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The insolvent banana continent is back. Recall back in May 2011:
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.” –Jean Claude Juncker
Ergo, things in Europe are very serious again because the Eurogroup’s head, who until recently promised he wasquitting his post because “he had gotten tired of the Franco-German interference in managing the region’s debt crisis”, only to spoil the fun and say he was lying about that too, is back to doing what he does best – lying. To wit: “the euro countries are preparing together with the bailout fund EFSF and the European Central Bank to buy government bonds if necessary clip euro countries.”And now cue Schauble: “Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has rejected speculation about impending purchases of government bonds by Spanish EFSF and ECB.”
From Suddeutsche Zeitung:
“No time to lose”: The chairman of the €-group sees a crucial point of the debt crisis has arrived. Jean-Claude Juncker supports plans by ECB chief Draghi for the purchase of government bonds – and Germany are partly to blame for the crisis. Berlin treats the euro area “as a branch.” Also called “chatter on the withdrawal of Greece” is not helpful.
Juncker confirmed that the euro countries are preparing together with the bailout fund EFSF and the European Central Bank to buy government bonds if necessary clip euro countries. Because there is no doubt, he said. “It is still necessary to decide exactly what we will do and when.” This depended “on the developments of the next few days and from reacting as fast as we need.”
And to think only yesterday the only person whose opinion matters, Germany’s Finance Minister, “denied plans for a new aid program for Spain, according to newspaper Welt am Sonntag, after the media reported European Union leaders aim for Spanish government bond purchases by the European rescue fund and the European Central Bank.”
We leave it up to readers to figure out which of the above two is telling the truth, but in the meantime, here are some other soundbites from the man who is back to desperation pleading with markets:
- JUNCKER SAYS MUST USE ALL AVAILABLE TOOLS TO SAFEGUARD EURO
- JUNCKER: EMU READYING FOR EFSF/ECB INTERVENTION
- JUNCKER SAYS MARKET REACTION ON SPAIN, ITALY INAPPROPRIATE – indeed, central planners alwaysknow best
“All talk about the emergence of Greece is unhelpful”
Of course, it is much better to stick one’s head in the sand and avoid the only possible outcome of this tragic farce that the implosion of Europe has become, and truly best to completely avoid any discussion of what happens in case of Plan B.
To summarize, from Reuters:
The euro zone is at a decisive point and leaders will work with the European Central Bank (ECB) to demonstrate their commitment to the stability of the single currency, Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker said in interviews with European newspapers.
Juncker told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung and France’s Le Figaro in reports made available on Sunday that leaders would decide in the next few days what measures to take to tackle Spanish bond yields which last week touched euro-era highs. They had “no time to lose,” he said.
Asked whether it was true that France wanted the bailout fund to buy government bonds, under an agreement made by euro zone leaders at their summit in June, but that Germany was resisting, Juncker answered:
“I have no doubt that we will implement the agreements of the last summit. We still need to decide what we will do when. That depends on the developments of the next days.”
The European bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), will work together with the ECB without affecting its independence, he said.
“We will work in close agreement with the ECB, and we will, as <ECB President> Mario Draghi said, see results. I don’t want to drive expectations, but I must say, we have reached a decisive phase.”
Draghi said on Thursday he would do whatever was necessary to protect the euro zone from collapse, prompting expectations of a new bond-buying program.
“The euro countries have reached a point where we have to use all means possible to show that we are determined to protect the stability of the euro zone… nobody should doubt the will of those involved, to prove our determination,” Juncker said.
i) since the head of the Eurogroup is back to outright refuting what Germany said a day earlier, Europe is once again back to Plan B – lying, which means things are again on the verge of an all out collapse, and plunge in the EURUSD, which, as a reminder, is precisely what the German export industry wants more than anything, and
ii) just like in the June 29 summit, beggars are again hoping they can be choosers, and can force Germany, by way of a full blown media onslaught in which they represent that a vague possibility is now a certain outcome, and thus have already set expectations about 5% higher than it would be otherwise, to succumb to the will of the beggars, and allow full blown debt monetization.
And like back then, so now, all we can say to the broke periphery, which now apparently include France, but as David Einhorn said, it will take bond traders a little longer to figure it out, is good luck. It will be desperately needed.
As an appendix, here is Juncker’s hillarious attempt to justify lying to Spiegel magazine at critical inflection points:
SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, you are a Christian Democrat and a Catholic, which is why we want to talk to you about the Ten Commandments.
Juncker: I already have an idea of what you are getting at.
SPIEGEL: Are you familiar with the Eighth Commandment?
Juncker: Of course. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
SPIEGEL: Apparently you don’t take it very seriously.More than two weeks ago, you denied a report by SPIEGEL ONLINE about a secret meeting of several European Union finance ministers to discuss the situation in Greece, even though the official limousines were already pulling up in Luxembourg.
Juncker: The most important commandment is not to inflict harm on others. Although it isn’t stated quite that way in the Ten Commandments, it follows from them. The finance ministers of several Euro Group nations had agreed to meet on Friday with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet. Because the financial markets in Europe were still open and trading was still underway on Wall Street, we had to deny the existence of the meeting. Otherwise the course of the euro against the dollar, which had already fallen as a result of your report, would have plunged disastrously.
SPIEGEL: With this false denial, you not only harmed your own credibility, but that of European financial policy as well.
Juncker: And it didn’t exactly enhance the credibility of SPIEGEL ONLINE to disseminate the false report that we were meeting in Luxembourg to discuss Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union.
SPIEGEL: Forgive us for saying so, but SPIEGEL ONLINE had obtained information to that effect from government sources, as well as a working document prepared specifically for this meeting for the German finance minister.
Juncker: It is not unusual for finance ministers to have documents with them that contain all of the issues being discussed in public. And the question of Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union is certainly being discussed in public. But that’s a far cry from saying that the issue is on the agenda of a meeting. As a result, I had to be all the more careful to ensure that no unnecessary turbulence would occur in the markets.
SPIEGEL: Are you saying that, as a finance minister in the age of global capital markets, you cannot tell people the truth?
Juncker: I do not have a ready answer to your question. My main concern is to protect people from detriment. That’s why I feel practically compelled to make sure that no dangerous rumors begin to circulate. I’m certainly not going to go to confession because of a false denial. God understands more about the financial markets than many who write about them.
SPIEGEL: When secret meetings are held and the truth isn’t always being told, people gain the impression that there must be something wrong with this Europe.
Juncker: People understand perfectly well that politicians have to discuss sensitive issues behind closed doors. I had 10 seconds to decide how to react to the report in SPIEGEL ONLINE. Let us say, hypothetically, that I had said: “Okay, we are having a meeting, but I’m not going to tell you what we intend to talk about.” That would have triggered a tsunami in the financial markets. Instead, I chose to produce a small wave of outrage over a white lie.
SPIEGEL: Nevertheless, we’d like to try aiming for the truth.
and so on