LIKUD DOWN to 20, The Fall Begins!

One poll one poll. I know. If you’ve been following Feiglin’s posts since he left Likud, he’s now unhinged, and it’s beautiful. I love it. He can now directly attack Netanyahu, and it’s a big relief.

On my side of things, I can now unleash all the nausea of being part of the Likud Party, which I loathed from the very beginning. Those who don’t know me can say I’m just a turncoat who signed up a bunch of people but when things didn’t go my way I soured. But those who know me know how gross politics makes me feel and the burden on my shoulders being part of this political game.

So now I can root for all the Likud politicians, from the less nauseous Hotobeli and Levin to all the way to Dichter and HaNegbi, to all go down with the ship. Hotobeli and Levin were never with us, they only used us. Levin was actually part of the deal to push Moshe out of the Knesset.

But anyway, the point is, Likud is starting to fall in the polls. It is now down to 20 seats, compared with Labor’s 24. Bayit Yehudi is up to 16. Bennett, since he’s basically the exact same thing as Netanyahu but worse because he wears a kippah and that disarms people into thinking he’s good, could actually end up beating Bibi. That would be the best case scenario, because then Likud would pretty much be a dead man walking and nobody can bring it back.

Here’s the paragraph:

מנתוני הסקר, שהוצגו הערב בערוץ 10, עולה כי העבודה-התנועה מקבלת 24 מנדטים, מנדט אחד יותר מהסקר שנערך בסוף דצמבר. הליכוד, כך על-פי אותו סקר, מקבל 20 מנדטים – אחד פחות מאשר הסקר שפורסם לפני כשבועיים. המפלגה השלישית בגודלה היא הבית היהודי עם 16 מנדטים ואחריה יש עתיד וכולנו עם 10 מנדטים כל אחד. מרצ מקבלת 6 מנדטים וישראל ביתנו 5.

The poll, shown on channel 10 this evening, shows that Labor-Tnua gets 24 seats, one more than it got last December. The Likud gets 20 seats – one less than two weeks ago. The third largest party is Bayit Yehudi with 16 seats, and after that Yesh Atid and Kulanu with 10 each. Meretz has 6, and Yisrael Beteinu 5.

The only strength Likud has now that Moshe is out is Bibi. And the only thing that makes Bibi strong is his familiarity. If Bibi loses, nobody will regain that for the party, forget it. It’s gone. Likud as a political force is finished.

So far one poll at 20, with two whole months to go. You’ll see the trend start to go down by the week. If polls say by March that Likud gets 17-18 seats, it will end up with 15-16 or less. It always underperforms at election time. Perhaps equally satisfying is that Lieberman is dead, too. 5 seats is even less than Meretz.

Netanyahu is out. Meanwhile, we’re building our Medina Yehudit party. We’ll be ready by the time this spit-glued government, if it even forms, disintegrates within months.

WOW Swiss National Bank Ends Euro Peg, Gold Skyrockets

This makes absolutely no sense, which is why the Swiss Franc (CHF) just had the most insane trading day in its history. It was up by as much as 30% against the Euro this morning, and is now up something like 15%. Currencies don’t move that way unless something really strange is up.

This makes no sense because the Swiss National Bank (SNB), just a few months ago, came out hard against the Swiss Gold Initiative, saying it was crazy and dangerous precisely because it would cause the CHF to skyrocket. The purpose of the Gold Initiative was to muzzle the SNB at a 20% gold reserve so they couldn’t keep printing CHF in order to support the Euro. This robs purchasing power from Swiss consumers, and is basically stealing.

So now that they have basically said they will stop printing CHF to support the Euro, they seem a bit schizophrenic. They have basically just done exactly what the Swiss Gold Initiative was going to force them to do, so everyone is really confused.

Gold, by the way, is up about 2.5% on the news.

My guess is that the SNB is fearing a Eurozone collapse in the next few weeks/months when SYRIZA is elected in Greece and goes sour on the bailout, forcing a Grexit. Just a Grexit does not pose existential danger to the Eurozone, but if it causes a bond run on Portugal or Italy, the whole pair of dirty underwear that is the Eurozone is going to unravel at the seems and Europe will be exposed in all its monetary nakedness.

The SNB, back in November when it railed against the Swiss Gold Initiative, was assuming the Euro would float back up eventually. But it just keeps falling. And they want out. That’s what I think happened here.

The Government Won’t Stop Giving me Money!

I checked my bank account today to find that some government entity, which it turns out is Mas Hachnasa (the income tax authority) has for some reason given me, or my wife, I’m not sure which, a “negative income tax” or a “work grant” of 2,970 NIS.

I have no idea why. I didn’t ask for it, I nobody applied for it, and we don’t want it. I found out you get it if you hav e a low enough income. Since technically I don’t even have a job in Israel, I guess I fit that profile. On the website of this group of loot-divvying bureaucrats is a fairly stupid slogan.

Negative Income Tax

It says: Work Grant – Starting Today It Is More Worthwhile to Work

Orwellian up the wazoo and farther.

A “Work Grant” I would assume would be a GRANT FOR WORKING. This is more like a NOT WORKING grant. And the slogan “Starting Today It Is More Worthwhile to Work” – is totally the opposite of what negative income taxes do. They pay you NOT to work, so I don’t know what the hell this is talking about.

I find in Israel that bureaucrats really want to give you money. The whole maternity leave thing they said they wouldn’t give it to my wife until she confirmed her name is on the bank account. We never confirmed, and they sent it anyway. They say you have to apply for a Not Work Grant, nobody applied, and it suddenly shows up in my account today.

It’s going out of my account as soon as I confirm with the little twits that this wasn’t a mistake. Problem is, I can’t get them to answer the freaking phone.

Here’s Hazlitt on the Negative Income Tax and its destructiveness.

CHUTZPAH Osem Says Heinz Isn’t Ketchup, Should be Removed from Israel

Struggling with what to write about this. This is just such plain chutzpah that it’s hard to believe. Osem, the crony government food company in Israel, has had enough of the fact that it has to compete with better tasting ketchup. So they had “lab tests” done on it and they claim it “isn’t ketchup” and then its CEO Nizan Whatever sent a letter to retailers demanding they remove Heinz from the shelves because it “isn’t ketchup״.

As they say, you can’t make this shit up.

The letter states:

The incorrect indication of tomato concentrate in the products severely misleads the Israeli consumer public and is a violation of the provisions of the law to protect consumers. This information has also been sent to the Diplomat company and the authorities. Moreover, under Israeli law, the presence of lower quantities of fortified tomato concentrate prevents the product from being called ketchup and it cannot be sold as such.

I’ve had Osem “ketchup” before and to me it tastes like strawberry sugar paste with a hint of barf. I hate it. I have Heinz in my fridge, and if some government fattened crony has it removed from the shelves in order to “protect me” I’m going to be really pissed off.

It’s because of schmucks like Nizan Goldberg who writes threats like these against the company that INVENTED Ketchup, that I understand why there are anti Semites in the world.

Heinz The Only Ketchup

Yanis Varoufakis Running on the SYRIZA Ticket in Greece Elections

I’ve written about Yanis Varoufakis a few times. I check him out whenever there’s a flare up in Greece. There’s one now, so I headed over to his blog and found that he’ll be running on the SYRIZA ticket. He seems a genuine guy, with some really whacked out ideas on centralizing the entire European banking system with a bunch of bonds he made up in his head.

If I remember correctly, he wants Greece to default on the debt, liquidate it, and stay in the Eurozone nonetheless. If this is what he really wants, he won’t be able to accomplish it in SYRIZA. SYRIZA wants an end to the bailout scheme, which is doing nothing but putting Greece into even more debt (it’s debt to GDP has not fallen contrary to popular perception) and at least that aspiration is a good one. But what SYRIZA wants instead is an end to austerity and a free ride to keep spending.

If Varoufakis actually wins a seat, which seems likely, he will likely start to butt heads with his pretty-boy party leader Tzipras, a far leftist who thinks prosperity is invented out of nothing by the good graces of politicians like himself.

End the bailout Varoufakis and Tzipras will agree on. What happens after that, and they’ll start fighting. Tzipras will want more spending, which if he pushes it, will end up pushing Greece out of the Euro by force because Europeans (by which I mean Germans) are not going to finance it anymore. This, Varoufakis doesn’t want. And if they do get pushed out, there will almost certainly be hyperinflation in its drachmas within weeks.

So let’s see what Yanis does. He writes:

My greatest fear, now that I have tossed my hat in the ring, is that I may turn into a politician. As an antidote to that virus I intend to write my resignation letter and keep it in my inside pocket, ready to submit it the moment I sense signs of losing the commitment to speak truth to power.

Keep that letter handy Yanis. You’re going to need it once you see that your fellow politicians are not going to want to cut their spending.

Housing Crash vs Oil Crash, One Systemic One Sectoral

Zerohedge reporting today through Reuters that a UK bank called Standard Chartered is reporting a $4.4B loss on bad oil industry loans. You may remember Standard Chartered as the one that paid that $600 something million fine for doing business with Iran. Will this cause another systemic financial collapse? Probably not.

Systemic financial collapses usually start with one big whale going down, but for systemic monetary reasons. In 2008 it was Lehman Brothers, when the money supply was contracting after expanding fast in the 8 years prior. In 1931 it was the CreditAnstalt bank in Austria, which collapsed after the Fed could no longer inflate the money supply fast enough. Standard Chartered may be a big whale, but it’s losses do not have to do with a systemic monetary phenomenon.

The housing collapse was also a result of monetary phenomenon. The oil collapse is, however, the result of a price war between OPEC and the US, possible aided and abetted by the Obama Administration in order to punish Putin for whatever it is he supposedly did in Ukraine. Depending on how many bad oil debt is out there, which depends on how many loans were made by banks to shale companies on the assumption that oil would not collapse to $45, there could be a chain reaction of failures going down the links of oil industry loans, but in order to have a complete economic collapse, the entire money supply needs to contract.

That is not happening right now.

So we’ll see how far these bank failures go, but don’t expect it to be the trigger that lights the final meltdown just yet.