If no one believes in the recovery, why are Europe and the world Trying?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 23, 2012

I don’t know you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about the financial collapse. The financial crisis we are now in was predicted long ago, and those predictions were correct. So why hasn’t it happened? First of all, it is happening. In fact it began a while ago. While many people expected to have a sudden collapse, which dragged the world into a whole, the fall of the international financial system was not planned to take place that way. Second of all, the financial collapse was planned to occur slowly and painfully, not only because the elites that planned it are financial sadists, but also because that is the only way to carry out their plan successfully.

The slow financial collapse allows the perpetrators to slowly bite off pieces from the grand pie, inflicting lethal but manageable pain and damage into the world’s economic and financial systems. This tactic in turn prepares the field for further deterioration and acquiescence from the public and the governments who they control. The kind of financial terrorism carried out by the largest financial entities in the history of the world, which are controlled by the smallest amount of people ever, makes it possible to successfully materialize the elite’s dream to create the most powerful monopoly of money and resources while they present themselves as the saviors.

The truth however, is that they are not saving anyone but themselves. While they buy off politicians and buy up land and essential resources for pennies on whatever currency they want, governments continue to fail to hold them accountable for their crimes. In fact, the bureaucrats in governments are faithful accomplices of the elites. Only one country has been able to partially defeat these monopoly men, and that country is Iceland. After kicking the bankers out, Iceland is now racing on the path of recovery, with a growing economy that simply sparked to life after telling the bankers that the illegal debt they had put under Iceland’s name was not theirs.

Iceland did what no other country had the guts to do: let the banks fail. Four years later, the country is being praised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That’s right. One of the most important globalist organizations who are out to destroy countries like Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain, congratulates Iceland for doing the right thing. The Icelandic people did not need to go through austerity programs, they did not lose millions of jobs and neither did they have their pensions or retirement accounts looted by the bankers. “The recovery has been quite impressive. GDP growth has picked up in the last couple of years and is now running around three percent a year,” says Franek Rozwadowski, a visitor from the IMF.

On the other side of the road there are countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, all of which chose to follow the bankers’ path to destruction. Spain has increased its debt dramatically in a supposed effort to curb the government’s deficit, imposed massive austerity measures, looted pension and retirement accounts, cut public jobs, accumulated a 24% unemployment rate, “rescued” its banks at least twice, adopted deadly economic policies as ordered by Brussels, but still is on its way to the financial precipice. The same model has been used by Greece, Italy and Portugal, who are following Spain on their way to social collapse. It is estimated that the Spanish debt will reach  23 billion euros by the end of the year, with no hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The main reason for this is that the pact completed between the Spanish government and Brussels never intended to take Spain out of the dark tunnel. As explained in the documents obtained from the World Bank, the collapse of most European nations is part of a well-crafted plan that the elite has applied over and over again throughout the world. It happened in small countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, mid-size countries like Argentina, and now in larger economies like Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Greece and others.

As it turns out, the so-called bailouts are not such things. They are more like acquisitions. As explained by Journalist and researcher Greg Palast — who broke the story about the World Bank’s plan — the idea is to secretly repossess the assets of every country in the world. This is achieved through a bribery system in which the global bankers buy off the politicians in different countries so that they adopt IMF and World bank policies that intend to destroy their economies. Once the policies have been adopted, the bankers begin to slowly but surely subtract the resources of those countries unnoticeably, mainly through financial aid programs and trade agreements.

The mistaken belief that a recovery will come out of the current austerity measures and financial bailouts stems from the well engineered propaganda campaign orchestrated by the banking system and the main stream media, who have gone from denying that there is a crisis to accepting there is one and that the same bankers who caused it, who planned it, are going to be the saviors. Little do most people know that the kind of crisis we are now going through is part of the plant to carry out a planet wide extortion scheme through which the globalist banking elite once again walks away with significant amounts of resources.

The difference is that this time the looting is not limited to once small or mid-sized nation, but to several large countries in Europe and the world. Greek islands are now for sale to the best bidder, because the country cannot pay its debt. Guess who will come to the rescue? The monopoly men will come and buy the islands for cents on the Dragma. The same situation will happen in Spain, once Mariano Rajoy requests the financial rescue. So if you are asking yourself why is it that the economy isn’t getting better despite the continuous assurances that everything on the books is being done to get to that point, the truth is that the banker plan does not contemplate a recovery. At least not one where everyone will have the opportunity to thrive.

Read the complete interview given by Greg Palast after learning about and getting the World Bank’s secret documents that detail how the global financial entities destroy nations.

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BP’s Top Kill Procedure fails as Coast Guard Blocks Media Access

Natural News

BP officials have announced today that the “top kill” effort to stop the Gulf oil leak has failed. Unanticipated problems doomed the project, which involved trying to pump tens of thousands of gallons of mud, shredded rubber tires and other “junk” into the hole to try to halt the outflow of oil.

At 6pm Saturday evening, BP officials announced the “top kill” effort had failed and now they were moving on to another plan (more below).

I am on site at the Gulf Coast right now, and while I haven’t reached the areas where oil is washing up on the beaches, I’m learning some interesting information nonetheless. In particular, finding a hotel room anywhere near New Orleans has become virtually impossible, as BP has rented out virtually every available hotel room from St. Charles, Louisiana all the way to Pensacola, Florida. (I am currently staying in a fleabag hotel that miraculously has internet access…)

But it raises the question: Where are all these people? I haven’t seen a single BP person anywhere, and I was out on some beaches today filming editorial segments for NaturalNews. I did see some small watercraft laying out protective barriers, but I didn’t see any BP people anywhere.

I’ll keep you posted on what we find tomorrow as we approach the beaches to the East of New Orleans.

Expect more oil for the next 10 weeks

Now that the top kill effort has failed, it means oil will keep spewing into the Gulf of Mexico until at least August. That’s when two “pressure release” wells are expected to be completed. The purpose of these two wells is to siphon off the oil from underneath the ocean bed, thereby releasing the pressure that’s currently pushing crude oil out of the existing hole under the doomed Deepwater Horizon rig.

This “plan C” effort remains extremely risky, of course. There’s no guarantee it will work at all. And if it fails, this “volcano of oil” could continue to pollute the Earth’s oceans for years. This could, in fact, be the global killer event I warned about in an earlier story about this BP oil spill. (http://www.naturalnews.com/028805_G…)

We could be looking at a global-scale environmental catastrophe that destroys virtually all marine life in the Gulf of Mexico and takes a century to fully recover. It’s really that bad. If they can’t stop this volcano of oil in the next week, we could be looking at the single most destructive environmental catastrophe ever to strike our planet since the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Get ready for more chemicals

In the mean time, now that the top kill effort has failed, BP has announced it is resuming the spraying of chemical dispersants into the massive oil plumes that remain deep under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico water. This means more chemicals that will kill more forms of marine life throughout the Gulf.

But it’s not just aquatic life that’s being threatened by these chemicals: BP workers are increasingly being sent to the hospital complaining of symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, difficult breathing and others. The obvious cause of such symptoms is the huge amount of crude oil bubbling up to the surface (some of which evaporates into the air) along with the massive injection of chemical dispersants into the waters (some of which also evaporates). CNN is reporting that BP claims it is monitoring air quality, but so far BP has not gone public with any air quality test results.

None of the cleanup workers have been outfitted with chemical masks that might protect them from the volatile chemicals now present in the Gulf waters. Yet CNN is reporting that the warning label on the chemical product made by NALCO states: “Avoid breathing vapor.”

The EPA, meanwhile, remains silent on this whole issue. Remember: It is the EPA that ordered BP to stop using its selected brand of chemical dispersant, but BP utterly ignored the EPA and continues to dump that very same chemical into the Gulf of Mexico right now.

A chemical attack on America

What we are watching here, folks, is very nearly a chemical attack on America by BP and the oil industry. It’s hard to say what’s worse: The oil or the chemical dispersants. In fact, no one knows the answer to that question, and it can’t even be studied by scientists because the disaster keeps growing by the day.

This is one environmental catastrophe that just keeps getting worse, and the cost to the marine ecosystem is incalculable. And that’s not to even mention the economic cost to the region and all the people who depend on life in the Gulf of Mexico for their own livelihoods. Their lives are now being destroyed by this oil drilling catastrophe.

If there’s one lesson that comes from all this, it is a reminder of the immense value Mother Nature provides us each and every day at no charge. The VALUE of a healthy ocean is incalculable. And the COST of killing it may be more than what human civilization can bear.

I suppose this resolves the whole question of what’s more important: The environment or the economy? As we’re rudely discovering today, the economy cannot exist without protecting the environment first.

“There’s Another Oil Leak, Much Bigger, 5 to 6 Miles Away”

Washington’s Blog

Another never discussed oil leak exists below the Gulf of Mexico's water.

Matt Simmons was an energy adviser to President George W. Bush, is an adviser to the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, and is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Simmon is chairman and CEO of Simmons & Company International, an investment bank catering to oil companies.

Simmons told Dylan Ratigan that “there’s another leak, much bigger, 5 to 6 miles away” from the leaking riser and blowout preventer which we’ve all been watching on the underwater cameras:

And as 60 Minutes reports:

[Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, and one of the last workers to leave the doomed rig] said they were told it would take 21 days; according to him, it actually took six weeks.

With the schedule slipping, Williams says a BP manager ordered a faster pace.

“And he requested to the driller, ‘Hey, let’s bump it up. Let’s bump it up.’ And what he was talking about there is he’s bumping up the rate of penetration. How fast the drill bit is going down,” Williams said.

Williams says going faster caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing tools and that drilling fluid called “mud.”

“We actually got stuck. And we got stuck so bad we had to send tools down into the drill pipe and sever the pipe,” Williams explained.

That well was abandoned and Deepwater Horizon had to drill a new route to the oil. It cost BP more than two weeks and millions of dollars.

“We were informed of this during one of the safety meetings, that somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million was lost in bottom hole assembly and ‘mud.’ And you always kind of knew that in the back of your mind when they start throwing these big numbers around that there was gonna be a push coming, you know? A push to pick up production and pick up the pace,” Williams said.

Asked if there was pressure on the crew after this happened, Williams told Pelley, “There’s always pressure, but yes, the pressure was increased.”

But the trouble was just beginning: when drilling resumed, Williams says there was an accident on the rig that has not been reported before. He says, four weeks before the explosion, the rig’s most vital piece of safety equipment was damaged.

Ten Things Dirtier than BP’s Oil Spill

Daniela Perdomo, Alter Net

Transocean

Transocean making $ 270 millions off the oil spill.

It’s been 37 days since BP’s offshore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, crude oil has been hemorrhaging into ocean waters and wreaking unknown havoc on our ecosystem — unknown because there is no accurate estimate of how many barrels of oil are contaminating the Gulf.

Though BP officially admits to only a few thousand barrels spilled each day, expert estimates peg the damage at 60,000 barrels or over 2.5 million gallons daily. (Perhaps we’d know more if BP hadn’t barred independent engineers from inspecting the breach.) Measures to quell the gusher have proved lackluster at best, and unlike the country’s last big oil spill — Exxon-Valdez in 1989 — the oil is coming from the ground, not a tanker, so we have no idea how much more oil could continue to pollute the Gulf’s waters.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster reminds us what can happen — and will continue to happen — when corporate malfeasance and neglect meet governmental regulatory failure.

The corporate media is tracking the disaster with front-page articles and nightly news headlines every day (if it bleeds, or spills, it leads!), but the under-reported aspects to this nightmarish tale paint the most chilling picture of the actors and actions behind the catastrophe. In no particular order, here are 10 things about the BP spill you may not know and may not want to know — but you should.

1. Oil rig owner has made $270 million off the oil leak

Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP, has been flying under the radar in the mainstream blame game. The world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, the company is conveniently headquartered in corporate-friendly Switzerland, and it’s no stranger to oil disasters. In 1979, an oil well it was drilling in the very same Gulf of Mexico ignited, sending the drill platform into the sea and causing one of the largest oil spills by the time it was capped… nine months later.

This experience undoubtedly influenced Transocean’s decision to insure the Deepwater Horizon rig for about twice what it was worth. In a conference call to analysts earlier this month, Transocean reported making a $270 million profit from insurance payouts after the disaster. It’s not hard to bet on failure when you know it’s somewhat assured.

2. BP has a terrible safety record

BP has a long record of oil-related disasters in the United States. In 2005, BP’s Texas City refinery exploded, killing 15 workers and injuring another 170. The next year, one of its Alaska pipelines leaked 200,000 gallons of crude oil. According to Public Citizen, BP has paid $550 million in fines. BP seems to particularly enjoy violating the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and has paid the two largest fines in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s history. (Is it any surprise that BP played a central, though greatly under-reported, role in the failure to contain the Exxon-Valdez spill years earlier?)

With Deepwater Horizon, BP didn’t break its dismal trend. In addition to choosing a cheaper — and less safe — casing to outfit the well that eventually burst, the company chose not to equip Deepwater Horizon with an acoustic trigger, a last-resort option that could have shut down the well even if it was damaged badly, and which is required in most developed countries that allow offshore drilling. In fact, BP employs these devices in its rigs located near England, but because the United States recommends rather than requires them, BP had no incentive to buy one — even though they only cost $500,000.

SeizeBP.org estimates that BP makes $500,000 in under eight minutes.

3. Oil spills are just a cost of doing business for BP

According to the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, approximately $1.6 billion in annual economic activity and services are at risk as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Compare this number — which doesn’t include the immeasurable environmental damages — to the current cap on BP’s liability for economic damages like lost wages and tourist dollars, which is $75 million. And compare that further to the first-quarter profits BP posted just one week after the explosion: $6 billion.

BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, has solemnly promised that the company will cover more than the required $75 million. On May 10, BP announced it had already spent $350 million. How fantastically generous of a company valued at $152.6 billion, and which makes $93 million each day.

The reality of the matter is that BP will not be deterred by the liability cap and pity payments doled out to a handful of victims of this disaster because they pale in comparison to its ghastly profits. Indeed, oil spills are just a cost of doing business for BP.

This is especially evident in a recent Citigroup analyst report prepared for BP investors: “Reaction to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a buying opportunity.”

4. The Interior Department was at best, neglectful, and at worst, complicit

It’s no surprise BP is always looking out for its bottom line — but it’s at least slightly more surprising that the Interior Department, the executive department charged with regulating the oil industry, has done such a shoddy job of preventing this from happening.

Ten years ago, there were already warnings that the backup systems on oil rigs that failed on Deepwater Horizon would be a problem. The Interior Department issued a “safety alert” but then left it up to oil companies to decide what kind of backup system to use. And in 2007, a government regulator from the same department downplayed the chances and impact of a spill like the one that occurred last month: “[B]lowouts are rare events and of short duration, potential impact to marine water quality are not expected to be significant.”

The Interior Department’s Louisiana branch may have been particularly confused because it appears it was closely fraternizing with the oil industry. The Minerals Management Service, the agency within the department that oversees offshore drilling, routinely accepted gifts from oil companies and even considered itself a part of the oil industry, rather than part of a governmental regulatory agency. Flying on oil executives’ private planes was not rare for MMS inspectors in Louisiana, a federal report released Tuesday says. “Skeet-shooting contests, hunting and fishing trips, golf tournaments, crawfish boils, and Christmas parties” were also common.

Is it any wonder that Deepwater Horizon was given a regulatory exclusion by MMS?

It gets worse. Since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the Interior Department has approved 27 new permits for offshore drilling sites. Here’s the kicker: Two of these permits are for BP.

But it gets better still: 26 of the 27 new drilling sites have been granted regulatory exemptions, including those issued to BP.

5. Clean-up prospects are dismal

The media makes a lot of noise about all the different methods BP is using to clean up the oil spill. Massive steel containment domes were popular a few weeks ago. Now everyone is touting the “top kill” method, which involves injecting heavy drilling fluids into the damaged well.

But here’s the reality. Even if BP eventually finds a method that works, experts say the best cleanup scenario is to recover 20 percent of the spilled oil. And let’s be realistic: only 8 percent of the crude oil deposited in the ocean and coastlines off Alaska was recovered in the Exxon-Valdez cleanup.

Millions of gallons of oil will remain in the ocean, ravaging the underwater ecosystem, and 100 miles of Louisiana coastline will never be the same.

6. BP has no real cleanup plan

Perhaps because it knows the possibility of remedying the situation is practically impossible, BP has made publicly available its laughable “Oil Spill Response Plan” which is, in fact, no plan at all.

Most emblematic of this farcical plan, BP mentions protecting Arctic wildlife like sea lions, otters and walruses (perhaps executives simply lifted the language from Exxon’s plan for its oil spill off the coast of Alaska?). The plan does not include any disease-preventing measures, oceanic or meteorological data, and is comprised mostly of phone numbers and blank forms. Most importantly, it includes no directions for how to deal with a deep-water explosion such as the one that took place last month.

The whole thing totals 600 pages — a waste of paper that only adds insult to the environmental injury BP is inflicting upon the world with Deepwater Horizon.

7. BP is sequestering survivors and taking away their right to sue

With each hour, the economic damage caused by Deepwater Horizon continues to grow. And BP knows this.

So while it outwardly is putting on a nice face, even pledging $500 million to assess the impacts of the spill, it has all the while been trying to ensure that it won’t be held liable for those same impacts.

Just after the Deepwater explosion, surviving employees were held in solitary confinement, while BP flacks made them waive their rights to sue. BP then did the same with fishermen it contracted to help clean up the spill though the company now says that was nothing more than a legal mix-up.

If there’s anything to learn from this disaster, it’s that companies like BP don’t make mistakes at the expense of others. They are exceedingly deliberate.

8. BP bets on risk to employees to save money — and doesn’t care if they get sick

When BP unleashed its “Beyond Petroleum” re-branding/greenwashing campaign, the snazzy ads featured smiley oil rig workers. But the truth of the matter is that BP consistently and knowingly puts its employees at risk.

An internal BP document shows that just before the prior fatal disaster — the 2005 Texas City explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170 — when BP had to choose between cost-savings and greater safety, it went with its bottom line.

A BP Risk Management memo showed that although steel trailers would be safer in the case of an explosion, the company went with less expensive options that offered protection but were not “blast resistant.” In the Texas City blast, all of the fatalities and most of the injuries occurred in or around these trailers.

Although BP has responded to this memo by saying the company culture has changed since Texas City, 11 people died on the Deepwater Horizon when it blew up. Perhaps a similar memo went out regarding safety and cost-cutting measures?

Reports this week stated that fishermen hired by BP for oil cleanup weren’t provided protective equipment and have now fallen ill. Hopefully they didn’t sign waivers.

9. Environmental damage could even include a climatological catastrophe

It’s hard to know where to start discussing the environmental damage caused by Deepwater Horizon. Each day will give us a clearer picture of the short-term ecological destruction, but environmental experts believe the damage to the Gulf of Mexico will be long-term.

In the short-term, environmentalists are up in arms about the dispersants being used to clean up the oil slick in the Gulf. Apparently, the types BP is using aren’t all that effective in dispersing oil, and are pretty high in toxicity to marine fauna such as fish and shrimp. The fear is that what BP may be using to clean up the mess could, in the long-term, make it worse.

On the longer-term side of things, there are signs that this largest oil drilling catastrophe could also become the worst natural gas and climate disaster. The explosion has released tremendous amounts of methane from deep in the ocean, and research shows that methane, when mixed with air, is the most powerful (read: terrible) greenhouse gas — 26 times worse than carbon-dioxide.

Our warming planet just got a lot hotter.

10. No one knows what to do and it will happen again

The very worst part about the Deepwater Horizon calamity is that nobody knows what to do. We don’t know how bad it really is because we can’t measure what’s going on. We don’t know how to stop it — and once we do, we won’t know how to clean it up.

BP is at the helm of the recovery process, but given its corporate track record, its efforts will only go so far — it has a board of directors and shareholders to answer to, after all. The U.S. government, the only other entity that could take over is currently content to let BP hack away at the problem. Why? Because it probably has no idea what to do either.

Here’s the reality of the matter — for as long as offshore drilling is legal, oil spills will happen. Coastlines will be decimated, oceans destroyed, economies ruined, lives lost. Oil companies have little to no incentive to prevent such disasters from happening, and they use their money to buy government regulators’ integrity.

Deepwater Horizon is not an anomaly — it’s the norm.

A Financial Conflagration of Immense Proportions

Fiat money buckling, an inflationary depression, years of reckless spending, Greek debt unpayable, Euro zone in jeopardy, a loss of integrity in US markets, criminal charges for Goldman Sachs, side pockets a new hedge fun trick, Banks on subprime offensive, Fed works the printing presses overtime…

International Forecaster

America and the world face a financial conflagration of immense proportions. The world of fiat money and massive credit is bucklingfinancial crisis under the pressure of unpayable debt. Each day the safe haven of gold and silver related assets become more attractive. We ask where else do you go for safety? A conflagration is a fire out of control and that is exactly the conditions the world faces today. The inflationary depression has smoldered for 14 months and it will soon accelerate.
For the last 15 years the world has lived far beyond its means especially the US, UK and Europe and as we all know that cannot continue indefinitely. The federal government continues to hire when it should be firing. Having lost 80% of our industrial base we struggle in a service economy that cannot service 300 million plus people, never mind supply exports to offset the cost of imports that we no longer manufacture. We now supply indefinite unemployment benefits, which in reality cannot go on forever. The fiscal debt spirals ever higher and the Fed creates money and credit with no end in sight, which devalues the dollar. Taxation on individuals and businesses continues relentlessly higher. This is the way of corporatist fascism. This is now the way of America.
Officially the destruction of America began on August 15, 1971 when the US abandoned the gold standard. The Council on Foreign Relations said years ago, that 2012 would be the year for the implementation of world government.
In Europe we see the manifestations of years of reckless spending in Greece., a nation that will have to be bailed out by the IMF and other European countries, especially by Germany that holds much of the worthless bonds issued by Greece. Greek bonds are now yielding 17%. Such a premium will not save the economy. The debt service is unpayable. Greece should leave the euro zone; reissue the drachma and default, now. Their position is untenable. We said this on Athens International, French International, BBC worldwide and Deutsch Welle radio a few weeks ago. The Greeks certainly are not blameless, but 80% of the blame lies with the bankers. The outcome is Inevitable, whether it’s now or 1-1/2 years from now. These problems affect all euro zone nations and all will suffer accordingly. For the time being most of the damage to the euro is over, but in time the euro will break up, probably in the next two years. As a result official EU unemployment will hit 14%.
We do not believe the powers that be want Greece to bite the dust just yet, as we pointed out previously. We believe they envision a simultaneous collapse of many nations and multilateral devaluation and debt default. This is their style. This way they believe they can control things and cover up one of the biggest transfers of wealth and power in history. The elitists expect to then usher in world government, as they create another world war.
Those who recognize what the elitist plays are can safeguard their assets and perhaps become very wealthy in that process. Those who ignore the signs and warnings are doomed to lose most everything. Political solutions won’t work now and they won’t work later.
The life of the euro zone and the EU, which consistently have been wrong, at least for now, are trying to make us believe all is well. All is not well. We are told over and over again the crisis won’t spread and it will spread and is spreading. Borrowing costs are already rising in Portugal, Spain, and Germany and throughout Europe.
The euro zone is in jeopardy as Greek contagion affects Portugal and Spain. Sovereign debt is the new subprime paper. We could perhaps see a domino effect as bond yields use in the weaker countries and eventually spread to the stronger European countries, and to the UK and US. The problem will eventually affect the entire world if it rolls out that way. Such a situation could cause a crisis of confidence, which would most certainly drive gold and silver prices higher. Bond markets would already have been affected and world stock markets would be falling. We are perhaps seeing that already with a topping in the US and European equities suffering their largest losses this year. In Europe, Greek bond losses are onerous. A bailout of Greece will probably come and their debt rescheduled. If the bailout doesn’t come watch out. The fallout of a Greek default, the exit from the euro, and the reintroduction of the drachma could force the other 18 nations in trouble to the edge if not into insolvency. These ideas are what we expressed this week in an interview with Greece’s largest newspaper. In addition we could see the dumping of PIIGS bonds and stocks. This could cause major losses and freeze markets. It could also lead to the demise of the euro zone and deeply damage the EU. Another unexpected outcome could be the withdrawal of Britain from the EU followed by the imposition of tariffs on goods and services by the UK, which would be followed by the US.
Another aspect to the Greek problem is that rating cuts are going to force Greek banks to post more collateral, which would force them into a liquidity trap and that could spread the contagion through the global financial system. If more collateral is not forthcoming the banks’ bonds would be downgraded. This also could cause Greek banks to sell assets, putting more pressure on an already weak system. Is it no wonder that gold and silver prices are rising?
In spite of all this the euro zone has the fiscal capacity to backstop banks within the region and to support the PIIGS. The question is will they? Germany seems to be in no hurry to do so. Greece needs loans or to float bonds in the amount of $350 billion over the next five years, which is a tall order. The present approach is to solve this year’s problems of some $80 billion, but bondholders are looking out five years. They are saying to themselves what is going to happen next year and up to five years from now. One good thing is if the Greeks stay in the euro zone they cannot monetize debt away and ruin bond values. Seventy percent of Greeks oppose dealing with the IMF, or accepting loans from the EU. We ask then what do they propose? This is why many investors are throwing their hands in the air and opting to buy gold throughout Europe. No matter which way Greece takes gold is really the only good hedge against a devaluing euro. Gold is not only a hedge against the euro, but also against commodity inflation. A recovery, if it did take place in Europe, would cause higher inflation as well. Causing conflict on the inflation issue is the ECB’s opinion that there is no inflation, when even officially there is. Germany had best not press Greece too hard, because if Greece leaves the euro it would rock global markets. We believe a deal will be done and that will temporarily solve the problem, perhaps for 1 or 1-1/2 years. That is when all the financial derelicts will be taken down together.
We in switching gears must look at the sovereign debt problems of many nations, the US as well. We see a fierce loss of integrity in US markets, due to the play unfolding in the US House and Senate via inquiry and actions by the SEC against Goldman Sachs and others. The US is not Greece, but it has many similar problems. These terrible events unfolding have to eventually reflect lower dollar values as well as a lower market, higher interest rates and higher gold and silver prices. It is apparent and transparent that Goldman has been charged civilly by the SEC in order to protect the firm and its employees from criminal charges, to divert attention away from the passage of a new financial regulatory bill that would make the Fed a despotic power and to make the administration and the Democrats look good going into the November election. Then there is the ongoing mortgage fallout and all the Fed and Treasury giveaways. Making matters worse is the refusal to answer important questions by the Fed for spurious reasons. Then worse yet the SEC told Goldman they were going to be charged two weeks before the announcement was made.  Sixty percent of the toxic waste was sold in Europe, mostly to Germans and they are not happy about that. We cannot understand why the Germans did not sue 2-1/2 years ago, and still haven’t.   More…