EU Job Losses Accelerate As German Induced Recession Bites
Violence Offers Glimpse of EU Reform Challenges
Draghi’s 158 Billion Free Lunch Boosts Banksters Coffers
China’s CIC Declines Merkel’s Money Requests
(Reuters) – The head of China’s $410 billion sovereign wealth fund CIC brushed aside a call by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to buy European government debt, saying such investments were “difficult” for long-term investors.
In comments ahead of a China-EU summit starting on Tuesday, Lou Jiwei, chairman of China Investment Corp (CIC), said any fresh injection of funds into Europe would be in industrial and other real assets, not government bonds.
His comments struck a sharper tone than a commentary in the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, which sought to reassure the European Union that China had no intention to “buy up Europe.”
Speaking at a forum in Beijing, Lou said Merkel had asked CIC and other long-term investors to buy European government debt when she visited Beijing earlier this month.
“For European bonds like the government bonds of Italy and Spain, only central banks with certain responsibilities can invest,” he said.
“But it’s more difficult for long-term investors like us to make (such) investments,” he told the annual meeting of China Economists 50 Forum, a club of government officials and economists.
“Investment opportunities may lie in areas like infrastructure and industrial projects, and these projects can help economic recovery,” he said.
A central bank adviser echoed Lou’s harder line on buying European government debt.
“We may be poor, but we aren’t stupid,” Xia Bin told reporters on the sideline of the forum. “We must follow commercial principles in making such investments. That means we want returns.”…..
China to Start Easing Says Wen
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the nation needs to start “fine-tuning” economic policies this quarter, the first indication of a timeframe for an adjustment he has pledged since October.
Economic circumstances in January and the first quarter deserve attention, Wen told business executives last week in Beijing as he sought opinions on a government report, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. “We have to make a proper judgment as early as possible when things happen and take quick action,” Wen was cited as saying by Xinhua.
Wen’s remarks may fuel speculation that the government will soon ease policy further to preserve growth in the world’s second-biggest economy after weaker exports and slower lending last month. The nation’s expansion may be cut almost in half if Europe’s debt crisis worsens, a scenario that would warrant “significant” fiscal stimulus from the government, the International Monetary Fund said in a Feb. 6 report.
“It seems like Wen is getting ready to offer some stimulus to the economy after weaker data for January,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. “It may suggest a high likelihood of a policy move in February or March. We expect a reserve ratio cut to be one of the measures announced soon.”
Kowalczyk said officials may also enact additional pro- growth measures such as boosting lending and government spending and lowering taxes…
EU Finance Minister Seen Voting Greeks Money
European finance chiefs get the second chance in a week to pull Greece back from the brink of collapse after lawmakers in Athens approved the austerity measures demanded for a financial lifeline.
Euro-area finance ministers will convene in Brussels on Feb. 15 for an extraordinary meeting called after they declined to ratify the 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) package in a special session on Feb. 9. Frustrated after two years of missed budget targets, the European authorities demanded Greek officials put their verbal commitments into law.
The Greek parliament passed the legislation in the early morning hours today as rioters battled police and set fire to buildings in downtown Athens. Still, Schaeuble told German lawmakers on Feb. 10 that Greece was set to miss deficit goals, suggesting that the measures may fall short.
“I’m really wondering now whether so much damage has been done that this marriage no longer can be rescued,” Erik Nielsen, chief global economist at UniCredit SpA (UCG) in London, wrote in a note to clients. He predicted that the measures would be approved and that Greece will be able to make a 14.5 billion- euro bond payment on March 20.
Global stocks and the euro rose after the vote in Athens. The euro gained 0.5 percent to $1.3262 at 10:21 a.m. in Berlin, edging back up toward a two-month high against the U.S. dollar that it lost on Feb. 10 after the finance ministers’ decision…
English Celebrate Greek Enslavement to EU banking relatives by Pushing Brent to 118!!
Germany’s Carthaginian terms for Greece
Before reading to much into AEP anti-German rhetoric, readers should be reminded that Germany has been run by a Crypto Hebrew, with every chancellor since Hitler. And is completely controlled by the German Rothschilds and their banking kin who have intermarried with the post WW2 German political class. The question for the Germans is will they ever have a Christian and Gentile leader again who represents German goodwill? Germans are completely clueless on the how their elites quickly married into the Rothschilds clan after the defeat of Hitler. That said the Germans need a growth plan for Greece. Germans ought to be nice least we Americans ask to be paid in full for the blood your parents spilled of our collective families. The Germans could easily move 15 percent of VW production to Greece to bail them out and modernize their ship building industry. Merkel has been a horrible leader for Germany like Hitler. Always these Zionist Hebrews make devils of the Germans for their brutality yet Germans everywhere are silent. And silence is complicity.
The US, Canada, Britain, France, Greece, and other signatories at the London Debt Agreement of 1953 granted Chancellor Konrad Adenauer a 50pc haircut on all German debt, worth 70pc in relief with stretched maturities. There was a five-year moratorium on interest payments.
The express purpose was to give Germany enough oxygen to rebuild its economy, and to help hold the line against Soviet overreach. This sweeping debt forgiveness caused heartburn for the British – then in dire financial straits, themselves forced to go cap in hand to Washington for loans. The Greeks had to forgo some war reparations.
Yet statesmanship prevailed. The finance ministers of the day agreed to overlook the moral origins of that debt, and the moral hazard of “rewarding” a country that had so disturbed the European order.
The Wirtschaftswunder whittled down the burden of German debts to modest levels within a decade. Germany emerged as a vibrant democracy and a pillar of the western security system.
Greece has less strategic relevance, and must comply with tougher terms.
The EU deal will in theory cap Greece’s public debt at 120pc of GDP in 2020 – at the outer limit if viability – after eight years of belt-tightening and depression, if all goes perfectly.
Since nothing has gone to plan since Europe’s austerity police began to administer shock therapy eighteen months ago, even this grim promise seems too hopeful.
The Greek economy was expected to contract by 3pc in 2011 under the original EU-IMF Troika plan. In fact it shrank by 6pc, and is now entering what the IMF fears could become “a downward spiral of fiscal austerity, falling disposable incomes, and depressed sentiment.”
Manufacturing output fell 15.5pc in December. The M3 money supply crashed at a 15.9pc rate. Unemployment jumped to 20.9pc in November, up from 18.2pc the month before, and is already above the worse-case peak pencilled in by the Troika.
Some 60,000 small firms and family businesses have gone bankrupt since the summer, the chief reason why VAT revenues dropped 18.7pc in January. The violence of the slump is overwhelming the effects of fiscal retrenchment. So much Sisyphean effort for so little gain.
You can argue that Greece has dragged its feet on EU-IMF demands – though the IMF is careful not make such a crude claim, offering mixed praise in its last report.
But as Professor Vanis Varoufakis from Athens University says: “If we had better implemented the measures, the worse it would be: the economy would be comatose, and the debt-to-GDP ratio would be even more explosive.”
So yes, like Germany accepting the terms of the Carthaginian Peace with a gun to its head in 1919, Greece signed “an insincere acceptance of impossible conditions” – to borrow from Keynes – hoping that sense would prevail with time.
Greece must cut 150,000 public sector jobs by 2015 under the latest accord, and fiscal policy will tighten by an extra 1.5pc of GDP beyond the squeeze already under way.
“There are another 50,000 shops and small businesses hanging on for dear life that are expected to collapse over the next six months,” said Prof Varoufakis.
Premier Lucas Papademos pleaded for national unity the weekend. “We are just a breath away from ground zero. A disorderly default would set the country on a disastrous adventure. Living standards would collapse and it would lead sooner or later to an exit from the euro.”
Well, perhaps, but remaining in EMU is also a disastrous adventure, and living standards will certainly collapse, which is why it ultimately makes no difference whether or not the Greek parliament backs the latest accord (I write before knowing the outcome of Sunday’s vote).
The policy cannot command democratic consent over time. The once dominant Pasok party has collapsed to 8pc in the polls. Support is splintering to the far Left and far Right, just like Weimar Germany under the Bruning deflation.
The next Greek parliament will be packed with “anti-Memorandum” fire-breathers, and any attempt by Greek elites to prevent elections taking place must push street protests towards revolution.
In a sign of things to come, the Hellenic Police Federation has called for the arrest of Troika officials on Greek soil for attacks on “democracy and national sovereignty”.
It is clear that Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble wishes to expel Greece from the euro, calculating that Euroland is now strong enough to withstand contagion, and that the European Central Bank’s `Draghi bazooka’ for lenders has eliminated the risk of a financial collapse.
“We can’t keep sinking billions into a bottomless pit,” he said on Friday.
Earlier he was caught on camera telling his Portuguese colleague that Lisbon can expect softer terms on its rescue package but only once Europe has dealt harshly enough with Greece to satisfy German public opinion.
Any slippage by Greece will be seized upon as a pretext to withhold the EU loans.
It is certainly arguable Greece has no hope of clawing back viability within monetary union and should therefore return to the Drachma.
While Ireland has pulled off an “internal devaluation” inside EMU by deflating wages, it has an open economy, a high trade gearing, and a current account surplus: Greece has a deficit of 9.4pc of GDP after four years of slump. Greece’s “equilibrium real exchange rate” is overvalued by 33pc according to IMF data.
But that is not the argument made by Mr Schäuble. As high priest of the “household fallacy” – the false equation of macro-economics with the budget of a Schwabian Hausfrau – he thinks Greece is in trouble because it spends too much, not because it is trapped in debt deflation with a badly over-valued currency.
From there he progresses to the next fallacy of thinking that Portugal, Spain, and Italy will pull through as long as they cut, cut, and cut again.
If Portugal spirals down in much the same fashion as Greece once austerity bites in earnest – and therefore misses target after target – it is likely that Mr Schäuble will turn on Portugal with equal fury, because that is how he sees the world.
Each failure is ascribed to lack of moral fibre, not to the design flaws in the currency project that he himself helped create and foist on the German people against their wishes.
Belief that EMU fall-out from Greek exit – or “Grexit” in market slang – can be contained by firewalls and more fiscal austerity assumes that Greece is a special case, alone brought low by turpitude.
If you think, as I do, that Greece did indeed commit a host of sins but is also the first of several victims of a mad ideological experiment that shackled together economies with different growth rates, wage bargaining systems, productivity patterns, sensitivity to interest rates, and inflation proclivities – without fiscal transfers or sufficient labour mobility to cushion the effects – and that this disaster was compounded by Germany’s (beggar-thy-EMU-neighbour?) wage squeeze, and compounded yet further by sharp monetary and fiscal contraction at the wrong moment in the states most at risk, then you will expect the crisis to grind on whatever happens in Greece.
The EMU end-game is harrowing for Greece, but it is also ghastly for Germany. Berlin has accumulated ruinous liabilities without yet solving anything, and is fast squandering sixty years of diligent statecraft.
By demanding a budget viceroy for Greece, and now an escrow account to seize Greek revenues at source, the Merkel-Schäuble government has crossed a diplomatic line and brutalised EU politics. “Memorandum Macht Frei”, as one Greek newspaper splashed.
Would Konrad Adenauer ever have made such a blunder?
Frozen Europe- Montage- Quick Call Al Gore!!
Athens-Burn, Baby Burn!
The Greeks know where the power is and to burn the CB of Greece. This package should be put to a vote of the people. Up or down. Most things are too important and weighty for politicians and the wisdom of the masses exceeds the collective wisdom of political class, most all of whom are paid whores of the financial elites and nobility.
The Truth About Israel’s War Mongering
There is zero chance of a attack until well after the 2012 Olympics and more importantly the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee worship by her stupid serfs. Most of the it is being ordered by the English Crown as no one needs a high oil price now more than England/BP. This fall the crazies could be cut loose by Prince Charles to start WW3.
Japan GDP Shrinks 2.3 pc Y/Y in 4 Q
Remember all those Toyota’s in Thailand underwater? -.6 pc quarter on quarter.
Greek Parliament Caves-Gives German Banksters Pyrrhic Victory
Greek police fire tear gas to disperse protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens on February 12, 2012
Greece’s parliament has approved austerity measures requested by the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund to secure a 130-billion euro ($170bln) bailout to avoid default, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Monday.
The vote on the unpopular package that envisions belt-tightening and wage and pension cuts was preceded by riots and looting in Athens that also spread to other cities. A total of 199 out of 300 deputies of the unicameral parliament voted for the bill, 74 were against with five abstentions.
A few buildings in Athens were set on fire as tens of thousands of protesters expressed their anger at the austerity plan. About 70 people, half of them police officers, were injured, health authorities said.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos earlier warned against failing to agree spending cuts, saying Greece was facing “uncontrolled economic chaos.”
The bill is yet to be approved by the Eurozone finance ministers.
Angl0 -Elites Attack Putin’s Stand in Libya while Lying about MI6 /CIA/Mossad instigation of minority lead civil wars.
Notice how the Anglos like to portray Putin as weak and feckless and how they LIE through their teeth. Al Quadaffi was always a City of London puppet .Heck he was educated at English military schools and partners with Tony Blair, Nate Rothschilds, Prince Andrew. Russia had no oil interests to speak of in Libya, BP did. How do you tell if an Anglo is lying. Their lips move. The VOA is just a big Anglo-Zionist propaganda outfit. The sad thing is your UST taxpayer dollars pay for the Anglo-Zionist hatred and propaganda at the VOA which should be renamed the VOBI-Voice of British-Israel or simply rolled into the BBC. Shame on the VOA for their lies.