Protesters clash with police at G7 summit in Italy (VIDEO)

Protesters clash with police at G7 summit in Italy (VIDEO):

Clashes have broken out between police and protesters at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Lucca, northern Italy, where top officials are meeting to discuss pressing international issues, including potential anti-Russian sanctions.

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Thousands protest G7 summit in southern Germany

Thousands protest G7 summit in southern Germany (Mail.com, June 6, 2015):

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators packed a German Alpine resort town on Saturday to protest a wide range of causes, from climate change to free trade, before the arrival of the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies for a two-day summit.

Though the demonstration in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was largely peaceful, a small group of protesters clashed with police as they marched through the town, charging at officers who responded with pepper spray. At least two protesters had to be taken away by medics for treatment. Police said one officer was also injured by the pepper spray; there were no arrests.

Read moreThousands protest G7 summit in southern Germany

G7 Agrees New Sanctions On Russia As Observers Held In Ukraine

G7 agrees new sanctions on Russia as observers held in Ukraine (Reuters, April 26, 2014):

Leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose more sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists have detained a group of international observers they accuse of being NATO spies.

The pro-Western Kiev government said a Russian special forces operative was behind what it called a kidnapping in the eastern city of Slaviansk that is under the separatists’ control, and said the detainees were being used as a “human shield”.

Read moreG7 Agrees New Sanctions On Russia As Observers Held In Ukraine

Five Years Later: 18 Dollars Of Debt For Every Dollar Of GDP; Total G7 Debt/GDP: 440%

Five Years Later: 18 Dollars Of Debt For Every Dollar Of GDP; Total G7 Debt/GDP: 440% (ZeroHedge, Sep 12, 2013):

With everyone focused on the 5th anniversary of the Lehman failure, we are taking a quick look at how the world’s developed (G7) nations have fared since 2008, and just what the cost to restore “stability” has been. In a nutshell: the G7 have added around $18tn of consolidated debt to a record $140 trillion, relative to only $1tn of nominal GDP activity and nearly $5tn of G7 central bank balance sheet expansion (Fed+BoJ+BoE+ECB). In other words, over the past five years in the developed world, it took $18 dollars of debt (of which 28% was provided by central banks) to generate $1 of growth. For all talk of “deleveraging” G7 consolidated debt has been at a record high 440% for the past four years. So in the G7, which is a good proxy for the developed world, debt continues to increase whilst nominal growth remains extremely low thus ensuring that the deleveraging process has yet to start. As Deutsche Bank states, “at best we’re stabilising the ratio at or around record highs.”

As for the implications for interest rates, they are quite clear:

Read moreFive Years Later: 18 Dollars Of Debt For Every Dollar Of GDP; Total G7 Debt/GDP: 440%

John Lipsky: All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014

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John Lipsky, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sits for a photograph following a television interview outside the Jackson Lake Lodge in Moran, Wyoming, on Aug. 20, 2009. (Bloomberg)

March 21 (Bloomberg) — Advanced economies face “acute” challenges in tackling high public debt, and unwinding existing stimulus measures will not come close to bringing deficits back to prudent levels, said John Lipsky, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014, Lipsky said in a speech today at the China Development Forum in Beijing. Already this year, the average ratio in advanced economies is expected to reach the levels seen in 1950, after World War II, he said. The government debt ratio in some emerging market nations had also reached a “worrisome level.”

“This surge in government debt is occurring at a time when pressure from rising health and pension spending is building up,” Lipsky said. Stimulus measures account for about one-tenth of the projected debt increase, and rolling them back won’t be enough to bring deficits and debt ratios back to prudent levels.

Rising public debt could lead governments to seek to eliminate it through inflation or even default if they fail to carry out fiscal measures in time, Mohamed A. El-Erian, co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co. warned earlier this month. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “The Black Swan,” a book arguing that unforeseen events can roil markets, said March 12 he is concerned about hyperinflation as governments around the world take on more debt and print money.

Budget Deficit

The U.S. budget deficit widened to a record in February as the government spent more to help revive the economy. The gap grew to $221 billion after a shortfall of $194 billion in February 2009, the Treasury Department said on March 10. The figures indicate the deficit this year will probably surpass the record $1.4 trillion in the fiscal year that ended in September.

Read moreJohn Lipsky: All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014

PIMCO’S Bill Gross: ‘Let’s Get Fisical’ (… or why the US will not make it.)

On Thursday I had posted Bloomberg’s summary on the monthly investment outlook by PIMCO’s Bill Gross:

PIMCO’s Bill Gross warns on risks of US deficit: ‘Our government doesn’t work anymore, or perhaps more accurately, when it does, it works for special interests and not the American people.’

But that summary missed a lot of important points.

Here is just one excerpt as a starter:

“Here’s the problem that the U.S. Fed’s “exit” poses in simple English: Our fiscal 2009 deficit totaled nearly 12% of GDP and required over $1.5 trillion of new debt to finance it. The Chinese bought a little ($100 billion) of that, other sovereign wealth funds bought some more, but as shown in Chart 2, foreign investors as a group bought only 20% of the total – perhaps $300 billion or so. The balance over the past 12 months was substantially purchased by the Federal Reserve. …”

If that doesn’t bother you, then I do not know what will. The Federal Reserve is creating money out of thin air like there is no tomorrow and the bad news is that that is exactly what the elite that controls the US government and the Federal Reserve has planned for America:

In the next two years (or just a little more than that) we will see hyperinflation in the US, people in America will become desperately poor and the Greatest Depression will turn the US into a Third World country.

(In 2009 Bill Gross was named the world’s 32nd most powerful man by Forbes.)

Now here is the full article by Bill Gross, ‘The King of Bonds’ (Must-Read!):


Let’s Get Fisical

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Quixotic journeys often make for great literature, but by definition are rarely productive. I am, after all, referring to windmills here – not their 21st century creation, but their 17th century chasing. Futility, not productivity, was the ultimate fate of Cervantes’ man from La Mancha. So it is with hesitation, although quixotic obsession, that I plunge headlong into a discussion of American politics, healthcare legislation, resultant budget deficits and – finally – their potential effect on financial markets. There will be windmills aplenty in the next few pages and not much good can come of these opinions or my tilting in their direction. Still, I mount my steed, lance in hand, and ride forward.

Question: What has become of the American nation? Conceived with the vision of liberty and justice for all, we have descended in the clutches of corporate and other special interests to a second world state defined by K Street instead of Independence Square. Our government doesn’t work anymore, or perhaps more accurately, when it does, it works for special interests and not the American people. Washington consistently stoops to legislate 10,000-page perversions of healthcare, regulatory reform, defense, and budgetary mandates overflowing with earmarks that serve a monied minority as opposed to an all-too-silent majority. You don’t have to be Don Quixote to believe that legislators – and Presidents – often do not work for the benefit of their constituents: A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported that over 65% of Americans trust their government to do the right thing “only some of the time” and a stunning 19% said “never.” What most politicians apparently are working for is to perpetuate their power – first via district gerrymandering, and then second by around-the-clock campaigning financed by special interest groups. If, by chance, they’re ever voted out of office, they have a home just down the street – at K Street – with six-figure incomes as a starting wage.

What amazes me most of all is that politicians can be bought so cheaply. Public records show that combined labor, insurance, big pharma and related corporate interests spent just under $500 million last year on healthcare lobbying (not much of which went to politicians) for what is likely to be a $50-100 billion annual return. The fact is that American citizens have never been as divorced from their representatives – and if that description fits the Democratic Congress now in control – then it applies to Republicans as well – past and present. So you watch Fox, or is it MSNBC? O’Reilly or Olbermann? It doesn’t matter. You’re just being conned into rooting for a team that basically runs the same plays called by lookalike coaches on different sidelines. A “ballot box” pox on all their houses – Senators, Representatives and Presidents alike. There has been no change, there will be no change, until we the American people decide to publicly finance all national and local elections and ban the writing of even a $1 check for our favorite candidates. Undemocratic? Hardly. Get on the internet, use Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter to campaign for your choice. That’s the new democracy. When special interests, even singular citizens write a check, it represents a perversion of democracy not the exercise of the First Amendment. Any chance that any of this will happen? Not one ghost of a chance. Forward Don Quixote, the windmills are in sight.

Distressed as I am about the state of American democracy, a rational money manager cannot afford to get mad or “just get even” when it comes to investing clients’ money. Still, like pilots politely advertise at the end of most flights, “We know you have a choice of airlines and we thank you for flying ‘United’.” Global investment managers likewise have a choice of sovereign credits and risk assets where stable inflation and fiscal conservatism are available. If 2008 was the year of financial crisis and 2009 the year of healing via monetary and fiscal stimulus packages, then 2010 appears likely to be the year of “exit strategies,” during which investors should consider economic fundamentals and asset markets that will soon be priced in a world less dominated by the government sector. If, in 2009, PIMCO recommended shaking hands with the government, we now ponder “which” government, and caution that the days of carefree check writing leading to debt issuance without limit or interest rate consequences may be numbered for all countries.

Read morePIMCO’S Bill Gross: ‘Let’s Get Fisical’ (… or why the US will not make it.)

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn warns second wave of countries will require bail-out

A “second wave” of countries will fall victim to the economic crisis and face being bailed out by the International Monetary Fund, its chief warned at the G7 summit in Rome.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s warning comes amid growing concern that at some point in the next year a major economy could have to seek support from the Fund. Mr Strauss-Kahn, who was yesterday attending the Group of Seven leading finance ministers’ meeting in Rome, said: “I expect a second wave of countries to come knocking.”

Related article:
IMF Says Advanced Economies Already in Depression (Bloomberg)

The IMF managing director also said the rich world was now in the midst of a “deep recession”. It came as the G7 pledged to avoid slipping into protectionism and repeating the same political and economic mistakes as were made in the 1930s. Ministers also pledged to do more to support their banking systems, sparking speculation that a number of countries, including Germany and France, will unveil new bail-outs and possibly set up “bad banks” as they scramble to fight the crisis.

Read moreIMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn warns second wave of countries will require bail-out

IMF urges radical action to fight global recession

The International Monetary Fund has slashed its forecast for the world economy next year, predicting outright contraction for the rich economies of North America, Europe, and Japan for the first time since the Second World War.


Taxi driving through Tokyo at night. Photo: GETTY

“Prospects for global growth have deteriorated over the past month. The financial crisis remains virulent. Markets have entered a vicious cycle of asset deleveraging,” said the fund yesterday.

Britain’s economy will suffer and will see the steepest decline in G7 club of leading powers, shrinking 1.3pc as the crunch in the City of London leads to more job losses. Germany will decline by 0.8pc, The US and Spain by 0.7pc.

Sending shivers through stockmarkets everwhere, the Fund cut its world outlook next year to just 2.2pc, down from 3pc just a month ago. This is a global recession under the IMF’s 3pc rule-of-thumb.

“Financial stress is likely to be deeper and more protracted than envisaged in October. Markets are pricing in expectations of much higher corporate default rates, as well as higher losses on securities and loans,” it said.

“Activity is increasingly being held back by slumping confidence. As the financial crisis has become more entrenched, households and firms are increasingly anticipating a prolonged period of poor prospects for jobs and profits. As a result, they are cutting back.”

Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist, called on authorities around the world to respond rapidly with combined monetary and fiscal stimulus, saying risk on an inflationary surge had subsided as commodities prices slump.

Read moreIMF urges radical action to fight global recession