WikiLeaks logo
The Global Intelligence Files,
files released so far...

The Global Intelligence Files

The Global Intelligence Files

On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Re: analysis for comment - europe, where we are right now

Released on 2012-04-01 08:00 GMT

Email-ID 180174
Date 2011-11-14 22:35:17
nice wrap-up


1. When talking about Berlusconi's parliamentary majority, i think it's
also worth mentioning his media empire that gives him and his allies a lot
of clout in a crisis like this. There have already been rallies organized
by the editors of newspapers owned by his supporters that condemn the
global markets of attempting a coup d'etat in Italy. Didn't Berlusconi
even say speciically that he would back Monti, but make his presence felt
in parliament? sounds like a threat to really screw things up in order to
keep his legacy alive.

2. What's the limit for Italian borrowing rates? we're watching it creep
up and up, but what's the ballpark at which Italy can no longer take it
and have to default?


From: "Michael Wilson"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2011 1:25:20 PM
Subject: Re: analysis for comment - europe, where we are right now

On 11/14/11 12:17 PM, Peter Zeihan wrote:

Over the weekend the German press was abuzz with potential solutions to
the ongoing European financial crisis. Treaty changes and new
enforcement mechanisms are being discussed within German political
parties with some proposals likely to hit debate within a few weeks.
Chancellor Angela Merkel even started putting out some tentative
deadlines, with the penciled-in goal to have fully treaty revision texts
ready to submit to national parliaments for ratification by the spring
of 2012.

note this is from a source to reuters

In the German mind, the European financial crisis wouldna**t have
happened had not Europea**s integrative processes been much more deeply
developed, and they are seizing the crisis in an attempt to impose that
solution on a somewhat fractious Europe.

The Germans have a point. Fixing a crisis of this magnitude does indeed
require a full fiscal union. Until there is a singular government that
can regulate the entire eurozone and redistribute resources as
necessary, Europe will at best be lurching from crisis to crisis. But
just as the tools for managing modern Europe are insufficient for the
job, so too are the tools for pushing Europe towards a full union.
Parliaments across Northern Europe have already made their displeasure
known, and new funding for the bailout programs for the eurozonea**s
weaker states appears to be off the table. Without a transnational
political system or a larger transnational bailout program, it is
difficult to envision a process that could lead Europe to stronger
central governance. But that is the challenge before the Germans at
present, and here is how theya**re trying to make it all work.

First, if the Southern European governments cannot implement the
necessary austerity, then those governments must be changed. Using
control over the bailout fund and the EUa**s largest market, heavy
influence over the Commission, and old fashioned political arm-twisting,
the Germans have already brought about the fall of (now former) Prime
Minister George Papandreou and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In their place are to be national unity governments that hopefully can
achieve what elected governments could not.

Second, all EU states must agree to new treaty changes that streamline a
host of decisionmaking processes in favor of Northern Europe,
specifically Germany. There is quite a laundry list of issues to be
fixed. The ECB voting structure may will be changed to heavily favor
larger states (currently Malta has the same say as Germany) I dont think
this is true, We had a discussion on this a few weeks ago. There is
already GDP weighting, they just want to make it more so. States who run
excessive deficits can be brought before the European Court of Justice.
The European Commission, the bailout fund and other European structures
will be able to intervene directly in the fiscal processes of struggling
European states.

I would also mention recent 6 pack legislation which will already be able
to withold structural and CAP funds

Third, beyond treaty changes, constitutional amendments must be adopted
by all eurozone members to hardwire budgetary controls in at the
national level -- along with pre-approval for European institutions to
intervene should those controls be violated. Collectively these measures
are intended to push all eurozone states into budgetary surplus (after
interest payments are included) so that Southern Europea**s debt
mountains can be whittled down over time.

And perhaps most critically, to keep all of this -- the shift in
governments and certainly the treaty change approvals -- out of the
hands of the European publics. Votes on European issues often transform
into referendums on governments, and there are very few European
governments these day who enjoy strong public support. Of particular
fear is that any actual referendums would wholeheartedly reject not only
the integrative steps that might lead Europe out of the crisis, but even
reject the slapdash solutions -- such as the Greek bailout program --
that are keeping the European system from blowing apart.

But getting from here to there is no small challenge.

Somehwere you could also mention Spain looks set to try to get ahead of
this. Even though PP in Spain looks set to win its own minority it will
bring in a "professional/independent" econ manager

As events of the past week have already amply demonstrated, arranging
the resignation of the previous government leaders was the easy part --
forming reliable replacement governments is another matter entirely.
European institutions have attempted to get the entire Greek political
leadership to commit themselves in writing to the austerity programs no
matter should they find themselves in charge of the government in the
future. Yet the (former) opposition -- led by New Democracy leader
Antonis Samaras -- not only refused to make such commitments, but is
already lobbying against the very austerity measures that the national
unity government was expressly formed to implement.

Italya**s current political situation is even more curious. Berlusconi
has indeed resigned, and Mario Monti has been selected to succeed him --
but Monti lacks a government. Say what you will about Berlusconi (and
therea**s a lot to be said) but he is the only person in post-WWII
reconstruction Italy who has ever been able to hold a government
together to term. He was also not the person -- or leading the party --
who was so fervently against austerity measures. So now Monti somehow
has to cobble together a government that somehow weasels its way around
the fact that Berlusconia**s People of Freedoma**s Party of the
anti-austerity Northern League are the largest and third-largest parties
in the parliament. Therea**s also the largely overlooked detail that
Berlusconi has only resigned from the prime ministera**s chair -- not
from politics. It doesna**t take a particular creative mind to imagine
what the most powerful Italian politician/businessman leading the
largest parliamentary block thinks about the coalition of forces that
edged him out of power.

Even if technocrats such as Monti or new Greek Prime Minister Lucas
Papademos can somehow form stable governments and piece together serious
austerity packages and even sign off on German-mandated
constitutional/treaty revisions, those actions will still need to be
approved by their respective parliaments. Having technocrats in charge
might be nice -- even wise -- but completely short-circuiting the
democratic process is simply not possible.

The democratic deficit becomes of particular importance once the issue
of unrest and strikes are taken into account. Governments -- even
national unity governments -- seen as caving to the Germans are going to
be challenged by citizens who do not wish to suffer economically,
particularly under rules established by outsiders. Technocratic
governments are viable options for very short-term needs if the policies
in question have popular acquiescence. But these technocratic
governments are being implemented expressly to avoid a popular vote,
with the leaders of those governments asserting that they will need to
remain in power until at least 2013. A far more likely outcome of this
process is that these governments will radicalize the population,
driving wedges between increasingly angry publics and elites already
widely viewed as disconnected from reality.

Though also I think there has been some popular (though maybe only
editorial elite) acclamation for technocrats as people who can actually
get shit done as opposed to feuding elites

But perhaps the biggest flaw in the developing plan is that it assumes
that no one will notice its flaws. Markets trade on events of the day,
and simply in the past 24 hours many of the plana**s shortcomings in
Greece and Italy have boiled to the surface. Bond markets have become
ever-more-distrustful of whatever the latest and greatest announcement
out of Europe for solving the crisis is. Italian borrowing costs are now
at a 14-year high. Germany has found that sort of financial pressure
useful in bringing Italy to bear -- would Berlusconi have stepped aside
otherwise? But ita**s a very dangerous tool: should rates go too high
too fast Italy will have no choice but to default, and its 1.9 trillion
euro in debt would crash not only the Italian economy but the
Continental banking sector in a matter of days.

Its not as if Greece and Italy are the end of Europea**s problems,
either. Ireland may have proved itself as the bailout state most loyally
implementing austerity by both spirit and letter, but the Irish
tenaciously defend their overall sovereignty. Their government is not
likely to give way to a national unity government, nor is it likely that
the Irish will settle for anything less than a full national referendum
on any EU treaty changes. And lest anyone forget, the Irish have vetoed
major European treaties before.

Spain also presents a major stumbling block. National parliamentary
elections will be held just one week from now, and a government with a
fresh political mandate is not the sort of government that the Germans
will be able to force to adopt this or that policy. Spain may have shown
a greater tolerance for cutting spending and its overall debt load may
be only half of Italya**s, but its budget deficit is nearly double.

yeah but PP looks set to win a majority, meaning it wont have to rely on
bribing regional parties. Also they are looking to implement the same
technocratic economic governance by bringin

Spain's likely new gov't seeks crisis manager for economy

Nov 10 (Reuters) - Centre-right opposition leader Mariano Rajoy, poised to
win Spain's Nov. 20 parliamentary election, is seeking an internationally
respected figure for economy minister to win over nervous investors in the
deepening euro zone crisis.

Analysts and insiders from Rajoy's People's Party (PP) say he wants a
manager with clout and experience, but not necessarily someone from within
the party.

The PP could separate the Economy Ministry into two, with one for economy
and one for finance, as it was under the last centre-right government.

Rajoy, expected to oust the Socialists who have been in power for more
than seven years, will implement drastic spending cuts and economic
reforms that could revive production in the medium term but will push the
economy into recession next year.

Following are some of the names most frequently mentioned for Economy
Minister by political and financial sources:

Luis de Guindos (51)

De Guindos is director of the respected Spanish business school Instituto
de Empresa and an independent board member of the energy group Endesa. He
is said to speak with Rajoy frequently.

He served as economy secretary -- a high-ranking position reporting to the
Economy Minister -- under the previous conservative Prime Minister Jose
Maria Aznar from 2002 to 2004. He also held other key positions within the
ministry from 1996.

De Guindos was chief executive of Lehman Brothers Spain and Portugal
2006-2008, and later responsible for the financial division of

Cristobal Montoro (61)

Montoro heads the People's Party economic team and acts as a kind of
shadow economy minister. He sits in the European Parliament for the PP, as
well as in the lower house of parliament in Spain.

Montoro was economy secretary, also under Aznar, from 1996 to 2000 and
then finance minister from 2000 to 2004.

Some political pundits are doubtful Montoro has the international clout to
make the position of economy minister in the current climate, though his
place close to Rajoy is likely to guarantee some important post within the
economic team.

Josep Pique (56)

A Catalan businessman and politician, Josep Pique is chairman of the
Spanish airline Vueling and president of the influential Barcelona-based
think tank Circulo de Economia.

He served in the PP government from 1996 to 2003 first as industry
minister, then government spokesman and later foreign minister and
minister of science.

From 2003 to 2007, Pique headed the PP in Catalonia, a region where the
party has traditionally been weak.

Fernando Becker (56)

Head of corporate resources at the Spanish energy group Iberdrola, Becker
holds a doctorate in economics.

He was previously the president of the state lender, the Official Credit
Institute, under the Aznar government and up until 1999.

He also served as an economics advisor to the regional government of
Castilla y Leon.

Becker is said to be close to the conservative think tank FAES, which is
presided over by Aznar. And he attended college with Rajoy.

Francisco Gonzalez (67)

Gonzalez has been chairman and chief executive of Spain's second largest
bank BBVA since 2000. He is the vice-chairman of the Institute of
International Finance (IIF) and sits on the International advisory
committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Although Gonzalez speaks frequently with Rajoy and has well-established
ties to the PP, he is not seen as likely to jump at a political position.

Therea**s plenty of room for things to go (disastrously) wrong. Even
quiet Belgium -- with a national debt right at 100 percent of GDP -- has
lurking landmines. While the pro-European Belgians might be more willing
to give a national unity government a try than other states, it has now
been 517 days since Belgium had a government. Any a**unitya** government
that is forced upon Belgium would be, well, forced upon it.

Save Italy, all of these states could trigger a financial cascade that
could bring down the entire European edifice. The only reason that Italy
is an exception is that its big enough that it would bring Europe down
all by itself.

Michael Wilson
Director of Watch Officer Group
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
T: +1 512 744 4300 ex 4112