Personal and undiluted views
The Euro

2288 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - 13 July

In this podcast I start by plugging today's weekly postcard on TomWinnifrith.com-why to go to Greece NOW and a few off the beaten track ideas on where to go.  I then move onto the fate of the Euro and a discussion of what company's do NOT say that is such a red flag - reference Mosman and Audioboom.

---

2297 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - 4th July, Independence is on my mind

Happy Independence day to our American listeners. My prayers are that tomorrow Greece votes for freedom and votes Oxi! But will it? And what does that mean for the Euro and shares. I note Goldman Sachs claims that a Nai vote will see global equities rise by 10%. Hmmm, I think it misses the bear in the China shop. A few thoughts brought to you from Athens in today's podcast.

This podcast is recorded in the most excellent Anthropology cafe in Athens which I heartily recommend - although it really needs to start stocking ouzo

And fear not Champagne Charlie Gibson fans, I had not forgotten about you. Just a reminder of why the Edison analyst is a convicted felon HERE and as a bonus a reminder of how it is not only the poor he screws HERE - and a reminder of why I feel the urge to remind you all HERE

---

2388 days ago

Tom Winnifrith BearCast - Grexit would be great for Greece!

This is no longer thinking the unthinkable. Greece could default on a debt repayment in eight days. Grexit - mighty Hellas leaving the Euro - is now being planned for. In this podcast I argue that Greece should embrace Grexit.

---

2454 days ago

Tom Winnifrith BearCast - Disagreeing strongly with Chris Oil & Malcolm Stacey

This website is about debate. You can respect or even like your colleagues and I am a massive admirer of Malcolm Stacey for the record. But you have to tell your friends when they are wrong. The way that Chris Oil looks at Flybe (HERE) is wrong and comrade Malcolm's comments on Greece and the Euro today (HERE) are wrong at every single level. I explain why in this podcast.

To get your free copy of my new book 49 Red Flags sent to you today  fill in the form HERE

---

2456 days ago

Greece Election Results BearCast with Tom Winnifrith

In this podcast I look at the results and what it means for shares, the Euro and the political classes across Europe as well as Greece, including my brother in law set to reture on a full pension in three years aged 52.

---

2727 days ago

Riot porn from Athens Greece on the way on May 1st – your man is on the spot camera in hand

Unless I am very much mistaken the poster below advertisers a worker’s day demonstration in Syntagma Square Athens, opposite the Parliament of Greece on May 1st. As you know I want to help the workers at every opportunity and so shall be there to show solidarity.

Of course workers would be far better off and have far more opportunity for material advancement ( i.e. higher take-home pay) if employers were encouraged to take them on by abolishing the minimum wage, scrapping employers NI, abolishing all “employment rights” laws, taking anyone on under £20,000 out of the tax system etc. But I am not sure that I will share my thoughts of anarcho-capitalism with the comrades tomorrow.

POSTER

Will it be a peaceful demo? Hmmm, I sense that rioting can become a bit addictive.

---

2745 days ago

The Great appeal of Greek pop music - not understanding a word

In a couple of days I shall be on the road again, picking up the Mrs at Athens airport and heading off to the Mani. It is three hours to Athens, an hour to get lost in the City and then five more to the Mani. The Mrs will, no doubt bring CDs so for the last five hours it will be a mix of Nashville with the odd George Michael track (her choice not mine). But until we meet up I will listen to the radio as I love Greek pop.

The beat and some of the strains clearly have a Turkish influence (I hope no-one here is reading this) but there are also very European themes and so I am a big fan. Perhaps that is in part because I do not understand very much of what is being sung.

With English pop I know that 99% of the lyrics are inane piffle. With Greek pop I am sure that the same is true but I can kid myself that the pained lyrics are about the struggles of the War of Independence, the misery of 58% youth unemployment or the tragedy that has been joining the Euro. I know I kid myself but it makes for great listening. Sadly as I start to learn Greek the cost will be that I can no longer kid myself.

The track below from the High Queen of Greek pop Despina Vandi was one that the Mrs and I had on our wedding play list last year.

---

2758 days ago

Weekly Video Postcard #60: Three Reasons to Vote UKIP (albeit holding nose) on May 22nd Edition

My weekly video postcard is longer than usual as I will probably not record another for two weeks.

I am now 100% focussed on preparing for the UK Investor Show on Saturday April 5 and I touch on what I am looking forward to next week most, notably the shareholder activism session. You can still grab one of the last 50 seats going by clicking HERE.

After that I am off to Greece and I shall be sending back a few videos from a country which, I shall argue, has suffered both from being in the Euro but also from EU membership.

In that vein the meat of this video postcard covers the three reasons why, holding my nose, I shall almost certainly vote UKIP on May 22nd.

Tom’s weekly financial postcard covers Minoan, EMED, Globo, Gulf Keystone and more on the UK Investor Show. To watch that video click HERE

---

2937 days ago

Well done Olivia again – a proud father writes

Those who have been following me long enough know that my daughter Olivia was born at 1lb 4 oz just over twelve years ago. As such she has always been a bit of a miracle baby. But her triumphs continue to rack up. Her essay on the evils of the Euro got top marks and yesterday she learned that she had been picked for the U14 B side at her hockey club. So what you say?

Well A) we were warned that Olivia would always be small and may have breathing issues so any sporting triumph is a bonus.  B) Her hockey club is I gather, a rather top club. C) that is the U14sB. Olivia turned 12 just three months ago.

Olaf’s mum (Big Nose) was a county hockey player so I guess that is where she gets it from and I sense that Big Nose has pushed our daughter quite hard in this area. But the credit is all Olivia’s and yet again she makes me terribly proud.

---

2952 days ago

My superstar daughter Olivia - warming the heart of her Eurosceptic Dad and Great Uncle

My 12 year old daughter Olivia has to write an essay for school arguing the pros and cons of the Euro for Europe. Showing a greater grasp of economics than 90% of the bien pensants political and media elite she concludes that there are no material pros and argues forcefully and coherently that there are lots of cons. For myself and her Great Uncle Christopher Booker, as well as her Farage admiring mother, Pinsent Masons partner Big Nose, this essay is a triumph.

For the rest of my family who are true deluded lefties and thus take the view that whatever Uncle Chris and I write, they automatically support the other side, this will be a watershed. A third Eurosceptic writer in the family...great news.

---

3008 days ago

Greece – The Czech Waitress Question: This place is bonkers

Last night out waitress was a sweet trainee speech therapist from the Czech Republic.  A couple of days ago we gave a lift to two Hungarian birds who were also spending the summer working as waitresses. In fact this place is crawling with Eastern European birds working in bars and cafes.  Yet, in three weeks I have barely encountered any young Greeks working as waitresses outside family run establishments. Youth unemployment here is 65%. Go figure.

I know that the Easter Europeans are working in the black economy and are staying in not great places happy to make a few Euro, enjoy afternoons on the beach and to bunk up with the odd other young person who is passing through. But …

There is something chronically wrong with an economy which sees these folks working while 65% of young Greeks sit on their arses, sipping frappes, living at home, not working but collecting benefits which ( since Greece is bust) come effectively from the taxpayers of Northern Europe.

The solution? Might I suggest that from April to October Greek youngsters under 25 should not be allowed to claim benefits and at the same time any Greek under 25 ( who has been unemployed for three months previously) be allowed to work outside of the tax system ( for both employer and employee). It would save Greece ( i.e. the Northern European taxpayer) a stack of cash, might instil the work ethic in a generation that has otherwise lost it and, frankly, it would be less galling for Northern Europeans as we pay over the odds for our Greek salads from our after tax income.

Will it happen? No chance. This country is bonkers and happy to enjoy the frappe lifestyle at the expense of others.

---

3017 days ago

Reflections on an expensive meal in Corfu – Greece still does not get it.

There is no doubt that Greece is enjoying a better tourist season this year than last. Folks are used to the new normal that is bankrupt Greece teetering on Euro exit with the odd riot thrown in. As a bonus, there are more Russians here than last year. But it is still pretty dire and as I digest a 48 Euro bill from last night I say that Greece still does not get it.

The appeal of Greece of old was that it was cheap and cheerful. 48 Euro ( call it £40) bought a bottle of piss poor house rose, a nasty bruschetta followed by basic moussaka for me, a very weak tomato salad followed by a lamb spaghetti dish for the little woman and some dire service. Her starter arrived first. Five minutes later the other three dishes arrived.

A comparator offering at the Real Man Pizza Company on Saturday night would have been ½ litre of (much better) house rose and two pasta dishes a mixed salad and very good bruschetta which would have set you back £34 on the 2 course special offer (£40 without). Better food, better service in Central London at £34/40 or £40 for what we paid in Corfu.  The Greek’s, I am afraid, still do not get it. Expensive and cheerful does not float my boat.

If Greece is to solve its problems it is not just the public sector that must reform (finally sacking those public sector workers) but the tourist industry needs to compete. That either means leaving the Euro or cutting prices by 25%. Either way it means a fall in the standard of living for those involved but, perhaps, having a few more customers might offset that.

Today we are off to Albania. I would have left earlier had I been in charge and would by staying longer. The same meal there will cost £25 and the food wiull be better.

---

3058 days ago

Croatia joins the Happy EU club on July 1 – are they mad or are we?

In four weeks’ time the happy band of brothers that is the EU will welcome a new member – its 28th. Welcome aboard Croatia you do not know all the fun you have been missing.

The unemployment rate in Croatia is 20.9% (against a Eurozone average of 12.2%) while youth unemployment is already 51.8%. So in terms of making this a greater “common market” what will be the added trade benefits to Britain of welcoming this economic basket case on board?  Er…exactly.

But of course it means that Croats can now pack their bags and seek employment or claim benefits elsewhere in Europe.  The first flight (one way) out of Zadar, Croatia to London Stansted after July 1st is on July 3rd and costs 47.99 Euro with Ryanair. You kind of sense that it will be sold out soon.

As an employer I welcome more cheap labour. Persuading a native Brit to come off welfare and earn £16,000 as a waitress is pretty much impossible and so the EU provides an answer. I gather that there are some good looking birds in Croatia and so I am not grumbling.

But I am not sure that on balance, the addition of another country which will be a net taker from EU funds really makes the case for the UK staying in the Evil Empire any more compelling.

As for Croatia presumably with its economy already fucked it can do a few Greek style fiddles and compound its misery by applying to join the Euro. At which point youth unemployment of 51.8% will seem like the “good old days.” Although perhaps not quite as good as the the glory days the last time it linked up in an Axis lead by Germany.

---

3264 days ago

Going on Strike soon: Spain, the Guardian, The Tube Drivers – I stand with you comrades.

The Greek General strike has come and gone. A few riots, a few more businesses closed than usual but no real change. Unemployment creeps up. The 4th Reich imposes more austerity and society falls apart. And so as the workers ( or in the case of Greece, non-workers) of the world unite who is next to strike? For a range of reasons I urge some of the lead candidates to go ahead – comrades I stand along side you.

Starting with the poor oppressed editorial team at The Guardian newspaper – average salary no idea but with some highly paid columnists (Polly Toynbee on £300,000) pushing up the mean. My guess is that most of the writers on the Guardian are on £50,000 plus and heck you do not get to live in Islington and Camden if you are on the minimum wage.

---