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IMF Issues Dire Warning On Global Economy

February 25th, 2016 Comments off

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just released a report warning  that economic growth worldwide is so fragile, policymakers in the top 20 economies, the so-called G20, must immediately prepare contingency plans. With repeated downgrading of its global growth forecasts, and further lowering of its projections likely, the IMF is in effect warning that the world stands on the precipice of a new global recession. It is urging policymakers in major sovereigns to prepare for future fiscal pump priming as a last measure to prevent further demand destruction.

Not surprisingly, the IMF report identifies two primary drivers of the underlying fragility of the global economy: China’s  slowing economic growth combined with turmoil in her equity markets and the collapse of the benchmark price of oil, inflicting massive fiscal turmoil on the world’s leading petroleum exporting nations. These factors have decimated global commodities and equities and have sown panic in financial markets across the globe.

Is this a repeat of the period just before the onset of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, or perhaps something different, and even more ominous? Time will tell.

 

 

 


 

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The Greece That Can Say No: History’s Lessons Applied To The Greek Debt Crisis

July 6th, 2015 Comments off

The latest stage in the Greek debt crisis has the been the referendum called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose ruling Syriza party was elected on a platform of opposition to the austerity measures imposed by the Eurozone and the International  Monetary Fund, in exchange for loans to service what almost everyone recognized are sovereign debts that Athens can never repay. With the collapse of talks between the Greek government and its creditors, Tsipras called the referendum, seeking a “no” vote  on the latest bailout terms offered by the Eurozone and IMF.  Not surprisingly, many business commentators and economists have savaged the negotiating tactic being employed by Tsipras, essentially claiming that such an approach will lead to the inevitable ejection of Greece from the Eurozone, and an even worse contraction of the already depressed Greek economy.

On the basis of cold logic, those pundits may be correct. However, the affairs of human societies are rarely played out in a purely logical manner. Those observers, and the leadership of the Eurozone and IMF, have ignored the lessons from Greek history of the last century.

In  asking Greek voters to render a vote for “Οχι” (pronounced “Ohi,” which is “no” in Greek), Tsipras was echoing one of the most important dates on the Greek national calendar, “Ohi Day,” held every October 28. “Ohi Day” commemorates an event that occurred on October 28, 1940 which has influenced the Greek national character ever since. In was on that day that the Italian ambassador to Greece handed an ultimatum to the Greek Prime Minister, Ioannis Metaxas. Mussolini, who was jealous of the military successes achieved by his Axis partner, Hitler, decided he would attempt the game of conquest as well. Despite the fact that Metaxas was a dictator, sympathetic  to both Nazi Germany  and Fascist Italy, Mussolini decided on attacking Greece for no other reason than it appearing to be a defenseless country, ripe for easy conquest. At 3.00 AM  Metaxas was informed by Rome’s ambassador that an Italian army would march  into Greece from Albania in less than 3 hours, and he must capitulate or expect war. The answer from Metaxas was “Ohi.”

That one word rallied Greek resistance to the invasion mounted by Fascist Italy. Metaxas, who was an ill man who would die within months, underwent a profound metamorphosis. He abandoned his previous empathy for fascism, and became a stalwart fighter for democracy. On the day of the Italian invasion, Metaxas issued a proclamation to the Greek people which began with these words, “The hour has come to fight for the liberty of Greece , her integrity and honor.” In a stirring radio broadcast made a month later, Metaxas told his nation, “All must know that the struggle must be hard and long, and that our road will not be strewn with flowers, but we shall overcome all difficulties, face all perils…We are fighting for values the significance of which goes beyond our own frontiers and those of the Balkan countries and extends to all humanity. Let us thank God that His will has again destined Greece  to fight for such a lofty cause.”

To the surprise of the entire world, the Greek army utterly routed the Italian invaders, and even liberated a large party of Italian-occupied Albania. It was the first time in World War II that an Axis army had been defeated in a land campaign. At a dark time in human history, the courage of the Greek nation was a rare beacon of light.

Eventually, Nazi Germany intervened in the fighting, and its massive war machine overcame Greek resistance. However, even under Nazi occupation, the Greek people continued to resist by mounting guerrilla warfare. The war brought much suffering to Greece, and an argument could have been made that accepting the Italian ultimatum might have spared the nation much material suffering. However, the cost would have been severe to the Greek people’s sense of national dignity. In 1940, they followed in the direction set by Metaxas, and established an example of national honor that inspired the world.

On July 5, 2015 the Greek people have again said “no.” As in 1940, despite the hard road mandated by their decision, the Greek people have placed national honor and dignity on a higher plane than the only other alternative on offer: an ultimatum based on collective indignity and national impoverishment .

 

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Greece and the Eurozone: Collision Course

June 28th, 2015 Comments off

Negotiations between the Greek government  of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza ruling party on one side, and the IMF and Eurozone creditors of the massive public debt  afflicting Greece on the other side, have collapsed. A collision course is now being pursued between the two opposite sides, a game of fiscal chicken with no discernible good outcome for either side.

With the collapse of talks between Athens and her creditors and the announcement by Tsipras of a pending referendum by the Greek electorate on a bailout deal being offered by the Eurozone and IMF (which Tsipras recommends be rejected), the European Central Bank appears on the verge of ending its liquidity lifeline to Greek banks. If that happens, Greece may close its banks as early as Monday, and impose capital controls. The end result: a Greek exit from the Euro appears more likely, along with the inevitable disruptive ripples that will afflict not only the Eurozone, but the global economy as a whole.

 

 

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China’s Economic Growth Slows To Lowest Level Since 1990

January 20th, 2015 Comments off

China’s National Bureau of Statistics released GDP growth figures for 2014, indicating that the world’s second largest economy grew that year by 7.4 percent (http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/PressRelease/201501/t20150120_671038.html), below the planned rate of 7.5 percent but exceeding expectations of 7.2 percent. Even if the figures released by Beijing’s NBS are accurate, they reflect a continuing trend of diminishing rates of growth over the past several years, and are the lowest level of GDP growth in 24 years.

But are the official figures on China’s GDP growth believable? Many elements of China’s macroeconomic performance are shrouded in opacity. The architecture of this vast economy  is formulated from a fundamentally contradictory hybrid mix of private sector capitalism and still overwhelming and largely inefficient state controlled sector, especially in heavy industry. Much of China’s growth in the past, impressive as it seems by overall world standards, was based on massive government spending on underutilized infrastructure; the accounts of entire blocks of apartment buildings that remain unoccupied are well known. There are the dangerous property bubbles, early signs of deflation, and rising debt levels in both the public and private arenas, with growing signs of a future explosion in bad debts held by Chinese financial institutions.

Officially, China’s leadership has resorted to what they call the “new normal,” a more sustainable rate of economic growth. The reality is likely a lot more murkier and volatile than the official statistics and pronouncements would indicate.

The clear trend of diminishing rates of GDP growth in China, whether extrapolated from official figures or derived from a more nuanced assessments of China’s economic performance, are already having an effect on the entire global economy. As with the United States, the massive size of the Chinese economy means that lower GDP growth rates create a head wind for the global economy as a whole. It is therefore no surprise that the International Monetary Fund has just revised its forecast of global economic growth downward by the most substantial margin in three years, to 3.5 percent from the 3.8 percent projected only  three months ago by the IMF (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/NEW012015A.htm). This is a harbinger of what lies in store for the global economy as the formerly massive rates of Chinese economic expansion continue to recede.

 

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Hillary Clinton Nude

 

Global Economic Growth Forecast Cut By IMF: Implications Are Sobering

October 27th, 2013 Comments off

While media throughout the world continues to give the impression that the global economic crisis and its related debt and fiscal issues are on the path to recovery, largely  by cherry picking the news, the International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for 2013. In July, the IMF projected global GDP growth for the current year of 3.2 percent; this has now been cut back to only 2.9 percent, despite the continuation of massive fiscal and monetary stimulus by sovereigns and central banks throughout the world.

For 2014 the IMF now projects global economic growth of 3.6 percent, a reduction from an earlier forecast of 3.8 percent. These reductions come despite the IMF boosting its projection of economic growth in the UK. Contrasting with so-called “green shoots” that some pundits have pointed to since 2009, there continues to be an avalanche of bad economic data throughout the world; supposed economic recovery in one region or country is offset by worsening news elsewhere. In the meantime, central banks throughout the world, and especially in developed countries, continue to flood the globe with unprecedented levels of liquidity, all conjured out of thin air. Without this radical level of monetary easing, the already anemic levels of economic growth, typically substantially below the proportion of fiscal deficits to GDP in many sovereigns, would almost certainly collapse.

According to the IMF, a slowdown in economic growth in major emerging markets, in particular China, Russia, India and Mexico is creating a drag on overall global economic expansion. This seems almost a reversal from the onset of the crisis in 2008, when the United States was the major driver of the global economic and financial crisis and China viewed as the primary savior. The IMF now sees the U.S. as being the sovereign most pivotal for facilitating global economic growth, in the wake of the slowdown in China and other major emerging economies. However, as noted  by the International Monetary Fund, political gridlock in the U.S., especially in relation to the extension of the national debt limit, is a foreboding threat for the entire global economy. Even in the absence of political dysfunction, the IMF chose to reduce its forecast of GDP growth in the American economy.

At present, the IMF projects a meager 1.6 percent growth in the U.S. economy for this year, far below the proportion of America’s GDP devoted to deficit spending. In other words, the amount of money Washington borrows to fund the federal government remains far above the nominal growth in the GDP. In addition, the Federal Reserve continues its policy of quantitative easing unabated, despite periodic hints of “tapering” the money printing.

What the IMF does not elaborate on (but should) is this point; how much longer can major economies like the U.S. engage in historically unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus that provides, at best, levels of economic growth so unimpressively marginal? If the best that such levels of public indebtedness and central bank money printing can provide is anemic growth approaching stall speed, the next major financial crisis to hit will likely be beyond the powers of even the most creative Treasury Secretary or central banker to contain.

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Hillary Clinton Nude

HILLARY CLINTON NUDE

Hillary Clinton Nude

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Street go in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.

Eurozone Recession To Continue In 2013: IMF

January 25th, 2013 Comments off

The International Monetary Fund is projecting a continuing contraction of the Eurozone during 2013. According to the IMF’s most current projection, overall the Euro area will see an economic contraction of 0.2 percent, with global growth overall of 3.5 percent due primarily to China and India.

The austerity measures that are being undertaken by the weakest Eurozone nations have led to historically high levels of unemployment and depression-level economic contraction. The weak economic dynamics within the Eurozone periphery have also taken a toll on economic performance among the strongest Eurozone members, including Germany.

With anti-growth austerity measures being ruthlessly imposed by several Eurozone nations most vulnerable to the sovereign debt crisis, including Spain and Greece, it is hard to see how a significant level of real economic growth will be achieved-and without that growth, there is no resolution to the European debt crisis, no matter how many more austerity measures are  imposed on a skeptical public by the policymakers.

                 

 

 

 

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

 To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Street go in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.

 

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IMF Issues Dire Global Economic Forecast

October 10th, 2012 Comments off

The chief economist for the International Monetary fund, Olivier Blanchard,  relayed the annual World Economic Outlook from the global organization at its meeting in Tokyo, which was somber in tone, and dire in its implications. All earlier growth forecast across the board were reduced, including emerging markets as well as developed economies. The current global growth forecast is 3.3 percent in 2013, down from an earlier projection of 3.5 percent.

The most alarming forecast by the IMF is for the Eurozone, which overall will experience zero growth. The major factor for the Eurozone’s flat growth projection is the fiscal consolidation occurring in many Eurozone economies, made essential by the acute sovereign debt crisis afflicting the monetary union, according to the IMF.

The transcending implication from the IMF’s latest forecast: the artificial “recovery” from the global economic crisis, which originated in 2008, is faltering. Furthermore, the supposed recovery was entirely dependent on massive sovereign debt financing, and with the inevitable fiscal consolidation now occurring, those economies are now at stall speed, and ripe for a double-dip recession, which is already occurring in many Eurozone economies.

                 

 

 

 

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

 To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Street go in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.

 

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IMF Gloomy On Global Economy, Pushes ECB To Adopt Weimar Style Monetary Policies

July 17th, 2012 Comments off

The latest report from the World Economic Outlook, released by the International Monetary Fund, cuts its forecast on global GDP growth. Of greater importance is the focus the IMF placed on the Eurozone debt crisis.  According to the IMF report, “The utmost priority is to resolve the crisis in the euro area.”

The IMF appears to be standing with those who are calling for the European Central Bank to replicate the loose monetary policies and money printing of the U.S. Federal Reserve and its chairman, Ben Bernanke.  The report virtually pleads for the ECB president, Mario Draghi, to place his printing presses in overdrive.

 “The ECB should ensure that its monetary support is transmitted effectively across the region and should continue to provide ample liquidity support to banks under sufficiently lenient conditions,” so says the International Monetary Fund in its report. It appears that the IMF is seeking Weimar style solutions to the European debt crisis, obviously forgetful of what those policies did for Germany  in the 1920s and early 1930s.

 

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

 To view and listen to the YouTube video audio excerpt  “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

 

Sex, murder, financial power and pathological greed come together in the explosive suspense thriller by Sheldon Filger, WALL STREET KILLS: A NOVEL ABOUT FINANCIAL POWER, VIOLENT SEX AND THE ULTIMATE SNUFF MOVIE.
This video provides a free audio reading from chapter one of “Wall Street Kills.” The scene depicted involves two characters from “Wall Street Kills” having a business conversation in a Los Angeles suburb. One character is Peter Hoffman, director of new business development for a secretive Wall Street hedge fund and private equity group. The other character is Daniel Iachino, president of a major independent film company specializing in “adult entertainment” for niche markets. Hoffman is on a mission to investigate if portraying unsimulated violent death in the form of entertainment would be a lucrative business investment. The conversation between the two men quickly focuses on the phenomenon of snuff movies.

 

 

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IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Remains Very Concerned About The Global Economic Crisis

April 13th, 2012 Comments off

The director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, sounds very worried, while engaging in contradictory messaging in her speech before the Brookings Institution. On the one hand, she mimics what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke did two years ago with his talk of “green shoots.” Lagarde speaks of the U.S. economy showing glimmers of positive data, while acknowledging, in her own words, that,  “Only a few months ago, we seemed to be staring into the abyss.” She urges the advanced economies to take advantage of the glimmer of “good news” to invest in growth and more bailouts for the financial sector, while also warning about the sovereign debt crisis afflicting the Eurozone.

“Clearly, the risk that looms largest is that sovereign and financial stresses return with renewed force in Europe,” Christine Lagarde told the Brookings Institution. But what solutions does the IMF have to offer? Borrow more to recapitalize banks that made the wrong bet on risky loans while simultaneously boosting government deficit spending to “stimulate growth?” Or, cutting back on government spending, thus creating a fiscal drag that leads to negative growth without reducing deficits? The IMF and its leader, just like the politicians of the advanced economies, have run out of solutions, other than meaningless cliches.

 

                 

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IMF Head Christine Lagarde Warns On Economic Crisis Becoming Another Great Depression

December 16th, 2011 Comments off

The International Monetary Fund’s boss, Christine Lagarde, has issued another warning regarding the global economic crisis. This time, she spoke in Washington DC about  the danger of another Great Depression unless all countries work together to resolve the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. If they don’t act in unison and effectively, Lagarde said the consequences would be, “Protectionism, isolation, and other elements reminiscent of the 1930s Depression.”

The grim outlook from the IMF is in sequence with cascading warnings from France and Germany that unless fiscal policy in the Eurozone becomes “harmonized” (e.g. more erosion of national sovereignty) and other countries outside the Eurozone (especially China) provide funding for the “big bazooka” to backstop the danger of sovereigns becoming insolvent, the global economy will implode. What the IMF and the politicians have not said is that it is politically impossible for them to obtain all the scenarios they claim are needed to prevent outright catastrophe.

 

                 

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Officer Larry of the NYPD is on his way to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to arrest peaceful protesters involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Being a public spirited member of the New York Police Department, Officer Larry does remind us that there is a global economic crisis underway that rivals the Great Depression of the 1930s.