro. Finland is only the first of 6.

Second is the UK with UKIP, that party is still growing and the Varoufakis rock star tour, as we saw it over the last two months, only agitated people all over Europe, the entire German slamming thing as well as the political statements around the refugee issues did not help either. So as UKIP grows, so will the option (and future) of the Euro diminishing in equal measure, the nightmare that Moscovici will like even less.

Third on the list is France with National Front. They will go on growing and the momentum UIKIP gets will massively benefit National Front, the party that was ignored for way too long has become a voice of power in France. Marine Le Penn has become a global player, another member against the softness for Greece and even less in favour of the Euro power as it diminished the force of France will take a steep change for the worse of the health of the Euro as they gain more momentum.

Fourth is the Dutch PVV, by themselves not that powerful or too influential, but with the like minded views they have to some degree to both UKIP and National Front, PVV will be invited to several tables they were not invited to earlier, even though their favour is falling (especially against the Dutch VVD), they remain a higher placed party (higher than they were before) and should the VVD be unable to create a working dialogue with UKIP and National Front, we will see more growth towards PVV, making them another voice that asks to end the Euro.

Fifth is Germany. Their power is actually twofold, first there is the growing opposition from Bernd Lucke, with his AfD (Alternative for Germany), remains on a forward momentum. And as they are anti-Euro, that ship needs to be closely watched, in addition, some German magazines state that one in two Germans are now in favour of Grexit. And here we get the first major Crux. Should some player overextend their reach by forcing some ‘deal’ keeping Greece in the Euro with a last minute ‘miracle’ solution (with ‘some’ hidden costs down the track of course), then the move towards AfD could be a lot more massive than before, the German player is the biggest one at the moment (in economic regard to the other 5 parties) and they have had enough (especially after the WW2 debacle Tsipras reignited).

Sixth in all this is the wildcard Italy. Here we have several unknowns, yet there is also a glooming danger. You see, the party here is Lega Nord, normally, this party is the one that is not the biggest contender it never was. However, Matteo Salvini is making headway, slowly but surely. Now we get the other side of the Greek issue. Matteo could grow in Italy with Lega Nord, the same way Syriza got Greece under Tsipras. Now we have ourselves a different fight, because Lega Nord is the opposite of Syriza and they are anti-Euro, as well as Anti-immigrant. So the issues pushed on us by Greece that are nagging us, are also growing the powers of Lega Nord. Normally it would not be such a big deal, but with National Front and UKIP being similar minded, Lega Nord will now get a more powerful European voice, together they will also push growth for AfD, or through AfD. I feel that they could grow a ‘symbiotic’ relationship.

If you are scared now, then do not be (unless you are a banker). These issues have been clearly in play and the vocally uttered path from Moscovici is helping these six entities and his speeches might help Moscovici a little less over the coming weeks. By trying to hold onto ‘Status Quo’, Moscovici might be achieving the opposite, who is the nice cuddly Possum now? Actually Possums are regarded as pests in New Zealand, so even as the possum is protected in Australia, is gets shot on sight in New Zealand. So as Moscovici contemplates his value as an asset by some, several nations are regarding the steps of Moscovici to be like a pest. Even though most of these politicians are not into the fair wildlife ‘game’, they will regard his policies and the need for them to be shot down at their earliest convenience. Not by the six I mentioned mind you, but as these issues are reason for growth for the six players mentioned, the other parties in those nations will now slowly more and more accept sacrificing Greece (by holding them to account), for them it is about governing and their chance to do so diminishes with every iteration where Greece remains unaccountable.

So here is as I see it the opposition I see to Simon Nixon from the wall Street Journal. Not because he is wrong (he is not wrong), but because the correct path seems to elevate some political parties to the degree that several political opponents do not want to see, which exasperates the Greek position even further.

This all escalates even further when we consider the news from NBC less than an hour ago. The title ‘Greece requires public sector entities to transfer cash balances to central bank’ should worry many, as it could be the first signal for the population of Greece to make a bank run (at http://www.cnbc.com/id/102601803). The quote “Greece issued a legislative act on Monday requiring public sector entities to transfer idle cash reserves to the country’s central bank, as part of efforts to deal with a cash squeeze” gives a fair view that Greece is trying to collect all the ‘idle’ cash there is. Is that not addressing the very last option? The second quote is “Monday’s act excludes pension funds and some state-owned firms. Cash reserves that are needed by these bodies for their immediate payment needs are also excluded from the regulation”, here we get the part ‘excludes immediate payment needed for pension funds’, yet what is ‘immediate’ here? 4 weeks, 8 weeks? This could possibly imply that those on a pension might not receive anything from June 1st onwards. Perhaps this is just to make headspace (or is it fund space) until May 12th? I do not presume to know the answer, but the Greek acts only confirms how right I was all along (as I see it).

So as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seems to continue to try to convince sceptical foreign creditors to extend new financial aid, we must ask how successful does Alexis Tsipras consider his chances when the state is collecting all ‘idle’ coins. If it takes all coins just to make the next €1 billion, whilst 9.7 is still required soon thereafter, how much faith will the creditors have? So, the earlier statement that Yanis Varoufakis made (three days ago), when he stated “On the 24th [April] there will not be a solution, there will be progress”, he’ll better wake up now and realise that he finds a decent solution before Saturday, because progress might not be enough and when the creditors state ‘no!’, then the Greek default could be regarded as the next reality. By the way, the quote from Bloomberg (regarding the legislative act of Greece) is: “Central government entities are obliged to deposit their cash reserves and transfer their term deposit funds to their accounts at the Bank of Greece,” the presidential decree issued Monday said on the government gazette website. The “regulation is submitted due to extremely urgent and unforeseen need”, I wonder what unforeseen need they might imply, because there was very little un-foreseeability regarding the strapped cash issue, that part was almost crystal clear when the previous payment was barely made.

The only thing remaining is to keep an eye out on the quotes from Pierre Moscovici for the next 48 hours, it might be interesting to see the ‘swing’ it holds (if it swings).

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In fear of the future

As elections draw near, we see an everlasting image of what was, what could be and what is. The last of the issues is then rejected in two directions. As the Tories will go from what is into what could be, we will see labour into the mesh of what was and what did not happen. They are elements we saw coming a mile away (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/14/osborne-budget-speech-economy-growth-deficit).

War is constant!
The political face of warfare never changes!

Both true, both unconditionally an issue in this day and age.

You see, the one trillion in debt is bogging down the UK and the Commonwealth as a whole. We need to bring it down, yet when we see the more likely response as it is given in the Guardian: “Deficit reduction has been much slower than Osborne forecast five years ago. In his first budget, in June 2010, the chancellor predicted that he would need to borrow £37bn in 2014-5” and “that tax receipts would cover day-to-day government spending. The actual figure will be almost three times that“. Both are right, both are staring down the wrong rabbit hole! If we accept the generic statement that the UK faces a £43 billion interest bill every year, which is more than the spending of Defence, are we catching on? Bankers end up with a 43 billion payout, which is certain money, no risk and all very much fuelling a banking bonus. The interest is just a little shy of 50% of the allowance for Education. Getting rid of the debt must remain the highest priority. Apart from most of us regarding the interest bill as an issue, it is nothing compared to what happens if the budget is not properly managed. Yes, it sounds so nice that we see the quote “Vince Cable has warned that George Osborne has no room in next Wednesday’s budget for a substantial pre-election giveaway, but acknowledged that there was some headroom in the public finances for modest tax cuts or an increase in public spending” (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/13/vince-cable-osborne-budget-no-room-pre-election-bonanza), but regard the Guardian image (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/mar/21/budget-2014-tax-spending-visualised#img-1). Here we see that borrowing was still needed, at the amount of £84 billion, which means that the debt is not diminishing. At the same time, the Eurozone decided to go on a one trillion spending spree, which will hit the UK (as part of the EU) sooner rather than later, which is part of the problem too, because these spending sprees are only working for a drive of the people towards Ukip. To be honest, I am not sure if the premise has changed. I remained on the fence considering that leaving the EEC was too dangerous, but as we see irresponsibility and non-accountability (the sad comedy of a threesome involving a Greek, a credit card and a banker) is now fuelling a stronger drive towards Ukip, Whilst political Europe is wording bad management clauses and whilst they have no real solution, we see deeper dive into debt. The UK MUST AT ALL COST prevent this nightmare. It seems all too clear that Germany is now also ready to leave the Eurozone. Perhaps not the politicians in an outspoken way, but the German people seem to have had enough. Of all the crazy rock bands that Europe has, the Greek one, with at the microphone Alexis Tsipras, the drums are played by Panos Kammenos and as ever in style of Greek theatrics, the Bass is played by Yanis Varoufakis. The name of this band is Aite and it remains to be seen how long the band will remain in existence. You see, instead of addressing failures, the players of this band entered the blame game. A game played by many, yet always only illustrating their own lack of commitment.

In that we see a link to the UK, the UK, its MP’s and those in charge with a title of that what is (like Chancellor of the Exchequer), this person cannot relax, because if it was needed to borrow £84 billion, that means that the words of Vince Cable were poorly chosen, because there was never any headroom. Even if there had been no borrowing, the headroom was not there, the debt must go down, the faster it goes down, the better everyone will feel and the more the government can do for the People of the United Kingdom.

It is just that simple and yes, we will all feel the pain for many more years, because previous governments had not taken control of its spending. Now that the invoice is way past due, the bulk of politicians are all about pushing it forward about pushing away that what should have been dealt with by a responsible person (read a person elected into office). The Tories are trying to get that done and they have also faced backlashes and setbacks. No one can deny that, but the debt must be dealt with.

The issue is seen here: “The Lib Dems have been pressing for a further rise in the £10,000 a year personal tax allowance – the sum before which any income tax is paid – in an effort to press home his party’s ownership of the single biggest tax reform of the parliament. The allowance is already projected to rise to £10,600 from April. Every £100 annual increase in the personal allowance costs £500m. The alternative will be to align national insurance with the personal tax allowance, a measure favoured in the past by Cable as doing more to help those on low pay“. In view, I am willing to consider this as an essential option, but if we are to move forward, it should only be allowed in a balanced budget approach. So, helping those on low pay is fine, but only if we change Basic rate to 21% and higher rate to 42%, which means that above the £10,600, the basic income goes up by a maximum of £318 and in addition, high income get an additional maximum of £836. This allows us a balanced budget. If you wonder why not the highest toll? Well, they also get the 1% of the base and the 2% of high anyway, that group is dwindling down and to seek even more to that smaller group seems a little unfair (the non-bankers that is). The second premise here is that this extra collected fee can ONLY be used to balance out the lost revenue from the basic rate group that had their annual income between £10,000 and £13,000 per annum. The rest of the collected tax MUST go towards lowering the debt. If we can believe the 2014 article by the Guardian, this will hit 6000 people, which means that it only raise a few millions, so taxing the rich has always seemed like and always remains a hilarious act of pointlessness. It is the 1% from the basic rate that will truly make a difference. It will drive the debt down faster, it will lower the interest bill which will help lower the debt even more.

It is basic calculus, an abacus can give you the information and politicians at large have just been skimming the sidelines towards the premise of confusion. If you doubt these words (always a fair notion), than ask Vince Cable to clearly explain where he found the headroom to manoeuvre!

The only big issue I have with George Osborne at this point is the voiced idea “We will ease back on austerity while sticking to our deficit-cutting target“. The article states against this “Even after a trim, Osborne’s cuts programme will still look drastic. Labour will argue that he is taking too much of a risk with economic growth and jeopardising essential public services“, in my view, easing austerity remains dangerous, the fact that the interest bill exceeds defence spending should be a massive red flag over everyone’s budget. On a global scale, bankers grow rich whilst sleeping through the bad cycle, how is this ever a good idea? Sticking to deficit cutting remains a goal, but you endanger this premise by ‘easing’. That is not a premise or a guess, it is a mathematical certainty. Whomever is telling you a different story is (as I see it) lying to you. My evidence? The 1 trillion debt, which resulted in total into £43 billion in annual interest bills and still there were £84 billion in additional loans. Total fo5r last year would be £127 billion in money going somewhere else.

The final issue is the crackdown on tax evasion, these politicians all talk and talk, but this could have been settled in the simplest of ways 2 years ago, perhaps even longer. It only requires one simple change to be accepted ALL OVER EUROPE, in all EEC nations. That one line is: “A company is taxable at the point of purchase by the consumer“, the buyer is the point of purchase, he/she buys an item, it does not matter WHERE the sales server is, by forcing locality in taxation we now see a fair dinkum approach; where the consumer spends that nation also sees taxation. I wonder how quick the Americans will now protest. They have played a long game of possum and now as we act, they will suddenly fear a drop in economic revenue as it all shifts in the true directions of where the money had gone. The change is so simple, is it not weird that those European Big Wigs could not, or would not consider such implementation? It will not make friendly faces in Ireland, but at least many will see a fair adjusted sales taxation approach.

Now we get back to the linked items, Germany is at the centre of changes that will impact the UK. I kept an eye on Bernd Lucke in the past as he was trying to drive Germany out of the Euro and the Eurozone. It was laughed of as a non-issue on more than one occasion. Now we see that Hamburg 2015 is a game changer, you might think that +6.1% is nothing, it seems low against the SPD with 45%, but the AFD now has seats where it did not have them before, also as the SPD is no longer a majority party, the game now changes in Germany for many people. The German people have had enough, the events of last month whilst a nation with a mere 2% of the Eurozone GDP is an affront to many people, especially as Greece is not cleaning up its act. This matter will soon shift in stronger ways. Linked to this is the victory Front National booked in 2015. They won the first round in the by-election. Something also quite unheard of, but not by me as I have seen the premise change all over Europe. Now as we see escalations, whilst the damage that uncertainty brings in regards to the UK total debt is seen in the growth of Ukip (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/07/ukip-100-second-places-may-election-nigel-farage). Now we see the title ‘Ukip on track for 100-plus second places across England‘. I believe the Greek issues will drive a walk towards the Nigel Farage party even stronger. And to more than a lesser degree it can be seen a result through the actions of Greece. Bringing up WW2 reparations was (as I see it) the worst they could have done. You see, we all have issues in that regard, but they are counterproductive. As I see it, the Germans still owe my grandfather a Bicycle (Dutch cultural joke), but that device will not do anything for any economy, now even my own and I guarantee you, the bike did not cost anywhere near €162B, even as special a bike as my grandfather had in 1943.

So I am in fear of future, because these escalations are mostly all due to non-accountability. As Greece shows the self-confidence and pride that seems to be self-destructive, we see this element of Aite the Greek band I mentioned earlier, named after the Greek goddess of folly, ruin and delusion, leading to the downfall of all Greeks in the end. Feel free to doubt my words, but only today did we see this in Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/14/eurozone-greece-italy-idUSL6N0WG08S20150314), Italy is now making clear that Grexit will not represent a risk for Italy. The Greeks allowed for a game of chance once too often, now we see: “a Greek exit would be ‘very negative’ but he was confident a solution would be found. EU executives warned on Friday that Greece abandoning the euro could lead to ‘catastrophe’“. One dark cloud does not make for Grexit, but Europe at large seems to have its fill of Greece and not facing consequences of THEIR actions. Does the Greek population realise the dangers and the hardship the Drachma will bring? The rich of Greece will get by, I reckon the rest as all savings are diminished by exchange rates a lot less so.

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Hot air for the Ukraine

That was the first thought I had when I saw the news from several angles, when we consider the responses from Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Viktor Yanukovych and a few others. The Americans were (as expected) all about keeping an eye on what Russia does. My first question could be ‘then what?‘.

This would be a fair question as we have seen what happens when ‘the line gets crossed‘ as President Obama mentioned. Basically nothing happened in the end. There will be rattling of sabres and after that people create some diplomatic summit in a luxury place and in the end nothing really changes. If you doubt that, then ask the Syrians. In the end President Assad needed time and time he got and plenty of it. In that regard consider last week’s NY Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/world/middleeast/un-orders-both-sides-in-syria-to-allow-humanitarian-aid.html), so after several weeks the peace talks ended in failure. Be honest, was there ever a decent chance of a good outcome? This was all about delaying for President Assad, and as such he seems to have won. So, what will happen to the Ukraine?

The Ukraine is not like that, I know, but in the end, does that matter? The US is too weak, it has no reserves left, in addition, there is a growing pile of evidence that big business, not the politicians or the legislative branch are in charge of what happens in America. Feel free to doubt me, but consider the largest employer Wal-Mart. Consider that the owners are multi billionaires and that their staff members need food stamps and financial support just to survive. Did you hear me? This is not about the unemployed, but the workers who still need that level of support and the taxpayer gets those bills, not the employer. This is in my mind a level of clear evidence that the politicians as well as the legislative branch of the US government have failed its citizens. So, they are going to mess with Russia, just as the military has announced massive cuts and downsize plans? Who is kidding who here?

Now on the honourable representative players in this game called John Kerry and Chuck Hagel. I am not attacking them. They are representing their government, but are they speaking their mind and heart? They likely are and they are not happy about any of the issues currently rising, but they are unlikely able to make a true impact at present. You cannot spend money from a budget that is no longer there. Basically, as this administration was idle for over three years to tackle big business, to tackle spending habits and to hunt down tax evaders, the economic trinity at large, the US is pretty much bankrupt, which means they cannot pay for the fuel to make the war engine go forward. It will run out of fuel before it can truly engage a theatre of upcoming war. It is not a good thing, but it is what it is, so at this time it pretty much sucks to be the US Secretary of Defence!

But this is not just about America, many might ‘like’ this US bashing, but that is not what this is. Consider the words of Peter Stano “Peter Stano, Spokesperson for European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Stefan Fule, stated the European Commission (EC)’s ‘door remains open’ for Ukraine. The EC’s policy is very open, transparent and predictable, he said. The EC’s offer is tabled, he continued further. The EC offers highly important EU neighbours the opportunity to come closer to the EU with political association and economic integration, he explained

Consider the NY Times from January 2nd 2014 (at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/business/international/the-euro-adds-latvia-but-further-growth-is-uncertain.html) “Those include achieving a deficit of 3 percent of gross domestic product and keeping debt to 60 percent of the annual gross domestic product.” This is about its newest member Latvia. You can read two parts here; one is to lower the deficit to 3%, which might be a good achievement. Yet at http://www.kase.gov.lv/uploaded_files/2010/SSD/news_release_2014-A-0109_011.pdf we see the mention “R&I believes that real GDP will continue to grow around 4% on the back of a recovery in the European economy.

Really, who is buttering who’s bread and where (more important, who owns the butter to begin with). This is a massive amount of iterated bad news management I am appalled that the PRESS is not more active in finding out the ‘real’ truth here. Consider a 2013 report from the EC (at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2013/pdf/ee3_en.pdf) and consider that the numbers on page 47 is up to 2011. So, the 2012 numbers are not even there for a 2013 report. This is all about marketing, all about as they state “Overall, a broad-based look at underlying factors suggests that sufficiently strong conditions are in place for Latvia to be able to maintain a robust and sustainable convergence path in the medium term“, which makes this 55 page paper a sales pitch.

How is this connected?

That is the question isn’t it! It is not about Latvia, or the Ukraine. This is about the EEC and their approach to ‘some kind of a future‘. This is all good, but these events are about setting economic prosperity for a few EEC bigwigs. As they add members, as deficits are still not met in several nations and debts keep on rising, the taxpayers will soon face a harsh reality and it is a bigger one than they bargained for. On my side, there is also a view. Am I comparing apples to pears?
Yes, to some extent I am. The issue is that the EEC is not a vendor of apples or pears, they are dealing in fruit and we all get thrown into the same trog. Russia seems adamant that the Ukraine does not enter the same trog. It prefers its own trog to the EEC one, which might looks nicer but has the same stale grub in the end.

So when we see the sabre rattling from both sides, make sure that you all realise that this is not about the Ukrainians, their choices their future. It is for the Ukrainians, but the other parties are engaging for one reason, their economies! It is about the economic futures of others. Will this all bring prosperity to the Ukraine and its people? Not until the EEC and America end up with a much better economy, which require these governments (all of them) to get their budgets in order. Until then they are showing themselves as some sort of hedge fund dealers. You might remember how that ended up in 2004 and 2008. Now, it is no longer about de-valuated pieces of paper, now it will all be about people and whoever will be the ‘last’ nation left standing. We need to get out of that rat race and real quickly too!

That part becomes more and more visible when we see the latest from Sky News “Russia is ready to help Ukraine as it seeks to stave off economic collapse, US Secretary of State John Kerry says after talking with his Russian counterpart” (at http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=954470). In addition “Ukraine owes $US13 billion in state debt payments this year – a massive sum in a country where state reserves have shrunk to less than $US18 billion” gives some level of evidence to my views. Another government had been spending money they never had to begin with. When smaller economies fall over, how long until the larger ones take a tumble (especially as they add on new in deficit grown members), because if these issues do not change that will be the clear terminal result, no matter what sales pitch a hedge fund call centre operator calls you with.

In that regard there is an interesting paper at http://www.project-bridge.eu/datoteke/Actions2012/BRIDGE-ANALYSIS%20OF%20THE%20EU-UKRAINE%20RELATIONS.pdf. Denys Kuzmin and Iryna Maksymenko wrote an interesting piece in 2012. Not sure how much I can agree with (as I was never an economic), but it reads like this is all about a possible future for the Ukraine, not about keeping the EEC alive. That side is getting less and less likely, as we see the growing influence from Nigel Farage, Marie Le-Penn, Bernd Lucke and Geert Wilders in their respective governments. Whatever will happen after that will have long term consequences for all the EEC players, even though many ignore these dangers, the dangers will not go away any day soon because that is the consequence of a weak economy, the people choose and currently they are very afraid for their personal futures. So is Ukraine better off with Russia or with the EEC? I actually have no idea, but consider that Russian Commerce is currently buying up commerce all over Europe like for example the Dutch Jeweller ‘Siebel’. The chips are not just changing hands, they are now moving out of local owner’s hands into the hands of foreign corporations. I am not talking about the big boys, they have been in some international hands for a long time, we are now talking about smaller shops where all the moms and pops go.  Consider that these places are no longer held by some oil sheik (like large portions of London), or certain American multi-national groups. Now Russian companies are moving in (through legal methods) and taking control. Who would have guessed this event 10 years ago? Perhaps it is time to ignore these high boasting Wall Street analysts, it is time for actual data, not have baked forecasts to take control of budget goals and government expenditures.

For those wondering about the hot air reference in the title, this is a reference to the windy city of Chicago. The windy city was not about the fresh Canadian air, but about their politicians (filled with hot air). The escalating issue as they are shown in the Ukraine is now in my view all about politicians and spokespeople. For the last 8 years politicians sat on their hands and spokespeople did whatever they could to divert the eyes of politicians, politicians for governments, spokespeople for economic interested parties. If you doubt my words then look at Darfur, Bagdad, Nigeria and Syria, all colossal failures. The politicians failed, grabbing for some ‘sanction solution’ that has never actually worked. Now their credibility of strength is gone. Big Business has been pushing for the lowest and cheapest option for so long; it has made the rich richer, the poor with less, whilst the rich avoid taxation by the billions and after half a decade they are still not dealt with, whilst many taxation coffers are less than empty. Consider the words of Mariana Chilton, an associate professor at Drexel University’s School of Public Health: “If they wanted to address poverty and hunger in this country, then they would pay a living wage, and they would make sure that their workers had good benefits and good family leave for when families have children, etcetera” (at http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/business-solution-war-on-poverty-lyndon-johnson)

These two groups talk to all but they do not really communicate. In the end, when it all falls over they only have themselves to blame and end up blaming everyone except themselves, whilst at the same time they will leave the taxpayer with the cost of it all.

In the end, Russia can do to Ukraine (read Crimea region) whatever it likes, because the west currently has no real actionable options left.

 

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A new third World continent

At the final moments we see the news that in the 11th hour an agreement had been reached. Should we be happy? For now many will be happy, for now the Financial industry is relaxing and happy that their rent is safe, but the stress will return soon as the next ceiling will be reached in another 18 weeks.

So what is wrong with the USA today?

It sounds all fun and games to blame either the Democrats or the Republicans, yet overall, both have some level of guilt. Yes, at present the Democrats are wearing the hoodie of blame and shame, but the Republicans are not without issues either.

Consider that the government has maxed out the USA credit card. They have until now REFUSED in any way to take responsibility for the utter irresponsible spending. No, taxing more will not solve anything. That story is old, stale and redundant. If America would like to be taken seriously ever again it would have to cut no less than $350 billion in 2014. So, NOT more taxation, but LESSEN spending. That means if all was equal that every American will get $1000 less in support, which means that it would not impact the top 3% of the nation, but the others will have to pay. This is not me supporting the rich, this is me placing ALL politicians in a limelight where every spend dollar will be shown in the spotlight.

The Democrat story will be that they have a solution, and if these people pay just a few dollars more than….. It is nothing less than utter Bullshit! (Pardon my French!) With a debt of 17,000 billion dollar, a budget drop of 350 billion would mean that the interest of the outstanding debt could not be paid for.

On the other side, the Republican side will have to stop this ludicrous boast of less taxation. That is not, cannot and will not be a solution (for at least a decade). The debt must go!

But there might be a solution with the UN. When America has  been diminished to a third world nation, then perhaps the UNDP will offer support to the USA. I know, the irony of it all, go figure!

I have remained in favour of the US remaining strong from day 1; however, the Democrats refused to step up to the plate to do what needed to be done. The Republicans had stepped up to the plate, but in hindsight, the result was almost nil and they have not endeared themselves to anyone.

The voiced speeches by the Democrats as they are shown on TV stations all over the world today seem to be in bad taste too. I will make an exception for Democrat Harry Reid from Nevada. He had been in the middle in of what might be called a ‘small hell’. If the Navy Seals are used to be between a rock and a hard place, then this man outclassed them to several degrees these last two weeks, as a Republican minded person I will admit to that. I will go further to say that should Harry Reid go for the oval office, then he stands a chance to convert a decent group of Republicans too. Values like respect and moral coming from Nevada? What a tangled web we see!

For many non-Americans it is not about the pure Democrat versus Republican fight, it has always been about the massive debt and the risk they push upon many other nations. It is even a case that the voice of many non-Americans should be heard. When a nation like America has so many corporations that operate their business outside of the USA and as such put hundreds of thousands of workers on the spot as their futures are linked to the status of the USA, then they must realise that accountability remains an international factor.

On Sky News there is a hilarious movie, shot in old fashioned silent movie style explaining the debt ceiling. It is fun to watch and it tells the story nicely (at http://news.sky.com/story/1155554/shutdown-senators-pass-bill-to-avert-default), I do however disagree with one part of it. At 1:53 Ed Conway states one part I do not agree with. “If America was to default, it is not because it cannot pay its bills. It is because their political system would not allow it“.

That is the part that has been my major issue!

It is what I disagree with. If we consider the T-Bill rate of 2.66 (as it was this morning), to get the 16,700 billion in debt, to pay it back, if it was all in T-bills, then the US had to pay an additional 444 billion dollars in ‘fees’. This seems very very little. However, this was not done in one day; it was over many many years. The problem is that as risk grows, the people will be offered a higher return, because if the debt cannot be paid, those bills will become null and void overnight. In the end, that money must be paid and overall, even though for now it is paid, the outstanding debt as it grows and grows, will mean that the chance of EVER paying it all back will become less and less. Consider that the following amounts are due: 2022: $1276B, 2021: $1228B, 2020: $1652B, 2019: $1885B, 2018: $1017B. So from 2018 onwards, the returns will have to be paid to those T-Bill owners. The amount will be in access of 1 Trillion dollars a year. Can anyone explain to me how that payment can be met 5 years in a row whilst the on average the collected annual taxation in 2013 will be an estimated $1.9 Trillion dollars? This means that from 2018 onwards 53% of all collected taxation will go to people owning T-bills. How unrealistic a goal is this?

This is part of the reality politicians ignore (as they will not be in office when it happens) and the people who gets settled with the bills will not have anything left.

Consider in addition that the Tax evasion bill has not been pushed into effect (which means the rich will continue to have additional tax shelters this year) and the Dodd-Frank Act is STILL not active, giving the financial sector too many non-accountable freedoms (which will make sense late on). If you want to know more about the Dodd-Frank Act, take a look at the next link, it has an interesting cheat sheet on the latter one. (at http://www.mofo.com/files/uploads/images/summarydoddfrankact.pdf). Morrison & Foerster is a global law firm. It might have been for internal use, so send them a thank you note if you download it. It is the easiest read in regards to this topic I have ever seen. They also have Patent and Trademark litigation, so I should send them my resume when I get my MIP after my next semester. Cool!

If you wonder about that reasoning after my strong voiced disgruntlement, then remember that the US is a great country. In my mind it was sold down the drain by politicians and exploiters. If we muzzle the first and neuter the second, the US could be a great nation quite quickly again, which would be good for Europe too. A win-win solution I say!

So why aren’t more people nervous about the entire deficit and debt ceiling? That is the part that does not make sense to me. Rolling over debts is a dangerous habit. The definition is clear enough, the dangers on adverse percentages is even more risky as politicians played 11th hour resolution makers. The second part is one that many more are ignoring. This is all based upon 100% of the due payments rolling over. What happens when another nation has a slightly stronger return? What happens when only 80% is sold? Is that such a hard concept? So at that point, where will the required $200B-$275B come from, additional raise of the debt ceiling? I have no actual facts to work from, so I do not know what the level of risk is, but consider that between 2018-2022 no less than $1T in investments are needed, and that the larger wallet friends (like the UK, FR, DE, IT and AUS) many of them at the maximum tapped out amount. How long until THEY (read governments) start the ‘swap’ game? Is that not how we lost most of what we had because we could not control the banks, now we let them advice on the same game, but now with full government budgets? So, we will not be looking at just a few trillion, when that game goes bust (and such a game always goes bust), the population will be stuck with a bill between $70T and $90T. How will we survive that?

Let us not forget that all those actions are taken in closed rooms with only a few insiders fully in the loop. If the next election causes reasoning for full disclosure on such events and only a referendum will allow for this, then the game will not just change fast, it will leave the USA on the outside looking in. A fact is that this risk grows almost exponentially each year the deficit is not dealt with. If Germany has been under pressure for the EU issues from Bernd Lucke and the UK from Nigel Farage from UKIP then we should expect additional players who will be fueling these fears. The upcoming price fight might not yet be the main event, but the debt ceiling issue that comes after the one on February 9th will be a main event and it will likely involve more players then just the US, several of them are unlikely to be one of the 18 Bernanke disciples.

So here we are, and only hours after Jill Treanor wrote her article ‘Financial Conduct Authority launches currency markets investigation‘ on the Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/16/financial-conduct-authority-currency-markets-investigation-benchmarks.

This is a must to read!

Guardian’s Youthful Young City Editor, all complete with her own copy of SAS Miner plugged into her brain started today with “Suspicions that the vast global currency markets may have been rigged by major banks and traders has sparked the City regulator to launch a formal investigation into the £3tn a day market.

This goes way further than just the LIBOR scandal. Earlier this year I had some doubts on all of this. My doubts were not on the interest part; my thoughts were that the main amount involved, which the percentages were based upon had also been tampered with in some way as well. I still expect my $1T bonus when that gets to be proven!

So what if the benchmark is not JUST the foundation, but part of more. You see, if we consider that governments have been involved in T-Bill Swaps, then the tradeable amount involved is not correct. More precisely, if the volume of T-Bill swaps is to the amount deficits go, then in which direction are the percentages rigged? It might accidentally involve the ‘accidental’ mentioned group of larger wallet friends. Now consider that Germany at present is the only one with an economy more on the stable and positive side then all the other players. So, would there be additional benefits for them in the long run? I actually do not know this (self-confessed lack of economic education), but the fact is that these issues go far beyond the banks themselves. Perhaps that is why the Dodd-Frank Act was never activated? It is just a thought.

So my advice for today, instead of long term investing your $5, this morning, have a pastry with your coffee, because at times there is nothing better than short term gratification and pastries will usually do the trick.

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The Euro coup is coming!

Good morning, so I got your attention? Excellent!

The first question, is what kind of coup of course? What is forming at present is an international alliance of parties. The parties at current seem to be the British UKIP under leadership of Nigel Farage. From France it is Marine Le Pen from Front National, Geert Wilder from the Dutch PVV and there is every indication that Bernd Lucke from Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, meaning Alternative for Germany).

Initially this situation was a non-option, yet the change with Front National where Marine Le Pen is a lot less extreme then her father Jean-Marie Le Pen makes this now a negotiating political force where the extreme is negated for a slight diversion towards the middle ground. There is also a change in messages. Where the French FN was initial strongly anti-Semitic, their new message is all about pro-France. It seems that the daughter Marine learned that lesson of gaining through honey instead of vinegar (you know the expression). Does this make them less anti-Semitic? That is indeed one of the questions. This alliance is all about parties getting stronger in forming and speaking their local language and population. As UKIP has a strong desire of a referendum to move the UK out of the Euro zone, the German AfD is all about moving Germany out of the Euro-coin. There are similarities, yet they are not in some given unison.

That makes this alliance somewhat unique. This is all about a team promoting their personal needs, not a common need. It is a slightly rare occasion. Yet, we could see a disjointed form of agreement. They all seem to promote their forms of economic protectionism. That part is interesting, as that could be a multinational move to get these banking issues under control. It is one option for the banks to give some Euro BS story to stay non-accountable, yet it is another problem when political parties start making these venues an open target where the bank is a free for all. I reckon that financial institutions did not reckon on these complications. If we accept that FN, UKIP and AfD are all three strong in that regard, then whatever happens in the bad bank moves would have to happen before those election become fact, because the changes might make the bad bank a non-event and leaving the debts where they should be, with the banks who caused this and not with the tax payers (and that would make you and me very happy).

I left PVV out of this because they are a slightly stronger wildcard in this equation. Like UKIP they are strong voiced about moving out of the EU. That approach is not unrealistic, yet the Dutch economy is strongly dependant on the German economy as whatever is created in Germany gets shipped via Rotterdam. The German Steel regions have a powerful grip on things, and that works as they have an efficient economy track via the Netherlands. UKIP has its reservations in regards to the Dutch PVV, because of the strong anti-Islamic views the PVV holds. Nigel Farage has mentioned that he could not accept the view on forbidding the Quran. One can agree on many levels, especially as this is a form of censorship and discrimination that is not legal in both the UK and the Netherlands (the law can be so easy at times). The AfD is another matter; they are mainly Euro-critical. The danger is not unlike UKIP. They were ignored and now they are about to become the ruling party. A fact that remains unknown until September 2013. What is interesting, that at present the party is not even listed as a possible contender against the party of Merkel or her opponents. This is wrong on a few levels. The fact that all these economic heavyweights are striking out against the AfD on how dangerous this move is, is one thing. the fact that these ‘experts’ like Marcel Fratzscher who was formerly the head of International Policy Analysis at the European Central Bank or Jörg Rocholl who as a professor holds the Ernst & Young Chair in Governance and Compliance are currently speaking out against their academic peer Bernd Lucke is quite another. Yes, sounds like the banks stay right away from this one. They all seem to forget that the people vote, and these people see their money go to all these places of ‘feigned incompetence’. I am all for helping my neighbour, yet I see less issues with saving him as he starts a BBQ in his living room to stay away from the rain and then panics as his house is on fire because the children kept on knocking things over in the living room. Such a parent should go to prison, plain and simple. So when I state that the AfD could become a massive player, I am not kidding. That means that Germany could face its own referendum in 2014 to move out of the Euro. Because these governments, as I mentioned in previous blogs have been so busy with ‘managing’ bad news, they forgot all about the people receiving these adjusted levels of bad news.

Next there is the French FN (Front National). Under Jean-Marie the FN was largely ignored, they were too extreme, so not many votes would consider this party under past leadership as a serious political player. His daughter is much less extreme and Marine Le Pen seems to be more about bringing the pro-France message then any anti-whatever message. This makes her the new player to note. As she advocates a “grouped departure” from both the Euro and the Euro zone, in addition to her less extreme views make her an interesting bedfellow for Farage and Lucke. It can be debated that FN could have had a much larger slice of French politics if Marine had been in charge earlier, yet, only now, as the economy will have longer shortfalls and more issues would any future election give her additional votes.

Considering UKIP and their likely new shaped alliance! How should we see them? Are they the disruptive element in the European order, or are they the patriots fighting to keep their nations safe? If we see the Banks as the current breakers of national economies then they are doing the opposite of what needs to be achieved in the views of the banks. In all fairness of it all is that the EU is more and more a failure. Those propagating its success have not been able to correct the budget shortfalls of hundreds of billions a year. New nations are offered a place, a handshake and a new credit rating (see Latvia), then even whilst its population has a vast majority against, the Euro gets pushed in. Now even more nations are added, and several of them in not such a good economic stable position, and they all get the new Euro Platinum Credit card. In that light their views are adopted by their own voter community faster and faster, meaning that this new ‘alliance’ will ensure massive changes.

Whether these parties will bring a better future for the nations they fight for? I do not know, what I do know is that dumping billion after billion into something to get the economy ‘started’ has not worked for years, and other ideas are needed. Perhaps I could be voted in as the new Executive officer for the Royal Bank of Scotland? I cannot prove I would do any better, but I can guarantee that I would not be any worse. In that light, that 20 billion they just found? How does a bank just find 20 billion? What else did their systems not notice? http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jul/03/royal-bank-of-scotland-business-lending-review If you wonder how these two are related (politics/RBS) then consider that these parties are growing as the European economy stays in this bad shape. The stronger the UK economy gets, the stronger interest of all nations to relocate legally or in other ways to the UK, so as the UK now suddenly has 20 billion extra, that interest will just spike. I am still wondering how 20 billion remained unnoticed. If several nations have been playing a game of ‘bad news management’, then what will be the effect of such good news? If you do wonder what 20 billion is, then consider that this ‘found’ money covers twice the amount all tertiary education needs and didn’t they have to up the prices there?

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The freedom to misdirect?

We see all kinds of information and misdirection, almost at any given day. If one good thing is mentioned, another bad thing is swallowed into silence. So when I saw the message on Sky News that “Latvia to join EU”, I had a look.

So Latvia is now to become the 18th Euro state. That part is however you take it. The average Brit will see this as a fearful motion for another few hundred thousand to seek out the London Limelight on a permanent basis. Others might have their own thoughts and reservations. Not all of them will be negative, as Latvia has a decent record in the shipping industry.

Three parts got my eye, and they are at least worrying, infuriating might be a slightly better word. The first quote was from the European Commission that ‘Latvia is ready to adopt the Euro in 2014‘. An interesting quote, especially as well over 60% of Latvia is fiercely against the Euro. Let us be fair, why adopt a sinking ship. Would you buy the Titanic if you found it parked against an iceberg? At worst it is a 3800 meter walk back to the boat (straight down).

It is the quote from the Latvian Prime Minister that is the second quote of concern: “Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis welcomed the news, saying in Riga that ‘joining the Euro will benefit Latvia’s economy by removing currency conversion costs and raising Latvia’s credit rating’.

Really? You want to adapt even more credit option whilst you are already in a position to drown in current debts? How clueless does that seem? It will take five years to get past the weakness gained by Cyprus, and at least 15 years to get a grip on the financial vise that Greece is giving the rest of the EU. Is this a ploy to remove the option for the UK to remove itself from the EU? If that is so, then the current administration is not just heading towards failure at the next election, at that point we look at a total overwhelming victory by UKIP next election. I have nothing against UKIP, but I do not think that to be a particularly good idea. Mostly, as a large part of UKIP would be seated at senior position whilst having little more than junior levels of experience. (I just call them how I personally see them). They would be elected in charge, whilst becoming a real danger to create an unresolvable mess for two administrations to come (again a personal view of mine). I will here and now state quite clearly that this is an assumption on MY side. I will also happily add information proving me wrong when and if the time comes.

Back to Latvia!

The second quote is nothing compared to the third one. “We think Euro membership will increase investment activity. We need only to look at the Estonian example where investment in the non-financial sector doubled.” (Source: http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=877664 ).

This I see as a massive misdirection. The only reason that this looks this way is because Skype was an Estonian invention (a brilliant one). It comes from the people who initially came up with Kazaa. So yes, even though their mention might be correct, the fact that one product is the major reason behind the non-financial investment is thrown into the deep left field of unmentioned factors. Of course Tallinn is also famous for the Beer ferries to Stockholm. It is indeed a pretty city to see, uncannily picturesque and of course it has some visibility for the hourly lady rental services (some are extremely good looking and it is perfectly legal in Estonia). So which of these options give that reason for investments? Also interesting is that this newscast from Sky News did not come with the identity of a writer. You see, here is where we take a look at a few things. Especially when we consider the mention by Leveson and in regards to Ethics. I think that this article is missing a lot of facts and some are too far out of context. However, this is again my personal view on the matter at hand.

Danger 1.
The EU economy is as fragile as it gets. I will not debate here whether it is a good idea to add Latvia to the list. It is important to consider the Latvian addition to the Euro. Especially, when we read statements from their PM is strong at mentioning of the option of upping their credit rating. That part will hit back to the Euro sooner rather than later and as such the other Euro nations as well. It only makes a stronger case for the UK to get out of the EU (I am not convinced it is the right option at present), and get out fast. Even if they do not, additional reasoning for better and more complete regulations is required for all kinds of banks and financial institutions. That would be needed BEFORE nations get added to the Euro as it allows for a gap for re-managing all kinds of financial packages, that would require those government to need additional IMF support. We all know where that leads the rest.

Danger 2.
Looking at Estonia? Why, because these nations are neighbours? Tallinn has a direct ferry connection with Helsinki and a ferry connection with Stockholm (amongst others). Non-financial investments are nice, but how many and who? Skype (invented in Estonia) got a strong influx by Microsoft and twice the amount of what? Another nation getting a few taxable Billions for Skype does not put Latvia in the clear (also much of that amount went to a small group of private developers) as Microsoft bought it. There is every chance that Skype will be phased out of Estonia, then what? This does not reflect badly on Estonia as it has several economic options. Latvia does not have those in equal measure. It has options, but which ones exactly? It seems that the initial article does not bear that out clearly at all.

Another quote to mention is “Latvia is a small, open economy” the Latvian Prime Minister said. Anyone remember Iceland 2004? Similar words were spoken then. That did not pan out to well for that island, as well as many of their inhabitants (and a massive amount of places after that). This is exactly why those banking reforms I pleaded for in many situations are needed and needed fast. There is NO indications that this is about to happen here, but it is proven that greed is eternal; people in power have been willing to sell away what they can and remain unaccountable after that. It is clear that the open market industry cannot be trusted the way it is. It is even proven that too many in charge are passing the buck and letting those who are innocent pay for the hardships created by the greedy (Greece and Cyprus are clear evidence of that).

These elements give additional strengths to the UKIP mission to get out of the EU, which also gives inevitable strength to the German group under Bernd Lucke, who will get the power for the last push out of the Euro. With these two elements the UK and Germany, the EU will have more than two little problems floating their way. Should this come to pass then the German chancellor Merkel will end up getting a new job and as things go, there might be a reasonable ‘danger’ for an Early UK election. At that point it will be the EU segregation of coin or nation through possible future Chancellor Lucke of Germany and Prime Minister Farage of UK that will change the EU and possibly even sink it completely. The simple reasoning is that the Euro cannot survive without both. It might survive the departure of one, but no way will it survive both leaving their support to the coin.

So, is this just speaking doom?

I will always agree that these are thoughts (non-positive ones) from me and my way of thinking. Experts will speak out on how wrong I am. Those experts also predicted that the economy was already on the rise in 2013. This has been proven wrong in most EU nations. Where their predictions were right, they were between ½% and 1½% too optimistic. For the EU it is not just about the economy, it is about getting a handle on the current massive debts. Debts so massive that it is likely to take in some cases up to three generations to get back on the horse. To add nations to a coin is one thing, but when we read about raised credit ratings it comes down to pushing many further down a debt driven society. That in a society where on average in the EU nation’s 1 out of 8 do not have a job, in some cases it is 1 out of 4. That is no place to be in a debt driven society. That is not a social structure, that is in my humble opinion seen as the population gnawing on the remaining scraps called ‘their nation’ before those nations become some industrialised economic ownership, where you either work at THEIR leisure, or you perish.

It would be fair of you the reader to dismiss this thought. Before you do, consider that Greece had been holding a fire sale of what is still in their name (for now). This act is to reduce a debt of millions, out of a total debt which surpasses several hundreds of billion. No more than a drop of water on a hot plate. That happened last year (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/19/debt-ridden-greece-firesale)

So what happens when a nation has nothing left? Is my reasoning that outlandish? Those sales might get them somewhere near 2 billion, whilst 15 billion is due in 2015. Even if ALL savings from the entire Greek population is nationalised (confiscated). It might just be enough to get the 15 billion. So what to do about the other 300 billion not paid? I am not going after Greece; this is not about the Greek debt. This is about OTHER new members not adding to this, and for that certain precautions are needed. Certain regulations for banks and financial institutions need to be in place. Even if the IMF now admits that the damage through Austerity was ‘miscalculated’. (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jun/05/imf-underestimated-damage-austerity-would-do-to-greece) In all honesty, I saw that one coming a mile away. It has been known at least since the early 1600’s that a plucked chicken has little feathers left. (And boy did that chook get itself plucked!)

As messages of rephrasing ‘the message‘, it has been clear that there is a real danger that the Euro is way too close to a non-successful triple bypass.

If a new member dumps their domino on the EU and Greece falls, which will topple Cyprus and then the effect will topple France, Italy, which in turn will topple the Dutch and remaining domino stones (read weak economic countries). What will be left? I will keep one eye on the Guardian the next few weeks as people like Larry Elliott and Phillip Inman, who are excellent financial correspondents, add their views to the internet.

If there is any chance of surviving, then it is only possible if credit limits are frozen and debts are lowered. So far no one is on top of that approach and the EU will change as team Lucke/Ferage might remove the little options the EU had left. Are they wrong? I am not sure, but I do not blame these two for getting their nations out of a collision whilst the others keep on failing to successfully manage their budgets.

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The Euro in intensive care?

It is always nice to see that the NOS news will not stop to give me the inspiration I need on a gruelling Monday morning. We have all heard on the image of the Euro, the need for bail outs left, right and centre and the impression that the events do not seem to worry too many people. Yet, perhaps this look on the matter at hand from the financial industry and their ‘beneficiaries’ are overly too not worried. What most seemed to have forgotten is that any government (especially in Western Europe) is dependent on voters and the way they think, or more precisely the way they fear!

With a possible new political party, leaning slightly to the right (or better stated slightly conservative) a new option will have arrived with one specific agenda. The intention to move Germany away from the Euro currency. In itself it is perhaps not the immediate worry. Consider that Western Europe was on a route to real or feigned restoration, which does require Germany to weather the storm as it was (I am not ignoring the work France did on this either). It was the immense amount of self-austerity that Germany performed on itself that made them the strongest economy at present.

The issue is the new party! Even if this new party gets a firm foothold, it does not mean that Chancellor Merkel is in danger as yet. The predictions are that this new party stands to get up to 24% of the votes (presently at maximum). So the Chancellor is still in a comfortable pace for now. There is however the issue that not much more is allowed to go wrong at present as this could change the game as is with Chancellor Merkel to become the loser in the next election.

Why is this so important?
Anyone who tries to trivialise this is clearly of their rocker (and out of their mind too). This event, should it take place is huge and the impact it will have is pretty much beyond what anyone can imagine.

Consider two scenarios.

In the first scenario we look at the one that had been an issue a few times in the past. This was the situation where those countries unable to pull their weight would be cast out of the Euro. Merkel united with the others to prevent this in the past. Greece was number one on that list, but at present Spain might actually end up getting added to that list, so there is a lot at stake and the new party might change all that.

The second one is the one that is most concerning to all non-Germans. If the new party gets the strong voice, and this chance is not that far-fetched at present, then there is a chance that they will move to remove Germany from the Euro and moves straight back into the Deutschmark.

There will be many voices on how this will never happen, and then carefully phrased denials on how the Euro is in serious danger. Make no mistake; they will be leading you on. The bulk of all Euro countries are in deficit. Most have NO concrete plan on recovery (they all claim it will happen, yet the events are against them). They all claim that they have which they obfuscate by overenthusiastic information on economic recovery NEXT year. Too many parties are in assumption mode and too few in a state of pragmatist optimism. I do not pretend to be the expert. I am not some PhD with the knowledge of economic events. I am a data miner. I have looked at data in many forms for most of my life. From this point I looked at data and no matter how complex some parties make it all out to be, some simple rules always apply.

First event to take into consideration is that America seems to be printing more and more money on a daily basis. Printed money, which does not seem to be set against anything tangible especially, taking into account a massive 17 trillion dollar debt. Funny enough Germany did something similar in the 1920’s. I remember it because I used to have one of those fünfhundert tausend Deutsch Mark bills (DM 500,000) which is now valued at less than $5. So is this where America is headed? No! I doubt that it will get THAT bad, yet a bankrupt America would be the definite death nail in the coffin now known as ‘the Euro’.

A second fact in this equation is the economical drop in several nations. The Netherlands, Italy, France are all in a not so good financial position. A nice little footnote to this is that the Dutch TV (NOS) reported that the Netherlands would see a more then 2% increase in their economy for 2014 on March 3rd 2013. Yet on the Dutch government site   (http://www.cpb.nl/persbericht/3213019/zwakke-groei-economie-door-achterblijven-consumptie) on 13th of March (10 days after my blog doubted that in my article ‘march Hare of Government’) it now states the increase to be only 1%. I still think it is slightly too high, but whatever, I had made my point. France is also toning down their near future predicaments for their economy. For now only Germany seems to have some reasonable strength (in the short foreseeable term). This is relative as it cannot pull the weight of Italy, France and the Netherlands. Should Germany pull out then the Euro will have a definite problem on several levels.

Before you consider calling Germany names consider that the Euro can only survive if ALL pull their weight. Most of the nation’s overspending the way have been doing for some time is not that. As stated in earlier blogs. When you overspend for well over a decade, at some point the invoice is due and too many are ignoring that little fact. So don’t blame Germany, blame your respective governments. If you have any doubts on that, look at how Cyprus needed 10 billion, an island with barely a million people living there. That is only one island. Several nations are in much higher debts. Granted is that they are not reliant on 80% of their GDP coming from the banks and financial industries.

So the Euro and the issues they might be getting.

It would be very incorrect to say that it is all about the value of the German Mark, yet this is not that incorrect. If you have a soccer team and you lose your star player, will that team survive? Yes, it usually does! However, in most cases that team will not end up as high because of the loss of their star player. When that team is pulled by 1-2 players a lesser result is usually the case. The issue becomes will that team continue on the same level (division) as the other teams. My thought is that this is not the case. That new German party does have a valid point. The other nations could survive if those weaker players are no longer there. What will happen in the immediate response is one from the markets and it will not be a positive one.

We are now left with two thoughts.

1. Should this direction be avoided?
I do not have a direct answer. Let us face it. The chance of Greece or Cyprus EVER paying back their debts is pretty much out of the question. There are off course the additional nations Spain and Ireland. What about them? So far they are coping, but consider that the economy will remain weak until at least the end of 2014. There is no true answer of what to do in that case. Throw out more and more nations? Will the Euro become a factor analyses under the leave-one-out approach? This seems a cold and very logical approach to deal with this matter. Have we loathed ourselves to such an affect that nations are now under the scrutiny of a spread sheet approach?

2. If we embrace this path what is the use of the Euro?
I personally still see the Euro as the means for America to do away with all these different currencies and have a nice go at corporate Europe by moving in with all their options and less as a solution to unite Europe. This is a personal feeling in this matter and the evidence seen in the last three years are clear that European unity is a nice theory and that is all it remained. A theory! If there was true unity then budgets would be kept in check on a European scale. Yet the Euro nations seem to remain a place of PowerPoint global and expedite ‘the local needs’ as it ever was. No matter what we read in the papers and propagated by all kinds of interested parties. The issues in play are kept in a vicious circle.

I wonder whether this is what the banks envisioned from the very beginning, a debt driven society that leaves them out of the equation to do whatever they wanted. This is how we get back to this new German party. Their most prominent speaker was Bernd Lucke, a professor of Macroeconomics from the University of Hamburg. Is he wrong? He definitely knows more about economy than I ever will, but so are the experts who are on the other side of that equation. So where should we stand? It was Bernd Lucke who mentioned in a German magazine ‘Spiegel’ (German for Mirror) in 2011 that all these collapses would end up in the German lap for an amount of 180 billion Euro. That is almost 2200 Euro for each German citizen. And it seems that so far his vision is slowly becoming reality. If someone has to pay 2200 for damages they never made, or issues they never ordered. Would you not get upset with that?

Governments do not seem to accept accountability, Banks and financial institutions are given free reigns to do for the most, whatever they like and the population end up having to pay for it all. How long until we have had enough? This is where the German population is at now. So when people start talking in a trivialising way consider your personal financial situation. Consider paying 2200 Euro for something that is not your fault, not your order and add to this that there is no guarantee that it will not happen again next year. Now consider that the amount is on average 15% of a Germans pre taxation annual income. With German economy losing strength not unlike other European countries, ask yourself how many Germans will consider an alternative to the vision of Merkel?

My views?

Europe should stick together, but there is a clear valid worry that leaving the bill to be paid by a few without clear regulations on what some are allowed to do is just not realistic. It is the present German fear and it is shared by too many people in Germany.

 

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