Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby Fruitcake on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:58 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:Yeah, the EU government and its member governments are coordinating with their respective central banks and the investment banks as a roundabout method to monetize their debts.

I'd imagine that most of the big players--and not so much the individual cogs in the wheel--see this end coming, but unfortunately for many it seems most profitable to get out during the peak right before the collapse, as was seen in the US during 2007/2008. So, those sane people do see this end coming, but can they place the right bets at the right time during such a tumultuous time? (I doubt it).

And since these central banks (incl. the Fed) have been pushing down interest rates, they've forced many investors to chase yield; therefore, I'd expect the upcoming stage of the pending crisis to become significantly worse than it would have--had the the central banks not been so Keynesian and had the EU let Greece fully default and/or leave the EU. The rejected idea of reorganizing the Euro/EU in 2008-2009 is going to be a cakewalk compared to what lies ahead.


What annoys me the most is that the average Joe doesn't understand what their governments have been doing and the consequences of all these politicians and technocrats sticking to the most profitable path for themselves. Seeing these events unfold really add to my cynicism of government.


I agree wholeheartedly. But you know BBS, sometimes principles have to be overcome in the pursuit of personal gain :) (just kidding)

Let's face it, Banks, more and more, are just Government sponsored greasers. Pretty much everyone who has access to Joe Public are, in turn, controlling the banks by providing easy access to 'free' money. However, looking at this and turning 180 degrees means a lot of Banks are actually becoming equity longs. They are changing their processes and systems and will come through a better bet than presently. Moreover, Banks, by nature, are cheats. They attract people who are susceptible to encouragement to cheat, but if the so called regulators (straight from those very Govts) are supervising (yes I'm avin a larf right?) the potential guilt over all this cheating can be neatly folded up and popped in the bottom drawer.

The rise and rise recently of equities can be traced back to these fundamentals which are going through such a sea change. Banks, as we know them, are going to change. Bonds are a mine field right now and inflation and rate increases are knocking on the door. One wonders when reality will hit Bernanke between those eyes of his and he admits the great devaluation magic he has tried to pull has failed. Yield curves are starting to get twitchy and this normally signals the arrival of a surge. I believe Equities are ripe for serious play.
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:59 pm

Fruitcake wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly. But you know BBS, sometimes principles have to be overcome in the pursuit of personal gain :) (just kidding)

Let's face it, Banks, more and more, are just Government sponsored greasers. Pretty much everyone who has access to Joe Public are, in turn, controlling the banks by providing easy access to 'free' money. However, looking at this and turning 180 degrees means a lot of Banks are actually becoming equity longs. They are changing their processes and systems and will come through a better bet than presently. Moreover, Banks, by nature, are cheats. They attract people who are susceptible to encouragement to cheat, but if the so called regulators (straight from those very Govts) are supervising (yes I'm avin a larf right?) the potential guilt over all this cheating can be neatly folded up and popped in the bottom drawer.


My 'favorite' politicians are Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. It's amusing to see the great amount that bank, lawyer, and realtor associations and their respective individuals have donated to them. Then, the Dodd-Frank Act is implemented, which will definitely ensure that the political contributors will be properly supervised. The public can now rest assured that financial markets will not misbehave because the selfless politicians have saved the day, thus preserving financial stability for future generations!

Meanwhile, Dodd is back into his career before politics: lobbying. I wonder what influence he can garner for the Motion Picture Association of America because he certainly performed well as a politician for his previous 'employers'.

The aftermath of the Libor scandal is also amusing. In a freer market, banks would be allowed to eschew corrupted benchmarks and establish/follow substitutes. The threat of leaving induces current suppliers (of Libor-esque rates) to maintain some credibility--otherwise, they lose their consumers. However, this is not the case.

Bank executives privately told the UK financial regulator, Financial Services Authority, that they'd "pull out of the panel that sets the Libor," yet the FSA warned them not to--with the implicitly understood meaning: 'otherwise, there will be consequences for you'. Good luck escaping from their hodge-podge regulations, being charged in court, and then having to settle since the benefits offset the risks and costs of a trial. A jury of one's 'peers' could certainly be informed and make the best decision during the trial. Ah, the smell of (in)justice is in the air.

    My 'favorite' event was the banks repacking those home loans, selling them to the FHA/Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac (I forget which), which in turn sells them to the Fed--of course, some banks sell directly to the Fed IIRC. How can one pass up the $45bn/month being dumped into MBS? Talk about subsidizing past, incompetent investments. This will surely induce the incompetent to now invest wisely, and also the quest for alpha continues as the interest rates on mortgages drops. It's insane that the Fed is pushing investors into seeking riskier assets; the long-term costs of future booms and busts are being ignored or improperly dismissed.

The greatest threat to the big players of business is competition, but since the competition's influence on politicians, thus legislative 'reforms', has been effectively marginalized, and that new avenues of supplying information have been curtailed--thanks to the Old Guard (Libor) being protected by the state, then it will be no surprise to see financial markets becoming more inefficient, unstable, and ultimately costly for others. Now, buyers and sellers must become more savvy--while playing a balancing act with chasing alpha.

Additionally, since the governments and central banks of the G-20 insist on avoiding budget cuts yet raising taxes, continuing deficit spending, implementing laughable laws, and engaging in competitive currency devaluation, then the future doesn't look bright. Real growth will be stymied, and the bulk of uninformed voters will be taken for a ride and then unceremoniously dumped in the river. What a wash.


Fruitcake wrote:The rise and rise recently of equities can be traced back to these fundamentals which are going through such a sea change. Banks, as we know them, are going to change. Bonds are a mine field right now and inflation and rate increases are knocking on the door. One wonders when reality will hit Bernanke between those eyes of his and he admits the great devaluation magic he has tried to pull has failed. Yield curves are starting to get twitchy and this normally signals the arrival of a surge. I believe Equities are ripe for serious play.


A significant sign of actual financial stability (thus an impending surge) would be investors retreating from reals like gold, but that has yet to greatly happen because many are concerned about the future costs of all those consequences mentioned above. But given that other higher yielding investments (ugh, like junk bonds) seem to be 'maxing out', then perhaps more investors would have little choice but to jump into equities, which is alarming...

With equities, maybe you'd be able to ride the wave shortly before the crest, but seeing that the DOW Jones is reaching an average price surpassing its 2007/2008 price, I'd be extremely cautious. But hey once the rules of the game become clarified by the regulators, then your expected surge in equities could likely occur. Then again, I'm not that knowledgeable nor do I have much experience on financial trading, so take my opinion for its perceived value.

If I had money, I'd wait for the stock markets to crash and then invest in companies (and note which executives) that regularly contribute significantly to politicians. Perhaps even following which companies politicians invest into would also be a good route. I'm not sure of this strategy's net gain since I haven't taken the time to assess the opportunity cost of either sitting on x-amount of cash for the next... year or three or five(?) or continually investing in short-term bonds (which by now I've seemed to miss the greatest opportunities)... Perhaps even eating the real (negative) interest rates of ST US treasurys may be worth the wait. In the meantime, I'll just read and write.
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Postby 2dimes on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:23 pm

Barney Frank? Isn't that a cop from the Andy Griffith show?
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby Fruitcake on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:31 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
A significant sign of actual financial stability (thus an impending surge) would be investors retreating from reals like gold, but that has yet to greatly happen because many are concerned about the future costs of all those consequences mentioned above. But given that other higher yielding investments (ugh, like junk bonds) seem to be 'maxing out', then perhaps more investors would have little choice but to jump into equities, which is alarming...

With equities, maybe you'd be able to ride the wave shortly before the crest, but seeing that the DOW Jones is reaching an average price surpassing its 2007/2008 price, I'd be extremely cautious. But hey once the rules of the game become clarified by the regulators, then your expected surge in equities could likely occur. Then again, I'm not that knowledgeable nor do I have much experience on financial trading, so take my opinion for its perceived value.

If I had money, I'd wait for the stock markets to crash and then invest in companies (and note which executives) that regularly contribute significantly to politicians. Perhaps even following which companies politicians invest into would also be a good route. I'm not sure of this strategy's net gain since I haven't taken the time to assess the opportunity cost of either sitting on x-amount of cash for the next... year or three or five(?) or continually investing in short-term bonds (which by now I've seemed to miss the greatest opportunities)... Perhaps even eating the real (negative) interest rates of ST US treasurys may be worth the wait. In the meantime, I'll just read and write.


I hear you on the concerns regarding peaking in the markets. I have had my eye on a small select few stocks here in London and NY (can't be bothered with Frankfurt or Paris Bourse because I don't do small potatoes, they are only of use to those with small appetites). I believe there is going to be a spike a la 2000 and 2007 (or even 1986) except this time the spike will be higher. After all, we are only at the same levels now to where those 2000 and 2007 surges ran out of steam and we are some years on from the first. I reckon there's plenty of movement in there yet. the question is where?

Fundamentals are going to be the choicest to be around. I see quite a few of the fashionable stocks hitting the skids as realisation dawns that they are bubbles and little else. Mind you it is a worry when Goldman tells us to get into equities, this is normally a harbinger of them jumping ship and leaving the poor saps who took their advice holding the ugly baby. They are so cool about it, they just wait another 10 years until there's fresh meat around, spot the next surge then dump all over that generation, but I digress.

I still think the USD will rule for the foreseeable future. people harp on about China but I don't get this at all. China is walking headlong into some serious trade wars and thinks it is powerful enough to ride them out, I disagree. trade Unions and red tape over there are surging. I reckon they will find themselves with empty cities and minimum wage peasants again before, having finally learnt their lessons, resurging some time after I have shuffled off my mortal coil.

In short, I have a 2 year horizon on equities and will be in and out of a few while the herd stampedes in the pursuit of glory and moolah. Most of these equities hail from the west side of the pond where shale gas (ahem, note) , debt consumed by growth and that never say die attitude so prevalent even today means the mighty $ still has the muscle. As for the Euro (and finally turning this back round to my post the other day) yeah, well once those banks start hitting the walls and there's blood all over the place, let's see how much backbone they have over here, and from my experience, it ain't much!
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:04 pm

On shale gas in the US, I had an interesting conversation with a commodities broker (futures contracts). He maintained that the current production is grossly inflated, in that the industry's reported numbers are overestimated--current and future figures. Regardless of changes in US export policies, he's expecting prices to be much lower than they currently are.

RE: Goldman. That kind of behavior could explain why a few of its former employees leave the company--on good terms, mind you, but something nagged them about working there. They were reluctant to be 100% clear with me, but your paragraph might fill in the unspoken gaps.

RE: China. They're bound for a bust. In addition to what you've mentioned, their entire shadow banking system--specifically where the provincial governments make roundabout, unreported loans--is dark territory. It's estimated that up to $1 trillion or more in debt outstanding. Their government is known to present very rosy economic 'facts'. Relative to the USD, the RMB has been allowed to slowly appreciate for the past 5 or so years. There's plenty of other variables which are unknown or which I'm unaware of, but all of this should temper people's enthusiasm about China. Perhaps some of them know something we don't or have the right friends there.

On the rest, good luck and happy hunting!
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Postby 2dimes on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:14 pm

No man, that's "Fife."

Oh sorry.
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby BigBallinStalin on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:08 am

Interview with Bernard Connolly, who in 1995 predicted the current problems of the EU.
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby saxitoxin on Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:14 pm

I had to put this Danish-talk through Google Translate so I don't know how accurate this is but, according to the newspaper of the Danish Communist Party, the Greek government has drawn-up contingency plans to bring in Blackwater troops to guard the government until their army can be mobilized, in the event of a police mutiny-

http://arbejderen.dk/udland/privat-leje ... opr%C3%B8r
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:12 pm

This ideological article somewhat confirms your summary:
http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/02/26/f ... ng-police/

I'm seeing similar claims (and wild claims) from other obscure sources, but it seems that no major MS outlet has covered the story...

Blackwater (a.k.a. Academi) offers personal protection services to politicians and journalists, so...

1. What proportion of Greek politicians are being protected by Academi/other mercenaries?
2. How many Academi (and other mercenaries) are actually in Greece?

If the answers to (1) and (2) are "not many" or "a few," then this may undermine the concerns of all those articles.
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby GreecePwns on Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:57 pm

Yet another (imminent, to say the least) party split officially announced yesterday: Ex-SYRIZA leader Alavanos launches party advocating Greek euro exit

Former SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos officially launched his new “Plan B” party on Thursday, advocating Greece leave the euro and return to the drachma. Alavanos led SYRIZA between 2004 and 2008 but has been mostly on the political sidelines over the last few years. Over recent months, he has criticized the party he used to lead, arguing that its goal of rejecting the terms of the EU-IMF bailout but remaining in the single currency was not credible.

...

However, the leftist stressed that a return to the drachma would not in itself be a solution to Greece’s problems. “Leaving the euro is a precondition for salvation and recovery but is not enough on its own,” he said. “It is a link in the chain of transformations that have to happen, which includes economic planning, stopping payments to foreign lenders and nationalizing banks.”

Alavanos, who led SYRIZA to a 5.04 percent share of the vote in 2007, said that his new party would eschew the usual bureaucracy associated with political movements and instead harness the power of the Internet and direct democracy by operating through a “national network of assemblies, which will have decision-making powers.”


First it was Democratic Left breaking off from SYRIZA's right wing, now its Alvanos' Plan B Party breaking off from it's left wing. Eurozone membership was a cause for conflict for the SYRIZA coalition, and this new party will likely not only bring anti-Euro SYRIZA factions along (I'd estimate this being half of SYRIZA's membership), but the smaller parties outside of Parliament like ANTARSYA which could easily account for 1.5-2 percent of the electorate. It probably won't bring the KKE into the fold, but there is always that possibility considering their main sticking point with SYRIZA is the Euro membership issue, adding at least 4 percent of the electorate to its vote. I think SYRIZA is going to be a party dead in the water and replaced by Plan B by the next election as a result of this. Alavanos is no small-time politician, he's one of the most influential leaders in SYRIZA's short history.
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Re: Greek Government Already Showing Cracks

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:19 pm

Golden Dawn, here we come!
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