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Everything posted by zugzwang

  1. The UK is an a compound debt death spiral. A little bit behind Greece and Spain. A little bit ahead of Japan and the USA. Benny, Mervo and SuperMario need to co-ordinate printy, printy: An 'Operation Overlord' of fictitious capital creation against the beastly fiscal austerity of the Germans.
  2. Greek banks get another €18bn re-cap. Whew! For a second there I thought they might not. The news that the EU has given its blessing to the release of €18bn in recapitalization funds for Greeks banks has been met with relief all round in Athens. Greece's outgoing finance minister Filippos Sachinidis, attending last night's eurozone finance ministers' summit was told the long-awaited cash injection would be disbursed as early as today. And it is not as moment too late, say Greek officials and observers. "The banking system is in dire straits. This is very good news and shows that the EU is following through, it's acting on its promises and that in itself is an act of faith," Nikos Evangelatos, a prominent political commentator told radio listeners this morning. With all the talk of a Greek exit from the 17-nation euro zone panic-stricken depositors have been rushing to withdraw savings from banks. Since Friday last, an estimated €1bn has been withdrawn from banks according to deeply concerned finance ministry officials. Recapitalisation of the Greek banking system – badly hit by their enforced participation in the country's unprecedented debt restructuring – is a major part of the second €130bn package of rescue loans agreed for Greece earlier this year by the EU, ECB and IMF, its 'troika' of creditors.
  3. Foreign lenders now looking at a €422bn haircut on Greek debt! Looks like someone's going to have to borrow Mervo's custom keyboard. Global lenders face killer losses
  4. The FIRE (Finance, Insurance & Real Estate) lobby found out it didn't pay as well as a rigged market for everything.
  5. +1 There's only one thing the British hate more than the current govt and that's teh Europe, conditioned as they have been for a generation by the Tory-owned yellow press. A clear line of rhetoric is being developed to blame Europe for everything, Osborne was at it again this morning. By pre-empting a move by the Tory executive to take the UK out of Europe altogether, Balls is effectively spiking their guns. I still expect Cameron to plug on with an in/out referendum, however. So slender are his chances of re-election, an appeal to Britain's barely suppressed Imperial vanity looks like the only shot he's got left. Not sure the Scots will see things in quite the same way.
  6. As the Depression worsens they'll consume every penny in an effort to stay upright.
  7. Return to lender. Walk away, no pay. Let the criminal originators of Greece's debts eat the losses. Better to be poor and free than some bankster's chattel...
  8. To be fair, this is exactly what ZIRP is intended to achieve. Eleviate the debt-burden on mortgagors and redistribute it across the entire population working and retired.
  9. There is only one way out: Default and Print. The only question is when it happens, not if. The matter is entirely in the hands of the German political establishment, the principal obstruction being the folk-memory of hyperinflation among the German electorate. Do they throw Greece under the bus as a scare tactic to shock the German public out of its complacency, or not?
  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy0UBpagsu8
  11. It's Nadeem Walayat, the 'stealth boom' loon. I wouldn't place too much store in his analysis, he's basically a City shill with stock to distribute. By definition, a monetary union is both a political project and an economic project. The European Union has been a thundering success on both counts, which is why despite the current travails there's a half dozen countries still queuing up to get in (and quite unlike the British Union, whose national constituents can barely stand the sight of each other). Today, the German economy is arguably the most successful in the world. Yet the world was a very different place when the EU was conceived and Europe stood before an invincible military machine facing near-certain annihilation. Who expected the Soviet Union to fall apart in the manner it did? No one. Not a single pundit, politician or military strategist. This aspect of the EU's origins is almost never examined. Greece has the potential to collapse the euro, no question, and perhaps ultimately the European Union itself, but only if Germany is prepared to stand aside and let it. Despite the prodromic utterances of the Tory press, who seem more interested in confirming their longstanding Atlanticist biases than anything else, at present the Greece 'crisis' is a crisis for Greece alone. They have to default, the alternative is barbaric and has no democratic mandate, but a mechanism (very nearly) exists to let them do so and still remain within the eurozone - a default into the new European Stability Mechanism. The permanent ESM, which comes into effect from July 1st, is too small to cope with both Greece and Spain defaulting as is, but that could be rectified by majority vote. It could then issue bonds mutualising the debt of defaulting governments. That debt would be financed partly through the ECB, partly by those eurozone govts still solvent i.e. Germany - and anybody else who wanted a piece. A debt now backed by the full faith and credit of the ECB and the Bundesbank, of course. Ultimately it comes down to this: can the German political establishment terrify the German public sufficiently into letting go the inflation reins so that the ECB can print away the eurozone peripheral debt, as the BoE is doing for the UK? Maybe they'll let Greece fail chaotically just to provide a example of what has to be done to avert the same fate befalling Spain.
  12. All eyeballs on the Greece 'crisis' but yet again the real shocks manifest themselves elsewhere... When will the Torygraph Headbanger Collective ever learn?
  13. What mad b*******s. A box of these would have served the same purpose. Nice to see Lord Coe on another junket though.
  14. I don't think they'll do much for a while. Fuel/energy costs are too bubbly, and there's a 3p/litre increase in petrol prices due to hit forecourts in August. I see them letting delveraging resume to give themselves room for more QE towards the end of the year - or maybe some direct monetisation this time if things are looking truly apocalyptic.
  15. The bankers dynamite-strapped themselves and threatened to blow up the system. Worked for a while but now the world's electorates are strapping on the dynamite too...
  16. Actually, that's deflation for you. The death spiral of debt, unemployment, old age and malinvestment. The Japanese govt has played the 'Keynesian' card for over two decades until its debts have become so unimaginably vast that tax receipts now cover only the gargantuan interest repayments on that debt plus the social security budget. All other government expenditure has to be borrowed into existence and financed with yet more debt.
  17. Anybody can talk a good book, props to you for posting your trades. Ditto gold here too. This site certainly helped make my mind up, in fact I'm looking to buy more gold (and silver) this year. Mind you, I also know someone (at RBS!) who lost £4K speculating on Northern Rock in its death throes. I always look at the US first when trying to anticipate market moves. FWIW I fancy we'll see de-leveraging resume with the Facebook IPO, until Benny, Mervo and Mario light up the afterburners again towards the end of the year.
  18. "Sometimes you can't believe you are not in a third-world country." On the contrary, most of the time I have difficulty believing anything else.
  19. I think you hit the nail by identifying the Internet as culprit. Factor in a five year depression and then take a look at the sales numbers! UK newspaper circulation is down around 25% since 2007. In the US the figure is closer to 30%. Advertising revenue has walked off a cliff, again no great surprise since most of it came courtesy the housing industry. The MSM just doesn't have the resources it once did to cover a story. Losing money continuously they're having to broaden their appeal to stay afloat. The Telegraph, for instance, is becoming indistinguishable from the Wail. Chockful of lifestyle squibs and features about women's fashion.
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