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 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES 
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Greece Defaults, and Tries to Move On
Athens Seals Restructuring Deal, but Still Faces Recession and High Unemployment; Contracts to Pay Out on Losses.

LONDON—Greece will reap fast relief from a historic €200 billion ($266 billion) debt restructuring sealed Friday, but the default isn't likely to end the debt-strapped country's epic financial problems.

A panel of market participants ruled later in the day that the restructuring constitutes a credit event and would trigger insurance-like contracts that pay off if creditors suffer losses. On Friday, ratings firms Fitch and Moody's declared Greece in default.

The restructuring will cut some €100 billion from the face value of Greece's obligations. Yet, Greece remains mired in a long recession; unemployment is at 21%; and even after the write-off, the debt level is well in excess of a year's economic output.

"Their problems are much greater than the solution that is in front of them," says Pawan Malik of Navigant Capital in London. "Greece's ability to come back to the market as a functioning and solvent sovereign is very doubtful."

Markets aren't hopeful, and that suggests Greece may face another restructuring—one that could well hit taxpayers of the countries that have been its rescuers.

Read more here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204603004577270542625035960.html

Some truth, at last. Sigh. My heart aches for the 99% in Greece - it really does. These folks are gonna be in a world of hurt for a long, long time while the 1% in their country continue sailing in their yachts, eating caviar, drinking Krystal and living the high life. The banks and other financial firms will lose nothing - Lloyds (or whatever insurance cabal) and others may lose some but it will only mean an increase in insurance premiums.

In the end, as usual, taxpayers in the rest of the Eurozone (and the US, too, truth be told) will be hit again to bail out these greedy suckers. :gah :censor :rant :flame

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Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:12 am
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 Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
I wonder what will happen on Monday, when the markets open?
Will there be stability? Euro drop in value? Gold / silver rise in value?

I also wonder whether any of the organisations which have taken a 'haircut' will (as a result) become so much less solvent that they fail?

Simon, with thoughts of a domino effect in mind.

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Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:26 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
simple simon wrote:
I wonder what will happen on Monday, when the markets open?
Will there be stability? Euro drop in value? Gold / silver rise in value?

I also wonder whether any of the organisations which have taken a 'haircut' will (as a result) become so much less solvent that they fail?

Simon, with thoughts of a domino effect in mind.



Right there with you, Simon, on the domino effect.

Quote:
There were doubts over the exact impact of the credit default swaps, as Austria said it would need to inject up to €1bn into a state-owned bank as a result.


Read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9136124/Greece-is-likely-to-need-third-bail-out.html

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Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:55 pm
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 Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
I don’t normally read the freebie newspaper called ‘City AM’, as its really aimed at London’s Financial Districts and is not distributed in the areas I travel through on my way to and from work.

However today (Tues 13th March 2012) I chanced upon a copy which had been left on a train and thought that the following two articles might be of interest.

One said that despite the 75% discount investors have not been attracted to Greece’s latest long-term bonds and as a result markets are looking at another default.

The other article said that investors who claim that banks failed to warn them of the risks involved when they bought Greek debt are investigating suing the government and banks involved. In Germany lawyers representing 110 investors have formed a class action group. They are expected to argue that the debt swap which saw investors lose 53.5% of their investments infringed the terms of a German-Greek treaty designed to protect investors against political risks.

:popcorn :popcorn :popcorn

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Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:01 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Those are interesting newsbits SS - thanks for posting. It appears that Max Keiser is correct in his predictions that this euro/greek crissis is going to continue to have wider circles of impact as time goes on. It is high time the banksters and the limp wristed thieves in gornment are taken to task on this.

The consequenses are going to be really interesting to observe. At least I have no money invested in the system anymore to suffer the fate of bank repossession of wealth. I keep telling my daughter to take her valuables out of the bank's safety deposit box! A hole in the ground is far safer....

;)

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Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:08 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Sweden moving towards cashless economy

STOCKHOLM - Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it's come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore," says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970's pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

"There are towns where it isn't at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash," complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization.

He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.

con. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-573 ... s-economy/

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:54 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Quote:
He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.


And in my country - the poor are at such a disadvantage in this new system! You have to have the means to partake in this new and crazy plan of the NWO.

We are slowly moving back to bartering for all out goodies off the farm. ;)

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Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:37 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Sky wrote:
Quote:
He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.


And in my country - the poor are at such a disadvantage in this new system! You have to have the means to partake in this new and crazy plan of the NWO.

We are slowly moving back to bartering for all out goodies off the farm. ;)


Bartering will be the new economy, the "black market" if you will, when our current economy falls apart and society as we know it disappears, or even as a way to circumvent the puppetmasters (though it will have to be done covertly). It is important to have a skill that can be bartered, or a couple of them, so services can be traded as well as goods.

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Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:38 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Arrests, injuries reported as Spanish workers strike
By Al Goodman, CNN

updated 9:18 AM EDT, Thu March 29, 2012

Madrid (CNN) -- Huge traffic jams snarled central Madrid Thursday, as Spain's first general strike in more than a year kicked off with nine people slightly injured in demonstrations, including police officers, the Interior Ministry said.

Interior Ministry official Cristina Diaz said 58 people had been detained. The cause was not immediately clear.

Dozens of union members picketed outside the Agriculture Ministry before dawn, with dozens of riot police on hand. Picketers heckled and momentarily blocked a car trying to get into the ministry.

Spanish unions are protesting the new conservative government's labor reforms and austerity cuts.

The general strike is the first one against the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which was elected in November and took office in December, in the midst of Spain's deep economic crisis.
Spain's jobless rate is nearly 23% overall, and nearly 50% for youth. Nearly 5.3 million Spaniards are out of work.

The Socialist-leaning General Workers Union (UGT) said there was a "massive following" of the strike nationwide, with auto factories, ports, post offices and garbage collection all stopped by the industrial action.

The union also said wholesale food markets and large distribution centers for the big supermarket chains were disrupted.

The Interior Ministry said public transport was operating almost normally in Madrid and Barcelona, but in Madrid's Plaza Castilla, commuters said they waited up to two hours for public transport.

Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/29/world/europe/spain-strike/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

May the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

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Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:21 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
A "Greek Spring" in the making? We'll see over the next few days/weeks.

'Martyr for Greece': Retiree's suicide sparks violent protests :candle
By msnbc.com staff and news services

ATHENS -- An elderly Greek's suicide outside parliament has quickly become a symbol of the pain of austerity and has been seized upon by opponents of the budget cuts imposed by Greece's international lenders.

Dimitris Christoulas, 77, shot himself in the head on Wednesday after declaring that financial troubles pushed him over the edge. A suicide note said the retired pharmacist preferred to die than scavenge for food. :flame

The highly public -- and symbolic -- nature of the suicide prompted an outpouring of sympathy from ordinary Greeks, who held a protest march and set up an impromptu shrine with notes condemning the crisis at the spot where he killed himself.

The BBC reported that violence flared at the demonstration on Wednesday night, with some protesters hurling Molotov cocktails at police. They responded by firing tear gas.

"As you walk around the streets of Athens and beyond you can see the social fabric tearing," the BBC's Mark Lowen said.

The conservative newspaper Eleftheros Typos called the victim a "martyr for Greece" and said his act was filled with "profound political symbolism" that could "shock Greek society and the political world and awaken their conscience" in the weeks before a parliamentary election that will determine Greece's future.

Read more here: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/05/11031726-martyr-for-greece-retirees-suicide-sparks-violent-protests

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Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:15 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Blue we should start a greek thread to watch this situation.

What a sad situation the to one percent have put the greek people into.

This is what greed does :flame

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Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:27 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
In the business section of the free newspaper given out on trains and buses there is a small article entitled "Spain 'close to going bust' as recession bites".

The article says that it having just experienced the second consecutive month where its economy has contracted (this time by 0.3% compared with January 2012) Spain has fallen back into recession and some experts predict that it might 'implode'. Spain is the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone and whilst a bailout could be considered the concern is that it would seriously weaken the rest of the EU's finances.

Spain's borrowing costs have soared and ratings agency S&P has downgraded the credit ratings of nine Spanish banks, including at least one which bought out British building societies and operates high street branches here.

Spain has also suffered a bust in property values and is said to be following Ireland but without the benefits of a reformed and pro-business economy.

Spanish unemployment is a staggering and debilitating 24.4%.

Dateline: 1st May 2012.

Simon

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Tue May 01, 2012 1:56 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Eurozone Unemployment Hits 10.9 Percent, A Record High
By PAN PYLAS 05/ 2/12 08:23 AM ET

LONDON — Record high unemployment for the 17 countries that use the euro is set to increase the pressure on Europe's leaders to switch from a focus on austerity to a pro-growth strategy to stop the region from moving deeper into recession.

Unemployment across the 17-member eurozone rose by 169,000 in March, official figures showed Wednesday, taking the rate up to 10.9 percent in March – its highest level since the euro was launched in 1999.

The rate was up from 10.8 percent in February and 9.9 percent a year ago, and reflects the downturn in the eurozone economy as governments pursue tough austerity measures to deal with their debts – nearly half the countries in the eurozone, including Spain and the Netherlands, are now officially in recession.

The seasonally adjusted figures from European statistics office Eurostat are likely to ratchet up the pressure on the region's policymakers to introduce more pro-growth measures alongside the spending cuts and tax increases they have already implemented in an attempt to fix their debt crisis.

"The question is how long EU leaders will continue to pursue a deeply flawed strategy in the face of mounting evidence that this is leading us to social, economic and political disaster," said Sony Kapoor, managing director of Re-Define, an economic think-tank.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has spoken of the need for a "growth pact" in Europe and Francois Hollande, who is tipped to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in France's presidential runoff this Sunday, has said he would renegotiate the eurozone's austerity-focused fiscal pact to include more pro-growth measures.

Austerity has so far been Europe's main policy response to the debt problems afflicting many countries. It's been pushed hard by Germany, Europe's biggest economy, as a way to convince markets and international investors that the region has a grip on the problem.

Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/eurozone-unemployment-hits-record-high_n_1470237.html

As Paul Krugman put it today - The death of a fairy tale. He also says
Quote:
The good news is that many influential people are finally admitting that the confidence fairy was a myth.


Now maybe cooler heads will prevail and our long, dark, night of the soul can begin to lift with government spending.

BTW - here is the link to Krugman's excellent op ed piece:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/opinion/krugman-death-of-a-fairy-tale.html

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Wed May 02, 2012 6:58 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Farage: We face the prospect of mass civil unrest, even revolution

Nigel Farage shows why Germany has kept the United Kingdom out of their plans for a revised European Union. On the heels of Putin, revolution will be just another means to transform Socialism into Communism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... J6_Ey_MJV4

In one of his most passionate speeches (which says a lot), UKIP’s Nigel Farage, on the May 9th celebration of the Euro, tells his European Parliament colleagues of his grave concern at therecent elections – which are very reminiscent of the elections in Germany in 1932. He warns that Europe faces the very real prospect of mass civil unrest and even revolution as the Euro project itself could even be the cause of (in it perfect irony as the initial solution to) a rebirth of national socialism in Europe. Farage pulls no punches but in three minutes provides a clear picture of just how concerned anyone who is not merely a head-in-the-sand status-quo muddle-through’er should be with regards Europe: “It is a European union of economic failure, of mass unemployment, and of low growth”.

http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/farage- ... evolution/

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Wed May 09, 2012 7:59 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
rutsuyasun wrote:
Farage: We face the prospect of mass civil unrest, even revolution

Nigel Farage shows why Germany has kept the United Kingdom out of their plans for a revised European Union. On the heels of Putin, revolution will be just another means to transform Socialism into Communism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... J6_Ey_MJV4

In one of his most passionate speeches (which says a lot), UKIP’s Nigel Farage, on the May 9th celebration of the Euro, tells his European Parliament colleagues of his grave concern at therecent elections – which are very reminiscent of the elections in Germany in 1932. He warns that Europe faces the very real prospect of mass civil unrest and even revolution as the Euro project itself could even be the cause of (in it perfect irony as the initial solution to) a rebirth of national socialism in Europe. Farage pulls no punches but in three minutes provides a clear picture of just how concerned anyone who is not merely a head-in-the-sand status-quo muddle-through’er should be with regards Europe: “It is a European union of economic failure, of mass unemployment, and of low growth”.

http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/farage- ... evolution/


And this is what happens under so called austerity measures. When depressions/recessions hit - governments must increase spending in the public sector - not decrease spending.

We learned that lesson in the 30's. This isn't hard folks.

Oh and taxes on the 1% need to go up, too. :mrgreen: Not decreases.

Jest my two cents...

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Thu May 10, 2012 6:36 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
On Sunday 6th May both France and Greece went to the polls.

In the British media the French election was perhaps of a higher profile but it was the Greeks who have really set the cat amongst the pigeons.

The French election saw a socialist administration come to power with the aim of taxing and spending to create work. According to something I read in the London Evening Standard newspaper the new French leader (François Hollande) is a graduate of the École Nationale d’Administration, whose alumni have run French public and private sectors for the past 50 years. So, whether he will really represent ‘change’ or the Obama style of change remains to be seen.

Interestingly however, media reports say that to avoid paying much higher income tax some well paid French stock market traders are looking to work here in London.

Hollande’d eschewing of the EU’s desired austerity is likely to be emulated elsewhere in Europe - especially in Spain and Italy, these being two other nations which are in financial doldrums.

The Greek election however has produced a very different result. It is perhaps not surprising that both main political parties which were working together to keep Greece within the Eurozone by slashing spending and forcing austerity on the ordinary people failed to win enough seats to form a government. What is alarming however is that instead a motley collection of extremist right wing and left wing political parties ‘won’ the election and the resulting very wide political differences are creating the real possibility of Greece being unable to form a government.

Without a government it is not possible to ratify either financial bail-outs or further austerity measures... which does not bode well. Rather than long term stalemate there is talk of fresh elections.

In the meantime the media is (once again) discussing the possibility of Greece crashing out of the Euro - I’ve even seen the end of June being quoted as a possible date for this, with this meaning that Greece would still be in time to attract hordes of tourists looking for a cheap summer holiday hotspot - and as a result the stock market is falling.

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Mon May 14, 2012 1:20 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Thanks, Simon. Your perspective on all of this is very interesting to me as an American. Our MSM is very quiet about all of this.

Why am I not surprised!

I understand the Irish are due to vote on austerity measures in late May.

Quote:
Irish vote could be latest blow for EU's austerity advocates
Associated Press
May 15, 2012

And the Irish could be next to give the European Union's debt-cutting plans a black eye.

A referendum here on May 31 will ask the public to approve an EU treaty that aims to control nations' annual deficits and longer-term debts. But critics say the treaty ignores the competing need to stimulate growth.

Ireland, once staunchly pro-EU but now increasingly euro-sceptical, is the only member of the bloc putting the agreement to a national vote.

Analysts of the three-year-old euro-zone crisis say an Irish rejection of the treaty - combined with Francois Hollande's victory as France's president last week and a hard-left turn in Greece's parliamentary elections - could force the continent to shift in favour of less cutting and greater investment in growth.


Read more here: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/europe/irish-vote-could-be-latest-blow-for-eus-austerity-advocates

We'll see what happens. I think it is very interesting that Ireland is the only EU member to put this agreement to their people to decide.

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Mon May 14, 2012 3:21 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Interesting indeed Blue, as the politicians are waxing lyrical here with bullshit passes of happy clappy requests to the public - after they colluded with the banksters and BANKRUPTED a once wealthy nation with THEFT! Bastards should be hang and quartered - but no, they 'give' the sheeples a blindside in a 'referendum' to 'decide' what way they want to be shitfaced in the next round of crookery!!!


:gah

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Mon May 14, 2012 4:23 pm
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Thanks Blue, I did not know about the forthcoming Irish votes. (plural because the second will be for the 'clarification' when the first vote does not come up with the result the EU wanted :flame )


Apparently yesterday (Monday 14th May) the fear of a “Grexit” (Greek exit from Eurozone) caused many stock markets to have one of their worst days for many years.


On its business pages today's London Daily Telegraph urges that Greece “does the right thing”.

I agree, Greece must stop playing politics and do what would be best for both the people of Greece and the rest of Eurozone (and rest of the EU / planet Earth). After all, funding further Greek bailouts will also cost the British taxpayer and we all know what is going to happen in the end. So why throw good taxpayer’s money away trying to stop the inevitable?

So, what is it that I am saying that Greece should do “ASAP”?

Here is a clue... emulate Iceland. Oh and don’t forget to prosecute the bankers as well! Whether Greece also leaves the Eurozone is a different issue, Erm if so then what about Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain?

Simon

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Tue May 15, 2012 11:53 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Greeks withdraw $894 million in a day: Is this beginning of a run on banks?

By Alastair Jamieson, msnbc.com

Political leaders in Athens were due to discuss an emergency government Wednesday to deal with a possible run on banks as it emerged Greeks withdrew almost $900 million in a single day, fearing their country could crash out of the euro currency by the end of the week.

An interim government would take the country through to new elections on June 17, triggered by the collapse on Tuesday of talks to form a coalition between winners of the inconclusive May 6 election.

Greeks are withdrawing euros from banks, apparently afraid of the prospect of rapid devaluation if the country leaves the European single currency and returns to the drachma.

President Karolos Papoulias warned of “great fear that could develop into a panic,” the minutes of Papoulias' negotiations with political leaders showed, according to Reuters.

The minutes also reveal Papoulias was warned by George Provopoulos, head of the country’s central bank, that savers withdrew at least 700 million euros ($894 million) on Monday.

Read more here: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/16/11729795-greeks-withdraw-894-million-in-a-day-is-this-beginning-of-a-run-on-banks?lite

Totally agree, Simon, they need to do an Iceland. Screw the banks!

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Wed May 16, 2012 6:31 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Quote:
the fear of a “Grexit”
:roflmao


Good one Simon.

Folks - the way I look at it is "who were the Pharisees and the Sadducees of old" - the banksters and the politicians of the day! All shighsters controlling the sheeples for their labour and wealth.

You can't get rid of the one without the other. Will the world ever learn the deception? It has been going on since day one imo!

It is all a game being played - so that humanity continues missing the point of this gift of birth we get for being in this school-house of life.

Can you escape?


:nono :hmm

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Thu May 17, 2012 1:40 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Are the dominos beginning to tip?

Hmmmm - time will certainly tell.

Didn't the web bots predict something for late May/June?

Can't remember - sorry! Too focused on other issues right now.



Spanish bank hit by report of withdrawals

A recently nationalized Spanish bank's shares plummeted Thursday after a newspaper said depositors were rushing to withdraw money, while the country paid sharply higher interest rates in a debt auction, reflecting concerns the country will be caught up in the fallout of the Greek crisis.

DANIEL WOOLLS

Associated Press

MADRID —
A recently nationalized Spanish bank's shares plummeted Thursday after a newspaper said depositors were rushing to withdraw money, while the country paid sharply higher interest rates in a debt auction, reflecting concerns the country will be caught up in the fallout of the Greek crisis.

Shares in Bankia SA, a lender nationalized last week, plunged as much as 27 percent on a report in the newspaper El Mundo that customers have withdrawn more than (EURO)1 billion ($1.27 billion) since the state took it over a week ago. By midafternoon in Madrid, the shares had recovered somewhat to trade 11 percent lower at (EURO)1.47.

Spain's fourth-largest lender, Bankia insisted its depositors' money was safe, while the government denied there was a run on the bank.

In a statement, the company said deposit flows in and out of the bank in the first half of May were "essentially of a seasonal nature." It did not address the number given by El Mundo, nor would a bank official reached by phone.

The statement also noted that when the government nationalized Bankia on May 9, it established that the bank was solvent and said its depositors had nothing to worry about.

snip

Read more here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018225749_apeuspainfinancialcrisis.html

Ummm hmmm - anytime da gubmint and da banks tell me not worry...

:elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant :elephant

I see dancing pink huffalumps for some strange reason. :crylaugh :spit :slap :roflmao

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Thu May 17, 2012 10:06 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
The euro is ripe for creative destruction
The realistic options for the euro are that it breaks up or staggers on in a zombie-like condition
Larry Elliott
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 20 May 2012 09.14 EDT

The spectre of Lehman Brothers looms large in the world's financial markets. Memories of the chaotic days of September 2008 came flooding back as Alistair Darling appeared on TV amid reports of capital flight and bank runs.

Forget the idea that Europe's policymakers are better prepared this time than they were back then. Take with a pinch of salt the idea that they have a big enough war chest to cope with the consequences of a Greek exit from the single currency. The much-vaunted firewall is a Maginot line. :clap

Events have moved quickly since the French and Greek elections a fortnight ago. Greek departure from the eurozone is now pretty much priced in by the markets, with the focus of attention on how bad the collateral damage will be. Expect the worst. Already last week, pressure was mounting on Spain and its troubled banks. The idea that the European leaders who have been like rabbits in the headlight for the past two years can mastermind a clean break for Greece is utterly fanciful. The crisis will be messy, painful, prolonged and probably terminal.

Even now, there is a failure or an unwillingness to grasp a basic truth about the single currency: it doesn't work. Monetary unions only succeed if there is economic flexibility, financial solidarity and cultural homogeneity. If those three factors are in place, as they are in the United States, there is a chance that a common interest rate and a single currency can encourage economic convergence, up to a point. Europe's problem is that it has none of these things. Countries such as Greece cannot become German overnight. The European Union lacks the resources to help poorer nations adjust. Most crucially of all, the crisis has exposed the fact there is no common sense of purpose beyond a desire to ensure the "project" continues to exist.

The survival plan, such as it is, involves countries embarking on a long process of structural reform to make them more competitive, a fiscal pact to ensure that governments live within their means, and perhaps a bit of extra pan-European infrastructure spending to satisfy voter demands to soften the impact of austerity.

There is little prospect of this blueprint working. Take Ireland, one of the three countries currently subject to harsh bailout terms. Does it have a competitiveness problem? As Dhaval Joshi of BCA Research notes, Ireland accounts for 0.3% of global GDP yet accounts for 3% of world trade in services and 6% of trade in pharmaceuticals. Ireland ranks third in the world for foreign direct investment, on which the return is 17%, compared with 6% in Germany. "As a trading economy in key sectors, Ireland is punching 10 or 20 times above its weight. This is hardly a sign of an economy that needs to become more competitive," Joshi says.

Nor would the proposed fiscal pact, on which Ireland votes in a referendum later this month, have prevented the crisis that has reduced GDP by 15% and prompted a fresh exodus of the young and talented. Ireland, like Spain, had healthy public finances in the years before the crisis broke. The problem in both countries was not too much public debt but too much private debt. The reason there was too much private debt was that borrowing was too cheap in economies that were growing fast and at risk of overheating. And the reason borrowing was too cheap was that Ireland and Spain had given up the right to set their own interest rates and were subject to the one-size-fits all dictates of monetary union. :clap :heart

snip

Read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/20/euro-ripe-creative-destruction?newsfeed=true

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Sun May 20, 2012 7:05 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Well I've been away for a few days, plus overwhelmed with so much going on... so have not said much recently.

I don't intend to even try and talk about most of whats going on in any type of detail, as the situation seems to be changing almost daily - with almost every time the changes leading yet further down an already steep incline towards a superheated financial furnace. Already so many nations have found themselves unable to arrest their downward slide... and thats before the Greeks (and others, I feel sure) have fresh elections in June.

With banks and regional governments also in trouble the Spanish debts are so large that for it to be considered for a bailout would be like removing the metal plates which form the front part of the hull of a ship that is at sea. Of course doing this would result in the very survival of the entire edifice being put at risk. Especially with any attempt at forward motion.

What also alarms me is that whilst the European project has been deeply flawed and even (purposely?) designed to impoverish ordinary people, we must remember what happened from 1939 to 1945 and realise that it represented an even worse 'solution'. We must also remember Germany of the early 1930's and how who appeared (at the time) to be a charismatic man who had solutions rose to power, with people only realising when it was too late that he was infact the devil incarnate. We dont want / need a repeat performance. I see the danger...

Meanwhile, thinking of Greece reminds me of a late night BBC TV news / current affairs TV programme I saw a week or so ago about the bitter pill austerity measures which the Greeks are having rammed down their throats.

What was said was simply ghastly... ...

Everything I say below is from memory, as I was not expecting to hear what I heard and did not have pen or paper handy to make notes, and of course had I tried to find them then I would have missed most of the report.

People are hurting, and badly. Austerity is diabolical. Many people have suffered pay cuts - 25% was quoted. Meanwhile energy prices have skyrocketed. Then there is the 'emergency' tax.

People are having difficulty affording food. Some are having to forage food thrown out by shops that is past its 'use by' date. As a result, instances of food poisoning are rising.

In some cases parents are resorting to placing their children in orphanages... simply to ensure that the children remain reasonably well fed.

Suicides rates are increasing.


-----------------------------------------

Did someone mention Iceland??? With that small island nation in mind Clif High quotes some (calendar) dates which may be of significance.

June 7/8/9 - Economic and political scandal surfaces in USA. Temporal echoes show this scandal will track over June/July with 'unexpected events' within the [cult of rome] aka 'vatican'. Expect secrets to be revealed in both the USA and vatican scandals that will not only [shock], but will [horrify]. The data indicates that [communications] between [cabal members] will be [intercepted], and the [real leaks] will be [viral] in [hours]. This is indicated to lead to a [global constipation (blockage)] of the [financial flows]. This [blockage/constipation] will begin (apparently) on June 3rd late in the evening (pacific coast time, north american continent) at about 9:18pm. This [blockage] is showing as [persisting and growing] through to [exposure] via [rupture] on June 7, 8, or 9. This [constipation] and [rupture (through)] is described as a [plank] in the [gallows] for the [banksters]. This economic scandal will not be the [breaking point] for the [global economy]. That comes later in the month. The data points to the beginning of the [icelander's disease] {ed note: from the view point of the banksters} spreading to [spain], [greece], and [italy]. The [spain] references point to a [person of historical pride] as being the [populace's symbol] as they ['engage'] their [oppressors]. The data indicates [spainish populace] will be [successful], and do it with [flair], and [passion]. Data suggests that [restraint] will [prevail] in at least one of the [eruptions of icelander disease], and that [financial oppressors] who are [captured, beaten, stripped, and paraded near-naked/bruised/bloodied] will [NOT] be [killed] by the [mob], but rather will be [released] in such a [manner] that the [image] will become [the most viewed (to it's time) image on earth].

Clif details more summer excitement at the link.

http://www.halfpasthuman.com/summertime.html

Simon

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Thu May 31, 2012 12:05 am
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Post Re: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIES
Greece Faces Electric Meltdown

Greece's power regulator RAE told Reuters on Friday it was calling an emergency meeting next week to avert a collapse of the debt-stricken country's electricity and natural gas system.

"RAE is taking crisis initiatives throughout next week to avert the collapse of the natural gas and electricity system," the regulator's chief Nikos Vasilakos told Reuters.

RAE took the decision after receiving a letter from Greece's natural gas company DEPA, which threatened to cut supplies to electricity producers if they failed to settle their arrears with the company

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/greece-fa ... c-meltdown

Greek prisons running out of food
+
As the economic crisis in Greece worsens, exacerbated by the lack of an elected government, Greek prisons are running out of food to feed the prisoners.

Soup kitchens feed the hungry in Athens. Suicides due to financial despair become daily events. As people in Greece go hungry, the government has run out of funds to ensure food supplies are maintained to the prisons.

Hellas Frappe reports the the result is hundreds of detainees are becoming malnourished. According to a report in Pro Thema the prison in Corinth has "not even one grain of rice" left following a supply stoppage from the nearby military camp.

con. http://digitaljournal.com/article/325718


Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/325718#ixzz1wYCTZdDw

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"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." ~ Albert Einstein


Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:09 am
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