We are getting many emails from readers tonight. Athens is boiling. Protesters are taking over the streets according to some reports. Greece seems totally out of control. Watch out for the Euro trades starting soon.
Livestream cameras on;
Greeks inspired by the Spanish “Indignant” or “Indignados” movement held their largest protest so far in Athens on Sunday, which some estimates put as high as 100,000 people, although a more accurate assesment seemed to be that those taking part exceeded 30,000.
No official figure was given for the number of people packing into Syntagma Square in front of Parliament but it was clear that the protest was by far the largest since the movement began on Wednesday.
Then, some 20,000 people were thought to have taken to the streets of the capital but it was clear that on Sunday, the numbers were much larger. The protest remained peaceful, as people sang, chanted slogans against the country’s politicians and austerity measures and aimed gestures at Parliament.
Greece’s deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos had earlier dismissed the significance of the country’s ‘Indignant’ movement.
“It is a movement without an ideology or organization, which bases itself on only one feeling, that of rage,” Pangalos told Ethnos newspaper.
Greece’s version of the ‘Indignant’ movement, protesting austerity measures and demanding that politicians are more in tune with citizens’ needs, has led to thousands of people protesting in front or Parliament in Athens, as well as in other cities, every day since Wednesday. Some have started camping out overnight as well.
On Sunday, similar protests were due to be held in other European countries, including Spain, France and Italy.
Famed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis gave his public backing to the protesters and called for “the government of shame” to go along with “the politicians for destroying, plundering and subjugating Greece.”
The protesters also found an unlikely ally in Thessaloniki’s conservative bishop, Anthimos.
An MEP representing the centrist Democratic Alliance party, Theodoros Skylakakis said that the protesters would have to affect the political process if they want to have a real impact.
“These people have to become politicized and develop a greater political realization,” he told Skai TV. “They have to progress from “this is what I don’t like” to “this is what I like”.”
Organizers posted a message on their Facebook page on Saturday calling for the messages of the protest to become more specific. Suggestions included demands for the International Monetary Fund to leave Greece, for Parliamentary immunity to be lifted and for audit commission to be set up to establish how the country’s debt was amassed.
Interview with Ferguson, the man behind “Inside Job”, with the Spanish newspaper El Pais. His next project, a film about Mr Assange, if US lets him do it….Translated by Google;
Charles H. Ferguson is a mathematician who received his doctorate in political science, became a technology entrepreneur and ended up uncovering his incisive documentary vein. He studied mathematics at the University of Berkeley (California).He received his Ph.D. in political science from the prestigious MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And he launched a career as a consultant for various technology companies, among others, Apple, Motorola and Texas Instruments. ”It was an extremely interesting stage,” he says. ”I had a really good most of the time. I spent most of my life: I was paid well for thinking of very interesting issues. I liked the technology sector, I met very smart people, very individualistic, often somethingeccentric … I ended up deciding that I did not want to devote my life to that, but do not regret having gone through it, enjoyed it. I found many ambitious outsiders. It is common to see the ambition in many cases is directed towards private business. But there are other entrepreneurs who do things for the common good. ”
That is one reason that has led to interest in the life of Julian Assange. ”WikiLeaks is a start up [new company], Assange is a technology entrepreneur, and his project is nonprofit. It is a world familiar to me and that I wanted to explore.” After winning his Oscar for best documentary Inside job, Ferguson is now preparing for the American television network HBO feature film (fiction, it is not a documentary) about the figure of Assange: “I have not been able to talk to him, this is beginning. “ The American filmmaker says that the leader of reminds WikiLeaks other great entrepreneurs in the world of technology: “People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have in common with Assange all left school early. It is very common among hackers and entrepreneurstechnology. They begin their studies, they feel they do not fit, study it seems boring, slow. They leave. ”
The next thing was to focus the sight to the financial sector. And to point up again, try to reach the elite. Ferguson interviewed subjects the real interrogation, put the villain on the ropes, only that in his case, the villain is not fiction, but of flesh and bone, is dressed, wears a tie and may be a scammer. More than one is evidenced by the cameras.
“He must have made great friends in the financial sector …
“Well, funny and surprisingly, there are two parties in the financial world, and one of them liked the film. For example, Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan, or William C. Dudley, who was chief economist at the Federal Reserve.
- Have you heard of the mobilizations that have occurred in Spain? The platform that called for Democracy Real As it was with the following motto: “We are not good in the hands of politicians and bankers.”
“Yes I heard about it. It is difficult to answer, I know well the current situation in Spain.What is clear is that Western Europe, and in particular the South, are having major problems, political and economic. In a way, have been exploited by the financial sector and political leadership.
- Do you think that will grow this type of civic movements calling for major reforms?
“Certainly, I hope there are more movements like that of Spain. 21% of unemployment insurance in the country is affecting people react, and I say this not detract from the movement. In the United States has been very little reaction to what, by our standards, is a very serious economic problems: unemployment officially around 10%, but the unofficial figure is around 15% is very high, the problem mortgages. And if so, how many protests are heard in the U.S.?: Very few. And how political change has been?: Very little. I am surprised and disappointed me. I do not know what will happen with the protests in Spain and other European countries, but I hope something good comes out of it.
If this was an argument over two kilos of potatoes, one would understand. We are talking about Greece, where the investors are getting dual information on a real time basis. No “serious” investor would dare touch any Greek bonds with this asymmetry in information. In order to stop all future discussions, thetrader argues, Greece should exit the Euro, restructure, and try to come back with a fixed economy, instead of borrowing more money. That path of borrowing more is the Chinese water torture way, that leads the country into even larger problems. The more Greece borrows, the more will the creditors want of those beautiful Greek islands.
The Internationanal Monetary Fund on Sunday dismissed reports that a team of inspectors from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank had found that Greece has missed all its fiscal targets.
“Recent media reports claiming knowledge of the findings of the review mission are untrue,» an IMF spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters news agency.
“Our discussions with the authorities continue, are making good progress and are expected to conclude soon,» she said.
Der Spiegel reported that the quarterly report by the troika would blame disproportionately high government spending and inadequate tax collection for a ballooning Greek budget deficit.
It said the European Union was holding back the next tranche of international credit.
A senior ECB official, chief economist Juergen Stark, meanwhile, pressed Athens to privatize state-owned assets faster, in an interview with the German weekly Welt am Sonntag.
“One should be more ambitious, so as to reduce the debt level by 20 per cent,” said Stark. (Kathimerini)
After the festive days when Obama, apparently of Irish origin, visited, Ireland is instantly thrown back to reality. Ireland needs, just like Greece, more cash. Looks like all those bail out funds are vanishing rapidly. As thetrader has argued, over the past months, the PIIGS need to restructure and many countries should leave the Euro. Greece, as well as Ireland need more cash to survive. Looks like some cheap island are coming to the market sooner than later.
The biggest elephant in the room, is according to us, still the Spanish property market, that nobody even dares talking about. Spain next to get the bail out?
Although the US market is closed tomorrow, Euro traders won’t take the day off. Expect some additional volatility tomorrow.
We are now awaiting the German taxpayers to say no to the bail outs. They sure must be tired of bailing out all those countries, especially when they constantly come back for more. Europe is like we have been saying for some time now, getting less united.
Ireland may have to ask for another loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund because it will struggle to return to debt markets to raise funds next year, a government minister said on Sunday.
In comments to The Sunday Times newspaper, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar became the first cabinet member to cast doubt in public on Ireland’s ability to raise cash on the bond market because of punishing yields demanded by investors.
“I think it’s very unlikely we’ll be able to go back next year. I think it might take a bit longer … 2013 might be possible but who knows?” Varadkar was quoted as saying.
“It would mean a second program (of loans from the EU/IMF),” he said. “Either an extension of the existing program or a second program. I think that would generally be most people’s view.”
Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore told broadcaster RTE that fears of a domino effect from Greece’s problems were overblown. The possibility of a Greek default has sent bond yields rocketing for indebted Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
“It’s not a situation that if Greece defaults then there are immediately implications for Ireland,” Gilmore said.
“If Greece defaults there are implications for the wider euro zone and obviously we are part of that.”
“It is wrong to put Ireland in the same basket as Greece.”
#1 During the 23 months of the “Obama recovery”, an average of about23,000 jobs a month have been created. It takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth. So shouldn’t we hold off a bit before we declare the economic crisis to be over?
#2 During the “recession”, somewhere between 6.3 million and 7.5 million jobs were lost. During the “Obama recovery”, approximately 535,000 jobs have been added. When will the rest of the jobs finally come back?
#3 Of the 535,000 jobs that have been created during the “Obama recovery”,only about 35,000 of them are permanent full-time jobs. Today, “low income jobs” account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States. If our economy is recovering, then why can’t it produce large numbers of good jobs that will enable people to provide for their families?
#4 Agricultural commodities have been absolutely soaring this decade. The combined price of cotton, wheat, gasoline and hogs is now more than 3 times higher than it was back in 2002. So how in the world can the Federal Reserve claim that inflation has been at minimal levels all this time?
#5 Back in 2008, banks had a total of 27 billion dollars in excess reserves at the Fed. Today, banks have a total of approximately 1.5 trillion dollars in excess reserves at the Fed. So what is going to happen when all of this money eventually hits the economy?….
#6 If the U.S. economy is recovering, then why are shipments by U.S. factories still substantially below 2008 levels?
#7 Why are imports of goods from overseas growing much more rapidlythan shipments of goods from U.S. factories?
#8 According to Zillow, the average price of a home in the U.S. is about 8 percent lower than it was a year ago and that it continues to fall about 1 percent a month. During the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the fastest rate since late 2008. So can we really talk about a “recovery” when the real estate crisis continues to get worse?
#9 According to a shocking new survey, 54 percent of Americans believe that a housing recovery is “unlikely” until at least 2014. So how is the housing industry supposed to improve if so many people are convinced that it will not?
#10 The latest GDP numbers out of Japan are a complete and total disaster. During the first quarter GDP declined by a stunning 3.7 percent. Of course I have been saying for months that the Japanese economy is collapsing, but most mainstream economists were absolutely stunned by the latest figures. So will the rest of the world be able to avoid slipping into a recession as well?
#11 Next week, Republicans in the House of Representatives are going to allow a vote on raising the debt ceiling. Everyone knows that this is an opportunity for Republican lawmakers to “look tough” to their constituents (the vast majority of which do not want the debt ceiling raised). Everyone also knows that eventually the Republicans are almost certainly going to cave on the debt ceiling after minimal concessions by the Democrats. The truth is that neither “establishment Republicans” nor “establishment Democrats” are actually serious about significantly cutting government debt. So why do we need all of this political theater?
#12 Why are so many of our once great manufacturing cities being transformed into hellholes? In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house forone dollar in the worst areas.
#13 According to one new survey, about half of all Baby Boomers fear that when they retire they are going to end up living in poverty. So who is going to take care of them all when the money runs out?
#14 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of about 5 million Americans were being hired every single month during 2006. Today, an average of about 3.5 million Americans are being hired every single month. So why are our politicians talking about “economic recovery” instead of “the collapse of the economy” when hiring remains about 50 percent below normal?
#15 Since August, 2 million more Americans have left the labor force. But the entire period from August to today was supposed to have been a time of economic growth and recovery. So why are so many Americans giving up on looking for a job?
#16 According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans believed that the economy was “getting better” at this time last year. Today, that number is at just 27 percent. Are Americans losing faith in the U.S. economy?
#17 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years, and one out of every four American children is currently on food stamps. During this same time period, Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke have told us over and over that the U.S. economy has been getting better. So what is the truth?
#18 America has become absolutely addicted to government money. 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another. U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes. Americans hate having their taxes raised and they hate having their government benefits cut. So is there any hope that this will ever be turned around before disaster strikes?
#19 The combined debt of the major GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) has increased from 3.2 trillion in 2008 to 6.4 trillion in 2011. How in the world is the U.S. government going to be able to afford to guarantee all of that debt on top of everything else?
#20 If the U.S. national debt (more than 14 trillion dollars) was reduced to a stack of 5 dollar bills, it would reach three quarters of the way to the moon. The U.S. government borrows about 168 million dollars every single hour. If Bill Gates gave every penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days. So how in the world can our politicians tell us that everything is going to be okay?
Good interview with a somewhat bearish Celente;
When oil prices surged to a ridiculous $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, conventional wisdom held that normal supply and demand issues were the cause. Both the Bush administration (in the form of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission) and most of Wall Street (through both media figures and market analysts) blamed such factors as increases in oil demand from the Chinese industrial machine, and the failure of Americans to conserve, for the surge in crude prices.
Goldman Sachs, while outrageously predicting a “super spike” that might cause oil to reach as high as $200 a barrel, blamed piggish American consumers and preached conservation as a bulwark against oil supply disruptions. The bank’s “Oracle of Oil,” Arjun Murti, even broadcast the fact that he owned two hybrid cars.
Well, thanks to Wikileaks, we now know that when the Bush administration reached out to the Saudis in the summer of ’08 to ask them to increase oil production to lower prices, the Saudis responded by saying they were having a hard time finding buyers for their oil as it was, and instead asked the Bush administration to rein in Wall Street speculators.
According to the McClatchy report, the Wiki cables show that Saudi ministers repeatedly told Bush administration officials that increasing production might be counterproductive. (Rolling Stones)
Well, it didn’t take long before Greece denied Der Spiegel’s report on Greece having missed all targets. This is now becoming a rather amusing soap opera. Financial targets should be easy to evaluate, just like a p/l, either you have made money, or you have lost. Same logic applies to the targets set out, either you have accomplished the targets, or not, there is no in between. It is black or white. Remember, Spiegels report about the secret Friday meeting in Luxembourg was also at first denied…..
Greece’s hopes of averting default dimmed on Saturday as fears grew the country may have missed fiscal targets set by its lenders whileeuro zone policymakers bickered on how to respond to the deepening crisis.
The country’s finance minister denied a report in Germam weekly magazine Spiegel that international inspectors will report that Greecefailed on all its fiscal targets, a condition for getting a key, fifth tranche of a 110 billion euro bailout.
“Negotiations continue and will be completed in the next few days. We have every reason to believe the report will be positive for the country,” George Papaconstantinou told Greek Mega TV.