ECB Proposes End To Deposit Protection

Submitted by GoldCore

It is the 'opinion of the European Central Bank' that the deposit protection scheme is no longer necessary:

'covered deposits and claims under investor compensation schemes should be replaced by limited discretionary exemptions to be granted by the competent authority in order to retain a degree of flexibility.'

To translate the legalese jargon of the ECB bureaucrats this could mean that the current €100,000 (£85,000) deposit level currently protected in the event of a bail-in may soon be no more. But worry not fellow savers, as the ECB is fully aware of the uproar this may cause so they have been kind enough to propose that:

"…during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request."

So that's a relief, you'll only need to wait five days for some 'competent authority' to deem what is an 'appropriate amount' of your own money for you to have access to in order eat, pay bills and get to work.

The above has been taken from an ECB paper published on 8 November 2017 entitled 'on revisions to the Union crisis management framework'.

It's 58 pages long, the majority of which are proposed amendments to the Union crisis management framework and the current text of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD).

It's pretty boring reading but there are some key snippets which should be raising a few alarms. It is evidence that once again a central bank can keep manipulating situations well beyond the likes of monetary policy. It is also a lesson for savers to diversify their assets in order to reduce their exposure to counterparty risks.

Bail-ins, who are they for?

According to the May 2016 Financial Stability Review, the EU bail-in tool is 'welcome' as it:

 
 

…contributes to reducing the burden on taxpayers when resolving large, systemic financial institutions and mitigates some of the moral hazard incentives associated with too-big-to-fail institutions.

As we have discussed in the past, we're confused by the apparent separation between 'taxpayer' and those who have put their hard-earned cash into the bank. After all, are they not taxpayers? This doesn't matter, believes Matthew C.Klein in the FT who recently argued that "Bail-ins are theoretically preferable because they preserve market discipline without causing undue harm to innocent people."

 

Ultimately bail-ins are so central banks can keep their merry game of easy money and irresponsibility going. They have been sanctioned because rather than fix and learn from the mess of the bailouts nearly a decade ago, they have just decided to find an even bigger band-aid to patch up the system.

 
 

'Bailouts, by contrast, are unfair and inefficient. Governments tend to do them, however, out of misplaced concern about “preserving the system”. This stokes (justified) resentment that elites care about protecting their friends more than they care about helping regular people.' – Matthew C. Klein

But what about the regular people who have placed their money in the bank, believing they're safe from another financial crisis? Are they not 'innocent' and deserving of protection?

When Klein wrote his latest on bail-ins, it was just over a week before the release of this latest ECB paper. With fairness to Klein at the time of his writing depositors with less than €100,000 in the bank were protected under the terms of the ECB covered deposit rules.

This still seemed absurd to us who thought it questionable that anyone's money in the bank could suddenly be sanctioned for use to prop up an ailing institution. We have regularly pointed out that just because there is currently a protected level at which deposits will not be pilfered, this could change at any minute.

The latest proposed amendments suggest this is about to happen.

 

Why change the bail-in rules?

The ECB's 58-page amendment proposal is tough going but it is about halfway through when you come across the suggestion that 'covered deposits' no longer need to be protected. This is determined because the ECB is concerned about a run on the failing bank:

 
 

If the failure of a bank appears to be imminent, a substantial number of covered depositors might still withdraw their funds immediately in order to ensure uninterrupted access or because they have no faith in the guarantee scheme.

This could be particularly damning for big banks and cause a further crisis of confidence in the system:

 
 

Such a scenario is particularly likely for large banks, where the sheer amount of covered deposits might erode confidence in the capacity of the deposit guarantee scheme. In such a scenario, if the scope of the moratorium power does not include covered deposits, the moratorium might alert covered depositors of the strong possibility that the institution has a failing or likely to fail assessment.

Therefore, argue the ECB the current moratorium that protects deposits could be 'counterproductive'. (For the banks, obviously, not for the people whose money it really is:

 
 

The moratorium would therefore be counterproductive, causing a bank run instead of preventing it. Such an outcome could be detrimental to the bank’s orderly resolution, which could ultimately cause severe harm to creditors and significantly strain the deposit guarantee scheme. In addition, such an exemption could lead to a worse treatment for depositor funded banks, as the exemption needs to be factored in when determining the seriousness of the liquidity situation of the bank. Finally, any potential technical impediments may require further assessment.

The ECB instead proposes that 'certain safeguards' be put in place to allow restricted access to deposits…for no more than five working days. But let's see how long that lasts for.

 
 

Therefore, an exception for covered depositors from the application of the moratorium would cast serious doubts on the overall usefulness of the tool. Instead of mandating a general exemption, the BRRD should instead include certain safeguards to protect the rights of depositors, such as clear communication on when access will be regained and a restriction of the suspension to a maximum of five working days by avoiding a cumulative use by the competent authority and the resolution authority.

Even after a year of studying and reading bail-ins I am still horrified that something like this is deemed to be preferable and fairer to other solutions, namely fixing the banking system. The bureaucrats running the EU and ECB are still blind to the pain such proposals can cause and have caused.

Look to Italy for damage prevention

At the beginning of the month, we explained how the banking meltdown in Veneto Italy destroyed 200,000 savers and 40,000 businesses.

In that same article, we outlined how exposed Italians were to the banking system. Over €31 billion of sub-retail bonds have been sold to everyday savers, investors, and pensioners. It is these bonds that will be sucked into the sinkhole each time a bank goes under.

A 2015 IMF study found that the majority of Italy’s 15 largest banks a bank rescue would ‘imply bail-in of retail investors of subordinated debt’. Only two-thirds of potential bail-ins would affect senior bond-holders, i.e. those who are most likely to be institutional investors rather than pensioners with limited funds.

Why is this the case? As we have previously explained:

 
 

Bondholders are seen as creditors. The same type of creditor that EU rules state must take responsibility for a bank’s financial failure, rather than the taxpayer. This is a bail-in scenario.

 

In a bail-in scenario the type of junior bonds held by the retail investors in the street is the first to take the hit. When the world’s oldest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena collapsed ordinary people (who also happen to be taxpayers) owned €5 billion ($5.5 billion) of subordinated debt. It vanished.

Despite the biggest bail-in in history occurring within the EU, few people have paid attention and protested against such measures. A bail-in is not unique to Italy, it is possible for all those living and banking within the EU.

Yet, so far there have been no protests. We're not talking about protesting on the streets, we're talking about protesting where it hurts – with your money.

As we have seen from the EU's response to Brexit and Catalonia, officials could not give two hoots about the grievances of its citizens. So when it comes to banking there is little point in expressing disgust in the same way. Instead, investors must take stock and assess the best way for them to protect their savings from the tyranny of central bank policy.

To refresh your memory, the ECB is proposing that in the event of a bail-in it will give you an allowance from your own savings. An allowance it will control:

"…during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request."

Savers should be looking for means in which they can keep their money within instant reach and their reach only. At this point physical, allocated and segregated gold and silver comes to mind. This gives you outright legal ownership. There are no counterparties who can claim it is legally theirs (unlike with cash in the bank) or legislation that rules they get first dibs on it. Gold and silver are the financial insurance against bail-ins, political mismanagement, and overreaching government bodies. As each year goes by it becomes more pertinent than ever to protect yourself from such risks.

 

Who Gets To Push The Nuclear Button?

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

William Binney is the former National Security Agency (NSA) official who created NSA’s mass surveillance program for digital information. He says that if the Russian government had conspired with Trump, hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computer, or in any way influenced the outcome of the last US presidential election, the National Security Agency would have the digital evidence. The fact that we have been listening to the unsubstantiated charges that comprise “Russiagate” for more than one year without being presented with a scrap of evidence is complete proof that Russiagate is entirely fake news.

The fake news originated with CIA director John Brennan and FBI director Comey conspiring with the DNC in an effort to discredit and unseat President Trump and at a minimum prevent him from damaging the vast power and profit of the military/security complex by normalizing relations with Russia.

Consider what this means.

The directors of the CIA and FBI made up a totally false story about a newly elected President and fed the lies to the presstitutes and Congress. The presstitutes never asked for a drop of evidence and enlarged the Brennan/Comey lie with a claim that all 17 US intelligence agencies had concluded that Russia had interfered. In actual fact, a handful of carefully selected people in three of the agencies had prepared, perhaps under duress, a conditional report that had no evidence behind it.

That it was fake news created to control President Trump was completely obvious, but corrupt security officials, corrupt senators and representatives, a corrupt DNC, and corrupt media used constant repetition to turn a lie into truth.

Having shoved Trump into the militarist camp, his enemies have turned on Trump as an unstable, volatile person who might push the button. Senator Bob Corker (R, TN) and Senator Chris Murphy (D,CT) are using the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to portray President Trump as a quixotic person who shouldn’t have his finger on the nuclear button. We have gone full circle, from Trump who wants to defuse nuclear tensions to Trump who might push the button.

If Senators Corker and Murphy were really concerned and not just orchestrating a new way to attack Trump, they would bring out the fact that Russiagate is a hoax that has made nuclear war more likely. As I have pointed out, Washington has convinced Moscow that Washington is planning a surprise nuclear attack on Russia and also collecting Russian DNA for a tailored Russian-specific bio-weapon. I cannot think of anything more likely to trigger nuclear war than the escalated tensions that Russiagate is preventing Trump from reducing.

For the record, contrary to the erroneous assertions of “nuclear experts,” the president cannot simply order a nuclear attack.

The president either has to accept a Joint Chiefs war plan and order a launch when the military is ready, or

 

…he has to accept the advice of his national security adviser to launch in retaliation for incoming enemy ICBMs.

 

If a president simply ordered a nuclear strike, he would be ignored.

If it is not the president who must make the nuclear decision, who is it to be? The military? We should be thankful that that was not the case when the Joint Chiefs pressured President John F. Kennedy to approve a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.

The question who should have launch authority is an easy one to answer. No one.

If nuclear missiles are incoming, launching does not protect you. You are already going to be destroyed. Why destroy the other side of the world in an act of revenge. It is pointless.

There is no such thing as a preemptive strike that prevents retaliation.

Nuclear war is an act of insanity. Nothing can justify it.

The purpose of diplomacy is to prevent war. However, ever since the Clinton regime attacked Serbia, US diplomacy has been used to cause wars. During the 16-years of George W. Bush and Obama the US destroyed in whole or part seven countries, killing and maiming millions of peoples and producing millions of refugees. Not a single one of these wars was justified. Everyone of these wars was based in lies. The last US government that showed any respect at all for truth was the George H. W. Bush administration.

Before launching each of these acts of unprovoked aggression, Washington demonized the leader of the country. To get rid of one person, Washington did not flinch at murdering large numbers of people and destroying the infrastructure of the country. This tells you that Washington has no morality. None. Zilch. Therefore, Washington is capable of launching a preemptive nuclear strike. Back when nuclear weapons were puny by today’s standards, Washington nuked two Japanese cities while Japan was trying to surrender. That was in 1945, a lifetime ago. Whatever bits of morality that still existed then are long gone.

Today a CNN editor-at-large named Chris Cillizza, published online an article titled, “There’s a massive moral vacuum in the country right now.” At last, I thought, a presstitute has realized that Washington’s constant nuclear threats against other countries shows a complete disrespect for the life of the planet and indicates a moral vacuum. But no, the presstitute is talking about sexual harassment, especially that of Roy Moore in the 1970s. And it is all Trump’s fault. How can he lead when he harasses women himself?

President Trump intended to normalize relations with the other major nuclear power. He has been prevented from doing so by the military/security complex, the DNC, and the presstitutes.

Cillizza says sexual harassment is a “very big” consequence of Trump’s election. I am left wondering if CNN’s editor-at-large considers nuclear war to be as serious as sexual harassment.

“Worst Case Scenario” Looms As Merkel’s “Jamaica Coalition” Collapses; EUR Sinks

We warned on Friday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a 'night of the long knives' in her efforts to bring together the co-called 'Jamaica' coalition of four parties and after a desperate weekend of talks, Bloomberg reports Merkel's efforts at forming a coalition have failed meaning a second election looms and sending the euro sliding.

As Bloomberg reports, talks on forming German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s next government collapsed, throwing the future of Europe’s longest-serving leader into doubt and potentially pointing the world’s fourth-biggest economy toward new elections.

After a 12-hour negotiating session that ended shortly before midnight Sunday, the Free Democratic Party walked out of the exploratory talks, saying the differences with the Green party were too great to bridge.

Merkel has sought for four weeks to enlist the two smaller parties for her fourth-term coalition.

“It’s better not to govern than to govern badly,” FDP head Christian Lindner told reporters in Berlin.

No further coalition talks were scheduled, he said. There was no immediate comment from Merkel.

EURUSD is down aroound 80 pips on the news…

As MINT Partners' Bill Blain noted previously, Germans are not used to multiple elections – and a second vote early next year would be massive negative for Merkel herself – she may even have to stand down if coalition looks like falling. That could be massive shock.

As a result, the prospects for more volatile European peripheral markets, particularly Greece and Italy, are likely to be exacerbated, and we might well see some of the currency and European stock market froth blow away in coming days as the scale of the “German Problem” becomes clearer.

  • My worst case Germany scenario is a second election early next year, political uncertainty as Mutti Merkel finds herself squeezed out, and a scramble to build a new coalition government in her aftermath.
  • The best case scenario isn’t much better: that Merkel manages to forge a new coalition, but it will be a long drawn out affair and the resulting administration will be vulnerable, weak and fraxious.

These sound like German problems, but they mean the “leader of Europe” is likely to be entirely inward focused in coming months/years.. at a time when the European union will be facing a host of new issues regarding closer union, banking union and reform of the ESM, bailout and QE policies. There will also be new potential crisis points – Italian elections next year, Greece bailout, renewed immigration crisis or a blow-up with Trump. And these are just the known unknowns.

This has profound implications for the so-called French/German axis as it slides towards Paris. We are not going to see a new German government “waste time” on issues like closer EU union, European Banking Union, or critical finance issues like reforming ESM or new approaches on QE and Bailout funds. Forget Wiedemann for ECB president, it’s more likely to another Frenchman (Trichet II) – I’m sure its already underway. In short.. Germany negotiations could get very fraxious while Europe is dragged down in its wake. I doubt the markets have discounted it yet.

Victoria’s Secret Staff Think The Chinese Are Spying On Them

Stories about the shambolic Victoria’s Secret fashion show – which is slated to take place Tuesday Nov. 28 in Shanghai – just keep getting weirder.

Chinese bureaucrats have so far refused to cooperate with the show’s producers and planners, denying visas to Gigi Hadid, one of the show’s highest-profile models, and Katy Perry, the US pop superstar who was slated to be the musical guest.

The Communist Party has also inexplicably refused to issue press passes and visas to members of the western media who were supposed to travel to China to cover the event.

Already, we imagine the marketing brass at L Brands have learned their lesson, and that this will be both the first, and the last, VS fashion show held in China.

But as if all this weren’t enough, the New York Post is now reporting that the show’s organizers believe the Chinese government is spying on them. Which, of course, is probably true, given Chinese authorities’ well-known penchant for monitoring foreigners.

The Post says e-mails of VS show staffers and production crew are apparently being monitored by Chinese authorities.

TV and media-industry insiders who are desperately trying to figure out what’s going on amid the production chaos are getting frustrated by messages from colleagues in China simply saying that they can’t speak frankly about the issues with the government because their communications are being watched.

Perry had her visa application declined because she once showed support for Taiwan (which is in an independence struggle with China) during a Beijing concert. Hadid’s was denied because of a picture her sister, Bella Hadid, published on Instagram that the Chinese public deemed offensive. Plus, fellow Angel Adriana Lima’s visa application has been imperiled by an unknown “diplomatic issue.” Meanwhile, a host of other models have also had their visas denied.

Many fashion bloggers have also been denied visas, and TV producers have discovered that they need permits to shoot outside of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where the show, which is slated to air on CBS later this month, is set to take place.

As one source put it, “If you’re going to China you want to show that you’re in China!”

The surveillance is apparently making it difficult for the show’s organizers to find replacements for the models who have been denied entry. Harry Styles has already been booked to fill in for Perry.

“They want to discuss what’s going on as far as replacements for those denied visas and alternative arrangements, but they have to be tight-lipped because it seems that the government is watching their e-mails,” said a source.

With more than a week to go before the show, we can only imagine what fresh entanglements will crop up as the date draws nearer.
 

Top NSA Whistleblower Claims “Russiagate” A Fake To Increase War-Spending

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

William Binney is the mathematician and Russia-specialist, who quit the NSA in 2001 as its global Technical Director for geopolitical analysis, because of the lying about, and manipulations of, intelligence, that he saw — distortions of intelligence by the George W. Bush Administration — in order to ‘justify’ systematic, massive, and all-encompassing, Government snooping into all Americans’ private electronic communications. His, and some colleagues’, efforts to get the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense to investigate the matter, produced FBI raids into their homes, and seizures of their computers, so as to remove incriminating evidence they might have against higher-ups. According to Binney, NSA's Director, Michael Hayden, had vetoed in August 2001 a far less intrusive and more effective system of signals-intelligence collection and analysis, which might have enabled the 9/11 attacks to be blocked — a more effective system that would have been less expensive, less intrusive, and not violated Americans’ Constitutional rights. Hayden went on to head the CIA, until the end of George W. Bush’s Presidency. Afterward, Hayden joined the Chertoff Group and other military-industrial-complex contractors of the US federal Government. There were no such rewards for any of the whistleblowers.

Binney viewed Hillary Clinton as continuing George W. Bush’s neoconservatism, and so, though reluctantly, voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

On November 15th, an interview of Binney was published at the Washingtonsblog news-site, titled “How to Instantly Prove (Or Disprove) Russian Hacking of US Election”, in which Binney provides technical details to explain why he strongly believes that the Democratic Party’s allegations, which say that Russia was the source of the leaks of information from the computers of the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, are nothing more than intentional concoctions and distortions, which are backed and promoted by America’s military-industrial complex, whose stock-values rise accordingly with the lies

He believes,

there’s a huge part of the story that the entire mainstream media is missing …

Specifically, Binney says that the NSA has long had in its computers information which can prove exactly who hacked the DNC … or instead prove that the DNC emails were leaked by a Democratic insider. …

And he stressed:

If the idiots in the intelligence community expect us to believe them after all the crap they have told us (like WMD’s in Iraq and “no we don’t collect data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans”) then they need to give clear proof of what they say. So far, they have failed to prove anything.

Which suggests they don’t have proof and just want to war-monger the US public into a second cold war with the Russians.

After all, there’s lots and lots of money in that for the military-industrial-intelligence-governmental complex of incestuous relationships.

His technical explanation of how he came to this conclusion, is provided in that Washingtonsblog article. He doesn't think that the elements within the intelligence community which are promoting the Russiagate allegations can possibly be so stupid as to actually believe what they are saying. He claims that they know that what they are saying is false, because if it weren’t false, then they could provide, to the public, evidence that it is true, and do it without violating anyone’s rights, nor revealing any legitimate US national-security information.

Basically, he is saying that the keepers of the keys are blocking the public from the truth, because they know that the truth will expose the fact that they’ve been lying to the public, all along.

His technical explanation of the details employs a number of undefined terms, which aren’t understandable to persons who are not themselves technically knowledgeable about the field, such as his saying:

First, from deep packet inspection, they would have the originator and ultimate recipient (IP) of the packets plus packet series 32 bit number identifier and all the housekeeping data showing the network segments/path and time to go though the network. And, of course, the number of packet bits. With this they would know to where and when the data passed.

 

From the data collection, they would have all the data as it existed in the server taken from. That’s why I originally said if the FBI wanted Hillary’s email, all they have to do is ask NSA for them.

 

All this is done by the Narus collection equipment in real time at line rates (620 mbps [mega bits per second,] for the STA-6400 and 10 gbps [giga bits per second] for the Insight equipment).

Binney explained what these numbers mean: Each Narus Insight device can monitor and record around 1,250,000 emails each second … or more than 39 trillion emails per year.

However, no one who is promoting the Russiagate allegations is taking him on, to debate Binney’s allegations. Instead, all of the newsmedia are plastered with allegations of ‘Russia’s meddling in American democracy’.

There are people who know what the terms that Binney is using refer to. But, thus far, none of these people is saying that Binney is a liar. Instead, they’ve all just been ignoring him – and none of the major newsmedia have been inviting Binney and the promoters of the military-industrial-complex’s position onto their forums in order to debate these issues in public.

It’s just like the situation was about ‘Saddam’s WMD,’ in 2002 and 2003 prior to our invasion and destruction of Iraq as a supposed ‘response’ to the 9/11 attacks.