Last week’s ‘thunderbolt’ ruling on eurozone rescue policies by Germany’s top court marks a serious escalation of Europe’s governance crisis and may ultimately force Germany to withdraw from the euro, the country’s most influential magazine has warned.
A sweeping report by Der Spiegel said the court ruling amounts to a full-blown showdown between Germany and the European Central Bank over the methods to shore up southern Europe’s debt markets.
“It is nothing less than a final reckoning with the crisis-management strategy pursued by the ECB. The German justices insist that the German constitution sets limits on the ECB’s crisis strategy. In a worst-case scenario, the Court could forbid Berlin from contributing to efforts to save the euro or even force Germany to leave the currency zone entirely,” it said. Continue reading
Germany has signalled it is preparing a third rescue package for Greece – provided the debt-stricken country implements “rigorous”austerity measures blamed for record levels of unemployment and a dramatic drop in GDP.
The new loan, outlined in a five-page position paper by Berlin’s finance ministry, would be worth between €10bn to €20bn (£8bn-16bn), according to the German weekly Der Spiegel, which was leaked the document. Continue reading
Lets be absolutely clear: As history has shown us through repetition, there is no such thing as a “one-off” capital levy, which is a fancy and whitewashed term for stealing from the citizens — yet it is spinned in such a way that the people perceive it as their government working hard in their interests. Once the government has confiscated a piece of wealth, it will consider it a test of the public’s patience, and likely do it again. We saw it in Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland the last few years — and these are only examples during modern times. As the economies continue to plunge, they will take more and more until everything has imploded.
(Reuters) – Germany’s Bundesbank said on Monday that countries about to go bankrupt should draw on the private wealth of their citizens through a one-off capital levy before asking other states for help.
The Bundesbank’s tough stance comes after years of euro zone crisis that saw five government bailouts. There have also bond market interventions by the European Central Bank in, for example, Italy where households’ average net wealth is higher than in Germany. Continue reading
An objective stress test of the eurozone’s biggest banks could reveal a capital shortfall of more than 770 billion euros (US$1 trillion) and trigger further public bailouts, a study by an adviser to the European Union’s financial risk watchdog and a Berlin academic has found.
The study and others published ahead of the EU stress tests, whose results are due in November, are important because they set the expectations against which markets will judge the credibility of the European Central Bank’s attempt to prove its banks can withstand another crisis without taxpayer help. Continue reading
European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says Japanese-style stagnation possible amid high unemployment and falling inflation
The European Central Bank sent the euro tumbling on world markets after it warned that the 18-member currency zone may need further support to prevent a Japanese-style period of stagnation.
The ECB president, Mario Draghi, said persistently high unemployment, falling inflation and difficult lending conditions were harming the recovery, and the ECB stood ready to use all the tools available to maintain confidence and growth. Continue reading
Spain saw its youth unemployment rate rise to a staggering 57.7% in November as the country registered the worse youth jobless rate in the eurozone area.
Eurostat, the statistical information arm of the European Union, also revealed the youth unemployment rate across the eurozone remained steady at 24.2% for the second consecutive month – meaning there were 3.5 million unemployed under-25s across the region.
“There is a real danger that these young people will get trapped in the ranks of the long-term unemployed,” James Howat, a European economist at Capital Economics, told IBTimes UK. Continue reading
ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – New allegations of corruption have been leveled at leading German arms manufacturers. According to a former employee of the Greek defense ministry and several mediators of the arms industry, German arms manufacturers paid millions in bribes to induce Athens to purchase German weaponry, worth several billion Euros. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall were among the companies named. These deals helped inflate the country’s debts and were, therefore, in part responsible for escalating the crisis. Others, such as Siemens, had also paid millions in bribes to land lucrative contracts from Athens. According to a Greek journalist, who has done extensive research on corruption in Greece, German companies are the “main beneficiaries” of Greece joining the Euro zone because they subsequently profited from highly lucrative Greek government contracts. The sumptuous contracts helped plunge Greece into crisis while they, at the same time, helped the German industry to blaze its trail to the predominant position in Europe. Continue reading
Events in Italy are turning serious. President Giorgio Napolitano has warned of “widespread social tension and unrest” in 2014 as the Long Slump drags on.
Those living on the margins are being drawn into “indiscriminate and violent protest, a sterile lurch towards total opposition”.
His latest speech is a veritable Jeremiad. Thousands of companies are on the “brink of collapse”. Great masses of the working people are on the dole or at risk of losing their jobs. Very high rates of youth unemployment (41pc) are leading to dangerous alienation. Continue reading
Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, says it is premature to declare the eurozone crisis over
The International Monetary Fund has poured cold water over claims that the eurozone is safely recovering, calling on the European Central Bank to take pre-emptive action to alleviate the credit crunch for small business and head off the risk of deflation. Continue reading
BlackRock has advised clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets at any sign of serious trouble
BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has warned that central banks are poised to tighten monetary policy in the Anglo-Saxon countries and China, advising clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets at any sign of serious trouble.
“2014 is the year to squeeze more juice out of risk assets. But investors should be ready to discard the fruit when it starts running dry,” said Ewen Cameron Watt, chief strategist for the BlackRock Investment Institute. Continue reading
When there is no other option on the table but an extreme measure, you know you might be in the final stage before the collapse. The EU has been staring into the abyss for quite a long time already and every effective tool that has been used was only good enough to kick the proverbial can down the road — only to worry about it again when the same problem resurfaces, then rinse and repeat with a different technique. Whether it will collapse soon can only be told by time alone.
The European Central Bank wants to spur lending by banks in Southern Europe, but conventional methods have shown little success so far. On Thursday, ECB officials will consider monetary weapons that were previously considered taboo.
From Mario Drahgi’s perspective, the euro zone has already been split for some time. When the head of the powerful European Central Bank looks at the credit markets within the currency union, he sees two worlds. In one of those worlds, the one in which Germany primarily resides, companies and consumers are able to get credit more cheaply and easily than ever before. In the other, mainly Southern European world, it is extremely difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to get affordable loans. Fears are too high among banks that the debtors will default. Continue reading
Should it transpire, Frankfurt would likely be the winner as it’s slowly becoming the world’s new financial center. Paris only toes the German line.
Invetsment bank could switch European operations to Paris and Frankfurt
Goldman Sachs has said it would move much of its European business out of London if Britain leaves the European Union.
The warning from the world’s most powerful investment bank comes as political pressure for Britain to leave the EU mounts. Continue reading