USA, UE: Enormous Lies About The State Of The Economy

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By Greg Hunter, USAwatchdog

The top story is the global economy.  It’s not fixed and there is no real recovery. Yes, I know the stock market hit all-time highs again, but that’s because the market believes the Fed; and now the European Central Bank will continue the easy money policies.  The ECB just announced it will go to negative interest rates of -.1% on deposits. That’s right.  In, Europe you have to pay a bank to hold your money!  If Europe was really in a so-called “recovery” as we have been told constantly for several years, would it need to go negative on interest rates?  Of course, it wouldn’t.  ZeroHedge.com called the move for negative interest rates “Officially Entering the Monetary Twilight Zone.”  It is no less than confirmation that nothing the ECB has done to date has fixed anything, and, in fact, the economy has gotten worse.  Please keep in mind, the Eurozone is in trouble despite the tens of trillions of dollars the Fed pumped into it through its swap lines.   

Back here in the U.S., we are continually told there is a recovery.  Check out this headline in the USA Today newspaper:  “Fed: Economy expands across USA.”  Listen to this quote from the article that says, “While manufacturing picked up smartly across much of the country, consumer spending and housing were mixed as remnants of the adverse weather conditions continue to have some effects in the Northeast.”  What planet are they living on?  It’s June and they are still blaming the weather for the economic slowdown?  Retail and housing numbers have rolled over–they are not “mixed.”  They have tanked.  10 million homeowners still have negative equity in their homes.  Despite a near 4% 30-year mortgage rate, home prices, according to one new report, are still falling.  With this low rate, home sales should be taking off like a rocket—they are not.  Maybe this is why 70 % of Americans think the housing crisis is not over, or the worst is yet to come, according to a new survey.  Also, what we now know is the first quarter of 2014 had a -1% contraction, and that was a stunning drop from the 2.6% growth the government “officially” reported in 4th quarter of 2013.

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“Si le Portugal ne peut plus payer ses dettes, il doit faire défaut”

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« Le Portugal ne pourra jamais payer ses dettes, au lieu de cela il s’appauvrit. Si vous ne pouvez pas payer, la seule solution, c’est de ne pas payer. Quand l’Argentine était en crise, elle n’a plus payé. Est-ce que quelque chose s’est produit ? Non, rien n’est arrivé », a déclaré Mario Soares, l’ex-Premier ministre socialiste portugais qui a dirigé les deux premiers gouvernements à la suite de la dictature de Salazar.

express.be via E&R

Estimant que le gouvernement portugais était devenu le serviteur servile de la Chancelière allemande Angela Merkel, il a exhorté les forces politiques du pays à s’unir pour « faire chuter le gouvernement » et à faire cesser la politique d’austérité imposée par la troïka composée du Fonds Monétaire International (FMI), de la Commission Européenne, et de la Banque Centrale Européenne (BCE).

« Dans leur avidité à obéir à Senhora Merkel, ils ont tout vendu et ruiné ce pays. En deux ans, ce gouvernement a détruit le Portugal », fulmine-t-il.

Ses déclarations ont été formulées alors que la cour constitutionnelle portugaise à jugé la semaine dernière que la suppression du 14ème mois des salaires des fonctionnaires et des pensionnés, proposée par l’actuel Premier ministre Pedro Passos Coelho, était illégale.

Par ailleurs, une fuite dans un rapport de la Troïka a indiqué que le pays menace d’entrer dans une spirale de la dette, et qu’il pourrait nécessiter à terme un second plan de sauvetage.

En effet, selon ce document, les besoins de financement du Portugal pourraient atteindre 15 milliards d’euros en 2015, c’est-à-dire plus que les montants dont il avait besoin avant la crise, et alors même que sa cote de crédit s’est dégradée. Précédemment, il ne nécessitait que 10 à 12 milliards d’euros annuels.

Cependant, vendredi, les ministres de l’Eurogroupe ont donné leur accord pour une extension de 7 ans des prêts que le Portugal a reçus dans le cadre de son plan de sauvetage.

Pour Dario Perkins de Lombard Street Research, un défaut du Portugal pourrait exclure le pays de la zone euro.

L’Allemagne pourrait s’inquiéter que d’autres pays adoptent la même attitude et elle pourrait choisir de se montrer inflexible. Il pense que les pays de la périphérie redoutent d’être exclus de la zone euro, car ils ressentent que leur économie pourrait être anéantie.

Mais il prédit qu’à la longue, les citoyens de ces pays voteront de plus en plus pour des politiciens opposés aux politiques d’austérité, à l’image de ce qui s’est passé en Italie, et que l’UE perdra son emprise.

MONEY FLED FROM CYPRUS: A Furious Cyprus Begins Investigating Who Breached The Capital Controls

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By Tyler Durden, Zerohedge

On Monday we reported the very disturbing news that despite the ongoing liquidity blockade, capital controls and (somewhat) closed Cyprus banks, one particular group of people – the very same group targeted to prompt this whole ludicrous collapse of the island nation – Russian Oligrachs had found ways to bypass the ringfence and pull their money out quickly and quietly. We said that, if confirmed, “If we were Cypriots at this point we would be angry. Very, very angry.” Turns out the Cypriots did become angry, and the questions are finally starting. As Spiegel reports, the Cypriot Parliament, which may or may not last too long once the banks reopen tomorrow and the people realize that in a fractional reserve banking system, those deposits you thought were there… they are gone, poof, has begun investigating the capital flight that may means the destruction of Cyprus has been for nothing. Sadly, it is now too little, too late.

From Spiegel:

Banks have been closed and accounts frozen in Cyprus recently. Nevertheless, large amounts were moved out of the country’s crippled financial institutions on the eve of the bailout package. Lawmakers are suspicious and are investigating both the government and the Cypriot central bank.

Panicos Demetriades looked dead tired as he opened the press conference on Tuesday afternoon on the fourth floor of the Central Bank of Cyprus. The questions and answers flew back and forth for 90 minutes, with Finance Minister Michalis Sarris doing his best to back up the central bank head. Outside, the mountains slowly receded from view behind into a haze, while inside journalists became increasingly restive. When the session ended, many were left wondering why Demetriades had invited them in the first place. He had virtually nothing new to say.

Many interpreted the press conference as a symbolic exercise. Central bank head Demetriades, they felt, sought to stage a show of strength to counter the pressure that has been heaped on his shoulders in recent days. For one, he announced earlier this week, without consulting the Cypriot government first, that small banks in the country would open their doors again on Tuesday, in contrast to the island-nation’s two largest financial institutions Laiki and Bank of Cyprus. The result was a massive protest from the smaller banks and a reversal. The banks stayed closed. For the moment, the opening date is set for Thursday, and many fear that a flood of angry customers could overwhelm the sector.

Then, on Monday, the central bank announced that it was installing financial manager Dinos Christofides as a special consultant to the Bank of Cyprus as it prepares to take on assets from Laiki, which is to be liquidated. The deployment of Christofides is legitimate, but it triggered widespread concerns that the Bank of Cyprus too may soon be broken up. Demetriades was accused of not doing enough to explain the steps he was taking, thus intensifying investor anxiety.

Most of all, though, the central bank head has been harshly criticized due to the suspicious capital flight from Laiki and the Bank of Cyprus, the two institutions that have been hit hardest by the Cypriot banking crisis. There are indications that large sums flowed out of the two banks just before the first bailout package was signed in the early morning hours of March 16. At the end of January, some 40 percent of all savings held in Cypriot accounts were on the books of those two banks. Since then, however, much of it has been transferred elsewhere, despite orders from the central bank that accounts at the two institutions be frozen.

‘Special Payments’

The central bank now stands accused of not doing enough to control the movement of capital. Transfers for humanitarian aid were permitted which, while certainly an acceptable exception, opened a loophole for abuse. Many are also furious that the bank allowed “special payments,” the definition of which was never adequately established.

The Cypriot central bank has defended itself by saying that it was impossible to completely prevent all transactions, despite the account freeze. Much of the money was withdrawn from overseas, where Cyprus had no authority. Branches of Cypriot banks in non-euro-zone countries such as Russia and Britain do not answer to the European Central Bank. Their liquidity is controlled by central banks in those countries.

Such a defense is nothing less than a voluntary admission of impotence. Holders of smaller savings accounts have been unable to access much of their money for almost two weeks, companies have been unable to pay their suppliers and across the country people are concerned that their salaries will not arrive on schedule on the first of the month. Meanwhile, rich businesspeople and those with connections overseas have been able to transfer their money into foreign accounts.

In other words, the Cypriots are, indeed, getting very angry. And soon, they may just have a list of people on whom to take it out:

Lawmakers have demanded that the central bank assemble a list of those customers who withdrew large amounts of money prior to the closure of the country’s financial institutions. In particular, parliamentarians want to know if central bank employees or members of the government received early warning and were able to quickly rescue their assets.

According to the Greek television station Mega Channel, the list has already found its way into the hands of Parliament President Yannakis Omirou. No one in parliament or in the central bank could be reached for comment on Tuesday evening. Still, the parliamentary investigation indicates just how great the mistrust is between lawmakers and the government — and how acute the doubts are as to Panicos Demetriades’ competence.

Only now is Panicos’ competence being questioned? Well better late then never.

Perhaps, a better question is how much longer will the rule of law remain in Cyprus once full blown class warfare is unleashed, and the 99% are generously handed the list of the 1% who were “informed” enough to pull their money from the flaming sovereign equivalent of Bernie Madoff, while every other uninsured depositor is facing losses of up to 80%, and soon 100%?

And what happens if the realization dawns that despite all the promises even insured investors will eventually get impaired once the money runs out?

CYPRUS : COUP DÉ TAX Update on Final Agreement

Rampapalooza As Cyprus-Troika Reach Deal (Updates)

By Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge

UPDATE: It appears the ‘deal’ to default/restructure the banks has been designed to bypass the need for parliamentary votes, “since it is theoretically not a tax.”

While we have little color on what kind of carnage the President of Cyprus had to accept to his fellow countrymen, the news is that :

*CYPRUS, TROIKA REACH AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE, EU OFFICIAL SAYS

The terms, unsurprisingly what zee Germans wanted, are i) Laiki to be wound down; ii) Bank of Cyprus to survive but with deposit haircuts, and iii) deal would see secured deposits in Laiki moved to Bank of Cyprus. In other words, a deal far wors then the original on proposed by the Eurogroup last week – when the banks still existed.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually the deposit over EUR 100 000 at Bank of Cyprus will be taxed at 40%. The 2nd largest bank Laiki will be closed; its deposits of less than EUR 100 000 will be transferred to Bank of Cyprus and “will be saved”. Its deposits over EUR 100 000 will be taken by Government, EUROGROUP, ECB and IMF, to repay the financial aid of EUROGROUP. That’s a Hold Up in plain sight !

The key appears to be the ‘saving’ of the insured depositors (crucial to avoid a pan-European bank run) and the crushing of the ‘whale’ depositors. S&P 500 futures and EUR are surging, Gold is dropping modestly. We await final confirmation of the final terms of the final deal once the Cypriot people wake up (and don’t forget the ECB ‘standard of living’ rules). The Cypriot Parliament still has to vote for this – and not one of them voted for it last week.