Greece: 2009 Budget Deficit Was Just Revised From 12.2% To 16% Of GDP!

German Official: No EU, Bilateral Aid For Greece On EU Agenda (Wall Street Journal)


Goldman’s Erik Nielsen lands the bombshell that the Greek deficit mysteriously increased from €29.4 billion to a shopping €37.9 (keep in mind, this is not Bernanke notation where only quad- prefixes impress people at this point).

This increases the (running) 2009 budget deficit from 12.2% to 16%!

While certainly not the last time we hear of “prior revisions”, the question of just how patient Germany will be, should this number approach, oh say, 50% once the artificial support of various Goldman swaps expires (and at 50% the BSDs like Goldman will surely round up to 100%), is very much open.

From Goldman’s Erik Nielsen

Big revision up in their 2009 fiscal deficit: Late yesterday, the Greek finance ministry amended its website for its 2009 fiscal cash execution, adding close to EUR 6bn to expenditures in December for a total of EUR 11.8bn, which takes the full-year deficit to EUR 37.9bn – up from EUR 29.4bn reported previously.  This implies an increase in their 2009 central government budget deficit from about 12.2% of GDP to about 16% of GDP.  There has been made no explanation for this revision, but we think it may be associated with payment of arrears to hospitals, which means that the general government deficit may have increased by less.  Regardless, given the uncertainties, it is a stunning revision to make to the December payments without an explanation.  Hopefully, it’s a good use of money, like clearance of arrears, but it would be good to know.

Read moreGreece: 2009 Budget Deficit Was Just Revised From 12.2% To 16% Of GDP!

German Official: No EU, Bilateral Aid For Greece On EU Agenda

See also:

Germany Backs Greek Bailout as EU Creates ‘Economic Government’

Storm over bailout of Greece, EU’s most ailing economy

Greece: ‘Ouzo crisis’ escalates into global margin call as confidence ebbs

The CDS Puppetmaster Behind It All And The Ever Increasing Parallels Between AIG And Greece

BERLIN (Dow Jones)–Euro-zone finance ministers scheduled to talk about Greece this afternoon are unlikely to make any decision and there is no aid for Greece on the agenda of Thursday’s summit of European Union leaders, a senior German government official said Wednesday.

The official added that Germany will stick to the European Union bailout clause and at present no EU or bilateral aid for Greece is on the meeting’s agenda or is planned.

The comments come before an informal summit held by the EU in Brussels, where leaders will focus on Greece’s debt crisis as part of a broader assessment of post-recession government debt levels.

“There doesn’t exist any decision on such aid and it also isn’t pending at present,” said the senior government official at a press conference on Thursday’s meeting. The official added that for Germany, Greece has the responsibility to deal with its budget woes.

The euro and peripheral euro-zone government bonds, such as those from Greece, Spain and Portugal, have been under pressure due to fears that Greece may default on its debt.

The EU summit is widely expected to work on further steps to help Greece shore up public finances and restore calm to financial markets.

Read moreGerman Official: No EU, Bilateral Aid For Greece On EU Agenda

Storm over bailout of Greece, EU’s most ailing economy

German Official: No EU, Bilateral Aid For Greece On EU Agenda (Wall Street Journal)


Athens will be paralysed today by a 24-hour strike against a government trying to stave off bankruptcy ? as fellow members of the eurozone squabble over how best to solve Greece?s debt crisis

Angela Merkel tried to calm fevered speculation in financial markets yesterday that Germany was preparing to lead a bail-out of Greece amid a split in the EU on how to handle its most ailing member.

The German Chancellor denied reports that her Finance Minister was conducting secret talks with Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank, and with other capitals on an EU rescue fund for Athens.

Mrs Merkel has staunchly resisted suggestions that the EU must swallow its pride and turn to the Washington-based IMF for a solution to the growing economic turmoil in Greece, with fears that its troubles in international finance markets will trigger a domino effect, toppling other weak members of the eurozone such as Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

But last night there were signs of a developing European split over calling in the International Monetary Fund, a move also strongly opposed by Brussels, with suggestions from Sweden’s Finance Minister and other officials that this might be better than the EU programme outlined last week.

Mrs Merkel has repeatedly rejected the idea that the 16-nation eurozone would need to look to the IMF, which is already overseeing recovery efforts in Latvia and Hungary – both EU members outside the single currency. Her insistence that the eurozone can keep its own house in order led to market speculation yesterday that an EU bail-out was imminent.

There were also reports yesterday that Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, was working bilaterally and at the European level on putting together a package to help Athens.

Read moreStorm over bailout of Greece, EU’s most ailing economy

Germany Backs Greek Bailout as EU Creates ‘Economic Government’

Update: German Official: No EU, Bilateral Aid For Greece On EU Agenda (Wall Street Journal)


The last word is not spoken yet!

See also:

Greece: ‘Ouzo crisis’ escalates into global margin call as confidence ebbs

The winner in case of a bailout is:

The CDS Puppetmaster Behind It All And The Ever Increasing Parallels Between AIG And Greece

Germany is preparing to drop its vehement opposition to a rescue package for Greece, fearing that a rapid escalation of the debt crisis in Southern Europe could endanger German banks and damage the euro.

Protesting farmers shout slogans while marching in central Athens Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, has asked officials to prepare a plan in time for a summit of EU leaders on Thursday, according to reports in the German media. The options include either a loan from EU states or some sort of institutional EU response.

The news pushed the euro to $1.38 against the dollar, the strongest one-day rally since the single currency began its nose-dive late last year. Yields on Greek 10-year bonds plummeted 36 basis points to 6.39pc in a matter of hours as speculators scrambled to exit overstretched positions, with synchronised moves for Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian bonds.

Michael Meister, parliamentary chief for Germany’s Christian Democrats, said the crisis could not be allowed to drag on. “Our top priority is the stability of the euro,” he told FT Deutschland. “Should Greece receive help, it will only be under tough conditions and if the Greek government undertakes root-and-branch reforms.”

Germany’s apparent backing for a bail-out comes despite worries that it will lead to the breakdown of fiscal discipline across the Club Med region. It also raises troubling questions of fairness. Ireland has tackled its own crisis by slashing wages and going far beyond any measure so far offered by Greece, yet Dublin has not received help.

Germany’s dramatic shift in policy changes the character of the euro project. It follows weeks of soul-searching in Berlin, and after increasingly loud pleas from Brussels, Paris and southern capitals. The deciding factor was concern that letting Greece fail risked a “Lehman-style” run on Club Med debt, with systemic spill-over across Europe.

Read moreGermany Backs Greek Bailout as EU Creates ‘Economic Government’

Senior Chinese military officers urge economic punch against US

“… possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington…”

Members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Aviation stand at attention during a training session at the 60th National Day Parade Village in the outskirts of Beijing, September 15, 2009. (Reuters)

BEIJING (Reuters) – Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.

The calls for broad retaliation over the planned U.S. weapons sales to the disputed island came from officers at China’s National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency.

The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday.

Read moreSenior Chinese military officers urge economic punch against US

Israel Threatening To Use Nuclear Weapons On Iran! (FOX NEWS)

If Israel and/or the US attack Iran, then that is the beginning of WWIII.

For those that agree with the Bush doctrine of preemptive war:

“Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower


Added: 7. Februar 2010

Even if Iran would have a nuclear weapon, that would pose no threat to anybody.

What would Iran do with it? Throw it at Israel and get 150 nuclear weapons thrown back at them from Israel, not counting those from the US?

Iran has not attacked another country in over 200 years, unlike those warmongers that want to attack it.

Enriching uranium up to 20% means nothing. You have to enrich it OVER 95% to get weapons-grade uranium.

There are more than 100 countries that back Iran’s nuclear program.

So far only the US has used nuclear weapons against the people of another country!

Expect something like this (or much worse):

Read moreIsrael Threatening To Use Nuclear Weapons On Iran! (FOX NEWS)

Barnaby Joyce: Australia close to defaulting on debts

Debt warning: Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce (AAP: Alan Porritt, file photo)

Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce is courting controversy again, warning that Australia is getting to the point where it will not be able to repay its overseas debt.

Senator Joyce says the Federal Government is borrowing billions of dollars from overseas to fund stimulus spending and programs like the National Broadband Network.

And he has questioned whether the Government is in a position to repay those loans.

“We’re going into hock to our eyeballs to people overseas,” he said.

“You’ve got to ask the question: how far into debt do you want to go? We are getting to a point where we can’t repay it.

“Let’s look at exactly what they’re doing now and ask this very simple question: are you paying back your money, are you even meeting your interest component, and can you keep the debt stable?

“Or is the debt racing ahead by more than even the interest expense? And if it is, any household budget will tell you that’s a very dangerous place to be.”

Read moreBarnaby Joyce: Australia close to defaulting on debts

Greece: ‘Ouzo crisis’ escalates into global margin call as confidence ebbs

For the third time in 18 months the global financial system risks spinning out of control unless political leaders take immediate and radical action.

A driver stands near parked trucks on the road leading to the Kulata border crossing between Bulgaria and Greece. The roadblock was set up by farmes protesting higher taxes.

Flow data shows an abrupt withdrawal of German and Asian capital from Club Med debt markets. The EU’s refusal to offer Greece anything beyond stern words and a one-month deadline for harsher austerity – while admirable in one sense – is to misjudge how fast confidence is ebbing. Greece’s drama has already metastasised into a wider systemic crisis. The world risks a replay of the Lehman collapse if this runs unchecked, this time involving sovereign dominoes.

Barclays Capital says the net external liabilities of Greece are 87pc of GDP, or €208bn (£182bn). Spain is worse at 91pc (€950bn), and Portugal worse yet at 108pc (€177bn); Ireland is 68pc (€123bn), Italy is 23pc, (€347bn). Add East Europe’s bubble and foreign debts top €2 trillion.

The scale matches America’s sub-prime/Alt-A adventure and assorted CDOs and SIVS of the Greenspan fling. The parallels are closer than Europe cares to admit. Just as Benelux funds and German Landesbanken bought subprime debt for high yield with AAA gloss, they bought Spanish Cedulas because these too had a safe gloss – even though Spain’s property boom broke world records. They thought EMU had eliminated risk: it merely switched exchange risk into credit risk.

A fat chunk of Club Med debt has to be rolled over soon. Capital Economics said the share of state debt maturing this year is even higher in Spain (17pc) than in Greece (12pc), though Spain’s Achilles’ Heel is mortgage debt.

The risk is the EMU version of Mexico’s Tequila crisis or Asia’s crisis in 1998. This Ouzo crisis is coming to a head just as tougher bank rules cause German lenders to restrict loans, and it touches on the most neuralgic issue of our day: that governments themselves are running low. Britain, France, Japan, and the US are all vulnerable. All must retrench. The great “reflation trade” of 2009 is over.

Read moreGreece: ‘Ouzo crisis’ escalates into global margin call as confidence ebbs

Prof. Russell Roberts Testifies Before House Committee: ‘I Want My Country Back!’

Russell Roberts is a professor of economics at George Mason University and former Director of the Center for Experiential Learning at Washington University in St. Louis.

Roberts is a regular commentator on business and economics for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Professor Roberts focuses on communicating economics to non-economists, and to that end is the host of the award-winning podcast EconTalk and blogs at Cafe Hayek with Donald J. Boudreaux.

Read moreProf. Russell Roberts Testifies Before House Committee: ‘I Want My Country Back!’

Met Office blocked role of leading scientist in ‘hockey stick’ climate change row

Global warming is a scam!

See also:

IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri was told of false Himalayan glacier melting claims before Copenhagen

Ignored concerns: Professor Mitchell approved controversial report

The Meteorological Office is blocking public scrutiny of the central role played by its top climate scientist in a highly controversial report by the beleaguered United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Professor John Mitchell, the Met Office’s Director of Climate Science, shared responsibility for the most worrying headline in the 2007 Nobel Prize-winning IPCC report – that the Earth is now hotter than at any time in the past 1,300 years.

And he approved the inclusion in the report of the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, showing centuries of level or declining temperatures until a steep 20th Century rise.

By the time the 2007 report was being written, the graph had been heavily criticised by climate sceptics who had shown it minimised the ‘medieval warm period’ around 1000AD, when the Vikings established farming settlements in Greenland.

In fact, according to some scientists, the planet was then as warm, or even warmer, than it is today.

Early drafts of the report were fiercely contested by official IPCC reviewers, who cited other scientific papers stating that the 1,300-year claim and the graph were inaccurate.

But the final version, approved by Prof Mitchell, the relevant chapter’s review editor, swept aside these concerns.

Now, the Met Office is refusing to disclose Prof Mitchell’s working papers and correspondence with his IPCC colleagues in response to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The block has been endorsed in writing by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth – whose department has responsibility for the Met Office.

Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the Met Office’s stonewalling was part of a co-ordinated, legally questionable strategy by climate change academics linked with the IPCC to block access to outsiders.

Last month, the Information Commissioner ruled that scientists from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia – the source of the leaked ‘Warmergate’ emails – acted unlawfully in refusing FOI requests to share their data.


Some of the FOI requests made to them came from the same person who has made requests to the Met Office.

He is David Holland, an electrical engineer familiar with advanced statistics who has written several papers questioning orthodox thinking on global warming.

The Met Office’s first response to Mr Holland was a claim that Prof Mitchell’s records had been ‘deleted’ from its computers.

Later, officials admitted they did exist after all, but could not be disclosed because they were ‘personal’, and had nothing to do with the professor’s Met Office job.

Finally, they conceded that this too was misleading because Prof Mitchell had been paid by the Met Office for his IPCC work and had received Government expenses to travel to IPCC meetings.

Read moreMet Office blocked role of leading scientist in ‘hockey stick’ climate change row