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ATM line, Greece

Young Greek woman: “I am terrified of tomorrow”

ATM line, Greece

ATM line in Greece

A anguished 21 year old Greek woman details how horrendous the situation is there now. She prays it will not get worse, and is almost certainly wrong. Greece has no good choices. It doesn’t even have bad choices. Greece should do what Iceland did. Call bankster’s bluff by defaulting on the debt, all of it. It really has no other choice. And Iceland has survived, and survived well.

Banksters insist Greece must borrow ever more to pay back previous loans. This is not done to help Greece but to protect their own crumbling balance sheets, which are filled with toxic garbage. The human cost of this deliberate, calculated impoverization of a country is especially cruel, since it could and should be avoided.

There are hundreds of people queueing at the ATMs and petrol stations, there is silence in the streets, people’s faces are frozen. This is the reality since Friday night. There are, and have been for a long time, people literally starving. However, it seems that instead of their situation improving, the rest of us will have no different a fate.

Families and friends divide in Yes and No camps. We are called to exercise our democratic right by voting on a referendum while having no tangible explanation of what will follow each decision. I see everyone I know ready to take this huge responsibility without even being prepared to do so. I notice us, arguing endlessly, everyone supporting their stance fervently, ego dominating minds and words, while having no clue as to what is really at stake.

We all want the crisis to end, we all crave growth and happiness. I do not remember my parents being free of stress and anxiety in the past years. I do not remember not noticing shops closing every month, or the rapid increase of beggars in the streets. People that, before the financial crisis, never had to beg for anything. However, the past five days have been worse than all that has been so far. They say that all we hear is propaganda; but we have lost our trust in all sides, now everything seems to be lies.

It feels like an end. The end of our lives as we knew them. Yes, the lives that, before Friday, we already thought could be better; now we realise they were better then. The only thing we truly wish for is that the worst is not yet to come.

As always, the comments at Zero Hedge are like darkly humorous cyberpunk with an edge of ultraviolence. And quite realistic too…

The situation will just get worse and worse and worse and worse unless/until the banksters who created this fucking mess are hung from lampstands.

Understand: you do not reason with psychopaths. You do not negotiate with psychopaths. Never trust a psychopath. The only beneficiary of a deal with psychopaths is the psychopaths. All that they ever leave behind them is a trail of heartache and grief and destruction. They are always and only destroyers. They have no sympathy or compassion. It is literally not part of their consciousness. The only thing they want is wealth and power, and they will run rings around you, rationalizing and lying and manipulating, to get it. YOU MUST GET FREE OF THE PSYCHOPATHS. IF YOU DO NOT, A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT OF VICTIMS WILL DIE.

Here in the grand old USA, we went a little bigger. See, our debt [and military] is so big that when we collapse, we’re turning the club upside down. There won’t be a barstool, a beer mug, or lightbulb left. Economic and kinetic war will finish the job for the whole world. It will be too colossal for any help/assistance. There is no lifeline for us, but we don’t deserve one, we lost our empire long ago. Don’t tell the dealer but we’re not going to pay our tab either……Can I buy you a drink?

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ECB cares only about the bonds, it cares nothing about Greece

In case you thought somehow ECB and other banksters cared about helping Greece, they don’t. Their primary, perhaps sole concern, is desperately trying to keep a lid on Greek bond prices. When those bond prices start skittering, all manner of hidden risk, cross-default payments, contagion, and formerly carefully hidden risk comes popping to the surface. When that happens, the stability and solvency of their own institutions may be questioned.

This is precisely what Goldman’s Franceso Garzarelli, co-head of macro and markets research, admitted earlier today in an interview on Bloomberg TV, when he said that the ECB “will have to go big” if the situation in Greece worsens and leads to wider peripheral bond yield spreads.

The central bank’s governor Mark Carney said the risks associated with Greece and its failure so far to reach a deal with its international creditors have grown acute, and threaten to trigger a selloff in financial markets that could ripple through to the wider global economy.”

The underlying problem is, of course, Greece can not pay back the money and loaning is more money simply makes things worse and makes Greece less able to pay back the loans because its economy will be worse.

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House of cards

Greece will default today, Puerto Rico will soon

House of cards
Here’s a tip to banksters. Loaning money to and buying debt from countries you know are in financial trouble often means they won’t be able pay you back. Loaning them money so they can pay back earlier loans is a textbook definition of insanity. Yet this is what passes for financial wisdom in our crooked, deranged world of international finance.

Not only will Greece default today, German Finance Minister Schnauble says Greece can stay in the euro even if it votes No on austerity. This after he huffed and puffed that Greece should just leave. Right. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico says forget about us paying back that $72 billion we owe. The White House wants public entities in Puerto Rico to be able to file bankruptcy. However, this would require changing laws, something Congressional Republicans oppose.

From the comments on Zero Hedge about Greece

The EU is calculating the risks of Greece default against the rest of the broke ass nations doing the same. This is why it has been handled this way. Public and ugly against Greece. I think they are hoping the Greek government and activists will be forced to capitulate and lose any political power while still keeping Greece within the union and under their direct control. The other nations must see that there is no escape, no options to the union. Greece will be sacrificed. It will become a backwater pariah. No one will want to follow in their footsteps. They WILL NOT be allowed to emulate Iceland.

Puerto Rico could easily become the same, as investors continue their pretend-and-extend.

Investors said the broad gains in the municipal bond market showed that Puerto Rico’s problems, while dire, would not lead to more systemic disruptions in the $3.7 trillion market that lends money to cities and states.

This is exactly what was said when real estate tanked in 2008. It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now. The big problem is that debt can be used as collateral from other speculation, and what the price of the debt tanks, the equivalent of margin calls happen. This makes everyone nervous because they’ve no idea where the risk is. Maybe their main trading partner just suffered huge losses and that could impact them. The risk is hidden and dangerous.

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Greece debt

Eurozone rejects Greece request for bailout extension

Greece debt

Let’s be clear. The only reason EU wants to lend money to Greece is so Greece can pay back earlier loans. EU big banks and central banks then would not have to mark-to-market the toxic slop on their books. This is all about pretend-and-extend to protect their dicey institutions and has nothing to do with helping Greece.

Greece called for a July 5 referendum on EU bailout conditions. The EU responded by breaking off negotiations and refusing a one month bailout extension. Banks in Greece are running out of money and some may not open on Monday.

Greece asked for a one-month extension of its expiring rescue deal, but the request was swiftly rejected by the rest of the eurozone, three European officials said Saturday.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis made the request at a meeting with his eurozone counterparts here, a day after the government in Athens said it would hold a referendum on its bailout in which it would campaign against the policy overhauls and budget cuts demanded by its creditors.

It is quite possible EU wants the Gfreek government to falkl so then they can really install “austerity” AKA “Let’s pillage the country”.

As for the reason why Tsipras had to punt, it is a simple one: at the core of the ongoing Greek negotiation debacle is the inability of the local people to decide what they want: according to various recent polls 80% of Greeks want to stay in the Eurozone and keep the Euro currency, the problem is that 80% also want an end to austerity. Two conditions which are mutually exclusive. It is no surprise then that Tsipras had no clue how to proceed based on his mandate.

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Empty fuel gauge

U.S. computer industry being killed by greedy executives

Empty fuel gauge

Cringely deftly dissects the real problem with American business; the short-sighted greedy idea that goosing the stock price is what is best for the company. This Randian idea leads to deranged business “strategies” like using profits to buy back stock, thus inflating the stock price but doing nothing for growth of the company. Stock buybacks benefit Wall Street and those company executives with stock options. The company itself and other employees are hurt by this. Essentially, it is an artificially inflated bubble, benefiting only those who own stock. The health of the company itself and its possibilities for further organic growth are of no consideration.

HP and IBM are telling examples of corporate dinosaurs who have lost their way.

How you treat people does matter. In high performing firms the work force is vested in the success of the business. They are prepared to put in the extra effort and extra hours needed to help the business — and they are compensated for the results. They produce value for the business. When you treat and pay people poorly you lose their ambition and desire to excel, you lose the performance of your work force. It can now be argued many workers in IT services are no longer providing any value to the business. This is not because they are bad workers. It is because they are being treated poorly. Firms like IBM and HP are treating both their customers and employees poorly. Their management decisions have consequences and are destroying their businesses.

It’s not just IBM that has crappy customer service.Ever try getting a human to answer a serious Google problem?

What if IBM — or any other U.S. IT services company for that matter — actually offered the kind of customer service they pretend they do? What if they solved customer problems instantly? What if they anticipated customer problems and solved them before those problems even appeared? You think that can’t be done? It can be done. And the company that can do it will be able to charge whatever they like and customers will gladly pay it.

True mastery, that’s what we’ve lost. No, we haven’t lost it: we threw it away.

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Greek money market outflows

ECB pushes for Greek regime change to protect its own banks

Greek money market outflows

Greeks are pulling money of Greek bands into cash at an accelerating rate and also transferring it to offshore money market funds. Monday is crunch day. Will Greece fold, agree to ECB “austerity (AKA “impoverishment”) or do a Grexit from the euro? So far, ECB has been propping up the banks. If it refuses to continue this, then Greece has no choice but to impose capital controls to prevent money leaving the country.

And that may be exactly what ECB wants. Chaos in Greece.

With both sides digging in and unwilling to budge, will Europe revert back to its strategy from day 1, namely creating a slow initially, then fast bank run in Greece, one which leads to gradual then sudden capital controls, resulting in civil discontent and disobedience and ultimately, a violent overthrow of the Greek government.

All of this has little to do with Greece. ECB and the rest of the banksters are primarily concerned with all the garbage Greek debt held by their banks. The pretense must be maintained that the central banks and big banks are solvent. An implosion in the Greek economy is just unimportant collateral damage to them. The real worry is Portugal, Italy, and Spain, especially with lefists now assuming power in parts of Portugal and Spain

From the comments on Zero Hedge:

Have you noticed… The more certain Greece’s default becomes, the less the major media outlets say about it? If you listen real hard, you can hear the sound of hundreds of thousands of TPTB {The Powers That Be] fervently crossing their fingers, praying the house of cards can hold together just a little longer…

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HSBC to fire 1 in 5 because, higher dividends


“We here as HSBC thank you for your service.”

In our deranged world of predatory capitalism, the only way for a proper money laundering bank to make money is to fire 20% of its employees then hope this somehow magically turns into higher profits which in turn mean increased dividends for shareholders. Nowhere in this “plan” is any consideration given to long-term growth or what happens to those who are fired. Nope, it’s all about short-term pops in income which of course will also no doubt translate into bonuses for top execs.

Much of this financial manipulation will be accomplished by releasing non-GAAP statements trumpeting how much money they would have made without all those bothersome expenses related to firing 50,000 employees. Non-GAAP statements are what I call MSU accounting, as in Makin’ Shit Up, as it bears no relationship to actual accounting practices.

The problem is that even this practice of endless adjustments to bottom line EPS is getting increasingly more scrutiny as explained in “The Non-GAAP Revulsion Arrives: Experts Throw Up All Over “Made Up, Phony, Smoke And Mirrors” Numbers” because sooner or later someone will realize that when “one-time, non-recurring” charges, settlements and costs are recurring and non one-time, then it is merely ordinary course of business, which also means that what on paper are record profits are in GAAP reality massive losses.

As always, the comments at Zero Hedge are snarky fun.

What do you call 50K unemployed bankers?
50K house sellers
All these 50k bankers will be up to their armpits in debt.

Jump banksters jump.

50 thousand door greeters? They can always go to Walmart.

Snake eating it’s own tail. Guess no need to chop it at the head.

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HSBS Too Big To Jail

HSBC has abysmal anti-money-laundering procedures. Imagine

HSBS Too Big To Jail

HSBC already paid a $1.9 billion fine for aiding money laundering by Mexican drug cartels. Now DoJ says HBSC’s anti-money-laundering safeguards are so feeble that disclosing them would lead to serious crime. Excuse me, but these safeguards (if you can call them that) already have led to serious crime! I’m not sure which is more corrupt, an obviously criminal bank that launders dirty money or pretend government regulators in the US and UK who just can’t seem to criminally prosecute those responsible.

HSBC should be prosecuted under RICO with the higher-ups responsible for the money laundering imprisoned, along with asset forfeiture. Yet no one has gone to prison. Our “regulation” of crooked banks is a corrupt joke. The fines are a protection racket that allow the corruption to continue.

HSBC’s procedures to prevent money laundering, sanction-breaking and criminal activity still have deficiencies so serious that to publicly disclose them would risk serious crime, the US Department of Justice has said.

The DoJ filing lists a number of reasons why the agency supports keeping the full report from public view, including ensuring that bank staff continue to cooperate with the monitor, and allowing the oversight to continue effectively.

This is complete gibberish. DoJ can’t release info because doing so would make their HSBC oversight less effective yet admits the oversight and regulation is completely ineffective.

Gosh, it’s almost like the government is, at least on some levels, protecting and covering up for HSBC (and the other big banks.)

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US admits it can’t beat ISIS in air or on land


The Administration admits it can’t beat ISIS but should keep fighting anyway, sadly there will be lots of blood, and then victory. This deliberately confused muddle is what passes for accepted truth in corrupt, inbred D.C.Do they care who dies as long as it’s not them? They may not even much care who wins, as long as their cushy careers continue to grow and profit, especially when they move into hugely lucrative jobs in the private sector. Who profits from war? War pigs and banksters, of course.

If the purpose of the bloody madness of our government is to enrich the war machine, it doesn’t matter if we win wars. In fact, it’s bad for business to end conflicts. And now we have an adversary who seemingly materialized out of nowhere and who, by the Administration’s own words, we have no idea how to combat, except to continue making the same blunders over and over again.

If players in conflicts say they want peace yet the conflicts continue, then they gain and profit from the conflicts. Forget their words. Watch what they do.

Senior administration officials have now issued two warnings over the past week that the war against ISIS is going badly and that President Obama’s initial vow to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the murderous jihadist forces in Iraq and Syria may just be a pipe dream.

CIA Director John Brennan offered at best a perfunctory defense of the president’s air-strike strategy. “I believe firmly that we’re not going to resolve this problem on the battle field.”

“We will turn back ISIS, I have no doubt about it,” Brennan said. “But I think there’s going to be unfortunately a lot of bloodshed between now and then.”

But that won’t be hot his blood nor the blood of anyone he knows. He weeps crocodile tears thinking about those who will die. And is probably counting the days until his return to the private sector where he will make millions a year consulting on why we tragically will need more war.

From the comments on War News Updates about a bloodthirsty idiot article on Daily Beast saying we just need to go in and kick ISIS ass. Right, that approach has worked so well in the past that repeating the same blunders expecting a different result will surely work this time.

Maybe they have had enough of being bombed to nothing because of a bunch of lies that led to the invasion ..

From what i understand,that the head commanders of ISIS are Saddam’s top generals and most of the soldiers are their soldiers .. the same ones that top US generals said should be kept intact after the surrender in order to police the populace and prevent the looting that we all saw and keep the religious factions from splintering and turning it into the quagmire we see today.. or .. send 350,000 to 375,000 US troops in order to stabilize the country.. but .. Rumsfeld/Cheney and Bush knew so much better .. so they sent 75,000 combat troops,otherwise the American people might wake up to the reality and implications of such a large invasion force which was supposed to “pay for itself” ..

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Probability of Greece default 70%. EU banksters huff and puff


In a sane, non-corrupt world, EU banks wouldn’t lend money to a country so that country could pay back earlier loans to them. They would simply stop making insane, stupid loans. The reason for their despicable pretense is the banks literally cannot afford to have toxic bond and loan junk they own be marked to market. And that’s precisely what will happen if Greece defaults. The big banks will be forced to show the precariousness of their financial situations. Goodness, we can’t have that. Continue Reading

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