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Old 05-04-2012, 02:48 AM   #101
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No surprises here.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #102
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Nothing breeds extremism like poverty.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #103
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The motion: "Greece should default on its debt and leave the Euro"





I liked what Nouriel Roubini had to say but it was not popular in voting at the end of the debate. Not a surprise there.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #104
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In Greece, illegal imigrants are being locked in new version of concentration camps, which they call detention camps. Why? To steal votes from the Chrysi Avgi, an assumed neonazi party that will have 3 to 6% in tomorrow's elections. This last week, Antonis Samaras, the leader of the conservatives, New Democracy, said he wants to kick away every illegal immigrant from Greece, putting the responsibility of the country's situation in immigrants. Doesn't this ring an historical bell in your head? It does for me.
No party will reach absolute majority and there's a huge possibility that PASOK (self-called socialists, but Third Way, in fact) and ND (conservatives/right wing), the parties that dominated greek politics since 1974, will not reach absolute majority... Together.
Ten parties will enter the Syntagma, the greek parliment, including the neonazi Chrysi Avgi.

The Netherlands, one of Germany's biggest ally since the crisis (and also an appologist in Europe of the speech that the PIIGS - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain- are lazy and don't work) tasted its own poison when the ally of the Government party rejected more austerity, leading to the fall of the dutch Government.
Consequence: the opinion polls present the extreme-right party as the best placed to win antecipated elections in September.

In France, the nationalist Marine Le Pen had 18% of votes two weeks ago. 18% is even more that what her father had (16%) a few years ago. The "Front Nationale" party is so strong now, that the second turn of the presidential presented a dispute of her electorate between Sarkozy and the pseudo-socialist Hollande.

In Germany, the opinion polls present a crescent ascent of the Pirate Party, now with 7-11%, leaving the Die Linke (left party) behind. What's so special about the Pirate Party? It is composed by left radicals, yes. But last week there were news that some right-extremists integrate this movement.

Hungary is today a dictatorship and the UE consents that. A country where the Government shuts down radios linked to opposition, where it arrests the leaders of opposition parties during riots, where homeless are arrested because they're not allowed to stay on the streets and where the Constitution was changed to "God, Country and Family" (the exact same slogan of Portuguese's fascist era... I call that a dictatorship.

In Portugal, slowly and discreetly, here and there, some events start to smell too much of Estado Novo (the fascist dictatorship of Salazar), like having the Minister of Propaganda firing who's inconvenient for the Government, arresting those who are grouped in more than 2 people, leaving orders to the police to spank people who are in peaceful demonstrations (which is the tradition in Portugal, unlike in other countries), etc.

All this sounds way too much to the dangerous 1930's and I'm really not liking this at all.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #105
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All this sounds way too much to the dangerous 1930's and I'm really not liking this at all.
I was just having this thought... I highly doubt that the conclusion will be the same, and things aren't as extreme, but there are definitely striking similarities.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:50 PM   #106
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I was just having this thought... I highly doubt that the conclusion will be the same, and things aren't as extreme, but there are definitely striking similarities.
I hope it won't be the same.
Even though François Hollande will most probably win tomorrow in France (and so, the "Merkozy" dictat will change the needle to and Merkel will have to deal with a different leadership in France, even in France's power is weaker that Germany's), I think it won't change much the things in Europe.

I highly believe that Spain will "fall" soon (I give it 6 months maximum) and will follow the same destiny of Greece, Portugal and Ireland, due to huge pressure of the financial markets. After Spain goes, immediately after Portugal will have to call for a second or third or fourth rescue plan.

But the problem is that Europe doesn't have enough money for an assisted financial program to Spain... Neither to Italy that will probably fall right after Spain.
And that may lead to a huge headache. I think that not "saving" Spain and Italy can be the end of the Euro and, consequently, of the EU as we know it. And I don't want to imagine what's the real meaning and implications of that.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:27 PM   #107
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I highly believe that Spain will "fall" soon (I give it 6 months maximum)
You're really that pessimistic? How do you envision such a fall playing out? It's hard for me to imagine such a horrific timetable as what you described, but I'm also not European. Regardless, even I can tell that these are scary times for Europe, and for everyone else less directly.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #108
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No surprise, François Hollande will be president of France. The next few weeks are going to be really interesting.

Also, exit polls in Greece are showing Golden Dawn at 6.5-7.5%: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17975370. PASOK and New Democracy will probably see their majority shrink to something barely a majority.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:31 PM   #109
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Ok, with the citizens in Greece and France both unhappy with the austerity measures, will these new 'left' leaders change to policies that add to more red ink?

And if yes, will that lead to a European financial collapse?

or, are these elections already enough, to destabilize financial markets and we are headed to another financial melt down, a la 2008?
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:38 PM   #110
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Ok, with the citizens in Greece and France both unhappy with the austerity measures, will these new 'left' leaders change to policies that add to more red ink?

And if yes, will that lead to a European financial collapse?

or, are these elections already enough, to destabilize financial markets and we are headed to another financial melt down, a la 2008?
Is a financial meltdown perhaps inevitable anyway, with mounting unemployment only making it harder and harder for governments to pay their bills?

I'm tempted to say that a Europe uniformly less focused on austerity could possibly prevent crisis if reasonable growth could be achieved within a year or so, but I don'tthink that it's possible for Europe to be that uniform right now, so it's hard to even get to the second part.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:59 PM   #111
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Is Hollande serious about his proposal to reduce the retirement age??
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:26 PM   #112
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The Associated Press: Markets could stumble after France, Greece votes

I expect markets to go down, and this is not good. Because everything is predicated upon not having a 'panic'.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #113
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The Associated Press: Markets could stumble after France, Greece votes

I expect markets to go down, and this is not good. Because everything is predicated upon not having a 'panic'.
Short term market fluctuations are really not important, in any case the risk of electing an alleged socialist is already priced in.

For a more cogent analysis, turn to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:-

Francois Hollande has ten weeks to avert a French bond crisis - Telegraph

...or, better still, to one of the world's most successful, philosophical, and also, downright entertaining hedge fund managers, the canny Scot Hugh Hendry (one of the great advantages of the internet is that the best investment analysis in the world is now more or less available to pretty much everyone with a broadband connection - at least occasionally):

Hugh Hendry Is Back – Full Eclectica Letter | Anirudh Sethi Report

FWIW, Hendry thinks the EUR/USD rate will hit parity...mind you, I lost a lot of money (for me) betting on that scenario in early 2011...
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #114
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Nikkei is down 2% upon opening... obviously a very short-term indicator that doesn't mean too much, but I find it at least a little entertaining.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:49 PM   #115
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Nikkei is down 2% upon opening... obviously a very short-term indicator that doesn't mean too much, but I find it at least a little entertaining.
Why..are you short?
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #116
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Looks like a risk-off day right enough - stocks, commodities all down.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #117
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You're really that pessimistic? How do you envision such a fall playing out? It's hard for me to imagine such a horrific timetable as what you described, but I'm also not European. Regardless, even I can tell that these are scary times for Europe, and for everyone else less directly.
I really do believe so, unfortunately.
There's a script. All the countries that "fell" followed that exact same script, with some differences here and there.
Spain is following the exact same script Portugal did, Greece did.
The spanish government speech "we're not Portugal" (Portugal said "we're not Greece"), the way austerity enters the room, the kind of climb the interests of public debt have. I recognize the exact same way Portugal fell.
That's why I give Spain 6 months.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:53 PM   #118
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I really do believe so, unfortunately.
There's a script. All the countries that "fell" followed that exact same script, with some differences here and there.
Spain is following the exact same script Portugal did, Greece did.
The spanish government speech "we're not Portugal" (Portugal said "we're not Greece"), the way austerity enters the room, the kind of climb the interests of public debt have. I recognize the exact same way Portugal fell.
That's why I give Spain 6 months.
Surely, a decoupling of Germany from the rest of Europe is what's called for? The rest of Europe's debts are unsustainable, fair enough, so write them off and create a new exchange rate mechanism, and let Germany go it alone?
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:54 PM   #119
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Is Hollande serious about his proposal to reduce the retirement age??
Of course he's not serious. Neither about renegociating that absurd dictatorial european treaty. Neither about taxes over big capitals.
He knows he cannot accomplish that.
And he knows that, although he won the presidentials by a very small margin 52-48%, he still has the legislative elections right on June 10th to win. So, he cannot let escape Sarkozy's votes.

These next months he'll show his tough side, specially on negociations with Merkel/Schauble, but when things calm down, he'll probably step back, he'll put social-democracy on the closet (as all social-democrat self-called-socialist leaders do) and he'll have to be another Third Way leader and forget all those promises.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #120
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Surely, a decoupling of Germany from the rest of Europe is what's called for? The rest of Europe's debts are unsustainable, fair enough, so write them off and create a new exchange rate mechanism, and let Germany go it alone?
Merkel knows that Germany cannot walk alone by itself. Although Germany sells a lot to China and South America, Europe still is Germany's biggest market by far.
Merkel knows as well two other things:
1) The european construction was leaded by France with the support of Germany, and after the reunification, by Germany with the support of France. So, Germany depends on France's support.
2) Germany's superavits and healthy public accounts are the reflex of Europe's deficits. The more german's accounts get balanced and clear, the more the other countries' accounts have troubles. Many economists have already explained that well.

Europe's debts are unsustainable because Merkel insists that the ECB cannot work as a "normal" central bank, it cannot print money and create inflation because Germany has panic of Weimar's inflation, it cannot lend money directly to the States, it cannot regulate the markets independently.
...Not to mention that the Euro urgently needs to be devalued, so it can fit somewhere closer to the average of the countries that integrate it and to be a reflex of the german economy. A country like mine, for example, cannot have a currency which is n times stronger than the real weight of our economy (and since is shared, we cannot artificially devalue it). It's not sustainable.
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