Tag Archives: Piraeus Bank

One economy crises a day

Yes, it is the Guardian that alerts us to: ‘World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/03/world-economy-at-risk-of-another-financial-crash-says-imf). So as we see: “Debt is above 2008 level and failure to reform banking system could trigger crisis“, we think that this is a small issue, but it is not, it is however not the real dangers, merely a larger factor. The quote “With global debt levels well above those at the time of the last crash in 2008, the risk remains that unregulated parts of the financial system could trigger a global panic, the Washington-based lender of last resort said” gets us a little closer to it all, yet it is the phrase ‘Washington-based lender of last resort’ that is a little more at the core of it all. This, or in a roundabout mention towards the US federal reserve is not the only part in this. It is the ECB with its quantative easing setting, now at 3.7 trillion, which in light of the Bloomberg article in 2017 (a year ago now) mentioning ‘Some ECB Members Identify 2.5 Trillion-Euro QE Limit‘ becomes a larger issue. With the US national debt at $21.5 trillion the ECB at an estimated €2.4 trillion bonds as per June ($2.7 trillion), we are going off the deep end soon enough. So as people were all in such a state that I was wrong, it would not happen again and that the economy is great. Consider that I warned about this danger several times between 2016 and the latest in May 2018 with ‘Milestones‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/05/05/milestones/). Yet all the parties are stating that I was wrong, and several hours ago, the Guardian treats us to: “The growth of global banks such as JP Morgan and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to a scale beyond that seen in 2008, leading to fears that they remain “too big to fail”, also registers on the IMF’s radar“. Yes, ‘too big to fail’, or should that be ‘to big too fail‘?

So when we see Gordon Brown getting quoted with: “former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the world economy was “sleepwalking into a future crisis,” and risks were not being tackled now “we are in a leaderless world”“. I found his response slightly moronic as there is no leaderless world, there are merely elected officials who know that they are merely in temp positions and they are paving the way for really nice paid futures. There is a distinct difference there. And in that I am still modestly awaiting my honour degree from the London School of Economics, in a pinch one from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will do too.

So when we see both “Christine Lagarde was concerned that the total value of global debt, in both the public and private sectors, has rocketed by 60% in the decade since the financial crisis to reach an all-time high of $182tn“, as well as “the build-up made developing world governments and companies more vulnerable to higher US interest rates, which could trigger a flight of funds and destabilise their economies. “This should serve as a wake-up call,” she said“. My response will be: “No Christine, you are wrong! The entire setting of a wake-up call is already 3-4 years too late. You have been unable to nurture the ECB, keep governments awake to get spending under control and the fallout will be huge and the people get to pay for it all“. The one benefit is that too large a population will be going through two depressions wiping out all their savings soon enough and in that there is an actual chance of a new civil war that would spread all over Europe. At that point the life of any politician will be £0.02 at best, once that starts, there will be not merely a Brexit, it will herald the end of the EU and it will impact the US in a most disastrous path, not merely wiping economies out, there will be a lack of trust between the US and the EU that will surpass the distrust levels between the USA and CCCP at the height of the cold war. It will redraw global economic maps to the larger degree. That is also seen in the part when we recollect the June 23rd article called ‘They are still lying to us‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/06/23/they-are-still-lying-to-us/). There we were treated to “Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence“, remember that part? So how normal is that country as we are treated to ‘Greek Bank Stocks Tumble Amid Concerns Over Capital, Bad Loans’ by the Wall Street Journal a mere 8 hours ago? So when we see “Investors appear to have completely lost confidence in Greek banks,” economists at HSBC said in a research note. The four main banks— National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias and Piraeus Bank—recently submitted ambitious plans to rid themselves of more than half of their soured loans by 2021 to the banking-supervision unit of the European Central Bank, several bank officials said. Under the new plans, which the ECB is considering, the banks would commit themselves to reduce their nonperforming loans to 15%-21% of their total loans, compared with today’s levels of 40.7%-54.7%“. the article (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/greek-bank-stocks-tumble-amid-concerns-over-capital-bad-loans-1538584978) gives us a lot more, but it shows that the banks are trying to shed the bad loans in as creative ways as possible and in this the governments are as I personally see it part of the problem, they were never part of any solution and the people will get to pay for it all as they were treated last quarter to: “as elderly Greeks face losing up to €350 ($416) per month when new pension cuts are implemented as of Jan. 1, 2019“, I believe that as the Greek banks collapse to the larger degree, as the Greek banks are shedding over 50% of outstanding loans, their value would also collapse as will their prospects and the loss of confidence will only increase the pressures. All whilst payments will still be due and cannot be met as it is staged to be at present. So there is a chance that Greeks will lose 50% more than they are currently losing at present in the next quarter, so we will see that the Greeks will start the year in utter poverty and the rest of Europe is not far behind. The ECB with its badly conceived QE plan has achieved that, so when the people are given that danger and handed the loss of retirement funds, utter rage will not be far away after that.

It was one of the reasons why I kept close eyes on Salini Impregilo. Even as Europe is going proverbially down the drain Salini Impregilo has been making headway on a global scale, foremost in Saudi Arabia and as their projects are kicking off, the infrastructure needs for Saudi Arabia grow. Their needs for dash boarding, reporting and data analytics will rise over the next two years and will require more and more knowledge and infrastructure with any additional building they are assigned. The entire project of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) drew it even further to the foreground, merely because the required concrete levels that can be delivered seem to be at 30%-40% of what is required soon enough. It is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but also optionally for Egypt. All these shortages ignored for now, yet when we see the image from 2012 and what was required then, and we consider that Neom will require close to 15 times that, where will the concrete come from? And it is not merely the availability; it will be about the proper planning of resources. Even as Salini Impregilo is merely a larger player of several projects, they in the end all need their concrete and where will that come from? So at this rate I expect to see the delays making the forefront news from 2020 onwards. Even as some places are increasing as much as they can afford. I expect it to fall short by a larger degree soon enough and when we are introduced to the heart of the matter. Smart cities will need smart infrastructure and the wiring will be well over 20 times what the entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet required and that is a lot. the skills, the training to get the amount of people fuelling this is short on every level as I see it, so as Europe collapses with the debt, Saudi Arabia gets the option to buy staff cheaply soon enough. No merely getting the knowledge they need. Yet the brain drain to that extent has never been seen before anywhere in the world and that is where the ECB will suddenly realise that the fuel required to fix any acts of stupidity in the last 10 years will no longer be available and at that point Wall Street will wake up getting to live the perfect nightmare. It is not merely that there will suddenly be a boost of economy because there is no unemployment, getting the people trained up will take decades, stopping economic growth right quick and for much too long.

And as other players open up the doors for a guaranteed decent lifestyle, the setting is changing. We see that in the European Pensions last July, a mere 2 months ago when we were given: “European pension schemes are becoming increasingly attracted to the high returns and diversification benefits offered by frontier markets” This is the setting of: ‘more developed than the least developing countries, but too small to be generally considered an emerging market‘, yet as the high returns are estimated, the risks are also higher and there seems to be the risk ‘risk premiums are more greatly affected by political, economic, and financial factors‘ that is seemingly ignored to a larger extent. We see that part when we consider both “MSCI Frontier Market Index is the most widely used benchmark for equities. However, even this is highly concentrated in certain markets and sectors – financial stocks make up 46 per cent and the top three countries make up 53 per cent“, as well as “Argentina, which makes up around 22 per cent of the index, and Vietnam, 15 per cent“. So, now consider that the very same Christine Lagarde treats us to: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to increase a lending package with Argentina by 7.1 billion US dollars (£5.3 billion), seeking to calm markets over the country’s ability to meet its debt amid growing economic turmoil” a mere week ago. Do you still think that I was kidding or merely trying to kick the dead donkey? I am not stating that this is the fault of Argentina. I am speculating that too many parts of Wall Street are banking on the failure of others and it opposes the setting of returns on those seeking success, in this setting the pensions will lose, optionally they will lose every time without fail and the people are left with an empty bag not worth the price of that empty bag. Do you think that people will sit down and accept that? No, they will be beyond furious and the setting of Johan de Witt and Cornelis de Witt blamed and lynched in The Hague, the rioters were never prosecuted. So, there will be enough motivation on more than one level. It is something for the current European politicians to keep in mind, because this could happen again and the setting that the people face over the next 10 years is a lot worse than the ones that the population faced then. At that point, when this starts, I truly hope that those politicians will have the option of a quick getaway out of Europe, because they will not know safety ever again in that place.

So whilst we see the distancing of politicians on all fields whilst trying to drench themselves in non-accountability, whilst they will try the path of ‘It was a miscommunication and we were given the wrong advice‘, the people will no longer accept that as the evening news. They will want their pound of flesh and a bucket of blood and the regard of the value of politicians at that point will have been degraded to zero, and their ‘post life’ Facebook profile image might optionally look similar to the painting of the brothers De Witt as it was in 1672. You might think that it is mere speculation and it is, yet the trigger is not my speculation, it is the message of economic crises after economic crises as the governments are not acting against the banks and the exploiters that hide behind ‘too big to fail‘. The people all over Europe, if not on a global setting as they are mistreated to overly optimistic futures that cannot be met and have not been met for over a decade, you see, if that was actually true debts would have been receding, would they not? The only ones that did that harshly were the Germans and they are indeed in a much better place. It is the difference between being popular and doing what needs to be done and in that Angela Merkel was not about being popular, yet now those Germans are in a much better place than most other nations. It is something for you to consider as you notice your pension is gone and you want to take it out on someone.

so whilst we consider the final line in the Guardian, which was: “Without a rise in investment economies remain vulnerable to financial stress“, we need to consider that the setting is not merely about ‘investment economies‘, it is about the setting where large corporations come in and use that setting to ‘invest’ whilst draining away the gained momentum, so the economy that once was in that stage has been drained and those momentum profits are relocated to other places where ever those boards of directors are fuelling their personal wealth accounts, leaving those nations in a post investment era that is now merely regarded as a consumer fuelled economy whilst those people never gained the better economic standing to spend the money fuelling it further.

A setting where the equilibrium of economics fails as there was never a state of balance, merely a stage of relocating available wealth and the frontier markets are no help, they are merely an optional stage not unlike the CDO issues of 2008, in my view a way to avoid taxation and move whatever they could to a non-reporting nation. Or as one source stated: “the smarter operators no longer use filthy lucre but instead employ modern financial devices such as Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) and Total Return Swaps (TRS) to evade tax“, a setting where some take a 4% loss to avoid 26% taxation, it still wins them 22% and many had to live of a bonus a lot more shallow then that and from a base amount massively smaller than the one moved away.

One crises a day, I wonder what the bad news we will get treated to next week.

#HappyWorldAnimalDay

 

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Just before the joke

 

That is how I feel at this time, after a week of hospital, the first thing I did (actually the first thing I did was to get a bacon and egg roll, which I missed beyond life), was to take a look whether that Greek (Tsipras) had gotten a clue and a few vowels. So as I look at the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/mar/31/euro-falls-greek-progress-unemployment-inflation-live-updates), one of the initial views I get is: “Samaras says Tsipras imagined he’d get money without terms but ended up getting terms without money“, which is very apt. It was a statement by @MacroPolis_gr (Twitter id). It is interesting that I made similar views 10 days ago, just slightly less poetic. Just above that we get: “He pledged to end the ‘pillaging’ of the middle classes, and revealed that a new clampdown on unpaid taxes had already delivered €100m. But his speech lacked clear details about the reform plan that Greece is putting together in negotiations with its creditors over the last few days“, moreover, 100 Million is just a joke in the sight of what is required and it seems clear that many parties are not willing to give a single Drachma to help Greece out at present. Theatrics and fake images are no longer enough, in addition, the 10 days of absence shows that not only is there a lack of progress, the words of Jeremy Cook take us one step further: “On every agenda item of what the austerity and bailout program needs, Greece disagrees. The program calls for a VAT increase on the tourism sector, the Greek government has said no. Pension reform has been shot down and public sector wages will remain protected“, so there is no decrease in spending, no increase in taxation and the cost remain untouched. There is a clear need that something has to give, and Tsipras as the spokesperson seems to be steering towards the Euro collapse, whilst he could be suddenly play ‘possum’ in the last 5 minutes of the deal stating: ‘what would you like?‘, at that part, is he relying on the initial ‘too big to fail‘ part as I had predicted it, or is he willing to be the first one to collapse it all? At that point, when 85% of the 8 million retirement funds dwindle down below 70% of value, who will be blamed? The Germans (as they seem to do), the troika group, or are the Greeks willing to consider that electing Tsipras was a massive mistake in a long line of huge mistakes? So as we see more razzle dazzle misrepresentation from Tsipras as he claims to remain within 1.5% shortage of GDP, the question becomes…. how?

That answer is not given in any way shape or form.

When we see the quote from Mark Mobius “Templeton’s #MarkMobius tells the Greek press ‘Greece will stay in the euro zone. The stock market is cheap and we are buyers.’“, in my view this means ‘As long as I am making profit in other markets seeing Greece leave the Eurozone will be detrimental to my bottom line, which is profit‘. Is my view wrong? Am I not seeing right, or are we facing iterations of cadaver devouring? You see, the bond of a place that will not pay back is a worthless bond, so why give such a place billions. You see, in my view if these ‘moguls’ are so iteratively happy on Greece remaining in the Eurozone, let them pay Greece from their profits. They only need 5 billion for now, but guess what, it seems that those ‘investors’ are just like all other investors, unwilling to pay for the bag of potatoes, which is no longer worth the potatoes. That gives us the issue, Greece willing to play, but not pay, investors very willing to pay, but not play. You see investors (they call themselves grown-ups) have no sense of humour, especially when their profit is in danger. So here we are looking into the mouth of the claimants, Tsipras and Mobius, all just playing the tune to their needs and the Greeks are just about to get marginalised in the scheme of things.

Now, you might want to conclude that I am just imagining things and that would as always be fair (never just accept the word of anyone), yet in my view as stated before things do not add up, in the last light as Greece is under so much pressure, we see a Prime Minister showing close to zero effort in obtaining that what is essential for the current continuation of Greece, yet he does not seem to take any clear effort to truly fight for his nation (as I see it). Yet, consider the other information when we look at the data as I presented it roughly 10 days ago, we saw the Australian Financial review reporting: “The country’s cash shortfall is projected to hit 3.5 billion euros in March, according to Bloomberg calculations based on 2015 budget figures“. If that is true the the shortfall is already a fact and the news on the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32113699), quoting: “The reforms are needed to unlock a new tranche of bailout cash for Greece, which could run out of money in weeks“, is that so? In addition, when we look at Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/24/us-eurozone-greece-cash-exclusive-idUSKBN0MK1PT20150324), which is a week old, states in the title ‘Greece to run out of cash by April 20 without fresh aid – source‘, the quote “Greece will run out of money by April 20 unless it receives fresh aid from creditors, a source familiar with the familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday” is fair enough and the article is a week old, yet it seems that one states shortfall as per today, out of cash within 3 weeks. It seems to me that several parties are already dragging their feet and dragging the point of no return as far forward as possible, yet the ones needing to get things done are dragging their heels too, so how is any of it a good idea?

This dragging thing is all the rage amongst economic players. The BBC gives us “Mr Varoufakis said that tensions between the two countries ‘must stop’, adding: ‘Only then can Greece, with support of its partners, focus on implementing effective reforms and growth-orientated policy strategies’“, no no no! The tension does not need to stop, Greece only needs to stop blaming Germany and get on with it. There was no debilitating ‘tension’ there is only a group of debilitated Greek officials who are not doing what they are supposed to do. The additional quote: “However, the reforms as initially proposed do not appear to have been specific enough to win the approval of the lenders, formerly known as the ‘troika’“, shows that Greece has been dragging its heels, as specific plans were clearly required, so what game are the players Tsipras and Varoufakis playing?

Is that such a weird question to have?

When we see ‘To Vima’ (at http://www.tovima.gr/en/article/?aid=690574), we see the following: “Mr. Tsipras called for the opposition parties to support the government’s efforts in the current negotiations with the country’s creditors and partners. The Prime Minister outlined his government’s “red lines” and argued that he would not accept any further pension and wage cut, or the implementation of any recessionary measures. Mr. Tsipras further stated that he would not accept the deregulation of collective dismissals, any increase of the VAT in food or medicine, nor would he agree to the further “selling off” of public assets“. I personally agree with selling off public assets, that makes sense, if Greece is to move forward at any stage, selling of its assets will only mean that thy will make money for the new owners. The no recessionary measures is a boast that cannot be continued, either they do it now, to a strong extent, or the Drachma will force it onto the entire population beyond its debilitating extent.

Yet what could be done?

That is the question when we see the Financial Times from two days ago (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a45d78e2-d627-11e4-b3e7-00144feab7de.html), here we see: “Without fresh funding, Athens risks running out of cash before meeting a €450m loan payment due to the International Monetary Fund next week. The credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Greece late on Friday to a “substantial credit risk”, citing “uncertain prospects of timely disbursement from official institutions”“, now we have ourselves a ball game.

So, this gives the clear insight that Greece is already short by half a billion long before the 20th April deadline. The article shows a few more gems and you should definitely read it. I especially like the Greek officials and their ‘hope’ for a partial disbursement off the $7.2 Billion which could tide Athens over until they would be able to reach what they call ‘a full deal’. Is it not nice on how they make no steps in any direction and still they want cash?

So as we look at the Greek expressions we see the old time favourite “I’ve lost my eggs and baskets”, meaning in this case, I have no money and I cannot fathom why not. You see, the situation turned into “a whore’s fencepost“, which implies that things only get out of hand when it is more than a brothel’s walk away.

But we must not forget that there are other players on the horizon too. That part seems to be a lot clearer when we see the response from Mark Mobius. When we look at some other quotes like from CNBC, we see “Amid the turmoil, hedge fund managers are again eyeing Greece for bargain shopping, but the political uncertainty has kept them from aggressively investing there“, so hedge funds are all about the stability, yet these ‘stable funds’ require clarity of profit, that much can be ascertained from Paulson and Co. So as we see the quote “Paulson, which manages $17.8 billion overall, still holds longstanding equity positions in two major Greek banks, Piraeus Bank and Alpha, according to recent investor materials“, we can only guess on how large the ACTUAL amounts are. All that at what percentage? 6%, 7% or even more percent? That interest needs to come from somewhere, so as the Greeks think that they move forward by 2019, the truth seems to be that they are taking care of interest and principle of whatever is out there right now. So as we question the claim by Mark Mobius, my questioning his statement comes in part from this “Alden’s main fund fell 9.6 percent in January thanks in part to losing Greek positions, according to the person“, so if shares are so cheap, why did Alden still lost close to what amounts to well over 150 million? 9.6% of 1.7 billion is a lot more then I will ever make in my life, so why was Mark Mobius so blasé? What is he fishing for and what are the current Greek officials not telling the people that voted them in?

 

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