Showing posts with label monede nationale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monede nationale. Show all posts

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Capitalism covers a very wide range of systems, and is not the direct culprit for our problems. However, the way capitalism is implemented today is a big problem, it is undermining democracy and radicalizing large portions of the population. It will not end well, if this trend is allowed to persist.
Probably the single most harmful detail is the stock exchange. There are many other issues also, but shareholders in particular have been given the rights of owners, which is illogical, as they are in fact speculators. The owners should be the long term caretakers of corporations, with managers more interested in short term benefits. All shareholders care about is the short to mid term value of the stock, not the long term viability of the enterprise. To get the managers to play this game, they have given managers salaries that approach investor profits in scale. As a result, capitalism has gone bananas, not caring for long term viability, the communities they function in, the environment, the law, not even the customers .... share value is all that counts these days and no cost is too great to achieve it.
Democratic Capitalism need not be like this, it is just the default mode of operation it will slip into if left unattended. And this mode is bent on self-destruction, with a tendency to degenerate into Fascism or Communism ... if left to play out its natural course. If this is not to happen, the democratic part of Democratic Capitalism needs to be more pronounced...point / counterpoint...Capitalism works because entrepreneurs and managers figure out how customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and people with the money all can cooperate to benefit....No it doesn't.
  • Capitalism works by creating profit. Where there is profit there is deficit.
  • Capitalism works by making profit out of the exploitation of those who create that profit in the first place. This is why workers are not paid the actual value of what they produce, because the capitalist or entrepreneur cant make any profit out of that.
  • Capitalism may not be perfect, yet it is the greatest system of social co-operation ever created thus far.
No it isn't, the greatest system of social co-operation is where everyone is equal and treated equally, that is true co-operation. Capitalism is exploitation of the masses for the benefit of the minority.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Public confidence in the European Union has fallen

Public confidence in the European Union has fallen to historically low levels in the six biggest EU countries, raising fundamental questions about its democratic legitimacy more than three years into the union's worst ever crisis, new data shows.
After financial, currency and debt crises, wrenching budget and spending cuts, rich nations' bailouts of the poor, and surrenders of sovereign powers over policymaking to international technocrats, Euroscepticism is soaring to a degree that is likely to feed populist anti-EU politics and frustrate European leaders' efforts to arrest the collapse in support for their project.
Figures from Eurobarometer, the EU's polling organisation, analysed by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a thinktank, show a vertiginous decline in trust in the EU in countries such as Spain, Germany and Italy that are historically very pro-European.
The six countries surveyed – Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, and Poland – are the EU's biggest, jointly making up more than two out of three EU citizens or around 350 million of the EU's 500 million population.
The findings, published exclusively in the Guardian in Britain and in collaboration with other leading newspapers in the other five countries, represent a nightmare for Europe's leaders, whether in the wealthy north or in the bailout-battered south, suggesting a much bigger crisis of political and democratic legitimacy.
EU lack of trust                        
"The damage is so deep that it does not matter whether you come from a creditor, debtor country, euro would-be member or the UK: everybody is worse off," said José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of the ECFR's Madrid office. "Citizens now think that their national democracy is being subverted by the way the euro crisis is conducted."
EU leaders are aware of the problem, utterly at odds over what to do about it, and have yet to come up with any coherent policy proposals addressing the mismatch between the pooling of economic and fiscal powers and the democratic mandate deemed necessary to underpin such radical policy shifts.
José Manuel Barroso, the European commission president, said on Tuesdaythis week the European "dream" was under threat from a "resurgence of populism and nationalism" across the EU. "At a time when so many Europeans are faced with unemployment, uncertainty and growing inequality, a sort of 'European fatigue' has set in, coupled with a lack of understanding. Who does what, who decides what, who controls whom and what? And where are we heading to?"
The most dramatic fall in faith in the EU has occurred in Spain, where the banking and housing market collapse, eurozone bailout and runaway unemployment have combined to produce 72% "tending not to trust" the EU, with only 20% "tending to trust".
The data compares trust and mistrust in the EU at the end of last year with levels in 2007, before the financial crisis, to reveal a precipitate fall in support for the EU of the kind that is common in Britain but is much more rarely seen on the continent.
In Spain, trust in the EU fell from 65% to 20% over the five-year period while mistrust soared to 72% from 23%.
In five of the six countries, including Britain, mistrust prevailed over trust by sizeable margins, whereas in 2007 – with the exception of the UK – the opposite was the case.
Five years ago, 56% of Germans "tended to trust" the EU, whereas 59% now "tend to mistrust". In France, mistrust has risen from 41% to 56%. In Italy, where public confidence in Europe has traditionally been higher than in the national political class, mistrust of the EU has almost doubled from 28% to 53%.
Even in Poland, which enthusiastically joined the EU less than a decade ago and is the single biggest beneficiary from the transfers of tens of billions of euros from Brussels, support has plummeted from 68% to 48%, although it remains the sole country surveyed where more people trust than mistrust the union.
In Britain, where Eurobarometer regularly finds majority Euroscepticism, the mistrust grew from 49% to 69%, the highest level with the exception of the extraordinary turnaround in Spain.
A separate, more detailed study published this week on the impact of the currency and debt crisis and the austerity policies that have followed also found steep falls across the EU in faith in democracy and national political elites.
The study for the Cabinet Office by the European Social Survey, linking university researchers across the EU, found that soaring unemployment, anxiety and insecurity had eroded faith in politics.
"Overall levels of political trust and satisfaction with democracy [declined] across much of Europe, but this varied markedly between countries. It was significant in Britain, Belgium, Denmark and Finland, particularly notable in France, Ireland, Slovenia and Spain, and reached truly alarming proportions in the case of Greece," it said.
The financial crisis "not only eroded the objective economic conditions of many citizens, but also created widespread anxiety about a country's future even among those who did not experience hardship directly".
Faced with this erosion of political support and the battering traditional politics is taking from populist newcomers such as Beppe Grillo's Five Star movement in Italy, policymakers appear at a loss.
On Monday, Barroso said the austerity policies being applied, mainly under pressure from Berlin, had reached the "limits of political and social acceptance" and were "unsustainable" in their current form. On Tuesday, though, the commission in Brussels sought to row back on his remarks.
Within the eurozone, the key response to the crisis, apart from bailouts, has been to embark on a systematic surrender of budgetary and fiscal powers from national governments and parliaments to Brussels, as well as having countries being bailed out overseen by a "troika" of technocrats and economists from the commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These are "federalising" steps in a long process of eurozone integration that might see it transformed from a currency into a political union.
"The EU has hit home and is here to stay as a watchdog of budgets, labour markets, pensions etc. This is unprecedented, and risky," said Torreblanca. "Unless it is fixed, it will feed the vicious circle between anti-EU populism and technocracy which we are currently seeing operating."
Barroso argued strongly in two speeches this week that federalism was the only answer to Europe's crisis of finances and of confidence. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, brushing off widespread fears of a new German "hegemony" in Europe and the eurozone, also said that governments had to give up much more power to Brussels.
"We still haven't found the answer to the question of whether we're actually now prepared to unite on common economic parameters inside the single currency area," she said in a Berlin debate with the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk. "If we want to have a common currency, a common Europe, we have to be ready to give up our hard-won habits … That means we have to be prepared to accept that in the end Europe has the final word in certain things. Otherwise we can't keep on building this Europe … To an extent, we have to jump over our own shadows. I'm ready for that."
But Tusk delivered an unusually stark warning that German prescriptions could bring increasing nationalism and populism across the EU in a backlash that was already well under way.
"We can't escape this dilemma: how do you get a new model of sovereignty so that limited national sovereignty in the EU is not dominated by the biggest countries like Germany, for example," he said pointedly. "Under the surface, this fear will be everywhere: in Warsaw, in Athens, in Stockholm. It will be everywhere without exception."
Aart de Geus, head of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German thinktank, also warned that the drive to surrender more key national powers to Brussels would backfire. "Public support for the EU has been falling since 2007. So it is risky to go for federalism as it can cause a backlash and unleash greater populism."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The European Central Bank has launched a push to strengthen the eurozone's banking system and keep troubled financial institutions from holding back the region's economy.
The bank announced Wednesday that a year-long review of 130 of Europe's biggest banks will begin next month. The asset review is an effort to check for hidden bank losses such as loans that are unlikely to be repaid. That will be followed by a stress test conducted along with the European Banking Authority that would simulate bank losses in a crisis. At the end, banks could be pushed to repair their finances by raising more capital.
Troubled finances at some banks have held back the economy of the 17 EU countries that use the euro by making it harder for them to lend to businesses. Banks that have shaky assets - such as bad loans - may be unable to find cash to lend to businesses that need credit to expand their operations. The review is also aimed at restoring confidence in bank finances so they can borrow money more cheaply themselves - and rely less on the ECB's emergency credit offerings.
The asset review is a test of the ECB's credibility. Previous stress tests carried out by the European Banking Authority clcomplicated because Europe does not have a single resolution authority that could carry out the restructuring of troubled banks. European leaders are still debating how to set up such an authority. For now that job remains in the hands of national authorities who have been seen as too reluctant to take tough measures against their home banks ...German banks were "already intensively preparing for the comprehensive assessment"Haha, or in real words, walls of bluff and bluster are hurriedly being erected to hide the massive black holes of the overleveraged biggest german banks. Hopefully the proximity of the ECB in Frankfurt will provide assistance with the fraud.
At least they have money coming in from the Irish and Greek Taxpayer to pay for the credit scams they inflicted on those countries though.eared many banks - only to see some of them rescuing soon after.
Economists say Europe's delay in dealing with bank troubles has held back the eurozone economy. Officials in the United States, by contrast, moved far quicker in the wake of the 2008 collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The asset review and stress test are preliminary to the ECB taking over as the European Union's banking supervisor next year. The single supervisor is part of a broader effort to strengthen the banking system and prevent a repeat of the debt problems afflicting countries such as Greece and Portugal.

Monday, October 14, 2013

BRUSSELS—England is blocking final approval of a powerful new supervisor for euro zone banks until it receives further guarantees that countries outside the currency union won't be disadvantaged.
At a meeting of European Union ambassadors on Friday, the U.K. asked to delay final approval of the so-called single supervisory mechanism for the third time in less than a month.
The single banking supervisor is the first leg of the euro zone's ambitious banking-union project, which aims to draw a line under the region's recent debt crisis. The hope is the new supervisor, under the auspices of the European Central Bank, will allow banking crises to be spotted—and dealt with—before they become systemic.
The legislation has already been approved by the European Parliament, and approval by EU member states is usually a formality at this stage.
Britain previously asked to postpone final approval of the legislation on Sept. 25, to allow its parliament to review last-minute tweaks that would give European lawmakers greater oversight of the supervisor's activities.
Now, the U.K. is also pushing for political assurances that safeguards introduced into the legislation—aimed at preventing the euro zone from pushing through financial rules as a bloc in decisions that affect the EU as a whole-—aren't watered down, EU officials said.
"We have consistently said that we support the creation of a euro zone banking union, but we have also been clear that there need to be safeguards to ensure the integrity of the single market is guaranteed, and that the rights of countries not taking part are protected," a U.K. government spokesman said.
The safeguards aim to ensure that the new supervisor, which will cover the 17 euro zone states as well as any non-euro countries that choose to join, can't use its inbuilt majority of the EU's 28 members to dominate the European Banking Authority, which sets standards across the EU.  Under a deal hammered out in December, binding regulation can only be agreed by the EBA with a "double majority"— simple majorities of states both inside and outside the euro zone. EU governments have agreed not to change that voting system until the number of EU states outside the banking union falls to four. However, British officials are now worried that the voting rules will be watered down once the single supervisory mechanism, or SSM, is agreed, and that those weaker rules will be applied to legislation on bank resolution—the second leg of banking union. An EU official said the U.K. wanted reassurance that changes to the voting rules in the EBA wouldn't happen for "a couple of decades."
"We're confident that we can get the assurances that we need and that this can be sorted out quickly," a British official said. The EU official said EU member states might circulate a text to reassure the U.K. The U.K. has said that it won't participate in the banking union, but has worked hard to ensure its own supervisor doesn't get overpowered by the SSM in EU-wide decisions.
Chantal Hughes, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, the EU's executive, said she was confident the U.K.'s concerns could be resolved in "the next few days."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eurozone is in recession and going into a deflationary spiral, France is a basket case the UK will escape the EU....As far as I can see Greece, Italy, Spain, Romania, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta, Hungary and  Slovenia have had their economies totally shafted by the Euro. Now even the big guns of France and Holland are going down. Even the mighty Germany is shrinking and heading for deflation. Please forgive me if I say do the opposite to whatever is happening in the Eurozone, avoid these policies, prod with bargepole etc. ... They're a bunch of raving lunatics FFS.   The EU wouldn't exist if not for the British Commonwealth, United States and Russia. Plus we formed a successful single currency area several hundred years ago that will outlast the eurozone. The arrogance appears to lie with the bumbling continentals who wouldn't listen to those who said that there was a need for political union before currency union. So we have every right to lecture the rest of the EU.... The Commission forecast says euro-area growth will shrink by 0.4% this year, down from 0.3% forecast in February.  France will go into recession this year with negative growth of 0.1% and unemployment rising to 10.9% in 2014 from 10.6% this year.  On Thursday, the European Central Bank cut interest rates on growth worries.  "Grappling with the aftermath of a profound financial and economic crisis, the EU economy is set to pick up speed only very slowly in the course of this year," the report said.  It predicted that France's deficit would rise sharply from 3.9% of GDP this year to 4.2% in 2014. That prompted the EU's commissioner for economic affairs, Olli Rehn, on Friday to say it would be "reasonable" to give France two extra years to meet the EU deficit target of 3%.  However, Reuters reported a French finance ministry official as saying that, despite Mr Rehn's comments, the country would stick to its aim of meeting the 3% target in 2014.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Where is the money going? It is being transferred onto the balance sheets of bankrupt banks from the taxpayers. Banks then use it hike their salaries repair their pension funds. Then the attempt to repair and cover up for their disastrous lending practices.
They starve the real economy of working capital. It was decided in the European looney union that every banks was too big to fail. Now they have decided to let whole countries go to the wall because their banking policies were another disaster. Hans Werner Sinn suddenly copped that the obligations of the top 6 debtor countries is over 8.3 trillion. The gloves are off and now they are in confiscatory mode not just hitting bond holders but large depositors who are going to have to flee very fast if they are to escape with their wealth.Make you laugh when you see Osborne, in the middle of all this, trying to buy the next election taking people for complete fools by handing them loans they would otherwise be able to afford. People should consider that act of treachery as tantamount to being handed a long length of rope with which to hang themselves and their families. Forget Osborne and his ilk, keep saving and you will get them for the price of your savings in due course.

Monday, February 11, 2013

There you go dice ma'man...hihihihi

The Eu Parliament is refusing the budget as is.   Le Point:
"Le Parlement européen ne peut accepter en l'état l'accord trouvé aujourd'hui (vendredi) au Conseil européen. Nous regrettons que M. Van Rompuy n'ait pas parlé, ni négocié avec nous au cours des derniers mois", ont indiqué les parlementaires. Les chefs d'État et de gouvernement européens se sont mis d'accord vendredi, à l'issue d'un sommet marathon, sur un budget d'austérité pour les sept prochaines années, en baisse pour la première fois dans l'histoire de l'Union européenne. "C'est maintenant que les véritables négociations vont commencer, avec le Parlement européen", ont prévenu les parlementaires. True negotiations are starting... 
Joint Statement to the Press by Joseph Daul, on behalf of the EPP Group, Hannes Swoboda, on behalf of the S&D Group, and Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group and on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
"...This agreement will not strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy. It is not in the prime interest of our European citizensThe European Parliament cannot accept today's deal in the European Council as it is. We regret that Mr Van Rompuy did not talk and negotiate with us in the last months.
.....We see with astonishment that EU leaders agree to a budget that could lead to a structural deficit. Large gaps between payments and commitments will only store up trouble for the future and not solve existing problems. We remain firm on the respect of Article 310 of the Treaty which requires a balanced budget.
In addition to this there are four important points that we will not abandon:

First, we are calling for increased flexibility using Qualified Majority Voting: between years and between categories of spending. It is a sensible approach which will allow us to make the best use of our financial resources.
Second, we are also standing firm on a compulsory revision clause with a Qualified Majority Vote in the Council, which should allow us to revise the financial framework in two or three years. We don't accept an austerity budget for seven years.
Third, with this same sense of responsibility we are calling for new, genuine own resources for the European budget to progressively replace the current system based heavily on national GNI contributions.  Fourth, we cannot accept a budget based solely on priorities of the past. We must maintain support for future-oriented policies, strengthening European competitiveness and research.
The outcome of the final budget will determine whether the second decade of the 21st century will be remembered as the time of further integration for the benefit of all Europeans or the time of a standstill for Europe, or even falling behind in a globalised world.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Switzerland's oldest bank is to close permanently after pleading guilty in a New York court to helping Americans evade their taxes. Wegelin, which was established in 1741, has also agreed to pay $57.8m (£36m; 44m euros) in fines to US authorities. It said that once this was completed, it "will cease to operate as a bank". The bank had admitted to allowing more than 100 American citizens to hide $1.2bn from the Internal Revenue Service for almost 10 years. Wegelin, based in the small Swiss town of St Gallen, started in business 35 years before the US declaration of independence. It becomes the first foreign bank to plead guilty to tax evasion charges in the US. Other Swiss banks have in recent years moved to prevent US citizens from opening offshore accounts. US Attorney Preet Bharara said: "The bank wilfully and aggressively jumped in to fill a void that was left when other Swiss banks abandoned the practice due to pressure from US law enforcement." The closure of Wegelin is a watershed moment that has huge implications for the Swiss banking industry - and for Switzerland's famed banking secrecy. Wegelin's guilty plea included the admission that it intentionally opened accounts for US citizens to help them avoid tax. In court Wegelin's managers said they knew it was wrong, but thought they would not be prosecuted because it was legal in Switzerland, and common practice in Swiss banking - words which are causing something close to panic among other Swiss banks, including Credit Suisse, who are also being investigated by the US authorities. Until now everyone expected Wegelin to fight the charges - instead Switzerland's oldest bank will cease to exist. The message to the Swiss financial sector is clear - the US will not give up this fight over tax. The Swiss government has been trying for months to negotiate a deal with the US which would protect Switzerland's banking secrecy. The Wegelin case makes that look virtually impossible.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Eurozone leaders met for the umpteenth time in October in their latest attempt to shore up the faltering economies of Europe and restore confidence in the euro.
Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, there has been an almost constant string of meetings among top policymakers in a concerted effort to resolve the debt crisis that has decimated the Greek economy and dragged the eurozone to the brink of its second recession in three years.
These include meetings of the Eurogroup, Economic and Financial Affairs Council (known as Ecofin) and European Council, as well as full-blown European Union summits.
And yet still the crisis rumbles on, with Spain looking increasingly likely to follow Greece, the Republic of Ireland and Portugal in seeking a bailout as it struggles to bring its debts under control.
So what have all these meetings, talks, lengthy negotiations and summits been in aid of? What have they actually achieved?
Bankers have long pilloried policymakers for their inability to get to grips with the crisis and implement effective reforms to solve it. But do they have a point?
Decide for yourselves with our handy summary of the major eurozone meetings held since Athens first called on its neighbours for help.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The eurozone will struggle to emerge from a double-dip recession next year as deep budget cuts stifle growth, the European commission has said.  In a gloomy health check on the state of the 17 countries that belong to the monetary union, Brussels said a sharper than expected fall in output in 2012 would be followed by a virtually non-existent recovery in 2013.  The commission said the eurozone as a whole would contract by 0.4% this year and grow by 0.1% in 2013. It cut its forecasts for the single currency's "big four" economies – Germany, France, Italy and Spain – as it predicted that unemployment would rise to a fresh peak of 11.8% next year.
"Europe is going through a difficult process of macroeconomic rebalancing, which will still last for some time," said the economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn. "Europe must continue to combine sound fiscal policies with structural reforms to create the conditions for sustainable growth to bring unemployment down from the current unacceptably high levels."
Brussels blamed the deepening sovereign debt crisis and financial market concerns about a possible breakup of the eurozone for the "disappointing" growth performance in 2012. It said domestic demand would make no contribution to eurozone GDP in 2013 as the lack of jobs and tax increases hit consumer spending.
The commission expressed confidence that by 2014 the benefits of the austerity programmes would bear fruit, leading to expansion of 1.4%.
Although the UK is expected to grow by just 0.9% next year, Brussels believes it will expand more quickly than any of the major economies of the eurozone. The commission has pencilled in growth of 0.8% for Germany, 0.4% for France, a contraction of 0.5% for Italy and a retrenchment of 1.4% for Spain. In all cases the predictions are for output to be weaker than expected by national governments, leading to budget deficit reduction targets being missed.
Greece is one eurozone economy where the commission's forecasts are less pessimistic than those of the government. The EU executive believes the Greek economy will shrink by 6% this year and 4.2% in 2013 before finally emerging from a six-year slump with growth of 0.6% in 2014. The government is assuming contraction of 6.5% in 2012, 4.5% in 2013 and growth of 0.2% growth in 2014.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has been talking to Reuters ahead of the G20 summit in Mexico this weekend. He said he did not want the two-day meeting in Mexico City to concentrate exclusively on the eurozone crisis to the detriment of other urgent issues such as the "fiscal cliff" facing the United States and Japan's debt problems.
"The United States and Japan bear as great a responsibility for (ensuring stability) as we Europeans," he said.
"The G20 economies must decisively win back confidence with structural reforms and sustainable financial policies. This is the most important precondition for strengthening global economic conditions," Schaeuble said.
"Without consolidation and reforms we risk further loss of confidence and still less growth. No sustainable growth can be built on a mountain of debt," said the minister, known for his advocacy of fiscal rigour even in times of recession.
Schaeuble has taken a tough line on Greece and other weaker members of the eurozone during the region's three-year sovereign debt crisis, insisting they swallow austerity medicine even as their economies sink deeper into recession.
But he had warm words for Spain, saying it was on the "right path" and that there were signs - seen for example in falling wage costs and in the current account - that its economic imbalances were improving.
Schaeuble reiterated that Greece, still locked in difficult talks with its international creditors aimed at averting bankruptcy, must implement the tough measures it has promised.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has rebuked EU leaders for not doing more to develop growth across the EU, following this morning's Tripartite Social Summit.
Barroso told reporters that he was unhappy with progress so far, and demanded a new sense of urgency. He also signalled to Berlin to allow austerity to be relaxed. Easier said than done.
The full statement is online, but, here's the key section: 
Very frankly I am not happy with the progress made so far.That's why I call on the European Council to accelerate the adoption and implementation of many important growth-enhancing measures included in the Growth and Jobs Compact. It is true that we have been making more efforts in terms of fiscal consolidation than on the measures for growth that were already agreed at the European Council level. We need to balance the important efforts made in terms of sound public finances with the right measures to have growth enhancing policies. We also need to move ahead with our structural reform agenda – the country-specific recommendations have to be implemented at national level....Regarding the deadlines of bank supervision in relation to recapitalizing Spanish banks, people forget that there already exists a 100 billion euros credit line that can be used for those. The problem with this line of credit is that it goes through the Spanish state, so it increases the Spanish public debt (but Olli Rehn, in the previous link says this won't increase Spain's structural deficit.)
So, if I understand well, the use of banking supervision in regard to Spanish banks would be if 1) the opened credit line were not enough or 2) Spain's budget situation became very bad and it needed to avoid recapitilizing banks through state budget. I believe the compromise obtained is quite good: if there is no new crisis regarding Spain, there is time to put in place a deep/thorough banking supervision, with closing bank powers etc; if a new crisis emerges in Spain in Q1 2013, overcoming conditions 1 and 2 up there, then it will be possible to say (maybe), "we have put in place the legal framework, let's make something in a hurry for those".
It's a question of having some instrument ready, just in case, even if the goal is not to use the instrument.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prices rose faster in August across the 27 nations of the European Union (EU) compared with July, according to official figures. The EU statistics agency Eurostat said inflation hit 2.7% last month, compared with 2.5% the previous month. In the 17-nation eurozone, inflation also rose to 2.6% from 2.4% in July. Figures also showed that the number of people in work across the EU in the three months to the end of June rose to 223.4 million. Employment across the euro area remained stable at 146.4 million in the second quarter. The number of people out of work in July hit a record high of 18 million, prompting calls for the European Central Bank to cut the cost of borrowing, pump more money into the eurozone economy or both.
Major US banks are being investigated for insufficiently safeguarding against being used by drug dealers or terrorist groups to launder dirty money, it was reported Saturday.
An article in the New York Times suggested that federal and state authorities were ready to launch an aggressive crackdown on the failure to monitor transactions, in a move aimed at flagging to financial institutions that weak compliance is unacceptable. Officials told the Times that regulators are close to taking action against JP Morgan, while other firms including Bank of America are also being investigated over perceived shortcomings when it comes to putting a check on money-laundering activities. It comes just months after a Senate committee roundly criticized HSBC for ignoring warning signs that it was being used by money launderers and drug cartels in Mexico. US politicians also accused HSBC of circumventing US sanctions on countries including Cuba and Iran – a charge that has also been levied against JP Morgan. The Senate report was also highly critical of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), stating that the regulator needed to take "stronger action" on banks that exercise poor anti-money laundering controls. The OCC is now leading the crackdown on non-compliant banks, according to the New York Times report.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Schauble supports a European government,which clearly means that Merkel does too. Both of them know well that such a government will be dominated by the Germans, know the the Krauts will have the major voice in policy decisions.The notion that voters in E.U. states might not care for sovereignty losses, in effect to Germans seems to be of little concern to them and to to Trichet.  Recently Merkel called for 'More Europe' with sovereignty surrenders, an echo of what a former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called for last year a United States Of Europe.To repeat ,any USE would be German dominated so in effect what Merkel , Schauble,Schroeder want is a United States Of Germany,which would give Merkel much more scope for her arrogance and meddling in the internal matters of other states, like telling voters in France to back Sarkozy..Where will she next meddle will she try in in the UK in 2014, imagine the vitriolic reaction, I would love it?  Last year Merkel told David Cameron to accept a financial transactions tax,it is not for any German to tell a British P.M. even one as weak as Cameron what to do.  It is I think inevitable that in the U.K. an E.U. referendum is inevitable despite the lying reasons from Cameron, Clegg, Milliband for not holding one,I want to cast my vote.If eurosceptism continues to grow such a vote might be to leave the E.U.,I have a feeling that in many E.U. members such a result would be welcome....  For starters, the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), intended to ensure sound fiscal policies in the eurozone, was never correctly implemented. On the contrary, in 2003 and 2004, France, Italy and Germany sought to weaken it. The European commission, the European Central Bank and the small and medium-sized eurozone countries prevented the SGP from being dismantled, but its spirit was gravely compromised.  Moreover, eurozone governance did not include monitoring and surveillance of competitiveness indicators – trends in nominal prices and costs in member states, and countries' external imbalances within the eurozone. (In 2005, long before the crisis, I called, on behalf of the ECB's governing council, for appropriate surveillance of a number of national indicators, including unit labour costs). A third source of weakness is that no crisis-management tools were envisaged at the euro's launch. For much of the world at the time, "benign neglect" was the order of the day, particularly in the advanced economies. Finally, the high correlation between the creditworthiness of a particular country's commercial banks and that of its government creates an additional source of vulnerability, which is particularly damaging in the eurozone.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Is the "end" of the "union" close???? I hope so !!!

The Czech government is facing a vote of confidence in parliament tomorrow, in the latest test for a European government struggling to stay in office in the age of austerity - Although the Czech Republic is not part of the eurozone, he writes that the EU's strict new fiscal regime is at the root of problems for prime minister, Petr Necas, who "is hanging on by the most slender of margins, battered by large street protests over spending cuts, tax increases, job losses and corruption, and the splintering of his smallest coalition partner, after less than two years in power".....Last weekend about 100,000 demonstrators marched to demand the government's resignation in the biggest street scenes since the rallies that brought down communism at the end of 1989. At the same time, the center-right coalition in the Netherlands collapsed over its failure to agree on swinging budget cuts, while Nicolas Sarkozy also lost the first round of France's presidential election.
The European Commission is threatening to take Greece to the European Court of Justice over concerns that it has too much say in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), Dow Jones reports. The Commission has given Greece two months to respond to its concerns, released in a statement today:The Commission considers that the national law enables the Greek government to participate in OTE's governing bodies in a more significant manner than its shareholder status would normally allow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Earlier, London shares had collapsed after Thursday's heavy selling on Wall Street prompted steep falls on Asian bourses. Fears that the global economy was heading for a double-dip recession, and signs that Europe's bailout of Greece could collapse, saw the FTSE lose more than 3% of its value at one stage, sending it well below the 5000 mark. The steadier start to trading on Wall Street helped calm nerves in the City at the end of another frenetic week that saw markets once again focus on their two major concerns: growth and the fragility of Europe's single currency. "This week has seen a continuation of the trend of weaker than expected data and political reaction to the European problems which pretty much amounts to 'let's have a get-together a couple of times a year'," said Gary Jenkins, an analyst at Evolution Securities. The jittery atmosphere sent investors heading once again to the safe havens of the Swiss franc, the Japanese yen and gold. Bullion rose as high as $1,881 an ounce, with some dealers expecting it to test the $2,000 an ounce level over the coming weeks. On the foreign exchanges, the dollar dropped to just under ¥76 against the Japanese currency and was also down against the Swiss franc and the pound. The dollar's fall helped underpin oil prices, with a barrel of Brent crude trading almost $2 higher at just under $109 a barrel. Switzerland's two biggest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, have denied that they made use of the Federal Reserve's swap facility via the Swiss National Bank, insisting they have no liquidity problems. There had been speculation that a Swiss bank had accessed the US liquidity facility via a $200m repurchase transaction with the SNB last week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The over 4 million Romanians who contribute 3% of their gross monthly income to one of the eight funds have thus found out after three years that they finance, without their knowledge, UK banks or car manufacturers in Germany. The eight funds invested around 130 million lei in foreign shares, such as those of BMW, Daimler and Louis Vuitton and a further 308 million lei in corporate bonds, such as those issued by UK banks Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and the Bank of Ireland. Investments of the eight funds on the Bucharest Stock Exchange amounted to 300 million lei, with the biggest investments targeting the five SIFs (Financial Investment Companies), Petrom and BRD, while investments in bonds issued by Romanian companies amounted to 50 million lei. Two thirds of the cumulated assets of the eight funds, i.e. around 2.2 billion lei, are invested in Romanian T-bills.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, 61, the man who bought the biggest company in Romania, Petrom, will step down as CEO of OMV, after a nearly ten-year term at the helm of the Austrian petroleum group. Tomorrow Petrom and OMV announce the last financial results under Ruttenstorfer. Ruttenstorfer and Treichl, another austrian - CEO of Erste Bank, the owner of BCR in Romania - who's mandate will expire in one year, can be considered the most powerful executives in Romania given that Petrom controls around 40% of fuel distribution, and BCR accounts for 20% of the banking market. In fact, the two are also heads of the supervisory boards of Petrom and BCR respectively, set up after the privatisation of the two companies to keep a close eye on the performance of chief executives.According to 2009 data, Petrom generated around 17% of OMV's business, with the local company accounting for more than half the hydrocarbon reserves controlled by the Austrians, while in Erste's case around 20% of its assets are accounted for by BCR assets. Ruttenstorfer's departure from the helm of OMV was announced as early as the end of March 2009, when it was decided to extend his mandate until April 2011, and to appoint Gerhard Roiss as CEO of the group after that date. Roiss, 59, is currently deputy CEO and head of the refining, marketing and petrochemical division. (Z.F)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Foreign direct investments in 2009 were around 1.4 billion euros lower than original calculations had shown, down 63% against the previous year, instead of the original 48% decline.
The NBR (National Bank of Romania) has revised its statistical data on foreign direct investments, coming up with an overall 1.4 billion-euro decline against the original value that resulted from the monthly calculations of the central bank. Originally, the NBR had reported foreign direct investments worth 4.9 billion euros, down 48% against 2008, but the real decline was 63%, to 3.5 billion euros. "The National Bank conducts an annual research in collaboration with the National Statistics Institute to determine the amount of foreign direct investments, based on which investment data calculated on a monthly basis during the year are revised. The investigation offers various information on foreign direct investments, such as: their structure, investments by economic sectors and reinvested profit," Constantin Chirca, deputy manager of the NBR's Statistical Department told ZF.