Mussolini’s Children Are Trying to Boss Around the 4th Reich

Or is it the Fifth one? I lose count. Some Italian zhlub Prime Minister is set to tell Merkel, apparently, that “enough is enough” and Germany cannot “humiliate” Greece any longer. From The Guardian:

“Now common sense must prevail and an agreement must be reached. Italy does not want Greece to exit the euro and to Germany I say: enough is enough.

Now that Tsipras has made proposals in line with the European demands, we must absolutely sign a deal. Humiliating a European partner after Greece has given up on just about everything is unthinkable.”

HA! You know why Italy with a 132% debt to GDP ratio is trying to bully Merkel around, when German citizens are the ones paying for this crap? Because Italy knows very, very well that it is next in line. If Greece goes, Italy is next.

Greece doesn’t have to be “humiliated”. The Greek government has to be humiliated. Humiliate it. Bring it down. Crush it and starve it so they cannot restrict the Greek people any longer. If I were Merkel, I would say to Greece, simply, “Do whatever you want. Print drachmas, don’t print drachmas, we don’t care. Just, you’re not getting any more money from my taxpayers. And whatever happens happens. Have a nice day.”

Sunday Still Looks Like Grexit, After All the Craziness

Nuts. I don’t know how the bureaucratic nonsense in the Eurozone works, or if they need unanimity to agree to fork over another few billion Euros to the Greek vacuum cleaner, but if they need unanimity, they’re not gonna get it.

Wolfgang Schauble, the German Finance Minister, actually proposed a 5-year Grexit, where the country would be quarantined to see if it could survive without other people’s money flowing into it. Sort of like kicking your 18 year old (or 40 year old) out of the house to get his own job, and trying not to think about the possibility that he’ll starve to death on the streets.

The Germans are the main financiers of this crap, and it looks like they’re saying Nein.

Two things we can learn from what’s happened in the last week.

  1. Economics trumps democracy, every time. You cannot simply vote for more money if the people who own it do not want to give it to you.
  2. Economics trumps politics, every time. You cannot create wealth by restricting how people trade. Lefty ideologues are in an exercise of how much they believe their own bullshit. If more paper Euros will save them, why won’t paper Drachmas? Because paper Drachmas will only be able to claim economic goods and services within Greece. And there aren’t much of those. Whatever there is has been bought with Euros, which can claim goods throughout Europe, that were given to them in bailouts, and therefore represent the work of other Non Greeks. Drachmas would be fine if the citizens simply stopped living off welfare. After voting to pass fake austerity measures even bigger than the ones they rejected, they have failed to believe their own bullshit.

Real austerity would produce real wealth. Real austerity would be cutting government spending by 50%, and abolishing 90% of all regulations, and lowering taxes by 80%. This fake austerity is giving a 25 year old kid who lives at his parents’ teat $500 a month instead of $520. It doesn’t make him the least bit independent. It only pisses him off. Cut it down to $10 a month for a falafel or whatever, and he’ll either grow up and get a job, or die.

Do some real austerity, and you won’t need a Grexit. That’s not happening until the whole system collapses in a flaming debt heap.

Shavua Tov!

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.

IRONY of Ironies: Greece may not even have the money to hold a referendum!

Zerohedge is reporting that FAZ, a German news agency, is reporting that the referendum may be moot simply because the Greeks have no money to logistically carry it out.

I can’t imagine that if the referendum actually happens, the Greek people will turn it down and say no to the deal. They’ll say yes. Losing access to their savings outright is too frightening for anyone. And I cannot imagine that if they say yes, the Troika will say, “Nope, sorry, you’re a week too late,” and cut the country loose. They’ll give them the money eventually and Grexit will be avoided.

BUT. If the referendum doesn’t actually happen in the first place because the Greek government is so bankrupt that it can’t even hold a referendum, then Grexit is entirely possible, and this is the end.

And it will be their fault too, because they have waited so long to actually ask their people.

So let’s sharpen it. If the referendum happens, collapse will be averted. If it doesn’t because they are so completely bankrupt, then this is the endgame.

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?

Greece Defaults in Three Days, Global Collapse May Begin July 1

This will be the ultimate test for the global financial system to date, since the 2008 financial crisis. I turned on my computer Motzei Shabbos and it took me a few minutes to make sense of all the headlines. Apparently, what is happening is this.

Greece’s creditors want spending cuts, Greece says only tax hikes. That I already knew. Then the creditors, the “troika” or the “institutions” or whatever you want to call them, say “No, we’re serious, it’s either spending cuts or default.”

The official bailout expires June 30. Tsipras and Varoufakis said OK, we’ll do a referendum to see if the people want spending cuts or default. Tsipras and Varoufakis ask for a few weeks extension to the official bailout program which expires June 30, because they cannot organize a referendum by then.

And the troika says no, no extension.

So the referendum is meaningless.

Therefore, Greece will default for (nearly) certain on June 30. Now, here’s the interesting part. If the global financial system is as unstable as I believe it is, there will be a bond attack in Spain and Italy. If that bond attack is not quelled within a week, it will spread to Portugal and Ireland. Or it could be Portugal and Ireland first and then Spain and Italy. Point is, there will be a bond attack somewhere and interest rates will skyrocket for some Eurozone country deeply in debt.

If that is not quelled by massive money printing the likes of which have never been seen, you’ll start to see the carnage cross oceans.

Basically, it comes down to this. If the global financial system can withstand the first few weeks of this default, then there will be no global financial meltdown. If it can last the first 2 weeks, then collapse is another 10 years away. If in the next two (maybe three) weeks we see interest rates skyrocketing globally, then this is the end of the current global monetary system. I honestly don’t know. But everyone knows what I’m rooting for.

Let’s see what happens. And prey for the Greek people. No matter what happens globally, they are going to be starving in the streets because of government restrictions on their economic activity, AKA capital controls. They will lose their savings, but anyone with gold and silver will be OK. (And lead.) If you have any family in Greece, tell them to get out of the country in any way possible right now. I mean right now, don’t even sleep on it. Boat, plane, walk across the border to Macedonia, it doesn’t matter. Just get out.

5 Days until Greek Bailout Expires

The sticking point, apparently, is that the Greek government wants to raise taxes, and the IMF wants it to cut spending.

The IMF is right here. Higher taxes will mean richer Greeks move out, or evade them. Spending cuts will lower the deficit, and free the economy to a degree, adding to growth.

To rephrase the current positions, Greece says, “I want to eat more.” The IMF says, “We want you to go on a diet.”

If they do exit the Euro, boy oh boy will they be going on quite a diet.

This is really a contest in how much Greece’s leftist government really believes in the power of money printing. If they think it really does solve everything, they’ll leave the Euro and print their own if they don’t get the deal they want.

Will this be the last last last last deadline? I don’t know. Somehow I doubt it.

Tsipras Insists on Saving Democracy, But Democracy is what is Destroying Europe

I can’t resist. It’s just too poetic.

Tsipras was quoted as penning this rhetorical flourish, not bad for the Rambam at the end of one of the 14 books of the Yad, except full of much more bull:

Those who perceive our sincere wish for a solution and our attempts to bridge the differences as a sign of weakness, should consider the following: We are not simply shouldering a history laden with struggles. We are shouldering the dignity of our people, as well as the hopes of the people of Europe. We cannot ignore this responsibility. This is not a matter of ideological stubbornness. This is about democracy. We do not have the right to bury European democracy in the place where it was born.

Your people’s dignity? What a sick twisted world where “dignity” is defined by how much of other people’s money you can snort up in a bailout to maintain your bloated pensions for people who do nothing but put restrictions on business.

Real dignity, Tsipras my commie buddy, is when you work for the money you earn, it’s from the satisfaction of having created value for the world, of being rewarded for hard efforts pleasing consumers.

As for burying European democracy in the place where it was born, just because “your people” in Greece voted for you to take other people’s money in Germany because you ran out of money in your own country, doesn’t mean doing so is dignified or morally correct. Here is a beautiful paragraph from an FT article penned by a politician of all people, telling the truth for once.

“The game theorists of the Greek government are in the process of gambling away the future of their country,” Mr Gabriel wrote, in a thinly veiled dig at Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister who is an expert on game theory. “Europe and Germany will not let themselves be blackmailed. And we will not let the exaggerated electoral pledges of a partly communist government be paid for by German workers and their families.“

BAM!

Just because a bunch of people democratically voted to take money from people in another country doesn’t make it holy. Maybe democracy will finally die right where it was born, in Greece, with its body decaying out from there and the rotting corpse of democracy that has all led us to unsustainable global debt trying to steal from one another will decay and be gone forever, all while the democracy worshipers, especially in this country where “saving democracy” is the new god of Israel that took us all out of Egypt to be our god, all wonder what the hell happened.

My Last Word On Greece Until they Leave the Euro

The back and forth on Greece is starting to drive even me nuts. As we get closer to the deadline of reality (whenever that is), the Greek government – the entire Eurozone really – is acting more and more like a cornered animal, changing its tune and tone every hour instead of every day. It’s getting nuts, and I can’t believe any stories that come out of there anymore.

One hour Greece has a deal. The next hour the IMF is pissed as hell. Then Tsipras is groping Merkel and then Varoufakis is growling at Scheuble, then some Greek unknown official named Somethingopalous Flabargatopolous says something very hopeful, but Jean Claude Van Dam Juncker says “we have to hurry” and Christine Lagarde gets hot flashes while Jeroen Djisselbooger says Greece’s plan is not credible, but talks were “extremely friendly”.

This is a term I’ve actually seen a lot. “Extremely friendly”. Does anyone not an an asylum use that term? “Extremely friendly”? Extreme friends, sounds like a reality show where two friends go into the Outback and see if they can survive dehydration and kangaroo attacks.

I have never been “extremely friendly” with anybody. It sounds frightening.

So whatever happens, happens. I’m done. Everything is smokescreens now. As we get even closer, the story will change by the minute.

DEFAULT Greece Rejects Take it or Leave it Deal

By tomorrow when its June 5 IMF payment comes due, Greece will be in default. That’s it. Game over. Now the dominoes will start to fall.

Watch the bond market.

From the AP:

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — High-ranking members of Greece’s governing radical left Syriza party say they cannot accept a deal proposed by the country’s creditors during a meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the head of the European Union’s executive arm.

Tsipras’ meeting with Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, which ran into the early hours of Thursday, failed to yield a breakthrough in Greece’s protracted negotiations over the release of remaining bailout funds.