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  • The European Countries With The Most Psychiatrists

    If Europe is driving you nuts, we have some simple advice… head to Finland!
    As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, according to new Eurostat data released to mark World Mental Health Day, the European Union has about 90,000 psychiatrists in total and Finland has the most per 100,000 inhabitants (23.60) followed by Sweden (23.19) and the Netherlands (22.95).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 2017.


  • The Secret History Of The Banking Crisis

    Accounts of the financial crisis leave out the story of the secretive deals between banks that kept the show on the road. How long can the system be propped up for?
    ***
    It is a decade since the first tremors of what would become the Great Financial Crisis began to convulse global markets. Across the world from China and South Korea, to Ukraine, Greece, Brexit Britain and Trump’s America it has shaken our economy, our society and latterly our politics. Indeed, it has thrown into question who ‘we’ are. It has triggered both a remarkable wave of nationalism and a deep questioning of social and economic inequalities. Politicians promise their voters that they will ‘take back control.’ But the basic framework of globalisation remains intact, so far at least. And to keep the show on the road, networks of financial and monetary co-operation have been pulled tighter than ever before.
    In Britain the beginning of the crisis was straight out of economic history’s cabinet of horrors. Early in the morning of Monday 14th September 2007, queues of panicked savers gathered outside branches of the mortgage lender Northern Rock on high streets across Britain. It was – or at least so it seemed – a classic bank run. Within the year the crisis had circled the world. Wall Street was shaking, as was the City of London. The banks of South Korea, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland were all in trouble. We had seen nothing like it since 1929. Soon enough Ben Bernanke, then chairman of the US Federal Reserve and an expert on the Great Depression, said that this time it was worse.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2017.


  • Schaeuble Says Italy Bank-Liquidation Aid Shows Rule Discord

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble joined his counterparts from the Netherlands and Austria in calling for a review of European Union bank-failure rules after Italy won approval to pour as much as 17 billion ($19.4 billion) of taxpayers’ cash into liquidating two regional lenders.
    Schaeuble said Italy’s disposal of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA revealed differences between the EU’s bank-resolution rules and national insolvency laws that are ‘difficult to explain.’ That’s why finance ministers convening in Brussels on Monday have to discuss the Italian cases and consider ‘how this can be changed with a view to the future,’ he told reporters in Brussels before the meeting.
    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the focus should be on E.U. state-aid rules for banks that date from 2013, before the resolution framework was put in place. Italy relied on these rules for its state-funded liquidation of the two Veneto banks and its plan to inject 5.4 billion into Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA.
    The E.U. laid down new bank-failure rules in the 2014 Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive after member states provided almost 2 trillion to prop up lenders during the financial crisis. The BRRD foresees small banks going insolvent like non-financial companies. Big ones that could cause mayhem would be restructured and recapitalized under a separate procedure called resolution, in which losses are borne by owners and creditors, including senior bondholders if necessary.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • EU Political Class Rides Roughshod over Citizens’ Concerns & Frustrations as it Pushes Integration

    2017 has been a surprisingly kind year for the European Union – so far! Staunchly pro-EU candidates not only survived the gauntlet of national elections in France and the Netherlands but emerged triumphant. The once-imminent threat of political populism is now on the wane, we are led to believe. As if to prove that point, even the UK government is struggling to preserve a united front to see out Brexit after recent elections delivered a hung parliament.
    The governments of the EU’s two core nations, Germany and France, appear to share a unified sense of purpose. Merkel has expressed a willingness to go along with two central French demands – the appointment of a Eurozone finance minister and the creation of a common budget – as long as certain conditions are met. ‘We can of course think about a Eurozone budget as long as it’s clear that this is really strengthening structures and achieving sensible results,’ she said.
    Ms. Merkel’s surprise overture, however qualified, suggests the stalled process of EU integration could kick back into life sooner than most experts had expected. Particularly surprising is the timing of Merkel’s comments, coming as they do ahead of make-or-break general elections in September.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 22, 2017.


  • “Tech Wreck” Goes Global Dragging Worldwide Markets Lower; Cable, USDJPY Slide

    First the bad news: following Friday’s “tech wreck” European equity markets have opened lower, with the Stoxx 600 sliding 0.9% and back under the 50DMA for the first time since December, dragged by selloff in tech shares, mirroring Asian markets as Friday’s “FAAMG” volatility in U. S. markets spreads globally, battering shares from South Korea to the Netherlands. European banks lag as the Spanish regulator stepped in to prevent another bank collapse, this time of LiberBank which we profiled yesterday, by banning short-selling in the regional commercial bank to mitigate Popular-related contagion.
    Samsung Electronics, ASML Holding and Tencent Holdings led declines in Europe and Asia, dragging down benchmark indexes according to Bloomberg. U. S. stock futures, which ignored Friday’s tech move, also fell as markets continue to digest the Nasdaq 100’s plunge on Friday. Europe’s tech index fell as much as 2.8% to put it on track for its biggest one-day loss since October. The index had reached a 15-year high earlier this month and has soared around 40 percent over the last year

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2017.


  • How gold can rescue pensions

    The World Economic Forum, in conjunction with Mercers (the actuaries) recently estimated that the combined pension deficit currently stands at $66.9tr for eight countries, rising to $427.8tr in 2050. The eight countries are Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Netherlands, UK and US. Of the 2016 figure, $50.5tr is unfunded government and public employee pension promises.
    Yes, we are now talking in hundreds of trillions. Other welfare-providing states missing from the list have deficits that are additional to these estimates.i
    $66.9tr is roughly 1.5 times the GDP of the eight countries combined, and $427.8tr is nearly ten times. Furthermore, if we take out the non-productive government element, the figures relative to the private sector tax-paying base are closer to twice productive GDP today, and thirteen times greater in 2050. That 2050 deficit assumes a 5% compound annual growth rate. This is a linear projection, but the deterioration in finances for unfunded government pensions may turn out to be exponential, in line with the accelerated increase in the broad money quantity since the great financial crisis.
    The problem is mainly in the welfare states, so we know that the welfare states are in big trouble. Governments routinely offer inflation-protected pensions to state employees, funded out of current taxation. The planners in government treasury departments are coming alive to the scale of the problem, though the politicians would rather ignore it. Government finances are already being subverted by both unfunded pension obligations, and by additional rising healthcare costs for aging populations.
    Furthermore, people are living longer. Someone born in Japan ten years ago who retires at 60 can expect to live to 107, leaving the state picking up a forty-seven-year welfare and pensions bill. And it’s not much less expensive in other countries, with 50% of North American and European babies born in 2007 expected to live to 103.
    The global dependency ratio, those in work relative to those in retirement, is expected to deteriorate from 8:1 to 4:1 by 2050. When most people retire, they stop paying income tax and become a burden on the state welfare system. Therefore, retirement ages must rise. Not only must they rise, but they must rise by enough to pay for those who are otherwise fit but mentally incapacitated by dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, set to spend the last decades of their lives expensively kept.
    That is the background to a global problem. But we shall just say ‘poor taxpayers’, and move on. Instead, this article focuses not on the problems of funding state pensions (which is admittedly 75% of the problem), but is an overview on why the current low growth, low interest rate environment is so detrimental to private sector pensions.

    This post was published at GoldMoney on JUNE 08, 2017.


  • Netherlands marks ducat coin anniversary with one-year type

    The Netherlands is marking the 200th anniversary of the current gold ducat with a special issue featuring the coin’s original design, introduced in 1817.
    To mark the milestone, the Royal Dutch Mint has issued the single ducat for 2017 with the design of the thin, armored knight that was used from 1817 until 1986, and with the dual dates of 1817 and 2017. A companion double ducat features the design in use since 1986, and is dated 2017.
    The first gold ducat with the legendary standing knight was struck in Holland under the United Provinces in 1586. The first double ducat came from the province of Friesland in 1612. The Dutch Kingdom continued the practice.
    The gold single ducat and its companion coin, the gold double ducat, both bear a Proof finish and are only available for pre-sale until the end of May. Sales will then close and the mintage will be restricted to the number of orders received.

    This post was published at Coin World


  • Jewellery and cars seized as Dutch trigger multi-country tax raids

    Dutch prosecutors say they have launched co-ordinated raids in several countries against suspected money-launderers and tax evaders.
    They are investigating about 3,800 Dutch-linked accounts in an unnamed Swiss bank following a tip-off they could contain undeclared assets.
    Paintings, a gold bar, cash, a luxury car and jewellery have been seized.
    As well as the Netherlands, there have been searches in France, Germany, the UK and Australia.
    The Dutch government has passed information to the other countries about more than 50,000 suspect accounts at the bank.

    This post was published at BBC


  • MARCH 31/GOLD AND SILVER ADVANCE/SILVER OPEN INTEREST WITHIN 12,000 OF RECORD HIGH LEVELS DESPITE BEING 2 DOLLARS LESS WHEN THE RECORD WAS HIT/RAID IN NETHERLANDS HEADQUARTERS OF CREDIT SUISSE CL…

    Gold: $1247.30 UP $2.30
    Silver: $18.23 UP 5 cents
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1249.50
    silver: $18.27!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: 1252.28 DOLLARS PER OZ
    NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: 1241.50
    PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $10.78
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: 1260.78
    NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: 1242.46
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$18.32

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 31, 2017.


  • Credit Suisse Offices Raided In Multiple Tax Probes: Gold Bars, Paintings, Jewelry Seized

    Credit Suisse has confirmed that the Swiss bank, some of its employees and hundreds of account holders are the subjects of a major tax evasion probe launched in UK, France, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands, setting back Swiss attempts to clean up its image as a haven for tax evaders.
    According to Bloomberg, Dutch investigators seized jewellery, paintings and even gold bars as part of a sweeping investigation into tax evasion and money laundering in the Netherlands. They added that the sums involved amounted to ‘many millions’ of lost tax revenue.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 31, 2017.


  • EU Banking Crisis Meets Euro-TARP on Angel Dust

    If the ECB scales back stimulus, banks face even greater risk of collapse. But now there’s a new solution.
    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively.
    The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is estimated at over 1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three times higher than in other major regions of the world.
    On a country-by-country basis, things take look even scarier. Currently 10 (out of 28) EU countries have an NPL ratio above 10% (orders of magnitude higher than what is generally considered safe). And among Eurozone countries, where the ECB’s monetary policies have direct impact, there are these NPL stalwarts:
    Ireland: 15.8% Italy: 16.6% Portugal: 19.2%

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Mar 17, 2017.


  • Netherlands: Moderate Parties Hold Onto Power

    A general election in the Netherlands on March 15 led to a fragmented parliament, meaning a coalition of several parties will be needed to form a government. Through the results, voters expressed frustration with the establishment parties in power but also mostly rejected extremism.
    According to early results, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right People’s Party of Freedom and Democracy won 32 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives, clearing the way for Rutte’s reappointment as prime minister. But although Rutte’s party managed to remain the most popular in the country, it lost nine seats from the previous election in 2012. In the meantime, Rutte’s current coalition partners, the center-left Labor Party, suffered a major defeat, falling from 38 seats to only 10.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 03/16/2017.


  • Numerous High-Profile Twitter Account Hacked, Post Swastikas, Pro-Erdogan, “NaziHolland” Messages

    The diplomatic spat between Turkey and the Netherlands spilled into the internet on Wednesday after a large number of Twitter accounts including news agencies, and political entities were hacked by a pro-Turkish group and posted content supporting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his feud with Europe, with hashtags in Turkish reading ‘NaziGermany’ and ‘NaziHolland.’
    As Bloomberg reports, the messages and swastikas appeared on the verified Twitter accounts of German newspaper Die Welt, Forbes Magazine, Duke University, BBC North America, UNICEF, and Reuters Japan. Also targeted were the Twitter accounts of the European Parliament, French politicians like Alain Jupp, Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure, among others. The attacks, which appeared to be simply a form of political vandalism, used the hashtags #Nazialmanya or #Nazihollanda.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 15, 2017.


  • What To Watch For As The Dutch Go To The Polls

    Dutch citizens will vote today for a new government in one of the most-watched elections in years. While polls have tilted towards PM Rutte’s VVD Party in recent days, the euroskeptic leader of the Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, looks set to gain the most seats but the necessary coalition will be anything but clean (since World War II, it’s taken an average of 72 days to form a government).
    ***
    The timing of the vote results is as follows (via Bloomberg):
    Polling stations across the Netherlands close at 9pm (4pm ET), and counting of the votes, which is done by hand, starts immediately. Polls will still be open for five more hours on three Dutch islands in the Caribbean — Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius — but they represent only a tiny fraction of the overall electorate of 12.7 million.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 15, 2017.


  • S&P Futures, Global Stocks Rise Ahead Of The Fed; Oil Rebounds

    It is fitting that just a few hours until the Fed’s second rate hike in two quarters, and one day after Goldman downgraded global stocks to Neutral for the next 3 months, not to mention with the results of the anticipated Dutch election due shortly, that global stocks as well as S&P futures are higher, while crude oil has finally managed to stage a rebound as the Dollar DXY index is fractionally in the red.
    In addition to the Fed, a barrage of monetary policy decisions at the BOE, the BOJ, the SNB and Bank of Indonesia within the next 36 hours were further reasons for investors’ cautious stance.
    East Coast traders return to their desks following a rather disapponting nor’easter, where they will be prompted bombarded by data over the next 2 days. Here is a quick summary of main events over the next 36 hours courtesy of Bloomberg:
    The Fed’s decision will be announced at 2 p.m. in Washington, followed by Chair Janet Yellen’s news conference a half hour later. Investors are focused on any hints of a change in the number of increases the central bank foresees this year. Wednesday’s vote in the Netherlands will deliver a reading on the state of populism in Europe as races in France and Germany heat up. The Bank of Japan is set to keep its rates and yield-curve policy unchanged in its policy decision on Thursday. The Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and Bank Indonesia are also expected to stand pat with policy decisions. U. S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Japan, South Korea and China in his first visit to the region since taking office. U. S. President Donald Trump’s first budget outline for fiscal 2018 is expected on Thursday. He’s said he’ll seek a $54 billion boost in defense spending, paid for by an equal amount of cuts to non-defense agencies.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 15, 2017.


  • Iceland’s recovery shows benefits of letting over-reaching banks go bust

    It looks set to be a week packed with big financial milestones. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, putting the country on a path towards getting back to a normal price for money. In the Netherlands, a tense election may deal the fragile eurozone another blow. In this country, Theresa May could finally trigger Article 50, starting the process of taking the U.K. out of the European Union.
    The most significant event, however, as is so often the case, may well be something that hardly anyone is paying attention to. On Sunday, Iceland ended capital controls, finally returning its economy to normal after a catastrophic banking collapse back in 2008 and 2009.
    Why does that matter? Because Iceland was the one country that defied the global consensus and did not bail out its bankers. True, there was shock to the system. But it was relatively short, and once the pain was dealt with, the country has bounced back stronger than ever.
    There is, surely, a lesson in that. It might well be better just to let banks go to the wall. Next time around, we should follow Iceland’s example.

    This post was published at The Telegraph


  • EU Crisis Is Existential – Importance of Tomorrow’s Vote

    EU Crisis Becoming Existential… Dutch Vote Tomorrow and Why It Matters
    The leader of the National Front in France, Marine Le Pen, has hailed Britain’s decision to leave the EU – and has called for France to hold a similar referendum
    The EU is facing an existential crisis and does not look like it will survive the massive political and financial challenges it is faced with. This has ramifications for investors in the EU itself and globally as the collapse of one of the world’s largest trading blocs will badly impact already fragile global economic growth and increasingly ‘frothy’ looking financial markets – particularly stock and bond markets.
    The existential crisis facing the EU, the Dutch elections tomorrow and the coming elections in France and Germany and the risks increasingly likely EU contagion poses to Asian economies and the global economy is considered by True Wealth’s Kim Iskyan today:
    Tomorrow, parliamentary elections in the Netherlands mark the first of several important votes in EU member countries that will dictate the future of the continent.

    This post was published at Gold Core on March 14, 2017.


  • Holland’s Anti-EU ‘Freedom Party’ Boosted As Turkish Tensions Mount

    With less than 48 hours until polling begins in the first major European election of the year, Bloomberg reports that snap polls show support for the anti-Islam, euroskeptic Freedom Party of populist Geert Wilders being re-energized after the last few days chaotic events surrounding Turkey.
    Just as we warned over the weekend, in the near-term, however, the outstanding question is how will Saturday’s events impact Wednesday’s Dutch general election, and whether the diplomatic clash will boost votes for Geert Wilders. As Reuters notes, “the diplomatic row comes in the run-up to the coming week’s Dutch election in which the mainstream parties are under strong pressure from the far-right party of Geert Wilders.”
    And this morning, as Bloomberg notes, after politicians on all sides rounded on the Turkish government for dispatching ministers to the Netherlands for domestic political ends on the eve of the Dutch election, Erdogan said on Sunday that the Netherlands would ‘pay the price’ after Rutte’s government denied entry to Turkey’s foreign minister and escorted a second Turkish minister to the Dutch border.
    Prime Minister Mark Rutte told NRC on Monday morning, when asked if the chance to play the role of the ‘strong’ prime minister would help him on Wednesday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 13, 2017.


  • Brexit Drains Swamp in London, Creatures Crawl to Luxembourg

    Tax planning for a post-Brexit world. In its report on the ‘world’s worst corporate tax havens’ last December, Oxfam rated Luxembourg in 7th place, behind Bermuda, Cayman Islands, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, and Ireland.
    But the ‘City of London,’ a largely autonomous square mile within London where the threads of global finance meet, was given a special mention: The number one ‘unexpected absence’ from the list of the top 15 worst tax heavens. Oxfam’s report put it this way:
    The UK’s City of London is at the centre of a web of Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, over which the UK wields both official and informal influence. The 14 Overseas Territories include the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, and Jersey is one of the UK’s three Crown Dependencies. As Jersey Finance, the official marketing arm of the Jersey offshore financial centre, puts it, ‘Jersey represents an extension of the City of London.’
    There were plenty of reasons for financial outfits of all kinds to settle in the City of London. But now that Brexit will likely throw a monkey wrench into unfettered access to the European Union for these firms, they need to head to the continent. And tax haven Luxembourg appears to be a big beneficiary in a post-Brexit world.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Mar 13, 2017.


  • Turkey Vows “Harsh Retaliation” After Dutch PM Says “Not Apologizing, Are You Nuts”

    The diplomatic scandal between Turkey and the Netherlands deteriorated overnight, when Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned on Sunday that Turkey would retaliate in the “harshest ways” after Turkish ministers were barred from speaking in Rotterdam, leading to a major protest in front of the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, while the Dutch embassy in Istanbul was closed off due to “safety concerns.”
    “This situation has been protested in the strongest manner by our side, and it has been conveyed to Dutch authorities that there will be retaliation in the harshest ways … We will respond in kind to this unacceptable behavior,” Yildirim said in a statement.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 12, 2017.