Hyperbolic Selloff Coming? IMF Discusses Spanish Contingency Plans; Madrid Denies Plans; Hispabonos Dropped From Cabinet Discussion

The latest word of the day is the already approved, then denied, then tabled plan to implement hispabonos was dropped from discussion at Friday's cabinet meeting according to La Vangauardia.
The approval of so-called hispabonos, which will allow the autonomous communities in the markets financed through the state with a lower cost, will be delayed at least a week after the Government has decided not to take it to the Council Ministers tomorrow.

According to government sources, this issue will not be among the topics to be discussed Friday by the Council, although it had considered that possibility.

The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, guaranteed to last Friday CiU spokesman in Congress, Josep Antoni Duran Lleida, the instrument chosen to help the regions would be launched "soon", while government sources explained being worked on the model chosen.
Mish Translation

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy has no idea what to do.

Without hispabonos (central bank guarantees of regional debt) the regional governments are going to have an exceptionally difficult time financing new debt or rolling over existing debt. Yet with guarantees, Spain faces more debt downgrades and higher yields overall.

When you don't know what to do, the default choice is to table the discussion and pray for a miracle.

IMF Discusses Contingency Plans

The Wall Street Journal reports IMF Begins Talk On Spain Contingency Plans
The European department of the International Monetary Fund has started discussing contingency plans for a rescue loan to Spain in the event that the country fails to find the funds needed to bailout its third-largest bank by assets, Bankia SA, BKIA.MC +0.19% people involved in the handling of the Spanish crisis said Thursday.

Both the EU and IMF want to avoid having to bailout Spain at all costs, the people said, but initial planning is under way given that the country is struggling to raise a EUR10 billion shortfall in funds to bail out Bankia. The stakes are extremely high because a three-year rescue loan for Spain could be as much as EUR300 billion, one person said, although any bailout could involve smaller, shorter-term loans.

"A better picture will emerge after the IMF review of the Spanish economy starting June 4," one of the people said. "But thoughts are already being discussed (within the European department)".

"Some say a Spanish bailout is inconceivable, but it's equally inconceivable that preparations are not being made for such an eventuality," the person added.
Spain's Economy Minster Says IMF Rescue Plan is Nonsense

Economy minister Luis de Guindos calls the rescue plan "nonsense" stating IMF report sees 70% of Spanish banks as healthy
Economy minister, Luis de Guindos, has described as "nonsense" that the IMF is preparing a plan if Spain fails to rescue Bankia funding. Moreover, says the institution will publish a report saying that 70% of Spanish banks is healthy.

The economy minister has also advanced to the June 11 will be released a first report of the International Monetary Fund concluded that 70% of Spanish banks is "perfectly" healthy and the remaining 30%, which is Bankia, would have "more difficult" to overcome the stress test posed by this organism.

However, De Guindos has stated that the IMF's stress test provides a hypothetical decline in GDP of 4% this year and 2% for next year, prospects "unreal," said.

"The report goes on to say that 70% of Spanish banks can overcome the situation without capital," he underlined Guindos, in an attempt to instill confidence in the situation of Spanish banks.
Anyone who thinks Spain's banks other than Bankia are "perfectly healthy" is a liar or insane.

Hyperbolic Selloff Coming?

The Telegraph reports Spain faces 'total emergency' as fear grips markets
Markets are on tenterhooks as Spanish yields test levels that forced the European Central Bank to respond last November with its €1 trillion liquidity blitz. “Nobody is short Spanish debt right now because they are expecting ECB intervention,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS. “If it doesn’t come -- if we take out 6.8pc -- we’re going to see a hyberbolic sell-off,” he said.

Brussels floated the idea on Wednesday for a eurozone “bank union” and use of the European Stability Mechanism -- which has not yet been ratified by most states -- to rescue banks and sever the dangerous nexus between crippled lenders and crippled states.

The proposals were shot down instantly by Berlin. Such plans amount to debt-mutualization, a form of back-door eurobonds. German opposition is “well known”, said the Kanzleramt.

LSE Professor Paul De Grauwe accused the ECB of cherry-picking treaty clauses to justify inaction and failing to carry out its crucial mandate of financial stability. “They should buy Spanish and Italian bonds to cap yields at 300 basis points over Bunds, and let the lawyers argue about it for the next ten years,” he said.

Eurozone data released on Wednesday show that private credit and all key measures of the money supply contracted in April, suggesting that ECB’s €1 trillion liquidity blitz over the winter has failed to gain traction.

Guy Mandy, credit strategist at Nomura, said the ECB has lost sight of the big picture and risks losing the euro altogether if if fails to restore basic confidence. “They need to weigh up events on a grander scale, stop worrying about moral hazard, and do the job of a central bank,” he said.
Academic Wonderland and a Lesson on Moral Hazzard

LSE professor Paul De Grauwe is a complete fool trapped in academic wonderland.

If the market thinks the yield of Spanish and Italian debt should be greater than a 300 basis point spread to German bunds, then the ECB would soon be the proud owner of 100% of Spanish and Italian debt.

It is rather amazing that a professor cannot figure out that simple truism.

Economic fools like De Grauwe are part of the problem. They brainwash students into believing total and complete nonsense.

As for "doing the job of a central bank and stop worrying about moral hazard" I can say the same thing about Guy Mandy.

Neither cares one iota that the German constitution does not allow what they propose. Neither bothered to figure out this mess has gotten bigger every step of the way because central banks ignored moral hazard.

Indeed, central banks are by their very existence the epitome of moral hazard.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Corruption a "Work Rule"

  • Padding mileage expenses was so entrenched and condoned in Chicago’s Fire Prevention Bureau, it was “almost a work rule,” an arbitrator ruled Thursday, overturning the city’s firing of four firefighters and reducing lengthy suspensions for 44 others.

    Independent arbitrator Edwin H. Benn said there is “no real dispute” that all of the accused Chicago firefighters “knowingly submitted inaccurate mileage reimbursement reports and obtained compensation for mileage — ranging in some cases into the thousands of dollars — that they did not actually incur.”

    But, Benn noted that the alleged mileage padding was a “decades-long practice” that was taught, “condoned and encouraged by supervisors.” In fact, Benn noted that many of the inspectors were “assured by their supervisors that the accuracy of their mileage totals would not be challenged.”

So since everybody knew about it and everybody did it, it's okay? Isn't that kind of the "endemic corruption" that Chicago is famous for? And isn't that kind of what's wrong with government in general?

We agree that the blanket firings, forced resignations and multi-month suspensions circumvented the due process guaranteed by the contract, but the statement that the practice was "almost a work rule" seems way out of place here.

Pension "Reform" Derailed

  • A hulking pension reform package pushed by Gov. Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross collapsed late Thursday, leaving the last big issue of a productive spring legislative session a casualty of partisan bickering and a heavy union pushback.

    Cross (R-Oswego), who took sponsorship of the pension package Thursday after House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) abruptly dropped his ownership of it a night earlier, announced he wouldn’t call the measure for a vote before lawmakers concluded their work for the spring at midnight.

Madigan left Cross holding the bag in the end, withdrawing as sponsor and supporter of the legislation. Cross was long suspected of being Madigan's stalking horse on the entire issue.

Now we'd say he just looks like Madigan's bitch. It's a lot more complicated than all of that, but Madigan gets to keep hiding for a while more.


  • An influential alderman warned Metra’s executive director on Thursday that “people are going to get hurt” if the commuter rail agency fails to bolster minority participation on a $133 million South Side railroad bridge known as the “Englewood Flyover.”

    Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, did not explain who he believed would “get hurt” or who the perpetrators might be. But, he was clearly referring to civil disobedience or maybe even violence at the construction site.

  • [Metra Executive Director] Clifford said he “respects and appreciates” Beale’s point. But, he also stood his ground, arguing that Metra has “not done anything wrong” and “followed federal statutes to the letter.”

    [...] “By federal statute, we are not allowed to set a minority target. If a bidder comes in and achieves that goal — 25 percent DBE — they have met the federal mandate. The federal mandate is what I must follow and I will not violate the law,” Clifford said.

Metra held something like a year's worth of seminars explaining exactly what would be required by bidders for the Englewood flyover bridge in Englewood itself, and got zero takers on the contract. What the hell are they supposed to do?

Isn't interference in railroad commerce under Federal jurisdiction? There certainly ought to be Federal charges available to entertain Beale and some defense lawyers for a few years.

Springfield Does it Again

  • Legislation aimed at bolstering funding for state parks by increasing license plate fees by $2 and charging fees to out-of-state users of state parks was approved by the Illinois House tonight and moves to the Senate.

    The measure also would charge users of off-highway recreational vehicles; charge an entrance fee to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield; allow fees to be placed on using a public beach, bike trail or equestrian trail; and increase registration fees for motorized watercraft.

    Sponsoring Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said the measure would raise $15 million in its first year and $32 million in later years for the Department of Natural Resources, which has seen major funding cuts in recent years.

    The bill passed on a 61-56 vote. It would bring the base license plate fee for cars to $100 a year, from the current $98.
Illinois - leading the way in taxing themselves out of existence.

New York Nanny State

  • New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

    The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

    The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
When did New York lose its balls?

Stupid Times: NBA Star Puts ATM in Kitchen; Peak Sport Salaries?

As a prime example of the extreme disparities between the haves and the have-nots as well as how stupid things have gotten in general, please consider DeShawn Stevenson Installs ATM In Kitchen
For the sports star who has everything there remains one tiresome problem – how do you get hold of your millions without having to leave the house?

Stevenson, 31, who has earned more than $26 million so far in a 12-year playing career in the NBA, was so proud of his latest unique accessory that he posed for a photograph with it.

It was not clear whether his free-standing cash machine will charge Stevenson and his friends a fee each time they use it.

Stevenson was arrested last year for public intoxication in Texas.
Peak Sport Salaries?

A friend writes: "Mish this is proof positive sports salaries have peaked or are about to peak."

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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GDP, Real GDP, and Shadowstats "Theater of the Absurd" GDP

Every month Doug Short at Advisor Perspective writes an excellent report on GDP. With today's release of the Q1 GDP Second Estimate, Doug Short has a new column worth a good look: Will the "Real" GDP Please Stand Up? (The Deflator Makes Big a Difference).
How do you get from Nominal GDP to Real GDP? You subtract inflation. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) uses its own GDP deflator for this purpose, which is somewhat different from the BEA's deflator for Personal Consumption Expenditures and quite a bit different from the better-known Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation gauge, the Consumer Price Index.

The Lower the Deflator, the Higher the GDP

I have a note at the bottom showing the real GDP calculation method. Suffice to say that the higher the increase in compounded annual percentage change in the deflator, the lower the real GDP. Conversely the lower the increase (or if there is a decrease), the higher the real GDP.
GDP Four Ways

Doug Short calculates the GDP using four different deflators.

  1. GDP deflator (official number) : GDP +1.86, 10-Yr Moving Average +1.7
  2. PCE deflator (personal consumption expenditures) : GDP +1.13, 10-Yr Moving Average +1.6
  3. CPI deflator (consumer price index) : GDP +1.05, 10-Yr Moving Average +1.4
  4. Using John Williams' Shadowstat measure of inflation  : GDP -10.50, 10-Yr Moving Average -5.1

The first three charts are all similar looking but charts 2 or 3 seems more reasonable than the official numbers. Here are two of the charts.

Real GDP Using PCE

click on chart for sharper image

Shadowstats GDP

click on chart for sharper image

Doug Short Writes ...

I find this "alternate Real" GDP to be interesting (in a bizarre sort of way), but I personally see no credibility in the hyper-negative GDP it produces. On the contrary, I see this chart as further evidence that the alternate CPI, despite its popular among many critics of government data, is a misguided concept.
Alternate Nonsense

Bizarre is a polite way of putting things. I would call it total nonsense. For Williams to be correct one would have to believe the economy was in a recession the vast majority of the time for the last 25 years.

Williams has a huge following, mainly by the hyperinflationist crowd. Williams himself has been predicting hyperinflation for some time.

All of the hyperinflation calls have been missed by a mile. The dollar is strengthening, consumer credit is once again sinking, and treasury yields just made 60-year lows.

This is what happens when you fail to take into consideration:

  • Credit conditions Global economic conditions 
  • Printing by other central banks especially China 
  • Currency instability in Europe 
  • Untenable situation in Japan

Williams makes all of those mistakes, being far too US-centric in his analysis, and compounds the errors by methodology that produces the absurd results shown above and also by confusing unfunded liabilities with debt.

$1.06 Trillion of Consumer Debt is Currently Delinquent

Note that according to the latest HOUSEHOLD DEBT AND CREDIT report by the Fed, consumer credit other than student debt is contracting. Also note that $1.06 trillion of consumer debt is currently delinquent, with $796 billion seriously delinquent.

Think that will be paid back? I don't. And Hyperinflationists fail to understand the ramifications.

I happen to agree that the US has a day-of-reckoning coming, but the entire fiat global financial system fueled by insane levels of fractional reserve lending will come crashing down at the same time.

That is precisely why this deflationist (unlike others) happens to like gold as a safe haven.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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New Confusion Over Hispanbonos and Regional Debt: Spanish Regional Government Accounting Postponed, Press Conference by Montoro is Postponed; Regional Government Debt Issuance Method Unclear

My friend Bran who lives in Spain writes ...
Hello Mish

There is new confusion over hispabonos and regional accounting. Spanish regional government accounting has been delayed, a press conference by Montoro is delayed, and the joint government/regional government debt issuance method is still not completely clear.

Hispabonos are central government guarantees of regional debt. The regional governments want central guarantees because without them, interest rates will skyrocket.

Presentation of Accounting Postponed

Courtesy of Google Translate from El Economista: The Government postponed the presentation of the accounts of the CCAA's first quarter
The Ministry of Finance has decided to postpone the press conference that he would publish the budget execution of the regions for the first quarter of the year in the National Accounts. Montoro endorse autonomy and park each issue of 'hispanobonos.

The hearing, scheduled for 17:00 am today, was postponed because Cristobal Montoro "presented tomorrow to the Council of Ministers a report on the evolution of these data," the statement sent by the Department.


Predictably, Montoro will also benefit the Council of Ministers to discuss a new system of funding helps communities, claimed in a while.

Autonomy asked directly the implementation of hispanobonos, although the executive has never been convinced of this option by the risk that the cost encareciera Treasury issues and weaken the 'rating' of Spain.

The most reasonable for the Department led by Montoro endorse passes through debt issues of the autonomous communities individually and provided they meet the deficit target and the corresponding recovery plan.

This would be a personal guarantee, conditional and voluntary, which should be specifically requested by a community and to be granted for specific purposes on condition that the community complies with the deficit.
Regional Governments Press for Hispanbonos

The clear gist is regional governments are in severe trouble, probably much worse than reported.

Delays are needed to present the facts to the Spanish central government which is now pressed by regional authorities once again to guarantee regional debt.

Hispanbonos Already a Done Deal?

Interestingly RTE News reported yesterday in Debt premium on Spanish bonds hits euro-era high that hispanbonos were already a done deal.
Spain's government said it would approve the issuing of joint bonds -- "hispanobonos" -- by the 17 regional governments next Friday, so as to make it cheaper for them to finance their debts.

"The goal is to reduce the pressure on the regions, which is often greater than the pressure on the state in general, with some regions not able to borrow on the market," a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry said.

Spain's 17 regional governments have suffered a plunge in tax revenues and soaring debt since the collapse of a decade-long property boom in 2008, and they are struggling to pay suppliers.

Bankia's board on Friday asked the state to inject €19 billion to help it abide by more stringent capital rules, in addition to €4.465 billion invested by the state earlier this month.

Spanish media said other troubled banks could need yet another €30 billion.

Providing a grim backdrop, the Bank of Spain issued a report predicting Spain's recession, which began in the last quarter of 2011, would continue at least until mid-2012.

Official data also showed retail sales plummeted 9.8% in April, the steepest monthly drop in since the statistical series began in 2003.

Despite the downturn, Spain's government says it is determined to press ahead with an austerity programme to slash the deficit to 3.0% of economic output by 2013 from 8.9% last year.
Hispanbonos may (and should) trigger additional debt downgrades of Spanish sovereign debt and send yields higher. However, without guarantees, regional governments are going to have an exceptionally difficult time financing new debt and rolling over existing debt as well.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Capital Flight Intensifies to Record Levels in Spain; Outflows Make Spanish Banks Increasingly Reliant on ELA Funding

Here is a note regarding capital flight in Spain and Greece that I received via email.

Capital flight has intensified to record levels in Spain but interestingly leveled off in Greece. Capital flight from Greece is expected to resume when next reported given statements by the Greek president.

The original source of this information appears to be Credit Suisse AG.
Spanish private Sector Deposit numbers dropping at a faster rate

The Spanish bond markets continue to be viewed with both suspicion and concern by would be investors, with the shocking size of the Bankia bailout send clear warning signs of what else might yet emerge from the Spanish banking sector. Investors were also unimpressed by what appears to have been a very poorly thought out strategy for recapitalising Bankia, with the ECB indicating that they were not consulted by the Spaniard’s before the bonds-for-repo strategy was announced. The Spanish government has lost further credibility because of its handling of this issue, and has since announced that it will indeed have to raise cash from the markets and use the proceeds to recapitalise Bankia.

The ECB published the latest aggregated balance sheet of the euro area MFI’s on Wednesday, which contained the usual array of interesting and relevant data. The Spanish numbers were obviously in focus given the markets current attention to the Iberian peninsula. The data showed that the run up in bank buying of Spanish Government bonds came to an end in April, with a net reduction of €3.3bn in holdings being recorded at month end.

The private sector deposit numbers were also closely looked at, with April seeing a huge €31.5bn reduction in deposits being placed by households and non-financial corporates. This was close to the all time record outflow posted back in January 2010, though that number was driven by year end reporting factors. The April 2012 number appears to be much more significant, and is likely to be repeated in May. Over the last 7 months the net reduction in Spanish Private Sector Deposits has now totalled €92.2bn. These outflows make the Spanish banks increasingly reliant on ELA funding via the Bank of Spain.

Interestingly the ECB data showed that the recent deposit flight reported in Greece appears to have levelled off, with the amount of private sector deposits actually increasing by €400mn in April. This was the second consecutive monthly increase, after two large outflows were reported in January and February. Given the commentary from the Greek President earlier this month we would expect to see a sharp increase in outflows when the May numbers are reported at the end of next month.

At an aggregate level it remains quite clear that most of the deposit outflows from the peripheral nations are being recycled to other parts of the euro-zone. Germany and Holland in particular have seen large inflows of deposits in the months where the peripheral nations have seen outflows. These balances are effectively getting recycled back to the home country each day, via the ECB’s TARGET 2 cash management system. As the inflows get larger so too does the TARGET 2 imbalance, causing even greater cross border systemic risk. The Bundesbank in particular has been awake to this issue for some time, noting that the risk of losses is high if a debtor nation does decide to suddenly leave the euro-zone.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Eurozone Retail Sales Crash: Record Declines in France and Italy, Overall Revenues Drop at Near Record Pace

Retail sales in France, Italy, and the eurozone as a whole hit the skids according to Markit. Retail sales in Germany were positive, but barely.

Steepest Decline in French History

Further sharp fall in French retail sales during May
Key points:

  • Month-on-month decline in sales matches April’s survey-record
  • Steepest year-on-year decline in series history
  • Purchase price inflation eases to near-stagnation

Sales fell on an annual basis at the steepest pace recorded since the inception of the survey in January 2004. Margins continued to be squeezed amid an intense competitive environment, despite purchase price inflation easing to near-stagnation.

The headline Retail PMI® registered 41.4 in May, matching April’s survey-record low. French retailers indicated that actual sales came in well below previously set targets during May. The degree of undershoot was the greatest since February 2010.
Record Declines in Italy

Record year-on-year decrease in Italian retail sales in May
Key points:

  • High street spending down sharply, albeit at weaker monthly rate
  • Job shedding steepest in series history
  • Discounting and cost inflation reduce profitability


The Italian retail sector remained in contraction during May, with sales again falling sharply in spite of widespread discounting. Cost pressures meanwhile grew from April’s recent low on the back of rising transport costs, thereby adding more pressure to margins. Consequently, firms shed staff at a marked and accelerated rate that was the steepest since data were first compiled in January 2004.

High street spending across Italy contracted sharply on the month during May, albeit at a slightly slower rate than that registered during April. This was signalled by the seasonally adjusted Italian Retail PMI® posting at 35.8, up from 32.8. Sales fell for the fifteenth month straight, and panellists continued to highlight low consumer confidence and falling disposable incomes as the main factors behind the decline.
German Sales Show Slight Growth

German retail sales return to growth in May
Key points:

  • Retail PMI points to marginal month-on-month rise in sales
  • Like-for-like sales higher than one year earlier
  • Wholesale price inflation eases markedly

The seasonally adjusted Germany Retail PMI rose from 47.4 in April to 50.7 in May, to indicate a marginal increase in sales on a month-on-month basis. That said, the rate of expansion was lower than those seen throughout the first quarter of 2012. Companies that reported a rise in sales since April generally noted that more favourable weather conditions had resulted in higher customer footfall.

Survey respondents indicated that actual sales fell short of initial targets for the second month running in May.
Sharp Drop in Overall Sales, Revenues Decline at Near Record Pace

Eurozone retail sales continue to fall sharply in May
Key points: 

  • Retail PMI improves to 43.3, but still signals steep monthly drop in sales 
  • Near-record annual fall in sales 
  • Wholesale price inflation slows sharply

Summary of May findings:

The Eurozone retail sector remained firmly in contraction in May, according to PMI® data from Markit. Sales fell sharply on a month-on-month basis, and revenues compared with a year ago were down at a near-record rate. There were signs of easing pressure on retailer’s purchasing costs, however, as the rate of purchase price inflation slowed sharply to a 19-month low.
This should bury the notion the eurozone recession will be short and shallow.

 Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Happy Birthday!

Holy !@#$, has it been seven years?

It has. Seven years, 21 MILLION visits to our almost 10,000 posts.

34.6 MILLION page views while leaving over 613,000 comments.

Once again, thank you. Without you, the readers, we are just yelling into the void. We hope to continue our enjoyable hobby and bring you entertainment, info and opinionated commentary.

Prayers Needed

Sergeant takes ill on duty:
  • SCC,

    Please put up an informational post and ask for all of our Brother's in Blue to pray for Sgt. Jason Kaczynski from 006 who suffered a heart attack last night just as he and his team were about to execute a search warrant in 007. Jason is the hero that shot the piece of shit that killed Thor Soderberg two years ago. He is a highly respected Cop, trusted Sergeant and one of the most loyal friends anyone could have. He is currently at U of C in bad shape.

The Tribune had a mention of this, but we had no idea who or what had happened. Godspeed Sergeant.

CFD Contract Fight

Hopefully, the FOP is taking notes, because we're going to get attacked the exact same way and we'll probably be able to blunt some of these attacks by expressing and maintaining solidarity with the firefighters:
  • Chicago firefighters “do a great job,” but they’re not “immune from the change and reform” needed to solve the city’s financial crisis and deliver “greater value” to taxpayers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday.

    Tom Ryan, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, has characterized the cost-cutting contract concessions the mayor is seeking from firefighters when their contract expires June 30 as “horrendous,” “insulting” and “ridiculous.”

    Emanuel refused to respond in kind, nor would he discuss specifics of his proposal to target perks that, one union leader claimed, add $7,000 to the average firefighter’s annual paycheck.

A $7,000 pay cut? We don't know about anyone else, but that would put a severe hurt on our ability to maintain a household in Chicago. Unless we moved to Englewood.

Milwaukee "CompStat" Scandal

We don't think they use the actual "CompStat" programs, but some sort of takeoff on the NYPD method. They seem to have the crime misclassification down pat though:
  • When Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn touted the city's fourth-straight year of falling crime in February, hundreds of beatings, stabbings and child abuse cases were missing from the count, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

    More than 500 incidents since 2009 were misreported to the FBI as minor assaults and not included in the city's violent crime rate, the investigation found. That tally is based on a review of cases that resulted in charges - only about one-fifth of all reported crimes.

    Yet the misreported cases found in 2011 alone are enough that Flynn would have been announcing a 1.1% increase in violent crime in February, instead of a 2.3% decline from the reported 2010 numbers, which also include errors.

Oops. Once again, lies, damn lies and statistics. And unless anyone is looking closely, manipulation to the nth degree.

10-Year Treasury Yield Lowest Level in 60-Years; Spain 10-Year at 6.66%, Italy 10-Year 5.93%

Curve Watchers Anonymous is noting a record low yield on 10-Year US Treasury Notes.

click on chart for sharper image
The above chart shows the monthly close except for the current month. 

$IRX 3-month discount rate : Brown
$FVX 5-year treasury yield : Blue
$TNX 10-year treasury yield : Orange
$TYX 30-year treasury yield : Green

CNBC reports US 10-Year Treasury Yield Hits Record Low of 1.62%
The benchmark U.S. Treasury yield fell to its lowest level in at least 60 years on Wednesday as worries of contagion from Spain's ailing banks raised bids for low-risk investments.

Yields on 10-year notes sank to a record low of 1.62 percent, down sharply from 1.73 percent in late U.S trading on Tuesday.

The 30-year bond yield fell to 2.71 percent, its lowest level since October, and down from a yield of 2.84 percent in late U.S. trade on Tuesday.
Spain Record High Spread to Germany

Spain 10-year bond yield hit 6.7%, a record spread vs. Germany, before settling at 6.66%.

Italy 10-year bond yield hit 6.01% then settled at 5.93%.

Yield on the 10-year German bond hit a record low of 1.27%.

 Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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CEO Lives To Fight Another Day

Although we are still not out of the woods yet, there appears to be positive momentum with some recent investments being materialised into solid operations.  Taking massive risks to innovate or increase productivity is not easy.  For example, we are taking old tires and ‘crumbing’ them down to usable products for the open market using about 20 large machines! We recycle tires.   It has been a 14 month process to figure a complex system of interrelated machines out.  

Here is our amazing shredder we rebuilt basically from ground up. 

Here is the ‘final product’ coming out at double the rate we initially aimed for.  We have been told by brokers and customers our product is world class and we produce it at rates unheard of for the investment made.  Time will discern this.

Bragging aside, the ‘urge’ to give up and quit cycled through my mind thousands of times.  I took a drubbing making an investment without seeing returns when expected.  If my company were publicly traded, I would likely be fired for ‘missing results’.  The pressures of ‘executing’ on this operation while running 2 other major operations (Aerospace Machine Shop and a Processing facility) have been a very humbling experience. 

Creating wealth is not easy. Solving problems, taking risks and enduring several complications while trying to create a rock solid mindset of overcoming has been war to embed in my subconscious. 

If you are “in the trenches” and fighting in the daily grind to get ahead, here are some helpful strategies:

1.        Key People:  Find 1 or 2 key people who you can ‘dump’ on. After you share, they will ‘drive you forward’ by offering a direction or a suggested point of consideration.  It is all too easy to become self-empowered with the daunting hazards of individualism.  By taking the ‘guts’ of what is inside of you and sharing with key people, you get the ‘crap out’ and will then be open to receiving suggestions.  Being the boss is not ruling with an iron fist giving off an image you are always right. Bosses are the ones who lead the way by being open to change, learn and serve.  Although situations often don’t change by sharing with others, we often recharge ourselves and therefore are postured to attack the problem from a new angle or new sense of purpose.  It is humbling to accept we may have missed the answer or need help.

2.       Clear Analysis:  My tendency was to see reality, but not embrace it.  At one point, I was so overwhelmed by my present situation that I felt like I was self-imploding.  My body was tingling and I started sweating and tensing up.  I felt like hiding and admitting my scope of work is beyond my capacity. It was at that moment that I heard inside, “Get up!” (Joshua 7:10)  I then realized that I can do what I can do.  I gave my operations a clear analysis. I leaned in on key people for direction and I worked by tail off.  I stopped fearing failure and embraced what I had to do. To accomplish this, I needed a clear analysis of reality and then jumped in with both feet! By passionately embracing my role, I am developing positive mindests:  peace and clarity of thought: calm in the midst of a storm.

3.       Focus On Real Priorities:  Being thankful has been a bedrock during my ownership tenure.  I try to share that thankfulness is an expression of my heart.  When matters arise that are not so positive, I immediately name a few things I am thankful for.  I then realize I am well able think through and solve the problems I am confronted with.  Often times I re-ground my business mind by coming to such a simple understanding of what I am most thankful for:  

I look forward to continuing my fight to serve others by creating wealth. I love helping people think through problems while helping them take responsibility.  I am grateful that I am still ‘in the game’.  Connecting with key people, offering a clear analysis of business matters and being thankful are powerful rallying cries of the strong.

Good News in Wisconsin: Governor Walker Leads Barrett 52%-45% in Recall Poll; Union-Busting is a "Godsend"

I have good news to report in Wisconsin. 

The recall election for Republican governor Scott Walker will take place on June 5. Polls show Walker Leads Barrett 52%-45%.
Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker leads Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by 7 percentage points in the state’s June 5 recall election.

Walker widened his edge over Barrett, 52 percent to 45 percent, in a replay of the 2010 governor’s race, according to the poll released today by Milwaukee’s Marquette Law School. The school’s May 16 survey had Walker up 50 percent to 44 percent.

Walker, whose curbs on public-employee collective bargaining last year provoked the recall campaign, received a 51 percent approval rating while 46 percent disapproved. Next week’s vote is only the third ouster election of a state chief executive in U.S. history.
Union-Busting is a "Godsend"

I commend governor Walker for killing collective bargaining of some public union workers in Wisconsin. Here are the results of Walker's efforts:

  • Taxpayers are better off.
  • School kids are better off
  • Class sizes are down
  • Struggling school districts now have a budget surplus

For details, please see Union-Busting is a "Godsend"; Elimination of Collective Bargaining is the Single Best Thing one Can do for School Kids

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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EU Throws Spain Two Deathlines; Spanish 10-Year Yield Tops 6.7%; ECB Rejects Madrid Ponzi Refinancing Scheme

ECB Rejects Madrid Ponzi Refinancing Scheme

The markets are reeling in the wake of rejection of Spain's Ponzi Recapitalization Scheme by the ECB according to the Financial Times.
A Spanish plan to recapitalise Bankia, the troubled lender, by indirectly tapping the European Central Bank for cash, was bluntly rejected as unacceptable by the ECB, European officials said.

Madrid had floated the unorthodox idea over the weekend of recapitalising Bankia by injecting €19bn of sovereign bonds into its parent company, which could then be swapped for cash at the ECB’s three-month refinancing window, avoiding the need to raise the money on bond markets.

The ECB told Madrid that a proper capital injection was needed for Bankia and its plans were in danger of breaching an EU ban on “monetary financing,” or central bank funding of governments, according to two European officials.

The ECB’s rebuff appeared to toughen Madrid’s insistence that the only solution to a crisis that is pushing its borrowing costs close to unsustainable levels is for the ECB to become a government lender of last resort.

Senior government officials in Madrid argue that bailouts in Portugal, Greece and Ireland have been catastrophic and Spain will not compromise on its refusal to accept a similar form of intervention.
Lifeline or Deathline?

Reuters reports EU throws Spain two potential lifelines
The European Commission threw Spain, the latest frontline in Europe's debt war, two potential lifelines on Wednesday, offering more time to reduce its budget deficit and direct aid from a euro zone rescue fund to recapitalize distressed banks.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Brussels was ready to give Spain an extra year until 2014 to bring its deficit down to the EU limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product if Madrid presents a solid two-year budget plan for 2013-14, something it has committed to do.

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said tighter euro zone integration could include a joint bank deposit guarantee scheme to prevent a bank run and euro area financial supervision, saying the mood had changed since member states unanimously rejected a joint deposit guarantee fund only months ago.

"In the same vein, to sever the link between banks and the sovereigns, direct recapitalization by the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) might be envisaged," the report said.

Permitting the ESM to lend directly to banks would require a change to a treaty in the midst of ratification by member states that might come too late for Spain's needs. Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy backs the idea but Rehn appeared cool to it.

"Direct disbursements to banks are not foreseen as such in the treaty, and therefore this is not an available option ... in terms of direct recapitalization," Rehn told reporters.
I have no clue how Reuters came up with the title of lifelines. One proposal is impossible because it involves treaty changes. The other proposal, higher taxes and more austerity measures, looks like a deathline.

Spanish unemployment is at 24.1% and rising and youth unemployment is 51%. Spain's Revised Budget Deficit is 8.9% and rising not shrinking.

To go from 9% to 3% how many more jobs will have to go? What will happen to tax receipts? What will happen to prime minister Rajoy if he puts such a program in place?

Rajoy knows he cannot implement such an offer, and the ECB cannot or will not do what Spain wants.

The bond market reflects this shift. Yield on the 10-year Spanish government bond is up 21 basis points today to 6.65%, having touched the record high of 6.7%.

The only solution to this mess is Spain leaving the Eurozone. Please see Spexit Before Grexit? Six Reasons Spain Will Leave the Euro First for further discussion.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Spexit Before Grexit? Six Reasons Spain Will Leave the Euro First

Interest rates on the 10-Year Spanish bond touched 6.7% today after the ECB shot down prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Ponzi plan to recapitalize banks.

The Spanish banking condition is in such precarious shape that Matthew Lynn of Strategy Economics proposed 'Spexit' Will Come Before a 'Grexit'.
“The euro debt crisis, like any really spectacular geo-economic event, is spawning its own special vocabulary” said Matthew Lynn of Strategy Economics on Wednesday.

We can now add Spexit to a list which includes Merkozy and Grexit, and Lynn believes the chances of Spain leaving the euro are now higher than those of Greece leaving.

“The Spanish are a lot more likely to pull out of the euro than the Greeks, or indeed any of the peripheral countries” said Lynn.

“They are too big to rescue, they have no political hang-ups about rupturing their relations with the European Union, they are already fed up with austerity, and there is a bigger Spanish-speaking world for them to grow into,” said Lynn.

“One in four Spanish households now have no bread-winner. Retail sales are falling 10 percent year-on-year. Yet the prescription from Brussels and Berlin is precisely the same as it has been for every other country struggling with the euro. Endure a deep recession. Let unemployment rise. Allow wages to fall until you claw back competitiveness," he said.
6 Reasons Spain Will Leave the Euro First

On MarketWatch Matthew Lynn gives 6 Reasons Spain Will Leave the Euro First.
The Grexit, short for Greece finally giving up on the single currency, has been trending for the last few weeks. And coming up next: the Spexit.

In Greece, people have just about put up with it — until now. So have the Irish, the Portuguese, and the Italians. The Spanish won’t. Here’s why.

One: Spain is too big to rescue.

Two: Spain has tired of austerity already. Remember, the protests against cuts began in Madrid a year ago with the “indignados” movement, which started sit-ins across major cities in 2011. The protests spread from there to Greece, and other euro-zone countries. The austerity had hardly even begun, yet already it has provoked strong opposition.

Three: Spain has a real economy. The Greeks understandably feel nervous about life outside the euro zone. They don’t really make anything. Spain is a successful economy with a perfectly respectable industrial base – its export to GDP ratio is 26%, similar to the U.K., France or Italy. Only last week the Japanese car-maker Nissan announced a major new investment there.

Four: Spain is politically secure. For many countries, euro membership is more about politics than economics. The Greeks stay in because it locks them into Europe (rather than being part of the Turkish sphere of influence). Latvia wanted in because it made it part of the EU rather than being dominated by Russia. For the Irish, it is about separating themselves from Britain. The Germans stick with the euro because the EU still represents a break with its troubled past.

Five: Spain has bigger horizons. The Spanish economy looks partly to Europe. But it looks just as much to the booming Spanish-speaking economies of Latin America (and indeed the huge Hispanic market in the U.S.). Rather like the U.K., Spanish business has always looked to the global rather than the European market. Why tie yourself to a failing project when there are much bigger opportunities out there?

Six: The debate has already started. There is already a serious discussion underway in Spain about the future of the currency. Plenty of mainstream economists and pundits are arguing that the real problem is the euro, and Spain will only recover once it gets the peseta back. The taboo has been broken. That isn’t true in Greece, where even the far-left Syriza party still clings to the idea that it should stay in the euro.
Debate in Spain

Proving point number six above, El Economista picked up on the story in Comes Spexit: Spain's Euro exit before Greece?

If prime minister Rajoy refuses a bailout by the Troika, what other options does Spain have? Is another puppet government like we saw in Greece and Italy coming up?

The sooner Spain sees the light and gets out of the euro that is strangling it, the better off Spain will be.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Stubborn Stupidity, Fantasyland Thinking, Hopeless Bluffs

The Financial Times says Madrid in ‘game of chicken’ with EU.

I disagree. I think Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy is a stubborn fool engaged in Fantasyland thinking, unable to think straight.

The issue regards a proposed Ponzi financing scheme to recapitalize Spanish banks.

For details of the scheme, please see Spain's Plans to Recapitalize Bankia Will Put Germany, ECB at Risk; When Does the Ponzi Scheme Collapse?

Fantasyland Thinking or Failed Bluff?

If Spain was playing a game of chicken, the ECB just ended it by rejecting the Ponzi financing scheme of Rajoy.

Please consider ECB rejects Madrid plan to boost Bankia
A Spanish plan to recapitalise Bankia, the troubled lender, by indirectly tapping the European Central Bank for cash, was bluntly rejected as unacceptable by the ECB, European officials said.

News of the rejection came as Spain faces elevated borrowing costs in the bond markets, tries to persuade investors it can contain problems in a banking sector weighed down by €180bn of bad property loans and, on Tuesday, saw its central bank governor stand down early.

Madrid had floated the unorthodox idea over the weekend of recapitalising Bankia by injecting €19bn of sovereign bonds into its parent company, which could then be swapped for cash at the ECB’s three-month refinancing window, avoiding the need to raise the money on bond markets.

The ECB told Madrid that a proper capital injection was needed for Bankia and its plans were in danger of breaching an EU ban on “monetary financing,” or central bank funding of governments, according to two European officials.

Senior government officials in Madrid argue that bailouts in Portugal, Greece and Ireland have been catastrophic and Spain will not compromise on its refusal to accept a similar form of intervention.

They said the country had implemented reforms requested by Brussels and must now be granted relief by the ECB, or the future of the single currency will be threatened. The government would like to see the ECB restart its government bond-buying programme and wants the nascent European Stability Mechanism to be retooled as a bank bailout fund.

“This is like a game of poker now,” one government adviser said, “and I don’t think Spain is bluffing”.
ECB Had No Choice

If this was a bluff by Rajoy, it was a very poorly conceived one. The ECB had no choice but to call it, given its disastrous position of Greek garbage on its balance sheet.

The ECB simply cannot afford to load up on Spanish garbage for fear Spain will do as Greece threatens to do: default.

Irish Turn

The Financial Times says Spain must avoid an Irish turn
“We are not going to let . . . any bank fall . . . if that happens the country will fall,” Mr Rajoy said on Monday. That is the message Ireland’s government insisted on as it piled private banks’ debts on to its puny sovereign shoulders. By the end of 2010 markets had lost faith in Dublin’s ability to repay and it was strong-armed into a eurozone rescue loan.

Ireland’s folly made clear that the interdependence of sovereigns and national banks is at the heart of the monetary union’s present dysfunction. But to judge from Mr Rajoy’s words, Madrid will tighten this deadly embrace instead of loosening it – even as its sovereign bond spreads hit euro-era records.

Losses at Bankia – spawned of a shotgun marriage between savings banks – has made Madrid promise a bailout of €19bn on top of what the state has already provided. It may reportedly place sovereign bonds directly with Bankia so as to give the bank collateral for European Central Bank liquidity while avoiding market borrowing at current punishing yields. This trick would not change the key fact of Spain increasing a debt burden it already struggles to refinance.

Promising that no bank will fall is what truly brings a country down.
Can someone please explain the absurd line of thinking that says banks and bondholders cannot take losses?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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ANOTHER "New" Strategy?

At least Phil Ponce on "Chicago Tonight" pointed out that this is something like the fourth or fifth strategy being rolled out, none of which involve actual hiring of police.

Some of the prize parts of this roll out:
  • "Very clearly, we have a gang problem in the city of Chicago," Supt. McCarthy said at a press conference Tuesday.

No shit.

  • Chicago's homicide rate at this point of the year is up nearly 50 percent. The vast majority of those homicides are gang-related.

    "It's not OK that we had 53 shootings last week, but that 53 shootings is the same exact number of shootings that we had last year, so this is not a new problem. What it is is a new is the solution that we are applying to it," McCarthy said.

We had predicted the Department Administration would take credit for "They're killing each other at a slower rate." We were close as they're now saying, "Since the numbers are the same as last year, it's all okay." Of course, the one number that has changed? The number of officers employed by the city, meaning the "more with less" strategy is going to be touted as working.

  • A computer program contains wants, warrants, known gang members with records, and their associates. That kind of information has long been available, but not packaged in quite this fashion, and within the next month, it'll be available on the frontlines to beat officers on the laptops in their squads.

Really? No mention of the entire system being down for almost 10 days? The lack of tower maintenance that's restricting our ability to get to info? The complete failure of the AIRA system (automated case reports) that means officers have to take the report on paper, then go to the station and type it into a land based system, meaning they're off the streets - a contradiction of Rahm's and McCarthy's insistence that more cops are on the street?

  • As for the technology part of the equation, the superintendent says it shifts the emphasis a bit from "hot spot" policing to "hot people" policing.

So the entire last two months of "patrolling the box" was a waste of time? Just as it had been ten years ago? Has any one told the command staff who are still downing cars for "missions" that accomplish nothing at all?

It's enough to drive us to drink.....more.

CeaseFire to Get Money

We guess you can write off a few million more tax dollars:
  • Following a bloody Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Tuesday defended his efforts to stop retaliatory shootings — and said the Chicago Police Department will enlist CeaseFire Illinois for the first time to help.

    Ten people were shot to death over the weekend and the city’s 2012 homicide tally reached 200 on Sunday, a nearly 50 percent increase over the same period of 2011.

    Experts have several theories for the spike — from this year’s record-breaking warmth, to the splintering of Chicago’s street gangs thanks to the prosecutions of their leaders to lax gun possession enforcement.

There's a reason the CPD has kept CeaseFire at a distance and now McCarthy is being told to embrace them? Not a good idea at all.

Dumb Poll Questions

  • Sixty-four percent of Chicagoans approve of the job Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing, 57 percent believe he has improved the city’s business climate, and 78 percent like the way Emanuel handled the NATO summit, a new poll shows.

They clarify later:

  • The Chicago Police Department’s highly acclaimed performance during the NATO summit also reflected well on the mayor.

    Asked how Emanuel handled the summit, 55.5 percent said he did a “great job” and 23.3 percent credited the mayor with doing a “good job.” That’s an overall approval rate of 78.8 percent.

We didn't see much TV during the event, but was Rahm even in town? Nice to see he's bathing in "reflected" glory while he sharpens the long knives.

Citizen Filmmakers

An underground market has existed for years under the media radar, Citizens taping illegal narcotics sales and posting it on YouTube and related sites in an effort to shame city and police officials into taking action around their neighborhoods. Someone posted this guy's link in a comment section:

He seems to cover a section of the 011 District and labels the characters he films, including dealers, users, dealers dad, dealers mom, etc. It's amusing.

A question though - is there any way to use this guy's videos in court? A poster said, "He's doing your job," but the truth is we haven't the manpower to do our jobs as it is, let alone go after street corner sellers.

Bailout Scam: Collecting Non-Interest on Non-Loans; "Because We’re Europe"

The absurdity of the Greek "bailout" setup is in the news once again. The New York Times reports Athens No Longer Sees Most of Its Bailout Aid
In an elaborate payment system that began after the May 6 election that brought down the Greek government, and is meant to ensure that the Greeks do not touch the cash, the big three creditors are now wiring bailout payments to an escrow account in Greece. There the money sits for two or three days — before much of it is sent back to the troika as interest payment on the Greek bonds that Europe accepted under terms of the bailout deal struck in February.

“Greece will not default on the troika because the troika is paying themselves,” said Thomas Mayer, a senior advisor at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. “Why are we doing it like this?” Mr. Mayer said. “Because we’re Europe.”

A Greek government advisor who spoke anonymously, for fear of alienating the European lenders, said of the troika: “They made sure that the sum for domestic spending is kept small enough to force Greece to dramatically raise its own revenues.”

On its face, the situation seems absurd. The European authorities are effectively lending Greece money so Greece can repay the money it borrowed from them.

“You send the money, you call it a ‘loan’ — you get it back and call it an ‘interest rate,”’ said Stephane Deo, global head of asset allocation in London for UBS.

Since May 2010, Greece has been sent €141.7 billion in European taxpayer money to keep the country afloat and ward off a bigger meltdown that might threaten the entire currency union. Of that amount, a full two-thirds has gone to pay off bondholders and the troika.

Only a third has been earmarked to finance government operations, with only a tiny sliver spent on stimulus projects for the anemic economy.

Greek bonds are a profitable investment for the E.C.B. as long as Greece continues to make interest payments. The E.C.B. exempted itself from the debt restructuring deal. And Greek bonds were already trading at a big discount when the E.C.B. started buying them. As a result, the central bank is earning an effective interest rate of 10 percent or so.
Non-Interest on Non-Loans

If the money never gets to the borrower, then it's not a loan. Scam is a more appropriate word. Of the €141.7 billion bailout, only €47.2 can be construed as a loan all of which nearly all went to government operations, none to the average Greek citizen.

As for Mayer's statement “Greece will not default on the troika" we will see about that.  Nearly three-quarters of Greece’s debt, or €182 billion, is now effectively owned by the EU the ECB or the IMF, according to estimates by the investment bank UBS.

If Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras wins the June 17 election, the Troika is going to take a big hit. The ECB's share is estimated to be between €35 billion to €55 billion.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Competition for McJobs Hits Teens: High-School Students with Jobs Hits 20-Year Low

High school and college kids typically get the jobs that are left over, that no one else really wants, such as working at McDonalds.

However, competition for any job is now so intense, that teens cannot find any job that no one else wants.

As a result of that increased competition, Number of high-school students with jobs hits 20-year low
The American job market is no place for students as the number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

In 1990, 32 percent of high school students held jobs, versus just 16 percent now. Blame their elders.

“By definition, teenage workers get the jobs that are left over,” said Charles Hirschman, a sociology professor at the University of Washington who has studied and written about student employment. “When you can’t find someone else to bag your groceries or work construction, often teenagers are the labor force you can count on to pick up that slack for a low wage. But now, with the recession, everybody has moved down. Those jobs aren’t going to teenagers.”

Local McDonald’s managers, for example, are no longer forced to accept young workers who can show up after class. They now have the option to hire older employees with more experience and, in many cases, much more education.

“They think, ‘I can hire this old guy instead. He already knows how to work, so we don’t need to teach him,’ ” said Andrew Sum, director of Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies.

The crunch is also hitting college students. In 2000, 52 percent of full-time college students worked. That number has now fallen to 40 percent, the National Center for Education Statistics reports.
Job Demographics

Please consider these thoughts I penned on May 1, 2008 (emphasis in italics added) Demographics of Jobless Claims
Structural Demographics Poor

Structural demographic effects imply that prospects in the full-time labor market will be poor for those over age 50-55 and workers under age 30. Teen and college-age employment could suffer a great deal from (1) a dramatic slowdown in discretionary spending and (2) part-time Boomer reentrants into the low-paying service sector; workers who will be competing with younger workers.

Ironically, older part-time workers remaining in or reentering the labor force will be cheaper to hire in many cases than younger workers. The reason is Boomers 65 and older will be covered by Medicare (as long as it lasts) and will not require as many benefits as will younger workers, especially those with families.

In effect, Boomers will be competing with their children and grandchildren for jobs that in many cases do not pay living wages.

Very few are considering demographics, a change in attitudes by consumers towards spending, a change in attitudes of banks to lend, and the ability of capital impaired banks to lend even if they want to.

A structural shift in consumption to savings or at least reduced consumption, is in store for boomers. Meanwhile job prospects are looking pretty grim for some time to come across the entire economic spectrum.
And so it is. Unfortunately it will stay that way for many years to come. Economists missed the boat on this one and still do even as it plays out as I suggested.

Because of student debt and low paying jobs, kids out of college are putting off raising families and buying homes. Headwinds on home prices are enormous.

Rather than buy cars they cannot afford, many kids tweet and send text messages.

Demographics, student debt, debt in general, and changing attitudes of youth about what is really important are huge deflationary forces that Bernanke is fighting.

Those expecting hyperinflation or even strong inflation out of this mess are simply not thinking clearly.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Eyewitness Accounts: Greek Elections-Daily Updates

28th May
-Pharmacists strike continues most Greek NHS have gone two months now without payments for medicine

-Tax bracket reduced to E5k, almost everybody stung with higher tax minimum +E500

-Latest Poll from Economic University of Athens
-1. ΣΥΡΙΖΑ: 31.9% Syriza
2. ΝΔ: 13,8% ND
4. ΠΑΣΟΚ: 8,7% PASOK
5. ΚΚΕ: 6,8% KKE
6. ΧΡΥΣΗ ΑΥΓΗ: 5,8% Golden Dawn
7. ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΚΗ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΡΑ: 5,5% Democratic Left
8. ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΙΑ ΞΑΝΑ: 3,5% Create Again
9. ΟΙΚΟΛΟΓΟΙ ΠΡΑΣΙΝΟΙ: 3,4% Ecological Greens
10. ΛΑΟΣ: 3% LAOS
11. ΔΡΑΣΗ: 2,5% Action
12. ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΚΗ ΣΥΜΜΑΧΙΑ: 1,2% Democratic Alliance
13. ΑΝΤΑΡΣΥΑ: 0,6% Antarsya
14. ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΚΗ ΣΥΜΦΩΝΙΑ: 0,4% Social Agreement

πηγή: (διαβάστε περισσότερα) http://www.alphafm.gr/archives/45569

-Media Strike on tv, Papers with Lagardes comments on front page.

- Kammenos IG will agree to form a National Unity Govt without Samaras and Venizelos (as leaders of parties)

29th May

PASOK- on chat shows on tv totally quiet like plot lost forever

KKE-lost the steelworkers strike as the other two factories of Manesis increased production to cover loss of one in Athens, KKE controlled strike and kept it separate from labour movement, led it to defeat, 6 were the original workers to be fired, 70 have gone. Coca Cola strike won without the KKE.
Has got stalls out in various town squares, aint seen Syriza doing the same this early.

Syriza-holding out on their own on chat shows, removed leftwingers Stasinopoulou, Lafazanis, from appearances, centralising party and setting up government programme, to hold national election rally 3rd June.

Kammenos IG-holding out well, states the Bailout agreement has to become unconstitutional, those Germans who bribed Greeks for public sector contracts (Siemens, bent submarines, railway carriages that dont fit on railway tracks supplied by Germany) should be prosecuted under German law. That is why Germany doesn't extradite Hristoforakos who has the names and lists of those people. Creating programme to govern.

Electricity Company
-Council Tax Bills, have become unconstitutional in other words peope cannot be cut off anymore for not paying those bills (victory of the 50% who refused to pay and hundreds of non-payment commitees set up all over the country) Ex-PASOK union bureaucrats/officials joining Syriza with the hope privatisation to be stalled in Electricity company and its selloff.

Trolley Strike
-tomorrow for 5 hours.

30th May 2012

Euro or Drachma-Main issue of the mass media networks.

Return to Drachma presented as Catastrophism 22% GDP Depression, 34% Unemployment, 55% Drop in Income, Syriza presented as Drachma party for wanting to abolish Bailout, constant emphasis on the collapse of the world economy
DL-No party can abolish the Bailout
Syriza (Papadimoulis)= Continued maintenance of bailout leads mathematically to return of Drachma and Bankruptcy. World economy will lose so they have to bargain.

Worker who was going to be unemployed in a week commits suicide from a top floor in a hospital in Crete.162 Cretans have committed suicide in the last three years, many of which are farmers.

Thessalonika: Council workers- Mayor privatising council cleaners , riot police called at council meeting not allowing cleaners inside, workers being attacked by riot police with teargas, next to a school!!

Pharmacists-People still not been paid two months for medicine, pharmacists meeting about continuing strike.

Tax Demands- Millions been hit by new tax threshold at E5K, even unemployed have to pay ...TAX!
Tax workers are now working under conditions of fear, some offices have been occuppied by protestors, in one a man walked in with shotgun, in another someone came in with knives, in another an old lady threatened them with GD. Close relative who rents a place was told by Inland Revenue to not pay rent to Landlord anymore but to them, as he owes property taxes!!!

Students-Taking national exams for entrance to University, some despite having passed are retaking exams as they cannot afford to live in another city from the one in which they live now.

Police-being told that if Syriza wins it will abolish all arms police carry ie they will be disarmed.

Huffingdon Post-doing the rounds in Greece,
Greece and the Eurozone: Weakness Brings Power

31st May 2012

OOSA report on hours worked.
Greeks work the longest hours in Europe and are 2nd on the planet after S Korea.
They work more than 40% more than Germans.

Classical Imperial 4x Hotel Karaiskaki Sq
3,000 hotel staff have lost their jobs in the centre in the last two years, demos crime and mass immigration have made the centre impossible for most tourists so they have boycotted.

Will publish programme on Friday, pre-cursory announcement on tv talk shows stated it will be Left. (This will give them an uplift, I believe, sorry had to add that!)
Returning pensions to previous amount, abolishing all extra taxes (property etc) and abolishing all recent labour laws, halting privatisations etc. Tsipras responded to attacks from his speech in Keratea by Mitsotakis daughter Bakogiannis that its members went to defend those alleged to be members of 17N (alleged terrorist group). One member of Syriza blamed Mitsotakis openly on tv for knowing in advance of threats to his life and doing nothing. WW3 broke out in the media network.
They haven't opened many local offices and dont appear on the streets. Kouris press ex-PASOK (Avriani, Kontra tv etc.) are backing Syriza. Katseli changed line and is wholeheartedly supporting Syriza.

Latest Poll
Syriza is clearly first but not enough to form their own government

Voted to continue strike indefinitely. Remember they are one of the sections like taxi drivers, truckers who are supposed to be blown apart or liberalised by IMF imposed measures.

Papadimos ex-President
Reuters stated that Papadimos sent to Baroso a letter to push Greek politicians to create Euro or Drachma threat for Greek people and after the National Bank of Greece's report yesterday (only 6% owned by Greece) that the world would cave in with a return to the Drachma, shows that the Greek ruling class is now officially split.

American officials have arrived from Obama to analyse Greek situation and impact on Euro collapse.

1st June Daily Update - 4

Draghi-ECB chief was reported to have said in a packed Euro-parliament meeting on Greek TV that the Eurozone in its present form isn't sustainable and a new political union is required.

ND-has come out with an 18plan programme. Syriza members on talk shows have attacked them for not supporting restitution for the war to Greece by their sister party in the European parliament ie. Merkel.

Syriza-will announce its programme today, which talks about re-nationalisations of OTE-Telecoms which is owned by the Germans, re-nationalising Olympic Airways, abolishing the threat of 150k public sector sackings, restoring pensions, stopping all the extra taxes imposed etc.

Exit Polls- they are now supposed to close legally-a few have given a lead to Syriza and some have shown a further drop for PASOK below 10%.

Tsipras on Time Magazine Front Cover

Lafazanis gave interview on radio, wants Drachma back
Alavanos wants break with Euro as well and the EU

2nd June 2012
ND-Wants now to create a Development Zone on the basis of Cyprus and give permissions to foreign companies the rights to extract oil which exists in the Aegean. Also to increase unemployment benefits for two years and to allow people to come off bankruptcy lists and to add small shopkeepers to unemployment benefits.

Syriza- is being attacked by all the media as the new party of Papandreou wanting to give to all thousands of new jobs, increase the minimum wage back to before bailout terms, not sack 150k publ;ic sector workers, stop the privatisation committee, renationalise the old state sector companies known as DEKO-leave NATO

PASOK-is attacking ND for wanting to overturn the Bailout. If they get 10% i'll eat my hat.

KKE-Main emphasis is Syriza and its inability to overturn the Bailout

Media calling Syriza Tsiprantrea (meaning Papandreou who was elected on the platform of ‘We have Money’)

6Hospitals many of which are in Athens, have been issued with a notice by suppliers that they wont receive any supplies until they pay in hard cash up front, cash which they dont have as their budgets are cut to the bone due to the IMF

Tax returns are astronomic
=Pensioners on low pensions lost two minimum pensions of E500pcm due to exorbitant tax demands after reducing minimum threshold.Another disabled pensioner was taxed E1700 plus his medicine bills which so far are E400pcm. Last year he had no tax, being a 70year old pensioner with 85% disability.... They will add the property tax 4.5million refused to pay onto the tax office and go for repossessions but the number is so large, they will collapse the system if they proceed.If the electoral circus doesn’t complete in June and it goes for a 3rd round, all hell is going to break loose. People are waiting to see if Syriza gets +30% and measures are taken to stabilise the collapse.

3rd June 2012

President of Greek Cancer Patients Federation Persefonis Mittas – been on TV for two days know attacking ex-Minister of PASOK Loverdos regarding the non-issuing of cancer drugs to patients by Pharmacists and Hospitals on the Greek NHS system. Hospitals have been told that they wont be supplied by medicine from the coming Tuesday by suppliers.

Young students
-30,000 children have left schools seeking work as families cant support them. Drug gangs have emerged for the first time by schoolkids as young as 14 pushing heroin, due to the economic crisis.

GD- has been attacked by the Police and the 3 parties of the Fake Left for allegedly hitting immigrants from Pakistan during the pre-electoral period. This is alleged to have occurred after a mobile demo on motorbikes by GD in various districts of Athens, which was followed by the police at the front, side and back of the march. At the same time two Greeks were shot, one dead in a poor district of Athens, which may lead to PATRA style riots, as armed gangs with Kalashnikovs (associated by the media with Albanian immigrants-who have lost most of their work due to the collapse of the construction sector by 70%). A barrage of robberies are occurring at night in people’s houses, mirroring Central American drug gangs, with blindfolds, hostages and beating up to and including shootings. This is one of a 74year old in Lamia

KKE-frightened that half its electoral base is switching and going to Syriza as they want unity of the Left and a Left government to attack the Bailout, has increased its focus in attacking Syriza stating its creating a new socialdemocratic PASOK.

ND- Will emphasise the economy and illegal immigration in the last two weeks as points of criticism against Syriza, essentially arguing Syriza hasn’t costed its economic programme and that they want essentially open borders (last point a difficult sell as Samaras is personally known as the man who supported the fall of the Hoxha regime and his total support in the mass waves of immigration that replaced domestic labourers in the construction sector during the Mitsotakis governments in 1990-93

Syriza-being supported by the Kouris press (avriani, paron, kontra tv) media talk that Laliotis one of the founders of PASOK is behind Tsipras (he said he isn’t but supports the turn towards a centre-Left government). Received a E6m subsidy to fight elections and got another bank loan on top for E3m alleged in the media.

Press Barons-Mega, Antenna sacking journalists left right and centre, massive losses, refusing to support anyone else other than PASOK-ND. Received a E12m state subsidy for adverts for political parties as air time.

4th June 2012
KKE-Syriza govt will fall, Syriza doesn't want us as a partner, and people aren't giving a vote of support for Syriza, they just want something better than ND.

Riots in Evia-Vasiliko, post-industrial area conflicts erupted between Greeks and immigrants from Pakistan after Greeks were rushed in their homes and then counterattacked after a demo in the town centre by 200 Pakistani immigrants who smashed cars.
77year old Greek murdered due to roberry...again in his home. An almost daily occurrence.

Syriza-big meeting in Athens with Slavos ("Bomb Serbia"-anti-communist fame) Zisek, new meeting in Livadia by Tsipras. Proposals for new ministers include Lafazanis as Labour Minister, Dragasakis as Economics Minister. They also want to bring over Papandreous ex-close associate Varoufakis from the USA in the Economics Ministry. Syriza states they will try to overturn Dublin 2 signed by Papandreou in 2003. Serious probability for Syriza to gain full control of Govt on its own as highest electoral poll for them was 31% and on previous polls the highest was 13% but it got near 18%, so its vote may increase by up to 5%.

Health Minister blaming Syriza for not being able to provide money to pharmacists as E1b aint arrived from the EU allegedly. "Syriza is gambling the health of cancer patients to blame everyone but itself" he stated.!!! In October he repeated the same will occur with oil imports, food and medicine.

Papandreou was spotted at the Hilton Hotel in Athens speaking to Jeffrey Sachs, one bankrupt to another

Soros-fate of Euro will be decided in 3 months

5th June 2012
DL-Bistis attacking Lafazani, the issue now is whether we attack the Bailout directly, ie whether it will be abolished forthwith. “What did the bailout actually do to Greece, Lafazani asked, if it is so good, why do we need the money if we are going to be wiped out. We want Greeks to survive. We aren’t guinea pigs.” Bistis is pushing using quotes from Berlinguer (Italian CP leader) to govern with ND from his arguments. Psarianos (DL) attacked Syriza serverely stating you cant ask for alliances with us when you attack me as being the Karatzaferis (clown who runs LAOS) of the Left. DL are playing the role of PASOK playing the hard role of stating we must stay in the Euro, defend the Bailout terms.

KKE – will submit law overturning the Bailout terms. In all probability the KKE will word it in such a fashion where they will put maximalist demands in order for Syriza to not vote for it.

PASOK-Loverdos blaming Syriza for politicising medicine issue and stating repeatedly that the head of the Medical Profession aint a doctor but an acolyte of Syriza. He responded in kind stating the ex-Minister aint a Health Minister either but a dealer of various interests. The President of EOPPI (which is the new NHS) is playing ignorant in whole issue pretending its just a re-organisation question (ie going from known brands to generic etc.)

Syriza-immigration debate on Kontra tv. Can they remain within the EU if they go against the Dublin 2 agreement and issue travel documents for the illegal immigrants to go to the rest of Europe? Will try to resolve issue based on individual cases. Example of Libyans who attacked Libyan embassy in Athens yesterday and riot police were called, after they haven’t been paid and are in private hospitals in Athens since the revolution against Gaddafi there was mentioned as an example of different cases to be resolved. Tsipras giving speeches in squares which are full wherever he goes.

6th June 2012
For greater Athens region....they predicted the 6th May results spot on.
ND gets trounced clearly., showing that 1/3 of voters leave both ND-PASOK as they got
32% combined last time.

This will probably be the rough outcome + or - a few % points due to the rest of country voting differently.

1. ΣΥΡΙΖΑ: 31.9%

2. ΝΔ: 13,8%


4. ΠΑΣΟΚ: 8,7%

5. ΚΚΕ: 6,8%

6. ΧΡΥΣΗ ΑΥΓΗ: 5,8%




10. ΛΑΟΣ: 3%

11. ΔΡΑΣΗ: 2,5%


13. ΑΝΤΑΡΣΥΑ: 0,6%


7th June 2012

GD-Plevris from LAOS stated that GD representative beat up his kids and the offered him out on a tv show. Today a punch up occurred on live tv which was then cut with Kanelli (KKE) and Dourou (Syriza) after they attacked GD as wanting to take the country back 500years, after Kasidiaris said that the KKE defended Parliament and has Bangladeshi workers leading its ranks (PAME) whilst Greek workers are unemployed. Kasidiaris is being taken to court by a member of Syriza and he responded by taking them to court and because Dourou said he was a essentially a dodgy character he threw water at her in a tv studio. Kanelli got up with a paper to stop him doing anything further, he got hit on the cheek then slapped her down three-four times. They then attempted to hold him hostage in the tv studio and he made a run from it threatening to bring 100 others back to wreck it. This is on the main Antenna TV private tv studio. All political parties now state they will refuse tv panel shows with GD.

Video of Event

Violent robbery
- in about three houses in Paiania by armed gang with Kalashnikovs. Son finds mother being harangued by knives an d gun runs upstairs gets his shotgun and shoots one dead armed intruder. The whole area comes out with guns, police lose control. 64 dead since January 34 due to armed robberies in peoples houses-govt statistics.

Hospitals-Merging hospitals and breaking down specialisms in order to enforce cutbacks. Chaos with medicines still cancer patients still haven’t received them in full, and there are massive queues and people are screaming at employees.

"Fuck Greece" - Σελίδα αλβανών εθνικιστών στο Facebook!


Albanian nationalists page on Facebook

8th June 2012

=EXTRA 3 TV Debate-Whether this type of crime ie killing of Greek pensioners is done by Greeks or Albanian, Ukrainian, or other type of gangs? Are citizens now taking the law into their own hands? 600,000 Greeks have arms at home. 80% of violent crime is done by illegal immigrants. Why aren’t they given travel documents to leave? Syriza being attacked for wanting to demobilise riot police, responds they don’t want to turn Greece into a banana republic of Central or Latin America where everyone is armed. Syriza (Kammenos) alleges that police force voted for GD. ND (Plevris) responds that illegal immigrants voted for Syriza as they want to give them all nationality. Syriza being attacked for defending every illegal immigrant and calling every Greek a racists and xenophobe, at the same time as defending or giving cover to illegal immigrant drug dealers...Lawyer intervenes-Traitors signed the Dublin 2 agreement and 5million will end up in Greece, we need to tear up the agreement. Syriza agrees, but Greece’s borders are too hard to block.

Today’s Events

Greek mother (80) killed with 20 stab wounds in Patras, children vow to take revenge as long as they live. Peania-Student Doctor who killed Albanian intruder in court today, 500 locals turned up in support chanting ‘innocent’. Judge releases student to appear in court in two years but must appear at police station once a month, passport withheld. GD led march yesterday at centre of Peania, but was not at court this morning.

-Pensioners demonstrated outside EOPPY (Greek NHS) with banner ‘We have Free Health Service, But now Pay for Medicine’

ND-Samaras went to Ag. Panteleomonas and said that we have an ‘invasion of illegal immigrants’ (word for word) and we will take back Greek areas.

GD-Kassidiaris remains in hiding, other media outlets allege conflict on Antenna TV was done to increase ratings as the people invited were all the most dynamic elements of each party. KKE being attacked for turning up when their official position isn’t to debate GD. (A rise of GD in votes over the event aids Syriza indirectly due to the law of unintended consequences)

Schengen Agreement-newspaper reports that Greece will be thrown out as it can’t protect its borders.

9th June 2012

Skai TV-Head of Cancer Patients Ms Mitra was threatened by head of EOPPI (Voudouris) to be taken to prosecutor. He alleges that he isn’t killing patients which is what she said live on air. She said all parties collected their pre-electoral subsidies but patients who have paid all their lives now have no medicine. ND spokesperson said if we leave Euro we won’t have any medicine, food, fuel etc. One bond which had a face value of E80m was paid to the tune of E400m, whilst we are allegedly down E1b in Bailout funding-was mentioned by newsreporter.

ND-Blaming Syriza for a joker who was in Kazakis-EPAM (Amiras) who had youtube video where he called for urban guerrilla war. ND trying to pin ‘red terrorism’ on Syriza and essentially saying they are like extremists of GD, due to their 12 groups within them who have self-proclaimed revolutionaries. Syriza responded that ND has no relationship with reality. Video by ‘brainboxes’ of ND of alleged Syriza taking a woman out to a meal and refusing to pay the bill and being thrown out of the restaurant (implying this will happen to Grece by the EU) in another video a long haired Greek goes to the barber and says cut my Syriza (means in Greek as well give me a baldhead) and the barber does it, then the man looks in the mirror and has a shock, with the video implying watch what you ask for...

Syriza-Those who are wet aren’t afraid of rain,(referring to workers who don’t have a steady income) next Sunday, the past of dodgy dealings and fraud will stop. They are lying about our positions creating fear for our positions

GD-Kasidiaris said he didn’t want to be arrested and his pictures plastered over the media. Punch ups in Veria between GD and anarchists.

GDP collapse in first three months 6.5% of 2012, official unemployment 22% (numbers only include those who are signing on and they can only sign on in full for 12 months)

39year old Greek woman found dead from knife wounds in Athens.

10th June 2012

Criminality- Greek drug user killed mother for E20, citizen in Sparta killed intruder of Romanian extraction.

ND-Using article by Lafazanis and his interview with Amiras (jokester from EPAM-Kazakis who called for urban guerrilla war on youtube) to defend presence in Euro, as Lafazanis is supporter of Drachma. Lafazanis responds that these are old and personal views and that the fearmongering of ND aims to frighten the Greek people to vote for parties of the Bailout. ND has mentioned the possibility of holding its first national electoral demo in Sindagma Sq on Friday. Stated will emphasise economy and illegal immigration in last week.

Syriza-continues speeches in town squares which are packed by people, continues to run the line of Bailout or Syriza as central election focus as well as stating illegal immigrants who have been legalized should be given the right to bring their families to Greece.

80% in support of the Euro!!! Claims the Mass Media.50 clowns in Sindagma for the occasion....


Syriza-ex-candidate Nikos Hanias attacks Syriza in media alleging if Syriza wins the day after the world will end. All media outlets interview him and promote his views. Tsipras gives interview to all media outlets which appears to be very successful. Big speech in Omonomia Sq on Thursday

KKE-election kiosk and member beaten up in Ag Paraskevi.

ND-stating that Syriza wont govern with them.

PASOK-making openings to DL.

4 parties aiming for 3rd place-PASOK, IG, DL, GD

13th June

Pharmacist-Trade-Unionist who was on the national committee who have been on strike shot dead due to an alleged robbery. ND-Samaras making declarations about crime (sounds very fishy this one!)

Syriza-Tsipras gives interview to Financial Times stating that he will do everything in his power to stay in the Eurozone Visited main police headquarters stated coppers should return to the beat to stop crime wave. Wants to pay unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants.

Ollande-interviewed on Greek Mega TV-States there are countries that want Greece expelled from Euro but that isn’t the position of France. They must follow the Accord-Bailout measures.

ND-Election kiosk in Sindagma Sq with police guards.

PASOK-Kaklamanis ex-President of Parliament attempted public meeting met with rotten fruit and coffees by electorate...

Aris Velouhiotis Statue-Nicked

Election Day 17th June
Tsipras voted
in Kipseli with around 200 photoreporters from around the world.

Fires in around 10 different parts of Greece from yesterday.

Greek fans in the match with Russia were chanting
"Put the Debts up your Arse, thats how those that Owe you Shag"
May be match with Germany on Friday!!!!

"Everyting started in Greece and everyone is obliged to respect them. Democracy started from there and so many other disciplines were taught by the Greeks who have great pride and deserve the respect of all. That which inspires us aren't comments of such a nature but the great history of Greece. No one can give us lessons."

Issue arose when a reporter asked him how they will cope if they meet Germany...
Santos is Portugese.

KKE-condemning Twitter where account has been opened up calling for KKE
members to vote for Syriza. She called it a provocation and fraud derailing
the electoral process

500,000 didn't vote, media states due to cost of travel this may remain high but fall
compared with 6th May.

Media-cant add up shit.

They claim there will be a rise for GD and a rise for ND.

A fall of the vote of the KKE thus a rise of Syriza.
A fall in the vote for DL therefore a rise for Syriza.
A fall in the rise of PASOK therefore a rise for Syriza.

So how can ND win?

Apart from being dumb in mathematics they are also stupid...


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