Italy Is The New Greece, Strikes Shift From Syntagma Square To Rome

Italy Is The New Greece, As Strikes Shift From Syntagma Square To Rome (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2011):

Remember when on Friday, following the summary of the proposed Italian austerity measures, we said that “within a few weeks we expect the strike (and riot)-cam to be planted firmly in the Piazza Navona and across the streets ot the Trastevere in capturing the latest round of European indignation” and some assumed this was yet more sarcasm? Nope. As the AP reports, “the leader of Italy’s largest union is threatening a general strike against an austerity package that Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s government hastily pushed through to balance the budget by 2013 and avoid financial collapse. The threat came amid mounting criticism Sunday of the euro45.5 billion ($64.8 billion) package passed Friday in response to demands by the European Central Bank.” Incidentally, $64.8 billion in cuts… out of $1.8 trillion in debt….that makes even the farcical $2.1 trillion deficit cut plan passed by the muppets in DC appear gargantuan in context. What happens when S&P tells Italy it has to increase the cuts fivefold to avoid more downgrades? At that point the strikes in Italy will be 24/7/365. And what happens when S&P wakes up and realizes that the same is applicable for France, and that any realistic cuts will force French GDP, which on Friday came at a very disappointing 0.0%, to turn wildly negative, as strikes next shift from Rome to Paris… Just how stable will that vaunted AAA rating of France be at that point? But of course, nobody will have been able to see it coming.

From the AP:

Critics say the package — a mix of spending cuts, job cuts and tax increases, including a “solidarity tax” for high-earners — will strangle Italy’s stagnant economy, which is now expected to grow by only about 1 percent this year.

Other critics, including nine members of Berlusconi’s own coalition, say it unfairly targets the middle class and fails to tackle Italy’s massive tax evasion problem.

Read moreItaly Is The New Greece, Strikes Shift From Syntagma Square To Rome

Joint Statement From Merkel And Sarkozy On Global Financial Crisis

Joint Statement From Merkel And Sarkozy On Global Financial Crisis (ZeroHedge, Aug 7, 2011):

Below is the full text of the joint French-German statement attempting to prevent another European market collapse. Next up are comparable statements from the ECB and from theG7. We expect many more before the night is out.

Following is the full text of a joint statement issued on Sunday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on measures to tackle the euro zone debt crisis.

President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel reiterate their commitment to fully implement the decisions taken by the heads of state and government of the euro area and the EU institutions on July 21st 2011.

In particular, they stress the importance that parliamentary approval will be obtained swiftly by the end of September in their two countries.

They welcome the recent measures announced by Italy and Spain with regard to faster fiscal consolidation and improved competitiveness. Especially the Italian authorities’ goal to achieve a balanced budget a year earlier than previously envisaged is of fundamental importance. They stress that complete and speedy implementation of the announced measures is key to restore market confidence.

As decided on July 21st, the effectiveness of the EFSF will be improved and its flexibility increased linked to appropriate conditionality, in particular through the following instruments: precautionary program, finance recapitalization of financial institutions and to intervene in secondary markets on the basis of an ECB analysis recognizing the existence of exceptional financial market circumstances and risks to financial stability and on the basis of a decision by mutual agreement of the member states, in order to avoid contagion.

German Government Thinks Italy Too Big For EFSF To Save (Spiegel)

German Government Thinks Italy Too Big For EFSF To Save -Spiegel (Nasdaq/Dow Jones, Aug 5, 2011):

FRANKFURT -(Dow Jones)- Germany’s government thinks Italy is too big for Europe’s rescue fund to save, Der Spiegel magazine reports in a preview of an article to be published Monday.

The government doubts whether even tripling the size of the rescue fund, known as the European Financial Stability Facility, would enable it to save Italy because the country’s financing needs are so enormous, the magazine reports without naming the source of its information.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso this week suggested increasing the size of the EFSF, which currently has a planned lending capacity of EUR440 billion ($622.9 billion), to help stem Europe’s worsening debt crisis.

German government finance experts believe euro-zone states couldn’t guarantee Italy’s EUR1.8 trillion of sovereign debt without markets considering Germany to be overstretched, Der Spiegel reports.

Read moreGerman Government Thinks Italy Too Big For EFSF To Save (Spiegel)

Italy Burning, Undergoing Slow Motion Crash, With Bank After Bank Getting Halted

The Vespa Has Crashed Into The Mountain: Italy Burning (ZeroHedge, Aug 1, 2011):

Italy undergoing a slow motion crash, with bank after bank getting halted, first Intesa, then Monte Paschi, and most recently, main bank Unicredit.

The FTSEMIB is now down a whopping 5.5% from intraday highs, led by the financial sector which may or may not last the week absent another EFSF expansion as we have speculated before.

Of course, should that happen, Italy becomes a liability and not a funder, meaning the proportional obligations of Germany and France will surge, just as we explained two weeks ago.

And more bad news: the spread between the 10 year Italy – Bund just hit an all time wide of 349, +16 bps on the session, as Italy CDS are now trading 328, +12, and Spain is 9 bps wider to 374.

Time for bailout #3, this time to rescue Italy, then Belgium and Spain, then France and the UK, until finally the Fourth Reich, in the darkness, shall bind them.

General Italy

And just the country’s top (and we use that term loosely) banks:

‘Greece Is Effectively In Default’ – ‘We Are Throwing Money At the Banks Through Greece’ – ‘Germany Will Turn Out Light On Euro – System Defective By Design’ – ‘The Fall Of Spain Would Mean The Fall Of The Euro’ (Video)

‘System Defective By Design’: Exactly what several German economics Prof.’s said in 1996. They predicted, that if there will be a currency union first (which is liken unto putting the cart before the horse), instead of a economy union, then the new currency will fail. They even predicted the failure of the euro at around 2008-2010.

YouTube Added: 25.07.2011

While the EU struggles to keep the euro afloat with bailouts for Portugal and Greece, and Spain looks to be next in line for a rescue package, financial journalist Johan Van Overtveldt believes the limit of what the EU can do for the euro is close. Johan Van Overtveldt believes that the EU will keep throwing cash into the failing economies until the Germany reaches its limits.

Greece Defaults; Krugman Screams It’s 1937; Maastricht Treaty Needs Revisions; ‘European Monetary Fund’ Created; German Taxpayers on the Hook

What are these clowns thinking?

Not to forget…

Bankrupting Germany: German Bundesbank Financed ECB and National Central Banks With €338 Billion, ifo-Institute President Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn Stunned

And if those €338 Billion are not paid back German taxpayers are on the hook!

And now…

Greece Defaults; Krugman Screams It’s 1937; Maastricht Treaty Needs Revisions; “European Monetary Fund” Created; German Taxpayers on the Hook (Global Economic Analysis, July 21, 2011):

The EU summit hammered out yet another temporary fix today, albeit a complicated one.

The proposal involves the creation of a “European Monetary Fund” and it will require changes to the Maastricht Treaty. Paul Krugman does not like the austerity measures and ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet had to eat his words regarding defaults and acceptance of defaulted bonds as collateral. German taxpayers may potentially be screwed big time on this bailout.

Can this agreement hold together? Before deciding let’s look at some details.

“European Monetary Fund” Created

In what French President Nicolas Sarkozy likens to a “European Monetary Fund”, EU Leaders Offer $229 Billion in New Greek Aid

After eight hours of talks in Brussels, leaders announced 159 billion euro ($229 billion) in new aid for Greece late yesterday and cajoled bondholders into footing part of the bill. They also empowered their 440-billion euro rescue fund to buy debt across stressed euro nations after a market rout last week sparked concern the crisis was spreading. The fund can also aid troubled banks and offer credit-lines to repel speculators.

Read moreGreece Defaults; Krugman Screams It’s 1937; Maastricht Treaty Needs Revisions; ‘European Monetary Fund’ Created; German Taxpayers on the Hook

If You STILL Haven’t Bought Any Physical Gold Yet …

… not to forget physical silver!!!

If You Haven’t Bought Any Gold Yet… (ZeroHedge, July 21, 2011):

If You Haven’t Bought Any Gold Yet…

Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny. These are a the principal tenants of the Greek restructuring plan that were released today from Brussels… it’s as if EU policymakers put it together after shaking a Magic 8-ball.

The whole world knows that Greece is bankrupt and has been living bailout to bailout for over a year. Deep in debt and devoid of cash, the country has completely forsaken its sovereignty in exchange for becoming a ward of the European Union; Prime Minister George Papandreou is now a hapless stooge awaiting instructions from Germany.

It’s ironic that the Greek proposal released today calls for a ‘Marshall Plan’ of investment across Europe… given that the last time Greece was being controlled by Germany was during the country’s occupation by Nazi forces after being vanquished by Hitler’s 12th Army in April 1941.

And so, with limited debate and even less fanfare, Europe has just officially signed on to destroy its own currency. Utterly worthless, quasi-defaulted Greek debt will become perfectly acceptable collateral, much in the same way that the US Federal Reserve took every scrap of toxic paper it could find off banks in 2008 and 2009.

Given the favorable market reaction, European politicians must be feeling pretty proud of themselves. The euro is up. The stock market is up. Oil is up. Well, never mind about oil, they’ll blame that on evil speculators… just like food prices.

Read moreIf You STILL Haven’t Bought Any Physical Gold Yet …

BASF Considers Genetically Modified Crop Exit in Germany And Possible Move To The US

German Franken Potato Co. Wants To Set Up Shop Here (Health Freedom Alliance, July 7, 2011):

The largest chemical maker, BASF SE, might remove their GM crop research firm of 700 people from Germany due to heated, growing political opposition. Where can they go and be welcomed with open arms? The US, of course. Even Monsanto is paring down in Germany because its “basic framework doesn’t lend itself to further products.”

Germany is not too keen on nuclear reactors any more and the German Green Party likens the instability and risk of nuclear power to that of GMOs. The fear is that when things go wrong, it’s the people who have to deal with damages and costs.

The EU is allowing individual states to ban GMO cultivation which also allows the speedy approval process for the states that favor GMOs. Clive James, founder of nonprofit International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications argues that Germany will suffer economic damage to lose the scientists and firms. That they are not cooperating with “‘an essential element’ to help reach the United Nation’s goals of cutting poverty and hunger.”

~Health Freedoms

BASF Said to Consider Genetically Modified Crop Exit in Germany (Bloomberg, July 6, 2011):

BASF SE (BAS), the world’s biggest chemical maker, may withdraw genetically modified crop research from Germany in response to growing political opposition, three people familiar with discussions said.

The maker of the Amflora scientific potato is considering the future of its research facility in rural Limburgerhof in southwestern Germany, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. A move to the U.S. is possible for the plant biotechnology operations, which employ 700, said one of the people.

Read moreBASF Considers Genetically Modified Crop Exit in Germany And Possible Move To The US

German Exports Increase More Than Forecast

See also:

Outrage As Germany ‘Sells’ 200 Battle Tanks To Saudi Arabia

German Exports Increase More Than Forecast as Nation Weathers Euro Crisis (Bloomberg, July 8, 2011):

German exports increased more than economists forecast in May, adding to signs the sovereign debt crisis isn’t harming Europe’s largest economy.

Exports, adjusted for work days and seasonal changes, increased 4.3 percent from April, when they fell 5.6 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists forecast a gain of 1.5 percent, according to the median of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Imports rose 3.7 percent from the previous month.

Read moreGerman Exports Increase More Than Forecast

Outrage As Germany ‘Sells’ 200 Battle Tanks To Saudi Arabia

And the attack on Libya is not about protecting civilians.

YouTube Added: 06.07.2011

Germany is reportedly selling two hundred battle tanks to Saudi Arabia. Talk of a deal has caused outrage among Germany’s opposition politicians, who claim the government would be breaking its own export rules. Peace activist Jens Wagner says he fears the heavy weapons could be used to crush anti-regime protests in the region.