Germany has sold five-year debt at a negative yield for the first time, as investors paid for the privilege of lending to one of the world’s biggest economies. The sale shows how central bank policy is pushing markets ever deeper into uncharted territory, more than six years after the financial crisis.
The dreaded ‘Grexit’ has once again been deferred. February 20 the EU decided once again ‘Not to Decide’ and ‘kicked the can’ of Greece’s ongoing bail out crisis ‘ further four months down the road’. A carefully crafted, but severely compromised agreement, between the EU ( especially Germany) and the new Greek government of PM Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) Party, was signed.
Tsipras has 2 days to present a plan to crack down on endemic Greek corruption, a ‘feather-bedded public service badly in need of top to bottom reform and tax fraud and evasion, that will be agreeable to the EU. Greece then has until the end of April to prove to the EU that the plan is working and is viable before the next EU tranche of funding, to prop up the Greek economy, is issued. Further linkage of broad based Greek monetary reforms to additional bail out funds has been postponed even further. Continue reading
In Venezuela, the low oil prices are beginning to bite.
Social media is awash with images of #EmptyShelvesInVenezuela (#AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela) as the evaporation of basic human staples such as toilet paper has now been hyperinflated to total chaos at warehouses and supermarkets.
As President Maduro decries the loss of $100 oil “stability”, vowing to return oil prices to their rightful (?) places, lines reach for miles for milk and soap… and the people are defying governmental bans on photographing empty market shelves.
As AFP reports:-
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro begins a trip to China and OPEC member countries late Sunday in search of financial support as his country reels from falling oil prices and a tattered economy.
The South American oil giant confirmed Tuesday that it has entered recession, while annual inflation topped 63 percent, exacerbating the outlook for an economy already hit by global crashing oil prices and import shortages.
President Maduro has an increasing problem…
22% self-identify as pro-govt vs. 42% when former president Hugo Chavez died March 2013.
But as long as he can keep the military paid (off), things will be under his control…..maybe.
You can’t understand the game without a score sheet. Here is a useful reference of who owns what oil and what are the production costs vs. the current oil price on the world market. When you come across some oil related economic collapse you can now tie it all together.
The reality is if a nation’s oil cost of production is higher than the world market price then that supplier is going broke. If production costs per barrel of oil produced is lower than the current world price of oil then there is profit for the taking and that producer is smiling all the way to the bank. Telegraph Group analysis:
Enjoy:- Continue reading
A new ‘Islamic doll’ with no facial features has been launched in Britain.
The ‘Deeni Doll’ has no eyes, nose or mouth whatsoever in a bid to comply with Islamic rules governing the depiction of faces.
The doll was manufactured in China and designed in the UK by Ridhwana B. She told Asian Image:
“I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features.
“Some parents won’t leave the doll with their children at night because you are not allowed to have any eyes in the room.