Saturday, February 11, 2012

What " Troika " Will Come To discus things With The US ? Weekend Thread is open !

   As we consider the situation in Greece , consider what comes down the line for Portugal , Ireland , Spain and Italy , wonder how long Japan can manage to sell their debt internally while their demographics just get worse year after year , let's consider the Us for a minute - and who will come sit down with America's leaders ? In Europe , the taskmasters have become known as the troika - comprised of the EU , ECB and IMF. We have seen their work and their intentions , if Greece provides clues as to a modus operandi. However , as the Eurozone implodes over the next few years , certainly that " Troika " won'r be available to rescue the US. Who might the new Troika be ? Well , assume the IMF will be in the mix. As the two sources of wealth presently are in the Middl e East and Asia , might one of  the two other club members consist of the oil producing nations of the GCC ? If Iran gets caught in the trap being prepared and Libya has already fallen to the coup led by " Al Qaeda " operatives and selected frontmen hand- picked by the West , the GCC certainly would be a deep pocket unscathed by revolutions engineered by interested parties. As far as Asia , might we see the Shanghai Cooperative play a major role in giving dictates to the US ? Again , if China is going to play a role in " greeking " the US , there already is a vehicle in which they ( along with Russia ) , have a controlling interest and there would be no need for China  to beg for influence ( as compared with the IMF ) .  So imagine a Troika of the IMF , GCC and Shanghais Cooperative descending to set things straight - will the sheeple wake up ? What does the US military and militarized police forces do in response ? How much time might we have to ponder this anyway ? consider the information below as a forecast for stormy weather !

The US election is a Farce played as a charade !

This Time Next US Presidential Campaign: $24.1 Trillion In Debt, 138.9% Debt/GDP

Tyler Durden's picture

While Obama may or may not be on the way to winning his reelection, courtesy of a GOP field that is, to say the least, limited, and where the only worthy candidate is more ostracized by the right than even anyone on the left, the bottom line is that whoever wins the presidency, it will matter precisely didley squat. As the US debt clock shows, fast forwarding 4 years, or to February 2016, when the next presidential race will be in its final stretch, America will have $24.1 trillion in debt, about $9 trillion more than it does, now on $17.4 trillion in GDP, for a gross debt to GDP ratio of 138.9% (and Apple's $1 trillion market cap will account for 150% of the Nasdaq... just as IBM is 125% of the DJIA). Needless to say, it will be long past game over at that point confirming that the current presidential race, with its exciting tangential detours into female fertility, moon bases, LBO IRR maximization courtesy of cost-cutting, is completely and utterly meaningless. Also, keep in mind, "at current rates" for an endspiel that has now entered the exponential phase in virtually every category, is to say the least, optimistic. Yes, interest rates may be negative in 2016, but that means that the liquidity trap endgame has not only begun, but is well on its way to ending, and mercifully putting an end to this whole Keynesian "sustainability" charade. Remember: Japan's debt-deflation lasted for 30 years only thanks to new pockets of incremental global leverage and inflation: China and the PIIGS. This time, absent the levering of the entire continent of Africa, there is noone who can take the releverage baton and run. Which means the only "buyers" will be the central banks. At least back in the day, Weimar just one nation. This time, it will be the "Weimar World."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Evening post - Take A gander At Belgium And Then Greece And Ask How Long Before Belgium Goes Boom ?

Scenes From Belgium ! Yeah , Belgium , not Greece !

Many Occupy protesters who have been pepper sprayed or injured by police might be interested in what unfolded in Belgium as firefighters marched in opposition to proposed benefit cuts.
The Guardian and Russia Today have video footage of firemen soaking police officers with high-power hoses during a protest in Brussels. Russia Today's video shows police standing passively while their riot shields drip with water.
According to the Guardian, firefighters are upset over plans to raise their early retirement age.
The government's plans come as Press TV reportsthat economic data show Belgium was the first eurozone member to slip into recession in the second half of last year.
Belgium's planning bureau says the government must find 2.5 billion euros in either spending cuts or new revenue to close its current budget deficit, according to Bloomberg News.

Belgian Firefighters Hose Down Cops In Protest (VIDEO)

First Posted: 02/10/2012 4:04 pm Updated: 02/10/2012 5:49 pm

Meanwhile in Greece..... laundry list for Parliament - by next Wednesday ? 

The 30 measures Athens must pass

 The interventions that form a condition for the first tranche of the new package

By Sotiris Nikas
Thirty tough legislative interventions affecting key sectors have to be rushed through Parliament for the government to secure the first tranche of the new bailout package. The measures are the following:
- Reductions in pharmaceutical spending by 1.076 billion euros, in defens by 300 million euros, in arms by 300 million euros and in doctors’ overtime by 50 million euros.
- The abolition of 550 deputy mayor posts, saving 30 million euros.
- Cuts in consumer spending and election allowances amounting to 270 million euros, in other allowances and grants by 190 million euros, and in the Public Investment Program by 400 million euros.
- Ministerial decisions for the application of objective criteria for the self-employed, for the full application of the single salary system for all state corporations, for the Public Power Corporation to pay its revenues from the special property tax paid through the electricity bills to the state within two days (instead of 20), and on the cost of permits for new trucks for public use.
- A 22 percent reduction of the minimum wage, with people below the age of 25 years taking a 32 percent cut.
- The suspension of the additional allowance for every two years of work that civil servants were paid.
- The maximum period for collective labor contracts to be set at three years, the duration of existing contracts to be up to one year, the extension of expired contracts to be by just three months. Other allowances for past experience, children etc will be maintained after contract expiry until a new contract is signed.
- An end to the unilateral resort to arbitration and to contracts with a specific time limit that expire with retirement.
- The reduction of social security contributions by 2 percent.
- The abolition of the organizations providing state-subsidized housing (OEK and OEE).
- The amendment of regulations for expired debts.
- The completion of inspections for value-added tax payment.
- A pension cut in healthy funds by 15 percent and by the same rate in auxiliary pensions, whose funds will also be reformed.
- A restructuring of the banking system and strengthening of the fund safeguarding bank deposits.
- A revision of the operation of the Credit Stability Fund.
- The deregulation of 17 closed-shop professions.

Friday Open thread - Scenes From Greece !

Greece Reacts To the Games Played In Brussels !

Protesters are gathering outside the Greek Parliament in Athens. Photograph: Simela Pantzartzi/EPA
12.46pm: This second picture from Athens shows a petrol bomb exploding near riot police.
Greece  strikes: A petrol bomb explodes near riot police in AthensA petrol bomb explodes near riot police during protests against planned reforms by Greece's coalition government in Athens. Photograph: Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters
We don't yet know whether there were any injuries.
12.42pm: We have more pictures from today's protests in Athens.
Greece strikes: Demonstrators are detained by riot police
This image shows demonstrators who have been detained by riot police.
12.38pm: An independent MP named Milena Apostalaki (formerly of Pasok) has announced that she will not vote for the austerity measures when they come before the Greek parliament (probably on Sunday).
Apostalaki's move comes amid mounting speculation that MPs will be ordered to vote in favour of the package.
That, Helena Smith says, will be very unpopular -- many MPs want to vote against the deepy unpopular package.
12.26pm: The euro has fallen sharply since Karatzaferis began his press conference -- losing almost a cent against the US dollar to $1.3204.
LAOS leader says will not vote for debt deal

 Karatzaferis calls on PM to replace PASOK MPs in Cabinet with technocrats
The leader of the rightwing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Georgios Karatzaferis, on Friday called on Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to reshuffle his government, installing technocrats in the place of Socialist PASOK ministers, adding that he would not approve a new debt deal agreed between the government and foreign creditors but neither would he withdraw from the coalition as he had threatened to do earlier this week.
"The creditors are asking for 40 years of submission,» Karatzaferis told a press conference. «Greece will not give itself up,» he said, adding that «Greece can survive outside the EU but cannot survive under a German boot.»
Insisting that the creditors' insistence on cuts to auxiliary pensions had been the last straw, he said that had the cuts passed, the leader of the mission of the International Monetary Fund in Greece, Poul Thomsen, would be 'persona non grata' in the country.
The rightwing leader accused the creditors of trying to «deprive Greece of the last trace of national sovereignty,» and said that the country should be given a five-year grace period to pay off its debts at a favorable interest rate.
karatzaferis did not determine whether his party's 16 MPs to approve new austerity measures in a parliamentary vote expected on Sunday or Monday. If his deputies vote down the bill, the government will retain a comfortable majority of 236 in the 300-seat House. But his party's votes would be useful as several coalition MPs in both PASOK and New Democracy have indicated that they object to certain measures and may vote against them.
Speaking an hour before a scheduled Cabinet meeting, Karatzaferis repeated an earlier demand for Papademos to replace ministers of PASOK with technocrats.

     Good Morning ! After the games played By Germany , The EU , the IMF - are we shocked today that Greece is not reacting kindly to being toyed with ? No , the reaction should have ben expected - so let's assume that it was expected . Is this what Germany , the IMF and EU truly wanted - a greek revolt , the rejection of the ever changing bailout demands from the Troika , a reaction to the increasingly public humiliation ? And wait until Greece digests the German FM Schauble's sidebar discussion with FM Gaspar of Portugal ! That will go over as well as the  cup of hemlock Socrates sipped ! Check the link - if you speak portuguese , you can follow the conversation by reading the original piece in Pais ! 

     Of course , why in the world would Gaspar believe , let alone trust FM Schauble ? After watching the treatment games played with the greeks , is he naive enough to believe Portugal will get a different deal ? What Gaspar should have taken from the Greece situation was that after negotiating endlessly with the Troika , the Troika let PM L-Pap and the greek party leaders batter themselves bloody , expend their political capital , exhaust the patience of their party MPs - and then after meeting the Troika terms , Juncker , Schauble and Lagarde in term tell Greece they haven't done enough , they will need to cut more , they will have to find spending cuts above the prioe Troika demands , they give them another deadline and three conditions to meet or else ? In short , the Troika totally shoved the deal up their..... nose ( or you pick another place if you care to do so ) . That is the lesson for Portugal , Ireland , Spain and Italy - no matter how much you play the lapdog role ( Ireland and Portugal ) , regardless of whether you silently standby and hope ( Spain ) or whether you think you're more important then you really are - even if you present still can schedule a meeting with Obama  that actually occurs and he pats your head and smiles at you ( PM Monti and Italy ). 

    Meanwhile , today markets are shocked that bad news can actually make stocks in Europe and US Futures go down ( naturally the sill melt up since the end of the year has provided a nice cushion for whenever a meltdown occurs ) , the euro has shocked traders by actually showing it can go down on shocking bad news , gold has sold off as the hopium for Greece has met the light of day , amazing a two day strike is viewed as bad news today and bloody protest and fighting police isn't a cause for celebration ? who could have seen this coming ? Oh well , give things a few minutes - some joker will start pumping the notion a greek default is a good news as QE 3 will be just around the corner ! Lol  -  And on that note , what's on your mind today ? 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Good Evening ! Something To Ponder on Greece , German Intentions and What Does The Troika Really Want ?

Is A Deal With Greece Truly Sought By Germany and the IMF ?

In what would amount to an extraordinary extension of European Union control over a member state, the new commissioner would have the power to veto budget decisions taken by the Greek government if they were not in line with targets set by international lenders. The new administrator, appointed by other eurozone finance ministers, would take responsibility for overseeing “all major blocks of expenditure” by the Greek government.

Even before Germany circulated its proposal, the EU and International Monetary Fund had presented a 10-page list of “prior actions” Athens must implement before the new bail-out is agreed. According to a copy of the document, also obtained by the FT, Greece must cut an additional 150,000 government jobs within three years.
Then consider this item :

2 )

     European officials are insisting any new Greek bail-out programme specifically earmark funds to pay off remaining holders of Greek debt, giving lenders the freedom to withhold aid to Athens without risking a messy default that could reignite panic in financial markets.
Under a new Franco-German plan that senior European officials said is likely to be included in a new Greek rescue, eurozone officials would create an escrow account to accept new bail-out funding instead of paying it all directly to Athens as in the past.

The new fund would then ensure bondholders are paid off, while additional cash to run the Greek government could still be withheld if Athens did not live up to tough new reform demands.

Eurozone officials said they believed the escrow account would give European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders strong control over Greece’s use of bail-out funds without stripping Athens of its budgetary sovereignty

“This is a better idea than the proposal of a debt commissar,” said the senior French official. “It is more acceptable.”

That was followed by this move :

3 )   In addition to the Spaghetti-O loop, Eurointelligence discusses the "Salami Roadblock".
According to Financial Times Deutschland, Wolfgang Schäuble now wants the Bundestag to vote only on a fraction of €30bn out of the total cost of the second Greek rescue package of €130bn. He is supported by the finance ministers of the Netherlands and Finland who met as part of the secret meeting AAA-rated ministers. The reason for this unexpected move is that the coalition has reason to fear that the general exasperation about the lack of progress in Greece made it uncertain that it would be unable to get the necessary parliamentary for the whole package. Also the coalition wants to keep up maximum pressure on Greece. In Brussels the Berlin, the move was greeted with surprise and irritation, the paper reports.

And then this followed - note this followed items 1-3 above  :

4 )

     (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she did not want to see Greece being forced out of the euro, warning that this would have "unforeseeable consequences."
"I will have no part in forcing Greece out of the euro," she said in response to a question from a Greek student at a meeting with young people in a Berlin museum.
Talking shortly after feuding Greek political leaders postponed a meeting scheduled for Tuesday on the conditions for a 130 billion euro second bailout package, the chancellor said there was no alternative for Greece to painful reforms.
"We don't do it to make things difficult for people, what would be our interest in doing that? But we want to reach a point where Greece can, with European help, live off its resources," said Merkel.
"Nobody wants to force reforms on them from outside," she said.

To be followed by these moves earlier today by Germany and the IMF working hand in hand  : 
5 )      Greek Deal Done?
Earlier today we heard Greece accepted a deal. Not so fast. The Washington Post reports German FinMin: Greek deal on spending cuts appears to not yet fulfill bailout conditions

That title was the entirety of the article.

IMF Says No Deal

Zero Hedge reports Greek Deal Done? Not So Fast Says IMF


and the pre- coup de grace : 

6 ) :

Eurogroup's turn to make Greece wait for bailout deal

Despite last-minute scrambling to secure a deal between the leaders of the three parties in the coalition government on the terms of a new bailout, Greece was given the cold shoulder on Thursday by its eurozone partners, who said Athens would have to wait to find out if it will receive at least 130 billion euros in new loans.
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos managed to secure an agreement between the party leaders at around 3 p.m. after deciding to bring forward some wage cuts at public enterprises and increase the reduction in defense spending in order to save 625 million euros, which would allow cuts to pensions to be limited to levels that were acceptable for all three leaders.
The agreement came a few hours before the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers in Brussels by Greece’s representative, Evangelos Venizelos, who soon discovered that the rest of the eurozone was in no mood to give the green light for funding just yet.
“The agreement, as far as I understand, is not at a stage where it can be signed off,” said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. He said the talks were being held to “make clear to Greece and the partners in the negotiations what the conditions for a second agreement are.”
The head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that there were still several points to clear up. “If it is not tonight, it will be done next week,” he said.
The tenuous deal reached in Athens followed a night of tense negotiations on Wednesday. Talks between Papademos and the heads of the three parties in his coalition government - PASOK leader George Papandreou, New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras and right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) chief Giorgos Karatzaferis - started at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and dragged on for seven hours due to objections over proposed cuts to auxiliary pensions. The most vehement in his opposition was Samaras, but it was Karatzaferis’s departure that caused waves as he indicated that he might withdraw from the government.
Papademos resumed talks with creditors, which continued into the early hours, and his office issued a statement in the early hours of Thursday morning, saying that a “broad agreement” had been reached with the exception of one issue, referring to the pensions cuts. Venizelos was forced to travel to Brussels with an incomplete deal but subsequent talks between Papademos and Samaras on Thursday morning fleshed out the agreement.

Followed by the coup de grace - after all of the wrangling , Juncker tells Greece find 325 million more in new spending cuts and find it by next Wednesday  :

European finance ministers held back a rescue package for Greece in a rebuff that left lawmakers in Athens under government pressure to endorse a newly minted austerity plan or exit the euro.
“In short: no disbursement without implementation,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels late yesterday after chairing emergency talks of euro-area policy makers. He set another extraordinary meeting for Feb. 15.

Greece must pass its latest austerity package into law and identify 325 million euros in spending cuts before euro-area governments endorse a second bailout for the country, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said.
“Despite the important progress achieved over the last days we didn’t yet have all necessary elements on the table to take decisions today,” Juncker said in Brussels after chairing an emergency meeting of euro-area finance ministers.
Greek politicial leaders must also back the pact and provide assurances it will be carried through after forthcoming elections, Juncker said. European finance ministers will meet again next week.
“In short: no disbursement before implementation,” Juncker said.
The finance ministers will meet again on Feb. 15, he said.

 Reaction from greek pols and the greek street has been swift and predictable   :
1 ) :

         Deputy Employment Minister Yiannis Koutsoukos has resigned over drastic new austerity measures agreed by the coalition government.

2 )  :

       Former New Democracy MP, Yiannis Manolis, and long-time party trade unionist, on Thursday morning tendered his resignation from the post of secretary of the ND division on trade union issues.

3 ) :

Unions call two-day strike, announce protest rallies

Greece’s two main labor unions called a 48-hour strike on Thursday to protest the austerity measures in Greece’s potential loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The strike, which will affect public transport today and tomorrow, will be accompanied by three days of demonstrations.
Today and tomorrow, rallies will be held in central Athens from 11 a.m.
On Sunday, there are plans to hold a protest from 5 p.m., possibly to coincide with a vote on the terms of the loan agreement in Parliament.
Greece’s two largest unions -- GSEE, representing the private sector, and ADEDY, representing the public sector -- have backed the action.
There will be no public transport apart from the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Ferries will also remain in port.

     So I ask , does Germany really want Greece to stay or " Voluntarily " choose to leave ? You decide what seems to be the case......