Are You Long Euros?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

While politicians are in deadlock about how to save the unloved Euro, Europeans take to the streets to protest the wave of austerity measures.

Mainstream Media Ignore Greek Protests

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It is interesting to see the virtual blackout on European TV about Greek protests turning increasingly violent. As the world has started a discussion about the role of journalism here is a good example that omission of facts is still one of the most widely used tricks in the business.
Now here's a quiz: Which of the 2 following videos has not been seen by EU politicians?

General strike in Greece by France24

Isn't Greece a peaceful country, is it? You may change your opinion after the jump.

Slovak Politician Calls For Plan "B" To Ditch The Euro

Unhappy with the current deadlock in talks about a Eurozone rescue, Slovakia will be going to develop a plan "B" that would see the country abandon the Euro. According to a report from EUobserver parliamentary speaker Richard Sulik said that such a plan would ultimately lead to a return to the Slovak Koruna.
From EUobserver:
Slovakia, which joined the eurozone last year, should have a 'plan B' to return to its national currency, the country's parliamentary speaker, Richard Sulik, has said, amid frustration over the way the eurozone is handling the debt crisis.
"The time is ripe for Slovakia to stop blindly trust in what eurozone leaders say and prepare a plan B. This is the re-introduction of the Slovak koruna," Mr Sulik said in an opinion piece published in the bussiness daily Hospodarske noviny on Sunday (12 December).
He added: "As we are a country too small to significantly influence EU action, we must at least protect values created by the people living in Slovakia."

Bernie Madoff's Austrian Connections Get Sued For $59 Billion

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sonja Kohn
Little Austria's banking world moved on the global financial radar overnight. Bloomberg reports on a 44.65€ billion lawsuit against Austrian Sonja Kohn, her Medici Bank (under state curatorship since Jan 2, 2009), Bank Austria and parent UniCredit as well as 53 other defendants. It seeks a payback plus RICO damages, as Kohn is suspected to be the mastermind of an Austrian feeder scheme for Bernie Madoff's biggest Ponzi scheme of all times.
Before I am going to have a serious discussion with my stylist about my next multi-billion hairdo I am at least happy to have found the answer to the question about whether to rob or incorporate a bank.
As it appears to the outsider Ms. Kohn has managed to pull off the biggest banking heist in Austrian history, funnelling potentially 7.57€ billion to confidante Madoffs Ponzi. 
The lawsuit filed by Court-appointed trustee Irving Picard says that her collusion was so pivotal to the fraud that Mr. Madoff tried to destroy evidence of their connection before his arrest in 2008. “In Sonja Kohn, Madoff found a criminal soul mate, whose greed and dishonest inventiveness equaled his own,” said Picard.
Kickbacks included a €405 million payment shortly before Madoff's bust, indicating a close 23-year friendship with Bernie Ponzi Madoff.
Talk in Vienna has it that this will develop into a feast for lawyers as duped investors include a good part of Austria's upper crust, Vienna's Jewish community and even many bankers themselves. Bank Austria held 25% of Bank Medici, which saw two former government ministers serving on its supervisory board. 
Denying via her office that she went AWOL last Wednesday Kohn's lawyers have not yet responded to the latest allegations. Kohn had always insisted she was a Madoff victim herself.

Euro Until The Endsieg

Friday, December 10, 2010

Breathless but futile discussions about the creation of a new layer of debt in the form of Eurozone bonds are going nowhere. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone group of finance ministers, now clashes with France and Germany who both reject the proposal as it would raise their financing costs.
On Thursday he said in Germany's main TV news "Tagesschau" that Eurozone governments would have to finance 40% of their debts via Eurozone bonds, which would lead to a northward conversion of German yields with their weaker Euro brothers in arms.
As the Euro dream has rapidly mutated into a nightmare for Greece and Ireland, with Portugal and Spain to follow for sure,  I note a fatal tendency in EU circles to hold out for the Endsieg despite all the contrary evidence pointing to a not too distant disintegration of the common currency.
The term Endsieg was first coined by immortal social-libertarian Austrian politicial critic Karl Kraus in 1918 - he was the official Austria's pain in the a.. a century ago with his weekly newsletter "Die Fackel" - and was hijacked later by Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
'Endsieg'became part of the Nazi doctrine before the ultimate downfall of the Third Reich: Temporary losses (including of civilian lives) notwithstanding, the 'Third Reich' would ultimately prevail, and thus any breakdown in allegiance to Nazi ideology was not to be tolerated. This conjuration of final victory became more desperate in 1943 when allied successes forced Germany onto the defensive. Joseph Goebbels still spoke about the 'Endsieg' as late as March 1945.

VIDEO: EU President van Rompuy: "I am convinced that the euro area will come out of the crisis stronger."
SOVXWE: EU default risk more than doubled YOY
The Euro propaganda ministry in the European Central Bank in Frankfurt frantically tries to implant the similar wrong belief that all is right with the Euro. What charts do they watch?
Maybe they take a look at whose very nuanced Austrian view of the Euro's death spiral arrives at an entirely different, bleak, picture.
National politicians in many EU countries, whose borrowing costs will shoot to unaffordable levels after the first sovereign debt default next year, still appear to draw a complete blank on the severity of the financial crisis that finds its roots in too much credit and too much leverage. The times of cheap debt are over and bond markets have topped out with a high probability.
This complete cluelessness is repeated on the EU level. Just follow the MEP's aggregated Twitter feed to have a real-time insight into their thinking - and take your own clues.
Mutual political calls that no Eurozone member will default echo the same despair as can be heard in the calls for the Endsieg 65 years ago.
The facts speak a different tongue.

The ECB Is a Savings Scheme/Building Society Located In Brussels

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It is high time that educational systems introduce the subject "economy/finance". Get a grasp why people are not worried about lost billions. After all, a billion is 1,000,000 millions, isn't it:-)

GUEST POST - Why Governments Will Buy Silver

Thursday, December 02, 2010

 - by Sean Rakhimov - 
Over the last several months we have been pondering if governments will come into the silver market. Before we get into that, it is important to note that governments are very different animals and there are over two hundred of them out there. Therefore, it is a very liberal generalization to lump them all together as if their needs, objectives and agendas were the same, thus expecting them all to act in the same fashion for the same reasons, is a big stretch. That said, it's the stigma, the psychological effect, the sentiment and the message it would send to markets that prompts us to group them together in investors' minds as a market force.
This same topic has been argued in the gold space for several years and now it has come to pass that central banks worldwide have thrown in the towel and became net buyers of gold. Should it be different for silver? By the way, did you notice, how silver silently became mainstream again and more and more headlines now read "Gold and Silver..." whereas only a couple of years ago silver was nowhere in sight of anyone except the dreaded silver bugs.
Much has been made about "manipulation" in gold and, particularly of late, in the silver market. Scores of articles have been written on the subject, and things got as far Washington , DC where CFTC held hearings on the subject. We don't subscribe to the theory, or, more precisely, we don't share the conspiracy context of it. After all, few seem to care about governments' involvement in industry, stock market, banking system, housing, etc. All of that is being done openly and has been for a decades, albeit at a grander scale lately, so why is it a big deal in the silver market?
We prefer the term "managed". Markets are managed as are currencies. Silver (as gold) happens to be money, so if all other "monies" are managed, why not silver? It would be native, to say the least, to expect anything different. If something is important to your livelihood chances are you're going to pay attention to it. Well, we are here to tell you that silver is important to governments, has always been, and is about to get VERY important going forward. Government did not decide that silver is money. People - you and your ancestors - did. So why is it a revelation that governments would be involved in the silver market? Didn't you appoint them to manage the monetary system? We're not saying whether it's good or bad. It just is.
Silver - The Versatile Metal
If you are interested in silver at all, you probably know that silver is faulted for being an industrial metal, a "mere" commodity, like..., you guessed it, pork bellies! Others, more generous in their assessment, will tell you that it's both: industrial AND monetary metal. Usually, in that order. We touched on silver's monetary role. Here is short list of what else it is:

Wikinvest Wire