European Reality Check

rblong2us

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Yeah, same as Venezuelas gold is ( was) the property of the people.

Then they give control of it to the pols, cos thats democracy .......
 

ancona

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Germany had a great deal of difficulty repatriating her gold. As I recall, a boatload of it was supposed to come back to them from New York, but never did. This [to me anyway] was a huge red light, telling me that the gold was either encumbered in some way, sold or otherwise held back in some way that made it impossible to repatriate it. Some kind of shenanigans was going on and the whole thing just went quietly away.

Meanwhile, China and Russia are gobbling up the worlds gold production like starving raccoons in a trash can. Those guys know what's up. Russia is dumping paper debt as fast as they can, unlike China, who has so much of it that to dump it would mean world wide monetary catastrophe.
 

ancona

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Bullshit I say. Brexit is just that, Brexit. No more nannycrats telling them when to masturbate for mommy. Trade will continue as normal because it must. Italy is next, followed by Hungary and Poland.
 

pmbug

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There is a dual Italian crisis brewing in the European Union. On the one hand, it is a political, or even geopolitical, crisis. Italy is undermining the unity of the European Union; blocking the EU’s recognition of those behind the coup in Venezuela as the legitimate authority; preventing the expansion of sanctions against Russia; and even supporting the ‘yellow vest’ movement in France, which is arousing the anger of the French government.

On the other hand, the crisis is economic in nature. Italy is once more sliding into a recession (economic growth was negative in the country); Italian banks are again facing financial problems; and the business media has already estimated that the Italian economic crisis could blow up the entire European banking system.

There is a strong possibility that the EU’s leaders will soon be faced with a choice: try to save Italy (and the whole of Europe) from yet another crisis or set an example by punishing the Italian government for the country’s independent economic and foreign policies. In turn, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government will most likely have its own dilemma to deal with: bow down and sell its principles to get help from Brussels or go all out and regain Italian independence. The choice will not be easy and either decision will be painful. Neither ending to this Italian drama could really be called happy. As this headline in The Telegraph quite rightly notes: “Crisis brewing in Italy will lead to default, exit from the euro, or both.”
...
More: https://orientalreview.org/2019/03/...attle-between-italy-and-the-eu-is-inevitable/
 

pmbug

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Whoa! This is a full on ursupation of sovereignty. I thought it was an April's Fool joke when I first saw the headline.
Countries must seek ECB approval to manage gold reserves: Draghi

FRANKFURT, March 28 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank needs to approve any operation in the foreign reserves of euro zone countries, including gold and large foreign currency holdings, the ECB’s President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.
...
https://www.reuters.com/article/ecb...-to-manage-gold-reserves-draghi-idUSF9N1XJ02N
 

ancona

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Just wow!they've gone full authoritarian. These countries have got to come to their collective senses before it's too late.
 

pmbug

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Winning over 30% of seats, Eurosceptic parties and anti-establishment groups now control their largest bloc of votes since the first EU Parliamentary election in 1979.
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Though pro-European groups together maintain a clear majority, this broad grouping has become increasingly fragmented, which could complicate policy making, while a strong showing from eurosceptics will mount a serious challenge to the status quo, according to a group of analysts from Deutsche Bank.
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More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019...-status-quo-strong-showing-parliamentary-vote

Hours after Deputy PM Matteo Salvini was handed an even clearer mandate by the Italian people to oppose austerity, promising the next budget will focus on tax cuts, EU officials have reportedly threatened a huge fine over its failure to rein in debt.

Bloomberg reports that the 3.5 billion euro ($4 billion) fine could come as part of the European Union’s regular budget monitoring process on June 5 and would mark an escalation of Rome’s budget tussle with Brussels that roiled markets at the end of 2018.
...
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019...er-eu-threatens-huge-fine-over-excessive-debt
 

pmbug

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This could be significant if it comes to pass:
Debate is growing in Italy about the suggestion that a new domestic currency could be introduced by the government to pay its debts -- and the possibility that Rome's Eurosceptic coalition might use it to facilitate the nation's departure from the euro.

Prominent members of deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini's ruling League party have floated the proposal -- which was endorsed by a vote in the Italian parliament last week. But how would it work, and how likely is it to happen?

The Italian government should issue debt in small denominations that can change hands as a medium of exchange -- that, at least, is the view of key advisers to Mr Salvini.

Claudio Borghi, one of the League's most influential economic advisers, has championed the idea, as has Alberto Bagnai, president of the finance committee in Rome's Senate. Mr Borghi, who has been strongly critical of Italy's membership of the single currency, is president of the budget committee in the lower house of Italy's parliament.

The proposal involves creating a new type of Treasury bill -- dubbed mini-bills of Treasury (mini-BOTs) -- which could be used by the government to pay the arrears it owes to commercial businesses, and by citizens to pay their taxes, Mr Borghi has suggested.

Thus it would have the scope to grow into what would in effect be a parallel domestic currency, separate from Italy's official currency, the euro. ...
https://www.ft.com/content/aca3c80a-86ac-11e9-97ea-05ac2431f453

h/t (no paywall): http://gata.org/node/19120

Mish posted some background and thoughts on the issue. Of note:
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To prevent Beppe Grillo and his 5-Star movement from coming into power, Italy changed its election rules to give coalitions more power than parties.

The result is Salvini might win so much support in the next election that he may have a super-majority in Parliament so as to not need a referendum to launch the mini-bot parallel currency.
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https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/econ...uro-parallel-currency-jfYIUXnEmUe-yeo0-uVZrg/
 

pmbug

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Italy is about to have an express date with political chaos again.

Overnight, Italian bond yields spiked following the latest media reports that Deputy PM, and Italy's defacto leader, Matteo Salvini had issued a Monday ultimatum to shake up the cabinet and threatened that if his partners in the Five Star Movement don’t yield to his demands he’ll dissolve the government.
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Something that has not broken down in recent months has been Italian bonds, whose yields have bizarrely been tumbling despite the lack of ECB support, although overnight it emerged just who was the buyer of first and last resort was when Bloomberg reported that Japanese investors bought the largest amount of Italian sovereign bonds since at least 2005 in June; purchases of Italian government securities climbed to 278.8b yen ($2.6b), the highest since comparable data became available in 2005, according to Japanese balance-of-payments released Thursday.
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https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019...salvini-issues-ultimatum-conte-meet-president
 

rblong2us

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When Japanese gov offerings are less appealing than Italian ones, you have to wonder wtf is really going on.

Its as if all the swans are gently fading through grey to black and it doesnt matter ........
 

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As managing director at the International Monetary Fund and a government minister in France, Christine Lagarde was renowned for her political dexterity, deftly handling recalcitrant governments, unions and business leaders.

She will need those political skills when she takes over as president of the European Central Bank on Friday, with her ascendance coming at a particularly vexing time for the bank.

The 63-year-old Frenchwoman will have to break a deadlock among eurozone policy makers over how to support the region’s faltering economy, a divergence reflected in a clash this fall within the ECB’s rate-setting committee over departing President Mario Draghi’s ultraloose monetary policy.

In the days before assuming the presidency, Ms. Lagarde gave a hint of how she will seek consensus among politicians and the eurozone public at large.

A rash of interviews—including one in which she explicitly criticized President Trump—and a charm offensive in Germany, the ECB’s biggest critic, could presage a very different style from Mr. Draghi, a veteran central banker who communicated through carefully controlled speeches and news conferences.

“Ms. Lagarde is a political heavyweight in a way that other ECB officials are not,” said Stefan Gerlach, former deputy governor of Ireland’s central bank. “She understands the constraints that politicians are under and is well-placed to find win-win solutions.”
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/lagarde-turns-on-the-charm-as-she-takes-helm-of-ecb-11572591600

and then...

... the ECB's new head, former IMF Director and convicted criminal, Christine Lagarde ... calling on Germany and the Netherlands to use their budget surpluses to fund investments that would help stimulate the economy, ...
https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/lagarde-we-should-be-happier-have-job-have-savings

TPTB rewarded Lagarde for her work at the IMF. Who is the new director for the IMF now?
 

pmbug

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... ECB policy maker Madis Muller, the governor of the Bank of Estonia, who essentially hinted that the ECB could very well buy stocks during the next recession, saying that the central bank could broadened its asset-purchase program, if the economic situation in the euro area deteriorates significantly.

“Right now, we are doing unconventional things,” he told students at a Bundesbank event in Frankfurt on Saturday. "You could - of course - imagine even more unconventional things if the situation gets really bad" ...
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/e...ill-buy-stocks-when-situation-gets-really-bad
 

pmbug

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The European Central Bank launched an extra emergency bond-buying program worth 750 billion euros ($820 billion) in the latest attempt to calm markets and protect a euro-area economy struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision in an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday night is the latest in an escalating global response to an outbreak widely seen driving the economy into recession. ECB President Christine Lagarde reinforced the message that policy makers will do all they can, saying there are “no limits to our commitment to the euro.”

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary action,” she said after the late night announcement.
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In Europe, officials are also weighing activating a regional bailout fund to help nations with strained public finances. Investors have been pushing up bond yields as they fret about the cost of the massive fiscal response to the pandemic. Italy, which already has a huge debt burden and is the worst-affected by the disease, is especially hard hit.

The ECB last week agreed to pump more liquidity into the financial system and joined other central banks in a bid to ease a funding squeeze. The measures on Wednesday include:
  • Buying public and private-sector securities until at least the end of 2020
  • Program will cover all assets eligible under current quantitative-easing program, and will be extended to commercial papers of sufficient credit quality
  • Greek government debt will be included
  • Collateral standards will be eased
  • Program will continue until ECB judges the crisis phase of the pandemic to be over, but not before the end of this year
  • The ECB will consider raising its self-imposed limits on QE holdings, and will increase the size of its programs if needed
...
https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/m...-as-ecb-unveils-huge-bond-program/ar-BB11nNWx

Bazookas to the left of me, bazookas to the right ...
 

pmbug

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6 days ago:
European Union leaders gather by video conference on Thursday in a meeting likely to see a showdown over the issue of common debt issuance or eurobonds as extra financial firepower to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine euro zone countries, including Ireland, have appealed for the common debt instrument to mitigate the economic damage from the crisis, which economists warn is causing a shock of historic scale.
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It was signed by the leaders of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Ireland – all members of the euro zone.
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Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has indicated the country maintains its opposition to the idea, saying that the relaxation of EU borrowing and spending limits earlier this week should be “adequate” to address the crisis.

Together with the Germans, and probably the Austrians and the Finns, the Dutch are likely to block the move to eurobonds at this stage.
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https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/showdown-over-eurobonds-looms-in-eu-1.4212773

3 days ago:
The state finance minister of Germany's Hesse region was found dead in an apparent suicide. The 54-year-old was "deeply worried" about how to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thomas Schaefer was found dead Saturday, March 28, near a railway track at Hochheim, near Frankfurt. According to authorities, observations of the scene as well as witness reports strongly suggest that Schaefer took his own life, leaving behind his wife and two kids.

State governor Volker Bouffier linked Schaefer’s death to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the minister had been particularly worried about the financial fallout as a result of the pandemic, particularly in terms of fulfilling the public’s need for financial help.
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https://www.ibtimes.com/coronavirus...deeply-worried-pandemic-fallout-kills-2949081

2 days ago:
The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is the right instrument to share the economic burden of the coronavirus crisis, German finance minister Olaf Scholz said on Sunday, reiterating that jointly issued debt by euro zone members was not the right way to counter the impact of the pandemic.
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https://www.msn.com/en-gb/finance/o...re-burden-german-finance-minister/ar-BB11S8a7
 
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