Tag Archives: Nicolas Sarkozy

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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In This War!

We look at the news that is now taking on a she said, she said path, whilst he said is ignored towards what another he is stating. This is not a battle of sexes (which is a nice change). No this is almost like the US Senate versus Congress (also known as the fruits and nuts department of US politics), this is British politics in the Brexit phase that is now following. People dragging their feet, people going over simple narrow-minded seeding of statements whilst throwing the custard pies in as many faces as possible. It is like watching toddlers getting off the rocking chair. In all this there are also corporate players who have been hiding behind others whilst spreading unsolicited memo’s leaving them in the open to read with a ‘top secret‘ stamp on it. It almost feels like the GCHQ soap that we saw in Cheltenham 1991 (could be 1989 or 1990).

Anyway, when we hold people to account for their statements we will get these ‘miscommunication’ issues which will waste everybody’s time and it will not get anything done. That first part is seen in the Guardian in an opinion piece by Toby Helm (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/10/brexit-camp-abandons-350-million-pound-nhs-pledge). My issue started with “dropped their pre-referendum pledge of a £350m-a-week spending bonanza for the NHS“. Let’s be clear here! Nigel Farage has stated on several occasions that the 10 billion pounds (34 million a day), should not go towards the EU, it should be spend in the UK on people for the UK. In addition, he stated on Good Morning Britain that he could not guarantee that it (£350 million a week) would go to the NHS. That was months ago! Even earlier (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkr_Qjey8s8), we see Nigel Farage talking about the debate that is required around NHS. I believe he is right, in all this the debate he opened is one that the Tories and Labour aren’t stating they are slinging mud. In that part we see that Nigel was promising to put 3 billion (out of the 10 billion) towards the NHS. It was an intent to do!

He literally said ‘we could put 3 billion pounds‘ (around 5:55 into the story). Means it was not a given, just an option! In this Nigel Farage was right. Labour and Conservatives had ideas which meant borrowing more money. Also, let me remind the readers that it was Labour who stuffed up the NHS IT program costing the tax payers 11 billion pounds. It was a complete failure and large loss, one of the largest the NHS ever faced.

Now of course we can sling mud all over and as a Conservative I guarantee you that you will lose at that point. The NHS is on the verge of collapse and neither side has done anything to truly take care of business. UKIP sees it as a disgrace and so it should be, because it has been known for over 15 years that the UK is largely an aging population, meaning the pressures on the NHS will only increase, that while it is being drained. In this we also need to take a look at the TTIP and the dangers it poses. We can try to have faith in the marketing joke the EU is when we see the focal point that is useless (at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/january/tradoc_153010.4.7%20Pharmaceuticals.pdf). This is especially seen when we see the elements around protecting Intellectual Property:

– Companies to profit from their research and remain amongst the most competitive in the world- Patients to benefit from new medicines.
We won’t negotiate anything in TTIP which would:

– Upset this delicate balance, or
– Increase costs for EU countries

The TTIP is about profit, especially for American Pharmaceutical companies!

Places like EFPIA are not lying to you, they are just misrepresenting the needs. Because a strong TTIP is not what they state ‘How a Strong Pharmaceutical Chapter in TTIP will Benefit the EU‘, it gives massive powers to the Pharmaceutical industries, whilst stopping generic medication from getting in. And here is the crux for the NHS, to get part of their budgets to meet up with reality, there will be a massive need for generic medication. For over 2 years I have pleaded to get stronger ties with India that has a growing market of generic medical solutions. A partial solution can be found here! Now, it will not solve all, there are still patented medicinal solutions we need and they will be bought, yet the fact that pharmaceutical industries want another 20 years of exclusivity is just not proper, not realistic and not acceptable. The US should have cleaned house in that market decades ago, but they were only focused on flaccid politicians requiring Viagra. Now that the game is up they all want a little more (read: twice as much). This is not how patents are supposed to work, they never were!

Consider the following two quotes: “The EU and India are taking steps to end a trade row sparked by an EU ban of 700 Indian pharmaceutical products after New Delhi cancelled talks on a free trade accord earlier this month“, which was in August 2015 by the way! As well as “Modi personally argued that the long-stalled talks on a free trade accord should be revived, India’s turnaround puzzled the 28-nation bloc, which insisted the ban was a minor, technical issue unconnected to trade“, it was all about the product, not about trade, the issue that the EU licking the heels of Washington gives us “the delays risk leaving India isolated. While Modi is trying to double India’s global exports to $900 billion in five years, Europe’s top negotiator now spends more time on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Washington“, you see, this 900 billion market is stopping an almost 2 trillion market of US pharmacy. Even if it is not all UK, what would you rather see? The NHS spending 90 million, or 2 billion on the same amount of medication? Let’s not forget it is down for over 13 billion at present. The NHS needs this generic solution and at present having strong ties with India makes a lot more sense than the ties with the US that are bringing the UK down, all because they would not clean their own stables!

This is and remains the foundation of Brexit, so when we see the Guardian quote “Anna Soubry, the pro-Remain Tory MP and former minister for small business, said it was outrageous that the Leave campaigners had “peddled that lie” during the campaign and were now quietly abandoning it“, we need to tell Anna Soubry that she needs to stop whining like a politician and start giving out papers that clearly define on how the NHS can be stopped to collapse, because as a fellow Tory she does know that from the moment the Tories came to power in 2010, too little has been done to revive the No Holy Sanctum, so actions are required. The fact that the previous administration from 1997 onwards also made its shares of mistakes as well as waste an additional 10 billion, means that massive effort needs to go into the NHS, having to listen to a whining Anna Soubry (in this matter) is a waste of everybody’s time. I am actually not happy to phrase it this way, because Anna has had quite the political career. Not into the limelight for too much, but I always saw her as upcoming House of Lords material, mainly because she has been outspoken on more than one occasion, at times this is how we hope our Lords would be. I never minds whether a person was right or wrong, just that they would be an evolving wisdom. Those vague stating politicians (as too many are) would never be Lords material, Anna still is in my eyes. This does not mean I will agree on her, or on my party. Things need to get done and too many aren’t getting it done.

In addition, we see all these financial doomsayers who are now resetting the view of Brexit in less negative ways. It is not as bad as they thought it was. This is their view on managed bad news. Another piece of the puzzle, where too many people were trying to demand that the Status Quo remain. When spending has not had the incentive of growth and managed bad news was used to dim the impact, now we see the opposite where their doom is not happening and now they are revising the numbers upwards (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/09/city-banks-revise-brexit-doom-and-gloom-forecasts). Here we see the ‘bitches’ of Wall Street: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse revising their numbers as the trade deficit is now falling for the UK and that gap is now optionally turning into the momentum of a better economy. So, is my view too extreme when we see the quote “Morgan Stanley initially forecast the economy going negative by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2016, but this week changed that to expectations of 0.3% growth“. This makes me state ‘How stupid or non-comprehending is your staff?‘ I would like to add personally to James P. Gorman: “You now have 7 quarters of data showing that managed bad news is never a real solution and that the Status Quo of finance is a mere illusion. So will you in the near future clean house and start being a visionary instead of remaining a facilitator?

I know, diplomacy has never been my forte, yet as Apple is likely to lose up to a 2% market share over the coming tax year, he needs to wake up and kick the right people into gear before he has to do a negative 2 trillion dollar speech, and perhaps I might just have oversimplified the problem for both you and him!

These are only parts of the solution, but we need to tackle them one at a time. Because the intricate mess both sides of the isle is trying to make them will not solve anything. I will go one step further, I am almost driven to get one additional degree in Medicine, move to the UK and work at the NHS trying to resolve the problems! You see, one of my lifelong idols is Lord Baden-Powell. I was never a boy scout (in more than one way), but I have always taken one of his quotes to heart “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it!” It is the master of all thoughts, because it does not make you solve things, it is not my burden, just leaving it a little better, a little cleaner is all we all need to do. The simplicity is that if all 68 million Britons do just that, we could all turn the UK into the paradise it once was and can be again in almost no time at all.

The simplicity of any solution is the one step you actively take! Because when it is done you take the next step! This is what happens when we are not stopped for too long by too many managers trying to figure out WHAT to do, just to start doing it. That is the brilliance of Brexit. That step has been taken, now we take the next step and the one after it. So many politicians have been too worried about looking good that they forgot about actually doing anything good. I reckon that the inactions towards the NHS and housing are ample pieces of evidence to show that I am right, and the Mud Ladle of Blame goes to both sides of the isle.

In all this the one massive reason for me to remain towards the Brexit side is the one no one seems to discuss, or perhaps the press is being told not to dig too deep into that side. You see, one of my major issues has been and still is Mario Draghi. Bloomberg gets close with the quote “About three months ago, the Draghi-led European Central Bank started buying corporate bonds in the region for the first time. The results have been dramatic and, at times, alarming” (at https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-09-07/companies-are-getting-paid-to-be-rated-junk-in-europe). You see, the simple clarity is that you cannot use a credit card spending over a trillion thinking it will have no impact of your credit score. The quote “Investors are now literally paying European companies to borrow. Sanofi, a French drug maker, just became the first nonfinancial private company to issue debt that yields less than zero” as well as “Bonds of some investment-grade European companies now carry negative yields” are just two examples of the mess and the nightmare that will soon hit too many places. Then there is “Less clear is how investors are justifying purchases of junk-rated bonds that promise nothing and come with big risks“, which is what we saw on Cyprus and in Greece. No one is held accountable and those screaming for more money have no idea and no option to pay it back. It was never a solution! So Draghi spending a trillion plus leaving the credit card to be added to the workload of his successor is not ever a solution. Moreover, the EU nations have to come up with paying it back somehow, so leaving this collection of spenders seems much better than to play possum and ignore that credit card, because that debt comes with interest and there is not one government in the EU who doesn’t have their own national credit card maxed out, which means that our children will have to work of this debt. That is not a world I ever accepted to be in!

Now consider the last quote “Does this mean risky debt in Europe getting less risky? No. Fundamentals are, in fact, deteriorating, according to the Bank of America strategists, with investors recovering less from defaulted debt than they have in the past“, which is partially the problem and the issue I have with the USA. Wall Street is setting up a scenario that is reminiscent of the old Pyramid schemes, with the difference that they quickly want to cash in one more time and breaking free from whatever remains. It is wrong on many levels, so as there is one more round of bonds and stimulus, the previous instigators cash in and get out with as much as possible, knowing that they will survive in the next two decades whilst the ones not getting out drown and lose all. This is why the Draghi method is so dangerous and we need to get away from it Brexit was part one, although Frexit (part two) is not a guarantee, the fact that Sarkozy is now ready to set a referendum if elected should be ample warning for the US (read: Wall Street) that the status quo route is no longer acceptable and too many nations are willing to let it all fall back to nationalism if pushed, should be more than enough for Wall Street to find a ‘live with the loses solution‘. Something we all know will never happen!

So in this war there is the immediate need to stop misinformation and above all get something done, in this case fix the NHS, it should be the only issue on the agenda of both isles for the rest of the year, that whilst Brexit moves forward. It is a tall order to deliver no matter how you slice it, but whomever does will have the support of the people for a long time to come, because that aging population will still hold the majority for well over a decade.

 

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Exit Fee, Brexit Fee

We all knew that there would be backlashes regarding Brexit on a few levels. Now we can argue whether it is legal, ethical or even comprehensible that you must pay an exit fee, but over the years in many places. Especially Gyms, you are faced with the need that you have a renewal and a minimum fee that is covered per year. If the gym delivered on its entrance promises than there aren’t too many objections you can make. The same amounts to your mobile provider who under contract will make you pay the whole lot if you leave within the contract term. So also, the issue rises as the UK is leaving the EU. That part is not really in question. The amount would always have been a path of negotiation, but overall we all saw that part coming. So initially the news ‘UK must pay for Brexit or EU is in ‘deep trouble’, says German minister‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/29/uk-must-pay-for-brexit-or-eu-is-in-deep-trouble-says-german-minister), was not overly a surprise. The added ‘deep trouble‘ was also never an issue. I can do you one better. I made that prediction on May 15th 2013 in the article ‘A noun of non-profit‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/15/a-noun-of-non-profit/), which is in a time when the press on a global scale would remain in denial that this was realistic. Oh how the mighty get slain!

It is however the subtitle of the article that should wake you up: “Sigmar Gabriel warns UK must take responsibility for vote that has left Europe as an ‘unstable continent’“, to which my initial response would be “Is Mister Gabriel slightly non-mentally comprehensive of the mess you economy ministers all over the EC bestowed upon Europe?” It is also in my diplomatic and subtle view that until close to a dozen economy ministers are held accountable and serve actual prison sentences for squandering funds, for over inflating their economy and switching to managed bad news up to 6 months later, whilst we all knew that none of these forecasts were anywhere near realistic. So until those people are in ACTUAL prisons, the UK cannot be held responsible for the irresponsible acts of others. I mean, let’s face it. I saw this coming 3 years ago and I do not have an economy degree. So how stupid are Sigmar Gabriel and his economy cronies to begin with? Then we get the quote “Gabriel warned if the issue was badly handled and other member countries followed Britain’s lead, Europe would go “down the drain”“, which translates to Sigmar blaming the bad track the EC has as France and the Netherlands (and at least two others) are now seriously considering how stupid the Status Quo path was to begin with. Pretty much another issue I have been raising for 3 years. Or as one might diplomatically phrase it: ‘It really sucks to be the Dow Jones Indexes’ bitch!‘, a lesson several nations are about to experience a lot sooner than they bargained for when the second player exits the EU. In addition I can also report that that is also the moment the DJI will look a lot less healthy than it did in 2009, so rough seas are coming.

So when we see the response from Angela Merkel, which was “Rather than rushing into activities, we should perhaps first take time to think about what we, as the 27 countries, must do better“. My sober response would be ‘How about nearly everything?‘ I still think that pouring a trillion plus into some stimulus was not the greatest idea to have, to do it a second time is just plain stupid. Especially when none of the 27 nations have any funds to truly support this, and as per recently, neither does FIFA, so that ship sailed too! So as there was news last week on how resilient the Eurozone was, means also that the claim by Sigmar Gabriel should be seen as null and void, so when after 12 weeks of stimulus (or in Feb 2017, whichever comes first) we start seeing less optimistic news that some expectations had not been met, will they throw Mario Draghi into prison for intentional wasting of funds? Of course not! He is just doing what the Americans want him to do, to create a vacant non-realistic sign of economic increase. You see, that part will happen when you spend 60 billion a month for the second time around. By the way, does anyone know how much those economies went forward after the spending stopped? Not that much, because a second Kickstarter program is required. Oh wait, that program will end next month, so as they need more, can we not see that this is not a solution?

There is one nice quote that Angela Markel gives: “member states must listen to each other carefully and avoid rushing into policy decisions. If you do it wrong from the beginning and you don’t listen – and act just for the sake of acting – then you can make many mistakes.“, which is acceptable and likely to be very correct, yet in that same light, this mess is because the EEC at large (with Germany as a major frontrunner) did whatever they could to keep the Status Quo, which was the first big mistake. Clever accounting has not done anything other than misrepresent the European economy at large. And as Status Quo events go, The Japanese economy who have been trying stimulus for many years is still not up to speed. It is Bloomberg who on August 15th stated (at https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-08-15/there-s-a-welcome-thaw-in-the-opposition-to-fiscal-stimulus), “U.S. public debt has risen sharply since 2008, and demographic trends will keep pushing it higher in the longer term — but with long-term interest rates at their current depressed levels, borrowing for public investment has never been more affordable. If the money is spent wisely, it will spur growth, which would help to lighten the projected debt load“, really? So not only can the US not pay for the interest at present, it is borrowing even more for public investments. There is nothing against public investments, yet what I see is the fact that not only can the US not afford it, there is on this world not enough funds to cover for only the US and Japanese debts, so where is all that money coming from, because the impact will be massive. That event might not be far away, as Arnaud Montebourg, France’s former Minister of Industrial Renewal is now starting to side with Marine Le Pen on Frexit. President Hollande might be partially blind to this, but former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is no longer that certain. This means that 2 of the 3 parties are considering Frexit, making the referendum a decent certainty. The anger that France has in regards to both Youth unemployment (well over 22%), as well as the terrorist attacks, we might not be able to tell which factor is the strongest here, but both have an impact. Almost 2 weeks before the Brexit call, France had a pro referendum number over 60%, I cannot clearly see where the French stand at present, but with President Hollande not making any statements on that subject that those numbers have ‘dwindled’ implies that the number is likely to be decently past 50% and as we see more politicians there mention the chance of Referendums (other than Marine Le Pen) is an indication that the next large election (France), would soon follow with a referendum call, so then we are at the place where Sigmar Gabriel accuses the UK of, for the economic setting of the EU. An accusation that can be countered quite clearly and decently easy.

So when you consider whether I am just stupid and my view holds no water (a fair point of view). I would counter, because I added the references and the evidence. When you wonder if I am truly that super intelligent I counter equally with the fact that my University grades are mere passes with an occasional Credit or Distinction and none of them in economy, so there are more clever people out there, but I reckon that digging into this was never their priority.

So why is the press not properly investigating (in opposition to reporting on quotes) regarding that side of the events Europe and the rest of the world faces?

I’ll let you ponder that!

 

 

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How to see ‘facts’

Brexit is one of the shiniest examples on how information is twisted and turned into many ways, especially ways to either scare people or just knowingly and willingly misrepresent the facts (as I see it). In the first degree there is the press. I think that they are on a large scale doing the deeds that those who support them are requesting them to do.

This sounds ‘misleading’, so let me explain. When the press goes on quoting sources and not investigating sources, we need to start questioning the ‘facts’ that they represent and quote. I think that the press is not doing their utmost to inform their readers and the public at large. I am not talking about the Daily Mail, the Mirror or some Murdoch media outlet. No, I am referring to places like the Guardian, the Independent and even the Times, although in the last case, I have never read it (because only subscribers get access to their website articles (the ones that matter at least). We can wonder how far the press needs to go, yet the answer as I see it should be ‘A lot further than they are currently going‘.

It is up to you to decide whether my subjective version is accurate or not (never take anyone’s word for granted!)

1. The Guardian, ‘French minister: Brexit would threaten Calais border arrangement‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/03/david-cameron-calais-refugee-crisis-francois-holland).

Background: Regional president Xavier Bertrand, member of the Republicans, headed by Nicolas Sarkozy. This is important because Nicolas Sarkozy is against segregation from the EU and also very much against Brexit. When was the last time anyone going against party ruling would have been allowed to continue? Now that Sarkozy is not in power, they are all about getting elected!

The quote: “Xavier Bertrand, the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, has repeatedly said the Le Touquet agreement would be torn up if Britain left the EU. He said: “If Britain leaves Europe, right away the border will leave Calais and go to Dover. We will not continue to guard the border for Britain if it’s no longer in the European Union”“. The part that is so ludicrous is the issue that if this falls away, everyone will get checked before leaving the train, meaning that the train could stop halfway and until every person is checked, there will not be any continuation, in the second, if illegals are boarding the train, it would mean that France already has a problem, which means that this rash statement will make matters worse for France when Frexit becomes a fact because It would need to deal with a non-existing Le Touquet agreement, meaning that Belgium in equal measure will not be performing checks. This means that the flow from the Netherlands and Belgium towards France could possibly triple, especially in Lille. Consider that Lille has well over 20,000 industry/services. Do you have any idea what level of pressure would fall upon Lille? And that is just the registered part.

The Quote: “France’s economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, told the Financial Times that the Le Touquet agreement – a bilateral relationship between the UK and France – would be threatened by a British withdrawal from the EU“, which is partially a repetition from the first quote, but by Emmanuel Macron, the current Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry in France. He states ‘threatened‘ not ‘withdrawn‘. So when in office you need to be ‘diplomatic’. Yet in all this, there is actually no reason to get there. You see, this is an agreement between nations, in all this it can remain an agreement within nations. Let’s not forget that the checks remain the same and the United Kingdom was never a part of Schengen. There is off course an impact for EU citizens, yet in all this, the United Kingdom would soon be forced to create an almost identical situation that Australia currently has. There would be every reason for the UK to adopt the Australian 457 visa situation. As its own infrastructure would soon after Brexit be massively damaged by the lack of skilled persons. This would include most of the western European nations (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy).

Yet, the issue of the Le Touquet agreement will be an issue, just not the one that Xavier Bertrand states for the mere reason that France would lose a lot more soon thereafter.

2. The Independent, ‘Brexit would only bring ‘low’ cost to British national security, says former head of MI6‘ (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-would-only-bring-low-cost-to-british-national-security-says-former-head-of-mi6-a6948841.html)

Background: Sir Richard Dearlove, former El Jefe of MI6 (from August 1999 until May 2004), he was replaced by John Scarlett, who endorsed the government’s dossier on Iraqi weapons, including the controversial claim that some weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes (Source: CNN). Any rumour about Iraq ending his career seems far-fetched as Sir Richard Dearlove completed a 5 year tour, like several before him and all those who followed him. We can only argue (well, actually I can) that the Directors seat at £169,999 seems rather underpaid when you consider that you have to clean up the mess Labour made in its ignorance. The Chilcot Inquiry being the evidence here. So it was a little bit about Iraq! More important, the inquiry that ran from 24th November 2009 until 2nd February 2011, is currently being completed as parts were not to be published for several reasons. Its publication is expected to happen on April 16th 2016.

The quote: “Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights—remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque—and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the EU

The Quote: “Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters and gives much more than it gets in return… If a security source in Germany learns that a terrorist attack is being planned in London, Germany’s domestic intelligence service is certainly not going to withhold the intelligence from MI5 simply because the UK is not an EU member“.

There are a few items here that matter. Even though the HRA could fall over, there are additional facts that would hinder extradition of a person like Abu Hamza. For one there was the case of cleric Abu Qatada, which took forever. I mentioned him in an earlier blog. I discussed this in March 2013 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/03/10/humanitarian-law-v-national-security/) ‘Humanitarian Law v National security‘, you see on 16th December 2004 the Law Lords ruled that Section 23 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 was an issue, which is now replaced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which is currently repealed. So, my issue here is that, as far as I can tell, the issue will remain to some extent. Yes, I agree with Sir Richard that immigration will gain control, yet at present there are a few loopholes that might not result in solving new issues from becoming a political hot potato (also known as ‘an issue not resolved’) that will give rise to new cases. In the second quote, I feel a few levels of doubt regarding the statement ‘Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters‘. Yes the UK might give more than it receives, yet overall certain intelligence matters will dwindle as the data hub that matter is not the UK (they are in third position), it is number 2 (Netherlands) and the current leader (Germany) that are the data titans in Europe, with additional growth due to a Google data centre currently in development somewhere north or northwest of Amsterdam (latest info is that its completion is in 2017). Which would grow the Dutch data stream even further, which could grow to a speculated estimation of 6.5Tb/sec. Sir Richard knows that it is not about the amount of data, but it is about the quality of data. Yet in all this, there might be a consequence of Brexit. It is possible that access to certain data streams might not be forthcoming. Meaning that GCHQ would need to develop other algorithms to counter the lack of data (read: incomplete data). Sir Richard is correct that information would not be withheld, but the exchange of data would be less smooth and time would be lost, all parties seem to agree on that. Yet in all this, Dutch paper NRC gave us in 2013 “Achter de schermen werkt Bertholee hard aan de invulling van de bezuiniging uit het regeerakkoord: 70 miljoen tot en met 2016. Daar is kort daarna nog eens 11 miljoen bijgekomen” {paraphrased: behind the screens director Bertholee (AIVD, the Dutch version of MI5), is working hard to work out on how to implement the agreed cutbacks of 70 million through to 2016, which was shortly thereafter raised by 11 million}. So as the Dutch intelligence needs to cut back on 81 million, Dutch internet nodes will soon thereafter give passage to 40% more data. Even if the bulk of it is ‘Softly Pasting Additional Marketing‘, the intelligence ramification will be larger than expected, there is no way of telling the impact of Brexit, yet the response of Sir Richard, which was “Leaving the EU would bring only a “low” cost to Britain in terms of national security“, is not exactly a given, there is, in his defence, too many unknown factors at present.

So how did we look at facts? How about the speculations we read (in the second case). Well, they are not speculations. I added sources (all except one) and I extrapolated information for half a dozen sources. I have the advantage of languages, something plenty of journalists are lacking. My issue is less with the Independent and only slightly more with the Guardian. I believe that they should have dug deeper. They did mention the facts but the fact that Regional president Xavier Bertrand is not an elected official, he was Mayor of Saint-Quentin (was being the operative word), yet as the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, which was in 2010 and he is about to be replaced by Marine Le Pen (extremely likely), whilst as Mayor he was replaced by Frédérique Macarez in January 2016. So he can claim whatever he wants. Free bowls at the wicket and no official fact to be questioned. Clean given facts that were known before the article came to print. So why were these influential facts not given?

There are more articles in pretty much most papers (excluding the Times at present), which gives us the issue, because the papers should have informed us slightly better. I personally see it as cause and effect. Why a person makes that statement is one, but the position he/she is in is equally important. I have stated before again and again, never go from one source; not even me as a source. Use the information you get and form an opinion, because when the vote is due, whatever you select is on yourself, not on others. Being the non-winner is one thing, ‘I should have voted for the others’ when ‘your choice’ makes it would qualify you the voter as an idiot. Make sure you know what you select and why you make the selection.

 

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European Exodus Community

There is a reality that people seem to miss. There is a reality that the people at large have been ignoring for far too long. Big business had been until early this year trivialising the entire Brexit issue. Some started the catchphrase ‘Bremain’, but that went out of fashion fast. At some point, in October 2015 something expected happened. An American opened his mount (in this case Trade representative Michael Froman), which gave the Britons “If you leave EU you face barriers to trading with America“, Is that really so? In my view, if the Democratic Party does not get its A-game in place, many will not want to be in trade with a nation that cannot pay its bill anyway. You see, if Brexit becomes a reality, the Euro will take a sizeable dive, which will also hurt the US Dollar. More important, as the US has not been able to keep any kind of control on their budgeting, the US issue would take additional tumbles. Consider that the US exports $57 billion to the UK, should one direction fall away, than so does the other direction, you see pharmaceuticals can come from India, Vehicles can come from Japan and Medical Technical equipment can come from places like the Netherlands (to some extent). We are looking at an easy 12 billion going somewhere else. So that part is not a given, yes, UK export might have a few hitches, yet when other players are found for at least 20 billion in goods, new arrangements will be an option (very fast), not so much for the US of A.

Yet, I get it. The USA is afraid, very afraid because of what the Euro changes will bring and their fear is escalating. This we get from Euractiv (at https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/majority-of-french-back-holding-frexit-referendum/), who is now proclaiming that “53% of French surveyed would like to hold a referendum on their country’s continued EU membership“, an issue I saw coming a long time ago. i was the first one keeping my eye on this, and even as Hollande and Sarkozy are trying to make other ‘arrangements’ they now realise that non-compliance with the French voters will mean that the bulk will demand Marine Le Pen be elected, another prediction I saw coming. More important, should Brexit be averted, than Frexit still remains a real risk. It implies that American will almost be forced to send their own Al Jolson European Tour 2016-2017, yet unlike Al Jolson, this tour will not be a sell-out success, it will be seen as a painful reminder of America not cleaning ‘house’ in the 2004-2009 era. An era that brought many nations to the edge of despair. Now we see the Obama administration trying the option of Al Jolson singing ‘can I have a little more please‘, an idea many Europeans will regard as offensive. The changes will give additional worry. From one perspective, if the dollar collapses, export from America should go through the roof, but the overly mismanaged economy gives a clear clarion call that the funds to cate to this need would end up being insufficient. The latter part is my own speculation, I have no hard numbers supporting that part. From all the export, one in eight is about machinery. This seems to be a solid one, especially from the excellence in the past, yet in all this we in equal measure ignore that the US is not the only place to get this stuff, so if a part will move to an Asian provider, American wealth numbers will take a sharp dive, all that because Michael Froman seemed to have forgotten that they are not the only player in town.

Yet I digress!

There is now the realistic concern that a European Exodus could hit the community, a real danger, which also means that certain borders will come into a different play. This will impact the USA as well as Europe. Yet instead of a clear summary, the press seems to be throwing too much in the air with emotional plays from both sides of that isle which I consider to be not so productive. We see not so helpful articles by Jane McConnell on ‘why Brexit would be apocalyptic for the games industry‘ with quotes like “British gaming receives a wealth of talent and funding as a result of being in the EU“, which is a joke to say the least. When we see PC Gamer giving us info regarding Ubisoft Montreal “but it was built primarily on the strength of Quebec’s generous subsidies and tax breaks, and with a newly-elected government facing serious debt problems, those breaks are being cut back. That has CEO Yannis Mallat taking another look at the studio’s long-term future“, so that billion Euro firm in France is ‘surviving’ due to tax breaks. (at http://www.pcgamer.com/ubisoft-ceo-ponders-reductions-to-quebec-tax-breaks/). Now, remember that this article is 2 years old. So basically in the time that Ubisoft created mere mediocrity in gaming. In all that time only the recently released ‘the Division‘ seems to be up to critical scrap. So how about not catering to tax breaks? The final argument “and thanks to the EU working time directive, we are guaranteed 20 days a year of paid annual leave, offering us all us all at least one day we can happily set aside for binge playing. That’s worth remembering“, how interesting that she relies on that part, not on the part of government accountability which is actually driving people away. In addition, remember Markus Persson, simple small software firm in Sweden? It made over 2 billion in the end (from Minecraft). So, let’s not cater to mediocrity! The same issue can be stated for Hello Games. It is about the reset the bar for gaming quality, both small firms, just the two visible in a group of dozens. These tax breaks are there for the small players, but they have been overwhelmingly used by large players to not dig into the ‘quality setting’ frontiers they should have been in.

I feel personally decently certain that Brexit is becoming a reality. If the press would focus on truth and fact, not on emotion to sway the people, there would be a certainty that Brexit will be. It will drive Frexit too. The EEC will become a near death-trap for the last one in, which means that Italy will not be in a happy place between 2017 and 2018. I expect it will drive the membership numbers of Lega Nord with Matteo Salvini, I cannot tell how strong, because I know too little of the other Italian players. Yet in all this, certain other players are rearing its ugly head. You see, when we go back to November 2015 we see a paper by Natixis (at http://cib.natixis.com/flushdoc.aspx?id=88106), there we see “In the worst case scenario, the United Kingdom leaves the EU and does not join the European Free Trade Association; there would then be custom tariffs between the United Kingdom and the EU, but given the size of the trade flows, the impact on the economies would be limited. The United Kingdom has a very small industry and its exports of services, which are very specialised, would probably not be too severely affected“, this is the view I also ‘synched’ to. Basically, the bad sides of the EU towards the UK are massively larger than the good sides. The Natixis paper by Patrick Artus might not be complete, but it gives the goods that matter, from that point of view.

You see, the short-sighted users of a spreadsheet forgot the drive that Brexit could have, the view I predicted already in 2014. In addition, the growth and danger that right parties all over Europe became, fuelling one another is a side I did not see coming either. In addition to that view, we saw in November that Wolf Richter, Wolf Street in Business insider had “A Brexit would be ‘a non-event’“. I wonder where that came from. Oh no, I need not wonder because they mention Natixis and quote the relevant parts.

So what changed?

Well, the part I foresaw and everyone ignored is that Frexit is slowly becoming a reality. Now we have ourselves a lot more than a mere horserace, because this is what Natixis can’t use. It is in massive parts a French conglomerate, not a global one. In that regard Frexit will impact on Natixis as a whole. In this I mean that Natixis will see its profit margins decrease by a fair bit (we are talking a game of billions here), whilst in equal part limit certain economic movements and options. That makes it a different event. And the less we say about the impact on the US the better. Ah, here I am wrong!

You see, Lieutenant general Frederick Benjamin Hodges gives us the following last Tuesday (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-usa-idUSKCN0WH0QJ), we get ‘Brexit would weaken NATO versus Russia‘, which is not entirely correct, is it Freddie? It is not a lie either! The mess seems complicated but it is not. We can agree that the General is under orders here. I reckon massively from his Commander in Chief who dropped the ball several times and is sending the General out into an economic field that is not ‘his’ theatre of war. Here is the part that is unwritten (not by me), whilst everyone was looking at Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street players, they all forgot about Natixis, who has a wealth portfolio that delivers an annual return that outranks more than just a few EU nations. When that limits and dwindles many players will panic, because the survival of some is now depending on continuity. Something that behind the screens of Brexit and Frexit comes to terms. With Brexit there was enough time to make adjustments, with Frexit that time will not be there, apart from the fact that it will force Germany to take a different course (one that is expected, but cannot be predicted). In all this that is only one element. The General is right that NATO will weaken, what is not given is that it will change the expenditure that some nations are making, which will directly hit Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which will now be a sizeable dent in the American economy too. Apart from a collapsing Euro, America will get hit by a double whammy, that part is not given (it is ignored by too many), not shown and not elaborated on. It is how expenditure changes. NATO existed since long before the Euro was a reality, but as those evolutions were taken, by lowering defence spending on a national level in Europe, we see that this ignored cluster will have serious consequences, very much so for the American military hardware industry.

Can I be wrong?

That is what matter, for me as much as for you the reader. We will be depending on two elements, Is Brexit a reality in the first and will it force Frexit in the second. The first is less up in the air, but not a given, in the second, when Brexit happens, Frexit will be a certainty. Even if Brexit does not happen now, the French are worried and they do not want to be the last in the row of decision makers as Italy currently is, the fact that 53% want this referendum is worrying to many players (except for Marine Le Pen). Both Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy cannot ignore the cries of the French, if they do, they will feel the discomfort that Marie Antoinette had on October 16th 1793 (well, one can fantasize, can one not?), because France is for the French (as they see it), not for the Americans. They will come down hard on their government, which is playing perfectly into the hands of Marine Le Pen. No matter what happens, with or without Brexit. Germany cannot sustain the environment without the other three players, which places the UK now in a tactical predicament. Relying on France to keep cool, this is what drives Brexit to additional momentum.

So all this will drive the European Exodus Community, to some extent people, because national business needs the motivated people to get businesses working and moving forward, but for the most it will be about small businesses in a national setting. Those who adapt fast will grow. Larger corporations will feel the disastrous drag of not changing gears, of not adapting to the new environment, mainly because those head offices (many in America and Asia) will not comprehend the old systems that drove them and the changes required to make them. Those depending on decision makers will find that delays will cost increasingly until (often enough) the decision has been made too late. Rowing against the current will be a new slogan that larger players will have to deal with, driving their talents to smaller places where speed is available. This exodus environment will hit in many places, in many layers on several fronts. A front where only the adjusted will make headway. I wonder whether 2018 will be the year of culling the corporate herd. It is too soon to tell, but it will for the most depend on the brethren Brexit and Frexit both leaving this rocky boat called EEC!

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Family of my enemy

There are all these expressions, like for example: ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend‘. In this day and age, in the one place, the one moment when Marine Le Pen has a growing chance of becoming President of France, her father, for whatever reason is now trying to thwart her chances. This is the one clear evidence that ‘Family of my enemy is my friend‘. The quote “threatened his daughter and sent her an ultimatum, to ensure the “unity of her movement and of the national movement“, must make François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy howl with laughter. Euro Disney could not come up with this plot! In addition, the quote “We must not lose part of our political capital in the hope to conquer others. You have to be yourself”, which reads like: ‘be the ultimate extremist of yourself, as outspoken as possible‘. The reality is that some will listen to the very old man, giving rise to internal opposition towards Front National. I still believe that an actual Brexit will give a massive sway towards Marine Le Pen. There are two factors that will change it. The first one is either Hollande or Sarkozy to get on the Frexit horse, this would be the most powerful deflator for Front National and here is the kicker. If Hollande does this before the Brexit vote they will actually expedite that what neither wants. We have seen in the previous round that they will combine powers just to prevent Marine Le Pen from winning, which could be seen as betraying ones constituency on one side and in my book there is no other side. The entire approach reeks towards the fact that Sarkozy and Hollande will do anything to stay in the Euro and keep Front National out of Élysée Palace. Is that truly representing ones constituency? We can argue for either side. Yet it could all be moot if Mademoiselle’s Le Pen’s daddy goes extreme. Her victory could turn instantly from definite into possibly, maybe. This is not a solution for her side, which the other players definitely love. So the problem for her side is now starting to grow. Her chances are growing fast, but only if she can get a handle on daddy dearest. For her opposition this is great, should their dreams come true, if they escape defeat by Le Pen, the speculation would become whether the gilded tombstone will read ‘Jean-Marie Le Pen, deceased, as is Front National, I killed my own party and we never got to govern because I would not trust my children‘, which could end up becoming a tourist attraction, which is also good for France.

Yet, the issue does not stop in France, recently we have seen issues rise in both the Netherlands and Italy. First the Netherlands. For this I will use the Irish times as a source, so you won’t need to learn the complications of Google Translate. For example ‘schijt lijster’ does not mean ‘shit thrush’, but ‘coward’. So let’s take a look at a decent version of reporting, where (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/02/geert-wilders-is-a-threat-to-democracy-says-labour-chairman/), we saw earlier this month “Wilders told a gathering of far right parties in Milan 10 days ago: ‘If I am the biggest and the other politicians won’t work with me, then the people will not accept that. Then there will be a revolt. We won’t let that happen“, which is a fair enough statement to make. The statement “Wilders has ‘let the genie out of the bottle’ with his calls for ‘resistance’ to the establishment of refugee centres and warnings that his supporters will ‘revolt’ if the PVV is not part of the next government, Spekman said” is in that context not correct, what Geert Wilders has stated that if he becomes the biggest (which is statistical likelihood at present) the other parties would need to work with him. This is at the core of the Dutch issue. In the past, not entirely unjustified did parties turn their back and all support away from the PVV, which in light of Dutch liberalism, if THEY think it is too extreme, there should be an issue. What becomes partially the issue is “The threats being made against local politicians are an attack on democratic decision-forming, the Labour party chairman said. Wilders, Spekman said, should take back his words. ‘The genie has to be put back in the bottle and Wilders has a role in doing that.’“, this is not correct. You see, for a long time there has been a growing aversion against more refugees. The Netherlands, pretty much the smallest nation in Europe is 7th on the GDP list, largely through transport and processing services. It has a comparable GDP with Turkey but is only 5% in size. It has a population size that is only 3 million less than Romania, yet 16% it’s size. So a population pressure that is 5 times higher. In addition, the local population have for a long time made the argument that the value of houses would decrease when a refugee centre would be added in near proximity. However, that last fact has never been proven with factual data, partially as the Dutch house market has had many fluctuations.

In light given another part is also ignored. When we see “threats being made against local politicians are an attack on democratic decision-forming“, there is a clear side that is ignored. The fact that the population is more and more agitated by these events is also a clear sign that political parties are about international visibility. The voter has been ignored too many times, this is exactly why the PVV had grown too much. Local politicians proclaiming to be international players all in the interest of ‘self’ is why this shift is happening. In addition, to some extent I still believe that a coalition government should be seen as the most corrupt form of democracy (not just a personal view). We see on how politicians will advocate ‘a little water added to the wine‘, this has been happening in the Netherlands since the 80’s, which means the politicians all get what they need, but the population gets a mix, no longer having the ability to differentiate water from wine. What they are left with won’t kill them, but it should be regarded as undrinkable. The people at large have had enough. The fact that the PVV is now regarded in the Netherlands as the largest party is a blemish on the political shield. The true political titans that the Netherlands had like Joop den Uyl, Hans Wiegel, Dries van Agt and Hans van Mierlo. These titans were true politicians, when den Uyl fought van Agt on the political battlefield it was a sight to behold, there was a true fight for their constituents. I believe that this fight is gone, as a majority is no longer an option it became about compromise and from the 90’s onwards there was too much compromise where parties gave in to big business and certain scandals (there will always be scandals in every nation) were almost a cornerstone of political office.

It is not really that much of a wonder that Geert Wilders grew to the extent he has. This now reflects back to France. As France is now making more and more compromises (Team Hollande/Sarkozy), we see a local population that has had enough. A united Europe has brought them too little, or nothing at all. In that regard many European nations are now more and more pushing the ‘nationalism’ button, after too much hardship the people are accepting that story, even though in the back of their mind they know it will not bring any ease to their hardship. After a harsh decade where large corporations gave millions to their top dozen, these people will now try ‘anything else’. It is the ‘else’ part that is bringing the problems known as Brexit and Frexit.

So in countering the statement by the Dutch Chairman of the Labour party, I would state “Mr Spekman, your party lost close to 50% of its power, because of self-serving bias. The pension plan is perhaps the most visible one. A long fight that had no option of getting won. Instead of fighting a useless battle, accepting the reality of a sliding age of retirement and presenting the demand for reinforcements and growth of the total pensions, giving way to a more secure future would have been the real solution. Your party never sold it correctly and did not terms of preparations which would have made all the difference. You lost the faith of your constituents!” which would have been my response to that disaster. In that light people are now listening to someone else, it is not up to me to decide whether he is the wrong person.

In light of that, as he stated in a Dutch Newspaper “Het optreden van Geert Wilders brengt democratie en rechtsstaat in gevaar“, “The acts of Geert pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law“, is that truly the case? If he is a threat to the rule of law, he would be breaking the law and he can be prosecuted, he cannot be a threat to democracy, in that light, you and your posse (your coalition partners) are that threat. The threat is there because the people have been ignored for too long and they (well over 25% have had enough), in that light, how often will a Dutch politician state ‘it is a complex situation‘ to avoid giving a clear answer? How many of the clear answers given turned out to be ‘half-truths’ or ‘incomplete answers’? In that light, who is the threat to democracy? In that light, Mr Spekman should realise (fast) that should the PVV win, he has no option, but to either find a way to work or to create a minority coalition. Should that happen, than perhaps Mr Spekman might want to try to remember what happened on August 20th 1672 and especially WHY it happened.

Even as the mood in France is not that grim, the issues are now quickly evolving. The investigation into the Nicolas Sarkozy 2012 election charges, which according to the French population is not a good thing. According to the poll 77% regard Mr Sarkozy ‘a handicap’ to his party’s ambitions, within his party, it is Alain Juppe who has 55% of the votes within the party (at http://www.connexionfrance.com/france-politics-les-republicains-nicolas-sarkozy-president-francois-hollande-alain-juppe-survey-17738-view-article.html), in that light, as Sarkozy designed a coalition with Francois Hollande, who is dealing with disastrously low ratings. So as the two French parties are in turmoil, there is a clear path for Front National to get national gains beyond the two areas where they had an advantage. An option for Marine Le Pen that is now in danger as her daddy seems to have a failing level of logic and even less faith in his youthful young daughter.

Even in this light, there is still an issue with Greece, as their economy created the dangers of Brexit and Frexit in the first place. However, in this case it is NOT Greece that has the blame here. In this case, the refugee issues that are fuelling election, we see a Greece that is in the middle of a scenario they did NOT create. In that light we need to look at the issue of Austrian short-sightedness. Greece is the first port of call, not by choice, by mere geography. Austria seems to forget that Turkey (stupid is as stupid does) is doing what it can to get the people away from their turf into the next one (Greece). So the quote “Sebastian Kurz says that Greece has “clearly expressed no interest in reducing the (migrant) influx and in contrast wants to continue waving them through” ” is already a first issue, because the refugees DO NOT want to be in Greece, they want the juicy places like Germany and the UK. Which means that they will end up getting through Austria. In my view, how was Sebastian Kurz elected for office as he has such a failing view of geography and logic? Greece should have been the guest of honour at that event!

You see, people (read: refugees) need to be processed, they need to be identified and assessed on optional issues of security. That system would bring jobs and possible economic support to Greece, whilst the EEC gets the data it desperately needs. So as we see (at http://www.ekathimerini.com/206291/article/ekathimerini/news/austria-defends-excluding-greece-from-migrant-conference), so as we look at the quote “the conference is set up in a “regular format” that does not include Athens“, to which I reply: “such a conference requires intelligence and clear thinking, so Minister Kurz, will you therefor be equally absent?

That for the mere reason that the intelligence required would be the data your neighbours desperately needs (which includes Germany and Italy). I wonder if that conference will lead to anything truly productive, or will it just be good food, hookers and a few days away from their offices? I’ll let you readers contemplate that part.

All these events are interconnected, and it is not even the complete story as Italy is missing in all this, but that is for another day.

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Twenty One Five

It is the end of the year and I will take a break for a week (not a promise at present). You see, we have had a few instances that will affect us all in the next 18 months, so it is also very astute that we take this time to recognise these events.

France

France is still a number one issue for the EEC. This is in several ways, not just because of the attacks, which are taking a toll, but the political landscape is under fire. The fact that the Socialist party denounced their own members, hoping they would add themselves to the part of Sarkozy (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35035230) seems to be a major issue that many are ignoring. So, a party will denounce its own members hoping that Front Nationale will not get the area. How is that political? The quote the Independent had: “The investigation is the latest in a series of financial embarrassments for the Le Pens. The Front National is the subject of a criminal investigation over allegations of “fraud and embezzlement” reportedly relating to over-charging its own candidates for election materials in 2012“, now, I cannot state whether this is true or not, but consider that both parties of Hollande and Sarkozy has had a forever oversized budget that goes well over 800% of what FN ever had, when were they properly investigated? Well there was (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28103223), it implies that Sarkozy got support for his elections in 2007 from Gadhafi himself. A man (Sarkozy), claiming to be a mere 4 million in value? In France that is not that much, so there is a lot more going on. Francois Hollande claims his net value to be 2 million, in all this, after they have been in power, the funds and the rewards, that is all they have, or is that all they have on paper? A fair question, yet in all this it is Marine Le Pen that is getting hit with the investigative heat, whilst she was never in power and the fear that both Hollande and Sarkozy show gives more and more weight to the frightful question: ‘What if she really has a valid point?’, a question many fear addressing?

So is the Front Nationale nothing more than a storm in a tea cup? That remains to be seen, the economic disaster that France currently is, is nothing to ignore, too many players are making light of a 5.7 trillion dollar debt. A debt that is held outside of that nation, whilst its own economic forecast is not moving forward. France cannot meet a mere 1% in interest at present, 57 billion just to break even, it might seem little but the present parties have been unable to keep a proper budget, which means that none of the debt is reduced, or even maintained, it just grows!

It would be too hypocritical to slap Greece around for this and ignore France (or Italy, or the UK for that matter). Restoration is what FN is fighting for and we all know the current path is NOT working, FN is willing to change that path, and corporations like Natixis have both Sarkozy and Hollande in their pockets.

OK, I will correct that statement! When Natixis calls, no one in the Élysée Palace will not pick up the phone, something that might happen when Marine Le Pen takes office, which is a dreadful thought for Natixis, especially as they need the current game to go on as long as possible. And if you think that Natixis is something small, then think again. It is privately owned and one of the most powerful banks on the planet, a real French player. Fitch rates Natixis at ‘F1’ (at http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSFit94468520151221), it doesn’t get to be any better for those short term loans. Natixis stays away from front pages and it could devour the Bank of Scotland without too much effort, interesting that such a power player in economics is not seen with the political player it wields.

How does this involve Marine Le Pen?

That is the kicker, it does not, more important, there is more and more evidence that she does not want to get comfy with these power players. The moment the French population realises that they were sold down the line and that Marine Le Pen was the one trying to prevent it that is the moment that things in France really turn ugly. There was a reason why Hollande would give up two regions with voters, just like that! The price of what is behind curtain number three is too scary for both him and Sarkozy, a fact not revealed by many people who could have done so.

The second part in all this is Nigel Farage, for if France is going Frexit through Le Pen, Farage remains the pushing ‘champion’ for Brexit. And in all that we must realise that when either Brexit of Frexit hits the front door, a panic will hit Europe in many ways. Now we see ‘Nigel Farage says Ukip’s MP Douglas Carswell ‘can put up or shut up’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/18/nigel-farage-ukip-douglas-carswell-leadership). I saw this issues rise on May 16th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/05/16/you-be-kipping/). Then I had the quote “But a senior UKIP source said he had no doubt that a coup was under way, despite O’Flynn’s claims of loyalty. The source also claimed the deputy chairman, Suzanne Evans, as well as the party’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, and much of the UKIP press office in London appeared to be working together to undermine Farage”. You see Carswell was not doing too well as a Conservative, so he turned seats and Farage wanted senior players, he badly needs them, in all that the issue was that Carswell just wants a comfy seat, so when UKIP did not make the growing curve we all expected (they still made massive strides forward) Carswell had to make alterations for his own future. See here the issue, not for the future for his party or his constituents, his own future, which is not the same.

This is where I differ from the Guardian. The Guardian states “The row reignites longstanding tensions between the two men ever since Carswell defected from the Conservatives 18 months ago. However, this is the first time Carswell has called for him to resign outright“, which is actually true, but the pushes I saw 7 months ago have been in play for that same amount of time, gives way to the deliberation regarding the statement whether ‘outright resignation’ is not just a marketing gimmick and undermining is not the same, so why is that subtle difference not outspokenly dealt with in this article?

The part in the article that does play is seen here: “Pressed on whether Carswell would have to leave if he will not curb his criticisms, Farage said: “We cannot have and I don’t think the NEC will allow one individual to give an impression to the country that Ukip is divided when actually it is very united”. The Ukip leader also claimed to have the unanimous support of his party’s national executive, his MEPs and 91.4% of Ukip voters based on a recent opinion poll“, which is at the heart of the matter, the 4 million votes were for Farage and not Carswell. My Conservative side enjoys the infighting as I am not in favour of UKIP winning, but the truth is clear, as the Americans would state: “there is a very Benedictian side to Douglas Carswell that makes me shiver when he enters the room“, I feel that same way, Douglas Carswell is about himself, I do not trust a person like that back into the party, yet he also has the danger of rustling the wrong feathers, because when his play is clearly shown it will unite UKIP even stronger, a side us Conservatives are not that keen on at present, UKIP remains a danger of growing vastly over the next year, they pushed in second place in too many places, unity may give drive to that. In this I believe in the Conservative solution for the UK, it is a painful one, but the debts have been too great to leave them unattended and if Frexit becomes a reality, those pains could kill us economically for long time, reducing debt is the only solution here.

This is where this annual tale of two nations ends. You see both Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen wants massive change, yet the difference is that Cameron and Osborne accept how things were and they are changing the patterns of where we end up, which is why the issues in the UK are hard and they will not let up any day soon, in France both François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy will work whatever deal they can get giving in to power places like Natixis, which is good for their long term value, but it will do the people of France little good, because that debt is not a mill stone, it is a gravestone for a nameless person that they carry around their necks. Something France should not accept, France is too proud, my worry is why the French do not see that Sarkozy and Hollande were part of that problem all along. Perhaps they do realise it and they are not just ready to put all their faith in Marine Le Pen, which would be fair enough too.

Twenty One Five was all about economic issues that never got resolved. In all this the US economy remains at a low, revised down again, all that at the end of the year, when Christmas numbers should fuel speculations on how ‘great’ the economy is, we see that predictions are down 0.1%, for a nation that is approaching a debt of 19 trillion, it is not a good thing to look forward to. Some papers iterate on how for 10 years, the US economy grew less than 3%, they all ignore on how spending has not been culled either, is it not weird that as oil prices are so down at this point they are now lifting the export ban on crude oil? So as these panic moves are made, consider that the Dollar is in my opinion set at an inflated point, when that collapses, what happens to the Euro? Because that directly impacts France and its debts and it will hit the UK too. And should you doubt my words in all this (which is always a fair choice) then consider that my doubts on Greece are now finally reflected by the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35122710). As simple math I was able to do two years ago, they are finally catching on. The quote “With the disbursement of one billion euros, the ESM is supporting the Greek government in its reform process” is a massive delusion. The idea is nice, but Greece does not need a reform, it needs to be rewritten nearly 100%, that is not a reform. Their view on reform is like upgrading your Nissan Micra to a Jeep, it is not an upgrade it is a different car all together, that recognition is still far away and with the Greeks protesting on every corner neither solution will become reality any day soon. The one interesting side is that Greece has no shed its part in Turkey’s Finansbank towards Qatar National Bank SAQ, so either that was a loss point, or the banks are wantonly shifting away from Greece altogether. You can read it in more than one way, yet (at http://www.ekathimerini.com/204547/article/ekathimerini/business/qatars-qnb-acquires-national-bank-of-greeces-stake-in-finansbank), we see the quote “planned the sale of its Turkish unit to plug a capital shortfall identified in European Central Bank (ECB) stress tests in October“, this makes perfect sense for Greece to get rid of it and it opens doors for the Qatar National Bank SAQ too. Now consider the last ramification:

If banks are now dealing with stress tests and they are failing, consider how many of them are held by European players and by American players, how many failed the stress tests and how will it impact European Economic Drivers all over 2016?

This is something you should think about!

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Pen Cil le balancement Élysée Palace

The lashes from Marine Le Pen are now swaying the presidential Palace (massively lose translation). This is not a joke, not a quaint reference. It is the direct consequence of European inaction for well over 2 years.  The people have had enough and now, fear is becoming key with the politicians who are relying on Status Quo. The issue goes a lot deeper than most realise and with the acts as shown in the last few days, the boomerang effect that those politicians are achieving could give Front Nationale from Marine Le Pen an even bigger rise.

Consider the following information from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35025846) “The nationalist FN got about 28%, ahead of the centre-right Republicans party led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, which polled just under 27%, and the governing Socialist Party (PS), trailing with 23.5%“, in addition, consider the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/07/marine-le-pen-front-national-france-cowardly-elite ) with “The fact is that France has failed to adapt to the challenges of globalisation. Its education system, for example, is stuck. Studies show that the lycée system increases social inequalities instead of reducing them, which means it is utterly failing in its republican mission to act as a social ladder“, this are just two of several issues that are in the main field of consideration by the French. I am not even getting close to the attacks in France or the Refugee issues in France. Instead, see the actions in opposition, again from the BBC, now at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35035230. Here we see “His Socialist Party (PS) has withdrawn from the second round in two regions to unify the anti-FN vote“, there he is moving away so that HIS opposition can yield more points against Marine Le Pen!

Are you freaking kidding me?

So even before the elections, party B gives their optional seat to party C, because it is afraid that Party A gets too many votes. How is that not treason against your own voters, how is this anything else but a group of people demanding to stay in the main seats and as such they are aggregating votes. In the past I spoke about one of the most powerful non-American economic wielders. The name Natixis, last year they stated (at http://philippewaechter.en.nam.natixis.com/2014/04/07/issues-of-economic-policy-in-france/) “The chart clearly shows that the GDP profile is conditioned by the private demand. Government demand has a positive but monotonic increase of its contribution. Contrary to private demand there are no fluctuations. Net external demand has a negative contribution which is consistent with larger external deficit on the period. There are no surprises in the decomposition“, well spoken by Philippe Waechter, chief economist of Natixis Asset Management. In addition he stated “The stronger private demand could go through incentives for consumers or for companies. Currently, it would not be efficient to go through households. Last year, there was an interesting situation. There exists an instrument of profit-sharing in France (l’épargne salariale). The rule is that employees have to keep this amount of money on a specific account for five years. But from time to time a government wants to use these important amounts to support consumption expenditures. That’s what was done in 2013. It was not a success. Households have kept their saving on their account and have not spent more. A stimulus policy that, at this moment of the cycle, goes to consumers would probably be counterproductive and would fail to boost economic activity“, this now gives us part of the statement from the Guardian in the title ‘France’s cowardly elite is to blame for the rise of Marine Le Pen‘, which comes from Natalie Nougayrède. It is her last paragraph that is the issue “Marine Le Pen has no solution for France’s problems, her economic programme is all about retreating from the outside world and Europe. Her social vision is of a mythical, homogeneous France that never existed. What she has to sell is an illusion. It’s only because so little else is on offer that people are buying

You see, as I see it: “Marine Le Pen is realising that an unaccountable wave of government is no solution for France’s problems, her economic program is all about cutting of these irresponsible spenders and gamblers who speculate and end up personally rich no matter how the end result falls. Her social vision is of a mythical, homogeneous France that cannot exist as European governments are not held accountable for massive overspending, including previous French presidents. What she has to sell is a nightmare for the exploiters as their gravy train ends. It’s because the damage has been too extreme that the French are considering an extreme change, in their view it is very unlikely to get any worse“.

It is all about the point of view and the fact that current politicians are too afraid (or made to fear) the change that coalitions for partial France are considered out of fear of the upcoming victory of Marine Le Pen.

Now reconsider the words by Philippe Waechter “from time to time a government wants to use these important amounts to support consumption expenditures“, which in itself is not an issue, France is not the only country doing this, many nations have done this in the past (and are still doing it at present). Yet France has been overspending by 5 trillion, which leaves the French people with no options whatsoever, this also means that new venues need to be sought and that has been delayed by too much through too many, which is exactly why the people are desperate for change. The step that follows will impact Europe in many ways, because the first one who leaves the Eurozone might get a deal, yet there will be no price for second place, which is why the Brexit vs Frexit issue is so strong all over the field. You see, when France moves out, the UK and Germany will have no options left, they will have to decide sooner rather than later. Because from the three in the field (UK, France, Italy), leave any one out and that millstone named Eurozone will kill the other two who are left, which will be a massive crises that follows. It also scares the US to no end, so we will hear many ‘phrased’ articles and stories all over the field.

In my view, PM Manuel Valls made a massive mistake, by trying to split France between himself and Sarkozy will only strengthen the fear of them and the willingness towards Marine Le Pen and Front National. Will I be correct? That truth is only a matter of time, but I feel that the early hours of the second round of regional elections will quickly show me to be either correct or wrong, my ego makes me choose option 1. The two regions here PS (Parti Socialiste) is pulling out is clearly in hands of the Le Pen family, with over 40% of the votes, By pulling out the party of Hollande hopes that their 23 percent will add themselves towards Sarkozy who has 27%. Such cowardice should not be rewarded! Whether the French voters will realise this remains to be seen, but I reckon that the Le Pen family will be adamant to inform the voters of this. The fact that both Hollande and Sarkozy are scared of the beautiful niece of Marine Le Pen who rules south Eastern France at present has less to do with looks and more to do with the fact that the parliamentary candidacy of Marion Maréchal-Le Pen for Vaucluse’s 3rd constituency was publicly confirmed on 25th April 2012 is pretty much a given. She will have 4  years of experience (at the youthful age of 26) when the elections are up. The fact that she grew from 2008 where she got no seat and 6.29% of the votes whilst now in the first round she took 41% of the votes should not be overlooked either. I cannot state that I know a lot about her, but I don’t believe for one minute that it is about her looks, as the French are used to good looks. France is about business and the fact that the Le Pen family now lead 6 out of 13 regions is a clear indication that the French population is voting a ‘no confidence vote’ to the failed economies of both Sarkozy and Hollande; they are desperate for an improvement and kicking Europe out of their decision line seems to be comfortable to the voters at present. I am not certain whether I can disagree with that view.

The game for the French is about to change in a massive way, I wonder how France will impact the EEC, because they will have a massive impact, just envisioning this is part of the problem, the situation is currently very unique, even (read: especially) for France. In the end, I still believe that this would not have happened to the degree it has, if the EEC had taken a much firmer stance on Greece, that is the side of the EEC that escalated many issues for too many players. Should you doubt that, than consider Italy’s  Lega Nord with Matteo Salvini at the helm, who is labeling the euro as a “crime against humanity”. A party that had zero chance in 2012 is now an actual contender for the Italian presidency.

All this because of a warped need for an economic Status Quo.

 

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Nubentes capitalismi

Here we see more of the Greek way, as per yesterday we see that the Greek banks need more money, billions more. So this is where I looked for the Latin word of deficit and it is ‘Repudii’ (Latin humour). The Greeks might say “Αποθήκευση έλλειμμα σε ένα θησαυροφυλάκιο της τράπεζας“, but the sad story is not the deficit or the shortage, the sad story is that many Governments, not just the Greeks relied on credit cards whilst they made sure that those spending the money would not have to pay for it, they got a large bonus for spending money they never had and the people have been suffering for far too long. This situation is not just seen in Greece, for the most nearly all EEC nations have spent way too much, a terminal amount of money I might add. If the budgets are a setting for a nation’s health than 30% of them should be pronounced dead and an additional 50% is on the edge of dying. That is the grim situation. In all this we see more and more news on how things are getting better. Better for who? The people around me have not had any rise in living for close to a decade. In addition the cost of living has exceeded the income rise for about that same time, so in all this, when have people been better off since 2004?

In all this Greece might have been hit visibly harder but life in the UK or in France or Italy is no picnic either. In all this the banks seem to go about their usual ways. In addition, as we saw the news regarding bank liquidity and other reserves. The things that are referred to as Basel III and now also Basel 4, why did they not shift the timeline? Why has ‘mandatory’ implementation been delayed until 2019? Why was Greece, as it faced the things it faced and as it needed funds all over the place, not pushed into a mandatory implementation of Basel III? Part of the deal should have been stress testing and demanding defences for banks directly. It seems that it had not been done!

This takes me to an article by Morris Goldstein from May 2012 (at http://www.voxeu.org/article/eu-s-implementation-basel-iii-deeply-flawed-compromise). In here three points come to order.

The first: “Whether member countries should be permitted to enact minimum capital ratios considerably tougher (higher) than those specified under Basel III without approval of the EU“, which is an interesting need, because this would have applied to Greece from the very beginning, and I am talking the issues as they emerged in 2013.

The second: “Whether the restrictions on what can be counted as high-quality capital under Basel III should be scrupulously adhered to in EU legislation“, the fact that EU legislation is not up to par here is even more of an issue, you set rules and standards and then not legislate it? How will banks EVER fall in line when it is not legislated? We have evidence going back to 2004 where bankers lost trillions and still got millions in bonuses. You mean that after a decade, the national legislation arms within the EEC are still no more than mere ‘pussies’ looking for that banking fellow named Dick?

The third: “Whether the Basel III deadlines for introducing an unweighted leverage requirement for bank capital and two new quantitative liquidity standards (the liquidity coverage ratio and the net stable funding ratio) should be mirrored in EU legislation“, which sounds all good and fine, but Basel 3 was already in the works in 2002, why has it taken such a massive amount of time to get close to nothing done? Why were the Greek banks not set to a higher setting because of them requiring so many billions in funds?

It seems that no one has any clear answers here.

Now we get to the good stuff. In the article Morris states the following: “The 15 May accord also permits EU banks to count as equity capital several financial instruments with dubious loss-absorbency, including the so-called “silent participations” of German banks and the minority stakes of French banks in insurance companies. Such a step weakens the Basel III guidelines on the quality of bank capital. In one of the few concessions to the Osborne View, the agreement adheres to the Basel III time schedules for the leverage ratio and the two liquidity standards“, which was to be discussed somewhere after May 2012.

So now we take another leap towards a Danish bank paper, a mere publication (at https://www.danskebank.com/da-dk/ir/Documents/2012/Q1/SpeechQ12012-Confcall.pdf), So in all this, we see the following text: “And you could not just use the what has been known as the Danish compromise, where you have 370% risk weighting for the capital, to kind of end up somewhere in between the two extremes?” to which the response by Henrik Ramlau-Hansen – Danske Bank – CFO was “That could also be a solution, yeah“. Let’s sit on this for a second, a form of weighting where we get to set the weight to ‘370% risk weighting’, so how is this a good idea? I have used weighting in the past, so it is not a big deal on one hand. However, when we look back towards 2004 and 2008, where setting abnormal risks, why give such a level of leeway to a branch that cannot be trusted?

The last part in this comes from shaky grounds, I will tell you this right now and I never hid the fact that I am not an economist. Consider the PDF from the Crédit Agricole Group from November 2013 (at http://mediacommun.ca-cib.com/sitegenic/medias/DOC/94509/2013-11-07-cp-casa-resultats-3eme-trimestre-en.pdf). So they report “Net income Group share in Q3-13: €1,433 million“, now take into account their solvency part:

The targets for fully loaded Basel 3 Common Equity Tier 1 ratios (CET1) are shown below:
1st JAN 2014 31st DEC 2014 31st DEC 2015
Crédit Agricole S.A. 7.8% to 8.0% 8.8% to 9.0% >9.5%
Crédit Agricole Gp 11.0% 12.0% 13.0%
Disclaimer: The above ratios are based on a number of assumptions

 

Now consider the text “These figures take into account the weighting of the capital and reserves of Crédit Agricole Assurances according to the Danish compromise (at 370%) or 34 billion euros in risk weighted assets as well as the extension of the specific guarantees (Switch) between the Regional Banks and Crédit Agricole S.A. for 34 billion euros in risk weighted assets“, so a company with a little over a billion in revenue, ending up with around 830 million in net income group share. So that place is running a weighted risk of 34 billion, which implies that the risk of 34 billion is covered by an income that covers 2.44%, how is that even close to realistic? Why has a massive change in dealing with the weighted risk not been done? Why are people still under threat of exploitation by banks as they live of the fringe of a Danish Compromise?

I am just asking!

This now reflects back to the Greek banks, have they been playing that same game, where did all those billions go to? As an underwriting for more riskier and more profitable incomes? It seems to me that there are issues with the banks all over Europe and their own local governments are clueless as to what the banks are doing. If you consider me wrong than ask any politician right now an answer in regards to Basel III, Basel 4 and their own banks. They are very unlikely to give you a clear answer. This approach is not just for the UK, several other countries should be asking questions and holding the answers to account. So as these politicians have no answers, how come they are elected and how come they are unable to budget anything. Are they budgeting in the same way the Danish compromise is applied to banks? A government spending anywhere between 37%-370% in a weighted budget for the expected gains of taxation tomorrow?

That sounds as hollow as Mr Wimpy going into a food court stating: “I will happily pay tomorrow for a hamburger today!” I wonder how many places he will be able to get food from. Interesting that we do not hold our politicians to this account, which is exactly why the massive cuts from the Conservatives (UK) are so essential, they are in the fight of their lives not to become the mere puppets of the banks. You see, I think it is not that unrealistic that even within my lifetime our income slips will have a taxation part and a deficit settlement part. The day that happens, remember my words! Austerity was the only option, and only when we neuter both the banks and politicians. I think that the change of making an administration accountable for their spending will be essential for us to have any future. For a decade politicians have been writing checks no one could pay and that choice should no longer be an option from 2015 onwards.

Which gets us back to Greece. The two final quotes are: “In August, Eurozone finance ministers released €26bn of the €86bn in bailout funds that went to recapitalising Greece’s stricken banking sector and make a debt payment to the ECB” and “Depositors pulled billions out of the country fearing that Greece would be forced to leave the euro. Limits on withdrawals and transfers imposed in June to prevent Greek banks from collapsing remain in place, although they have been loosened” (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/31/greece-banks-14bn-survive-economic-downturn), so as that risk was known, how come limits on transfers were loosened? So we see the need for another €14bn for the reason that people took their cash outside of Greece, something that was a certainty. Why allow for the loosening of rules on transfers? In that the first paragraph is also an issue. The text: ‘Greece’s four main banks need to find another €14bn (£10bn) of reserves to ensure they could withstand an economic downturn‘, should basically read: ‘Greece’s four main banks need to find another €14bn (£10bn) of reserves to ensure they will withstand the next upcoming economic downturn‘. Because in case of Greece the next downturn is a given and it is not that far away.

This again links to another part. The Greek Reporter gives us: ‘Head of Greek Capital Market Regulator Resigns’ (at http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/10/31/head-of-greek-capital-market-regulator-resigns/), so basically, after the completion of the bank recapitalization he shoves himself out of the back door. Can anyone explain that to me? Because if he did a good job he should not get fired, if he did poorly, or even if he has messed up he should end up in holiday retreat Korydallos. Of course, as far as I can tell, he never committed any crime, so Hotel Korydallos is not for him, but it does re-iterate on how the banks should have been cut to size in freedom before those billions were pushed into Greece and in light of loosened restrictions a few more questions and demands should be set. Now, ‘shoving himself’ out of the back door is of course completely incorrect as the man resigned, but why did he resign? Is he not committed to saving Greece, or has he figured out something I saw almost 2 years ago when I spoke about the idiocracy of enabling the Greek system to the extent the ECB had done?

So why as I finalise this blog, the valid question becomes ‘Why is the Blogger Lawlordtobe having a go at Konstantinos Botopoulos?

This is one that requires an answer and an explanation. You see, on May 20th 2015 (at http://www.waterstechnology.com/buy-side-technology/news/2409402/esma-board-member-capital-market-union-shouldnt-reinvent-the-wheel) we see the title “ESMA Board Member: Capital Market Union Shouldn’t ‘Reinvent the Wheel’“, which is fair enough, but the text: “The idea behind the CMU is not to reinvent the wheel by creating new rules but to achieve free flow of capital by using the existing tools and finding intelligent ways to tie everything together“, leaves me with the clear impression that the application of ‘to achieve free flow of capital’ could be seen as the loosening of restrictions which allowed for many billions (read: dozens) to be transferred out of Greece and as such the ECB (or the IMF) ends up pushing a few dozen billion more into Greece. In that same part ‘finding intelligent ways to tie everything together’, could be seen as diversifying the wealth of the Greek rich and famous towards the shores of Bermuda or Riyadh, places with not a taxman in sight. Is my interpretation correct? I am willing to consider that I am wrong and I am making no accusation, it is mere speculation on my side.

Yet in all this the timeline should be the cause of many questions, questions the press at large does not seem to be making. The rest of the article is on centralising reports and it seems to me that the article is missing a few steps. Even as the implied dangers of Brexit are voiced, Frexit is ignored. Now we must allow that people were not taking Frexit seriously, but the tide is still turning and the one danger in that part (Marine Le Pen) is gaining approval ratings on the right side of the Isle. Reuters stated: “Le Pen, who is set to win control of France’s northernmost area in December elections, saw her rating rise 5 percentage points to 52 percent among right-wing voters who were asked who they wanted to become more influential in political life“, which now puts her right behind former prime minister Alain Juppe, whilst both are leaving Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy far behind them in the dust. The battle is far from over, but again the reality of a Frexit is moving one more step forwards towards reality and in all that Greece was the starting spark to that upcoming dangerous escalation, only because hard choices were not made in late 2013, because the bankers and the greed driven required the Status Quo to remain as is, which is why we are seeing escalations that could impact the savings of millions to come soon enough.

Now, I will admit that there is no given that Marine Le Pen would win, yet as we have seen a massive amount of speculation and innuendo left right and centre, the mere danger of Frexit is ignored for the larger extent. Why? Is Frexit not an additional danger that is also propelling Brexit? And the Greek issue is what drove both to begin with, so there are direct links and in all that these intertwining events have been largely ignored for too long.

You should not take my word for any of this, it is my view on the matters, it is however important that you read up and that you ask the right people the right questions, the absent part in that is slightly too scary, especially when the Greek bank towers come tumbling down.

 

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As the mood changes

There is always a mood change, sometimes it is for good, on other occasions less so. Like a metrometer from one side to the other, in some illusion that we remain neutral, a foundation of somewhere in between. Our daily mood a mere form of aggregation as we decide how we feel. This all relates to politics. It has been tradition in many houses to keep two elements off-topic. The first is religion, the second is politics. It is the second one that is now escalating in Europe. There is no way that people can keep it off the table, because there is a realistic risk that the EEC will not continue. There is a real risk that the EEC will come to an end. We are now at a stage that the EEC will face true hardship in 21 months.

The first element is France. French politics is a mess on the best of days, yet at present they are about to have a European impact. The big player here is Marine Le Pen. National Front is very much on the right side of right as such they have been all about national pride (which is fair enough) and the current mess as France finds itself in, is one that the people are not happy with. Debt is at an all-time high, jobs are low, immigration issues as well as low expectations for the immediate future. Actually, make that an issue for the next 3 years, which means that current President Hollande does not really have too great a chance of getting re-elected. EU Inside (at http://www.euinside.eu/en/analyses/francois-hollandes-battle-for-a-second-term) gives us the following four points that Hollande needs to agree to (they call them conditions).

  • Improvement in economic performance and most of all a drop in unemployment
  • Lack of serious competition in the left
  • Nicolas Sarkozy as a candidate of the right
  • A second round against Marine Le Pen

The first one is a dud as I see it. The only way to pull that off is to massively cut into the budget on nearly every level. French’s debt being 50% larger than that of the UK is not one to sneer at. Cutting in the UK is already hard beyond believe, so I do not envy President Hollande on that. In addition, whoever voted for him, when they feel the cutting pinch, they will not vote for him as I see it. The second one is a little different, it is not that Hollande is leading, he remains for the most unopposed in this, which is not the same. His current opposition has cushy jobs and going against Hollande for a second term is wasting massive amounts of energy that will not add up to enough. Martine Aubry is mentioned as an option, but the Asbestos debacle and the fact that she is not the favoured choice of the unions will stop this from happening. Lille has a decent economy, is high on the political list as a region, but still without strong Union support, Martine Aubry will not go anywhere. She gets additional visibility through the achievements of the University of Lille in Science and Technology. They are globally renowned, which helps getting an influx of international students through the Erasmus program, an element that does additional good to commerce in that region.

The other choice is Manual Valls, who is considered to be a social liberal, with a whiff of Scandinavian-style social democracy and Blairism, making him a little of everything. This is nice to be accepted on the larger field, but the left (as does the right) has all levels of niches to which he might end up being less of an appeal. Yet the news in the Sydney Morning Herald in January 2015 gives us “Mr Valls was starting a speech to about 700 people in support of his Socialist party’s candidate for a by-election on Tuesday night when the lights went out and his microphone turned silent. The electricity stayed off for about an hour, not just at the venue, but in the whole neighbourhood in Audincourt, eastern France. Mr Valls resumed his speech once the power had come back on” (at http://www.smh.com.au/world/unions-turn-lights-off-on-french-prime-minister-manuel-valls-20150128-130jjl.html), which is not a biggie, but it does imply that unions and Valls are not on the best of turns, all elements taken into account gives us that Manuel Valls could be a replacement, but only if current President Hollande messes things up with the unions, one step he is not likely to make at present.

The third issue is fine with me, we can argue on the qualities of Nicolas Sarkozy, or the desire some voters have to see a lot more of his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, former model and songwriter. He remains a highly experienced politician, so there should not be any issues. Whomever wants to dig up the affair again, better realise fast that France remains the only European nation where Crime Passional gives the slaughterer of an adulterer an acquittal, justice does find a way!

Now we get to the good stuff, the rest was not mere foreplay, but if we do not set the stage, we will not get the right view we need to have. The fourth issue was ‘A second round against Marine Le Pen‘. This is the mother lode, because Marine Le Pen has been growing her influence. National Front has been growing its army all over France and if Marine Le Pen becomes president of the Calais region, it will start changes, more important she will grow influence in Belgium too. Any economic victory she can score in her first year will count twice, it will give her one credit, whilst also removing a credit from Hollande, so two for the price of one. In addition, any moves by Hollande against Calais will not hurt Marine Le Pen, but will count against Hollande. Again, adding hardship and reducing his changes. Yet, these are not the only two players. The Republicans, the Union of Democrats and Independents as well as the Greens. Yet none of them have been loudly fighting for a stronger France (read less dependent), President Hollande has not done enough, or better stated, whatever he did, for the most failed. There is over two point six trillion euro in evidence there. Marine Le Pen should be regarded as a serious contender here.

So how does the mood change?

Whatever France does, is on the turf of France, but there is no secret that Marine Le Pen is all for Frexit if certain essential changes are not made almost immediately. Her move to secede from Shengen and her request for a hearing in these matters. She had gained traction during the Charlie Hedbo events, but now as issues escalate in Calais, her chances increase and this will change the game a little. It is only a little, but it starts the change in moods. You see, there is Frexit and Brexit. We had Grexit, but the people forget (and remain uninformed by the press) that this was never a possibility. I raised them in ‘The mere legality‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/06/the-mere-legality/). How many newspapers and news blogs were there to properly inform you on how expulsion is a near legal impossibility? They all danced around the matter of Grexit, something I personally regard as a big ‘No No’. Now things are different, you see both Brexit and Frexit are voluntary, this means that a massive can of worms will open, as the British referendum will be held in 2016, before the French elections and that will impact the French elections too. Hollande and others have been in favour of staying in the EEC and in the Euro. Yet both Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage have given their views. Now that the Greek crises (which was never much of a crises) is ‘presented’ to be over, we must acknowledge that Greece still hasn’t made all the preparations. We see terms like “in the final stretch” and “a complex, three-year deal“. When we look at Reuters, we get language like “Athens is racing to wrap up the bailout agreement of as much as 86 billion euros ($94.35 billion) by as early as Tuesday in a bid to get the first disbursement of aid by Aug. 20“, yet what reforms has Greece delivered? It seems that 86 billion is a sexy topic to have, but on the other side of the fence we now have France and the UK. If Tsipras makes any kind of a gesture towards ‘re-negotiation’ that price will be a very high one. Many nations have had enough of Greek antics and the concessions made are not the kind that the European nations will allow for, because the people are in a clear state of mind, it is coming out of their payment one way or another. This gives strength to both Brexit and Frexit issues. That view was clearly shown last week by Nigel Farage (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33715160). The language remains simple, read: “Nigel Farage has told No campaigners to “stop moaning, stop bitching” or risk losing the EU referendum“, he is clearly ready for war, because whatever victory he gets now, will largely contribute to the 2020 elections. They are still far off, but the Liberal Democrats are basically no more and British Labour isn’t getting its act together. All votes that UKIP could pick up and Nigel seems to be very driven to do just that. In addition, he has France to deal with now too. If the referendum fails and France does move out, the UK will be in a bad spot for at least a year after that, giving the people that fear is what Nigel will be all about and it would be a valid strategy.

Even though some prefer the ‘wait and see’ option, it must be stated that not all is well on this front either. Many of the ‘wait and see’ group are looking nervously at France, the power of Marine Le Pen remains underreported, as well as Grexit was (the legal impossibility of it). Yet the dangers here is that if UK follows France, it will wield a high cost, so the UK must make up its mind on the dangers it faces and it needs to be a proper realistic view, which seems to be less possible as some have been managing bad news, scoring the news that the dangers are less severe. I do not believe that to be the case. More and more do we get to see articles like ‘Greece needs wide debt relief to avoid permanent depression, think-tank warns‘, basically telling us that Greeks debts need to be forgiven (for at least 50%), yet they will not arrest, prosecute or demonise the people behind this folly. They stood overly proud that this is not their fault. Blaming whomever they could. I think that until that moment comes the Greeks will just have to learn the hard way. In addition, who will deal with the losses of these hundreds of billions? Someone is not getting his/her money, how will that reflect on others having to pay? These elements will also fuel both Brexit and Frexit.

This upcoming mood swing is all about financial players trying to prolong the game, all trying to relief debt whilst giving out 86 billion more. Their own selfishness will be the foundation of Brexit and Frexit coming into reality. What excuses will these people give then? Or are they spiking the juice so that they can get their life’s ambition within the next 18 months?

I’ll let you decide on that.

 

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