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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/12/2011 : 04:24
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far far away....  The Merkosy bid for EU dominance is running into trouble. They started by proposing greater budgetary discipline on the Euro 17, in effect the European Central Bank acting as the watchdog on all fiscal matters. This provoked protest from the other ten countries who saw themselves being frozen out of the wider EU concept. Markozy then said that all 27 should cooperate in treaty change which will have the same effect. Several countries objected, not just the UK but it is being used as the scapegoat. Latest news this morning is that Merkosy, realising that full treaty change is impossible in the timescale, have gone back to Euro 17 plan and intend to force through fiscal revisions by tonight.

 What's going on here? My view is that the key problem is the fact that in effect, France and Germany are assuming political leadership and control of the EU. Germany is the senior partner because the ECB is technically capable of creating enough funds to buy up EU debt. If they do this they are acting as the IMF of the EU and the loans (Debt buy-out is in effect a loan) will carry stringent conditions involving massive loss of sovereignty and this in itself is a stumbling block even to the Euro 17 scenario.

All this is being done using the big stick that if agreement is not reached the Euro fails and the EU itself is a failure. This position has been arrived at because the politicians didn't get in fornt of the curve and manage the situation before it got to this stage. In other words the politicians and the economic advisers failed and these are the people who are assuring us that they can save the EU if they are given sweeping power. There is no certainty that anything they can do is going to work and even if it did the basis of the 'arrangement' is still what got us into trouble in the first place, massive sovereign debt throughout the EU.

My own view is that the Euro is perilously close to being a busted flush. The EU itself is under tremendous political and economic strain and if the 'rescue bid' fails all bets are open on the consequences. The UK now has no place at the table in the Euro discussions even though what happens there is crucial to us. This is due to Merkosy tactics, they needed to manufacture a situation where the UK's legitimate concerns (and possible use of a veto) were taken out of the equation. Cameron is helpless, we are spectators and the political face of Europe is changing in front of our eyes and the basis of the change is fear. This is a bad principle and is the main reason why I fear that even if these financial maneouvres are successful in the short term, in the long term they will ceme back to haunt us.There is nothing good in this.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/12/2011 : 05:29
Another thing that strikes me on further thought is that the agreement that is being sought by Merkosy does nothing to address the fundamental problem, lack of growth and activity in the economy. All they are doing is agreeing on a new form of Eurobond at a reasonable interest rate run by the ECB which will soak up the sovereign debt of the Euro members. There is a problem embedded in this as it means that the ECB, financed largely by Germany, will carry the exposure of total Euro debt. What will the German people and the markets make of this? What will public reaction be in the countries that sign up to the bonds, accept the conditions and then have to impose further austerity measures?

All this is totally EU-centric. There is the matter of the global economy. The EU problems have been used as a scapegoat by other countries, notably the USA. I have always said that Europe was a symptom, not the problem. Sovereign debt can only be lowered by austerity measures  and using profits from growth and increased trade to add value, make real money and use this to pay down the debts. I see nothing in the EU adjustments which will help this. These basic problems have to be addressed world-wide by the politicians grasping the nettle of debt. The message has not yet got home to the grass roots that in the Western economies we all have to accept a drop in income of at least 20%. That is the real nut that needs cracking.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 09/12/2011 : 11:03
No idea where you get that from Stanley.

The best idea I heard was on Today when Terry Smith, CEO of City broking firm Tullets, said “The UK is as isolated as somebody who refused to join the Titanic just before it sailed “

The cameroon's have argued that the boat is unsafe to travel on, but we can not stop people's choice to get on that boat.

If you listened to one of the discussions last night, it would appear that the markets expect the ECB to "blink" and then the whole will come crashing down because the money flow will be unstoppable.

In many ways the reaction in the Bond Market today was predicatable.

The Euro is busted, Sarkozy has to save it for the French. The PIIGS can not survive inside the current Euro. The Germans will not accept that they have to pay for the benefits they have received from the Euro.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/12/2011 : 15:16
A slight distraction from all this economic woe is on the horizon, but not one that we would welcome. In the next 3 to 4 months Iran and Israel will be at war. Israel is committed to stopping Iran making nuclear weapons but in about 4 months time it will be too late for Israel to do anything - the uranium enrichment etc will then be moved to much deeper tunnels which Israel's bunker busting bombs cannot reach. To reach the Iranian targets Israeli bombers have to fly over Iraq and this will be facilitated by the withdrawal of US troops from that country, due to be completed by the end of this month. So there is a 3 to 4 month window in which Israel can destroy the Iranian facilities. After that, it can only be done by the Americans. The one glimmer of hope is that the former head of Mossad, the Israeli secret service, has told his countrymen that it is madness to bomb Iran because they will `rain missiles on Israel' and, anyway, Iran would soon restore production but in the deeper tunnels. (I have summarised this from an article in The Times on Saturday.)


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 05:25
Tiz, I've been watching that as well and also noted that the US have perfected their version of Barnes Walliss' Grand Slam used by the RAF in WW2. A dangerous combination! (Also known as 'The Earthquake Bomb'. It didn't rely on a direct hit but penetrated the ground deep enough to create a 'camouflet' a large cavity which, when it collapsed, influenced the strata around it and had the same effect as a localised earthquake. Not a good thing if you have facilities that depend on being accurately levelled etc.)

Market is not impressed by Merkozy. Italian bonds at 7% yesterday. Hysterical comments yesterday that the sky will fall for UK, figures of £300billion loss to economy quoted. For once, though he did it for the wrong reasons, I think Cameron was right to exercise the veto. I see no reason why UK fiscal policy should be dictated by 'experts' who have a different agenda and not one that is in our interests. We have enough bum experts of our own without importing the EU version.

The sooner the EU problem is resolved the better, no matter which way it goes. Perhaps the world will then start to think seriously about a 'New Economic Model'. 19th century laisser faire model is now proved to be unfit for purpose.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 07:10
Good news. David Harnett, the much criticised head of HMRC is to retire 'next year'. See many references to his part in the Vodaphone and Gaoldman Sachs tax scandals in Private Eye. Of late he has been heavily attacked in Parliamentary comittees and his chief legal adviser Anthony Inglese who approved Hartnett's deals and collected the biggest annual bonus in HMRC the year afterwards is under similar pressure. This stable has been demanding attention for too long.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 10:36
This probably deserves a topic all of it's own, but I will leave it here because it is about the NHS:

http://www.institute.nhs.uk/quality_and_service_improvement_tools/quality_and_service_improvement_tools/fundamentals_for_quality_improvement.html


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 10:45


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Good news. David Harnett, the much criticised head of HMRC is to retire 'next year'. See many references to his part in the Vodaphone and Gaoldman Sachs tax scandals in Private Eye. Of late he has been heavily attacked in Parliamentary comittees and his chief legal adviser Anthony Inglese who approved Hartnett's deals and collected the biggest annual bonus in HMRC the year afterwards is under similar pressure. This stable has been demanding attention for too long.
It will be interesting to see which company's  board room provides him with a chair (marked "Non Exec".) It will be all have bee worked out by now.

 


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 12:10
Yes, whoopee, Hartnett is going! But why did it take so long (I guess we all know the answer to that).

Stanley, I agree with your comments on Cameron doing the right thing. Commentators keep saying he should have done what the other 26 wanted - but they seem to forget that it's most of the other 26 who formed the Eurozone in the first place, so they are not known for making good decisions!

Heseltine made a good comment this morning when he said "We can't protect the City of London - the markets will decide that, not us". Just think how often the City financiers tell us that we should leave them alone because the markets are independent and in control. Now, suddenly, when there is a threat of outside control from the EU they are all saying "The City needs protection!".


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handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 15:32
I agree with all that has been said on One Guy. Cameron could do nothing else but pull out if our interests were to be defended. Just wait for the squabling sure to take place between the EU countries - we're best to keep out and leave 'em to it.  Apart from ostracizung us, the gathering was the usual EU indecisive stitch up. We felt pretty much the same in 1940 but pulled our socks up and got cracking. We never thought, for one minute, we could loose the war. I'd be only too pleased if we pulled out of the EU altogether - many of the smaller countries will soon be doing the same.  


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Phil
Regular Member


104 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 16:23
So the financial markets need less regulation, Funny that it was the lack of regulation that got us into this ness in the first place.


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 19:49


quote:
Tizer wrote:
Yes, whoopee, Hartnett is going! But why did it take so long (I guess we all know the answer to that).


Sadly he will not be going to where he should be going, (and taking a seething hoarde with him).


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Bodger
Regular Member


892 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 22:53
Who lost the war ?


"You can only make as well as you can measure"
                           Joseph Whitworth
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Whyperion
Regular Member


122 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2011 : 23:31
EU seems to be forgetting that Financial Services are taxed already , ( I assume all other countries have the Same VAT treatment as UK ) , in that input VAT incurred is not recoverable [Darlings VAT cut was probably a substantial factor in maintaining bank profits in 2008 , the last couple of VAT increases quite a hit (around 2% at a guess ) to Bank costs.  There were some ideas that Banking/Insurance should become VATable to the end consumer , nearly a good idea except that us as consumers end up paying substantially.

BBC reports increase in Value of UK exports and fall of UK imports in October - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16107949 . I wish there was a link to original source as the amounts and the breakdown summarised dont look quite correct to me. Also October only had 21 working days in it , September had 22 , this 4.8% decrease in days is thus more impressive for the growth as October normally the stock up month for the start of pre-christmas consumer trade.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/12/2011 : 05:54
I agree with all the above. Catty, you're right, the revolving doors will have been greased. I heard Hesleltine and he made sense apart from the fact that he is a tad too much EU oriented for my liking. I was thinking the same at Ted, remember Asquith! Wait and see. There are too many unknowns about the EU and the Euro at the moment, we don't even know whether they can survive. The markets have not shown any enthusiasm, they are still hammering bond issues and Standard and Poors have issued further warnings about credit ratings.

Ordinary common sense dictates that we wait and watch before making any decisions. The current froth in Westminster is more to do with entrenched attitudes and village politics than any clear sighted evaluation of the present position. Best to stand back until the position becomes clearer.

Wippy, one thing is certain, Any figures at the moment can only reflect the chaos in trade. There is such a thing as 'not talking the market down' and I would only trust figures with a longer and more accurate base data. Besides, exports aren't the answer, the really important index is domestic consumption and even this is skewed by Christmas. It will be March 2012 before we get reliable indices.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
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