EUROBLOWN: You couldn’t make it up, but given half a chance the EU will.

In something of a panic, the EU bailout fund today hastened to transfer 25bn euros worth of short-term EFSF bonds to Greece. The official version began, “Riding a wave of Athens stock exchange optimism about the future of Greek banks….”
 
Our thanks go to Winston Smith in the Ministry of Truth.
 
Some additional details were, however, more telling:
 
‘The EU loan transfer comes despite the fact that details about the terms for the participation and voting rights of existing bank shareholders in the new – largely state held – bank shares have not yet been finalised. The local market is also awaiting an April 20 deadline for the banks to announce the first quarterly results incorporating the amounts of losses incurred in their balance sheets from a 53.5% writedown on Greek debt….’
 
It’s also, of course, the deadline for paying off the Foreign Law bondholders.
 
Words like ‘dots’ ‘join’ and ‘up’ spring to mind.

52 thoughts on “EUROBLOWN: You couldn’t make it up, but given half a chance the EU will.

  1. Pingback: John Ward – Euroblown : You Couldn’t Make It Up, But Given Half A Chance The EU Will – 18 April 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  2. Phrases like ‘Bare faced liars’ comes to mind. Goebbels and his Ministry of Truth could not have done better.

  3. As I explained in great detail earlier: “Stuff it in a can and kick it!” True, you just couldn’t make it up. La, la land for sociopaths. And as The Guardian briefly reported online yesterday – then thought better of it and as far I could see stuck the whole story on an electronic spike half an hour later – there are now nine personally owned guns in circulation for every ten Americans. Quite what that says I fear to contemplate. It hardly bodes well for democracy.

      • Ah! thanks BT, it appears they just tucked it away in case the children saw it: About this article America’s deadly devotion to guns
        This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 20.00 BST on Monday 16 April 2012. A version appeared on p6 of the G2 section of the Guardian on Tuesday 17 April 2012. It was last modified at 17.15 BST on Tuesday 17 April 2012.

    • yeh freedom to own guns is an awful thing…remind me why people in london are terrified of teenage gangs with knives again?

      • @Paul J: That’s the point…the gun laws imposed on Brits over the last 70 years have left us in a situation where only the criminals have them!

        “An armed society is a polite society.”

      • Precisely the situation in Australia. There are far more drive-by shootings than there ever were prior to the gun buy back. Now only the criminals have guns, but a lot more of them.

      • Three shots were fired this morning at 7.30am, nearly spilt my coffee, and my spaniel ran under the desk. It sounded like maybe fired 400yds away!

        We have real time mavericks in the countryside who shoot to kill anything. The other morning a glorious red fox passed along my hedgerow, there are enough rats and mice to sustain it, and perhaps a few young fledglings and rabbits. Hope Charlie is still alive and patrolling our hedgerows!
        The police aren’t too vigilant about guns in the countryside, they are more concerned about urban shenanigans .

        Mind you , there are also hoodlums who leave entrails everywhere, after poaching deer- not pretty at all, particularly as some of the deer were pregnant.
        Who really controls gun licences?

    • It says that citizens in America are still citizens of a republic, retaining (at least some of) their enumerated rights. I don’t know what it says for democracy (the U.S. is a republic), but it does make tyranny exponentially more difficult to impose.

      • Mr Maxi, what are you talking about? People in London (of which I’m one) are not generally terrified of gangs with knives. Anyone can see that knife attacks here are gang-related and rarely involve others.

    • Send in the clowns do not fear for democracy because it’s citizens own guns. It’s those who try to take our democracy from us that need fear our guns.

  4. Just like when they gutted the accounts of the university’s and hospitals for the first part of this mess… these funds will be re-appropriated to save German banks… ehhhh, I mean Greece.

    • @Laurence. Just out of interest, the famous quote … “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries … and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it.

      – Niccolo Machiavelli.

      This has always seemed to me the explanation of why the people of Greece and Spain appear to be reluctant to throw off their chains (that is, being tied to the Euro) .

      • @MaxC
        Some of the quote I can agree with.However,the euro is not new, it has been going for 10 years now and the people of Spain and Greece know how badly it is affecting them. They must remember life under the old currency so I can only assume that life was worse for them then ,although
        I don’t remember any economic crisis like this being reported. As they say
        there’s nowt as queer as folk.

  5. Quote of the day fromTyler Durden, zerohedge: The following sentence captures, better than anything, the sheer sociopathology, and the epic unprecedented delusions of a failing central planning bureaucrat:

    Angela Merkel is not happy that financial markets have not made any contribution to resolving the financial crisis -RTRS

    Yes, this is precisely the same as the dealer complaining that the junkie not only demands more, but refuses to get clean.

    Couldn’t have put it better myself! The luntatics have not only taken over the asylum, they are franchising it. Now where did I put grandfather’s trusty old Webley?

    • She’s obviously mad. Like most Germans she doesn’t really like markets – as one German colleague once said to me “they often result in unacceptable unplanned outcomes!” He wasn’t joking either.

      • Its the continental mindset they are stuck in the premise that the State is the ultimate power and the market must be sub-ordinate.

        What they (and their ilk) forget is the market is made up of people who have differing priorities, wants and needs a good deal of which do not con-incide with the eilites views of the world. They hate the fact they cannot control these and when they do intervene (-fere) the market actors react in unexpected ways to avoid or mitigate their meddling (hence thins like capital flight from the periphery, perfectly logival if you think you might have your wealth transferred to a new devalued currency).

        Thatcher was correct you can nver buck the market just try and tame the wilder parts to ensure a level playing field, anything else is doomed to failure.

  6. OT perhpaps Old Man. But if that Breivik character or whatever he is called is allowed a public forum to keep on with his very unadvised and dangerous nonsense then I much more than truly fear for those, but others more particularly, who for whatever reasons, pressures included, have been made to think this course of action is in any way advisable. I can’t underline this enough. If this doesn’t stop within a day or less than two, repurcussions will be beyond canceling.

    Yours,

    Geo.

    • You can’t get much more explicit than that. The Suzanne Moore prize is rarely awarded all too often these days but…

      • Maybe you’re right, and it is foolish to get excited over this. Perhaps the people in Oslo know what they are doing and declared him sane in order to get a death penalty or something. But it is not like the crazy man in Oklahoma City — he didn’t advocate doing his atrocity again while on trial, and this is the sort of thing they are allowing Breivik to get away with. To me, anyone, regardless of their so-called politics, who murders 77 people, all of them defenceless, many not more than children, is as mad as a wet hen — insane. So I think it sets a very bad precendent to send this spectacle worldwide.

        And when I spoke of repercussions I meant to say nothing more than a tautology. Put that three ring circus of a trial out there for a few days, call it sane, and you’re not going to be able to do much about what the other crazies stir themselves into. It’s just bad governance IMHO. Foolish in this context. And I suppose you’ve every right to call me a fool or compare me to one. But seriously — do you thing the people who declraed such a monster ‘sane’ (or fit to stand trial) are any saner than the man they have now put on the stand. I’m starting to see why BT is so fed up with this lot, though he has his own reasons completely unrelated to this. There simply seem to be nitwits or worse in charge who are not acting in the interests of the people we imagine they are appointed to govern. Call me politically incorrect for advocating censorship of such opportunities for providing a mad man with a soapbox.

    • @Geo: Yeahbut … considering that his actions were driven by his serious concerns about the Islamification of Norway by his socialist govt’s policy of immigration and failed integration, one could see the State’s attempts (via the courts) to shut him up by switching off the TV cameras in court at crucial times, as an act on their part driven by fear that many viewers might actually agree with him. I don’t share his view that going on a shooting spree and killing innocent people is the solution, but exactly what is? The socialist Norwegian govt, like the past British Labour govt, dealt with the growing crises of *their* making by lying about the immigration figures, shutting people up and passing endless laws to impose their policies. That is a pressure cooker policy, not a solution. I feel sure that many Brits will have a lot of sympathy with his views, if not his tactics.

      • I would agree – there was a lot of people talking about this guy ‘down the pub’ yesterday evening and by and large they agreed with his argument but not his solution.
        Problem is that politicians think you can legislate ‘truth’ into peoples heads -but you can’t ! Indoctrination will work for a while (as it has) until the problem becomes to big for the lies to be believable by anyone.

      • @Morningstar: Quite so. And today we see Labour’s Yvette Cooper whining in Parliament about the attempted deportation of Abu Qatada from Britain by the current govt, whilst carefuuly ignoring that the problem of Qatada has been going on since 2001 when she was in office. How venal. Her bellyaching looks to me a lot like she’s trying to undermine govt attempts to deport him, which of course would be exactly in line with the last govt’s unstated policy of unfettered Islamic immigration and their endless laws to shut us all up. I suspect something very similar is in play in Norway.

  7. This one seems to have been missed somehow –

    “IMF: Euro Break-Up Cannot Be Ruled Out

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has for the first time accepted the prospect of the euro breaking up.

    In its flagship economic survey of the world economy, the IMF acknowledged there were fundamental “flaws” in the design of the single currency and said that one prospective “tail risk” is a “disorderly default and exit by a euro area member”.

    It is the first time the IMF has openly contemplated such an outcome.

    Full story here:

    http://news.sky.com/home/business/article/16210466

    A wise comment on DMN:

    “Das können auch speziell gezielte Des- oder Unsicherheitsinformationen sein. = That could also be specifically targeted disinformation, or sowing the seeds of uncertainty.”

    What do Sloggers make of it?

  8. Ekathimerini announces this monring: :Alpha Bank, Eurobank EFG, National Bank and Piraeus Bank, the country’s four major commercial lenders, are on Friday expected to announce combined losses of more than 22 billion euros for 2011.

    This is due to the 53.5 percent haircut on Greek bonds through the private sector involvement (PSI) process as well as the deterioration of the quality of their loan portfolios as recorded during inspections by BlackRock Solutions.

    With amassed losses of 19 billion euros between them during the first nine months of the year, the country’s four main banks are expected to present fourth-quarter losses of some 3.6 billion euros, according to sources, taking their total losses to over 22.5 billion euros for the whole of the year.

  9. If anyone was wondering where the Greeks were going to find some cash to compete in the London Olympics….well they’re not. ‘With just 99 days to go, there are serious concerns; the budget for the Greek athletic federation was recently cut by a quarter, but staff complained that it already owed athletes and coaches €2m, prompting it to suspend all operations. Officials claim that all will be resolved in time. ‘ Can the IMF sponsor spear chuckers?

    • Can the IMF sponsor spear chuckers?

      Probably not; Can Dribbling and Navel Gazing (fluff removed) are their preferred sports at Olympic level.

  10. Is there no one left in greece with any will/hope ? are they all so corrupt that there is no one left that can cast the first stone?

    It seems to me that they are so far gone that not only will we be refering to ancient greeks but we will be calling modern greeks ancient also…

    to quote Christopher Story (and is this still possible)???

    BUT THERE IS ANOTHER DIMENSION WHICH, DESPITE WHAT WE HAVE PUBLISHED, HAS SO FAR BEEN COMPLETELY OVERLOOKED. CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO FOR AN ILLEGAL PURPOSE ARE NULL AND VOID. Therefore, what the Greeks should have done, if they had had their wits about them, was to declare all the fraudulent transactions conducted mainly through Citibank, Athens, VOID, thereby cancelling the fraudulent debts unilaterally, which they are entitled to do on this basis.

    By repudiating the fraudulent debt on this sound legal basis and specifically making it clear that the underlying contracts, entered into under the previous Greek Government, are VOID, they would perform two key functions: first, they would ‘get out from under’; and secondly, they would hasten the total collapse of the entire fraudulent derivatives sector, which is happening anyway, doing us all a favour. By acknowledging the validity of the debts, the Greeks have made a fatal mistake. All those debts are null and void because the underlying contracts were entered into for an illegal purpose. Surely there are lawyers in Greece capable of understanding this.

    Even at this late stage, the Greeks should repudiate the debts on this sound legal basis, and send the foreign and German money back with a note saying:

    ‘Thanks, but on second thoughts. no thanks’.

    • @James E. Nice point, but I fear all considerations of legality have gone out of the window.
      I entirely take your point about the Greeks. Other regimes in the past have enforced their will by threat of imprisonment and torture (of oneself and of one’s family); the threat to the Greeks is, in comparison, merely a severe loss of lifestyle. I am not trivialising that – there have been deaths – but my point would be that it wouldn’t take long to organise co-operatives and mutual societies that would eventually enable them to put two fingers up to the EU and the USA.
      They seem to suffer from what I observed in my time in some ex-communist countries. The system stinks, and everything is someone else’s fault / responsibility.

      • @James E. You say…
        “By acknowledging the validity of the debts, the Greeks have made a fatal mistake.”
        This acceptance and recognition of the debts is of course the central issue.So let us ask which Greeks have accepted them as legitimate and with what motivation.They are clearly the people who are running the show and have sufficient power to impose their will and agenda.There are similar agents operating right across Europe and America and all of us are their victims.This is not just about Greece.We are all now under the same boot.Legality is a matter of who dictates the law.Who pays for it.
        I don’t feel very comfortable when I consider the way this dreadful mess is developing.Dark times indeed.

    • @James E: On exactly what basis were the contracts entered into, illegal?
      If it comes down simply to a political statement or court ruling, declaring them illegal, that might be seen as undermining the Rule of Law and a feeble attempt to manipulate it etc.

  11. @ james e

    sorrybut no laws left here that havent been changes to suit out side intretrests up to and in cluding the cacs some one needs to check out who got defaulted on a who was paid under the table of that little scam and again more money in to greece taht we will never see
    Christine Lagarde calls on all IMF member states to “finish the job” and pledge more cash to tackle the eurozone crisis, saying that bailout funds be sent directly to banks rather than struggling countries.
    didnt they amke the mess to begin with let them fain and ban compound intrest infavour of fee only loans propblem solved

  12. Its raining bullshit
    There’s no doubt the fragrant Foo Foo Lagarde would make an attractive weather girl. But if the accuracy of her first forecast is anything to go by, she’s no more convincing than those who currently dominate our TV screens.
    “If I was to use a weather analogy, because we are all very fond of weather reports, we are seeing light recovery, and blowing in a spring wind,” she entertainingly announced today.
    “But we are also seeing some very dark clouds on the horizon, which is another way to tell you there is a bit of a recovery, timid and a fragile situation with still high risks.”
    Well, my trusty pine cone disputes this, and it has never yet let me down. It’s going to be a total meltdown summer and something akin to a nuclear winter, so get real my little ray of French sunshine.
    And please don’t suggest you are going to spend your multi-billion dollar IMF fire wall by giving it straight to Europe’s banks to by-pass those silly little spendaholic governments. It would trigger a Tsunami.

    • With teeth like hers she ought to have run in the Grand National. Problem is if she left at 5:2, she’d come in at quarter past three. ha-ha.

    • Sky’s Ed Conway missed the opportunity of asking Madame who was in charge of the French economy when its Govt created unsustainable debt liabilities.

  13. This is OT and will only be of interest to those interested in surfing privacy.

    There’s been a debate raging for years as to how safe and secure the Ultrasurf program really is. In many ways it’s promoted as a simple alternative to the TOR browser, and naturally the authors make all sorts of claims for it. The TOR folks have now carried out a detailed analysis of Ultrasurf, including reverse engineering of the program and examination of its network and everything else. TOR are recognised as experts in surfing privacy.

    The TOR blog article about this review can be found here: TOR definitive review of Ultrasurf ,and there are links there to the detailed anlysis they carried out and a bunch of other stuff including Ultrasurf’s obfuscating responses and strawman diversions.

    As will be seen, the results are not good. IMHO if you are really interested in your privacy, avoid using Ultrasurf, use TOR instead.

  14. Bt, being a complete tech ignoramus, but growing increasingly paranoid, would using TOR make my browsing untracable?
    And would it get in the way of my Kerspowski safety software?

  15. Don’t spoil rational argument, please, by snide jokes at Christine Lagarde. She has a job to do, is very clever and a lawyer I would like to have on my side when things get nasty. She has an awful brief to defend-a bunch of ‘old lags’.

    • @Rowland.

      By what test is she ‘clever’? Her track record would suggest to me that she is not at all clever on the basis of only her last two positions, namely in France and the IMF.

      ‘She has a job to do and is a lawyer’, we can lump together. Prostitutes also would fit that description but I wouldn’t feel that should exclude them from criticsim.

      Her job would appear to be to look after her clients. Her paying clients. That won’t necessarily be for the benefit of anyone who isn’t her paying client. In fact I’d suggest it will not be to the benefit of anyone who isn’t her paying client unless by happy coincidence.

      So, she isn’t clever and is no different to anyone who sells themselves to the highest bidder for their own enrichment. Fair game in my view.

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