Greece Raids Home Of Central Bank Head

While the US the media lashes out at Trump every time he dares to tell the truth that the central bank is a biased, engaged, political member of the decision-making landscape, other “developed” countries are happily willing to demonstrate just how apolitical the central bank truly is. Take Greece, for example, where today the chief prosecutor ordered a raid of the home of the governor of the Greek central bank, Yannis Stournaras and the company office of his wife, Lina.

Yannis Stournaras

The searches were part of a probe conducted by the Financial Police in connection to the alleged mismanagement of more than 1 million euros in state funding by the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, KEELPNO. The investigation related to funds that KEELPNO allegedly received through a company owned by Nikolopoulou as well as complaints regarding the disappearance of documents tied to the case.

According to the WSJ, the raid was part of a continuing investigation into business Stournaras’ wife has done with a state entity, officials said, in a probe that may heighten tension between the top bank official and the left-wing government. Lina Nikolopoulou-Stournaras, the wife of central bank Governor Yannis Stournaras and owner of an communications company specializing in the medical sector, is under investigation from Greek authorities for business she has done with the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or Keelpno.

In yet another case of alleged embezzlement, last year Greek authorities charged board members of Keelpno, with misappropriation of funds over contracts they had awarded between 2011 and 2013. Ms. Nikolopoulou-Stournaras has denied any wrong doing in the case. Mr. Stournaras isn’t involved in the business.

Meanwhile, the Greek central bank governor called Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to inform him of the raid and the two men agreed that it won’t affect their work on the country’s banking system, Greek government officials said. In a statement, the company owned by Ms. Nikolopoulo-Stournaras, Mindwork Business Solutions, said it handed over the information authorities asked for and that it operates within the law.

The central banker’s wife did not pull her punches, and in her statement made it clear that the object of the raid was not her, but her husband: “We all understand that the real target is my husband as a means of serving a certain purpose.”  Syriza officials refused to comment on the statement.

And confirming without a doubt just how political central bankers truly are, Stournaras, who has was appointed as the country’s central bank governor in June 2014 under the previous conservative government, has sparred with the ruling left-wing Syriza party since it came into power in January last year. Senior members of the party have accused the Greek central bank governor of unfairly using his position to swing public opinion against their economic policies and in favor of the country’s lenders, eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund.

Last summer the country’s previous parliamentary speaker, Zoe Konstantopoulou, demanded Mr. Stournaras testify at a committee investigating bribery allegations against Siemens AG, the German engineering giant, in a public stand off between the two. Mr. Stournaras initially refused to attend, citing his workload, but testified several months later.

Ironcially, a similar blowback against central bankers is taking place in the US and across the western world right now, however any time someone dares to state the truth, they are branded as a tinfoil wearing conspiracy theorist, and desperately ignored. This is better known as the denial phase.

A Refugee Crisis Made In America

A Refugee Crisis Made In America

Submitted by Philip Giraldi via,

On April 29th, 2008 I had a Saul on the Road to Damascus moment. I had flipped open theWashington Post and there, on the front page, was a color photo of a two year old Iraqi boy named Ali Hussein being pulled from the rubble of a house that had been destroyed by American missiles. The little boy was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and had on his feet flip-flops. His head was hanging back at an angle that told the viewer immediately that he was dead.

Four days later on May 3rd a letter by a Dunn Loring Virginia woman named Valerie Murphy was printed by the Post. Murphy complained that the Iraqi child victim photo should not have been run in the paper because it would “stir up opposition to the war and feed anti-US sentiment.” I suppose the newspaper thought it was being impartial in printing the woman’s letter, though I couldn’t help but remember that the neocon-dominated Post had generally been unwilling to cover anything antiwar, even ignoring a gathering of 300,000 protesters in Washington in 2005. Rereading the woman’s complaint and also a comment on a website suggesting that the photo of the dead little boy had been staged, I thought to myself, “What kind of monsters have we become.” And in truth we had become monsters. Bipartisan monsters wrapped in the American flag. Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said that killing 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions was “worth it.” She is now a respected elder statesman close to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

I had another epiphany last week when I saw the photo of the little Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach like a bit of flotsam. He was wearing a red t-shirt and black sneakers. I thought to myself that many Americans will shake their heads when looking at the photo before moving on, more concerned about Stephen Colbert’s debut on the Late Show and the start of the NFL season.

The little boy is one of hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to get to Europe. The world media is following the crisis by focusing primarily on the inability of unprepared local governments to deal with the numbers of migrants, asking why someone somewhere can’t just “do something.” This means that somehow, as a result, the vast human tragedy has been reduced to a statistic and, inevitably, a political football.

Overwhelmed by thousands of would-be travelers, Hungary suspended train service heading towards Western Europe while countries like Serbia and Macedonia deployed their military and police along their borders in a failed attempt to completely block refugees. Italy and Greece have been overwhelmed by migrants arriving by sea. Germany, to its credit, is intending to process up to 800,000 refugee and asylum applications, mostly from Syria, while Austria and Sweden have also indicated their willingness to accept many more. Immediate neighbors of the zone of conflict, notably Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are hosting more than three million of those who are displaced, but the wealthy Arab Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia have done little or nothing to help.

Demands for a European unified strategy to deal with the problem are growing, to include sealing borders and declaring the seas off of preferred departure points in North Africa and Asia to be military zones where undocumented ships and travelers will be intercepted and turned back. One also has to suspect that the refugee crisis might be exploited by some European politicians to justify NATO “humanitarian” intervention of some sort in Syria, a move that would have to be supported by Washington. But while the bickering and maneuvering goes on, the death toll mounts. The recent discovery of 71 dead would-be migrants who suffocated in the back of a locked truck found in Austria, to include five children and a toddler, horrified the world. And that was before the dead three year old on the Turkish beach.

Many of the would-be migrants are young men looking for work in Europe, a traditional enterprise, but most of the new arrivals are families escaping the horrors of war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Their plight has been described in the media in graphic terms, families arriving with nothing and expecting nothing, fleeing even worse conditions back at home.

The United States has taken in only a small number of the refugees and a usually voluble White House has been uncharacteristically quiet about the problem, possibly realizing that allowing in a lot of displaced foreigners at a time when there is an increasingly heated debate over immigration policy in general just might not be a good move, politically speaking. But it should perhaps be paying some attention to what caused the problem in the first place, a bit of introspection that is largely lacking both from the mainstream media and from politicians.

Indeed, I would assign to Washington most of the blame for what is happening right now. Since folks inside the beltway are particularly given to making judgements based on numerical data they might be interested in the toll exacted through America’s global war on terror. By one not unreasonable estimate, as many as four million Muslims have died or been killed as a result of the ongoing conflicts that Washington has either initiated or been party to since 2001.

There are, in addition, millions of displaced persons who have lost their homes and livelihoods, many of whom are among the human wave currently engulfing Europe. There are currently an estimated 2,590,000 refugees who have fled their homes from Afghanistan, 370,000 from Iraq, 3,880,000 million from Syria, and 1,100,000 from Somalia. The United Nations Refugee Agency is expecting at least 130,000 refugees from Yemen as fighting in that country accelerates. Between 600,000 and one million Libyans are living precariously in neighboring Tunisia.

The number of internally displaced within each country is roughly double the number of those who have actually fled and are seeking to resettle outside their homelands. Many of the latter have wound up in temporary camps run by the United Nations while others are paying criminals to transport them into Europe.

Significantly, the countries that have generated most of the refugees are all places where the United States has invaded, overthrown governments, supported insurgencies, or intervened in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq created a power vacuum that has empowered terrorism in the Arab heartland. Supporting rebels in Syria has piled Pelion on Ossa. Afghanistan continues to bleed 14 years after the United States arrived and decided to create a democracy. Libya, which was relatively stable when the U.S. and its allies intervened, is now in chaos, with its disorder spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa.

Everywhere people are fleeing the violence, which, among other benefits, has virtually obliterated the ancient Christian presence in the Middle East. Though I recognize that the refugee problem cannot be completely blamed on only one party, many of those millions would be alive and the refugees would for the most part be in their homes if it had not been for the catastrophic interventionist policies pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States.

It is perhaps past time for Washington to begin to become accountable for what it does.The millions of people living rough or in tents, if they are lucky, need help and it is not satisfactory for the White House to continue with its silence, a posture that suggests that the refugees are somehow somebody else’s problem. They are, in fact, our problem. A modicum of honesty from President Barack Obama would be appreciated, perhaps an admission that things have not exactly worked out as planned by his administration and that of his predecessor. And money is needed. Washington throws billions of dollars to fight wars it doesn’t have to fight and to prop up feckless allies worldwide. For a change it might be refreshing to see tax money doing some good, working with the most affected states in the Middle East and Europe to resettle the homeless and making an honest effort to come to negotiated settlements to end the fighting in Syria and Yemen, both of which can only have unspeakably bad outcomes if they continue on their current trajectories.

Ironically, American hawks are exploiting the photo of the dead Syrian boy to blame the Europeans for the humanitarian crisis while also demanding an all-out effort to depose Bashar al-Assad. Last Friday’s Washington Post had a lead editorial headlined “Europe’s Abdication,” and also featured a Michael Gerson op-ed urging immediate regime change in Syria, blaming the crisis solely on Damascus. The editorial railed against European “racists” regarding the refugee plight. And it is not clear how Gerson, an evangelical neoconservative former speech writer for George W. Bush, can possibly believe that permitting Syria to fall to ISIS would benefit anyone.

We Americans are in something approaching complete denial about how truly horrible our nation’s recent impact on the rest of the world has been. We are universally hated, even by those who have their hands out to receive their Danegeld, and the world is undoubtedly shaking its head as it listens to the bile coming out of the mouths of our presidential candidates. Shakespeare observed that the “evil that men do lives after them,” but he had no experience of the United States. We choose to dissimulate regarding the bad choices we make followed up with lies to justify and mitigate our crimes. And still later the evil we do disappears down the memory hole. Literally.

In writing this piece I looked up Ali Hussein, the little Iraqi boy who was killed by the American bomb. He has been “disappeared” from Google, as well has the photo, presumably because his death did not meet community standards. He has likewise been eliminated from the Washington Post archive. The experience of Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984 immediately came to mind.

Greece is the First Domino to Fall

Benjamin Fulford: Greece is the First European Domino to Fall… Will it Affect U.S. Economy? Video


It is common knowledge that all Western economies are inter-related, rest on fiat (non-metal-backed or backed-by-nothing) currencies and fractional reserve lending that leads to universal, inevitable, unrepayable debt.

The American Debt-to-Gross Domestic Product Ratio has been over 100% for more than a year now… Greece is just the beginning:

Is Australia The Next Greece?

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/19/2015 21:45 -0400

Australian consumers are more worried about the medium term outlook than at the peak of the financial crisis, and rightfully so.

Source: @ANZ_WarrenHogan

As The Telegraph reports, by the end of the first quarter this year, Australia’s net foreign debt had climbed to a record $955bn, equal to an already unsustainable 60pc of gross domestic product, and is set to rise as RBA’s bet that depreciation in the value of the country’s currency would help to offset the decline in its overbearing mining industry hasn’t happened to the extent they would have wished.

 Furthermore, as UBS explains, China’s real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia’s nominal GDP growth this last decade. With iron ore and coal prices plumbing new record lows, a Chinese (real) economy firing on perhaps 1 cyclinder, and equity investors reeling from China’s collapse; perhaps the situation facing Australia is more like Greece than many want to admit, as Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman and matriarch of Perth’s Hancock mining dynasty stunned her workers this week: accept a 10% pay cut or face redundancies.

The government in Canberra and the Reserve Bank of Australia, The Telegraph explains,  had bet that depreciation in the value of the country’s currency would help to offset the decline in its overbearing mining industry. However, that hasn’t happened to the extent they would have wished.

Last month Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman and matriarch of Perth’s Hancock mining dynasty delivered an unwelcome shock to her workers in Western Australia:accept a possible 10pc pay cut or face the risk of future redundancies.

Ms Rinehart, whose family have accumulated vast wealth from iron ore mining, has seen her fortune dwindle since commodity prices began their inexorable slide last year. The Australian mining mogul has seen her estimated wealth collapse to around $11bn (£7bn) from a fortune that was thought to be worth around $30bn just three years ago.


This colossal collapse in wealth is symptomatic of the wider economic problem now facing Australia, which for years has been known as the lucky country due to its preponderance in natural resources such as iron ore, coal and gold. During the boom years of the so-called commodities “super cycle” when China couldn’t buy enough of everything that Australia dug out of the ground, the country’s economy resembled oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

However, a collapse in iron ore and coal prices coupled with the impact of large international mining companies slashing investment has exposed Australia’s true vulnerability. Just like Saudi Arabia, which is now burning its foreign reserves to compensate for falling oil prices, Australia faces a collapse in export revenue.

Recently revised figures for April show that the country’s trade deficit with the rest of the world ballooned to a record A$4.14bn (£2bn). That gap between the value of exports and imports is expected to increase as the value of Australia’s most important resources reaches new multi-year lows. Iron ore is now trading at around $50 per tonne, compared with a peak of around $180 per tonne achieved in 2011. Thermal coal has also suffered heavy losses, now trading at around $60 per tonne compared with around $150 per tonne four years ago.

For an economy which in 2012 depended on resources for 65pc of its total trade in goods and services these dramatic falls in prices are almost impossible to absorb without inflicting wider damage. The drop in foreign currency earnings has seen Australia forced to borrow more in order to maintain government spending.

The respected Australian economist Stephen Koukoulas recently wrote of the dangers that escalating levels of foreign debt could present for future generations. Could a prolonged period of depressed commodity prices even turn Australia into Asia’s version of Greece, with China being its banker of last resort instead of the European Union.

As UBS further explains, China’s real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia’s nominal GDP growth this last decade.

The property-driven slowdown in China’s GDP growth is continuing to having a disproportionately large negative impact on Australia’s economy. This is because China clearly remains Australia’s largest export destination, having peaked at a record high ~? share of total exports last year (equivalent to ~7% of GDP), but more recently retracing sharply to the current 28% share. This reflects the >20%y/y drop in Australia’s nominal exports to China in FY15 – which is on track to subtract ~1¼%pts y/y from nominal GDP.

In contrast, FY14 export values surged 26%y/y, adding 1¼%pts y/y to nominal GDP. Notably, this turnaround entirely reflects collapsing prices, which more than offset surging volumes. (Indeed, this overall fall in export values is despite a boom in Chinese tourism arrivals which are currently growing ~20%y/y.)

Weak Chinese demand remains a key downside risk for not only Australia’s economy but also the RBA & AUD outlook. The weakness in Chinese growth is having the most obvious negative impact on Australia because our basket of exports is (almost) uniquely concentrated in commodities (back down to ~? share), where China is generally the marginal price-setter. Indeed, after iron ore alone reached a 30% share of total Australian exports in 2013, the recent renewed collapse in iron ore prices saw its export share drop back closer to 20%. The price effect has been a key driver behind Australia’s terms of trade collapsing by ? since its peak in 2011.

This negative income shock is weighing heavily on Australia’s fiscal position, which has seen its deficit consistently worse than expected over that period; as well as leading to a ‘capex cliff’, which has seen the RBA cut rates and drag the AUD/USD down to a 6-year low. Indeed, an ABS survey of the outlook for mining investment in FY15/16 implies a ~37% collapse which could directly subtract a massive 2%pts y/y from nominal GDP. As such, weak Chinese demand remains a key downside risk for not only Australia’s economy but also the RBA & AUD outlook (with the latter still expected to depreciate further to 0.70USD ahead).

*  *  *

As The Telegraph concludes, rather ominously,

The problem is that Australia, after decades of effort to diversify, is looking ever more like a petrodollar economy of the Middle East, but without the vast horde of foreign currency reserves to fall back on when commodity prices fall.

Instead, Australians must borrow to maintain the standards of living that the country has become accustomed to, which even some Greeks will admit is unsustainable.

All Debt To The Troika “Illegal, Illegitimate, And Odious”

Greek Debt Committee Just Declared All Debt To The Troika “Illegal, Illegitimate, And Odious”

It was in April when we got a stark reminder of a post we first penned in April of 2011,describing Odious Debt, and why we thought sooner or later this legal term would become applicable for Greece, because two months ago Greek Zoi Konstantopoulou, speaker of the Greek parliament and a SYRIZA member, said she had established a new “Truth Committee on Public Debt” whose purposes was to “investigate how much of the debt is “illegal” with a view to writing it off.”

Moments ago, this committee released its preliminary findings, and here is the conclusion from the full report presented below:

All the evidence we present in this report shows that Greece not only does not have the ability to pay this debt, but also should not pay this debt first and foremost because the debt emerging from the Troika’s arrangements is a direct infringement on the fundamental human rights of the residents of Greece. Hence, we came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious.

As we predicted over four years ago, Greece has effectively just declared that it will no longer have to default on its IMF (or any other debt – note that the dreaded “Troika” word finally makes an appearance after it was officially banned) simply because that debt was not legal to begin with, i.e. it was “odious.”

If so, this has just thrown a very unique wrench in the spokes of not only the Greek debt negotiations, but all other peripheral European nations’ Greek negotiations, who will promptly demand that their debt be, likewise, declared odious, and made null and void, thus washing their hands of servicing it again.

And another question: when Greece says the debt was illegal and it no longer has to make the June 30 payment, what will be the Troika’s response: confiscate Greek assets a la Argentina, declare involuntary default, sue it in the Hague?

Good luck.

From the full just released report by the Hellenic Parliament commission:

Hellenic Parliament’s Debt Truth Committee Preliminary Findings – Executive Summary of the report

In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroad of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt. Five years since the economic adjustment programmes began, the country remains deeply cemented in an economic, social, democratic and ecological crisis. The black box of debt has remained closed, and until now no authority, Greek or international, has sought to bring to light the truth about how and why Greece was subjected to the Troika regime. The debt, in whose name nothing has been spared, remains the rule through which neoliberal adjustment is imposed, and the deepest and longest recession experienced in Europe during peacetime.

There is an immediate need and social responsibility to address a range of legal, social and economic issues that demand proper consideration. In response, the Hellenic Parliament established the Truth Committee on Public Debt in April 2015, mandating the investigation into the creation and growth of public debt, the way and reasons for which debt was contracted, and the impact that the conditionalities attached to the loans have had on the economy and the population. The Truth Committee has a mandate to raise awareness of issues pertaining to the Greek debt, both domestically and internationally, and to formulate arguments and options concerning the cancellation of the debt.

The research of the Committee presented in this preliminary report sheds light on the fact that the entire adjustment programme, to which Greece has been subjugated, was and remains a politically orientated programme. The technical exercise surrounding macroeconomic variables and debt projections, figures directly relating to people’s lives and livelihoods, has enabled discussions around the debt to remain at a technical level mainly revolving around the argument that the policies imposed on Greece will improve its capacity to pay the debt back. The facts presented in this report challenge this argument.

All the evidence we present in this report shows that Greece not only does not have the ability to pay this debt, but also should not pay this debt first and foremost because the debt emerging from the Troika’s arrangements is a direct infringement on the fundamental human rights of the residents of Greece. Hence, we came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious.

It has also come to the understanding of the Committee that the unsustainability of the Greek public debt was evident from the outset to the international creditors, the Greek authorities, and the corporate media. Yet, the Greek authorities, together with some other governments in the EU, conspired against the restructuring of public debt in 2010 in order to protect financial institutions. The corporate media hid the truth from the public by depicting a situation in which the bailout was argued to benefit Greece, whilst spinning a narrative intended to portray the population as deservers of their own wrongdoings.

Bailout funds provided in both programmes of 2010 and 2012 have been externally managed through complicated schemes, preventing any fiscal autonomy. The use of the bailout money is strictly dictated by the creditors, and so, it is revealing that less than 10% of these funds have been destined to the government’s current expenditure.

This preliminary report presents a primary mapping out of the key problems and issues associated with the public debt, and notes key legal violations associated with the contracting of the debt; it also traces out the legal foundations, on which unilateral suspension of the debt payments can be based. The findings are presented in nine chapters structured as follows:

Chapter 1, Debt before the Troika, analyses the growth of the Greek public debt since the 1980s. It concludes that the increase in debt was not due to excessive public spending, which in fact remained lower than the public spending of other Eurozone countries, but rather due to the payment of extremely high rates of interest to creditors, excessive and unjustified military spending, loss of tax revenues due to illicit capital outflows, state recapitalization of private banks, and the international imbalances created via the flaws in the design of the Monetary Union itself.

Adopting the euro led to a drastic increase of private debt in Greece to which major European private banks as well as the Greek banks were exposed. A growing banking crisis contributed to the Greek sovereign debt crisis. George Papandreou’s government helped to present the elements of a banking crisis as a sovereign debt crisis in 2009 by emphasizing and boosting the public deficit and debt.

Chapter 2, Evolution of Greek public debt during 2010-2015, concludes that the first loan agreement of 2010, aimed primarily to rescue the Greek and other European private banks, and to allow the banks to reduce their exposure to Greek government bonds.

Chapter 3, Greek public debt by creditor in 2015, presents the contentious nature of Greece’s current debt, delineating the loans’ key characteristics, which are further analysed in Chapter 8.

Chapter 4, Debt System Mechanism in Greece reveals the mechanisms devised by the agreements that were implemented since May 2010. They created a substantial amount of new debt to bilateral creditors and the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), whilst generating abusive costs thus deepening the crisis further. The mechanisms disclose how the majority of borrowed funds were transferred directly to financial institutions. Rather than benefitting Greece, they have accelerated the privatization process, through the use of financial instruments.

Chapter 5, Conditionalities against sustainability, presents how the creditors imposed intrusive conditionalities attached to the loan agreements, which led directly to the economic unviability and unsustainability of debt. These conditionalities, on which the creditors still insist, have not only contributed to lower GDP as well as higher public borrowing, hence a higher public debt/GDP making Greece’s debt more unsustainable, but also engineered dramatic changes in the society, and caused a humanitarian crisis. The Greek public debt can be considered as totally unsustainable at present.

Chapter 6, Impact of the “bailout programmes” on human rights, concludes that the measures implemented under the “bailout programmes” have directly affected living conditions of the people and violated human rights, which Greece and its partners are obliged to respect, protect and promote under domestic, regional and international law. The drastic adjustments, imposed on the Greek economy and society as a whole, have brought about a rapid deterioration of living standards, and remain incompatible with social justice, social cohesion, democracy and human rights.

Chapter 7, Legal issues surrounding the MOU and Loan Agreements, argues there has been a breach of human rights obligations on the part of Greece itself and the lenders, that is the Euro Area (Lender) Member States, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and theInternational Monetary Fund, who imposed these measures on Greece. All these actors failed to assess the human rights violations as an outcome of the policies they obliged Greece to pursue, and also directly violated the Greek constitution by effectively stripping Greece of most of its sovereign rights. The agreements contain abusive clauses, effectively coercing Greece to surrender significant aspects of its sovereignty. This is imprinted in the choice of the English law as governing law for those agreements, which facilitated the circumvention of the Greek Constitution and international human rights obligations. Conflicts with human rights and customary obligations, several indications of contracting parties acting in bad faith, which together with the unconscionable character of the agreements, render these agreements invalid.

Chapter 8, Assessment of the Debts as regards illegtimacy, odiousness, illegality, and unsustainability, provides an assessment of the Greek public debt according to the definitions regarding illegitimate, odious, illegal, and unsustainable debt adopted by the Committee.

Chapter 8 concludes that the Greek public debt as of June 2015 is unsustainable, since Greece is currently unable to service its debt without seriously impairing its capacity to fulfill its basic human rights obligations. Furthermore, for each creditor, the report provides evidence of indicative cases of illegal, illegitimate and odious debts.

Debt to the IMF should be considered illegal since its concession breached the IMF’s own statutes, and its conditions breached the Greek Constitution, international customary law, and treaties to which Greece is a party. It is also illegitimate, since conditions included policy prescriptions that infringed human rights obligations. Finally, it is odious since the IMF knew that the imposed measures were undemocratic, ineffective, and would lead to serious violations of socio-economic rights.

Debts to the ECB should be considered illegal since the ECB over-stepped its mandate by imposing the application of macroeconomic adjustment programs (e.g. labour market deregulation) via its participation in the Troïka. Debts to the ECB are also illegitimate and odious, since the principal raison d’etre of the Securities Market Programme (SMP) was to serve the interests of the financial institutions, allowing the major European and Greek private banks to dispose of their Greek bonds.

The EFSF engages in cash-less loans which should be considered illegal because Article 122(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) was violated, and further they breach several socio-economic rights and civil liberties. Moreover, the EFSF Framework Agreement 2010 and the Master Financial Assistance Agreement of 2012 contain several abusive clauses revealing clear misconduct on the part of the lender. The EFSF also acts against democratic principles, rendering these particular debts illegitimate and odious.

The bilateral loans should be considered illegal since they violate the procedure provided by the Greek constitution. The loans involved clear misconduct by the lenders, and had conditions that contravened law or public policy. Both EU law and international law were breached in order to sideline human rights in the design of the macroeconomic programmes. The bilateral loans are furthermore illegitimate, since they were not used for the benefit of the population, but merely enabled the private creditors of Greece to be bailed out. Finally, the bilateral loans are odious since the lender states and the European Commission knew of potential violations, but in 2010 and 2012 avoided to assess the human rights impacts of the macroeconomic adjustment and fiscal consolidation that were the conditions for the loans.

The debt to private creditors should be considered illegal because private banks conducted themselves irresponsibly before the Troika came into being, failing to observe due diligence, while some private creditors such as hedge funds also acted in bad faith. Parts of the debts to private banks and hedge funds are illegitimate for the same reasons that they are illegal; furthermore, Greek banks were illegitimately recapitalized by tax-payers. Debts to private banks and hedge funds are odious, since major private creditors were aware that these debts were not incurred in the best interests of the population but rather for their own benefit.

The report comes to a close with some practical considerations. Chapter 9, Legal foundations for repudiation and suspension of the Greek sovereign debt, presents the options concerning the cancellation of debt, and especially the conditions under which a sovereign state can exercise the right to unilateral act of repudiation or suspension of the payment of debt under international law.

Several legal arguments permit a State to unilaterally repudiate its illegal, odious, and illegitimate debt. In the Greek case, such a unilateral act may be based on the following arguments: the bad faith of the creditors that pushed Greece to violate national law and international obligations related to human rights; preeminence of human rights over agreements such as those signed by previous governments with creditors or the Troika; coercion; unfair terms flagrantly violating Greek sovereignty and violating the Constitution; and finally, the right recognized in international law for a State to take countermeasures against illegal acts by its creditors , which purposefully damage its fiscal sovereignty, oblige it to assume odious, illegal and illegitimate debt, violate economic self-determination and fundamental human rights.

As far as unsustainable debt is concerned, every state is legally entitled to invoke necessity in exceptional situations in order to safeguard those essential interests threatened by a grave and imminent peril. In such a situation, the State may be dispensed from the fulfilment of those international obligations that augment the peril, as is the case with outstanding loan contracts. Finally, states have the right to declare themselves unilaterally insolvent where the servicing of their debt is unsustainable, in which case they commit no wrongful act and hence bear no liability.

People’s dignity is worth more than illegal, illegitimate, odious and unsustainable debt

Having concluded a preliminary investigation, the Committee considers that Greece has been and still is the victim of an attack premeditated and organized by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. This violent, illegal, and immoral mission aimed exclusively at shifting private debt onto the public sector.
Making this preliminary report available to the Greek authorities and the Greek people, the Committee considers to have fulfilled the first part of its mission as defined in the decision of the President of Parliament of 4 April 2015. The Committee hopes that the report will be a useful tool for those who want to exit the destructive logic of austerity and stand up for what is endangered today: human rights, democracy, peoples’ dignity, and the future of generations to come.

In response to those who impose unjust measures, the Greek people might invoke what Thucydides mentioned about the constitution of the Athenian people: “As for the name, it is called a democracy, for the administration is run with a view to the interests of the many, not of the few” (Pericles’ Funeral Oration, in the speech from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War).

Greek Crisis Infects French Bonds

French Bonds Infected as Greek Crisis Swells Euro-Region Spreads

by Lukanyo Mnyanda

June 16, 2015 — 11:41 AM CEST
Updated on June 16, 2015 — 5:44 PM CEST

(Don’t you love how when the derivative pyramid crumbles they call it an “infection” when its just simply math at work? By calling it a contagion they can blame the Greeks for the disease… That bubble was going to blow sooner or later, Greece or no Greece.  -American Kabuki)

Europe’s bond selloff is spreading to markets traditionally viewed as safer, with only Germany remaining unscathed by Greece’s impasse with creditors.

The extra yield, or spread, that investors get for holding French or Belgian 10-year bonds rather than benchmark German debt surged above 50 basis points for the first time this year. Even bonds of the Netherlands and Finland, which have top AAA grades from at least two of the three major ratings companies, are suffering as the fallout from the Greek debacle spreads beyond the euro-zone periphery.

“The semi-core is selling off,” said Piet Lammens, head of research at KBC Bank NV in Brussels. “On the other hand, the gains the bunds have made have also been rather disappointing. With the Greek story you could have expected the bund to make more ground.”

The 10-year yield spread between French and German debt widened as much as nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 54, the most since March 2014. The gap was 44 basis points as of 4:26 p.m. London time, up from 33 as recently as June 11.

Belgium’s 10-year bonds yielded 45 basis points more than similar-maturity bunds, from 39 at the end of last week. Earlier in the day the spread was at 50.


Tsipras Slams “Criminal” IMF In Speech

Tsipras Slams “Criminal” IMF In Defiant Speech

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/16/2015 08:22 -0400

In the wake of reports that Greece could be headed for a “Lehman Weekend” complete with capital controls and an “emergency” Sunday meeting, the headlines are coming fast and furious on Tuesday morning, with Tsipras calling the IMF’s stance “criminal” and Merkel digging in for the worst.
Markets Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:33am EDT

Greek PM sticks to hard line as contagion hits euro zone bonds

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told opposition leaders on Tuesday that disagreements among international lenders were to blame for an impasse in negotiations, sticking to a hard line that has brought Greece to the brink of default.
Financial markets, long undisturbed by the wrangling over releasing billions of euros of financing for Greece, reacted with mounting alarm, with European stock markets hitting their lowest level since February.

Yields on bonds issued by other vulnerable euro zone states leapt in one of the most aggressive episodes of contagion since the height of Europe’s debt crisis in 2012.

Greece is set to default on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.80 billion) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on June 30 unless it receives fresh funds by then, possibly driving it towards the exit of the euro zone.

Both Athens and international lenders from the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF have dug into entrenched positions with each side blaming the other for the collapse of talks at last weekend.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila, whose country is among the most hawkish creditors, said it would take “a miracle” to reach a solution next week, but that was still everyone’s aim.

Tsipras, who is due to address lawmakers from his own leftist Syriza party at 2 p.m. (7 a.m EDT), said it was crucial that a viable deal be struck. But he said resistance by European partners to accepting a writedown of part of Greece’s debt was standing in the way of agreement, despite IMF pressure for restructuring.

“It is crucial to end this vicious cycle and not be forced into a deal which, in six months’ time, will bring us back to the same point,” he said.

Fears have grown that Greece is all but set to default by the end of the month, which could open the way for a euro exit and usher the single currency bloc into uncharted territory.

Officials denied a report in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily that preparations were underway for capital controls to be introduced as early as next weekend.

Talk of such drastic steps if no deal is reached was fuelled by a call by German EU Commissioner Guenter Oettinger on Monday to prepare for a “state of emergency”.

Euro zone finance ministers will meet on Thursday to review the stalled debt talks. EU officials denied reports that any emergency summit of euro zone leaders was being planned for next Sunday.
If anything, Eurogroup finance ministers might meet again.

“There should be no illusions that an agreement will become easier, or more advantageous over time or at the level of heads of state and government,” said one euro zone official.


In Athens, there was little sign of public panic but increasingly worried leaders of pro-euro opposition parties sought briefings from Tsipras and implored him to strike a deal swiftly to prevent an economic collapse.

“I called on the prime minister to consider that the Greek economy is desperately close to its limits,” Stavros Theodorakis, leader of the centrist To Potami party, the fourth-biggest in parliament said after meeting the prime minister.

Tsipras had assured him there were still “two or three” steps Athens could take to break an impasse in talks with its lenders, provided the lenders also gave ground, Theodorakis said. The 17 lawmakers he commands would vote for any deal in parliament that kept Greece in the euro, he added.

Faced with a backlash from within his leftist Syriza party over concessions to lenders, the support of parties like Potami and the centre-left PASOK could prove crucial for Tsipras in voting through any deal struck with creditors.

Syriza, however, has ruled out such an option, saying an agreement must pass with the support of its own lawmakers.

Tsipras also met the new leader of PASOK as well as Dora Bakoyianni, a prominent figure of the conservative New Democracy party on Tuesday.

The meetings came as the euro zone continued to pile pressure on Greece to concede ground to avert default.

Michael Grosse-Broemer, a senior lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), said a Greek exit from the euro zone would have to be accepted if Athens did not present a convincing reform package.

“I’m not so sure anymore if the Greek government is really interested in averting damage for the people of Greece,” he said.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, due in Athens on Tuesday, said he had coordinated with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker before meeting with Tsipras on Wednesday and hoped to head off a Greek exit from the euro.

Faymann, a Social Democrat who has taken a relatively sympathetic line on Greece in its debt talks with creditors, reiterated that Athens must fulfill its commitments under its current rescue programme.

But he added: “We need a longer-term plan which is linked to conditions but also means… that whoever wants to invest in Greece knows he is investing in a country that will still have the euro a year from now.”

(Additional reporting by Michael Shields in Vienna, Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Paul Taylor)

Khazarian Mafia Wants To Donate Funds For Amnesty

Published on May 18, 2015, on benjaminfulford blog

A representative of the G7 group of nations has been approached with a proposal by the Khazarian mafia banking community to “repurpose their funds for the benefit of humanity,” in exchange for “amnesty for certain Jewish bankers.” Russia and “certain foundations” would be involved in this plan, the source said.

The background for this offer may be found in an article in the Japanese language edition of the Reuters News Wire that claimed Reuters had obtained documents showing the Federal Reserve Board has made contingency plans for the bankruptcy of the United States of America.

We were unable to find an English language version of this article but the Japanese version says the documents were obtained from Jeb Hensarling, the Head of the US House Financial Services Committee. The documents call for delaying payments on bonds issued by the US government and for giving priority to certain bond holders over others in repayment.

Further confirmation that things are not running normally in Washington D.C. came from the recent visit by US Secretary of States John “stole the Heinz fortune” Kerry to Russia where he announced he supported the Minsk peace agreements: a 180 degree change in policy. This came on a visit to Russia that started immediately after Kerry snubbed the Russian May 9th parade in celebration of Russia’s victory over the Nazis in the great patriotic war (World War 2). The fact the Chinese and Indian armies both marched in that parade appears to have rattled the Washington DC gangsters.

It is also no coincidence that Kerry’s turnaround at the same time as the Chinese government once again started buying US government bonds and once again surpassed Japan to become the largest holder of these cabal debt notes. Clearly the Chinese told the Americans: “if you want us to pay your bills you have to stop being a bad boy in the Ukraine.”

There was also an unusually blatant propaganda shouting match that followed the Kerry visit. Here are two headlines that appeared after this meeting:

“Poroshenko says there is no alternative to complete fulfilment of Minsk agreements”“Poroshenko says Minsk deal ‘pseudo-peace’, vows to fight to the last drop of blood” top headline is from the official Russian government Tass News Service and has a URL ending in .ru meaning it is based in Russia. The war-mongering headline comes from Russia Today a news site with a .com domain meaning it is not based in Russia. This clumsy propaganda headline has outed RT as a sophisticated Western agency run news service pretending to be based in Russia.

Another news service pretending to be Russian, by the way is that usually starts its articles with “according to Kremlin information” or something like that, even though its server has been traced to CIA headquarters in Virginia.

In any case, propaganda aside, severe cabal infighting is yet another signs it is not business as usual. A cabal insider told this writer the Lehman shock of 2008 was really a fight between David Rockefeller and his nephew J. Rockefeller. David Rockefeller is really the most junior member of the third generation of the Rockefeller family, says this source, who has had top level access to every Japanese Prime Minister since the 1970’s. He says the original will of John Rockefeller the 1st, the stipulated his dynasty was to be controlled via primogeniture. However, David was trying to change that by handing over control to his own sons. In other words John “J” Rockefeller the fourth was due to take over the family foundations and David was trying to prevent this, according to this source. For that reason, two of David’s flagship companies, Lehman Brothers and Citibank, were bankrupted by J. Rockefeller’s Goldman Sachs, he says.

This may well be true but, the situation has now evolved way beyond a fight between would be hereditary god kings of the sheeple. The issue now is should we give these people amnesty, as they are now asking for, or should they be “strung up from the nearest lamppost” as George Bush Sr. famously predicted would happen “if the American people ever find out what we did to them.”

In fact, feeding these people to the vultures is probably a more likely outcome than either amnesty or stringing them from lampposts. Large law firms are getting ready for a feeding frenzy in retribution against US branch of the Federal Reserve Board crime syndicate.

Here are two suggestions for big law firms to pursue. The first is to go after General Electric and Westinghouse for their role in the March 11th tsunami and nuclear terror attack against Japan. GE and Westinghouse sold their nuclear power divisions respectively to Japan’s Hitachi and Toshiba in the years before the 311 attacks. Since all Japanese nuclear reactors were shut down after 311 and the nuclear power plant business worldwide was badly hit, if I were Hitachi and Toshiba, I would hire the world’s best lawyers to see if this was not a big insider deal to dump these businesses before the sabotage took place.

The other place clever and ambitious lawyers should be looking at is DuPont and the entire ozone layer scam. According to sources at Japanese refrigerator and air-conditioner manufacturers, DuPonts’ patent on the Freon gas used for refrigeration around the world were about to expire, threatening a huge business. The story about Freon destroying the ozone layer was created so that DuPont could get Freon banned just in time for the patent expiration. Conveniently, DuPont has a fresh patent on HFC, the replacement for Freon. It is worth nothing that all the scare-mongering headlines about the ozone layer being destroyed vanished as soon as the HFC business got started. Somebody can hit up DuPont big time over this.

This sort of revelation is going to come out for many other businesses and governments now that the Khazarian mafia faces worldwide defeat.

Sources at the Asian Development Bank say the right to produce US dollars has already been taken away from this family mafia. The international US dollar is now controlled by a combination of the Chinese government, Asian royal families and European royal families. The US dollars issued inside the United States are now issued by the Treasury Department, he says.

Another indication the US power structure has changed was seen last week when US “acting president” Barack Obama invited the heads of the Gulf Cooperation Council to a summit meeting in the US. Only two of the heads of state bothered to show up. At the media photo event at the end of the summit, this photo was posed:

In terms of diplomatic protocol, this was an unprecedented snub. The message was clear, “no oil money for you.”

There are also fresh indications the Greek crisis is going to mean the end of the Euro. The announcement last week that Greece staved off bankruptcy by using IMF money to pay money it owed to the IMF was clearly bizarre. This is nothing more than a delaying tactic. The Chinese are offering to back both the German Deutschemark and the Greek Drachma with gold if they dump the cabal controlled Euro. A hint can be seen at this site if you click on the pictures of Deutschemark and Drachma bills:

The message is “join the BRICS and your financial problems will end because your money will be backed by gold.”

Clearly though, as long as the Khazarian owned media corporations inside the US continue to spew headlines about Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton as if these two widely disliked characters are the only real choice for US president in 2016, then the battle is not over. When we see them being dragged away in handcuffs on charges of mass murder, then we will know it is over.

In these circumstances the military industrial complex needs to start taking urgent action to prevent a total Western rout. The key is to push for a meritocratic world federation as an alternative to trading Khazarian hegemony for Chinese hegemony.

In military terms, the first thing they need to do is to twist arms in Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia etc. to put an end to the Khazarian provoked infighting in the region. This might mean some pinpoint military operations to remove key Khazarian agents provocateurs. Last week there were indications this is exactly what has been going on with the US raids against ISIS in Syria and the capture of detailed information about their financing. The US needs to then coordinate with Russia and China to oversee the creation of a moderate Sunni/Shia federation to unify the Middle East.

The other thing they need to do is to remove that last of the Khazarian control grid in Japan. People close to slave Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approached the White Dragon Society last week with just such a plan. Remove Michael Green, Abraham Cooper and Richard Armitage and go through Gerald Courtis if you want to keep Japan friendly to the military industrial complex. The three legged crow, the Yakuza and other Japanese power groups will then cooperate with the restored United States Republic.

Central Bankers’ Worst Nightmares Unfolding in Greece

Central Bankers’ Worst Nightmares Are Unfolding in Greece

By Phoenix Capital Research, published on, on February 19, 2015

The situation in Greece boil down to the single most important issue for the finacial system, namely collateral.

Modern financial theory dictates that sovereign bonds are the most “risk free” assets in the financial system (equity, municipal bond, corporate bonds, and the like are all below sovereign bonds in terms of risk profile). The reason for this is because it is far more likely for a company to go belly up than a country.

Because of this, the entire Western financial system has sovereign bonds (US Treasuries, German Bunds, Japanese sovereign bonds, etc.) as the senior most asset pledged as collateral for hundreds of trillions of Dollars worth of trades.

Indeed, the global derivatives market is roughly $700 trillion in size. That’s over TEN TIMES the world’s GDP. And sovereign bonds… including even bonds from bankrupt countries such as Greece… are one of, if not the primary collateral underlying all of these trades.

Lost amidst the hub-bub about austerity measures and Debt to GDP ratios for Greece is the real issue that concerns the EU banks and the EU regulators: what happens to the trades that EU banks have made using Greek sovereign bonds as collateral?

This story has been completely ignored in the media. But if you read between the lines, you will begin to understand what really happened during the previous Greek bailouts.


1) Before the second Greek bailout, the ECB swapped out all of its Greek sovereign bonds for new bonds that would not take a haircut.

2) Some 80% of the bailout money went to EU banks that were Greek bondholders, not the Greek economy.

Regarding #1, going into the second Greek bailout, the ECB had been allowing European nations and banks to dump sovereign bonds onto its balance sheet in exchange for cash. This occurred via two schemes called LTRO 1 and LTRO 2 which happened in December 2011 and February 2012 respectively. Collectively, these moves resulted in EU financial entities and nations dumping over €1 trillion in sovereign bonds onto the ECB’s balance sheet.

Quite a bit of this was Greek debt as everyone in Europe knew that Greece was totally bankrupt.    FULL STORY

Italy includes prostitution and illegal drugs sales in GDP calculations

Hookers And Blow: How Changing The Definition Of GDP Officially Jumped The Shark

Submitted by Tyler Durden

A year ago it was the US which first “boosted” America’s GDP by $500 billion – literally out of thin air – when it arbitrarily decided to include “intangibles” to the components that ‘make up’ GDP (in the process cutting over 5% from the US Debt/GDP ratio). Then Spain joined the fray. Then GreeceThen the UK. Then Nigeria, which showed those deveoped Keynesian basket cases how it is really done, when it doubled the size of its GDP overnight when it decided to change the base year of its GDP calculations. Now it is Italy’s turn, and like everything else Italy does, this latest “revision” of the definition of GDP easily wins in the style points category. As Bloomberg reports, “Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year.” Yup: blow and hookers. And that, ladies and gents, how it’s done.

Alas for Keynesian economists everywhere, since this “adjustment” largely shows that what one includes in GDP is now absolutely meaningless and for lack of a better word, a joke, it also means that the core concept of economic growth measurement has now officially jumped the shark.

But at least one will get a laugh out of the Italian GDP line items for hookers and blow. Bloomberg has the full story:

Drugs, prostitution and smuggling will be part of GDP as of 2014 and prior-year figures will be adjusted to reflect the change in methodology, the Istat national statistics office said today. The revision was made to comply with European Union rules, it said.

Renzi, 39, is committed to narrowing Italy’s deficit to 2.6 percent of GDP this year, a task that’s easier if output is boosted by portions of the underground economy that previously went uncounted. Four recessions in the last 13 years left Italy’s GDP at 1.56 trillion euros ($2.13 trillion) last year, 2 percent lower than in 2001 after adjusting for inflation.

The punchline:

“Even if the impact is hard to quantify, it’s obvious it will have a positive impact on GDP,” said Giuseppe Di Taranto, economist and professor of financial history at Rome’s Luiss University. “Therefore Renzi will have a greater margin this year to spend” without breaching the deficit limit, he said.

And that’s what it is all about: literally making numbers up allowing the government to spend even more money it doesn’t have on ridiculous political schemes, kickbacks, crony deals and corruption, and then when the people start to riot, blaming it all on “austerity.”