Top German body calls for QE blitz to avert deflation trap in Europe

Head of German Institute for Economic Research demands €60bn of bond purchases each month to halt contraction of credit and avert Japanese-style trap

A leading German institute has called for full-blown quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) to head off a deflation spiral, marking a radical shift in thinking among the German policy elites.

Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, demanded €60bn (£50bn) of bond purchases each month to halt the contraction of credit and avert a Japanese-style trap. Continue reading

Bundesbank calls for capital levy to avert government bankruptcies

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

Troika bullied Cyprus and Portugal, MEPs say

Berlin – The troika of international lenders “held a gun to the head” of Cyprus and Portugal and showed little sympathy for social measures, an MEP looking into its work has said.

“Both countries had very little room for manoeuvre in negotiating the terms of the bailouts. What they said basically was that ‘a gun was held to our head’, especially in Cyprus,” Juergen Klute, a left-wing German MEP, told this website.

“And the troika had very little interest in social measures, they were only concerned about cutting back the deficit,” he added.

The German politician said his four-member European Parliament delegation found there was a lack of democratic oversight when it came to the work of the troika – made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund. Continue reading

Swiss war game envisages invasion by bankrupt French

Hordes of bankrupt French invade Switzerland to get their hands on their “stolen” money — such is the imaginary scenario cooked up by the Swiss military in simulations revealed over the weekend.

Carried out in August, the apparently outlandish army exercise was based on the premise of an attack by a financially stricken France split into warring regions, according to Matin Dimanche, the Lausanne-based daily. Continue reading

Wealthy Chinese snap up homes in Southern Europe as governments offer visas for buying

Southern Europe’s cash-strapped governments are courting wealthy Chinese homebuyers, seeking to bolster their battered real estate markets by offering visas to those who purchase prime properties.

Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are providing resident permits to foreign buyers, while Spain is about to adopt a similar measure. The chance to purchase a home at depressed prices in southern Europe and gain what’s known as a golden visa is mostly being sold to Chinese investors, according to brokers. Continue reading

Fitch downgrades European rescue fund EFSF

Fitch Ratings has cut its credit grade for the European fund that provides rescue loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

The agency says it lowered the rating for the European Financial Stability Facility – or EFSF- by one notch from AAA to AA+ as a result of its downgrade of France last week. The EFSF’s creditworthiness depends on that of the countries that provide its financing, which includes France. Continue reading

How to Prepare Your Portfolio for Geopolitical Turmoil

Although both items need to be constantly looked at (50/50), the fundamental data lately is seemingly overriding the technical data. Observing geopolitics on a regular basis shows you the big picture where you can use inductive reasoning to hammer out the specifics in planning your future, be it from an investment standpoint or personal.

Had anyone asked back in January what kind of risks you thought might be giving financial markets a jolt by mid-year, odds are that you would have talked about the Federal Reserve’s intentions with respect to quantitative easing, the outlook for economic growth and whether S&P 500 companies are delivering the kind of earnings that analysts had been expecting.

Perhaps, given recent history, you might have thrown out an additional concern: That some unforeseen event in Spain or Italy might buffet the Eurozone and spill over into North American markets—after all, that has become an almost routine summertime occurrence. Continue reading

Portugal and Greece are now vying to be this week’s crisis in Europe

Update (3:26 PM ET): Portugal’s governing coalition today saw its second major loss in two days, as Paulo Portas, the foreign minister and leader of the Democratic and Social Center-People’s Party (CDS-PP), tendered his resignation.

Meanwhile, EU authorities have given Greece three days to deliver on promises it’s made to the troika—the group composed of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank, and representatives of European countries, which is monitoring the euro debt crisis.

Clearly, Greece and Portugal are fighting to be the most scary country in the euro this week. Continue reading

Eurogendfor: the new EU police force of limitless power / Eurogendfor: la nuova polizia europea dai poteri illimitati

An article orginally written in Italian, with the best available translation to English at the moment, explains a new European police force. This police force by increased cooperation not only further aligns them with the EU, but also takes out the Russian influence within the region.
Among the many projects of international cooperation which Italy is currently involved seems it is appropriate to dwell on what Eurogendfor, or the European Gendarmerie Force. This is an initiative that involves in addition to our other 5 EU countries: France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Romania, but subsequently acceded to this project.

The purpose of the EGF to strengthen the management capacity of the future international crises and, more importantly, contribute to the common defense and security policy and may in all respects be considered a tool integrated approach to conduct police missions in several theaters, including those destabilized, in support of the European Union, NATO, the UN or any coalitions to create PURPOSE. Continue reading

Portugal: ‘IMF: Order to kill’

The IMF report on Portugal’s implementation of an EU-brokered bailout plan aims to throw off the country’s constitutional court, says i.

Instead of including reforms in the 2014 state budget, the IMF wants to push directly into structural reforms, which assumes to be the most difficult part of the Portuguese adjustment program. Continue reading

Risk of Bank Failures Is Rising in Europe, E.C.B. Warns

The European Central Bank warned on Wednesday that the euro zone’s slumping economy and a surge in problem loans were raising the risk of a renewed banking crisis, even as overall stress in the region’s financial markets had receded. Continue reading

Cyprus was just for starters – Ireland could provide the main course

Union rejection of €1bn in spending cuts means the Irish government find itself forced to slash public sector pay by 7%

Cyprus was just an hors d’oeuvre. Portugal is readying itself for a convulsive moment when the government attempts to bypass a constitutional court ruling that bans many of its most caustic austerity measures. The situation worsens daily in Greece. And then there is Ireland. Continue reading