Tag Archives: Frexit

Is it merely timing?

When I looked into some off the Mario Draghi matters two days ago, I made a reference to his little kart, a kart full of tricks or is it a kart of indiscretion? So let’s take a look at the alphabet, the alphabet of ABLV

A is for Actuality

You see, the European Central Bank publishes a list where all the supervised entities are and the list starts with “Cut-off date for significance decisions: 1 January 2018“, so as we are in March (way past January 1st) and that same attached list gives us on the 81st position the ABLV Bank, AS, with the mention of ‘Among the three largest credit institutions in the Member State‘, whilst there is also (non-supervised) the ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A. in Luxembourg, yet stated and linked to the ABLV, should we wonder if we are being had? In light of the news two days ago when we were treated to “Draghi did address a question on why ABLV Bank received emergency support from the Latvian central bank before the ECB declared it failing or likely to fail. He said that the Emergency Liquidity Assistance policy – under which national central banks rather than the ECB decide to provide support to troubled lenders – is a “remnant of a past time” and should be reformed” (Source: Australian Financial Review), whilst the bank was being supervised according to the ECB, the fact that they are grasping at the notion that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, is that not an indication on how massively useless and overpaid the members of the ECB are? Just so that we are all in clear and that we all understand what is going on, let’s look at ‘supervision’, which the dictionary calls ‘the action of supervising someone or something‘, and with ‘supervising’ we get ‘observe and direct the execution of (a task or activity)‘, it seems to me that the ECB was not doing any observing or directing, so if the ABLV did not inform the supervising entity, I have a hard time to comprehend the Bloomberg article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-02/latvia-analyzing-rimsevics-s-role-at-ecb-as-he-returns-to-work), where we see: “Latvia is still considering the ramifications of central bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics’s status as a suspect in a bribery probe, as he returned to work this week and weighs up how to continue his role at the European Central Bank“, in my view, either the ECB knew in advance certain matters, or we have a different puppy in our midst. Now let us be clear, one is a setting of corruption, the other is the ‘receiving of emergency support from the Latvian central bank‘, yet the fact that this all happened during the oversight of the ECB makes it twice the size of the issue. The ABLV went to the Latvian Central Bank (Governor Ilmars Rimsevics) and got emergency funds, yet what was the origin of those funds? So when we see “Both ABLV and Rimsevics deny the accusations in cases that the authorities say aren’t linked“, my response would be ‘Really? So who are exactly those authorities?’ It seems like a simple question but it is one that we will never see an honest answer to I reckon. The links are not clear, but consider the following accusations.

First we have “The U.S. Treasury Department alleges ABLV engaged in institutionalized money laundering and violated sanctions put in place to counter North Korea’s weapons program

Second we get “Rimsevics has denied any wrongdoing, and Latvia’s Defence Ministry said that the allegations were part of a “massive information operation” by an external actor.” I used them in the article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/03/01/the-failing-mario-draghi-kart/), yet who exactly was the external actor?

It is the second one that is weird, so how did the Defence Ministry get involved in a banking issue? Did it come from the office of Minister Raimonds Bergmanis, it would be an interesting tug of war between him and me, because I have my own centre of gravity and he is a three time Olympic contender in the category of weightlifting. I did not have all the information I needed in that piece, and I was juggling a few issues, so I moved it all along to today.

B is for Bloomberg

Bloomberg ends with “there are no signs other Latvian banks are experiencing outflows after the ECB decided to close ABLV on the grounds that it was failing or likely to fail. What happened to ABLV is a signal to other banks to follow the rules, she said“. Yet is Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola giving us the goods? Why did the Defence Ministry get involved? Was it to emphasize the weapons accusation? Clearly that would have been an issue that resides with Latvian Intelligence. So as Reuters gives us “Ainars Latkovskis, the head of the national parliament’s anti-corruption committee of lawmakers, who also urged Rimsevics to step down” as well as “Latkovskis, who is authorized to listen to reports from the heads of the Latvian intelligence agencies, dismissed hints by some local officials and politicians that a Russian campaign of disinformation might be behind the case“, it seems that the Intelligence official is either trying to stay out of this or we can see this as a sign that the SVR RF (the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation) has been whispering in someone’s ear and the culprits have overplayed their hand. Now no matter what has happened in that tier of the industry, it still gives us that the ABLV made a deal for funds with the Latvian Central Bank and the news as shown by the media is giving us that the ECB was either unaware or was informed after the fact with ‘Good news, we solved the problem‘ and now we see that the banks who are on the oversight list are either not getting supervised or they are ignoring their supervisors, I wonder which scenario is worse for the ECB.

L is for Liable

If you think it does not matter, think again. We pump billions into the UN and it cannot arrange a ceasefire (Syria), we pump billions into the European Union and the ECB is casually unwilling or unable to do their job and those people are fetching a lot of money every year. Two entities who are now proving to be more and more facilitators for the wealthy as well as paper tigers with a fluidic agenda that merely spells ‘compromise to keep the engine going’. So when did wee surrender our tax funds to those ends?

So was this all done through the allowed whisper via Sergey Yevgenyevich Naryshkin? I am merely speculating here, but the parts and numbers currently do not add up. You see, as Reuters gives us “The ECB appears to have been blindsided by the ABLV case, highlighting how thinly it is spread in supervising Europe’s biggest lenders and raising questions about a system of euro zone supervision just three years old“, this is seen (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-russia-vtb/ecb-drops-supervision-of-russias-vtb-arm-in-the-euro-zone-idUSKCN1GE2N8), can we say that it is that simple? It remains pure speculation from my side, yet when we see “The European Central Bank has stopped supervising the Austrian arm of Russian state bank VTB after it slimmed down its European operations, the ECB said on Friday. A spokeswoman for the ECB said VTB’s new set-up in Europe no longer warranted direct supervision, which was now in the hands of Germany’s national regulators, Bafin and the Bundesbank” I wonder if there was anything simple on this. We could argue that Sergey Yevgenyevich Naryshkin did exactly what he was supposed to do, to serve HIS country. Yet the information gives me the feeling that this looks like a line of banks with Latvia between the Latvian ECB and the Russian ‘SVCR RF‘ bank. The two outside parties agree to keep each other afloat by shaking hands and pushing at the same time the ABLV over the edge in a combined effort. What some did in primary school (the old tactics are usually the best).

Still, this is all merely speculation from my side mind you!

V is for Voter

The question that remains is how the US authorities got to that jump and where is the evidence? Apart from the fact that one accused of bribery is allowed back into his office until the dust (read: investigation) settles is also cause for concern. You see, the news (at http://www.mod.gov.lv/Aktualitates/Preses_pazinojumi/2018/02/20-01.aspx) gives a part, but when we consider it and dissect “Latvia’s security-sector personnel have raised the alarm that outside actors could be using these current financial and banking scandals against Riga. The Latvian Ministry of Defence has pointed out that the AP news agency’s reporting on Latvia’s connection to various international financial corruption schemes has been reposted with unusual frequency on numerous websites known for distributing messages supporting Russia. As such, the defence ministry has called this media blitz a possible “hybrid”-style operation within a broader information war against Latvia“, we could agree that part of this is an issue. Yet is the foundation wrong? Is the bribery a fact? If so, why the hell is Ilmars Rimsevics allowed back in his office? If we see statements that there is proof, why not give that out to the open? So who were the outside actors? You see, accusation of bribery requires evidence and it is not out of the blue that Russia would expose bribery so that their operations could profit. That is not merely Russia, American politics and Wall Street have operated on that premise for decades, so it is not altogether weird to see Russia play a similar game, if that was the case. So even if there was an ‘information war against Latvia‘, it was done under the noses of the ECB and Mario Draghi. It was not merely a “remnant of a past time that should be reformed“, it was an option where the ‘the Emergency Liquidity Assistance policy‘ was overlooked by overpaid ECB executives, especially in light of the fact that by their own reports that the ABLV was under supervision.

Bloomberg supports my views (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-02/draghi-confronts-limit-of-his-powers-as-latvian-standoff-endures), where we see ““This reveals the impressive lack of power of the ECB in such circumstances,” said Stanislas Jourdan, the director of Positive Money Europe, an advocacy group calling for more transparency and accountability on economic policy“, which on one side is just as it should be about the sovereignty of a nation, but the fact that the ECB are confronted with their own foot in mouth protocol at the expense of millions, if not billions is a larger worry, because they already pushed a $3 trillion debt on the people of Europe. I also support the view we see at: “Draghi already expressed dissatisfaction to ECB officials in the week after Rimsevics’s detention that enough details from Latvia hadn’t been forthcoming, according to people familiar with the matter, and that may still be the case. Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said on Friday that the anti-corruption office is “in the process” of giving the ECB all relevant information“, it is not about the ECB, it is a Latvian situation and in this Mario Draghi gets to do what most EU puppeteers do so well, they can bloody well wait (whilst still getting paid high amounts of money). Yet, in part this is not merely a waiting game, the fact that the voters are taking more notice of this mess is not helping him any, but that is the way life works and it is not always working in your favour. So when the Globe and Mail gives us “Did European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi save Italy or merely set up the world’s third biggest debtor for permanent zombie status? As Italians head to the polls on Sunday, the parties, big and small, are showering voters with promises of goodies galore“, we see the deadlines that the ECB has, it has a few and even as there is unlikely to be a stable Italian government, the fact that they won’t worry the ECB like Frexit Marine Le Pen or Brexit Nigel Farage, so they are not too worried, but the overall financial issues will remain and Latvia is not helping any with the news that they are the cause of at present. In the end, the question should become, how come that a supervised bank was able to do this? Because the answer needs to be coming from the people who are seemingly overpaid for work they basically did not achieve and that is not merely Mario Draghi; that list is a lot larger and in this case it might just exclude the one man at the top.

 

 

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Pasta Politica Rifugiata

Yes, Italian politics is at times like an Italian meal, chaotic on all levels and that is before the neighbours drop by to quickly say ‘hello’. So as the associated press is informing us on how the G20 members and their spouses are enjoying: “turbot fillet from the North Sea with spinach followed by fillet and cheeks from Friesian beef and for dessert, the guests could choose cheese or raspberries“, we see on the other side of the coin both “the European commission offered to resettle some 37,000 migrants, and relocate about 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece. However, the Estonian authorities didn’t refer to this latest call, but rather focused on another way to deal with the issue” as well as “health workers, volunteers and police officers in southern Italian ports scrambled to identify, assist and send over 10,000 newly arrived migrants to reception facilities, the Italian government threatened to stop allowing NGO rescue ships to disembark migrants at its ports. The EU and its member states acknowledged that Italy’s capacity to host those attempting the sea crossing from Libya is reaching its limits, but did very little to help beyond pledging some additional funds and endorsing an Italian proposal to draft a code of conduct for the NGOs“, we see that the media has been lacking to commit to a decent amount of illumination of events. The latter quote from the EU Observer is directly in opposition with the Deutsche Welle as they give us “The Italian government threatens to close its ports and insists on NGOs signing up to a ‘code of conduct‘.“, so as one tells us that a code of conduct needs to be drawn up, the other one states that the NGO’s need to sign up for one. The BBC is clearly reliable and on the side of the EU Observer as they give us: “A deal has now been reached between France, Germany and Italy to tighten regulations on NGOs and develop a code of conduct” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40505337), yet this is not enough, the BBC also gives us: “Ambrogio Cartosio, the chief prosecutor in Trapani, said he felt that the NGOs were somehow encouraging the people smuggling trade. ‘It pushes the traffickers to load the migrants on ever more precarious vessels. They can be sure that after a few miles, they will be picked up by the ships,’ he told me. The buying and selling of people is big business and the human trafficking trade continues to become more sophisticated and organised“, which gives the alarming notion that the NGO’s are propelling human trafficking as the flesh dealers need not concern themselves with the ‘whole trip‘ maximising their profits even further.

In all this Italy, a nation that seems to be ‘jet set’ is stricken by hardship and poverty. As Italy is dealing with a youth unemployment rate of 36.9% and a total unemployment rate of 11.3%, the Italians are feeling the crunch of the cost of living. Even as the search engines are giving us on how ‘affordable’ life in Italy is, we get the clear view that it eludes these people that to meet the cost of living, one needs to have a job. The refugee crises is draining resources even faster than ever before and Italy has no clear option to deal with these 200,000 mouths to feed, with 10,000 arriving merely a week ago. So as we understand that there is a need for a code of conduct, we also need to realise that a man bleeding from the jugular might not have the strength to go over the papers before signing. Even as the amount of refugees getting in via Greece is slowing down, the rush to Italy is only picking up. The BBC article in addition shows on how massive the rivers stream of refugee is through Africa. From Somalia and Senegal, all bound for Libya and then Italy. There is in addition the security factor to consider, with this many refugees, there is no telling how many people of ill will are coming through as well. Even at 0.1% that is an optional 200 extremists. In this we see that the issues involving AISI are now escalating as well. The reality is that even as Sicily is in the Italian south, the lacking administration to register, tag and identify these thousand plus arrivals a day is now compromising the security of Italy. Let’s be clear here! I am utterly convinced that well over 99% is merely trying to escape utter poverty in Africa, that is not in question, yet the rest is optionally not and who are they? With the current situation, once in Italy their path is open to Rome and the Vatican, France, Austria and Switzerland. From there they could vanish into the wind. Apart from the need for a tagging system, there is an additional need. Not merely the need for registration, but the need for identifying the streams of how they got there and how. You see, we are all concerned about the short term issues, that most are forgetting that the facilitators of all this are in it for the long haul. We might not see any results for now, but in the long term we will get a pattern which will aid us in not merely finding the facilitators, but finding out whether it was merely cash or extreme ideology that is driving them. You might think that this is nothing and that I am making a big wind, yet am I? Consider the events of Paris; the moment any extremist would successfully create damage in the Vatican, how long would it be before someone wants the head of the head of AISI staked on a pike on the wall of the Castel Sant’Angelo?

I reckon that call comes within 24 hours of any successful event. The issue is that this situation has been around in Greece as well and so far it seems that there is no effective system in pace and all this has been going on for a few years now, so I reckon that there has been too much short term thinking in all this. So as we consider “The rest of the EU should step up to help Italy host the migrants and asylum seekers, but there is little willingness across the bloc to do this” (at https://euobserver.com/opinion/138458), as we see this, we see yet another failure of the EU, when we read: “Policymakers in Brussels grumble that the men, women and children arriving in Italy are not “real” refugees, but economic migrants – despite the fact that 43% of them are being granted protection on asylum or humanitarian grounds“, it is like watching the pot calling the kettle charcoal on ground of politically correctness. In all this Giulia Lagana is correct on several levels, yet from her point of view forgets a few sides (on perfectly valid grounds), as she looks at the facts and numbers as the senior EU migration and asylum analyst at the Open Society European Policy Institute. There are other considerations that are not on her desk, which is fair enough. In all this, as @laganagan she remains actively tweeting on a daily basis.

So what is to be done?

You see, before you can control a situation, you need to comprehend it. Now, whether the refugee is economic migrants or refugee does not seem to matter much, that person wants a better deal than they have and they will move mountains to get to a place where they could have a future. You the facilitators in all this are another matter. They have goals, and for a person to get from Senegal to Libya requires a massive trip under, at times, the deadliest of conditions. So either there is a support system in place to transport people and it is way too big a trip for one player. Or we are seeing the growth of prostitution through human trafficking in a way we have not ever see organised crime do before. Without data there is no way to tell and without tagging and identifying these people, all the people who arrive, the chances of mapping the options and possibilities, the EU targets will merely be dealing with the consequences until the stream runs dry and the EU as a whole does not have that amount of time.

So as we now see wave after wave of media stating that EU politicians are claiming that Italy is not alone, we need to wonder on what the hell they have been doing in actuality for the last 2 years. You see, Greece was already past the point of buckling and duplicating a police of Greece towards Italy should have been nearly as easy as pie, yet as we see, that was not the case. So what were they doing? So when we read as yesterday’s news that “EU interior ministers on Thursday pledged to back an urgent European Commission plan to help crisis-hit Italy, which has been overwhelmed by a wave of migrants arriving by sea from North Africa“, can we agree that these people have seemingly been doing fuck all?

In this same source (the Local Italian), we see “Central to Thursday’s talks was a European Commission plan which earmarks 35 million euros ($40 million) in aid for Rome as well as proposals for working with Libya and other countries to stem the flow of migrants“, which is a joke to say the least. In addition we see “While no new measures were adopted at the meeting, ministers expressed support for a “plan of action” presented Tuesday by the European Commission which puts in place, “better and more quickly”, certain elements previously agreed upon, according to a European source“, which reads to me like: “we need to get a plan of action, we have not put anything decent in place, but we word it to such complexity to leave the impression something had actually been done“, the media overreaction in all this is as I personally see it a mere facilitation for EU-flaccidness

In this Italy is also making mistakes. This starts with Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. We see this when we see “In order to lower the number of people arriving here, we must reduce the number arriving in Libya“, which is not incorrect, yet the BBC clearly shows that people are coming into Libya from Senegal and Somalia, making the issue a lot larger and cannot be done by just a group of people, this needs support from organised players. If this is not the case, that path would be covered with the cadavers of hundreds of thousands of people who did not survive the trip, which is a mere adaption of applied logic.

The second quote that does not make the cut from the same person is “If border controls in transit countries are effective, then the ‘tickets’ sold by the biggest criminal travel agency in history would lose their value and if the traffickers can’t guarantee an arrival in Europe, their travel agency would go bankrupt,” he said. So in that instance we look around corruption in Africa as well as the fact that these refugees have no internet, are in the dark, so that means that these travellers will continue to come for now. By the time there is an actual impact of incoming refugees these facilitators will have left the shores with a trunk full of cash, living the life people in Europe have not been able to afford for the longest of times.

So to some degree Angelino Alfano is correct, he just has no idea how to go about it for now and that is not something we can blame him for, yet the utter failure the EU is showing to be, there is plenty of blame that can be placed, because when we see a need for a ‘code of conduct‘ for NGO’s whilst this mess has been going on for years and with the issues shown in Greece, it seems that several members of the EU councils have been asleep at the wheel. Is that what they get paid for? #AnyoneForBrexit

These issues will impact the general elections that are now less than a year away, even as we recognise that the only EU-exit party is Northern League with Matteo Salvini, we see in equal measure that his party has no chance of winning so that risk is currently not in play, yet equally no less anti-EU Beppe Grillo is for now still a contender, yet there is no way to see how that goes and unless the refugee is properly dealt with his 5 stars will rise. Still the chance was not as high as it was in France and with their Frexit averted; Italy might not be willing to go there. In the end, Mario Renzi and Berlusconi are not willing to get out of the EU, so the refugee issues will impact them both. It the EU does not decide to get of their fat asses, things might still go wrong in a few ways for the EU, that much is at present a given, as more and more people are realising that the media is playing them for whatever reason they do, we will see a polarising view of the people and consumers. As there is a rising view of ‘Broader questions on distribution of wealth and power are being considered‘ as well as ‘voters are no longer buying the free-market talk‘ we now see that other elements will have stronger influence and in this, the people are becoming more and more distrustful of what the media regards as ‘the news’. This is not the setting of mainstream news media and these so called iPhone reporters. It is the shifting view that we get from often too carefully phrased issues, which are now more and more recognised as generalist speaking of ‘remaining casual‘ and a lack of ‘clearly communicating issues‘. Weirdly enough, that is a side that could impact Italy to a stronger degree. If either Mario Renzi or Berlusconi wants to get a landslide victory, they would merely need to drop youth unemployment rates by 3%-5% before the election that would seal the deal for them.

It will be a messy dish of grub to achieve, yet the need to get something massive done in this Italian Spaghetti drama is requiring no less. A meal might impact it, but the guarantee of a job sets food on the table for a longer time, a growing essential issue for Italians.

In this finality I go back one more time to the Deutsche Welle article. There we saw a few days ago “Joining Cochetel at the report’s launch was Eugenio Ambrosi, director of the International Organization for Migration’s Brussels office. “Let’s not forget that member states in Europe have also a code of conduct – it’s called European law,” he said, “which entails a variety of things, which includes – and I will not stop repeating it – which includes the duty and obligation to show solidarity [with refugees] in fact and not just in words.

As such, we see a clear given quote, which might be seen as evidence given by Eugenio Ambrosi that the EU has been lacking the required need to act in several fields regarding refugees. Even as some claim that the Migrant Crises started in 2015, there is plenty of evidence that the stream started in 2011 when Syrians were trying to flee the Syrian war. The UNHCR reported that refugees exceeded 750,000 by December 2012. So where did the overpaid people working for the EU in Brussels think that these people were going? Not to the places of plentiful Europe? Who were they kidding? So as this mess has been escalating for well over 5 years and there is a shown lack of infrastructure and support systems to deal with the escalations (as I actually also wrote about a few years ago), we see that there is a growing need for the news and the media to take an actual serious look at some of these players. They have been paid extensively until now, which would beckon even more questions.

 

 

 

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Conservatively valued

When I was relaxing last night, I knew that there was an issue with the UK Labour party. There has been one for the longest of times, what was not clear to me is that it went a lot further than I expected. Not only was I unaware that in all the waves of Media bias, the voters themselves had figured out a few things. Not that the voters are in need of education, because proper information tends to give voters a better view of what way not to go. No, the fact that we se (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/local-elections-tories-profit-from-ukip-collapse-amid-labour-losses), that the local pats of the Labour party have been decimated by losing over 300 seats, they are not out of the war yet. In that the General elections of June will still be a fight to consider. What seems to be the case is that on a local level, the people seem to have had enough of the Labour party. UKIP took a dive too and has now no election seats left. I am not sure how I feel about that, because it is a local thing and the people will vote for those who will achieve something for them, in that regard I cannot state that for one, how active UKIP has been, and in the second part that for the most, the charisma of Nigel Farage was the driving force of UKIP, without him active in the party, it would all be about the people of the local electorate and how they perceive their local elected youkiperino. The LibDems did OK, which was a little bit of a shock, but perhaps like in the previous elections as there was an interchangeability in electorate councils between UKIP and the LibDems, there is a chance a chunk of those people switched back. I would need the actual datasets to take a better look at that part. The quote in the article by Anushka Astana and Heather Steward is an interesting one, we see: “May’s claim that the EU was meddling in British affairs, which propelled her on to the front page of every national newspaper on Thursday morning as voters headed to the polls, was believed to have contributed to her party’s success against Ukip”, there is every bit an optional truth in that, the entire EC issues and the Europe against Britain has given Theresa May a much stronger view and an increased improved exposure and that is what the local voter are influenced by. I agree with that part, yet that would still not have been possible without Labour pooching their political game. In that Jeremy Corbyn is that larger loser, as I pointed out the day before yesterday in my previous blog. So as the UK moves forward towards next month elections, we will see levels of accusation of foul play by the Labour Party and possible UKIP too, the truth is that the people are realising that it is not one against the other, it is the UK against a non-trustworthy engine in Brussels and in addition the European Central Bank and Germany. Two sides that are trying not to get thrown of the European Gravy train. In that side, the additional usage of a German opening his mouth in, what I would classify as ‘stupidity’ with ‘Brexit: English is losing its importance in Europe, says Juncker’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/brexit-english-is-losing-its-importance-in-europe-says-juncker), where we read: “Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe,” Juncker said, to applause from his audience. “The French will have elections on Sunday and I would like them to understand what I am saying.” After these opening remarks in English, he switched to French for the rest of the speech”. It was bad form, even worse decorum and in that he is now desperately not be seen as a failure, which still has a 50/50 chance of getting getting painted as the ‘village idiot’ in the cold light of day this coming Monday.  The fact that a French election was super unpredictable in round one was pretty much a first in French modern history, the fact that t is not just party polarisation, it is the fact that the people have suffered a massive quality of life, whist in addition that level of loss has been frozen for over a decade is also an issue never addressed by those parties and the opposition is now screaming ‘everyone but Le Pen’ is doing so whilst he was part of a business that took the quality of life away from the French in the first place. It seems that the moment the voters remember their 10 years of hardship and see that one of the choices is a former investment banker, his goose is cooked and ready to get gobbled.

What we do know is that the English language has only increased in importance and it will do so for a long time to come, it does not matter whether the UK is in or out of the EC, the UK remains part of Europe, a trivial matter that Juncker overlooks, in equal measure, when people do business out of their own country in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, it is the English language that they hold one too, both sides feel comfortable with. The European population has not felt comfortable with the German language since WW1 and the French in all honesty elide on the elitist ambassadorial need for French, which tens to be not used in those circles either. So Juncker strikes out twice and the hostility created here is also setting the UK population in what might be seen as ‘fighting mode’, which supports conservative values lot more than many bargain for. When a person is attacked on values, that person looks towards family, the homestead, the workplace and staying strong, all conservative values (here I mean original values, not just Conservative party values) and the Tories profited by the situation.

Even as Theresa May keeps a cool head not relying on this victory for the general election, there is a truth in he fighting stand to keep Britain together. In that the Labour party with all its infighting is hurting itself with every round that some Labour person comes out with some strong statement trying to look clever. They merely seem to alienate their own member base. The fact that the Welsh side of the Labour party feels safer doing it on their own is a second sign that shows how much they bungled their own chances (not the Welsh mind you). I have seen and heard cries for Miliband, yet I am not certain how he could fit in. We could argue that anything is better than Jeremy Corbyn, yet the strength of Labour was always coming from a local side and they los that, implying that without that momentum there is no Labour to consider. I am not certain that this is true, in that France can be a driving force for the Labour message in the UK, especially is Le Pen wins. I have stated before and a few times that ‘nationalism’ is not an ugly word, we al believe in our nationalism to drive national pride in sports and products. Do you think that ‘buy Australian’ is merely an empty gesture? As the French rely on the national pride to grow its economy, Labour could do that in the next local elections and regain their own strength (be it with an essential lack of infighting). Yet, this is for the next local elections and in that, unless a miracle happens, the General elections are a wash for the Labour Party. If you doubt me, then consider that this path had proven to be a winning strategy for UKIP and it is still giving momentum to the LibDems. Too bad that the Corbyn groups did not figure this out in time. Will there be a power shift in Labour? It essentially need to be because they have nothing left to rely on, Corbyn threw that away. I cannot state that Miliband is the solution, it is weird, but I do believe that if Ed takes the lessons of his father Ralph to heart, he could swing it all over the next elections. Those who rely on the hatched job the press did two years ago need to realise that his father a Polish Jew immigrated to the UK, fought the Germans (as all British did) and as a University professor created what is now known as ‘the New Left’, Marxist in origin or not, you need to be a person of particularly strong vision to pull that off and he Labour party grew from near nothing to true strength, historical sides that were ignored, even by junior himself. I am not going into he said, she said, and the mud slinging. We know that historically both sides have been fiercely Nationalistic as only the Brits can be. That side has been lost by Labour as it tried to be more European at times, which is now a decided disadvantage, because how did the UK fare under the ECB? Not that great, or at least not to the degree they could have been and the people are seeing the realisation of that more and more, to the detriment of the Labour numbers. Even as some people are urging that Mario Draghi is easing down from his spending spree, Draghi is defiant in his need to wave the trillion-euro credit card around, leaving whatever to come next to pay for the bills. It only resolves the need for Brexit and any anti-Brexit noises we hear will impact the voting numbers, UKIP started it, the people voted on it and now France is moving on it too, yet that outcome is not a given. In all this we see the IMF calling in negativity towards the UK, whilst they have been wrong already three times. In all this we also see the influence of Greece on all this, because it will. Ekathimerini reports: “Greek bonds are investors’ last chance to take a free ride courtesy of the European Central Bank. Athens could soon be eligible for the bank’s program of bond purchases, pushing up prices just as those of other Eurozone bonds start going the other way”, they did not learn the last time, now they have to get to be this stupid again? You see, bonds are lovely for those mediating in this, the expected windfall for those mediating was roughly 50 million Euro last time, and this time? Consider that the Greeks ended up with literally nothing t show for, so why repeat such a stupid mistake, this just drives the need for Brexit and Frexit faster and stronger. That is how Greece is impacting on Europe. We can argue on how desperately the Greeks need it, yet when we know the consequence that it merely keeps the lights on for merely a month and it will take the people years to pay it off, how good an idea do you think this is? And that is when we realise that the interest levels will only rise again giving additional hardship to the Greeks, in all this that so called ‘independent’ ECB seems to be setting the stage for themselves alone. How is that European, acceptable or even problem solving this ECB is? So far there has been no evidence that they are anything but a facilitation to a group that was not elected and seems to have an agenda that is locked down and detrimental to the heath of the entire Eurozone.

Now I agree that my previous statement s a little too strong and perhaps off the boil, yet the election over the next 48 hours are giving us the reality that the people are feeling the hurt, whilst unelected elements are paving the way for big business to get free rides and easy access to the options of profit which will not help the voting population any. Website Fortune.com is giving us “The gross domestic product of the 19-country euro zone bloc grew by 0.5 percent on the quarter in the first quarter, which translates to annualized growth of 1.8 percent in all of 2017, the European statistics agency Eurostat said”, my issue is that the year is not over and in the bulk of all instances in the past, expectations ‘suddenly’ get winded down in Q1 2018, In addition we know that after one quarter 0.5% does not make for 1.8%, and that reality has been shown to many of us too often, the issue is also that this is happening whilst Mario Draghi is spending €60 billion a month, so basically it is fuelling some commerce which is not any level of economic growth, in that realisation, the UK is growing decently and France could go the same way when it Frexit’s the hell out of the ECB jurisdiction. With every spiced report we read, with every ‘speculated translation’ we are given less of less faith in a system that is fuelling itself by plunging the European nations in deeper debt. Tell me, when was that EVER a solution to economic hardship? In my view nationalism seems to be one of the few working solutions left. We just need the right champion and so far (even as I was not a fan of her) Theresa May has been doing the right job, steering the right path, so as a conservative, I feel pretty good. I just hope that Labour gets its act together, because better politicians are forged through opposition, and in the coming four years we need Theresa May to be as strong as possible, because Brexit will not be a cake walk, as the European players are losing their power base and as their fear of a mediocre income grows they will be changing their games and tactics into something insidious, hoping to strong along weaker players and seeing what they can bank for themselves. The lack of transparency will increasingly allow for it. The fact that there is such a lack of transparency has been voiced by others for some time, yet the lack of actions ran updated code of conduct, whilst the ECB powers have grown (source: Handelsblatt Global), when we see such a failing after a decade, whilst the ECB is all about stopping people leaving the European Fraternity is a weird situation, the act that you cannot be thrown out (see Greece) and when a party seeks a better place (see UK) we are confronted with actual issues on the ECB and its spending spree, even hen its largest player (see Germany) is asking  Mario Draghi to ease off. All this is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth and that is even before we realise that the UK has big national fish to fry and solve (see NHS). In all this should we even wonder how France will react? How the French will act when Emmanuel Macron wins and makes a quick deal with his former investment banker friends? I reckon that there is the smallest of chances that in the hereafter Louis XVIII will ask Emmanuel Macron: ‘You too?’. In that, it is so Monty Python to quote that Emmanuel Macron was 171cm in life, whilst at the day of his death he was only 149 cm tall. I joke and offcourse it is unlikely to happen, yet the rage of the French people is such that 50% is siding with Marine Le Pen, a situation that would be unthinkable before Francois Hollande became president. So you tell me, if Le Pen does not win (not unrealistic) and suddenly the people see Frexit fall away (also not unrealistic), how unrealistic is it when some elements of the ECB get exposed and the French rage that follows, especially when the UK economy remains growing stronger and stronger, that not only will a Frexit referendum be demanded by well over 70% of the French, or what will happen at that point when Emmanuel Macron starts dragging his feet?

We will not know for two days, but after that, no matter who wins, France will be in for several large changes. You might have seen how Emmanuel Macron voiced his view on Frexit, yet like Jeremy Corbyn, talk is cheap and the agenda of an elected official tends to change after getting elected, that much has been proven for decades. The question is how far is Macron willing to take it and how will the French view the changes offered. This all impacts on the UK general elections as it will set the tone for Europe. It will have an impact that will last the rest of this current generation to clean up the mess that EC non-elected officials created.

For those who vote, do so, be true to yourself and your family, whilst being in support of your nation, that is as much as anyone can do, do so truthfully and you should be fine.

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Dangerous levels of extinction

Bloomberg reported Yesterday that Nicola ‘Sturgeon Sticks with Timing for Scottish Independence Referendum‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-01/sturgeon-sticks-with-timing-for-scottish-independence-referendum), which is a little odd after the previous one not so long ago. As I stated in earlier blogs, I am not against Scottish independence, I think that at the earliest point, Scotland should seek independence. Yet at this point it is not a good idea. The situation has not changed for Scotland, at present their budget is already 11% short and that is with the inclusion of decreasing oil revenues. This means that within 10 years there will be additional problems for Scotland. And this is only the start of their troubles. You see RTE reported only 12 hours ago ‘Spain would not ‘initially’ block Scotland from joining the EU after Brexit‘, the catchword is ‘initially‘, we see the quote “any part of the United Kingdom that becomes a state and wants to join the EU will have to apply. And follow the steps that are stipulated“, this is the part that matters. Basically until Scotland is truly independent there is every chance that Spain would object, and that is just one of the 27 nations. After that when Scotland is independent, the initiation into the EU would start, which could take up another 5 years, perhaps even more. That is the part Scotland faces, so Scotland is facing the consequence of independence, growing a ‘national‘ debt and after that we see the issue that Scotland would be debt driven and getting into the EU, a triple banking issue (debt, interest and inflation levels), all levels that Scotland would need to overcome.

For example, try googling Scotland and economy and see what you get. What economic achievements did Scotland have gained in the last two years? The Financial Times gives us a part I actually do not agree with (at https://www.ft.com/content/7c6f8ca8-0807-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b) ‘The economic case for an independent Scotland rests on the EU‘, to that the Scottish response should be: ‘the dog’s bollocks they are!‘ In this Scotland needs to grow an economy, so far, as long as Nicola Sturgeon has been in power, not too much has been gained in that department. I am certain that there are options, I even mentioned one in April 2015, (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/04/05/the-labour-manifesto/) where I write “I am still reasonably certain that Indian generic medication could grow all over Europe if they have a foothold in Scotland, which allows easy access to places all over Europe“, so which Scottish politician had actually made any headway into looking beyond the EU, its ECB with big debt credit cards? Because when the credit card stops, Scotland will be in levels of hardship they have not seen before for the longest of times. At that point, who will the Prime Minister be when that happens and where will that person lay the blame?

In the end that is a Scotland that has no chance to build any future at all. How is that a good idea?

So as we see that Scotland is focusing on the USA with the added quote from Bloomberg “She also noted her political differences with President Donald Trump, who owns golf resorts in Scotland. During the election campaign, the Scottish government stripped Trump of his role as business ambassador for the country“, which sounds nice, but how did she fare with Corporate America? Scotland might be open for business, but where is the interest in Scotland? How about the Far East? How could Scotland become a hub for places like Indonesia, India, Pakistan and China? With Beef as an export, why not benefit by creating a European Halal Trade centre in Scotland? With ferries leading to Norway and a growing Muslim population, there are options, it only requires the right politician to open certain doors. I am not saying this is a solution, I am merely showing that options are there, the right people only need to look into the right direction. Because, as I see it, relying on the USA and ECB grants will not work, not whilst Europe is in the state it currently is. With Italy set to grow no more than 0.9%, its position is weaker than France and its youth unemployment still stands at 38%, implying that Italy’s infrastructure will remain under harsh levels of duress for several more years. The quote “Italy’s chronically low growth, low inflation and gigantic public debt burden (133% of GDP) make a potentially deadly trio” gives us even more to worry about (source: the economist), with the UK having triggered Article 50, France elections still having the consequence of a Frexit signal and Italy under the duress it is in, the European Union will only have Germany to be the large positive impact player on its economy and that one is not faring too well either. So this is the moment Nicola Sturgeon want to enter the EU whilst going independent? It is not just a bad plan, with a non-closing budget she will be drowning Scotland into debt and this debt will grow and grow leaving Scotland with no options for any future at all.

Yet we could go with the definition of Sturgeon that she is honouring. I cannot state whether this is the same for both Prime Ministers and fish, yet the International Union for Conservation of Nature gave us: “According to the IUCN, over 85% of sturgeon species are classified as at ‘risk of extinction’“, which is a large group that Nicola Sturgeon seems to be happy to join, the sad part is that she would like the whole of Scotland to join her in this, which is really not a good idea, or fair on the population of Scotland.

 

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Banking France

The last few days have seen a serious change in multiple directions in Countries all over the place (in that rugged area known as Europe). One part is not a surprise, the news that the ‘Pound jumps against euro‘, it is the second part ‘as Germany’s inflation data shocks markets‘ that is cause for concern. We should not be that surprised, because it had been known that Germany was facing a slowdown, which in light of so many events in Europe makes perfect sense. It is the by-line “as German inflation fell short of expectations to give a big setback for the European Central Bank (ECB) programme to support the Eurozone economy” which is the actual story. You see, last week I mentioned Mario Draghi and the dangers he represents, we now see the first chunk of worry that came from ‘Decoupling Draghi is hard to do‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/03/28/decoupling-draghi-is-hard-to-do/). The mention of Reuters and how big funds are having concerns is now more than a fact. The quote “This assessment had raised hopes the ECB could perhaps cut short the money-printing programme, which injects billions of euros into the economy each month. But the fall in German inflation will be seen as a sign that money-printing will not be reined in any time soon“, implying more and longer printing of money to do something that never worked the first time around and will in equal measure fail the second time too. It is a side that the papers are not touching, not by a mile, yet it is also the reality that we face in the upcoming reality of Frexit. This is seen in two parts.

The first are the big 4 powers in the EEC Economy. France, Germany, Italy and UK. With UK triggering article 50, the stability of the Euro is now gone. Whether we have Frexit or not, the reality is that the Euro has relied on the German economy for a decade and now that there is an issue, that whilst The French economy has been stagnating since at least 2015 (actually longer than that), now with the German economy taking a dive towards no-growth, the issue changes dramatically, because the Italian lack of growth had been an issue for some time. With the German setback, the dangers of printing money becomes a lot more visible and the acts of the ECB needs to be questioned by several governments, who are actually not doing that. In equal measure the media at large seems to steer clear from the entire ECB debacle, which is a worry on another level. All this is now part of another shadow that is covering the ECB. Reuters has given view to the following quote “The documents show repeated violations of the ECB’s own rules by its executive board, chaired by Mario Draghi, and come amid staff complaints of favouritism at one of Europe’s most powerful institutions” as well as “Staff representatives complained last year to the European Parliament, which oversees the ECB, that dissent was discouraged at the bank, potentially hobbling its ability to spot the next financial crisis” an issue that should be very much on the minds of every European government, as the ECB is costing them a fair amount of money. Another Jewel from Reuters is seen in the quote “Recent comments from the ECB were misinterpreted, according to a Reuters report citing ECB officials, after President Mario Draghi dropped some of the more dovish central bank language and did not replace its bank lending facility at its latest policy meeting on March 9” as well as “adding to the slightly hawkish feeling, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said a week later that the central bank would decide in the future if it would raise interest rates before ending its quantitative easing program, a comment that took market participants by surprise“. Whilst we can argue on the value of “The core inflation rate is currently running at 0.9%, not close enough to the ECB’s stated aim of ‘near to 2%’ to cause President Draghi to change anything, even rhetoric, at the next ECB meeting on April 27“, the reality is that we are facing a quarter of feigned misinformation due to what I would see a as an unacceptable level of ‘miscommunication‘ (read: misinterpretation). Especially when we consider that quote ‘comments from the ECB were misinterpreted‘, misinterpreted by whom? By the economic governmental powers, the banks, the traders? Is a major factor of the ECB not ‘clarity‘? Should clear communication not be seen as a way to thwart ‘misinterpretation‘?

The fact that the ECB is not just showing favour in the wrong places, but a level of non-clarity gives a second failing by the ECB, that whilst they are still printing billions of euro’s on a daily level. Not the place where you want to be anything less than crystal clear. It is that factor that is enabling Marine Le Pen and giving more and more concern towards Emmanuel Macron. There is a second sight to all this. You see, part of the entire election is set on what some agree ‘what is good for France’, yet who decides that? When we consider “The major candidates for the French presidential election Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon all present their economic programmes to the Medef employer’s federation today. All will be hoping the influential group will give them the “business-friendly” imprimatur” (source: Reuters), It is in that light that I refer to the Saxo Group, who has an interesting article (at https://www.tradingfloor.com/posts/europe-divided-the-front-nationals-absurd-economics-saxostrats-8577141), there are too many quotes to just pick from and in the end, my version might come across warped. What does matter is the question that follows:

If we agree that the New Franc is not immune to speculation, how come that a national currency is (as claimed) so susceptible to speculative attack?

There is no clear answer, yet it is an important one, one that Marine Le Pen needs to answer. In addition, the article implies that Medef needs the ECB and that there is a link, as such we get two parts, the first is that Marine Le Pen is getting discriminated out of two economic groups, making the French elections no longer fair. The second is that the ECB has been setting up links and connections giving them unelected national powers in nearly every European nation, how is that in any way acceptable, especially when it gives them the influence over elections?

So why is it an issue?

For me, not that much, yet when we consider the actions since Brexit intent, and now that Brexit has started, we suddenly see the same panic driven media mob with headlines like ‘Study: Frexit chaos would be ‘worse than collapse of Lehman Brothers’‘, where we see the label ‘doom-mongering‘ with the quote “the population at large is in favour of the single currency and that there is little to suggest any economic benefit to doing so“, this whilst we know that leaving the Euro is almost the singular reason that Front Nationale with Marine Le Pen is this popular. Then we get ‘Why ‘Frexit’ not Brexit should top bond investors’ fears‘, with the mild claim “‘A more pressing concern [than Brexit] is ‘Frexit’,’ he said. ‘Le Pen is polling well in the run-up to April’s presidential election and looks likely to win the first round. She has pledged to lead France out of the single currency“, which is given AFTER Article 50 was delivered to the processing parties. What remains unstated is that with 2 of the 4 large players remaining, the Euro cannot survive. They are mellowing it down with ‘the Front National is unlikely to win sufficient National Assembly seats to enact her policies and such a decision would probably be subject to a referendum’, yet as I see it, when the French realise that Macron in conjunction with Manuel Valls is gaining momentum, the French are angry (according to several sources), in addition Fillon is losing ground too fast. There is no doubt that it will be between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, even as at least three elements have decided to discriminate against Front National, her numbers are still stable. This should be a worrying factor to many as this implies that her vote will be carried by just the French voters, no tainting by Medef or pressure through foreign European leaders.

No matter who wins, there will be a powerful backlash. Even if Macron wins, France needs to realise that changes are essential to survive what comes after. Italy is up next and there the mood is also heavy. The Financial times was ‘timid’ with ‘Italy is falling out of love with Europe‘, it is however not that easy and it is getting harder in Italy on several fronts. Here is largely a blame game in session and the truth is that Europe, the ECB and others are not that guilty in the hardships that Italy faces. Its debt is far worse than Greece and the Italian banks have no way to deal with this problem. So there is a chance (not a very realistic one) that the next in power will start the Italeave signal. Even if that happens, the chance that France and Germany can keep the Euro afloat is much more realistic, but it comes with a two decade burden that any hardship or any recession (read: some kind of economic crash) would be disastrous to both the two nations and the Euro, a risk that the ECB, IMF and Wall Street are very willing to take as it gives them time to find other solutions to not get killed in the process.

So in the end, we are now 36 days away from learning whether the Euro will be dead or only near death, yet still dying.

 

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Decoupling Draghi is hard to do

Like a bad disengaging train, we see more and more how the Euro has become a dangerous place to be. I have pointed the finger at Mario Draghi more than once. He is not the only reason mind you, but he is a massive one. As I see it, a facilitator towards the Status Quo of a coin no one wants. Europeans see how their retirement is devaluating itself, others see a coin they do not trust, they do not like it, and to be honest they do not know why, but the numbers do not add up. Wall Street loves it, as they can leverage iteration after iteration of floating values as they can reset the currency seesaw, but over a dozen nations in Europe cannot, their hands are tied. It gets even worse in the near future if Japan is any indication to go by. Min Jeong Lee and Yuko Takeo from Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-27/escape-route-eludes-japan-stocks-still-hostage-to-u-s-sentiment) are showing you the prelude to the disaster that Europeans could possibly face within 24 months. The first statement is already showing u the issues that Europe will face soon enough: “Japan’s stock market is again showing itself handcuffed to U.S. growth prospects and its own currency“, In that same sense Europe will soon enough be depending on US growth prospects and the massive debt that Mario Draghi is pushing onto the Euro nations. Now, we need to realise two elemental parts:

  1. Europe is not that deep in debt, but the holes that Mario Draghi is creating is already having an impact. “Big bond funds are becoming increasingly reluctant to lend to the euro zone’s weakest members, looking past a crowded electoral calendar to an eventual winding down of the European Central Bank’s ultra-loose monetary policy” (source: Reuters), with the personal change, setting ‘European Central Bank’s ultra-loose monetary policy‘ into ‘irresponsible spending‘. As the time frame goes, Brexit and Frexit might be just in time to avoid a noose for the United Kingdom and France, but for many smaller EU nations it is too late, they have lost economic control and they are now the mere vassals (read: unchained into slavery) to do the bidding of the ECB. Is that what Euro nations signed up for?
  2. Japan has its own way of dealing with the debt and economy and many fear it was never a good plan, but as they skated the edge of the abyss for over a decade people have become insensitive to the impending doom, that is not a good thing, it is merely a Japanese thing.

FXStreet (at https://www.fxstreet.com/analysis/catalyst-for-chaos-201703271520) gives us the two elements. “The BOJ has an inflation target of 2%. If Mr. Kuroda ever has the temerity to end his bond-buying scheme, borrowing costs in this bankrupt nation, which has a total debt to GDP ratio of around 600%, would have to abruptly surge over 200 basis points just to keep even with the central bank’s inflation target” as well as “If the ECB were to seriously commit to ending its QE program, fixed income investors and speculators would panic to get ahead of the removal of Draghi’s bids; and Bund yields could surge well above the rate of inflation in a very short period of time“, which shows the removal of control and the implied fact (read: implied) that Mario Draghi has no intentions of ending his QE plan. Because the devastation that the surge of Bund yields would come with a hefty invoice, one that none of the EU nations can pay, this includes the big 4. Isn’t it nice that FXStreet and other trader and broker sites are actually starting to realise that what I have been warning people against for well over 2 years? I am not the ‘prognosticator of prognosticators‘ (Punxsutawney Phil has that title), mine was merely the conservative approach to the use of a modern abacus (read: Excel) with the application of common sense. Those who were claiming me to be wrong, (a fair amount of them) are now facing their own ridicule as they hide behind slogans like ‘changes in the economy‘, ‘a mere miscommunication‘ and my favourite ‘as we trusted the analysts‘, that is my favourite as it is based on the governmental forecast numbers that have not been anywhere near correct for well over a decade in well over a dozen European nations.

So as we go back to the Bloomberg part we now see: “as a chorus rises among analysts who think they see sufficient improvement in Japan’s domestic economy for the nation’s equities to unlock themselves from the exchange rate. Before last week, the yen and Topix were both up about 3 percent this year“. Yet not long thereafter we see “After Monday’s drop, the Topix is within one and a half percentage points of erasing its gain for 2017“, so before Q1 of 2017 is done, we see that the prospective gain of 2017 is all wiped out. This does not mean that there is no room for improvement, ye the fact that Bloomberg sees Japan as the 7th worst return of the 24 developed markets implies that Japan could potentially end dead last in 2017, music to the ears of the Chinese I reckon. In that same trend I disagree with Soichiro Monji, general manager at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd, as he makes the observation “Investors should focus on fundamentals like the economy and corporate earnings“, perhaps he remembers that somewhat popular kitchen course ‘How to cook the books‘, the news made some reports and comments on Toshiba and Olympus attending those artsy classes. Or perhaps the honourable Soichiro Monji remembers Nikko Cordial Corp. which is now part of the Citigroup Inc. and no longer in the hands of the honourable Junichi Arimura who was never proven to be involved, the proven guilty party is set to Hajime Yamamoto. As the pressures for these corporations go up, the dangers of ‘fraud’ (read: unintentional misrepresentation of a company’s position) will remains a danger and will also increase the impact it has on the Japanese economic forecasts. And this impact is also felt by those into the retirement system as it lost $50 billion less than a year ago. If we accept the realistic return of $2.5 billion, which fuels nearly 30% of the elderly, that is a big chunk to lose, in addition, in 8 years’ time 24 percent of gross domestic product will go straight to welfare, which is a mighty chink out of a budget that they cannot even get close to now, the Japanese debts are too high and Europe is slowly yet surely steering in the same direction.

There is one more element in all this, Toshiba is now ‘demanding’ that its US Nuclear unit (Westinghouse) to file for bankruptcy within the next 24 hours. This is not just cutting losses, this is a move to set losses where they need to be before the financial year ends (so basically all of Westinghouse and some of Toshiba losses (within legal limits of course) in Westinghouse. This gives us the consideration that Toshiba is having a disastrous year and fancy bookkeeping is in order to keep the stakeholders and stockholders happy at the upcoming reporting waves and meetings. This on top of the Fraud that happened earlier, this fits with last week headline ‘Toshiba ponders asset sales as it fights to stay alive‘, the question is what will be sold in addition to Westinghouse, because shedding the losses alone will not do the trick, they need to sell something with profit too. Nikkei Asia Review reported: “If Toshiba fail to win the bourse’s confidence, Toshiba shares will be delisted“, Now, bad places are bad places, yet when a 6.5 trillion yen company gets delisted, it will have an effect and not just a few small ripples. For some of the consumers this will be a golden year, you will face an optional sale of 65” Toshiba displays with possibly 70% off (everything must go, yes really!) Yet, as I stated earlier, they are in a state of clever bookkeeping (not a crime), the question becomes will the holders of stock and stake accept this? I have no idea, but what is decently clear is that the impact will be felt in both the US and Europe, yet not to the degree Japan will feel it.

These are just a few of the elements as they are brought to light that Draghi’s irresponsible spending is becoming more and more of an anchor, one with a noose around the necks of the European governments. In all this it was not a week ago that the Irish independent reported ‘Banks grab €233bn in free ECB loans as Draghi warns on profits‘, with the added quote “Yesterday, ECB president Mario Draghi signalled time is running out for banks to get their house in order“. So, consider the quote. Basically, whilst the ECB knows that the banks do not have their shit in a row, they still got their hands on a quarter of a trillion Euros? How is that not irresponsible? And free loans? When did any person get a free loan? For banks it is even an act, rasher than ever before as they tend to not be held accountable. All this comes with the additional quote “The banking sector’s capacity to fully support the euro area’s recovery is curtailed by its low profitability“,  so we know that the profitability is low, which was not a surprise, it affects recovery and yes, Mario Draghi dumps Europe in even deeper debt. Are you still on the path to support his irresponsible spending?

I am not, but as I am no longer in Europe, there is not much I get to do, the only disaster for me is that I have worked the bulk of my life there and I have seen that my pension is down by will over 60%, 40% in devaluation and 20% due to an increased and uncorrected cost of living. So when the debt bomb blows, very likely before 2019, I will ended have worked pretty much my entire life, with no pension remaining. Perhaps the arts can intervene? Would it be an optional economic success if Joss Whedon launches ‘Betty the banker slayer’? #Justsaying

 

 

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How the Franks make France

It is possibly one of the first times that the entire world is keeping their eyes on France and on its elections. The situation as seen in France has not happened since Charles de Gaulle. France in a state of massive changes, changes that are essential if it wants to have any options of shedding the massive debt it has and restructure the options of owning a stronger economy. The question becomes, who will be the enabler in that regard. The BBC shows us (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39038685) how 5 charts will explain the elections. The first shows the growth of Front National, the party of Marine Le Pen. The quote “Opinion polls currently suggest Marine Le Pen would be defeated in the second round by Emmanuel Macron. Without the backing of a traditional political party, the former economy minister, who has never held an elected office, is standing as a centrist candidate” is in the central place here. She might be front runner now, but there is the real issue that Marine Le Pen is seen as too much of an extremist. Even as part of her strength is seen in the second chart where we see how unemployment rates have sky rocketed under President Hollande and that level of dissatisfaction has been an enabling factor for Marine Le Pen. The 4th chart is also a Le Pen indicator. As France has been hit multiple times, the people started to listen to the logic of Marine Le Pen and as such all drove straight towards the far right. That is the way of things. The 5th one is less of a positive influence, but it is an influence none the less. As the amount of asylums are given increase, the rejection of the social path of France will increase and that too works for Marine Le Pen. In all this, the consequence is equally a positive part for Macron. Emmanuel Macron is making strong headway and to many French, the preferred choice. Yet, Emmanuel Macron has never held office, which counts against him, as an economist he does have an edge, but that would only work if his policies had resulted in jobs, which was not the case. The reality, or better stated, the stronger reality is that for those under 25, 1 out of 4 does not have a job and that is where Marine Le Pen is getting a growing traction. No matter how the French here on how important social issues are, the reality of no work translates to hunger and uncertainty. In addition, Hollande has data in play that shows that the high point of his economy was a year ago and decline is already showing, this translates to even more people moving from the left towards the centre and the right side of the isle, all moving towards Macron and Le Pen. With the UK showing a growing economy whilst Brexit is starting is also pushing the people to listen to Marine Le Pen and that is the reality that will continue, yet will it translate to enough votes? There is the uncertainty and I predicted that it was a reality France was facing. A reality I have claimed for over 2 years now and so far I have been proven correct. However, this does not take Emmanuel Macron out of the race. There the reality is that anyone feeling too uncertain regarding the more right wing Marine Le Pen that voter might hesitate and decide on Macron instead, a choice that is logical yet untested and unproven. It is the unproven part that the French also realise, so Marine Le Pen stays in the race. The one factor that matters is Benoit Hamon. Now, he might not be the front runner and he will not amount to serious opposition of large numbers, but the one part that still matters is whether he can get enough votes to make the 50% impossible for Marine Le Pen, that is now the game that plays, the others are not able to do anything serious to that extent. It is now starting to be merely a race between Macron and Le Pen, Hamon would enable the situation that a second round would be essential, which now takes us to May and that opens the field again, in that regard, Marine Le Pen needs to be really clever on how she plays the game. In addition, she needs to be clever on how to oppose or diffuse any situation that the anti Le Pen press is pushing onto her.

The NY Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/france-braces-for-the-now-possible-impossible.html) is now stating ‘France Braces for the Now-Possible Impossible‘, which only shows that they are either two years late to the party, or they just did not care before. Sylvie Kauffmann talks a good article, but she misses when she states “This is a French campaign like no other. All the political patterns established since 1958, when the present Constitution was adopted, have come apart. The National Front has been a fixture of national politics for 40 years, but never before has its presidential candidate been a consistent front-runner. Today, none of Ms. Le Pen’s opponents doubt that she will get to the second round; in fact, they are not even fighting her. They are fighting among themselves to win second place on April 23, to have a chance to beat her in the runoff“, she is not stating anything incorrect or wrong, it is the one additional fact that is important. This is also the first time in modern history that a current president is not seeking re-election, which she does mention on the side. The scandals we saw and the consecutive “François Fillon, a conservative former prime minister who is now the Republican candidate, has stopped campaigning” is another part of the sliding numbers to go in other directions, yet, will they go towards Marine Le Pen. A smaller influence is the Dutch elections. The Farage-Le Pen-Wilders triangle is pretty famous. Yet in all this the US is now an influence, because with every claim that President Trump is making, the people are confronted with a connection to each of these three and a reason why not to make the same mistake the US has made, with ludicrous claim after ludicrous claim, the Republican win is now hurting the right side vote in both France and the Netherlands, but will the shift be enough? Those matters are not known and are even less predictable.

What is at this point a certainty is that in the end Marine Le Pen will be one of two parties that can be voted for, yet there is enough doubt to see that there will be a round in May, the matter will just be how will the people see this than and how far off is that 50%, because if the call is too close to that, the smallest fluctuation could change the game. Now with the 17% of Fillon in the air and the 15% of Hamon under discussion, there is the smallest chance that a slice of that will go towards Marine Le Pen actually that is certain, yet how much will go her way? If the split is even, there is now the largest chance that 23% will divide between Macron and Le Pen, setting Le Pen at 39%. I feel that Hamon will lose, but I very much doubt if he falls below 10% and that would be the best case scenario for Hamon, there is a chance that Hamon will get a few of the Fillon numbers, but I feel certain that he will lose traction within his own ranks. With 1 in 4 people under 25 not having a job, the alleged fake job that he gave his wife is not sitting well with a large part of the voters who were already looking at Le Pen and are now utterly unlikely to select anyone left of centre which works very nicely for Le Pen, but there is still a steady group that has no love for the right, so those votes will go somewhere else, or better stated these people will vote anyone but Le Pen, which could benefit Hamon to the smaller degree and Macron to a larger degree. so as those impacts are seen, there is now a serious chance that Le Pen would grow from 39% to 42%-46% and that is where the issue starts, she is now way too close to 50% and even as it is unlikely that she gets to that point passing 50%, it is not impossible and that is where the game changes by a lot, because if she gets there, she would potentially be in the strongest position to make a lot more radical changes. Like Trump, her examples would drive the Frexit start and that will be the start of the nightmare for both the US and Japan, the Euro collapsing will drive a market fear of unbridled proportions, one that cannot be countered by the players involved, which will have a disastrous effect on the global economy. CNBC has been giving voice to several dangers, which includes rate hikes (which is off the table the moment Frexit starts), Beijing is another factor, but if properly set would actually create stability and less uncertainty. It is the utterly unbelievable part that the Financial Tribune is giving us. They proclaimed that the global economy is expected to grow 3.5% in 2018, which sounds nice, but unrealistic. You see, the changes that are essential to growth are in the wrong corners as I personally see them. If Frexit starts than the contractions in Europe will start an escalating drop, making a global economy growth of 1.5%-2% decently unlikely. Frexit is the first cornerstone, the Brexit escalation that comes, or will drive the change is another part. These two will now push Italy and Germany in very different directions making the Euro no longer a feasible currency, especially as Mario Draghi was kind enough to spend a 13 figure number onto an economy that would not hike or set in motion to the degree that was essential. So as we see the quote “Its forecasts remained broadly unchanged from its November report, however, both the US and the eurozone saw minor downgrades“, we see it without the mention that this happened even as the UK economy went upwards. Market volatility is actually the smallest influence for now, but that will change before the end of the year. So as we see the dangers of a recession slam in either Q2 or Q3, we will see it with the realisation that the forecast given by the Financial tribune was not that realistic, just prophesising on sunny weather with a few small clouds whilst we see storms on Eastern and Southern shores, and there is no way to pierce the fog from the remaining directions, a dark fog that seems unable to have any sunshine. All that and two additional dangers remain unexplored. That is given not in who gets into power, but the danger that no matter who goes into power, the new players will be inexperienced in many ways; that too will stagnate any positive move from the economy. The only bright spot is that in Germany there are differences growing, especially as Alternativ fur Deutschland has started rounds of infighting, the final straw of anti-Europe will not be in any position to move into that direction, the question then becomes what will Italy do? Even as Merkel is facing a much stronger SPD, that election will not come until 4-5 months after France, which means that Frexit, if called for would also impact the German grounds of choice. In addition we see more waves of ‘Grexit’ news on the need for cutting Greece lose. Which is not an option in EEC laws, and I am surprised that the PRESS has not caught on yet (especially as they played that fake card twice already). All these elements are in play and they will together result in a global economic growth of less than 2%, especially if the European economy contracts a little too much and that is decently certain to happen.

A rollercoaster economy that is about to be started by the modern version of the Franks that make up the French population. In this the trend is as I see it no longer about some united fake region, it is about growing nationalism and national pride, because that will also grow an economy. We all forgot about that (me, myself and I included). You see, there might be open borders, there might be free travel, but as we forgot in which place we were we also forgot on what made that place great. The beers of Belgium, the cheeses and wines from France. Some might claim that this is not true, but it is and we lost sight of it. Because we only value that what requires effort, a reality we have always faced, we just forgot about it and the larger companies had a better time by offering us something mediocre and unhealthily cheap, something that fitted too many of us. I personally believe that this is most clearly seen in the gaming industry, which is why I recognised the flaw in myself early on.

The good thing about all this is that as national pride grows in all the nations, we will see a drastic improvement of appeal and quality, I believe that the smaller places will now have the option to grow and that will drive the economies. So as Carrefour and Auchan end up talking to a new group of suppliers, France will witness a shift in economy, not one that maximises the bonus of larger provider of goods, but enables deliveries from smaller players and they do not have the board sizes that some of the current players have, so it actually will end up driving the economy. It sounds crazy and weird, but I believe this path to be the first drive of growth.

That would benefit the economic numbers of France enormously and it will also push other nations into reinvestigating the options for growth. The Financial Times show part of this (at https://www.ft.com/content/6de52a3a-aca4-11e6-9cb3-bb8207902122), yet this growth is mainly due to other factors. John Ellis, retail & consumer partner at PwC, gives us an interesting point here: “Over the next few months, the way in which retailers deal with cost headwinds, particularly the impact of foreign exchange on product prices, will be crucial for consumers’ future spending patterns.

He is correct in that way, however, I also believe that as people will seek more and more local solutions (read: deals) it will actually drive the local economies stronger in an upwards direction, and in that, I am predicting that the same will happen in France. The second part he is not giving us is that the individual currencies will allow national governments to float their currency ever so slightly to avoid massive negative impacts, something that was not an option under the Euro. So another tool will be handed to the French as they restore the imbalance that their economy has faced for well over a decade. I do not believe it will be the measure towards success, it merely avoids the chance of failure, which is also a driving force in any economy.

Now, feel free to completely disagree with me, which will always remain a valid view. Yet when we see the impact of positivity that segregation has and if Marine Le Pen cashes in on this, than we will see a second step in the European economy that will stop the Euro. As we end with that coin, did anyone tally how many European officials are no longer required? How much did they cost? A gravy train that was riding the slopes of Europe at the expense of taxpayers, whilst for the larger extent not having any positive national impact. We are talking of a group that exceeds 32500 people. So how much was that costing on a monthly basis? 751 MEP members were getting a monthly pre-tax salary of €8,484.05. That’s already 6.3 million a month, so how much for the other 31,750 employees? Let’s not forget that this is a monthly expense. So I reckon that the sweet reality is that there will be a positive impact on budgets. Now these costs are not going away immediately, but I think I am making a clear point that national costings will change.

France is about to start a wave of changes, or better stated, there is a real change that massive changes will commence, but in the end, we will have no certainties before the elections are over and until France makes a claim and voices the intent to exit the EEC, there is no certainty that there will be actual change, because the Euro could survive without the UK, but not if the economy contracts, in that case several options will go straight out the window for several European nations, especially those in the EEC. Mario Draghi has made sure of that. You see, when we accept Bloomberg view (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-08/draghi-s-caution-on-inflation-signals-ecb-stimulus-stays-for-now), where we see “The rate remains stuck below 1 percent, but what’s worse is that the trend has consistently pointed down in the euro’s 18-year history, suggesting structural weaknesses may be at play” a weakness I mentioned (in a different way) in several earlier blogs, is now getting more and more to the forefront. Bloomberg also gives us “the measure that excludes volatile components such as food and energy” gives us that in a dangerously low setting volatile products will still have an impact. The additional “After policy makers’ preferred gauge of future price developments approached levels of below but close to 2 percent at the end of last year — signalling the ECB’s goal was in sight — it’s now on the wane once more” gives more and more strength to my prediction of economic contractions, which now also gives a view that any prediction of a global economic growth of 3.5% in 2018 is getting less and less realistic. so as we see positive forecasts from several sources, we need to be careful on who we will believe, because like several nations stated in earlier years, the forecast of today will soon be shown to be overly optimistic one quarter later, which is after the ‘predictors’ got some of the players to unwisely spend what they should not have been spending. A game that has been played for too long, it is the national push that gives for change and more important, it gives for a push by people who can be held accountable and can at that point be incarcerated, which tends to make certain forecasters a lot more cautious and it will give us an actual realistic economy to work with. It might not be great and in the beginning it will also not be good, but it will be mending and growing, which is what the people want and need. In that we have to voice with certainty that we do not give a fuck on what large corporations want or desire to get them their bonuses, we have had way too much of that for too long.

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