Archive | April 18, 2015

Europe-wide March against Trade Deal between EU and US*

Europe-wide March against Trade Deal between EU and US*

People across Europe have kicked off a day of action against an emerging free trade pact with the US. They fear it could see corporate interests undermine worker’s rights and consumer protection.

Crowds have gathered in London, Munich, Brussels and other major European cities to march against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and similar secretive international trade deals.

The day of action consists of over 500 separate events, including rallies, marches and public statements.

They are organized by a variety of civil rights movements in the EU, and across the Atlantic. It could become the largest protest against free trade agreements to date

Protesters say TTIP and similar deals will endanger workers’ rights and the environment, as well as lead to the privatization of public services and an influx of unregulated genetically-modified foods.

“For the last decades, secret trade and investment agreements have been pushed by corporations and governments, damaging our rights and the environment,” says a statement on, the website of one of the groups behind the protests.

The agreement is being negotiated behind closed doors, with the next round of talks scheduled for Monday in New York. It will open free trade between the EU and the US, bringing down restrictions on the flow of goods. Its sister agreement, CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), is aimed at achieving similar links between the EU and Canada.


TTIP is expected to be finalized by early 2016. It will become the most important and encompassing agreement of its kind, covering a market of over 800 million people. Its supporters hail the possible $100 billion yearly boost in trade between the EU and US.

However, the deal has been meeting opposition in Europe, with a recent European Parliament vote on its adoption being postponed after a draft resolution led to almost 900 proposed amendments.

The previous day of action took place in October 2014 and was hailed as a success by the Stop TTIP group, with hundreds of activities across Europe, thousands of signatures on petitions against TTIP, and increased media attention on the movement.


Related Topics:

Corporation vs. State: Sweeping TPP Powers Strip Sovereignty*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

Detroit: Your World under TPP*

Global Stock Markets Crashed for Two-Half Hours*

Global Stock Markets Crashed for Two-Half Hours*

Just goes to show what can happen at the flick of a switch… and they want to ban cash!?

moneyblackholeThe Bloomberg network of financial data terminals, used by most of the world’s biggest financial firms, failed globally leaving investors in the dark and sending stock markets crashing. The outage lasted for about two and a half hours early Friday morning and was described as an internal technical issue. The system executes many tasks and reports live data for stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities (oil, gold, etc) and other complex financial metrics.

Statement from a Bloomberg spokesperson

“Significant but not all parts of our system experienced a disruption today. There is no indication at this point that this is anything other than an internal network issue. We have restored service to most customers and are making progress in bringing all parts of the system back online. We apologize to our customers.”

Service has been “fully restored” as of about 11AM eastern. Problems were reported as trading began in London around 8 a.m., which is one of the world’s largest financial centers, for foreign exchange and bond markets. European stocks fell quickly on negative news out of Greece as global markets have been jittery given the continuous shenanigans happening with Greek debt and balancing the IMF payments. Markets in Germany, the EU’s most stable economy, were hit hard also as 10 year Bund yield was 5 basis points above zero, which has also increased bond “contagion” further straining the tense situation. Chinese stocks were closing at the time and tanked on the news (and lack thereof), down almost 7% which is the 2nd biggest drop in 7 years, according to Zero Hedge. The British government postponed a planned 3 billion-pound ($4.4 billion) debt issuance. The outage caused US stocks to drop and left the Dow Jones average in the negative for 2015.

Zero Hedge Dow down 350 points from yesterday’s highs…

Dow is now back into the red year-to-date…

Charts: Bloomberg

To understand more about why this domino effect is so dangerous, here is another excerpt from Zero Hedge since they pick the slack for “mainstream” media.

Zero Hedge
This promptly led to widespread panic among traders mostly in Europe, who were flying blind and unable to chat with other, just as clueless colleagues (the one function used predominantly on the terminal is not charts, nor analytics, but plain old chat).

It got so bad that in a world in which everything has become automated, Europe was forced to delay or cancel pricing various bond deals.

As the WSJ observed, the U.K.’s Debt Management announced in a statement Friday morning that it was postponing a scheduled buy-back of government debt ”due to ongoing technical issues with the third party platform supplier,” and that bids already submitted would be declared null and void. A spokesperson confirmed that the supplier is Bloomberg.

In short if the “terrorists” want to take down the financial world, all they have to do is crash the chat system used by global bond traders. As a reminder, equity “traders” speak in nanosecond bursts of binary, and don’t need Bloomberg.

The WSJ continued:

“It’s scary how dependent we have become on our Bloomberg screens,” said Anthony Peters, a strategist at London-based capital markets adviser SwissInvest. “We had [bond] deals which are not going ahead due to this,” one London-based banker said, other bankers said that trading volumes had fallen as a result of the outage.

“The communication chat has become vital to the sharing of information across regions and counterparties. So a global outage like this is systemically important to markets all around the world,” said Louis Gargour, the chief investment officer at London-based asset manager LNG Capital, adding that this shows just how vulnerable the market has become.

“We’re flying blind and in our office as our principal counterparties are unable to act as market makers, therefore we’re all catching up on admin because there is little else that we can do,” he added.

A second London-based banker said that even if you wanted to do a bond deal in today’s market, “you couldn’t as communication with possible investors and salespeople is incredibly difficult.”

A third fixed income banker said that he was involved in a deal but relying on phone conversations for communicating with brokers and investors, which he said feels incredibly “old fashioned”.

The outage was trending on Twitter in early European trade and in Asia. Bloomberg said on its website:

“We are currently restoring service to those customers who were affected by today’s network issue and are investigating the cause.”


Related Topics:

Austria No Longer Guarantees Bank Deposits*

Europe: Negative Interest has Banks Paying Borrowers*

Cash Banned in Louisianna*

Foreign Countries Held Hostage by the Federal Reserve*

Hoarding Gold: Deutsche Bank Takes up Rothschild’s Offer*