- Leeb – We Will Now See a Gold Standard Imposed in Europe!
With stocks trading lower, along with gold and silver, today King World News interviewed acclaimed money manager Stephen Leeb, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer of Leeb Capital Management. Leeb told KWN we will see a gold standard imposed on Europe. Leeb also said the Chinese will move to back the yuan with gold. Here is what Leeb had to say about the situation: “Gold is reacting to what’s going on in Europe. It’s the last resort of liquidity for a lot of people. It’s been the best performing major asset over the last 12 years. You have a lot of chaos in Europe and no one knows what’s happening, so there has been a lot of reflex selling of gold.”
“Gold has been a bit stronger than I thought it would be considering the danger of a euro breakup is accelerating. I don’t think there’s any chance the euro holds together under its current form. Unemployment among the young in Greece is about 50%. That can’t stand, it just can’t. These politicians can’t do this forever. People are not going to tolerate starvation. Sooner or later the politicians are going to have to respond. This means less austerity and more growth, and the end of German hegemony in Europe. … You are going to have a lot of currency devaluation. You are also going to see massive inflation. Everybody knows what that means for gold.
- The Eurozone will collapse. It will start in the PIIGS, spread to the rest of Europe, UK, Japan …. and finally America. The whole world will be engulfed in this crisis. I do not believe that Asia will escape. They may fare better but I won’t bet my life on it. The modern economy is so interlinked via globalization that it is inconceivable Asia will escape. Unless you are living in some self subsistence farming/fishing community in Congo; Africa, trust me we are in for some really rough times! Got physical gold yet? (emphasis mine)
France and Greece are just the beginning – Europe is entering a downward spiral !
By Daniel Hannan, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
I write in the Daily Mail about Europe’s rejection of austerity. It’s not just the French and Greek election results. Within the past ten days, the Dutch and Romanian governments have also been brought down over their attempts to make savings. The same thing will keep happening across the Continent, at election after election.
Eurocrats, too, are tiptoing away from cuts, belatedly aware of how outrageous it sounded to argue for austerity in the 27 member states while demanding a 6.8 per cent budget increase for themselves. We can expect a very different strategy now, one based on higher spending and deeper European integration. Stand by for Eurobonds, a common finance minister, pan-European taxes, EU-wide stimulus packages etc.
This was, of course, the approach which brought Europe to its present unhappy condition. So why do voters hope to solve the crisis by accelerating the policies which led to it? Much of the blame must attach to the Centre-Right parties currently in office in most national capitals. Though they talk of fiscal prudence, many of them are in reality locked into Euro-corporatism. With a handful of honourable exceptions, they have presided over crony capitalism, more spending, more taxes and more debt. Their failure has opened the door to the angry and populist Left. When the ‘Right’ is represented by Samaras and Sarkozy, it’s no surprise that voters cast around for radical alternatives. After all, when it comes to the euro, the Trotskyists have been proved right. They argued all along that, while the single currency would suit the suits, working people would suffer.
As long as Europe’s élites remain determined to keep the euro, the economic situation will deteriorate. And the worse things get, the likelier people are to demand the high-tax, high-spend policies which caused the mess. The eurozone is now in a vicious circle.
- Practically, all major western banks are bankrupt! They hold a large amount of sovereign debts which is rated at ‘AAA’ and the belief is that sovereigns will not default! When Eurozone countries (PIIGS) start to default, it will bring down the entire banking system. The reason why these banks are still standing is because they are allowed to mark to fantasy all these worthless sovereign debts instead of using a mark to market model. The FedRes and ECB are infusing massive amount of liquidity into these banks to prop them up. But you cannot solve a solvency issue with injections of liquidity created out of thin air. It is like giving a heart which has stopped beating a blood transfusion!
Why Sovereign Defaults Matter… and Why Spain is a BIG Deal !
by Phoenix Capital Research, http://www.zerohedge.com/
The following is an excerpt from my latest client letter explaining why Spain is such a big deal and why when it defaults it’s game over for the EU.
I’ve received a number of emails asking me why Spain is such a big deal for the global banking system. To fully understand the implications of Spain, you first need to understand how the global financial system works “behind the scenes.”
We’ll start first with the US financial system, particularly the Primary Dealers which are the real controllers of the monetary supply (via lending). If you’re unfamiliar with the Primary Dealers, these are the 18 banks at the top of the US private banking system. They’re in charge of handling US Treasury Debt auctions and as such they have unprecedented access to US debt both in terms of pricing and monetary control.
The Primary Dealers are:
1. Bank of America
?????2. Barclays Capital Inc.
3. BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
4. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
5. Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
6. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
7. Daiwa Securities America Inc.
8. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
9. Goldman, Sachs & Co.
10. HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
11. J. P. Morgan Securities Inc.
12. Jefferies & Company Inc.
13. Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
14. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
15. Nomura Securities International Inc.
16. RBC Capital Markets
17. RBS Securities Inc.
18. UBS Securities LLC.
These are the firms that buy US Treasuries during debt auctions. Once the Treasury debt is acquired by the Primary Dealer, it’s parked on their balance sheet as an asset. The Primary Dealer can then leverage up that asset and also fractionally lend on it, i.e. create more debt and issue more loans, mortgages, corporate bonds, or what have you.
Put another way, Treasuries, or US sovereign bonds, are not only the primary asset on the large banks’ balance sheets, they are in fact the asset against which these banks lend/ extend additional debt into the monetary system.
A similar banking system exists in Europe though in that case there are no single unified EU bonds/ Primary Dealers. Instead we have 17 countries all of which issue sovereign bonds that their largest banks purchase and park on their balance sheets as assets against which they lend.
According to data collected from the Bank for International Settlements, IMF, World Bank, UN Population Division, UK banks are sitting on €74 billion worth of Spanish sovereign debt while French banks and German banks are sitting on €112 billion €131 billion, respectively.
So, as a ballpark estimate, roughly €317 billion worth of Spanish sovereign debt is sitting on banks’ balance sheets in these three countries. This debt is then recorded as an asset against which these banks have leant out money to corporations, property developers, etc. at a ratio of more than 10 to 1.
What I’m trying to say here is that the entire EU banking system is based on capital requirements that are an absolute joke. The banks not the regulators determine how risky their assets are and leverage their balance sheets to the maximum levels possible based on their in-house assessments.
So… when Spain defaults (and it will) you will very likely find the entire Spanish banking system collapse. This in turn will bring the entire EU banking system to its knees as collateral calls and margin calls are made across the board when EU banks’ portfolios take a “haircut” on their senior most assets.
With that in mind, the clock is ticking on Europe. On that note, I fully believe the EU in its current form is in its final chapters. Whether it’s through Spain imploding or Germany ultimately pulling out of the Euro, we’ve now reached the point of no return: the problems facing the EU (Spain and Italy) are too large to be bailed out. There simply aren’t any funds or entities large enough to handle these issues.
- The departure of Greece from the Eurozone will not bring the Eurozone down. But it may be the trigger to set off the collapse of the rest of the PIIGS! The Euro will collapse and it will likely happen in 2012! The Illuminist plan is for a global economic, financial and currency meltdown leading to World War 3! Fear and trepidation dead ahead !
Germany’s Roadmap For A Greek Return To The Drachma!
by Tyler Durden, http://www.zerohedge.com/
There has been much speculation about how the Greek endgame will play out, but precious little from the perspective of Germany. Until today. Courtesy of a three part series from Handeslblatt (here, here and here) we now know precisely what the next steps are as visualized by Europe’s piggybank, which now is telegraphing it is set to cut Europe’s most wayward child loose.
- Greece cannot stand by the spending cuts expected by the Troika. €11.5 Bn until June
- The creditors refuse the payment of the next tranche. Greece must pay €30 Bn until the end of June, to pay pensions, civil servants salaries, and support its ailing banking sector.
- Greece cannot service its debt anymore. Which means essentially service its debt to debtors like banks, bringing its banking sector to a likely bankruptcy (remember Greek banks were already hardly met by the €80 Bn PSI in March, 2 big Greek banks already have negative equity).
- Greece must save its banks to avoid a bank run. There will be no other way than reintroducing the Drachma since no one will lend them money, IMF or EU.
- Greece gets out of the Euro and reintroduces Drachma. “It wouldn’t be that easy since to avoid panic and a bank run, a banking holiday (perhaps a week) would be necessary.Even with capital controls with foreign contries, the process would remain technically difficult. For the Greeks this would mean serious consequences as loans would see the value drop and prices would go up. On the short term, the competitiveness of the country would improve. According to economists, a 50% depreciation would be necessary. That would, at least theoretically, mean that holidays in Greece would be substantially cheaper. It can still be doubted that Greece would solve its problems its way. Who wants to spend there its holidays , where unrest and chaos reign. “Greece could earn air to breath on the short term. This would change nothing to its problems on the longer term”, Commerzbank economist Christoph Weil says.”
Much more in the full Handelsblatt series.
The only question is now that the return of the Drachma appears set, how long before the “Greek case” metastatizes to Spain, which is already roughly where Greece was about a year ago, with the bank sector now effectively having seized up, and the only question is how soon until the sovereign debt has to get the “PSI” treatment.