Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Europes' financials balance sheet scam hits the press in Oz!

Doublespeak and dishonesty is so much the order of the day within the EU of today that it passes barely without notice. Hence I read, but thought little of today's item on page 17 of the print edition of today's IHT, pointing out that Europe's financial institutions had been apparently deciding for themselves how to account for losses on Greek debt, according to the International Accounting Standards Board.

Some banks and insurance companies in Europe, have written down the value of Greek debt by 21% others by 50%, thus making a mockery of their balance sheets AND the information they contain, in so far as forming investment decisions are concerned.

Situation normal when it comes to finance in the cloud-cuckoo world that Europe has become. But on the other side of the globe, common sense still prevails, thus in the Sydney Morning Herald of tomorrow morning, now out and linked here, the EU is further justly denigrated at the start of the report as follows:

EUROPEAN banks may have inflated their balance sheets and profit and loss accounts by not taking full write-downs on distressed Greek debt, according to the International Accounting Standards Board.

If only it were just Greek debt, but being the EU, of course that cannot be the case, as this extract from the IHT makes clear:

Some investors said the matter was serious, even if the Stoxx Europe 600 bank index was trading higher Tuesday. "The Greek debt issue has been treated very lightly," said Jacques Chahine, head of J. Chahine Capital, a Luxembourg-based fund that manages€320 billion in assets. "And its not just Greek debt - all of it needs to be written down, Spain, Italy."


Did the ECB back bidders for the Italian 10 year bond?

My headline poses a worrying question, but see this quote below from the "Action Man" site, linked here:

The launch of a new 10-year benchmark bond drew bids worth 1.27 times the 3.75 billion euros sold, below the year's average bid-cover ratio of 1.4.
The new 10-year bond sold at a yield of 5.22 percent, broadly in line with grey market prices ahead of the sale. That yield compared to 5.77 percent at an auction of the previous 10-year bond in July, before the ECB's intervention.
The auction will do little to allieviate the market's central fear that Italy, seen as too big to be bailed out, will no longer be able to issue bonds at an affordable level to finance its huge 1.9 trillion euro debt burden.
Italy must still sell up to 90 billion euros in bonds this year and ECB purchases have been steadily decreasing.
(emphasis added)
A bid-to-cover ratio of 1.4 isn't much to write home about either, but 1.27 is only a small step away from a failed auction. It is noteworthy that the ECB saw fit to intervene immediately after the auction, which to us is a sign that certain bidders were enticed beforehand to participate by letting them know that they would be backstopped shortly thereafter. Of course we can't prove that, but we don't believe in coincidences, not when things look as blatant as they do here.

Labels: ,

Finnish Minister defends Collateral Demand

EU Observer talked to the Minister, their full report is linked from here; the following being the main substance to my mind:

Speaking to EUobserver by phone on Wednesday (31 August), EU affairs and trade minister Alexander Stubb said the wealthy northern country's demand for Greece to give guarantees for Finland's part in the second Greek bailout is not down to fear of losing money.
"It isn't a question of the money. It's a question of principle. It reflects a sentiment that we have that you should not be rewarded for lax public finances. That's the whole point of being in the euro ... people have to be responsible about their public finances," he said.

Labels: ,

Italy Burning

The headline comes from an article written in Berlin, 'Italy Is Burning and No One Is Putting It Out'  read here. More from EurActiv linked here.


German Cabinet approval for changes to EFSF

The Wall Street Journal carries a fairly full report, on the EFSF path for Germany, linked here.

The proposals have already come under fire from Der Spiegel, linked here, that reports that the German Government:

... is deceiving itself on two counts. Firstly, it is behaving as if the banks were in excellent condition. And secondly, it is continuing to embrace the illusion that the euro can be saved without EU member states having to surrender any national competencies to Brussels.


Chris Heaton-Harris MP - a Fierce Eurosceptic!

The description of Mr Heaton-Harris MP, former sidekick, when an MEP, to Roger Helmer MEP for the East Midlands, (ten years at the trough then,) and presently Conservative MP for Daventry, came from his own web-site, the exact quote:

"A fierce Eurosceptic, he hopes his experience in Brussels will be useful to any future Conservative government." (Editor's note, this phrase appears to have been removed while preparing this posting, but it was there as I began!)

What does that mean exactly, this fierce euroscepticism? One can read about his work for the institution which he claims to be fiercely doubtful about, how he worked to further its workings over ten years, while trousering all the proceeds from the useless talking shop that is the EU Parliament, which some UKIP MEPs have reckoned can be worth over £1 million per year, from here.

So much for that link, with all the false PR, what form does his fierce euroscepticism, presumably of the kind on which I blogged first thing this morning, really take?

Well back last May, Mr Heaton-Harris, tabled a wrecking motion in Parliament, designed to ensure that British taxpayers would receive no relief from the EU Bailouts! I presumed at the time it was at the behest of the Conservative Whips, Heaton-Harris having been one such in the EU monstrosity.

I blogged about it at the time, but could not bring myself to mention his name, thus providing more of the kind of notoriety he clearly craves. The post (the day after a report on the actual debate, which I titled "Our Parliament. Whipped into whingeing worthlessness!") is linked here, it contained this description of the then unnamed Chris Heaton-Harris as follows:

If you wish to see the individual who finally sunk Parliament's long historical ability to hold the executive to account for their expenditures, you can see him without dipping into and out of the debate, he is in the lower left hand corner of the screen as Mark Reckless MP, makes his opening remarks

To read the Hansard report on his performance, click here. Fierce eurosceptic, maybe, but surely, in all he has achieved, apparently solely working to promote the EU?

Labels: , ,

Jörg Asmussen, Deputy German Finance Minister, NO to any Euro withdrawal!

Concluding an interview with CNBC aired this morning, as the German Cabinet was meeting to agree the second Greek Bailout terms as agreed on 21st July, (and laboured over by EU officials throughout August according to the broadcaster,) the Deputy Finance Minister of the EU's controlling power, replied unequivocally, and in one word - NO, in response to a question as to whether any country would be allowed to leave the common currency,(I think the word "ever" was included but cannot be certain).

The only report I can so far find online on the interview is from Bloomberg, linked here. There is no mention of the concluding exchange.

Meantime CNBC is now broadcasting reports from Germany, that the woefully inadequate EFSF amendment package, allowing the second Greek bailout has been approved by the German Cabinet. The decisions of the German Constitutional Court and the Bundestag still hang over the eventual outcome!

Labels: ,

Will Collateral Damage Destroy the Euro? Become Anti-EU!

The head of the EFSF, see the link from my post of yesterday to guage this man's sanity, has just now suggested that Euro Group former nation's wishing to obtain collateral for further loans to penniless Greece, may wish to accept Greek bank shares as collateral. Given a choice between that and Scotch mist, I imagine the latter would be preferred as it would involve no negotiation or administrative costs!

As I posted last thing yesterday evening, the collateral question has now gone far beyond being amusing or ironic for the Finns. It strikes to the very heart of our most basic individual rights being replaced by tyranny. This same contempt for ordinary people, is evident all across Europe and amply demonstrates the utter contempt for democracy and parliamentary authority, towards which most people believe the EU should pay more than lip service and offer far more than complete contempt.

On various blogs in the UK over the past few days, such as Autonomous Mind, there has been a debate over re-defining Euroscepticism, requiring a new term, clearly avoiding any suggestion of the appeasement of the new pan-European enemy - the EU.

I have suggested the term "Anti-EU" which is straightforward, transcends all Schengen borders (being from the Greek it will everywhere be immediately understood) and gives no truck to the appeasers, such as those suggestions often found on the blogs of politicians who have become involved in this discussion, such as Conservative Home, Roger Helmer MEP and John Redwood's Diary blog of the MP of that name, all often first class and full of sound common sense, but nevertheless underneath insidiously promoting the new tyranny

To describe oneself as eurosceptic allows for sloppy thinking, even running to outright promotion of the interests of the institution about which you are presumed to carry doubts. Anti-EU requires a mindset that has already determined there are no good outcomes available from the EU.

Some have suggested a positive phrase is needed rejecting the strong negativity of anything beginning "anti-". But would the Allies have won the war as Nazisceptics? We must unite across the EU, to overturn what the EU has become and remove those responsible for creating it in its present tyrannical and non-democratic form. Anti-EU for me carries the essence of this blog!

How many have really seen the EU for what it has already become - pure evil? Few I wager, therefore anti-EU may yet be still ahead of its time!  Watch the events in Finland if you are yet to be convinced - the time for strong, determined and outright opposition to the EU is very near! Eurosceptics are welcome if they take up the anti-EU cause!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Euro Group risking new Finnish elections over Collateral from Greece

The Finns, led by Timo Soini, (yes that is correct, for the party in Finland known as the True Finns have now re-named themselves the Finns,) look like getting a chance for power sooner than many would have guessed as the Euro Group of countries le by Jean-Claude Juncker, finally begin to realise that their latest fudge is not going to work.

The Euro Group and its common currency are demanding the Finnish Parliament effectively back-down on their demand for collateral, and throw their taxpayers money straight down the toilet, as part of the second Greek Bailout of 21st July, agreed in a hurry to allow the leaders of the EU nations to get away on their holidays. Read Bloomberg here.

The deal was never thought through and incredibly included the underfunded EFSF also taking over responsibility for the purchase of Italian and Spanish bonds in the secondary markets, from the ECB - with no extra cash available!

The Italian deal itself is now breaking down, as may be read in this report from Reuters.

Labels: ,

EU and Euro Area Sentiment and Business Confidence Fall!

Economic sentiment, read here, fell in August by 5.0 points to 97.3 in the EU and by 4.7 points to 98.3 in the euro area.

The Business Confidence indicator for the euro area fell for the sixth month in a row in August 2011, details here.


EFSF Head says EU problems solved in 3 years

There is an article from Der Spiegel this morning, which must be destined to be the butt of various jokes for many years to come. Read it here.


Italy backtracks on tax increases

Having spent considerable amounnts of time in Italy at one time I always doubted whether implementation of the bold tas reforms recently envisaged would ever be likely to be achieved. My view was that it was a charade put on for the benefit of the northern nations who were their partnes in the common currency.

Even I have been somewhat taken back, however, that even while still in August and therefore before most Italians shake off the sloth of the summer holidays and heat, some of the more difficult tax proposals have already been abandoned, read the Reuters report from here. The BBC this morning is announcing that the so-called "solidarity tax" on higher workers has been given up completely!

The bond sale later today, mentioned last evening, must now become even more interesting!

Labels: ,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Finns under pressure from EU elites

I am somewhat worried if a feeling were to develop among an elite, as it were, that we don’t have to listen to the opinion of the people.” Jutta Urpilainen, Finland's Finance Minister, warned that such an attitude could turn the economic crisis into a political crisis.

The full report showing the pressure being mounted by the pampered elites of the EU, who due to their own self-serving incompetence has created the euro crisis, comes strongly through in every word of this recent report from Helsinki, read it here, the title being:

Euro countries angered at Finland for secrecy over Greek collateral pact

Labels: ,

Unconscionable Germany re-visited - Westerwelle still hangs on!

The German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, barely clings to power this evening, as reported by Der Spiegel, linked here.

It was last March when he should have been forced from office, at the same moment a common EU foreign policy and the wasteful EEAS should have been sent to the trash, just as I blogged at the time, read here, from which I quote:

Germany is presently holding a two year seat on the UN Security Council, yet in spite of their Foreign Minister promising that "Germany will be a reliable, responsible and engaged partner....We will do our part to ensure that the world continues to see the council as the central body for peace and security in the world." that country abstained in the vote aimed at putting a halt to the murderous Colonel Gadaffi having a free hand from the international community to carry on recklessly slaughtering his own citizens.

Which EU citizens wish to associate themselves with such an abstention, and what values are thus accepted, effectively stating "our neighbours may do as they wish, as long as we are free to tell all in the EU how to run their societies, while we continue getting ever richer, no matter what bestiality occurs beyond our immediate zone of control"

Labels: ,

ECB bond purchases almost halved

The ECB purchases of sovereign bonds almost halved last week from €14.3 billion to €6.7 billion, read the Reuters report, from here.

Tomorrow Italy will auction some 10 year bonds direct to the market, where there are no grey areas, and  direct purchases are strictly not allowed, even by the now maverick ECB. Yields and take-up will presumably be watched with interest although the quantity available is not thought by some market players to be significant.

Two bad banks merged in Greece today, naturally enough the mad markets greeted this as good news! Those whom the gods first wish to destroy....

Labels: ,

Merkel faces possible defeat in Bundestag this week

At the end of last week the German Chancellor announced that she was cancelling a trip to Russia. This followed a shock statement by the German President that the ECB bond purchases were against the EU Treaties and thus effectively illegal. It is a crucial week for German democracy, and it is only that which now determines how the EU is to proceed. Read AE-P in the Telegraph this morning, from here.

Over many years this blog has been pointing out that the relentless logic of the EU demands that eventually only German voters will decide how the EU develops, the latest of which from last March is linked here, titled "The Mawkish Madness of Mrs Merkel". I hope that new readers are these days more receptive to this point, that should have been plainly obvious at least to our politicians for many, many years!

The only escape from such a nightmare, as will I feel certain become a crucial factor in the upcoming French Presidential elections, is withdrawal from the EU for any country wishing to determine its own course in the world!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Elizabeth Beckett's letter to the Master of the Rolls - Re-visited

Following the death of Elizabeth Beckett in early February 2009, this blog re-posted her letter to Sir Anthony Clarke, Master of the Rolls dated 10th October 2008, when the full thrust of the economic whirlwind, first began to hit our country, along with the rest of the world, the consequences of which, three years later, our politicians are merely attempting to buy off with printed money or otherwise completely ignore.

It is one of the posts on this blog that almost weekly still attracts visitors and readers, unsurprisingly really as its message is as strong today as ever before and grows in relevance as the days, weeks, months and years since her death roll inexorably by,  while the crisis deepens with each day that passes and her sane words and suggestions continue to be ignored. Here it is again:

Dear Sir Anthony - your Lordship
I write to you in your position as Master of the Rolls and in view of your article on Magna Carta in The Times.
Churchill, writing on Magna Carta, said, that there will come a time when government, inflated with power, will try to overrule it, but it will come into use again.
I write with deep and serious concern about the present actions by government on using taxpayers money for their debts, apparently due to their encouragement of hysteria since there is "plenty of money around" (said by speakers on Today and Newsnight).

  1. The safeguards that need immediate action are: a) that the debt should be made under the Nordic system b) that it should be safeguarded as belonging legally to the Taxpayers NOT the Government.
  2. a) The Queen should be asked to prorogue parliament immediately as a temporary arrangement until there has been an election.
  3. b) a national government of convention should hold the fort. (The Queen was unfortunately taught about the constitution by Sir Henry Martin who became a Fabian in 1921. She has apparently not grasped the significance of her position and her Coronation Oath and imagines that she is subordinate to her ministers.) c) I consider that as Master of the Rolls in this terrible time it must be for you to try to disabuse her of this and hold chapter 61 of Magna Carta to her notice. (Various people have suggested Princess Anne as Queen in her place since Prince Charles has not grasped the Christian importance of our constitution in Magna Carta and throughout our history – our early Christianity, starting from c. AD 50, has been central to wars from without and within against 'this dear land'; Magna Carta as a defence against William of Normandy's laws. Llanfranc was the imposed archbishop of Canterbury and the invasion was inspired by Papal direction. d) I write to you since Lord Faulkner acted unconstitutionally in putting before Parliament that the Royal Prerogative belonged to himself and the Prime Minister in the Constitution Reform Act of 2005. You will know Sir Edward Coke's clear description that the prerogative could not be taken from the monarch - even by act of Parliament, agreed by Halsbury.
  4. Your position as effectively deputy Lord Chancellor gives you authority to support us, the people of England and Scotland. On the other hand, government has shown a lack of constitutional restraint and even lack of knowledge of the laws of this country both in the Constitution Reform Act and further acts that have forced me and others to ask you to use the strength of your position acting as the executive guardian the people of this country and contracted to the monarchy by law. As the substitute Lord Chancellor, when the other appointee betrayed his position a by treasonous claim initially defined by the 1351 Treason Act.
  5. I have take two steps in the defence of our position
  6. a) I have laid Information with the court lawyer at Newcastle, Mr. Brown, that by making the Queen sign the Lisbon Constitution, Mr. Gordon Brown, acted treasonably against various Acts, his own Oath of Allegiance, and his Privy Councillor Oath. (This perjury should legally remove him from Parliament.) b) With the help of a friend, a retired policeman, I e-mailed the Speaker of the House of Commons that by passing as law the Bradford & Bingley takeover, being called 'nationalisation' by Statutory Instrument without mention of the name of the monarch Mr. Brown and Mr. Darling acted unlawfully and should not be allowed to take up their seats in the Commons. I quoted the basis of this illegality as the 1661 Praemunire in which the punishment of a Praemunire is outlawry, the loss of property and land and possibly death. Harold Wilson repealed Praemunire which goes back to 1392. But since when he did this it would have been in defiance of the 1795 Treasonable and seditious practices act para 2, 36 Geo III c.7, his oath of allegiance and his Privy Council oath, it was not lawful. And this valuable act of George III was made permanent in 1807, 1817 and 1848, so was given strength and longevity even against Mr. Blair's endeavour to repeal it in the Criminal Justice Act 1998.
  7. On The Borrowing a) I doubt whether the government has the power to borrow to this extent for a national government. The 1911 Parliament Act which gives the majority power in the Commons without the Lord's right to amend had already been sent back as unconstitutional by Edward VII. It was accepted by George V under the impression that automatic assent of Asquith (another Fabian) was correct like the Statutory Instruments the present Government laid on the table at the time of Northern Rock. It was made on the false basis that no Bill has been sent back by a monarch since Queen Anne in 1707. (i) There is no trace of discussion in Hansard or anywhere else. (ii) Bills had been sent back by William III, George III, William IV, Victoria and Edward VII, as Asquith well knew. Such a claim of automatic assent paralysed our constitutional laws and is probably the basis of the Queen's behaviour.
  8. If the people are to be helped at this time, three means of taxation should be changed. a) Mortgage relief should be reinstated.
  9. b) VAT which leans very heavily on small businesses - or at least Mrs. Thatcher's VAT rebate. It is merciless, politically motivated and costs the nation £20 Billion annually with no benefit to this people. c) Tax on fuel should be reduced since its effect is arbitrary by any taxable logic.
  10. So Mr. Blair altered legal aid so much that even people on my income (less than £9,000 pa) cannot get it and treason needs a very narrow certificate from the lawyers. I therefore ask you to take the steps necessary under 2a) above if it is by any means within your power.
  11. I am taking a case on the illegality of some aspects of council tax in the high court: I was granted oral review, but thought it wiser to have counsel rather than act on my own and Leolyn Price CB QC has kindly agreed to represent me.
  12. The lowering of trust apparently intentionally has led to loss to shareholders for whom legal protection is needed. The people in Parliament seem to have little knowledge of the law nor the legal protection of the people, only the desire for power and in this case globalisation. William Blackstone said, "Law is not a matter of opinion." This, our representatives seem not to have learnt.
  13. The House of Lords is the Curia Regis to advise the Monarch. The suggestion that a man who has twice been asked to leave the government for malfeasance should be given a position in the Lords tends to further distrust of government at a time when trust is essential if the nation is to come together and rise above the present discomfort and lack of trust in this government and the Curia Regis. It gives an impression of irresponsibility in government which is outside our principles and traditions. But apparently fits in with the teaching of five-year-olds that they are part of a wider community without being based in their own. Mr. Blunkett, Mr. Brown and others have published books paid for by the tax-payer effectively dispersing any concept of our Christian heritage. Mr. Brown, as an example, in his white paper has said he intends to give the Royal Prerogative to Parliament or even to the people in one sweep of the pen without recognising the meaning of the prerogative removing our history and our constitution for which our ancestors fought.
  14. I now put before your Lordship the grounds of high treason against those presently governing this nation. a) Firstly so that the so-called removal of the prerogative power from the Queen comes directly under the 1351 Treason Act since the Act of Constitutional Reform by taking the prerogative from the monarch, the power being in Sir Edward Coke’s words a part of the monarch and cannot be taken from the monarch even by act of parliament and removal, therefore, comes directly within the phrase "if a man compasses or imagines the death of the sovereign . . ." it is treason: "if a man levies war against the sovereign …" and by taking over the position of the Lord Chancellor and turning it into something else this comes into "slaying the Lord Chancellor …". And as head of constitutional affairs and the justices by false laws that treason is further laid and supported in later treason Acts and backed by the 1351 Treason act in the words, "… and because that many other cases of the like treason may happen in time to come which a man cannot think or declare at this present time; it is accorded, that if any other case of supposed treason which is not above specified…" is to go before the justices and the king to be judged treason or felony b) Under this heading I name the imposition of automatic into "the Royal Assent". for this has been claimed "as to the status of convention that the Royal Assent is not withheld from Bills which have been passed by both houses of parliament the Prime Minister is in doubt …" (quoted from 1972 letter from 10 Downing street) This conflicts with the statement in Rogers Walters, "How Parliament Works", Pearson and Longman fourth edition which is in use in the speaker’s office and in most county libraries where the Royal Assent is clearly defined: "A Bill presently before both houses needs the Royal Assent as the third element of Parliament before it can become law." Rogers and Walters add the concept of the assent being ‘automatic’ and it is relevant to the treason that the phrase was inserted in 1911 for King George V to be persuaded to pass the Parliament Act and other legislation against our constitution. under the framework of the Treason and Felony Act of 1848, ‘any person who compasses or imagines devises or intends to depose … in order to force constrain or compel her or they to change their measures or courses … shall be guilty of felony", conviction being transportation for not less than seven years with hard labour. In the book on the constitution by Nigel Knight, tutor in Law at Cambridge University, a further aberration and compelling of the mind of the monarch on the Home Rule Bill for Ireland was given against the wishes of George V. That this chicanery has continued to be used does not make it less heinous and it is relevant that the claim of 1972 from Downing Street connived with the entry into the EC and hence the EU.
  15. I write now, in view of the danger, after the attempt of Michael Foot to nationalise banks, now being effected under the same intention, but with the camouflage of a world economic crisis, to ask your Lordship to declare the automatic assent void and illegal under the constitutional statute including that of 1795 made perpetual in 1807, 1817 and 1848 and only repealed under the automatic assent, Rogers and Walters claim the assent by convention had become automatic since Queen Anne was the last monarch to send a Bill back. In fact, William III, George III, William IV, Queen Victoria and, as Asquith well knew, Edward VII (because the Bill had been handed to him), had all returned Bills.
  16. Most of the ordinary people of England such as myself and my friends, know the principles of our constitutional laws for which the freemen and barons of England fought and forced on John with the help of the bishops and arch-bishops at Runnymede. The cruelty, despite constitutional constraint, which successive governments have forced on us involves a mercilessness that has to be held as treason against the sovereign people and augurs badly for such people having the power over our money. I fought for ‘the man on the shop floor’ when I gave Lord Hailsham the concept of the conscience clause against the Foot Bill (Trades Unions and Labour Relations Amendment Bill). Lord Hailsham was unable to get that clause through and it had to wait until Mrs. Thatcher and yet this is central to our spiritual existence as a Christian nation. These politicians could see no relevance in the freedom of the spirit of man.
  17. We, the ordinary people of Britain, the freemen, ask for you to take the steps needed to free our constitutional laws and customs giving us protection against the hideous and treasonous servitude under which we are presently held and free our sovereign from the Fabian thrall or, failing that, under chapter 61 of Magna Carta, replace her with someone able to honour their Coronation Oath. The present situation is worse than that under King John.

(signed) Elizabeth Beckett

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

IMF in Greece on Monday - tough talks on more missed targets!

The details of the failure to reach the traget figures for the Greek €135 Billion bond swap is updated this morning from here where a figure as low as 50% participation is now quoted. Elsewhere, as in this CNBC report, linked here, the more frequently quoted level of less than 60% is used, although again this is way short of the required 90%, presumed necessary for there to be any chance of Greece not being declared as in default.

That same CNBC item, also covers the miss of the Greek growth targets, likely to be the subject of much discussion and speculation over the coming week, as the IMF team return to Athens to consider whether or not to pay another tranche of aid, due at the end of September.

Also quoted by CNBC, is the Finnish PM, still demanding his collateral deal, in spite of the intense pressure to back down imposed from Germany throughout the past week:

In an interview with Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat on Saturday, the country's prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, said "This matter has to be solved as soon as possible so Finland's aims will not hurt other countries.


Through the eye of Hurricane Flora.

In the autumn of 1963, while in my late teens, I was being trained in navigation on board the 15,000 deadweight tons British Merchant Navy vessel the M/V British Robin.

We had discharged a full cargo of aviation fuels from the UK in Reykjavik, Iceland for NATO and the civil avaiation authorites and were bound in ballast for Curacao in the Netherland Antilles, which island lies just north from the coast of Venezeula.

As we passed down along the Eastern Seaboard of the USA we were just sufficiently close to pick up the medium wave broadcasts of various American radio stations, one particulalry strong being from New York City. All on board were therefore fully aware of the destructive passage being made across the Caribbean by Hurricane Flora, one of the deadliest storms in history, with an eventual death toll over 7,000, whose very name was retired as a result, after that season, being replaced by that of Fern.

The navigating officers on board soon became aware that we might cross the predicted track of the storm. The evening before we were due to come our closest to the hurricane, I was summoned alone to the ship's chart-room by the vessel's Captain. I recall his name but will not provide it in this account. He was a Scotsman, one of the youngest to have been ever promoted to that rank, by virtue of his having passed his Extra Master Foreign Going Certificate of Competency, a superior qualification, normally sat by those with ambitions for careers ashore.

In great detail the expected track of the hurricane was explained to me, the mechanics of hurricanes and their most dangerous and benign quadrants, he concluded after some considerable time by explaining the course he had decided to take which would ensure our safe passage around the danger. Nevertheless, I went to bed that night uneasy.

On the morning of the storm, my first task was to assist in the taking on of extra ballast, thus allowing the ship to sit both lower and more securely in the water. As we approached the storm the skies took on a greenish hue getting ever darker as our eyes passed out towards the ever nearer horizon. Slowly at first, then with ever faster pace the wind began to rise in strength, eventually providing a low and constant background moan.

As the waves steadily climbed in height, our course was adjusted and speed reduced, so that we could meet them fine on the bow. The moan of the wind steadily increased to a whine, and the entire surface of the sea became increasingly covered with spindrift.

I stood with some engineers in the sheltered area aft of the midship's accomodation, looking aft. One moment, at the crest of the wave, our whole world became one of greenish grey and all-surrounding threatening sky, with the whole vessel ashake from the race of the propellor as it left the water. Soon after, following a careering descent, we would be surrounded by nothing but huge walls of white, then black then green and tumbling cascading water as we nestled in the trough between two of these monsters, before our ship shook free of the enclasping fronds of boiling liquid which tumbled from the decks and across the scuppers, as we steadily ascended the face of the next oncoming wave.

Before we reached the eye of the storm, I was summoned to the bridge, and clad from head to foot in black oilskins and souwester, assigned to the port bridge wing to sound the ship's siren for six seconds in every two minutes, in accordance with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea, for periods of reduced visibility. A truly pointless task, as what other navigators would then be mad enough to be heading for the eye of such a storm, even should they have been gifted with super-human hearing, for I myself, could only tell the siren was sounding from the sight of the escaping steam from the sometimes only barely discernible whistle aft on the funnel.

When we finally reached the storm's eye, it was like nothing else I have ever seen. Almost perfect calm and virtually complete silence ruled in that strange world. Circular high walls of cloud surrounded us, so high, it was like looking through a telescope from the wrong end, at the height of these clouds could be seen the round patch and blue sky of a normally perfect summer's day. A glint of sunlight even fell on the calm waters of that small pool of tranquility. This peace did not last very long, for soon after we returned to the world of deafening noise, swirling spume and giant waves until slowly but surely the realisation began to dawn, that thanks to the skills of the naval archtitects and shipyard workers, combined with the magnificent strength of our still then largely riveted construction, our ship would carry us safely through to the other side.

When we arrived at the Shell refinery in Curacao, congestion, probably storm related, gave us some free days to recover from the experience, for the entire crew seemed almost in a state of shock, and none on board, I would still today wager, who went into that storm were quite the same men after they emerged from the other side. I made use of the facilities of the Shell Club, which had a sea bathing area netted off from the sharks, whose shadows I would sometimes see, and once even the eye of one such passing predator with which I shared a momentary exchange of strangely silent mutual recognition.

What happened to the ship's Captain I never knew, for when we eventually returned to the UK, he left abruptly without making the required notation of my seatime on my indentures. For 48 years I have suspected that he thought the hurricane had arrived by fate as a gift to him, so perfectly and fortuitously positioned, to be able to explore. With the benefit of the internet, I can now see that the hurricane did something very strange and unusual over Cuba, perhaps we were thus caught out and our passage through the storms eye was 'bad' luck rather than deliberate contrivance. The image of the track from the Wikipedia web site illustrates this very clearly.

Some years later, I again served on the British Robin, as third mate. I tried to find the log books on board for her voyage from Reykjavik to Curacao, but they were not there.

It was a defining moment of my life, which is why I recall it so vividly. The seeds of my distrust of, and dislike for, pompous individuals who strut their course across the world's stage, sometimes made obvious in my blog's postings, perhaps partly comes from having witnessed this force of nature first hand, although it was already partly there, as why else would I have been at sea from such a young age?

I have been reminded of, and recounted here, this event because of the approach this weekend of Hurricane Irene to the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. We have family and friends who are there and our thoughts are with them. It is unfortunate that the Central Bankers of the World will still be in Wyoming this weekend, and thereby unable to witness the futility of their dangerous, self-serving and foolish existences.

Many others will be confronted with a once in a lifetime experience of nature's powers this weekend! Coming on top of the fracturing of the National Monument in the earthquake in Washington earlier this week, it is tempting to draw conclusions and lessons from the Old Testament about present events, but that would be more suitable for some of my shipmates from the British Robin in 1963, some of whom emerged from that experience with a newly discovered religious belief and a desire to bury their heads in their bibles for the remainder of our voyage!


Friday, August 26, 2011

€135 Billion Greek bond swap deal now at risk

A WSJ report on the bond swap deal and the lack of any progress on the Finnish Collateral demand, repeated again this evening, is available from this link.

Europe's financial markets have closed for another week, with the euro still clinging on to its existence in its present form, can this last another week?


Bernanke fires a blank - but still in a hole!

Thank heavens for that, no more QE for the moment.

H/T Daniel Hannan

Labels: ,

EU plans another week of meetings over the Euro

A summary of how things stand at lunchtime today, regarding the Finn's collateral and various pointless meetings among the Euro Group leaders planned for next week, is linked here.


Heseltine's call for localism suits EU's agenda for final power grab!

The localism bill now on its way through parliament, will finalise the destruction of the nation state and centralise evrything in Brussels, under an eventual autocracy, just what Von Heseltine appears to have been planning and working to achieve for decades.

The latest ideas of this transparently power-crazed but thwarted individual are contained in a report from Reuters, linked here. Some quotes:

"The government needs to relax its hold on power and allow English cities to jump-start their local economies after inner-city rioting spread across the country this month, former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine said."

...."We are the only country of our sort that runs virtually everything from the centre, if you look at all the other major economies they have very powerful devolved and therefore competitive economies," he said.

The fact that virtually everything is now run from Brussels, completely outside of any democratic contraints, is totally ignored. The fact that the localism bill, as already exposed on this blog, will merely turn Westminster into a body levying fines imposed by Brussels against regional authorities, local authorites and councils is similarly forgotten, as the real EU agenda behind his outburst is hidden within his words of apparent concern.

The danger of advancing localism at the expense of the still elected House of Commons, is that up and down the country are thousands of petty democratics, salivating at the prospect of the power thay will soon hold over ordinary people across the land!

Heseltine, was dining in Germany when Thatcher's fate was sealed, Heseltine's record provides no sign that he has ever had the interests of an independent Britain in mind, a forebidding thought when considering his apparent closeness to the present Conservative Leadership, and their appalling fifteen month record in speeding the transfer of authority to the EU as evidenced by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable's, latest capitulation spread over the UK media this morning.


Greek Finance Minister Venizelos confirms Collateral poses delicate legal issues!

Bloomberg TV is reporting a statement by the Greek Finance Minister in Athens this morning, confirming that the Finnish Collateral deal poses 'delicate legal issues', as touched upon in this blog over the past several days!


Hidden threat of failure of multiple 'buy to let' owners.

The Irish Independent has an article this morning detailing a possibly hidden threat of the failure by large investors owning multiple buy to let properties in Ireland, read here. The potential losses in Ireland do not appear to be likely to be on a massive scale, considering the existing commitments of IRish taxpayers to their banking system, already set to extend to future generations.

In the UK, where the buy to let industry reached levels of greed and absurdity of an almost unimaginable scale, the losses are likely to be far more severe.

One of the main aspects of the 'buy to let' madness was that many loans were interest only, the capital was never paid down, therefore following the house price falls such losses must soon be taken and declared, either by the holders of the loans or by the banks that advanced the funds!

How many of those now involved in keeping Britain's interest rates at the recent and present absurdly low levels, soon to be abandoned as sanity returns to the world's financial markets, are involved in 'buy to let' one must wonder?


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greek bond yields soar, default looms, Minister resigns!

According to the FT Euro Zone "working group" experts are to meet tomorrow to try to save the second Greek bailout, another report here.

Were there any such experts within the Euro Group, surely we would not now be at this point. One proposal aired by the FT is that Finland, having expertise in education, might be granted a ten year contract by the Greeks on their schools, not exactly an island or classical heritage is it?

Non-cash collateral is apparently to be the name of the game tomorrow, maybe the Germans will throw in the table upon which Schauble assured everybody, the Finnish Collateral Deal no longer sat!

More sanely, news comes in that Greece has today activated the ELA (Emergency Liquidity Assistance) programme as may be read in this link to "Flash Crash in Germany Means More Turmoil Ahead" linked here.


Why must Europe accept the German World View as the EU view?

My topical post on the EU's future place in the world, with the same title as for this posting, is now available to be read and commented upon on the Orphans of Liberty web site, linked here.

As I reported here yesterday, one idea of the benefits the EU has supposedly brought us was posted on the Der Spiegel magazine website in English, yesterday.
The original article was here, my blogged comment is here.

UPDATE 2100 CET Merkel has refuted an attack (publicised after my posting was written,) by former Chancellor Kohl that Germany has gained a reputation for unreliability in foreign policy, read a report from Deutsche Welle, linked here.


Finland challenges other Euro Group members to offer alternative Collateral Deal!

Calling Schäuble's bluff the Finnish Finance Minister has today e-mailed her Euro Zone counterparts suggesting they offer a suitable alternative to the deal already negotiated by the Finns with the Greeks.

The San Francisco Chronicle has the report linked here, with the crucial portion as follows:

"If the Finnish and Greek deal isn't acceptable to others, it's now up to all euro members to build a model together that everyone finds acceptable," Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen, 36, said in an e-mailed statement today. "European Union founding treaties stipulate each country is liable for its own debts and commitments. Finland will hold onto this now and in the future."

The final paragraph of the report indicates the existing deal may trigger a default event on €18 billions worth of Greek bonds already sold which stipulate equal treatment for all investors those so far sucked in to this growing mess!

Labels: ,

“This is off the table,” ["Das ist vom Tisch"] Wolfgang Schäuble

Finland's Government maintains that their Collateral Deal with Greece stands, while German Finance Minister Schäuble states it is off the table. Interesting! FT Alphaville Blog is still on the case, the following is quoted from there:

From Handelsblatt on Thursday:

The eurozone will not agree the agreement between Finland and Greece on collateral. “This is off the table,” ["Das ist vom Tisch"] Wolfgang Schaeuble, the [German] finance minister, said to a meeting of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, sources told Handelsblatt.

Financial experts have warned [the Eurogroup] against allowing donor states to receive collateral on EFSF loans. In this case, Greece could get a wave of lawsuits from private creditors, the Handelsblatt learned from diplomatic circles in the EU. Private investors could rely on a so-called “negative pledge clause” in Greek government bonds

It seems a happy chance event that the markets presently only have eyes for Bernanke again in Jackson Hole,  see this amusing image, from here.

Labels: , , ,

Finland sticks to its guns over Greek Collateral Deal!

The Finnish Cabinet which met yesterday to consider German Chancellor Merkel's demand that the collateral deal with Greece be cancelled or amended, has rejected such a course, pointing out, as this blog did yesteraday, that it is strictly in accordance with the 21st July Euro Group deal on the second Greek bailout. Report here which has this statement:

Finland has not changed its stance on demanding collateral from Greece to guarantee its share of the bailout for the cash-strapped eurozone member, Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said Thursday as talks to find a compromise continued.

Urpilainen told reporters that the Finnish demands should come as 'no surprise' to other eurozone members since they had been raised and entered into the minutes at two European Union meetings.

More discussion with some amusing comment is here.


67 years since the German surrender in Paris

25th August 1944 and the German garrison occupying Paris surrendered.

Sixty-seven years later! Could those who died in the cause of liberty and independent rule by nations, free from totalitarian control, believe the state of the Europe of today? Facebook collage of the French remembrance is here.


The nightmare world of Sovereign Debtors!

The IMF reportedly objects to the Finnish Collateral deal with Greece on the grounds that it might jeopardize their place at the head of the line for repayments by Sovereign Countries. All this goes back to the 1800s strangely enough also involving Greece. A working paper on the so-called PARI PASSU Clause in Sovereign Debt Instruments, is linked here, it is in pdf format, long and heavy reading, but marvellously illustrative of the minefield, through which the bunch of incompetents now running the Euro Group are trying to navigate, incredibly aided by former Olympic Synchronised French Swim Team member, Mme Christine Lagarde at the IMF! 

A. The Text
Here is a typical formulation of the pari passu clause in a modern cross-border credit instrument:
The Notes rank, and will rank, pari passu in right of payment with all other present and future unsecured and unsubordinated External Indebtedness of the Issuer.
The Latin phrase “pari passu” means “in equal step” or just “equally.” The phrase pari passu was often used in equity jurisprudence to express the ratable interest of parties in the disposition of equitable assets.1 As explained by an English commentator in 1900:
There is no special virtue in the words “pari passu,” “equally” would have the same effect, or any other words showing that the [debt instruments] were intended to stand on the same level footing without preference or priority among themselves, but the words pari passu are adopted as a general term well recognized in the administration of assets in courts of equity.”2

Hat tip FT Alphaville blog, linked here.

Labels: ,

Britain's Brain Dead & Predacious Politicians

An Extract from the front page of the Google News UK  Web Site this morning!

Says much, if not, perhaps, it ALL!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

4% Greek 2 year bond yield jump spells DOOM for the Euro

Drama over Finland’s demand for collateral to back its loan to Athens has turned to tragedy for Greek yields, which saw their biggest rise on record on Wednesday. The Greek two-year bond yield jumped more than 4 percentage points to more than 44 per cent, as worries grew that Greece would not get the cash agreed just five weeks ago.

So says an article by James Mackintosh, in the "pink one" the FT, this evening, linked here! The cause of his despair? Why the Finn's Collateral Agreement, much discussed on postings over the past weeks on this blog, now even being noticed elsewhere! Seems it is about to derail Greek Bailout 2.0, just as predicted here  and could easily have been foreseen.

No matter, whether it is that or some other technical factor, the 21st July fudge was always doomed to crash. As I wrote on these pages first thing today, none of the guarantors of the EFSF can now really politically afford to back up their commitments, that is the real killer weakness. Worse, it didn't even buy the incompetent and indolent EU leaders the breathing space for the summer holidays, most of them apparently being absent, are still endeavouring to pretend to be enjoying!

Only the events in Libya are preventing matters getting completely out of hand, can Gadaffi evade capture until September, one wonders? If so perhaps the euro will see out the month!

More tomorrow!

Update21:33 Deutsche Welle on ECB's illegal bond buying, just in, linked here!


France predicts growth 1.75% this year and next - €11 billion of cuts

The impact of the new austerity measures announced by PM Fillon from the Hotel Matignon are not yet fully detailed on line. I will linke the most complete summary I can track down from this blog tomorrow.

The unfolding drama in Germany over the ECB bond buying and the Finn's position on the Collateral Agreement with Greece, mentioned in posts below this, seem far more concerning at present!


German President declares ECB Bond Purchases Illegal!

The German President, Christian Wulff, has followed the Bundesbank in declaring the purchase of debtor nations bonds by the European central Bank as against the EU Treaties, read here.

Well surely it could not be any clearer, nor confirmed by any higher political figure than that?

So will the ECB continue to purchase Spanish and Italian Bonds, which cost around €35 Billion in the past two weeks alone?

Labels: ,

A list from Germany of the EU's supposed achievements!

I have just posted to Orphans of Liberty a long post on all the disasters the EU has heaped upon us, now of course culminating in economic collapse. It is in the queue and will appear shortly.

At the end of the post I asked for commentators to let me know what they believe the EU has achieved. Well along came a tweet from Der Spiegel promoting this article, from which I have extracted this list of supposed benefits the EU supplies:

People have come to take many of its achievements for granted, so much so that that perhaps they would only notice them if they ceased to exist. One only need imagine an EU in which passport controls are reintroduced at borders, there are no longer reliable food safety regulations everywhere, freedom of speech and of the press no longer exist under today's standards (which Hungary is already violating, thereby exposing itself to strict scrutiny), and Europeans traveling to Budapest, Copenhagen or Prague, or even Paris, Madrid and Rome, are forced to exchange money and keep track of exchange rates. The notion of Europe as our home has become second nature to us. Perhaps this explains why we are prepared to jeopardize its existence so carelessly.

Wow all this economic misery and loss of democracy and accumulation of international shame from belonging to such a clearly corrupt grouping for ?????? "reliable food safety regulations" ????? All the other items listed are returning anyway and are a small price to pay for national sovereignty and the right to periodically change one's rulers without bloodshed! Interesting notion is it not that an Englishman's right to freedom of speech came from the EU, and that from a writer teaching sociology at the LSE - why am I not surprised?


Finns meet to reconsider Collateral Deal at Merkel's behest!

Business Insider carries the report reflected in my headline, linked here. As the Finnish parliament required the collateral arrangement with the Greeks, it seems doubtful that the Finns can participate in the second Greek Bailout without such insurance cover. Going ahead without the Finns will remove an important triple A rated guarantor from the package, not a good plan at this stage of the game.

It was clear from the statements following the 21st July agreement that Finland was to negotiate a collateral agreement with Greece. This is borne out by the reference in the summary of the agreement reached, linked here, which states the following:

9. Where appropriate, a collateral arrangement will be put in place so as to cover the risk arising to euro area Member States from their guarantees to the EFSF.

It is difficult to follow how even the German Chancellor can now ban such deals!


Merkel rejects colleagues call for Greek Gold!

On 6th August this blog spelt out in a very detailed posting why the EFSF would not be able to function without contributions from Italy and Spain. The post attracted two very illuminating and important comments from Denis Cooper. The posting is linked here.

The disputes regarding collateral, upon which this blog has been commenting ever since the requirement for Finland and Greece to reach a collateral agreement was included in the deal for the second Greek Bailout, a point being totally ignored by the MSM reporters belatedly coming to this fiasco, is now being used to obscure the harsher fact that NONE of the parties to the 21st July accord can really afford to enter into the far reaching obligations the agreement involves. An updated explanation of the EFSF was issued on 2nd August and is linked here.

The case appears to me to be that the ECB is also now incurring yet more liabilities, for in purchasing existing Italian and Spanish bonds and then sanitising equivalent amounts, as announced yesterday, at the end of the day is buying assets others do not want they cannot therefore be worth the full purchase price. Self-filling money boxes and Golden Geese I accepted as only fairy tales when leaving boyhood!

The Irish Times article on Greek Gold, which would be almost funny in other times, is linked here. If the Greeks have all that Gold at the present record high world gold price, pushing up towards $2,000 an ounce, why would they require all these interest rate subsidised loans?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Greece/Finland Collateral Deal tensions mount!

The Wall street Journal has the latest report on the collapsing second bailout for Greece, it is linked here. PressEurop conveys more of the angst in its report from here! A quote from Spain from that latter report carries the flavour of the many recriminations soon to come:

For El Mundo, the bilateral agreement obtained by Finland from Greece for additional collateral to guarantee the reimbursement of sums loaned as part of the second European bailout amounts to "a selfish attack on the unity of the eurozone." Only a week after Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel announced measures to combat the debt crisis, Finland has already “voided any progress" towards a common fiscal policy. The Madrid daily also notes that the agreement between Helsinki and Athens could be widely imitated: as it stands other states including Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia are eager to follow Finland’s example, "highlighting divisions in the euro countries and sounding the alarm for financial markets."


Consumer confidence crashes in the EU

The flash report for August is linked here; confidence is down in both the EU (down to -16.8 from -12.4 in July 2011) and the euro area (down to -16.6 from -11.2 in July 2011).

French PMI is below 50 falling to 49.3, a bad omen for growth especially as the budget details seeking cuts of up to €20 Billion for 2012 are presumed to be additional to those necessary for a downgrade of growth prospects from the already optimistic 2.25%. Read here. More on the French cuts and taxes tomorrow! 

Are Cameron, Clegg and Osborne sufficiently treacherous to accept Financial Transaction Tax?

The German Finance Minister is in Paris today, fleshing out the details of a Financial Transaction Tax, designed to ease the French budget cuts, to be announced by the French PM tomorrow, and the ever deepening crisis in the Euro Group of countries.

Aimed directly at the City of London, as reported here, the tax will no doubt initially be resisted by the British Government, but they have been already shown as more willing, even than any of their craven predecessors, to eventually roll-over and accept anything the Euro Group 17 leaders propose.

Labels: , , ,

Moody's warns Greek Bailout 2.0 Collapsing

As this blog has already reported, the Greek Bailout supposedly agreed on 21st July is on the verge of complete collapse. Moody's rating agency in New York has now picked up on that point, read here and most recent from here.


Gaddafi's Libya - a blueprint for Von Rompuy's EU?

EU Council President Von Rompuy with Gadaffi
Popular Conferences and People's Committees are the fruition of the people's struggle for democracy. Popular Conferences and People's Committees are not creations of the imagination; they are the product of thought which has absorbed all human experiments to achieve democracy.

Direct democracy, if put into practice, is indisputably the ideal method of government. Because it is impossible to gather all people, however small the population, in one place so that they can discuss, discern and decide policies, nations departed from direct democracy, which became an utopian idea detached from reality. It was replaced by various theories of government, such as representative councils, party-coalitions and plebiscites, all of which isolated the masses and prevented them from managing their political affairs.

 The above is taken from Gaddafi's Green Book, linked here, note the similarity with the Committees of the Regions now being consolidated across the EU, by the same secretive elite who have destroyed all our national democracies and economies, which latter result they are using as an excuse to now impose economic governance all across the Euro Zone, which concept is also being pushed by Britain's Coalition Government and vigourously extolled by a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and close ally of a Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron!

Libya's Committees disguising Gaddafi's Despotism

In Libya, in spite of the Gaddafi family public denials that they were in control, the entire populace suffering from this oppression, knew that the pretence that Gadaffi was not in complete control was a sham, charade and farce.

In the EU as it is presently being led, every one knows that the EU Parliament is powerless and toothless and that the appointed EU Commission is merely a body of espense and gold plated pension accruing bunch of self-serving failed national politicians. The President of the EU Council, Herman Von Rompuy is a plant and the leaders of the former nation states, which make up the council are incapable of either decision or effective action. One week ago today, this ghoulish man was proposed by Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy to also be President of the Euro Group, how mind-blowingly scary is that, especially as the non-euro ten will still be required to meet their share of the costs of keeping this creature on the payroll.

But who are they who control and pull Von Rompuy's strings? At least the Libyans knew the name of the despot at the head of their own tyranny? In the EU the huge majority of the hundreds of millions of former voting citizens of parliamentary democracies have yet to realise that they are being blatantly disenfranchised, so much for Europe as a safe haven for democracy!

The role of the EU's Committee of the Regions, is described by the EU itself on this link. The Government's Localism Bill, now passing through parliament, will allow the EU to rule the regions directly from Brussels, by-passing Parliament, and thereafter to keep them in line.

Parliament will levy local fines to ensure the regions pursue the centrally decreed policies - it has therefore nothing to do with localism at all. Merely another brick being cemented into position to bury our sovereignty and independence. Read earlier posts on localism from here.

Look again at the photo at the top of this posting, the smile on the gloating face of Von Rompuy, can now be better understood, can it not?

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Re-asserting Gravity and Common Sense to Europe's yields

H/T Pater Tenebrarum, Action Man Blog, linked here.

This chart is from the German IFO Institute and shows the development of euro area member nation bond yields since the euro's introduction was decided upon. The German legend that shows the three decisive periods reads: 1. 'exchange rates to the euro fixed' , 2. 'virtual euro introduced', 3. 'actual euro introduction' .

More images on similar affects may be viewed from here.


Guardian notices Europe's democracy is at risk!

Wow! Even The Guardian has finally awoken to what is afoot in Europe, read the article from here, datelined today from Brussels, with a picture of the "turd in the punchbowl" Jean-Claude Trichet himself! A quote:

Yiorgos Vassalos of Corporate Europe Observatory, a Brussels-based pro-transparency group, expressed concern at a "clear trend" in favour of unelected institutions taking over decision-making. "European powers [are] distancing themselves from voters while at the same time [there is] a growing tendency towards building closer relationships with corporate and specifically financial lobbies.

These two trends are explosive and can only lead to a loss of legitimacy for the EU institutions."


Muammer Gaddafi and the shame of Europe!

Since September 1969, only two world leader's ever tried to do anything about the revolting despot who ruled a country pressed tight up to the underbelly of the European Continent. These two were Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagen, who in trying to rid the world of this blot on humanity, were denied overflight rights of Europe's mainland nations, for their bombers, by the weak-willed and corrupt rulers who were then also in the midst of forming the European Union, whose first appointed President Herman Von Rompuy, visited Gaddafi as one of his first acts, as may be seen in this video of Nigel Farage's well stated protest, in the obscenity upon democracy that is the European parliament.

David Cameron, in trying to claim credit for Gaddafi's demise, could have saved much bloodshed and brought matters to a close far sooner had he early on reversed his decision and spared the Harriers and used the Ark Royal off Libya. President Sarkozy of France at least was able to supply the aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle", how long will that remain the case as the consequences of our leaders' similar incompetence in the economic sphere, continues to be, almost now daily, so vividly demonstrated.

Acceptance of corruption can never be the best course, we have taken 42 years to learn the lesson with Libya, the EU has soured the life and morals of our Continent for almost as long, it is time it too was brought to an end!

By the destruction of the democracy of 27 former nations, a Popperian tyranny remains on the march across Europe, if happily, soon no more in Libya!

Labels: ,

Denmark's CDS jump 26%

The quiet on the Sovereign Credit Default Swaps market of late last week has broken this morning, with Denmark up 26% followed by France up some 12% see here.


Euro bond German costs - €20 to €25 Billion over 10 years!

The idea of a referendum with this potential cost hanging over Germany's taxpayers would surely result in a sharp "Nein" in any EU referendum, as proposed in the same magazine, Der Spiegel, that offers the figures quoted in this post's headline above, in a report this morning.

The constitutional complications for Germany are also discussed in the article, but it worryingly begins by stating, that to save the Euro, it is a route that both Merkel and Schauble may consider pursuing.


Germany attacks the dollar ahead of market opening in crucial week!

The long summer holidays of the indolent rulers of the Euro Zone country's leaders, with none at the helm and no attempts being made to pretend that the supposed agreements of 21st July are not now irrevocably smashed, where no effort had been made to make them effective, now ensure that the EU fiasco will merely drift on for yet another week.

The German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble was on the radio this morning trying to draw attention away from the vacuum in Europe to the size of the US deficits and debts, read here.

Rumours regarding an unknown European bank continued to swirl over the weekend, with the most accurate summary of the present state of affairs which I read, being by John Ward, on The Slog, linked here. A selection from a plethora of various possible choice quotes from that blog is this:

The last few paragraphs represent a slightly long-winded way of saying that the system is dead. Bernanke and others have tried to nail its feet to the perch, but it is no more. It is an ex-system, no longer extant and – beautiful plumage or not – it has expired.

I quite like the word ‘expired’, because in commercial terms it is redolent of something being past its sell-by date. And yet, still our ‘leaders’ insist on trying to sell it as the only alternative. Every utterance from the EU, the World Bank, Westminster and the White House is designed to evoke fear of change, and steer people away from the Thought Crime of embracing a very different future. As always, this reflects two things: the lack of respect politicians have for the ordinary citizen’s stoicism, and the barren minds of those in charge. The Berlin farce last Tuesday, and the Christine Lagarde FT piece of the same day, offer all the evidence of this latter reality we will ever need: pompous banalities wrapped in visions of Paradise, and surrounded by diaphanous veils designed to hide a nasty power-play agenda.

Labels: ,

My response to John Redwood's post on Credit Crunch Costs!

The posting is linked here. My reply:

Martin Cole
Posted August 22, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Costs of the credit crunch and the excesses which led up to it?
The money matters little in the longer run!
More serious by far, in my view, are the loss of belief in the probity of the Civil Service and the word and motives of any politician sitting within the Palace of Westminster, in either of its two legislative chambers, would you not also agree?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Glass all empty view from FT Columnist

Tony Jackson writing for the FT has a surprisingly down-beat view of the Euro mess and UK house prices, linked here. A quote and concluding paragraphs:

It was always clear that the euro could not work indefinitely without closer union between the member states. But that would evolve in the fullness of time. It was not foreseen that time would run out – nor that member states, having been reluctant to pool fiscal and political sovereignty in the good times, would be no more inclined to do so at gunpoint......

...In the US, the recent budget fiasco had all the signs of an electorate rejecting the fact of hard times by blaming those in charge. And while the recent riots in the UK were criminal in character, riots always are. The question is what triggers them.

This is of course a glass-all-empty view, and therefore doubtless unreliable. But it seems to be the view of investors right now. And to coin a phrase, you can’t buck the market.

"Not foreseen" the FT of course, I have files full of posts to the FT Forums covering much of 2002 and 2003, arguing the exact opposite.

Labels: ,

The man 27 EU leaders nominated as their Leader - Herman Von Rompuy

The same man whom the 17 Euro Group Leaders are now being urged to accept to lead them against the other 10 of the EU 27!

Only nations acting as independent sovereign states can best survive the near- terminal, globalised, Western economic crisis, itself the product of the smashing of our democracies, an act essential to have made globalisation first possible!

Labels: , , ,

"Debt Forgiveness" - the monster that should not be named - now appears!

This blog has asserted long, loud and oh so often, that it is the house price crash, underwater home owners, walkaways and re-possessions that lay at the heart of the ongoing economic crisis in the English speaking countries of the West. I have in the past suggested means of solving this crisis, expensive but with costs as nothing compared to this proposal from the Irish Independent, this morning, read here. A quote:

"It [debt forgiveness] will have to be done simply because the Irish economy will not be able to function properly at all levels if we keep the levels of debt as they are. So far, we have spent four years of this crisis loading more debt on to the shoulders of already heavily indebted households and families. It is unsustainable," the Trinity College economist told the Sunday Independent.

Pointing to the direct impact the servicing of this massive debt was having on the middle class, whom he described as the "main productive part of the economy", he added: "We will have to simply allow these people to write down their mortgages to closer to the level of the prices of the homes that these mortgages have been written against. It has to be done very robustly at the level of the middle class. The reason why, is that the middle class is being the hardest squeezed by tax increases at current levels and future ones. They also bear the most burden in terms of debt, but also they are the main productive part of the economy."

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Draft 2012 EU Budget, details of the €Billions of waste yet to come!

Many thanks to Anne Palmer for sending on this parliamentary document.

I have referred to the draft budget for the EU quite often on this blog, but not had the full detail to provide as back-up. Those not wanting to absorb the horror of the monumental sums ot totally wasted expenditure detailed in the columns that follow, need really only reflect on the first line, which reads as follows:

Legal base  Article 314 TFEU; co-decision; QMV

QMV, for the benefit of those in doubt, means Qualified Majority Voting, thus neither Britain nor any other one time democratic and former independent nation state has any chance of veto on this absolutely obscene waste!


Democracy or Pan-European Totalitarianism!

My posting with the above title first appeared on the web site on Sunday 9th February 2003. It may be read as it then appeared from this link.

The moderately long posting concluded with the following plea:

I appeal directly to the Chairman of the convention, who, probably co-incidentally, incorporated my earlier minimum requirement in his initial constitutional draft, to read Popper’s excellent book and consider its implications. To achieve lasting renown, requires a bold step in favour of democratic fundamentals which will be strongly resisted by the various Brussels and National elites! Courage mon brave!

Should Europe’s new institutions be directly controlled by 'the majority' using the new tools available from the revolution in information technology?

Why is the major topic of discussion in the Convention, not about how the people of Europe may periodically remove their leaders and avoid the new organisations such as the ERRF and Europol becoming the instruments of a despot?

Are, perhaps, the tyrants already in control?

These are the questions that need to be addressed. Using Popper's labels of societies, they can be democracies or tyrannies, if the EU is to take on the full characteristics of a State, as the majority in Europe seem to believe is desirable, test whether this statement is true with a pan-European referendum. If the answer is Yes!, then build a Democracy for which all should wish, and of which they can be proud.

If No!, then at least the convention and its Chairman will not have lent their name, to the creation of perhaps the largest tyranny the world has yet to see!

Against whom will the name of Vallery Giscard d'Estaing be set in history… Pericles or Plato?... and for the creation of what kind of European Union, one of democracy and freedom or Popper's only alternative…?

The entire posting had been prepared for and submitted to the EU Future of Europe discussions forums, to which around the turn of the century, I had been a regular contributor, even exchanging directly with Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, on the only occasion that I know of, when he held a public exchange on that Futurum Forum!

That crucial posting was rejected for publication by the EU moderator, one ominous signal that the die had been cast, and the response to the posts crucial question"Are, perhaps, the tyrants already in control?" was not already answered in the affirmative but had been already been accepted and put into effect across the entire EU organisation, as must have certainly been obvious to the EU appointed moderator of the Forum, which had been supposedly set up for the future EU citizens to discuss their concerns over the methods of their governance!

I realised very quickly, that one posting on Samizdata, would not add anything to the long term debate and therefore by the end of that same month - February 2003 - had started my own blog "Ironies" to continually and regularly push the same case.

On Sunday 23rd February 2003, I had grasped the essentials of blogging sufficiently well to post "Democracy or Pan-European Totalitarianism" on my own blog. A link is here.

Today due to the slow loading of the archives of Ironies old postings, I am presently preparing them on a monthly pdf file basis, which will be available free on line. The first month of posts for February 2003, is now linked here . An even more significant post from that same month, I posted on the Orphans of Liberty website earlier this month, that too seems now worth quoting here:

Parliamentary Democracy Unsuitable for Europe

The article in the 25th February edition of the Financial Times to which the link above refers, concludes as follows:-

A popular compromise is for the Commission president to be elected by the European parliament. But this would be a first step towards a parliamentary form of government and, once in place, it would preclude evolution towards a presidential system.

In the short term it would be better to have the Commission president elected by an electoral college. Member states would then be free to choose how to appoint members to the college, whether by direct election or appointment by their parliaments. Over time, this arrangement could evolve into a fully fledged presidential system, as it did in the US in the first half of the 19th century.

The writers are professors of economics at Bocconi University in Milan and at the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva and are research fellows of the Centre for Economic Policy Research

The early portion of the column casually discounts parliamentary democracy as being inappropriate for the EU.
Europe's intellectuals continue their determined assault on the Continent's democratic traditions and the drive towards tyranny continues apace.

Remember this quote from Professor Bertrand Badie's paper entitled "The Nation State One Player Among Many"

"The advent of citizenship has conferred on the national political community the status of a community with voting rights. In the context of the 19th century, and in the major part of the 20th, this was necessary for forging and perfecting democracy. There is no choice today but to admit that national political communities have fewer and fewer voting rights because the major decisions are no longer taken by the national political communities. Some of them are taken by the European Union, or even at world level........The national level will remain the citizen's level, but his freedom of debate will become totally illusory."

Note, we are not just to lose our right to vote, but also the freedom to debate.

When will some of these poltical theorists explain why democracy, parliamentary or otherwise, is unsuitable for Europe. My very ability to type this page, which instantaneously becomes available to be read by every internet connected citizen across the globe, let alone just within the existing or proposed EU, makes that position a nonsense. From here, within minutes I can register a vote on countless different websites expressing my opinion on pretty much every subject under the sun. The technology exists all we lack is the will!

posted by Martin at 2/27/2003 05:07:00 PM

In February 2003, it must therefore be clear, democracy as a tool for use by the EU had been already rejected by the powers that be. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing was not acting alone, but as one leader of the new self-perpetuating EU elite! The same men and women who have now brought the EU to this moment of existential crisis!

My delight last evening when I saw the article in a popular magazine from the EU's most popluace, wealthy and influential nation state can therefore be well imagined, by all regular readers of my blogs.

I will post later today and this weekend, on the difficulties I now foresee and the best way forward that I can discern, given our truly dreadful starting point.

If my calls for direct democracy within the EU are to be now no longer completely ignored, careful thought and consideration before making further posts is now essential! The answers of course have all been provided time and again in the archives of both Ironies Too and Ironies.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Der Spiegel Article calls for Democracy and EU Referendum!

Read it from this link, comment on this blog over the coming weekend!


Dutch PM after Cabinet meeting threatens veto on Greek/Finnish deal

The Wall Street Journal, has this further bad news for the survival possibilities of the second Greek bailout as discussed in my earlier posting immediately beneath this. It reports:

If Finland receives collateral other euro-zone members should get it too, Rutte told reporters after a cabinet meeting, according to the FD.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said the Greek-Finnish deal isn't set in stone and that other European governments would have to approve it.
"Finland doesn't have a deal with Greece yet. Finland doesn't have anything at this stage," De Jager was quoted as saying by local news agency ANP.


Finland sinks Greek Bailout 2.0

EU Observer, reports on the collateral deal offered by Greece to the Finns, earlier reports on which seemed confused, read here.

The Open Europe blog has even more information and describes other smaller Euro Group nations such as Austria rushing to obtain similar terms. That blog posting generously concludes as follows:

Fundamentally, this shows how complex - and unsustainable - the politics of cross-border bailouts are. And how, at the end of the day, eurozone leaders are politicians who are elected by voters (taxpayers) and who answer to national parliaments. They're acting within a democratically defined mandate. While you can stretch that mandate when it comes to complex EU treaties, regulations or the role of obscure EU judges, for example - taxpayers' cash is too close to home for this to work.

In fact, given the growing strains on the sovereign credit ratings of France and even also Germany, as reflected in the credit default swap markets since the 21st July meeting, it looks to this blogger, as if that deal is now definitely dead.