Tuesday 30 April 2013

Italy, France, Brussels Go Off Reservation.

Baltic Dry Index. 868 -03

LIR Gold Target by 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

"There can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fiduciary value par excellence."

Charles De Gaulle

Italy’s new government wasted no time in joining France in going off Germany’s EU reservation. Brussels quickly moved to approve the new anti-Germany alliance. It will not be long before they are joined by Portugal and Spain. Greece and Cyprus will probably join too, right after they get the next tranches of the troika’s cash. Mrs Merkel’s austerity union is going up in smoke before our eyes. Continental Europe is now headed for one almighty car crash. From the right side of the English Channel this outcome always appeared the most likely to occur. There is no Germanic will anywhere in Club Med. If Club Med had been at Stalingrad, Club Med would have surrendered a few days after getting surrounded by the Russians. That Club Med stuck with German imposed austerity so long, wrecking their economy’s in the process and impoverishing much of the middle class and one in every two unemployed youngsters, was entirely out of keeping with form.

Continental Europe is now de facto split in two. Stay long physical precious metals held safely outside of a bank. The fireworks are just about to start. Mrs Merkel’s re-election campaign, yesterday flew off the rails, helped by a massive shunt from the Berlusconi controlled new Italian government of Enrico Letta. If Germany retaliates it’s Letta’s political party that will take all the heat.

"All previous attempts to base money solely on intangibles such as credit or government edict or fiat have ended in inflationary panic and disaster."

Donald Hoppe

Italian showdown with Germany as Enrico Letta rejects 'death by austerity'

Italy’s new premier Enrico Letta is on a collision course with Germany after vowing to end death by austerity, and warned that Europe itself faces a “crisis of legitimacy” unless it charges course.

“Italy is dying from fiscal consolidation. Growth policies cannot wait any longer,” he told Italy’s parliament. He said the country is in “very serious” crisis after a decade of stagnation and warned of violent protest if the social malaise deepens.

The grand coalition of Left and Right - the first since the late 1940s - will abolish the hated IMU tax on primary residences, a wealth levy imposed by ex-premier Mario Monti, and push for tax cuts for business and young people to pull the country out of perma-slump. A rise in VAT to 22pc in July may be delayed.

Vice-premier Angelo Alfano - the appointee of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi - said he agreed with every word from “beginning to end”, as the Berlusconi camp claimed “total victory” over the policy agenda.

Mr Letta said Italy would abide by EU budget pledges and but in reality he seems to have broken with the core demands of the EU fiscal compact.

Markets surged as optimism swept the country, with the Milan bourse up 2pc and yields on 10-year Italian bonds falling to 3.94pc, the lowest since 2010

Yet it is unclear whether the European Central’s Banks bail-out pledge (OMT) to backstop Italy’s debt markets is still in place since it entails strict conditions that must be ratified by a vote in the German parliament. This has yet to be tested.

Mr Letta will visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, hoping to persuade her that the EU will lose the consent of the people unless it becomes an “engine of growth” once again.

While he is a passionate pro-European - and called for a “United States of Europe” in his speech - his anti-austerity drive takes the eurozone into uncharted waters.

It comes as France, too, appeared close to breaking ranks with German-imposed policy doctrines. A leaked version of French president Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party’s text openly attacked “German austerity” and the “egoistic intransigence of Mrs Merkel”.

While the text has since been toned down to the “liberal politics of the German Right”, the episode has stunned Berlin and threatens irreparable damage to the Franco-German relationship that anchors the EU Project.

The ground is also shifting in Brussels, where EU employment chief Laszlo Andor called on Monday for a radical change in EU crisis strategy. “If there is no growth, I don’t see how countries can cut their debt levels,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

In a direct attack on Berlin, he said the German practice of “wage dumping” within EMU to gain larger export surpluses “could not be justified”

Italy wants to renegotiate stability pact: minister

MILAN | Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:35am EDT
(Reuters) - Italy's new government wants to renegotiate the pact of stability with the European Union, the industry minister said in an interview on Tuesday.

Flavio Zanonato said Italy needed to pursue a credible economic policy to maintain its reputation in Europe and keep the spread between Italian and German bond yields low.

"But we are also interested in renegotiating with the union the pact of stability," he told La Repubblica newspaper.

Zanonato said other countries such as France were calling for similar actions.

"In particular it should be possible to exclude from the pact investment spending," he said.

Italy's new Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Monday his right-left coalition government would press for a change to the European Union's focus on austerity and pursue economic growth and jobs.

He said he would visit Berlin, Brussels and Paris this week to put forward his case.

In other European news, the sky is now falling in on continental European real estate. The great liner Costa EUSSR is now starting to capsize. Time to have plenty of cash safely stored outside of Europe’s banks, time to be under the limit of bank account guarantees. Time to be at the maximum personal prudent level of holding physical gold and silver. As former President George W. Bush so elegantly put it in the chaos of September 2008, “this sucker could go down.”

"The gold standard sooner or later will return with the force and inevitability of natural law, for it is the money of freedom and honesty."

Hans F. Sennholz

S&P sees deepening house slump in Spain, France and Holland

Spanish house prices are to fall a further 13pc by the end of next year as the authorities flood the market with a backlog of repossessed properties, Standard and Poor’s has warned.

The agency said the housing slump is deepening across large swathes of the eurozone. French declines are “gaining momentum”, with prices likely to fall 5pc this year and a further 5pc in 2014.

French property faces a “protracted correction” as the economy buckles, hit by fiscal tightening, higher taxes and a surge in unemployment to post-war highs.

France’s price-to-income ratio rose to a record 180pc of historic levels during the bubble, one of the most stretched levels seen anywhere in the OECD bloc.

The property market began to roll over last year, prompting warnings by the French consultants PrimeView that values could tumble by as much as 40pc before excesses are purged.

S&P said the deep crisis in the Netherlands would grind on despite the government’s partial retreat from austerity and its decision to delay €4.3bn in spending custs.

Dutch home prices will slide another 6.5pc by late next year, bringing the accumulated fall to more than 23pc. The agency said the apparent recovery in mortgage loans this year was a statistical distortion that would fade as job losses mount. Dutch unemployment surged to 8.1pc in March from 5.9pc a year ago.

Over 25pc of Dutch mortgages are now “onder water” - as they say in Holland - with negative equity.
S&P said Italy, Portugal and Ireland will all see further falls this year but the chief worry is Spain, where a vast glut of unsold property has yet to hit the market.

Spanish prices have already dropped by 28pc from their peak in March 2008 - or more some estimates - and face a fall of 8pc this year and 5pc next year as the Spanish "bad bank" Sareb gradually sells its stock of 91,000 foreclosed homes.

Experts say the key reason why Spanish prices held up well in the early years of the crisis is that banks held onto foreclosed properties from bankrupt developers rather than take losses immediately and “clear” the market.

This began to change in 2012 as Santander, BBVA and other banks rushed to liquidate their portfolios before the onslaught from the nationalized banks folded into Sareb

Next, more on Asia’s wobble. The Great Disconnect just keeps on getting greater. With the arrival of “sell in May, go away, don’t go long till Labor Day,” I suspect that the Great Reconnect is about to visit our markets across the summer.

"The gold standard makes the money's purchasing power independent of the changing, ambitions and doctrines of political parties and pressure groups. This is not a defect of the gold standard; it is its main excellence."

Ludwig von Mises

Taiwan’s Economy Expanded Slower Than Estimated Last Quarter

By Chinmei Sung - Apr 30, 2013 2:58 AM GMT
Taiwan’s economy expanded at a slower pace than economists estimated in the first quarter as a faltering global recovery hurt exports, increasing pressure on the central bank to extend an interest-rate pause to aid growth.

Gross domestic product rose 1.54 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, after increasing 3.72 percent in the fourth quarter, the statistics bureau said in a preliminary report in Taipei today. The gain was less than all estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of 17 economists, where the median was 3.1 percent.

The island’s growth slowdown adds to signs of a cooling global economy after China and the U.S. expanded less than analysts estimated last quarter. Taiwan’s export orders and industrial output for March unexpectedly fell, while Japanese and South Korean production missed forecasts as faltering demand limits Asia’s recovery.


We end for today waiting for the Fed’s two day meeting to run its course and awaiting the ECB’s wisdom on Thursday. In the meantime as a service to our less than regular readers, we post this warning about Wall Street from top economist Jeffrey Sachs. When Wall Street calls hang up! Wall Street is full of crooks, he says. Who knew?

“Call it the Goldman Sachs test. If this is something Goldman would do to its clients, don't do it."

Felix Salmon.

Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash

The IMF adviser also blamed 'a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system'

Monday 29 April 2013
In a cutting attack on America's financial hub, one of the world's most respected economists has said Wall St is full of "crooks" and hasn't reformed its "pathological" culture since the financial crash.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs told a high-powered audience at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve earlier this month that the lack of reform was down to “a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice.”

Sachs, from Colombia University, has twice been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and is an adviser to the World Bank and IMF.

“What has been revealed, in my view, is prima facie criminal behavior,” he said.

“It’s financial fraud on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading - you can even watch when you are living in New York how that works.”

In his live remarks, via videophone from New York, an emotionally charged Sachs also ripped into practices at Goldman Sachs and into the political classes on both the left and right, according to the New York Post.

One of the queries Quakers are asked to consider, is: "Do you maintain strict integrity in your business transactions and in your relations with individuals and organizations? Are you personally scrupulous and responsible in the use of money entrusted to you, and are you careful not to defraud the public revenue?"

Probably why there a no Quakers on Wall Street or in the City.

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 37.41 Moz, Eligible 128.64 Moz, Total 166.05 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner
The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

No crooks or scoundrels today, just a sad report on my local football team’s ignominious exit on Sunday from England’s Premier League. Some things are just too good not to share, along the lines of the Observer’s  Book Review of October 2000.

“Reviewing someone’s first novel, it is customary to be polite about it,” started Philip Hensher in The Observer. “So let me say straight away that James Thackara’s The Book of Kings is printed on very nice paper, and the typeface is clear and readable.” 

Reading 0 Queens Park Rangers 0: match report

As both Reading and Queens Park Rangers prepare to depart the Premier League, perhaps the nicest thing that could be said about them is that this was a more than fitting send-off. A goalless draw that would scarcely have dignified a Championship dead rubber, it truly was the worst the Premier League has to offer. Sometimes the table lies. Not here.

It was a result that relegated both sides, but like all the best funerals there was a bleakly comic tenor to the whole afternoon. Many of the Reading fans had decided to turn up dressed as blue plastic seats. Those that had attended indulged in a hearty chorus of “If you’re all going to Bournemouth, clap your hands”. QPR’s supporters happily joined in.

On the touchline stood Reading’s hired fall guy Nigel Adkins, displaying the impotent rage of a driving instructor whose student is about to swerve into oncoming traffic. Watching his furious gesticulations was to be reminded of the words of England cricket captain Archie MacLaren in 1902: “My God, look what they’ve given me this time.” Instead, he said: “I’ve been here for five games now. I want us to change the way we play. You can’t do that overnight. If anything, it’s about that bit of quality that’s required, especially in the attacking third.”

QPR’s ineptitude, meanwhile, was best captured by their £100,000-a-week defender Chris Samba, who on Saturday morning had tweeted his excitement about “today’s game”, only to be reminded that it was on Sunday.

Humour on the gallows, but what was on the pitch was no laughing matter. To describe QPR as underachievers barely scrapes at the enamel of their failure. Last season was underachievement. This season was off the scale, and while their fans brandished a banner blaming the sacked Mark Hughes, current manager Redknapp, who took over with 26 games remaining, must be held at least as responsible.

How has the master motivator so failed to motivate this squad? This time last year, Jose Bosingwa was shackling Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta in the Nou Camp. It was hard to reconcile that player with the one substituted on 72 minutes, smirking as he shuffled down the tunnel, another appearance fee in his pocket. Adel Taarabt, one of the few survivors of the thrilling promotion push of 2010-11, missed not one, not two, but five clear-cut chances. For him this was a strangely fitting afternoon.

Redknapp had his excuses carefully honed. “When I came I didn’t realise we didn’t have any frontmen, that was the big problem. If I had had the job at the start of the year, it would have been different.

“There’s problems within the club. It’s not been easy, I’ve got to be honest with you. It is all about good players and good professionals. If you have got good players it is the easiest job in the world.”

So, to summarise: partly the fault of Hughes, partly the fault of the owners, partly the fault of the players, but Redknapp himself? Just an innocent bystander caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. “Whatever the owners’ plans are for the club, whether it’s with me, or whether it’s with... it’s not a problem for me,” he said. You watch what happens if a lucrative job offer arrives in the summer.

To be fair to him, this is a club where chaos runs out of the hot and cold taps. Privacy and discretion are in short supply. The internal post-mortem was carried out within minutes of full-time, on the very public forum of Twitter. “No quitting,” said owner Tony Fernandes. “Planning starts tomorrow. Meeting Harry at 11 to discuss squad.”

Midfielder-in-absentia Joey Barton, meanwhile, lobbed hand grenades from the south of France. “Too many w-----s amongst the playing staff,” he said. “All brought in by Hughes. Too many maggots.”

If QPR’s problem is a lack of resolve, Reading’s is a lack of quality. Here again, they came up sadly short. Nick Blackman, a young striker playing as a winger, frequently forgot to defend. Pavel Pogrebnyak was a crushing disappointment, as he has been all season, while these 90 minutes brought us no nearer discovering the point of Chris Gunter.

There were chances, many of them. Jay Bothroyd missed an empty net.

Pogrebnyak missed twice from four yards and once more from six. In the final minute of injury time, Loïc Rémy bore down on the Reading goal, sniffing a late miracle. He slipped over.

And so for the fans of these two fine clubs, there was to be no consolation in their moment of dismay, no last vestige of hope on which to cling. The chorus of clapped hands was a recognition of the fact that they will all assuredly be going to Bournemouth next season. Whether Redknapp, who only lives up the road in Poole, will be joining them remains to be seen.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished March:
DJIA: +119 Up. NASDAQ: +132 Up. SP500: +157 Up.  Another Fed bubble, but now it’s challenged.

Now more on the arrival of the new Dalton Minimum.

Awful April: Spring hard to find across northern USA

6:40 p.m. EDT April 29, 2013

Several cities had their snowiest single month of all time in April.

April has been a freakishly cold month across much of the northern USA, bringing misery to millions of sun-starved and winter-weary residents from the Rockies to the Midwest.

"The weather map ... looks like something out of The Twilight Zone," Minneapolis meteorologist Paul Douglas of WeatherNation TV wrote on his blog last week.

Record cold and snow has been reported in dozens of cities, with the worst of the chill in the Rockies, upper Midwest and northern Plains. Several baseball games have been snowed out in both Denver and Minneapolis.

Cities such as Rapid City, S.D.; Duluth, Minn.; and Boulder, Colo., have all endured their snowiest month ever recorded. (In all three locations, weather records go back more than 100 years.) In fact, more than 1,100 snowfall records and 3,400 cold records have been set across the nation so far in April, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Monday 29 April 2013

BUBA Sees An EMU Breakup.

Baltic Dry Index. 871 -01

LIR Gold Target by 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

“Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.”

Edmund Burke

We open today with what looks like a new German attempt to force most of Club Med to exit the one size fits all German euro. In a document filed with Germany’s highest court, BUBA contends that any ECB purchases of sovereign bonds under the ECB Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) scheme “entails the purchase of “bad bonds”, violates ECB independence and entails a high risk of heavy losses in the “not unlikely” event that debtor states are forced out of EMU.” Clearly many in the Bundesbank now think that the Club Med debtor states are likely to exit the EMU, and that working to prevent it is futile. Stay long physical gold and silver. BUBA is quite likely right.

"The great merit of gold is precisely that it is scarce; that its quantity is limited by nature; that it is costly to discover, to mine, and to process; and that it cannot be created by political fiat or caprice."

Henry Hazlitt

Bundesbank declares 'war' on Mario Draghi bond bail-out at Germany's top court

Germany’s Bundesbank has issued a devastating attack on the bond rescue policies of the European Central Bank, rendering the eurozone’s key crisis measure almost unworkable.

The hardline central bank - known as the temple of monetary orthodoxy - told Germany’s top court that the ECB’s pledge to shore up Italian and Spanish debt entails huge risks and violates fundamental principles. “It is not the duty of the ECB to rescue states in crisis,” it wrote in a 29-page document leaked to Handelsblatt.

The Bundesbank unleashed a point by point assault on every claim made by ECB chief Mario Draghi to justify emergency rescue policies - or Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) - unveiled last summer to stop Spain’s debt crisis spiralling out of control.

The Draghi plan mobilized the ECB as lender of last resort and led to a spectacular fall in borrowing costs across the EMU periphery, buying nine months of financial calm. The credibility of the pledge rests entirely on German consent. Analysts say the crisis could erupt again at any moment if that is called into question.

“The report borders on economic warfare,” said Harvinder Sian from RBS. “We think there is going to be fear and dread in the market that the court will reject OMT.”

The document said OMT entails the purchase of “bad bonds”, violates ECB independence and entails a high risk of heavy losses in the “not unlikely” event that debtor states are forced out of EMU.

Over the weekend, Greece voted to commit a new form of slow motion national suicide, while Cyprus thieved up to 60 percent of its serf’s cash. Into its collapsing death spiral economy, the Bank of Cyprus just “Cyprussed” 60% of the serfs bank deposits over 100,000 euro. A massive negative blow to the quantity and velocity of money within the economy.  Greece  announced the firing of some 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014, with some 4,000 getting fired this year. It doesn’t take a genius to see that most of the 15,000 will now be indifferent to their work at best, downright hostile at worst, with few to none incentivised to help the government implement the German dictated suicide regime.

"Sooner or later both the Greek population and international creditors will tire of fighting a losing battle, leading to a break-up of the currency union as Greece pulls out, probably followed by other countries"

Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre of Economics and Business Research.

Business news and markets: April 29, 2013

The Greek parliament has voted to adopt a law providing for the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014, as part of austerity measures imposed by the country's international lenders.

07.30 Also overnight, savers in the Bank of Cyprus have taken a hit of 37.5pc of their uninsured deposits, that were converted to equity as part of the island's €10bn (£8.4bn) rescue deal.
Denise Roland reports:

The so-called 'bail-in' forces savers to foot the bill for the recapitalisation of Cyprus' biggest bank, after it was hit by massive losses from its exposure to debt-crippled Greece.

Bank of Cyprus said it had converted 37.5pc of deposits exceeding €100,000 into "class A" shares, with an additional 22.5pc held as a buffer for possible conversion in the future.

Another 30pc would be temporarily frozen and held as deposits, the bank said.

The bail-in is part of attempts by Cyprus to find €13bn - a figure nearly double the island's original bill - to shore up its economy. Other measures include a possible sell-off of the nation's gold reserves.

07.16 Overnight in Greece, the parliament has voted to adopt a law providing for the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014, as part of austerity measures imposed by the country's international creditors. Reuters reports
After heated debate during an emergency session, 168 deputies voted for the bill, with 123 voting against and one abstaining as the opposition proved powerless to stop cuts the government insisted were needed to keep the country afloat.

The new law overturns what had been a guarantee of a job for life for workers in Greece's notoriously bloated civil service.

Around 800 people turned up outside the parliament to protest against the measure in a demonstration called by trade unions.

The bill provides for the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014, including 4,000 this year, to meet terms set by Athens's creditors for billions in bailout loans.

Slashing an unwieldy public service is a condition set by Greece's so-called "troika" of creditors -- the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank -- to unlock loans of €8.8 billion.

The new law will speed dismissal procedures, which previously made it impossible to sack civil servants and saw the public sector swell over the years as every new administration brought in its own people.

Employees who have been disciplined for corruption or incompetence and those working for one of dozens of shuttered government agencies will be the main targets.

The law, which was written in a single article to force lawmakers to adopt all its provisions together, also extends weekly working hours for teachers, opens a number of professions to competition and reduces a controversial property tax by 15 percent.

Another section creates new payment terms for unpaid taxes, intended to help the government recover billions of euros owed by indebted companies and households.

We end for the day with Matt Taibbi and Rolling Stone on the “big rig.” After the Liebor scandal threatened to bring down the world’s global banks, prompting the US Justice Department to brand them “too big to fail or jail,” the ever interesting Mr. Taibbi has now found and even bigger bankster scam.

Smauel Untermyer Attorney. Q. But manipulation is a bad thing, is it not?

J. P. Morgan. A. I think manipulation is always bad.

Testimony to Congress December 18-19, 1912.

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

By Matt Taibbi April 25, 2013 1:00 PM ET
Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.
"Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money."

Daniel Webster

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 37.41 Moz, Eligible 128.73 Moz, Total 166.14 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner
The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

Today, it’s those larcenous Swiss again. According to “Sociologist and former politician Jean Ziegler, in Der Spiegel, “Switzerland is the world capital of dealing in stolen goods.”  When not busy ripping off American tax authorities, according to Jean Ziegler, the Swiss banks have made a specialty of plundering the German Treasury.  Unable to invade and sort out the Swiss once and for all time, Germany has made a specialty of crushing the Greeks and their cousins in Cyprus. It’s a funny old world in the fiat currency brotherhood of Bilderberger German run Europe.

“The world is a place that’s gone from being flat to round to crooked.”

Mad Magazine.

Money Mountain: Swiss Banks 'Plundering German Treasury'

Sociologist and former politician Jean Ziegler has few nice things to say about the banking sector in his native Switzerland. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he argues the Alpine nation is the world capital of dealing in stolen goods, and that Germany has the power to change it.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Bayern Munich manager Uli Hoeness deposited money in Switzerland. Does that surprise you?

Ziegler: No. Switzerland has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, the strongest currency and the largest financial center for foreign assets. And we're a small country with no natural resources. Switzerland is the world capital of dealing in stolen goods.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: That's a harsh accusation. How do you reach that conclusion?

Ziegler: Money comes to Switzerland through three illegal sources: tax evasion in other developed countries, the blood money of dictators and other rulers in the Third World and organized crime.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You have criticized the Swiss business model for more than 20 years. Has absolutely nothing changed since then?

Ziegler: No, things have changed. Tax evasion formerly wasn't a crime in Switzerland. That's why in cases like that of former Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel there was no cooperation with German authorities. That has changed under pressure from industrialized countries. But Switzerland still rejects the automatic exchange of bank information.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: That was a big sticking point in the planned tax treaty with Germany. Hoeness evidently hoped the deal would pass so he could anonymously legalize his assets. But the plans were blocked by the upper house of parliament in Germany.

Ziegler: Thank God! I don't understand why Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble accepted the treaty. It was the last wise-guy move of the Zurich bankers.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do Swiss politicians now see the country's role as a finance center in a more critical light?

Ziegler: Not in the least. The structure of the Swiss ruling class is rock-hard, and unchanged since the time of Napoleon. They sit on their mountains and lecture the world on democracy. It's an unbelievable show of self-satisfaction and arrogance.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Come on, some things have changed in Switzerland in recent years.

Ziegler: Yes, but only under pressure. That was the case in the battle over assets owned by Jews that Swiss banks silently held onto after the war. Reparations were first paid out after the United States threatened the banks with a boycott.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ex-Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück went so far as to compare the situation to needing a military threat to keep a country under pressure. What did you think of his threat?

Ziegler: It was good. I've never understood why Germany lets itself be duped. The Swiss banks have been plundering the German treasury for decades.

"The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe."

Mikhail Gorbachev

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished March:
DJIA: +119 Up. NASDAQ: +132 Up. SP500: +157 Up.  Another Fed bubble, but now it’s challenged.

Russia’s Pulkovo Observatory: ‘We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years’

Sunday, 28 April 2013
Russia’s Pulkovo Observatory: “we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years”
Scientists at Russia’s famous Pulkovo Observatory are convinced that the world is in for a period of global cooling.

Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.

Some experts warn that a change in the climate may affect the ambitious projects for the exploration of the Arctic that have been launched by many countries.

Just recently, experts said that the Arctic ice cover was becoming thinner while journalists warned that the oncoming global warming would make it possible to grow oranges in the north of Siberia. Now, they say a cold spell will set in. Apparently, this will not occur overnight, Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory, says.

 ”Journalists say the entire process is very simple: once solar activity declines, the temperature drops. But besides solar activity, the climate is influenced by other factors, including the lithosphere, the atmosphere, the ocean, the glaciers. The share of solar activity in climate change is only 20%. This means that sun’s activity could trigger certain changes whereas the actual climate changing process takes place on the Earth”.

Solar activity follows different cycles, including an 11-year cycle, a 90-year cycle and a 200-year cycle. Yuri Nagovitsyn comments.