Fixing Cyprus – A modest suggestion

OK, we saw that the financial crisis in Cyprus it being handled as badly as possible.

But is there a way to “fix it”?

The reason the banks in Cyprus are ‘underwater’ is that they hold a lot of Greek Dept that they had to write down under EU rules; since Greece doesn’t have enough Euros. Greece is stuck since they can’t just print more Euros. Italy and Spain? Same thing… So…

Some collection of them band together. Greece issues the “New Drachma” (set to the same value as the Euro to start) AND announces that all prior Greek Bonds are now denominated in that currency. Since they can ‘print money’ they can buy back any bond, even the ones in Cyprus. (Yes, it breaks a load of EU rules, laws, etc. As New Greece would be sovereign it would not be bound by them…) Now Cyprus, and any other of the PIIGS who want, join the “Drachma Zone”. Cyprus now has bonds they can mark at 100% of face. No longer “insolvent”, problem solved.

Greece doesn’t immediately have inflation, so they start paying all the ‘usual and customary” payroll and bills. Pensions et al get paid too. Sure, it will eventually inflate. So? Takes a few years. Lots of other countries pissed? When are they not?

Essentially, the problems in Cyprus are just leverage off of Greece. So fix Greece via money printing. Russian depositors will be OK with it, since they don’t get ‘clipped’ and when inflation is happening, interest rates rise apace.

Anyone ELSE holding Greek bonds (not in the North 1/2 of the continent, I’d wager) can also choose to join the Drachma Area and get full face, or stay outside and accept a downgrade on the Greek Euro Bonds.

The “thing that bothers me”, is that I think this just might work…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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174 Responses to Fixing Cyprus – A modest suggestion

  1. Nick says:

    Still stealing value of people

  2. Inflation is the normal way of stealing the value of money saved, and this solution is just a neat way of hiding the inevitable inflation so that people don’t immediately notice it. It would probably work, too. It would split the euro into North and South, which would be a better fit to the productivities of those blocs.

  3. Petrossa says:

    EM You assume this is a reasonable bunch that wants to solve the problems of Greece or Cyprus. Which it isn’t. It’s more a sect, The sect of the Greater Europe.The Euro is a means to an end. The Euro CAN’T fail for the sectarians else the Greater Europe fails.

    So sane advice is a nono. Because sane advice would dump the Euro all together and go back to the system where you had only a bankEuro for interEurope trade and national currencies for the rest.

  4. Petrossa says:

    A threat from the ECB just in: you have till monday or else http://www.ecb.int/press/pr/date/2013/html/pr130321.en.html

  5. Nick says:

    Quite.

    Since it was the ECB with its Greek haircut that caused the problem in the first place.

  6. Ralph B says:

    I need some help in understanding… http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/03/cyprus-bailout-math-can-depositors-be.html
    Here it says that if the bond holders and bank creditors were wiped out in bankruptcy the depositors will remain untouched. Why is there any talk of a sovereign bailout for the banks? Let that debt be erased and then they can start anew. Greece should have done the same thing…screw the haircut, wipe the slate clean. Look to Iceland for a fine example. I say if someone was willing to loan money to Greece they deserve to lose it.

    I am reading “A Distant Mirror” right now and not much has changed since then. They may not be called Dukes anymore but they sure screw the unwashed just as hard.

  7. Bloke down the pub says:

    Further to the comments above, the main reason your scheme ( which I would support by the way) would not be implemented is that the Greeks would not accept it. They have been sucking on the German tit for so long, in effect having been given the Germans’ credit card, that there’s no way they’d accept going back to paying the higher interest rates that a new drachma would entail.

  8. jim2 says:

    I’ve had the same sort of thought, EM. Have the Southern EU countries break off on their own and call the currency the “Lackey.”

  9. R. de Haan says:

    A return to the original currencies could solve the entire Eurozone problem. The problem of Cyprus however is the fact that the banking sector is 7 times Cyprus BNP and the State is broke. I.m.o. Cyprus should make three steps: 1. Let the banking sector go bankrupt. 2. leave the EU (not allowed to print money as a EU member), 3. Introduce a new currency. Cyprus could still maintain it’s unique position as a tax shelter and the exploration of gas (430 billion euro in proven stocks) would bring new funding. A State bankruptcy would clean out the Government system where too many civil servants do nothing. The EU bank system should guarantee the depositors up to 100.000 euro’s. The future income of gas exploration could be the basis a a guarantee to the foreign deposit holders to eventually give them their money back and it would boost investment capital for gas exploration because everybody has a stake in it. This move should also be a great help to bring down the entire EU/ECB which really is the only way out of the “MADNESS”.

  10. R. de Haan says:

    Iceland is the best example that pulling the plug on broke banks and a broke state is the shortest path to recovery without losing independence.

  11. R. de Haan says:

    Cyprus never had it’s own currency but now they have the chance to change that. When they make the most of their relationship with the Russians as investors and development partners of the gas fields and a military cooperation for use of harbor installations for the Russian Navy, they could finally break the Turkish resistance towards the development of their gas fields which is in a kind of stale mate situation right now. This looks like a mad proposal from a person rooted in the West but for now I regard the EU as a bigger threat to our personal freedom than Russia.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon & Nick:

    Yes. Folks clearly accept inflation over a couple of years. While I morally object to it, the simple fact is that most people do not. So I’m just setting aside my moral blanket and saying “OK, this is what you like, that is what we will make”.

    In the old Family Restaurant, I learned a very simple lesson. I call it the Runny Eggs & Ham rule. People order some of the darndest things in a restaurant. You learn a lot about the individuals. We had one guy who wanted his hamburger fried in a pan on a side burner, not on the grill. “Why?” Was simple. He was Jewish. All sorts of things went onto the grill, including bacon and pork chops. He refused contamination (as would I were I Jewish). So we always cooked his hamburgers and steaks in a nice clean pan on a side burner. Some folks loaf and gag on ‘runny eggs’ with whites that are not quite white, but still runny and clear in places. Others just love ’em. So you simply can not say “People { do | do not } like runny eggs & ham”. Either one. Neither “do” nor “do not” can be validly chosen. “Runny eggs” make we close to gagging. But if a customer orders them, you don’t say “Yuck…”, you say “Yes sir, and would you like ham or beef with that?”

    Now I don’t like inflation. So what? The right thing to do is say “Yes sir, you prefer inflation to recognizing reality all at once. And would you like a side order of ineffective fiscal stimulus with that, or our Special Of The Day: ‘Government Jobs Program’?

    It is just recognizing that The South likes one kind of financial “game” while the north likes another.

    @Petrossa:

    Well, I think I know that the Apparatchiks are doing this “for effect” and am ignoring them (rather than assuming they want to ‘fix it’). Then just looking, for my own desire to ‘fix it’, at this solution.

    @Ralph B:

    Know your Socialist Doctrine…

    One of the tenets of Marxism / Socialism is that “Bankruptcy is bad” as it puts the poor workers on the street and they, after all, are the real and moral owners of the “means of production”, not some judge or liquidation process or bank or vulture capitalist. So “Avoidance Of Bankruptcy” is a major flag / standard. (See GM and our bailout with the unions ending up owning a large block of shares for a stellar example. GM ought to have gone to the bond holders after wiping out the equity of shareholders).

    Compare “Standard Capitalism”: Hierarchy of standing in liquidation has the equity (stock) holders most at risk of a ‘wipe out’, but getting the chance of exceptional (capitalist) gains. Bond Holders have their gain capped at the bond rate, and risk limited in that if the company hits hard times and starts to bankruptcy, they take over the company and the stock holders get wiped out. Notice that “workers” and “unions” are not on that list. So if things are really bad, the bond holders get wiped out too, the rest of the creditors get to bet on the bones at a liquidation sale… (there are some other more complex patterns, but this is the base model).

    Socialism wants the “workers and unions” to have priority. So bankruptcy is to be avoided. That the Socialist Elite and especially “3rd Way Socialism” have figured out this can let them retain power and money (part of bankruptcy is tossing out the prior managers and owners for new blood) while getting someone else to fork over money (usually everyone via a government) make them happy to go along “for the workers”.

    So in a “normal” liquidation, the holders of stocks and if needed bonds would be wiped out. Union contract requirements set aside, and new owners / managers brought in to start hiring under a newly negotiated set of terms. This is painful and messy (especially to the established owners or record…) but works well.

    In the Socialist model a “Government Bailout” happens. Government money comes in, flows to the Croney “3rd Way” ‘owners’ and power holders (via there bonds – i.e. debt chains of servitude) in exchange for their continued fealty to The Government while everyone else is told “See, we are saving you! And your jobs!”. (While usually not really fixing the basic problems of bloat and inefficiency).

    What makes Cyprus a problem is that “Sugar Daddy EU Government” is balking, and the “Cronies” involved include Russians (not ‘insiders of the EU’) while “the people” being soaked by The Government are Germans and the ones being “saved” are not (the PTB can’t sell the packages as ‘it is all just THE people’…). There is also an official worry of “contagion” with things like “wiping out the bonds threatens other banks capital strength’ to the extent they hold any. (Vis the Greek Haircut now burning banks in Cyprus). It’s 1/2 true, in that there is a contagion risk, but 1/2 not true as IMHO it is more that the plan for “Contagion for effect’ would be disrupted…

    Such is the kind of socially complex and economically chaotic mess you end up in with “Avoidance Of Bankruptcy”… If they all just went off to bankruptcy court this could be over and done in a long weekend. (Appoint new interim managers, tell the stock holders they are done and to go home. Depending on size of the problems, tell the bond holders they own the bank, but have no bonds any more – or penny on the Euro -, and need to find new managers. Oh, and that “debt service’ of Billions due now? It evaporates with the debt. Reopen Monday.) To the extent needed (probably none) depositors are covered via the Insurance Contracts. Either government or private ‘deposit insurance’.

    It galls me that this isn’t being done in ‘normal order’, but it will be a nice text book example of “Socialism Gone Bad” someday…

    @Bloke Down The Pub:

    Ah, but by the time the see that, the deed is done…

    @Jim2:

    I’m trying desperately to come up with a reasonable and snappy name that abbreviates to SLACKY…

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Maybe they need to just declare their new currency is the Russian Ruble… solves a lot of problems for depositors ;-)

    Wipe out existing shareholders, bond holders get the banks, Russia buys them for “penny on the dollar’ rates, Cyprus declares the new currency and converts Euro deposits to Rubles (Then hands back to the EU their pretty pieces of paper….) Russia providing new pretty pieces of paper in exchange for things like “drilling rights” (profit to be shared).

  14. Petrossa says:

    By now the scenario is clear, Cyprus is staying in the Euro and taking the money from the citizens anyway, most likely by nationalizing the pension-funds, a levy on +100.000 euro accounts and bits of other stuff.

  15. Nick says:

    Folks clearly accept inflation over a couple of years. While I morally object to it, the simple fact is that most people do not. So I’m just setting aside my moral blanket and saying “OK, this is what you like, that is what we will make”.

    ===============

    Doesn’t work.

    The problem is that when states think inflation is the cure all for their mess, they do this on the basis of having stuck their heads when the sun doesn’t shine.

    Let me explain.

    Lets take the UK.

    Borrowing is 1.2 trillion GBP. That’s the government debt. It’s what it tells people.

    Now 0.222 trillion of this is inflation linked gilts. You can’t inflate your way out of that.

    0.375 tl of QE has bought Gilts. OK, you could cancel them and admit its all about printing money.

    Ho hum.

    1. PFI. That’s borrowing that’s defined to be ‘off the balance sheet’. Another 0.4 trillion off the books

    2. The biggies. The accrued unfunded pension liabilities. 5.3 trillion. 2005-2010, it rose by 0.736 trillion a year.

    etc.

    Taxes 0.55 trilliion, spending 0.7 trillion.

    Now you can print, but the problem there is that 85% of the states debt goes up with inflation. A financial Zeno, as fast as your print, the debt is always there.

  16. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Now apply your solution to the US ,though the majority are deeply hypnotized, watching TV, so there is no problem for them, and where there is no problem no solution is needed…until they begin to choke and ask themselves what happened with the air.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Nick:

    I didn’t say I liked it…

    But it’s not hard to “make it work”. Look at the USA. Pensions and “inflation adjusted securities” tied to the CPI. So we redefined the CPI so it goes up slower than reality. Easy peasy…

    Evil, but it works.

    That, BTW, is how I expect the USA to “deal with it”. Issue a lot of debt, bugger the CPI even more, inflate like crazy, but not to “hyper” levels.

    @Adolfo:

    The USA is rapidly being sorted into Rich Elite Stratum with a hoard of professionals tending the Financial Plantation, and the lower class minimum wage, or near it, “House wage Slaves”. Those on the bottom don’t care what happens. They just want TV & Lunch. Those on the top don’t care what happens, they have staff for that.

    It’s the (ever shrinking) upwardly mobile middle class that’s getting crushed. But they are a minority now so not relevant to the political process.

    Just the way it is…

  18. Nick says:

    I expect something different.

    1. Increase the level of contributions.
    2. Increase the retirement age.
    3. Fix the increases to zero
    3. Cut the level of payouts

    That’s the approach, and each of them bar the first is a default. Repudiation of the contract.

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    There is no economy where there is no production, anything else is self deception.

  20. adolfogiurfa says:

    Where there are not slaves there are not masters. Pray and you are the slave of your Lord.

  21. R. de Haan says:

    Its not only Russians and Brits but also Turks, Greeks, Israeli’s, Lebanians, Jordanians, Syrians, Lybians, Palestinians, Ukranians etc, holding accounts in Cypriotic banks. Every intelligence organization, arms dealer, drug dealer, terror organization, from Hezbollah to AL Quaida is running it’s business using a Cyproptic off-shore bank account.

  22. Rob L says:

    EU – or at least their idiot economists – had convinced itself that the “chicago plan” was a good approach to expropriating money from the masses, and obviously wanted to test it on a small economy. They have hopefully now learnt their lesson about the sanctity of trust in banks.

    A more rational/fairer approach would be to levy (guess<5%) one off tax on all asset classes within the country, as well as all off-shore assets held by tax residents (revenue departments will in many cases have access to all the information required to execute this).

    This might also work quite nicely for a lot of other western economies – forcing the electorate to year-by-year pay for all government borrowing making it visible and immediately painful to the electorate (rather than hiding consequences for decades).

  23. R. de Haan says:

    Cyprus doesn’t want to lose it’s status as tax haven and they don’t want to lose their foreign investors which they regard as suicide so the Government came up with an investment fund as an alternative which includes all the wealth of the church (nobody knows how much that is), the gold reserves of Cypriotic banks (also unknown), cash from Russia (no concrete deal at this moment in time), private investors and gas interest. This way they could remain their independence. The question however is if they can manage to acquire sufficient cash (5.5 billion) before next monday because that’s the moment Europe will cut the banks from the system.
    This move will trigger tthe immediate and total collapse of the banks and the Cypriotic State.
    All I see is the Euro crises is back on the front page and increasing stakes for all involved.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Got a link for that? The details will matter…

    From your description, it sounds like they are essentially going to cream off the wealth of the church (which church? all churches?) and stir with some Russian and “private” money along with the “banks buying themselves”. All to do what? Put BACK in the banks as “reserves” along with more EU loan money and those depreciating Greek bonds? This is better for who, how?

    I’m just not seeing the upside here for anyone other than the EuroZone who avoid the breakup… and maybe a tiny bit of Cyprus as they get a small “kick the can” while the run on the banks can be done by every small depositor in the country… ( I’d be taking mine out at the ‘best possible rate’… if I had any.)

    It just smells of desperation… I think they would be better off applying to be an “Affiliated Zone” of Russia and adopting the Ruble… I’m sure Putin would pay for base rights next door to the British… and the rights to ring the place with “trawlers” and drilling rigs… And, per the comments above, a look at the transaction history of various “interesting” customers of Its Banks…

  25. R. de Haan says:

    The reason why the EU will cut off the Cypriotic banks on monday is to keep them closed on tuesday in order to prevent a bankrun. This is high level powerplay where time has become the rarest asset. It would really be nice if Cyprus would win this battle because according to the EU their solution is the only viable one. To proof the EU wrong would make a really big dent in capability of the Euro group management and a strong statement that resistance is possible.

  26. R. de Haan says:

    Some links: Cyprus playing risky geopolitical game: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/21/eurozone-cyprus-geopolitics-idUSL1N0CD2VC20130321

    This link shows there are other stake holders in Cyprus besides the popular wisdom in the West about black money from Russian business people:
    Ukraine Agribusiness Sells Bond Amid Cypriot Banking Concerns http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130319-708040.html

    Arab banks threaten to quit Cyprus over tax plan: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Lebanon/2013/Mar-19/210669-arab-banks-threaten-to-quit-cyprus-over-tax-plan.ashx#axzz2OE8mo5r0

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Oh Dear! That one per Arab involvement…

    Lebanese and Arab investors have billions of dollars deposited in Cyprus to benefit from the relatively high return on deposits as well as the tax free system in the small country.

    The union groups 430 Arab banks.

    “This measure could destroy Cyprus as a financial hub in the region,” Torbey said in the statement, noting that Cyprus was risking the credibility that has helped attract dozens of Arab and foreign banks as well as hundreds of thousands of depositors from all over the world.

    No wonder the EU folks are pushing so hard for a Cyprus rape.

    They get to clean out some Russian Mafia, P.O. Putin, Rape some Arabs and run off with sacks of their gold, and potentially destroy a tax haven thorn in their taxing controlling side… What could be more desirable…

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    Well this is interesting….

    Cyprus is “toast” because they hold a lot of Greek bonds and there was a Greek Debt restructuring.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9125614/Graphic-Greeces-bailout-bond-swap-explained.html

    In that, the holders of Greek Bonds took about a 50% “hit” on the value of the bonds. Yet the “package” had these elements:

    €130 B total. For Cyprus, the part causing trouble is €5 B.

    • Incentives for those who take up bond swap – €30 billion
    • Funds to buy back bonds from the European central banks – €35 billion
    • Funds to pay off interest on outstanding sovereign bonds – €5.7 billion
    • Bank recapitalisation – €23 billion
    • Leaves €36.3 billion for broader economy

    Incentives of 6 x as much
    Buying back 7 x as much from Central Banks.
    Hand over nearly 5 x as much to banks to “recapitalize” them
    And 7 x as much for “broader economy”. So who’s that?

    Out of all that slush fund, they couldn’t see this coming as a direct consequence of the restructuring and “spread some this way” too?

    This is just smelling too much like “fire for effect”…

  29. Petrossa says:

    If Cyprus goes down as financial hub that’s a good thing. It’s been a thorn in Germany’s side for ages. Can’t have semi-pirate nation in the Eurozone. Good thing they hold their position and don’t move a 1/10th of an inch. Black money is theft.

  30. DirkH says:

    Petrossa says:
    22 March 2013 at 7:11 am
    “If Cyprus goes down as financial hub that’s a good thing. It’s been a thorn in Germany’s side for ages. Can’t have semi-pirate nation in the Eurozone. Good thing they hold their position and don’t move a 1/10th of an inch. Black money is theft.”

    That is the position of the Germans I talk to as well. I tell them they are collectivists.

    When a state or superstate is in dire straits, and wants YOUR money, it is easy to call YOU a criminal. See the current crushing of Bitcoins by simply alleging it’s used for money laundering.

    You, just like the ordinary Germans, are easily deluded by the propaganda produced by the superstate.

    I know, you are perfectly at ease, because you will die soon, and tell your wife that she should have no money in the bank. – as you have said – in other words, you are a nihilist.

    Sorry, I am in a different position, and therefore see things quite differently. I do not profit from a German state that manages to survive (but just barely, at 85% public debt), but happily throws principles like the souvereignty of nations or property rights out the window; a surprise confiscation is not a “tax”, it is theft, as it is a post facto change of the conditions. I am not happy to live in a state that supports theft when it’s good for him. And I hold that most of the victims of the crime are NOT criminals; and that we USED TO have habeas corpus as a principle, which went out the window as well.

  31. Petrossa says:

    It’s in my profile: existential nihilism is my life philosophy.

    No one can argue that black money isn’t theft. If you live in a nation and profit of it’s services you pay like the rest. Paying as little as possible within the letter and the spirit of the law is ok, but setting up an intricate construction to launder money from criminal gains isn’t. Institutionalized facilitation of such schemes is totally unacceptable on itself, but even worse within the framework of the Eurozone, for which you signed a binding contract to behave it’s just criminal and makes you a rogue state.

    If then finally reality catches up with you, because you have a banking sector fit for a huge nation on a tiny islandstate you deserve everything you get. And then some. Also the ‘normal’ cypriots profited well from these illegal constructions, their standard of living is way beyond what their legal economy could support. So they are just as complicit. So they make do, and get their money somewhere.

    So they take the fall. And good riddance. Pity i still have to fork out via the ESM, i’d let them go f themselves.

  32. Petrossa says:

    btw, i’m not german

  33. Petrossa says:

    Russia rebuffs Cyprus, EU awaits bailout “Plan B”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/22/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130322

    As was predictable.

  34. Nick says:

    My view. Cyprus should pull the plug on its banks.

    100K EUR to depositors.

    Then standard bankruptcy applies.

    Not going to be pleasant for the ECB. It will have to take the hit unlike Greece.

    Petrossa, some of your posts are off. e,.g. Money laundering goes on in Cyprus, so all Cypriots must be money launders. All a tad 1935 Germany to my taste.

  35. R. de Haan says:

    If Europe gets it’s way Cyprus will be reduced to just another rock in the sea. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-22/ecb-set-fair-cypriot-standard-living-capital-controls

    The proposed alternative bailout plan has already been shot down by Europe and Russia which leaves the politicalestablishment empty handed. Oh wait, they can still leave the stage with a big bang. Time for popcorn and a nice cold beer this weekend as we watch the show.

  36. adolfogiurfa says:

    Now it comes the time for TRADE WARS, time for China to stop buying Mercedes, Audis and Volkswagens out from Germany, ….you know, they now need to reinforce its internal “front”, its internal market. Need a justification? They now have a NEW GOVERNMENT which most probably will apply new policies; and they have all the right to do it: They have the perfect justification: They can not longer continue with so big social differences in their country.
    BTW: For some deep thinkers: Do changes in the earth´s magnetic field are displacing power westwards?
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/MF.htm

    Make your bets kids!…and, of course, buy more popcorn!

  37. DirkH says:

    Petrossa says:
    22 March 2013 at 9:08 am
    “It’s in my profile: existential nihilism is my life philosophy.”

    Ok, so I guess we can disagree on basically everything.

    “If then finally reality catches up with you, because you have a banking sector fit for a huge nation on a tiny islandstate you deserve everything you get. ”

    They “deserve” to be betrayed and then raped by the EU? (Betrayed because of the empty promises of the EU on which they counted when they bought Greek bonds)

    Well then you surely deserve everything that comes your way when the EU goes into its next stage of desperation – and introduces capital controls and then people controls in YOUR puppet state; as in your opinion, it seems, to “deserve” something it suffices to take an entity like the EU for its word – which, of course, is stupid… The whole “crime” of Cyprus was basically being stupid.

  38. Nick says:

    The whole “crime” of Cyprus was basically being stupid.

    ===========

    No that was the crime of Cypriot politicians.

  39. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Nick : It is not such a “crime” at all, they are being subject of a TEST, an many are saying now. Preliminary “war games” ya know…

  40. Petrossa says:

    If you profit of a the ill gotten gains of a criminal activity (elevated prosperity above the norm for an island without any real sources of income) you shouldn’t cry if one day it blows up in your face.

    Any simpleton with a calculator can figure out that the standard of living (wages) isn’t in sync with true earning capacity. They should be somewhere like Romania http://www.worldsalaries.org/romania.shtml but they are http://www.cipa.org.cy/cyprus/economic-environment/capita-income/

    Tourism is the only real source of income.

  41. DirkH says:

    Just watched a bit of German TV.
    German politicians blame Cyprus itself for the problems. Completely bizarre. Completely ignore the fact that it was the EU’s fault that wrecked Cyprus. Talk about Cyprus being irresponsible not to do what the Troika wants. Supreme German journalists don’t care for the reasons either; Cyprus is an evil tax haven, that’s why they fell, seems to be the narrative. Basically, propaganda for financial destruction of the protectorates.

  42. Petrossa says:

    The EU is responsible for Cyprus going broke? That’s the weirdest observation ever. It’s the previous governments that made Cyprus into a pirate nation, artificially pumped up the economy, and then for years refused to address the ever increasing debt. It’s only after the ousting of the communist party as leaders that things got taken a bit more serious.

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    @Petrossa:

    So a bank is supposed to police their clients? Interesting thought… Do they get to send agents with guns and badges into my business to “assure” they are correct?

    The problem with your reasoning is that it requires “policing” by folks who are not police, and it requires policing of ALL customers to find those who are not “just regular folks”. We are already “enjoying” the fruits of that kind of thinking in the USA where all sorts of regular and ordinary transactions are now “suspected of criminal activity”. Your property can be confiscated for suspicion of criminal activity by the police, and given to… the police. So a cop can find a few M.J. seeds in a nice car, claim it to be “suspected” of use in drug trading, take it and sell it, the department pocket the cash; and THEN you can protest. Maybe. Now, think that’s any incentive for folks to sprinkle a bit of “something” from the last bust? Oh, and if you want to use your own money to hire a lawyer to defend yourself from asset confiscation, you may well find that since your money is now confiscated you can’t hire a lawyer. We’ve moved to “Guilty until proven innocent”. Take $10,000 out of the bank? You are reported. (Never mind if you want to give it to a child as a graduation gift for 4 years of hard work in college.) BTW a report or two, alone, can be enough grounds to have your money confiscated. Then you can try to prove your money was innocent. Don’t expect to use a lawyer to do it though…

    IMHO their ought to be reasonable break points where a business is just doing “arms length” transactions with the customer. Not being an “Agent Of The State”. (One example would be hiring a tax professional. As of a couple of years back the law made a private US tax preparer / consultant into a legal representative of the taxing authority. So now if you want to get “advice” about how to “deal with” your tax agency, you get to turn over all your information to … a legal representative of the taxing authority… who can go to jail or lose their livelihood if they don’t please that authority.) Far too many “jobs” are now turning into “Agent of the State”. My doctor, for example, will soon be beholden to the government. They have already stripped out Doctor / Patient confidentiality (that existed when I was a kid) and Accountant / client confidentiality (that also existed, though not as strongly).

    Oddly, it is just that kind of “over reaching Authority Of The State” that is creating the market for “off shoring” and similar “black money” banking as folks just, in some cases, try to put a little bit of their life outside the grasp of “Agencies”. I don’t have enough money to matter; but I could easily see, for example, a Doctor putting $100,000 over seas somewhere just so that IFF he ever discovered he was suddenly zeroed out by a blanket asset confiscation (by, say, someone whispering in the ear of the Police that he prescribed, GASP!, drugs!!! to excess) he would have some money with which to pay a lawyer to prove his innocence.

    So please, think for just a minute, that the REASON for “black money” is often Black Authority.

    @DirkH;

    What ‘gets me’ is just that the EU was so hot on Assuring Greek Bonds to everyone, so Cypriot Banks trusted them; now the entire Cypriot Bank Crisis is due to… trusting assurances that Greek Bonds were good…

    What it shouts to me is simply this:

    1) When the Eurozone financial authorities say “We will protect FOO” – sell it immediately.
    2) When the Eurozone financial authorities say “We will insure deposits and / or FOO” – immediately take your money out, convert it to Yuan, and put it in a locked box in a non-EU institution.
    3) When the EU authorities are making decisions, the Rule Of Law is out the window.
    4) Any representation by EU Authorities is for their benefit only. You are dirt in their eyes.
    5) Put no business nor any financial operations inside any EU country. Deal with them only at arms length from more trustworthy locations.
    6) Only leave in an EU bank the absolute minimum needed for outstanding transactions. (So write your mortgage check, then go deposit the mortgage money). Try to carry the same on a credit card balance as is in your cash accounts so in case of a ‘freeze’ you point the credit card at the frozen money and say “Your problem”.

    In short, “paranoia” about ANY Eurozone financial facility is now justified.

    Sidebar:

    What would be highly beneficial for the Cyprus crisis would be for the banks to simply state a policy, approved by the EU, that anyone resident in Cyprus could withdraw any amount of their money up to some (large) insured point. Call it €50,000. That would immediately quell the public anxiety issue. They’ve already stated and realized ( I think) that those folks money is guaranteed, so why not act like it? Yes, it will be a ‘run on the bank’, but the ECB is supposedly already ‘on the hook’ for providing ‘cash for collateral’ in the case of bank runs and that money is “insured” so the insurance ought to be collateral.

    As it stands now, they are whipping The People. No matter what happens, Cyprus is being “trained” to hate and despise the EUrocrats. I’d expect Cyprus to leave the EU as soon as the immediate financial crisis is over, regardless.

    This is just such a mess, and so unnecessary, so the only reasonable conclusion is that this is the desired result. And that is truly disquieting…

  44. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    22 March 2013 at 6:17 pm
    “1) When the Eurozone financial authorities say “We will protect FOO” – sell it immediately.
    2) When the Eurozone financial authorities say “We will insure deposits and / or FOO” – immediately take your money out, convert it to Yuan, and put it in a locked box in a non-EU institution.”

    I see you’re getting the hang of it. Probably the teachings of Obama have helped.

  45. Petrossa says:

    If you as a people choose democratically a government that knowingly sets up a very shady system that has to fail, because it fills your wallet with wages i don’t see how you don’t carry some responsibility. You benefited from the ‘crime’.

  46. DirkH says:

    Petrossa says:
    22 March 2013 at 7:38 pm
    “If you as a people choose democratically a government that knowingly sets up a very shady system that has to fail”

    Well, I’m guilty. I voted for parties that set up the EU, “a very shady system that has to fail”.
    Why?
    Because there was no party that wouldn’t have done it.

  47. adolfogiurfa says:

    What if their nervousness is caused because they, the banking elite, has lost most of their assets (LOL!) and they own only “derivatives”, “gold certificates”, “fiat money” and most of the faked system they invented. That would be really funny and it would explain their desperation to go after those who got their loved stuff & belongings .

  48. R. de Haan says:

    ECB is blowing up the euro http://www.telegraaf.nl/dft/goeroes/alexandersassenvanelsloo/21414406/__ECB_blaast_euro_op__.html

    This article is in Dutch, Here is the (google) translation:
    Alex Sassen of Elsloo
    AMSTERDAM –
    All joking aside. The northern eurozone countries are angry with Cyprus, because the banks have messed up, but the ECB’s has the primary responsibility in this regard. Backed by the politicians in the eurozone, the ECB through its policies, together with financial regulation (final responsibility: politicians), have worsened the problems in Cyprus. The worst part is that the risk for Cyprus has increased significantly by the actions of the ECB.
    Course: sinking of an island
    The financial sector is, contrary to popular belief, regulated. The only problem is that the regulation, in most cases make the situation even worse. I have these two columns (see here and here ) have extensively discussed the poor regulation. The current situation in Cyprus is a direct result of poor regulation and ECB policy. By holding, in this case, Greek government bonds (sovereign debt) zero risk weighting had (banks do not have capital in reserve on these loans), it was for banks very attractive to the Greek state to borrow money instead of Unilever or Shell (where a bank so expensive capital should hold).
    To further encourage banks to include Greek sovereign debt buying, the ECB has cut funding increasingly turned: bad banks could use collateral to borrow money from the ECB (including via LTRO I and II). Instead of significantly reducing risks, the ECB has thus ensured that the risk in the financial system has only increased. This gives a temporary relief until it musical chairs party the music stops playing and shows that 80% of the seats are gone. When the inevitable depreciation of Greek debt occurred, the banking sector in Cyprus is pushed into the abyss. The question is who the next victim.
    All or nothing for Spain and Italy
    The policy of the ECB, the financial sector in Spain and Italy has taken on even greater risk. In Italy, the financial sector in January 2010 € 683 billion of Italian sovereign debt held. In June 2012 this amount was already at € 931 billion. In Spain, the exposure of the financial sector of Spanish public debt increased from € 157 billion (January 2011) to € 230 (June 2012).
    In short, an increase of 36% in Italy and 47% in Spain. This tactic can be described as a type of ‘all or nothing’. The reasoning of the financial sector in Spain and Italy is simple, if these countries do not go bankrupt than they earn themselves silly and like Italy and Spain are bankrupt, they would already have started to perish. The behavior is perfectly logical, but it does mean that the built-risk (a Cyprus) in the eurozone has only increased, thanks to the ECB and financial regulation.
    Without euros anything less bad
    If the euro had not been there would be, it was holding bonds from the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) have been extremely expensive for banks. Borrowing by these governments would be so much more expensive and smaller in size than now is the case. This does a bankruptcy absolutely not, but the impact of such a bankruptcy would be much smaller than it is today.
    This would thus ensured that the PIIGS have never seen so much and for so long could borrow and the banks do not have such high exposures would have on these fragile countries. If the ECB had made money not so cheap (low interest rates, weak collateral requirements, and so on), not to big banks had to be bankrupt and just had to let go, it was suffered incalculable. Furthermore, if regulation had no stimulatory effect on the provision of credit to poor countries, then the chance of problems have been smaller.
    Most dreams are cheating
    That the ECB is committed to the euro afloat, I can understand, since it is the central bank of the euro. But fighting a battle that can never win. The conditions in the euro zone are such that the problems will only increase (see my previous column voodoo euro coin ). The ruling politicians do have a choice. Indeed, they have a duty, as elected representatives, to do what is best for the Netherlands.
    Unfortunately, they do everything to make their doomed illusion of a large European superstate one more day to live. These politicians are so busy with their own dreams and not ours. Therefore, it is time for participation, for self-determination. Therefore time that you leave your vote in http://www.burgerforum-EU.nl so finally its political priorities back in good order goes up.
    Alexander is the founder of Elsloo Sassen Sassen Research & Consultancy Company. Previously, he was head of research at Hobart Capital Markets in London and he did equity and hedge fund sales to include Kepler, MF Global and Rabo Securities.

  49. Nick says:

    Quite.

    And when push comes to shove, with the Southern block kicked out (left of their own free will), what’s going to stop them from repudiating all debts. Then what? Germany going to invade? It’s going to be just as bust.

  50. Petrossa says:

    I voted NO in 2005. But it’s there anyway. The absurd statement above that Cyprioten banks are ‘regulated’ is true in the sense that they were allowed to launder money and act as safe haven for otherwise tainted money. The EU requested all such nations to clean up their act, in and outside the EU. So even Monaco did.
    Only Cyprus held out due to the former communist lead government. If they’d acted year or more ago they wouldn’t be in this mess. Blaming the ECB is the ultimate gutschpa.

  51. adolfogiurfa says:

    Nick Such invasion would be in other place/places instead. The perfect distraction maneuver: war. But, as people say: the higher you rise lowest you fall

  52. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Looks like someone has it about right…

    @Petrossa:

    You are confounding two DIFFERENT groups of people into one moral equivalency. Try this as an alternative:

    If 51% of the population, as a people, choose democratically a government that, directly bought off by lobbyists for another 2% of the populations and major corporations, under the influence of international monied interests, knowingly sets up a very shady system that has to fail, because it fills their wallet at your expense with wages of their sins: i don’t see how you don’t carry some responsibility. You benefited from the ‘crime’.

    Whereas I do see how I don’t carry some responsibility and did not benefit from the crime.

    Take Monsanto, for example. They buy the laws they want via strong influence pedaling and against the will of the people. They are busy trying to destroy a 10,000 year heritage of seed saving by family farmers an steal the entire crop genome for themselves. I strongly oppose that. Yet I’m forced to consume their (GMO) product against my will by them and the congress THEY have bought. I’m not even at the table.

    Or Goldman Sachs. They provide “alumni” to the government, get the laws they want, and provide nice post-gov positions as well, with at bonuses. Me? I have them (thanks to repeal of the “uptick rule” shorting my stocks with insider power and information to the worthless point in minutes before I can even read the news.

    See the flaw in your reasoning? Two very very different groups of folks. The Rich And Powerful And Well Connected and the “Rubes to be manipulated where possible and ignored when not.”

    So Lehman got the rules it wanted, made buckets of money for a decade, then evaporated in a puff of excess. My part was? Oh, yeah, being a powerless peon complaining about the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the uptick rule and the stupidity of “mark to market” for long term assets in a “borrow short term lend long term world”.

    In short, the elite (and I rarely use class warfare rhetoric, but they deserve if for what they have done in the last 30 years) has been busy so arranging things that the electorate does not matter and they can buy the laws they want, then wrecked a bunch of perfectly good laws (restricting what they can do) in the process, blew up the system in their stupidity; and now it’s MY fault? And Joe and Jane Sixpack ought to bail them out with tax dollars? And it is OUR moral failure?

    Is that REALLY a position you would advocate?

    @Adolfo:

    You are catching clue…

    At the level of the Stinking Rich, most of what is owned is owned very indirectly. Companies that hold other companies that own banks that hold bonds and stocks of yet more companies. They hire a fleet of lawyers, investment advisers, and accountants and managers to keep it all “under control”. IMHO, the entire whatever$Trillion “bail out” was just a OMG Butt Cover for the Stinking Rich and Politically Connected when they realized their little empires were what was at stake. Ditto the “bail out” money to Solyndra and Fiskar and… Just so THEIR bonds did not go “POOF!”

    Now I don’t know about you’all, but I’ve got no such army of minions nor connections nor portfolio of trendy Government Favored Bonds and Stocks in the Fad du Jour. What I’ve got is a mortgage I can mostly pay on time, some credit card debts, and what I hope is enough money in a retirement account to bridge me over to Social Security before it, too, goes belly up.

    Oh, and some junk in the house. (Anyone know the market value of a 486 PC these days?…)

    So “what can I lose”? “Equity” in a house that has been shown to be in many was fictitious anyway, in a State that is “Going Out Of Business”… A “retirement fund” that is going to pay me about as much as welfare payments would pay. Some used furnishings and “junk”. And I’m relatively well off!

    Thus the “panic” about the “financial crisis”. Who “owns the world”? Mostly corporations. So who owns the corporations? (And what does that mean, anyway?) The Stock Holders nominally own it, but if in too much debt, it is really the bond holders. And who are those Stock and Bond holders? Most of it is in the hands of the Very Rich. (Some in retirement funds for the ‘middle class’). So who gets “buggered” the most if stocks tank and bonds collapse and companies go bankrupt? Not me… Not Joe and Jane Sixpack (who are net in debt on credit cards and mortgages).

    And that, IMHO, is why Uncle Ben Bernanke is busy trying to desperately keep the stock and real estate bubbles inflated. Not for the Mexican immigrant working minimum wage. Not for the “unemployed guy” (i.e. me). Not for the “average Social Security recipient”. Not for the firefigther on an unfunded government retirement plan. (Nor the one doing the work expecting retirement some day). No, it is so that The Very Rich do not have their portfolio of power lose.

    The Game is played by and for the very well connected and the very rich. The rest of us get to cheer from the sidelines for the various factions of that One Party, and once every 4 years choose which is the “least bad set of lies” to vote for.

    But do realize it is NOT just one religious nor racial nor ethnic group, nor “bankers” who are wage slaves issuing mortgages at the local bank branch. It is a stratum of power that is well insulated from actually having a W2 form or ever seeing a tax return in person. They come in all religions (one very big one a Southern Baptist…), and all races (think the Saudi Royals and the English Royals and the Japanese Royals not feel kinship?… look at the mix that goes to the Bilderberger meetings…). Think Carlos Slim feels the same about things as a Mexican migrant farm worker?

    Realize, I do not begrudge them their wealth. They were able to get there, I was not. I do, however, begrudge them buggering the legal system in immoral ways “for effect”.

  53. Nick says:

    If 51% of the population, as a people, choose democratically a government that, directly bought off by lobbyists for another 2% of the populations and major corporations, under the influence of international monied interests, knowingly sets up a very shady system that has to fail, because it fills their wallet at your expense with wages of their sins: i don’t see how you don’t carry some responsibility. You benefited from the ‘crime’.

    =============

    Very simple reason.

    You are only guilty if you have a vote on an issue.

    Far too many times, its get elected and do something else. Eg. Nick Clegg and tuition fees in the UK. The electorate isn’t responsible unless they vote directly on an issue.

    Otherwise you might as well say that all Cypriots are guilty when ever someone is murdered. Bonkers.

  54. Gail Combs says:

    @Petrossa:

    You are confounding two DIFFERENT groups of people into one moral equivalency…..

    An excellent look at those two different groups is a Jo Nova thread Climate Coup — The Politics: How the regulating class is using bogus claims about climate change to entrench and extend their economic privileges and political control.

  55. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH:

    One does wonder just a bit at the “timing” .. Right after finding massive gas fields, Syria has a civil war break out and Cyprus has an EU mediated financial crisis necessitating that that sell something big in a hurry…

    I still think the “easy answer” is just for Cyprus and Greece to leave the Eurozone (tell the EU folks saying it can’t be done that you are a sovereign nation and just do it anyway), issue the New Drachma (at one / Euro), declare the Egyptian Bonds in Cyprus banks as ‘redeemed and replaced’ and convert the Cyprus bank deposits to the New Drachma. Open doors and wait.

    Any “run on the bank” can be met with the printing press, just like in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Russia. The folks in Greece and Cyprus can get on with their lives. The EU Masters get a bit kicked in the pants. Russia gets a bitter sweat “made whole”, but in flaky currency… so can live with it, or join the run / convert that will reduce the value even more.

    Sure it would be a mess. But it would let Cyprus keep their gas, unshackle from the EU, and start the healing process.

  56. Petrossa says:

    EM “Is that REALLY a position you would advocate?”
    It’s like this, for years they voted for this government fully aware of the benefits the huge banking sector heaped upon them.It’s not like ‘suddenly’ they woke up and naughty government setup a taxhaven for illegal activites. The system is up and running for decades.

    Pleading ‘ich hab es nicht gewusst’ is pretty meager. If your realistic income should about half what it is based on the earning capacity of the tiny island, if the rest of the nations around you are ceaselessly complaining about it and your government ignores them to the bitter end, you are part of the system by the voting them in repeatedly and not protesting in a big way.

    Certainly there will be a minority that is unaware and just lives their lives. But that’s how democracy works, majority counts. If the majority chooses to be a pirate nation, you are part of a pirate nation. Worse still, you are a pirate nation that after finally getting the bill call upon the nations you so defiantly ignored all the time to come and bail you out.

    Evidently the enthusiasm of those nations to help you pay so the illegal funds get saved (so directly supporting your black money/tax evasion schemes) is not that high.

    Most politicians now talk of letting Cyprus just go broke. The mood in Germany and the Netherlands is now: suck it up or don’t what do i care.

    And rightly so, it’s also my taxeuros at stake here. If it were for me they wouldn’t get a dime and i’d let them go broke. Enough is enough. Bad enough paying for 3 countries already, but at least they were just stupid and lazy not straight forward criminal.

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    @Petrossa:

    Despite our opposite views on “innocents”, we seem to be arriving at a ‘common ground’ from opposite directions. (Though I’m tossing Greece in with Cyprus). Cut them loose from the Eurozone to do what they will with their own currency… Or “Screw the depositor the old fashioned way – print.” ;-)

  58. Nick says:

    Perversely its always going to be screw the depositor. Either by outright theft or cutting lose and printing.

    The positive take on it, is that people won’t trust governments, the EU, or the banking system whilst the EU is in charge for a long time.

    Farage is correct. If you are in Italy, Spain, Portugal etc, you need to be getting your money out now.

  59. Petrossa says:

    EM if only :( Cyprus they are willing to let go, tiny island and nothing to lose. But greece owes so much that would seriously imperil the EU. The ECB/EU practically owns Greece by now with all the money pumped in, and the greeks know that as well so they don’t do much but asking for more. Institutionalized Corruption is still rampant. The entire Greek debt is stalled in banks outside the EU. Dead people still get pensions, the economy is a closed one, so austerity only causes further recession. It’s a total mess. The books are so totally cooked over the last 40 years there is no way to determine what is real or not.

  60. David says:

    There are a lot of innocent folk between these thieves, and the EU is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

  61. J Martin says:

    Greece should be ejected from the EU.

    Until Greece cleans up it’s act and verifiably removes all the entrenched endemic corruption, then Greece should never be allowed to be part of a financial or trading block such as the EU and certainly never allowed to join any common currency block.

    Corruption within the Greek psyche is something that seems to be accepted as normal by the average Greek. Until they rid themselves of this national immorality then Greek society can never become civilised, the Greek economy will never flourish and Greece will remain a danger to any institution that foolishly endeavours to embrace her.

    Either that or the entire Greek government, bureaucracy, police and judiciary should be replaced with Germans. Can’t we get the EU to vote on a resolution to order the German army to invade Greece and take it over, only allowing Greece to be returned to the Greeks once all the institutionalised corruption has been removed from the Greek psyche, a process that might take about 100 years. Or send the British army in, or indeed any North European army.

  62. DirkH says:

    “Can’t we get the EU to vote on a resolution to order the German army to invade Greece and take it over,”

    Basically all EU countries are occupied.
    http://www.eurogendfor.eu/
    “EGF goal is to provide the International Community with a valid and operational instrument for crisis management, first and foremost at disposal of EU, but also of other International Organizations, as NATO, UN and OSCE, and ad hoc coalitions.”

  63. DirkH says:

    Nick says:
    23 March 2013 at 7:31 am
    “Farage is correct. If you are in Italy, Spain, Portugal etc, you need to be getting your money out now.”

    B is for Bankrun. Capital controls have now been legislated in Cyprus. PIGS will have to enact capital controls next (limits on ATM withdrawals).
    With this the appearance of legitimacy of the regime will deteriorate progressively. Oh, France has already enacted capital controls; payments over 1000 EUR in cash are already illegal.
    Obviously to keep money from leaving the accounts.

  64. Gail Combs says:

    Petrossa says:
    23 March 2013 at 6:27 am

    EM “Is that REALLY a position you would advocate?”
    It’s like this, for years they voted for this government fully aware of the benefits the huge banking sector heaped upon them.It’s not like ‘suddenly’ they woke up and naughty government setup a taxhaven for illegal activites. The system is up and running for decades…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You are making the assumptions:
    1. The voting public KNOWS what the elite/bankers/politicians are up to.
    2. The voting public has any actual control over what the politicians do.

    In the USA only a few Congress Critters have bucked the international bankers. Republicans Congressman McFadden who was murdered for his effort, (Read his 1934 speeches) Ron Paul who has been made out to be a Wacko by the press and Democrats Wright Patman, and Henry B. Gonzalez. As Top Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin confessed, “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

    Voters are treated like mushrooms and the press shovels the propaganda.
    The US press has been OWNED by the bankers since 1917 See my comment at this link

    The repeal of the Great Depression banking laws designed to prevent another depression set up the present international crisis Clinton signed the laws that repealed the McFadden Act of 1927, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 lead to the Formation of Mega Banks. He is also responsible for the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 that was responsible for marginal mortgage loans doomed to fail and the unregulated CDSs used to insure the banks against foreclosure. (Clinton’s WTO that shipped US jobs overseas completed the knife in the back to the US economy)

    The US public was against the resulting Bank Bailouts but we got them anyway and then got the additional shaft from the Obama’s Mortgage Modification Program. Families on the edge were lured into the modification program, their mortgage payments lowered and then a year or so later the banks tell them the do not “Qualify” and hand them a HUGE bill due in 30 days consisting of all the money shaved off the year’s morgage payments, penalties AND LAWYERS FEES. If you manage to scrape the money together you hit Act II. The bank refuses to hand you a bill. It took us hiring a lawyer and a six months dance to get the *&^$! bank to actually name the amount needed to pay to keep us out of foreclosure!!!

    This article explains why the Obama mortgage was a nasty vicious trap. link

    credit default swaps were used to guarantee mortgage-backed securities (MBS), a safe bet according to the best-available mathematical models. Why? Because most homeowners pay off their home loans with the certainty of an ATM.

    The is no reserve requirement with CDS because there’s no government regulation. Each insurance company can set aside as much — or as little — as it wants for reserves. In fact, a company could set aside nothing for potential losses without violating regulatory requirements.

    The money NOT set aside for reserves can be invested in high-risk securities to create a larger cash flow for the insurance company. This means that with CDS, insurers expected not only premiums but also bigger investment returns then would be possible with regular insurance products.

    CDS premium revenue is not restricted to those who might have actual losses or real assets to protect. You can bet as much as you want and create as many CDS as you want….

    “Much of the problem we’re facing today is not because of foreclosures by themselves, it’s because of side bets many companies took on in an effort to hedge their risk — bets which in many cases proved far more risky than the underlying mortgages.

    “Nobody,” says Saccacio, “is giving AIG money because they have a bad mortgage portfolio or a lot of foreclosures. AIG is getting money because it made huge derivative bets and lost.”

    Who Won
    In the end a CDS is nothing but a hedge that allegedly smart people in once-bigger financial institutions used to offset risk. AIG — meaning U.S. taxpayers — must now pay off the credit default swaps it issued…..

    There was no law to back-up Obama’s loan modification plans so the banks could determine whether or not to foreclose and collect not only the house but the taxpayer funded credit default swap insurance and you can bet your boots the more credit default swaps on you mortgage the more the bank WANTED to foreclose. It PAID to make risky loans. Obama’s mortgage modification program was a colossal failure, with hardly any principal modifications occurring. But the banks won big as marginal loans were forced into foreclosures that would otherwise not have occurred.

    If US citizens were not aware of this nasty bit of manipulation that directly affected their lives – most still consider Clinton next to God – then how the heck do you come off accusing the average person in Cyprus of knowing what was occurring in their banking industry?

  65. DirkH says:

    THIS WEEK:
    Barroso und Putin strike secret deal at the same time Cyprus seeks deal with russia (and fails); Lagarde’s apartment gets raided due to an old investigation that is suddenly brought back to live, quel surprise. Bernanke makes noises he’ll call it quits RSN.
    Probably Barroso (a Maoist anyway) offered Putin whatever Putin demands.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-23/cyprus-deposit-levy-vote-delayed-will-down-wire-70-deposit-tax-contemplated#comment-3365227

  66. In the UK, the new government incentive for “getting the economy moving” is to underwrite a 20% slice of the cost of buying a house, so that people buying a new house only need a 5% deposit, rather than the current 20-25%. The government loan will be interest-free for a while – I haven’t picked up the latest details but last I heard was around 5 years.

    This seems to me to be “sub-prime lending” with the government/taxpayers acting as insurers, and also seems to be set to keep inflating the housing bubble when house-prices are already too high a multiple of income to be affordable for most young people. This “free loan” will make it affordable – for a while.

    If, as looks likely, the real cost of living continues to inflate faster than the incomes of the majority, this looks to be setting up a new set of financial problems/foreclosures in the future, when the interest-free loan period ends. Maybe therefore another housing-crash and bank-problems for the UK, too, at some point in the future. Short-sighted?

    I would also not blame the common people of Cyprus as such. As with us, they are faced every election time by a vote for the least-worst option, with no chance to vote for “None of the Above”. Choice – vote for the least-worst or don’t vote and leave it to someone else to decide.

  67. R. de Haan says:

    To many people have an opinion without a clue and too many behave like scared sheeple.
    I call it the “bend over” mentality. Hey, you’re no longer aloud to smoke in your favorite pub, ok, no problem. Fortunately for us the current gang in power is just a bunch of cowards. All we have to do is spook them. Ten million of us just walking to the US Senate or the EU Parliament with a few gallows, some rope, some tar and feathers will do the job.

  68. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan says:
    23 March 2013 at 3:06 pm
    ….. Ten million of us just walking to the US Senate or the EU Parliament with a few gallows, some rope, some tar and feathers will do the job.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I have been collecting feathers and I am from the Tar Heel state.

    FWIW, a caver I know of dumped a dump truck load of streaming manure on the front lawn of the Canadian Parliament several years ago. These day the DHS would probably nuke the guy if he tried it in the USA and of course now you have to have a PERMIT to exercise your first Amendment rights.

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    They got around that by having the city or states make the laws…. Now they don’t even bother with that lip service to the Constitution.

    “Anti-Occupy” law ends American’s right to protest August 1, 2012

    …Last year’s “occupy movement” scared the government. On March 8, President Obama signed a law that makes protesting more difficult and more criminal. The law is titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, and it passed unanimously in the Senate and with only three “no” votes in the House. It was called the “Trepass Bill” by Congress and the “anti-Occupy law” by everyone else who commented.

    The law “improves” public grounds by forcing people – protestors – elsewhere. It amends an older law that made it a federal crime to “willfully and knowingly” enter a restricted space. Now you will be found guilty of this offense if you simply “knowingly” enter a restricted area, even if you did not know it was illegal to do so. The Department of Homeland Security can designate an event as one of “national significance,” making protests or demonstrations near the event illegal.

    The law makes it punishable by up to ten years in jail to protest anywhere the Secret Service “is or will be temporarily visiting,” or anywhere they might be guarding someone. Does the name Secret tell you anything about your chances of knowing where they are? The law allows for conviction if you are “disorderly or disruptive,” or if you “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.” You can no longer heckle or “boo” at a political candidate’s speech, as that would be disruptive….

    I really do hate the District of Criminal…

  69. Gail Combs says:

    More on how bankers shear the Sheeple.

    Interview with Bill Black

    …BILL BLACK: Well, these frauds – it’s the old saying that fish rot from the head, and these massive frauds come from the people who control organizations. We call them control frauds in criminology, and that’s actually where my doctorate is and what I primarily study. They can cause vastly more damage because they are the CEO and control a seemingly legitimate organization. So in finance their weapon of choice is accounting. And it has a simple four-ingredient recipe:

    1. Grow like crazy.

    2. Make really bad loans, preposterously bad loans, but at a premium yield or interest rate.

    3. Have extreme leverage. That means that the lender has tremendous debt compared to its supposed equity.

    And 4. Provide virtually no loss reserves up against the coming tsunami of losses.

    So this recipe has been called by the Nobel Prize winner in economics, George Akerlof, and his coauthor Paul Romer, way back in 1993, “a sure thing.” And that’s what we try to emphasize. If you follow these four steps, you are mathematically guaranteed in the short term to report not just profits, but record, off-the-scale, home-run, out-of-the-ballpark profits. Now, all of them are fictional, because you’re actually losing money with every bad loan you make.

    So this same recipe simultaneously maximizes fictional short-term income and real losses. The looter, the CEO, destroys the lender, but he walks away wealthy.

    Now that was back in ’93. Since then we’ve improved upon it, because bankers have so much more political power than back in that day, and so now we bail them out and they don’t even have to go through bankruptcy, and they just get to keep doing it again and again…..

  70. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH:

    From that link:

    What is also sure, is that any bulk investments in Europe, be they held by Russian, Chinese, or any other oligarchs, will now scramble to get out, knowing quite well their cash is not only no longer welcome in the Eurozone, but most likely will be used to fund bailouts of assorted insolvent European nations. Such as all of them. This could be a very big problem because according to JPMorgan, the share of large or uninsured deposits is about half of total deposits in Euroarea banking system including the peripheral countries.

    Should a stealthy “uninsured” depositor run in Europe take place following this weekend, and up to half the funding of European banks go poof – that which until recently was generously provided by the same uberwealthy who are now the target of persecution seemingly everywhere – not all the ELA, LTRO, SMP, OMT, and any other acronym free ECB money in the world will be able to hold the Eurozone together.

    I had not realized it was that large. Were I, say, a wealthy Chinese or Brazilian with some “extra cash” parked in the EU, I’d be starting a steady drain to below the insured level at a minimum, probably to the lowest level I could accept for transactions.

    I wonder how much of “US Corporate Cash” that is “offshore” and not being repatriated is presently in the Euro area? Apple has Billions somewhere…. This could become “contagion” real fast via company write downs and lower cash balances and lower earnings and…

    So, right now, all around the globe, various CFO’s of all sorts of companies are in discussion with their boards and CEOs about “risk mitigation in the Eurozone”. At a minimum, new cash will not come in. Most likely, a review of “accounts at risk” done and mitigation measures put in place. Some folks will just wire their money to the Bahamas…

    @Simon Derricutt:

    The stated GOAL of the central banks is to prevent further asset price “deflation” – i.e. blow more hot air into the housing bubble so it doesn’t deflate. This strongly pushes for renewed higher prices and an eventually larger bubble… that inevitably pops too… “Kick the can” on steroids.

    Listen to The Bernanke and others talk. It’s all about preventing “deflation”, meaning propping up house prices, and inflating the currency so the house price (higher if possible) comes in line with the house value via buggering the currency counters.

    @R. de Haan:

    Maybe that’s why Dept. of Homeland Sec. has bought up 1.8 BILLION rounds of ammo…

    Several for every man, woman, and child in the USA, Canada, and Mexico combined…

    @Gail Combs:

    So by definition, since he’s always with S.S., it is illegal to protest the POTUS…

  71. Petrossa says:

    In those contexts i find this paper extremely to the point: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1828618/An_Orwellian_America.pdf

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    You know, tying this in with the very cold snowy winter and the UK on the edge of running out of both natural gas and electricity in comments here:
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/of-springtime-flowers-birds-snow/

    The Russian Bear has gone ominously quiet… This would be a very effective time to communicate with “pumping difficulties” in Russia that put only enough gas into the pipeline for Ukraine and Slavic countries… “No, not a matter of ‘no money no gas’, just a little technical difficulty. I’m sure you will be clearing it up soon… oh, sorry, we will be clearing it up. Soon.”

  73. DirkH says:

    No; Putin will not use that now; it’s official start of spring and even though it’s the coldest March in a 100 years or might be ( http://notrickszone.com/2013/03/22/berlin-freezes-in-100-year-winter-record-snow-blankets-germany-bitter-cold-grips-europe/ ) the weather will soon warm up. Putin would only look silly so he’ll save that for the next winter.

    As for a slow draining of capital from Europe: The ECB will have to step in, “providing liquidity” as we say these days and offset it. Danger of French (first) banking collapse will *force* Germany to go along with it. We’ll see a lot of weazel words from Merkel and Schaeuble when this happens. Sugarcoating. But print they will in the end. They are in the same maelstrom as the rest of the world. A currency war is a currency war.

  74. Petrossa says:

    Well, it done
    Cyprus agrees deal with troika to levy 20% tax on some bank deposits
    Government to seize fifth of the value of deposits of over €100,000 at Bank of Cyprus
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/cyprus-agrees-deal-with-troika-to-levy-20-tax-on-some-bank-deposits-1.1336836

  75. E.M.Smith says:

    @Petrossa:

    Thanks!

    Let the running begin… Oh, and someone call Putin and tell him he has some planning to do…

  76. Gail Combs says:

    Interesting interviews with Sinclair, Farage, and Roberts on the Cyprus debate over whether the depositor is is a lender to the bank or whether the depositor has retained the services of a fiduciary when he places money with a bank. The second is the classic definition but the EU and IMF are trying to switch it to the first.

    http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/3/23_Sinclair,_Farage,_Roberts_-_Cyprus_May_Dwarf_2008_Collapse.html

  77. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Combs:

    Let the redefinition games begin… Maybe they can figure out “what is is”…

  78. DirkH says:

    The reason for those semantic games is this: If the bondholders are wiped out first – which seniority would require – it is the ECB that gets wiped out . The ECB is the bondholder. 11 billion EUR. Wipes out the entire equity base of the ECB. Now, the state Cyprus has GUARANTEED that debt BUT would be bankrupted by it! And the EU just doesn’t want to pay for that because of all that tax haven animosity.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-23/why-cyprus-matters-and-ecb-knows-it

  79. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH:

    Oh Dear. That’s even worse. Somehow the ECB / Troika / Angela / et. al. failed to mention that THEIR collateral was the bonds from the Cyprus banks.

    That means that the ECB is as bankrupt as Greece. They are fighting a ‘backfire’ operation to try and stop the ‘unwind’ from ending up in their vault and folks seeing it empty too… No wonder they are being “resistant” to the normal rules, laws, and procedures of a failed bank unwind.

    OK… Cyprus needs to stop playing the game; just announce the banks and the country are bankrupt, invoke the rule of law and file documents with the appropriate court. That moves the bonfire squarely into the ECB lap and they will be too busy trying to put it out there to bother Cyprus much any more… (That will be a problem for the courts…)

    So much crap from “mark to market” thinking… Not one of these yokels realizing that they need to restore the value of the collateral or the fire continues to spread…

  80. David says:

    Half a pound of tuppenny rice, Half a pound of treacle. That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.[1]

  81. David says:

    sorry, somehow is seamed apprpriate.

  82. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    Hey, I got a chuckle out of it and I hate that purple lizard…

    It is curiously appropriate. Both the “surprise!” that pops up repeatedly, but unexpectedly, and that the money is just evaporating in both cases…

    Someone needs to make a Youtube of a bunch of Banks and Central Bankers doing Musical Chairs… where they are labeled as various kinds of collateral and bonds…

  83. David says:

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. As a kid those old english nursery rhymes somehow always bothered me, but this thought put a gallows sense of humor on our little cinema. All that evaporating money is part of the inflation meet deflation game I have yet to figure out, despite your best efforts.
    Cheers.

  84. p.g.sharrow says:

    Money manipulators lay claim to wealth creation, by their works, as justification for their cut of the wealth as it passes through their hands. But they only create more paper based on paper. Too soon all the real wealth is removed and only the paper is left. The last depression was caused by bankers foreclosing on banks. The depositors became creditors and lost their money. The central bankers foreclosed on the smaller bankers and seized all the assets and refused to repay the depositors. Bankrupting everyone to save themselves. All with the help of the government that needed the central banks to keep them afloat. Many found themselves being foreclosed on by bankers that owed them more money the notes were for.
    At some point this paper circle is done and the reset is pushed. “Money in the Bank” is the same as an unsecured note, based of the good faith and credit. This contagion is just getting started. Stuffing the mattress is looking better all the time. I would own real wealth and wealth creators and avoid the paper chase. The central bankers are trying to paper over this crash with more paper to pump up the balloon one more time, “this time for sure” they will prevail and save the world.
    FROM THEMSELVES!
    This could be solved rather quickly, WE DON”T NEED THEM! pg

  85. p.g.sharrow says:

    Bitcoin is increasing in world wide interest.
    “The rampant success of Bitcoin is a profoundly cautionary tale for global monetary systems. And we seem to be more in the introduction rather than the epilogue of the story,” said Colas. “If central banks and regulators actually ran their monetary policies to maintain public confidence in the value of their currency, Bitcoin wouldn’t have a chance. “

    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2013/03/22/bitcoin-interest-explodes-as-cyprus-nearly-implodes/#ixzz2OR4N8cZl

    Even the US Treasury is worried:”the Treasury Department said it is applying money-laundering rules to so-called virtual currencies.” From Foxnews article. pg

  86. Petrossa says:

    Parliament Cyprus votes for plan B. One bank will be bankrupt, all accounts invalid, all money lost, The other bank 20% on all accounts above 100.000. Today EU has meeting if they agree with plan B.
    http://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gva.be%2Fnieuws%2Fbuitenland%2Faid1355843%2Fparlement-stemt-ook-in-met-herstructurering-bankensector.aspx

  87. Gail Combs says:

    So the decision was to screw the people and save themselves. Is anyone surprised?

    Time to start stuffing the mattress. Of course then the bankers lackeys aka the government will make holding cash above a certain amount illegal. The US forfeiture laws already dance around that issue as I showed above.

    That will be followed by the anti-hoarding laws. link

    FREEDOM? We aren’t going to allow you no Stinkin’ freedom.

    Or as the FDA put it.

    * “There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food.” [p. 25]

    * “Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.” [p. 26]

    * “There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract.” [p. 27]
    http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/litigation-FDA-status.htm

    So the US government has spoken we do not even have the “fundamental right to freedom of contract.” Now that is scary since civilization is built on the idea of the Sanctity of Contract. a major part of the rule of law.

    [A]n essential function of government [is] the protection and enforcement of contracts, including the resolution of disputes that arise therefrom—their impartial resolution, in accordance with objectively defined laws. Under such a system, none of the parties needs to (or may) decide unilaterally that he is a victim with the onus of taking physical action to repair his interests. Here again the government acts to defend men’s rights and thus to prevent any arbitrary use of physical force….
    http://principlesofafreesociety.com/property-rights/sanctity-of-contract.html

  88. Petrossa says:

    Cyprus banks impose ATM withdrawal limit of 100 euros per day – govt official
    http://rt.com/business/cyprus-bailout-withdrawal-banks-756/

  89. Petrossa says:

    yikes: Cyprus need 2 billion more then previously thought. http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article114725796/Zypern-braucht-deutlich-mehr-Geld-als-erwartet.html Well, i say dump them and let it go broke.

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    @Petrossa:

    “The law was adopted by 26 votes to two. There were 25 abstentions. ”

    Add it up. 25 abstain + 2 NO is 27. The majority are not in favor of the plan… Their parliament are playing Abstention Games to get this passed…

    On the “2 Billion more €” I’d just say “for now”… and “that we know of”… Think that number is going to go anywhere but up as the Russians suck ever single remaining Euro in their accounts out of the country? As the people suck out their cash and move it to a mattress where it is safer? Sure, they have “capital controls”. So NO new money will come in, while the old money bleeds out at the fastest rate allowed. This doesn’t fix the torn artery, it just puts a meter on it…

    @Gail Combs:

    If you want to understand what your real legal rights are, you are looking in the wrong place. You need different search terms. Try selections from this list instead, I think you will find that the description of your their rights and privileges more accurate:

    Devina Right Of Kings
    Absolute Monarchy
    Peasant
    Serf
    Indentured Servant
    Chattel
    Fiefdom
    Fief
    Empire
    Emperor
    SPQR (Note: While this translates as “Senate and People of Rome” it’s a bit of a misdirection… “This signature continued in use under the Roman Empire. The emperors were considered the representatives of the people even though the senātūs consulta, or decrees of the Senate, were made at the pleasure of the emperor.” so they are our ‘representatives’ who rule us by decree…)
    Rube
    Sucker
    Slave
    Kulak (synonym with ‘government employee’ today)

    I’m sure that list will be much more effective at helping you find your actual rights and place in the “system”…

  91. Petrossa says:

    Despite ‘closed banks’ money still flowing out of Cyprus at an astonishing rate: http://m.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/europas-schuldenkrise/zypern/entscheidung-in-nikosia-auffaellig-hohe-geldabfluesse-aus-zypern-12126658.html A real nice country. Corruption reigns supreme.

  92. DirkH says:

    What do you expect? When you prohibit people from, say, buying gasoline, you get a black market for gasoline. Prohibit them from legally making capital transfers and you get illegal capital transfers.

    I thought you were a nihilist?

  93. Nick says:

    Quite.

    Steal their money, expect them to hide it, hoard it, and not pay taxes and default on loans in return.

    Similarly, the behavour of those next on the list will change. Why risk it when the government’s going to steal it?

    Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, …

  94. E.M.Smith says:

    I’d be hitting the ATM every single day for the max, until all was in my pocket. NOTHING would convince me to do otherwise, and I’m way less engaged in this than the average guy on the street there.

    ANY business CFO who leaves one dime of business in a Cyprus bank will be out on his ear pronto. “They surprised me” sells once (as everyone was surprised). Not a second time. So expect inflows for business needs to be already pegged at zero and stay there. It will be entirely a “payments outbound only and withdrawals as allowed” operation.

    The ECB has so shot it’s own toes…

  95. DirkH says:

    ChiefIO, if the reason for the violation of the seniority principle given is correct, then the new criterion for any EU slave or company in the choice of his bank is, how much does the bank owe to the ECB, and sort them accordingly, and choose carefully.

    We know now that they won’t recapitalize a bank. I got my depot a Cortalconsors, a German subsidiary of BNP Paribas. I think this is getting increasingly dangerous bordering on the reckless.

    EU slaves must run faster than the hammer hits.

  96. Zeke says:

    Farage: “But I must say, even in my direst predictions in this parliament over the years about the way the EU bosses were behaving – never did I think that they would in a completely unprecedented manner resort to stealing money from people’s bank accounts.”

    Press: “Well it’s because the EU can’t afford Cyprus to fail…”

    No comment necessary.

  97. Gail Combs says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    ….If you want to understand what your real legal rights are, you are looking in the wrong place. You need different search terms….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I always preferred the term Chattel or the other spelling Cattle or was that Sheeple?

  98. E.M.Smith says:

    @DIrkH:

    Well, I started looking up ECB reserves and found that have something like $450 Billion of gold, plus a load of $US, UK pounds, SDRs, … So looks to me like they could “pop” a measly $5 Billion to save the system. Then I got distracted by bread baking ;-)
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/butterfly-oven-added-feature/

    So anyone else wants to track it down:
    http://www.eestipank.ee/en/monetary-policy/management-reserves-european-central-bank

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ECB+reserves+

    I’m booked up the rest of the evening solid until about 7 hours from now…

    I think Zeke kind of summed it up… Yes, run. The hammer cometh…

    @Zeke:

    Yup. The ends justify the means. Once that is in place, nothing else matters. No “rule of law” and no morality need apply.

    Oh, and that they can’t afford for Cyprus to fail? Yet will go to the wall with them? The EU is so shaky that if Cyprus “fails” they fail? Would you want your money in a place where one of the smallest parts, and newest parts, has a banking crisis the whole house of cards falls in?

    I don’t know which of those interpretations bothers me the most… Utter failure in ANY fault of the banks, or utter failure of morality and law…

    Well, time to take the bread out, so must go now, for a bit…

  99. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    24 March 2013 at 11:17 pm
    “Well, I started looking up ECB reserves and found that have something like $450 Billion of gold, ”

    Impossible, at 1600 USD a troy ounce that would be nearly 10,000 metric tons. Only if you count reserves of member state banks as ECB reserves.

  100. Gail Combs says:

    I prefer this quote from Nigel Farage. It really sums up the mess.

    RT: And what sort of message is this sending to foreign investors? Essentially, are not they being taxed to cure a crisis they had no part in causing?

    NF: Don’t invest in the Eurozone! Do not invest anywhere in Eurozone. You’ve got to be mad to do so, because it’s now run by people who don’t respect democracy, who don’t respect the rule of law, who don’t respect the basic principles upon which western civilization is supposed to be based.
    http://rt.com/op-edge/farage-cyprus-eu-bailout-627/

  101. Zeke says:

    @Gail – Who’s quote is better? It’s a coin toss. (:

    I picked that Nigel Farage quote because he knows who the EU commissioners are better than anyone:


    (Short video, list of communist party leaders and corruption charges.)

    So for him to express surprise at this attempt to rob private savings accounts to me shows there is a new level of bold propaganda lying that has been reached by the EU.

    However, your quote is better because it reveals the insanity of anyone attempting to push a trans-Atlantic union with the EU…cough.

    http://thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/14612-obama-pushing-trans-atlantic-union-with-eu

    The “trade agreement” is how the EU was characterized when it was first entered into by the Brits; but it is not a trade agreement, it is a political union, which we can see so clearly by the fact that 75% of the legislation in the UK is passed by EU directorate.

    For me the take home point wrt Cyprus is that for an American, this means that your retirement account is not safe. But all the analysis here is brilliant and I am not really equal to chiming in but oh why not, EM is gone for a few hours (: .

  102. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH:

    Like I said, others are free to investigate it. I didn’t post that reference as it’s a bit old a figure and I’d not had the time to vet it. It does look like the headline which I saw, and the body of the text I’d not quite gotten to ( I read the headline and the € amount) are not in agreement…

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/14/ecb-reserves-idINL6E8JE7RF20120814

    ECB-Gold reserves unchanged in wk to Aug 10
    FRANKFURT | Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:38pm IST

    Aug 14 (Reuters) – Gold and gold receivables held by euro zone central banks were unchanged at 433.778 billion euros in the week ending Aug. 10, the European Central Bank said on Tuesday.

    So the headline says ECB and the body says “euro zone central banks” all in lower case like it’s not a proper noun at all.. So miss that “s” on the end of banks and you miss that the headline says one thing and the body takes it somewhere else…

    So, like I said, someone else can chase it down as right now I’m off to my next scheduled event… Keeping straight that Rube Goldberg Banking System in the Eu / Eurozone / Europe / gaggle of interlocking overlapping competing interests is a bit hard from a patio in California…
    ;-)

    @Gail Combs:

    That’s what it says to me. I will buy ZERO ETFs in the EU. No idea if I’ll wake up in the morning and find out that Fund Company has just had their cash positions or heck, even their stock positions, “Con-tribute-d” to the ECB and they can’t make me whole on my position.

    Not even going to bother checking the status on their markets. It is now irrelevant. Not even as a swing trade. Nothing.

    @Zeke:

    I’m not gone yet! (Checking out things between finishing the bread baking and off to the next event…)

    Were I in the UK, I’d be looking to exit the EU. Fast. You can still preserve the reputation of YOUR financial industry. If you don’t take too long…

  103. E.M.Smith says:

    Watching Al Jazeera reporting on the Cyprus “bail-under” is painful. They have great coverage (compared to anything else in the USA), but it includes MANY talking heads from the EU power structure; and hearing them justify their actions while being oblivious to how hideous it is… just painful. It’s like “We all got together and it was so hard and so much work but we did so much for assuring that everything would be best for all and absolutely the right solution. So we collectively brain farted and bitch slapped the depositors.”

    I think Cyprus would have been better off just going through a bankruptcy as a nation. They have now destroyed their major industry, raped the “Larger Depositors” assuring they will flee with whatever is left, assured that the EU banking system can never be trusted anywhere in Europe. Thrown large numbers of their population into unemployment (as Laiki bank is closing) and generally screwed up the whole country.

    And they are putting lipstick on this pig and calling it rose…

  104. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says….

    I am aware that the EU was first sold as a trade organization to the people of Europe and then morphed into an unelected unaccountable nation with the rest of Europe as vassal states. This is what scares me about the World Trade Organization. Pascal Lamy was a former European Commissioner for Trade who is often involved in the Policy Network’s brainstorming sessions. …the Policy Network, the London-based think-tank launched in the 1990s with the support of various heads of government including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Giuliano Amato, Gerhard Schröder and Göran Persson, and headed by Peter Mandelson, now European commissioner….the promotion of Third Way ideas “has always been the vocation of the Policy Network”.

    Lamy has made it no secret that he sees the EU as the blue print for the WTO’s road towards ‘Globalization’

    Global Governance: Lessons from Europe
    As the world emerges from one of the worst economic crises in recent history, there is need for an organization that can provide measures of global governance. But that is a difficult task, raising issues of distance, legitimacy and power-sharing. Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, outlines the lessons that the world can learn from Europe.

    Global challenges need global solutions — and these can only come with the right form of global governance, which today, 20 years later, remains too weak.

    The world is in a state of serious distress. We are in the midst of the worst-ever economic crisis — and the first to have a global reach and which has seen a decimation of employment.

    We are seeing our planet deteriorate due to global warming. We see droughts and violent floods. We see entire islands disappearing under water. And we see nuclear proliferation, which poses a serious threat to world peace and security.

    As we wonder what went wrong and search for urgent solutions, there is a place on earth where new forms of global governance have been tried following World War II — in Europe….

    What is global governance? For me, global governance describes the system we set up to assist human society to achieve its common purpose in a sustainable manner — that is, with equity and justice.

    Growing interdependence requires that our laws, our social norms and values, our mechanisms for framing human behavior be examined, debated, understood and operated together as coherently as possible. This is what would provide the basis for effective sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions….

    governance needs to provide leadership, the incarnation of vision, of political energy, of drive.

    It also needs to provide legitimacy, which is essential to ensure ownership over decisions which lead to change — ownership to prevent the built-in bias towards resistance to modifying the status quo.

    A legitimate governance system must also ensure efficiency. It must bring about results for the benefit of the people….

    Lamy’s description of the EU

    ….With the recent economic crisis we discovered that the collapse of one part of an economy can trigger a chain-reaction across the globe. With the climate crisis, that our planet is an indivisible whole. With the food crisis, that we are dependent on each other’s production and policies to feed ourselves. And with the flu epidemic, that speedy international cooperation is vital. The scope of the challenges the world is facing has changed profoundly in the past decades — more profoundly, I suspect, than we fully understand. The world of today is virtually unrecognizable from the world in which we lived one generation ago…..

    Over the past 70 years we have constructed the legal and institutional framework to manage closer economic integration at the regional and global level. And, of course, the WTO is one part of this scheme with responsibility for the governance of international trade relations….

    the international system is founded on the principle and politics of national sovereignty: the Wesphalian order of 1648 remains very much alive in the international architecture today. In the absence of a truly global government, global governance results from the action of sovereign States. It is inter-national. Between nations. In other words, global governance is the globalization of local governance.

    But it does not suffice to establish informal groupings or specialized international organizations, each of them being “Member driven”, to ensure a coherent and efficient approach to address the global problems of our time. In fact, the Wesphalian order is a challenge in itself. The recent crisis has demonstrated it brutally.

    …There is one place where attempts to deal with these challenges have been made and where new forms of governance have been tested for the last 60 years: in Europe. The European construction is the most ambitious experiment in supranational governance ever attempted up to now. It is the story of a desired, delineated and organized interdependence between its Member States. How has this endeavour coped with the challenges I have just outlined?

    First, on the question of efficiency, Europe scores in my view rather highly. Thanks to the primacy of EU law over national law. Thanks to the work of the European Court of Justice in ensuring enforcement and respect for the rule of law. And thanks to a clear articulation between the Commission, the Parliament, and the European Court of Justice. It also scores highly from the point of view of redistribution policies. The European structural funds and cohesion policies have overall played a key role in the development of European regions and Member States.

    The picture is more nuanced if we look at the issue of leadership. Europe has had a relatively good record in terms of leadership as long as the leadership of the Commission was accepted. It is the Commission who pushed through the creation of the internal market in the early 1990s and of the euro in the late 1990s, two key successes of the European construction project. But today, leadership is blurred by the competition between the Commission and the European Council. This competition does not only affect Europe’s leadership, it also weakens coherence of European actions. It affects the manner in which Europe is perceived abroad.

    Finally, legitimacy is the area in which, in my view, Europe scores less well. We are witnessing a growing distance between European public opinions and the European project….

    This is all planned but the transition is fragile.

    “This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long – We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” ~ David Rockefeller United Nations Business Council on September 23, 1994

    And so we have the World Bank and the UN pushing ‘Global Warming’ down our throats. Clinton and the US bankers orchestrating the financial collapse of the US housing market triggering the world wide economic crisis. Clinton, theWTOand Goldman Sachs causing the food crisis.
    Can you say crisis by design?

    It bothers me that the Movers and Shakers like Lamy are now coming out and revealing their plans. To me this is a signal that they think we are so far down the road towards a world government that nothing can be done to stop it.

    Is the Cyprus banking crisis the signal of the start of the next round pushing the world further down the path towards a world government? Is this the precursor to the introduction of a world currency or is it a sign of the disintegration of the EU? A sign the window of opportunity is starting to close?

    “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” David Rockefeller June 1991 Bilderberg meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany
    Well now we know the lure that was cast at Hansen and Jones and the rest of the ‘Climategate Team’ Who could turn down the thought of being part of the intellectual elite leading the world into a supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers. Certainly not Mikey Mann. No wonder he has such an inflated ego!

    On the Bilderberg Group:
    Background
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/One_World_Government/Bilderberg_Group_TBG.html

    Daniel Estulin Bilderberg Speech at EU Parliament Press Conference
    http://publicintelligence.net/daniel-estulin-bilderberg-speech-at-eu-parliament-press-conference/

    …Perhaps that´s why at a recent Council on Foreign Relations speech in Montreal, Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the founders of the TC, warned that a “global political awakening,” in combination with infighting amongst the elite, was threatening to derail the move towards a one world government….

    These people want an Empire. That´s what globalization is. And too many people believe that in order to have an Empire, you need money. You have all heard of the phrase – THE MONEY ELITE. But money, is not a determinant of wealth and the economy. Money does not make the world go around. Money has no intrinsic value.

    Human mind affects the development of the planet. This is how mankind is measured. This is the true meaning of IMMORTALITY. What separates us from animals is our ability to discover universal physical principles. It allows us to innovate, which subsequently improves the lives of people by increasing the power of man over nature.

    You see, they are destroying the world economy on purpose. This isn´t the first time either. This was done in the 14th century New Dark Age: 30% of the population wiped out.

    Empire=dumb people down. They want to destroy the creative powers of reason.

    0 growth, 0 progress. Club of Rome (Limits to Growth) 1973

    PROJECT 1980S CFR, promoting controlled disintegration of the world economy.

    BILDERBERG 1995. Demand destruction. How? By destroying the world economy on purpose.

    GREAT DEPRESSION – TRANSFER OF WEALTH. The Great Depression was not an event that wiped out U.S. capitalists. It was an event that made the rich even richer by transferring the wealth of the people into the hands of the already wealthy. That´s how Bank of America made their billions through real estate foreclosures from 1929-37. Don’t believe for a minute that the richest of the rich will be hurt by the coming collapse. The only ones hurt will be you and me…..

    GEE that sounds familiar!

  105. DirkH says:

    Gail, Rockefeller was talking about the “window of opportunity” created by the “collapse” of the USSR.
    Looks like they’re not that smart. Last I Checked Putin would have nothing of their plans.

  106. adolfogiurfa says:

    Breaking News! Cyprus will tax deposits over Euros 100,000 in 40% !!!

  107. DirkH says:

    And a certain flight from the EUR is going on. At least one ray of sunshine.

  108. adolfogiurfa says:

    WOW!: CYPRUS, TROIKA AGREE TO BAIL-IN, BANK OF CYPRUS TO SEE 40% HAIRCUTS FOR DEPOSITS OVER €100,000, DEPOSITS AT OTHER BANKS WILL BE WIPED OUT!

  109. DirkH says:

    EURUSD rising like a rocket. Schäuble has caused the great Euro panic. Bi-winning: Me with Gold, Europe in the currency war – and without printing Euros! Genius!

  110. DirkH says:

    EURRUB going up even more – it’sRussian money that’s leaving the EU – FAST!

  111. adolfogiurfa says:

    As Gerald Celente has said: …currency wars, world war, just crazy!

  112. p.g.sharrow says:

    Yes, It appears that the EU Commissars are giving the Oligarchs a haircut. Probably some of the Islamist’s as well. I doubt that many Cypriots will be directly hurt. The One Worlders believe they have it won and are openly declaring themselves,. They will be easier to hunt down and prosecute later. The end of the world of Elite Leadership is very near. The chaos that they seek will be their own undoing. We Don’t Need Them! pg

  113. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, that party-popper at the bank was, IMHO, just the starting gun. The opening gambit. The Russians have not even begun to play…

    Spanish and Italian banks down very hard, even French banks. The message has been heard. Can’t trust Eurozone banks, can’t trust the EU. Corporate CFOs called into executive suites and asked “Do we have more than €100,000 in a European bank?” feeling uncomfortably in the spot light…

    Heck, even Drug Dealers around the world calling up their MoneyLaundry and asking uncomfortable questions ;-)

    Hmmmm…. whole new meaning ‘soon’ for “Chinese Laundry”? ;-)

  114. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Combs:

    Well, if their “goal” was to make the EU look good and desirable as a role model, they have failed spectacularly. They’ve got ever larger parts of the world looking at them as frauds, power hungry cheats, and charlatans. Just the “dithering” over the under €100,000 “insured” accounts makes them look the Evil Bastard Idiot. They’ve given home rule advocates all over the EU a giant win. They are driving massive amounts of money out of their control.

    Oh, and Russia doesn’t forget… So think Russia and China are going to go for a Global Governance system with these clowns in charge?

  115. E.M.Smith says:

    Per CNBC: Dutch Finance Minister calls Cyprus ‘bail-out’ a “template for” Europe…

  116. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. LOL! Heck, even Drug Dealers around the world calling up their MoneyLaundry and asking uncomfortable questions
    That´s the best one!

  117. adolfogiurfa says:

    Buy more popcorn! “They” have just committed suicide!. Reclaim your gold certificates NOW!

  118. adolfogiurfa says:

    Well…they have succeeded in FIXING CYPRUS and, at the same time, screwing the whole Eurozone.

  119. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G.: If the russians do not react as expected, there would be no opposite force and their action will smash them back; as you said The chaos that they seek will be their own undoing
    Let us hope it will be so. It´s a chess game, let see who wins.

  120. Petrossa says:

    Personally i won’t shed a tear over an iffy taxhaven going down. With a bit of luck money flows back into the economy and as a result slightly diminishes my taxload. Cyprus had a banking sector 8 times what was appropriate for such a tiny nation. No wonder it got severely taken down, as a warning to Luxembourg and others. I can’t wait for the upcoming day cash money is no longer and only plastic is valid payment. Everytime a contractor asks me do you want an invoice or do you want to pay cash it annoys me. What he doesn’t pay in tax and social i have to pay more. So one down, now the rest.

  121. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    25 March 2013 at 5:04 pm
    “Per CNBC: Dutch Finance Minister calls Cyprus ‘bail-out’ a “template for” Europe…”

    Yeah, Diesel-boom spilled the beans. “Oh, did I say that loud? I meant to only think it.” LOL!

  122. DirkH says:

    Petrossa says:
    25 March 2013 at 6:09 pm
    “as a warning to Luxembourg and others.”

    Luxembourg is where German aristocracy parks and launders its money. They are the GOOD money launderers, capiche?

  123. E.M.Smith says:

    CNBC now ‘quasi backpedaling’ on the template report. Seems a “spokesperson” has said “we didn’t mean template, each situation gets a custom treatment” or some such…

    @Petrossa:

    “Cash” can never be eliminated. By definition. It is just the most tradeable commodity. As long as there is ANY commodity, there will be cash money. With cigarettes going for about, what, $5 a pack now? They are a pretty good one. Of course, one can always just fill up “Gift Cards” and swap them around too.

    Also, I presume you would like London and New York City to go under as well; after all, they have a banking sector many times what is appropriate for such a tiny city…

    ANY financial sector city, State, nation, country, whatever will have an over sized banking sector. Just like Hollywood has an oversized movie sector. It’s a faulty argument, unless you want NO international banking centers and only a local retail bank allowed.

    The only thing that will reduce your tax load is shrinking government. Everything else is smoke, illusion, class warfare, and distraction.

    @Adolfo:

    Glad you liked it… but really, Drug Dealers are incredibly savvy in the ways of international finance. They must be. Heck, I’ve thought about their money laundry problem and it makes my head hurt… yet it works. For Billions. Every day. Just amazing, really.

    You know, this ties in with the “no cash” desire of Petrossa… drugs would make great currency. Small sizes. Standardized value. High value / mass. Widely circulated (in some ways ‘the most tradeable commodity’). Hmmmm….. Even “legit” prescriptions (they come with nice little ‘brands’ stamped on them…)

  124. David says:

    Well, if their “goal” was to make the EU look good and desirable as a role model, they have failed spectacularly. They’ve got ever larger parts of the world looking at them as frauds, power hungry cheats, and charlatans. Just the “dithering” over the under €100,000 “insured” accounts makes them look the Evil Bastard Idiot. They’ve given home rule advocates all over the EU a giant win. They are driving massive amounts of money out of their control.

    Oh, and Russia doesn’t forget… So think Russia and China are going to go for a Global Governance system with these clowns in charge?
    ============================================
    E.M.; I had this to say with a “one world friend” recently….”I think that there are many reasons to be apprehensive about current events in the EU, however I have never been able to wrap my head around global plans in operation for decades. However, I see the dark side of human nature, aspects of greed, lust for power over others, confirmation bias, group think and peer pressure, ever systemic in any human endevour, alive and well in todays world. Weather current events portray a central international plan for world domination, or are the result of ever larger disparate social structures evolving into competing statist idealogy of ever greater influence, I think it likely that all their plans will be wiped out in massive uncontrolable events, and wars, that none can predict or control.
    ——————-
    I do accept that there are a bunch of one world elitist who would like such power, I just think the very nature of such desires is destined for failure and non acceptance by others. Besides, the “they” is so loosely defined. As the world economy and populations have grown, the usual players have grown more global, but I do not see the “one group” orchestrating all this to create the “one world govt”, Your thoughts appeciated.

  125. DirkH says:

    “Besides, the “they” is so loosely defined”

    I don’t think so
    http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/governance.html
    Noteworthy:
    IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
    Everyone’s favorite vampire squid.

    And
    Member Advisory Group
    USA David Rockefeller

    He’s even got a category all for himself.

    Bilderberg is organized hierarchically. There’s Rockefeller, there’s the steering committee, there’s the circle of political candidates of all participating parties in the next general election of USA or Germany or… and then there’s a huge crowd of journalists who are not there to report but to receive orders.

  126. DirkH says:

    Ah, re #DieselBoom – here’s the quote I was looking for : “Loose Lips Sink Ships!”

  127. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    I think you covered it pretty well. Yes, there are a few key spiders in the middle of the web, but it has always been a competitive blood sport…

    @DirkH:

    Yes, that’s the structure and the players. And yes, folks like Putin will send minions or maybe even attend himself; even saying all the right things and taking free money for endorsing the “Carbon Trading” fraud. But when push comes to shove, Putin and Rockefeller are in competition. As are all the rest.

    The technical term for it is “Coopetition”. Cooperating where both win, competing where one wins, always hiding the cards…

    To the extent the structure of things like the WTO or IMF are useful to all the players, they will endorse the formation of them; then jockey for control…

    BTW: Saw a crawler go by on one of the financial shows saying Cyprus banks to stay closed through Thursday and another that (someone) had decided not to protest emergency “aid” of liquidity to Cyprus banks. I think someone toted up the requests to haul cash out and blanched…

    On CNBCWorld the currency presenter was speculating € 1.25 / $US was likely, given observed flows.

    I think someone seriously underestimated the importance of trust and insurance for deposits in banks…

  128. E.M.Smith says:

    Fox news reporting that folks leaving Cyprus are being searched and if you have more than € 10,000 they are confiscating / detaining the cash… So IF you can get it out of the bank, you can’t get it out of the country.

    Wonder how the, um, fishing boat… yeah, fishing boat industry is doing in Cyprus…

    (Different Fox show saying most banks to open tomorrow… I’m starting to wonder if anyone knows for sure…)

    UPDATE: OK, I’ve had it. They had a big box in the main screen saying most open tomorrow, now the crawler goes by saying Thursday again. My conclusion is “that’s wrong”… You can chose what is “that”…

  129. p.g.sharrow says:

    HOW MUCH MONEY DO RUSSIANS KEEP IN CYPRUS?

    Russians keep about $19 billion in deposits in Cyprus, mainly through companies they set up there, according to the Moody’s ratings agency. Russian banks also had around $12 billion placed with Cypriot banks at the end of last year and have loaned about $40 billion to Cypriot companies of Russian origin.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/03/18/glance-at-origin-and-size-russians-deposits-in-cyprus-that-will-be-hit-by/?intcmp=obnetwork#ixzz2ObFu8TeW

    The “Fat Lady” with the northern fur coat may have a great deal more to say about this. pg

  130. adolfogiurfa says:

    Tomorrow will see if we know more about the consequences. Now confidence on the Euro has decreased by the same amount of the taxes in Cyprus: About 30%; what does it mean?, well…it is the real value of the Euro, as calculated by themselves: “Devalue 30% and things will level off again”, but it does not happen that way: It won´t stop until taxes are lowered, it always works.

  131. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G.:

    I wonder if Putin is playing a double ended game… Let the EU “burn” the offshoring he doesn’t like… scoop up some “Russian Companies” on the cheap (for himself, friends, and “agencies”) as they have financial distress, then lean on the EU for some kind of “make good or be cold” deal after the ownership shifts…

    Oh, and then “The Russian Flu” has a selective arrival in the EU Aristocracy…

    @Adolfo:

    Well, since the $US is already down about 30% by my reckoning since about 2008, and the Euro is down relative to the $US… and capital flight has not yet finished the “ramp up”… and…

    I think in real terms the Euro is going to be down more than 30% at the end of this…

    The problem is that they’ve entered something of a death spiral. Money leaving. Nobody with a working brain would invest into a place that steals bank accounts (if a bank savings account isn’t safe from confiscation, how safe is a wharf, factory floor, building, corporate accounts, capital stock?) Entitlements NOT going down. Unemployment staying painfully high. I’m not seeing anything that says “Exit Here” from this process. Germany is doing well, but has “hit the wall” on carrying the rest of the EU by “spreading the wealth”. So anything they do is just getting closer to that brick wall at faster and faster speeds…

    Maybe there’s some way out and they will find it. But I’m not seeing it. (If a new little war breaks out on a place with a boarder “not too far away” and with resources… well… I’d not want to be Syria or Iran right now… someone big is looking for a distraction somewhere that will put a sudden large demand on the economy to put folks to work…)

    Oh Well. As long as it stays on that side of the puddle “not my problem” comes to mind. (But I have this feeling The Bernanke will want to make it my problem too…)

  132. DirkH says:

    “I’m not seeing anything that says “Exit Here” from this process. Germany is doing well, but has “hit the wall” on carrying the rest of the EU by “spreading the wealth”. So anything they do is just getting closer to that brick wall at faster and faster speeds… ”

    This is a Schäuble plan. He wants to manage it like the German reunification. Throw money at the problems until the problems stop moving. Take the money wherever possible. Cyprus was, as #DieselBoom stated indeed a test case. He doesn’t care for international money leaving. If that causes a problem, he will throw somebody’s money at it. You know, these German wheelchair drivers.

  133. DirkH says:

    I think what kept Schäuble halfway under control all these years was the German constitution and the constitutional court. Not that he likes either of these but they were the guardians. Now as he’s loose on an unconstitutional entity, the EU, with no democratic checks and balances, he’s turning out to be way more deranged and dangerous than we thought.

    And that means that the EU is the place to go to for every deranged lunatic. It automatically attracts these people. It’s the structure. If Schäuble dies from a heart attack another lunatic will exploit the lack of controls.

  134. DirkH says:

    During the entire bank shutdown in Cyprus it staid possible to withdraw money via the London et al offices of said banks. This explains the capital drain. Petrossa can now fume.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-25/have-russians-already-quietly-withdrawn-all-their-cash-cyprus

  135. J Martin says:

    What was the real object of the exercise ? Cypriot bankruptcy or the illicit proceeds of crime ?
    The EU could have effectively put Cyprus and their banks under EU control since the actual amount involved in the bankruptcy was easily affordable. They could then have forced the necessary changes on the Cypriot economy and at the same time been in the position of having all the access they could wish for, to whatever dubious bank accounts they and the police wished to investigate.

    All they had to do was take their time and bail out Cyprus, but at the cost of absolute control. Had they done so, they could have fixed the Cyprus problem and later confiscated the real criminal money having established at their leisure which ones to go for. Instead they caused panic and all the various Mafia money has left and is no longer there to be confiscated. And in the process they have done incalculable harm to the rest of the European economy. Idiots.

  136. J Martin says:

    Cyprus. A golden opportunity missed by the as usual incompetent EU (World) bankers.

    I thought the Euro was an essentially good idea and worth making work. But they threw it away when they admitted a nation that ran it’s economy through bribes, Greece. They allowed other countries to ignore fiscal guidelines, Spain etc. And now via Cyprus they have destroyed ‘confidence’ in the EU and the Euro. France has decided to flirt with economic suicide courtesy of a bloke called Hollande, by the mechanism of social largesse with no income to pay for it. Germany has also decided to flirt with economic suicide courtesy of a woman called Merkel, by pricing energy intensive industry out of the country.

    I gave up voting many years ago as all the parties where increasingly alike and in any case once in power ignored their manifestos. UKIP seemed to be the only one that was any different, but had some unrealistic policies which made them unelectable, particularly their anti-European stance as I would have liked to have seen the Euro work. Wonder where Farage stands on windmills and the religion of gullible people and idiots, co2.

    But I guess the ideal party does not exist, perhaps it’s time to give up my 40 years long love affair with the Euro. I guess in the end it’s always about choosing the lesser evil, rather than the ideal set of policies.

    So now I have 3 choices, continue to not vote, vote UKIP or make a protest vote for this political party; in the UK we have ‘The Monster Raving Loony Party’ no less !

    Though if Boris Johnson were to take over leadership of the Conservatives then I might have 4 choices as Boris is a climate sceptic. Perhaps there is a God after all.

  137. Petrossa says:

    DirkH, Petrossa fumed already:

    Petrossa says:
    24 March 2013 at 7:42 pm
    Despite ‘closed banks’ money still flowing out of Cyprus at an astonishing rate: http://m.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/europas-schuldenkrise/zypern/entscheidung-in-nikosia-auffaellig-hohe-geldabfluesse-aus-zypern-12126658.html A real nice country. Corruption reigns supreme.

  138. adolfogiurfa says:

    “They” are broke!:

  139. Gail Combs says:

    E.M. Smith
    ….Oh Well. As long as it stays on that side of the puddle “not my problem” comes to mind. (But I have this feeling The Bernanke will want to make it my problem too…)….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I looked at that a few years ago before Fast and Furious. (The links maybe dead)

    In looking at our friends the Banksters I came across this THE STRATEGY TO GET THE U.S. INTO WAR [I & II] “…The trick eventually evolved into something far more dramatic than peace negotiations. It called for three strategies in one. They were: aggravate, insulate, and facilitate…..”

    The formula, as shown is:
    The first stage is to aggravate:
    Literally to goad them until they had no choice but to strike back (sound familiar?)

    The second prong of the strategy is to insulate: Keep the victims (that’s us) from getting the information needed to protect themselves.

    The third and final stage is to Facilitate the attack: Make it easy by offering no opposition.

    HMMMmmmm

    So I went looking to see if there was evidence of this strategy in the current situation and found these news articles.

    Washington (CNN) — The terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland has continued to “evolve” and may now “be at its most heightened state” since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members of Congress on Wednesday.

    There is an increased reliance on recruiting Westerners into terrorist organizations, she told the House Homeland Security Committee. State and local law enforcement officers are increasingly needed to combat terror, and the focus must be on aiding law enforcement to help them secure communities, she said…. http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/09/terror.threat/index.html?hpt=T2

    In other words let’s focus on removing even more freedom from the everyday American by calling him a possible “Homegrown Terrorist” and then be surprised when he finally retaliates.

    So what is happening at our southern border while Homeland Security is focusing on Americans.

    Administration Will Cut Border Patrol Deployed on U.S-Mexico Border – September 24, 2009
    Even though the Border Patrol now reports that almost 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control, and the Department of Justice says that vast stretches of the border are “easily breached,” and the Government Accountability Office has revealed that three persons “linked to terrorism” and 530 aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints last year, the administration is nonetheless now planning to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border….

    ….the Obama administration on May 7 said the Border Patrol “plans to move several hundred Agents from the Southwest Border
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/54514

    Just in case you wanted to know where the real ‘Homegrown Terrorists’ are from… Radical Islam makes inroads among Latin America’s Native peoples – February 21, 2010

    Local Officials: Border Crime On The Rise – January 6, 2011 PINAL COUNTY, Ariz
    Authorities in Pinal County dispute the Federal Government’s assertion that the Arizona border with Mexico is more secure than ever…. Tim Gaffney said that Director of Homeland Security Janet Napaolitano’s statements that crimes related to immigration and drug smuggling issues are down is just not true.The numbers county officials provided in the release seem to back up Gaffney’s stance. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said it has seen a “dramatic” increase in vehicle pursuits, drug seizures and calls to U.S. Border Patrol agents to help deal with illegal immigrants.

    So the locals are calling Napaolitano a liar based on evidence.

    To open the southern border even more the US government strips the states of their National Guard troops

    Three of the four border states are losing their National Guard troops – Are Legalized Civilian Militia Groups the Answer to Arizona’s Border Security Problems? – January 03, 2011

    Special Guest: Arizona State Rep.-elect Jack Harper

    …. Jack, in 2007, you passed legislation to create a state-sanctioned militia here in Arizona. The then-governor, Napolitano, vetoed it….

    HARPER: Well, you might have heard that three of the four border states are losing their National Guard troops now. And Arizona is supposed to lose the federally funded National Guard troops in June or July. Well, we’re going to get crushed once the National Guard’s off the border because ….. these forces in Mexico that smuggle illegal aliens and drugs into our country, they’re more considered with the National Guard than they are Border Patrol. Border Patrol’s … under Janet Napolitano, and that’s not really an intimidating factor.

    But a military uniformed person on the border makes a lot more sense. Now, using the Homeland Security Force volunteers to observe the border and the National Guard to react to incursions across our border is something that we’re going to explore,..

    The first bill, though, to establish the Homeland Security Force, I believe I’m going to have bipartisan support again. And I don’t know that …. Governor Brewer will be opposed to that, like Governor Napolitano was….
    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/transcript/legalized-civilian-militia-groups-answer-arizona039s-border-security-problems

    While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen — and telling the Mexican government where they are. Which side is the US government on anyway?

    Mexican Government Threatens Minutemen Over Civilian Border Patrols – October 2008
    Minutemen say corrupt, heartless government drives Mexican citizens from home…. [Actually it was NAFTA that wiped out 75% of Mexico’s farmers ]

    The government of Mexico yesterday issued a threat of legal action against the Minuteman Civil Defense Corp…

    According to the U.S. State Department, the Mexican government has a long and sordid history of human rights violations and corruption that continues today.

    The Minutemen do not blame Mexican nationals for wanting to live and work in the United States, said Chris Simcox, President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. “Our grievance is with the corrupt Mexican government and the oligarchs in power there who are callously shifting the responsibility of their impoverished population to the United States taxpayer through ineffectual border control efforts.”

    Simcox continued, “The border policies of the Mexican and United States governments have created a tragic and dangerous situation for citizens of both countries. Each year hundreds of Mexican and other nationals die a horrible death as they traverse desert wilderness attempting to illegally enter the United States. Among the sea of humanity that moves across the open borders every day, terrorists are free to walk across the border unchecked with chemical, biological and even nuclear materials. This is an unacceptable level of national security risk in a post-9/11 world”….
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/10/prweb293087.htm

    So American civilians are Napolitano’s enemy. To add insult to injury Napolitano morphs the Border Fence Law. Seems there is no rule of law that can not be broken at will not that that surprises us.
    What the fence was supposed to look like. (Oh and think of Obama’s shovel ready jobs snicker)

    To his right stands a steel wall, 20 feet high and reinforced by cement-filled steel piping. To his left another tall fence of steel mesh. Ten yards beyond, a shorter cyclone fence is topped with jagged concertina wire….

    “This wall works,” says Mr. Bernacke. “A lot of people have the misconception that it is a waste of time and money, but the numbers of apprehensions show that it works.”

    The triple-and double-layered fence here in Yuma is the kind of barrier that US lawmakers – and most Americans – imagined when the Secure Fence Act was enacted in 2006.

    The law instructed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure about one-third of the 1,950-mile border between US and Mexico with 700 miles of double-layered fencing – and additionally through cameras, motion sensors, and other types of barriers – by the end of the year to stem illegal immigration.

    Bankrolled by a separate $1.2 billion homeland security bill, the Secure Fence Act would, President Bush said in 2006, “make our borders more secure.” …
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0331yuma-wall0331-ON.html?&wired

    What Napolitano is actually doing to enforce the law.

    Napolitano Cancels Virtual Border Fence Project..1/14/2011
    Signaling a major shift from her predecessor, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday said she will spend $50 million of stimulus funds originally intended to build a “virtual fence” along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on other more proven and cost-effective security technology…. she said DHS will pursue a “new path forward” for security along the 2,000-mile southern U.S. border.

    MORE, this time from a police website…

    Work stops on ‘virtual fence’ along US-Mexico border
    The decision to pull back funding on the initiative aimed at protecting the U.S. from terrorists, violent drug smugglers and illegal immigrants comes on the heels of a series of damning reports by the Government Accountability Office, and as Ms. Napolitano attempts to justify to lawmakers a 30 percent budget reduction for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the midst of a raging drug war along the Southwest border.

    To date, the U.S. government, through the Secure Border Initiative, has paid Boeing Co. more than $1 billion to build less than 700 miles of barriers between ports of entry, and a costly but flawed system of radar towers, ground sensors and cameras known as SBInet, a $4 billion project that appears to be in jeopardy.

    Seems the cops don’t think much of Napolitano’s “other more proven and cost-effective security technology” or her 30% haircut to the border security project. Not surprising since it is their lives at stake when the border let criminals cross freely.

    So instead of “Stimulus” funds being used for something promised to US citizens BY LAW and doing something useful, something that is the actual province of government – securing our borders – the tax payer dollars are instead given to cronies of the politicians who then bankrupt their play-toy corporations and walk away with the cash. So much for all those jobs the government could have provided doing something useful.

    The Patriot Act DOES NOT SECURE the Southern border BTW.

    TITLE I–ENHANCING DOMESTIC SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM
    TITLE IV–PROTECTING THE BORDER
    Subtitle A–Protecting the Northern Border
    Sec. 401. Ensuring adequate personnel on the northern border.
    Sec. 402. Northern border personnel. [/b]
    Sec. 403. Access by the Department of State and the INS to certain identifying information in the criminal history records of visa applicants and applicants for admission to the United States.
    Sec. 404. Limited authority to pay overtime.
    Sec. 405. Report on the integrated automated fingerprint identification system for ports of entry and overseas consular posts.

    So there is the set-up, a nice inviting open border.

    Here is the bury the innocent citizen in bull poop.

    James Clapper, the head of intelligence for the United States of America, has explained to Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular.” It further has “eschewed violence,” decries al-Qaeda as a “perversion of Islam,” and really just wants “social ends” and “a betterment of the political order in Egypt.”

    This is the Muslim Brotherhood whose motto brays that the Koran is its law and jihad is its way. The MB whose Palestinian branch, the terrorist organization Hamas, was created for the specific purpose of destroying Israel — the goal its charter says is a religious obligation. It is the organization dedicated to the establishment of Islamicized societies and, ultimately, a global caliphate. It is an organization whose leadership says al-Qaeda’s emir, Osama bin Laden, is an honorable jihad warrior who was “close to Allah on high” in “resisting the occupation.”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/259500/theres-willful-blindness-and-then-theres-willful-stupidity-andrew-c-mccarthy

    More recently we have – kicking at the wasps nest, aggravate, aggravate, aggravate…

    US Caught in The Big Lie: ThisCantBeHappening! was Correct in Exposing Raymond Davis as a Spy
    So desperate has been the US effort to get the US government killer Raymond Davis sprung from police custody in Lahore, Pakistan following his execution-style slaughter of two Pakistani intelligence operatives in broad daylight in a crowded commercial area, that the government trotted out President Obama to declare that Pakistan was violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by holding “our diplomat,” whom he insisted had only been defending himself, and should in any case be entitled to absolute immunity.

    Now both the Guardian newspaper in the UK over the weekend, and the Associated Press today are reporting that sources in both the Pakistani and American governments are confirming that Davis works for the CIA….

    Appearing ‘weak’ as a lure when there is retaliation. (Oh and blaming the retaliation not on the CIA open provocation but on some silly video)

    Did Obama lie about the embassy attacks?

    Eli Lake let loose a bombshell yesterday: “Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.”

    Obviously the report, if true, suggests that the White House lied to the American people by insisting for over a week that this was a spontaneous attack. It is one thing for the president to be so benighted as to think a video sets off multiple attacks on Sept. 11. It is quite another to send out his advisers, including his own spokesman, to mislead voters.

    Of course the big problem is American civilians are armed to the teeth and even democrats are now buying guns link

    So we have the dual purpose Fast and Furious designed to arm the ‘other side’ while providing a reason to disarm citizens because the UN wants a small arms treaty. The latest vote is just in Senate votes 53-46 to stop US from joining UN Arms Trade Treaty

    As both Switzerland and the USA during WWII and Afghanistan have shown, a populous armed to the teeth makes invasion a bad move and a very big deterrent. link

  140. Gail Combs says:

    J Martin says:
    …. Wonder where Farage stands on windmills and the religion of gullible people and idiots, co2….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party (UKIP)’s leader, railed against “ugly disgusting ghastly windmills” on BBC Radio
    “Here you’ve got Cameron saying it’s outrageous that [energy] prices are going up, whilst at the same time he more than anybody else has supported this loopy idea that we can cover Britain in ugly disgusting ghastly windmills and that somehow our future energy needs will come from that and that already everyone of you in this room is paying a 12 percent surcharge on your energy bills to subsidise a wind turbine programme that simply won’t work….”

    There is a very good reason for citizens to want to keep government small and local. If it is small and local we have control. The bigger it is the less control the man in the street has over the greedy sociopaths that migrate to positions of power. Politics, especially big politics, takes lots of charm, no morals and the ability to convincingly lie and dodge while you tell the people you are screwing it is for their own good.

    Vote for Nigel Farage and the UK Independence Party. Vote the little pigglets in and kick the large hogs out. It is the best way to keep government from grabbing too much power and wealth.

    Now if we could only kick out the unelected bureaucrats who are the real power and problem…

  141. Gail Combs says:

    For those who can not see videos of Brezovsky post mortem shows death hanging.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/03/2013325234837412940.html

  142. Gail Combs says:

    Russia Today has nothing on the Cyprus situation dated more recently that the 22th when Russia told Cyprus to go pound sand (Remember Cyprus was protecting the funds of Russians who were trying to avoid a Russian haircut by placing funds in Russian banks)

    The most recent news is BRICS plan new 50bn bank to rival World Bank and IMF

    The ‘big five’ of the developing world will discuss creating their own global World Bank as their 5th annual summit kicks off Tuesday in sunny Durban.
    The move is linked to the developing world’s disillusionment with the status quo of world financial institutions. The World Bank and IMF continue to favor US and European presidents over BRICS nations, and in 2010, the US failed to ratify a 2010 agreement which would allow more IMF funds to be allocated to developing nations.

    “Not long ago we discussed the formation of a developmental bank… Today we are ready to launch it,” South African President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

    The ‘big five’- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and its newest addition, South Africa, will come together for the annual conference this year in Durban, South Africa in hopes of establishing a new development bank which will fund infrastructure and development projects in the five member states, and will pool foreign currencies to fend off any impending financial crisis…..

    So the wealth of US and EU citizens is used to finance the bootstrapping of Brazil, India, and China over the last decades and now they are picking up their marbles, flipping the finger at the IMF and World Bank, and starting their own club. So much for Al Gore’s Interdependence Movement

    MORE POPCORN!

    Something I have been wondering about is why ordinary people have been ‘allowed’ an international internet. Just as I thought, it is part of the move to develop the feeling of a ‘Global Village’ and promote interdependence In October 1998, then Vice-President Al Gore proposed a Digital Declaration of Interdependence (DDI), which posed five challenges to use information technology to forge a stronger global community:

    This is an interesting take on Al Gore’s Interdependence Movement Dale C. Copeland, “Economic Interdependence and War: A Theory of Trade Expectations,” International Security, Vol. 20, no.4 (Spring 1996)….A COMPARISON OF THE LIBERAL AND REALIST PERSPECTIVES

    Does economic interdependence increase or decrease the probability of war among states?…

    Liberals argue that economic interdependence lowers the likelihood of war by increasing the value of trading over the alternative of aggression: interdependent states would rather trade than invade. As long as high levels of interdependence can be maintained, liberals assert, we have reason for optimism. Realists dismiss the liberal argument, arguing that high interdependence increases rather than decreases the probability of war. In anarchy, states must constantly worry about their security. Accordingly, interdependence – meaning mutual dependence and thus vulnerability – gives states an incentive to initiate war, if only to ensure continued access to necessary materials and goods.

    The unsatisfactory nature of both liberal and realist theories is shown by their difficulties in explaining the run-ups to the two World Wars. The period up to World War I exposes a glaring anomaly for liberal theory: the European powers had reached unprecedented levels of trade, yet that did not prevent them from going to war. Realists certainly have the correlation right – the war was preceded by high interdependence – but trade levels had been high for the previous thirty years; hence, even if interdependence was a necessary condition for the war, it was not sufficient…

    A few practical implications of this new theoretical framework for the post-Cold War world can be briefly noted. In anticipating likely areas of conflict, one should look for situations in which powers have both high levels of dependence on outsiders and low expectations for trade. Both China and Japan, as emerging great powers, may soon satisfy these conditions. China’s economy is growing at a yearly rate many times that of most other powers, and its domestic sources of raw materials are struggling to keep pace; within the next couple of years, for example, China will have to begin importing oil.(87) As it continues to modernize its armed forces, it will gradually gain the strength necessary to press its territorial claims.….

    Clinton gave China the wherewithal to press its territorial claims. by sending over US military technology. link And by weakening the USA.

    What the article leaves out is the manipulation of the Banksters. War is always very very lucrative for the Banksters and their corporate buddies.

    Louis T. McFadden’s Speech In the House of Representatives – 10 June 1932
    …These twelve private credit monopolies were deceitfully and disloyally foisted upon this country by the bankers who came here from Europe and repaid us for our hospitality by undermining our American institutions. Those bankers took money out of this country to finance Japan in a war against Russia. They created a reign of terror in Russia with our money in order to help that war along. They instigated the separate peace between Germany and Russia and thus drove a wedge between the Allies in the World War. They financed Trotsky’s passage from New York to Russia so that he might assist in the destruction of the Russian Empire. They fomented and instigated the Russian revolution and they placed a large fund of American dollars at Trotsky’s disposal in one of their branch banks in Sweden so that through him Russian homes might be thoroughly broken up and Russian children flung far and wide from their natural protectors….

    A few days ago, the President of the United States, with a white face and shaking hands, went before the Senate on behalf of the moneyed interests and asked the Senate to levy a tax on the people so that foreigners might know that the United States would pay its debt to them. Most Americans thought it was the other way around. What do the United States owe to foreigners? When and by whom was the debt incurred? It was incurred by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks when they peddled the signature of this Government to foreigners for a price. It is what the United States Government has to pay to redeem the obligations of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks….

    It will take us twenty years to redeem our Government. Twenty years of penal servitude to pay off the gambling debts of the traitorous Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks and to earn again that vast flood of American wages and savings, bank deposits, and United States Government credit which the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks exported out of this country to their foreign principals.

    The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks lately conducted an anti-hoarding campaign here. Then they took that extra money which they had persuaded the American people to put into the banks and they sent it to Europe along with the rest. In the last several months, they have sent $1,300,000,000 in gold to their foreign employers, their foreign masters, and every dollar of that gold belonged to the people of the United States and was unlawfully taken from them….

    McFadden was prophetic

    Congressman McFadden on the Federal Reserve Corporation Remarks in Congress, 1934
    “The Prime Minister of England came here for money! He came here to collect cash!

    “He came here with Fed Currency and other claims against the Fed which England had bought up in all parts of the world. And he has presented them for redemption in gold.

    “Mr. Chairman, I am in favor of compelling the Fed to pay their own debts. I see no reason why the general public should be forced to pay the gambling debts of the International Bankers….

    The German – Banker connections during WWI

    Secrets of the Federal Reserve
    by Eustace Mullins
    Chapter 8 — World War One
    …The 1920 Schiff obituary revealed for the first time that Jacob Schiff, like the Warburgs, also had two brothers in Germany during World War I, Philip and Ludwig Schiff, of Frankfurt-on-Main, who also were active as bankers to the German Government! This was not a circumstance to be taken lightly, as on neither side of the Atlantic were the said bankers obscure individuals who had no influence in the conduct of the war. On the contrary, the Kuhn, Loeb partners held the highest governmental posts in the United States during World War I, while in Germany, Max and Fritz Warburg, and Philip and Ludwig Schiff, moved in the highest councils of government. From Memoirs of Max Warburg, “The Kaiser thumbed the table violently and shouted, ‘Must you always be right?’ but then listened carefully to Max’s view on financial matters.”72

    In June, 1918, Paul Warburg wrote a private note to Woodrow Wilson, “I have two brothers in Germany who are bankers. They naturally now serve their country to their utmost ability, as I serve mine.” 73

    Neither Wilson nor Warburg viewed the situation as one of concern, and Paul Warburg served out his term on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, while World War I continued to rage.
    http://www.barefootsworld.net/fs_m_ch_08.html

  143. adolfogiurfa says:

    These crazy things are crazy and doomed to failure. I am sure that any of “them”, if allowing or having by chance a moment of calmness and serenity, will ask themselves: Will I live a happier life if I keep on this game?, nope!, I am being a fool …Better I take my family with me and go to that paradisiacal island….

  144. adolfogiurfa says:

    So…..@E.M.: How was that new interesting battery?. Remember the nanotechnology bill, intended to promote such a technology?, well, we now have a lot of nano materials, and among these, nano iron…just in case we need some day to improve that battery you just showed us.

  145. E.M.Smith says:

    Talk about your “Day late and a Dollar Short”…

    Per the news crawler of Fox Business, Fitch has just downgraded the two major banks in Cyprus…

    Well, guess things are all better now… (on the theory they always call a warning when it’s over).

    Also saw that the Eurozone has nearly 12% unemployment (so some places are horrid to make up for Germany being good) and that the Eurozone is looking at a -0.5% GDP “growth”…

    Looks like the start of a “return to recession”.

    I think it was the same channel (but I channel hop during business hours so who knows…) had a “talking head” discussing money flows out of the EU / Eurozone. Guy had an English accent and was saying something like “Thank goodness the UK stayed out of the Euro.” Then there was some discussion of what we’ve talked about here. The breaking of trust with the customer. The flood of money leaving the Eurozone. (then some discussion of could it happen in the USA). It was clear, though, the big problem was the Eurozone, the EU “keepers”, and the Cyprus ‘make it up as you go along and ignore bankruptcy law’ behaviour.

    Part of the discussion was the mention of ‘Diesel-boom’ saying it was a good model to follow, and that this event will drive all sorts of money out of the “southern Eurozone banks”. Somehow I get the feeling this isn’t the ‘beginning of the end’ and is just the ‘end of the beginning’.

    That the EU leaders think this ‘rape of the depositors’ will instill greater trust and faith in Eurozone banks and the Euro is just so wrong. They are delusional.

  146. Gail Combs says:

    EM – That the EU leaders think this ‘rape of the depositors’ will instill greater trust and faith in Eurozone banks and the Euro is just so wrong. They are delusional.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I would think anyone with an ounce of sense would be getting out of banks as much as possible PERIOD. I do not care where you are. All the bankers are interconnected.

    OH and don’t forget the manta of harmonization of laws between the EU and the USA

    June 2007 – The European Union and the United States recently announced the signing of a Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration at a summit in Washington. Describing the agreement as “a statement of the importance of trade”, President Bush, speaking at the post-summit press conference, claimed that it was “a commitment to eliminating barriers to trade” and “a recognition that the closer that the United States and the EU become, the better off our people become.”…
    http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/us/summit07/

    That conspiracy site has links to the actual pdfs

  147. adolfogiurfa says:

    Try a decent devaluation , reduce taxes and forget all conspiracies: That´s the cure.

  148. Gail Combs says:

    Interesting that the latest CBS story on Cyprus (March 25, 2013, 6:08 PM) has only one comment and the story before that has none. The Gun Control and Gay Marriage articles have zillions. Bread and circuses seem to be working just fine.

  149. Gail Combs says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    26 March 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Try a decent devaluation , reduce taxes and forget all conspiracies: That´s the cure.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I call it head in the sand.

    At this afternoon’s FOMC Press Conference in response to a question posed as to whether the Fed would ever impose depositor haircuts as was attempted this week in Cyprus, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed that Cyprus style depositor haircut wealth confiscation is possible here in the US if the Cyprus event or another event in Europe were to become contagious and the people lose confidence in the US dollar…

    At 3:18 PM EST Bernanke was [asked] whether a seizure of deposits could happen to US depositors as in Cyprus, if the economy gets worse?

    Beranke’s translated response: Only if the Cyprus event or another event in Europe were to become contagious and the people lose confidence in the US dollar.
    Bernanke stated that depositor haircuts in the US are extremely unlikely, as FDIC provides deposit insurance for customer deposits?
    (editor note: and so did Cyprus!)

    While QE to infinity will be pursued as long as possible and Bernanke downplayed the possibility depositor haircuts would ever occur in the US, the entire Cyprus fiasco ever occurring in the US is according to Bernanke only extremely unlikely because the FDIC has a history of making good on failed banking institutions… [CG note: With tax payer money and big bonuses to bankers /sarc]
    http://www.silverdoctors.com/bernanke-states-cyprus-style-depositor-haircuts-possible-in-us-if-events-in-europe-become-contagious/

    I do not have video but there is the link at this site and a transcript.

    …The American government has seized private assets before, and President Obama authorized seizure of property again last year. (The Argentinian government grabbed 401k assets; and some in the American government have mulled the same thing. And the U.S. government’s take-down of Megaupload was also an exercise of the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs. )…
    Bernanke was asked yesterday whether a Cyprus-style grab of bank deposits is possible in the U.S. :

    Question: I was wondering if you can tell me how if a run on the banks happens in Cyprus, how that might affect U.S. markets. And also is it possible for the U.S. to levy a tax on regular deposits here? Or why not?

    Bernanke: As someone mentioned Cyprus is a tiny economy. I don’t think these issues as worrisome as they are and as concerned as we would be for the Cyprus people, I don’t think that they have a direct implications for the U.S. economy.

    The only way that they would create a problem would be if the runs became contagious in some sense, if depositors in other countries lost confidence. But to this point I’m not aware of any evidence that that is in fact the case.

    The argument the Europeans are making is that Cyprus is a unique situation, very different situation, and indeed, it is quite unusual to have a banking sector as large as they have relative to their economy.

    In terms of the United States, the FDIC was founded in 1934, and we have insured deposits and they are very proud of the fact that no one has ever lost a dime in insured deposits.

    And during the crisis the response of the government was in fact to increase the level of deposit or account sizes that were insured. So I consider that to be extremely unlikely in the United States.

    …Bernanke’s response is unsatisfactory for 2 reasons.

    Initially, the FDIC only insures deposits up to $250,000. So deposits over that amount are unprotected.

    Indeed, the FDIC has, in fact, come very close to being insolvent at various times. See the following articles from the New York Times, American Banker, Bloomberg, Zero Hedge and Mish.

    True, the Treasury Department would likely just bail out the FDIC if the FDIC really went belly up. But that would take a political act of will. And so Bernanke should have said, “we will always make sure the FDIC has enough money”.

    Second – and more important – Bernanke failed to answer the question altogether. The question was not about whether the government would save bank depositors from economic conditions caused by others. The question was whether the government itself would grab deposits.….
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/bernanke-fails-to-reassure-over-concerns-of-a-cyprus-style-seizure-of-american-bank-deposits.html

    The take home for the big News centers is “Don’t Worry” despite the fact Bernanke failed to answer the question altogether. If a politician does not give you a straight answer then the real answer is one you do not want to hear.

    If you want to know what this blogger is about read AVAILABLE and Overview For New Readers

    He is seeing exactly what I am seeing.
    “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

  150. Gail Combs says:

    Passover just began, I am not Jewish or even religious but this article in light of the happenings in Cyprus struck a chord. From Slavery to Freedom

  151. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Gail Combs: That´s why Jesus took a whip to throw the money changers out from the temple. They used to take only 10%, in Cyprus it went to 40%….

  152. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Combs:

    Uh… I think I have another hour or two until passover… Not sundown here yet! -)

    But yes. Why I like the Bible. It has wisdom in it, for believers and non alike…

    Well, off to dinner.. just out of the Patio Oven… Casserole (Tuna noodle…) Looks Great.

    Still getting the hang of temperature control, it doesn’t need much heat at all to hold 350 F.

  153. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    There is never a need for a devaluation, an inflation, nor a deflation. They are all largely just currency illusions. It doesn’t matter what the “price index” does. You can devalue the currency, or just as effectively, tell folks they are getting a cut in wages and a tax on debts owed to them. The only reason for a devaluation (aka instant inflation of currency in one step) is to make the pay cut and tax on debts owed to folks more politically acceptable.

    Personally, I’d rather have a fixed money value and let folks come to grips with reality.

    @Gail Combs:

    Finally read that story through. Good advice for the modern man in the modern state, only referencing the meaning of passover. Not so much biblical as a tail of modernity… nicely done.

    FWIW, I think the way the EU has handled Cyprus has set back any US / EU “integration” quite a bit… folks might not be commenting on some blog, but it is getting covered in a negative light on many news TV shows. Including the question of “what about in America?”…

    Well, sun just setting here, so “Welcome to Passover in California”… (wonder what I do next… maybe I ought to look up that Jewish Ritual stuff… I suspect that about 40,000 years ago we came from about the same place. Maybe only 30,000. Then again, I think “my folks” were the Edomites who had some various wars with the son’s of Israel… but eventually some of us Red Heads ended up merging into The Tribe, so who knows… Probably ought to look up that set of haplogroups and “see what they say” -) If you remember the story of Israel, the son who had his birthright stolen was a curly haired red head who liked to hunt… and got into mischief a lot.

    So this is what, 3 days and counting until the open the banks again? And I wonder if we will ever find out how much Russian Money left via those back door branches… That could explain a lot about Putin becoming less interested in a ‘deal’ and about why they kept extending when the banks would “reopen” and ordered in more cash… Every time they redid the numbers it would be “worse than we thought!” ;-)

  154. Gail Combs says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    27 March 2013 at 2:29 am

    …..Personally, I’d rather have a fixed money value and let folks come to grips with reality…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I think G Edward Griffin was right about that. The whole idea behind Fractional Reserve Banking is to tax the people without them knowing it.

    ….From the Bank of England forward all the governments of Europe had central banks for a very good reason. The kings and princes of Europe had learned from hard experience that they could raise the taxes of their subjects only so high and then they had a revolt on their hands and they tended to lose their jobs (and heads). It appears that that natural level was about 40-43%; people will tolerate taxes up to about 40-43% and then they start digging in their heels and they just won’t allow it to go any further. But with the central bank mechanism in place the lid was off. Now these governments could tax their people 50%, 60%, 70% and in some cases 80% of everything they produced and they did not have a revolt on their hands. They did not have resentment because the people didn’t know that they were paying a tax. They knew that prices were going up, but they didn’t understand why, they didn’t know who was getting their lost purchasing power.

    It was a nifty arrangement for these governments. It was at that point in history that governments’ wars began to heat up. They always had wars but they were relatively small things because wars are expensive and the people won’t pay more than 40% for everything including wars. But now that they had a way to tax higher than that, they could engage in very expensive wars. It’s at that point in history that Europe plunged headlong into continuous war and big, very, very expensive wars. The people paid for them uncomplainingly through the process of inflation….
    http://www.bigeye.com/griffin.htm

    Now where is _Jim to complain I quoted – GASP – a John Bircher…. Others complain that Griffin stole the material from Eustace Mullins book, The Secrets of the Federal Reserve (1983) However I like him because he is very readable and puts the information into terms most people can understand. Mullins and Congressman Wright Patman (A Primer on Money ) are a bit more of a slog for our dumbed down general population.

    I am learning that if the Mass Media targets someone for vilification it is normally because he has facts they do not want the public to hear.

  155. Gail Combs says:

    EM – “… it is getting covered in a negative light on many news TV shows. Including the question of “what about in America?”…”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I gave up watching TV in 1975. It is nice to know the situation is not being ignored.

  156. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. That Tuna…..made me forget about taxes…which, btw, now the problem is that they have been apply at a mathematically imaginary level, beyond 100%!!, that is why the KING IS NAKED!. Tell us: What would it be the best outcome?

  157. E.M.Smith says:

    Fox News is reporting that Cyprus is coming up short on money from the big depositors. Talking about an 80% “haircut” and / or revisiting the small depositors. No link or second references yet, but if true, “this isn’t good”…

  158. Petrossa says:

    The latest is 37.5% ‘stock transfer’ http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/03/29/grootspaarders-bank-of-cyprus-krijgen-aandelen-tot-37-5-procent/ There is no chance they’ll revisit below 100.000 since those are protected by the EU Depositors Bank Guarantuee and touching that WILL cause a European wide bankrun.

  159. E.M.Smith says:

    Suddenly U.S. News has gone silent on the issue.

    As though the moving finger, having writ, moved on…

    I wonder where I can find stats on the probable “Bank Walk” that ought to be in progress…

  160. Gail Combs says:

    The vote on federal gun control in the USA is today. If you are a US citizen you might want to call your Senator and voice your opinion.

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