Italy’s banking crisis could spread to the rest of Europe, and rules limiting state aid to lenders should be reconsidered to prevent greater upheaval, Societe Generale SA Chairman Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said.

“The whole banking market is under pressure,” the former European Central Bank executive board member said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “We adopted rules on public money; these rules must be assessed in a market that has a potential crisis to decide whether some suspension needs to be applied.”

Read More


Four governments have come and gone in the space of 19 months, as well as a banking crisis and the biggest protests since the fall of communism.

So Bulgarians can be forgiven for pessimism as they vote on Sunday in an election that few believe will deliver them from corruption, stagnation and geopolitical crunch – caught between their new overlords in the EU and their old one in Moscow.

Read More


A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.”

Read More


What have we done: after a series of reports in late 2012 in which we showed, with no ambiguity, that not only might the Bundesbank’s offshore held gold be severely “diluted” (follow our 2012 exposes on German gold hereherehere, and here), but that on at least one occassion, the Fed and the Bank of England conspired against the Buba in returning subpar quality gold, the Bundesbank shocked everyone in early January 2013 when it announced it would repatriate 300 tons of gold helt in New York and all of its 374 tons of gold held in Paris.

Read More


(Reuters) – Germany’s economy crept back into growth at the start of the year but not by enough to stop the euro zone from contracting for a sixth straight quarter, and France slid into recession.

Falling output across the bloc meant the 17-nation economy is in its longest recession since records began in 1995.

Read More