Wednesday, 21 January 2015

GREEK RUINS




  1. Getting Greeks to Pay Taxes Is Tsipras Biggest Test at Home

    www.bloomberg.com/.../getting-rich-greeks-to-pay-taxes-is-tsipras-bigge...

    10 Feb 2015 - The age-old problem of getting more Greeks to pay their taxes adds pressure ... Battle of the Titans with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he may find he has ... said he repeated his offer to send 500 German tax officials to Greece to ... on control by politicians slows and tax collectors perform fewer audits,

Update 20 July 2015.

Email debate on Greece - Germany has not pushed Greece into un-repayable debt. Greece was already bust when it joined the Euro in 2001/02, but it misled the other Member States. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1095783.stm

Greece was bust pre-2001, because it emerged from a very troubled, politically unstable and economically poor and primitive background governed by an " offshore aristocracy" which had never and will never pay tax - which in turn triggered strong left-wing local reactions, which created the silly large pensions at 50 etc culture that the Greeks may have to be painfully weaned from. For example, one family alone, Papandreou, hid 500,000,000 (half a billion) euro in HSBC Zurich. They are one of the 2,058 Greek secret account holders at HSBC Zurich on the Lagarde-List. Zurich is but one of dozens of banks in 72 global tax-havens. (say 24 banks x 72 tax-havens = 1,728 nest-eggs to be counted, which the OECD and Wall St calculate at $32 trillion frozen offshore). The Greek diaspora (Council of overseas Greeks {SAE} put the figure at around 7 million worldwide) is almost as large as the Greek 10M population. As soon as Greece, having lied about its balance-sheet, became a member, with access to the EU banking system - they abused it and became a channel for Russian mafia and other nations' tax-evasion-capital-flight - screwing up the European balance sheet. Each Greek household is now in debt to the EU of 120,000 euro (plus their normal mortgage etc debts). It has recently been said that no other country on Earth, throughout history, has received (and siphoned off) as much money-aid from other countries.


The dumb Greeks have been screwed by the clever Greeks.

Angela Merkel - Angel of Mercy - is not intent on screwing the Greeks. She just happens to preside over the EU member with the largest surplus - so the redistribution of EU wealth falls disproportionately on Germany.


Hug a Generous Jerry

Noel
****** 

Yes. Fascinating.
As you know, one thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.
Germany was ground down post 1918, and look what happened.
Germany has ground Greece down. What will happen? The rise of extremist parties in Greece? It's already happening.
Massive public disruption? It's already beginning.
Greece is in an impossible position. They are not strong enough to get out of their mess themselves. Germany got them into this mess. Germany needs to lead the way out.
Basically it has to start by writing off much of the Greek debt. I can't see Frau Merkel agreeing to this unless Hollande and the IMF twist her arm.

This, and Obama's Iran Deal of the Century! What a week!!!

Nick

 **** 
On 17 Jul 2015, at 13:07, Mel Cooper wrote:

> Have a look at this:
>
>
> So if they now have identified a San Andreas fault line between Germany and France, when does the earthquake shatter the whole thing?
>
> Mel

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Update 20 July 2015. Letter to The Guardian
20th July 2015.

The deeply worrying implication of Jill Treanor’s report of KPMG’s analysis “Banks expected to struggle with ring-fencing target” Guardian 20 July 15; is that the 2008/09 £1.2 trillion taxpayer bailout (£54,000 per UK household) was not nearly enough; and that banks have also lost all the credit balances of today’s savers. Separate out the ordinary depositors funds and the banks’ gambling arms will be revealed to be in serious debt; so the logic goes. Why wait till 2020; ring-fence these crazy transactions today. Will KPMG tell us how much more banks have lost - and who has gained?

Noel Hodson

Oxford



Update 26 Jan 2015. Greece has Voted. Letter to the Guardian:

Your news, editorial and speculations about Syriza’s victory in Greece, might now be followed by an analysis of where Greek’s past decades of wealth, present revenues, EU grants, loans and gifts have gone. Such investigation will rapidly conclude that VIP Greeks have bankrupt their nation through massive, persistent tax-evasion-capital-flight. The government suppressed Lagarde List of 2,059 Greek accounts at HSBC, Zurich, is a small indication, as is the fact that Greek ship owners are exempt from tax. Until these immense capital outflows are all repatriated under existing tax laws (It is not “All perfectly legal” it is self-invoicing fraud), and the drain is plugged; pouring in Euro’s (from all of us) just adds to the swamp of offshore corruption. Will Syriza be any different? Dare they challenge their (offshore) aristocracy? Will they plug the drain?


*****************
Original Article: Greek Ruins.

As the 1% and their sycophants and acolytes assemble in Davos, to congratulate themselves on owning the World - or at least having legal title to paper that purports to attest to their ownership of the world - and of pacifying the dimwitted, somnolent 99%, a catastrophic time-bomb is ticking away in Athens. According to historians and economists*, it has been ticking for hundreds if not thousands of years; for so long that it has become part of the tolerated and accepted background of our entire money-economy. It is symptomatic of the deep fault lines in the rock strata at the foundations of our western capitalism.

The tiny, ancient nation of Greece, just 2% of Europe, the cradle of democracy and civilization,  is sinking into the cesspit of endemic, irreversible, rotten, stinking, unchallenged, unquestioned, habitual corruption. Davos and the world will quietly, sadly stand by as Greece founders, sinks and implodes; making a terrible stink. The corrupt Greek 1% have long ago abandoned the country, fleeing to larger, more stable economies with all their nation's capital. The intelligentsia, less wealthy perhaps, talented professionals and grade A students have fled. This feckless, selfish, cunning Greek diaspora carries with it the viral disease of endemic corruption. They carry a deadly transmittable plague that contaminates the seeds and roots of any healthy economy they infest. Having killed the original host, they crawl onto and into the bodies of all neighboring civilizations.

"Look at how effortlessly successful I am in the Anglo-Saxon economic system. I outwit all governments. I don't work. I don't make things. I don't grow or harvest anything. I never risk my own assets. I have the best of everything. I am superior. I am clever. I pay no taxes. I contribute nothing to my society. I am a supreme consumer. I am the ultimate tapeworm and parasite. I am Davos."  Their viral message is compelling and only fools reject it. Only fools get their hands dirty with toil. Only fools work. Only fools repair the national infrastructure. Only fools repay their national debts. Only fools and little people pay taxes. "Ask not, what can I do for my community - ask only, for how long can I suck the lifeblood from my neighbors." And all the other clever folk in Rome, Madrid, London, New York and Zurich - will catch the disease; and start to sicken their countries.

The infestation has at last killed Greece. Only the poor fools, the hoi-polloi, and their undernourished, uneducated kids are left in the hollowed out shell that is Athens. For the next century, the hapless indigenous population will be burdened by the international debts incurred by the diaspora - who shipped the borrowed cash abroad. Their prices will collapse. Their wages will be further decimated. They will be unemployed and underemployed. They will be the ultimate "flexible" workforce at the edge of Europe - but outside the European Union. Any new investment into Greece will be immediately stolen by the diaspora and will disappear into tax-havens. They will serve tourists, serve coffee, break plates, make mournful music and Zorba dance for their supper. They will catch fish, grow olives and grapes - but the diaspora, creditors and tax collectors will take the harvest. Their ferries and ships will sail but all the income will go the same day to tax-havens. Greek shipowners don't live in Greece and are tax exempt. Greece will revert to medieval peasant conditions.

If they recover slightly. If they overcome the Herculean tasks and rebuild any semblance of an economy - the survivors will themselves adopt the "clever" centuries old habits of their ancestors - and cheat and steal and emigrate, as fast as their brave Olympian legs will carry them. Nobody on Earth is so foolish as to try to rescue a crippled economy with massive long term investment. No Greek citizen is foolish enough to make some money and leave it in Greece. The siphons will be active and immediate and one way only - out to tax-havens. Tax-evasion-capital-flight** is a major symptom of the Greek disease - and after it has passed the diaspora event horizon - it is incurable.

Maybe Russia will buy Greece at a knockdown price. Or, perhaps the only possible future is total, calamitous, chaotic collapse and civil war - followed by 250 years of Sharia Law.

*"Greece needs debts cancelled and growth" Guardian letters 21 Jan 2015.
** "Up to $32 trillion is hidden in tax havens. Just who does this benefit? Not the people who own it - and they can't take it with them" Guardian letters 21 Jan 2015.
http://www.theguardian.com/tone/letters


More reading:

CYPRUS - THE BUTTERFLY'S WING

$102 BILLION FOR GREECE







Friday, 16 January 2015

OBAMA GOES FOR GOLD



















************

3 FEB 2015.

Obama goes for Gold: The Guardian 3rd Feb 2015 reports that "Obama plans levy on $2tn stockpile held abroad by US firms" and explains that major US companies hold their profits offshore to avoid 35% corporation tax. Obama wants to tax them and force repatriation. The Republicans are of course, inevitably against investing this useless, frozen $2tn in America, to boost the GDP by a whopping 1.5%.

I suppose its no fun being the richest people on Earth, ever, without hordes of beggars and 35 million Americans on food-stamps - to feel superior to. Its called aristocrats and peasants. It caused the French & Russian revolutions.

But - the financial reporters and journalists are missing the big game. While Obama publicly hunts down the $2,000,000,000,000 that supposedly honest auditors report as being legitimately held and frozen offshore by the big corporations - and for which he needs Republican support to repatriate, Wall Street expert, James Henry, calculates there is globally $32 trillion in tax-havens - which by definition is anonymous and illicit and can therefore be clawed back by tax-collectors, under existing laws. No Republican votes required. The OECD, Paris agrees with Wall St.

I estimate that America's share of the illegal $32,000,000,000,000 (80 million long term good jobs) is $16 trillion - or $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the US. Unfreezing that cash-pile will reboot the economy and pay-off every deficit.

President Obama already has the legal rights to send in the IRS to tax this $16 trillion, as illegal back-duty-tax cases, which usually recover the evaded tax, plus compound interest, plus penalties, plus costs - which usually adds up to all the assets siphoned out to the tax havens. Such transfers from America and other OECD economies are illegal when effected via self-invoicing, however maze like or Enron like the convoluted trail from Main Street to Banana Bank.

BUT WE CAN'T FIND THEM ! wail the relatives, lawyers and friends of the anonymous, shy super-rich. Its all too complicated. But, fortunately, Hallejulah! the NSA, FBI, CIA and GCHQ in the UK have been tracking everyone's communications for decades - and know precisely where the criminal funds are; they have to for money-laundering, drug-dealing and terrorist security purposes. IBM computers run 99% of the world's banks. Last year for example, the ICIJ journalists published 130,000 accounts in the British Virgin Islands - just one of the world's 71 tax-havens. So we do know where they live - and Obama can send in the Collectors - today.

Every American can look forward to receiving their $50,000 bonus, in 2015.

As Europe faces up to the Greek debts - to forgive and forget that debt - a main condition is to stop the drains, sewers and siphons of Greek corruption and endemic tax-evasion. The new rulers in Athens will no doubt repatriate Greek capital from tax-havens. Globally, it will be a race between governments to recoup the assets in tax-havens - first. Then they'll sort out who owns what. 2015 will be an interesting year.

LETTER IN THE GUARDIAN. PAY NO TAX AT ALL, EVER.

From: Noel Hodson [mailto:noel@noelhodson.com]
Sent: 16 January 2015 09:36
To: 'guardian.letters@theguardian.com'
Subject: Amazon LuxLeaks Self-Invoicing

Would Guardian legal experts please advise. Reading “Brussels set to publish report on Amazon” Guardian 16 Jan 15, while I’m finalising my own tax returns, and with 50 years professional experience of tax accounting, I note that the EU’s complaint is that sweetheart deals are anti-competitive. No criticism is made of self-invoicing €557 million (annually) to siphon profits away from the tax-regions where the customers live. Self-invoicing was illicit in OECD and UK tax-law, with such non-commercial deductions added back to taxable profits. Self-invoicing and keeping two set of books put Al Capone in jail – it was illicit in the USA. Are we asked to believe that the beneficiaries are distinct and at arms-length, being gifted the Head Company’s millions – or are the transactions circular, going back to head office – and thus back to self-invoicing? Has the tax law changed or can I, and all Guardian readers, today self-invoice my entire UK income, via, say, a funny-money, faux-directors Channel Isle company, and pay no tax? Time is of the essence; please urgently advise.

Noel Hodson, Oxford

Read More:  

CAMERON CALLS IN THE TAX HAVENS



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

2015 ECONOMIC FORECASTS

14 JAN 2015.

Dear John

When banks collapse - who pays?

In answer to  your questions, the bank bail-in laws are complicated. Anticipating their impact is like trying to foresee 20 moves ahead in chess.

(New UK bank laws start on 1st January 2015)


My political view is that if we stick to The Free Markets - then the owners of banks etc should pay the bail out costs. In theory, but I doubt in practice, We the People - depositors and bank shareholders, will read our banks' balance sheets with zeal; we will stop executive greed entirely; we will insist on claw-back of bonuses and pensions; we will insist that casino-banking stops in our banks. We may even insist that auditors stop fiddling the books, report honestly, and bear financial responsibility for errors (as might happen at TESCO).

I note that inter-bank balances are largely exempted from risk; odd, as other banks are the only ones who might be able to read a rival's balance sheet and see danger looming.

Of course, we cannot know the true state of any bank - so we will be flying blind, waiting to lose our savings over £85K. I note the Free Market attack on Mutuals /Building Societies - converting non-risk savings into risky shares; which may drive small savers to the Big Banks.

If we are to have the risks heaped on our shoulders -  then I forecast a new profession of Real-Audit - firms that watch bank executives and funny-money subsidiaries like hawks and sue to recover the losses they cause. A New Scientist article pointed out that nobody collects bank balance sheets data across the world - and compares them. It would be quite simple in bookkeeping terms to run a mandatory daily spreadsheet of all financial institutions - When totalled across the page, all the debits and credits  would cancel to zero, leaving only the true bank-owned assets. But there are so many secrets to keep, not least tax-evasion-capital-flight, that this simple tool will only be applied after another massive failure and theft from small savers.

Greece - Greece (less than 2% of Europe) could balance its budgets next week if it repatriated the offshore tax-evasion-capital-flight on the lists hacked from Zurich (most from HSBC), passed to Christine Lagarde,  now head of the IMF, who passed them to the Greek tax-collectors - who buried them. Shipping companies and families in Greece are tax exempt. I guess anyone who is anybody in Greece, pays no taxes and siphons out all capital. The Greek Diaspora could re-fund the Greek economy - but the nation and its exiles choose not to. This is one reason why the EU gets pissed off by Greece. The other is that for decades Greece has been a major net recipient of billions from the EU - all immediately diverted from the intended projects - to tax-havens. They are a bunch of spivs. You can read the list here:




What will happen? I think a socialist government will take power - and take the populist route of writing off Greek Debt - at the expense of the EU. Greeks of all persuasions do not pay tax. It could tip the EU's hand to aggressively action long, tediously planned, bureaucratic steps towards Fair Tax - particularly for Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. But it may have to wait until President Juncker, the Luxembourg "industrial scale" tax-dodging PM resigns as head of the EU.

(FROM EURODAD: 13th Jan 15 - FAIR TAX - Please accept this brief update on the European Parliament's response to the LuxLeaks scandal.

As you know, we have been calling for the EP to establish an inquiry committee. Although the proposal has been met with resistance the idea is still alive. At the latest count 165 of 188 needed signatures from MEPs have been collected, and significantly a few EPP representatives have now also signed, including the powerful EPP vice-chair of the ECON committee (Economic and Monetary Affairs).)

The banks are of course at the heart of all tax-evasion-capital-flight, particularly London banks. 

As I said, I think governments will do whatever is needed to maintain confidence in the banks and currencies - even total nationalisation if needed.

Noel

(Mr) Noel Hodson
16 Brookside, OXFORD, 

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13 Jan 2015


Hi John and Tony

Thanks for the emails and papers. I  am interested in such matters - but I comment as a very cautious and small investor. My eldest brother Richard was a Chartist (extrapolating past graphs to make forecasts) and he gambled - often cleverly and profitably - but ultimately gambling in commodities, land (in Mellor), currencies and metals, wiped him out - and very nearly bankrupted my father who followed Richard's recommendations. So I am cautious.

Taking McHugh's Forecasts for 2015:


STOCKS - Gamblers love a volatile Stock Market. Steady growth is boring. However, the fixed assets underpinning most public companies are a significant part of the global real-economy and overall, on average, they keep pace with that other stable asset - land and property. With offshore cash growing at $1 trillion a year (now more than $32 trillion, 80 million good jobs) we can expect volatility in all real-economy markets as the money-economy (paper) thrashes around.

GOLD ETC - Gambler's delight in King Copper and other metals. They are part of the real-economy and will always retain a real-value. However, most Metals are subject to fads and fashions, fears and hopes and bent manipulation of prices. I agree that gold has a utility value in science. But it is not as rare as supposed. I had a client who bought bars of Cornish Tin 40 years ago - he still has them and they have kept pace with the money-economy.

OIL & ENERGY - Who forecast the halving of oil prices from Sept 2014 to date? It is political, to try to bring Putin to heel (I think that will fail) but is also based in the reality that more fossil fuels are being found. We haven't even touched the immense frozen deposits of methane in Russia's tundra. So fossil fuels in the real-economy will fall in price. Several OECD countries are using ever increasing amounts of green energy (despite the press reports) which will reduce the price of fossil fuels. McHugh doesn't analyse the impact of global warming - losing coastal margins and causing migration. Clean & Dirty Energy prices will take warming into account.

RUSSIA - Is not collapsing. This "news" is in the Fox News category that "Birmingham UK is a violent no-go Muslim City!"  Really? The danger to the money-economy is that Putin will turn away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency, and will create other currencies with India, China, Africa and South America. Russia has massive real-assets, land, energy and people who did put the first man into space.

RISING DEBT and CURRENCIES. I don't have much faith in the intelligence of bankers, but they do have the professional job of keeping the money-economy large and fluid enough to serve the ever expanding real-economy. The World has always had rising debt and depreciating currencies as the population and our inventiveness and productivity grows - and always will. Today, computers could launch a new currency, pegged to the reality of what most people want to transact in their real lives, in a few months. Bankers are sometimes crazed gamblers (or thieves) who mistake paper for real assets - but reality re-asserts its dominance very quickly. I assume that all those national treasuries, Wall St and The City etc do have some inkling of the problems that McHugh fears - and make plans to adjust the money-economy accordingly. I think that our children and grandchildren will not meekly sit by and save up for 15 years to buy a washing machine; however much we preach austerity at them. Ditto for houses. People will continue to want real things - and will adjust the paper-economy to get them; think back to TV Rentals in the sixties - and, horror piled upon horror, foretelling the End of The World as our parents knew it -  "Credit Cards".

Half the world's population is very, very poor. They want stuff - real-economy products; and will find ways to get that stuff. Production, automated production, is and will continue to rise to meet the consumer demand. To oil the wheels more paper has to be printed to enable the transactions: e.g. 200 new homes in Cheshire at £500,000 per home MUST have £100M of new mortgages to enable the transactions. QE is only putting back a small fraction of the $32 trillion siphoned out to tax-havens; which, if it sits in Banana Banks long enough, will become worthless as the real-economy rolls by it. (Very Long Term - prices of goods will reduce to the value of the basic raw materials + land. Computerisation will replace all human repetitive labour).

McHugh's "screen generation" will not sit idly by while we frightened old men try to slow the economy back to the 1930's walking pace. Economists must widen their basic (usually hopelessly flawed) calculations of Land x Labour x Capital to include - Land Labour Capital & The Internet. Youth will not tolerate collapsing markets. Lets get back to work in the real-economy.

QED

Noel

**************** 

 Hi John,

Deflation:  It depends on the definition. I think that prices of goods will reduce, due mostly to automation and to mass emerging markets of people with little income. UK Housing is still skilled labour intensive, so I don't expect to see that part of house prices to deflate - but we have deflated mortgage interest and builders' bank interest, which was about 25% of the market cost. Land prices will increase. Low interest rates are the present underlying main cause of reducing prices because interest and bank charges are added at every stage of production and distribution - typically ten stages from e.g. farm to plate.

Deflation of prices is good for the majority. It only becomes dangerous if it is caused by fear of collapse, in turn causing the majority to stop being active in the economy. If the world stops working, everyone is at risk. I don't think that will happen. QE re-boots the economy.

Banks - I think the world will do whatever it takes to keep confidence and liquidity flowing. I can see some scenarios where all banks will nationalised - at least for a time. It is dangerous to have private interests in a position to print and distribute national money. But would we want our bank managers to be civil servants?

Jobs - Our meetings about telework and the Internet - in Brussels from  1992 to 1998, concluded that most repetitive jobs would be automated and that most of us in OECD countries would work far less. I think this has happened. The answer to millions of under-employed lost souls was Lifelong Education. The greatest difficulty is to find new ways of distributing automatically produced real-wealth, without soup kitchen queues. But I think it will be achieved. After all, the bulk of the unemployed are our own grandchildren. There will also be major new hi-tech industries but they will not need mass workers.

WE HAVE WORKED HARD TO ABOLISH WORK - AND SUCCEEDED (compared to factory and field hands pre-1920).

Now back to my damned tax returns.

Noel


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From John

OK those are your views.

Will you be surprised if there is deflation?

And what do you think about the bank bail-in regimes being put in place all across the world?

It is one thing saying lets get back to work in the real economy but in fact there are a vast number of people without jobs, almost certainly a lot more than the politicians say, is there an answer to that?