Showing posts with label stupid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stupid. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

Several myths have been shattered through the recent disclosure of the conversation between IMF employees Poul Thomsen and Delia Velculescu, which shows how they conspire to reach their goals, and for us, the subject is even more interesting, especially since they both are connected to Romania.
Poul Thomsen is the head of the IMF for the European Division, responsible for the IMF program in Greece and Portugal, which also oversees the activity of the IMF country teams, (including) those in charge of Iceland, Ukraine and... Romania.     Merkel couldn't wage a war on three fronts - "the British front", "the Greek front" and "the German front" - and, according to the plans of Poul Thomsen and Delia Velculescu, would be forced to strike a deal. The first myth that the knowledge of this conspiracy shatters is the fact that the IMF is involved in conspiracies. For years, the people who have been saying that they are suspicious of conspiratorial nature of the IMF have been ridiculed in every possible way.  The "high life" of the financial sector said about these distrustful people that they don't understand that the World Bank and the IMF are just "devices" of international financial coordination, without any political agenda, driven only by technical objectives. They said that the suspicion is a sign of the discontent of the people forced to implement the reforms and the restructurings required by the IMF, but which were in fact necessary.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Austrian authorities have taken yet another step on the mined field of financial "stability" of the so-called hard core of the Eurozone. Amid the nearing of the deadline for the moratorium set on the payment of the debts of Heta Asset Resolution, the bad bank set up for the takeover of the non-performing land of Hypo Alpe-Adria, the creditors have been presented with the buyback terms for the bonds guaranteed by the land of Carinthia. Their total par value is 11 billion Euros, and the "offer" includes the payment of 75% of the par value for senior bonds and 30% of the value of subordinated bonds, which means a total loss of approximately 3.2 billion Euros for lenders. "Creditors that refuse the offer could wait for as long as ten years for a ruling of the judicial system in their favor", said Hans-Joerg Schelling, the Austrian finance minister, according to Bloomberg. Schelling further said that "the offer is excellent", according to Bloomberg, and creditors "should be rational and accept it". For the buyback of the Heta bonds, Austria has set up a special investment vehicle, Kaerntner Ausgleichszahlungs-Fonds (The Fund for the Payment of Compensations of Carinthia). Unfortunately for the authorities in Vienna, the notion of "rational" is understood differently by creditors. "What the Austrian authorities have done is unprecedented in the developed world: they have announced a figure that they consider acceptable and they have asked the creditors to accept the offer", the partner of Swiss company Gold Partners AG who owns 200 million Euros worth of Heta bonds, told Bloomberg. The list of creditors that oppose the offer includes far bigger names however, such as German banks Commerzbank AG and NordLB, as well as PIMCO, the American investment fund manager owned by Allianz AG.  Bloomberg estimates show that the exposure of those who have rejected the proposal of the Austrian authorities is about 5 billion Euros and represents approximately 45% of the total debt, as the terms of the offer are non-negotiable, and its acceptance by two thirds of the creditors involves its unconditional application and for the other creditors as well.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Relatively rich societies as a whole do not benefit from importing cheap labor from the third world. The rich and powerful in those affluent societies benefit as the immigration drives down the price of the labor they must employ to maintain their positions. Everything from cleaners to gardeners to nannies to whatever is all made cheaper relatively speaking for the established elites. They support the influx for that reason. The only exception being the left which supports it because it hates the West and the Western working classes and would do anything to cause them harm. It is a no-brainer that this is not done for the majority already there.  There are many indices comparing countries for quality of life, opportunity, happiest and so on. They are put out by the UN, OECD, IMF and other organisations both public and private. The nations that always top these lists - Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland and a couple of others - all have one thing in common. Relatively low populations. Aside from Germany no country with a large population even makes it into the top ten on most of these indices and Germany only manages it for a few. The correlation between a smaller stable population and wealth and income equality and general quality of life is obvious and the reasons don't need explaining. It just doesn't suit some to have things go down this path so they shut down debate with abuse and slurs.  Horror of horrors, imagine a country with rising wages for everyone as people must be paid significant sums to do even the most menial jobs. It would push wages up right along the chain. Crikey, you might see the position of the rich and other elites eroded with respect to the rest of the population. What a terrible thought. A smaller population supported by automation and doing things smarter with better education for all and spreading the wealth evenly and maybe true democracy where those people are asked if they want to get involved in a foreign war far away. A sickening thought if you are a Cameron, Blair, Miliband, Corbett and the like. They would not have the power they crave and love in such a world. Others would not have the wealth they love.  The West can do nothing to help with over-population in the second and third world. There are just too many people and they are still having too many babies. The answer to their problems must come from within or nature will sort it out for them. I visited the Foundling Museum in Coram's Fields over Christmas. It is a lovely place - but chronicles the horrors caused by the population explosion in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries as people moved into cities and stopped dying like flies of poverty and disease - and the cities began to look like Third World cities do now - overcrowded slums full of factory workers. The population of Britain and Ireland in 1700 was probably around 6.5 million, estimated from parish records etc. The first Census in 1801 recorded 18.5 million - so it tripled in 100 years. In 1901 it was 45 million, despite mass emigration during the 19th century. And poverty was still rife, despite mass emigration.  The growth has slowed down somewhat - but is still headed for 75 million by 2050. This is not a fluctuation back and forth. This is an inexorable, unsustainable, rise which can never ever be catered for even if we continue to access the resources of other countries as well as our own. It was only ever catered for via mass emigration - i.e. overflowing of millions to America and Australasia. (The two World Wars had little or no effect by the way.) That emigration continues to this day as young Britons are forced to choke back their tears and emigrate to Oz or New Zealand - a new series of "Wanted Down Under" starts tomorrow on BBC1. Yet Down Under must be filling up in turn by now, surely?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Stocks plunge by as much as 6pc as markets hit by regulatory probe and fresh fears over stability of the financial sector .. China's stock market plunged on Friday after several brokerage firms said they were being investigated by regulators over securities violations.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell by as much as 6.14pc to 3,412.43, while the Shenzhen composite, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, tumbled 6.66pc, to 2,170.73.
Citic Securities and Guosen Securities plunged by the daily limit of 10pc in Shanghai after admitting they were under investigation for alleged rule violations.
Reports in the media suggested Haitong Securities was also being probed as the shares were suspended on Friday. Experts have called time on China's three-decade growth miracle, as the economy makes the delicate transition towards domestic consumption from investment-led growth. Official figures show growth fell to a six-year low of 6.9pc in the third quarter.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The worst effects of the European recession risk becoming permanent in places, according to a left-leaning think tank.  The IPPR's latest report pointed to the high level of unemployment and underemployment across Europe and said the chances of these becoming entrenched is "deeply alarming".  It said there was 10% unemployment and a 5% underemployment rate in Europe.
The UK's main problem was low productivity, the IPPR said.  The official unemployment rate for the 28 countries in the EU was 9.3% in September, down from 9.4% the previous month. The rate in the 19 countries that use the euro stood at 10.8%, down from 10.9% in August....The IPPR said that unemployed workers risked being left behind as globalisation and technological progress lead to changes in the skills that employers require. The report suggested that European countries look to Germany as a good example of maintaining workplace skills and high productivity rates.
Germany - Europe's largest economy - invests 50% more on average than other countries in research and development.  The report also found that the UK's in-work training had fallen by 4 percentage points since 2008 - the largest decline for any EU country.  The IPPR said it welcomed the apprenticeship levy and the target for creating three million apprenticeships.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Many years ago when Alan Greenspan first proposed using monetary policy to control economies, the critics said this was far too broad a brush.  After the crash Alan Greenspan loosened monetary policy to get the economy going again. The broad brush effect stoked a housing boom.
When he tightened interest rates, to cool down the economy, the broad brush effect burst the housing bubble. The teaser rate mortgages unfortunately introduced enough of a delay so that cause and effect were too far apart to see the consequences of interest rate rises as they were occurring.
The end result 2008.  With this total failure of monetary policy to control an economy and a clear demonstration of the broad brush effect behind us, everyone decided to use the same idea after 2008.
Interest rates are at rock bottom around the globe, with trillions of QE pumped into the global economy.  The broad brush effect has blown bubbles everywhere. 
The underlying problem is that the global monetary system has failed with too much debt in existence.
The current monetary system has the following characteristics:
1) It is debt based, new money can only be created from new debt
2) It uses compound interest
Compound interest is an exponential function that, without prudent lending, will run away to infinity at some point.  When money creation lies with banks, there is always the over-whelming desire to increase profits by lending out more than would be prudent (their profit comes from the interest received).  The temptation of jam today, makes borrowers forget about the penury tomorrow.
The system relies on prudent lending by bankers who are purveyors of the debt products, e.g. loans, mortgages, etc ...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The European Commission, yesterday, proposed measures to improve the way the Eurozone manages its economy in the short term, as part of a wide scale plan to integrate the Monetary Union, and to avoid a future crisis, respectively.  The officials in Brussels want a unification of the representation of states in the Eurozone in the IMF, so that, by 2025, the region will be represented by "one voice" within the IMF.  Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice-president of the European Commission, said: "Our voice in the IMF does not reflect the economic weight of the Eurozone. The member states of the region are spread out across six divisions, and in the case of the EU - across seven. These divisions matter, in order for the countries to agree on a common stance within the same precinct. If the Eurozone were talking using one voice within the IMF, that would better reflect the economic and financial weight of the Eurozone in the world's economy".   The European Commission is proposing for the president of the Eurogroup (the finance ministers in the Eurozone), Jeroen Dijsselbloem, to become the sole representative of the Eurozone on the Board of Directors of the IMF.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Note that all the "disadvantages" of Brexit are expressed in terms of financial or trading loss. Remember also that the EU itself funds many of the "independent" think tanks and lobby groups that promote continued EU membership.  Never forget that all the financial figures are deliberately skewed to support the EU. Never forget either that, for people like Osborne and Cameron, any financial or trading benefit is irrelevant to the decision they want YOU to make: for them, and many of the others with the same Common Purpose, a United Europe is a political and philosophical dream that will not be deflected or defeated by anything approaching financial or political reality.  If economic advantage or disadvantage had had anything to do with it, Britain would NEVER have declared war on Germany, NEVER have attempted to defend the Falkland Islanders. At the end of the day, it's NOT about any short or medium-term financial benefit. It's about Britain's right to choose its own lawmakers – those who govern our lives and control our borders. It boils down to a parliament in London that we can kick out if we think they are getting it wrong – or a European consortium stretching from Turkey to Portugal, whose own interests, and whose views of our own relevance to them will result in laws that govern us. Permanently.  For me, it's clear: I'm not British but I want British people to decide who runs Britain, whether I personally like the result or not...Could? Might? May? They tried this when UK refused to join the Euro. Now America too, is threatening not to negotiate a single trade deal with the UK. The EU have not secured a trade deal with the USA in the forty years we have been an EU member. Now the EU are bending every rule in the book at the expense of  EU citizens, because it is being blackmailed to ignore existing food standards, by the USA in order to get a deal. We are the 5th largest economy in the world. According to the World bank Britain has jumped ahead of the USA, Germany, France and Italy to be the no.1 country of G7 members, which the world want to do business with. It's all a bluff, by vested interests. If it's so good in the EU why did Norway refuse to join twice, and they are 23rd (nominal) and 45th (PPP).

Monday, November 2, 2015

One year ago, Gazprom dropped South Stream after the European Commission announced that the project does not comply with the legislation of the Third Energy Package. The pipeline was supposed to cross the Black Sea avoiding Ukraine and transporting the natural gas through Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria towards Western Europe. Immediately after abandoning South Stream, the Russian giant promoted Turkish Stream, a pipeline also going below the Black Sea, but which connects Russia to Turkey directly. Russia has told Europe that starting in 2019, it needs to connect its infrastructure to the new pipeline because it wants to stop transporting natural gas through Ukraine.  Turkey did its job well and has negotiated very harshly with Russia the price of natural gas that should "flow" through Turkish Stream. Meanwhile, the conflict with Syria has begun, in which Turkey and Russia have diverging interests, and Gazprom has announced in the beginning of the month, that it is postponing the project, after signing a deal in September with five major European energy companies to build Nord Stream 2.  At the end of last week, Ali Riza Alaboyun, Turkish minister of energy, said, quoted by, that the implementation of Turkish Stream will be clarified soon, mentioning that the intergovernmental agreement would be reevaluated after the parliamentary elections in Turkey, scheduled to take place on November 1st.  Minister Alaboyun felt the need to stipulate that Turkey will support every action that "puts energy resources at work for peace ands security". Besides, for 28 years, Turkey has been one of the main markets for Russia to sell its natural gas on. The official further said: "Currently, 10 billion cubic meters of Russian gas is being imported by Russian private companies and 20 billion cubic meters by state owned company Botas. We are also importing natural gas from Azerbaidjan, Iran, Nigeria and Algeria". Turkish Stream is designed to have four transport avenues, each with 15.75 billion cubic meters each.  The American Energy Information Agency (EIA) showed, in a recent report, that the reason why Turkish Stream "froze" was that Turkey could not agree with Russia on the price of natural gas. Turkish Stream was supposed to be the connection for Eastring, which would bring the Russian gas to South-Eastern Europe, involving, among other countries Slovakia, Hungary and Romania (ed. note: the networks exists and a better interconnection is being built).
     The EIA noted that alternative suppliers for Europe aside from Azerbaijan would Iran and Iraq, but it mentioned that Iranian natural gas would be hard to bring in due to the lack of infrastructure.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Two European airlines announced they would no longer fly over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday after a Russian passenger plane crashed in this troubled area of Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.  Lufthansa and Air France promised to avoid the airspace over the Sinai until it was clear why disaster had overtaken Flight KGL9268 operated by Metrojet, a small Russian airline. They were later joined by Emirates, which also announced its aircraft would be kept away from the Sinai peninsula "until more information is available". The Airbus A321 took off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at 5.51am local time, bound for St Petersburg. The aircraft vanished from radar screens 23 minutes later, while flying at 31,000ft. The crash was the deadliest aviation disaster in Egypt's history...However, the Egyptian authorities said the pilot of the aircraft had reported a mechanical failure and asked to land at the nearest airport. Experts cautioned that it was too early to say what had caused the disaster and that Isil lacked weapons that could bring down an airliner at such an altitude...“Flight radar data makes clear there was a flight upset, but we have no idea why. There are loads of terrorist factions operating in the area and many affiliated to Islamic State. The Egyptians work very hard on security at Sharm el-Sheikh because if you wanted to destroy the tourist economy that would be the likeliest target. However the plane was too high for a shoulder launched missile, but it was 2,000 feet lower than MH17.”  Voicing caution about the possibility of a missile destroying the plane, Mr Learmount added: "In this case the aircraft appears to have come down in one piece, unlike MH17.”  But Maksim Sokolov, the Russian transport minister, dismissed Isil’s claim, saying: “It can’t be considered accurate”.  Nonetheless, Lufthansa and Air France decided to avoid Sinai until the cause of the crash was established. “We took the decision to avoid the area because the situation and the reasons for the crash were not clear," said a Lufthansa spokesperson. British Airways, however, said it would continue to fly over Sinai. “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority, and we would never operate a flight unless it was safe to do so,” said the airline. “Our safety team continually liaises with the appropriate authorities around the world, and we conduct very detailed risk assessments into every route we operate.”

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Britain's financial stability could be threatened by closer eurozone integration unless the UK secures safeguards from Brussels that protect the interests of non-members, the Governor of the Bank of England has warned. Although Carney pre-warned his speech was a bit of a yawner I listened to every word SkyNews broadcast (they cut away after it became clear he was being VERY cautious in the way he was laying out the economic pros and cons) and my takeaway actually was he was tiptoe saying being out was in our best interests at this point given the reference to the Treaty of Rome (without a mention of the Treaty of Lisbon that has caused so d*mn trouble) and the way he kept saying safeguards to protect Britain and other non-Eurozone member states had to be in place.
Seriously, let's face it - what are the real odds Brussels will ever agree to any real economic reforms that will not go against the UK and other non-Eurozone members, really?!  I have to say I was impressed by the way he walked that razors edge, and not at all surprised he seemed to feel he had to give the facts, appear to be carefully endorsing our staying in the EU whilst really saying staying is too dangerous (references to various EU laws that clearly act against Britain's best interests)...There is absolutely no prospect that the EU will remain a multi-currency zone. As the EU moves towards economic union - and the French are pressing for swifter progress - all member states will be required to adopt the euro. That includes the UK and Carney know this. Are we to deduce that he favours Britain's joining the EZ which will require all the pain on the UK's part of synchronising its economic cycle with that of Europe that Brown and Balls judged would be politically unacceptable?  The Eurozealots want and need economic union because they believe it will be the last and essential step towards guaranteeing the survival of the single currency, putting it beyond the reach of future crises.  It's implicit in the Inners case, led by David Cameron, that eventual membership of this "safe" euro is precisely what they have in mind and that they will use a referendum vote in favour of staying in the EU as a mandate. There will be no opt outs for Britain or anyone else under economic union and the political union that will follow which will cement in place Brussels' complete usurpation of all meaningful national sovereignty. Carney is aware also that it is the dearest ambition of the Berlin, Brussels, Paris axis that will determine the terms of economic union to bring the City under full EU control. Economic union will be about harmonising all aspects of economic and financial policy across the entire EU. The City will be harmonised along with everything else.  Again, as I listened, my takeaway was he actually was saying staying in will expose Britain to grave economic dangers. It didn't change my mind at all - I have been hoping to tick the NO-LEAVE NOW box for years, decades in fact, ever since ticking that box back in the day.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Well, Deutsche Bank, VW, immigrant welcome mat manufacture rates down, Mother Merkel beatification questioned. Bit bumpy huh!...Deutsche Bank has unveiled plans to split-up its struggling investment banking operations as part of a shake-up which will see the departure of a host of senior executives. The bank, which employs more than 8,000 people in the UK, said Colin Fan, who was co-head of the investment bank, has resigned, while Michele Faissola, the head of the asset and wealth management business, will also leave. Stefan Krause, who was Deutsche’s finance chief until earlier this year, is also departing at the end of the month. Stephan Leithner, currently a member of the lender’s management board, is quitting to join private equity house EQT ... The dramatic overhaul is part of a plan by John Cryan, who became co-chief executive in July, to revive the lender’s fortunes. As well as the personnel changes, Deutsche said that its investment bank, which is Europe’s largest, will be divided into two divisions: a new unit called Global Markets, comprising sales and trading activities, and another called Corporate & Investment Banking, incorporating its corporate finance and global transactions banking operations. The shake-up comes less than a fortnight after the bank revealed that it would slump to a €6.2bn loss during its third quarter. The huge loss was driven by a €5.8bn impairment charge that Deutsche blamed on a higher capital requirements, which hit the value of the investment bank, and a write-down of its Postbank business, which is being sold.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Eurozone has no fire-power to strengthen. QE has failed because they are already mired deep in a Japanese style deflation trap to which there is no easy escape. Draghi's peashooter has allowed them to standstill for a few months and nothing more.  The only thing to be done now is to forcibly devalue the currency and drive it through dollar parity as policy. This is what is necessary to re-establish inflation and growth on the continent.  This would be European style economics but may be the only way to save the euro. It must be done now though. The alternative is a slow death and definitely lose the euro.  My bet is that the Europhiles cannot face up to what they have done and will therefore opt to do nothing. So it will be the slow death then...the Central Banks are in trouble...and relying on Draghi's monthly or quarterly QE payroll. It's as simple as that. Deflation will hit their books hard. Notice the pressure on Banks to impose charges, more now than ever before. As for Deutsche Bank; it's all their satellites that will feel the pinch....something that Merkel has overlooked at her peril....There is no money. Nobody can buy anything so nobody can sell anything so there is no growth and all kinds of social bills still to be paid through more borrowing along with all the previous debt service costs. Reciprocal debt forgiveness: for some nations temporary retreat from an utterly inappropriate €conomic instrument used as a political weapon that has failed on both battlefields: sustainable, as equable as possible, benefit reduction and an opening of the democracy door to all of the peoples with the same voting weight at all levels are the only answers now. But I think the burden is too great and it is too late, especially with the utterly divisive irritant of the imperial court's decrees on immigration to add to the stew....The ECB printing up more trillions of fiat currency to lavish on their .1% cronies in the financial sector "to combat deflation" (and buy up the distressed assets of the increasingly pauperized middle and working classes at fire sale prices) - my, how groundbreaking.  Remind me again of the clinical definition of insanity.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Portugal's Socialist party is poised to form a left-wing alliance with the eurosceptic radical Left in a bid to become the country's new government. Following an election stalemate in which the opposition Socialists came in second place to the incumbent conservatives, leader Antonio Costa has said he is ready to strike up an alliance to become the country's new prime minister.  Mr Costa - whose party is on the moderate Left and supports Portugal's membership of the euro - has been making overtures to extreme Leftist parties who saw a surprising surge in October's general election. The eurosceptic Left Bloc and Communist Party both received 10.2pc and 8.3pc of the national vote share respectively. However, Mr Costa has affirmed that he will only head up an alliance that would pursue policies that will keep the country in the euro, four years after it received an €78bn international bail-out. "Although the negotiations are obviously still underway, at this moment, everything indicates that the Socialist Party is in better condition to be able to lead a more stable government solution,” said Mr Costa, a former mayor of Lisbon...The continuing Eurosceptic growth should arrive as no surprise. It is currently being fueled by Merkel's open door policy to economic migrants. How many times do we see images of purported Syrian refugees, on our television screens, made up mostly of young delinquent looking men who hardly look Syrian? Not long ago, on our television screens, a report of mongoloid and negro looking economic migrants where heralded as Syrian refugees. It should be very clear that this migration crisis is being orchestrated to fill the purported aging working population with young economic migrants. The EU, if it continues with this UN backed project, will perish as will the Vatican's current Communist Pope.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Finding solutions for Syria was amply debated  by the European Parliament. Protecting innocent lives and achieving peace for the sake of the whole region is the number one priority. EPP Group MEPs showed their concern about escalating violence, Russia's military intervention and the threat of expanding the conflict throughout the region. They stressed that the impact on Europe is critically important. MEPs called for more EU involvement at international level to put an end to the conflict, combat the so-called Islamic State and stop the migration flow.  The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Elmar Brok MEP, stressed that the current network of different political interests must be stopped: "Russia, the US and the EU must come together and talk about a common geopolitical strategy like they did in the past in the case of nuclear arms in Iran. The current proxy war, especially by Saudia Arabia and Iran but also Turkey, must come to an end. Regional cooperation should be in the interest of all of them. We need to find a common solution for the situation in Syria to finally achieve progress in the peace process and the migration crisis."
"The contribution of the countries of the region is key to preventing the further propagation of radicalisation", stressed Mariya Gabriel MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group responsible for relations with Mediterranean countries: "A clear and specific commitment of the countries of the region should be made to contribute to the improvement of coordination and to the opening of an exit window. The role of the EU is to work to make this commitment happen and play a balancing role in the redistribution process of influences in the region and to bring back both regional and great powers to the table for a peace process in Syria."  Russia's military intervention worries the EPP Group's Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Cristian Preda MEP: "Russia has already shown us in the past its willingness to impose its vision of things by force. Its intervention in Syria is no different and makes the situation all the more fragile. By creating more pressure in Syria, Russia is doing nothing short of accentuating the refugee crisis. This is clearly against EU interests. We are deeply concerned about the recent incursions in Turkey's airspace. Turkey is our NATO partner."  The EPP Group Members believe that a lasting solution requires a political transition through a Syrian-led inclusive process with the support of the international community. All parties in the conflict should ensure the protection of the civilian population and honour their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law.  By August 2015, 12.2 million Syrians were in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the European Commission.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The situation in Syria, where Russia is openly supporting Bashar Al-Assad's regime against insurgents and violating the air space of Nato-member Turkey, should be addressed by EU leaders. The issue will already have been the main topic of discussion at Monday's meeting of foreign ministers. The summit agenda also includes a discussion on the Economic and Monetary Union, a few days before the European Commission publishes its proposals on micro-economic governance, competitiveness and the eurozone's social dimension.  Ahead of a more concrete discussion at the December summit, EU leaders will be informed about the technical discussions between the EU and the UK on reforms demanded by British prime minister David Cameron.
The EU Council will be preceded by the biannual tripartite social summit, which gathers EU leaders and business and trade union leaders to discuss the economic and social situation in the EU.
On Wednesday (14 October), EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos will visit Turkey, a week after president Erdogan's visit to Brussels and the publication of an EU Commission action plan.  Although the plan was agreed by Turkey before it was published, details still have to be discussed, in particular the use of €1 billion the Commission wants Turkey to use to deal with the refugee crisis and which Turkey wants to use as part of the accession process, that the money was originally earmarked for.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Private industry was in a rage while privacy groups were elated on Tuesday over a new ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) affirming European citizens’ right to privacy from American tech companies.  On Tuesday, the European court ruled in favor of Max Schrems, an Austrian graduate student who asked that EU’s data protection commissioner bar Facebook from transmitting his personal data to the US on the grounds that many tech firms had cooperated with the National Security Agency. Transmission of personal data had previously been covered by a “safe harbor” agreement between Europe and the US that allowed tech firms to share the data with explicit consent from their customers. Businesses that operate in Europe must now make sure they are compliant with the EU’s own laws before they subject their customers’ personal information to laxer restrictions in the US, the court said.  The advertising industry was not pleased. “Today’s decision by the European Court of Justice jeopardizes thousands of businesses across the Atlantic,” said Mike Zaneis, executive vice-president of public policy and general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, who called the overturned provision “an efficient means to comply with EU privacy law”. “The weakening of the Safe Harbor agreement limits European consumers’ access to valuable digital services and impedes trade and innovation,” said Zaneis. “We urge the US and EU to agree on new rules for the transatlantic transfer of data, taking into account the CJEU’s judgment.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A kickstarter campaign to launch a computer costing just USD9 is another important milestone on the road to hyper-connectivity, creating risks and opportunities for insurers.   The C.H.I.P. is a tiny computer equipped with a 1 GHz ARM processor, 512 MB of DDR3 RAM, 4 GB of storage, and Bluetooth connectivity, all in a package smaller than a box of cigarettes. It runs on a Debian Linux operating system, is designed to work with most monitors and keyboards, and comes pre-loaded with a number of apps and a web browser.   The device is entering a market that already includes the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black and Arduino, small computers which are increasingly being used by hobbyists and businesses to connect sensors, switches and relays across what is becoming known as the Internet of Everything. What is remarkable about the C.H.I.P., however, is its price point, roughly a quarter of its competitors, marking a major step in the mass production of these tools.  That has investors scrambling to jump on the bandwagon, with nearly 18,000 people contributing over USD 900,000 within just a few days of the launch of the initial kickstarter campaign, which had a target of just USD 50,000.   Regardless of the projects success, it also has enormous implications for the insurance industry. The dwindling cost of connectivity is likely to accelerate the rate at which new devices connect to the internet. This hyper-connectivity will generate enormous volumes of data, which will allow businesses and insurers to generate far more granular insights into their business requirements and the risks that they face.   At the same time, a rapid increase in the number of devices connected to the internet will create new vectors for cyber-attack, generating significant volumes of highly sensitive data while also potentially creating new hazards as hackers will be able to directly interact with a range of new devices, from fridges to shipping manifests and safety sensors. As a recent report by the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Zurich Insurance Group illustrates, the global governance framework in place to manage these risks is woefully inadequate, so businesses will need to develop their own robust risk management frameworks to build resilience against attacks. Another benefit of this cheap technology is that it makes internet access more affordable for people on a low income. The C.H.I.P., for example, is being offered in a USD 35 mobile handset.  This kind of connectivity is a vital tool for delivering financial services and the protection of micro-insurance to a greater number people on low incomes around the world.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

China is the world's largest creditor. Beijing's massive money reserves (it is still the largest holder foreign holder of US government debt) currently stand at a healthy $3.6 trillion.  For more than two decades, the world's second largest economy has built up a war chest of foreign currency assets to act as a buffer against global headwinds. But the decision on August 11, to tweak its exchange rate regime and engineer the largest single devaluation of the renminbi in 21 years, has thrust the question of reserve depletion into sharp relief. What most People don't realize is, it's a Game that cost lives who ain't playing it, all the Banks, including the Central Banks in existent, bar 3 Countries to date, that aren't under the control of the Rothschild, Rockefeller Bankers, the main players, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, so it's an illusion that any Country act's independently regarding anything to do with Fiat Money, the Dollar of make believe with Interest, that wasn't tied to Oil for nothing, cause when you control the Money Supply over the last 3 Centuries , you can scam your way into Wealth , control all the major Industries on the Planet, including all those that have a habit of blowing Folks up in the name of Democracy, who just happened to fund Hitler and all his ideals.
The Dollar's worthless, they want to move away from it, they start taking another Currency for the Oil etc, like Saddam, or  Gaddafi going Gold with the rest of Africa, which was to commence in 2011, then we get fed lies via the Media that they control, the Politician's and these People end up Dead, Countries destroyed , but these Rothschild Bankers don't hang around long before they've got a Central Bank up and running, that's the reality, but China's been buying and mining Gold for over 15 years, waiting for the day for it to all explode, Gold is going to be their Savior, unlike USA who've only got others and Brown, well he sold most of Britain's, pocket change to China, they ain't daft, it's only matter of time before China is declared the Winner...With US$, GBP, Euro and Yen increase of money supply (M1) and near negative money velocity (M3); any creditor including China would be bonkers to hold on to US$ denominated assets. The Chinese devaluations of the RMB to US$ have in effect increased their profits measured in RMB. Smart moves.  Why should China care about US$ denominated assets created by a debtor, especially since the US and European economies are in implosion mode, except for a loss of market which is substitutable with the likes of Russia, India or Africa?  However, think ahead and after the implosion of the US economy, the Chinese will mop up all those good value insolvent companies and other hard assets worldwide with the new global substitute for the US$- Brilliant and playing the game like a true capitalist. 'Trust the free market', said the Chicago School of economics, Reagan, Clinton, Bush(s), Blair and Brown.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Switzerland has banned sales of Volkswagen diesel cars in the most severe step taken so far by a government in reaction to the emissions crisis. The country has stopped the sale of any VW cars in the Euro5 category, which contains the majority of the cars that the company has admitted have defeat devices. The move effects roughly 180,000 cars that are yet to be sold or registered, including 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines for the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands. However, the Swiss federal roads office, which announced the ban, said motorists who already own a VW diesel car will be allowed to continue driving.  Countries around the world, including Germany, US, and the UK, have launched investigations into diesel emissions since the scandal emerged and more could now ban cars from their roads.  VW has admitted that 11m vehicles, including 5m Volkswagen passenger cars, were fitted with defeat devices and set aside €6.5bn (£4.8bn) to pay for the costs of the crisis. However, it also faces the prospect of fines of up to $18bn (£11.8bn) from US regulators and one of the biggest legal claims in history from customers and shareholders around the world.
VW owners’ cars could face increases to their fuel bills of up to £100 a year if the Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK’s emissions testing watchdog, demands modification to affected pollution control systems, The Times reports.