Tag Archives: Europe

European Terrorist Attack Emergency Plan, from The Burning Platform

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https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/05/23/european-terrorist-attack-emergency-plan/

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It’s Really Crazy What This ECB Has Wrought, by Wolf Richter

Europe is a borrower’s paradise and a saver’s hell. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

In the land of NIRP refugees and “Reverse Yankees,” who will get crushed?

At the end of the week, something special happened, something totally absurd but part of the new normal: the average yield of euro-denominated junk bonds – the riskiest, non-investment-grade corporate bonds – dropped to the lowest level ever: 2.77%.

April 26 had marked another propitious date in the annals of the ECB’s negative yield absurdity: the average euro-denominated junk bond yield had dropped below 3% for the first time ever.

By comparison, what is considered the most liquid and save debt, the 10-year US Treasury, carries a yield of 2.33%; the 30-year Treasury yield hovers at 3%.

This chart of the BofA Merrill Lynch Euro High Yield Index (data via FRED, St. Louis Fed), shows just how crazy this has gotten in the Eurozone:

It’s not like there’s deflation in the Eurozone, despite rampant scaremongering about it. The official inflation rate in April was 1.9% for the 12-month period. As this chart shows, it’s not likely to go away any time soon (via Trading Economics):

In other words, the average “real” junk bond yield (after inflation) according to the above two indices is now 0.87%. That’s the return bond-buyers get as compensation for handing their money for years to come to non-investment grade corporations – as per an average of the ratings by Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch – with an appreciable risks of default looming on the horizon.

Issuing junk bonds in euros is not just the prerogative of European companies. It includes issuance of junk-rated US companies that seek out this cheap money. “Reverse Yankees,” as these bonds are called, have become a large factor in euro-bond issuance.

And investors that accept a “real” compensation of only 0.87% per year to deal with these risks – have they gone nuts? You bet.

To continue reading: It’s Really Crazy What This ECB Has Wrought

Geert Wilders And The Suicide Of Europe, by Guy Milliere

Noting the obvious will soon be a crime throughout Europe. From Guy Milliere at thegatestoneinstitute.org:

• None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him.

• The only person talking about these problems is Geert Wilders. Dutch political leaders and most journalists seemingly prefer to claim that Geert Wilders is the problem; that if he were not there, these problems would not exist.

• What adherents of this view, that the West is guilty, “forget” is that Islam long oppressed the West: Muslim armies conquered Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and the Balkans, and virtually all of Eastern Europe. The Muslim armies were a constant threat until the marauding Ottoman troops were finally turned away at the Gates of Vienna in 1683.

Even if the Dutch politcian Geert Wilders had won and if the Party for Freedom (PVV) he established eleven years ago had become the first party in the country, he would not have been able to become the head of the government. The heads of all the other political parties said they would reject any alliance with him ; they maintain this position to this day.

For years, the Dutch mainstream media have spread hatred and defamation against Wilders for trying to warn the Dutch people – and Europe – about what their future will be if they continue their current immigration policies; in exchange, last December, a panel of three judges found him guilty of “inciting discrimination”. Newspapers and politicians all over Europe unceasingly describe him as a dangerous man and a rightist firebrand. Sometimes they call him a “fascist”.

What did Geert Wilders ever do to deserve that? None of his remarks ever incriminated any person or group because of their race or ethnicity. To charge him, the Dutch justice system had excessively and abusively to interpret words he used during a rally in which he asked if the Dutch wanted “fewer Moroccans.” None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him. He defends human rights and democratic principles and he is a resolute enemy of all forms of anti-Semitism.

To continue reading: Geert Wilders And The Suicide Of Europe

Doug Casey on the Coming Holy War

Doug Casey predicts a holy war, probably starting in Europe. From an interview with Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe.

I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war.

Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe.

That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously.

So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen?

Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs.

The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference.

Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there?

Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else.

The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god.

But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization.

To continue reading: Doug Casey on the Coming Holy War

Is Europe Choosing to Disappear? by Giulio Meotti

If a group chooses to reproduce at less than the rate necessary to replace itself, that group will eventually disappear. From Giulio Meotti at gatestoneinstitute.org:

A sterile Europe apparently thought that civil liberties could be bargained away in exchange for a temporary peace. Everything became negotiable.

• As British author Douglas Murray has asked, why were workers not brought in from European countries suffering high unemployment, such as Portugal, Italy, Greece or Spain?

• A clear-eyed U.S. Congressman, Rep. Steve King, correctly said recently that, “You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies.” He instantly drew that white-hot fire reserved for people who tell truths that threaten treasured fantasies (think Giordano Bruno or Galileo).

The new data released by Italy’s National Institute for Statistics for 2016 sounds again like a death knell. There has been a new negative record of births: 474,000 compared to 486,000 for 2015, which had already fallen to historic lows. There were 608,000 deaths in 2016. In one year, Italy lost 134,000 people — the equivalent of a city of the size of Ferrara or Salerno.

The demographic “illusion” is kept only by the influx of immigration (135,000). If one needs an idea of what Italy would be without immigrants, look at Emilia-Romagna, one of Italy’s most populated and affluent regions: in 2035 it will have 20% fewer residents.

Italy is sometimes thought of Europe’s guinea pig: wherever Italy goes, much of Europe follows it, especially in the central and southern countries. In 1995, Antonio Golini, a professor at La Sapienza University and a former president of the National Institute of Statistics, was contacted by the director-general of Plasmon, Italy’s largest producer of baby food. Looking at the declining birth rates, the firm asked him if something could be done to prevent the company from going out of business. Plasmon started to make dietary products for adults.

A year ago, European geographers went in search of “the most desolate place in Europe”. They discovered it not in northern and cold Lapland, but in sunny Spain, specifically in the area of Molina de Aragon, two hours from Madrid. Depopulation has not been the consequence of the climate, as in the Russian steppe or northern forests, but of a demographic crisis.

To continue reading: Is Europe Choosing to Disappear?

Europe: Combating Fake News, by Fjordman

Many media figures and government officials in Europe and even the US insist there are not “no-go” zones in Europe, where people who are not Islamic justifiably fear to go. These figures should be invited to walk unaccompanied, without weapons or TV crews, through these areas they deem safe. From Fjordman at gatestoneinstitute.org:

• If present demographic trends continue, in a few decades, native Swedes could easily become a minority in their own country.

• Swedish ambulance personnel want gas masks and bulletproof vests to protect their staff against the escalating attacks, similar to equipment used by staff working in war zones.

Most dangerous, however, is our inability to deal forcefully with problems undermining Western societies, because some Western media refuse to admit that the problems exist.

In January 2015 The New York Times denied that there are “no-go-zones” — areas that are not under the control of the state and are ruled according to sharia law — dominated by certain immigrant groups in some urban areas in Western Europe. The American newspaper mentioned this author, alongside writers such as Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes, for spreading this alleged falsehood. The article was published shortly after Islamic terrorists had massacred the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015. Other established media outlets such as the magazine The Atlantic also dismissed claims of no-go-zones.

Fox News issued an unusual on-air apology for allowing its anchors and guests to repeat the suggestion that there are Muslim “no-go zones” in European countries such as Britain and France.

Regarding the subject of “no-go-zones,” this is largely a question of semantics. If you say that there are some areas where even the police are afraid to go, where the country’s normal, secular laws barely apply, then it is indisputable that such areas now exist in several Western European countries. France is one of the hardest hit: it has a large population of Arab and African immigrants, including millions of Muslims.

To continue reading: Europe: Combating Fake News

 

Deepening EU Banking Crisis Meets Euro-TARP and Taxpayers, by Don Quijones

The European banking crisis (and make no mistake, European banks are in a crisis) will follow the same story line as all banking crises: with taxpayers bailing out the banks. From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

If the ECB scales back stimulus, banks face even greater risk of collapse. But now there’s a new solution.

Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively.

The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is estimated at over €1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three times higher than in other major regions of the world.

On a country-by-country basis, things look even scarier. Currently 10 (out of 28) EU countries have an NPL ratio above 10% (orders of magnitude higher than what is generally considered safe). And among Eurozone countries, where the ECB’s monetary policies have direct impact, there are these NPL stalwarts:

Ireland: 15.8%
Italy: 16.6%
Portugal: 19.2%
Slovenia: 19.7%
Greece: 46.6%
Cyprus: 49%

That bears repeating: in Greece and Cyprus, two of the Eurozone’s most bailed out economies, virtually half of all the bank loans are toxic.

Then there’s Italy, whose €350 billion of NPLs account for roughly a third of Europe’s entire bad debt stock. Italy’s government and financial sector have spent the last year and a half failing spectacularly to come up with a solution to the problem. The two “bad bank” funds they created to help clean up the banks’ toxic balance sheets, Atlante I and Atlante II, are the financial equivalent of bringing a butter knife to a machete fight. So underfunded are they, they even strugggled to hold aloft smaller, regional Italian banks like Veneto Banca and Popolare di Vicenza, which are now pleading for a bailout from Rome, which in turn is pleading for clemency from Brussels.

To continue reading: Deepening EU Banking Crisis Meets Euro-TARP and Taxpayers