As I am often abroad at election time I organise a permanent postal vote. Thus from Bristol in the South west region my Euro Elections ballot paper arrives and has been filled in (and posted) as you can see below. It is a treble pleasure.
I get to vote against Boris Johnson’s ghastly elitist sister standing for ChangeUK and also against slimey Euro loon Lord Adonis standing for Labour. Natch as a keen Brexit supporter who wants to see the Westminster swamp drained, Mr Farage’s Brexit Party got my vote. As a West Ham supporter I think I am about to experience the novelty of rooting for a winning team.
The mrs, who is a card carrying member of the Labour party organised no postal vote and so that is one less vote for the commies.
Radio 4's flagship Today programme was discussing Brexit in light of the recent comments by Boris and the forthcoming speech by the worst Tory Prime Minister in living memory, if not ever, Mrs May. It had already given time to the senile old remoaner Vince Cable who wants us to keep voting until we vote the "right" way, hence the word Democrat in his party's name. And so next up...from our Nottingham Studio it was fat old Euro-bore Ken Clarke.
What would you say in your speech if you were Theresa May? Asked the Pravda interviewer. Predictably Clarke offered up his vision of Brexit which would see us leave the EU but stay within all its institutions, paying vast amounts to Brussels and sticking by every EU rule including those on bent bananas. Brexit uber light. Oh and Boris should be sacked as well.
We knew what Clarke was going to say as he is wheeled on about once a week to offer his vision of the way forward. He is there so the BBC can say how balanced is its coverage of Brexit "Look we always interviewing Tories who back Brexit as balance to mad old Vince. But 99% of Tories and almost all Tory MP's other than that other BBC regular the ghastly Anna Soubry, now accept that Brexit means Brexit not just EU-light.
This is another sham pretence of balance from the taxpayer funded broadcaster. Surely no-one is fooled by it?
Lord (Andrew) Adonis is one of those folks who wants we dumb commoners to keep voting on Brexit until we realise the error of our ways and vote the same way as clever people like him and the man who enobled him, the war criminal Tony Blair. So what is the worst thing about Brexit? His Lordship tweets to enlighten us...
So if the EU impose a sanction on Brits they do impose on, say, Canadians to punish us and that inconveniences Adonis, Polly Toynbee and the rest of the North London elite as they head to Tuscany for a summer vacation that is an "abomination."
Okay I am persuaded. Let's vote again and this time will do what I am told.
I am no particular admirer of my Oxford contemporary, the pompous MP for somewhere in Somerset, Jacob Rees Mogg. But my fellow residents of the Hellenic Republic should at once establish a committee to erect statues of the pin stripe suited buffoon in every town square in our great land. The heroes of 1821 should stand shoulder to shoulder with the man who has arrived at a solution to our economic misery and enslavement by the fucking Germans, sorry I meant the EU, and banksters. Jacob Rees Mogg is the new Byron.
This may come as a surprise to Jacob but he raised a very valid point this week on the matter of Brexit which, to his credit, he supports unreservedly. Jacob notes that if the UK as a large net contributor is expected tp pay vast sums as the price of leaving then should a big net gainer wish to leave surely the EU would have to pay it a vast sum as compensation. His logic is impeccable.
The amount that the UK gave the EU in 2016 net of automatic rebate and the amount spent in the UK by the Evil Empire, spent not always wisely it should be said, was £8.6 billion (call it 9.4 billion Euro) and the EU is demanding 100 billion Euro as our exit bill so that is 10.64 times historic net contributions.
In 2015 - the last year for which we have figures - Greece paid E1.206 billion to the Evil Empire but the EU spent E6.210 billion in Greece making a net inflow of E5.004 billion to the Hellenes. As Rees Mogg points out, a consistent and logical EU would force Greece to accept -a cheque if it left the EU which on the UK multiplier formula would be E53.23 billion. There could be no talks about trade or the rights of Germans to relive the joys of the 1940s and move to Greece until the Greeks agreed to receive a cheque for 53 billion Euro.
That works out at a one off windfall equivalent to a 31% boost to GDP or put another way a one off gift of E4,936.51 for every man woman and child resident in Greece. Hmm I make that the cost of 897 meals of a Greek salad and an ouzo at lovely Eleni's Kouronis taverna in my home village of Kambos. Each time I raise my glass I would think of Jacob, the man who made this possible for Greece.
I am sure that my fellow residents would each happily donate 1 Euro of their windfalls towards the committee to erect a statue of Jacob Rees Mogg in every town square in this land.
The way forward is clear. leave the logical EU, pick up a cheque for 53 billion Euro, go straight to Go at which point revert to the drachma and say that all our external debts will be repaid in nice new drachmas. We all know that the drachma will plunge in value every year so the banksters take it up the arse, Greece has solved its debt problems at a stroke and with 53 billion Euros to spend from the EU as our "price of Grexit" it is ouzos all round as we toast the new Bryron, Jacob Rees Mogg.
Yikes! I thought I was safe with Greek TV from the likes of Lineker & Graham Norton but then up popped commie media tart Paul Mason lecturing the poor bubbles on why the EU and the Euro was the only way forward. Mason is an asset millionaire. My neighbours here in Greece are starving, unemployed, emigrating and angry. Mason just has no idea and worse still he talks rot. Greece does have a choice and I urge it to take it.
We all have opinions about what might happen and no-one can prove that your opinion on the future is wrong.The sun will rise tomorrow is an opinion. I suspect few would disagree with it but since it is in the future not the past it is not a fact. Facts (a word derived from the Latin for it has happened) are a different matter. But not it seems if you are a nutty Euro loon who cannot accept the Brexit vote. Meet Petra Mason who has a degree in behavioural ecology and is into pottery and tweeting gibberish.
Petra served up this tweet.
Hmmmm. Actually the facts show that since the Brexit vote the UK economy has grown. Our GDP today is more than it was on June 23rd. And, in fact, we are the fastest growing economy in the G7 and our GDP will at Christmas probably be higher than it is now. Of course that last point is an opinion although one that is widely shared among economists. What is a fact is that the tweet from Petra, an RT of some crap in the Independent is factually wrong.
So I tweeted a suggestion that she might like to retract and apologise. Petra tweeted back that Sterling was falling. Yes it is but that does not mean that the UK economy has not grown. What Sterling is or the FTSE 100 stands at is irrelevant though Petra flagged up both. I merely pointed out that her original tweet was a factual error.
At that point she challenged me to say what made me qualified to opine on this matter. You do not need any qualification to discuss what has happened to GDP since what we are debating here is not opinion but fact. But since she asked I did economics at A Level ( winning the school Economics prize), read Economics at Oxford and have been working in finance for 26 years. Meanwhile Petra is good at making pots.
I do not denigrate making pots. It adds to GDP and Petra may be a most excellent potter. I wish that I was but when I have tried it I have been shown to be utterly useless.
But on economics and logic (which I also studied at Oxford), my friend the eco-potter is on rather weaker ground.
We do not know what will happen to UK GDP in the long term. Nor, if it goes up or down can we definitively link that to Brexit since many other factors may be at play. Events can be conjoined but not connected (David Hume, a chap whose works I studied at Oxford). But when someone states as a fact (UK GDP has fallen since June 23) something that is demonstrably wrong, then one should retract and retreat. But for Petra and some of her fellow remainers that is just not something that they can accept.
The BBC and the rest of the liberal media was creaming itself last week reporting as breaking news for several days on the trot claims by Nissan that it may cease investing in its Sunderland plant because of Brexit. That will teach those thick racists in the grim North for voting for Brexit smirked the southern liberal elite. The great unwashed have only themselves to blame. They should have listened to the London lefty millionaires from the media and academia who really knew what was best for the "ordinary people" of Britain. What the BBC and Guardian failed to report is that Nissan has form. It is the boy who cried Euro Wolf.
Roll back to 2002, when all those folks who warned us how the stockmarket, house prices and the economy would crash within weeks and that base rates would soar if we voted for Brexit on June 23, were blathering on about the Euro. Think Peter Mandelson, Paddy Pantsdown, the CBI and think Nissan.
I refer you to an article from 4 December 2002 from the Daily Telegraph:
Nissan, the Japanese carmaker, said yesterday that further investment in the UK depends on whether Britain joins the euro. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive, said the Sunderland plant, which produces the Micra and employs nearly 5,000 people, could suffer if Britain stays out of the single currency.
"The challenge is that Sunderland is producing cars with costs in pounds and most of the revenues in euros, and this is a situation we don't like." The Sunderland plant is the most efficient in Europe and a leading light of the British car industry.
Nissan had considered moving production of the Micra to a plant owned by French partners Renault, had the Government not stepped in with an aid package. Mr Ghosn, who is credited with having transformed the fortunes of Nissan, said that if Britain did not join the euro, the company could decide on "less assembly activity".
Oh... so what happened when Britain ignored the bien pensants and did not join the disaster that has been the Euro? Natch: Nissan expanded its production in Sunderland anyway. What old carlos said was a complete porky pie.
Of course producing cars in Europe where workers are keen on strikes, impossible to fire without enormous payoffs however bad trade gets or useless they are and where productivity lags that in Sunderland is still an option. But there are many reasons why Nissan won't actually take it up.
And as the BBC and its liberal pals fail to report, the trouble is that Nissan cried Euro wolf before and perhaps that is why no-one outside the media bubble of diehard Remainers believes it this time around.
To be fair to David Cameron he does not need to open his mouth to tell an actual lie in order to mislead the British people about Brexit. Sometimes his silence is equally deceptive.
It appears that the EU has overspent its budget by circa £20 billion and that member states will be asked - once again - for bonus contributions to fill the black hole. But in order to assist Dodgy Dave who is trying to tell the British people that we are "better off in" it has been agreed that the invoices will not be announced or sent until after June 23rd. How convenient.
No doubt lyin' Dave will now pipe up that he is going to stamp his patrician feet and won't be paying. Yup. The last time the UK got stung with a little bonus bill like this was in 2014 and the sum involved was £1.4 billion. Sure enough, lyin' Dave Cameron stamped his patrician feet, flew off to Brussels to tell his pals that he was not paying. And then when the fuss had died down he paid every last cent.
And we will end up paying every cent this time because that is how the EU works. Its unelected officials, men such as Neil Kinnock rejected by their own voters but now empowered to run our lives from overseas, overspend year in and year out. Then they tell member states to pick up the tab. And since the UK is economically successful we pick up a large slug of the tab and there is nothing we can do to avoid this other than leave the EU.
As it happens the £2 billion might be an under-estimate. It seems that Greece is going bust again as is Spain. That is part of the pleasure of being in the Euro, a currency so many of those in the Remain camp told us we had to join to avoid disaster. If Europe has to bail out our friends in Southern Europe it will not just be Euro currency users that pay but all EU members. Better get the UK's cheque book ready once again Dodgy, you'll be needing it after June 23rd big time.
I had rather forgotten about Michael Heseltine, the man who stabbed Lady Thatcher in the back, but apparently the old egomaniac is still alive and today weighed into the Brexit debate saying that Boris Johnson was a reckless man and that we should all vote to stay in.
Before anyone takes the old fool too seriously on the EU you might ask where we stood in the last great debate on matters European: The Euro? Not only did the old twit want us to join the single currency when it was set up but he still does even though it has proved to be an unmitigated disaster. As recently as April 27 this year, yes 2016, he gave a speech predicting that we still will join the Euro.
At least some of those who advocated joining the Euro at the beginning have, like the late Euro loon Charles Kennedy, admitted that they got it wrong. Heseltine still thinks he was right and is right.
Writing this evening from Greece where, thanks to the Euro, youth unemployment is 65% and where pensioners now have to survive on £9 a day as the economy continues to shrink, I can tell Lord Heseltine that he was wrong and is still wrong about the Euro. And that makes his views on Brexit pretty much worthless.
Naturally the EU cheerleaders at the biased BBC are happily reporting how the Tory grandee is slamming Boris and backing the "in" campaign but neglecting to mention Hezza's decade and a half of unrepentently calling the major European issues 100% wrongly. That is sadly not a surprise.
And so I tracked down a shop in Kalamata which sells canisters of Herpotex, cans that emit a smell snakes find noxious and which will keep them away for three months. In theory at least. The guide says I only need two to be placed 10 yards from two diagonally opposed corners of the hovel. Fecking hell, we are talking snakes here. I asked for four, one for each corner. The lady said "they are 30 euros each."
I thought that the price had gone up quite a bit since last year. Perhaps the fantastic "snake harvest" referred to by Nicho the communist means that demand is outstripping supply and that Herpotex snake repellent is the one item in Greece seeing real inflation? But this is snakes so I found 120 Euro and prepared to hand over the cash and to do so gladly.
The till rang up 52 Euro. Either I had misheard or the lady was a bit confused about 13 and 30. I tried to explain that I would have happily paid her 120 Euro or for that matter 300 Euro. These are snakes we are talking about.
The canisters are now in place. In theory the snakes are fleeing the area around the hovel and thus tomorrow I shall be moving from my nice secure hotel in Kalamata and out to the hovel, to the snakes, rats and mice. The trip begins in earnest.
I arrived at Athens airport at 7 PM on the dot and sober as a judge with plenty of time for a 9 PM flight to Gatwick, given that I had already checked in and only have hand luggage. Er..oh. My flight is delayed by 3 hours and 20 minutes.
That means that I am likely to arrive at Gatwick at c2.30-3PM GMT and will then have 150 minutes to kill before the first bus to Bristol departs. A nightmare journey awaits.
I head to the special needs easyjet desk and say that I have a special need, I am thick. What does this all mean? An officious lady says shows me a pack of vouchers which I guess get me a sandwich and a drink and offers me the chance to get behind 140 other sweaty Brits and escaping Greeks to queue to get the voucher of which she has a stack of in her hand. Put another way "fuck off and line up with all the other peasants, I am not even going to use the word sorry since you are only a customer and I view you with complete contempt."
I say ta but no ta and head off to get a frozen yoghurt and to wander to the terribly expensive Sofitel opposite the airport. It has a great internet connection.
As it happens my Euro to ouzo conversion programme of the past eight days has not gone according to plan and I appear to have around 1200 Euro burning a hole in my pocket. I now have four and a half hours to kill. I have no choice. The PC is plugged in. I am writing and a large ouzo with ice has just arrived. This could be a long night and I fear that my only company will be my best friend ouzo. I have eight days of relative sobriety to make amends for.
It turns out that I have an hour or two to kill at Athens airport and so naturally decide to go to the Sofitel hotel, to sit outside rent an hour’s internet use to write another article about Quindell and have a coffee. I know that it will be expensive (11 Euro) but I will enjoy writing, smoking and having a coffee in the warm late afternoon air.
I write first and then go online to ensure that my whole hour is used wisely. Naturally Sofitel cuts me off after 45 minutes. But the articles are written and I ask for my bill and hand the chap a ten euro note and a 5 euro note.
In the west a waiter would return promptly with 4 Euro change (if he is sensible as one 2 euro coin and two 1 euro coins) and would probably expect a tip of a euro at least. But this is Greece and after more than five minutes the waiter has not returned.
I wander inside and he is sitting behind the bar polishing glasses not serving anyone. “My change” I ask and he hands over a plate which was sitting next to him with for Euros on it. No fucking tip for you Stavros.
The game he plays is simple. Some folks will have to rush to catch a plane, others will be to embarrassed to ask and so five times out of ten he will get to trouser 4 tax free Euros by behaving as he has done. Only once in a lifetime will he get a chippy Brit who: demands his change, gives no tip and then posts an article on the Internet saying that the Sofitel hotel Athens charges ludicrous prices and should be having a few words with Stavros the waiter about the way he does business.
UKIP Councillor David Silvester has written to his local paper in Henley, arguing that the recent storms to hit Britain were God’s punishment on David Cameron for legalising gay marriage. Hmmmm.
UKIP says that this is not official party policy but that every party member has his or her right to express their beliefs. Well how jolly tolerant. For that I applaud UKIP but it could have gone one step further and added that on this matter Councillor Silvester has views which can only be described as completely bonkers bordering on offensive in a bigoted way.
UKIP claims to be a libertarian party. One would have thought that to describe Councillor Silvester’s views as libertarian would be pushing it a little. As libertarians we should support the rights of this bigoted old fruitcake to say whatever he wants. But we should also be allowed to and instinctively feel the need to express the view that such views are pretty repellent and clearly do mark Silvester out as a bigoted old fruitcake.
UKIP keeps on having these episodes where party activists are exposed as bigoted nutters. The UKIP line – as expressed to me by a national organiser – is that “we have one or two backwoodsman who will embarrass us now and again.”
The trouble is that it is not one or two but rather too many UKIP members who clear hold some rather unpleasant views about homosexuals, immigrants, Jews and other minorities.
You can bet your bottom Euro that Silvester will not be the only UKIP nutter to emerge in 2014. I suspect that will not deter many of us from holding our nose and voting UKIP in the Euros just because the established political parties are so awful and because we hate the EU. But when it comes to a REAL election will quite so many folks really want to send some of the loons who fly the flag for Fuhrer Farage to Westminster? Somehow I doubt it.
I stumbled on this video today where Tory MEP Dan Hannan, who is easily the cleverest Tory going, puts three Euro-loons (headed by the almost comical Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham Watson) utterly to the sword. This is a breathtakingly good indictment of the Evil Empire.
Is it time to sell everything? Probably not but it is quite possible that all asset classes will fall sharply in the coming weeks and months. – Well that is the theme of my financial video postcard this week which you can watch on Shareprophets.com here.
The political postcard focusses on the Euro, the EU, State sponsored theft and the end game. I sense that we Eurosceptics are about to be vindicated big time and soon.
In Greece youth unemployment is c60%. Ditto Spain. In Eire 30%. But these figures dramatically understate, yes I repeat understate, what is going on and it is the Euro that is to blame. An entire generation across much of Europe is being pulverized, systematically smashed and it is the Euro worshipping leaders of the same countries who are to blame. This is almost a crime against humanity.
Why the understatement? Emigration. Last year 90,000 people left Ireland. Nearly all were young people without jobs. Young Spaniards, Greeks, Italians have all flocked to North America, Australia and above all to London in search of work. I have noted before that not a day goes by when I do not have five or six young Southern European walk into my restaurant with a perfectly typed CV asking for work. If the young folk of the PIIGS nations did not have the ability to seek work outside the Eurozone then youth unemployment in Spain and Greece would be 70% or higher and in Eire it would already be at 40% plus. And in all cases the numbers rise day by day. There are just no jobs going.
The austerity measures imposed as a condition of bailouts means that life is getting worse. Youth unemployment and emigration numbers will both climb again in 2013. And of course it is the brightest and most driven youngsters who are emigrating. The long term implications for economic growth in these countries of this generation specific diaspora are truly dire. It is, incidentally, great news for the economy of London.
To inflict on almost an entire generation a choice of family break-up or poverty and forced idleness is a crime. Just like State sponsored theft is a crime. In Cyprus that is via bank robberies. In Eire it is by a draconian tax on all properties, even those which are now virtually worthless and unsellable. Perhaps 10% of Eire’s houses are now on tumbleweed developments. With a rapidly declining population no-one will ever live there. They are 100% unsellable and unrentable. You cannot even sell them for £1 because the new property taxes (needed to meet Euro bailout conditions) will make the negative yield so enormous. They will become a lifetime negative annuity – the price of being Irish.
What would Michael Collins have said had the British imposed such a scheme on his people? Had they imposed policies which sought to destroy a generation in just two or three years? What the hell was the point of throwing one Imperial master out if it has all come to this?
There is another way. Albania and Iceland faced the same problems as the PIIGS within the past ten to fifteen years. Bad bank debt had become unsupportable national debt. The answer is simple. Default on your national debt. Leave the Euro and establish a floating currency that will crater in value. But once again your economies will be competitive. Yes asset values will fall by 40% at a stroke. But as we are going the combination of state theft of assets and austerity will wipe another 40% (and more) from asset values within the Euro. It is just that the pain will go on for years.
Albania and Iceland took the pain quickly but have not looked back since. With their floating currencies they have enjoyed years and years of economic growth. Folks are happy.
The people of the PIIGS nations want a plan B before their society as well as their economy is completely destroyed. But the pan European political elite is determined, at any cost, to drive ahead with the Evil Empire's political project.
There will no doubt be wild celebrations in parts of Islington, Bristol and bastions of the Guardian reading Middle Classes tonight. After a long illness. Margaret Thatcher has died of a stroke today. This death will divide the nation.
I am watching the BBC’s coverage and it ignores her achievements totally. It is spiteful and worthless reporting. The left will blame her for all sorts of matters and will delight in her demise. Already I see tweets saying “the witch is dead.” Expect a torrent of tasteless and unpleasant comments and myth perpetuation over the coming days. Thatcher had that effect – she polarized opinion.
That the left hated her with such a passion was down to the fact that she delivered so much of what the left claims as its own ground. And so the left claims to represent “women” but Thatcher showed that a woman could rise to the top based on ability and without positive discrimination. The left claims to look after the poor. But whereas Milliband, Brown, Blair etc are all solidly working class, it is the Tories who have delivered the leaders from truly humble origins (Heath, Major and above all Thatcher).
The left keeps its client state poor. Thatcher gave opportunity to that client state to get a better life: to earn more based on work and ,merit by breaking Union power and abolishing collective bargaining; to own their own home via council house sales, to save more by cutting taxes. That was revolutionary and Britain needed a revolution because in 1979 after the Winter of Discontent, Margaret Thatcher took control of a country on its knees: bankrupt and with no sense of national pride. Thatcher faced opposition from a left determined to keep the poor poor and from patrician Tories who did not wish to upset the status quo. Bravely she drove through change in society by ensuring that the State did less not more.
She was not always right. In her early career it was she who did away with large numbers of grammar schools. I suspect she regretted that. She did not stand up to Mugabe in his early years when the mad old kook could have been stopped. Again, I sense that she regretted that. But on the big calls Maggie was right and that is why the Left cannot abide her.
All those Guardian readers celebrating today were, if my age or older, proudly wearing CND badges and trooping off to Greenham during the cold war. Folks like Tony Blair, Paddy Pantsdown and Baroness Ashton may pretend otherwise but the lefties were wrong about how to win the Cold War while Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Regan were right. Many of those same lefties would have caved into the Argies in 1982. Thatcher stood firm, although some of those around her wobbled. For her it was a matter of principle. Thatcher was right about the ERM and the Euro. She was branded an out of touch nationalist for her views but her views were based on pure economics and she was once again right. She was right. The deluded lefties were wrong. History is on squarely her side.
In parts of the North they say that they cannot forgive her for closing the coal mines and other State subsidised rust belt industries. But the same folk lambast today’s politicians for bailing out the banks. Thatcher understood that there is no such thing as the Government’s cash. There is money paid over by the taxpayer and that cash cannot be wasted. Subsidising an industry which just cannot make a profit, whatever the industry is waste. It is taking money from those who are creating wealth and paying it to others who are not. Whether the recipients are bankers or miners Thatcher understood that such an action was wrong.
Today’s conservatives do not dare cut Government spending or taxes or foreign aid because they are afraid of being confrontational. They have forgotten what principle means. Thatcher never forgot principle and based every decision about it.
Margaret Thatcher was without doubt the bravest politician of the 20th century. She was without doubt the most principled politician of our lifetime. She was a truly amazing woman. And she was right about almost everything.
To celebrate any death shows that you have no heart. We should pity those who celebrate the passing of Margaret Thatcher. This woman shaped the lives of a generation. She saved the UK from the bankruptcy and humiliation of the 1970s. She engineered a renaissance of Britain which all of her successors have done their best to dissipate.
Our greatest leader, Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013 RIP
Cyprus is a small island and it was easy to ignore or play down events at first but the situation is now out of control. We live in a new world order, the post Cyprus order and you need to wake up to the reality of that fast.
The Euro was never an economic project. It was a political one. And as such the “believers” brushed aside any economic objections and sought to ensure that everyone joined the club. Some countries were not fit to join (Portugal, Eire Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Cyprus) but that mattered little. The leaders of those countries and the ECB agreed to lie in order to gain entry.
This was a concerted lie by the political elites across Europe – a class distinct from the folks they nominally represent. And so today as the Euro collapses the political elites of Poland, Rumania and elsewhere are still applying to sign up. Hey, I know the Titanic is going down but is there any chance of me jumping off a floating currency lifeboat and getting on board your fine vessel? Madness.
And one reason that it is madness is that we have no idea how Cyprus will play out. The initial plans for state bank robbery have been shelved and so if you have less than 100,000 Euros in your bank account that money is, pro tem, safe. But it is impossible to withdraw it in more than small tranches. If you have more you will lose some of it. Perhaps 40% or 60% or potentially all of it. The idea that bondholders should lose everything if a bank fails seems fair to me. The idea that depositors should lose cash is just obscene.
What will be the effects?
For one you will see a growing scandal of how the political elite looked after its own and its friends. The family of the Cypriot President took its cash out of the banks a few days before the robbery was announced. The list of those that took out large sums is HERE
The chasm of mistrust that exists between the political elite across Europe and those they are meant to govern grows wider by the day. At some stage somewhere folks will say that enough is enough.
Secondly, the economy of Cyprus will seize up. 100,000 Euro is not actually that much. There are pensioners (many of them British), small businesses and others who have lost everything. They simply will not be able to pay staff, bills and debts. They will go bust. The knock on effects on the Cypriot economy will be disastrous.
Some within the Evil Empire claim that it is only dodgy Russians or largely dodgy Russians who are effected. My guess is that your average dodgy Russian stashed his ill-gotten gains in various islands. So he will be hit but not wiped out. Once again it will be the Cyprus based middle classes and small businesses that are really whacked and the negative multiplier effect of them not being able to pay bills will smash the local economy.
Once again EU austerity measures will simply make a situation worse.
But this will also spread beyond Cyprus. Already there are hints that Slovenia is in a similar position. Once again its banks passed EU stress tests a couple of months ago but we now know that such tests are meaningless.
And the precedent has now been set. The EU itself says that going forward if a country’s banks need bailing out it will not just be a new international loan that is offered – citizens of the country affected must also pay. State sponsored bank robbery is now deemed legitimate. Work hard, save and it can all be stolen from you.
This is of course a vicious circle. You now have to be quite certifiably mad if you live in a European country where the economy is a mess (i.e. France downwards) to keep your cash in a bank. There have not been large scale bank runs yet but you can bet there is a drip drip of withdrawals and the next time there is a Cyprus type incident that will turn into a flood. And you might as well get capital out of such a country before the EU (illegally) extends Cyprus type capital controls elsewhere.
What rather worries me is that Call Me Dave and other Western leaders refuse to stand up to this theft. It is as if they agree that the State has a right to seize whatever it wants whenever it wants.
And so what is the solution? There is only one. Cyprus would be better off leaving the Euro, devaluing its currency, taking the hit of bank failure now and restarting. The two fastest growing European economies (Iceland and Albania) have both faced a similar storm in the past 15 years. Their response was to take the hit and then rebuild with a floating currency. It is the only way.
Of course if Cyprus left the Euro and started its recovery other countries which should never have joined the Euro in the first place will start to realise that such an option is better for them than more German imposed austerity. Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Eire will all be on the way out. Right now their leaders (part of the pan European political Elite) cannot face such a solution although their people must increasingly yearn for it. But at some stage someone has to break ranks. And then the floodgates are open.
Until that moment happens the EU will continue down a path which can only be described as sheer madness. Folks across Southern Europe will trust banks, paper currencies and their political leaders ever less and gold, cash under the mattress and anti-politics ever more.
Now who can find me the best quote from Huhne, Mandelson, Pantsdown, Blair, Heseltine, Howe or one of the other “guilty men” describing the dire consequences for the UK if we did NOT join the Euro? A bonus prize if you can find one of them apologising for getting it so dreadfully wrong.
BBC news has two problems. One is its inherent pro left, pro global warming, anti-Israel, pro Euro bias. The list goes on. But the BBC news teams are wrong on every issue that matters and do not mind showing their inner feelings. And two the BBC is grossly over-manned (should that be over-personned?). One news story can be covered by four different news crews (National TV, regional TV, local radio, national radio). Given that it is tax-payers cash that is being pissed away on this over-manning the BBC is (correctly) paring the odd job. Not enough but it is a start.
And so the unions are on strike for 12 hours. Have you noticed a drop in quality? Er..
Clearly 12 hours is not enough to make an impact. How about the news teams walk out for 15 years. Or better still forever.
What was it that Chris Huhne, Tony Blair, Lord Howe, Paddy Pantsdown etc. said about how disastrous it would be if Britain did not join the Euro? No doubt the guilty men will apologise one day to those they labelled xenophobes for disagreeing with them. Perhaps they might care to explain to the good folk of Cyprus how they have benefitted from Euro membership?
In light of this the prize for the wittiest entry to this week’s caption contest is 1 Cypriot Euro or 2 Cupid shares – whichever is worth less. Actually I shall offer a real prize: an It’s Time to Leave T-shirt.
As ever you can buy your own it’s time to leave T-shirt as well as a range of other politically incorrect T-shirts, mugs, sweat-shorts and hoodies HERE
And brownie points to anyone who turns up at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th wearing such apparel.
So post your captions to the picture below in the comments section. The deadline for entries is next Friday morning
My entry is: “There is a surprisingly large turnout at the annual meeting of the Cyprus friends of Germany Society”
Last week I asked for captions to a picture of Ed Milliband. The standard of entries was so depressingly low (my own included) that there is no prize. And I’d rather not have another picture of this hopeless figure on this site so let’s just draw a line under the episode.
Now that he is friended me on Facebook, can Jon Pickles please return with a vengeance for this week’s contest.
Cyprus has become the fifth Eurozone nation to get a bailout but this one is different. At the insistence of the Germans one condition of the bailout is that private citizen’s pay and they will do so via a tax of up to 10% levied on all bank deposits in the Mediterranean island. This is pure socialism in action – the idea that the legitimate savings made by an individual as a result of fully taxed income can just be seized by the State. It is a horrific precedent.
For having established that the State can effectively seize whatever it wants whenever it wants you rather accept that you have no private property or savings. You can work your socks off, pay taxes to support those who do not work, save prudently so that you will not be a burden on the State or your family in the future and then one day the State just seizes your money. Heck why stop at 10% of bank deposits? Why not seize land, houses, etc.? The precedent is now there and this is an EU precedent.
David Cameron wishes to remain part of an organisation which thinks that State sponsored theft of private wealth is acceptable. I do not and nor, I suspect, do most British people. If the Conservative party and for that matter the Lib Dems and Labour support State sponsored theft that is fine they should be honest about it and we can all vote UKIP. But will the established parties stand up to the political elite in the Evil Empire and say “This is wrong and if you wish to behave in this way we want no part of it?” I doubt it. Call Me Dave, Clegg and the leader of the party that boasts prize shit and anti semite Lord Ahmed in its ranks, may huff and puff but the bottom line is that they all want to be part of a club that allows State sponsored theft.
I suspect that across the continent of Europe there are a lot of folks really questioning whether they want to stay part of this enterprise any more, especially in places such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and to a lesser extent France and Eire. Do you folks out there in Spain really feel safe leaving your assets where the State can just steal them?
I wonder if next week we might see a bit of a run on the banks in a number of places… unintended consequences and all that. Of course that could then trigger a bailout in Spain or elsewhere. It all becomes self-fulfilling.
It is at this point in a cycle of lunacy that one starts thinking that taking all of your cash out of the banks and buying physical gold to bury in a safe place which just you and one trusted friend know about. Is that any less risky than leaving a money in a bank where you had thought that the Government guaranteed the safety of a deposit but is now, it seems, able just to steal your cash at will.
As for the Euro? The austerity measures imposed on the PIIGs are causing unemployment and misery on a 1930s scale. Social unrest is growing. Now that in at least one PIIGS nation ( more to follow) the basic contract of trust with banks and the Government has been destroyed one must ask if the price being paid for the maintenance of what was always a political not an economic project is a fair one. Perhaps some of those who warned that Britain would be ruined by not joining the Euro (Chris Huhne, Paddy Pantsdown, Tony Blair, Lord Mandelson, Geoffrey Howe and the other “guilty men”) would care to explain why the people of Cyprus have benefited from being in the Euro? Incidentally thousands of British owners of properties in Cyprus and servicemen based in Cyprus will also be hit by this State sponsored theft.
The Euro has to be broken up with the eviction of all of the Southern European nations if it is to survive and if civil unrest, anarchy and abject misery is not to ensue across the Med.
At some stage the little people across Europe will just say that enough is enough and refuse to be trampled upon by a political elite pursuing ideology over common sense.
The answer to the 1998 financial crisis was to slash borrowing costs across the globe so that we all over-leverages and misallocated our capital. On that occasion it was junk dotcom investments and property. In 2008 another crises and the same solution. The fact is that the world has been misallocating capital for decades, led by Governments freed from prudence by the abandonment of the gold standard in 1971.
With each crisis that crops up, the solution is simply to print more money and to get folks to take on even more debt. You owe too much – heck borrow some more. And so capital is misallocated and bubbles grow ever bigger. But at some stage the party ends. It will. The current set up is simply unsustainable.
And so what will be the black swan event that causes the mother of all reality checks? If offer four runners and riders. Inevitably if one occurs it will trigger the others. And it will probably be a fifth black swan that no-one has thought much about that starts the party. But here goes.
1. The Chinese property bubble. I have written before on numerous occassions about just how mammoth this is and how it really can knock the Chinese (and thus the worlds) economy for six. The answer of the authorities to the slowdown in the PRC in 2012 was to pump more hot air into this bubble. It has to be my top black swan bet. Read this piece out yesterday on Zero Hedge if you doubt me.
My major work from September 2012 on China, the misallocation, fraud an inevitably of a crash is HERE
2. A market refusal to buy US T Bonds in an auction. The US Government is three years away from having a balance sheet like that of Greece just before the crisis. An economically illiterate President and, to show balance, a spineless Republican party in Congress just cannot get to grips with what is happening. The US today is like sick Britain at the end of WW1. But it will take the US far less time than we took to see its currency tank. At some stage folks will refuse to stump up cash for a debt that yields sod all and is clearly unrepayable and unsupportable.
3. Sovereign default across Europe accompanied by widespread Civil unrest. The only folks buying Spanish debt right now are the Spanish state pension funds. Oooh lucky Spanish state pensioners. But those funds are tapped out. Spain is bust and its economy is enjoying an EU austerity driven spanking session which Max Mosley could only dream of. It is not just Spain. Italy, Greece, Portugal are in the same mess. The Irish economy and society has been beaten to a pulp in the name of fiscal responsibility and yet could still collapse. France is heading the wrong way fast as is the UK. The collapse of the Euro as we know it has to be an odds on bet it is a matter of how it occurs.
4. The Arab spring moving to Saudi Arabia. A regime with no legitimacy is kleptocratic, autocratic and barbaric. It bribes the people with a fraction of the nation’s wealth and panders to radical Islam in a most unhealthy sort of way but it is unloved. One day it will fall. Revolution in the world’s largest oil producer could perhaps trigger unforeseen events elsewhere.
Hey, maybe we can all carry on spending beyond our means, leveraging up as individuals and as States for a good while yet. We have been kicking this can down the road for decades so maybe we can carry on for another few decades. Or maybe not. One day something will happen and we will find our noses against the wall at the end of the Cul-de-sac. That day may be sooner than we think.
For more thoughts from Tom Winnifrith follow him on twitter @tomwinnifrith
In a sense this a daft question. Spain IS bust. We are just not admitting it yet. The Euro fanatics at the EU will not admit it until it has happened. But the day of truth is almost upon us. Spain will go bust and we will see a Sovereign default this year, taking the Euro down with it -or at least forcing a two speed Euro upon the Evil Empire.
Greece was small fry. Spain matters.
I suggest that you read this brief note from Phoenix Capital on the Zero Hedge website and think very carefully about what happens next. You can read that note HERE.
Caitt Reilly is the job snob geology graduate who said that being forced to work at Poundland rather than just sit on the dole until she found a job that suited her was illegal. Needless to say some crackpot judge found in her favour. Incidentally that work experience did her some good as she now has a job at Morrison’s with one suspecting that the supermarket thought the stint at Poundland was a more impressive part of her CV than a degree in geology.
Caitt seems like a sour faced deluded lefty with a point to prove but she is utterly typical of British youth today in believing that she can sit on her fat arse collecting benefits paid for with taxes paid by those of us who do work (often in jobs we don’t relish) until something she likes comes along. That process can take years. And the more we churn graduates out with 2:1 degrees from useless Universities in pointless subjects the more you will get young people saying that a menial job is “beneath them.” The only way to address this is by root and branch reform of the welfare system.
I contrast this with the attitude of young Europeans mainly from Spain and Italy who are flocking to London. Back home there are simply no jobs – youth unemployment is 50% plus and rising thanks to the joys of being in the Euro. And so the more enterprising ones come to London in search of a better life. On an average day I see two or three of them pop into The Real Man Pizza Company. in Clerkenwell with a typed up CV (showing a willingness to work) asking if I have a job as a waiter/waitress/cook. They are not demanding great money – the minimum wage is fine. They just want to work. In a City with more than 100,000 young unemployed Britons I have had just one native born youngster come in with such an approach. And she was a student looking for a bit extra. Not one single Briton on the dole has come in looking for work.
We have all made jokes about how idle the Southern Europeans are. No doubt we have the more enterprising and driven ones coming to London for work. But they impress me. Caitt and British youth simply fill me with despair.
Jeepers. I think I have got both the sound and light right this week. A bonus helping of chocolate pizza for me. I had to get the hang of it eventually. The nine minute video postcard is wide ranging and I only mention Sefton Resources (SER) once and even then only en passant. How is that for restraint?
On the Agenda
1. Light blogging – plans for next few weeks as I tidy up overdue books, etc
2. A quality resource management team – Linda and Dekel at Chaarat
3. A problem with the UK – we are overpaid and thus not competitive
4. The main subject – the problem with AIM. They are structural and how a blood bath is needed to change that ( this includes Sefton en passant mention)
5. Macro economic chill head winds in the US, China and especially Euroland
6. Value investing in such a climate for small caps. Mention of Leyshon Resources (LRL)
For more on the two stocks I mention positively you can read a recent piece on
Vince Cable somehow gained a reputation (out of Government) for predicting everything. He did that by (after the event) saying that he had predicted it beforehand. And for a while it worked and it was St Vince this and St Vince that. Until a bit of fact checking rather knocked the spots of that story. And since joining Government he has been an unmitigated disasters getting almost every big call wrong and appearing to be intent on nothing more than scheming his way to the top when Nick Clegg finally gets the order of the boot. So he is not exactly an idol of mine. But today the horrid little man sank to new depths.
Cable has always been a prize Euro loon, claiming that it would be disastrous for Britain not to join even when it was apparent to almost everyone else (outside the BBC and it sister paper the Guardian) that the Euro was falling apart. The Euro is still falling apart and it would, of course, be great news for the people of Europe – if not our political masters – if it did fall apart. And so Dr Cable weighs in with a warning that if it falls apart this could lead to war. In an instant the man has gone from Euro loon to Euro scoundrel.
There is no reason to believe that Europe would go to war if the single currency breaks up. Indeed one might say that the misery and social chaos the Euro is causing makes conflict MORE likely. But i do not make that claim because I can find no hard evidence to back it up. And neither does the scoundrel Cable have any backing for his claim.
The Euro was always depicted as an economic project but it was in fact always a political project. Those who supported it have clearly lost the economic argument and so now they resort to lies and scaremongering to save their political project. Samuel Johnson stated in 1775 that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” He was I think wrong if referring to our political Lords and Masters. War, or the threat of it, is the last refuge of a political scoundrel.” Cable, aaaaaaaaaaagh. You are a horrid little charlatan.
Throughout my travels in Greece during the past six weeks one thing has become apparent: the Greeks are completely deluded about their fate. They just simply do not get it. There is a large swathe of opinion that wishes to keep the Euro and believes that this can be done merely by slashing public sector jobs and Government waste. They do not think that austerity and the need to be competitive applies to them. Why they are so attached to the Euro which has brought them such misery baffles me. I think some associate it with the vast grants Greece used to get and think those days will come again (dream on).
Others see being part of the Euro club as a matter of national pride. So let me get this straight, Germany is telling your politicians how to run your country stripping you of independence, will soon send over “observers” to oversee the state, you have been bankrupted and humiliated – in all thoroughly buggered by Berlin. When this happened 1943-45 it was not a source of pride, what is different now? Whatever the reason for this deranged love affair with the Euro, the big delusion is that austerity is a public sector matter only.
Certainly hundreds of thousands of jobs have to go in the Civil service and in the Post Office, utilities and railways as they are privatised. But the fact is that Greece will still not be competitive. I detailed HERE yesterday why prices must come down by 40% (either by leaving the Euro or through deflation) if the Greek tourist industry is not to be trashed by that of Albania and, God forgive me for saying this, Turkey.
And then there are the banks. There are stacks of them. I visited 10 within ¾ of a mile this morning trying to find one that would allow me to change some currency. Not my Albanian Lekke – I have them for life – but British £20 notes. Several advertised exchange rates on the door but only one actually offered the service. ATE bank was actually closed. I asked the gaggle of women outside why (fearing the worst) and they happily said they were on strike. Why? In protest because it was being bought by another bank (Piraeus Bank).
Now I suspect ATE is not exactly a cash cow and that this is a mercy killing. I would bet you 5000 Albanian Lekke that Piraeus Bank is itself not exactly rich as Croesus. This is two struggling banks merging to try to survive. And the workers reckon that strike action will stop it? Or do any good? The fact is that most, if not all, Greek banks are essentially toast. Ed Balls seems to think that having a large number of banks is good for the consumer. But if none of them have any money to lend (Greece) or either don’t have it or won’t lend it (the UK) you can have a zillion banks and it will not make any difference.
Keeping all these bust Greek banks going with taxpayers (that is German taxpayers) money allows Greece to pretend that unemployment is only 22.5% (it is really 27%) but it is a pretence. Austerity will also mean that most Greek banks have to merge and go bust and a lot of Greek bank workers will be fired. The pain in Greece if it continues down the current path will, not that folk here realise this yet, be felt across the board.
PS. I had to laugh on my bus journey today when I saw a stream of “men at work” signs in the road. It goes without saying that there were no men at work on the road at all. That is because the Government has no cash. Indeed not even enough to pay to collect signs put up ages ago when there were men at work. In fact since it was 3.30 in the afternoon I doubt there were very few men at work within 100 miles.
Greetings from Albania. I hope that I am getting the hang of this video recording technology. Sorry if I am a little dark in this shot but the only place quiet enough to record is my hotel room. I would like to given you, ahem, beach shots but there is too much shouting/background noise from the road and the mosque out there. A strange place.
I think I am getting the hang of this video technology. I am writing to you from the Connections Bar where there is a high speed wi-fi service and my latest video is whirring its way online. Last time it took 14 hours to get back to the UK. This time it looks set to complete in 150 minutes.
The play list here could have been created by me. Oasis, Nena, Dexy’s, all I need is some Undertones and I shall feel like I am back at Real Man Pizza. Anyhow, I hope that you enjoy the video
On the Agenda
Inflation and how that affects your portfolio
A new share tip on the way on TomWinnifrith.com – maker sure you follow me on twitter (@tomwinnifrith) for the alert. It will go out during market hours.