Friday, January 23, 2015
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Stiglitz is no conspiracy nutter ranting about Black Helicopters. The man was inside the game, a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet as Chairman of the President's council of economic advisors.
After briberization, Step Two of the IMF/World Bank one-size-fits-all rescue-your-economy plan is 'Capital Market Liberalization.' In theory, capital market deregulation allows investment capital to flow in and out. Unfortunately, as in Indonesia and Brazil, the money simply flowed out and out. Stiglitz calls this the "Hot Money" cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation's reserves can drain in days, hours. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%.
"The result was predictable," said Stiglitz of the Hot Money tidal waves in Asia and Latin America. Higher interest rates demolished property values, savaged industrial production and drained national treasuries.
At this point, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: Market-Based Pricing, a fancy term for raising prices on food, water & cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, "The IMF riot."
The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, "down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage & squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up," as when the IMF eliminated food & fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998. Indonesia exploded into riots, but there are other examples - the Bolivian riots over water prices last year & this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the WB. You'd almost get the impression that the riot is written into the plan.
And it is. What Stiglitz did not know is that, while in the States, BBC and The Observer obtained several documents from inside the WB, stamped over with those pesky warnings, "confidential," "restricted," "not to be disclosed." Let's get back to one: the "Interim Country Assistance Strategy" for Ecuador, in it the Bank several times states - with cold accuracy - that they expected their plans to spark, "social unrest," to use their bureaucratic term for a nation in flames.
That's not surprising. The secret report notes that the plan to make the US dollar Ecuador's currency has pushed 51% of the population below the poverty line. The WB "Assistance" plan simply calls for facing down civil strife & suffering with, "political resolve" - & still higher prices. The IMF riots (& by riots I mean peaceful demonstrations dispersed by bullets, tanks & teargas) cause new panicked flights of capital and government bankruptcies. This economic arson has it's bright side - for foreign corporations, who can then pick off remaining assets, such as the odd mining concession or port, at fire sale prices. Stiglitz notes that the IMF and WB are not heartless adherents to market economics. At the same time the IMF stopped Indonesia 'subsidizing' food purchases, "when the banks need a bail-out, intervention (in the market) is welcome." The IMF scrounged up tens of billions of dollars to save Indonesia's financiers and, by extension, the US & European banks from which they had borrowed.
Now we arrive at Step Four of what the IMF and WB call their "poverty reduction strategy": Free Trade. This is free trade by the rules of the WTO and WB, Stiglitz the insider likens free trade WTO-style to the Opium Wars. "That too was about opening markets," he said. As in the 19th century, Europeans & Americans today are kicking down the barriers to sales in Asia, Latin American & Africa, while barricading our own markets against 3rd World agriculture.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Yes, let's be honest, the de facto leadership of all things in Europe is exercised by Germany. The problem is that unless or until we all accept and formalize that a German politician (former STASI officer - merkel) captains the European Union and that Germany calls all of the shots, then it's the same as if there was nobody in charge.
Everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job. Everybody thought that anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.My dual military related and commercial career to date has led me to hold a few golden rules dear to my heart.One of my golden rules is this. When one enters a situation where there is clearly a crisis playing out, the first question to be asked is, "Who is in charge here?" The answer can tell you a lot about why the crisis might have arisen in the first place, and can give some indication of the chances of the crisis being controlled and resolved. If the person questioned can't answer straight away, confidently that "So-and-so is in charge", then you already have some understanding of why the organization is in a crisis. If the person questioned answers along the lines of "I think Blogs is in charge but, err, then again it could be Smith in charge. Err, or is it Jones in charge? Not sure really. One of them, is in charge anyway ... I think."...And there you have it. Nobody's quite sure who's really in charge at the ECB. Indeed, nobody's really sure who's in charge at the ECB; or in charge of the Euro Monetary Union; or in charge of the European Union. These are all just monstrous, dysfunctional European institutions which can neither jointly nor severally take 400 million European citizens to the economic and social paradise of a super state (which is what the European Union is supposed to be about). This is as much because the structures for governance of these organizations are a shambles, as it is because the underlying concept itself - of slamming sovereign nations together into a super state without democratic consent and without a single, clearly identified leader at the helm - is a monstrous deceit. And now we have the particular situation explained by AEP above where the best the nascent European superstore's bank can do is to slam the continent into deflation. That's terrific, just terrific. A dysfunctional monetary union, tucked inside a dysfunctional economic and political union with, sitting behind it all, a dysfunctional central bank. An organization in crisis if ever there was one.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
What has helped mask these extraordinary transformations are cheap energy, cheap debt, and cheap imported goods. However, right now, all the chickens are coming home to roost - the west (and particularly Japan) does not have sustainable access to cheap debt and cheap energy to fuel consumption and our mobile lifestyles.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The Spanish government requires that any resident with an overseas asset worth more than €50,000 and who lives in Spain at least six months (183 days) of the year is affected – and must declare what they own abroad.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Saturday, December 22, 2012
We can make it next year if we can stick to the programme agreed with the EU and IMF.
What we have done so far is necessary but not sufficient to achieve a permanent solution for Greece...The issue now is implementation.
We still face the possible risk of bankruptcy.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 29, 2010
In mid-October, OMV finalised the acquisition of Turkey's biggest petrol station chain, Petrol Ofisi, for which it paid one billion euros, securing a significant share of a market credited with the biggest chances of growth in the next period.Reinhard Pichler, 49, former CFO of Petrom, left his position last week, being replaced by Daniel Turnheim, a member of the OMV group since back in 2002. Pichler is not leaving the group, however, but will go to Turkey, where he will fill the same position he has occupied in Petrom since 2004.At the beginning of this year Tamas Mayer, who used to be in charge of Petrom's marketing operations, i.e. of the nearly 550 distribution stations, left the position to become Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Petrol Ofisi. According to some sources, Mayer will be running marketing operations within Petrol Ofisi, as well.Agerpres, Mediafax, Romanian Vancouver Sun,Global News, Financial Times,Tribune, ,Wall Street Journal,The Washington Times,Athens News,The New York Times,USA Today,Le Monde
Thursday, November 11, 2010
duri, mita, gaze, uniunea europeana,ministru,creditlitia,dosare,coruptie,interne,calificat, infractori,guvern,prezidenriale,dreapta,legea salarizarii unice,salarii,geoana,basescu,finante,tariceanu, socialism,liberalism,marea neagra,lege,europarlamentare,parlament,constitutie,curs,leu,dolar,euro, masuri anticriza,politica,fmi
UniCredit Ţiriac Bank ended the third quarter with 67 million RON (almost 16 million euro) net profit, down 6% compared with the same time last year. Nine months into the year, net profit amounted to 215 million RON (52 million euros), a 15% decline compared with 18% in the first half.Operating revenues exceeded one billion RON (245 million euros) nine months into the year, up 15%, while the credit portfolio rose by 13%, to 13.3 billion RON (3.1 billion euros). Midyear, the lending increase stood at 11%, with the Italian group continuing to apply the strategy designed to boost the loan market share.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
China's rapid growth is easing to a manageable pace and Beijing can do more to reconfigure its economy to promote domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade, the World Bank said Wednesday. Inflation that has risen steadily this year should level off and is unlikely to be a serious problem, the bank said in a quarterly China outlook. The Washington-based bank raised its 2010 growth forecast from 9.5 percent to 10 percent and said the expansion should slow to 8.7 percent next year. Growth eased to 9.6 percent in the three months ending in September, down from 10.3 percent the previous quarter, as the government imposed lending and investment curbs.
"We think that coming from this very strong growth, China should be able to ease into a more sustainable growth rate in the long term," said the report's main author, Louis Kuijs, at a news conference.
The outlook reflects China's status as the first major economy to rebound from the global crisis on the strength of a flood of stimulus spending and bank lending. While Washington and others are trying to shore up growth, Beijing faces the challenge of cooling inflation and restoring normal conditions.
Beijing needs to boost wages and consumer spending and promote growth of private and service businesses to reduce reliance on exports and energy-intensive heavy industry, the World Bank said.
"The need to rebalance to more domestic demand-led, service sector-oriented growth seems stronger now than five years ago," said Kuijs. "Internationally the environment is less favorable than it was."
Communist leaders made raising domestic consumption a priority in their latest five-year economic plan crafted at a meeting last month. But it also was a goal in their previous plan and private sector analysts say Beijing has yet to take major steps to shift emphasis away from manufacturing and construction. The World Bank recommended opening up more industries to private business, changing the way energy prices are set to encourage efficiency and nurturing private-sector research and development. The bank cautioned against abrupt steps such as mandating sharp wage hikes, saying Beijing instead should look at gradual changes such as allowing more rural workers to move to cities and changing energy prices that favor heavy industry."We are looking for a market-oriented, market-friendly way of getting this consumption growth, consistent with continued strong growth," Kuijs said. Inflation that hit 3.6 percent in September, well above the 3 percent government target, should level off but might stay as high as 3.3 percent next year, the bank said. Kuijs said that in developing economies such as China, inflation of 3 to 5 percent might be acceptable as industries grow rapidly and demand for resources shifts."We still do not think China's inflation is at a very serious risk of escalating but we also do not think China will go back to the very low rate of inflation it saw in 2005," he said.
The bank also cautioned that China's politically contentious trade surplus is likely to rebound in 2011 after narrowing temporarily this year.
The multibillion-dollar trade gap has strained relations with Washington and other trading partners and prompted some U.S. lawmakers to demand sanctions over Chinese currency controls blamed for widening the surplus.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Romania could find out in about two weeks' time if and how much economic growth it will see next year, what the main taxes will look like - flat rate, social contributions, VAT, what the new arrangement to be signed with the IMF in spring will look like and implicitly how big the RON/euro exchange rate volatility will be.
The first official talks between the IMF's review mission and the authorities began yesterday.Jeffrey Franks, the mission chief, says the Fund's forecasts regarding the Romanian economy could be adjusted, but not significantly.Forecast modifications have become a current practice over the course of the arrangement sealed in the spring of 2009, with the IMF so far only revising its calculations for the worse, after failing to anticipate the economic trends. Now the Fund expects a 1.5% GDP growth for 2011.The final forecasts will be an essential tool towards building next year's budget. The draft that recently featured in the press but has yet to be officially assumed is already suspected of overestimating the revenue potential. Things are made even more complicated by the chaos on the political scene, which was reflected yesterday in the Parliament in the decisions on introducing a 5% VAT rate on basic food items and on exempting from taxation pensions of less than 2,000 RON, after there had been talk of taxing all incomes of this type.If these decisions are politically assumed, by the head of state inclusively, attempts by the main ruling party PD-L to talk to the IMF about cutting the flat rate to 12%, cutting overall social contributions to 41% and increasing the minimum wage to 700 RON will fail.