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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:06:02 PM EST
Finely balanced French cabinet announced | News | DW.DE | 16.05.2012

New French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault named his first cabinet, a fine balance of women and men across the political spectrum.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has completed his first task and named the new Cabinet. Laurent Fabius, a former prime minister, is to be the new foreign minister. Pierre Moscovici, President Francois Hollande's campaign director and a former minister for European affairs, will become finance minister.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, a friend of Hollande's, will lead the defense ministry. Hollande's campaign communications director Manuel Valls was named interior minister. Hollande also chose close ally Michel Sapin as labour minister and placed Arnaud Montebourg in charge of reindustrialisation.

The appointments were, as promised, a balance of gender parity but the important posts went to men. The 17 women appointed include justice minister Christiane Taubira, culture minister Aurélie Fillippetti, health and social affairs minister Marisol Touraine and ecology minister Nicole Bricq. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a 34-year-old Franco-Moroccan councillor in Lyon becomes government spokeswoman and minister for women's rights.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that Martine Aubry is not in there. The story goes that she refused a ministry (whichever) if she was not to be PM. She also says she will very shortly leave her position as secretary general of the PS.

Another who "preferred" not to be in the government is François Rebsamen, a centrist friend and solid supporter of Hollande. Looks to me like this means Rebsamen is lined up to be PS sec-gen after Aubry leaves.

Cursor moving rightwards.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 05:52:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To re-ask an old question: Is Aubry really in any substantial way considered to be on the left (the left of the PS, that is)?
by IM on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 07:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More than Hollande, and more pugnacious in her approach.

The PS "lefties" who have entered the government are Arnaud Montebourg, who gets a big ministry with Industry (renamed "Productive Recovery"!), and Benoît Hamon (under-minister at Economy and Finance in charge of Social and Solidaire (no English word) Economy). One might include Vincent Peillon (Education) since he was with the latter two in the Nouveau Parti Socialiste that campaigned for the Non to Lisbon in 2005, though he seems to have recentred since.

An interesting inclusion is Pascal Canfin of EELV (Development, ie of French-influenced former colonies), MEP and journalist specialised in economy and finance, and one of the initiators of Finance Watch.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 02:37:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Arnaud Montebourg, who gets a big ministry with Industry (renamed "Productive Recovery"!)

There is no such thing as industrial policy in this brave new world, you silly.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 03:51:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel dismisses Environment Minister Röttgen | News | DW.DE | 16.05.2012

Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that Norbert Röttgen has been dismissed from his post, days after an embarrassing defeat in crucial state elections.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called a press conference in Berlin Thursday to announce that Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen had been dismissed from his federal post. Peter Altmaier, a close ally of the Chancellor's, is set to take over the role.

Röttgen was party chairman in North Rhine-Westphalia until the weekend election, but quit that post soon after the CDU recorded their worst-ever result in Germany's most populous state.

Late on Sunday, when quitting his regional post, Röttgen had said: "It is an unmistakable, clear defeat that we have suffered today. The defeat is bitter, it's clear, and it really hurts all of us - obviously including me."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:15:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... hurts my ambitions to succeed Angela Merkel as Chancellor."

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 10:30:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greeks prepare for another trip to the polls | Europe | DW.DE | 16.05.2012

Greece is to have another election, following the failure of last-ditch attempts to form a coalition government. The Radical Left may be in a position to increase its share of the vote.

A senior judge took charge of an emergency government in Athens on Wednesday. With no political decision-making power, Panagiotis Pikrammenos will lead the country to new elections scheduled for June 17.

The next election will place different demands on the participants. The political parties must finally adopt clear positions on the issues at hand and come up with pragmatic solutions, according to the political scientist Manolis Kottakis in a recent television interview.

In the last election voters simply closed their eyes to the urgent need for debate over the issue. It is a debate, Kottakis said, can no longer be ignored.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:15:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Greek Syriza leader Tsipras attacks EU and Merkel

Greek left-wing leader Alexis Tsipras has accused the EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel of "playing poker with European people's lives" by insisting on austerity measures.

Mr Tsipras' Syriza bloc is predicted to come first in new elections called for 17 June. Syriza wants to renegotiate Greece's international bailout.

At least 700m euros (£560m; $890m) was withdrawn from Greek banks in the week until Monday, the Greek president said.

But there are no signs of a bank run.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a lot of misinformation yesterday from foreign press and got a lot of play especially in Portugal (I wonder why....) that there was an actual bank run and a tecnical decision by the ECB was translated as a definitive refusal to recapitalize 4 Greek banks.
by Euroliberal on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 05:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Playing poker is literal. A Spanish Professor of Economics said two days ago than in the City there was financial one who played that Spain would be intervened to 300% at that time. And gave the example of the roulette for explain the phenomenon.
by PerCLupi on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 06:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Those in power will do everything they can to make things go to hell.

  2. Those in power will say anything to scare the public.

  3. The Greek population is stupid and cowardly and will cave.

My predictions. Let's watch.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 06:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Macedonia on trial for human rights abuses in US post-9/11 rendition case | World news | The Guardian

Europe's human rights court began hearing the first case arising from the US's post-9/11 rendition programme on Wednesday, when the government of Macedonia went on trial accused of multiple human rights abuses of a German citizen.

Khaled el-Masri, 48, a car salesman of Lebanese descent, was detained in Macedonia in December 2003 and held for more than three weeks in Skopje, before being handed to CIA officers who flew him to Afghanistan, where he was allegedly tortured for the next five months.

The CIA appears to have realised it had made a mistake: it had been looking for another man of the same name. El-Masri was then flown from Afghanistan to Albania and abandoned by the side of a road in a mountainous area, with no means of returning home.

The grand chamber of the European court of human rights in Strasbourg began hearing a case brought by el-Masri's lawyers which alleges a breach of his European Convention rights to liberty and freedom from torture.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:15:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany to give long term military aid to Afghanistan | News | DW.DE | 16.05.2012

Germany has pledged ongoing annual aid to the Afghan security forces after western troops withdraw from the country in 2014.

On his way to the NATO summit in Chicago this weekend, Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Germany pledged 150 million euros (190 million dollars) in annual aid to the Afghan security forces after western troops withdraw from the country in 2014.

Signing the agreement on Wednesday that secures German funding for security training in Afghanistan after 2014 Merkel said: "This shows we are committed to Afghanistan in the long term." Germany's engagement in Afghanistan is "not just words," Merkel added. "Afghanistan's fate is close to our heart."

Karzai said he estimates Afghanistan will need 3.21 billion euros annually to run its security services, of which it could pay 392 million euros itself and possibly more as its economy strengthens. Further pledges are expected at the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:16:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Genocide trial opens against Ratko Mladic | News | DW.DE | 16.05.2012

The trial of Ratko Mladic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague began on Wednesday, with the Bosnian Serb facing 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mladic, a former general, is accused of masterminding the week-long massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. The killing is considered Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

The systematic slaughter of unarmed men and boys took place in the presence of UN peacekeepers who were supposed to be enforcing a "safe haven."

"Ratko Mladic assumed the mantle of the criminal goal of ethnically cleansing Bosnia," prosecutor Dermot Groome told the judges at the Yugoslav war crimes court in The Hague.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:16:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Protesters dispersed from Moscow park - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Russian riot police have dispersed an Occupy-style protest against President Vladimir Putin, forcing dozens of people out of central Moscow park, where they had been camped for more than a week.

The action against the sit-in was the latest step in a government crackdown on protests over Putin's return to the presidency on May 7 for a six-year term following four years as prime minister.

Police converged on the site at Chistiye Prudy Park early on Wednesday and told about 50 people who had spent the night there to leave, citing a court order issued on Tuesday requiring them to clear the area.

Police clashed with demonstrators, beating some on the head with batons in the worst violence since a wave of protests prompted by suspicions of fraud in a December parliamentary vote.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 03:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@economistmeg
Lorenzo Bini Smaghi explains why the troika can't blink in the face off with Greece http://t.co/keVdzE8o


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 06:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: ECB pulls plug on Greek banks (or how to start a bank run)
ECB says it is not lending to under-capitalised institutions, as it seeks to protect its own balance sheet; ECB did not say which banks are affected; those that are now put on Emergency Liquidity Assistance, under which banks borrow from the national central banks at higher rates; Draghi hinted that the integrity of the ECB's balance sheet has a higher priority than the integrity of the eurozone; Robert Zoellick warned of a contagion of the crisis to Spain and Italy; Christine Lagarde warned a Greek exit would be a cataclysmic event for the global economy; Lorenzo-Bini Smaghi said a Greek exit would require a policy response of similar determination than the US response after the Lehman collapse; Wolfgang Munchau says a Greek exit would require an immediate fiscal and banking union; Angela Merkel unceremoniously fires her environment minister, the losing candidate in the North-Rhine Westphalia state elections; she replaced him with Peter Altmaier, the parliamentary whip who has been crucial in lining up support for her eurozone policies; Nikolaus Blome says the move represents strength; Roland Nelles says the move represents weakness as the party is running out of high-calibre talent; Francois Hollande announces cabinet: Pierre Moscovici gets finance, Laurent Fabius gets foreign; Martine Aubry gets nothing: she wanted to be PM, or nothing; PM Jean-Marc Ayrault said all ministers who lose at the forthcoming parliamentary elections will have to quit; David Cameron and Mervyn King, meanwhile, warn that the eurozone may be about to unravel.


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 03:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main story yesterday is that the ECB has temporarily pulled the plug on lending to some Greek banks to limit its own risk. The affected banks can no longer offer assets to the ECB as collateral for loans, and would have to seek costlier emergency financing from the Bank of Greece.   It was not immediately clear which banks, or how many of them, were affected. Reuters quoted one person familiar with the matter said the capital of four Greek banks was so low they were operating with negative equity.  
And they did this without temporarily suspending (e.g., by taxing it) the free flow of capital out of Greece's borders?
Bloomberg quotes an ECB official saying that the ECB can only lend to sound banks and therefore won't allow undercapitalized institutions to access its refinancing operations.  "Pending the recapitalization of Greek banks that are severely undercapitalized as a result of the" debt restructuring, some "have been moved to Emergency Liquidity Assistance," said ECB said. The so-called ELA is emergency support national central banks can provide to lenders with ECB approval.

The move comes after Draghi acknowledged for the first time that Greece could leave the monetary union. While the ECB's "strong preference" is that Greece stays in the 17-nation euro area, the ECB will continue to preserve "the integrity of our balance sheet," Draghi said in a speech in Frankfurt yesterday.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 03:53:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The main story yesterday is that the ECB has temporarily pulled the plug on lending to some Greek banks to limit its own risk.

Is this one of those zen things where failing to understand is itself an indication of understanding?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 05:18:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you mean you're having a WTF moment and wonder whether that means you're enlightened?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 05:57:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Enlightenment-wise, I am but a humble seeker on the stony path to truth.

Otherwise, um, yeah.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 07:12:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Embrace the absurd, like Camus' Sisyphus.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 07:26:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, there are no firewalls, there are only political decisions.
by Upstate NY on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 08:41:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say that it was Tsipras who pulled the plug on Greek banks, not the ECB. It was not Draghi who withdraw 800 million € on Monday. Tsipras and SYRIZA say they want to remain in the EU, but their actions are going on an opposite direction. This state of affairs is not going to last another month; SYRIZA may win the election but destroy what is left of the economy in the meantime. Tsipras and SYRIZA were caught on what someone once called the "vertigo of power".

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 04:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nonsense. When did the Greek bank run begin? Can you even make out 700 Million on the vertical axis of this chart?

Jerome actually called this thing "seepage, not a bank run". As if in the age of online banking you need queues in front of banks to have a run. Yesterday somebody called it "a bank jog". Spanish banks have been put into receivership for losing 10% of deposits over 18 months. Greek banks have lost 30% of deposits over 3 years and they're being kept on ELA and people are now beginning to worry about capital flight out of Greece? It's a travesty.

See here, here

here
and links therein.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 04:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How important is this decision? I suppose the Greek central bank can still provide liquidity?
Is this telling us anything except that the ECB wants Greece to be afraid?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 10:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Emergency Liquidity Assistance is (er, was) provided by the Greek Central Bank as part of the Eurosystem. In this sense there is no distinction between the Greek and the European central banks.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 11:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
those that are now put on Emergency Liquidity Assistance, under which banks borrow from the national central banks at higher rates;

is what the Eurointelligence link said. I read this as those banks who won't get liquidity from the ECB now have to draw on ELA as provided by the GCB. Am I wrong?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter

by generic on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 11:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right:
The main story yesterday is that the ECB has temporarily pulled the plug on lending to some Greek banks to limit its own risk. The affected banks can no longer offer assets to the ECB as collateral for loans, and would have to seek costlier emergency financing from the Bank of Greece.   It was not immediately clear which banks, or how many of them, were affected. Reuters quoted one person familiar with the matter said the capital of four Greek banks was so low they were operating with negative equity.
ELA is in operation in Ireland, too.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 11:37:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See FT Alphaville on ELA. It appears up to now only Ireland and Greece were openly providing Emergency Liquidity Assistance to its banks.
As Ralph notes, we know ELA, which is essentially a bank bailout by national authorities when things get really, really bad, has been heavily used in Greece and Ireland.

What we don't know is where €18bn of unexplained mystery ELA has been used. We can account for €3.8bn (hint: it's in Cyprus) but for the rest all we have is guesswork... and now a not so subtle pointer from Mr Coene.

From Money Supply:

...

But did Mr Coene slip when he added: "Of course in countries like an Ireland, Greece, Portugal, you can't get out in the short time and it will take a little longer." Portugal? I never mentioned Portugal.

(ELA stumble du jour, May 14)

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 11:42:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So this was premature:

JakeS:

Less flippantly, that is extremely serious. Welcome to Argentina.

Good luck.



Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 12:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say that it was Tsipras who pulled the plug on Greek banks, not the ECB.

You could say that, but it would be a lie.

So why would you say that?

It was not Draghi who withdraw 800 million € on Monday. Tsipras and SYRIZA say they want to remain in the EU, but their actions are going on an opposite direction.

Uh, no.

The ECB is saying it doesn't want Greece in the EU. What Tsipras and Syriza want has nothing to do with it. All they did was force the ECB to come right out and admit it.

This state of affairs is not going to last another month; SYRIZA may win the election but destroy what is left of the economy in the meantime.

That's a... creative interpretation of the observable facts, shall we say. What're you going to claim next? That the Treaty of Versailles was a form of generous international assistance to Germany?

Tsipras and SYRIZA were caught on what someone once called the "vertigo of power".

And you know this how?

Sounds to me like you've been drinking koolaid.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 05:51:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the same story, but told from a different perspective.

Ekathimerini: ECB to stop lending to local banks


The credit market in Greece is fuming at the delay in the recapitalization process. Although the relevant government decision was approved before Easter (April 15), and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) has forwarded 23 billion euros to the HFSF to this end, these funds have not yet reached the local banks.

Had the process been already completed, banks would not only have been able to tap into the liquidity of the Eurosystem, but the 18 billion euros in bonds would have stabilized the local credit market and reduced anxiety. Bank officials suggest the delay is simply unjustifiable.

Worse, deposits are continuing to shrink as Greek citizens' fears about the course of the economy grow, with rumors circulating in foreign media that local banks have set a 50-euro ceiling on cash withdrawals, which is completely unfounded.

Bank sources said the situation remains under control, but add that caution should be exercised to avoid any statements that would generate panic.



You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 04:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But you chose to belive the other perspective which is loaded with bad intentions.

A lot of misnformation goin´on.

by Euroliberal on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 05:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Christine Lagarde warned a Greek exit would be a cataclysmic event for the global economy;

And in other FOX News-like bullshit, ...

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu May 17th, 2012 at 06:45:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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