Sunday, March 21, 2010


GREECE is cracking down on major cash transactions
A new draft bill to be tabled in parliament...outlaws all business transactions of more than 1500 euros ($2220) conducted in cash

IRS to Track Online Sellers' Payment Transactions Beginning Next Year

Post-Apocalyptic zombie finance 
...the most aggressive buyers of US government debt during the past several months have been global banks domiciled in London and the Cayman Islands. They borrow at 20 basis points (a fifth of a percentage point) and buy Treasury securities paying 1% to 3%, depending on maturity. This is the famous "carry trade", by which banks or hedge funds borrow short-term at a very low rate and lend medium- or long-term at a higher rate. This works as long as short-tem rates remain extremely low. The moment that borrowing costs begin to rise, the trillion-dollar carry trade in US government securities will collapse...Where are the banks getting the money to lend to the US government? From the US government itself...The monetary base is growing at a 40% annual rate. Under normal circumstances, this would lead to double-digit inflation. As long as banks reduce lending to the private sector, and buy government securities that replace lost tax revenues, the result is a so-called liquidity trap...This sort of zombie equilibrium persisted for two decades in Japan's moribund economy; in theory, the US Treasury and the financial system could keep it going indefinitely.

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