Leaving Europe Would Be A Leap Into The Light

Michael Gove :

The EU is an institution rooted in the past and is proving incapable of reforming to meet the big technological, demographic and economic challenges of our time. It was developed in the 1950s and 1960s and like other institutions which seemed modern then, from tower blocks to telexes, it is now hopelessly out of date. The EU tries to standardise and regulate rather than encourage diversity and innovation. It is an analogue union in a digital age.

→ The Times of London

How Europe Crushed Greece

Op-Ed by Yanis Varoufakis :

The fact that few people ever got to hear about the Greek plan is a testament to the eurozone’s deep failures of governance. If the “Athens Spring” — when the Greek people courageously rejected the catastrophic austerity conditions of the previous bailouts — has one lesson to teach, it is that Greece will recover only when the European Union makes the transition from “We the states” to “We the European people.”

Across the Continent, people are fed up with a monetary union that is inefficient because it is so profoundly undemocratic. This is why the battle for rescuing Greece has now turned into a battle for Europe’s integrity, soul, rationality and democracy. I plan to concentrate on helping set up a Pan-European political movement, inspired by the Athens Spring, that will work toward Europe’s democratization.

Credit: Death of Euros, Goin

→ The New York Times

Black Monday, Kinda

Monday, August 24th brought you one of the weirdest trading day ever seen in the past several years.  

So to sum up what happened today, here are a few charts, courtesy of Bloomberg, ZeroHedge and NANEX — time of the events may vary :

  • It all started sometimes in China, when it’s business as usual these days :

 

  • S&P Futures followed, kissing the dirt :

 

  • Which then started a major liquidity squeeze on the US market, as seen on the following charts by NANEX :

 

  • Causing buy-sell orders to never quiet match — courtesy of ZeroHedge :

 

  • Shortly after the opening bell, something like this on the Dow Jones : 

 

  • And an impressive rise on the VIX :

 

  • In the meantime, major (mini) crashes : 

 

  • To prevent further deterioration, just press the “HALT” button across major indices, including 3 consecutive press on the NASDAQ and 1’200 times during that day :

  

  • Then the master of markets, Tim Cook, dropped an email to Jim Cramer stating the following :

I get updates on our performance in China every day, including this morning, and I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August. Growth in iPhone activations has actually accelerated over the past few weeks, and we have had the best performance of the year for the App Store in China during the last 2 weeks.

  • Which caused this :

 

  • Then, all of a sudden, while unrelated from the previous event — well, who knows : 

IMG_3010

  • Oups…

 

  • …While European markets will stay stucked for a little longer :

 
There’s more to it for sure, but here are some events, mostly correlated, to show the newcomer what’s up for today on the trading side. 

Finally here’s a fun tweet from Josh  Brown :

@ReformedBroker: Look, it doesn’t matter what you bought or what you sold. The important thing is that you panicked.

The Greek Warrior

A few years ago, Varoufakis told Yorgos Avgeropoulos, a documentary filmmaker, that the difference between a debt of ten thousand euros and one of three hundred billion euros is that only the latter gives you negotiating power. And it does so only under one condition: “You must be prepared to say no.” Upon his election, Varoufakis used the less than ideal influence available to a rock climber who, roped to his companions, announces a willingness to let go. On behalf of Tsipras’s government, Varoufakis told Greece’s creditors, and the world’s media, that his country objected to the terms of its agreements. This position encouraged widespread commentary about Greece following a heedless path from “no” to default, and from default to a “Grexit” from the euro currency, which might lead to economic catastrophe in Europe and the world.

→ The New Yorker

Europe Should Welcome Greece’s Vote

Ferguson Illustration on GreeceIn reality, both Greece and the rest of the eurozone should treat the Greek vote as an opportunity to rethink the malfunctioning euro project. They can find a common interest in making it as painless as possible for Greece to leave the euro — both to lessen the suffering of ordinary Greek people and to establish a model that other countries might be able to follow in the future. For Greece is not the only country struggling to cope with a currency union. The current crisis could be a chance to show there are ways out of the euro that could benefit all sides — those that leave the currency union and those that stay.

Financial Times

(c) Ferguson Illustration

Thomas Piketty : “Germany Has Never Repaid.”

ZEIT: So you’re telling us that the German Wirtschaftswunder [“economic miracle”] was based on the same kind of debt relief that we deny Greece today?

Piketty: Exactly. After the war ended in 1945, Germany’s debt amounted to over 200% of its GDP. Ten years later, little of that remained: public debt was less than 20% of GDP. Around the same time, France managed a similarly artful turnaround. We never would have managed this unbelievably fast reduction in debt through the fiscal discipline that we today recommend to Greece. Instead, both of our states employed the second method with the three components that I mentioned, including debt relief. Think about the London Debt Agreement of 1953, where 60% of German foreign debt was cancelled and its internal debts were restructured.

→ Medium

A Finance Minister Fit for a Greek Tragedy?

At home, “V Is for Varoufakis” posters hung in the windows of cafes. Greeks showered him with love, twittered over his looks, and wrote adoring satires of his glamorous life and wide-ranging talents. Varoufakis’s oldest friends were bewildered by the international fuss, but everyone I’ve spoken to who knew him before this ministerial turn says Varoufakis’s behavior on the European stage is typical: He’s outspoken, passionate and confident about his ideas. That, apparently, was the problem, because Varoufakis did not go to Europe merely to negotiate Greece’s future. He had bigger ideas. He wanted to show the Europeans how to save Europe itself.

→ The New York Times Magazine