Tag Archives: Intesa Sanpaolo

It’s a kind of Euro

In Italy things are off the walls, now we see ‘New elections loom in Italy‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/27/italys-pm-designate-giuseppe-conte-fails-to-form-populist-government), where it again is about currency, this time it is Italy that as an issue with ‘country’s Eurozone future‘. In this the escalation is “the shock resignation of the country’s populist prime minister-in waiting, Giuseppe Conte, after Italy’s president refused to accept Conte’s controversial choice for finance minister“, there is a setting that is given, I have written about the folly of the EU, or better stated, the folly it became. I have been in favour of Brexit for a few reasons, yet here, in Italy the setting is not the same. “Sergio Mattarella, the Italian president who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake”“, now beside the fact that an 81 year old has no business getting elected into office for a number of reasons, the issue of anti-Euro Paolo Savona have been known for a long time. So as pro-EU Sergio Mattarella decides to refuse anyone who is anti-EU in office, we need to think critical. Is he allowed to do that? There is of course a situation where that could backfire, yet we all need to realise that Sergio Mattarella is an expert on parliamentary procedure, highly educated and highly intelligent with decades of government experience, so if he sets his mind to it, it will not happen. Basically he can delay anti-EU waves for 8 months until after the next presidential elections. If he is not re-elected, the game changes. The EU has 8 months to satisfy the hearts and minds of the Italian people, because at present those options do not look great. The fact that the populist choices are all steering towards non-EU settings is a nightmare for Brussels. They were able to calm the storm in France, but Italy was at the tail end of all the elections, we always knew that, I even pointed it out 2 years ago that this was an option. I did mention that it was an unlikely one; the escalating part is not merely the fact that this populist setting is anti-EU; it is actually much stronger anti Germany, which is a bigger issue. Whether there is an EU or not, the European nations need to find a way to work together. Having the 2 larger players in a group of 4 large players is not really a setting that works for Europe. Even if most people tend to set Italy in a stage of Pizza, Pasta and Piffle, Italy has shown to be a global player and a large one. It has its social issues and the bank and loan debts of Italy don’t help any, but Italy has had its moments throughout the ages and I feel certain that Italy is not done yet, so in that respect finding common ground with Italy is the better play to make.

In all this President Sergio Mattarella is not nearly done, we now know that Carlo Cottarelli is asked to set the stage to become the next Prime Minister for Italy. The Italian elections will not allow for an anti-EU government to proceed to leave the Euro, Sergio’s response was that: “he had rejected the candidate, 81-year-old Eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona, because he had threatened to pull Italy from the single currency “The uncertainty over our position has alarmed investors and savers both in Italy and abroad,” he said, adding: “Membership of the euro is a fundamental choice. If we want to discuss it, then we should do so in a serious fashion.”” (at http://news.trust.org//item/20180527234047-96z65/), so here we all are, the next one that wants to leave the Euro and now there is suddenly an upheaval, just like in France. Here the setting is different, because the Italian President is Pro-EU and he is doing what is legally allowed. We can go in many directions, but this was always going to be an unsettling situation. I knew that for 2 years, although at that stage Italy leaving the EU was really small at that stage. Europe has not been able to prosper its economy, it merely pumped 3 trillion euro into a situation that was never going to work and now that 750 million Europeans realise that they all need to pay 4,000 Euro just to stay where they are right now, that is angering more and more Europeans. the French were warned ahead, yet they decided to have faith in an investment banker above a member of Front Nationale, Italy was not waiting and is now in a stage of something close to civil unrest, which will not help anyone either. Yet the economic setting for Italy could take a much deeper dive and not in a good way. The bigger issue is not just that Carlo Cottarelli is a former International Monetary Fund director. It is that there are more and more issues shown that the dangers are rising, not stabilising or subsiding and that is where someone optionally told President Sergio Mattarella to stop this at all costs. Part of this was seen in April (at https://www.agoravox.fr/actualites/economie/article/a-quand-l-eclatement-de-la-203577). Now the article is in French, so there is that, but it comes down to: “Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund (investment fund – manages $ 160 billion of assets) of the world has put $ 22 billion against the euro area  : the positions down (“sellers”) of the fund prove it bet against many European (Airbus), German (Siemens, Deutsche Bank) French (Total, BNP Paribas) and Italian (Intesa Sanpaolo, Enel and Eni) companies, among others. The company is not known to tackle particular companies, but rather to bet on the health of the economy in general“. So there is a partial setting where the EU is now facing its own version that we saw in the cinema in 2015 with The Big Short. Now after we read the Intro, we need to see the real deal. It is seen with “Since 2011, € 4 billion has been injected into the euro zone (that is to say into commercial banks) by the European Central Bank (ECB), which represents more than a third of the region’s GDP. The majority of this currency is mainly in Germany and Luxembourg, which, you will agree, are not the most difficult of the area. More seriously, much of this liquidity has not financed the real economy through credit to individuals and businesses. Instead, the commercial banks have saved € 2,000bn of this fresh money on their account at the ECB until the end of 2017 (against € 300bn at the beginning of 2011) to “respect their liquidity ratio” (to have enough deposit in liquid currency crisis).As in the United States, quantitative easing allowed the central bank to bail out private banks by buying back their debts. In other words, the debts of the private sector are paid by the taxpayer without any return on investment. At the same time, François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, called for less regulation and more bank mergers and acquisitions in the EU, using the US banking sector as a model.” Here we see in the article by Géopolitique Profonde that the setting of a dangerous situation is escalating, because we aren’t in it for a mere 4 billion, the Eurozone is in it for €3,000 billion. An amount that surpasses the economic value of several Euro block nations, which is almost impossible to keep with the UK moving away, if Italy does the same thing, the party ends right quick with no options and no way to keep the Euro stable or at its levels, it becomes a currency at a value that is merely half the value of the Yen, wiping out retirement funds, loan balances and credit scores overnight. The final part is seen with “The ECB also warns that the Eurozone risks squarely bursting into the next crisis if it is not strengthened. In other words, Member States have to reform their economies by then, create budget margins and integrate markets and services at the zone level to better absorb potential losses without using taxpayers. A fiscal instrument such as a euro zone budget controlled by a European finance minister, as defended by President Emmanuel Macron, would also help cope with a major economic shock that seems inevitable. Suffice to say that this is problematic given the lack of consensus on the subject and in particular a German reluctance. The European Central Bank has issued the idea late 2017, long planned by serious economists, to abolish the limit of € 100,000 guaranteed in case of rescue operation or bankruptcy bank (Facts & Document No. 443, 15/11 / 17-15 / 12/17 p.8 and 9)” (the original article has a lot more, so please read it!

It now also shows (read: implies) a second part not seen before, with ‘The European Central Bank has issued the idea late 2017, long planned by serious economists, to abolish the limit of € 100,000 guaranteed in case of rescue operation or bankruptcy bank‘, it implies that Emmanuel Macron must have been prepped on a much higher level and he did not merely come at the 11th hour, ‘the idea issued late 2017’ means that it was already in motion for consideration no later than 2016, so when Marine Le Pen was gaining and ended up as a finalist, the ECB must have really panicked, it implies that Emmanuel Macron was a contingency plan in case the entire mess went tits up and it basically did. Now they need to do it again under the eyes of scrutiny from anti-EU groups whilst Italy is in a mess that could double down on the dangers and risks that the EU is facing. That part is also a consideration when we see the quote by Hans-Werner Sinn who is currently the President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, gives us “I do not know if the euro will last in the long run, but its operating system is doomed“, yet that must give the EU people in Brussels the strength they need to actually fix their system (no, they won’t). The question becomes how far will the ECB go to keep the Eurozone ‘enabled’ whilst taking away the options from national political parties? that is the question that matters, because that is at play, even as Germany is now opposing reforms, mainly because Germany ended up in a good place after they enforced austerity when it would work and that worked, the Germans have Angela Merkel to thank for that, yet the other nations (like 24 of them), ignored all the signs and decided to listen to economic forecast people pretending to be native American Shamans, telling them that they can make it rain on command, a concept that did not really quite pan out did it? Now the reforms are pushed because there were stupid people ignoring the signs and not acting preventively when they could, now the Eurozone is willing to cater to two dozen demented economists, whilst pissing off the one economy that tighten the belt many years ago to avoid what is happening right now. You see, when the reform goes through Berlin gets confronted with a risk-sharing plan and ends up shouldering the largest proportion of such a machine, that mechanism will avoid the embarrassment of those two dozen Dumbo’s (aka: numnuts, or more academically stated ‘someone who regularly botches a job, event, or situation’), whilst those people are reselling their idea as ‘I have a way where you need not pay any taxes at all‘ to large corporations getting an annual 7 figure income for another 3-7 years. How is that acceptable or fair?

So we are about to see a different Euro, one losing value due to QE, due to Italian unrest and against banks that have pushed their margins in the way US banks have them, meaning that the next 2 years we will most likely see off the wall bonus levels for bankers surpassing those from Wall Street likely for the first time in history, at the end of that rainbow, those having money in Europe might not have that much left. I admit that this is pure speculation from my part, yet when you see the elements and the settings of the banks, how wrong do you think I will be in 2019-2020?

So when we go back to the Guardian article at the beginning and we take a look at two quotes, the first “As the European commission unveiled its economic advice to member states last week, the body’s finance commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, said he was hoping for “cooperation on the basis of dialogue, respect and mutual trust”“. I go with ‘What trust?‘ and in addition with ‘cooperation on the basis of dialogue merely implies that Pierre Moscovici is more likely not to answer question and bullshit his way around the issue‘ and as former French Minister of Economy he could do it, he saw Mark Zuckerberg get through a European meeting never answering any questions and he reckons he is at least as intelligent as Mark Zuckerberg. when we see “Cecilia Malmstöm, said “there are some things there that are worrying” about Italy’s incoming government“, she sees right, the current Italy is actually a lot less Euro minded than the setting was in 2016-2017, so there is a setting of decreased trust that was never properly dealt with, the EU commissions left that untended for too long and now they have an even larger issue to face. So that bright Svenska Flicka is seeing the issues rise on a nearly hourly basis and even as we see the play go nice for now, they will change. I think that in this Matteo Salvini played the game wrong, instead of altering an alternative for Paolo Savona and replace him after Sergio Mattarella is not re-elected, the game could have continued, now they are busting head to head where Matteo is nowhere near as experienced as Sergio is, so that is a fight he is unlikely to win, unless he drops Italy on a stage of civil unrest, which is not a good setting for either player.

We cannot tell what will happen next, but for the near future (June-September), it is unlikely to be a pretty setting, we will need to take another look at the Italian economic setting when the dust settles.

 

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Feeding hungry wolves

You might think that this is another attempt to quell the hunger of paparazzi, which is always a dilemma we people face (famous people more often). They want their pound of flesh and they will have it. So when I stumbles upon ‘Greece crisis: Yanis Varoufakis admits ‘contingency plan’ for euro exit‘ this morning, I knew that a roasting would be in order. The article (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/27/greece-crisis-yanis-varoufakis-admits-contingency-plan-for-euro-exit). So when I read “The plan was denounced by Greek opposition parties, which in recent weeks have called for Varoufakis to be put on trial for treason” I knew I was onto something, in addition there is “the scheme was “reminiscent of a bad thriller.” The main opposition New Democracy party demanded that the government “come up with convincing answers for the Greek people … so that light can be shed on this dark narrative.”“. Now you know me, I consider Yanis Varoufakis to be a bit of a rock star (not a good one) and he played the limelight wrong, but in this case I am on HIS side.

How stupid can the Greeks get?

It was the job of Yanis Varoufakis to protect the financial future of Greece, because of the mistakes by the Greeks themselves, they are in a boatload of hurt and they will be in that position for three generations, that is, as long as they keep austerity. This is not something that was started by Yanis Varoufakis or Alexis Tsipras for that matter, they mismanaged an inherited bad situation. So in light of those accusing him of treason, I call them ‘the worst bloody idiots in the history of Greece!’ They get to live with that title for both this version of Greece as well as dethroning the idiots of ancient Greece because these people have just truly outdone themselves!

And as for these people who are shouting treason, why do we not hear that in regard of the following names? Yiannos Papantoniou and Nikos Christodoulakis former ministers of Finance as well as Konstantinos Simitis and Kostas Karamanlis both former prime ministers. Did they all conveniently forget that the found mismanaged budgets which they hid from the people of Greece and Goldman Sachs was eager to help them for the money it brought them? Yes, you all forgot about them didn’t you?

Now in addition we need to mention Christoforos Sardelis, former head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency, when we learn from the Business Insider “the loan was so confusing that even the Greece government had trouble understanding it and thought it was much cheaper than it actually was” (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-secret-goldman-sachs-greece-deal-thats-described-as-a-very-sexy-story-between-two-sinners-2012-3), so Greece, let’s call it Monkey Mountain for now, gave the keys of what they no longer owned to the ‘Top Banana’ in all this (Christoforos Sardelis), to do something none of them understood, how is that not trialed in a Greek court? So after shaking hands smiles and autographs, Greece was due payment of 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed.

That comes down to almost 20%! I’ve had a 50% better rate on my Credit Card!

So, when I see the accusation towards Yanis Varoufakis, which was in my view the wrong man, at least he did what he did for ideological reasons (as far as I can tell), his focus was Greece! I never stated anything to the contrary in any of my articles!

In this path, there are still a few issues that are an issue, yet, let’s not forget that this was a plan conceived in the 11th hour as the dangers were very considerable that Greece could be cast out of the Euro (even though that was technically a legal impossibility). ““We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps,” he says, adding that he had appointed a childhood friend to help him carry out the plan. “We were ready to get the green light from the PM when the banks closed”“, I understand the logic attached to this, but in that way, it also meant that the tax dodgers would have had an escape plan, in addition, the Greek 2047 Swiss Accounts (roughly) could walk away scot free, which is not entirely on the up an up here. Yet in the bulk of it all it was the millions of Greeks Yanis tried to protect (I hope), so explain to my how this was treason? The added fact that we see ‘We were ready to get the green light from the PM’ implies that it was based on government structure, so again, how is this treason?

So when we read the Tweet Yanis gave “So, I was going to ‘hijack’ Greek citizens’ tax numbers? Impressed by my defamers’ imagination”, I would tend to agree, because a step like that is impossible without both the tax system and every bank involved to open the doors to their system. It is not imagination, in my view it is basically a technical impossibility, because that many transfers would light the European financial system up like a Christmas tree, Yanis would literally have no place to run or too, or to hide for that matter.

There is one part I disagree with. The quote “Tsipras’s left-wing Syriza party is not only divided but bears little resemblance to the one he was catapulted into office with in January”. You see, Japan only had itself to blame, Tsipras is partially accountable, yet the debt, the massive result from a decade of mismanaged debt and a mismanaged tax system that spans decades, that part was inherited, they can look at previous national rulers, spokespersons and economic managers for that.

So, let’s remove the title ‘Monkey Mountain’ (now that the Top Banana has gone to sunny, luxurious Italy) and focus on Greece! You see Greece will be in a bad place for a very long time to come, it refuses to go after those who truly pushed Greece into generations of bad times. As the Greek population will have to settle for hunger and poverty, other players like Christoforos Sardelis, who is as far as I can tell at present, living in decent luxury in Italy where he works for Banca IMI, the investment banking unit of Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo. The Greeks are looking in all the wrong places. Hiding the debt was not done by one person, it took several officials, the swap was really stupid but not illegal (Goldman Sachs does not do illegal things, it is very clever in making other people do stupid things). The issue is not yesterday, it is today and tomorrow. Greece needs to wake up and reform a system that cannot deal with the elements of today’s economy, the fact that Greece needs 86 billion just to make it to 2017 is clear evidence of that, the fact that it takes three generations to get the debt into focus is evidence of that and it will only work if debt relief is granted. Greece is no longer able to survive in the current climate, a fact that has been known for a long time and it had to be acted upon a long time before yesterday, but it was not. In all this the Greeks are now blaming the one person who (even though wrongly) tried to get a better deal for the Greeks, who tried any option to at least try to avoid that retirees would have ended up with 1 drachma to the Euro, because that would have been the result from ejection from the Euro (if the EEC could have pulled that off legally). So yes, I have hammered on Yanis Varoufakis (and Alexis Tsipras) in my previous blogs. In this case, there is an utter failure in my view to see where he acted wrongly.

There is one additional consideration to make. There is every chance that the plan started by Yanis Varoufakis needs to stay on hand, it might need almost immediate evolution and preparation should not seize. You see Greece is and remains the tinderbox for events that have been playing for a lot longer than anyone cares to ‘remember’. We might bash on certain Greeks (names I mentioned here), but Greece was not alone. Italy had done a similar thing. Now as both France and Italy represent 5 trillion in debt and the UK close to 1.8 trillion, the current status is that both France and the UK are still in a place where they could voluntarily leave the Euro. France is the initial ‘problem’ because what has been ignored for 2 years, what I feared would come is now almost a reality. At present Marine Le Pen is sitting on close to 40% of the prospective votes for the 2017 presidency, if she wins the Mayoral election of Calais (which is presently almost a certainty) and if she can achieve any decent improvement for Calais, the reality of her making a landslide victory in 2017 would become a mere matter of fact, in that light in 2017, the Socialist Party of François Hollande will face its biggest defeat in French history, they will be ten times worse off than the UK Labour Party currently is, so good luck with that. This is important, because Marine Le Pen could entice French National pride and walk out of the Euro, which would spark a similar thing in the UK at that point. Now we see the part that impacts Greece, when those two walk, Italy will have no option left the Euro will crumble and this plan, this approach by Yanis Varoufakis, this alternative plan would be the only option left for Greece and they would not have any time to implement it. So as ideas go, his alternative was not the worst for the people of Greece and there is a reasonable chance that when the Euro fails, this plan will safe that lives of millions of Greeks. So whomever shouted ‘treason’ against Yanis Varoufakis better be aware that this person himself could end up being roasted when my predictions come to pass.

The wolves are hungry, they want their pound of flesh and those in the game will sell out anyone that no longer seems to be a player in the international economy game.

I cannot and will not support that view!

 

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