Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lord Stirling's News Blog EUROPE


 Lord Stirling's News Blog EUROPE

Holy Shroud of Turin

Neocons assail possible compromise on Iran talks ~ link ~ Of course they do.  They have always been a voice for war...more war....and even more war.  They will not stop until they have launched World War III and engulfed the entire world in a demonic bloodbath.   Stirling    

New legislation targets FDA Raids: "We have too many armed federal agencies and we need to put an end to this" ~ link ~ Don't hold your breath on the corrupt American Congress passing this.   Stirling     
The US Food and Drug Administration, charged with keeping America’s food supply safe for consumption, has gone from regulator to armed enforcer, with the most notable recent actions by the agency focusing on small farmers, retailers and individuals who engage in the illegal practice of … get this … drinking milk directly from the cow. But It’s not just dairy products. The FDA has also targeted fruit and vegetable producers, as well as providers of natural medicines that have been been used for generations to cure everything from constipation to serious medical illnesses.

The crimes are considered so serious that the FDA has deployed armed federal agents and local SWAT teams with complete impunity in an effort to curb the distribution of these dangerous products.

If it were up to the FDA, all naturally grown organic foods and food practices would be criminalized and we’d all be subject to consuming engineered genetically modified foods, synthetic vitamins, and cocktails of pharmaceutical drugs to control our moods and emotions.

The Slave Card Stampede ~ link ~ Good One!  Stirling     

German Press: The Greek Exit is a Done Deal ~ link ~ Did France, Italy and Greece think they are the only ones who can float strawmen in the media? No. Once again, Germany shows us how it is done. From Tomorrow's edition of Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachricthen: "The Greece-exit is a done deal: According to the German economic news from financial circles EU and the ECB have abandoned the motherland of democracy as a euro member. The reason is, interestingly, not in the upcoming elections - these are basically become irrelevant. The EU has finally realized that the Greeks have not met any agreements and will not continue not to meet them. A banker: "We helped with the Toika. The help of the troika was tied to conditions. Greece has fulfilled none of the conditions, and has been for months now." So more posturing? Or is Germany truly just so sick and tired of bailing out not just Greece (which pockets between 0% and 20% of any actual bailout cash), and indirectly French banks which as of this moment are the biggest pass thru beneficiaries, and of course the ECB with its tens of billions in old par GGB holdings, that this article is, gasp, founded in reality? Is Europe approaching its own Lehman moment when everyone says "just screw it", and let the dice fall where they may? Many said Lehman could never be allowed to fail. They were wrong. Just as many are saying that Europe will never let Greece leave as the costs to the continent are just too great. Well, judging by tonight's epic fiasco of a Euro-summit, the last thing we would attribute to Europe's leaders is clear and rational thought. 

Eurobonds: The issue that could shatter Europe ~ link ~ Would you pool your debt with a bunch of debt addicts that have no intention of reducing their wild spending habits?  Of course you wouldn't.  But that is exactly what Germany is being asked to do.  Increasingly, "eurobonds" are being touted as the best long-term solution to the financial crisis in Europe.  These eurobonds would represent jointly issued debt by all 17 members of the eurozone.  This debt would also be guaranteed by all 17 members of the eurozone.  This would allow all countries in the eurozone to enjoy the same credit rating that Germany does, and borrowing costs for nations such as Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain would plummet.  But borrowing costs for Germany would rise substantially.  In fact, it is being estimated that Germany could be facing an extra 50 billion euros a year in interest expenses.  So over ten years that would come to about 500 billion euros.  Needless to say, Germany is not thrilled about this idea.  But new French President Francois Hollande is pushing eurobonds very hard, and he has the support of the OECD, the IMF and many top Italian politicians.  In the end, this could be the key to the future of the eurozone.  If the Germans give in and decide that they are willing to deeply subsidize their profligate neighbors indefinitely, then the euro could potentially be saved.  If not, then this issue could end up shattering Europe.

It is easy to try to portray the Germans as the "bad guys" in all this, but try to step into their shoes for a minute. If you had some relatives that were spending wildly and that had already run up $100,000 in credit card debt, would you be a co-signer on their next credit card application? Of course not.

The recent elections in France and Greece made it abundantly clear that the populations of those two countries are rejecting austerity. Instead, they want a return to the debt-fueled prosperity that they have always enjoyed in the past.

In Europe, it's all about the bank (run) ~ link ~ The word 'encumbrance' has received a lot of headlines in the last few months - and rightfully so - after we pointed out the impact that LTROs had in subordinating senior creditors of European banks. As Morgan Stanley points out, this is a considerable problem for bondholders as 'in a wind-down scenario, senior unsecured holders have recourse to fewer assets and hence face a higher loss given default (LGD)'. In understanding just how bad things are for European banks, it is important to focus on 'how much loss-absorbing capital there is beneath you in the bank’s liability stack, as this is the capital that will take losses before senior creditors in the event of a bail-in' which means looking at Deposits as well as encumbrance.

Last night we showed the Loan-to-Deposit ratios for various banks across Europe and Morgan Stanley takes up the offensive noting that the encumbrance effect from depositor preference changes (i.e. withdrawal) is the real threat. While the relative size of the deposit bases of the dozen or so banks that are analyzed below is stunning (with MS estimating best-case recovery in a bank default at around 80% and worst-case a total loss - implying of course that equity is entirely worthless - which we largely knew) and what is very apparent from the pictorial representations of banks’ liability structures is that rather than encumbrance from covered bonds/LTRO etc. the bigger issue for encumbrance of senior unsecured investors is the potential threat from depositor 'runs'.

The key is that all the hope of another LTRO is limited by collateral as policy-makers are well aware that, in a world where failing banks are to be resolved through resolution frameworks and senior creditors are to take losses to shield taxpayers’ funds, banks may not have enough ‘bail-in-able’ debt, given their growing reliance on secured funding sources.

Richard Russell: Stay in Cash, Something, Something BIG is headed our way ~ link ~ Bearish newsletter guy Richard Russell finds the market action to be very strange and ominous.

He's specifically concerned by the endless grinding down of the Dow in a manner that's steady but not yet panicky.

The Worst is yet to come - video ~ link 

45 Signs that China is Colonizing America ~ linkJust because you were once the most powerful nation on earth does not mean that you will always be the most powerful nation on earth.  Every single year, hundreds of billions of dollars leaves the United States and goes to China.  This enormous transfer of wealth has had a dramatic effect on both countries.  In case you haven't noticed, many of our formerly great manufacturing cities such as Detroit are rotting away while shining new factories and skyscrapers are going up all over China.  If you go into any major retail store today and start turning over products, you will find that hundreds of them have been made in China and that very few of them have been made in America.  As a nation, we buy far, far more from China than they buy from us.  As a result, China is absolutely swimming in cash and they have been looking for things to do with all that money.  One thing that China has done is loan the U.S. government over a trillion dollars and this has given the Chinese a tremendous amount of leverage over us.  China has also started to buy up businesses, real estate and natural resources all over America.  This kind of "economic colonization" is similar to what China has already been doing in Africa, South America and Australia.  The formula is actually very simple.  We send them our money and then they use it to buy us.  With each passing day China's ownership over America grows, and it is frightening to think about where all of this could end.

The following are 45 signs that China is colonizing America....

Crisis-led suicide epidemic: Greek mother and son jump to death ~ link ~ A 60-year-old Greek musician and his 91-year-old mother jumped to their deaths from their 5th floor apartment, driven to despair by financial woes. This double death is the latest in a rising epidemic of crisis-induced suicides in Greece. 

­Witness accounts vary – some say the mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, jumped first, screaming a prayer as she plummeted to her death. Other neighbors say the mother and her son jumped together, holding hands.  But the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the family had been struggling for a long time. The night before, Antonis Perris posted a suicide note of sorts on a popular Greek forum, saying he had no way of resolving the family’s financial issues. 

European business activity falls to near 3-year low ~ link ~ I rather suspect that these figures have been 'cooked', that the real number are far worse.   Stirling   

Sharp divisions on eve of EU summit ~ link 

13,000 homeless in Athens ~ link  

Maine nuclear submarine fire injures 7 ~ link ~
Firefighters battled for 12 hours to quell a fire inside a nuclear-powered US Navy submarine in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, officials said today. Seven people, including five firefighters, sustained minor injuries.

“The fire spread to spaces within the submarine that were difficult to access. The heat and smoke contained in these confined spaces made it challenging for firefighters to combat the blaze,” Rear Admiral Rick Breckenridge, commander of the submarine group that includes the USS Miami, said today in a statement.

Fukushima: If No. 4 'spent' fuel pool collapses, Japan will be evacuated ~ link ~ Again, I say, the 3-ton flaming pink elephant in the living room is the question WHY has nothing been done to prevent this after over one year!!!  Do take the time to read this one at the link.  Stirling       

Chris Canine – who has 15 years experience as a health physics technician, chemist and radiation safety instructor – told Energy News that if number 4 reactor fuel pool at Fukushima collapses, Japan will be evacuated.

He did not elaborate on how such a logistical nightmare would be accomplished.

The Global 20: The Big Trends that are changing the world ~ link 

Amnesty International slams Gaza blockade and settlements ~ link ~ "Israel maintained its blockade of Gaza, prolonging the humanitarian crisis there, and continued aggressively to expand settlements in the Palestinian West Bank territory it has occupied since 1967," the report posited.
Amnesty accused Israel of "forcing from their homes" Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and slammed the government for demolishing unrecognized villages and homes.

Panic as fourth victim of flesh-eating bacteria in Georgia, USA ~ link 

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