Italian and Spanish Bond Yields Tick Higher

Italian interest rates are up 11 basis points this morning.

Spain’s are also up the same amount.

That’s about 5% higher from Friday.

Tick tock.

Day 1. What happens tomorrow?


We’ll Miss You, Yanis Varoufakis

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the guy. On the one hand he’s a commie. On the other hand, he promised not take any bailout money and he never did.

He has resigned, saying:

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

I believe it was entirely Varoufakis who prevented any more bankster bailouts, and for that he should be commended. I fear that Greece may yet break if he’s not there.

I can proudly say that though at times I can’t stand the guy, I found him and thought he was cool before it was cool to think he was cool.

Greeks Stick it to the Banksters, Vote No, OXI, No Deal

Oh boy. All eyes on Italy and Spain now. Watch the yields.

The three weeks are off to a crazy start this year.

The OXI camp really beat the crap out of the Yes camp. So far 60-40. Total landslide! Grexit at this point doesn’t really matter. If the Greeks print money, it’s Grexit. If they don’t print money, then no Grexit. What matters is the bond yields. Interest rates. Do they stay under control or do they bankrupt the whole continent?


Italian Government Exposure to Greece: €61.85 billion; Spain at €44.42B

I came across this table at ZeroHedge. This article is very worth reading.

Exposure to Grexit table

Italy’s taxpayers are exposed to the tune 3.8% of the country’s GDP. Spain is at an even higher 4.1%. The jist is that a hard default by Greece on a No vote will mean all those assets turn to zero, which jacks up the debt ratios of these already extremely indebted governments, and pushes interest rates extremely higher overnight.

My feeling is that the central banks have a week or two at most to contain the bond markets by printing money faster than they ever have before, after the Greeks vote No, if they do indeed vote No. We’ll find that out in a few hours.

Money supply growth in the US is already fading fast.

עת לעשות ל-ה


What a day to be reading “Democracy, The God That Failed”

I started a new book last Shabbat. Hans Hermann Hoppe’s “Democracy: The God That Failed.” He’s not as good a writer as Rothbard, sentence structure more confusing and convoluted, but his mother tongue is German like Mises, so considering, it’s pretty good.

The thrust of it is that democracy is actually a step backward for humanity, and monarchy is preferable. For many reasons, one being that monarchy is privately owned government, where the right of confiscation is capitalized into one dynasty, allowing for lower time preference rates (farsightedness) insofar as preserving the right of confiscation and maximizing its value long term.

Democracy is publicly owned government, which is worse, because the government officials cannot capitalize their right of plunder, and therefore their time preference rates become much higher (shortsighted) and they try to extract as much as they can as fast as they can without worrying about preserving the wealth of the government they are the caretakers of.

Axiomatically, the progress humanity has enjoyed since democracy became the leading form of government has been in spite of democracy, not because of it.

I have only finished the first chapter, but I love the way he splits it between “privately owned” government and “publicly owned” government. One other way to see it is that tax rates in monarchies rarely exceeded 10%. 20% is absolute highest recorded in the Torah by Pharaoh. 20% tax rates in Israel or America would seem puny. We pay much, much more than that. Not just income taxes, but everything taxes. Our standards of living are still higher because we have so much more capital equipment, more for the government to steal without starving us.

So it is very interesting that the pinnacle of democracy, a plebiscite, a referendum, may lead to the starvation of an entire country (Greece).

I would much rather live, ceteris paribus, given current levels of capital and technology, in a monarchy where I know that he won’t steal so much from me as to bankrupt himself. A democracy is much more dangerous. If you’re going to tell me that a king can just kidnap me whenever he wants me as fodder to fight his wars, yes, that’s true.

And I point you to Vietnam and the forced draft in Israel.

COINCIDENCE? The Greferendum Will Take Place on the Fast of 17 of Tamuz

I looked at the calendar just now and noticed that the Greek Referendum, or the so-called Greferendum on Eurozone membership is going to take place on 18 Tamuz. The fast is postponed one day because the 17th of Tamuz falls out on Shabbat.

I also noticed that the 4th of July falls out on 17 Tamuz this year. The 17th of Tamuz marks the beginning of the ominous 3 weeks from 17 Tamuz to 9 Av, when Jews are advised to pretty much hunker down and don’t take any major risks. On 17 Tamuz, the walls of Jerusalem were breached, Moses broke the Tablets, Apostemos burnt the Torah, an idol was placed in the Beit HaMikdash, and the daily offering ceased.

I also noticed that last Friday, the day that Alexis Tsipras called off negotiations on the bailout and called for the Greferendum was the 9th of Tamuz, which is the original fast day that we now observe on the 17th of Tamuz.

This could all be nothing, but it could mean something. I guess we’ll find out in a few days. The financial world is hanging by a hair. And yes, I could be wrong.

What Happens When Greece Can No Longer Pay Riot Police?

Headline article on Business Insider today is “Greeks are Withdrawing Money from ATM’s Faster Than They Can Be Replenished”.

The accompanying picture is a bunch of Greek State soldiers with riot gear. The minor danger here is that the riot police will get out of hand and start beating or shooting protesters when things get really desperate.

But the major danger is this: What happens when the Greek State can no longer pay its own riot police?

What happens when these people aren't paid?
What happens when these people aren’t paid?