Monthly Archives: July 2011

Why I have not commented on the tragedy of Oslo ?

Some readers asked me (here or on FB)

  • Why I have not commented on the tragedy of Oslo ?

Because I refuse to be a marketing tool of a psychopath. I will not even write his name because it actually wants. I think the media terribly wrong this time, and dissected for days, until the level of detail, the thinking, behavior and life of a madman. Of course, we can to talk about multiculturalism, about failure transplant of cultures and religious beliefs sometimes totally opposed as visions, about non-social integration and the lack of clear European programs to prevent the problems caused by immigrants. Maybe it’s a good time to talk realistically about these issues. But to seek to find a justification for the gesture of a man obsessed by fantasies, with sick minds (who wants dead Norwegian prime minister but failing that, killing nearly a hundred innocent young Christians, although he hates the Islamists ), this is the competence of specialists in psychiatry not the media.

Terror attack in Norway’s capital Oslo shocked the world

The news shocked the whole world. The beauty and quiet Norway was the target of a terrorist attack ? Almost incredible. If there is something incredible nowadays… 😦

According Reuters, a bomb devastated the main government building in Norway’s capital Oslo on Friday, killing two people and 15 people were injured; also a gunman wounded five people hours later in a shooting at a youth camp of Norwegian Labour Party. It is not clear whether or how the incidents were linked. Though the bomb attack was on the very heart of power in the small Nordic state, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was safe. Notice that Norway is a country with an extremely low crime rate. More, political violence is virtually unknown in a country known for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize and mediating in conflicts, including in the Middle East and Sri Lanka. Attack was no claim of responsibility. The first suspicion hanging over Al-Qaeda. NATO member Norway has been the target of threats, if not bombs, before, notably over its involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan. The attack came just over a year after three men were arrested on suspicion of having links to Al- Qaeda and planning to attack targets in Norway. Another hypothesis is aimed at the involved of Norway in the NATO bombing of Libya, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to strike back in Europe. In change, Al Jazeera said that Mullah Krekar, founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, who had terrorism charges filed against him on Tuesday, is accused of threatening the life of a former minister . “Norway will pay a heavy price for my death,”he said. “If, for example, Erna Solberg deports me and I die as a result, she will suffer the same fate.” Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the Nordic Council.

UPDATE:  Number of victims seems to be much larger than originally thought. CNN speak about 17 dead at youth camp on Utoya island. PM Jens Stoltenberg confirmed in a press conference that aggressor is a Norwegian citizen. Also, he said that claim attack was not confirmed.
UPDATE_2: As the hours pass and research advances, the number of victims seems to remove any trace of rationality. A reality horror and irrational, that none of the original assumptions are not confirmed. A Norwegian “madman” (Anders Behring Breivik – with extreme-right views) carried out the biggest spree killing in modern history yesterday when he posed as a police officer and massacred 80 people at an island youth camp. The attack “is probably more Norway‘s Oklahoma City than it is Norway’s World Trade Center,” the police official said, quoted NY Daily News.

EU – Summit on the Titanic’s board

European leaders delayed the Friday’s Summit, two days after the EU Finance ministers reunion did not reach any result on Greece. In addition, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was crucial in resisting pressure for a meeting on Friday, arguing that it would be too early to deliver the comprehensive package of measures needed to restore stability to the euro zone, one official briefed on the discussion said. Under discussion is a proposal from the Institute of International Finance, a Washington-based organization grouping more than 400 financial institutions world-wide. Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, hoped to organize the meeting for next Monday or Tuesday, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

As already I anticipated some time ago, at the recent meeting the EU Finance ministers agreed, for the first time, that they could reach a selective bankruptcy for Athens. These actions and an unraveling uncertainty followed the Euro zone’s failure Monday to come up with a comprehensive second bailout deal for Greece, worth $120 billion. Holland Finance Minister Jan Kees Dutch Jager said at the end of the meeting that the European Central Bank still rejects the idea of bankruptcy for Greece. However, the 17 euro zone countries do not exclude default because need to have more options, due to drastic tightening perceptions of Italy and Spain for fear of contagion. Agency Moody’s changed the credit rating of Ireland, from “Baa3” to “Ba1” with a negative outlook, retrograde rated in “junk” and warning that the state will need a new package of bailout from the international financial institutions (previously Moody’s downgraded Portugal, citing similar reasons.). The Irish were upset. They were very angry. Just as was Greece in early May. An unnecessary and inefficient reaction. Ireland has implemented, of course, like other countries, according to IMF, austerity policies quite drastic. But, despite the austerity policies reduce the budget expenditures also have fatal flaw to further reduce budget revenues by contracting economy, the inevitable consequence of tax increases included in the policies of austerity and declining purchasing power driven by some cuts revenue. So the budget imbalance is not resolved. So just weakens the economy of that country. Also, Moody’s gave us a seemingly good news. Good to calm a little the capital markets. Italy is a solvent country. “Most of the titles have a long-term maturity, even though spreads rise, debt is sustainable” said Moody’s analyst Alexander Kockerbeck in an interview with Italian daily Il Messaggero. However the cost of insuring debt against the entry of Italian state in default exceeded the calculated cost for Bulgaria and Romania, according to Wall Street Journal Europe. The situation shows how little matter the official credit rating of a state. Both Eastern European countries are assessed by Fitch to BBB-, it means six levels below that of Italy.

But reduce rating Ireland affected the capital shares and the euro traded in Asian markets. Euro depreciated to the minimum the last four months against the dollar. Dollar that, also, does not feels very well due to bad news that are coming from the United States. President Obama, despite the strong appeal to Congress to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction, seems unable to avoid an “economic Armageddon”. Wednesday, Credit rating agencies moved closer to an unprecedented downgrade of the U.S.’s debt amid deteriorating talks in Washington, with president Obama abruptly walking out of a key meeting with Republicans seeking a deal to raise the federal borrowing limit. Minnesota State has already declared bankruptcy on July 1. In the first three months of 2011, 500 wealthy Americans have given up their citizenship. Now they are happy: no taxes ! As U.S. firms, they have a much easier solution – simply move their business in more profitable countries, where not must to pay for social protection and where the wages are lower: China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India … even Russia and Poland.

Approximately this is the general picture sketched more or less apocalyptic, in which the humanity is evolving at this time.

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws” — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

This year, on August 15, marks 40 years since the U.S. unilaterally abandoned the gold standard, ie full convertibility of the U.S. dollar in gold. On August 15, 1970 to put an end to the Bretton Woods system established in 1945 and President Richard Nixon unilaterally decided to freeze the dollar’s convertibility into gold, which turned the U.S. currency in cash changeover (fiat currency).

Austrian school economists say that no gold standard has enabled central banks to issue currency without restrictions, prerogative that they have abused, which led, ultimately, the formation of speculative bubbles in decades. On the other hand, fans of British economist John Maynard Keynes theory held that gold norm is a “barbarous relic” that not allow the state to use monetary policy to adjust the economy. In fact, we had 40 years of hidden inflation and financial turmoil. An unrealistic world financial system, protected by a global political system depended and blind to the greed of fat cats from Wall Street and other places where the money never sleeps. And the result could not be other than what we see today.

 An honest bankruptcy is healthier than a long illness !

 It speaks more often of some euro area’s exit, it takes into account the return to gold standard. The analysts on both sides of the Atlantic are singing funeral of the welfare state. Public finance crisis intensified in recent time increased the likelihood of a scenario of “hard landing” for the world economy. The expected reunion of the European leaders seems to be a session of commandment on board of the Titanic. The ship is adrift and the insidious water is gathering in the engines room. And miraculous solutions aren’t. Importantly, however, is to recognize the gravity of the situation. Hypocritical promises have no meaning. Some citizens have already noticed and begin to create panic. And that’s not convenient. The world’s leadership still hasn’t finished loading boats for themselves and their friends. Also, there are simple guys who were tired of the false sound of orchestra and they begin to understand how the things run. Most are scared. Between the euro and dollar, the choice is useless. The journalists began to scream about shipwrecks, diving, sharks financial, apocalypse and other ones. Luckily, the world still largely considered them batty and stupid. But their voices begin to multiply. Some desperate people were thrown overboard. And others have resigned and turned back to listen the orchestra. Most intelligent people made ​​rafts and put aside the reserves they could find and now paddled to the nearest island. Some of them scream from a distance trying to convince others that the ship is sinking. But the orchestra plays and it is difficult to understand what they say.

There are some alternatives. Even if these cannot to deliver results overnight. And the suffering of population is unavoidable. It is advisable to stop the political music, to get off the boats and save what can be saved. Because the world debts clock alarming ticking, the ship is more difficult to control and time is running…

Published – Oriental Review, 14 July 2011

Update: 21 July 2011

European leaders agreed on Thursday to provide a second bailout package for Greece and drastically expand rescue funds to prevent financial crisis spreading through the eurozone.

According AFP, European Union president Herman Van Rompuy said the rescue deal would be financed by both the EU and the International Monetary Fund. European governments and the IMF will contribute a total of 109 billion euros. The private sector’s share will amount to 49.6 billion euros.