End Times and Current Events

General Category => Europe => Topic started by: Lisa on November 04, 2011, 03:58:14 am

Title: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Lisa on November 04, 2011, 03:58:14 am
Trying to work out whats happening from a prophetic angle-interested in your thoughts

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 04, 2011, 09:12:13 am
I'm no prophet, but I chose the 4th option - watching the situation closely in Greece. If/when Greece collapses, it WILL have a big affect on the Euro AND on the global economy. I think the euro will crash first, and then maybe a couple of weeks later the dollar/global economy will follow, but not all at once.

As for the Greece situation - the MSM, unsurprisingly, is giving a very muddled picture. One minute they say everything's "ok" after the Greek PM dropped the reforendum and would take the euro bailout, and the next minute they say "not so fast". From what I got out of all the articles I've read, looks like they played the 'ole "Hegelian Dialect"(ie-one side wanted to cram the euro bailout, the Greek PM wanted not to and wanted to default), with the result MAYBE, MAYBE being a trojan horse-like bailout package which would force Greece into default with the dominos falling.

Again, I am no prophet, but just a man - however, it looks like prophecy could be unfolding at a much faster rate than we are anticipating now.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 04, 2011, 04:44:05 pm

G-20 leaders fail to agree on IMF help for Europe


CANNES, France (AP) — Leaders of the world's 20 most powerful economies failed to agree on how to increase the firepower of the International Monetary Fund so that it can help stem the European debt crisis, though they acknowledged its resources should be boosted.

The leaders struggled to reach concrete resolutions at their summit in the French resort of Cannes that has been was overshadowed by Greece's political turmoil and worries about Italy, which accepted IMF supervision of its reform efforts — a highly unusual gesture toward one of the world's leading economies.

"It's important that the IMF sees its resources reinforced," Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, told reporters. However, any decisions on how to reinforce the IMF were left until February.

The lack of detail disappointed markets, with stocks, bonds and the euro falling. Italy's borrowing rates, in particular, hit worrying new highs.

Barroso said the IMF's increased resources would be there to help countries around the world, not just the eurozone, indicating Europe is struggling to attract help from its global partners to fight its debt crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said no countries outside the eurozone had committed any money to the region's bailout fund.

Barroso said several countries had indicated they would provide bilateral loans to the IMF — which would give it more resources without collecting money from reluctant members like the United States.

The G-20 final statement said the IMF should work in the next three months on a special account that could be earmarked for the eurozone.

That way countries like the United States, which think Europe should pay for its own financial problems, wouldn't have to put any money in. And countries like Russia and Brazil, which have expressed interested in helping the eurozone, could.

The statement also said the IMF should work out a way to issue more special drawing rights, or SDRs, the fund's own reserve currency that can be exchanged for cash with central banks around the world. SDRs can just be created and do not require new commitments from IMF member states.

Finance ministers will now have to work out the details of these measures. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the G-20 would next deal with the topic in February.

With their own finances already stretched from bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal — and traditional allies like the United States wrestling with their own problems — eurozone countries were looking to the IMF to use its resources and rescue experience to help prevent the debt crisis from spreading to large economies like Italy and Spain.

"Every day that the eurozone crisis continues, every day it isn't resolved, is a day that has a chilling effect on the rest of the world economy," British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

"The rest of the world outside the eurozone is saying, We are ready to do our part to help stabilize the world economy. ... But you can't ask the IMF or other countries to substitute for the action that needs to be taken within the eurozone itself."

The G-20 announcements show how dramatically the powers have shifted within the IMF.

Until two years ago, the IMF — dominated by the traditional powers in Europe and the U.S. — mostly applied the painful adjustment programs that are attached to its financial lifelines to poor and emerging economies in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Now, it's growing powers like China, Brazil and South Africa that have to decide whether helping Europe is a worthy investment

Last week, eurozone leaders decided to boost the firepower of their bailout fund, the €440 billion ($606 billion) European Financial Stability Facility, by seeking financing from outside investors. Those additional resources could then be used to buy up bonds from wobbly countries like Italy and Spain and help them and others recapitalize banks hit by the turmoil on the markets.

Yet cash-rich countries like China, Russia and Brazil quickly made clear that any investment from their side would have to be channeled through the IMF. That would ensure that their loans come linked to strict economic conditions and could also give them more influence within the fund.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the promised increase in the resources of the IMF was positive, adding that she was optimistic that they will also be used to help out the eurozone, once the currency union has worked out the details of the EFSF increase.

"We will now accelerate our work on the guidelines of the EFSF and then all IMF member states are called on to contribute to the EFSF," Merkel said.

Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet in Brussels on Monday.

Separately, Barroso that Italy had asked the IMF for help monitoring its budgetary and structural reforms on a quarterly basis.

The country's borrowing rates have risen sharply this week — and jumped further on Friday — on fears that Minister Silvio Berlusconi does not have the political strength to implement promised reform measures meant to revive lackluster economic growth and bring down debt.

Berlusconi said Italy had turned down an IMF offer for financial aid, asking it instead to simply monitor the implementation of the reforms. The step is highly unusual for such a large economy — the third-largest in the eurozone

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 10, 2011, 10:56:15 pm



PREPARATIONS were under way last night for the break-up of the euro as Europe’s debt crisis spiralled out of control.

As Treasury officials worked through the night to soften the impact on Britain, David Cameron warned that the single European currency was facing its “moment of truth”.

Business Secretary Vince Cable went further and spoke about “Armageddon” while Brussels officials warned that the chaos threatened to plunge us all into a new recession.

Ministers are understood to be deeply concerned that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel are secretly plotting to build a new, slimmed down eurozone without Greece, Italy and other debt-ridden southern Euro- pean nations.

Well-placed Brussels sources say Germany and France have already held private discussions on preparing for the disintegration of the eurozone.

Certainly it affects our trade and potentially, in this Armageddon narrative, it affects the banking system, but we’re not there yet. 
Business Secretary Vince Cable
At the same time, City insiders yesterday speculated that the “death warrant” for the euro had already been written, with a new economic bloc dominated by Germany and France almost certain to emerge in its place.

Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC Partners, said the single currency experiment had failed.

“Undoubtedly it has failed. We know the concept of a single currency was flawed right from the start. There were too many big differences, in language, in culture and in the economies. There is absolutely no chance of the euro surviving in its current form. It cannot happen

“There are limits to what the markets, the people and the voters will accept. That doesn’t mean the euro won’t carry on with fewer members, but it has been a failure.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 10, 2011, 11:07:06 pm


French and Germans explore idea of smaller euro zone

(Reuters) - German and French officials have discussed plans for a radical overhaul of the European Union that would involve setting up a more integrated and potentially smaller euro zone, EU sources say.

"France and Germany have had intense consultations on this issue over the last months, at all levels," a senior EU official in Brussels told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

"We need to move very cautiously, but the truth is that we need to establish exactly the list of those who don't want to be part of the club and those who simply cannot be part," the official said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave some flavor of his thinking during an address to students in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, when he said a two-speed Europe -- the euro zone moving ahead more rapidly than all 27 countries in the EU -- was the only model for the future.

The discussions among senior policymakers in Paris, Berlin and Brussels raised the possibility of one or more countries leaving the euro zone while the remaining core pushes on toward deeper economic integration, including on tax and fiscal policy.

The change has been discussed on an "intellectual" level but had not moved to operational or technical discussions, the EU official said. A French finance ministry spokesman denied there was any project in the works to reduce the currency bloc's membership .

"There have been no conversations between French and German authorities at any level on decreasing the size of the euro zone," the spokesman said .

A radical overhaul of the European Union would be opposed by many members.

"This will unravel everything our forebears have painstakingly built up and repudiate all that they stood for in the past sixty years," one EU diplomat told Reuters."This will redraw the map geopolitically and give rise to new tensions. It could truly be the end of Europe as we know it."

In Berlin, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned about the economic costs of any splits in the euro zone. Germany's gross domestic product could contract and its economy would shed one million jobs, he said in a speech.

Barroso said any push toward deeper economic policy integration should not come at the price of creating new divisions among EU members.

"There cannot be peace and prosperity in the North or in the West of Europe, if there is no peace and prosperity in the South or in the East," he said.

To an extent the taboo on a country leaving the 17-member currency bloc was already broken at the G20 summit in Cannes last week, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sarkozy both effectively said that Greece might have to drop out if the euro zone's long-term stability was to be maintained.

But the latest discussions among European officials point to a more fundamental re-evaluation of the 12-year-old currency project -- including which countries and what policies are needed to keep it strong and stable -- before Europe's debt crisis manages to break it apart.

In large part the aim is to reshape the currency bloc along the lines it was originally intended; strong, economically integrated countries sharing a currency, before nations such as Greece managed to get in.

"In doing this exercise, we will be very serious on the criteria that will be used as a benchmark to integrate and share our economic policies," the senior EU official said.

One senior German government official said it was a case of pruning the euro zone to make it stronger.

"You'll still call it the euro, but it will be fewer countries," he said, without identifying those that would have to drop out.

"We won't be able to speak with one voice and make the tough decisions in the euro zone as it is today. You can't have one country, one vote," he said, referring to rules that have made decision-making complex and slow, exacerbating the crisis.

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel reiterated a call for changes to be made to the EU treaty -- the laws which govern the European Union -- saying the situation was now so unpleasant that a rapid breakthrough was needed.

From Germany's point of view, altering the EU treaty would be an opportunity to reinforce euro zone integration and could potentially open a window to make the mooted changes to its make-up.

EU officials have told Reuters treaty change will be formally discussed at a summit in Brussels on December 9, with an 'intergovernmental conference', the process required to make alterations, potentially being convened in the new year, although multiple obstacles remain before such a step is taken.


While the two-speed Europe referred to by Sarkozy is already reality in many respects -- and a frustration for the likes of Poland, which hopes to join the euro zone -- the officials interviewed by Reuters spoke of a more formal process to create a two-tier structure and allow the smaller group to push on.

"This is something that has been in the air for some time, at least in high-level talks," said one EU diplomat. "The difference now is that some countries are moving forward very quickly ... The risk of a split, of a two-speed Europe, has never been so real."

In Sarkozy's vision, the euro zone would rapidly deepen its integration, including in sensitive areas such as corporate and personal taxation, while the remainder of the EU would be left as a "confederation", possibly expanding from 27 to 35 in the coming decade, with enlargement to the Balkans and beyond.

Within the euro zone, the critical need would be for core countries to coordinate their economic policies quickly so that defenses could be erected against the sovereign debt crisis.

"Intellectually speaking, I can see it happening in two movements: some technical arrangements in the next weeks to strengthen the euro zone governance, and some more fundamental changes in the coming months," the senior EU official said.

But he cautioned: "Practically speaking, we all know that the crisis may deepen and that the picture can change radically from one day to another."

France and Germany see themselves as the backbone of the euro zone and frequently promote initiatives that other euro zone countries reject. The idea of a core, pared-down euro zone is likely to be strongly opposed by the Netherlands and possibly Austria, although both would be potential members.

"This sort of thinking is not the direction we want to go in. We want to keep the euro zone as it is," said a non Franco-German euro zone diplomat.

Britain, which is adamantly outside the euro zone, is also opposed to any moves that would create a two-speed Europe, or institutionalize a process even if it is already under way.

"We must move together. The greatest danger we face is division," Britain's deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said during a visit to Brussels on Wednesday.

(Additional reporting by Robin Emmott and Luke Baker in Brussels, writing by Luke Baker, editing by Angus MacSwan)

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2011, 09:15:46 pm
European economy has all but stalled, report says



LONDON (AP) — Europe appears headed for a recession — if it isn't in one already.

Economic growth has all but stopped in Europe, statistics showed Tuesday. The stall comes just when Italy, Greece and other nations need growth to help them wriggle out of the chokehold of debt.

The European Union economy grew a paltry 0.2 percent in July, August and September compared with the three months before, the EU statistics agency said. That is the same growth rate as the previous quarter, and far slower than the 0.7 percent before that.

And the picture is probably even worse. The statistics did not include Italy and Greece, the two countries in the most debt trouble. And their debt crisis only got worse in October, the month after this snapshot was taken.

Besides lowering standards of living and hurting the job market in Europe, a recession would be bad news for the U.S., which sells 20 percent of its exports to Europe, and for Asia.

Taken as a whole, Europe also has the largest economy in the world, producing $16.2 trillion in goods and services last year. The United States produced $14.5 trillion last year, China $5.9 trillion.

So economic sickness in Europe has the ability to slow growth around the world.

"People are uncertain," said Ferdinand Fichtner of the German Economic Institute DIW. "That is poison for growth."

Fear that the economic slowdown will make the debt crisis worse were evident in financial markets Tuesday. Borrowing costs rose for many nations, an indication that investors are nervous about lending to them.

In Italy, the yield on the closely watched 10-year bond rose back above 7 percent, even though a new government has replaced the dysfunctional regime of Silvio Berlusconi. The yield rose above 7 percent for the first time last week and helped drive Berlusconi from office. And yields of 7 percent forced Greece and other European countries to seek bailouts.

The yield was at 7.04 percent late Tuesday, up 0.46 percentage points from the day before. Spain was at 6.29 percent, up 0.22 percentage points, and France was at 3.66 percent, up 0.23 percentage points.

Higher bond yields triggered by slow — or no — growth create a vicious cycle that is difficult for a country to stop. When the yield goes up on its debt, a country must spend more money paying interest. If the economy isn't growing, then the deficit grows, and countries have to borrow even more. Cut services to close the gap, and the economy can slow even more.

The two largest economies in Europe, Germany and France, kept growing from July through September, but not much faster than their neighbors — 0.5 percent in Germany and 0.4 percent in France.

What happens in those countries matters in the rest of Europe. When the Germany economy booms, Germans are more likely to help, say, the Italian economy by buying Italian cars, indulging in an Italian suit or booking a vacation to an Italian villa.

The Netherlands, traditionally a competitive economy, unexpectedly saw its economy shrink in the third quarter. And countries across Europe are at risk of slowing as the debt crisis spreads to other countries and looms over all of them.

"The uncertainty caused by the sovereign debt crisis is lying like mildew upon the eurozone economy," said Christope Weil, an economist at Commerzbank, referring to the 17 nations in the EU that use the euro as their currency.

The European Commission warned recently that unemployment in that 17-nation club, already 10.2 percent, would remain high for the foreseeable future. Unemployment in the United States is 9 percent.

The 0.2 percent growth in the EU compares with 0.6 percent growth in the United States in the third quarter compared with the quarter before — not exactly sizzling, but at least better. Japan, which is making up for lost economic output after the earthquake and tsunami last March, grew 1.5 percent.

U.S. policymakers frequently cite Europe's crisis as one of the top threats facing the American economy.

"Unfortunately, we can't disassociate ourselves from Europe. The things that are happening there do affect us," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said earlier this month. "I hope very much that the Europeans will find a set of solutions that will allow markets to calm down and take off some of the headwinds from the U.S. economy."

Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, estimates that a recession in Europe would shave about half a percentage point off U.S. economic growth in 2012, cutting it to 1.5 percent. Others have similar estimates.

A survey last week by the Federal Reserve showed that European banks with operations in the United States are tightening lending. Europe's troubles also hurt China, where products are assembled and shipped to European countries.

American banks have not lent much money to other banks or governments in Europe's most troubled countries. That limits the risk if European banks take a hit because they own bonds issued by countries that can't pay them off.

Dales said U.S. banks had much greater exposure to Asia during a financial crisis there in the late 1990s than they now do to Europe. And the U.S. economy "sailed through" the Asia crisis, he said.

The U.S. could be hurt, though, by a freeze in global lending, similar to what happened after Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed in 2008. Banks were too worried to lend to each other, increasing borrowing costs for everyone.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 16, 2011, 08:58:25 pm
U.K. unemployment hits 8.3%, highest since 199616 November 2011, by William L. Watts -  Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The number of unemployed British workers rose 129,000 to 2.62 million in the three months ending in September, pushing the unemployment rate up to 8.3% from 8.1% in the three months ending in August, the U.K. Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday.

The unemployment rate is the highest since 1996, while the total number of unemployed is the highest since 1994, the ONS said.

The number of workers claiming jobless benefits rose 5,300 in October, the ONS said. Economists had forecast a rise of 22,500.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 16, 2011, 09:16:08 pm
Fitch: U.S. bank outlook could worsen over Europe16 November 2011, by Wallace Witkowski - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

Fitch Ratings said Wednesday that the credit outlook for U.S. banks can worsen if the euro-zone debt crisis is not resolved in a timely manner.

"Fitch's current outlook for the industry is stable, reflecting improved fundamentals at most banks combined with ratings lower than at pre-crisis levels.

However, risks of a negative shock are rising and could alter this outlook," the ratings agengy said.

Fitch maintained Europe's sovereign debt crisis still poses a threat to U.S. banks even though the institions have reduced their exposure to the region over the past year.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 18, 2011, 07:18:03 pm
Germany's secret plans to derail a British referendum on the EU
18 November 2011, by Bruno Waterfield in Brussels (The Telegraph)

Germany has drawn up secret plans to prevent a British referendum on the overhaul of the European Union amid concerns it could derail the eurozone rescue package, leaked documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph disclose.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 18, 2011, 07:23:40 pm
Germany seeks to stop U.K. vote on EU: report
17 November 2011, (MarketWatch)

Germany has drawn up secret plans to prevent a British referendum on the overhaul of the European Union amid concerns it could derail the euro-zone rescue package, according to leaked documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph of the U.K..

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is expected to tell Prime Minister David Cameron that Britain doesn't need a referendum on EU treaty changes, despite demands from senior U.K. Conservatives for more powers to be repatriated to Britain, The Telegraph said.

The leaked memo, written by the German foreign office, discloses radical plans for an intrusive new European body that will be able to take over the economies of beleaguered euro-zone countries, The Telegraph said.

It discloses that the EU's largest economy is also preparing for other European countries, which are too large to be bailed out, to default on their debts -- effectively going bankrupt, The Telegraph said.

It will prompt fears that German plans to deal with the euro-zone crisis involve an erosion of national sovereignty that could pave the way for a European "super state" with its own tax and spending plans set in Brussels, The Telegraph said.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 18, 2011, 08:44:51 pm


Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?

The circle below shows the gross external, or foreign, debt of some of the main players in the eurozone as well as other big world economies. The arrows show how much money is owed by each country to banks in other nations. The arrows point from the debtor to the creditor and are proportional to the money owed as of the end of June 2011. The colours attributed to countries are a rough guide to how much trouble each economy is in.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 20, 2011, 07:27:04 pm
Doubts rise over euro rescue fund
20 November 2011, (AFP)


Economists are increasingly questioning the relevance of the eurozone rescue fund as pressure builds on the European Central Bank (ECB) to lead a lasting and massive debt crisis response.

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which uses €440 billion of government guarantees to borrow on markets for subsequent lending to bailed-out Greece, Ireland and Portugal, "has no credibility" with traders, said Belgian economics professor Paul De Grauwe.


A new "technocratic" government has taken power in Rome, with its public finances put under EU-IMF surveillance while France -- the second-largest eurozone economy -- is the latest to see its borrowing costs under pressure.


Britain, France and the United States have each urged Germany to allow the ECB to emulate the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England by funding governments and pumping liquidity into the eurozone, in effect printing new money in an effort to get the economy moving again.

"The rescue fund, to begin with, will not have sufficient resources, even with a trillion euros," said De Grauwe, who lectures at Belgium's Louvain university.

"Italy has almost two trillion in debts and soon we might be talking about Spain and France," he said.

Yet the newly souped-up EFSF "can't even get out of the (starting) blocks," with markets already adding premiums to the fund's own borrowings.

Title: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: akfools on November 20, 2011, 11:23:31 pm
The Coming European Superstate That Germany Plans To Cram Down The Throats Of The Rest Of Europe

November 19, 2011
A lot of people were puzzled about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel meant when she recently stated that the ultimate solution to the financial crisis in the EU would “mean more Europe, not less Europe”.  Well, now we are finding out.

A leaked internal German government memo entitled “The Future of the EU: Required Integration Policy Improvements for the Creation of a Stability Union” actually proposes the creation of a “European Monetary Fund” which would be given the power to run the economies of troubled European nations.

This “stability union” would be quickly followed by the creation of a full-fledged “political union”.  Essentially, this leaked memo proposes the creation of a “European Superstate” which will be crammed down the throats of the rest of Europe whether they like it or not.

National sovereignty would be a thing of the past and European bureaucrats would run everything.

Of course this will never be accepted by the people of Europe until they feel the bitter pain of the coming financial collapse, but we are starting to see that there is already a clear plan for what the Germans wish to implement in the aftermath of the coming crisis.

A lot of people have just assumed that if there is a massive financial collapse in Europe and the euro crashes that it will mean that end of the euro and potentially the breakup of the EU.  But that is not what the Germans have planned at all.

An article in the Telegraph has posted details about the leaked internal German government memo mentioned above.  It really is startling to see that a full-fledged “political union” in Europe is being discussed at the highest levels of the German government….
    The six-page memo, by the German foreign office, argues that Europe’s economic powerhouses should be able to intervene in how beleaguered eurozone countries are run.

    The confidential blueprint sets out Germany’s plan to tackle the eurozone debt crisis by creating a “stability union” that will be “immediately followed by moves “on the way towards a political union”.

    It will prompt fears that Germany’s euro crisis plans could result in a European super-state with spending and tax plans set in Brussels.

Can you imagine what Europe would look like under such a plan?

National sovereignty would be a thing of the past.

Another article in the Telegraph says that the leaked memo proposes that immediately a “European Monetary Fund” should be set up that would have the power to take over and run the economies of European nations that get into too much debt.  But according to the memo this would just be an intermediate step toward a full “political union”….

    The six-page German foreign ministry paper sets out plans for the creation of a European Monetary Fund with a transfer of sovereignty away from member states.

    The fund will have the power to take ailing countries into receivership and run their economies. Even more controversially, the document, entitled The future of the EU: required integration policy improvements for the creation of a Stability Union, declares that the treaty changes are a first stage “in which the EU will develop into a political union”. “The debate on the way towards a political union must begin as soon as the course toward stability union is charted,” it concludes.

As the crisis in Europe has gotten worse, the Germans have become more aggressive about throwing their weight around.  At this point, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most important politician in Europe and she has been taking the lead in responding to this financial crisis.

As I have written about previously, there have been persistent rumors that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been “secretly plotting” to create a “new eurozone” that will fundamentally change the way that Europe is run.

For example, the following is from an article that recently came out  in the Telegraph….
    France is drawing up plans to create a breakaway organisation of eurozone countries with its own treaty, parliament and headquarters – a move that could significantly undermine the existing European Union.

That same article also talked about the goals that France and Germany are hoping to achieve through all of this….

  France and Germany are understood to want to strengthen the union between eurozone countries with new taxes and legal measures to stop nations borrowing and spending too much in future.

Of course it is important to note that there is no way that the people of Europe are going to go for any of this right now.

But after feeling the pain of a massive financial collapse for a while will they change their minds?

What is clear is that the status quo is not going to last much longer.  Something has got to change.  Unfortunately, Germany and France seem determined to push the rest of Europe in the direction of creating a European Superstate.

If you want to get a really good idea of what is happening in Europe right now, just check out this video of a recent speech by Nigel Farage on the floor of the European Parliament on November 16th, 2011.  Trust me, it is worth the couple of minutes that it takes to watch it.

But before fundamental structural changes take place in Europe, we are going to see an absolutely crippling financial collapse first.  With each passing day, there are more signs that things are rapidly unraveling.  The following are just a few of the noteworthy news items from Europe that have come out over the past week….

*In Italy there were violent clashes between protesters and police after Mario Monti unveiled his new austerity program.  To get an idea of how crazy things are getting over in Italy, just check out this video.

*Just like what happened when austerity was implemented in Greece, it looks like Italy is now headed down the road toward a major recession.  Industrial orders in Italy for the month of September declined by 8.5 percent.  That is really, really bad news.

*The EFSF has already been forced to buy up huge numbers of its own bonds.  That essentially means that the EFSF is already a bad joke.

*Dozens of big banks all over Europe have been downgraded in recent weeks.  Even German banks are getting downgraded now.  The other day, Moody’s downgraded the ratings of 10 major German banks.

An increasing number of people that work in the financial world are starting to get really freaked out about everything that is going on.

The following is what Mark Mobius, head of the emerging markets desk at Templeton Asset Management, had to say recently….
    “There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner, because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

Willem Buiter, the chief economist of Citigroup, believes that if something is not done quickly, there will be a financial collapse in Europe in very short order….

    “Time is running out fast.  I think we have maybe a few months — it could be weeks, it could be days — before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it. So they have to act now.”

Ann Barnhardt of Barnhardt Capital Management actually shut down her entire firm because she could no longer guarantee that the money her clients were putting into the futures and options markets would be safe.  Posted below are extended excerpts from the open letter that she recently released to the public.  Normally I would not post such extended excerpts, but in this case I believe that they are warranted.  What Barnhardt has written should be a huge wake up call for all of us.  It is refreshing (and a bit frightening) to get an honest assessment of the corruption in the financial world from someone that has made a good living in that world.  The following is how she began her letter….

    It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.

    The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.

So how did the MF Global collapse wreck the system?  Barnhardt went on to explain this….

The futures markets are very highly-leveraged and thus require an exceptionally firm base upon which to function. That base was the sacrosanct segregation of customer funds from clearing firm capital, with additional emergency financial backing provided by the exchanges themselves. Up until a few weeks ago, that base existed, and had worked flawlessly. Firms came and went, with some imploding in spectacular fashion. Whenever a firm failure happened, the customer funds were intact and the exchanges would step in to backstop everything and keep customers 100% liquid – even as their clearing firm collapsed and was quickly replaced by another firm within the system.

    Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let’s not sugar-coat this or make this crime seem “complex” and “abstract” by drowning ourselves in six-dollar words and uber-technical jargon. Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. This is unfathomable. The risk exposure precedent that has been set is completely intolerable and has destroyed the entire industry paradigm. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.

Even more frightening, Barnhardt says that the MF Global collapse is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that more collapses like this are about to happen….
    I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG’s leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn’t that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm.
So what does Barnhardt say that we should all do?  She is actually recommending that everyone should completely abandon the futures and options markets….
    And so, to the very unpleasant crux of the matter. The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity. The system is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.

Remember, a few weeks ago I warned you all that a massive derivatives crisis is coming.  Anyone that plays around with derivatives at this point is playing with fire.  Barnhardt says that she will never reopen her firm until Barack Obama is removed from office and fundamental reforms to the financial system have been implemented….

   Finally, I will not, under any circumstance, consider reforming and re-opening Barnhardt Capital Management, or any other iteration of a brokerage business, until Barack Obama has been removed from office AND the government of the United States has been sufficiently reformed and repopulated so as to engender my total and complete confidence in the government, its adherence to and enforcement of the rule of law, and in its competent and just regulatory oversight of any commodities markets that may reform. So long as the government remains criminal, it would serve no purpose whatsoever to attempt to rebuild the futures industry or my firm, because in a lawless environment, the same thievery and fraud would simply happen again, and the criminals would go unpunished, sheltered by the criminal oligarchy.

We are on the verge of a financial crisis that could potentially be just as bad (or even worse) than the financial crisis of 2008.

Right now, 2012 is shaping up as a very, very bad year.

As I have written about previously, when European leaders proposed that private Greek bondholders should take a “50% haircut”, they massively undermined faith in the European financial system.

Now panic and fear are in the air and it is unlikely that financial markets will be calmed any time soon.

Already, there are early signs of the kind of massive credit crunch that almost brought about “the end of the world” in financial markets back in 2008.

For example, a CNBC article that was posted on Friday reported that the flow of credit in Europe is seriously drying up….

  Fear over European banks’ exposure to risky government debt stalked markets and harried bank executives on Friday, as unsecured lending between banks evaporated and the cost of secured loans rose.

And as a recent article posted on Zero Hedge discussed, a similar thing is starting to happen in the United States….

    The entire dollar funding market is now at levels not seen since the Lehman collapse and is effectively frozen. Only this time it is much, much worse as never before has the global central bank cadre been assumed and implied to be backstopping the global liquidity cascade. Ex-out the implied backstop by the monetary authorities, and liquidity is now locked up more than ever in the history of capital markets.

So what should we do about this?

We should take action and get prepared for what is coming.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of Americans seem to be “checking out” instead.  According to a recent Gallup poll, alcohol consumption in the United States has hit a 25 year high.  More than one out of every ten Americans over the age of 12 is on prescription antidepressants, and most American families spend endless hours staring at the television in an attempt to escape the pain and the frustration that they constantly feel.

Hopefully by working together we can help more Americans (and more Europeans as well) to wake up, to get off their couches, and to take action in a positive way.

Time is running out and the economic crisis is rapidly getting worse.


Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate That Germany Plans To Cram Down The Throats Of Th
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 20, 2011, 11:32:46 pm

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Lisa on November 25, 2011, 08:20:20 am
Death of a currency as eurogeddon approaches
It's time to think what hitherto markets have regarded as unthinkable – that the euro really is on its last legs.
They need to wake up fast; it's happening before their very eyes. In its current form, the single currency may always have been doomed, but it has been greatly helped on its way by an extraordinarily inept series of policy errors. Photo: AFP By Jeremy Warner, Associate editor
7:00PM GMT 24 Nov 2011
The defining moment was the fiasco over Wednesday's bund auction, reinforced on Thursday by the spectacle of German sovereign bond yields rising above those of the UK.

If you are tempted to think this another vote of confidence by international investors in the UK, don't. It's actually got virtually nothing to do with us. Nor in truth does it have much to do with the idea that Germany will eventually get saddled with liability for periphery nation debts, thereby undermining its own creditworthiness.

No, what this is about is the markets starting to bet on what was previously a minority view - a complete collapse, or break-up, of the euro. Up until the past few days, it has remained just about possible to go along with the idea that ultimately Germany would bow to pressure and do whatever might be required to save the single currency.

The prevailing view was that the German Chancellor didn't really mean what she was saying, or was only saying it to placate German voters. When finally she came to peer over the precipice, she would retreat from her hard line position and compromise. Self interest alone would force Germany to act.

But there comes a point in every crisis where the consensus suddenly shatters. That's what has just occurred, and with good reason. In recent days, it has become plain as a pike staff that the lady's not for turning.

This has caused remaining international confidence in the euro to evaporate, and even German bunds to lose their "risk free" status. The crisis is no longer confined to the sinners of the south. Suddenly, no-one wants to hold euro denominated assets of any variety, and that includes what had previously been thought the eurozone safe haven of German bunds.

Investors have gone on strike. The Americans are getting their money out as fast as they decently can. British banks have stopped lending to all but their safest eurozone counterparts, and even those have been denied access to dollar funding. The UK hardly has anything to boast of; it's got its own legion of problems, many of them not so dissimilar to those of the eurozone periphery.

But almost anything is going to look preferable to a currency which might soon be assigned to the dustbin of history. All of a sudden, the pound is the European default asset of choice.

What we are witnessing is awesome stuff – the death throes of a currency. And not just any old currency either, but what when it was launched was confidently expected to take its place alongside the dollar as one of the world's major reserve currencies. That promise today looks to be in ruins.

Contingency planning is in progress throughout Europe. From the UK Treasury on Whitehall to the architectural monstrosity of the Bundesbank in Frankfurt, everyone is desperately trying to figure out precisely how bad the consequences might be.

What they are preparing for is the biggest mass default in history. There's no orderly way of doing this. European finance and trade is too far integrated to allow for an easy unwinding of contracts. It's going to be anarchy.

It's worth stressing here that for the moment the contingency planning is confined to officialdom. This week, for instance, we've had the Financial Services Authority's Andrew Bailey admit that he's asked UK banks to plan for a disorderly breakup of the euro. He'd be failing in his duties if he hadn't. Europe's political elite, as ever several steps behind the reality, still regards the prospect as unimaginable.

They need to wake up fast; it's happening before their very eyes. In its current form, the single currency may always have been doomed, but it has been greatly helped on its way by an extraordinarily inept series of policy errors.

First there was the disastrous suggestion from Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy that if Greece didn't buckle under it might be chucked out. Markets reacted logically, which was to sell bonds in any country that looked vulnerable and chase "safe haven" assets, thereby making it much harder for governments to fund themselves.

The blunder was compounded by attempts to underpin confidence in the banking system by forcing banks to mark their sovereign debt to market. This may only have recognised the reality, but it also destroyed the concept of the "risk free asset", forcing banks for the first time to apply capital to their sovereign debt exposures. Unsurprisingly, they stopped buying sovereign bonds, again making it harder for governments to fund themselves.

But perhaps the biggest sin of the lot was effectively to render all credit default swaps (a form of insurance against default) on sovereign debt essentially worthless, or void, by making the Greek default "voluntary".

This has made it impossible to hedge against eurozone sovereign debt purchases, and thereby destroyed the market. Worse, it's made investors believe that the euro cannot be trusted, that it'll repeatedly find ways of reneging on contract. That's the point of no return. This is no longer a serious currency.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 25, 2011, 05:05:23 pm
France, Spain, Belgium 5-year CDS widen to record
25 November 2011, by Ben Edwards - London (MarketWatch)

The cost of insuring European sovereign debt against default rose to record highs for France, Spain and Belgium in early trading Friday amid concerns that politicians are still a long way from resolving the euro-zone debt crisis.

Around 0800 GMT, five-year credit default swaps spreads on France, Belgium and Spain all pushed to fresh records, according to data-provider Markit.

France's five-year CDS spread widened two basis points to 250 basis points, while Spain's five-year CDS widened 16 basis points to 495 basis points.

Belgium's CDS widened one basis point to 395 basis points. It has now widened 69 basis points since last Friday.

Italy saw its five-year CDS jump 30 basis points to 583 basis points, closing in on its record high 587 basis points set Nov. 15.

Germany's CDS widened four basis points to 113 basis points. It is now just three basis points from its record high set Oct. 4.

Portugal's widened 10 basis points to 1,110 basis points after Fitch Thursday downgraded its credit rating to junk status.

Greece's CDS spread was one basis point wider at 63 basis points upfront, which means sellers of default protection are demanding a deposit at the inception of a trade to cover the country's deteriorating credit risk. 

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 25, 2011, 07:40:51 pm
Exclusive: Euro zone may drop bondholder losses from ESM bailout

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone states may ditch plans to impose losses on private bondholders should countries need to restructure their debt under a new bailout fund due to launch in mid-2013, four EU officials told Reuters on Friday.

Discussions are taking place against a backdrop of flagging market confidence in the region's debt and as part of wider negotiations over introducing stricter fiscal rules to the EU treaty.

Euro zone powerhouse Germany is insisting on tighter budgets

and private sector involvement (NYSEArca:PSI) in bailouts as a precondition for deeper economic integration among euro zone countries.

Commercial banks and insurance companies are still expected to take a hit on their holdings of Greek sovereign bonds as part of the second bailout package being finalized for Athens.

But clauses relating to PSI in the statutes of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - the permanent facility scheduled to start operating from July 2013 - could be withdrawn, with the majority of euro zone states now opposed to them.

read more

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 26, 2011, 08:56:55 am
Britain will join the Euro says Lord Heseltine
November 20th, 2011
Author: Jeff Taylor

The staunch Europhile ex deputy prime minister and long term supporter of the Euro, Lord Heseltine, said on the BBC’s Politics Show that “I think we will join the Euro”.

This declaration by the Tory Grandee comes straight after the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, said last week that the UK would join the single currency “faster than people think”.

Lord Heseltine said that, even though it had problems, the ‘chances are’ that the Euro would survive due to the sheer determination of the Germans and the French to maintain its ‘cohesiveness’.

The UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, also speaking on the Politics Show, responded by saying that the Mediterranean countries should leave the Euro. ‘The whole thing is failing.’ He said ‘It is going to break up’.

But actually both may well be right.

The Euro in its current form will almost certainly fail, but out of the ashes the French and Germans would create a new ‘Super-Euro’, a more powerful Eurozone that does not have the weaker countries’ economies holding it back.

And that is the real danger for the UK.

Read more: http://www.economicvoice.com/britain-will-join-the-euro-says-lord-heseltine/50025846#ixzz1eo9BgKFH

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Mark on November 26, 2011, 09:06:45 am
Just waiting on that one person to step forward and have all the right answers....

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Mark on November 26, 2011, 04:30:10 pm
Banks Build Contingency for Breakup of the Euro

For the growing chorus of observers who fear that a breakup of the euro zone might be at hand, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has a pointed rebuke: It’s never going to happen.

But some banks are no longer so sure, especially as the sovereign debt crisis threatened to ensnare Germany itself this week, when investors began to question the nation’s stature as Europe’s main pillar of stability.

On Friday, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Belgium’s credit standing to AA from AA+, saying it might not be able to cut its towering debt load any time soon. Ratings agencies this week cautioned that France could lose its AAA rating if the crisis grew. On Thursday, agencies lowered the ratings of Portugal and Hungary to junk.

While European leaders still say there is no need to draw up a Plan B, some of the world’s biggest banks, and their supervisors, are doing just that.

“We cannot be, and are not, complacent on this front,” Andrew Bailey, a regulator at Britain’s Financial Services Authority, said this week. “We must not ignore the prospect of a disorderly departure of some countries from the euro zone,” he said.

rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/business/global/banks-fear-breakup-of-the-euro-zone.html?_r=1&hp

Prepare for riots in euro collapse, Foreign Office warns
- Telegraphtelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8917077/Prepare-for-riots-in-euro-collapse-Foreign-Office-warns.html

British embassies in the eurozone have been told to draw up plans to help British expats through the collapse of the single currency, amid new fears for Italy and Spain.

Post by: akfools on November 27, 2011, 03:34:19 pm


November 27th, 2011

British embassies in the eurozone have been told to draw up plans to help British expats through the collapse of the single currency, amid new fears for Italy and Spain.

As the Italian government struggled to borrow and Spain considered seeking an international bail-out, British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible.

Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis.

The Treasury confirmed earlier this month that contingency planning for a collapse is now under way.

A senior minister has now revealed the extent of the Government’s concern, saying that Britain is now planning on the basis that a euro collapse is now just a matter of time.

“It’s in our interests that they keep playing for time because that gives us more time to prepare,” the minister told the Daily Telegraph.

There are also growing fears for Italy, whose new government was forced to pay record interest rates on new bonds issued yesterday.

The yield on new six-month loans was 6.5 per cent, nearly double last month’s rate. And the yield on outstanding two-year loans was 7.8 per cent, well above the level considered unsustainable.

Italy’s new government will have to sell more than EURO 30 billion of new bonds by the end of January to refinance its debts. Analysts say there is no guarantee that investors will buy all of those bonds, which could force Italy to default.

The Italian government yesterday said that in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Mario Monti had agreed that an Italian collapse “would inevitably be the end of the euro.”


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Mark on November 28, 2011, 06:37:42 am
New Reports Warn of Escalating Dangers From Europe's Debt Crisis

Warnings that the debt crisis in Europe could cause credit to dry up across the global banking system, endangering the world economy, multiplied on Monday despite fresh efforts by European leaders to prevent the euro monetary union from fracturing.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the euro crisis remained “a key risk to the world economy.” The Paris-based research group sharply cut its forecasts for wealthy Western countries and warned that growth in Europe could come to a standstill.

Europe’s politicians have so far moved too slowly to prevent the crisis from spreading, the organization said in a report . It warned that the problems that started in Greece almost two years ago would start to infect even rich European countries thought to have relatively solid public finances, a development that would “massively escalate economic disruption.”

rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/business/global/moodys-warns-of-escalating-dangers-from-europes-debt-crisis.html

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 28, 2011, 09:25:22 am
Euro Zone in Mild Recession, US May Follow: OECD


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 29, 2011, 10:19:29 pm


World Bank head sees ripple effects from euro woes
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Europe's debt crisis threatens to undermine consumer confidence and cut off credit to businesses in the rapidly emerging markets that have been bright spots in an otherwise grim global economy, the head of the World Bank warned on Tuesday.

"While the European and euro zone problems have to be dealt with primarily by Europe, you've got to be aware of the ripple effects of this and the ripple effects can easily become wave effects," Robert Zoellick, the institution's president, said in a talk with students at Harvard University.

Leaders of the euro zone nations have been scrambling to head off a spreading sovereign-debt crisis that has hit the Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Irish economies and threatens to engulf the rest of the 17-nation bloc.

One key risk Zoellick cited is that worries about Europe's troubles will spook consumers in emerging markets, such as China, India and Brazil, that have been far quicker to recover from the private-sector credit crunch of 2008.

"What I was most worried about and remain worried about is the fact that if the problems in consumer confidence ... and business confidence in Europe and the U.S. spread to emerging markets then the domestic demand of those economies would also wither," Zoellick said.

read more

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 29, 2011, 10:25:19 pm


How to Know When the Euro Crisis Reaches a Tipping Point

Two huge financial dangers that still seemed somewhat unlikely a few months ago now appear hard to avoid. First, the common euro currency is in deep trouble, and European governments are frantically trying to save it. Second, the chances of a worldwide recession are increasing because of these attempts to stave off the euro's collapse. Although the problems have been going on for some time, they're about to get much worse. To know when the crisis is reaching a tipping point, keep your eye on global government bond yields.

Although European leaders are still behaving as though the euro can be saved, behind the scenes banks are preparing for the breakup of the Eurozone. One of the effects of what the banks are doing is that global bond yields are diverging. Where banks cut back their bond holdings, countries have to pay higher yields. By contrast, in those countries where banks are willing to park their money for safekeeping, governments don't have to pay very high yields. (MORE: How to Get Your Dream Job in a Bad Economy)

A second effect of banks hunkering down is that they become less willing to lend money. To support a loan portfolio of a given size, banks have to have a certain amount of equity. If losses on government bonds eat into that equity, banks have to raise more capital. This undermines their stock if they sell additional shares to raise cash while share prices are depressed.

read more

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 30, 2011, 10:19:14 pm



Corruption making euro debt crisis worse: NGO

Corruption is hampering efforts to tackle the eurozone debt crisis, a top anti-graft watchdog said Thursday, as Greece and Italy scored badly in a list of nations seen to be the most sleaze-ridden.

The economic dramas in the euro area have happened "partly because of public authorities' failure to tackle the bribery and tax evasion that are key drivers of the debt crisis," said the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI).

On a scale of zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (thought to have little corruption), Italy scored 3.9 and Greece 3.4, ranking 69 and 80 respectively in the list of 182 countries.

Robin Hodess, TI's research director, said the eurozone crisis "reflects poor financial management, lack of transparency and mismanagement of public funds."

"There is a strong link between poor performance in terms of perceptions of corruption and broader issues around economic governance," added Hodess in an interview with AFP.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 11:28:21 am


Sarkozy calls for new European treaty as euro enters make-or-break week

French president uses speech to set out initiative that appears at odds with Berlin's plan for more rigorous monetary union

President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a new European treaty to save the single currency and to revive a European Union from fragmenting in its worst ever crisis.

Kicking off a week of high stakes politics that many say could decide the fate of the euro, Sarkozy delivered a major hour-long speech in the southern port of Toulon devoted to his vision of Europe's future.

While conceding that Europe's debt crisis and the collapse of confidence in the currency meant France had to surrender some of its sovereignty under a new punitive regime of fiscal discipline, Sarkozy's focus appeared to be on a new deal enabling the leaders of the 17 eurozone countries to strike political bargains among themselves.

Eurozone governments would need to forfeit their rights of veto in policy-making, he said, under a new system of eurogroup qualified majority voting.

Sarkozy failed to flesh out his ideas but his initiative appeared to run counter to Berlin's plans for a much more rigorous monetary union in which participating governments would surrender ultimate control of tax and spending policies to a centralised EU body armed with intrusive powers of scrutiny and dealing out automatic penalties to fiscal sinners.

"The reform of Europe is not a march towards supra-nationality," Sarkozy said in a swipe at handing powers to Brussels. "The integration of Europe will go the inter-governmental way because Europe needs to make strategic political choices."

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is to go to Paris on Monday to try to hammer out the new eurozone blueprint with Sarkozy. She is to unveil her proposals and priorities in a speech to the Bundestag in Berlin on Friday, while David Cameron is also to go to Paris for discussions on the crisis with the French leader.

All of that precedes an EU summit next week that pundits and politicians are billing as Europe's last chance to secure a future for the euro. All the signs were that Paris and Berlin were determined to coin a common plan but remained far apart on the essentials.

"Together we will make proposals to guarantee Europe's future," said Sarkozy.

He wants the European Central Bank to play a more interventionist role in shoring up the currency. Merkel rejects that. While paying ritual tribute to the ECB's independence last night, Sarkozy also said that the central bank would act if it needed to.

"The ECB is independent and will remain so. I am convinced that facing the risk of deflation that threatens Europe, the ECB will act," he said. "It's up to it to decide when and in what way."

Merkel also wants to rewrite the euro rulebook by reopening the Lisbon Treaty, meaning a negotiation among all 27 EU states that would also involve the European parliament and commission.

While he did not go into detail, Sarkozy emphasized the eurozone, suggesting that the 17 countries could strike a separate pact without reopening the treaty.

Berlin insists there should be automatic punishments for countries in breach of the new rulebook, with the European court acting as referee. Sarkozy said only that sanctions should be "more automatic", leaving room for leaders to strike deals.

Mario Draghi, the new head of the ECB, supported the German view while hinting that the central bank could become more active on the bond markets once the new regime was agreed.

"Fundamental questions are being raised and they call for an answer," he told the European parliament. "Our economic and monetary union needs a new fiscal compact – a fundamental restatement of the fiscal rules together with the mutual fiscal commitments that euro area governments have made … Other elements might follow, but the sequencing matters. And it is first and foremost important to get a commonly shared fiscal compact right."

That France and Germany have not yet closed ranks on the new euro pact complicates Cameron's talks in Paris today. The prime minister will keep his options open over possible EU treaty change.

Downing Street signalled that Cameron would not use the imminent treaty negotiations to demand the repatriation of social and employment laws from Brussels. He would instead focus on safeguarding the position of Britain's position in the single market and protecting the City.With France and Germany still split over how to enforce new rules for the eurozone, government sources said, Herman Van Rompuy, chairing next week's summit, has also been unable so far to get a eurogroup consensus on whether the Lisbon Treaty should be reopened.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Kilika on December 02, 2011, 03:16:20 pm
We seeing a pattern yet? Everybody's currency is faultering, intentional or not. So the next offering I'm guessing is their solution. Prophetic? Overall it has it's part I think. Prophecy does speak of the kings of the earth, and so, yeah, prophetic.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 09:56:13 pm


Exclusive: MF Global mixed funds, transferred abroad
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Regulators investigating the collapse of MF Global have determined that the firm combined money between securities and futures accounts owned by customers, and transferred funds outside the country to at least one entity, a source said on Friday.

"The further we get into (the investigation) the more complex it is ... but we're making progress," the source said, adding that the commingling and transferring of money is making it harder for regulators to determine what money belongs where.

MF Global took futures segregated money and put it into the account for customer securities, essentially mixing futures and securities that were both owned by customers, said an official familiar with the matter.

Until now, it was believed that only customer futures accounts were affected.

The source also told Reuters that MF Global had been using customer funds for "several days if not weeks" rather than just a few days before the firm collapsed.

read more

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 10:04:38 pm


Debt funds needed in all eurozone states: Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - Every country in the euro zone needs to set up a special national fund for sovereign debt that is more than 60 percent of gross domestic product, Germany's finance minister told a newspaper.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, detailing a proposal he will make at a European Union summit on December 9, told the Passauer Neue Presse that a total of 500 billion euros ($672 billion) would need to go into the German fund.

"We need a redemption fund in every single country of the euro zone," he told the newspaper in comments released on Saturday.

Tax revenues should be used to support the funds, Schaeuble said, adding that Germany would not need to raise taxes to implement the plan.

"Around 500 billion euros needs to be stored in the fund. This affects federal, state and municipal debt," he said.

read more

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 10:28:19 pm
Sarkozy: Austerity alone will lead to recession
1 December 2011, by Christopher Noble - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday that using austerity alone to solve the economic crisis afflicting France and the rest of Europe would lead to recession and possibly even depression.

He said such an approach would make the French people pay nearly the whole cost of trying to recover from the crisis.

"It would end in recession or depression," Sarkozy said in a speech in the southern French city of Toulon.

Sarkozy said that cuts and economic reform were necessary but were only part of what were needed to help Europe emerge from its sovereign debt crisis.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 10:32:10 pm
Europe weighs central bank loans to IMF: report
2 December 2011, Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Euro-zone finance ministers are weighing a plan that would see the region's national central banks provide as much as 200 billion euros ($275 billion) in loans through the International Monetary Fund that could be used to battle the region's debt crisis, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The plan would see national central banks recycle funds through the IMF in order to underwrite precautionary credit lines for Italy or Spain, the report said.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 10:35:02 pm
Bilateral loans to IMF under discussion: spokesman
2 December 2011, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The International Monetary Fund on Friday said European officials are discussing potential bilateral loans to the institution that could be used to fund euro-zone bailouts.

"European authorities -- like some other IMF member countries -- are exploring bilateral loans to the IMF," as noted by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker on Nov. 29, said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice in emailed comments.

Such loans "could indeed come from member-country central banks, and indeed these central banks are already lending to the Fund under the New Arrangements to Borrow and bilateral agreements since 2009," he said.

A news report earlier Friday said European officials are weighing a plan that would see euro-area central banks funnel as much as $275 billion in loans through the IMF.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 10:37:49 pm
Merkel calls for quick move to fiscal union - German leader rejects call for eurobonds, defends ECB independence
1 December 2011, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday called for quick treaty changes that would pave the way for closer fiscal union in the 17-nation euro area, while again rejecting proposals for joint eurobonds and warning that the region’s problems will take years to resolve.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 03, 2011, 08:33:42 am


Germany's Merkel fights for euro, Cameron for UK

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened on Friday to obstruct a Franco-German drive for swift change to the European Union's treaty, a sign of the difficulty leaders will face transforming Europe to save the euro.

France and Germany are reaching a consensus that euro zone economies need to be bound more closely together if the single currency is to survive, which could mean changing the EU treaty to give Brussels powers to punish spendthrift euro states.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said there was a danger that the euro zone bloc would split up unless it implemented new rules and stuck to them.

"When we are not able to set up and keep to more conditions and ground rules, then many countries in the euro zone will no longer be able to pay the very high rates for sovereign bonds," he told the daily Krone.

"The next effect will be that you won't find anyone to buy them. Then the euro zone has to break up because of this.... it is a very real danger."

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 04, 2011, 08:43:44 am


Euro zone enters a decisive week

By Paul Taylor

PARIS (Reuters) - The euro faces a decisive week as European Union leaders, urged on anxiously by the United States, seek agreement on the definitive rescue plan that has eluded them for two years.

Despite short-term market optimism about a possible deal to tackle Europe's sovereign debt crisis and ensure the survival of the single currency, the outcome is far from certain as the EU gears up for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

"This week, the stable future of the euro and thus the economic recovery in Europe and employment are at stake," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told Reuters. "This calls for a convincing package of measures from the European Council (summit)."

If all goes according to plans being hatched in Berlin and Paris, the EU will have taken a step towards fiscal union by Friday night, agreeing on a treaty change to anchor coercive budget discipline for the 17-nation currency area.

The European Central Bank will have cut interest rates on Thursday to counter a looming recession and taken new measures to provide longer-term funding for Europe's teetering banks.

And new prime ministers in Italy, Greece and Spain will have demonstrated their commitment to tough austerity measures and structural economic reforms to tackle their debt problems and restore investor confidence.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 04, 2011, 09:11:44 pm


Pivotal week for Europe's leaders and fate of euro

BRUSSELS (AP) — Europe's government-debt crisis, which has dragged on for more than two years, is entering a pivotal week, as leaders across the continent converge to prevent a collapse of the euro and a global financial panic that could result.

Expectations are rising that Friday's summit of leaders of the 27 countries in the European Union will yield a breakthrough. An agreement on tighter integration of the 17 EU countries that use the euro — especially on budget matters — would be seen as a crucial first step. That could trigger further emergency aid from the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund or some combination, analysts say.

The coming days "will decide if the euro will survive or not," Emma Marcegaglia, the head of Italy's industrial lobby, Confindustria, said Sunday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi and even U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will star in a 5-day financial drama leading up to the summit.

If the summit is a failure, Sarkozy warned last week, "the world will not wait for Europe."

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Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Mark on December 05, 2011, 09:41:04 am
Sarkozy and Merkel Push for Changes to Europe Treaty

The two primary leaders of the euro zone, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, issued their first joint call on Monday for amendments to Europe’s governing treaties to provide better economic governance for the 17 countries of the euro zone...

...So Mr. Sarkozy and other European leaders are working on a less elegant and more phased way to create a pool of bailout money that is large enough to convince the markets there is little chance of a default on Italian and Spanish bonds, which should drive down rates to sustainable levels, European and American officials say.

Mrs. Merkel says it is time to get the euro’s fundamentals right. She is insisting on treaty changes to promote more fiscal discipline, including a limit on budget deficits, with outside supervision and surveillance of national budgets before they become dangerous, and clear sanctions for countries that fail to adhere to the firmer rules. Berlin wants the new standards backed up by the European Court of Justice or perhaps the European Commission, with the power to reject budgets that break the rules and return them for revision...

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/world/europe/leaders-piece-together-an-effort-to-keep-the-euro-intact.html

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 05, 2011, 06:06:57 pm


S&P piles pressure on Franco-German EU budget plan

PARIS (Reuters) - The leaders of France and Germany agreed a master plan involving treaty change on Monday to impose budget discipline across the euro zone as a top rating agency piled on pressure for a rapid solution to the EU debt crisis.

Standard & Poor's said it had told 15 of the 17 euro zone countries, including Germany, France and four others with the top AAA credit rating, that it might downgrade them en masse within 90 days, depending on the outcome of a crucial EU summit on Friday.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said their proposal included automatic penalties for governments that fail to keep their deficits under control, and an early launch of a permanent bailout fund for euro states in distress.

They said they wanted treaty change to be agreed in March and ratified after France wraps up presidential and legislative elections in June. "We need to go fast," Sarkozy said.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 05, 2011, 07:49:16 pm

Germany urged to drop treaty change demand: EU sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Several EU member states are urging Germany to drop its demands for changes to the EU treaty, arguing that deeper fiscal integration in the euro zone can be achieved without overhauling the EU's fundamental law, EU sources say.

Germany has been pushing since early September to change the EU treaty, maintaining that the only way to enforce much tighter budget discipline among the euro zone's 17 countries is to enshrine stricter rules in law.

But several member states inside and outside the euro zone are opposed to changing the treaty, saying it will take too long and prove disruptive if all parties including the European Parliament are involved, and are urging Berlin to drop its demands.

"If you go for treaty change at 27, you cannot avoid the convention," said a senior EU official involved in the discussions, referring to the negotiation process

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 05, 2011, 08:05:52 pm


EU seeks to save the euro, but S&P isn't convinced

PARIS (AP) — Seeking to restore confidence in the euro, the leaders of France and Germany jointly have called for changes to the European Union treaty so that countries using the euro would face automatic penalties if budget deficits ran too high.

But not everyone on Wall Street was reassured that Europe would get control of its 2-year-old debt crisis.

Stock prices rose and borrowing costs for European governments dropped sharply in response to the changes proposed on Monday by French President Nikolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But some of the optimism faded late in the day when Standard and Poor's threatened to cut its credit ratings on 15 eurozone countries, including the likes of Germany, France and Austria which have been considered Europe's safest government debt issuers.

The announcement came only hours after Sarkozy and Merkel revealed sweeping plans to change the EU treaty in an effort to keep tighter checks on overspending nations. The proposal is set to form the basis of discussions at a summit of EU leaders on Thursday and Friday that is expected to provide a blueprint for an exit from the crisis.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 06, 2011, 12:30:39 pm
New currencies to lose value in euro breakup
6 December 2011, by Deborah Levine (MarketWatch - Blogs)

Since people are worrying about the euro zone breaking up if leaders can’t agree on how to deal with the out-of-control debt of some countries, the next natural question is: so what’s that mean for returning to individual currencies?

Well, Nomura did some research on it, and tried to quantify a way to value new national currencies based on the current misalignment of the real exchange rate (for instance, the euro now around $1.34 is way too strong for Greece but a little weak for Germany) and future inflation risk.

“Our estimates suggest significant depreciation risk for a number of euro-zone countries,” said Jens Nordvig, global head of the G-10 foreign exchange strategy at Nomura Securities, wrote in emailed comments Monday.

Fair value for a new Greek currency, whether reviving the drachma or not, would be almost a 60% depreciation, to around 57 U.S. cents, he said.

Portugal’s currency would be worth 47% less, while Ireland, Italy, Belgium and Spain would all see a depreciation of roughly 25% to 35%, according to Nomura

And of course, Germany, which formerly used deutsche marks, would be 1.3% stronger – the only one to go up.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 06, 2011, 12:55:46 pm


Downgrade threat could prove final blow to euro rescue fund

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The threat of a credit downgrade to the euro zone's top economies leaves the bloc's EFSF bailout fund dangerously exposed, piling yet more pressure on the European Central Bank to step in as lender of last resort.

The fund has struggled to attract investors even with the backing of six AAA-rated governments, and on Tuesday S&P followed up a warning of possible downgrades for 15 euro economies by saying it is also reviewing the EFSF.

Expanding the lending reach of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), agreed at an emergency summit in October, is central to the euro zone's plan to show investors it can stand behind its wayward sovereigns.

But much of the fund's ordinal appeal lay in the top creditworthiness of its guarantors, notable the euro's main paymaster Germany and France, the EFSF's second largest contributor.

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Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 06, 2011, 05:15:29 pm


Downgrade threat, Geithner push EU to agree plan

BERLIN (AP) — European nations were pressed Tuesday by a credit downgrade threat and the U.S. Treasury chief to deliver on markets' huge hopes for a solution to the 2-year-old financial crisis engulfing the continent.

Germany and France downplayed Standard & Poor's warnings to downgrade 15 eurozone nations and Europe's bailout fund. But a downgrade of their AAA ratings would complicate their efforts to restore investor confidence in Europe.

Loans from the bailout fund have rescued Ireland, Portugal and Greece, but if the fund loses its own AAA rating, it could have to charge higher rates to rescue countries in the future, making it tougher for them to recover.

That heaps more uncertainty on the fund, which many had already dismissed as too small to bail out a country like Italy. Help from abroad also seemed unlikely — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Federal Reserve has no plans to give money to the International Monetary Fund to bolster Europe's bailout fund.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 06, 2011, 08:31:19 pm


Why S&P wields so much power in European crisis

S&P, credit rating agency that downgraded US, injects itself into European debt drama

NEW YORK (AP) -- Until this week, the fate of Europe seemed to hang on the decisions of three power brokers — the president of France, the chancellor of Germany and the head of the European Central Bank.

Add a surprising fourth: Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency.

S&P ripped into American politicians last summer for failing to address long-term debt and stripped the United States of its top-flight credit rating. Now it is essentially warning Europe to fix its debt problem — or else.

Critics of S&P have questioned its credibility and relevance because it failed to foresee the collapse in the U.S. subprime mortgage market, which helped trigger the financial meltdown of 2008.

But what S&P says about the creditworthiness of European countries, or just about any other financial entity, still matters a great deal.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 07, 2011, 08:54:32 pm


Summary Box: Euro crisis could hammer airlines

Airlines group expects profits to fall in 2012; steep losses if Europe becomes catastrophe

DANGER ZONE: Global aviation earnings will likely decline to $3.5 billion in 2012 but those could turn into steep losses exceeding $8.3 billion if the eurozone crisis veers toward catastrophe, the industry's trade group said Wednesday.

FALLING PROFITS: For 2011, the industry says it anticipates that surging oil and fuel prices will clip its profits at $6.9 billion — less than half of its $15.8 billion in 2010 profits.

PROBLEM CONTINENT: For European airlines "the only open question is how deep" the losses will be next year, the association's CEO Tony Tyler told reporters.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 07, 2011, 08:57:07 pm


Stocks close mixed as traders await Europe news

Stocks close mixed after trading in narrow range; traders await news from meetings in Europe

Optimism about a European debt-crisis summit this week rose and fell on Wednesday, but U.S. stock indexes barely budged. The Dow Jones industrial average closed 46 points higher; the Nasdaq composite index fell a fraction of a point.

Hopes have been building that the summit, which begins Thursday, will produce a lasting solution to Europe's two-year-old debt crisis.

On Wednesday, French and German leaders sought to downplay those expectations. Traders have been hoping that European countries will link their budgets more closely and impose greater fiscal discipline on heavily indebted nations like Greece and Spain. Officials said Wednesday that a deal this week might include only some countries, and crafting a fuller plan might take until Christmas.

"The pattern has been get your hopes up, then be disappointed by EU summits, and that pattern has been in place for a while," said Steve Van Order, fixed income strategist at Calvert Investment Management.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Mark on December 08, 2011, 06:29:11 am
The Euro Crisis and the Apocalypse

“A crisis of apocalyptic proportions” is the way Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, recently described the economic morass into which the Eurozone is sinking.

Sikorksi may be more accurate than he realizes. The whole world seems to be moving inevitably toward the apocalyptic reality described in Revelation 18:17, where the collapse of “Babylon’s” entire economic system occurs in “one hour."

“Babylon,” in the Bible’s prophetic symbolism, is the world system organized without and even in defiance of God. It is comprised of the interweaving and networking of all the civilizational and national components of the globe’s geopolitical infrastructure.

For the first time in history, a “one hour” crash of the whole is possible. This is because of the increasing irrelevance of borders. Economic boundaries have been demolished through the electronic linkage of the global economy, the multinational marketplace, and regional alliances like the Eurozone.

The European dilemma is showing that such economic arrangements cannot be merely regional in scope. The whole world invests in and trades with them. When they collapse, the global economy slides with them.

And because of the “wired world” it can happen in “one hour."

“Apocalypse” comes from an old Greek word that means an “unveiling,” as in lifting a curtain. What the euro-crisis is going to unveil is the delusion of a world without boundaries.

Ironically, modern Greece is a major factor in the looming “apocalypse.” In the 1990s almost all the European nations abandoned their currencies and embraced the euro. Eventually Greece and other Mediterranean countries in the European region joined the federation. The Greek currency, the drachma, went away, but the monetary policies of the Greek government did not. The politicians continued to spend more than taxes brought in. Under the old system, the government covered deficits by printing more money. But with the drachma gone, the only option was for the Greek authorities to borrow more euros at high interest rates. When Greece, Italy, and other countries showed signs of defaulting on their huge debt, all Europe was brought to the precipice of crisis.

Many nations had grabbed hold of the rope of Eurozone investments, hoping for a pull up Prosperity Mountain. But as Europe loses its financial footing, it threatens to pull down everyone tied onto the Eurozone economy. That means the global economy is in peril.

“Anthropos”, another Greek word, identifies the root of the crisis. The term means “man.” It’s often used in the broader sense of “humanity.” Human nature is behind the apocalyptic dilemma in which Europe – and much of the globe – finds itself. The sin the world loves to deny propels people into the delusion of credit binging, the short-term Esau philosophy of quickie investments that get investors in a “mess of pottage,” the fantasy that welfare states can be supported through a declining work ethic, and the rising expectations of the spreading entitlement culture.

The collapse of cyber-borders as well as geopolitical boundaries, coupled with fallen human nature, speeds us toward the apocalyptic conditions Sikorski fears. The answer is in the same place it’s always been: the transformation of human nature.
What will save the world is an “inside-out-bottom-up” movement. It is “bottom-up” in that it begins with the individual human being. It is “inside-out” because such transformation begins at the core of the inner person. Truth sets us free from Babylon’s bling, and provides the worldview and impetus for a lifestyle of responsible living that luxuriates in the joy of the liberty of Jesus Christ.

To many that sounds preachy. However, after decades of institutions, schemes, and movements that promised the Millennium, all we’ve gotten is apocalypse.

Wallace Henley, a teaching pastor at Houston’s Second Baptist Church, is a former journalist and White House and Congressional aide.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Kilika on December 08, 2011, 11:32:17 am
Sikorksi may be more accurate than he realizes. The whole world seems to be moving inevitably toward the apocalyptic reality described in Revelation 18:17, where the collapse of “Babylon’s” entire economic system occurs in “one hour."

But the question is, when does the "one hour" happen along the time line? It won't happen till others events that preceed it happen. We know the fall will be great, but it has to happen in order.

I don't know of any mention in scripture that describes events that lead up to the collapse of "Babylon".

Chapters 14 and 18 both say "Babylon is fallen...", so that indicates to me they are talking of the same time period.

Chapter 14...

6   And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 
7   Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 
8   And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 
9   And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 
10   The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 
11   And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 
12   Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 
13   And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. 
Revelation 14:6-13 (KJB)

Chapter 18...

1   And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 
2   And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 
3   For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 
4   And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 
5   For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 
6   Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 
7   How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 
8   Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her. 
9 ¶ And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 
10   Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 
11   And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 
12   The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 
13   And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 
14   And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 
15   The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 
16   And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 
17   For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 
18   And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What [city is] like unto this great city! 
19   And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 
20   Rejoice over her, [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 
21 ¶ And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast [it] into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 
22   And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft [he be], shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 
23   And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 
24   And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. 
Revelation 18 (KJB)

Chapter 18 is nothing but about Babylon. But chapter 14 includes after the mention of Babylon, "the time has come for thee to reap", the reaping of the earth, which indicates I think the very end just before the judgement seat.

If we go by the timeline as described in order of mention in chapter 14, it seems the fall of Babylon is at the end, os there's still A LOT to take place before Babylon falls totally. It's like a building shaking and shaking, then suddenly it breaks apart and collapses, indeed "in one hour".

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 08, 2011, 11:35:27 am
Banks Prep for Life After Euro - Countries Study Printing Their Own Notes in Case Monetary Union Unravels
8 December 2011, by David Enrich and Alister Macdonald (The Wall Street Journal)

Some central banks in Europe have started weighing contingency plans to prepare for the possibility that countries leave the euro zone or the currency union breaks apart entirely, according to people familiar with the matter.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Kilika on December 08, 2011, 11:44:20 am
Isn't it interesting to watch them argue over this stuff, scrambling to prop up a collapsing monetary system, knowing already what their solution will be? I mean it's kind of obvious to me they need a big solution to this huge problem they got. One digital currency solves it all, and what we are seeing now I think is the lead up to the offering up of the solution that the world won't be able to refuse.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Lisa on December 08, 2011, 12:58:51 pm
7o years after WW2-Germany appears to get what she always wanted....Im sure i heard Merckel talking about the final solution the other day.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 08, 2011, 08:21:42 pm


Wall St falls on dashed euro-zone hopes, Germany's rejection
(Reuters) - Wall Street fell on Thursday after the European Central Bank dashed hopes that policy-makers were preparing a financial "bazooka" to contain the debt crisis, and Germany rejected some proposals to add power to the euro zone's bailout fund.

U.S. markets have been on edge all week in anticipation of a summit deal that would come to grips with the euro zone's growing debt crisis, and pave the way for greater action by the ECB to hold down bond yields.

But actions from Europe - both early and late in the day - were a stark disappointment.

Before the market's open, ECB President Mario Draghi discouraged expectations that the central bank would massively increase its purchases of government bonds after a crucial Brussels summit on Friday.

Shortly before the closing bell, Germany rejected some measures in draft conclusions from the summit, including giving the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) a banking license and issuing common euro-zone debt. U.S. stocks and the euro fell sharply following the news.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 08, 2011, 10:45:50 pm


EU fails to agree on treaty change among 27 states: diplomats

..BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union failed to secure backing from all 27 countries to change the EU treaty at a summit on Friday, meaning any deal will now likely involve the 17 euro zone countries plus any others that want to join, three EU diplomats said.

An agreement at 27 fell through after British Prime Minister David Cameron demanded concessions that Germany and France were not willing to give, one of the officials said.

During nearly 10 hours of talks that lasted into the night, EU leaders did manage to reach agreement on a ceiling for the size of the euro zone's permanent bailout fund, the ESM, saying it would be capped at 500 billion euros.

That figure will be reviewed in July next year, when the ESM is due to come into force, the diplomats said.

The leaders also agreed to explore the idea of providing bilateral loans to the International Monetary Fund totalling 200 billion euros, with 150 billion of that coming from the euro zone , to bolster IMF resources to tackle Europe's debt crisis.

(Writing by Luke Baker; editing by Mark John)


Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 08, 2011, 10:48:12 pm


EU fails to agree on treaty change among 27 states: diplomats

..BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union failed to secure backing from all 27 countries to change the EU treaty at a summit on Friday, meaning any deal will now likely involve the 17 euro zone countries plus any others that want to join, three EU diplomats said.

An agreement at 27 fell through after British Prime Minister David Cameron demanded concessions that Germany and France were not willing to give, one of the officials said.

During nearly 10 hours of talks that lasted into the night, EU leaders did manage to reach agreement on a ceiling for the size of the euro zone's permanent bailout fund, the ESM, saying it would be capped at 500 billion euros.

That figure will be reviewed in July next year, when the ESM is due to come into force, the diplomats said.

The leaders also agreed to explore the idea of providing bilateral loans to the International Monetary Fund totalling 200 billion euros, with 150 billion of that coming from the euro zone , to bolster IMF resources to tackle Europe's debt crisis.

(Writing by Luke Baker; editing by Mark John)


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 08, 2011, 10:57:49 pm


US bank warns of eurozone breakup 'pandemonium'

Citigroup economist and former central banker Willem Buiter warned Thursday that a fully blown breakup of the eurozone could spell a global depression with unemployment of 20 percent and economic pandemonium.

Sketching a stark picture of the stakes facing European leaders as they gather in Brussels to discuss how to save the single currency, Buiter said a breakup would unlikely be planned, orderly or gradual.

Buiter, a former Bank of England policy maker, predicted in a research note that a breakup would be "disruptive, destructive and without any winners."

While arguing that Greece's potential default and euro area exit is manageable, the same events in Italy and Spain would wreak broad economic pain.

"A disorderly sovereign default and (euro area) exit by Italy would bring down much of the European banking sector."

"If Spain and Italy were to exit, there would be a collapse of systemically important financial institutions throughout the European Union and North America and years of global depression."

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Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Mark on December 09, 2011, 04:03:59 am
No worries, there is one man standing in the wings awaiting his appointed time that has all the answers and will solve this problem like magic.  :o

Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Mark on December 09, 2011, 09:14:15 am
The president of the European Council said Friday that a new intergovernmental treaty meant to save the euro currency will include the 17 eurozone states plus as many as six other European Union countries — but not all 27 EU members.

The failure to get agreement among all the members of the European Union at a summit meeting in Brussels reflected in large part a deep split between France and Germany on the one hand and Britain on the other. France and Germany are the two largest economies in the eurozone; Britain does not use the euro as its currency.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said early Friday he would have preferred a treaty among all the members of the European Union. But that could not be achieved, he said, because the British proposed that they be exempted from certain financial regulations.

"We could not accept this" because a lack of sufficient regulation caused the current problems, Sarkozy said. The new intergovernmental accord should be ready by March, he said.

Still, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the plan.

"I have always said, the 17 states of the eurogroup have to regain credibility," she said. "And I believe with today's decisions this can and will be achieved."

The summit meeting in Brussels was viewed as a critical step in the effort to save the euro. The currency is losing the trust of the international financial markets, who fear that some debt-laden euro countries may ultimately be unable to pay their debts.

That doubt means that the governments of countries viewed as in a precarious state must pay higher interest to borrow the money they need to carry on — and that, in turn, makes their budget deficits even worse and can be unsustainable in the long run.

EU officials believe that one way of regaining market trust is to beef up the financial governance overseeing the eurozone countries and their budgets. Any intergovernmental treaty will be an effort to ensure that national budgets are brought into balance and large debts are not run up again.

And the officials believe another way to regain the trust of investors is to have enough money on hand to guarantee that eurozone countries won't default on their debts.

Toward that end, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said some EU countries would provide up to euro200 billion ($268 billion) in extra resources to the International Monetary Fund, to be used to help countries in dire straits.

Sarkozy also said the EU's two bailout funds, meant to rescue countries having trouble refinancing their debts — the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, and the European Financial Stability Facility, or EFSF — would be managed by the European Central Bank, though the details still need to be worked out.

The French president said work was proceeding on an "intergovernmental accord" among the 17 countries that use the euro plus as many as six others, not counting Britain, Hungary, and so-far undecided Czech Republic and Sweden.

The failure to get agreement among all 27 EU members came despite a marathon negotiating session. The 27 EU presidents and prime ministers began their talks at 7:30 Thursday evening and continued past 4:30 a.m.


Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Mark on December 09, 2011, 10:02:39 am
EU RIP? Europe deal fractures union, raises stocks

Twenty-three members of the European Union have agreed to a fiscal compact, intended to create a "genuine 'fiscal stability union' in the euro area" and will result in "significantly stronger coordination of economic policies in areas of common interest." All 17 European members who use a common currency agreed to the pact, plus six more (Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria) that hope to use the currency in the future.

Wait, aren't there 27 EU nations? Sweden and the Czech Republic didn't close the door, but Britain and Hungary are not so keen on the idea of ceding power over their national budgets to a centralized European authority, so they are taking pass on the new pact.

Britain seemed to be the least interested in considering the pact. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he could not allow a "treaty within a treaty" that would undermine the U.K.'s position in the single market. Oh, and the City of London (the financial center of the U.K.) wasn't interested in signing up for a pact that would impose a tax on financial transactions.

Merkel can't flex her muscles in Brussel: stocks up marginally

Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted consensus from all 27 EU members, she has to live with only 23 to "achieve the new fiscal union" and only 23 will "have stronger budget deficit regulations." This essentially boils done to a two-tiered European Union, where depending on your point of view, Britain is either (a) left isolated or (b) off the hook for future bailouts.

The real test is whether investors believe that the pact will work. European stocks are up a bit, and U.S. stocks opened less than 1 percent higher. But with Europe already at risk of recession, investors may soon realize that there is little in the new fiscal pact to address slowing growth rates and problems in the heavily indebted PIIGS. The real test is the bond market, where confidence in debtor nations is made abundantly clear every day. Today, the cost to borrow money for two years in Italy is 6.12 percent and in Spain, yields are at 4.54 percent, both of which are below nose-bleed levels of two weeks ago, but still a hefty price to pay to finance sovereign debt.

Can we stop talking about Europe now?

Unfortunately, Europe is going to stay with us. The leaders now have to write the new rules; come up with more bailout money; and continue to monitor the weak debtor nations and the European banks. And all of this impacts the U.S. in a big way -- here's how:

Banking: If the Euro and European banks melt down, U.S. banks will also feel the pain. U.S. banks have about $1.2 trillion dollars in loan exposure to European banks, not to mention $640 billion in direct exposure to the so-called PIIGS. If Europe implodes, then U.S. banks will freeze up, making it even harder to get a loan for a house, a car or a small business.

U.S. exports: If the European economy tanks, the U.S. could follow suit. Europe buys 22 percent of all U.S. exports and so a recession there would hurt our exporters.

Jobs: If the U.S. economy slows down, there could be another round of job cuts, just at the time where it seemed we were making some incremental progress.

Stocks: Remember the August swoon that occurred after the debt-ceiling debacle? If Europe breaks down, August will seem like walk in the park.


Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Lisa on December 09, 2011, 01:26:39 pm
UK didnt sign up to it-saw comments regarding the comparison between not getting on the titanic as its about to sink and not allowing UK to be pushed around by the Germans during the war worked out well in the long run...

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 09, 2011, 10:36:28 pm


Eurozone banking system on the edge of collapse

The eurozone banking system is on the edge of collapse as major lenders begin to run out of the assets they need to keep vital funding lines open.

Senior analysts and traders warned of impending bank failures as a summit intended to solve the European crisis failed to deliver a solution that eased concerns over bank funding.

The European Central Bank admitted it had held meetings about providing emergency funding to the region's struggling banks, however City figures said a "collateral crunch" was looming.

"If anyone thinks things are getting better then they simply don't understand how severe the problems are. I think a major bank could fail within weeks," said one London-based executive at a major global bank.

Many banks, including some French, Italian and Spanish lenders, have already run out of many of the acceptable forms of collateral such as US Treasuries and other liquid securities used to finance short-term loans and have been forced to resort to lending out their gold reserves to maintain access to dollar funding.

"The system is creaking. There is a large amount of stress," said Anthony Peters, a strategist at Swissinvest, pointing to soaring interbank lending rates.

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Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Mark on December 10, 2011, 09:15:02 am
Napoleon dreamed of it, De Gaulle fought for it, but Nicolas Sarkozy may have achieved it -- a Europe of Nations with France in the cockpit and Britain on the sidelines.

The French president emerged as one of the big winners of a European Union summit on Friday which ended with up to 26 member states agreeing to move forward in economic integration around the euro zone, and Britain alone in staying out.

"Of course this is not just a long-standing desire, but a long-standing goal of French politics ... because in the French tradition Britain never really belonged to the European Union, dating back to De Gaulle," said a senior EU official who attended the summit, referring to the French president's veto of British entry in 1963 and again in 1967.

By obstructing the wish of the other EU members to amend the bloc's governing Lisbon treaty to allow closer fiscal union among the 17-nation single currency area, British Prime Minister David Cameron managed to unite Europe against him.

He may be feted by Eurosceptics at home, but he emerged as the biggest diplomatic loser of the summit, leading his country into an isolation that all his predecessors sought to avoid.

For centuries, a basic principle of British diplomacy was to maintain a balance of power on the European mainland forming shifting alliances with the main continental powers.

Cameron not only failed to win a blanket veto right over EU financial services legislation. The illusion of leading a group of 10 non-euro member states like Sweden and Poland, committed to a more liberal, open economy, crumbled as his supposed allies threw in their lot with the euro zone.

Even though Cameron said the Dutch had promised to look out for Britain's interests in the EU's single market, the City of London financial centre could be a loser in a two-speed, 26-1 Europe, given the current low political standing of banks and hedge funds.

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the summit was a more ambiguous success.

Europe's most powerful leader achieved her primary goal of anchoring strict German-style budget discipline, with automatic sanctions on deficit and debt offenders, in a new treaty, to be negotiated among the 26.

That should calm rebels in her centre-right coalition angry at successive bailouts of euro zone weaklings in which Berlin guarantees the biggest share.

But Merkel failed to keep the new "stability union" inside the EU treaty, due to Cameron's obduracy, making it harder to use key institutions such as the executive European Commission and the European Court of Justice to enforce fiscal rectitude.

Furthermore, she may have lost Britain as a useful ally in balancing out French tendencies towards trade protectionism and state domination of industry, which run counter to Berlin's economic interests.

Merkel acknowledged in a major speech in Bruges last year that Europe may have to use intergovernmental cooperation to advance economic integration because of the limits of the Lisbon treaty, and the lack of political appetite for revising it.

But Berlin wanted to remove political discretion from the fiscal sanctions procedure, while France was determined to allow politicians the last word on any decision to punish a country for budget delinquency.

Sarkozy has had to give ground to Merkel on many issues in the last few months, accepting intrusive powers to reject national budgets and backing off on calls for massive European Central Bank intervention to buy government bonds and the issuance of common euro zone bonds.

But the French leader, never keen on EU enlargement which diluted Paris' influence, never abandoned a vision of a smaller Europe with the euro zone as its core, run by a Franco-German directorate.

Cameron's empty-chair diplomacy gave Sarkozy the chance to turn that vision in to reality.

Another winner from the Brussels summit was European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. Barely a month in office, the Italian has already exercised decisive influence, shaping the emerging euro zone "fiscal compact" behind the scenes, while warding off efforts to hijack the bank to bail out governments.

Diplomats said the ECB was closely involved in telling euro zone leaders what economic reforms and budget discipline steps they should take.

Hours before Draghi came to the summit, the central bank had taken two decisive steps to shore up the euro area, cutting its interest rates to a record low 1.0 percent to soften a looming recession, and crucially extending long-term liquidity help to Europe's cash-starved banks.

But the ECB chief managed to avoid pressure from euro zone leaders to intervene massively to buy troubled states' bonds, which he fears would immediately weaken their resolve to carry out painful economic reforms.

After watching former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi back away from austerity plans and economic reforms he had promised to implement as soon as the ECB started buying Italian bonds in August, Draghi is determined to avoid a repeat.

So while Sarkozy may have gone some way towards realizing Napoleon's dream, it is Draghi, for now, who looks more like the new emperor of Europe.


Title: Re: The Coming European Superstate
Post by: Kilika on December 10, 2011, 01:53:06 pm


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 11, 2011, 07:06:33 pm


More uncertainty seen in wake of EU summit

...FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe's debt problem solved? Not yet.

An agreement by most European Union members to crack down on overspending will help ensure the current debt crisis isn't repeated, and might help heavily indebted governments to slowly regain market confidence.

But the fiscal austerity treaty does little to immediately lower the high borrowing costs threatening countries such as Italy and Spain. And what financial markets really want to know, says Stephen Lewis of Monument Securities in London, is "how eurozone governments and banks will finance themselves over the next three months."

Countries will reduce their deficits to try and convince markets they can pay back their loans. The European Central Bank will help put downward pressure on government borrowing costs by making limited purchases of their bonds. But without a promise of more aggressive action by the ECB, or another institution, to take the threat of government defaults off the table, bond markets will remain panicky.

ECB President Mario Draghi praised the agreement made Friday in Brussels. But he appears to have rejected for now calls for the bank to make large-scale purchases of European bonds, something financial markets are hoping for.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 15, 2011, 04:13:05 pm

Euro falls to 11-month low amid debt worries


Stock markets in Europe tumbled again Wednesday as the common currency, saddled by the continent's debt crisis, fell to an 11-month low against the U.S. dollar.

The euro sagged 0.5 per cent to $1.2975 US by mid-afternoon, the first time it has traded under $1.30 since January, in a fresh sign that Europe's deal last week to enforce more budgetary disciplines on the 17 eurozone countries is meeting with skepticism in the markets.

The major continental stock markets fared poorly. Germany's DAX index closed down 1.7 per cent, while the CAC-40 in Paris dropped 3.3 per cent. London's FTSE 100 was off 1.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, Europe's unresolved debt crisis kept the pressure on its indebted governments, with Italian borrowing costs rising again. The Italian government paid 6.47 per cent interest to borrow €3 billion ($4 billion Cdn) for five years at a bond auction, up from 6.30 per cent just a month ago.

"It was no secret to anyone that the currency union would run into these problems sooner or later. It’s amazing it took so long to rupture," Bank of Montreal chief economist Sherry Cooper wrote in a note.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 16, 2011, 08:25:58 am
ECB cut growth view on debt-crisis uncertainty
15 December 2011, by Margit Feher - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The euro-zone debt crisis poses a substantial threat to the region's economic prospects, the European Central Bank said Thursday, elaborating on its decision to lower its growth forecasts.

Financial market tensions could intensify and may spill over to the real economy, the ECB said Thursday in its monthly report.

Slower-than-expected global growth poses a further risk to economic growth, it added.

The ECB expects inflation in the coming months to remain above its target of just under 2%.

But inflation will slow below 2% in the course of next year on weaker growth, while cost and wage pressures will remain modest.

Risks to that price development outlook are broadly balanced, with an upside risk lying further tax increases needed for fiscal consolidation and the downside risk related to weaker-than-expected growth, the ECB said.

The report mostly reiterated the growth and inflation projections and comments made by ECB President Mario Draghi after the ECB cut its benchmark rate last week.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Kilika on December 16, 2011, 03:07:25 pm
Hey BA, for us laymen, how would you describe this finanacial mess? I mean, are you seeing where the bs is from an accountant perspective?

Maybe a little financial insight seeing your the numbers guy around here. Nothing too technical, but maybe something we can better grasp out of all the financial lingo in these articles.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 16, 2011, 08:29:35 pm
Hey BA, for us laymen, how would you describe this finanacial mess? I mean, are you seeing where the bs is from an accountant perspective?

Maybe a little financial insight seeing your the numbers guy around here. Nothing too technical, but maybe something we can better grasp out of all the financial lingo in these articles.

For the most part, the bank bailout bill since 2008 has really been the final straw broken off the camel's back, why? B/c all of these "bailout money" going to the big banks to consolidate other banks et al, banks in general have tightened their loaning out et al to others as they don't have the funds to do so like they used to.

No, I'm not saying debt is good, but for the most part businesses(small and big) need at least some of it b/c 1) It helps their cash flows, and 2) They actually get some benefits from it...able to write off the interest expenses off of their loans on their taxes, which lead to tax savings, and they can also issue debt to buy for example equipment, where from there they can write off depreciation off of their taxes for more tax savings. So as you can see, businesses get some pretty good benefits at lower risk to some extent issuing debt. Again no, they shouldn't issue debt to their eyeballs, but a balance of debt/equity is preferred for them to be successful.

But, now that the banks aren't loaning as much as they used to b/c of these "bailouts", it's limited businesses to what they really want to do, which has lead to a very long sustained period of hiring(which has only gotten worse and worse). This is NOT your typical "recession", where it's temporary, as this is continuing to drag out worse and worse with no end in sight. It seems like the MSM can't even spin any kind of good news anymore b/c it's so bad(during Bush II, they actually did a decent job in turning lukewarm news into good news, but not anymore).

As for a BIBLICAL perspective for all this? Debt is a NO-NO, as the borrower is a slave to the lender, and if you sow to the flesh, you reap to the flesh corruption. But just saying how for anyone who wants to run a business, SOME debt is actually beneficial and low risk for them. As for what we're seeing in Europe? Like said above(like here), the bailouts is only tightening the credits et al, and is making the debt bubbles et al worse and worse. They're obviously continuing to go down this path, so it's only a matter of time 'till the whole bubble bursts.

As you can see, all of this has been all by DESIGN...started with the Federal Reserve Act in the early 20th century. Shortly after I was born, it came to a point where we barely had enough tax revenues to pay off ONLY THE INTEREST of the national debt. So obviously, these bank bailouts is the only "solution" to crash the system to usher in a OWS. I believe we've discussed in another thread how pre-WW2 the economy had a MUCH different "we make'em, you buy'em" personality into an economy where everything is made and sold to suit everyone's beliefs and attitudes, which has resulted in "career-minded" professions...I mean seriously, I don't recall hearing about businesses and professions where you had to take out loans on a regular basis to help improve your businesses back then, but now EVERYONE is doing.

Do you see where I'm trying to go with this? While I'm trying to explain, through my experiences as an accountant, of why this mess is happening, at the same time I'm trying to give a biblical perspective here. To sum it up, everything slowly eroded when the world by and large had no problems of taking out debt. I mean look at today, even parents have no problems letting their teen kids use credit cards. Overall, this world is reaping what it has sown.

Ultimately, this system SHOULD have crashed way back when Reagan was President, when it was known that not one nickel of our tax revenues went to pay for government expenditures, but ONLY the INTEREST of the national debt. Personally, I believe that it's been God's hand preventing this collapse, but ONLY for the TIME BEING.(ie-remember when the NWO guys targeted 1984?)

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
(No, I'm NOT starting a rapture debate here, but personally, I believe this means God's protective hand is in the way until he says ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!)

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Kilika on December 17, 2011, 03:04:23 am
Thanks BA. That's an interesting read.

So yeah, I see you point I think. The moral is debt, rather too much debt. Which makes sense, as in "let your moderation be made known...", and "owe no man anything..."

This type "business model" is based on as you said, recurring debt. But the only one's who make any money really is the one's issuing the debt, right? Which that's the banks. Short term a business can, and usually should use some debt  to frre up cash flow for expenses, or to make more money. The concept was called back in the 80's and 90's OPM, "Other People's Money". That was their way of introducing a debt-based attitude, which has brought us to today's mess of more debt than income.

The world doesn't understand the concept of give, expecting nothing in return. In fact, it's just the opposite, as in give if it's a good enough return on your investment.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 17, 2011, 08:49:58 am
Thanks BA. That's an interesting read.

So yeah, I see you point I think. The moral is debt, rather too much debt. Which makes sense, as in "let your moderation be made known...", and "owe no man anything..."

This type "business model" is based on as you said, recurring debt. But the only one's who make any money really is the one's issuing the debt, right? Which that's the banks. Short term a business can, and usually should use some debt  to frre up cash flow for expenses, or to make more money. The concept was called back in the 80's and 90's OPM, "Other People's Money". That was their way of introducing a debt-based attitude, which has brought us to today's mess of more debt than income.

The world doesn't understand the concept of give, expecting nothing in return. In fact, it's just the opposite, as in give if it's a good enough return on your investment.

Now churches, especially over the last decade, have gotten into the act by building all of these megachurches, and taking out these monster loans to pay for them.(and then more loans for other state-of-the-art equipment) It's one thing when the world does it, but it's much worse when the house of God does it. Coincidence that during the same era the megachurches exploded, is also the same era when the economy has slowly imploded and has no point of return? Even worse for churches than businesses, they are NOT businesses, so the only way they get money is via donations.

Yeah, once all businesses started taking out loans from banks over the course of time, it came to a point where banks just didn't have the funds to loan much anymore. Then came the "bank bailouts"...problem-reaction-solution...all by design.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 17, 2011, 08:53:57 am
And The Euro Downgrade Hits Just Keep On Coming, This Time Fitch
16 December 2011, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 17, 2011, 09:11:37 am


Moody's cut means Belgium must hit deficit goal

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The downgrade of Belgium's credit rating by agency Moody's underlines the need to cut the budget deficit next year to 2.8 percent of GDP as agreed by the ruling coalition, Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere said on Saturday.

While the deficit target and measures to reach it have been agreed by Belgium's six-party ruling coalition, economists expect more austerity steps may be necessary given a weakening economic outlook for the country and the euro zone as a whole.

Vanackere told Reuters in an interview that if periodic checks during 2012 showed Belgium was off course to achieve the target, new measures would be implemented.

"The 2.8 percent will be achieved. If growth estimates are downgraded in March, that will of course imply new measures to guarantee the result of 2.8 percent," he said.


Moody's cut Belgium's rating by two notches late on Friday to Aa3 from Aa1, citing deteriorating financing conditions in the euro zone, risks to economic growth and the costs of bailouts of banks such as Dexia (DEXI.BR).

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 17, 2011, 11:37:29 am


Comprehensive euro zone deal "beyond reach": Fitch

ROME/BERLIN (Reuters) - A comprehensive solution to the euro zone debt crisis is beyond the region's reach, rating agency Fitch said, warning that six of its economies including Italy and Spain could be hit with credit downgrades in the near future.

The warning late Friday, the second time in two weeks that the bloc has been threatened with multiple ratings markdowns, heightened pressure on leaders to get to grips with the turmoil.

Fitch also said it might also cut AAA-rated France within two years and urged the European Central Bank to take a more active firefighting role.

One ECB policymaker said Saturday that time was running out to come up with solutions to a crisis that could spark a global slump. Another said the bank would not expand the bond buying program it launched to keep a lid on vulnerable states' debt costs.

Underscoring tensions within the bloc, a week after a key EU summit failed to reassure financial markets the crisis was being tackled, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti urged EU policymakers Friday to beware of dividing the continent.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 19, 2011, 09:14:47 am


No Christmas let-up as EU battles to save euro

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - For Brussels' bureaucrats, the run-up to Christmas used to involve a flurry of c0cktail parties, relaxed liquid lunches and a chance to knock off early to escape the glass and steel office blocks of the city's European quarter.

But two years into a debilitating debt crisis, the routine has shifted dramatically. High- and low-level meetings are scheduled right up until Christmas Eve and members of the European Parliament, often derided for their lesser workload, are holding critical negotiations up until Wednesday.

Coffee and sandwich shops around the European Commission and European Council, often shuttered by this time of year, are still open for business as office printers continue to churn out updated working papers and copies of a new "fiscal compact" designed to tighten euro zone budget controls.

"There's been absolutely no let-up since the summer break," said one drained official involved in debt crisis resolution. "I'm on stand-by over Christmas and you just don't know the surprises that might be sprung on us."

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 22, 2011, 09:09:38 pm
Rate outlooks, safety bid push German yields under U.S.
22 December 2011, by Deborah Levine (MarketWatch)

Expectations for further easing measures from the European Central Bank and investors continued demand for safer assets has pushed yields on 2-year German debt under U.S. yields for the first time since mid-2010.

Germany’s 2-year yields fell to 0.23% on Thursday, 4 basis points below U.S. 2-year yields.

That’s down from as much as 132 basis points, or 1.32 percentage point, which was above U.S. yields back in May, noted Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak.

Read more about U.S. bonds http://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasurys-hold-gains-after-us-data-2011-12-22-936440

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 23, 2011, 11:18:31 am
Slovenia’s Debt Rating Cut by Moody’s on Banking Industry Risk
23 December 2011, by John Detrixhe (Bloomberg)

Slovenia had its credit rating lowered one step to A1 by Moody’s Investors Service on the potential need for the government to support its banking system amid Europe’s debt crisis.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 23, 2011, 02:15:14 pm
Italy's Senate approves emergency austerity plan
23 December 2011, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti secured approval for his €30 billion ($39 billion) emergency austerity package, media reports said.

The package won a final confidence vote in the Senate after a lengthy debate Thursday evening.

Italy's two main parties, the center-right People of Freedom and the center-left Democratic Party, have opposed the plan, but backed it in the end "for a sense of responsibility."

Monti had called a confidence vote in both parliament chambers to try and speed up the package. The lower house of parliament passed the package last Friday.

Title: The Shocking Truth Of The Pending EU Collapse!
Post by: Christian40 on December 24, 2011, 03:19:30 am

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 25, 2011, 08:19:10 am


Japan to enter dollar swap agreement with India

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Japanese government is considering a dollar swap arrangement with India to provide emergency liquidity in case the European debt crisis reaches emerging economies, the Nikkei business newspaper said on Sunday.
The agreement would set the total swap arrangement at $10 billion, or 780 billion yen, the Nikkei said.
Both countries are looking to sign off on the arrangement next Wednesday, when leaders meet at a bilateral summit, the paper said.
The currency swaps are expected to support the Indian rupee as it continues to weaken against the greenback and Europe's sovereign debt crisis hits India's exports.
The dollar-swap arrangement with India would follow a similar agreement with South Korea in October.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 25, 2011, 08:28:45 am


Croatia's centre-left government sworn in, EU referendum set

Croatia's new centre-left government led by Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was sworn in Friday, facing the difficult tasks of leading the country out of an economic crisis and into the European Union. Shortly after the swearing in, the parliament voted to hold a referendum on Croatia's entry into the EU on January 22, a move enabling Zagreb to eventually join the bloc in mid-2013.
It was the first major decision by the new parliament, dominated by the centre-left coalition, which had overwhelmingly approved the new cabinet.
Milanovic warned in a speech that the country's economy was "in a dangerous situation" and needed austerity measures.
"Croatia is not in chaos ... but in a dangerous situation and at a turning point," Milanovic said, referring to its serious economic malaise.
Presenting his cabinet's programme before the vote, the Social Democrat leader told the deputies that an austerity budget would be the first big challenge for his government.
"Public finances are overstrained... Croatia has to limit public spending (and) consolidate the budget," the 45-year-old Milanovic insisted.
The new parliament was inaugurated on Thursday after a centre-left coalition led by Milanovic's SDP had ousted the scandal-plagued ruling conservatives.
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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 25, 2011, 08:36:30 am


To stay or to go? Britons mull future outside EU

LONDON (Reuters) -
Long dismissed as "Little Englanders" living on the fringe of politics, Britain's vocal band of EU-haters sense that their moment may have come.
Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to veto a new European Union treaty during a December 8-9 summit has emboldened Britain's so-called eurosceptics, who are now pressing him to loosen ties with the bloc or even leave.
Cameron insists that Britain must remain part of the 27-nation Union, with which the island nation does around half of its trade and which supports an estimated 3.5 million jobs.
"Our membership of the EU is vital to our national interest," Cameron told parliament last week. "We are a trading nation and we need the single market for trade, investment and jobs."

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 25, 2011, 03:27:54 pm


IMF's Lagarde warns global economy threatened

PARIS (Reuters) - The head of the International Monetary Fund said the world economy was in danger and urged Europeans to speak with one voice on a debt crisis that has rattled the global financial system.
In Nigeria last week, IMF Christine Lagarde said the IMF's 4 percent growth forecast for the world economy in 2012 could be revised downward, but gave no new figure.
"The world economy is in a dangerous situation," she told France's Journal du Dimanche in an interview published on Sunday.
The debt crisis, which continues into 2012 after a European Union summit on December 9 only temporarily calmed markets, "is a crisis of confidence in public debt and in the solidity of the financial system," she said.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 25, 2011, 11:39:05 pm
Schaeuble vows to push for financial transaction tax
25 December 2011, by Erik Kirschbaum - Berlin (Reuters)

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble vowed in an interview published on Sunday to push ahead for a financial transaction tax in the European Union in 2012 despite objections from Britain that it could harm London as a global financial centre.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 26, 2011, 11:12:06 am


European markets await more turbulence in 2012

European stocks and the euro will face fresh turbulence in 2012 after a year in which equity markets slumped and the single currency lost ground against the dollar mainly due to the eurozone crisis.
Europe's main stock markets have tumbled between 6.5 and 25 percent since the start of 2011, as traders looked past positive economic data and earnings, while the euro has fallen 2.5 percent versus the dollar in volatile trading.
Yields on eurozone sovereign debt meanwhile rocketed in late 2011 as investors demanded top returns for lending money to the bloc's indebted countries such as Greece and Italy.
"Attempting to forecast where the dollar, euro, gold, oil or any western stock market might end next year is no less a mugs game than it was this time last year," said Howard Wheeldon, a senior strategist at BGC Partners.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 28, 2011, 08:43:22 am


Japan-China currency pact underline need for euro: Germany
A surprise currency agreement between China and Japan highlights the importance of a united Europe and a common currency, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday.
"Over the Christmas break, Japan and China surprised us with the news of a currency pact," Schaeuble told rbb info radio in an interview.
"These are developments that show it's good that we have a unified Europe. United, Europe is the strongest economic area in the world. We have good chances to pursue our interests and then the opportunity to implement them in the world," he said.
Schaeuble's comments come after China and Japan reached agreements that will make it easier for Chinese and Japanese companies to trade in each other's currencies, rather than using the dollar, as Beijing seeks to increase the use of the yuan in global trade.
Schaeuble also reiterated his call for eurozone countries to tackle the root of the current crisis and bring down their debt.
"The countries must solve the causes that led to the crises, there is no way around it," he said.
"We can help them by providing them the necessary time, which we do with the bailout funds and other things, but there is no way around solving the debt crisis in those countries which have them."

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 28, 2011, 06:10:15 pm
Spanish Mortgages Decline for the 18th Straight Month as Bad Loans Surged
28 December 2011, by Angeline Benoit (Bloomberg)

Spanish residential mortgages decreased for an 18th month in October as banks reined in lending amid a surge in borrowing costs and bad loans.

The number of home loans fell 43.6% from a year earlier after a 42% drop in September, the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute said in an e-mailed statement today.

Total capital lent on all mortgages fell 40.6%, it said.

Spain is struggling to digest a glut of 700,000 unsold new homes since the collapse of the building boom that has pushed the unemployment rate to 23%.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who holds his second cabinet meeting on Dec. 30, has pledged to bring back tax rebates for mortgage holders and clean up an estimated 176 billion euros ($230 billion) of soured assets linked to real estate from the books of the country’s banks.

Bad loans as a proportion of total loans by Spanish lenders jumped to a 17-year high 7.42% in October, the Bank of Spain said on Dec. 19.

The average price of Spanish houses and apartments declined 7.4% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute said on Dec. 15.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 30, 2011, 07:56:12 am


Euro under 100 yen for first time in ten years

The European single currency slumped Friday underneath 100 yen for the first time in ten years, on the back of eurozone debt fears in volatile pre-holiday trading.
At about 1050 GMT, the euro tumbled to 99.97 yen -- the lowest level since December 2000 and the first time it has breached the key 100-yen barrier since June 2001.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 30, 2011, 04:18:05 pm
Retirement-plan changes coming in 2012 - What to watch for in your 401(k) in the year ahead
29 December 2011, by Robert Powell - Boston (MarketWatch)

Even though lawmakers may shy away from passing major laws in an election year, 2012 will bring changes to 401(k)s and other retirement plans.

Stanford researchers find that pension funds for California state workers are still in peril – action needed now http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/december/california-pension-debt-121411.html

Next In Line For Implosion: Pension Plans http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-next-line-implosion-pension-plans

UK: Government reveals ‘alarming’ pension shortfall http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/8962224/Government-reveals-alarming-pension-shortfall.html

China pension funds wrestle with large deficits – Officials urge allowing investment in stocks

France Telecom may need to review pension funding http://www.marketwatch.com/story/france-telecom-may-need-to-review-pension-funding-2011-12-20

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 31, 2011, 09:43:25 am


Merkel says Europe must cooperate more for euro to succeed

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe must cooperate more closely if it wants the euro to succeed as its shared currency, and it still has a long way to go to overcome its sovereign debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her New Year's Eve address.
She said that she would do everything in her power to strengthen the euro, but that this would only work if Europe learned from its mistakes.
"A common currency can only really be successful if we in Europe cooperate more than we have done," Merkel said in a pre-recorded televised address to be broadcast on Saturday.
"Europe is growing together in the crisis," she said, according to an official copy of her speech.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 31, 2011, 10:35:24 pm


Euro could become world's leading currency: Noyer

PARIS (Reuters) - The euro could become the world's leading currency in the next decade if leaders of the single-currency bloc succeed in tightening fiscal integration, European Central Bank policymaker Christian Noyer said in an article to be published in the Journal du Dimanche.
European leaders struck a historic deal at an emergency summit in Brussels on December 9 to draft a new treaty for deeper economic union, in an attempt to stem the debt crisis that is threatening to cause the collapse of the single currency.
The news temporarily calmed markets. But concerns quickly resurfaced as the final details of the agreement have yet to be determined and a new treaty could take up to three months to negotiate.
Ratings agency Fitch has said it doubts a comprehensive solution to the crisis can be found and urged more decisive action from the ECB.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 02, 2012, 10:46:58 am






Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 02, 2012, 02:20:39 pm
Euro-zone manufacturing PMI signals contraction
2 January 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The purchasing managers index for the 17-nation euro zone's manufacturing sector rose in December from a 28-month low the previous month but still signaled a further contraction in activity, data showed Monday.

The Markit euro-zone manufacturing PMI rose to 46.9 in December from 46.4 in November, confirming an earlier, preliminary estimate.

A reading of less than 50 indicates a contraction in activity, while a figure of more than 50 signals expansion.

"Euro-zone manufacturing is clearly undergoing another recession.

Despite the rate of decline easing slightly in December, production appears to have been collapsing across the single currency area at a quarterly rate of approximately 1.5% in the final quarter of 2011," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 02, 2012, 02:26:20 pm
ECB settled bond purchases totaling 462 bln euros
2 January 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The European Central Bank quickened the pace of its government bond buying program somewhat last week, settling purchases totaling €462 million ($598 million) after settling just €19 million worth of transactions the previous week, data showed Monday.

In the week ending Dec. 16, the ECB settled purchases of €3.4 billion of bonds.

The ECB is thought to have focused purchases under its Securities Market Program on Italian and Spanish government debt after ramping up activity beginning in August in an effort to hold down borrowing costs for the euro zone's third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively.

The ECB "sterilizes" its bond purchases by draining an amount equivalent to its total bond purchases under the program, which now stands at €211.5 billion, in a weekly money market operation.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 02, 2012, 08:26:18 pm
Hungary debt hits 16-yr high: central bank
2 January 2012, Budapest (AFP)

Struggling Hungary, looking for EU and IMF help, has seen its total public debt hit is highest level since 1995 due to the sharp fall of the forint against the euro, official data showed Monday.

According to the central bank, Hungary's accumulated public debt stood at 82.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), or 22.9 trillion forints (72 billion euros, $94 billion) at the end of September, up 76.7% at end-June.

Half of the public debt is in foreign currencies, making the problem even worse as the forint has fallen sharply -- more than 20% -- against the euro since October, analysts say.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 03, 2012, 05:35:29 pm
Eurozone crisis: German unemployment hits record low as Greece warns over euro exit
3 January 2012, (The Guardian)


• Greece spokesman: agree 2nd bailout or leave euro

• Shares rise sharply in London - FTSE opens 1.9% higher

Spanish unemployment hits record high....

• ....As German jobless rate falls to lowest level since reunification

• What are your predictions for the next 12 months?


9.10am: Unemployment in Germany has just hit a new record low.

The number of people out of work in Germany fell by 22,000 in December to 2.888m, sending the seasonally adjusted jobless rate down to 6.8%.

That, according to Reuters, is the lowest level since reunification.

This is in stark contrast to the situation in Spain – where the jobless level rose to a new record high this morning.

The data reflects the difference between the two economies. Spain contracted in the last three months of 2011 (according to the Bank of Spain last week) as its tourism and exports sectors weakened.

Germany has its own problems -- the Bundesbank expects growth of just 0.6% in 2012 following a tumble in exports in October -- but it remains the strongest of Europe's large economies.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 04, 2012, 11:46:36 am
Summary Box: Greece could nix euro without bailout

WARNING: A spokesman for the Greek government said it might have to ditch the euro and push more austerity on its people if it can't get a second major international bailout.

PACKAGE ON HOLD: Greece is being kept afloat by a May 2010 bailout. An additional rescue package was set in October, after it became clear the first one wouldn't suffice.

PRIVATE CREDITORS WARY: Banks and insurance funds that hold a lot of Greece's debt agreed then to cut the value of their holdings by 50 percent, which would in effect slash Greece's borrowing. But the talks have snagged on crucial details.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 05, 2012, 09:21:12 am
FYI, this is from the CFR...

The Failure of the Euro

The euro should now be recognized as an experiment that failed. This failure, which has come after just over a dozen years since the euro was introduced, in 1999, was not an accident or the result of bureaucratic mismanagement but rather the inevitable consequence of imposing a single currency on a very heterogeneous group of countries. The adverse economic consequences of the euro include the sovereign debt crises in several European countries, the fragile condition of major European banks, high levels of unemployment across the eurozone, and the large trade deficits that now plague most eurozone countries.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 05, 2012, 10:01:03 pm
Euro hit as investors fret over Europe's banks


LONDON (AP) — Renewed fears over Europe's shaky banking sector sent the euro skidding to a 15-month low against the dollar Thursday, while stock markets failed to get much of a boost from another round of upbeat U.S. economic data

For a second day running, market concern has centered on the state of the banks following UniCredit's announcement Wednesday that it was selling new shares at a 69 percent discount to Tuesday's closing price.

UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank, is trying to raise euro7.5 billion ($9.7 billion) to meet new European requirements for banks to thicken their financial cushions against possible losses. UniCredit's share price was down another 16 percent Thursday, following an equivalent decline the day before.

Italy, the recent focus of the debt crisis, must borrow to cover euro53 billion ($69 billion) in expiring debt in the first quarter alone in debt auctions beginning Jan. 13. That will test whether the government of new Prime Minister Mario Monti is making progress in regaining market confidence through budget cuts and efforts to improve weak economic growth.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 06, 2012, 06:44:51 pm
Latest Greek bailout called insufficient; report
6 January 2012, by Tom Fairless - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Greece's second bailout package will probably have to be larger than the €130 billion planned, in part because of the country's worsening budget figures, German newspaper Financial Times Deutschland reports Friday, citing people in euro-zone circles.

The agreed amount of new aid won't be sufficient, FTD reports, adding that the exact sum Greece will eventually need depends on ongoing "tough" talks over the participation of private creditors.

The Greek government expects to wrap up talks seeking a 50% write-down on its debt owed to creditor banks by the end of this month, after banks appeared to make concessions on the terms they would accept under a new bailout, people with knowledge of the situation told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.

On Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said Greece faces the risk of a disorderly default in March if it doesn't complete negotiations for the country's second bailout loan.

The troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund is in the process of negotiating a second, €130 billion bailout package that could provide Athens additional money if Greece is considered to be implementing agreed reforms.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 06, 2012, 08:01:07 pm
Italian 10-year yield rises back above 7%
6 January 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Italian and Spanish government bonds were under pressure Friday, pushing up yields as both countries prepared to auction debt next week in a key test of market confidence.

The yield on 10-year Italian government bonds rose back above the 7% level to trade at 7.11%, a rise of 16 basis points.

Borrowing costs above 7% are widely seen as unsustainable over the long run.

Spain's 10-year bond yield rose by around 5 basis points to 5.63%.

A basis point is a hundredth of a percentage point.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 06, 2012, 08:10:01 pm
Fitch cuts Hungary rating one notch to BB plus
6 January 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Fitch Ratings on Friday cut Hungary's credit rating by one notch from BBB minus to BB plus and signaled further cuts may be in the offing by maintaining a negative outlook for the rating.

"The downgrade of Hungary's ratings reflects further deterioration in the country's fiscal and external financing environment and growth outlook, caused in part by further unorthodox economic policies which are undermining investor confidence and complicating the agreement" of a new standby package from the International Monetary Fund and European Union, said Matteo Napolitano, director in Fitch's sovereign group.

Hungarian bond yields soared and the forint currency fell to a record low versus the euro this week.

The forint rebounded Friday to trade at 316.93 per euro, a 0.4% gain.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 06, 2012, 08:13:25 pm
EFSF: Orders for 3-year bond near 4.5 bln euros
5 January 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The European Financial Stability Facility, the euro zone's temporary rescue fund, said its placement Thursday of a €3 billion ($3.9 billion), three-year bond issue attracted bids totaling close to €4.5 billion.

The EFSF set the price for the issue at mid-swap plus 40 basis points.

Mid-swap is the midpoint between bid and offer prices on swap transactions.

The pricing implied a reoffer yield for investors of 1.77%.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to support the European Union's portion of the bailout programs put in place for Ireland and Portugal.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 08, 2012, 08:34:32 am


ECB policymaker wants banks off Greece bailout hook

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Athanasios Orphanides called for euro zone leaders to abandon plans to make private sector investors help reduce Greece's debts, but his push showed no sign of gaining any traction in Europe's capitals on Friday.
Orphanides, who is also the central bank governor of Cyprus, said in a newspaper column that dropping plans to force losses on private sector holders of Greek debt would "help restore trust" in the euro zone and lower the borrowing costs of other governments in the currency union.
The involvement of the private sector in the Greek bailout has eroded investor confidence in euro zone sovereign debt and raised pressure on borrowing costs, despite policymakers' efforts to reassure markets that Greece is an isolated case.
"Reversing the Greek private sector involvement decision would also raise the financing costs on the Greek government, but by restoring trust in the euro zone it would reduce the financing costs of other euro zone governments," Orphanides wrote in the Financial Times.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 08, 2012, 08:27:36 pm
Eurozone unemployment at record 10.3%
6 January 2012, (AFP)

Eurozone unemployment remained at an all-time record high of 10.3% for the second month running in November, official figures showed on Friday.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 09, 2012, 01:05:45 pm


Analysis: For euro zone, the heat is on again

BERLIN (Reuters) - The euro zone crisis seemed to vanish from the headlines for a brief moment as 2011 ticked over into 2012, but it is about to return with a vengeance.
The coming months will be decisive in determining whether European leaders can hold their increasingly fragile currency bloc together or will stumble in the face of a daunting set of political, economic and financial obstacles lined up in their path at the start of the new year.
In Greece, where the crisis started over two years ago, the government is in a race against time to agree a bond-swap deal with banks that is crucial to a new 130 billion euro bailout package from European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Without that package, Athens faces the threat of a debt default in March.
But talks with the banks and investment funds that are being asked to accept 50 percent losses on their Greek bonds to help pay for the bailout have dragged on for weeks, sowing doubts about whether Athens can really deliver.
"The risk of a disorderly Greek default is once again on the rise, with the threat of contagion to Italy and others," economists at Barclays Capital said last week.
Compounding the challenge, both Greece and France face elections within months that could complicate decision-making at the national level in two key states and thwart the broader bloc's ability to act swiftly at a time when pressure is high to bed down agreements sealed at an EU summit last month.
A key element of the summit package was a deal to funnel 200 billion euros to the IMF, money that could be used to offer precautionary credit programs to Italy and possibly Spain.
But the euro zone is struggling to get the 50 billion euros it needs from nations outside the currency bloc to meet its goal. A senior German official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that securing the participation of Britain, which has shown no inclination to contribute, was absolutely crucial.
Even if those funds are secured, neither Italy nor Spain have shown any willingness to accept aid -- and the stigma and greater fiscal oversight that would come with it.
Italian 10-year bond yields have pushed back above the 7 percent mark over the past week, approaching record euro-era highs, and both Rome and Madrid must sell bonds this week in the first major market tests of 2012 for the euro zone's third and fourth biggest economies.
The Greek election, expected by the end of March, seems unlikely to produce an outright winner, meaning coalition talks could drag out and prolong uncertainty.
In France, polls suggest there is a good chance President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has steered Europe's crisis response along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, could be pushed out of office by his Socialist challenger Francois Hollande.
While Merkel and Sarkozy have polar-opposite temperaments and clashed frequently when the Frenchman first took power in 2007, they are both conservatives, born just half a year apart, and have developed an effective, even close, partnership after years of high-pressure crisis summits.
And after years of frustration with the French president's shoot-from-the-hip style, government officials in Berlin say they are now worried about the end of "Merkozy," the most important relationship in Europe, in the middle of the crisis.
A cut in France's triple-A credit rating in the weeks ahead could also upset the delicate Franco-German balance, although some economists believe it could force the French to accept more far-reaching fiscal reforms, regardless of who wins the two-round election in April and May.
"It won't be Merkozy anymore. It will be Angela Merkel and (IMF chief) Christine Lagarde dictating policy in Europe," said French economist Jacques Delpla.
"The next French president, whether its Hollande or Sarkozy, won't have many options. The deficit will need to be cut, taxes increased and spending cut."
Fittingly, Merkel and Sarkozy kick off 2012 with a Monday meeting in Berlin to prepare an EU summit scheduled for January 30 that is expected to focus on efforts to boost growth.
That is perhaps the biggest challenge of all for the bloc. After several years of fiscal consolidation to push down debts and deficits swollen by the global financial crisis of 2008/09, the euro zone is headed for recession -- a factor that has pushed the euro down to 16-month lows against the dollar.
Even the bloc's economic powerhouse Germany is at risk of recession. Greece is entering its fifth straight year of contraction, with no hope of paying down its massive debt.
But restoring market confidence in the finances of struggling euro area countries and getting their economies working again seem like contradictory goals at this point.
"In the current market environment there is no room for using a Keynesian-type expansionary fiscal policy to boost demand in countries with low growth - the markets will simply not accept such a strategy," Deutsche Bank said in a confidential note on the crisis prepared for the German government late last year.
One bright spot is the European Central Bank (ECB), which is showing greater flexibility under its new President Mario Draghi, euro zone officials say.
The ECB's decision last month to provide cheap long-term loans to banks has helped assuage fears about the financial sector and could support sovereign debt sales going forward.
"We're already seeing that Draghi is more flexible than Trichet," the senior German official said, referring to the Italian's French predecessor Jean-Claude Trichet. "He won't put a bazooka in the window for everyone to see but he'll do what it takes."
The big question is whether this buys Europe's leaders the time they need to overcome the formidable challenges they face in the new year.
(Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 09, 2012, 04:26:07 pm
ECB overnight deposit level hits new all-time high
9 January 2012, by William Launder - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Use of the European Central Bank's overnight deposit facility reached a new, all-time high Friday, reflecting ongoing tension in interbank lending markets and a surfeit of liquidity in the financial system.

Euro-zone banks parked €463.565 billion in the overnight deposit facility Friday, compared with €455.299 billion parked overnight Thursday, ECB data showed Monday.

The overnight deposit level has been elevated since August 2011, as banks favor using the ECB as a safe haven for excess cash rather than lend it out to other banks.

In past weeks, use of the facility has repeatedly reached new all-time highs, after the ECB in December flooded the market with liquidity in the form of nearly half a trillion euros in long-term loans.

Banks are increasingly reluctant to lend to other financial institutions due to concerns about their counterparties' exposure to risky euro-zone sovereign debt.

Meanwhile, banks borrowed €1.391 billion from the ECB's overnight lending facility Friday, compared to €1.861 billion borrowed Thursday.

When the interbank market works properly, banks use the lending facility to borrow just a few hundred million euros overnight.

But many banks are at present forced to turn to the ECB for their short-term funding needs as the debt and banking crisis continues to erode banks' confidence in one another.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 09, 2012, 04:29:24 pm

Soros: EU problems more serious than 2008 crisis
9 January 2012, by Rumman Ahmed - Bangalore (MarketWatch)

Billionaire U.S. investor George Soros said Monday the ongoing sovereign-debt crisis in the euro zone is more serious than the global financial meltdown of 2008.

The consequences of a collapse of a large European bank would be felt across the globe, Soros said in a speech at the Azim Premji University in Bangalore.

Soros is famous for his 1992 bet against the British pound that earned $1 billion for his Quantum hedge fund.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 09, 2012, 10:57:57 pm


Merkel warns on second Greek aid package

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday it would not be possible to pay out the next aid tranche to Greece without rapid progress on its second rescue package, including the voluntary restructuring of Greek debt held by its private creditors.
"We must see progress on the voluntary restructuring of Greek debt," Merkel told a joint news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin.
"From our point of view, the second Greek aid package including this restructuring, must be in place quickly. Otherwise it won't be possible to pay out the next tranche for Greece."
Merkel added that she would talk about Greece with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde in Berlin on Tuesday.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 10, 2012, 08:54:27 am


Exclusive: Borrowers turn lenders as banks tap firms for cash

LONDON (Reuters) - Blue-chip names like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Peugeot are among firms bailing out Europe's ailing banks in a reversal of the established roles of clients and lenders.

One source with knowledge of the so-called repo deals or short-term secured lending, said the two U.S. pharmaceutical groups and French carmaker were the latest to sign up for them.

Europe's banks are struggling to secure the cash to fund their day-to-day business and have largely stopped lending to each other for fear Europe's sovereign debt crisis could land any of their peers in trouble.

As a result a group of well-known, cash-rich companies with solid cash flows has stepped in the repo market, which provides a form of lending so far almost exclusively in use between banks, and between banks and central banks.

One market participant said in one key area of lending companies now accounted for 25 percent of these deals.

Repos provide the new financiers with the strict guarantees they need before parting with their cash, answering worries that the crisis has weakened Europe's banks to the extent that they might not be able to pay the money back.

"Companies in the past were ... happy to deposit cash on an unsecured basis to a bank for an interest payment," said Frank Reiss, who oversees some of the repo business at Euroclear, the Brussels-based settlement house owned by a group of banks.

"Now following the crisis, we have seen that companies are engaging in repos secured with collateral against the cash they are lending," said Reiss. Euroclear is the largest administrator of repo trades in Europe.

At the moment the European Central Bank provides the main lifeline for banks and has pumped hundreds of billions of euros of cash into the market.

But the banks are parking most of the money they borrow back at the ECB rather than trusting to lend to each other.

They are also paying insurers and pension funds to take their illiquid bonds in exchange for better quality ones, in a desperate bid to secure much-needed cash from the ECB, which only provides cash against collateral.

In stark contrast, Europe's biggest companies are sitting on cashpiles that amount to more than $20 billion each in the case of BP Plc and Volkswagen.

According to Moody's, a sample of European companies held $872 billion cash in total at the middle of 2011.

It is typically these very large companies, with reliable cash flows, that engage in repo deals with banks, Euroclear's Reiss said, though he declined to give the names of any counterparties, because of client confidentiality.

Corporate treasurers are typically extremely wary of talking about their day-to-day cash management, and Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer declined to discuss the matter. Peugeot was not available for comment, while other large companies contacted by Reuters also declined comment.

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Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 12, 2012, 09:20:54 am
Fitch warns of 'cataclysmic' euro collapse


The European Central Bank should ramp up its buying of troubled euro zone debt to support Italy and prevent a "cataclysmic" collapse of the euro, David Riley, the head of sovereign ratings for Fitch, has warned.
Speaking to investors as part of a European roadshow, Mr Riley said a collapse of the euro would be disastrous for the global economy, and while it is not Fitch's baseline scenario, it could happen if Italy did not find a way out of its debt problems.
"The end of the euro would be cataclysmic. The euro is a reserve currency," Mr Riley said overnight. "What would that do in terms of financial and political stability?"
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"It is hard to believe the euro will survive if Italy does not make it through," he said, adding that while many saw Italy as too politically and economically important to be allowed to fail, "one might also argue that it is too big to rescue."
The warning pushed the euro down towards a 16-month low versus the US dollar.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/fitch-warns-of-cataclysmic-euro-collapse-20120112-1pw7s.html#ixzz1jG2SoCDo

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 14, 2012, 09:22:25 am
Everyone Hates The Euro - EUR Shorts Hit New Record High
13 January 2012
, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2012, 02:43:04 pm
Has The ECB Given Up On Portugal?
16 January 2012, Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)


Portuguese 10Y bond spreads to bunds just broke 1250bps, +180bps on the day and at record wides.

So it appears that Portugal (admittedly illiquid) has been left to its own devices.

Given the subordination concerns as ESM is accelerated, it is perhaps no surprise that the ECB’s SMP has seemingly decided that Portugal has crossed the Rubicon into Greece territory.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 17, 2012, 09:34:28 pm
Euro Rescue Fund Sells Bills ‘Smoothly’ After S&P Credit Rating Downgrade
17 January 2012, by Svenja O’Donnell and Paul Dobson (Bloomberg)


The European Financial Stability Facility issued six-month debt for the first time, selling €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) of securities a day after the euro region’s temporary bailout fund lost its top credit rating.

The EFSF sold the 182-day bills at an average yield of 0.2664%, it said in a statement. Investors bid for 3.1 times the amount of bills sold, little changed from the 3.2 bid- to-cover ratio at a Dec. 13 offering of three-month bills.

The facility’s longer-dated bonds underperformed their euro-area peers after the Standard & Poor’s downgrade to AA+ from AAA.

“The fact that the bill auction has gone so smoothly is encouraging,” said John Davies, a fixed-income strategist at WestLB AG in London.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 18, 2012, 03:47:26 pm
Time to bailout the bailouter? IMF seeks $600 billion in new funding to cope with crisis



January 18, 2012 – EUROPE – The International Monetary Fund is seeking to boost its war chest by $600 billion to help countries reeling from the euro zone debt crisis, but some nations insist Europe must first do more to support its ailing members, international financial sources said on Wednesday. Group of 20 officials will discuss increasing IMF resources at a meeting in Mexico City on Thursday and Friday, the first under Mexico’s 2012 presidency of the group of developed and emerging economies. The IMF said it will need $500 billion to lend to member countries in need and IMF sources who were present at an IMF board meeting on the issue on Tuesday told Reuters that another $100 billion is needed as a “protection buffer.” The IMF also estimated there would be a $1 trillion global financing gap over the next two years if global economic conditions worsened considerably, the sources added. On foreign exchange markets, the reports of plans for increased IMF lending capacity helped boost the euro. Euro zone nations have already promised to inject an extra 150 billion euros ($200 billion) into the IMF, which is included in the total estimate. G20 officials in Mexico for the meeting of deputy finance ministers and central bank officials said there was still resistance in some quarters to increase funding. “Many countries want the Europeans to move ahead with tougher and clearer measures, which at this moment translates to more resources to its stability fund,” said a senior Brazilian government source attending the meeting. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said it was not clear European governments had done everything necessary to make sure they could fund themselves at sustainable interest rates over the next few years. “If it makes sense to enhance the resources of the IMF the principal focus, it would seem, should be on dealing with fallout of the European crisis for innocent bystanders,” he told a news briefing in Ottawa. The IMF currently has a lending capacity of about $380 billion and estimates demand could be about $ 1 trillion in the medium-term.”Based on staff’s estimate of global potential financing needs of about $1 trillion in the coming years, the fund would aim to raise up to $500 billion in additional lending resources. This total includes the recent European commitment of about $200 billion in increased fund resources,” an IMF spokesman said. “At this preliminary stage, we are exploring options on funding and will have no further comment until the necessary consultations,’ he added. -Reuters

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 20, 2012, 09:34:35 am
France, Germany planning EU tax push: report
19 January 2012, by Steve Goldstein - Washington (MarketWatch)

The financial transactions tax urged by France and Germany is the first step toward further European Union joint taxation, according to a report in London's Daily Telegraph, citing a confidential paper.

The report quoted the memo as saying European proposals on an energy tax, a common corporate tax base and a common financial transaction tax should be accelerated.

Britain is against the proposed financial transactions tax over fears that financial services firms may move out of London were it to be imposed.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 20, 2012, 03:54:44 pm
Hungary PM backs down
Krisztina Than And Jan Strupczewski
January 20, 2012

BUDAPEST/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Prime Minister Viktor Orban abandoned plans on Friday to merge Hungary's central bank and markets regulator, the first concrete evidence that he is backing down in a dispute with the European Union that threatens to block a deal on financial aid.

Orban's conservative Fidesz party has been criticized by the international community for introducing a swathe of measures that threaten the independence of the media, the judiciary and the central bank since sweeping to power in 2010.

Hungary's financial markets have taken a hammering in recent weeks as a result, and while some analysts remain suspicious that Orban may try to hold out to impress his domestic political audience, they say the government now looks ready to give in.

Friday's move was the first specific commitment since Orban made a broad pledge to the European Parliament earlier this week to compromise.

He said he expected to secure a political agreement with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on the disputed laws next week and said he was ready to modify nearly all contested legislation to meet the EU's demands.

"If we take stock of the issues that have emerged, I do not see any particularly difficult issues," Orban told Hungarian Kossuth radio. "Naturally, several laws may have to be modified, but the government cannot do it, this can be done only by parliament, and we will make proposals to this end."

The planed merger of the central bank and financial regulator had been a key point of contention. Orban later added that Budapest also no longer insisted on a government member being present at Monetary Council meetings as an observer.

more: http://www.realclearmarkets.com/news/reuters/finance_business/2012/Jan/20/hungary_pm_backs_down.html

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 24, 2012, 10:53:11 pm
British debt hits £1 trillion mark in December - Public sector borrowing falls 14%
24 January 2012, by Clare Hutchison - London (MarketWatch)


British debt in December reached the highest level since records began in 1993, according to figures released Tuesday.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics said net public debt excluding the effects of any financial interventions now stands at 1 trillion pounds ($1.6 trillion), or about 64.2% of gross domestic product.

The figure represents a 13.7% increase on December 2010, when net debt was £883 billion, and comes ahead of British fourth-quarter GDP due to be released Wednesday.


Then, Osborne said the debt to GDP ratio would likely stand at 67% in 2011 and added that debt reduction was “not happening as quickly as we had wished because of the damage done to our economy by the ongoing financial crisis.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 24, 2012, 11:16:59 pm
CEOs pessimistic about global economy: survey - But 40% of CEOs polled very confident of revenue growth for their firms
24 January 2012, by Polya Lesova - Davos, Switzerland (MarketWatch)

With Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis still unresolved, few chief executive officers are optimistic about the global economic outlook for this year, according to a survey released Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers International on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss Alps.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 25, 2012, 05:49:59 pm
Merkel to open Davos forum in Switzerland

updated 1/18/2012 2:04:13 PM ET
GENEVA — German Chancellor Angela Merkel will headline the annual elite gathering in Davos, Switzerland this month, underscoring the world's focus on the European debt crisis that for over two years has wreaked havoc on financial markets.

Organizers of the World Economic Forum said Wednesday that close to 40 heads of state and 18 of the world's central bankers will be among the expected 2,600 participants from nearly 100 countries, making it the biggest such gathering in four decades at the Swiss Alpine resort.
The exclusive, invitation-only meeting of government and business leaders and VIPs from all walks of life is held to foster debate on the world's most pressing problems. Participants' expertise ranges from technology to arts and sciences, from NGOs to media organizations.
"We are looking desperately around the world for people who can offer solutions," said the forum's founder Klaus Schwab.

Other public figures expected at the Swiss Alpine resort include British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.


German Klaus Schwab, founder and president of the World Economic Forum, WEF, gestures during a press conference, in Cologny near Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. The World Economic Forum today unveiled the program for its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, including the key participants, themes and goals. The overarching theme of the meeting, which will take place from Jan. 25 to 29, is "The Great Transformation: Shaping New World". (AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)

Title: IMF chief presses for more cash to fight crisis
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 28, 2012, 09:02:02 am

January 28, 2012 — DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund appeared to be making headway Saturday in her drive to boost the institution's financial firepower so that it can help Europe prevent its crippling debt crisis from further damaging the global economy.

Christine Lagarde, who replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the fund six months ago, is trying to ramp up the IMF's resources by $500 billion so it can help if more lending is needed in Europe or elsewhere. The IMF is the world's traditional lender-of-last-resort and has been involved in the bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Insisting that the IMF is a "safe bet" and that no country had ever lost money by lending to the IMF, Lagarde argued that increasing the size of the IMF's resources would help improve confidence in the global financial system. If enough money is in the fund the markets will be reassured and it won't be used, she said, using arguments similar to those that France has made about increasing Europe's own rescue fund.

"It's for that reason that I am here, with my little bag, to collect a bit of money," she said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps town of Davos. Her plea appeared to find a measure of support from ministers of Britain and Japan, sizable IMF shareholders that would be expected to contribute to any money-raising exercise.


Title: Brussels takes control of taxation and spending in eurozone countries
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 29, 2012, 06:19:56 pm

The European Union is to gain dramatic powers to control tax and spending in crisis-hit eurozone countries under a deal to save the currency.

The EU will have to agree the national budgets of heavily indebted countries under a deal to be signed tomorrow at a summit in Brussels attended by David Cameron.
The move will mean Greece losing control over its own budget, after Germany and the International Monetary Fund laid down increasingly harsh conditions for the indebted nation to receive its second £100 billion eurozone bail-out.

With the country on the brink of default, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, yesterday revealed that a “fiscal compact” was set to be signed by European Union leaders at their summit tomorrow.
The move to closer integration between the eurozone economies comes just days before Tory Euro-sceptics launch a campaign to repatriate powers over policing and justice already handed to the European Union.


Title: EU leaders to agree on permanent bailout fund, balanced budget
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 29, 2012, 08:28:51 pm


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU leaders will sign off on a permanent rescue fund for the euro zone at a summit on Monday and are expected to agree on a balanced budget rule in national legislation, with unresolved problems in Greece casting a shadow on the discussions.
The summit - the 17th in two years as the EU battles to resolve its sovereign debt problems - is supposed to focus on creating jobs and growth, with leaders looking to shift the narrative away from politically unpopular budget austerity.
The summit is expected to announce that up to 20 billion euros ($26.4 billion) of unused funds from the EU's 2007-2013 budget will be redirected toward job creation, especially among the young, and will commit to freeing up bank lending to small- and medium-sized companies.
But discussions over the permanent rescue fund, a new 'fiscal treaty' and Greece will dominate the talks.
Negotiations between the Greek government and private bondholders over the restructuring of 200 billion euros of Greek debt made progress over the weekend, but are not expected to conclude before the summit begins at 9:00 a.m. EST.
Until there is a deal between Greece and its private bondholders, EU leaders cannot move forward with a second, 130 billion euro rescue program for Athens, which they originally agreed to at a summit last October.
Instead, they will sign a treaty creating the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a 500-billion-euro permanent bailout fund that is due to become operational in July, a year earlier than first planned. And they are likely to agree the terms of a 'fiscal treaty' tightening budget rules for those that sign up.
The ESM will replace the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), a temporary fund that has been used to bail out Ireland and Portugal and will help in the second Greek package.
Leaders hope the ESM will boost defenses against the debt crisis, but many - including Italian premier Mario Monti, IMF chief Christine Lagarde and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner - say it will only do so if its resources are combined with what remains in the EFSF, creating a super-fund of 750 billion euros ($1 trillion).
The International Monetary Fund says an agreement to increase the size of the euro zone 'firewall' will convince others to contribute more resources to the IMF, boosting its crisis-fighting abilities and improving market sentiment.
But Germany is opposed to such a step.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will not discuss the issue of the ESM/EFSF's ceiling until leaders meet for their next summit in March. In the meantime, financial markets will continue to fret that there may not be sufficient rescue funds available to help the likes of Italy and Spain if they run into renewed debt funding problems.
"There are certainly signals that Germany is willing to consider it and it is rather geared toward March from the German side," a senior euro zone official said.
The sticking point is German public opinion which is tired of bailing out the euro zone's financially less prudent. Instead, Merkel wants to see the EU - except Britain, which has rejected any such move - sign up to the fiscal treaty, including a balanced budget rule written into constitutions. Once that is done, the discussion about a bigger rescue fund can take place.
After nearly three years of crisis, some economists believe the combination of tighter budget rules, a bigger bailout fund and a commitment to broader structural reforms to boost EU productivity could help the region weather the storm.
"The fiscal compact and the ESM will shape a better future," said Carsten Brzeski, a euro zone economist at ING.
"Combined with ongoing austerity measures and structural reforms in peripheral countries, and, of course, with a lot of ECB action, the euro zone could master this stage of the crisis."
Economists say the pivotal act in recent months was the European Central Bank's flooding of the banking sector with cheap three-year money, a measure it will repeat next month.
While EU leaders are managing to put together pieces of legislation and financial barriers that might help them stave off a repeat of the debt crisis, immediate concerns - especially over Greece and potentially Portugal - remain.
By far the most pressing worry is the seven-month-long negotiation over private sector involvement in the second Greek rescue package. A deal in the coming days may help restore investor confidence, although Greece will still struggle to reduce its debts to 120 percent of GDP by 2020 as planned.
"If there is a deal, the heads of state and government can endorse it, welcome it and say that now it is up to Greece to agree to and deliver on reforms to get the second financing package," the euro zone official said.
Negotiators believe they have until mid-February to strike a deal. Failure to do so by then would likely force Greece to miss a 14.5 billion euro repayment on its debt due in mid-March.
Even if Athens can strike a deal with private bondholders to accept a 50 percent writedown on the nominal value of their bonds, it may still not be enough to close Greece's funding gap.
The IMF has suggested it may be necessary for public sector holders of Greek bonds - including the ECB and national central banks in the euro zone - to write off some of their holdings in order to close the gap.
Such a move would not necessarily involve the ECB or national central banks incurring losses, they would just be expected to forego any profit on the bonds they have bought.
But German ECB board member Joerg Asmussen told Reuters there was no possibility of the ECB taking part in the private-sector restructuring of Greece's debt.

Title: 20 signs that Europe is plunging into a full-blown economic depression
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 30, 2012, 12:01:08 pm

The following are 20 signs that Europe is plunging into a full-blown economic depression....

#1 The unemployment rate for those between the ages of 16 and 24 is 28 percent in Italy, 43 percent in Greece and 51 percent in Spain.

#2 Overall, the unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in the EU is 22.7 percent.

#3 Citigroup is projecting that the economy of Portugal will shrink by 5.7 percent this year.

#4 The total of all forms of debt in Portugal (government, business and consumer) is equivalent to 360 percent of GDP.

#5 The Greek "recession" is now entering a fifth year.

#6 The Greek economy shrank by 6 percent during 2011.

#7 It is being projected that the Greek economy will shrink by another 5 percent during 2012.

#8 The overall unemployment rate in Greece is now 18.5 percent.

#9 In Greece, 20 percent of all retail stores have been permanently shut down.

#10 The number of suicides in Greece rose by 40 percent in just one recent 12 month time period.

#11 According to the IMF, the amount of debt accumulated by the Greek government is equal to approximately 160 percent of GDP.

#12 In total, there are now more than 5 million unemployed workers in Spain.

#13 Bad loans in Spain recently reached a 17-year high.

#14 The overall unemployment rate in Spain is now a whopping 22.8 percent.

#15 The number of property repossessions in Spain has risen by 32 percent over the past year.

#16 When the maturing debt that the Italian government must roll over in 2012 is added to their projected budget deficit, the total comes to approximately 23.1 percent of Italy's GDP.

#17 Manufacturing activity in the euro zone has fallen for five months in a row.

#18 The UK economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.

#19 The German economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.

#20 The Baltic Dry Index, often used as a gauge for the health of the world economy, has fallen a staggering 61 percent since October.

read more

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 01, 2012, 08:32:30 am
E.U. leaders sign stricter fiscal pact
30 January 2012, by Sue Chang, - San Francisco (MarketWatch)


European Union leaders on Monday endorsed a treaty aimed at strengthening accountability and keeping a closer eye on member nations’ efforts to rein in overspending and resolve the region’s debt crisis.

“The treaty is all about more responsibility and better surveillance.

Every country that signs it commits to bringing in a ‘debt brake’ or ‘golden rule’ into its own legislation, and will do so at constitutional or equivalent level,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement following the meeting.

“New voting rules and an automatic correction mechanism will enforce compliance more effectively,” he added.


The €500 billion ($661 billion) ESM could be put in place as early as July pending its approval by the group’s respective finance ministers when they gather at the next Eurogroup meeting.


Title: Hedge funds brace for euro zone break-up
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 02, 2012, 08:36:22 pm


LONDON (Reuters) - Nervous hedge funds managers are stress-testing their portfolios and searching for ways of protecting themselves against their worst nightmare -- a potential break-up of the euro zone.
With talks on restructuring Greece's debt mountain still deadlocked, and the exit of one of more countries from the euro seen as a small but definite possibility, funds are modeling scenarios ranging from a 50 percent slump in European stocks or a 45 percent fall in the oil price to a 30 percent rise in gold.
Managers are also trying to dig out old computer programs they once used to model the behavior of currencies such as the drachma or the deutschmark as they prepare for an event for which -- even after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers -- they effectively have no precedent.
Many, having already trimmed risk, are piling into credit default swaps or deeply out-of-the-money options, hoping they pick a counterparty that can withstand the shock of a break-up.
"You can't conceive what this event will be like, but it doesn't absolve you of looking at it," said the chief risk officer at one hedge fund firm who asked not to be named.
"People are asking the questions, 'do I have the historical records on how things worked when there was a deutschmark?' and 'did I throw away those computer programs (modeling the deutschmark)?'."
Funds are also trying to figure out how they might be affected if different asset classes that normally have a low correlation start to fall sharply at the same time.
"Anyone who's a chief risk officer is running these scenarios -- say if the euro falls 15 percent, stocks fall 25 percent, if the possibility of default increases, what if recovery rates falls, which prime brokers, administrators get hit?" said Mark Wightman, head of strategy for Asia-Pacific at specialist technology group SunGard.
"The scenarios are getting quite complicated and people are starting looking at correlations between things to understand the likely impact."


Title: Hungary seeks 15-20 billion euro IMF/EU credit line: official
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 04, 2012, 02:29:34 pm

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary is seeking an international credit line of 15 to 20 billion ($20 to $26.3 billion) euros, the secretary of state heading the prime minister's office, Mihaly Varga, was quoted on Saturday as saying.
Hungary is seeking backup from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to reassure investors it has financing even if it gets cut off from debt markets later this year.
The country's currency, the forint, sank to a record low against the euro a month ago, and its government bond yields rose above 11 percent on concerns that amid the euro zone crisis it may not be able to finance central Europe's highest debt burden compared to its economic output.
Varga reiterated that the government expected to reach a deal soon on a credit line that it could tap if the European debt crisis deepened further.


Title: G20 moves to line up "huge rescue deal" for April
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 26, 2012, 09:04:28 am


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The world's leading economies worked on Sunday to line up a deal in April on a second global rescue package worth nearly $2 trillion to stop the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis from spreading and putting at risk the tentative recovery.
Germany said it would make a decision some time in March on strengthening Europe's bailout fund, a move other Group of 20 countries say is essential to clear the way for throwing extra funds into the International Monetary Fund.
The two actions are part of the G20's efforts to build up massive international resources by the end of April - when the group next meets - and convince financial markets they can stem the euro-zone's deep problems.


Title: British Chancellor says the ‘government has run out of money’- pain from austeri
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 27, 2012, 07:15:29 pm

British Chancellor says the ‘government has run out of money’- pain from austerity cuts are yet to bite

February 27, 2012 – UNITED KINGDOM - In a stark warning ahead of next month’s Budget, the Chancellor said there was little the Coalition could do to stimulate the economy. Mr. Osborne made it clear that due to the parlous state of the public finances the best hope for economic growth was to encourage businesses to flourish and hire more workers. “The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.” Mr. Osborne’s bleak assessment echoes that of Liam Byrne, the former chief secretary to the Treasury, who bluntly joked that Labour had left Britain broke when he exited the Government in 2010. He left David Laws, his successor, a one-line note saying: “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.” Mr. Osborne is under severe pressure to boost growth, amid signs the economy is slipping back into a recession. The Institute of Fiscal Studies has urged him to consider emergency tax cuts in the Budget to reduce the risk of a prolonged economic slump.  But the Chancellor yesterday said he would stand firm on his effort to balance the books by refusing to borrow money. “Any tax cut would have to be paid for,” Mr. Osborne told Sky News. “In other words there would have to be a tax rise somewhere else or a spending reduction. “In other words what we are not going to do in this Budget is borrow more money to either increase spending or cut taxes.” –Telegraph

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 14, 2012, 07:20:33 pm

Fitch move is warning against UK budget giveaways - Treasury


LONDON (Reuters) - The decision by credit ratings agency Fitch to put Britain's triple-A rating on a negative outlook is a warning to those calling for deficit-funded giveways in next week's budget, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The Fitch decision came just a week before finance minister George Osborne presents his annual Budget to parliament. Only last month, Moody's also put Britain's top-notch rating on a negative outlook, implying a one-in-three chance of a downgrade.

"A week from the budget this is a reminder of why it is essential Britain sticks to its plans to deal with its debts," a Treasury spokesman said.

"This is just another warning to anyone who believes there can be deficit-financed giveaways in next week's budget," he added.

(Reporting by Fiona Shaikh)

Title: Krone tumbles on surprise Norway rate cut
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 14, 2012, 07:38:34 pm
Krone tumbles on surprise Norway rate cut - Central bank cites strong currency, global downturn for move
14 March 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Norway’s central bank became the latest to object to haven status for its currency, unexpectedly cutting its key lending rate Wednesday on worries a strong krone would hurt domestic growth.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 15, 2012, 06:19:42 pm
Euro-zone real wages, employment fall again
15 March 2012, London (MarketWatch)

Real wages fell again in the 17 countries that use the euro in the fourth quarter of last year, while employment also declined, confirming consumption and confidence are likely to remain weak as the region teeters on the brink of a return to recession, data from European statistical agency Eurostat showed Thursday.

The figures also confirm the growing divergence between economic power-house Germany, where wages and employment both grew significantly, and the weaker peripheral countries which reported either slow wage increases or declines, while employment fell in almost all remaining member states.

Wages in the euro zone rose 2.5% on the year in the fourth quarter of last year.

While that was marginally stronger than the 2.4% increase in the third quarter, it compares with an average inflation rate of around 2.9%, indicating real wages fell over the period and likely weighed on consumers" ability and appetite to spend.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 23, 2012, 01:21:23 pm
Euro-zone PMI shows faster contraction in March
22 March 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

A contraction in private-sector activity across the 17-nation euro zone accelerated in March, underlining fears the region has fallen back into recession, according to a preliminary composite purchasing managers index, or PMI, for the region compiled by Markit.

The composite PMI fell to a three-month low of 48.7 from 49.3 in February.

The services index edged down to 48.7 from 48.78 in February, while manufacturing PMI fell to 47.7 from 49.0.

A reading of less than 50 indicates a contraction in activity.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a composite PMI reading of 49.6.

"The euro-zone economy contracted at a faster rate in March, suggesting that the region has fallen back into recession, with output now having fallen in both the final quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2012," said Chris Williamson, chief econonomist at Markit.

A recession is widely defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 27, 2012, 09:45:10 am
FYI, I'm not endorsing Lindsey Williams(the "pastor" who supposedly was a chaplain at an "elite"'s Alaskan oil industry), however, he said that the big warning sign before the world economy collapses is how the derivatives markets will behave. He said that it won't be until sometime after June.

He said said that the euro will collapse first, and then like 2-3 weeks later the dolllar will collapse, and will be dead by the end of this year.

Again, no, I'm not a big fan of the guy(as you all know, he almost never is clear about everything, but spends too much time dragging things out without coming to a conclusion), but imho, this is how I see it playing out as well.

Title: It's Official - The Fed Is Now Buying European Government Bonds
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 27, 2012, 12:11:00 pm
It's Official - The Fed Is Now Buying European Government Bonds
27 March 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

As if the 'risk-less' dollar-swaps the Fed has extended to any and every major central bank were not enough, William Dudley just unashamedly admitted that the Fed now holds 'a very small amount of European Sovereign Debt'.

Explaining this position, as Bloomberg notes:



Dudley, testifying to a House panel, noted that he doesn't see more efforts by the Fed to buffer the US from Europe's tempests and believes European banks are deleveraging in an orderly manner.

So not only is the US taxpayer bailing out Europe via the IMF (as we noted here a week ago using Greece as an intermediary) and the Fed is providing limitless USD swap lines but now we join the ECB in monetizing European government bonds - something we warned might happen back in December 2010.

As for being a small amount - wasn't MF Global's holding relatively small too? And aren't we getting a little full from all this buying?

Title: Goldman Europe derivatives revenue surges: report
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 10:31:50 am
Goldman Europe derivatives revenue surges: report
28 March 2012, by Polya Lesova - New York (MarketWatch)

Revenue at the European investment bank of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. rose 8% in the first quarter to $476 million from the same period a year ago, Reuters reported, citing an internal report.

The bank's revenue was particularly buoyed by the increased use of derivatives by European clients, the news agency reported late Tuesday.

Reuters reported that client-driven derivatives revenue has soared 142% so far this year in Goldman's European unit.

A Goldman spokesperson declined to comment to Reuters.

Title: Belgium may face €5B budget shortfall in '13
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 10:38:03 am
Belgium may face €5B budget shortfall in '13
28 March 2012, by Frances Robinson - Brussels (MarketWatch)

Belgium may have to find an additional €5 billion of savings when it draws up next year's budget according to a draft report drawn up by the federal agency which issues the forecasts for the government, according to a person who has seen the report.

The Bureau de Plan expects Belgium will have a budget deficit of 3.1% of GFP on an unchanged policy basis, compared to the EU target of 1.8% of GDP, newspaper L'Echo said, citing a leaked copy of the Bureau de Plan report.

This would lead to a shortfall of around €5 billion in 2013.

The government has already made savings of around €13 billion in this year's budget

The draft report is now with the Conseil Superieur de Finances, which decides how to share the budget changes between the country's federal and regional entities.

Title: Germany: The Final Frontier... Whose True Debt/GDP Is Now 140%
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 10:49:13 am
Germany: The Final Frontier... Whose True Debt/GDP Is Now 140%
27 March 2012, by Mark Grant, Author of Out of the Box And Onto Wall Street (Zero Hedge)


Germany: The Final Frontier

“It always looks darkest just before it gets totally black.”




German Gross Domestic Product (GDP):                                   $3.2 trillion

Official German Sovereign Debt:                                               $2.618 trillion

Percentage of Liabilities at the European Union:                          27%
Percentage of Liabilities at the ECB                                           18.94%

Germany’s Percentage of the ECB Debt ($4 trillion)                    $757.6 billion

German annual cost for the EU budget                                      $46.36 billion

German Guarantees for the Stabilization Funds                          $280.6 billion

German Guarantees for the Macro Financial Assistance Fund      $211.14 billion

German Target-2 Liabilities                                                     $656 billion

German Guarantee for the EIB Debt                                        $157.29 billion

Sovereign Guarantee for KFW                                                 $588 billion

Total German Sovereign Debt & Guarantees                             $5.315 trillion

Official debt to GDP Ratio                                                             81.8%

Actual German Debt to GDP Ratio                                            139.8%

So there you have it; place your bets.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 11:11:11 am

Title: BRICS summit insists on dialogue for Syria, Iran
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 12:55:45 pm



The world's emerging powers on Thursday said dialogue was the only answer to crises in Syria and Iran at a summit aimed at bolstering their non-Western alliance's influence on global affairs.

The BRICS bloc -- comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- vowed to work together more closely on areas of mutual concern and launched plans for their first joint institution, a development bank.

At their fourth summit together, they also issued a pre-emptive warning against any military action by the West or Israel to end the unrest in Syria or the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

"We agreed that a lasting solution in Syria and Iran can only be found through dialogue," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a closing statement at the one-day summit in New Delhi.


Title: German central banker: ECB loans only buy time
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 01:52:00 pm

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank says the flow of credit to businesses grew more slowly in February — a sign that the bank's massive loans to the financial system have yet to kickstart a lagging eurozone economy.

Figures released Wednesday showed loans to nonfinancial corporations — a key credit indicator — grew by only 0.4 percent on an annual basis, down from 0.7 percent in January.

The ECB made two rounds of cheap loans to banks Dec. 21 and Feb. 29, adding about €500 billion ($666 billion) in net new credit to the financial system. The loans were introduced in the hope that the money would find its way to businesses and consumers as loans and, in turn, promote growth.

The loans are credited with easing the eurozone debt crisis by removing fears that one or more of Europe's shaky banks might fail, and by making it easier for heavily indebted governments such as Italy to borrow on bond markets.


Title: Unemployment across EU hits 15 year high
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 02, 2012, 11:14:22 am

April 2, 2012 – EUROPE – Unemployment in the euro zone reached its highest level in almost 15 years in February, with more than 17 million people out of work, and economists said they expected job office queues to grow even longer later this year. Joblessness in the 17-nation currency zone rose to 10.8 percent – in line with a Reuters poll of economists – and 0.1 points worse than in January, Eurostat said on Monday. Economists are divided over the wisdom of European governments’ drive to bring down fiscal deficits so aggressively as economic troubles hit tax revenues, consumers’ spending power and business confidence which collapsed late last year. February’s unemployment level – last hit in June 1997 – marked the 10th straight monthly rise and contrasts sharply with the United States where the economy has been adding jobs since late last year. “We expect it to go higher, to reach 11 percent by the end of the year,” said Raphael Brun-Aguerre, an economist at JP Morgan in London. “You have public sector job cuts, income going down, weak consumption. The economic growth outlook is negative and is going to worsen unemployment.” Separate data released on Monday showed manufacturing activity in the euro zone shrank for an eighth successive month in March, providing further evidence for Brussels’ forecast that euro zone output will shrink 0.3 percent this year. The European Commission, which along with Berlin is a driving force behind the EU’s debt reduction strategy, said joblessness showed countries must enact difficult reforms. Public resistance is rising in Italy to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s labor market reforms, while Spain’s premier, Mariano Rajoy, faced his first general strike last week. “This is why, more than ever, it is important to carry out structural reforms in countries where the growth potential remains low and where we don’t see the creation of new and better jobs,” Amadeu Altafaj, the spokesman for the EU’s top economic official Olli Rehn, told reporters. Despite the economic vista, the European Central Bank is expected to hold interest rates at 1 percent at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, as rising oil prices keep inflation above its 2 percent target. “With inflation remaining stubbornly high throughout the euro zone, there is very little hope of a consumer recovery,” said Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Markets. –Reuters

Title: U.K. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Declines for Second Month
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 05, 2012, 09:56:40 am
U.K. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Declines for Second Month
5 April 2012, by Jennifer Ryan (Bloomberg)


U.K. manufacturing output unexpectedly declined for a second month, indicating the economy’s return to growth may be uneven.

Factory output fell 1% from January, the most since April, the Office for National Statistics said today in London.

The median forecast of 24 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for an increase of 0.1%.

Manufacturing, which accounts for 10% of the economy, was revised to a 0.3% decline in January from a 0.1% increase.

Reports this week showed expansion in services, manufacturing and construction accelerated in March, suggesting the economy probably returned to growth in the first quarter.

Still, the British Chambers of Commerce said the recovery remains “weak” and the Bank of England will probably maintain emergency stimulus for the economy after a meeting today.

Factory production “clearly does still face a challenging environment,” Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight in London, said in a research note.

The February decline “is a sharp reminder that the economy still has its work cut out to return to sustainable decent growth.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 05, 2012, 10:06:18 am
Decline In German Industrial Production Worse Than Expected
5 April 2012, Berlin (dpa-AFX) FinanzNachrichten.de)

Germany's industrial production fell more than expected in February, reflecting a wide spread contraction in manufacturing and construction sectors.

Industrial output dropped 1.3% in February from a month ago, offsetting January's 1.2% growth, according to the report released by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology on Thursday.

Economists had forecast a 0.5% decrease for February.

The latest contraction has triggered concerns about the strength of Eurozone's growth engine to support the recovery.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 05, 2012, 10:07:54 am
Take cover! The housing market is heading for a bloody and protracted crash
4 April 2012, by Mitch Feierstein (Daily Mail)


Hometrack, a property analytics business, recently reported a 0.2% increase in British house prices, the first such rise in 20 months.

The company’s peculiar response to that unimpressive piece of data is that prices will continue to hold firm in the coming months, though, in a brief spasm of honesty, the company goes far enough to admit that the market is not ‘yet firing on all cylinders’.

Indeed. As a matter of fact, the housing market is currently firing on just one cylinder – and one that will have to be withdrawn in due course, as unfit for further service.

Title: London suffering through worst drought since 1884
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 05, 2012, 06:23:31 pm

London suffering through worst drought since 1884
Posted on April 5, 2012 by The Extinction Protocol

April 5, 2012 – LONDON – The city of London has an undeserved reputation as a rainy city, with “things to do” when the U.K. capital is wet a popular topic of conversation among tourists. But this year could see that image shattered in dramatic fashion, with much of southeast England gripped by a serious drought currently affecting about 20 million people. Restrictions on the use of water were imposed Thursday from the southeast coast to the River Humber in the north and almost as far west as Wales. By the time the Olympics comes to London in July, further controls could be introduced that will prevent aircraft, London’s famous double-decker buses and other vehicles from being washed. Other restrictions are also likely. Those arriving for the greatest show on Earth, may find a parched, somewhat grubby city. The event itself, however, will be exempt, so rest assured there will be water in the diving pool, the rowers will not in find themselves marooned and the smiles of the synchronized swimmers will remain fixed. “We have now received below-average rainfall across our region for 20 of the past 25 months, making it the driest two-year period since records began in 1884,” Martin Baggs, chief executive of Thames Water, said in a statement. “Imposing restrictions on the use of [hoses], although regrettable, is the most sensible and responsible next step in encouraging everyone to use less water so we can maintain supplies for as long as it stays dry, and reduce the risk of more serious restrictions later in the year,” he added. –MSNBC

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 06, 2012, 08:50:07 am


Euro to mark worst week in four months on Spain jitters

TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro is poised to post its worst week in nearly four months, languishing a little above a three-week low against the dollar on Friday as worries about rising Spanish debt yields show no signs of abating ahead of all-important U.S. jobs data.
Economists expect the payrolls report due at 1230 GMT to show the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in March. That would mark a fourth straight month of solid job creation and the longest streak of monthly employment gains of more than 200,000 since 1999.
A solid U.S. jobs reading would likely bolster yields on short-term U.S. Treasuries, boosting the dollar and weighing further on the euro which was at $1.3063, struggling to pull away from a three-week low of $1.3035 hit the day before.
The common currency, however, managed to scramble above key technical support at the base of the Ichimoku cloud at $1.3056, although few thought it would hold that level for long due to resurfacing worries over the euro zone's debt woes.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 11, 2012, 04:26:03 pm
German bund auction produces record-low yield
11 April 2012, by Sara Sjolin - London (MarketWatch)

The German government sold on Wednesday €3.87 billion ($5.07 billion) of 10-year government bunds in an auction that produced a record low yield of 1.77%.

The bid-to-cover ratio came in at 1.1%, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

In the secondary market, yields on 10-year German government bunds added 8 basis points to 1.71%.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 17, 2012, 04:49:27 pm

Europe Will Collapse in May-June

By Graham Summers

Starting back in August, I began suggesting that we were approaching a Systemic Crisis/ Crash scenario in the markets.

The technical and fundamentals both supported this forecast, but I completely underestimated the degree to which the Central Banks and EU would attempt to prop up the market.

At that time, I thought it likely we’d see a Crash, which would then be met with another round of stimulus, which would push the economy temporarily into the green. It seemed the most logical outcome given that we were heading into an election year with a President whose ratings were at record lows.

Instead, the Federal Reserve, particularly those Fed Presidents from Financial Centers (Charles Evans of Chicago and Bill Dudley of New York) began a coordinated campaign of verbal intervention, hinting that more easing or QE was just around the corner.

These verbal interventions coincided with coordinated monetary interventions between the Federal Reserve and other world Central Banks: first on September 15 2011 and again on November 30 2011.

The effects of both coordinated moves were short-lived in terms of equity prices, but they did send a message that the Central Banks were willing to intervene in a big way to maintain the financial system. This in turn helped to ease interbank liquidity problems in Europe (more on this in a moment) and maintain the belief that the Fed backstop or “Bernanke Put” was still in effect.

Another issue that served to push the markets higher was European leaders’ decision to go “all in” on the EU –bail out project. I’ve tracked those developments closely in previous articles.

Regarding this factor, I also underestimated the extent to which leaders would push to hold things together. After all, Greece had already received bailouts in excess of 150% of its GDP and still posted a GDP loss of 6.8% in 2011. It’s hard to believe they’d want to accept more austerity measures and more debt.

Moreover, political tensions between Greece and Germany had reached the point that Greeks were openly comparing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble as Nazis while the Germans referred to Greece as a “bottomless hole” into which money was being tossed.

Looking back on it, the clear reality was that Germany wanted to force Greece out of the EU but didn’t want to do it explicitly: instead they opted to offer Greece aid provided Greece accepted austerity measures so onerous that there was no chance Greece would go for it.

Well, Greece surprised many, including myself, and went for it. And so the EU experiment continues to exist today. However, before the end of this issue I will make it clear precisely why this will not be the case for much longer and why we are on the verge of a systemic collapse in Europe.

For starters, unemployment in Greece as a whole is now over 20%. For Greek youth (aged 15-24) it’s over 50%. The country is in nothing short of a Depression.

Indeed, Greece has now experienced five straight years of contraction bringing the total contraction of Greece’s GDP to 17%. To provide some historical perspective here, when Argentina collapsed in 2001 its total GDP collapse was 20% and this was accompanied by full-scale defaults as well as systemic collapse and open riots.

With new austerity measures now in place there is little doubt Greece will see a GDP contraction of 20%, if not more. I expect we’ll see other “Argentina-esque” developments in the country as well. Put mildly, the Greek issue is not resolved.

The one thing that would stop me here would be if Greece staged a full-scale default. While the political leaders and others view a total default as a nightmare (and it would be for Greek pensions, retirees, and many EU banks), it is only a total default that could possibly solve Greece’s debt problems and allow it to return to growth.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2012, 03:35:39 pm

IMF inches toward deal on boosting bailout funds


By Lesley Wroughton and Glenn Somerville

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund appeared to be inching toward a deal on increasing its financial firepower on Tuesday, with Japan, Sweden and Denmark committing a total of $77 billion to help contain the euro zone's debt crisis.

The pledges were made ahead of meetings of global finance chiefs in Washington this week that will focus on additional funds for the IMF, an issue that has taken on fresh urgency, given a jump in borrowing costs in Spain and Italy this week.

Their renewed borrowing woes have reignited fears that the euro-zone crisis is about to flare again.

While a deal may not be fully fleshed out by the time the meetings wrap up on Saturday, it is possible that the G20 developed and emerging nations could agree on the amount of funds needed and leave it to a leaders' summit in Mexico in June to hammer out details.

In an interview with Reuters, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble played down concerns that Spain could be the next euro-zone country to seek a bailout. He expressed optimism that the G20 will increase IMF resources by $400 billion by the time the meetings conclude.

U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Lael Brainard said Europe must commit to do whatever it takes to address its debt problems, but should be careful to avoid a "downward spiral of austerity and recession." She reiterated that Washington has no intention to throw more money in the IMF's pot.

A number of emerging market economies, including China, Brazil and Russia, are also being cautious about ponying up money, although the funds would be designated to help countries outside of Europe. These economies want firm commitments that any new resources will be accompanied by more voting power in the global lender.

They have been frustrated with the slow pace of governance reforms. The United States is holding up approval of vote reforms agreed in 2010 that would make China the IMF's third-largest shareholder and boost voting shares for Brazil and India. Negotiations have already begun on the next stage of voting reform, which is expected to be completed in 2013.

Brainard said the United States would seek congressional approval for the quota reform "at an appropriate time."


On Tuesday, Japan pledged $60 billion to the IMF, becoming the first non-European nation to commit to strengthen the fund's financial arsenal. Sweden said it was ready to immediately commit $10 billion and increase the amount to $14.7 billion later, while Denmark said it would give $7 billion. Norway pledged $9.6 billion in December.

"Together, they set the stage for decisive progress to be made by the time of the spring meeting of our global membership later this week," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement.

In an interview with Italy's main financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Lagarde said she hoped to "reach the critical mass of more than $400 billion," although she said sealing a deal might take longer.

The IMF has scaled back estimates for its funding needs in recent weeks, saying that the risks to the global economy it foresaw last year had not materialized. Still, on Tuesday it warned that the world economy faced an "uneasy calm" and was still fragile.

In January, the IMF said it needed an additional $500 billion to lend and another $100 billion for reserves to comfortably guard against risks posted by the euro-zone crisis.

Euro-zone countries have already committed to provide 150 billion euros ($200 billion) and they hope other European Union countries, notably Britain, will pledge up to 50 billion euros ($65 billion).

G20 sources said China and Saudi Arabia were expected to commit funds, with smaller amounts coming from Brazil, Russia, Mexico and Poland.

The United States, heading into a presidential election in November and facing internal political opposition to putting up money for wealthy European nations, has said it will not participate in the fundraising effort.

Brainard said the United States believed the IMF had "very adequate core resources" to deal with global challenges.

Canada has also said it would not contribute.

Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Tokyo's contribution, which will be formally announced at the G20 meeting, would encourage other countries to follow suit.

Azumi said he consulted with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan on Monday and that there were no gaps between the two countries on IMF funding.

Analysts said Japan's commitment may be motivated partly by fears that an unruly euro-zone crisis could lead to a surge in safe-haven demand for the yen.

"It remains to be seen how much the other major economies, which are less exposed to the euro zone, will contribute," economic research firm Capital Economics said on Tuesday.

Germany's Schaeuble said it would be wrong for countries to withhold new funds in an effort to secure a deal on quota reform, saying this would amount to going back on a promise.

"That's what we've agreed, and I assume it will happen," Schaeuble said. "There are some voices that apparently want to set new conditions. That would go against what we've agreed." ($1 = 0.7610 euros)

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2012, 03:45:53 pm
Worst Yet to Come as Crisis Rescue Cash Ebbs, Deutsche Bank Says
18 April 2012, by Katie Linsell (Bloomberg)

The worst may be yet to come in the global financial crisis as the central bank spending that kept defaults low runs out, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

Credit-default swap prices imply that four or more European nations may suffer so-called credit events such as having to restructure their debt, strategists led by Jim Reid and Nick Burns said in a note.

The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of contracts on 15 governments including Spain and Italy jumped 26% in the past month as the region’s crisis flared up.

“If these implied defaults come vaguely close to being realised then the next five years of corporate and financial defaults could easily be worse than the last five relatively calm years,” the analysts in London said.

“Much may eventually depend on how much money-printing can be tolerated as we are very close to being maxed out fiscally.”

Default rates stayed in line with historical norms between 2007 and 2011 because of the “unprecedented intervention” of European and U.S. policy makers, the analysts wrote in the report yesterday.

Now, credit markets are giving up the gains that followed the European Central Bank’s €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) longer-term refinancing operations and the U.S.’s Operation Twist that buoyed government bonds.

Although defaults have been low, recoveries are falling because the public spending that kept non-payments down has failed to spur economic growth, according to the analysts.

Credit-default swaps pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt agreements.

“The LTROs gave us some respite but they don’t appear to have taken the problem away,” Burns said in a phone interview.

“At the moment there are no more LTROs on the table.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 20, 2012, 04:54:18 pm

Lagarde: IMF loan for Egypt won't be enough


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Egypt's request for a $3.2 billion IMF loan will not be enough to meet the country's financial needs and will require additional resources from donor countries, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
"It will not be sufficient, and everybody knows that, so it will require other donors, other participants to also come to the table to help Egypt," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a news conference before the start of the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington.
"As is always the case, we will play the catalyst role that we always play," she added.
The IMF has said there is no timeline for concluding its loan talks with Egypt. It has insisted that any IMF financing package needs the broad support of all political parties in the country, especially given upcoming elections in June.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 21, 2012, 12:34:19 pm

Dutch prime minister says austerity talks collapse
April 21, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CDT
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The ruling Dutch minority government was on the brink of collapse Saturday after anti-EU lawmaker Geert Wilders torpedoed seven weeks of austerity talks, saying he would not cave in to budget demands from "dictators in Brussels."
New national elections that will be a referendum on the Netherlands' relationship with Europe and its ailing single currency are now all-but-certain.
But before Prime Minister can tender his resignation — possibly as early as Monday — he must consult with allies and opposition parties on how to run a caretaker government that will have to make important economic decisions in the coming weeks and months.
"Elections are the logical next step," Rutte said.
Opposition leader Diederik Sansom of the Labor Party joined others across the political spectrum in calling for new elections as soon as possible.
"In the meanwhile, we in parliament will take responsibility for a careful budget in 2013," he said.
Austerity talks began in early March after the Dutch economy sank into recession and forecasts showed the 2012 budget deficit will reach 4.6 percent — well above the 3 percent limit mandated by European rules. Dutch politicians have strongly demanded that Greece and other countries meet that target.
Rutte leads the free-market Liberal Party in a minority coalition with the center-right Christian Democrats with outside support from Wilders' Freedom Party. The outspoken Wilders is widely known for his anti-Islam and anti-EU opinions, including calls for Greece to return to the drachma and the Netherlands to leave the euro.
Rutte said negotiations had been rounded off Friday to deliver a "balanced package" of cuts, but Wilders walked out after discussing the package with his Freedom Party.
Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen accused Wilders of "political cowardice" for refusing to sign off on the cuts — details of which have not yet been released.
Wilders was happy to take the blame, saying he "would not accept that the elderly in the Netherlands have to pay for nonsensical demands from Brussels." He underlined that an accord would have been possible had the coalition been less concerned with following European rules to the letter.
"We don't want to bow to Brussels," he said. "We don't want our pensioners to suffer for the sake of the dictators in Brussels."
Wilders has long been a staunch critic of the European Union, opposing an EU constitution and last month suggesting the Netherlands should return to its pre-euro currency, the guilder. Most mainstream Dutch parties are generally pro-EU.
The collapse of talks could endanger the Netherlands' coveted AAA credit rating and drive up its borrowing costs.
The Netherlands is one of only four nations using the euro that has the top rating, though it already is under review by rating agencies. Central Bank President Klaas Knot said last week borrowing rates would rise by 1 percent if the Netherlands' ratings are cut.
Once considered one of Europe's strongest economies, the Netherlands is suffering from high levels of personal debt, mostly mortgage related.
Rutte came to power in 2010 and slashed spending by €18 billion. But after the latest downturn, he needs to cut at least €9 billion ($12 billion) more, according to estimates by the Central Plan Bureau, the government's economic think-tank.
His administration was cobbled together after months of talks following a 2010 election that returned a splintered parliament. Few analysts expected the coalition helped by the maverick Wilders to achieve a one-vote majority in parliament to survive a full four-year term.
"This was always a very shaky construction," said Jolanda Sap of smaller opposition party Green Left.
The collapse came just days before Wilders is scheduled to fly to the United States to launch his new book, titled "Marked for Death. Islam's war against the West and Me." The fact that the book is being published in English and in the United States has led some observers to speculate about whether Wilders, whose party has been slipping in recent polls, might not see his future across the Atlantic.
Wilders did not return calls seeking comment.
Associated Press writer Toby Sterling contributed from Amsterdam.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 21, 2012, 01:03:18 pm
World Bank: Eastern Europe may face credit crunch
20 April 2012, by Kristina Peterson - Washington (MarketWatch)

The Eastern European and Central Asian region faces the risk of a credit crunch because of the area's heavy exposure to the fragile Western European banking system, a World Bank official said Friday.

The region is heavily dependent on borrowing from banks in the euro zone, leaving it very vulnerable if Western banks pull back on lending, Philippe Le Houerou, the World Bank's vice president of Europe and Central Asia, said Friday at a briefing at the International Monetary Fund.

The area is closely connected to "Western banks that are now facing pressures at home to reduce lending," creating a "risk of credit crunch in the [Europe and Central Asia] region," he said.

Among the World Bank's regions, Europe and Central Asia was the hardest hit by the recent recession and saw a milder recovery than other areas, Le Houerou said.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 21, 2012, 01:11:26 pm

Either 4/20 or 4/21, not sure which

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leading world economies on Friday pledged $430 billion in new funding for the International Monetary Fund, more than doubling its lending power in a bid to protect the global economy from the euro-zone debt crisis.
The promised funds from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies aim to ensure the IMF can respond decisively should the debt problems that have engulfed three euro zone countries spread and threaten a fragile global recovery.
"This is extremely important, necessary, an expression of collective resolve," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. "Given the increase that has just taken place, we are north of a trillion dollars actually. So I was a bit mesmerized by the amount."
The $1 trillion figure includes both the IMF's existing and newly won resources, as well as loans already committed.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 21, 2012, 07:43:24 pm
You could lose your pension if you don't pay your bills(UK)
16 April 2012, by Neil Faulkner (Love Money)

For the first time, a High Court judge has ruled that a pension could be drawn down and used to pay creditors.

When you're made bankrupt, any income you are receiving is taken into consideration by the court.

The judge will decide how much you can afford to pay to your creditors on a regular basis during bankruptcy, if anything.

Usually you'll be ordered to make payments from income for three years. This income could be from paid employment, from benefits or even from pensions.

Before 4th April 2012, if you hadn't already started to take benefits from your pension in the form of a lump-sum payout or monthly income, your pension was not considered in the bankruptcy proceedings except in rare circumstances.

Your pension pot was out of the reach of your creditors.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Charrington on April 22, 2012, 12:30:57 am
I'm just posting to stop BornAgain2's attempt at breaking consecutive post without a reply record... :)


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 23, 2012, 12:14:18 pm
French, Dutch, peripheral euro-zone bond yields up
23 April 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

French, Dutch, Spanish and Italian government bonds fell Monday, pushing up yields, while German government bonds rallied on safe-haven demand after a weekend that saw Socialist challenger Francois Hollande top the first-round of France's presidential election and the collapse of budget talks in the Netherlands.

The yield on 10-year French bonds rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.12%,

while the 10-year Dutch yield rose 0.07 percentage point to 2.40%, according to electronic trading platform Tradeweb.

On the periphery, the Spanish 10-year yield rose 0.07 percentage point to 6.04%, Tradeweb showed,

while Italy's 10-year yield rose 0.09 percentage point to 5.76%.

The yield on 10-year German bunds fell 0.04 percentage point to 1.59%.

Read the full story: Politics, PMI amplify euro-zone debt fears http://www.marketwatch.com/story/politics-pmi-amplify-euro-zone-debt-fears-2012-04-23

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 23, 2012, 06:30:51 pm
The Netherlands: Food banks can't keep up with demand
23 april 2012, (ConsuMed)
(google trans from Dutch) http://tinyurl.com/7xc2nnn

ORG: http://www.consumed.nl/dagnieuwtjes/8231/Voedselbanken_kunnen_aanvragen_niet_aan

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 24, 2012, 09:19:15 pm

Euro falls against dollar on worries about Europe
Associated Press – Mon, Apr 23, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Economic and political turmoil in Europe pushed the euro lower against the dollar Monday.

The euro fell to $1.3144 in late trading from $1.3215 late Friday.

The European Union said that even with spending cuts, debt in countries that use the euro rose to 87.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2011 from 85.3 percent in the previous year.

A separate survey found that the euro zone's manufacturing and services sectors unexpectedly fell in April.

In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy lost the first round of the country's presidential election to Francois Hollande, a harsh critic of the spending cuts that the region has adopted. Traders are worried that a leadership change in France could derail or slow efforts to solve Europe's debt crisis.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 25, 2012, 06:02:57 pm
German 30 Year Bund Auction "Unsubscribed"
25 April 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

Earlier today, the Bundesbank tried to sneak through some €3 billion in long-dated (30Y) paper.

It didn't quite succeed, because if one excludes the retention by the German bank which already has its hands full with TARGET2, the auction was technically a failure.

As Newedge points out, without Buba retention, the launch of new 30-yr bund would have been undersubscribed which is just a polite way of saying the above.

What happened is that the German debt agency sold €2.405 billion of new 2.5% 30Y Jul-44 Bund, at an average Price €101.93 and average yield of 2.41%.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 26, 2012, 11:15:50 am
EU Commission To Seek Budget Increase
24 April 2012, by Vanessa Mock (Dow Jones - Nasdaq)


The European Union commission is set to ask for an increase of around 7% in the EU's annual budget on Wednesday, a move likely to trigger a chorus of disapproval from European capitals.

At a time when governments across Europe are embarking on drastic austerity measures to rein in their debts and deficit, the EU's executive is set to propose raising its budget by between 6.8% and 7%, according to EU sources.

The move would increase the budget to at least €138 billion.

The figure is well above the 4.9% increase in actual payments the commission demanded in 2011 for this year, and which it failed to secure.

Many EU governments, which have to approve the budget proposals, have already signaled they will not stomach the increase.

In 2012, the commission secured a 1.9% increase in payments to €129.1 billion and 3.5% increase in commitments to €147.9 billion.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 26, 2012, 11:16:31 am
Battle over EU budget turns ugly
25 April 2012, (AFP)

Negotiations over the European Union budget turned ugly on Wednesday as a drive to ramp up 2013 funding ran into a push by national governments to impose a decade of austerity on Brussels.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed his executive wants a budget next year of €138 billion ($182 billion) -- an increase of 6.8% to €9.0 billion, way above average inflation.

"We also need investment for growth," Barroso told a press conference, suggesting the EU would focus its spending on areas generating better returns. "And precisely this budget is a response to this concern," he said.

Diplomats though warned that several governments including Britain, France and Germany had already signalled this level was "unacceptable" at a time when national governments are forced to cut costs.

The leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, English MEP Martin Callanan, said the demand was "simply out of touch with the real world."

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 29, 2012, 10:16:35 pm
Hedge funds bet against eurozone
27 April 2012, by Sam Jones (Financial Times)

Hedge fund managers make for unlikely supporters of François Hollande, the French socialist presidential candidate.

But it is Mr Hollande’s potential victory in the coming second round of the French elections, and with it a sharp deterioration in sentiment surrounding France’s creditworthiness in the bond market, that many hedge funds are now anticipating.

Indeed, their bets against the bonds of “core” eurozone countries – not just France, but Germany and the Netherlands too – represent a new, deeper level of bearishness on the single currency area’s prospects.

The European Central Bank’s longer-term refinancing operation provided a huge shot in the arm to banks and markets in the first quarter of the year and triggered a huge rally in credit.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 29, 2012, 10:23:18 pm

In 2012 Election, Europe's Growing Economic Woes Loom Over Race For White House

WASHINGTON -- The economic situation in Europe -- which many observers believe will have a significant impact on whether President Obama will be reelected -- is increasingly grim.

Spain, Italy and Greece are struggling anew. The Dutch government collapsed Monday after they were unable to agree on an austerity package. Financial markets are closely watching the French presidential elections, anxious that if Socialist candidate Francois Hollande unseats President Nicolas Sarkozy on May 6, he will follow through on promises to increase federal spending despite a massive public debt and will seek to reduce deficits with huge tax increases on the wealthiest taxpayers.

And voters across the eurozone are angry about the lack of economic growth, despite cuts to government benefits and jobs.

To the extent that Europe's troubles continue to mount, that will likely increase the drag on the U.S. economy. [size=18]The worst-case scenario would be a collapse of the eurozone, with one or more countries withdrawing from the alliance and broad economic disruption[/size].


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 30, 2012, 10:57:14 pm


Ireland: Euro's stability at risk in referendum

DUBLIN (AP) — The Irish government launched its campaign Monday to secure public support for the European Union's fiscal treaty, and warned that rejection could ravage Ireland's financial future and destabilize the euro currency.

Pro-treaty campaigners began erecting posters in central Dublin as the government legally confirmed May 31 as the date for its referendum on the fiscal treaty. The agreement among 25 of the EU's 27 nations is designed to rein in deficits across the continent and underpin confidence in the euro.

Ireland is the only euro member subjecting the treaty to a referendum and cannot ratify it without majority voter support. Government leaders say rejection would deal most damage to Ireland itself but send shockwaves throughout the 17-nation eurozone.

"This treaty is about stability for the euro. Everybody knows how important it is that there is a secure euro," said Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, as he unveiled his own Labour Party's referendum posters. They pictured an Irish flag against a blue sky and the slogan "It's about STABILITY — vote YES."


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 02, 2012, 07:36:09 pm
European Unemployment Rate Rises to Highest in Almost 15 Years
2 May 2012, by Fergal O’Brien (Bloomberg)

Euro-region unemployment rose to the highest in almost 15 years and manufacturing contracted for a ninth month, adding to signs the economy continues to weaken.

The jobless rate in the 17-nation euro area increased to 10.9% in March from 10.8% in February, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today.

That’s the highest since April 1997, when the rate reached a record high, according to Bloomberg News data going back to 1990.

A manufacturing gauge in the region fell to 45.9 in April from 47.7 in March, Markit Economics said.

The European Central Bank will probably keep its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 1% tomorrow, according to all 58 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on April 25 that European leaders need to create a “growth compact” as spending cuts across the region damp activity and prompt a backlash among citizens.

The euro-area jobless rate in March matched the median forecast of 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

The number of people out of work in the region rose by 169,000 from February to 17.4 million.

In the 27-nation European Union, the unemployment rate was 10.2% in March, unchanged from the previous month and up from 9.4% in March 2011.

Spain had the region’s highest unemployment rate in March, at 24.1%, with Greece at 21.7%, the report showed.

The lowest rates were in Austria and the Netherlands, at 4% and 5% respectively.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 02, 2012, 07:37:09 pm
German Jobless Unexpectedly Up in April as Crisis Flared
2 May 2012, by Brian Parkin (Bloomberg)


German unemployment unexpectedly rose in April as the debt crisis in the euro area constrained growth and hiring in Europe’s biggest economy.

The number of people out of work increased a seasonally adjusted 19,000 to 2.87 million, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg said today.

Economists forecast a decline of 10,000, the median of 34 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey shows.

The adjusted jobless rate was unchanged at 6.8%, still a two- decade low, after the agency revised up figures for February and March.

“The labor market has entered a period of stabilization at a high level,” said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING Group in Brussels.

While “the economic tailwind from the last two years is clearly fading away,” it is “not yet a cause for concern” and so far underscores that the labor market is an indicator that lags behind economic developments.

German unemployment has been the biggest advertisement for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s prescription to quell the debt crisis with budget cuts and labor-market changes as part of an economic overhaul.

Separate European figures published by the Luxembourg- based statistics agency Eurostat today showed euro-region unemployment rose to 10.9% in March, the highest in almost 15 years and almost double Germany’s rate of 5.6%.

Even so, following the German labor agency revisions, joblessness has now increased in three of the past seven months after declining for 27 straight months.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 03, 2012, 02:37:18 pm
The euro crisis just got a whole lot worse

 With Europe plunging back into recession and unemployment soaring, Francois Hollande, the French presidential candidate, is calling for growth objectives to be reprioritised over the chemotherapy of austerity



Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has meanwhile continued to insist that on the contrary, Europe must persist with the hairshirt. What's needed is political courage and creativity, not more billions thrown away in fiscal stimulus. Stick with the programme, she urges, as the anti-austerity backlash reaches the point of outright political insurrection.
Hollande and Merkel are, of course, both wrong. What Europe really needs is a return to free-floating sovereign currencies. Only then will Europe's seemingly interminable debt crisis be lastingly resolved. All the rest is just so much prancing around the goalposts, or an attempt to make the fundamentally unworkable somehow work.
The latest eurozone data are truly shocking, much worse in its implications both for us and them than news last week of a double-dip recession in the UK. Even in Germany, unemployment is now rising, with a lot more to come judging by the sharp deterioration in manufacturing confidence. For Spanish youth, unemployment has become a way of life, with more young people now out of a job (51.1pc) than in one. In contrast to the US, where the unemployment rate is falling, joblessness in the eurozone as a whole has now reached nearly 11pc. Against these eye-popping numbers, Britain might almost reasonably take pride in its still intolerable 8.3pc unemployment rate.
There is only one boom business in Spain these days – teaching English and German. No prizes for guessing where these students are heading.
Hollande's opportunism in calling for a growth strategy he must know cannot be delivered looks like being answered only by intensifying recession. Maybe Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, will surprise us after Thursday's meeting with a rate cut and a eurozone-wide programme of quantitative easing. But even if he did, it wouldn't fix the underlying problem, which is one of lost competitiveness manifested in ever more intractable levels of external indebtedness.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 04, 2012, 11:39:53 am
Euro-zone April composite PMI posts steep fall
4 May 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

A contraction in private-sector business activity across the 17-nation euro zone accelerated sharply in April, according to the Markit composite purchasing managers' index, or PMI, released Friday.

The index fell to 46.7 from 49.1 in March, coming in below an earlier estimate of 47.4.

Markit said its April services PMI for the region fell to 46.9 from 49.2 in March and came in below the preliminary estimate of 47.9.

A reading of less than 50 signals a contraction in activity.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the data suggests the euro-zone is on track to see GDP shrink by 0.5% in the second quarter.

"Business and consumer confidence appears to have deteriorated markedly across the region since the uplift seen at the start of the year,
suggesting that stimulus measures implemented by the European Central Bank have not had a lasting impact on the real economy," he said.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 04, 2012, 11:08:26 pm

Misery builds for the euro zone

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro zone economy worsened markedly in April, according to business surveys that clashed with the prospect of a gradual recovery augured by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi this week.
Friday's purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), primarily covering services, suggested a recession across Europe's currency union could now extend to mid-year and be deeper than previously thought.
They did, however, indicate better progress among Chinese companies.
Still, the overall tone of economic data on Friday was gloomy, given news the U.S. economy added only 115,000 non-farm jobs in April, far less than the 170,000 predicted.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 06, 2012, 07:54:55 pm

Sarkozy joins fallen leaders amid Europe crisis
By DANIEL WOOLLS | Associated Press – 2 hours 28 minutes ago

Nicolas Sarkozy, defeated Sunday in France's presidential runoff by Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, joins a series of European leaders booted from office because of public anger over government spending cuts and economic crisis. Almost every crisis-hit European country that has held an election since disaster struck in 2009 has thrown out its leader.

Here's a look at countries where political cadavers litter the landscape.

— ITALY: Silvio Berlusconi, the long-serving leader and survivor of scandals over everything from allegedly bedding escorts to serial corruption, finally bites the dust in November 2011. He resigns to cheers and jeers as investors lose confidence in his ability to spur economic growth and rein in debt. It's the end of a political era. Mario Monti, a former European Commissioner, is named to replace him and lead a technical government until elections in 2013.

— GREECE: Greek Socialist leader George Papandreou swept to power in October 2009 pledging to spend his way out of a deteriorating economic situation. Two years later, at the height of Greece's worst financial crisis since World War II, Papandreou's own deputies force him out after he endangers a hard-won bailout by pledging to put it to a referendum. He's replaced by caretaker Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. On Sunday, Greek voters punish the country's two dominant parties, with projections showing both losing support to anti-bailout groups in parliamentary elections and no party gaining enough ballots to form a government.

— SPAIN: A burst real estate bubble also deflated faith in a Socialist government, which was nonetheless reluctant to acknowledge Spain has problems. Blips of good economic news are seized upon as "green shoots" pointing to recovery. Wrong. Stimulus measures are enacted, then crushing austerity. Unemployment soars. The Socialists of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero are wiped off the map in November 2011 elections; Mariano Rajoy's conservatives take over.

— BRITAIN: Gordon Brown leads the Labour Party to defeat in the May 2010 election; Conservative Party leader David Cameron becomes leader of a coalition government. Brown had been finance chief for a decade before succeeding Tony Blair in 2007. Brown had boasted endlessly of ending the cycle of boom and bust — but as prime minister he presided mostly over bust.

— IRELAND: Brian Cowen, promoted to prime minister in 2008 after being finance minister, doesn't even get to run. He resigns as leader of the Fianna Fail Party weeks before the February, 2011 election. It doesn't help his party, which suffers its worst ever defeat. Cowen was finance minister during Ireland's banking crisis and the collapse of its housing bubble.

— PORTUGAL: A month after Portugal requests a 78 billion-euro bailout, the center-left Socialist government of Jose Socrates is voted out of power in June, 2011. Portugal's woes stemmed from a decade of feeble growth as it failed to modernize amid increasing global competition and dug itself deeper into debt.

— DENMARK: A center-right government in Denmark loses power in September in part due to discontent over austerity measures introduced amid the debt crisis. It is replaced by a center-left coalition.

— FINLAND: Finland's government is reconfigured after June elections following a sharp surge in support for nationalists who oppose bailouts for debt-stricken eurozone countries. A conservative-led coalition spanning left and right is formed to keep the nationalist True Finns out of power.

Title: Austerity is a dirty word in Europe but what next?
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 07, 2012, 04:26:07 pm


PARIS (AP) — The day after Francois Hollande rode to power in France on a slogan of "change now" the conversation in Europe is already different: Austerity has become a dirty word.

In Greece, political parties who reject the extreme belt-tightening required by international bailouts were the big winners in parliamentary elections. German voters in a northern state ousted the coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party, which has pressed the case for austerity.

And France, of course, elected Hollande, its first Socialist president in more than a decade and one who has promised more government spending to stimulate the economy.

"Austerity can no longer be inevitable!" he shouted in his first speech after Nicolas Sarkozy conceded Sunday night. The question remains whether Germany — which is Europe's economic powerhouse driving the austerity agenda — will allow at least some countries in the eurozone to spend more freely in the face of a recession that is spreading across the continent.

Rising uncertainty over how Europe's handling of the debt crisis may change in the weeks and months ahead has made investors nervous. Stock markets were volatile on Monday, falling sharply in the morning and recovering in some countries by the close.

The sharpest selloff was in Greece, where the main stock index plunged almost 7 percent. The euro briefly spiraled to a three-month low against the dollar, hitting $1.2972.

More turmoil in the eurozone would affect the global market, particularly countries like the U.S. whose financial system is intertwined with that of Europe.

As investors become nervous about the future they pull back on their investments, hurting economic activity, while drops in stock markets drain wealth from savers.

American exporters would suffer if sagging confidence in Europe shrinks the value of the euro against the dollar. Exports have been one of the U.S. economy's few strengths since the recession ended three years ago.

The most nerve-wracking development occurred in Greece, where political parties that backed two bailouts lost their majority in Parliament. That opens up the possibility that Greece's new leaders could renege on commitments made to secure the country's massive rescue loans — or even decide to leave the euro. The conservatives will try to put together a new government, but there's a good chance they could fail — and that would usher in another month of financial chaos before new elections.

Merkel pressed Greek leaders to stay the course.

"Of course the most important thing is that the programs we agreed with Greece are continued," she said Monday.

But Greece isn't the only problem. The 17 countries that use the euro — and 9 other European countries — agreed in March to a fiscal compact that seeks to make countries balance their budgets. But as Europe's economy gets weaker, the public and politicians are growing weary of the budget-cutting that is required to make this fiscal compact work.

Eight of the 17 eurozone nations are already in recession and unemployment across the bloc rose to 10.9 percent in March — its highest ever.

If investors pull back from Europe amid uncertainty, its growth policies will have trouble making headway — and that could also drag on the global economy.

The U.S. and European Union are important trading partners and each consumes a large portion of the other's exports. With unemployment skyrocketing in Europe, consumption is flagging and that will have a knock-on effect on the U.S.

The American and European financial systems are also heavily intertwined, and U.S. money market funds still have significant exposure to Europe.

Over the past two years, France and Germany have steered Europe through the debt crisis — though not always well — and declared an end to the flouting of deficit limits that led Europe into the debt crisis.

But the crackdown could not have come at a worse time — with the world economy slowing — and propelled Europe into a vicious austerity spiral. Cutting spending — which meant laying off state employees and ending stimulus programs — further slowed nations' economies and produced less tax revenue, which meant more cuts were needed to meet deficit targets.

Now a backlash has begun and for many, Hollande is its leader.

The new French leader has promised to end the negative loop, demanding that the fiscal compact that targeted spending be re-negotiated to include measures to promote growth. Many economists have long advocated for a greater emphasis on growth, but that idea seemed to gather steam among European policymakers only as Hollande promoted it.

"At the moment that the (French vote) result was proclaimed, I am sure that in many European countries, there was relief, hope," he told supporters in his central hometown of Tulle.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi called for a "growth compact" even though that institution has long demanded fiscal discipline. The Dutch government, long a supporter of such discipline, fell over the issue of too much austerity and too little growth. And even Germany, the primary architect of austerity, has said a growth pact should be drawn up.

Still, concrete proposals for stimulating short-term growth have been few. European officials have talked about boosting funding for the European Investment Bank, and economists have urged making more targeted and aggressive use of EU structural funds for infrastructure projects such as roads.

Yet with a budget only around 1 percent of EU gross domestic product, the EU's prospects for large-scale spending are limited.

Jeffrey Bergstrand, a professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame, said Germany is going to have to shift on the subject of stimulus. Even though its economy is the largest — and among the strongest — in Europe, it can't thrive if no one else is.

"Merkel has to be paying attention to (unemployment) because Germany, unlike the United States, is very, very reliant on exports, and exports tend to go to your neighbors," he said. "She will have to listen. She will have to give."

Germany has long maintained that it made painful cuts and reforms after the reunification of its East and West while other nations kept spent beyond their means.

But economists argue that Germany reaped the benefits of all that spending, too, since it sells goods to eurozone countries. And at any rate, Germany is one of the few eurozone members that can spend a little more because its economy is strong and its deficit is in check.

Despite this new divergence between France and Germany, that relationship will remain central to a solution to the crisis. Merkel and Sarkozy were so close they were known as "Merkozy" — and the big question now is if there will be a "Merkollande" in Europe's future.

"There can be some short-term friction when they have to adjust to each other," said Laurence Boone, chief European economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "But it doesn't seem to me that there is an alternative, because Spain and Italy are not strong enough."

Merkel called Hollande immediately after his victory and Hollande campaign manager Pierre Moscovici said his boss would head to Berlin shortly after his inauguration on May 15.

Hollande's decision to follow through on campaign promises of jump-starting the French economy by investing in infrastructure and buoying small businesses will determine how bumpy the road ahead is.

He has promised to keep the deficit in check by also raising taxes on the wealthy and closing some corporate loopholes — but some investors say that will kill the very growth he hopes to foster.

"Hollande's platform of anti-austerity is not really anti-austerity; it's really anti-growth," said Jeffrey Sica, president of U.S.-based Sica Wealth Management, which has over $1 billion in assets under management. "Whether it's taxation or regulation or however they're going to raise revenue ... they're going to shift the blame to business and to other higher income levels."

If he does start wildly increasing spending, France will no doubt see its borrowing costs rise — which could make his policies untenable and prompt a shift back to austerity. It was those rising borrowing costs that eventually forced fellow eurozone nations Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts.

Some are hoping that Hollande will turn out to be more pragmatic.

"Adieu, election campaign. Bonjour, reality," read an editorial in Germany's daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 09, 2012, 12:01:00 am
Former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl knew €-risks
6 May 2012, (MMnews)
(google trans from German) http://tinyurl.com/c9ch4qm

ORG: http://www.mmnews.de/index.php/wirtschaft/9996-kohl-kannte-euro-risiken

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 09, 2012, 12:06:00 am
Hedge Funds Betting Against the Eurozone: Why You Should Worry
5 May 2012, by John Grgurich (Daily Finance)

Some of the world's most prominent hedge fund managers are betting against the eurozone -- and not just the peripheral countries everyone knows are in trouble.

They're taking positions against the core countries, economies that -- until now -- everyone has assumed were rock-solid.

Here's a primer on the world of hedge funds and why the latest developments in the recently resurgent eurozone crisis are yet another warning shot across America's economic bow.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 09, 2012, 12:29:22 am
Crisis escalates as insurrection breaks German control of Europe
8 May 2012, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

The political dam has broken in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough allies in the club of EU prime ministers to impose her hairshirt agenda. Her methodical plans are disintegrating on every front.

Title: Cameron says Euro needs single government: report
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 09, 2012, 12:58:29 am


(Reuters) - A successful euro zone requires a single government if it is to work properly, British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday.

"There's nowhere in the world that has a single currency without having more of a single government," Cameron told Britain's Daily Mail.

"Making sense of the euro for me would mean that those euro zone countries would have to have much more co-ordinated economic policy, much more co-ordinated debt policy," he said.

Cameron, who opted out of a new European economic pact late last year, advocated Britain's position outside the euro and its ability "to do things to ourselves, for ourselves, by ourselves.

"I have always believed different countries at times will need different economic policies, interest rates tailored to their own needs."

Cameron said, however, that it is in Britain's interest to see a return to growth in the euro zone, which accounts for 40 percent of UK exports.

"We want them to sort out the problems that they have. We want to be in the single market, we want European co-operation, we don't want to be in the euro," Cameron said.

"The euro is a project in transition that could go in a number of different ways ... all these countries have to make their own choices."

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; editing by Christopher Wilson)

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 10, 2012, 03:36:28 pm
Dutch With Food Aid Shows New Economic Reality Engulfing Europe
10 May 2012, by Fred Pals, Angeline Benoit and Dara Doyle (Bloomberg)


It’s just after lunchtime on a drizzly day in the Amsterdam suburb of Bos en Lommer and the line of people waiting to fill their bags with free rice, juice, potatoes and bread is lengthening.

The market is one of 135 food banks in the Netherlands bailing out people trying to survive on less than €180 ($234) a month, the threshold to qualify for the aid.

Organizers say demand for the service rose 20% in the first quarter.

“I’m alone, so I will manage, but what’s happening to families, with kids and everything?”

Willem Lammers, 52, who lost his job as a packager six months ago and has 4,000 euros of debt, said as he made his ninth visit to the bank on April 20. “I don’t know how they do it.”

While Athens emerged as the center of Europe’s debt crisis, cities across the continent are trying to cope with the biggest decline in prosperity since World War II.

A report last week showed that euro-area unemployment rose to the highest in more than 15 years in April and the region’s economy is contracting for the second time in three years.

Voters in France elected Francois Hollande as president May 6 after he pledged to soften austerity measures backed by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, while Greece was thrown into another stage of turmoil after elections split parliament between pro- and anti-bailout parties with no clear winner.

“Before people didn’t see any questions and now they don’t see any answers,” said Austin Hughes, an economist at KBC Bank Ireland in Dublin.

“There had been an expectation that incomes, employment prospects and asset prices would improve forever. That certainty is now gone.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 10, 2012, 03:40:20 pm
Merkel calls for austere Europe, rejects new debt.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel left little ground to hope she would abandon or moderate the austerity program for Europe as she warned that growth on new loans would push the EU into deeper crisis.

“Growth through structural reform is sensible, important and necessary,'' she said during an address to the German Parliament. “Growth through debt would throw us back to the beginning of the crisis, and that's why we haven't done it and won't do it.''

Many hoped that Angela Merkel would soften her unpopular thrifty policy for the EU after her ally Nicolas Sarkozy lost France’s presidential election. But she stressed that debt reduction, including lower spending and higher cuts, and reform were the ``two pillars'' needed to take the EU out of the crisis.

Merkel added that debt reduction and boosting competitiveness needed to go hand in hand.  “They aren't contradictory, they belong together,'' she stressed. She also called for calm and patience, saying that “overcoming the crisis is a long, arduous process”.

more: http://rt.com/business/news/merkel-europe-debt-cuts-909/

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 10, 2012, 03:45:28 pm
Nigel Farage: “The EU Titanic Has Now Hit The Iceberg”


• European Parliament, Brussels, 9 May 2012

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament

• Debate: Statement by the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz MEP, on the occasion of Europe Day


Well, happy Schuman Day, or Europe Day, as you now call it, although I thought the celebrations were rather muted. The only bit of real passion we had was Mr Schulz slagging off the English but that now appears to be the sort of popular sport in this parliament.

And when people stand up and talk about the great success that the EU has been I'm not sure that anybody saying it really believes it themselves anymore. I think we are celebrating the wrong day.

We shouldn't be celebrating the 9th of May, we should be celebrating the 8th of May, Victory in Europe Day. We should celebrate the last time the Germans tried to smash the continent and they foundered and at least half the continent got its democracy back.

What we are celebrating on the 9th of May is another attempt through different means, to smash democracy across Europe. I don't doubt for a minute that Jean Monnet was well intentioned from the start. He thought that if you abolish nation states you would stop there ever being another war. He didn't at the time of course have the benefit of seeing that theory as it played out in Yugoslavia.

But like Communism, this has all gone badly wrong. And the EU Titanic has now hit the iceberg. It is a European Union of economic failure, of mass unemployment, of low growth, but worst of all, it's an EU with the economic prison of the Euro. And this now poses huge dangers to the continent. We face the prospect of mass civil unrest possibly even revolution in some countries that are being driven into total and utter desperation. But there is perhaps an opportunity. There is perhaps some good news.

That now a democratic rebellion has begun, and it began in Finland last year, with the True Finns getting nearly 20% of the vote. And we're seeing in country after country new political movements on the right and the left making big scores.

But that may not all be good news. Because in Greece what we saw, last Sunday, was rather reminiscent of the German election of 1932. We saw the status quo centre collapse the extremes of right and left rise. You know this project could even cause the rebirth of national socialism in Europe. We are headed the wrong way. We must break up the Euro zone. We must set those Mediterranean countries free. We must try to build a Europe, I want a Europe - but a Europe based on trade. A Europe based on co-operation. A Europe based on us sitting around the table and agreeing sensible rules on crime and the environment. We can do all of those things. But we cannot do it if we are asked to rally behind that flag. I owe no allegiance to that flag and nor do most of the people in Europe either!
• Video: EbS (European Parliament)

• EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom

Title: Economic Depression Continues to Spur on Suicides in Europe
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 11, 2012, 09:24:57 pm

Economic Depression Continues to Spur on Suicides in Europe

Greece and Italy are normally associated with beautiful sea views, earthy food and vibrant culture. In the last few years, however, these countries have also experienced some of the worst economic hardships as the European and global economies have weakened.
Last month a retired Greek man, Dimitris Christoulas, shot himself in a public square in Athens. In a report issued by CBS News, the retired pharmacist committed suicide due to the debt crisis in Greece and the resultant austerity measures that have brought many Greek families to the brink of ruin. The number of suicides increased by about 40 percent in the second half of 2011 and has continued to pose a problem in Greece. NPR has stated that about 30 percent of Greek families live below the poverty line.
Christoulas’ suicide sparked a number of protests in the streets in Greece. He became an icon of the severity that has plunged so many families into poverty.
Italy has also been at the front of headlines recently for a rash of suicides intimately connected with economic problems. Just this week, three people committed suicide, leaving tragic notes that revealed their despair at their inability to find new employment. There have been 34 suicides related to economic hardships in Italy since January, according to NBC News.
The Italian government owes many entrepreneurs up to $90 million and “some have been waiting to be paid for up to two years.” And these suicides are often committed by businessmen who have watched their businesses fail, or male family members who have lost a significant source of income.
An association near Asolo in Italy started a crisis helpline for those who have felt distress, but family members of potential suicide cases are more likely to call in asking for help than the men who are at risk.
And the Mediterranean region is not the only area to be hit by rising suicide numbers in the world. Both Ireland and the United Kingdom have experienced a rise in the number of suicides over the last few years, according to the BBC, quoting a 2011 Lancet report that pinned a rise in suicides in the UK at a 10 percent increase between 2007 and 2009.
And while many people have been affected by unemployment and rising rates of depression and suicide in the eurozone, there has also been a major backlash towards continued austerity measures. Greek voters have summarily rejected any continued austerity measures. The newly-elected French president, François Hollande, has also demanded that new growth initiatives be put in place with a shift away from austerity measures that cut off families in need of assistance, as the Telegraph cites.
The tense environment in the eurozone has forced European Union leaders to call a meeting for May 25, in which they will attempt to come up with a solution to the looming Greek debt that threatens the security of the continent. Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel are sure to come to heads over the best way to approach the economic issues facing the European Union.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/economic-depression-continues-to-spur-on-suicides-in-europe.html#ixzz1ucOrXy2e

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Christian40 on May 12, 2012, 05:33:49 am
If the Euro crashes then the US has about 2 weeks before it will crash too! (i heard that by Dr Johnson)

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 12, 2012, 11:50:57 am
If the Euro crashes then the US has about 2 weeks before it will crash too! (i heard that by Dr Johnson)

Not that I endorse Lindsey Williams, but he was pretty much the first one that talked about this last year. Other sources have confirmed this as well.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 13, 2012, 02:04:59 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18014552 (video in the link)

"UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has warned that some EU countries face "mass civil unrest, possibly even revolution" as a result of austerity cause by the euro crisis.

He told the European Parliament the rise of "extreme" parties "could cause the rebirth of National Socialism" in countries such as Greece.

Mr Farage, whose party wants the UK to leave the EU, urged an end to the eurozone project.

It was "headed the wrong way", he said.

In Greece, the leader of the left-wing Syriza bloc, Alex Tsipras, has tried to form a government following inconclusive elections on Sunday.

He has described the EU-International Monetary Fund bailout, and its resulting austerity measures, as "barbaric".


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 14, 2012, 05:06:20 pm
European interest rate spreads widening sharply
14 May 2012, by Tom Bemis (MarketWatch - Blogs)

European spreads are widening again in the wake of the Greek and French elections.

Yields on Spanish 10-year bonds, rose to 6.16% Monday,

with the spread against Geramn 10-year bunds DE:10YR_GER hitting its highest level of the year, based on data from Tradeweb.

Italian 10-year government bond yields rose to 5.83%, also widening against German bunds.

And Greek 10-year bond yields jumped to 25.85%.

France hasn’t seen its yields rise in the wake of the election of Socialst Francois Hollande to the presidency.

But since German bund yields are falling on safe-haven bids, the spread of French yields vs. German is still widening.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 14, 2012, 05:08:56 pm
Euro-zone output decline lifts recession concern
14 May 2012, by Ilona Billington - London (MarketWatch)

Industrial production in the 17 countries that use the euro fell unexpectedly in March,

leaving little doubt the region contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year and returned to recession, data by Eurostat showed Monday.

The European Union's statistical agency will publish the first estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product Tuesday when economists are forecasting a 0.2% quarterly decline, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll.

Industrial production fell 0.3% on the month in March and by 2.2% on the year.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 15, 2012, 08:26:05 am
Euro Elections may signal prophetic shift toward beast empire
May 15,  2012   Bill Wilson
Many bible scholars have predicted that a revised Roman Empire will rise to power over the world and usher in the antichrist of the end times. Another theory suggests the antichrist beast empire may arise from Islamic/Arab nations. These countries are unquestionably the nations mentioned in all prophecies regarding the Day of the Lord as receiving judgment for coming against Israel. European nations are not routinely mentioned, but that does not exclude them from participating in coming against Israel. Notwithstanding, there may be a prophetic shift taking place as European election results point toward advancing debt-creating socialism that will impact nations as the end times draw near.

France’s president Nicholas Sarkozy was ousted by socialist Francois Hollande, who promises to raise taxes on the rich to over 70% and increase social programs. French voters rejected more austere measures in favor of a tax and spend socialist. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has been on the forefront of leading Europe out of economic morass created by deficit spending. Her somewhat fiscally responsible approach has been rejected by German voters as her party took the worst thrashing since World War II. Members of her Christian Democratic Party lost to a gaggle of socialists. Greece’s voters are also going socialist. Italy, Portugal, Spain and other nations continue in economic decline.

Americans face an election after socialist theories carried out by its leaders created historic debt and deficits. The candidates for the US presidency do not appear to have a plan that would drastically change the path of this debt ridden nation. Irrespective of your end time view of where the antichrist beast nation will arise, there is one thing for certain: The nations of the earth are dividing themselves. Europe and America are continuing down a track of economic and moral decay. The results of such historically would point toward a spectrum of outcomes ranging from a lesser role in world leadership to outright takeover and/or submission to another system or country.

Whether these weaknesses result in a European-style socialistic union or the rise of a new Islamic world order, or something in between, the mindset of voters appears to be shifting into alignment with end time prophecies. Theologians will argue their cases until they are proven or disproved with certainty. It is difficult, however, to deny that the world power base is shifting into the hands of centrally controlled concepts and the men that compete to rule them. Christians have a responsibility to be salt and light. Yeshua said in Matthew 24:13,14, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 16, 2012, 09:11:55 am


Why We Are Going To See Bank Runs Happening All Over Europe (XLF, EWP, EWI, FXE, VGK, EWG, FAZ, FAS)

Michael Snyder: The bank runs that we are watching right now in Greece (NYSEARCA:GREK) are shocking, but they are only just the beginning.  Since May 6th, nearly one billion dollars has been withdrawn from Greek banks.  For a small nation like Greece, that is an absolutely catastrophic number.  At this point, the entire Greek banking system is in danger of collapsing.  If you had money in a Greek bank, why wouldn’t you pull it out?  If Greece leaves the euro, all euros in Greek banks will likely be converted to drachmas, and the value of those drachmas will almost certainly decline dramatically.  In fact, it has been estimated that Greek citizens could see the value of their bank accounts decline by up to 50 percent if Greece leaves the euro.  So if you had money in a Greek bank, it would only make sense to withdraw it and move it to another country as quickly as possible.  And as the eurozone begins to unravel, this is a scenario that we are going to see play out in country after country.  As member nations leave the eurozone, you would be a fool to have your euros in Italian banks or Spanish banks when you could have them in German (NYSEARCA:EWG) banks instead.  So the bank runs that are happening in Greece right now are only a preview of things to come.  Before this crisis is over we are going to see bank runs happening all over Europe (NYSEARCA:VGK).
If Greece leaves the euro (NYSEARCA:FXE), the consequences are likely to be quite messy.  Those that are promoting the idea that a “Grexit” can be done in an orderly fashion are not being particularly honest.  The following is from a recent article in the Independent….

“Whoever tells you a Greek exit would be no big deal is an idiot, lying or disingenuous,” said Sony Kapoor of the European think-tank Re-Define. Economists fear that a disorderly exit would prompt a huge run by investors on Spanish and Italian debt, forcing those countries to seek support from an EU bailout fund, which, with a capacity of just €500bn, is widely regarded as too small to cope with those pressures.

A Greek exit from the euro would not only result in a run on Spanish and Italian bonds, but it would also likely result in a run on Spanish and Italian banks.
If Greece is allowed to leave the euro, that will be a signal that other countries will eventually be allowed to leave as well.  Nobody in their right mind would want their euros stuck in Spanish or Italian banks if those countries end up converting back to national currencies.
Fear is a powerful motivator.  If Greece converts their euros back to drachmas, that will be a clear signal that all euros are not created equally.  The race to move money into German banks will accelerate dramatically.
And a Greek exit from the euro is looking more likely with each passing day.  Even the IMF is now admitting that it is a very real possibility….

Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, warned she was “technically prepared for anything” and said the utmost effort must be made to ensure any Greek exit was orderly. The effect was likely to be “quite messy” with risks to growth, trade and financial markets. “It is something that would be extremely expensive and would pose great risks but it is part of options that we must technically consider,” she said.

Meanwhile, banks in other troubled European nations are already on shaky ground.  The Spanish banking system is an absolute disaster zone at this point and on Monday night Moody’s downgraded the credit ratings of 26 Italian banks.
The situation in Italy is especially worth keeping a close eye on.  As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard recently noted, things are not looking good for Italy at all….

Italy’s former premier Romano Prodi said the EU risks instant contagion to Spain, Italy, and France if Greece leaves. “The whole house of cards will come down”, he said
Angelo Drusiani from Banca Albertini said the only way to avert catstrophe is to convert the European Central Bank into a lender of last resort. Otherwise Italy faces “massive devaluation, three to five years of hyperinflation, and unbearable unemployment.”


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 16, 2012, 09:29:07 am
Euro hits 4 month low

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 19, 2012, 03:18:40 pm

irishtimes.com - Last Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012, 12:31
Ireland 'may need' second bailout

Ireland's bailed-out banks may need as much as €4 billion more loan loss provisions than assumed in stress tests last year, which could "tip the balance in favor" of the country requiring a second aid program, Deutsche Bank said in a report today.

"A new, even modest, increase in capital requirements could deter sovereign investor participation and tip the balance in favor of the sovereign requiring a second loan program," said Deutsche Bank analysts David Lock and Jason Napier.

 The government's plan to introduce new personal insolvency laws creates "risks", even as politicians and the financial regulators seek to avoid widespread residential mortgage debt forgiveness, the bank said.

 "Although resilient during 2009 and 2010, mortgage arrears have risen sharply over the past year, house prices are continuing to fall, market liquidity is limited, and over half of customers are now in negative equity," said Deutsche Bank analysts in the report.

"We fear the size of negative equity balances for some mortgage holders may greatly reduce their incentive to cooperate, pushing them towards default."


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 19, 2012, 10:13:48 pm

EBRD-East Europe wary of fresh euro bank crunch

LONDON (Reuters) - A new banking crunch in the euro zone risks another sharp retreat by western parent banks from vulnerable economies in central and eastern Europe, a process that must be slowed to preserve growth, officials from the region said on Friday.
Countries backing Europe's development bank for the former communist bloc elected a new president - for the first time from non-euro member Britain - just as fears grow that a Greek exit from the currency could hit emerging Europe's lenders.
Many east European countries outside the euro have banks wholly or largely owned by western parents, which are reducing lending as they try to fix balance sheets damaged by the sovereign debt crisis. They fear another sudden or sharp pullback to home markets could be devastating.
"The financial system continues to be vulnerable and the need to deleverage continues to be very strong," Polish central bank chief Marek Belka told delegates at the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
"This deleveraging is potentially more dangerous in countries with a high presence of foreign banks."


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 22, 2012, 05:01:34 pm
IMF warns Britain needs Plan B in case of eurozone collapse (VIDEO)

THE Government should prepare a Plan B to support the UK economy in the case of a collapse in the eurozone or the failure of recovery to take off, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
The Fund said further easing of monetary policy, by printing money or even cutting the 0.5% base interest rate, was “required” now to inject some vigour into a flat economy.
And it said the Government should consider an immediate increase in spending on infrastructure to boost growth and employment.
The IMF said possible candidates for temporary tax reductions in any Plan B would be VAT or payroll contributions, as these could credibly be presented as short-term measures which could swiftly be reversed once economic conditions improve.
But it warned of the “large” risk of an escalation in the eurozone crisis, which would deliver a “substantial contractionary shock” to the UK economy.
While reducing Britain’s deficit over the medium term remains essential, a shock in the eurozone – such as the exit of Greece from the single currency – would force the Government to consider delaying plans to balance the books beyond the current target of 2017 and implement short-term measures to shore up growth, said the IMF in an annual report on the state of the UK economy.
“If the economy turns out to be significantly weaker than forecast, fiscal easing should be considered,” said IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.
“Measures should be focused on supporting growth and employment.”
Today’s report came as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned the eurozone was close to “a severe recession” which would have knock-on effects on the rest of the world.
Chancellor George Osborne warned the eurozone was reaching “a critical point” and confirmed Britain was preparing to deal with the consequences of a failure in the single currency.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/2012/05/22/imf-warns-britain-needs-plan-b-in-case-of-eurozone-collapse-100252-31022408/#ixzz1vde6Rz8G

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Kilika on May 22, 2012, 05:12:12 pm


...wait for it...

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 24, 2012, 10:27:30 pm
Two-year German bond yield may go negative
24 May 2012, by Min Zeng - New York (MarketWatch)

For the first time, the two-year German bond yield may dip below zero, a rare occurrence in the global fixed-income universe and one that flags growing fears over the future of the euro zone.

Debt crisis now taking toll on German economy - Ifo tumbles; Greek exit ‘unleashing a second uncertainty shock’
24 May 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Germany’s economy is showing signs of strain as worries about the European debt crisis undercut business sentiment and output, a new round of closely watched surveys showed Thursday.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 04:22:58 pm


EU running out of time as Greece nears the exit

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — European leaders insist they want to keep Greece in the eurozone, but are putting off any agreement on how they hope to accomplish that. Greece says it, too, wants to stay in the eurozone, but until after elections it's uncertain whether it can implement the austerity that Europe has set as a condition for doing so.

Essentially, both are playing for time — about a month. The question is whether financial markets will wait or force their hand.

Concerns that European leaders lack the political will — and wherewithal — to tackle the continent's economic problems have worried the markets for weeks. Among the 17 countries that use the euro, seven are in recession. Business confidence is under pressure and banks are feeling the squeeze. The biggest fear is that if Greece cannot be kept in the euro, other larger economies — like Spain or Portugal — might face the same fate.

"The breakup of the eurozone will be a disaster. Greece could leave, and others could leave, and this would be a huge financial tsunami," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. "Europe is not doing enough, and the market may not wait for them."

Greece has gone through round after round of massive spending cuts and tax hikes to slash its deficit and rein in its debt in exchange for the international bailout loans that help it pay the bills. But the country is now in its fifth year of recession, and many argue it cannot hope for a recovery if it sticks to the deal. And Greeks — though still keen to remain in the single currency club — are calling for better terms or, at least, for the pace of austerity to be slowed down.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 09:50:07 pm

Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King hosts secretive summit on euro crisis

London will this week host a private global summit on the world financial crisis amid mounting pressure on eurozone economies.

No agenda has been published and there will be no communique issued afterwards.

‘It is a private, off-the-record meeting,’ said a source.
In the past two days, Spain’s fourth biggest lender, Bankia, said it needed a 19 billion euros (£15 billion) bailout and the  prosperous region of Catalonia warned that it needed more funding from Madrid.

The yield on Spanish government bonds – the government’s likely cost of borrowing – jumped to 6.3 per cent, a figure widely regarded as unsustainable.

The summit will be dominated by central bankers including the host, Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, and Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, have been invited.

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2150417/Bank-England-governor-Sir-Mervyn-King-hosts-euro-crisis-summit.html#ixzz1w2CPpxGg

Title: UK Home Secretary Theresa May: "we’ll stop migrants if euro collapses"
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 09:54:03 pm


In an interview in The Daily Telegraph, Theresa May says “work is ongoing” to restrict European immigration in the event of a financial collapse.
People from throughout the EU, with the exception of new member countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, are able to work anywhere in the single market.
However, there are growing concerns that if Greece was forced to leave the euro, it would effectively go bankrupt and millions could lose their jobs and consider looking for work abroad.
The crisis could spread quickly to other vulnerable countries such as Spain, Ireland and Portugal, although Britain is regarded as a safe haven because it is outside the single currency.
Details of the contingency plan emerged as the euro crisis deepened further yesterday.


Title: Lloyd's of London preparing for euro collapse
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 10:02:57 pm


Lloyd's of London preparing for euro collapse

 The chief executive of the multi-billion pound Lloyd's of London has publicly admitted that the world's leading insurance market is prepared for a collapse in the single currency and has reduced its exposure "as much as possible" to the crisis-ridden continent.

Richard Ward said the London market had put in place a contingency plan to switch euro underwriting to multi-currency settlement if Greece abandoned the euro.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph he also revealed that Lloyd's could have to take writedowns on its £58.9bn investment portfolio if the eurozone collapses.
Europe accounts for 18pc of Lloyd's £23.5bn of gross written premiums, mostly in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The market also has a fledgling operation in Poland.
Lloyd's move comes as a major Franco-German provider of credit insurance for eurozone trade, Euler Hermes, said it was considering reducing cover for trade with Greece because of the risk the country might leave the eurozone.
When a company goes bust, it is often sparked by withdrawal of credit insurance for suppliers wanting to trade with it.


Title: For the eurozone, the worst is yet to come
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 10:16:27 pm
Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Mat 24:45  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Mat 24:47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Mat 24:48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth


This euro crisis is now getting extremely serious. Events are happening quickly, closing-in on policy-makers and threatening to engulf us.


Across the single currency zone, fears are rising and, even in the most moderate nations, populations are becoming more restive. History is locked on fast-forward.
Some say that seemingly arcane economic policy debate doesn't matter. In the UK, in particular, but across much of the rest of Western Europe too, the political and media classes have long displayed a tendency to roll their eyes whenever anybody with even a smattering of economic insight has had the audacity to show it.
For the bien pensants, ignorance of financial issues has been a badge of honour. Economics has been dismissed as a "trade". To hold well-researched views about commerce and asset markets has been seen to be a suspect arriviste "striver". Such is the prejudice of those cosseted from economic reality, their minds dulled by generations of inherited wealth. Well, such minds created the euro and what a disaster the euro has been. And the greatest disaster could yet be to come.
Let what is now happening in Europe serve as a reminder, a 28 million decibel wake-up call that serious economic debate matters and matters a lot. Attempts to dismiss or even suppress it, because it's "hard" or "boring", have very real human consequences.
In the run-up to the eurozone's launch, there was almost no popular discussion of its inherent technical flaws. Those of us who tried to air such concerns, to wield the lessons of history, were dismissed as "xenophobes" and "cranks". So we've ended up with a eurozone so replete with inherent contradictions that it threatens now to spark financial meltdown across Europe and serious civil unrest.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 30, 2012, 08:24:18 am
Emerging markets are faltering - Beyond the euro crisis, BRICs are weakening
30 May 2012, by Steve Smith - Jersey City, N.J. (MarketWatch)

While much investor and media focus has been on the slow-moving train wreck that is broadly labeled the euro crisis, there is growing concern that the real derailing of the global economy could come with a faltering of the emerging markets.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 30, 2012, 08:32:28 am
S&P cuts Danske, citing Irish, domestic worries
30 May 2012, by Gustav Sandstrom (MarketWatch)

Danish bank Danske Bank A/S Wednesday said credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded its rating due to expectations that it will face continued high impairment charges in Ireland and challenges in some Danish sectors.

Standard & Poor's cut the rating by one notch to A-/A-2 from previously A/A-1, but raised the outlook to stable from negative, Danske Bank said.

"S&P's decision to downgrade the bank was unexpected in light of the decline in loan impairment charges in Ireland and Denmark from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012," Danske Bank Chief Financial Officer Henrik Ramlau-Hansen said in a statement.

"At the same time, we have announced a new business model for Ireland and expect impairment charges to decline over the coming years," he added.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 31, 2012, 03:25:56 pm

Eurozone set-up unsustainable, says Draghi


European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi says that eurozone leaders must decide what they want the bloc to look like in the future, because the current set-up is "unsustainable".

He said that the ECB could not "fill the vacuum" left by governments on creating growth or structural reforms.

EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said more austerity was needed if the eurozone was to avoid disintegration.

New figures showed eurozone inflation slowed more than expected this month.

Inflation in the 17 countries that use the euro eased to 2.4% in May from 2.6% in April.

The figure is still above the ECB's target to keep inflation below 2%, but the lower-than-expected number could fuel calls for an interest rate cut next week.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 01, 2012, 03:02:26 pm
Eurozone unemployment at record 11%
1 June 2012, (AFP)

The eurozone debt crisis has hit workers hard, with grim data showing Friday a manufacturing freefall and unemployment at a record 11%, piling pressure on EU leaders to restore growth.

The unemployment rate in March and April was the highest since the eurozone was created in 1999, and analysts warned it would likely rise further.

More than 17.4 million people were jobless in the 17-nation single currency area in April, as 110,000 more men and women joined unemployment queues, according to the Eurostat data agency.

Youth unemployment worsened with nearly 3.36 million people under 25 looking for jobs in May, an increase of 214,000 from the previous month.

A key survey meanwhile showed manufacturing activity sinking to its lowest level in three years.

"These data paint a dismal picture of a deepening recession throughout the region," said Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics.

"This clearly further reduces policymakers' chances of stemming the debt crisis."


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 02, 2012, 10:50:50 am
Cyprus next country to seek euro bail-out, president suggests
2 June 2012, by Harry Wallop (The Telegraph)

Cyprus could be the next eurozone country to seek an emergency bail-out, its president Dimitris Christofias has suggested.

The tiny country, with less than 1m population, joined the euro in 2008 and is heavily exposed to the Greek banks.

Mr Christofias said he wouldn't rule out the possibility that the government may tap the European Union's bail-out fund to recapitalise the island's second-largest lender, Cyprus Popular Bank, which is the most heavily exposed to Greece.

"Certainly, I don't take it as a given that we will negotiate our induction into the support mechanism. But I don't want to exclude it entirely," Christofias said.

Cyprus Popular, which sustained record losses after taking a 74% write down on its Greek government bond holdings, is struggling to meet a June 30 deadline to replenish its capital reserves.

Cyprus, faced with soaring bond yields hovering around 14% on the 10-year bond, and with its debt considered junk status by two of the world's leading ratings firms, has few places to turn to cover its financing needs.

Late last year, the country negotiated a €2.5bn (£2.02bn) bilateral loan from Russia. Now, Cyprus is in talks with China for another bilateral loan, of an undisclosed amount.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 02, 2012, 11:04:59 am
ECB Must Print Euros or Italy May Say ‘Ciao:’ Berlusconi
1 June 2012, by Lorenzo Totaro and Jeffrey Donovan (Bloomberg)


Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Italy should say “ciao, euro” if the European Central Bank doesn’t start printing money to tackle the debt crisis and Germany should quit the single currency if it won’t back a bolder role for ECB.

“The economic crisis can’t be solved” in Italy, Berlusconi said in comments posted on his party’s website today. He called on Prime Minister Mario Monti to “change his political line” and lobby European leaders to back a money- printing campaign by the Frankfurt-based ECB.

If the central bank doesn’t become a “lender of last resort,” Italy should say “ciao, euro,” the former premier said.

The media tycoon-turned-politician became the latest European leaders to step up pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the ECB to permit a more aggressive response to the region’s debt crisis.

Monti yesterday called on Merkel to drop her opposition to allowing the euro region’s rescue mechanism to lend directly to banks.


Title: Global Growth Heads for Lull as Europe Output Shrinks
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 02, 2012, 11:33:20 am
Global Growth Heads for Lull as Europe Output Shrinks
1 June 2012, by Simon Kennedy (Bloomberg)


The world economy is heading for its third straight mid-year lull after manufacturing output shrank in Europe and slowed in China, leaving the U.S. under pressure to drive global growth.

A gauge of manufacturing in the 17-nation euro zone fell to a three-year low of 45.1 in May, indicating a 10th month of contraction, while unemployment reached 11%, the highest on record.

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 50.4 from 53.3, the weakest production growth since December.

Signs of a renewed international slowdown are mounting as Europe’s two-year debt crisis threatens to engulf Spain and spread abroad by undermining demand and investor confidence.

With China’s economy also decelerating, economists are looking to the U.S. for growth. Data today is forecast to show hiring picked up in May.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 03, 2012, 05:36:13 pm


Europe mulls major step towards "fiscal union"

(Reuters) - When Jean-Claude Trichet called last June for the creation of a European finance ministry with power over national budgets, the idea seemed fanciful, a distant dream that would take years or even decades to realize, if it ever came to be.

One year later, with the euro zone's debt crisis threatening to tear the bloc apart, Germany is pushing its partners for precisely the kind of giant leap forward in fiscal integration that the now-departed European Central Bank president had in mind.

After falling short with her "fiscal compact" on budget discipline, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for much more ambitious measures, including a central authority to manage euro area finances, and major new powers for the European Commission, European Parliament and European Court of Justice.

She is also seeking a coordinated European approach to reforming labor markets, social security systems and tax policies, German officials say.

Until states agree to these steps and the unprecedented loss of sovereignty they involve, the officials say Berlin will refuse to consider other initiatives like joint euro zone bonds or a "banking union" with cross-border deposit guarantees - steps Berlin says could only come in a second wave.

The goal is for EU leaders to agree to develop a road map to "fiscal union" at a June 28-29 EU summit, where top European officials including European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will present a set of initial proposals.

European countries would then put the meat on the bones of the plan in the second half of 2012, several European sources have told Reuters, including a timetable for overhauling EU treaties, a step Berlin sees as vital for setting closer integration in stone.

"The fundamental question is relatively simple. Do our partners really want more Europe, or do they just want more German money?" a government official in Berlin said.

If European countries go ahead, the steps would represent the most significant policy leap since they agreed to give up their national currencies and cede control over monetary policy 13 years ago. But the hurdles are daunting.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 04, 2012, 08:59:45 am

Global slowdown fears hit shares and commodities


LONDON (Reuters) - The uncertain worldwide growth outlook flushed more investors out of riskier assets on Monday, sending shares and commodities down, despite signs that a drive by Europe's leaders to tackle the region's debt crisis was gathering momentum.
The euro slid 0.2 percent to $1.2430, though it was trading well above the $1.2288 it hit on Friday, its lowest level since July 2010, while Brent crude oil fell below $97 a barrel to a 16-month low.
But safe-haven German government bond yields also rose from last week's record lows as some investors looked to take profits on the sharp moves of the past week, with low liquidity due to a UK market holiday exacerbating price swings.
"Investors are just fleeing risk assets," said ATI Asset Management chief investment officer Simon Burge.
The latest sell-off followed disappointing U.S. jobs growth figures on Friday and weak Chinese manufacturing data, which stoked fears that deepening problems in the euro zone are causing a global slowdown in business activity.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 07, 2012, 07:44:07 pm
Is Germany's crisis immunity fading away?



What’s to become of Europe? As Spain’s straits become newly dire and the whole euro zone convulses over its debt crisis, the common prayer is that Germany will rise up, reject outside help and protect the European household.

But Germany’s looking not so mighty itself: Industrial production in the once-indomitable economy is down. In April alone, it dropped by a stomach-churning 2.2 percent. "The German economy's immunity against the euro zone sovereign debt crisis is clearly fading away," Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING in Brussels, warned recently.

Germany seems to have missed the memo that kicked off the digital economy decades ago. While economies from North America to Asia have--when manufacturing digital devices from cars to phones--embraced the principles of open platforms and beta-testing, Germany has stuck with its commitment to protectionism, nationalism and craftsmanship.

Surprise: It turns out that what worked in the heyday of Black Forest cuckoo clocks doesn’t suit our era.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 07, 2012, 09:03:52 pm
France, Italy, Spain Services PMI Show Continued Sharp Decreases; Eurozone Composite PMI Near 3-Year Low; Germany Services PMI at 6-Month Low
5 June 2012, by Mike Shedlock (MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis)

The Markit PMI data from Europe shows still more deterioration led by France, Italy, and Spain.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 08, 2012, 09:55:59 am
Germany and France can’t afford euro-zone bailout - Europe’s soundest economies have limited ability to lead
7 June 2012, by Satyajit Das - Sydney (MarketWatch)

The standard narrative states that Germany does not want to bail out troubled peripheral nations within the euro zone.

The reality is that the more highly rated and larger euro zone members, Germany and France, may not have the necessary financial resources for the task.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 10, 2012, 09:26:58 pm


The Weekend Is Over, And The Euro Surges To its Highest Level In Weeks

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Title: Eurozone break-up could hit us in face, warns Basu
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 11, 2012, 12:48:18 pm


Chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu has warned that if the Eurozone breaks up finally, it will be more disastrous than the 2008 global financial crisis triggered by the fall of the Wall Street banks, from which the global economy is yet to recover. "If Europe does slip into a crisis, it is going to be a very difficult time. There is no escaping from that.

Though we (government and the Reserve Bank) have a team that is working on different scenarios, to see how we will react, it will be a lie to say that we have the strength to weather that. It will hit us in the face," Basu told an Exim Bank organised here over the weekend.

Stating that a deeper European crisis was not impossible, he said there would be a jolt and it could spin Europe into a big crisis. "It is going to be a difficult one or two years for the world for sure." However, he said on the positive side, "Thankfully, Europe is no longer our biggest export destination, to the Middle East we probably export more today."

But he warned that the impact on us will be indirect. "Europe being a major driver of growth and if it slows down, even if we don't get a direct hit, the US is going to get hit immediately, China is going to get hit immediately. So the impact on us will come to us through our trading partners."

Citing how the Lehman fall engulfed the whole world in 2008, Basu said, the 2008 crisis made it clear it is not just from the goods directly being sold, but the crisis in the financing sector that the world got engulfed. Explaining the rationale for his fear on the global front, he said the problem will arise in 2014, when the LTRO (long term refinancing operations of the European Central Bank or ECB) payback comes in December 2014 and February 2015, when as much USD 1.3 trillion need to be paid by 800 banks to the ECB.

This will sap the entire banking system, he warned. However, Basu expressed hope that by 2015, the world economy, especially the emerging economies, will be better off by that time, saying "the emerging economies are in a position to build strength (during this interval) so when we come out of this tunnel, we will be at the top of it.

We will come out on top of growth drivers by 2015." The over two-year old Eurozone crisis, triggered by the sovereign debt crisis of Greece, is yet to be resolved and more and more countries are looking for bailout. The latest to join the bailout club is Spain.

On the impact of a possible Greek exit from the Euro, which looks more likely now (which will be clear after the crucial June 17 reelections) on the domestic economy, Basu said, "We are not out of the woods. There is indeed some risk that this is going to last a while. It will affect us."

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 01:39:44 pm


EU: movement of money, people can be limited

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission has been providing legal advice to others who are considering possible scenarios should Greece leave the euro, a European Union spokesman said.

Olivier Bailly said Tuesday that, legally, limits could be imposed on movement of people and money across national borders within the EU if it's necessary to protect public order or public security — but not on economic grounds.

"Some people are working on scenarios," he said, but refused to confirm or identify which organizations and people were working on them.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 01:41:36 pm

EU discuss 'limiting ATM withdrawals'


European finance officials have discussed limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing euro zone capital controls as a worst-case scenario should Athens decide to leave the euro.

EU officials said the ideas are part of a range of contingency plans. They emphasised that the discussions were merely about being prepared for any eventuality rather than planning for something they expect to happen.

But with increased political uncertainty in Greece following the inconclusive election on May 6th and ahead of a second election on June 17th, there is now an increased need to have contingencies in place, the EU sources said.

The European Commission said today it was helping with legal advice in discussions of contingency scenarios regarding Greece by the Eurogroup working group.

"I've not said that I'm not aware of any discussions, I've said I'm not aware about any plans, which is a slight difference," Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told a regular news briefing, when asked about Commission involvement in discussions about the contingencies were Greece to leave the euro.

"What I said also is that some people are working on scenarios. We are providing information about EU law, as the guardian of the treaty," he said.

The discussions have taken place in conference calls over the past six weeks, as concerns have grown that a radical-left coalition, Syriza, may win the second election, increasing the risk that Greece could renege on its EU-IMF bailout and therefore move closer to abandoning the currency.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 02:57:39 pm
Cyprus could be fifth EU nation to get bailout
12 June 2012, by Kim Hjelmgaard - London (MarketWatch)

The island-nation of Cyprus could be the fifth euro-zone economy to seek a bailout, according to a report published in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Cyprus Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said in the Journal story that the nation's need for assistance for its banks was "exceptionally urgent."

On Monday, Shiarly said that Cyprus was considering an EU-sponsored bailout. However, no request for aid has taken place.

Cyprus will take over the presidency of the European Union in July.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 06:05:32 pm
Brussels plans European banking union from 2013


A single regulator to oversee banks across all 27 European Union states could be in place as early as 2013 according to the European Commission.

A controversial new bank bailout fund 'financed' by a new EU tax is also planned. The proposal includes an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme to protect savers in the event of a bank collapse.

The UK has said it would not sign up to a full banking union, suggesting it should only be for eurozone members.

The BBC understands a timetable for the plan will be agreed at a European Council Meeting on 28 and 29 June in Brussels. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso supports rapid implementation of the plan with initial provisions, such as common bank supervision, being introduced as early as January 2013.


Title: George Soros warns EU will break up within 3 months
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 09:34:55 pm
Jun 06, 2012 - 10:24 AM
By: Gary_North

George Soros has laid it on the line. The eurozone will begin to break up, followed by the break-up of the European Union, within three months if the politicians do not come to an agreement to re-write the treaties and centralize power. No other figure has been this apocalyptic and this specific as to the timetable.

He sees this outcome as a catastrophe. I keep thinking: "Free at last! Free at last!"

Soros understands the price movements of currencies better than anyone else. This is how he became a multi-billionaire. He has used massive leverage – extremely high risk – to speculate in the currency futures markets, often taking the opposite side of trades with central banks. When a man has enough wisdom to beat the currency futures markets, I give him credit. He knows something about currencies.
In a recent essay, he points out that the 2008 crisis created a new realization that there is no consensus about economic theory. He insists that "economic theory has failed." On the contrary, economic theory has triumphed – Austrian economic theory. In 2007, numerous non-academic, non-tenured Austrians predicted the recession of 2008. I called it in late 2006, predicting a 2007 recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research retroactively dated it as having begun in December 2007 – just in the nick of time!
Soros goes even further. This failure is the failure of academic economic theory.
I believe that the failure is more profound than generally recognized. It goes back to the foundations of economic theory. Economics tried to model itself on Newtonian physics. It sought to establish universally and timelessly valid laws governing reality. But economics is a social science and there is a fundamental difference between the natural and social sciences. Social phenomena have thinking participants who base their decisions on imperfect knowledge. That is what economic theory has tried to ignore.
This is the criticism made repeatedly by Austrian economists, beginning with Ludwig von Mises exactly a century ago: The Theory of Money and Credit (1912). I cannot imagine a better statement of Austrian theory's rejection of mainstream economists' theory.
Soros has no explanation for the business cycle. Austrian economics does: central bank policies of monetary inflation and monetary stability.

Here is Soros' view. "I treat bubbles as largely unpredictable." That is, he has no theory of economic causation. Bubbles are followed by busts, he says, which are followed by government regulation. This really is the pattern, but he does not explain how bubbles get started. "According to my theory financial markets may just as soon produce bubbles as tend toward equilibrium." In other words, there is no known cause. He has no economic theory. But he has this much right: "Behind the invisible hand of the market lies the visible hand of politics."
He blames policy-makers for the crisis. "The authorities didn't understand the nature of the euro crisis; they thought it is a fiscal problem while it is more of a banking problem and a problem of competitiveness." Yes, it is: the problem of fractional reserves and fiat money, all supported by the central bank. But he will not admit this.

He adopts the joint conclusion of mainstream Keynesianism, monetarism, and supply-sidism: "And they applied the wrong remedy: you cannot reduce the debt burden by shrinking the economy, only by growing your way out of it." But how? He has no clue. The Austrians do: cut government spending, cut taxes, reduce government regulation, and stabilize money – none of which is going to be done.
He says there has been a bubble of misplaced enthusiasm: the European Union. I like this idea.

I contend that the European Union itself is like a bubble. In the boom phase the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a "fantastic object" – unreal but immensely attractive. The EU was the embodiment of an open society – an association of nations founded on the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law in which no nation or nationality would have a dominant position.

The EU was in fact the embodiment of globalism: bureaucratic rule, government regulation, and fiat money. "The process fed on its own success, very much like a financial bubble. That is how the Coal and Steel Community was gradually transformed into the European Union, step by step." It was transformed by bureaucratic power from above. Jean Monnet's idea had been operational at the Paris Peace talks in 1919.
He says that Germany used to be at the forefront of this movement in the 1950s. The politicians wanted a united Europe. "The process culminated with the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the euro." Then came disaster.
It was followed by a period of stagnation which, after the crash of 2008, turned into a process of disintegration. The first step was taken by Germany when, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Angela Merkel declared that the virtual guarantee extended to other financial institutions should come from each country acting separately, not by Europe acting jointly. It took financial markets more than a year to realize the implication of that declaration, showing that they are not perfect.

The Maastricht Treaty was fundamentally flawed, demonstrating the fallibility of the authorities. Its main weakness was well known to its architects: it established a monetary union without a political union. The architects believed however, that when the need arose the political will could be generated to take the necessary steps towards a political union.
He is saying that the architects imposed a flawed system on Europe, but in the hope of tightening fiscal control at a later date. That date is now.

In retrospect it is now clear that the main source of trouble is that the member states of the euro have surrendered to the European Central Bank their rights to create fiat money. They did not realize what that entails – and neither did the European authorities.
The power to create national money is the heart of Soros' vision of what is positive. This is nationalism with a printing press. It means competing rates of monetary depreciation. A precious metals coin system alone has prevented this in history.
Then came the stupid bankers. They thought the PIIGS were Germany. They believed in the equality of debtors.
When the euro was introduced the regulators allowed banks to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds without setting aside any equity capital; and the central bank accepted all government bonds at its discount window on equal terms. Commercial banks found it advantageous to accumulate the bonds of the weaker euro members in order to earn a few extra basis points. That is what caused interest rates to converge which in turn caused competitiveness to diverge.

The 2008 collapse exposed this faith as naive. But critics had said this throughout the 1990s. No one listened. The leaders believed in the EU bubble, to use Soros' words. Germany was at the forefront of this faith.
Germany, struggling with the burdens of reunification, undertook structural reforms and became more competitive. Other countries enjoyed housing and consumption booms on the back of cheap credit, making them less competitive. Then came the crash of 2008 which created conditions that were far removed from those prescribed by the Maastricht Treaty. Many governments had to shift bank liabilities on to their own balance sheets and engage in massive deficit spending. These countries found themselves in the position of a third world country that had become heavily indebted in a currency that it did not control. Due to the divergence in economic performance Europe became divided between creditor and debtor countries. This is having far reaching political implications to which I will revert.

It took some time for the financial markets to discover that government bonds which had been considered riskless are subject to speculative attack and may actually default; but when they did, risk premiums rose dramatically. This rendered commercial banks whose balance sheets were loaded with those bonds potentially insolvent. And that constituted the two main components of the problem confronting us today: a sovereign debt crisis and a banking crisis which are closely interlinked.
The creditor nations now want out: ". . . the creditors are in effect shifting the burden of adjustment on to the debtor countries and avoiding their own responsibility for the imbalances." Of course they do. And everyone wants a bailout from the central bank.
He blames the center, meaning the Eurocrats and politicians in the North.
The "center" is responsible for designing a flawed system, enacting flawed treaties, pursuing flawed policies and always doing too little too late. In the 1980's Latin America suffered a lost decade; a similar fate now awaits Europe. That is the responsibility that Germany and the other creditor countries need to acknowledge. But there is no sign of this happening.

The European authorities had little understanding of what was happening. They were prepared to deal with fiscal problems but only Greece qualified as a fiscal crisis; the rest of Europe suffered from a banking crisis and a divergence in competitiveness which gave rise to a balance of payments crisis. The authorities did not even understand the nature of the problem, let alone see a solution. So they tried to buy time.
He has this much right. The authorities do not understand the nature of the crisis. He blames politics, not central banking. ". . . the financial problems were reinforced by a process of political disintegration." Now, it's every nation for itself! Soros hates this. He is a globalist.
While the European Union was being created, the leadership was in the forefront of further integration; but after the outbreak of the financial crisis the authorities became wedded to preserving the status quo. This has forced all those who consider the status quo unsustainable or intolerable into an anti-European posture. That is the political dynamic that makes the disintegration of the European Union just as self-reinforcing as its creation has been. That is the political bubble I was talking about.
At the beginning, the disintegration of the euro was inconceivable. Today, it is quite conceivable. The system is coming apart. There is no time to fix it if there is not immediate action. The banks are de-leveraging. They are selling assets outside their nations. "So the crisis is getting ever deeper."
The real economy of the eurozone is declining while Germany is still booming. This means that the divergence is getting wider. The political and social dynamics are also working toward disintegration. Public opinion as expressed in recent election results is increasingly opposed to austerity and this trend is likely to grow until the policy is reversed. So something has to give.
Something has to give. But what? Or, more to the point, who? Answer: Germany.
In my judgment the authorities have a three months' window during which they could still correct their mistakes and reverse the current trends. By the authorities I mean mainly the German government and the Bundesbank because in a crisis the creditors are in the driver's seat and nothing can be done without German support.
But will German politicians bite the bullet and bail out the PIIGS? If they wait until this fall, it will be too late. "By that time the German economy will also be weakening so that Chancellor Merkel will find it even more difficult than today to persuade the German public to accept any additional European responsibilities. That is what creates a three months' window."
The treaties must be revised, now. But how? The crisis is here.

There must be bank insurance. "Banks need a European deposit insurance scheme in order to stem the capital flight." Paid for by whom?
"They also need direct financing by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) which has to go hand-in-hand with eurozone-wide supervision and regulation." Paid for by whom?
"The heavily indebted countries need relief on their financing costs. There are various ways to provide it but they all need the active support of the Bundesbank and the German government." All roads lead to Berlin. It's bailout time!
German voters say no. "That is where the blockage is." Got that? Blockage! People hanging onto their wallets! Why, the short-sighted fools! It's time to bail out the PIIGS again. Time is running out. It will never stop running out. Germany must suck it up and fork it over. Again.
The authorities are working feverishly to come up with a set of proposals in time for the European summit at the end of this month. Based on the current newspaper reports the measures they will propose will cover all the bases I mentioned but they will offer only the minimum on which the various parties can agree while what is needed is a convincing commitment to reverse the trend. That means the measures will again offer some temporary relief but the trends will continue. But we are at an inflection point. After the expiration of the three months' window the markets will continue to demand more but the authorities will not be able to meet their demands.
What will happen next? "It is impossible to predict the eventual outcome." The system could break down. "But the trends are clearly non-linear and an earlier breakup is bound to be disorderly. It would almost certainly lead to a collapse of the Schengen Treaty, the common market, and the European Union itself."
In other words, the entire experiment in European central government is on the line. They have three months to put the system back together. "Unenforceable claims and unsettled grievances would leave Europe worse off than it was at the outset when the project of a united Europe was conceived."

Is all lost? No. Deliverance is coming.
But the likelihood is that the euro will survive because a breakup would be devastating not only for the periphery but also for Germany. It would leave Germany with large unenforceable claims against the periphery countries.

Germany dares not return to its own currency. Why not? That would reduce exports. "And a return to the Deutschemark would likely price Germany out of its export markets – not to mention the political consequences."

Soros is a Keynesian mercantilist. They all are. "So Germany is likely to do what is necessary to preserve the euro – but nothing more. That would result in a eurozone dominated by Germany. . . ."

There must not be budget cutting. There must not be austerity. There must be spending, spending, spending – all at Germany's expense.
The German public cannot understand why a policy of structural reforms and fiscal austerity that worked for Germany a decade ago will not work in Europe today. Germany then could enjoy an export led recovery but the eurozone today is caught in a deflationary debt trap. . . . In these circumstances it would require an extraordinary effort by the German government to convince the German public to embrace the extraordinary measures that would be necessary to reverse the current trend. And they have only a three-month window in which to do it.

We need to do whatever we can to convince Germany to show leadership and preserve the European Union as the fantastic object that it used to be. The future of Europe depends on it.
Soros is just another Keynesian. He is just another mercantilist. He is just another globalist. What makes him different is his willingness to say that time really is running out on Europe. The politicians must get something in place to replace the disintegrating euro, which will in turn break up the European Union. It all boils down to this: centralized control over each nation's spending and taxing, and Germany's endless trade surplus, i.e., the German banks' willingness to buy foreign governments' IOUs.
I hope we get to test his theory: three months to go, maximum. I hope he loses his bet.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 13, 2012, 01:47:18 pm
Europe may agree transactions tax in '12: report
13 June 2012, (MarketWatch)

European states could yet agree on a financial transactions tax by the end of the year, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports Wednesday, citing people close to European Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta.

A financial transactions tax could be decided upon this year provided at least nine countries present a corresponding application at next week's meeting of European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg, or at their meeting in July, people close to Mr. Semeta told the newspaper.

According to European treaties, a group of nine or more countries can work together on an issue that hasn't found broad agreement among all 27 EU states.

The financial transactions tax has been blocked by the United Kingdom, among others.

The European Commission is ready to prioritise the examination of any application for a financial transactions tax, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports.

Still, the tax could only actually be levied at the start of 2014 because extensive preparatory work would be needed, the newspaper said.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 13, 2012, 01:52:42 pm
Industrial output down in euro zone and broader EU
13 June 2012, by Robert Daniel - Tel Aviv (MarketWatch)

Industrial production in the 17-nation euro area fell 0.8% in April compared with March, the Eurostat statistics agency reported on Wednesday.

Industrial output for the 27-nation European Union fell 0.4%, the agency reported.

Compared with the year-earlier month, industrial production fell 2.3% in the euro zone and fell 1.7% within the broader EU.

Year over year, production of durable goods for consumers slumped 6.2% in the euro zone and dropped 4.5% in the broader EU.

Capital-goods output declined 0.3% in the euro zone and rose 0.4% in the EU27, Eurostat reported.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 10:33:04 am


Eurozone crisis: Banking sector could be 'wiped out' if weakest nations leave

Analysis by Credit Suisse estimates that up to 58% of the value of Europe's banks could be wiped out by the departure of the 'peripheral' countries

Few large eurozone banks would be left standing and the banking sector could face a €370bn (£298bn) lossif the euro crisis results in the single currency bloc breaking apart, according to one of the first indepth analyses of what might happen if the eurozone disintegrates.

The analysis by Credit Suisse estimates that up to 58% of the value of Europe's banks could be wiped out by the departure of the "peripheral" countries - Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain - from the eurozone.

Even if the single currency remains intact some €1.3tn of credit could be sucked out of the system as banks retrench to their home markets, unwinding years of financial integration, the Credit Suisse analysis warns. his represents as much as 10% of the credit in the financial system.

"We find that a Greek exit could be manageable ... but in a peripheral exit, few of the large listed eurozone banks would be left standing," the Credit Suisse report said.

The banking sector could need capital injections of as much as €470bn if the three scenarios considered by the Credit Suisse analysts - a Greek exit, an exit of the periphery countries and a situation where banks retrench domestically - happen at once.


Title: Plan would give EU national budget powers: report
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 26, 2012, 06:14:18 pm
Plan would give EU national budget powers: report
26 june 2012, Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

European leaders meeting later this week will consider a plan that would allow the European Union to rewrite national budgets for euro-zone countries that fail to meet debt and deficit rules, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing a draft report.

The plans call for the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, to present detailed budget adjustments for countries in violation of the fiscal rules, the report said.

The proposals would then be voted on by all other EU countries.

Germany has insisted that tighter fiscal union be a prerequisite for any move toward joint issuance of euro-zone debt, or eurobonds.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 02, 2012, 01:31:48 pm

Euro compromises likely to unravel
Commentary: Merkel weakened at home by Brussels concessions


MADRID (MarketWatch) — The major German concessions (above all, over the use of ESM European rescue funds directly for Spanish banking recapitalization) agreed at the euro summit are unlikely to enter into force. The compromises announced on Friday between creditors and debtors will fall apart because they are mutually contradictory.

The good news (of sorts) is that the European Central Bank is out of the firing line for the moment. It can cut interest rates by ¼ percentage point on Thursday without being accused of kowtowing to government pressure. ECB bond purchases, hotly opposed by the Germans and a steadily growing band of other countries, are off the agenda as the focus switches to taxpayer-backed rescue devices.

The bad news is that these taxpayers, and their parliamentary representatives, are about to revolt. Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived back in Berlin on Friday afternoon from her Brussels sojourn and ran into a firestorm of criticism. A fierce political and constitutional battle lies ahead. Whatever happens, the outcome will gravely weaken Europe’s most powerful leader.

What happened over the past few days is a mockery of euro summitry and a travesty of parliamentary procedures in Germany. Merkel was forced into the Brussels agreement by a coalition of opposing interests who grouped together to blackmail her into submission. She was caught in a pincer movement.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 04, 2012, 01:57:23 pm
Slovenia Heads for Euro-Area Bailout Request to Aid Banks
3 July 2012, by Boris Cerni and Radoslav Tomek (Bloomberg)


Slovenia is headed toward becoming the sixth euro-area nation to seek a bailout as faltering banks strain the finances of the first post-communist nation to adopt the common currency, said economists from London to Warsaw.

The nation, which adopted the euro in 2007, is assessing the fiscal burden of covering the liabilities of its financial industry after Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d., the largest bank, got a capital boost.

Premier Janez Jansa, who said on June 27 that Slovenia risks a “Greek scenario,” told reporters two days later in Brussels the government is “doing everything to find a solution” and avoid the need for assistance.

“It’s increasingly likely that Slovenia will be the next small economy asking for a European Union bailout, which would be focused on the banking sector,” Michal Dybula, an economist at BNP Paribas SA (BNP) in Warsaw, said by phone.

Cyprus last week became the fifth euro-area country to ask for help from the 17-nation region’s firewall, while Slovenian borrowing costs soared last month to the highest level since February, with the yield on the 2021 bond reaching 6.1% on June 29. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain were forced to seek financial aid after their borrowing costs surged.

Slovenia’s benchmark bond dropped today, pushing the yield on government notes maturing in 2021 to 6.003% at 10:12 a.m. in Ljubljana from 5.808% yesterday, according to mid-pricing data compiled by Bloomberg.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 19, 2012, 04:08:28 pm
Negative yields imply euro-zone breakup risks
19 July 2012, by Deborah Levine (MarketWatch - Blogs)

Germany recently sold 2-year schatz at a negative yield, and the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland have also all sold debt at negative yields.

The situation is pretty good for governments borrowing money.

But the trend signals rising worries about the future of the euro zone and the euro, said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

He wrote:

To simply say these countries are safe havens may make analysis superfluous. 

It may help to conceptualize the negative yields as insurance against a euro-zone breakup. 

One might be willing to accept negative yields on the grounds, for example, that if the euro zone were to disintegrate, these countries would likely see a marked appreciation of their currencies.

This also has implications for how far negative rates can go. 

This conceptual framework suggests that if the fear of disintegration increase, yields can go much more negative.

Title: Europe is sleepwalking towards imminent disaster, warn top economists
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 24, 2012, 07:09:30 pm

The euro has completely broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of leading economists.


Europe is “sleepwalking towards disaster”, according to the 17 experts, who warned that over the past few weeks “the situation in the debtor countries has deteriorated dramatically”.
The sense of a neverending crisis, with one domino falling after another, must be reversed. The last domino, Spain, is days away from a liquidity crisis,” said the economists. They include two members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts and leading euro specialists at the London of School of Economics, all euro supporters.
“This dramatic situation is the result of a eurozone system which, as currently constructed, is thoroughly broken. The cause is a systemic failure. It is the responsibility of all European nations that were parties to its flawed design, construction and implementation to contribute to a solution. Absent this collective response, the euro will disintegrate,” they added in a co-signed report for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
The warning came as contagion from Spain pushed Italy’s borrowing costs to danger levels, with two-year yields rocketing 40 basis points to more than 5pc. The Milan bourse tumbled 3pc, led by bank shares. Italian equities have been in freefall since it became clear two weeks ago that the EU’s June summit deal had failed to break the nexus between crippled banks and sovereign states.
The crisis is starting to ricochet back into Germany, where the PMI manufacturing index for July fell to its lowest since mid-2009. Doubts are emerging about the creditworthiness of the German state itself.

The giant US bond fund PIMCO said on Tuesday that it would retreat further from the German bond market after Moody’s issued a negative watch on the AAA ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. “We’re expecting a further ratings downgrade in the future,” said the group.
Moody’s warned that Germany faced the “risk of a shock” from a Greek euro exit and the likely knock-on effects through Spain and Italy, as well the “German banks’ sizeable exposure to most stressed euro area countries”. The warning had no immediate effect on German debt markets. Two-year yields remained below zero due to safe-haven effects.
Moody's cut the outlook on the Eu's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, to negative from stable on Tuesday night.
The 17 economists said Europe’s political waters have been muddied by disputes over eurobonds, debt-pooling, subsidies and fiscal union. None of this was necessary to break the logjam, they said.
They claimed the system could be stabilised immediately by creating a lender of last resort to back-stop the bond markets, either by mobilising the ECB or by giving the eurozone bail-out fund (ESM) a banking licence to borrow from the ECB.

Title: Euro crisis brings world to brink of depression
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 24, 2012, 07:17:08 pm


Euro crisis brings world to brink of depression
Commentary: Parallels to 1930s’ missteps unmistakable

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Europe is a tinderbox waiting for a spark.

The financial volatility in Europe may have created a situation that is now beyond the capacity of policy makers to control or curb.

When an accomplished fixer like Pascal Lamy, the head of the World Trade Organization and the longtime chief of staff for former European Commission President Jacques Delors, describes the situation in Europe as “difficult, very difficult, very difficult, very difficult,” you know it is time to run for cover.

The crisis has now gone well beyond the prospect of breaking up the euro /quotes/zigman/4867933/sampled EURUSD -0.03%  to the threat of a full-fledged financial and economic collapse in Europe that could plunge the world into a second Great Depression.

Few Americans are aware that a worldwide banking crisis started by cascading bank failures in Austria and Germany was one of the major causes of that earlier Depression.

It was in the summer of 1931 that the collapse of Creditanstalt in Vienna forced one of Germany’s big banks, Danatbank, to fail, leading to a credit crisis that prompted bank holidays around the world and exacerbating an already severe economic crisis

The spark in the current crisis could come from a bank failure, and not necessarily in Spain. It could be a bank in Italy — or Austria, or Germany. German banks are notoriously undercapitalized and poorly supervised and have created a number of mini-crises in the past few decades since the collapse of the Herstatt Bank in 1974.

German economist Fabian Lindner drew the parallel to 1931 in an op-ed last fall when he compared his country’s intransigence toward southern Europe now to the misguided harshness of the U.S. and France toward Germany in the earlier crisis.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 25, 2012, 01:04:29 pm

EBRD Sees Negative Impact of Euro-Zone Crisis Spreading East and South
By Paul Hannon

LONDON--Russia's economy is set to succumb to the baleful effects of the euro zone's fiscal and banking crises as commodity prices fall, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said Wednesday.

As long ago as October of last year, the EBRD slashed its growth forecasts for eight economies in central Europe and the Baltics, or CEB, and seven economies in southeastern Europe, or SEE, citing their close trade and financial links to the euro zone.

With strong growth elsewhere in the global economy supporting prices for oil and other raw materials, the EBRD's forecasts for Russia were ...


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 09, 2012, 09:29:02 pm

Austerity's Cost: Abandoned Children in Europe


As the euro zone debt crisis deepens and austerity measures take their toll across Europe, the number of young children and babies abandoned across the region has increased, according to local charities.

The rise in the abandonment of infants across Europe is most visible in the spread of "baby hatches" or "boxes" across Europe, where unwanted infants are left anonymously.
The phenomenon was previously more prevalent among immigrants, but it is becoming more widespread among financially desperate members of the local population.
The hatches are sensor-activated so when a baby is placed, an alarm is activated and a carer comes to collect the child. Despite the practice being widely viewed as contravening the 1953 European Convention on Human Rights, of the 27 EU member countries, 11 countries still have "baby hatches" in operation, including Germany, Italy and Portugal.

In those countries where hatches are illegal, the number of infants abandoned in hospitals, clinics and churches has also risen, raising concerns among European charities, the UN and the European Commission that austerity measures and increasing social deprivation are the catalyst for the rise in child abandonment.
According to SOS Villages, a European charity that attempts to help families in financial hardship before abandonment occurs, in the last year alone 1,200 children in Greece and 750 in Italy have been abandoned. That is almost double the 400 children abandoned in Italy a year ago, and up from 114 children abandoned in Greece in 2003.
With the cost of raising children estimated to be 20-30 percent of an average household budget (per child) in Europe, more families are now struggling to cope with the costs.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 13, 2012, 04:36:47 pm
Spiegel: Investors Prepare For Euro Collapse
13 August 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

Banks, investors and companies are bracing themselves for the possibility that the euro will break up -- and are thus increasing the likelihood that precisely this will happen.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 14, 2012, 08:08:52 pm
Europe on the edge of recession


LONDON (AP) — Europe is edging closer to recession, dragged down by the crippling debt problems of the 17 countries that use the euro, official figures showed Tuesday.

Eurostat, Europe's statistics agency, revealed that the economies of both the eurozone and the European Union, which has 27 countries, shrank by a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent in the second quarter of the year. In the first quarter, output for both regions was flat. A recession is officially defined as two straight quarters of falling output.

Europe's debt woes have been blamed for the sharp deterioration in the global economic outlook over the last few months. The region is the U.S.'s largest export customer and any fall-off in demand will hit order books — as well as President Barack Obama's election prospects.

The 17-country eurozone is grappling with sky-high debt levels and record unemployment of 11.2 percent. Compared with the second quarter of last year, the eurozone's economy is 0.4 percent smaller.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 03, 2012, 08:00:07 pm

Moody’s Changes Euro Zone Rating Outlook to ‘Negative’


Moody's Investors Service has changed its outlook on the Aaa rating of the European Union to “negative,” warning it might downgrade the bloc if it decides to cut the ratings on the EU's four biggest budget backers: Germany, France, the U.K., and the Netherlands.
The move will add to pressure on the European Central Bank (learn more) to provide details of a new debt-buying scheme to help deeply indebted euro zone states at its policy meeting on Thursday.

Back in July, Moody's changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg to “negative” as fallout from Europe's debt crisis cast a shadow over its top-rated countries. The outlook on France and the U.K. are also “negative.”

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 04, 2012, 01:22:37 pm


Depression, Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies

Europe is approaching a crisis as the region’s debt crisis and austerity measures increase the rates of depression, suicide and psychological problems – just as governments cut healthcare spending by up to 50 percent, according to campaigners, policy makers and health organizations.

A growing number of global and European health bodies are warning that the introduction and intensification of austerity measures has led to a sharp rise in mental health problems with suicide rates, alcohol abuse and requests for anti-depressants increasing as people struggle with the psychological cost of living through a European-wide recession.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 25, 2012, 09:27:43 am

Lending still weak in slack eurozone economy
By DAVID McHUGH | Associated Press – 2 hrs 25 mins ago

FRANKFURT, German (AP) — Another drop in lending to companies in the 17-country eurozone showed the economic downturn is deepening, as a brighter mood on financial markets fails to catch on with businesses.

The European Central Bank said Thursday that loans to non-bank businesses shrank 1.4 percent year on year in September, double the 0.7 percent contraction reported the month before.

The numbers show the economy is struggling despite efforts by the central bank to stimulate credit and calm financial markets fearful that the eurozone might break up. The ECB has cut its main interest rate to a record low 0.75 percent and made €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) in cheap loans to banks that don't have to be paid back for three years.

Even so, that easy money is not making it from banks to businesses and consumers, largely because demand for credit remains weak.

Businesses see no reason to borrow to invest in expanding production. Meanwhile, banks in some countries have less to lend because they are struggling to recover from losses on real estate loans that didn't get paid back and on government bonds that have fallen in value due to fears about those governments' finances.

The eurozone economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter after zero growth in the first quarter, and the outlook for the rest of the year remains poor. A drop in output in the third-quarter — for which numbers are due Nov. 15 — would put the eurozone in a technical recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.


Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2012, 09:45:28 am
Eurozone back in recession in Q3
Eurozone back in recession as official figures show 0.1 percent quarterly contraction in Q3


LONDON (AP) -- The 17-country eurozone has bowed to the inevitable and fallen back into recession for the first time in three years as a sprawling debt crisis took its toll on the region's stronger economies.

And with surveys pointing to increasingly depressed conditions across the eurozone at a time of high unemployment in many countries, there are fears that the recession will deepen, and make the debt crisis even more difficult to handle.

Official figures Thursday showed that the eurozone contracted by 0.1 percent in the July to September period from the quarter before as economies including Germany and the Netherlands suffer from falling demand.

The decline reported by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, was in line with market expectations and follows on from the 0.2 percent fall recorded in the second quarter. As a result, the eurozone is officially in recession, commonly defined as two straight quarters of falling output.


Title: Russia Says World Is Nearing Currency War as Europe Joins
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2013, 04:08:42 pm
Russia Says World Is Nearing Currency War as Europe Joins
16 January 2012, by Simon Kennedy & Scott Rose (Bloomberg)


The world is on the brink of a fresh “currency war,” Russia warned, as European policy makers joined Japan in bemoaning the economic cost of rising exchange rates.

“Japan is weakening the yen and other countries may follow,” Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank, said at a conference today in Moscow.

The alert from the country that chairs the Group of 20 came as Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker complained of a “dangerously high” euro and officials in Norway and Sweden expressed exchange-rate concern.

The push for weaker currencies is being driven by a need to find new sources of economic growth as monetary and fiscal policies run out of room.

The risk is as each country tries to boost exports, it hurts the competitiveness of other economies and provokes retaliation.

Yesterday “will go down as the first day European policy makers fired a shot in the 2013 currency war,” said Chris Turner, head of foreign-exchange strategy at ING Groep NV in London.

Title: Euro at 10-Month High Poses Economic Threat, Juncker Says
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2013, 04:15:14 pm
Euro at 10-Month High Poses Economic Threat, Juncker Says
16 January 2013, by Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg)


The euro’s 8% gain against the U.S. dollar in the past six months is posing a fresh threat to the European economy just as it shows signs of escaping the debt crisis, said Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of euro-area finance ministers.

Echoing policy makers from Switzerland to Japan in bemoaning strong exchange rates, Juncker late yesterday called the euro’s value “dangerously high” after the 17-nation currency this week traded above $1.34 against the dollar for the first time since February last year.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 20, 2013, 11:30:53 am

Analysis: Core problem for Europe as France, Germany drift apart


LONDON (Reuters)- Even as the euro zone periphery starts to spy some glimmers of hope, concern is mounting that Germany is drifting apart from other countries at the core of the single currency bloc, notably France.
Economically, the worry is that insistence on fiscal austerity by an out-performing Germany will delay an upturn in France, which has been steadily losing competitiveness to its larger neighbor.
Politically, the risk is that already uneasy relations between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel could come under further strain when the euro zone needs strong, cohesive leadership to create a new institutional framework for the euro.
Philippe Waechter, chief economist at Natixis Asset Management in Paris, said signs of a solid recovery in Germany's economy were bolstering Merkel's position on economic policy going into September's general election.
Hollande, by contrast, was forced to acknowledge on Tuesday that growth would fall short of his government's 0.8 percent forecast. His government has already admitted it will miss its deficit target this year.
"The issue is how the balance of power evolves between Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel, knowing that France and Germany are extremely important in the political construction of the euro zone," Waechter said.


Title: 'Catastrophe for euro' - Europe frets over Italy
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 27, 2013, 11:56:13 am

Italy’s electoral earthquake is ‘‘a catastrophe for the euro and the European Union’’, according to Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn.
Italy is big enough to bring down the eurozone if mishandled.
The verdict was much the same in chancelleries across the eurozone, especially in those countries already starting to feel the first wave of contagion.
‘‘The result touches us all,’’ said Spain’s foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. ‘‘It is a jump into the void that bodes well for nobody, neither for Italy, nor for the rest of Europe.’’

Almost 57 per cent of the Italian vote went to parties that have vowed to tear up the EU austerity script. Together they control a majority of senate seats.
The Five Star movement of comedian Beppe Grillo, which won 25 per cent of the vote, has called for a euro referendum and has a return to the lira as one of its manifesto pledges, while ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has threatened to pull Italy out of the currency bloc unless the EU switches to a reflation strategy.
Even if the centre-left leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, can put together a ‘‘grand coalition’’ with Mr Berlusconi, there is no going back to the hairshirt regime imposed by Mario Monti’s technocrat government at the EU’s behest over the past 15 months.
‘‘A deal with Monti is impossible,’’ said Mr Berlusconi yesterday. ‘‘His austerity policies have put the country into a dangerous recessionary spiral, with rising debt and unemployment, and the closure of a thousand firms a day.’’
The great fear is that the European Central Bank (ECB) will find it impossible to prop up the Italian bond market under its Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) scheme if there is no coalition in Rome willing or able to comply with the tough conditions imposed by the EU at Berlin’s behest. Europe’s rescue strategy could start to unravel.
Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS, said: ‘‘What has happened in these elections is of seismic importance.
‘‘The ECB rescue depends on countries doing what they are told. That has now been torn asunder by domestic politics in Italy. ‘‘The big risk is that markets will start to doubt the credibility of the ECB’s pledge.’’
It is a widely shared view. Luigi Speranza, from BNP Paribas, said: ‘‘We fear the markets could lose faith in the OMT’s effectiveness.’’
Bond buying under the OMT can begin only after countries in trouble request a rescue from the EU’s bail-out fund under strict terms.
This then requires a vote in the Bundestag.Germany’s ECB board member, Jorg Asmussen, backed the plan when it was unveiled in August, signalling the crucial acquiescence of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The concern is that Germany could withdraw that assent if provoked.
Mr Roberts said: ‘‘The big unknown is how much Germany is going to buckle over the next six months. German leaders want to keep up the appearance that the eurozone crisis has been solved, at least until their elections in September.’’
In one sense, Italy is in a weak bargaining position. It must raise 420 billion euros this year, making it acutely sensitive to the latest surge in borrowing costs. Yields on 10-year bonds surged 34 basis points yesterday, pushing the spread over German Bunds to 330, with traders eyeing the 400 level where stress begins in earnest. Italian bank shares tumbled in Milan, with Intesa Sanpaulo down 8.4 per cent on fears of losses on sovereign bonds.
Yet Italy is big enough to bring down the eurozone if mishandled. It is also the one Club Med country with enough fundamental strengths to leave EMU and devalue, if it concludes that would be the least painful way to restore 35 per cent of lost competitiveness against Germany since the launch of the euro.
It has low private debt and euros 9 trillion of private wealth. Its total debt level is 265 per cent of GDP, lower than in France, Holland, the UK, the US or Japan.
Its budget is near primary balance, and so is its International Investment Position, in contrast to Spain and Portugal. It could in theory return to the lira without facing a funding crisis, and this may be the only way to avoid a crisis if the ECB withdraws support. Any attempt to force Italy to knuckle down risks backfiring disastrously for EMU creditors.
The question is whether the election will prompt a radical rethink in Brussels and Berlin. Martin Schulz, the European Parliament’s president, said the vote had shown the intellectual bankruptcy of current EU policies.
‘‘People will make sacrifices, but not at any cost,’’ he said.
Defenders of the Monti policy say in retrospect that it was an error to push fiscal tightening of 3 per cent of GDP last year when Italy was already in depression - and did not have a deficit crisis - and neglect the greater task of marshalling public support behind reforms.Critics are harsher.
Nobel economist Paul Krugman said the EU policies imposed on Italy and others has been ‘‘a disastrous failure’’. If there is no change in strategy, this election will be ‘‘just the foretaste of the dangerous radicalisation to come’’.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/catastrophe-for-euro--europe-frets-over-italy-20130227-2f4ua.html#ixzz2M7i2davM

Title: Van Rompuy tells Britain: leaving EU "not free"
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 28, 2013, 05:53:55 pm

2/28/13 Van Rompuy tells Britain: leaving EU "not free"

LONDON (Reuters) - One of Europe's most powerful officials cautioned Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday that leaving the European Union could cost Britain dear and that the bloc's other leaders do not want to renegotiate Europe's founding treaties.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Britain had a chance to play a leading role in building the European economy now the euro zone had the "artillery" of economic tools to get itself out of the worst crisis in its history.
But Van Rompuy laced his speech in London's financial district with a clear warning to Cameron: Europe will not countenance any attempt by Britain to win an a-la-carte membership, picking and choosing which of the European Union's rules it will follow and which to reject.
"Leaving the club altogether, as a few advocate, is legally possible," he said. "We have an 'exit clause'.
"But it's not a matter of just walking out. It would be legally and politically a most complicated and unpractical affair. Just think of a divorce after 40 years of marriage."


Title: A Bad Week For The Euro
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 01, 2013, 04:41:29 pm

A Bad Week For The Euro

So much for the big support in the euro versus the USD at 1.30. The high was made on Monday and the market reversed and has since plunged lower. The catalyst for this week's sell off of course was the Italian election of candidates who do not want to take orders from Frankfurt or Brussels. In fact, the ex-comedian, Beppe Grillo, leader of the populist Five Star Movement, does not want to form an alliance with anyone.

Over 55% of the voters cast their ballot for those voicing opposition to the austerity policies imposed by the by the technocrat Monti. Grillo's refusal to compromise and form a government with other parties has created a political stalemate, with chaos resulting. Should there be a quick resolution, this would give us a rally in the euro, but this seems unlikely.

The evolving political vacuum in Italy has hurt both the Italian equity and bond markets. Despite the political uncertainty Italy was successful selling €6.5B of debt though at higher prices. The Italian ten year bond sold to yield 4.83%, a big premium to the German ten year rate of about 1.45%. Italy is the world's third largest issuer of debt. This year the total borrowing needs of the Italian government to cover the deficit, and the refinance maturing debt will be about 25% of the GDP, or about €390B.

Today the unemployment numbers were announced for Europe. Total EU unemployment is now at a record of 11.9%, or about 19M people. For the four largest economies the rates are Germany 6.9%, France 10.6%, Italy, 11.7%, and Spain at 16.2%. Clearly, the austerity policies as recommended by the Northern Europeans, is causing harm for many. This coming Wednesday the EU GDP numbers will be announced, estimated to be -0.6 for the most recent quarter and -0.9 for last year.


Title: Euro bailout fund may not aid banks, ESM head says
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 02, 2013, 11:23:58 am

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deep reservations in some European states could ultimately stop the euro zone's bailout fund being used for bank recapitalisation, the head of the fund said.

Klaus Regling, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), told Wirtschafts Woche magazine he was not able to say with certainty that the ESM would be used for this purpose.

"There are several states where enthusiasm for direct bank recapitalisations is very limited," he said, noting it needed unanimous backing. "I can therefore not say with 100 percent certainty that we will have this instrument."

Euro zone leaders agreed last June to allow the ESM to directly recapitalise banks to stop the rescue of failed financial institutions from piling debt on individual countries.

But Germany and others have doubts about using the fund for this purpose because they fear it will leave them on the hook for bad loans made in Spain and elsewhere. Regling also has doubts.

"If money from the ESM goes into saving banks then it reduces the ESM's capacity to make loans to needy states," he said in an interview made available on Saturday, adding that recapitalising banks without an upper limit could hurt the ESM's credit rating.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said last month the ESM should limit any recapitalisation of banks to well below 80 billion euros (69 billion pounds), if anything at all.

The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday where besides discussing a bailout for Cyprus they are also set to discuss the ESM.

Regling also called on Italy, where parties are wrangling over how to form a government after elections left no group with a workable majority, to stick to austerity moves implemented under outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti.

"It's important that Italy is run by a government which continues on this path of reforms," he was quoted as saying.

"If that succeeds, the country will regain competitiveness and return to growth," he added.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Additional reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Jason Webb)

Title: Europe's economic fractures widen in February
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 05, 2013, 09:59:21 pm

WRAPUP 1-Europe's economic fractures widen in February

* France, Spain and Italy behind deeper euro zone downturn

* Germany still prospering, UK services PMI brighter

* Euro zone retail sales better than expected

* Economists warn outlook poor from here

By Andy Bruce

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - France, Spain and Italy dragged the euro zone into a deeper downturn in February, according to business surveys that showed the chasm between these countries and prosperous Germany widening yet again.

While British services companies had a slightly better month than expected, Tuesday's purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) showed deepening fractures running through the European economy.

The divide between Germany and France, the euro zone's two biggest economies, grew to its widest since the currency union's inception in 1999.

The PMIs reflected how euro zone businesses were faring mostly before the inconclusive outcome of Italy's general election, which unsettled international financial markets.

"Two months into 2013, we've been somewhat disappointed with the euro zone economy's progress. The PMIs again reaffirm that," said Victoria Clarke, economist at Investec in London.

"Germany's doing a bit better than the rest of the pack, but in general, there's no real sign there of stabilisation, or of the contraction at least bottoming out."


Title: Emboldened parliament ready to veto EU budget deal
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 07, 2013, 04:48:04 pm
Emboldened parliament ready to veto EU budget deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament is prepared to block agreement on the European Union's hard-fought budget deal last month unless governments agree to increase spending on boosting growth, the president of the assembly said on Thursday.

Victory last week in imposing a cap on bankers' bonuses has fired the parliament's self-confidence, which it is now ready to use to change or block legislation, including the 2014-2020 budget, German Socialist Martin Schulz said.

"We are a very influential and powerful parliament," he said, adding that it wasn't about flexing muscles.

"Why would we refuse the (budget) deal? Not to show our power, but because we think with an overwhelming majority that the priorities are wrong."

Last month, after all-night talks, EU leaders struck a deal on a seven-year plan that included a first real-terms decrease in future spending, while protecting traditional areas such as farm subsidies and public infrastructure.

While the parliament is unlikely to challenge the overall spending ceiling of 960 billion euros agreed by EU leaders, Schulz said they could demand changes to how the money is spent, potentially throwing the entire deal into doubt.


Title: Hungary to insert rejected laws into constitution
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 11, 2013, 09:55:22 pm
Hungary to insert rejected laws into constitution

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's prime minister can't take "no" for an answer, even when he is being instructed by the country's highest court.
Over the past 18 months, the Constitutional Court has struck down several of the government's policies, including fining or jailing the homeless for living in public spaces, banning political campaign ads on commercial radio and TV stations and forcing university students who accepted state scholarships to work in Hungary for years after they graduate.
On Monday, however, lawmakers from Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party are preparing to pass a lengthy amendment to the constitution that will entrench all those discredited policies and many others, ensuring that the government gets its way no matter what anyone says.
The amendment has alarmed the European Union, which over the past several months has forced Orban to dilute some of the laws meant to expand his control over everything from the central bank and the economy to the arts and the media.
The current argument is only the latest example of international criticism over government policies seen to be concentrating power in Orban's hands, paying lip service to democratic principles and expanding the state's role to the detriment of private enterprise.
On Friday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso spoke by telephone with Orban and sent him a letter expressing his concerns about possible conflicts between the planned amendment and EU laws.
"We trust that these contacts will ensure that our concerns are taken into account," commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen told The Associated Press, adding that the intention was to avoid facing "any vote that would result in incompatibility with EU law ... and would make the time ahead more difficult."
In a written response to Barroso after their call, Orban confirmed "the full commitment" of Hungary's government and parliament to European norms, but gave no direct indication that Monday's vote on the amendment, which has more than 20 articles, would be delayed.
With most domestic challengers neutralized — Orban allies run the media council, the state audit office, the central bank and other key institutions — the prime minister has taken to lashing out at EU bureaucrats in Brussels.
Although 97 percent of Hungary's development funds over the past years have been provided by the EU, Orban has said Hungary won't allow itself "to be dictated to by anyone from Brussels or anywhere else" and that Hungary does not need "unsolicited comradely assistance" from people in "finely-tailored suits" to write its constitution.
The U.S. has also voiced concerns about the amendment. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said it "could threaten the principles of institutional independence and checks and balances that are the hallmark of democratic governance."
The 49-year-old Orban's repeated attempts to concentrate power and carry out his "revolution in a voting booth," as he dubbed his party's landslide win in 2010, seem at odds with his past. Once a determined anti-communist dissident, he entered the political stage in 1989 by publicly calling for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the end of the communist dictatorship.
To rebuild an economy deeply damaged by eight years of Socialist Party rule, Orban and his "right hand," Gyorgy Matolcsy, until last week economy minister but now president of the National Bank of Hungary, have applied unorthodox policies.
Since 2010, the government, for example, has nationalized about $14 billion in assets earlier administered by private pension funds, introduced the EU's highest bank tax and value added tax rates as well as levies on financial transactions and phone calls. Hungary also has a flat income tax rate of 16 percent and, to help counter a rapidly aging population, substantial tax breaks for families with children.
Orban says the institutional overhaul is needed to break the influence of former communists. The new constitution replaces one based on a Stalin-era constitution that was rewritten in 1989, when the country threw off communist rule.
By including legislation in the constitution which earlier had been struck down as unconstitutional, the new amendment — the fourth since the constitution, or Fundamental Law, as it is called, took effect in January 2012 — makes it clear that Orban will accept no setbacks and that the decisions of his parliamentary majority should not be questioned.
That attitude is also expressed in one of the key articles of the amendment, which says the country's president, who signs all legislation into law, and the Constitutional Court can review whether the procedures to pass the amendment were lawful, but can't examine its contents.
"Instead of defending citizens from the will of the state," the new articles "defend the will of the government from constitutionality," said Mate Daniel Szabo, a legal expert with the pro-democracy Eotvos Karoly Policy Institute.
The proposal also bans courts from referring to legal precedents set under the previous constitution.
"This means stepping back to where we were in 1990," said Szabo. "We'll be starting everything over, which is very dangerous."
The new constitution was met with large street protests in 2012, with some calling Orban a dictator or a "Viktator." Recently, however, most of the domestic complaints about the amendment have come from legal scholars, though there have been some signs of public anger.
A few dozen activists staged a sit-down protest at Fidesz headquarters Thursday, while around 2,500 people marched Saturday to the Constitutional Court to protest the amendment.
For the government, the amendment is just business as usual.
Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics said the proposal "is, to a great extent, merely a technical amendment," while Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said criticism was being "fueled by misunderstandings and inadequate information."
A year before the next parliamentary elections, Hungary's opposition parties are in disarray and a new electoral law makes it even harder to seriously challenge Fidesz, so the effects of Orban's constitutional amendments could be enduring.

Title: EU lawmakers reject $1.3tn budget proposal
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 13, 2013, 08:43:43 pm
EU lawmakers reject $1.3tn budget proposal
Empowered European Parliament rejects $1.3 trillion EU budget proposal

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for the European Union's €960 billion ($1.3 trillion) budget Wednesday, in the latest example of the lawmakers' newfound resolve to stand up to the bloc's national leaders.

"This is an important step for the European democracy," said European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

The seven-year plan — brokered at a summit of the 27 heads of state and government last month after two days of nearly round-the-clock negotiations — didn't address Parliament's main demands that more be spent to foster economic growth and that there be flexibility to move money within the budget. For that reason, Schulz said, it had to be rejected.

The leaders' proposal involved spending cuts for the first time in the EU's history and would cement the bloc's budget through 2020.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 27, 2013, 10:01:30 pm
Southern Europe’s Recession Threatens to Spread North
  Published: Friday, 26 Apr 2013 | 1:37 AM ETBy: Jack Ewing

No company symbolizes German industrial might like Daimler, the giant maker of Mercedes-Benz autos and trucks. So when the company said this week that it, too, had finally been caught in the downdraft of the European economic crisis, it was an ominous sign for all of the Continent, if not the whole world.

German exporters like Daimler have been bastions of stability on a continent burdened with shaky banks, dysfunctional governments and legions of unemployed youth — not to mention the worst auto industry slump in two decades. But Daimler's glum forecast for 2013 was the latest evidence that Germany, and other relatively healthy countries like Austria and Finland, risk falling into the recession that has long afflicted their southern neighbors.

The slowdown in Germany was foreshadowed by months of declining industrial output, said Carl B. Weinberg, chief economist of High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y. "The E.U. has made Europe a much more cohesive economy, which is good when things are going up," he said. "But when things are going down the multiplier is very strong. An outgoing tide lowers all ships."

The region's overall economic weakness as well as slowing demand in China and other big markets for German exports of consumer products, cars and sophisticated machine tools, industrial robots and construction equipment are finally taking their toll.

Just one more consecutive quarter of shrinking economic output and Germany would officially enter a recession. The same is true of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Austria, even Sweden and Finland. The Netherlands has already suffered two quarters of declining gross domestic product.

Further evidence of the spreading European recession came Thursday, first from Madrid, where the Spanish government reported that unemployment had reached a record level: 27.2 percent. Then new economic data from London indicated that Britain had barely avoided slipping back into recession for the third time since 2008.

"The reality is that Europe still faces severe vulnerabilities that — if unaddressed — could degenerate into a stagnation scenario," David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said in London on Thursday.

If Germany slips into recession, much would slide down with it. Germany and the other 26 countries of the European Union together represent the world's second-largest economy and as a bloc it is the single largest United States trading partner. The further delay in Europe's recovery that a German recession would cause would seriously hamper growth in the United States, Asia and Latin America.

What growth remains in the region is coming mostly from countries in Eastern Europe. Poland is protected by its large domestic market and a healthy banking system. After a severe downturn that began in 2008, growth is rebounding in the Baltic nations of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. In that recession, wages fell, real estate prices dropped and banks worked through the painful process of improving their financial condition.

Unemployment there is by no means low, but those countries benefit by being the low-wage economies of Europe. They continue to attract investment of capital. It also helps that those economies, because they do not use the euro as their currency, can adjust their currency more easily to changing economic conditions in the rest of the world. Their economic planners have more policy tools than simply adjusting interest rates.

In Germany, there is little overt sign of crisis. Unemployment is 5.4 percent compared with an average of 10.9 percent in Europe. Nevertheless, polls show businesses are growing pessimistic. "The German market cannot decouple from this environment," Bodo K. Uebber, the Daimler chief financial officer, told analysts Wednesday.

The problem for the rest of Europe is that any hope for recovery is pinned on a robust German economy. Companies in Spain and Italy have depended on German demand to compensate for a collapse in consumer spending in their own countries.

"In my area there are some enterprises that work 100 percent to serve Germany," said Mario Moretti Polegato, the founder and chief executive of Geox, a shoemaker based in Montebelluna, Italy, near Venice.

Geox, known for shoes with waterproof but breathable soles, sells its products around the world and is not dependent on any one market. Still, Italy accounted for 35 percent of the company's total revenue last year, and those sales fell 15 percent as Italy remained stuck in a recession that began in mid-2011.

Geox sales in Germany helped to offset the decline, Mr. Polegato said by telephone. Germany is also a critical market for his family's wine business, which sells bubbly prosecco under the Villa Sandi and La Gioiosa brands. "The first market is Germany," Mr. Polegato said. That is true for most winemakers in the Veneto region, he said.

The worst case, said Mr. Weinberg, the economist, would be a depression caused by the failure of political leaders to fix the region's many weak banks and restore the flow of credit.

The worsening economic situation has raised hopes that the European Central Bank will come to the rescue, as it has so often since 2010 when the debt crisis began in the euro zone, the 17 countries in the European Union that use the euro. Somewhat perversely, the dismal economic news this week prompted a rally in stocks and bonds, as investors bet that the unexpectedly bad business surveys would prod the central bank to lower interest rates.

Economists now expect the bank to cut its benchmark rate to a record low of 0.5 percent from 0.75 percent when it meets on Thursday in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, another of the few euro zone countries still growing.

Many business people would welcome a cut because it would tend to lower the value of the euro compared with the dollar and other major currencies, and make it easier for European exporters to sell their comparatively cheaper products abroad.

"It would be a sign that policy makers understand it is time to find a way to compete," said Marco Tronchetti Provera, chief executive of the Italian tire maker Pirelli.

But it is unlikely that a rate cut would address a more fundamental problem in the euro zone: the lack of credit in countries that need it most.

Extraordinary measures by the central bank, including virtually unlimited loans to euro zone banks at the rock-bottom official interest rate, have not trickled down to help corporate borrowers in countries like Spain or Italy. The lack of credit is particularly vexing for the small and medium-size companies that are too small to raise money on the bond market and thus depend on banks.

Signs of a spreading recession are also strengthening the position of those people who argue that countries like Portugal, Spain and Greece should not be compelled to cut government spending so quickly. They say countries that have budget surpluses, like Germany, should increase spending to stimulate demand.

"The fiscal compact is going to kill Europe," said Mr. Provera of Pirelli, referring to the agreement among euro zone members to reduce deficit spending.

Mr. Provera reflects the growing sentiment among leaders like José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, that policy should be more oriented toward growth and not just budget cutting.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 10, 2014, 05:33:34 pm

Currency question at heart of Scottish debate
New currency for a new country? Scotland faces range of options, risks if it breaks from UK


LONDON (AP) -- In for a penny, in for a pound.

There'll be no going back if Scotland votes for independence from the United Kingdom on Sept. 18.

Opinion polls showing that may happen have prompted investors to sell off the British pound. If a knockout blow is dealt to Scotland's 307-year union with England, that selling could accelerate as the U.K. plunges into a constitutional crisis.

The fate of the pound, which is also known as sterling and is one of the most tangible links of the union, will be front and center in any separation proceedings, as it has been during the campaign.

The nationalists, led by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, hope Scotland will still use the pound through a currency union with what's left of the U.K.— Wales, Northern Ireland and England. The main British political parties, notably the Conservatives and Labour, say that's not going to happen.

Enmeshed are other complexities, such as the division of the U.K.'s 1.3 trillion pounds ($2.1 trillion) or so debt mountain and whether Scotland would be part of the European Union.

Uncertainty reigns — a toxic backdrop for the world's fourth-most traded currency. With polls showing the referendum too close to call, the pound has fallen almost 3 cents this week to a 10-month low of $1.6052 Wednesday.

"Huge uncertainties connected with the costs of separation, defense policy, the currency regime in Scotland and the political fall-out in the U.K. would unlikely be resolved quickly and so volatility is likely to stay at heightened levels," said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank International.

One thing's certain: Scotland will have to start paying its bills come March 24, 2016, the date set for Independence Day, so chosen because it is exactly 309 years since the union was signed.


For months, the Yes campaign made little headway, with many commentators blaming its plan to enter a currency union with what remains of the U.K. The No campaign rules that out and points to the problems that have afflicted the nearby euro currency union. "No ifs, no buts, we will not share the pound if Scotland separates from the U.K.," said George Osborne, the British Treasury chief.

The nationalists argue an agreement is possible. With the two economies so closely tied, a currency union would reduce transactions costs and uncertainty for both and Scotland would gain financial stability.

But a currency union would require Scotland to share political powers with Britain, meaning it would immediately hand back a chunk of its newly won sovereignty. It could, for example, have to get approval for its budget.

George Buckley, chief U.K. economist at Deutsche Bank, said a currency union would also likely require approval in the rest of the U.K. through a vote. "Popular agreement for a currency union with the newly independent neighbor may be potentially difficult to achieve," he said.


No, it's not a Robert Ludlum thriller.

Even without agreement, Scotland could use the pound. "It's our pound and we're keeping it," Salmond said.

It's not an outlandish idea. Panama uses the dollar though it's not part of the United States, while Montenegro pays its way with euros despite not being in the EU. Because Scotland's economy is well synchronized with the U.K., so-called "sterlingisation" is an option, but it's fraught with problems.

Interest rates would be set by the Bank of England without any regard to what's going on north of the border. Scotland would also need to run up reserves to support its financial system, which means spending cuts and siphoning off money from the North Sea energy resources.

Analysts at BNP Paribas say the idea may be a ruse to force the remaining U.K. into a corner. "The hope would be that by choosing sterlingisation, the Scottish government could force some degree of cooperation from the U.K. government, resulting in something that looked more akin to a currency union," they wrote in a report.


Despite its problems, the euro could be the long-term alternative. By the time Scotland opts to join, the eurozone may have solved its many financial problems.

The nationalists used to back the idea of joining the euro before it was in crisis. Since that crisis, however, euro countries have been pooling many of their financial and political powers under strict rules. It's unclear whether Scotland would like to leave one union with Britain to join another.

One problem with the euro option is that Scotland would likely have to reapply to join the EU if it decides to become independent. It's uncertain how easy that will be. Spain, for example, may balk at the idea of early readmission for Scotland for fear it may encourage other nationalist movements in Europe, notably in the Spanish region of Catalonia.


An independent Scotland may be tempted to go the full hog and create its own currency, possibly resurrecting the Pound Scots that existed before the union. Other similar-sized European economies such as Norway and Denmark manage just fine.

"Having its own currency would provide the Scottish economy with the flexibility to make the necessary competitive adjustments and having its own central bank means that the appropriate level of interest rates can be set to suit the needs of the Scottish economy," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

It's not straightforward. A new Scottish currency would likely require higher interest rates than those in the U.K., even if it were pegged to the pound. There would be transaction costs in financial deals with the U.K. and Scotland would become vulnerable to shocks in currency markets. Businesses and savers may decide it's not worth the risks and move.

Precedent suggests a new Scottish currency would take time to establish itself. When Ireland won independence from the U.K. in 1922, it took six years for its new currency to be launched and decades for it to trade openly. As recently as the 1990s, Ireland needed to have high interest rates to support the Irish pound.

Still, for all its problems, it is "the only truly independent option of the four," said Deutsche Bank's Buckley.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 14, 2014, 08:33:03 pm
Scottish independence could mean messy divorce

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 14, 2014, 08:39:42 pm
Queen to Scots: Think carefully about future

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has made her first comments about this week's Scottish independence vote, urging Scots to "think very carefully about the future."

But the popular British monarch didn't indicate a preference on how Scots should vote, carefully maintaining the neutrality that is her constitutional obligation.

Still, some may interpret her comments as a suggestion that Scots looking to embrace independence should be cautious about severing Scotland's long ties to the United Kingdom, which date back more than 300 years.

The queen spoke after a Sunday church service near her Balmoral estate in Scotland. She made the comment to a well-wisher in the crowd.

Buckingham Palace recently issued a statement indicating her plans to remain neutral before Thursday's vote.

She was seen as resisting calls from some Conservative Party lawmakers that she should make her views known before the historic vote because it could possibly lead to a breakup of the United Kingdom.

She is well known to have a deep affection for Scotland and to spend much of her free time every summer at her extensive Balmoral estate, where she can be seen walking in the woods or riding horses.

Weekend polls have suggested the race is too close to call with both sides planning a frenetic final few days of campaigning.

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to return to Scotland to attempt to persuade voters to reject independence and remain part of the United Kingdom.

The "Better Together" campaign has been emphasizing the economic uncertainties that would face an independent Scotland, while pro-independence forces have been predicting a rosy future for an oil-rich Scotland free of the United Kingdom.

If Scotland votes for independence, it would split from the United Kingdom in 18 months. Scottish leaders have indicated a desire to have the queen serve as head of state of an independent Scotland if the Yes campaign triumphs.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 15, 2014, 06:44:19 pm
A Scottish 'Yes' also means exit from EU, NATO

BRUSSELS (AP) — If Scottish voters this week say Yes to independence, not only will they tear up the map of Great Britain, they'll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe's postwar prosperity and security — the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO defense alliance.

In breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland would automatically find itself outside both the EU and NATO, and have to reapply to join both, officials from those Brussels-based organizations have stressed.

For the EU especially, Scottish re-entry could be a long and arduous process, with other countries dead set against letting the Scots retain the privileges awarded Britain: the so-called opt-outs from being required to use the euro single currency and to join the multination Schengen zone where internal border controls have been scrapped.

For NATO's admirals and generals, the current Scottish government's insistence on a sovereign Scotland becoming free of nuclear weapons would pose enormous strategic and operational headaches, even if a transitional grace period were agreed on. A new home port would have to be found for the Royal Navy's four Trident missile-carrying submarines and their thermonuclear warheads, currently based on the Clyde.

This "risks undermining the collective defense and deterrence of NATO allies," Britain's Ministry of Defense has said. In what might be read as a warning to the Scots, the ministry has said a nuclear-free stance could constitute a "significant" hurdle to Scotland being allowed back into NATO.

Until Scotland rejoined the alliance, to which it's belonged with the rest of Britain for 65 years, new arrangements would also need to be found to patrol vital shipping routes in the North Atlantic and North Sea. If Scotland were to choose not to rejoin, it would pose a conundrum for NATO for which there is no real precedent: what to do following the loss of a developed, democratically governed part of alliance territory that has opted for neutrality, said Daniel Troup, research analyst at the NATO Council of Canada.

Emergence of a new Western European country of 5 million inhabitants with roughly the land area of the Czech Republic or the U.S. state of Maine or would also set in motion political and social forces whose effects are impossible to predict. Because of British voting patterns, the political groups in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that are seeking Britain's exit from the European Union would become proportionately stronger in Parliament.

Meanwhile, on the continent, from Catalonia in Spain to the Dutch-speaking Flemish areas of Belgium, other European peoples that do not have their own states would likely be emboldened to follow the Scots' example.

Loss of Scotland would also weaken the influence of Britain inside the 28-nation European Union. For the moment, the British, along with the Germans and French, constitute the trade bloc's Big Three. Without Scotland's population, Britain would drop to No. 4, behind Italy.

That would mean fewer British members of the European Parliament, as well as a reduced say in population-weighted decision-making in the EU's executive.

"In the European Union, size matters," said Almut Moeller, an EU expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations. "It will be a rump United Kingdom."

This would have major policy implications. A whittled-down Britain would have a weaker hand in pressing for the kind of EU it favors: more of a free market, and less of a political union.

Simultaneously, said Professor Richard G. Whitman, director of the Global Europe Center at the University of Kent, politicians and civil servants in London would be "massively preoccupied" for years in disentangling England from Scotland, following more than three centuries of political and economic unity.

The result would be "a much-reduced bandwidth for defending a more liberalistic agenda" in Europe, Whitman said, including the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the United States.

Under both NATO and EU rules, any existing member could blackball Scotland's application for admission, and some might find domestic political cause to do so. Spain, for example, might want to discourage independence-minded Catalans. For the English, divvying up the common assets with the Scots might turn as acrimonious as a Hollywood divorce, Whitman said.

If Scotland sought special arrangements while trying to get back into the European Union, that could provide a wedge for other countries to demand renegotiation of their own terms of membership, and calls to revise the treaties that are EU's constitutional basis, Moeller said. Germany, the bloc's richest and most influential nation, would be adamantly against that, she said.

A dissenting prediction comes from a Swedish expert on the EU. The 18-month interlude between Thursday's vote and the start date of actual Scottish independence would be enough to allow the Scots and EU to negotiate a deal so that on the very day it became a country, Scotland could seamlessly become an EU member in its own right, said Niklas Bremberg, a research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

The most fateful consequence of a Scottish vote in favor of independence could be very close to home: in neighboring England. The English have already soured sufficiently on the European Union to the extent that in the March elections for the European Parliament, they cast more votes for the anti-EU UKIP party than any other.

Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the European Policy Center, a Brussels-based think tank, predicted the Scots this Thursday could set an example of sorts_for the English.

"The exit of Scotland from the UK would increase the chances of the exit of the UK from the EU," Zuleeg said.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 16, 2014, 07:20:56 pm
It Would Be Impossible For An Independent Scotland To Establish A Sovereign Oil Fund

One of the more snigger worthy aspects of the case being promoted for Scottish independence is that the country would be able to establish a sovereign oil wealth fund, along the lines of Norway, and thus wax fat and rich off into the future. My own political prejudices are that I’m overjoyed at any argument at all that makes it more likely that there will be a yes vote: but this particular reason simply doesn’t stand up to a moment’s scrutiny. It doesn’t stand up for two reasons, one theoretical the other a matter of simple accounting.

We’ve Sir Ian Wood insisting that it would be very difficult of Scotland to have such a fund:

    North-east oil services tycoon Sir Ian Wood has claimed it would be “extraordinarily difficult” to establish an oil fund in an independent Scotland.

    The Aberdeen-based industry expert yesterday said it was not possible to squirrel away money while spending it on public services at the same time.

I would upgrade that extraordinarily difficult to impossible myself. For you only get to use the one lot of money once. Yes, even the miracle of the Keynesian multiplier doesn’t actually let you use the same pile of cash twice. So, if you’re using (as the Scottish and British governments are and have been all along) the resource rents and profits from the existence of North Sea oil to pay for social security spending, or lower than otherwise would be the case tax rates, then you cannot at the same time be putting that cash into a wealth fund. This is just a matter of simple accounting. And no, no one does believe that a newly independent Scotland will be willing to either raise taxes in that country, or cut current services, so as to be able to sock that oil revenue away for future generations. It’s simply not going to happen.

The second problem is a more theoretical one. The Norwegians didn’t have a wealth fund in order to make life easy for the future. They actually had it so as to avoid Dutch Disease. When Holland found vast gas reserves back in the 50s it found that exporting all that energy meant vast piles of loot entering the country. This is great: until you note that your exchange rate is therefore spiraling ever upwards. This makes imports cheap, exports expensive and you find, at the extreme, that you’ve no economy left other than the extraction of that natural resource: plus a whole series of import agents. To avoid this you’ve got to stop that money entering the domestic economy: and that’s what the Norwegians have done. The whole point of the wealth fund is that none of it, not a penny (perhaps a little bit of the returns from it) is allowed to enter the Norwegian economy. It’s not in krone, it’s not spent in Norway, it’s not invested in Norwegian industry, it’s not spent on social services either. It’s all invested in other currencies and in other countries. This avoids killing off the rest of the Norwegian economy.

Arguably this is what Venezuela should have done as well: there’s a good argument that over and above the Chavista idiot socialism the country is suffering badly from Dutch Disease. But of course doing so wouldn’t get a left-leaning government elected who promised to spend the oil wealth on improving the lives of the poor.

And that’s where the other of Scotland’s problems would lie. No one at all is suggesting a wealth fund that would go invest in England, or France. But that’s what would have to be done to mimic Norway: they’re all in fact arguing that a wealth fund should invest in Scottish industry. Exactly what is not the point of having one.

There is of course one final complication. Scotland has asserted that it would retain the pound sterling. Meaning that it wouldn’t actually be possible for them to suffer from Dutch Disease anyway as the foreign exchange value of their currency will be set by the vastly larger rUK economy, not whatever is happening with oil up north.

So Scotland can’t suffer from the original problem that leads to a wealth fund, they wouldn’t invest in in foreign parts either, and they can’t actually build one while they spend that oil money on current pleasures anyway. I’d say it’s a lot more than difficult, it’s impossible that Scotland will have an oil wealth fund.

Title: Scotland votes 'No': Salmond accepts defeat as Cameron says debate has been 'set
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 19, 2014, 09:29:37 am
From the little I've read - this vote could have been rigged. Will have to read more about it.

Scotland votes 'No': Salmond accepts defeat as Cameron says debate has been 'settled for a generation'

The Scottish electorate's rejection of independence was greeted with delight by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said that the victory margin of around 55%-45% had settled the issue "for a generation... perhaps for a lifetime".

Speaking outside Downing Street, Mr Cameron said he would ensure that commitments to further devolution to Scotland made during the campaign would be "honoured in full".

Earlier, Scottish National Party First Minister Alex Salmond acknowledged that his dream of leading his nation to independence was over, telling supporters in Edinburgh: "Scotland has by a majority decided not at this stage to become an independent country.

"I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland."

Turnout in the referendum on Scottish independence hit a record high for any election held in the UK since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1918.

Alex Salmond accepts defeat but tells the PM he will expect new powers with rapid course.

The participation rate of 84.5% topped the previous best of 83.9% recorded in the 1950 general election and dwarfed the tallies in recent Westminster polls, which saw 65.1% vote in 2010.


Title: Re: Scotland votes 'No': Salmond accepts defeat as Cameron says debate has been 'set
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 19, 2014, 09:31:39 am
From the little I've read - this vote could have been rigged. Will have to read more about it.



Title: Re: Scotland votes 'No': Salmond accepts defeat as Cameron says debate has been 'set
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 19, 2014, 09:34:54 pm
Alex Salmond resigns hours after Scotland votes no to independence

    Alex Salmond announces he is resigning as Scotland's First Minister after independence defeat

    It came after the 'No' campaign secured 55% of the vote with Mr Salmond's Yes to independence camp achieving 45%

    Long-serving deputy Nicola Sturgeon tipped to take over SNP leadership when Mr Salmond steps down in November

    The Queen tonight said it was a result 'that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect'

    In her first remarks since the result was announced she urged all sides of the debate to put aside their differences

    She said: 'We should remember we have in common an enduring love of Scotland which helps to unite us all'

    Total turnout was 84.5% topping 90% in pro-Union areas but dipping to the mid-70s in key Yes working-class areas   

    Yes wins in Dundee, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire, but fell short by 384,935 votes

    David Cameron addressed the nation this morning vowing to introduce 'English votes for English laws'

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 24, 2014, 06:44:00 pm
An Independence Vote-Rigging Conspiracy Theory Is Sweeping Scotland

An  online petition  demanding a revote in the Scottish independence referendum is now at almost 100,000 signatures as vote rigging conspiracies continue to gain momentum among disappointed pro-independence campaigners.

It didn't take long for accusations of voting irregularities to start swirling after Scotland voted "No" to independence on September 18th. In the aftermath of the result, pro-independence Yes campaigners have taken to social media in large numbers to complain about reported incidents of vote fraud and demand a return to the polls.

The accusations come despite First Minister Alex Salmond, leader of the Yes campaign, calling on pro-independence supporters to "accept the democratic decision." Mary Pitcaithly, the chief counting officer for the referendum, also refuted accusations of irregularities claiming that both camps had been happy with how the vote was carried out (emphasis added):

The chief counting officer is satisfied that all counts throughout Scotland were properly conducted and scrutinized by thousands of people representing both the Yes Scotland and the Better Together campaigns, as well as international election observers, media and police. None of these people raised any concerns during the verification, counting and adjudication stages.

Those demanding a recount, however, remain unconvinced. They cite Russian election observers that raised concerns that the results were "rigged" and point to videos that appear to show votes being shifted from Yes piles into No.

Responding to the claims, Pitcaithly says it appears that the women in the video " has put some papers on a pile by mistake and is then putting them right" and suggested that the " video is looped so it is deceptive in its presentation."

So far, her rebuttals and Salmond's intervention have failed to quell the calls for a recount. At the time of writing over 90,000 people have signed the e-petition at change.org. As one pro-independence blogger put it:

We believe that it is only a matter of time before the fullness of the truth comes out. There can be no doubt that the count was a fraud.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 27, 2014, 02:14:49 pm
Scots to get new powers after rejecting separation

LONDON (AP) — Britain's main political parties agreed Thursday to grant Scotland new tax and spending powers to fulfill a promise of greater autonomy made as politicians scrambled to persuade Scots to reject independence in a recent referendum.

The plans are unlikely to satisfy hard-core Scottish nationalists, but could have far-reaching consequences, taking Britain toward a looser, more federated state.

In a Sept. 18 referendum, 55 percent of Scottish voters opted to remain in the United Kingdom, while 45 percent voted to leave.

Since then a commission of politicians from Scotland and the rest of Britain has been thrashing out proposals to fulfill the promise made by anti-independence forces in the final weeks of the campaign, as polls showed rising support for separation.

A plan published Thursday would give the Edinburgh-based Scottish parliament, established in 1999, the power to set income tax rates and keep the revenue in Scottish coffers. Scotland would also gain new control over welfare spending.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the proposals kept a promise he'd made during the referendum campaign, "that a No vote did not mean no change."

But John Swinney, deputy leader of Scotland's pro-independence administration, said the powers fell short of what Scottish people wanted.

"Under these proposals, less than 30 percent of our taxes will be set in Scotland and less than 20 percent of welfare spending will be devolved to Scotland," he said.

The proposals will be introduced as legislation in Parliament in January.

They could open a constitutional can of worms, boosting calls for other British regions, and even major cities, also to be given tax-raising powers.

Cameron also promised to introduce a contentious proposal for "English votes for English laws." It is intended to address a quirk of Britain's political system that means Scottish lawmakers in the House of Commons can vote on policies that only affect England.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Mark on April 09, 2015, 11:49:49 am
Unraveling at the Seams: EU on Verge of Collapse

Everyone in the EU is worried about the economy and financial situation, forgetting about the importance of geopolitics, and that could be the downfall of the union, according to French journalist Coralie Delaume.

Greece’s exit from the European Union (EU) and its rapprochement with Russia would have serious geopolitical implications for Europe, French journalist Coralie Delaume said in an interview with Le Figaro.

The Eurozone is getting weaker every day, said Delaume, adding that Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union is highly probable, especially after Greece’s intention to introduce a “dual currency.” The so-called “Greek euro”, a currency that would be used in Greece only, would be in fact another step towards leaving the European monetary union.

As Greece failed to find support in Europe, Tsipras hopes to get closer to Russia, especially considering that the two countries have a longstanding relationship.

At this point in time, everyone in Europe is worried about the economy and financial situation, forgetting about the importance of geopolitics.

“Everyone seems to be convinced that geopolitics is a residue of the 19th Century and that we now live in the era of economics and accounting… Europe has become a political black hole!” Delaume told Le Figaro.

Meanwhile, Moscow is building political relationships with Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Soon, the Russian navy will be allowed to enter the waters near Cyprus. Europeans are foolish enough to allow Russia to gain support in the Mediterranean region. From an economic and political standpoint, the EU is on the verge of collapse, Delaume said, as cited by the French daily.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150408/1020616814.html#ixzz3WpcjvjJq

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 26, 2016, 04:24:34 pm
George Soros is a firm backer of transnational bodies such as the European Union, and his Open Society Foundation (OSF) provides assistance for pro-migration activists. He is well-known for his support for “progressive” causes such as the Centre for American Progress, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.



George Soros, for those of you who don’t know him, is the “money man” behind the coming New World Order. Starting from his early days as a young Jewish teenage who betrayed his own people to work with the Nazis, to his rise as a multibillionaire financier, George Soros is the man who ‘get it done’. In 1992, he single-handedly broke the Bank of England, and in 2015 spent 33 million dollars on financing the Ferguson race riots in St. Louis. Anywhere you find Liberals working to overthrow the rule of law and order, you will invariably find Soros there as well.

In an interview with the New York Review of Books, George Soros warned of the coming collapse of the European Union, and puts the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel led Europe’s response to the Muslim migrant crisis, opening Germany to the refugees that had travelled from the Middle East, in particular Syria, to try and find a new home in Europe. The decision by the German leader marked a sea-change in her policy. In the interview, Soros said he welcomed Merkel’s move.


“As she (Merkel) correctly predicted, the EU is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of muddling through one crisis after another. This practice is popularly known as kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down.”

“Merkel correctly foresaw the potential of the migration crisis to destroy the European Union. What was a prediction has become the reality. The European Union badly needs fixing. This is a fact but it is not irreversible. And the people who can stop Merkel’s dire prediction from coming true are actually the German people. ”

“Now it’s time for Germans to decide: Do they want to accept the responsibilities and the liabilities involved in being the dominant power in Europe?”

What Soros conveniently leaves out in the his interview, however, is that at it’s core it is not a refugee problem, but rather an invasion problem. George Soros knows the true mission of these militant Muslim jihadi “migrants”, and has spent millions of dollars of his own money to finance their migration. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused Mr Soros – who was born in Hungary – of deliberately encouraging the migrant crisis.


Mr Soros has now issued an email statement to Bloomberg Business, claiming his foundations help “uphold European values”, while Mr Orban’s actions in strengthening the Hungarian border and stopping a huge migrant influx “undermine those values.”

George Soros is a firm backer of transnational bodies such as the European Union, and his Open Society Foundation (OSF) provides assistance for pro-migration activists. He is well-known for his support for “progressive” causes such as the Center for American Progress, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Is George Soros really so powerful that he can bring about the collapse of the European Union? Just ask the Bank of England how much power Soros has.

They’ll be happy to tell you all about Black Wednesday.

Title: Re: The Euro-What do you think is happening, is this prophetic
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 12, 2016, 10:36:30 am
David Cameron resigns from UK Parliament

(CNN)From world leader to the wilderness in just under three months.
David Cameron, the former British Prime Minister has announced he will stand down as a member of parliament for his constituency of Witney immediately, triggering a by-election.

Cameron, who has worked in Parliament since 2001, stepped down as Prime minister in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in which the UK decided to leave the European Union.

He had previously said that he was "keen to continue" in his role as a backbench MP after stepping away from Downing Street but has since decided such a role is untenable.