International Forecaster August 2010 (#7) – Gold, Silver, Economy + More…”this is the nightmare of all nightmares.”
By: Bob Chapman
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Debt is everywhere and it certainly is onerous. We all have heard about the sovereign debt crisis, the debt of Greece and the debts of Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy. During that process the euro fell from $1.50 to $1.187; which gave euro zone exporters quite an advantage. The euro has since rebounded to a high of $1.33 and for now settled in near $1.28. Business confidence is back, but in the meantime the next course of action is to be higher taxes and austerity. Even consumers believe things are not going to improve. They all probably see the advantages of a cheaper euro. Even the CDS premiums have disappeared, which means at least for now the crisis has been arrested with a Band-Aid called loans – loans that will take these countries years to repay accompanied by years of depression. As a result, Greece is on the edge of revolt.
As a result of austerity, imposed on Greece by its Illuminist led government, unemployment has hit 70% in some places. The country’s budget deficit has been reduced by 40%, truly draconian. Spending by government has been cut 10%, which is more than double what the EU and IMF has required. Bankruptcies abound and purchasing power and consumption have plunged. Consequently GDP has fallen 1.5% in the past quarter and tax revenue has fallen off a cliff. Companies, particularly in Perama and Piraeus still are sending ships to other locations for repairs, because Greek wage costs are still too high. In this world of free trade and globalization the cheapest wage gets the business. That means Greeks are going to have to work harder if they want employment. Experts say GDP will fall 4% this year, which will be severe, with 17% of shops in Athens already filing for bankruptcy.
Instead of this madness Greece’s leadership should have cut government spending by 30%, lowered taxes, defaulted fully or partially on their debt, left the euro and returned to a lower valued drachma. Now they’ll be in depression for years paying off bankers whose loans and bond purchases were professionally ill advised and the funds were created out of thin air.
These measures have the country in depression and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, as bankers clamor for their money. The worst is yet to come as bigger layoffs begin and prices on everything skyrocket.
Greece is on the edge of revolution and well it should be. This IMF imposed tyranny should never have been imposed in the manner in which it has been, crudely.
We haven’t seen the end of the Greek and euro crisis by a long shot and there is a good chance the reaction to such problems could easily spread to Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy.
Several months ago in Greece’s largest newspaper, as well as on Greek radio and television, we predicted these results and what is to follow. The answer is to get rid of your false leadership that is selling you into IMF servitude that will last for decades. Like Spain was a military training ground for Germany in the 1930s in preparation for WWII, Greece is being used as a training ground for world economic and financial subjugation as planned by the forces of darkness in its quest for total world domination.
The one-world creators of the euro are aghast at the path five of the 16 members have followed and particularly Greece. As we predicted ten years ago Greece and Italy should have never been allowed into the euro zone because they had cooked their books with the assistance of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. One interest rate can never fit all and you cannot have a monetary zone until you have a EU constitution voted for by the people.
Now Greek PM George Papandreou, Bilderberger and Illuminists, has invited Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, one of the founding fathers of the euro to advise the country on its debt management. This certainly is by design, so that Greece will do exactly as Europe’s Illuminists want them to do, and, of course, the IMF as well. The question is how much more debt will be piled onto Greece’s shoulders to bail out European bankers? The first loan was for $141 billion and Greece’s ten-year bonds’ yields are still four times those of Germanys.
There is presently a giant sales job being used on the Greek people to accept Mr. Padoa-Schioppa as their savior. And, of course, a great deal is being made of the fact that he is saving Greece at his own expense – pro bono. We can assure your Europe’s elitists will make sure he is well compensated.
Ten-year Greek Treasury bonds yield 10.6%, whereas Germany’s ten-year bunds yield 2.27%, that is a difference of 8.33%. There is good reason for the giant gap. In fact Greece has never met Maastricht guidelines of public debt of 3% of GDP. No matter how you look at it Greece is headed for default and that was obvious from the beginning. All they are doing is piling on more debt. Default, total or partial, is the only solution. In that process the euro has to be abandoned.
There are those who believe the EU and the IMF have brought Greece time. That may be true, but the cost is depression that might last 30 years and the sale of Greek assets to pay back lenders, all of which will be sold to vulture elitists at $0.30 on the dollar. We also believe that within three years Greece’s debt will be $435 billion. How can Greece service that debt when they cannot service their present debt? That will put Greece into perpetual servitude to the bankers.
The euro and the EU have been failures in our estimation and now the Greek government calls in Mr. Padoa-Schioppa who crafted this failure.
This Padoa-Schioppa is little less than a sherpa, bureaucrat for European elitists.
What this is all about is saving Greece and the euro zone. In that process Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy along with Greece will be neutralized by unpayable debt. The elitists who run Europe know that such events could destroy the EU and they cannot let that happen.
As a result of Greece’s problems in the last five months to May, HSBC has lost 8% of their entire deposit base. The country is in dire financial straights, so there has been a flight of capital. As a result Greek lenders have had to borrow $123 billion in July alone. Portugal, Ireland and Spain have been big borrowers as well. In addition all these countries have falling tax revenue.
We have said from the beginning that Greece and its co-members are all in a death spiral. Austerity is not the only answer. Default is part of that equation.
Twenty countries are headed into bankruptcy and more will follow. That brings up the subject of state debt in the US. America has been in an inflationary depression for 18 months. States have been cutting back for two years, but the budget gaps are still there. The struggle continues as states continue layoffs and cuts. 2011 will be a terrible year and 80% of states expect deficits of more than $200 billion. 2012 looks even worse.
Federal aid could be close to being over, which means further cuts. This means those hit by the depression will lose vital services, and that will further negatively affect the economy. The combined deficits for this year and next could be as high as $300 billion. That means even more cuts and it also makes 2011 a more difficult year than 2010. Worse yet, there is no recovery and there never has been. That was $2.5 trillion created most of which ended up in the casino halls known as international markets. Those who expect tax revenues to rise and unemployment to fall will be very disappointed. We have to laugh at Treasury Secretary Geithner’s comments that the recovery is underway. As soon as he is done at Treasury he should apply for one of the cheerleading jobs at CNBC. Next we await his comments on the perfect head and shoulders technical formation, and breakdown, regarding the Dow and the USDX. The latter is the dollar index. That formation is the worst and denotes deep downside activity. At the moment the states are immediately in more trouble than the federal government.
There has been no relief from unemployment. The U3 may say 9-5/8%, but U6 is 16-5/8% and if you subtract the birth/death ratio, which is a fraud, you get 21-1/2%. This past week the numbers worsened. How can tax revenues rise with so many unemployed?
As unemployment worsens demand for social services, food stamps and Medicaid increases. 69-1/2% of GDP comes from consumers. How can growth occur when household wealth is diminishing? Not to speak of tax increases of 15% next year that our President and his party have promised us as wages and purchasing power fall. Then there will be an attempt to raid retirement benefits by government exchanging those benefits for government guaranteed annuities from an all but bankrupt government. Then there is the behind the scenes discussion for a national transaction tax of 1%. Does it get any worse? You wanted change, and you got it. If you do not throw all these incumbents out of office in November you are doomed. Someone has to tell us how these factors spell recovery.
34 states have announced deficits for 2011. These are doozies. They are the total shortfall as a percentage of the full year 2011 budget. Here are the worst: Nevada 54%; 41.5% from Illinois: New Jersey 38.3%; Arizona 36.6%; North Carolina 30.3%; Utah 30.2%; Connecticut 28.9%; Georgia 26.2%; Minnesota 26%; South Carolina 25.6%; Wisconsin 23.9%; California and Colorado at 21.6% and Florida at 20.2%.
For 2012 the worst are Illinois 52.3%; New York 37.3%; Nevada 36.7%; Mississippi 27.6%; California 25.7% and Minnesota 25%. How is that for incompetence? And, these numbers are going to get worse.
30 states have raised taxes, which could eventually lead to tax revolt. This leads as well to less service and less overall demand, less business and profits, which deepens the downturn. This is truly the worst of all worlds and it is nowhere near over. The federal government supplies about 40% of shortfalls, most of it for Medicaid – the rest goes into a state fund. Some of this assistance to some states ends this year and some by mid next year. Residents can then expect more service cuts and higher taxes. That will reduce GDP and cost perhaps 1 million jobs.
There you have it. This is the direction in which the states are headed. They made no preparations and are essentially buried. Next the administration intends to force pension and retirement plans to buy government securities and to fund federal work projects. This is like in Greece and in other European countries – this is the nightmare of all nightmares.