Tag Archives: Henri Proglio

French Grape juice and a shipyard

There are issues stirring in the land of grapes and cheese. In France things are becoming slightly restless. Now, I have had my doubts about Emmanuel Macron for several reasons, but not on this. The Express (at http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/834196/France-Emmanuel-Macron-en-march-crisis-polls-fall-French-president) gives us “Several members of French ruling party En Marche! have accused President Emmanuel Macron and party directors of going against the root values of the movement by trying to change the internal guidelines regulating the candidates’ selection process“, which gives my initial response ‘And?‘, you see, being in a new party, being in front and shouting the loudest does not automatically grant the rights to wield a multibillion wallet for defence or healthcare. In the end, the selected party needs to place the right people in the right places, those with knowledge and the ability to push a nation forward. This would have been the one nightmare for Nigel Farage if he had won the elections the last time around. No matter how we feel about UKIP, it is not really seeded with senior cabinet quality fuel. The same can be stated for En Marche! That view is well phrased in “French politics expert Ariane Bogane from Northumbria University told France 24 that the party had justified its decision to change key elements of the movement, such as internal election, by saying that it was in order to avoid “personal ambition,” “rivalry” and “in-fighting”“. So what is going on, is it merely the infighting, or the disillusion of those who did work hard and expected to become part of the French government? Those bragging on the post they are considered for and having to go home realising that the carefully phrased ‘we are considering‘, becomes, ‘we were forced to find the person with the ability much more suiting the expertise required‘? Politics is all about finding the pushing forward party, within the party it will almost never be about to compromise.

Yet the title gives another image. With ‘‘Oligarchy is coming!’ Macron faces nightmare political CLASHES as he PLUMMETS in polls‘ we are confronted with two part. As the express hid in the dictionary trying to tell us that a small group of people is in control in France is not new. Those who keep their eyes open are aware of that, for example, Natixis is surpassing a trillion euro value before the end of 2018, and its 15 members of the board have a large say for well over 20% of France, which is one hell of an impact. I am not referring that they have something to say, like for example Mark Carney as Governor of the British bank, no these 15 can lay down the law in unspoken ways. Actually, one of them had a (large) setback as the Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 with “Henri Proglio’s contract as chief executive of Electricité de France SA, sidelining a powerful businessman who has been close to the country’s center-right political camp“, yet there are several indications that this was merely a resignation on political grounds as some equally powerful players got to feel the heat of more than the mere risk of the Hinkley Point C nuclear project (yet, we will remain silent on those accusers, won’t we Credit Agricole SA?); in all this, the players have a point as the costs at one point was expected to surpass over 10% and on £18 billion it starts to add up fast. This is merely part one, in part two we need to look at the plummeting and so on. Yet overall, why becomes the question. I think it is more than that the current president is a mere former banker. In this the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/emmanuel-macron-popularity-rating-plummets-french-president-worst-in-20-years-july-ifop-budget-cuts-a7856986.html) gives us “Results come after the 39-year-old former banker unveiled key budget cuts in public spending and military finances – a move which has been heavily criticised“, which might be a valid reason for some to nag, yet what they forgot is that the previous administrations left France with a minus €2.1 trillion on the French governmental credit card and their economy is nowhere near the English one. In addition, France has a mere 64 million people, do that equation as debt per person bites in equality. The money is gone! The UK has been in this mode for well over half a decade and the French better wizen up fast, because the people now complaining had not as much as a hard time because harsh changes were required as early as 2010, nothing in that regard was seriously done. Another quote is “Mr Macron ended up overruling his own prime minister by vowing to go ahead with tax cuts in 2018, and plans to cut housing benefits were received unfavourably“, which everyone sneers at (the decision that is), yet perhaps you remember the French actor Gérard Depardieu who moved to Russia of all places because of outlandish taxation. When we consider some of the French numbers, we see the quote “less than 50% of inhabitants in France pay any income tax at all; only around 14% pay at the rate of 30%, and less than 1% pay at the rate of 45%” (source French Property). Under those conditions, we might expect that plenty have to complain about housing benefits, it might well be those not paying income tax at all. So when we see housing benefits, whilst the French are down well over 2 trillion, we have to consider how valid the polls are, perhaps better stated how fair they are one Emmanuel Macron. We all knew that the promises made by Emmanuel Macron would be hard to keep, yet not impossible. As a banker he knows that if the tax hike works and the hike become thousands of jobs, he has a start, the one thing about the French is that they are proud, yet those who are part of this Oligarchy tend to invest nationally as that is where their power and influence are.

For this we make a small sidestep to the dictionary. You see there are difference (which is also odd)

In the Cambridge dictionary we see “A type of government by powerful people in a small group is called oligarchy“, Merriam-Webster gives us “A small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes in a type of government” and Oxford states “Oligarchy is a type of government controlled by a small group of people” so as we see the En Marche group cry in a Merriam-Webster style, whilst the reality is that the reality is merely the Oxford/Cambridge application of the issue. None of them invoke a social governing and even as the En Marche people are now moving towards Fascism accusations (none have been formally made at present), we need to realise that none of it matter if the French economy does not make a decent step forward. The social structures have drained the French nation too much. France has seen strike after strike; the French labour unions are a debilitating power, a fact even acknowledged by many French citizens. Now, I have never been against labour unions, yet they have to realise that their time as they perceive themselves to be is over, if the French have to default even once, their existence stops, the money flow stops and that will change the game forever in France. There are other parts and there is an issue whether a blame game applies. We have heard for some time on labour reforms, and even as we see the validity due to massive French debts, in this Bloomberg offers (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-24/macron-s-uphill-battle-against-france-s-labor-law-quicktake-q-a) questions and answers that I now can avoid. We know that there are issues, yet it comes from a civil law system, with the French labour code set in over 3000 pages, as such reform now becomes essential. We see reports like “French unions say making it easier to fire people won’t create jobs, and that unemployment results from the tight budget policies forced by EU-imposed austerity“, this is not an invalid response (read: consideration), yet in equal measure we see that there is little space for short term jobs and as such, backpackers all over Europe get to take some of the economic cream from the top of the revenue, something that might be valid work for the French, yet some of them are not going near any short term jobs in hear of long term consequences. The Bloomberg quote “His three immediate predecessors all viewed France’s labour laws as too restrictive. In 2003 and 2005, Jacques Chirac managed to loosen the 35-hour cap on the working week, making it easier and cheaper for companies to add extra hours. In 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy cut taxes on overtime work and made it simpler for individual workers to negotiate their own departures. And Francois Hollande’s reforms of 2013 and 2016 made it easier to justify layoffs due to a downturn in business” is the clearest one, you see three administrations have seen the folly of the labour restrictions. Whether the unions are in fear of the power they wield, and the fear of how they become obsolete, that is how I see it, four administrations realise that companies with 49 have growth limits, pushing themselves into foreign ground through partnerships when it becomes an option, slicing the French economy at least twice in a negative way.

The second issue is less on the things he does and more about how it is done. The New Statesman is referring to ‘the Macron Con‘, the Evening standard is all about ‘shedding the banker image‘ and some have even less nice things to say, yet some is of his own volition, with ‘My thoughts are ‘too complex’ for journalists, says Emmanuel Macron‘ the Telegraph paraphrases “An Elysée official told Le Monde newspaper that the 39-year-old centrist leader’s “complex thought process lends itself badly to the game of question-and-answer with journalists” that is held every year on the July 14 national holiday“, it is not a good way to make friends in that area of people who still at times laughingly refer to themselves as ‘journalists‘. It now becomes the question how they will see and report on the STX France nationalisation. In this there is validity to at least some degree. There is no guarantee that the Italians will keep it as is, there is no guarantee that there will not be a ‘transfer’ of grounds towards very different applicable destinations. When we consider USA Today as a source with: “STX France is the only shipyard in France big enough to build big warships. It’s also a significant employer in France“, if so, can anyone explain to me how handing it to the Italians was a clever move to begin with? If the EU will builds its force on EU ground, than France would fare a lot better keeping the one place where they could be build French property, that is merely good business. In addition, as it is still doing jobs, which are unlikely to be completed before the end of 2018, how is changing hands of the shipyard a good idea?

There is no doubt that the STX war is not over and I am not even going to speculate how this will turn out at present, you see being pre-emptive is one thing, the danger is that some shareholders will offer what they have in different ways to get the most out of their shares and greed can make a shareholder creative in getting the coin they expected. Yet, Trikkles (at http://trikkles.com/2017/07/28/french-government-to-nationalize-stx-france-economy.html), gives us “President Macron jettisoned his pro-business agenda and threatened to nationalise France’s leading shipyard to prevent its takeover by Fincantieri“, is that true? Keeping STX French might be very pro-business indeed. If it becomes Fincantieri property, there would be consequences. The Higher echelons could end up being replaced by Italians, so that is a chunk of funds not remaining in France, in addition, with procurement scandals first in Taipei in 2000 and now in India 2016, there are other considerations to make, so there are issues beyond the ship that is to be build. The interesting part is that in the entire emission control solution, I would have thought that they would focus on bringing jobs to the US, not ending up with a French place and getting loads of Americans and Italians to Normandy, let’s face it, it is no longer 1944.

In all this Emmanuel Macron seems to be getting a rough time. As the newspapers focussed on the largest drop, it seems that they are all in denial that both the UK and France are merely two players who have an astronomical deficit to deal with. In all this the Financial Times gives us another view (at https://www.ft.com/content/c826f982-7383-11e7-93ff-99f383b09ff9), as they state “Macron’s pro-EU stand is tested by Italy on the waterfront“, some will call it ‘betrayal’, yet who voice that and for what reasons? Here we also see the quote from Pier Carlo Padoan as he accused Mr Macron of abandoning his professed “pro-Europeanism and liberal values” by his decision to take STX France. So is it non-liberal or an essential step not to endanger the Normandy economy in the longer run? As we realise that STX is one of the few places in Europe where building an aircraft carrier is possible, as well as the fact that the largest cruise ship in history is getting build here, why leave it to the Italians? In this, the quote “Fincantieri had pledged to keep jobs and orders in France for five years” reads like a hollow joke, it merely not mentions that after 2022 syphoning the French economy towards Italy would be a given and with the French economy being a mere 1%, that syphoning could potentially kill the French options. So when I see the additional hollow quote “and Italian ministers rightly point out that Mr Macron’s demand to renegotiate suggests a lack of trust“, would that be a lack of trust, or a lack of Italian consideration when the clock strikes August 1st 2022?

In this there is one part that the complaining French seem to fail to grasp, if STX is only the first of a few reallocations to foreign owners, how deep in unemployment could France get? I have in the past never professed to be any kind of consideration to bankers like Emmanuel Macron, yet in equality I have been for the most always been on the side of giving all a fair chance, it seems that the French are not giving that to Emmanuel Macron, which as French citizens is their right (freedom of speech and so on). I merely hope that these people are looking further forward than the issues due next week, because in the long run France will need to adjust to a larger degree, the question becomes how and that is the issue that the previous 3 administrations have fought over for the longest time of their administration.

 

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Is it all Greek to you?

Greece keeps on tracking the news in several UK papers and newscasts. Greece is big news in a few regards, but I will not go into that too deep. What should be known in this premise is that I still believe that Greece for the larger extent is playing a game, the fact that Greece is playing this game is because (as I agree), the downfall of Greece could topple Italy and France to a serious extent, which will hurt the United Kingdom to more than a minor extent (it would have been massively worse if the UK had the Euro) and it will debunk the premise of a united Europe in several ways.

Now let’s take a look at the news:

BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32790726) ‘Greek debt deal within next week, says Varoufakis‘, stated on May 19th, this gives us the oral deadline of no later than May 29th.

I, the Lawlordtobe.com (that’s me) stated on May 6th in the article ‘What’s the matter?‘ “You see, there we see May 1st an IMF interest loan payment (now due May 6th) and May 12th we see the part that 760 million is due. The part that was unknown to me is also the part that is not loudly voiced to EEC nations, because this knowledge will influence the voters (as I personally see it). You see, the missing part that is not voiced in many sources is the small fact that two T-bill batches mature, the first one on May 8th and the second one on May 15th, each worth 1.4 billion“.

Now we know that the May 6th payment was done, but the May 12th payment could NOT be made, for this Greece used its own IMF emergency funds, this means that this is now due 30 days after May 12th. In addition, the amounts due in June is 1.5 billion initially towards the IMF, yet because the May payment was not made, that debt is raised by 50% and Now we see that 2.3 billion will be due before June 30th. In addition 5.2 billion in T-bills will mature, so how is that going to get paid for?

Alas, this is not all, even though payments are not due, the Greek debt ceiling has been raised (again) now giving to total debt ceiling at 80 billion, when we add the outstanding debt, this nation with 11 million people will be down almost half a trillion dollars! Now one fact that many are ignoring, this all amounts to an annual interest that is close to 22.5 billion a year, Greece cannot even raise 5% of that at present!

Let’s get back to the news!

The financial review gave us this news on May 19th (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/greece-wants-europes-bailout-fund-to-pay-maturing-bonds-20150518-gh4ljr), the headline ‘Greece wants Europe’s bailout fund to pay maturing bonds‘ gives you the rising nightmare that I was pushing towards for some time now! The quote “Greece has proposed to its international lenders that Europe’s bailout fund pay back maturing Greek government bonds held by the European Central Bank as a way to overcome a funding crunch, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Monday“. It feels a little like going to that nice place in Amsterdam (with all those red lights), then after you had your fun, you ask the girl if she would be so kind enough to ask Mr.  Eberhard van der Laan to front the bill (the current Mayor of Amsterdam). What do you think is going to happen next? Including May, through to August a total of 11 billion in Bonds will mature. So, how is this a good idea?

Syriza has, since it came to power, only made things worse for Greece. The Greek people might think that they are protected, yet as I see it, the only thing they achieved is to alienate its creditors, leaving them with no alternatives, for now let’s get back to the news!

Less than 20 minutes ago (whilst writing the draft), the Guardian got wind of a possible extension of 4 months (source: Helena Smith, the Guardian), which is likely today’s topic between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras. Which now gives us more worry, because EVERY delay and every inaction from Syriza gives less and less chances for Greece. Yet from Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/21/us-eurozone-greece-schaeuble-idUSKBN0O61C220150521), we learn that there is no happy expectations at present. The quote “But Schäuble poured cold water on this idea, saying reports from the international institutions involved in negotiations with Athens suggested talks were progressing ‘very hesitantly’. ‘What I know from discussions with the three institutions does not back up the optimism arising from announcements from Athens,’ Schäuble said in an interview published on Thursday“, whether the latest news is more accurate is harder to see, because the ‘earlier’ news from the BBC amongst others see a game played where Varoufakis and Tsipras are in ‘managing bad news mode’ and overly optimistic, an approach already rejected by more than one participant and as I showed, the amounts due means that my prediction on May 6th (in the article What’s the matter? at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/05/06/whats-the-matter/), where I stated “Why do I feel that I am the only one seeing this, or at least the only one clearly voicing this, because the UK elections, when the voters learn that Greece is about to desire up to 30 billion before the end of the year, so that it can pay the outstanding bills“.

Now we see that Greece is hoping on an 11 billion bonds bailout, a bailout deal of 7.2 billion and an additional bailout is already a certainty, the amount at present is however not stated (possibly unknown to the involved players) and up to August we see the need for 6.7 billion in payments to the ECB. In addition there would be interest payments too. My prediction of the needed 30 billion has been surpassed, yet no one else made clear mention of these required funds, especially the UK papers, as this would have opened the floodgates towards UKIP. How informed was the British voter allowed to be?

Back to the news!

When we consider the extension, we also see first voices. Now let’s take a clear look at what the European public is being offered and the shear insanity of it.

  1. experts are saying after four months of seemingly stalled negotiations the gap-stop solution makes eminent sense – not least because it gives the leftist-led government enough time to either hold a referendum or call fresh elections, polls that the governing Syriza party would almost certainly win hands down”.
    a. How will new elections solve anything?
    b. Is Syriza wins again, then how will progress ever be made?
    c. Setting up an election takes months, which means that in 4 months no achievement will be made, whilst the internal costs of new elections will be added to the debt.
  2. Both scenarios would allow Tsipras to deal with militants in his party and move to the centre stage offering clarity to a political landscape blighted by Syriza’s two seemingly incompatible aims: to ensure Greece stays in the euro zone while at the same time eradicating austerity”.
    a. Is it possible that the militants Syriza were never the problem to begin with?
    b. Staying in the Eurozone and eradicating austerity is as I see it a mathematical (and statistical) impossibility. It is only possible if all debts are forgiven, which should never be an allowed option!
    c. Is it even possible to offer clarity to the current political landscape? The political landscape includes the people behind the banks and the bonds, which makes for very murky waters at best.
  3. “This scenario makes sense because it would provide sufficient time for Greece to hold a referendum or election both of which would ease Syriza’s position,” said Kevin Featherstone, who heads the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics, which basically reiterates the issues in point 1.

I cannot oppose Kevin Fatherstone academically as he is a professor and that title is not given out with boxes of Weetabix, but my logical insight in data opposes his view and a few others on intense levels. I have nothing against Greece and even less against the people of Greece, but why should we not hold politicians both present and past responsible and accountable for their acts? The current financial dilemma Greece faces should call for public scrutiny of what was done, which includes openly naming and shaming those who did this to the Greek people and in that regard, let’s all stop blaming ‘Ze Germans’!

But this view would not be complete without the two theatre plays that are also linked to this.

In one house we see Grexit, a Greek production with Director Tsipras and the supporting soundtrack by Varoufakis. You see, the emotional bytes from a Greek paramedic stating “We don’t have enough money to help people – we don’t have enough ambulances” is less than an appetizer, it is not even close to interesting, the issue is, how will the retired people of Greece buy water and bread? When the cash runs out, when people do not get paid and supermarkets cannot get paid, that will show the nightmare Greece is heading to in a very straight line, one that active non-posturing could have prevented in February 2015, Antonis Samaras was on that path, it was a painful path, no one will deny that, but the alternative we see now is about to get a lot harder and many times less humane! At http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32332221 we see the bills due, most of it was a known part, now add to that the public sector wages of 2.2 billion. There is only one part that could offend me. The quote “For some economists, potentially the best option would be for Greece to pursue a ‘managed default’” is the one I cannot find peace with, you see, managed default means that it is a staged setting of non-payments. Yet in those situations, the banks, the causers of grief will get paid, the retirees are very likely to end with nothing, or perhaps a mere two drachma on the Euro deal. Now, I could be COMPLETELY wrong here. I do not know how a managed default would pan out, but in my view, the ‘for Greece‘ is not the same as ‘for the Greek people‘, the second one should take precedence no matter what, but that might just be me.

In the other house we see the upcoming production of Brexit, a split Farage/Cameron production in different halls. The production is in turmoil, because duo ‘Fat Cat’ and ‘Bully’ are taking notice of this production and they do not like either play. The newspapers have been mentioning these issues. Latest noise comes from Paul Kahn, the Airbus UK chief “the company would reconsider its position in the country if Britain left the EU“. Why, is my question at that point? These industrial settings were a reality before the Euro and as such, they should remain a reality after Brexit. Several banks (like HSBC) and other firms made similar noise, many of them reliant on people who would lose fortunes when the Euro debts would strangle the nations as the larger players try to remains relatively safe from the Greek collapsing fallout. I question (to some extent) the actual issues that are at play when a Brexit would follow. In my view, the strict regulation of Greece and its debts would have diminished that risk. The fact that the Status Quo game was played so long after it was not feasible is at the heart of all this. A certain group of people now feel that they are in danger as they kept on sucking on ‘the tits of plenty’. These people went for the breasts of milk and honey in perpetuity, whilst ANY mother can tell you that this is not possible, a mother must rest, regain strength and resources. With the minimum of common sense any man can tell that a mother will need these parts too, yet the economy is not a mother, it needs no rest, it needs no nourishment, it will continue ‘ad infinitum’, or does it?

So now we get news that is viewed as bully tactics from industrials and exploiters towards the UK, with the clear message ‘stay in the EEC or else!’ Now we have the issue at play, because Greece is the first of three elements that imply that staying in the EEC is no longer feasible. I personally believe that David Cameron is trying to push the referendum forward, not to get out of the EEC, but to stay in the EEC, because if National Front (France) does get the votes, they will move away on principle and then the British population will follow ‘en mass’! Which will only drive the power of Nigel Farage. This paragraph is again speculation, but I believe it to be the true path we all face.

Now for the final part of the speculation, again, it is like a virtual path in data, to get anything tangible is not an option. I do not move in the circles that these players move, so I have nothing but my instinctual view on data. You see, I mentioned them before. Yet, one piece I did find. It is at http://cib.natixis.com/DocReader/index.aspx?d=6159546E36436C53616F365A3346735064757A5239413D3D. (attached below)

Here we see what I predicted all along. It is nice to see confirmation on such a high level and they foresaw it before I did (but not by much). Their paper is dated 26th May 2014, almost exactly a year ago. The quote that gives it is “It is therefore unlikely that we will see the GUE/NGL group – which brings together leftist tendencies from socialism to radical anti-capitalism – form a block with representatives from the PVV, the UKIP or the National Front. At the right, the ‘soft’ Euro sceptics in the ECR find it difficult to agree with the ‘hard’ in the EFD, as the parties they represent are often opponents on the national political arenas (e.g. Tories vs. UKIP or PdL vs. Lega Nord)“.

This is exactly what almost happened and the danger has not gone away, it is actually increasing. Yet, if the UK referendum falls before the French elections, the chance of separation is much smaller. Which means that with the UK referendum no longer an issue, if National Front does win, Natixis will have time to rescale their assets. That is at the heart of the linked matter. Natixis has well over HALF A TRILLION Euro in assets. One French firm, 15 members of that board (including 4 women) yield a bat that is more formidable then David Cameron can bring to the table and these people stay OUT of the limelight. Headed by François Perol, together with the members Daniel Karyotis, Thierry Cahn, Alain Condaminas, Laurence Debroux, Alain Denizot, Michel Grass, Catherine Halberstadt, Anne Lalou, Bernard Oppetit, Stéphanie Paix, Henri Proglio, Philippe Sueur, Nicolas de Tavernost and Pierre Valentin represent the unspoken brilliance of the assets economy! They achieved without the economic power of the United States, what Alan Greenspan couldn’t achieve with the powers of the US Federal reserve behind him. Consider that in the game of Roulette the bank always wins, in this game the bank lost and Natixis bested both the odds and the bank, they just did not advertise it. Now we see that the worry of Natixis never left and the play is still moving towards what Natixis regards to be a radical anti-capitalistic unity. I for one am not opposed to capitalism, but they too must be held to a level of accountability, an aspect that they denied existence of and as such the situation has escalated to the point where we are at now.

So, if this is all Greek to you, then you are not alone. I am not an economist and I am also in doubt on the correctness of my view, yet my data expertise pushes me to these elements and so far my predictions have panned out correctly. Which means that Greece is at the centre of many events and driving additional other events. Nigel Farage has grown UKIP and as the economy deteriorates that power growth is only getting stronger, but for the next 55 months it is not an issue, the French Milestone of National Front is only 22 months away and that is a worry for Natixis, 22 months is not enough to resettle well over half a trillion euros, especially when none of the moveable markets would remain stable.

So behind Greece and its debt is a tsunami of economic turmoil, the Greek people might not realise that Greece is small compared to some other issues, but those other issues will not allow the Greeks to be the reason for the other domino stones to fall. As I see it Alexis Tsipras was nowhere near ready to play the game he played on the level it needed to be played at!

Is it still all Greek to you?

Natixis_20150522

 

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