Is this a Missing Puzzle Piece to Europe’s Gold Repatriation?
Trouble in the Peloponnese
In the summer of 2012, Europe could certainly tell you that things had been better. The Euro concept was beginning to fade in luster, as the political classes(and ordinary, hardworking citizens of Europe) all knew, they’d be asked to bail out Greece. If this was the first time, it would have been bad enough, but the huge sticking point, was that the wealthier European countries had all been asked to do so before.
What was worse for the Greek people, was that one austerity measure after another, was being forced upon them, from a bankster Troika, which had been appointed by unelected(by European peoples), technocratic, Brussels insiders, like this guy:
Wait, stop….wrong picture! So sorry!
I actually meant this guy, Mr. Van Rompuy:
The Greek government, whose books had been cooked years before, by Goldman Sachs, to even qualify to be in this monetary union, could no longer pretend its fiscal health was rosy.
A bailout, Greeks were told, was the only way to save their economy, and by extension, the Euro project altogether. Jets carrying armies of bookkeepers, and policy makers from Belgium, were landing regularly in Athens, and local resentment was growing stronger(and more violent) by the day).
In fact, the riots, which had begun months earlier, were now spiraling out of control on the main streets of Athens.
As I sat at my computer screen, watching a live feed of tear gas canisters, rocks, and random projectiles being thrown by both the police, and the Greek people, I ruminated on many things.
“How sad”, I thought, “that the cradle of democracy has been reduced to this by technocratic bankers: a satrap of Goldman, and other large banks, all who had exposure to Euro currency swaps, and other derivatives of choice”.
Even after the bailout had passed, and other vulture capitalists like Steve Forbes(who couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into some distressed Greek industries) had left, there remained another problem: would the 2012 Greek elections spell disaster for bankster plans for Greece, and for the E.U. as a whole? After all, the feeling and mood of the populace could no longer just be called “bitter” or “resentful”, but was becoming hateful of the idea of a “greater Europe”.
The bankers desperately needed a pro-bailout majority party, or at least a majority coalition of several parties, in order to make the bail-out scheme “stick”. The poll numbers were not encouraging:
As you can see, back then, Syriza, the largest anti-bailout party in Greece had just passed New Democracy, to take the lead in the polls. This result put serious fear in those who’d planned for the Euro to march from strength to strength.
Would Syriza be overcome?
Well, as we all know looking back, they were(barely) outmatched in the wheeling and dealing that followed the elections, and a pro-bailout coalition was cobbled together, and Greece was bailed out….at a whopping cost of 177% of Greece’s GDP, and a lien was put on all of Greece’s remaining sovereign gold reserves!
The Euro had dodged a bullet, but at expenditures of political and fiscal capital.
Now, if you’re telling yourself: wait a second Watchman, this is all sounding really familiar!
Ahh, my brother, that’s because….
This whole tragic scene is repeating as we speak, and history is rhyming once again!
Over the last several weeks, the elections in Greece have thrown the Euro currency and arrangement into turmoil once more, as no clear winner has been chosen to head the current government. In fact, the pro-bailout coalition formed in 2012, is resigning, and the poll numbers are giving Syriza an even stronger majority and electoral position than they enjoyed 2 years ago.
Snap elections are now to be called on January 25th, 2015, and now, it seems, that the head of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, is taking an even more hard-line approach on bailouts. This is sparking fear and loathing all over Europe.
It has sent the Euro crashing through long term support at 1.20(though the oversold Euro may enjoy a relief rally soon):
It has sent Greek stock markets(and many other equity markets by extension) lower on the news of uncertainty, once again.
Even bonds from major Euro players are now going negative, as people are willing to pay governments money, and forego any returns whatsoever, just to ensure they hold instruments in something considered safer than cash. In fact, Germany’s 5 year bond just went negative for the first time:
This all means, that the Euro, one of the world’s largest currencies will be in agonizing purgatory for another 2.5 weeks….until we see if another pro-banker, pro-bailout coalition can be strung together!
Goldman Sachs is already threatening that if Greece fails to to vote “the right way”, that a Cyprus-style bail in or bank holiday could resume.
It is now becoming apparent to all: Greece and greater Europe, far from being more sovereign due to this arrangement, is actually becoming more threatened by the banking establishment within its borders than ever before.
The Golden Life Boats
Huh, well this is interesting stuff, Watchman, but what the heck does this have to do with gold repatriation?
I’m glad you asked that question, friend!
Back in 2012, the question on everyone’s lips, was: would this be the Euro’s last gasp(after all, there were so many close calls already). Remember, several European banks were wobbling from the news, and cash was pouring out of the banking system, and into areas perceived to be less risky(like Germany or Dutch bonds).
I remember thinking that the Euro was on the ropes, and apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought this.
For, thanks to an insightful piece written by Mr. Koos Jansen, we now know that Dutch authorities(and doubtless, German, and Nordic countries as well), were considering emergency plans, including the creation of a brand new currency for the Netherlands, called the Florijn!
While outwardly, all the Draghis and Merkels were waxing on about the “strength” of the European Commission, about the “unshakable commitment to the Euro project”, and about there being no “Plan B”, other than the Euro….we now know:
They were all lying, and this documentary confirms it!
I encourage all of you, if you haven’t watched it, to view this exchange. It’s 93 seconds of electricity. Be sure to hit “CC” for English subtitles to this exchange.
This is pure dynamite, and I have to give some credit to Klaas Knot, the head of the Dutch Central Bank, for at least being candid with the interviewer here. After all, remember, the possibility for contagion is still there, the crisis is not over, and yet he answered truthfully to these very important questions.
All the smart players were carefully crafting, not only “Plan B’s”, but Plan C’s, D’s, and E’s!
As he said, neither the Dutch people, nor the German people caused this crisis, yet they were constantly, perennially, being asked to bailout other more profligate nations, and to put their own interests aside, in order to paper over the problems of others.
Knowing now, from the mouths of the very top heads of European central banks, that there were crisis alternatives planned…
That there was serious talk of the possibility of a crashing Euro currency….
That there was talk of alternative currencies for more responsible Euro-member countries…
Is it not reasonable to assume that increased zeal in the Dutch, German, and Austrian gold repatriation(among others) which started not long afterward, was directly connected to the near failure of the Euro project itself?
Now, we know that the Euro was started to give the European countries(who’d been constantly betrayed by their U.S. partners, time and again) a means of holding cash outside of dollars. That goal is understandable, but here’s the real question:
Since the repatriation wasn’t called off….since it wasn’t halted…since it has continued(and hastened)…
What are these people preparing for? A Euro Failure? A joint U.S. dollar/Euro failure?
The political problems with the Euro aside, the monetary problem with the Euro has always been, that it requires all countries to be relatively equally competitive, in order to be workable.
But, as we’ve plainly seen, peoples are not equally competitive!
Cultures are different! Work ethics are different! Peoples are different!
I know these things seem so very apparent to us, but they’ve been utterly ignored and taken for granted by the political elites of our world.
One scenario that this Watchman heard Jim Willie speak of several years ago, that stuck with me, was the possibility of a “North European” or “Nordic Euro”.
Is the gold repatriation a natural extension of the wealthier European countries’ desires to be ready to launch a lifeboat currency, should the current Euro fail?
A lifeboat currency which would finally reflect their own strengths, without being dragged down by the weakness of others?
A lifeboat currency, whose confidence would stem from its member states, who were now flush with their newly-repatriated gold reserves?
I ask all these questions, because these same, old problems are reasserting themselves right now. The scenarios that Mr. Knot spoke of, that he never wished to revisit again…have returned….and you have to know that all those previously considered options, are back on the table, despite what they publicly say to the contrary.
Conclusion: A New Beginning?
In 2012, while riots were worsening, and the very Euro currency(and political arrangement) itself hung in the balance, heads of wealthy European countries were not stupid. I contend that they saw the writing on the wall. They knew that any monetary arrangement that had to rely on the wealthier, stronger members, to financially carry the weaker members perpetually, is not a viable arrangement.
It turns out that a growing list of countries like the Netherlands, like Germany, like Austria, and the Nordic countries all had begun to understand that Euro was a ball around their ankles, and a chain around their necks!
It wasn’t just the richer countries though, who were dragged down by the Euro currency arrangement. Greece, Portugal, and Spain, etc have been dragged down because their economies (which are not equal to their northern neighbors), have been locked into an economic prison.
Greece will never be Germany. Spain will never be Norway. Cyprus will never be Holland.
Their peoples have different interests, and different desires.
Any monetary or political arrangement that fails to recognize this self-evident truth, is doomed from the start.
The highly-productive countries have been slowly losing their say in what’s transpired with PIIGS bailouts, and this is no surprise.
When a nation loses their fiscal and monetary sovereignty, it loses its political sovereignty as well. This is what happened in the U.S. too, after the private, foreign-owned Federal Reserve was established. We’ve become bought and owned by a cabal of banks, and it is those banks’ wishes, and not the wishes of our people, who are now reflected in government policy.
As regional sovereignty has been undermined more and more by bailouts, and by the Troika, far right-wing parties continue to win in major elections in Europe, as ancient peoples and cultures have weighed their very identities against currency hegemony, and their regional identities are winning, hands down.
I expect this trend to continue, until the entire Euro concept is reinvented and retooled.
There is something else that is nagging me, too:
Knowing what they knew then in 2012, and knowing that the Netherlands was already planning an “escape hatch”, a lifeboat currency to launch, I have to wonder:
Was the entire purpose of the Greek bailouts all along….
Simply a means to buy time, in order to secure the gold of the countries who wished to break away from(or reinvent) the Euro experiment?
It seems to me that is the real question from the whole, sordid, fiasco.
Lastly, if those countries were already entertaining the concept of new regional currencies, a split Euro, or Northern “Nordic” Euro in 2012….do you think those same countries are doing so again right now, as the same, old troubles are causing a great gnashing of teeth in Brussels?
You’d better believe they are.
While it’s true that the great peoples of Europe deserve freedom from the awful U.S. dollar, just as importantly, they deserve a better monetary order than the one they’re all suffering under. I believe, before this is all over, those gold-repatriating countries are going to enact a better, fairer, monetary arrangement for themselves.
Necessity, after all, has always been the mother of invention.
The greatest question remains for Europe: what type of monetary order will be unveiled for northern Europe, after the “Golden Curtain” has finally been drawn back?
I believe that we may soon find out together!
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