European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi unveiled bigger-than-expected quantitative easing measures on Thursday but still faced a fierce fight from Germany over any policy that could mutualise debt in the eurozone. "The combined monthly purchases of public and private sector securities will amount to €60bn euros,” said Mr Draghi at a press conference following a meeting of the ECB’s governing council. “They are intended to be carried out until end-September 2016 and will in any case be conducted until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation," he added, meaning the package will amount to at least €1.1 trillion. Mr Draghi’s package of asset purchases, including bonds issued by national governments and EU institutions such as the European Commission, is intended to boost the eurozone’s flagging economy and to ward off the spectre of deflation. It took a dramatic toll on the euro, which dropped to an 11-year low against the dollar at $1.14. ....A trillion euros here, a trillion euros there... Before you know where you are, you;re talking real money....And still the fantasy rolls on...that somehow things will be OK in the end with the single currency, despite individual countries having different tax and fiscal regimes, different industrial, agricultural and commercial capacity, different wage and benefits structures...the list goes on and on. We all know that the Eurocrats love the idea of a superstate, and that such arrangement is the only way a single currency can work. Unfortunately for these dreamers, there are several problems along the way - by and large voters don't want it, national governments don't wish to lose power, the countries have wide differences in social and economic outlook. Fiddling the figures to pretend that certain late entrants to the Euroclub met the necessary requirements for entry was the beginning of the end of any credibility in the project. Doubtless QE will be another nail in its coffin. Little wonder that all the big banks have dusted off their plans for a return to the mark, franc, peseta, drachma et al... So much for German law and High Court. They'll do their usual faux debate, issue more faux warnings, etc. They have nothing better to offer. They look at the Dresden marches and see the ghost of old Prussia, Most Germans would sooner join Islam. What Draghi did is completely illegal, but it saves the Union. It was wink-wink from Berlin all along. Mutti has things under control, and Germans' only fear is that Mutti will step down. Last week the Reich outlawed marches offensive to violent religions--much to the relief of most Germans. Dhragi thus saves beer, bratwurst, cars for the foreseeable future, the past remains buried--which means no more Israeli blackmail--and beyond that a German has no business thinking about. Meanwhile, the Project shrugs and drags its carcass on to the next crisis. Like the Plague, all it has to do is stay alive for its next victim.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Greeks are threatened by the ultra-corrupt and greedy EU Commission - that if they DARE to retrieve their democracy from the slimy coils of the EU's French and German Banks - they will all starve to death. Germany can bark all they want, but the EU will fold in the end rather than absorb a Greek exit. The EU may have moved on, but the economic consequences of Grexit would still be severe and it would fuel anti-euro, and more particularly anti-German, sentiment in other states suffering through austerity. Spain goes to the polls in December, at the latest, and it's been almost two years since the last Italian elections so we can expect one any day now. Germany's problem is that they tied their fate to a cluster of incredibly corrupt and dysfunctional nations in the arrogant hope that their much-lauded efficiency would somehow rub off on their neighbours. Now they're in the uncomfortable position of either paying the bills or destroying their own economy and everybody knows it. That is the EU's bottom line. However, if one looks at life in Greece for most of its people TODAY - at the soup kitchen queues going round the block, at the hungry children, at pensioners dying of starvation - at the nearly 60% joblessness of the young - there is NO HOPE!
Going it alone - IS a MUCH better alternative.
Greece could be back to prosperity in 10 years.
If Greece stays with the EU and its toxic euro - in 20 years time - Greece will be in a worse position than now. Schauble and his thugs paint their own picture. Matthe talks of 'Punishment".
The EU and the euro is a dirty stain on the history of the nations of Europe and it will go
Saturday, January 31, 2015
If the eurozone blinks then both Spanish and Italian governments risk falling to insurgent anti-austerity populist parties, Spain’s Leftist Podemos and Italy’s Five Star Movement, threatening the future of the euro. Many in Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels believe the costs of lending to a rebel government in Athens would soon outstrip the cost of "Grexit", Greece leaving the euro.
Unfortunately for Mrs Merkel, Mr Tsipras has built his political base on opposition to austerity measures and his his party’s rank and file are unlikely to tolerate betrayal. Indications are that a new Greek government will force the issue by presenting it as a clash between the eurozone and democracy. “It will not be easy to ignore the democratic mandate of the Greek people. Such a stance would send a very powerful message to others in Europe that the EU cannot incorporate democratic processes,” said Efklidis Tsakalotos, a Syriza MP and likely future Greek finance minister this weekend. “It is not clear that the EU can survive showing such disdain for core European principles, such as democracy and social justice.”
Friday, January 30, 2015
Many of us are used to swiping or tapping a card to get into the office, but a Swedish firm has gone a step further by putting a chip under its employees' skin.
People working at Epicenter, a new hi-tech office block in Sweden, simply have to hold their hands against the front door to gain entry. They can also wave their hand to operate the photocopier, the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones reports.
In time, they will also be able to pay for coffee and sandwiches in the cafe with a touch of a hand.
It's because some employees have a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted. A handful of staff currently have the chip, but soon others among the 400 workers will be given the chance. On the day of the building's official opening, the developer's chief executive was, himself, chipped live on stage. And even Cellan-Jones, the BBC's technology correspondent, had a go. "A rather fearsome looking tattooist, inserted my chip," he explains. "First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain - not much worse than any injection - and then he stuck a plaster over my hand."
However, not all staff seem obliging. "Absolutely not," said one young man when asked if he'd sign up. An older woman saw little point in being chipped just to get through a door.
The chips have been developed by a Swedish bio-hacking company.
Epicenter hopes the chips will soon catch on across the rest of the world. "Today it's a bit messy - we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn't it be easy to just touch with your hand? That's really intuitive," said Hannes Sjoblad, the company's chief disruption officer.
Yep, the Greek bailout was - partly, and only partly - a fudge to save French banks, mostly (because the French being incapable of saving their own), and some German banks (Angie could have saved her own, but did not want to, and was possibly blackmailed by Sarkozy) - but the then Greek government was in - and could have refused. They did not, because they got more money from the EU, as they got untold and unmentioned billions of "structural funds" since the 1980ties. And they all vanished into the bottomless pit that is Greece, a rent-racketeering installation run by a couple of dozen of families..... highly corrupt to this day, without a land-register and other de minimis amenities of a functioning first world country. None of the 209 reform steps are successfully implemented, some in part, one hears; according to Bloomberg the “chief of tax collection” tried to look at the tax of 300 high-net Greeks and was promptly fired over the summer…. And so on, and so forth. Unmitigated disaster is a diplomatic, circumspect way to describe what is going on. And now, with the last bailout money being used up, and the populace badly suffering, they want “more gifts”. Which puts the Troika into an unenviable position – let the Greeks go bust – to avoid moral hazard in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Dublin, the lot – and implode the euro this way; or – to fall over time and again, and thus rendering the “austerity path” into a figment of imagination (the pipe dream it always was), or better a nightmare, Berlin edition. I guess it is time to pull the plug, now that the chicken have come home to roost, or in other words – nobody can defy gravity forever, and the delusion of “everybody gets rich without working for it, while creating a world reserve currency out of thin air into the bargain” will fall apart. The irony and saddest aspect – all the fear mongering from Brussels and Berlin tell me only one thing – nobody seems to have grasped the gravity of the situation – the markets are not alone in their oblivious ignorance. Unfortunately for us all. Rant over.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Right now, Europe has a currency and an economic union that exists in a kind of fantasy land, with no underlying political unity. Until the Germans start acting more European (meaning creating a consumption society and realizing that they’ll have to do some fiscal transfers to struggling peripheral nations in exchange for the huge export benefits they get from the euro), and countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal and France start making the changes they really need (all the usual stuff—labor market reforms, cutting red tape, fighting corruption, opening up service markets), the debt crisis won’t go away.
Indeed, the challenge now is for countries is to use the breathing room that the ECB has given them to really come together over the next 18 months and make those reforms happen while committing to a truly integrated Europe. Germany should say it will unequivocally back peripheral nations financially in exchange for a promise of real reforms in those nations. (There should also be tough penalties for failure on both sides of the bargain.) That will be tough for sure, but Europe will find itself in an even worse place come September 2016 if it doesn’t take action now. Post QE, without any real structural reform, the EU will simply have an even more bloated balance sheet, and the market will exact punishment for it. The ECB has called policy makers’ bluff. It’s time to create a real United States of Europe to match the common currency.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
What EU leadership has offered to the world : ... The whole idea of creating the Euro without consolidating the debts was the BRAIN-DEAD idea of academics with ZERO trading experience and lawyers. We really cannot afford these types of people making financial decisions about how the run the world. Whatever Brussels could have done wrong, they did. (It was the idea of brain-dead french politicians with zero experience in almost anything except scooter driving and handling - not too well - multiple mistresses. The idea was to disarm the German Bundesbank by design and concept. A very french approach). The EU politicians have assumed that they can dictate to the free markets by decree and suppress the right to freedom of choice, vote, and to just live un-harassed. The EU politicians have disregarded the people with the arrogance that they know what is best. The EU politicians are helping to destroy the world economy because they have tied the bank reserves to their own folly and then exempted them from mark-to-market to hide their track record. These politicians can hide their head in the sand to pretend they have not yet failed. However, the free markets ALWAYS win. Well the free markets have voted. The Euro has crashed to the 1.15 level so far. A monthly closing BELOW 1.18 is a long-term sell signal; and support lies at 1.1375 A monthly closing beneath this level confirms the Euro is dead and should fall back to the 1.03-.96 area. You just can’t make up this stuff. There should be a law against UNQUALIFIED people taking office. Enough is enough. These people create wars to cover up their mistakes. We have an ABSOLUTE right as a people NOT to be economic slaves to fools.