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Off The Cuff: Why Governments Prefer A Currency Crisis To A Debt Crisis

Nothing's as destructive as cascasding debt defaults
Friday, June 1, 2018, 6:09 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:

  • Panic in Europe
    • Italy is threatening to destabilize the EU
  • Central Banks Have Wrecked The Market Mechanisms
    • And tapering will reveal the damage done
  • What's Better? A Debt Crisis Or A Currency Crisis?
    • It seems governments vastly prefer the latter
  • Is Deutche Bank Threatening To Start A Banking Crisis?
    • Maybe. And it would set the world aflame.

With the action happening in Europe this week, from the Italian debt panic, to the new Spain PM, to Deustche Bank's worsening prospects, Wolf Richter comes on the program to make sense of the developments in real-time.

Notably, Wolf explains why the world's central banks will work with their home governments to destroy their currencies rather than start defaulting on their debts. This is path he expects the future to take:

A debt crisis is devastating, and it's devastating selectively. A currency crisis is kind of more democratic. It hits everybody. But a debt crisis, it hits the people that are recipients of government aid the most. And that's the problem in Greece and other countries, they had to go on austerity. Little bitty pensions were cut and things like that happened to save a few pennies here and there. And when it's a currency crisis, everybody gets hit and it spreads across. And I think they understand that Japan is uniquely equipped to deal with a currency crisis because it has this large trade surplus and because it sits on a pile of foreign exchange reserves. So that won't really blow up the Japanese economy where as a debt crisis would completely implode the economy, and it would wreak havoc among the people from pensioners and aid recipients and the healthcare system and everything would just collapse. And they decided that's not going to happen.

So that's how I think we need to look at what's happening in Japan. They made a decision to prevent a debt crisis. and if they get a currency crisis, fine, they'll manage that. Italy doesn't have that option. Italy doesn't have its own currency, and it can't do that, so it can get a debt crisis. And that's what happened to Greece, and that's what happened to other countries. When they get a debt crisis it's really nasty. I hope Italy can avoid this thing, but debt crises are just the worst, absolutely the worst. But if a government needs to do anything, it's avoid a debt crisis.

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silentera.com

The Great Oil Swindle

Is leading us to destruction
Friday, December 15, 2017, 7:41 PM

When it comes to the story we're being told about America's rosy oil prospects, we're being swindled. And the swindle is not just limited to the US.

At its core, the swindle is this: The shale industry's oil production forecasts are vastly overstated.

The false conclusions the world is drawing as a result of the deception and outright lies we're being told is putting our future prosperity in major jeopardy. Policy makers and ordinary citizens alike have been misled, and everyone -- everyone -- is unprepared for the inevitable and massive coming oil price shock. » Read more

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James Steidl/Shutterstock

Ignoring Reality Doesn’t Work

The tragedy in Greece continues
Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 7:30 PM

Right now, we humans are busy creating a major eco-tastrophe for ourselves. I’d be a lot more hopeful about our ability as a species to at least notice that, and possibly even do something positive and proactive about it; but ecological destruction is slow, complex, and doesn't change much on a day-to-day basis -- making it poorly visible to the key decision makers. 

My lack of hope stems from our oft-demonstrated inability to rally around workable solutions for the serious predicaments that are blatantly near-term, obvious and straightforward.  Take for example the current Greek debt crisis. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: The Fault-Ridden Fed

Worrying about all the wrong things
Thursday, July 30, 2015, 6:25 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Mike "Mish" Shedlock discuss:

  • The Fed's Faulty Fears
    • The people running it are concerned about the wrong things
  • Are We At A Market Top?
    • Hard to call it, but it sure feel so
  • Europe's Woes Are Worsening
    • Capital is fleeing, while debts grow
  • Our ""Markets"
    • Nobody but central banks and bots buying these days
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Ivan Cholakov/Shutterstock

Deflation Is Winning – Beware!

Expect the ride to get even rougher
Friday, July 24, 2015, 11:03 AM

Deflation is back on the front burner and it's going to destroy all of the careful central planning and related market manipulation of the past 6 years.

Clear signs from the periphery indicate that a destructive deflationary pulse has been unleashed. Tanking commodity prices are confirming that idea.  » Read more

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Alamy

All Hail Our Banking Overlords!

We work for them, plain & simple
Friday, July 17, 2015, 4:39 PM

You really have to be paying attention to see what’s truly going on these days. The keepers of the system, that is the banking elites, now openly control everything -- though you'd never know that by listening to the media. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: We Pledge Allegiance, To The Banks...

It's the banks' world. We just live in it.
Thursday, July 16, 2015, 6:45 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • We Live To Serve The Banks
    • Greece is now a nation of slaves for the banking system
  • Instability Risk Is Sky-High These Days
    • When central planners lose control, it's going to be bedlam
  • As Ever, Access To Resources Will Determine Everything
    • We're seeing the resource-poor countries now faltering first
  • Debt-based Money
    • As long as we have it, we'll never be free
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flickr creative commons

Greece Humiliated

The Troika wants Greece to be a warning to the other PIIGS
Monday, July 13, 2015, 7:50 PM

Well, that went badly. For the Greeks in general and for Tsipras specifically. After many years and rumors and brinksmanship, and a powerful "No" referendum from the people of Greece, Tsipras managed to ‘secure’ for Greece a deal worse than any other offered to date. » Read more

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Why Greece Is The Precursor To The Next Global Debt Crisis

The Eurozone fantasy will be one of the early casualties
Friday, July 10, 2015, 11:48 AM

There is no way for Greece to fix its debt problem if it keeps the euro as its currency.  Every purported solution that doesn’t address the core cause of the debt is mere theater. » Read more

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George Tsartsianidis | Dreamstime.com

More Sovereign Defaults Are Coming

Prepare for the turmoil beforehand
Friday, July 10, 2015, 11:47 AM

Executive Summary

  • Energy plays a key role in sovereign economic (un)sustainability
  • The export boom is imploding
  • The neofeudal model is collapsing as 'serf' nations enter default
  • Take preparation now, while it still matters

If you have not yet read Part 1: Why Greece Is The Precursor To The Next Global Debt Crisis available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we examined the core dynamics that expanded Greek debt to its current unmanageable size—currency/trade deficits and bailouts—and the enormous transfer of private bank debt to the public ledger via the Troika bailouts, only 10% of which trickled down to the Greek people.

There are two other dynamics beneath the surface theater, dynamics which are not unique to Greece but are characteristic of the most heavily indebted nations.

Food and Fuel Imports Drive Structural Imbalances and Debt/Currency Crises

In our recent podcast, Chris mentioned this chart of imported energy by nation. Note that the nations with crushing structural debt loads (the so-called PIIGS—Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) also happen to be major importers of energy.

What does this have to do with Greece’s debt crisis? Let’s go back to the key driver of Greek debt—imports that far exceeded exports, not occasionally but structurally, year in and year out.  Money was borrowed to pay for those imports, interest accrued on the loans and then austerity was pressed on the debtor nations by the lenders as a means of extracting interest on the rising debts.

If a nation does not generate a significant percentage of its own energy and food needs, or export enough goods and services to offset its imports of energy and food... » Read more