Monday, April 20, 2015

Solar Update April 19 and 20

Greece Default and Drachma By Month End?

Greece Default and Drachma By Month End?
By Mark O'Byrne April 14, 2015

  • Greek government to withhold IMF payments according to the FT
  • Prime Minister Tsipras denies preparing for default according to Reuters
  • Government funds to run out by end of month
  • Default would likely lead to “Grexit” and return to drachma
  • EU may not withstand uncertainty surrounding break-up of monetary union
  • Concern could trigger derivatives crisis and ‘Lehman moment’
  • Like frogs in a pot of water that is very slowly coming to the boil
1,000 Greek Drachma Note
The Financial Times, citing unsourced “people briefed on the radical leftist government’s thinking” has made the claim that the Tsipras government in Athens has “has decided to withhold E2.5 billion of payments due to the International Monetary Fund in May and June if no agreement is struck”.

The Greek government was quick to deny the claim. “Greece … is not preparing for any debt default and the same goes for its lenders. Negotiations are proceeding swiftly towards a mutually beneficial solution,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

The Greek government is rapidly exhausting its funding to pay salaries and pensions with no funding from its lenders having been released since July. Another “end of the road” deadline looms – this time the Eurogroup meeting on April 24th.

This meeting may truly be the “end of the road” because it is expected that the Greek government will have finally depleted its reserves and will be wholly dependent on its creditors by the end of this month.

Negotiations have been going around in circles since the election of the anti-austerity Syriza government in January and appear no closer to resolution. It became apparent in late February that neither side was prepared to compromise – each having too much to lose from deviating from their central positions. There has been adequate time, since then, for preparations to be made for an orderly “Grexit”.

Indeed, it may be that the two sides have agreed to disagree and are waiting for a politically expedient time for Greece to leave the euro. Media coverage of the crisis in both Germany and Greece is catalysing public opinion towards this end.

Finally: List of 80 People With as Much Money as 1/2 of Humanity

Bernie Sanders is of course a socialist and as such believes you make people better off by taking it from someone else.  That is not my agenda.  That's been tried in Russia and China and they just ended up poorer.  The politics of envy and class struggle is another form of keeping people believing they have no power.

Many of these on this list would have a very different ranking if the USD were not the world's reserve currency and artificially high as a result of that.  Not all wealthy people inherited it, not all got because of great crimes of history, some worked very hard for it all.  And money is a perception, wealth is not the number of FRNs in your bank account, a lot of very wealthy people have an equally large (or more) amount of debt owed.  And truly mind boggling wealthy people don't show any wealth much at all, for its all hidden behind "charitable trusts" and the like.... still this is a very interesting list of where much of the wealth of this planet is concentrated. 

The list however seems to leave out the 13 western banking families, and the dragon families... and concentrates on those who are politically active in visible ways...  -AK


April 12, 2015

by Michael Thomas for Exposing The Truth

Since the “financial repression,” the most powerful people have only gotten more powerful. A 2013 Oxfam report found that 80 people had as much wealth as 1/2 of humanity, and a few months later Forbes said the number had dropped to 67. Many of us asked who exactly these people are, and now the list has been released.

RANK   NAME                                 2014 WEALTH                      COUNTRY   SELF-MADE?    SECTOR
                                                            (IN BILLIONS)                   

1          Bill Gates                                   $76                    USA             ✓                  Tech

2          Carlos Slim Helu                       $72                    Mexico         ✓                  Telecom

3          Amancio Ortega                        $64                    Spain            ✓                  Retail

4          Warren Buffett                          $58                     USA             ✓                  Finance

5           Larry Ellison                            $48                     USA             ✓                  Tech

6           Charles Koch                           $40                     USA                                   Diversified

7           David Koch                              $40                    USA                                   Diversified

8           Sheldon Adelson                      $38                    USA              ✓                  Entertainment

9           Christy Walton                         $37                    USA                                   Retail

10         Jim Walton                               $35                    USA                                   Retail

11         Liliane Bettencourt                  $35                     France                                Product

12         Stefan Persson                         $34                      Sweden                              Retail

13         Alice Walton                           $34                      USA                                   Retail

14         S. Robson Walton                   $34                      USA                                    Retail

15         Bernard Arnault                      $34                      France                                 Luxury

16         Michael Bloomberg                $33                      USA              ✓                   Finance

17         Larry Page                               $32                     USA              ✓                   Tech

18         Jeff Bezos                                $32                      USA             ✓                   Retail

19         Sergey Brin                              $32                      USA            ✓                   Tech

20         Li Ka-shing                              $31                      Hong Kong  ✓                   Diversified

21         Mark Zuckerberg                     $29                       USA            ✓                   Tech

22         Michele Ferrero                       $27                       Italy                                   Food

23         Aliko Dangote                         $25                      Nigeria         ✓                   Commodities

24         Karl Albrecht                           $25                     Germany       ✓                   Retail

25         Carl Icahn                                $25                      USA             ✓                   Finance

26         George Soros                           $23                      USA             ✓                   Finance

27         David Thomson                       $23                      Canada                               Media

28         Lui Che Woo                           $22                      Hong Kong  ✓                   Entertainment

29         Dieter Schwarz                        $21                      Germany                            Retail

30         Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud     $20                       Saudi Arabia ✓                 Finance

31         Forrest Mars Jr.                       $20                       USA                                  Food

32         Jacqueline Mars                      $20                        USA                                 Food

33         John Mars                                $20                       USA                                  Food

34         Jorge Paulo Lemann                $20                       Brazil             ✓                Drinks

35         Lee Shau Kee                          $20                       Hong Kong    ✓                Diversified

36         Steve Ballmer                          $19                       USA               ✓                Tech

37         Theo Albrecht Jr.                     $19                      Germany                            Retail

38         Leonardo Del Vecchio             $19                      Italy                ✓                Luxury

39         Len Blavatnik                          $19                       USA               ✓                Diversified

40         Alisher Usmanov                     $19                       Russia            ✓                Extractives

41         Mukesh Ambani                      $19                        India                                 Extractives

42         Masayoshi Son                        $18                        Japan             ✓                Telecom

43         Michael Otto                            $18                       Germany                           Retail

44         Phil Knight                              $18                        USA               ✓                Retail

45         Tadashi Yanai                          $18                        Japan              ✓               Retail

46         Gina Rinehart                          $18                        Australia                           Extractives

47          Mikhail Fridman                     $18                        Russia            ✓               Extractives

48          Michael Dell                           $18                         USA              ✓               Tech

49          Susanne Klatten                      $17                         Germany                         Cars

50         Abigail Johnson                       $17                         USA                                Finance

51         Viktor Vekselberg                    $17                        Russia            ✓              Metals

52         Lakshmi Mittal                         $17                        India                                Metals

53         Vladimir Lisin                          $17                        Russia            ✓               Transport

54         Cheng Yu-tung                         $16                        Hong Kong    ✓               Diversified

55         Joseph Safra                              $16                       Brazil             ✓                Finance

56          Paul Allen                                $16                        USA              ✓                Tech

57          Leonid Mikhelson                   $16                         Russia           ✓                Extractives

58          Anne Cox Chambers               $16                         USA                                 Media

59          Francois Pinault                       $16                        France           ✓                 Retail

60           Iris Fontbona                          $16                         Chile                                 Extractives

61          Azim Premji                            $15                         India                                 Tech

62          Mohammed Al Amoudi          $15                         Saudi Arabia ✓                 Extractives

63          Gennady Timchenko               $15                         Russia           ✓                 Extractives

64          Wang Jianlin                            $15                        China            ✓                  Real Estate

65          Charles Ergen                          $15                        USA              ✓                  Telecom

66          Stefan Quandt                          $15                        Germany                            Cars

67          Germ├ín Larrea Mota Velasco $15                        Mexico                               Extractives

68          Harold Hamm                          $15                        USA             ✓                   Extractives

69          Ray Dalio                                 $14                        USA            ✓                    Finance

70          Donald Bren                             $14                        USA            ✓                    Real Estate

71         Georg Schaeffler                       $14                        Germany                             Product

72         Luis Carlos Sarmiento              $14                        Colombia     ✓                     Finance

73         Ronald Perelman                       $14                       USA             ✓                     Finance

74         Laurene Powell Jobs                 $14                        USA                                     Entertainment

75         Serge Dassault                           $14                       France                                   Aviation

76         John Fredriksen                         $14                       Cyprus          ✓                     Transport

77         Vagit Alekperov                        $14                       Russia           ✓                     Extractives

78         John Paulson                              $14                      USA              ✓                     Finance

79         Rupert Murdoch                         $14                      USA              ✓                     Media

80         Ma Huateng                                $13                      China            ✓                      Tech
These are the same people, very likely, keeping the “filter” on our representative democracy. Do you feel uncomfortable about the fact that many of these people have seen their wealth increase drastically while at the same time the middle class shrinks and “austerity” is demanded almost globally outside of Sweden and Norway. It makes me feel uncomfortable that the political influence of these people have served to increase their wealth and weaken regulations, and I suggest we seek meaningful changes on a systemic level.

What Bernie Sanders had to say in his meme about wealth inequality is true, and it is most certainly not an accident.
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