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Greek Tragedy Goes Global

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Jul. 09, 2011 at 4:50 AM

financial terrorism

Greek Tragedy Goes Global - by Stephen Lendman

After Greece's government surrendered to banker occupation, trends analyst Gerald Celente told Russia Today that:

America's "economy continues to decline. There's no recovery in sight." Across Europe in Greece, Britain and elsewhere, people are reacting against forced austerity to assure bankers get paid.

In fact, Trends Journal months ago called it "off with their heads 2.0....The global ponzi scheme is under collapse....whether it's in Egypt, Tunisia, whether it's in the UK, Greece. Watch out for Spain. Here comes Italy. Ireland's coming up the backstretch. It's only going to get much worse."

"The people know the score....What killed capitalism (is explained) in four simple words: too big to fail...The banks are failing, and they want the people to bail them out....I want to make this clear. The IMF is nothing more than the International Mafia Federation, the loan sharks of last resort, and the people know it. They call it privatization. Adults call it stealing valuable public assets, and selling them to your friends really cheaply."

In all these countries, "the politicians only represent the people who give them the most amount of money....And what do these austerity measures bring - a lot more poverty and unemployment." People know it. They're mad, and they're reacting globally.

Expect it eventually in America, the heart of predatory capitalism, stealing from the many for the privileged few, bankers and war profiteers always first in line for handouts, as much as they want whenever they want it.

On July 2, long-time former insider, market analyst/observer Bob Chapman said world markets, especially America's, "are in a state of uneasiness, and it's only a matter of time before they degenerate further. The real question is will everything break loose between now and the end of the year?" In part, it will, and it's currently happening.

In fact, problems Chapman explained months ago "are coming together like a bad dream. This could be a replay of 2008, but for a different set of reasons." Wall Street is a reliable leading indicator.

On June 16, New York Times writer Susanne Craig headlined, "Wall Street Braces for New Layoffs as Profits Wane," saying:

"Wall Street plans to get smaller this summer." Faced with economic weakness, "many of the biggest firms are preparing for deep cuts in jobs and other costs." According to Normura analyst Glenn Schorr, "It's a tense environment right now," suggesting hard times perhaps returning soon.

According to Chapman, Greece's problems weren't solved. They're festering greater than ever. More on that below. Moreover, sovereign nation debt ratings "are falling like ten-pins. (We believe that) euro, (Eurozone) and European Union problems....are unsolvable."

"Little has been done to repair" the 2008 debt crisis. Conditions across Europe, Britain and America are no better. Sooner or later Greece will default, perhaps causing "a collapse of the world financial system, as we know it....The entire financial sectors" in Western countries "are more vulnerable now than ever" and getting worse.

Watch out. Failure somewhere could trigger panic globally. Moreover, China's economy is slowing. Major inflation and real estate bubble problems exacerbate it, and Japan's now back in recession. Overall, talk of recovery is illusion, not fact, in the face of growing global deterioration.

Financial expert and investor safety advocate Martin Weiss has been warning regularly about deepening debt crises and likely defaults. On July 4, his latest report is headlined, "Why the Great Greek Tragedy Has Barely Begun," saying:

The likelihood of Greek debt default is much higher than ever, what Western governments and media won't explain until its debt bubble implosion no longer can be hidden.

Have bailouts helped? Absolutely not! In fact, global institutional investors believe "the probability of a Greek default is FOUR times greater today than (when) European officials announced" their bailout.

Moreover, when Lehman Bros. failed in September 2008, "the most investors were willing to pay for $10 million in Greek debt default coverage was $52,000. Today, they're paying 45 times more!"

In fact, they know that force fed austerity, including tax hikes, layoffs, spending cuts, lower government revenues, and public asset fire sales won't avoid default. It's not if, just when and how badly contagion spreads globally.

What Greece and other troubled economies, entrapped by IMF mandates, have done is sign their "own death warrant." Greece's loans will keep it going another few months at most, "through the summer, but not a single second longer," so it's back for more help, more cuts, higher unemployment, less revenue, greater poverty on the road to financial oblivion like other countries on the same path.

As a result, Weiss sees three major financial crises ahead:

(1) Already reeling from America's greatest housing depression, US banks face more crushing burdens ahead because of their exposure to European banks that have loaned billions to Greece. When they're hit, US banks go with them, those most exposed hammered hardest.

(2) Vulnerable US money funds have "half of their $1.6 trillion in assets in European banks." Moreover, "50 million Americans have money in those funds!" When Greece defaults, they'll be hard-pressed to repay what they borrowed. As a result, "breaking the buck" may follow, meaning their share price value will fall below $1, what most investors once thought impossible, but it happened after Lehman collapsed.

In late June, even Bernanke admitted that European bank exposure "pose(s) some concern to money market mutual funds," a rare divergence from past rosy scenario predictions.

However, danger signs extend well beyond money funds. Virtually all global debt markets are vulnerable, including corporate commercial paper and US Treasuries. When crisis conditions deepen globally, no financial assets are safe. As a result, catastrophic consequences are possible.

(3) "Washington is suffering from the same debt disease as Athens," multiplied many times over. As a result, every hardship Greece now faces offers "a sneak preview of what could be in store (for America), barring" an unlikely major political miracle as lawmakers debate exacerbating measures, not healing ones. No wonder Weiss advises, "Above all, stay safe!"

In Part 2 of his May Quarterly Letter to investors, GMO asset management firm co-founder and chief strategist Jeremy Grantham headlined, "Time to be Serious" by lightening up on risk exposure at a time stocks are 40% overvalued and fixed income "badly overpriced."

With red flags emerging everywhere, now's "not the time to float along with the Fed, but to fight it," meaning safety is essential over risk as beating odds gets longer in a global economy getting sicker, not better, but don't expect Western governments or media to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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