Euro – One in seven chance it will be abandoned

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This topic contains 163 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of logan logan 5 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #56145
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    Anonymous
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  • #103715
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    logan
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    The expected hike of 0.25% in Eurozone interest rates on Thursday by the ECB will add further problems for the peripheral states. The 12 month Euribor has already risen to 2.021%. It will not be the only hike this year.
    http://www.euribor-rates.eu/current-euribor-rates.asp
    The ‘PIGS’ states do not need a rate rise but Germany does, so rates will rise.
    That is the fundamental problem with the Euro, differing economies moving at a differing pace and forcing them all to accept an economic policy out of line with most.
    However because the Euro is a collective political project it will be made to work somehow. That is until the electorate of these nations, including Germany wise up to the fact the being in the club just makes them poorer.

  • #103719
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    This was the main reason to why one should have waited a long time with setting up the EMU. The economies are so different that it was doomed from the start. One option would have been to let some economies that was in phase with each other and very similar in culture to join up in more local groups to start with and then maybe 50-100 years later make the last step and merge these local groups up into one big. In my opinion the EMU is good for no one at the moment and the small benefit of one currency does not in any way outweight the benefits for the economies to adapt more quickly. The countries that stayed out did right not listening to big business and special interest groups. Their only goal is to black mail every country into doing what they want. Just look at how much business was lost to countries like Ireland and Spain when they undercut other countries taxes. Makes me ill when I think about it since it was the well behaved countries that financed their infrastructure changes that made it possible for them to have artificially low taxes. This is not a rant towards those countries but rather to the rest that accepted getting their asses handed to them.

  • #103721
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    @Ardun wrote:

    This was the main reason to why one should have waited a long time with setting up the EMU. The economies are so different that it was doomed from the start. One option would have been to let some economies that was in phase with each other and very similar in culture to join up in more local groups to start with and then maybe 50-100 years later make the last step and merge these local groups up into one big. In my opinion the EMU is good for no one at the moment and the small benefit of one currency does not in any way outweight the benefits for the economies to adapt more quickly. The countries that stayed out did right not listening to big business and special interest groups. Their only goal is to black mail every country into doing what they want. Just look at how much business was lost to countries like Ireland and Spain when they undercut other countries taxes. Makes me ill when I think about it since it was the well behaved countries that financed their infrastructure changes that made it possible for them to have artificially low taxes. This is not a rant towards those countries but rather to the rest that accepted getting their asses handed to them.

    Well Ireland is certainly paying the price for it now and you are correct in what you say – only for joining the EU we wouldn’t have the infrastructure we have with the roads etc. Certainly the last thing needed here is interest rate increases it will lead to more and more mortgage defaults – the private sector here in Ireland has taken major wage cuts, – hopefully this will make us more competitive but also austerity measures introduced, higher mortgage rates. The higher paid public servants here are way over paid, Doctors still charge exhorbitant fees as do consultants – the Chief Executive of the ESB (electricity board) was being paid E750,000 per annum until he retired just recently – they can get away with this because it is still a government agency.

  • #103722
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    The Eurozone has been hampered by one of the major European economies, the UK, not wishing to join. I don’t think the Euro will fail, despite the USs and UKIPs prayers. Of course the different parts of the Eurozone develop at different rates, any part of any country does, ask the people in the North East of England.

    If the Euro fails, one of the major losers will be the UK, followed by the other countries whose currencies are set at the wrong rates, and nobody can predict how the world markets will react to the uncertainties caused by a major currency failure.

    The US Dollar will benefit in the short term, before the Far East bring it crashing down.

    I don’t know about Spain, specifically, it has received an astonishing amount of support from China in recent years, and can devalue with a re-emerging Peseta to bolster its exports. The already healthy tourist trade will increase and the wealthy and welcome foreigners can take up the housing slack.

    I have refrained from mentioning that I will be much better off on a personal level, should the one-in-seven-chance scenario come to pass.

  • #103723
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    logan
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    Spain and Ireland have some of the highest number of variable mortgage rates in the Eurozone. Coincidentally they have also a high number of owner occupiers, Spain being the highest in Europe per capita. So any rate hikes will hurt.
    Of course the peripheral states have received huge benefits from being in the Euro club, not least the ability to borrow vast sums both on world markets and from the ECB.
    The trillions these countries owe are in Euros and have to be serviced in that same currency. If they leave the club it would be nothing short of economic disaster. Reverting back to their national currency would inflict a massive devaluation on themselves against the Euro. Simply impossible economically to contemplate.
    In practice there is no actual mechanism in place to allow countries to leave the Euro. New treaties would have to be written and the whole of Europe would be plunged into uncertainties.
    It’s for these reasons I can never see it happening.

  • #103724
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    Politicians have to much invested into this to do the right thing and end the EMU. The day the EU started to be a club about protecting it’s own backyard it went sour. I know a farmer in Spain that got paid money to dig up his winestocks and reseed it with sunflower by the EU. It was to expensive to be worth the trouble to harvest it so he just let it rot. Winestocks that takes several years to mature. You cant solely blame the french winemakers but it was their lobbyist that made that awesome move go through. When will the EU and their member states learn not to meddle with the markets. They seem to be more interested to help farmers overgrow and then dumping the produce in Africa… ruining their allready ruined states even more.

    It should only be a free trade zone with a goal that the nations freely will standardise norms and regulations. And force countries to stop throwing good money at their local troubled non performing markets. We have seen over and over again that it’s the wrong way to go.

  • #103725
    Profile photo of kgpoc
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    Don’t believe the hype, the Euro has about a 0.1% chance of being abandoned, not 14%. And if it is to be abandoned, it will be by one or all of the PIIGS hence making it a stronger not a weaker.
    – Germany for all the news paper articles will not leave, will governments fall/change ‘yes!’ But German politics is so fragmented with power between all the parties that it is highly unlikely it could pull it off.
    – Germany lived through it once when it absorbed East Germany paying a massive price updating what was basically a 3rd world country. Now, if you look at Germany they are not afraid to take their medicine because they are now reaping the benefits of that pain..
    – They are use to having a brutally tough independent central bank, who in the last 30 years has done them right. They have terrible banks and commercial banks, but their central bankers are tough.

    Does it hurt with what is happening, ‘yes!’ but the currency has not received any of the anger of any of the countries..

    The most interesting point for us, regardless of the currency is what logans chart showed; don’t forget banks can borrow and have been borrowing from the ECB at .5% and as we see the Euribor has gotten to 2% so in the middle of that, banks make 1,5% on about 70% of all mortgages. And if that back window lending by the ECB stays open, banks will start to get healthier without even selling their housing stock. So don’t expect that fire sale..

  • #103727
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    Any sniff of Spain leaving the euro then I and everyone else holding euros in Spanish banks will immediately transfer their money to accounts in foreign banks. It would cause the biggest bank run ever and cause a complete collapse of the financial system. The only way to prevent this would be for the Spanish government to impose capital flow controls overnight – a lockdown while everybody’s account gets converted into pesetas. I think this is quite unlikely so I really think Spain, or any of the economically weaker countries simply cannot leave the euro for this practical reason.

    So if anybody is going to leave it will be Germany. I can’t see that happening in the near future, but you never know. Should that happen then it would be followed by the next strongest economy leaving as well, and so on until only the weakest economies use the euro, which by that time would be the euro by name only.

    (BTW Those who think the political will is too strong for the euro to collapse should read up on Nathan Rothschild and understand that political will is just a drop in the ocean compared to the strength of the bond markets.)

  • #103728
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    logan
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    Good points Chopera. Political will versus market power. A recipe for blood on the carpet.
    Nobody, least of all the EU wants to face that confrontation. It was interesting a few weeks to see Angela Merkle cave into similar market pressure when she suggested bond holders should share the pain and have hair cuts imposed.
    The Euro tanked and only stabilised when she retracted.
    Capitalist market power as it should be. It prevents the politicos from throwing their toys out of the pram.
    If market sentiment turns against the Euro in any significant way the politicians will panic and always fall into line.

  • #103732
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    Both the euro and the dollar is artificially high at the moment and as soon as the shit hits the fan for real you will see. It’s not possible keep these valuation with the amount of money being printed.

  • #103735
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    @Ardun wrote:

    Politicians have to much invested into this to do the right thing and end the EMU.

    The current set of politicians sitting in the European parliament have, but that doesnt mean it cant or wont change.

    These periphery economies are now wrecked and are heading for yet more wreckage.

    Spain is uncompetitive, its workers are paid too much, have too much union leverage and dont produce much of anything that people want – apart from houses but they built enough of them to last ten years already.

    As such, unemployment has doubled in 3 years and as it stands, it would take 4 years to bring unemployment down to the yet still high figure of 10% if (and thats a big IF) 45000 new jobs can be created each month.

    What are the chances of that happening? Unemployment is still rising ! Where are these jobs coming from?

    In 2011 the bulk of the 2009 unemployed will lose their benefits. So whilst there has been little social unrest so far, the generous benefits are now coming to an end for hundreds of thousands. Its a horrific prospect and my heart goes out to them.

    Of course the Spanish governments deficit reductions rely upon these generous benefits ending after 2 years, the reduction in benefit costs are factored in to their delivering on their austerity plan – so these German banks can get their money back for a bunch of idiotic investments.

    The Spanish have never struck me as not being canny when it comes to money, as soon as they twig their eating bread and water so the germans can keep eating sausage and beer, they’ll kick up.

  • #103755
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    If we work on the premise that Spain does not need a bailout, the Euro is here to stay, and Germany will continue to prop up its poorer neighbours (not as an act of kindness, but because it has to), then it becomes possible to look a bit further ahead than next year.

    Spain’s construction industry has failed, the smaller banks are over-exposed to dodgy property loans, unemployment is far too high, and corruption and a black economy is still taking its toll.

    All the problems are being addressed with austerity measures and a crackdown on the crooks. The tourist trade will always stave off any major collapse and exports are rising. Apart from oil, Spain is almost self-sufficient with its vast agriculture and fishing industry.

    But this is a property forum, and hard as I’ve tried I can’t find any good news regarding Spanish property.

  • #103763
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    Rocker, unemployment in Spain is going to make whatever problems the banks have look like heaven.

    Time is running out on the welfare money tree. Its not hard to imagine what thats going to mean when spain needs to borrow more money than it thought it needed.

    Putting property aside, the real cost to people in spain who are without work or depending on those without work is going to be huge. And honestly it looks like its going to be ignored.

  • #103765
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    The Portuguese request for a bailout must lessen the one-in-seven odds somewhat, even though it has long been awaited. The poorer EU countries are going to get poorer, with debts that look impossible to repay.

    It’s possible to ignore Greece’s problems, sadly Ireland’s may be the same, and Portugal doesn’t rate highly on the EU importance register either, but Spain is now even more in the spotlight. The rating agencies must be sharpening their pencils across the big pond and German Angst is reaching new levels.

    The signed treaties are never set in stone, Versailles was a big one and was torn up, could the same happen to Maastricht and Lisbon, or even Rome?

    I can’t remember one ever being signed in Berlin, but if it was ever attempted, there would be some trembling hands around the table and British ones might well be absent. Unless they send Clegg, he would sign anything.

  • #103767
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    logan
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    Ireland, Greece and now Portugal have been forced to request a bailout because it’s market borrowing costs have become unsustainable. Market sentiment turned against these countries because they could not impose by themselves sufficient financial austerity to reduce their debt levels.
    An EU/IMF bailout means imposed austerity and of a great deal pain for the population.
    The real question is has Spain done enough on their own to keep market sentiment on their side. In the coming weeks Spain’s bond yield spreads will give us the answer.
    At the moment the market signs look fairly positive but they still have to deal with the looming banking crisis.
    I believe it’s only political problems which will threaten the Euro not financial difficulties within member states. The voters in the end have the real power to change the status quo.
    The difficulty is apathy among the electorates of Europe who have other domestic concerns.

  • #103768
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    The ECB and the MPC are meeting today, separately. It could be a nail-in-the-coffin day for the poorer people all over Europe, especially mortgaged home owners.

    And house prices? They can only go one way.

  • #103769
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    logan
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  • #103770
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    Good, thought provoking, piece indeed Logan, thanks for posting the link.

  • #103774
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    Here’s one to add to the pot. Despite its title its relatively upbeat about Spain.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704101604576246911146923784.html?mod=WSJEurope_hpp_MIDDLETopStories%5Burl%5D

  • #103779
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    Well, the ECB has increased interest rates by 0.25% to 1.25 and the MPC has pegged the rates at 0.5%.

    Inflation in the Eurozone is at 2.6%, and 4.6% in the UK.

    I know that different factors are involved too, but either the ECB or the MPC has got it wrong, they can’t both be right, based on today’s decisions.

    Obliquely, the mighty US with its QE is keeping austere Europe going, heaven help us if the Americans look at their debt mountain and decide to follow us on the road to what will then be Armageddon.

  • #103781
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    logan
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    The ECB gets it wrong on most occasions and damages the economies of weaker members.
    It’s a central bank run on German principals to benefit the German economy. End of.
    In July 2008 the ECB raised rates just before Europe entered recession, making a bad situation worse. This hike and others to come in the pipeline will only do the same.
    Although expected it still beggars belief when peripheral states are going broke.

  • #103782
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    @Rocker wrote:

    Well, the ECB has increased interest rates by 0.25% to 1.25 and the MPC has pegged the rates at 0.5%.

    Inflation in the Eurozone is at 2.6%, and 4.6% in the UK.

    I know that different factors are involved too, but either the ECB or the MPC has got it wrong, they can’t both be right, based on today’s decisions.
    .

    It is easy to understand.

    The UK economy is going to crawl along whereas the Germany economy is booming (at least temporary). EU = (mostly) Germany,germans do not care about further problems in Portugal or Greece.

  • #103784
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    I don’t know if it’s as simple as that. Germany’s boom is export based, its internal consumers are cautious savers rather than reckless spenders. What they want most of all is a weaker Euro to help their exports, and within Europe they want other members to be prosperous enough to buy their goods.

    The increased interest rate set by the ECB today is the last thing they want.

  • #103788
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    Rocker – I think right now Germany is more concerned about an overheating economy and inflation rather than any damage to their exports.

    Also I don’t think German exports are harmed that much by a strong currrency anyway. Their exports tend to be more exclusive and specialized products that are driven more by quality than price, and besides any loss in income from having more expensive exports may well be compensated for by having cheaper raw material imports.

  • #103789
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    Dead right Chopera. Germany has always sought a strong currency. When it was the DM they prided themselves on it. Weak economies need a weak currency to be competitive. Germany’s strong economy, they believe, has come about because of efficiency and cost containment, especially wage cost containment. They dislike inflation intensely and that is why they pushed the ECB into this hike. As you say their exports are not particularly price sensitive and they could take another half dozen hikes. Sadly it is the periperal economies that can’t.

  • #103792
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    @zoro wrote:

    As you say their exports are not particularly price sensitive and they could take another half dozen hikes. Sadly it is the periperal economies that can’t.

    Correct, so the logic of that is Germany should not be in the Eurozone at all but a separate state with it’s own currency. It’s an option likely to be attractive to German voters as they continue to pay for free spending ‘club med.’ countries.

  • #103795
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    Unfortunately, if you extend that logic, then the UK should be moved across the Atlantic and be parked off New York, rather than snipe at the shores of a German Europe from where it is now.

    Sensibly, it isn’t a German Europe, much as the Eurosceptics like to describe it as one, and it’s an insult to the other 25 sovereign members to be described as such. The reality is that with the new members, especially Poland, the Eastern Europeans, and the Baltic states, the EU is now the most powerful union in the western world; and I forgot to mention France, Italy and Spain.

    It has the US shaking in its big, cowboy boots.

    We, the Europeans, have a benign superpower right on our borders, ready to supply us with all the energy we need, and instead of sending our tankers to Saudi, which could blow up with the rest of the Arab world at any moment, wouldn’t it make sense for them to meet the Russian pipeline at Antwerp?

  • #103797
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    @Rocker wrote:

    The ECB and the MPC are meeting today, separately. It could be a nail-in-the-coffin day for the poorer people all over Europe, especially mortgaged home owners.

    And house prices? They can only go one way.

    finally fallen in line. lets hope no one was stupid enough to listen to you in the last 2 years, where youve spent the majority of your time mindlessly ramping spanish property.

  • #103798
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    It is not a “German Europe” however it is a eurozone that sets interest rates according to the needs of the “eurozone economy” which is dominated by the German economy, so by extension interest rates are heavily influenced by the needs of the German economy. Why else has the ECB just raised interest rates? No other eurozone country wants it.

    This setting of rates according to the requirements of the German economy will inevitably be damaging to eurozone economies not in cycle with the German economy which, to a greater or lesser extent, includes every other country in the eurozone. The question has always been whether those countries whose economies were severely damaged by having inappropriate interest rates would be sufficiently compensated in other ways.

    For Ireland, Greece and Portugal I think we can now safely say the answer is no. I think the same would go for the UK if it were part of the eurozone. The UK had a big enough boom and bust with interest rates set too low by the Bank of England from 2002 to 2007. If the UK had been part of the eurozone interest rates would have been half as low again during that period. The UK economy would have exploded. Probably taking down the euro with it. (It’s ironic that by keeping the UK out of the euro, the eurosceptics might well have saved it!)

    For Spain I used to think the same, but now I’m not so sure. Of course the euro has damaged the Spanish economy in the short term, but having now seen how the Spanish government is being forced to cut back the state, reform the labour market and generally make Spain more competitive without devaluing the currency, then I think there’s still a chance Spain might come out of this mess in a better shape than it entered it (I guess we’ll now in about 5 years or so).

  • #103799
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    @Rocker wrote:

    Unfortunately, if you extend that logic, then the UK should be moved across the Atlantic and be parked off New York

    That happened many years ago (between WW1 and WW2 I’d say)

    The UK has far closer ties to the US than the rest of Europe, culturally, linguisically etc. etc. We watch far more US films and TV (for better or worse) than we watch mainland European output and our financial institutions face west far more than they face east. Being in the EU is a matter of expediency, it simply gives us access to another, bigger market so staying out of it isn’t really an option. The Eurozone however, is something else again, in the long run it will either fail or a United States of Europe will need to happen.

    I suspect the latter is much less likely than the former. Fiscal unity can only really work if the prosperous areas of a union e.g. UK or US willingly allow tax pounds or tax dollars to be diverted from the richer regions to the poorer regions in much larger quantities than happens at present in the EU. In both the UK and the US national companies are bribed to set up plants or HQs in poorer regions at the expense of the richer regions. London taxpayers pays heavily to subsidise many other less properous regions of the UK in order to create jobs there. Something similar happens in the US. On the other hand, how many German car makers have been bribed by the EU to set up manufacturing plants elsewhere in the EU thus moving jobs from Germany (I exclude VW taking over Skoda, as Skoda already existed).

    Secondly for such a union to work there needs to be mobility of labour. In both the UK and the US workers can freely move from poorer to richer regions without hitting language barriers. Language barriers aren’t a problem for EU workers coming to Britian e.g. Eastern Europe, as almost all children in mainland Europe learn English at school from the age of 5. Whereas how many ordinary workers (blue and white collar) in the UK can speak German which they would need to speak to have any real chance of competing with a German worker at a German company e.g. a VW worker on the shop floor.

    As much as I’d like the UK to be in the Euro for selfish holiday or expat purposes, recent events have shown that it would have been suicidal from the country’s economic point of view.

    Sorry, rant over!

    @Rocker wrote:

    We, the Europeans, have a benign superpower right on our borders, ready to supply us with all the energy we need, and instead of sending our tankers to Saudi, which could blow up with the rest of the Arab world at any moment, wouldn’t it make sense for them to meet the Russian pipeline at Antwerp?

    I’m not sure that Russia could be called benign. It had no problem cutting off gas supplies to the Ukraine for political purposes.

  • #103800
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    @chopera wrote:

    It is not a “German Europe” however it is a eurozone that sets interest rates according to the needs of the “eurozone economy” which is dominated by the German economy, so by extension interest rates are heavily influenced by the needs of the German economy. Why else has the ECB just raised interest rates? No other eurozone country wants it.

    You sound like a politician Chopera, semantics at their best. 🙂
    I think this latest interest rate hike reveals to the rest of Europe just where the ECB’s real concerns lie. The leaders of the peripheral states must feel more than a little miffed.
    I dislike EMU because by all economic standards it will not work. There will always be winners and losers. One size will never fit all.
    The UK made mistakes in the past with their economy but at least they were the mistakes of an elected and accountable government who paid a price at the last election.
    When the ECB get’s it wrong and they often do, who or what is accountable for wrecking the economies of smaller nations?

  • #103801
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    It’s nice to have a decent discussion not influenced by undue flag waving. The EU is young and the Eurozone is even younger, and both have the German giant right in their middle.

    This giant, after losing the two biggest wars in history, and aided by the American Marshall plan, developed a highly skilled and dedicated workforce producing products of world-admired excellence.

    But it’s a war-weary nation, understandably, and there are no German war planes in Libyan Skies and no German tanks got stuck in the Iraqi desert. To say that they prefer making cars rather than bombs isn’t strictly true, their armaments industry has also flourished.

    I nearly forgot:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,755710,00.html

    Der Spiegel is not the German equivalent of our Telegraph, it’s more aligned with the Guardian. I find its articles, along with the Spanish El Pais, to be the most illuminating on the vexed question of Europe.

    I’ve used the European legislation to travel and work freely across Europe, starting from my UK base, and I’m now happily living in Spain because I like sunshine and friendly people.

  • #103803
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    About 10 years ago Germany restructured it’s labour market in the teeth of opposition from the unions. The government also forced austerity measures on it’s population post unification and reduced it’s own budget spending long before this recession hit.
    Whilst the rest of Europe went on a spending credit binge.
    Germany are now reaping the rewards for doing that and good on ’em.
    I’m not a German basher. I am full of admiration for their peoples work ethic. However it is not the job of the ECB to help out Germany to the cost of the rest.
    So I return to my point. How long will the German people put up with helping out the free spending PIGS. Does the country really need the EU?
    Germans share of the financial bailout burden is the largest. They see Greeks retiring at 50 when they have to wait until 67. I know that’s changing but very slowly.
    Who could blame them for saying enough and if they did what future for the rest of the Eurozone? Bleak indeed.

  • #103806
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    Germany will be screwed when China crashes, which it soon will.

  • #103808
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    Chopera
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    @logan wrote:

    You sound like a politician Chopera, semantics at their best. 🙂

    I was trying to keep the tone of the debate diplomatic 😉
    @logan wrote:

    I think this latest interest rate hike reveals to the rest of Europe just where the ECB’s real concerns lie. The leaders of the peripheral states must feel more than a little miffed.
    I dislike EMU because by all economic standards it will not work. There will always be winners and losers. One size will never fit all.
    The UK made mistakes in the past with their economy but at least they were the mistakes of an elected and accountable government who paid a price at the last election.
    When the ECB get’s it wrong and they often do, who or what is accountable for wrecking the economies of smaller nations?

    Yes – I agree. Especially regarding the UK.

    But my point regarding Spain is that maybe losing sovereignty, fiscal controls and control of the money supply to the EU might be better than leaving it in the control of Spanish politicians. It’s a cynical view I know, but I would love to see the Spanish state cut down to size, and to see Spain have an economy that allows deregulated private enterprise beyond running your own bar/taxi/hair salon, and I don’t think any of the Spanish parties really offer that option. So passing control from one set of corrupt politicians in Spain to another set of corrupt politicians in Brussels is neither here or there, at least with Brussels/Frankfurt controlling things Spain might be forced to stop living off handouts, liberate its markets, encourage new business and diversify its economy.

    If Spain did leave the euro it would mean currency devaluation and back to the bad old days of relying on cheap package tourism, with the same old corrupt political system.

  • #103809
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    kgpoc
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    The odds of Germany walking away from the EU or Euro is 0..
    – The ECB already is catering to them (and no one else)
    – Their banks (and hence their pensioners) hold all the paper on the debts of the ‘club med states’. So in helping the EU they are helping themselves and looking good in the process..
    – An independent currency would be double the dollar (hence slow down their exports to the US and China, and hurt the economy).
    – Germany was in recession when it joined the EU and in joining it immediately helped them start to come out (decreased import taxes on their products in the rest of Europe, decreased their currency helping exports to the US). When Germany joined the EU and the currency was 1 Euro for 80 cents the US companies flooded into Germany to get partners.

    (before anyone argues that Germany was mad when it joined because they gave up the higher currency and a lower Bund borrowing rate – that was only a perception. In reality what occurred; the bundesbank had already borrowed and structured a significant portion of the debt for a longer maturity suspecting they would be handed a higher EU rate after joining the EU, so by the time the majority of debt had come due, their currency and rate had already come back almost in line with German norms, so there was virtually no effect)

  • #103810
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    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    About 10 years ago Germany restructured it’s labour market in the teeth of opposition from the unions. The government also forced austerity measures on it’s population post unification and reduced it’s own budget spending long before this recession hit.
    Whilst the rest of Europe went on a spending credit binge.
    Germany are now reaping the rewards for doing that and good on ’em.
    I’m not a German basher. I am full of admiration for their peoples work ethic. However it is not the job of the ECB to help out Germany to the cost of the rest.
    So I return to my point. How long will the German people put up with helping out the free spending PIGS. Does the country really need the EU?
    Germans share of the financial bailout burden is the largest. They see Greeks retiring at 50 when they have to wait until 67. I know that’s changing but very slowly.
    Who could blame them for saying enough and if they did what future for the rest of the Eurozone? Bleak indeed.

    It’s very difficult to take a detached view, at least it appears to be for me; but surely the European nations already joined by the EU would benefit from a joint currency, because we are not alone in this world. The difficulties have proved horrendous, not least because the Mediterranean nations, probably because of their marvellous climate, do not work as hard as the Germans, for example.

    It seems a terrible statement to make for a liberal thinker, and I’ve only mentioned the climate, to go into other reasons would sound even more offensive. I’ve lived in German and Spanish built houses, I’m in one now, and I’ve driven cars made in both countries. I’m not mentioning the UK because that would ruin any debate on this topic.

    The constant media speculation that Spain will be next for a bailout must be getting to me because I’m considering what that would mean. The Eurozone would break up and possibly even the EU itself. Countries in Europe may well build walls around their lands and I may be forced to return to the UK. The returning doesn’t bother me too much, but I love to travel and I’m no good at climbing over walls.

  • #103815
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    I’ve never worked in Germany but I’ve worked in a few places and with plenty of Germans. My experience is that in the private sector at least the Spanish work just as hard and probably do more hours than most. I’ve worked with Spanish start ups where people regularly worked through the night to hit a deadline. I also believe Germans take more days off than the Spanish, although many Spanish work a reduced timetable in summer.

    However I do get the impression that a lot of the extra hours that many Spanish put in are due to inefficient management and poor company structuring, and generally don’t count for as much. With overly protective labour laws many Spanish just stay in the same job once they get a “contracto indefinido” and a few years under their belts, because changing company usually implies initially losing out on the security of the contracto indefinido and any accrued unemployment benefits.

    People who have been 10 years with a Spanish company are virtually unsackable and can do what they like. Anybody who takes a proactive attitude often ends up doing extra hours to compensate for those who don’t pull their weight. Where in the UK people change roles and companies a lot in order to build their career, in Spain you get rewarded for keeping your feet under the same desk.

    Also the “hot climate” argument doesn’t really apply to the main work centres in Spain since outside the holiday season those places aren’t particularly hot, and can even be pretty cold.

  • #103818
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In a discussion concerning the Euro, what if the middle of Europe abandoned looking to the west and started looking to the east? Geographically, Russia is part of Europe, the biggest part, and the new Russia is far removed from the Soviet Union so feared by the West.

    One third of Germany lived under Russian rule for 45 years, something we in the West hardly understand, and we’ve been subjected to propaganda for all those years which is starting to unravel itself. The dark horse, Poland, might be the key. It’s a large country which can hold its own against anything else in Europe, with a well-trained workforce and emerging economy, but still with strong Russian ties.

    I hate to mention it, but if the biggest threat to the western world’s peace and prosperity is Islamic, then an alliance between the middle and eastern part of Europe can deal with it much better than the indiscriminate bombing of small parts of the Arab world instigated by the Americans.

  • #103845
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    The dark horse, Poland, might be the key. It’s a large country which can hold its own against anything else in Europe, with a well-trained workforce and emerging economy, but still with strong Russian ties.

    Strong ties? They invaded twice in the 20th Century, occupied the country for 45 years, deported 1.7million people and killed 800k of them in 2 years? They stole 1/3 of Poland and never returned it. A very large portion of Poles hate Russia today and would probably cheer if it was nuked. The other countries in the region have similar attitudes to the evil empire.

    Your other comments on Poland are reasonable enough, Warsaw is being chosen as the regional capital by all the major international countries by dint of being the biggest city in the biggest country and in the (about) middle of the old communist countries.

    Russia isn’t going to be part of anything in Europe, they don’t want or need to be and they are not wanted.

  • #103846
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I agree the Polish detest all things Russian. The latest protests in Poland over the anniversary of the plane disaster in Russia and the removal of a memorial plaque to the massacre at Katyn in 1940 shows how the hatred for Russia still exists across the Polish population.
    Russia will never be part of anything it’s big enough to prosper on it’s own.

  • #103853
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    82 million people lost their lives in the murderous first half of the twentieth century. Every ‘old European’ alive today will have lost family members. If the EU prevents that ever happening again, then I’m in favour of it.

    Central European countries borders were re-drawn by the victors, and millions of people were displaced; the scars will be around for a long time. Again, won’t a European Union help heal some of those deep wounds?

    The displaced Germans from southern Poland will at least be able to stroll freely across the border to look at the houses they used to live in.

    Looking at the bigger picture in such a depressing way, whether the currency union succeeds or not is not really all that important, as long as the EU survives.

    Looking back at history is often painful, it even made that nice Mr Cameron swear the other day.

  • #103854
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    [quote=”Rocker” won’t a European Union help heal some of those deep wounds?
    [/quote]

    I agree with that statement Rocker, yes it will, at least in theory.
    An EU comprising only of sovereign nations cooperating in a free trade area on defence and domestic political concerns. Nations running their own economies in a cooperative way that facilitates free movement of capital and labour. The original concept of the Treaty of Rome.
    What we now have is a headlong agenda towards a federal Europe, an entirely different animal. It’s destroying the economies of the smaller states, increasing their levels of debt and massively burdening future generations.
    Have you not considered that a two speed economic Europe, which in the reality we have now is in the long term likely to create the actual resentment between nations the Treaty of Rome sought to avoid?
    The first world war started in part because of German resentment towards the rest of Europe’s share of world trade.

  • #103866
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    [quote=”Rocker” won’t a European Union help heal some of those deep wounds?

    I agree with that statement Rocker, yes it will, at least in theory.
    An EU comprising only of sovereign nations cooperating in a free trade area on defence and domestic political concerns. Nations running their own economies in a cooperative way that facilitates free movement of capital and labour. The original concept of the Treaty of Rome.
    What we now have is a headlong agenda towards a federal Europe, an entirely different animal. It’s destroying the economies of the smaller states, increasing their levels of debt and massively burdening future generations.
    Have you not considered that a two speed economic Europe, which in the reality we have now is in the long term likely to create the actual resentment between nations the Treaty of Rome sought to avoid?
    The first world war started in part because of German resentment towards the rest of Europe’s share of world trade.[/quote]

    Reply from rocker:

    When the Euro came to life just over ten years ago, it bought 88 cents, it now stands at 1.45 Dollars. I think the founders envisaged something like parity with the Dollar, but 1.45 is much too high. The pound Sterling also sank over the same period against the Euro, by about the same percentage.

    The American sub-prime-mortgage catastrophe turned the world upside down, further complicating matters, but it can’t be denied that the strong Euro defied the odds.

    Is a two-tier Euro the answer to help the struggling PIGS? It would be difficult to enforce; should the hard-working Irishman’s Euro be worth less than a Dutch one? The price of chicken would have to be adjusted accordingly.

    Could the Euro be devalued? I can’t see how.

  • #103872
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Well I count myelf very fortunate not to have to bother about the euro. I have only 875 in a drawer which will be used as spending money for an Italy trip…no problema 😀

  • #103898
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    I’ve never worked in Germany but I’ve worked in a few places and with plenty of Germans. My experience is that in the private sector at least the Spanish work just as hard and probably do more hours than most. I’ve worked with Spanish start ups where people regularly worked through the night to hit a deadline. I also believe Germans take more days off than the Spanish, although many Spanish work a reduced timetable in summer.

    However I do get the impression that a lot of the extra hours that many Spanish put in are due to inefficient management and poor company structuring, and generally don’t count for as much. With overly protective labour laws many Spanish just stay in the same job once they get a “contracto indefinido” and a few years under their belts, because changing company usually implies initially losing out on the security of the contracto indefinido and any accrued unemployment benefits.

    People who have been 10 years with a Spanish company are virtually unsackable and can do what they like. Anybody who takes a proactive attitude often ends up doing extra hours to compensate for those who don’t pull their weight. Where in the UK people change roles and companies a lot in order to build their career, in Spain you get rewarded for keeping your feet under the same desk.

    Also the “hot climate” argument doesn’t really apply to the main work centres in Spain since outside the holiday season those places aren’t particularly hot, and can even be pretty cold.

    This article/report also implies that the Spanish (as well as the Portuguese and Italians) put in more hours than the Brits, who in turn put in more hours than the Germans and French:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8446128/Britons-enjoy-the-easy-life-OECD-says-compared-with-the-Spanish-Portuguese-and-Italians.html

  • #103903
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I don’t quite know why Chopera but you’ve reminded me of that famous scene in the movie I’m All Right Jack where the unions got upset because a guy was carrying four boxes at a time on his fork lift rather than just the one. Long hours and efficiency are not particularly good bedfellows.

    More than any other nation I know, the Germans tend to sit back and take time to work out how best things should be done. This can actually be quite frustrating if you come from an Anglo Saxon working culture.

    If the best way to do things involves spending money on plant and equipment up front they are much more prepared to do so than other nations. Likewise, in general they much prefer to get things 100% right the first time rather than the 99% that most other cultures accept. This way they don’t spend an inordinate time fixing things and all their customers are happy from the outset.

    It is no accident that German industry is so successful. They work very cleverly.

  • #103906
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    This article/report also implies that the Spanish (as well as the Portuguese and Italians) put in more hours than the Brits, who in turn put in more hours than the Germans and French:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8446128/Britons-enjoy-the-easy-life-OECD-says-compared-with-the-Spanish-Portuguese-and-Italians.html

    The Germans are vastly more productive than the Spanish, this is the root cause of why Spain needs a 25% devaluation becuase that is how much more a German produces than a Spaniard. Thgis is an ongoing problem, Germans are getting more efficent than the Spanish, in another ten years Spain will need another devaluation unless it can increase its productivity.

    Other southern countries are in a similar position, Greece especially.

  • #103922
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    @chopera wrote:

    This article/report also implies that the Spanish (as well as the Portuguese and Italians) put in more hours than the Brits, who in turn put in more hours than the Germans and French:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8446128/Britons-enjoy-the-easy-life-OECD-says-compared-with-the-Spanish-Portuguese-and-Italians.html

    The Germans are vastly more productive than the Spanish, this is the root cause of why Spain needs a 25% devaluation becuase that is how much more a German produces than a Spaniard. Thgis is an ongoing problem, Germans are getting more efficent than the Spanish, in another ten years Spain will need another devaluation unless it can increase its productivity.

    Other southern countries are in a similar position, Greece especially.

    This highlights my only pro-euro argument (all my other arguments are against it): without the ability to devalue the Spanish will be forced to increase productivity, weaken their unions, and free up their labour markets. Of course it’s not so easy to do that during a recession, they should have done it during the (artificial) boom years, but if they want to stay within the eurozone they have no other choice.

  • #103923
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    but if they want to stay within the eurozone they have no other choice.

    Agreed Chopera. However they have one other choice, effectively mortgaging the country for generations to China and Germany.
    Zapertero thinks that’s a good idea. What does he care he’s going next year.

  • #103940
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    but if they want to stay within the eurozone they have no other choice.

    Agreed Chopera. However they have one other choice, effectively mortgaging the country for generations to China and Germany.
    Zapertero thinks that’s a good idea. What does he care he’s going next year.

    There must be a limit for the market’s appetite for Spanish debt. AFAIK Spain has been rolling over quite a lot of debt this year at reasonably low yields, but only because Spain’s deficit seems to be on the way down. Any sign that Spain’s deficit is starting to rise and I expect those yields will start to creep up again. I guess the imminent Greek default will make bond holders think there’s more risk associated with eurozone debt than they originally thought, which won’t help matters either.

  • #103946
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If it hadn’t been for Ireland and possibly Belgium, an analysis of the Euros problems would have been much easier – and without ruffling any feathers, we could just blame it on the sun. Of course, it’s nowhere as simple as that; even the comments on this tiny thread show otherwise.

    Does size matter? Such an argument is just as easily dismissed, the Euro was created purely for the size of it against the rest of the competing world.

    When in doubt, commentators normally refer to history because it’s all there, it has all been done before, but I can’t think of a previous currency union on this scale. The debt numbers are horrendous, but, but . . . what about the US?

    Greece will probably not be able to repay its debt unless it’s restructured, but the US can never repay its debts, period. It begs the obvious question, does it matter (whether debt is repaid)?

  • #103951
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    Greece will probably not be able to repay its debt unless it’s restructured, but the US can never repay its debts, period. It begs the obvious question, does it matter (whether debt is repaid)?

    Its really a matter of risk and market confidence that debt will be serviced and repaid on maturity without the need for investor haircuts.
    The US is the worlds largest economy and has the ability to recover very quickly and service it’s debt. The market has confidence in that hence the lower price of it’s bond yields.
    Bonds are fixed term investments and are either repaid on maturity or rolled over.
    The market now believes Greece will not repay its debts and investors will have to take a 40-50% haircut.
    Ireland may well need the same in order to restructure its economy.
    Does it matter if debt is not repaid? Of course it does. Argentina defaulted fairly recently and now has a difficult time financing it’s economy at an affordable rate.
    It’s a bit like the old domino theory. If one country in the EMU defaults the rest will suffer a lack of market confidence and their yields rise accordingly.
    Countries can only really afford to sustain a maximum bond yield of up to 6%.
    Spain is getting ever closer to that level at the moment.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8453619/EU-debt-costs-rise-after-Ireland-downgrade-Greek-delays.html

  • #103954
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Another perspective to the dogged Euro debate:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,756848,00.html

    It mentions governments and banks lying to protect their own interests, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  • #103956
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    If it hadn’t been for Ireland and possibly Belgium, an analysis of the Euros problems would have been much easier – and without ruffling any feathers, we could just blame it on the sun. Of course, it’s nowhere as simple as that; even the comments on this tiny thread show otherwise.

    Does size matter? Such an argument is just as easily dismissed, the Euro was created purely for the size of it against the rest of the competing world.

    When in doubt, commentators normally refer to history because it’s all there, it has all been done before, but I can’t think of a previous currency union on this scale. The debt numbers are horrendous, but, but . . . what about the US?

    Greece will probably not be able to repay its debt unless it’s restructured, but the US can never repay its debts, period.

    In theory the US can always nominally “repay” its debts because its debts are in dollars (the global reserve currency) and the US is able to print dollars. Of course “paying your debts” by increasing the supply of currency is really the same as defaulting since the debt will be devalued. And if the US continually tried to pull that trick then the dollar will cease to be the world’s reserve currency and ultimately the US will experience the joys of hyperinflation. Quite why the US isn’t trying harder to reduce its deficit the proper way is beyond me.

    As far as Greece is concerned, restructuring their debt is the same as not paying debt. Restructuring debt is basically the same as a controlled default.

    @Rocker wrote:

    It begs the obvious question, does it matter (whether debt is repaid)?

    I guess ultimately it depends on the size of your army

  • #103959
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The ‘size of your army’ comment is probably the most poignant in this current debate. Only three out of ten economic commentators get it right at any time, possibly because they don’t understand the simple fact that a bomb can blow their fanciful theories apart.

    It’s possible to feed all economic data into a computer programme which will accurately predict the price of a villa in Marbella in 2014, until someone drops a bomb somewhere else in the world. Currently, our Eurofighters are dropping them on Libya, a mere drop in the ocean compared to what might happen in Iran.

    Pebbles on the beach, that’s truly what we are, turning to sand when we’ve rubbed against our neighbours for long enough.

  • #103969
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #103972
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Firstly comes a rating downgrade and bond yield rise. Second comes political denials. Thirdly, request for a bailout and severe austerity, fourthly, restructuring of the economy. (Default, haircuts for investors).
    So far three EMU nations have passed through this cycle, Greece is about to play the end game.
    Spain is currently in the denial phase.
    Good article link Rocker. Thanks.
    For those who might be interested here’s how the rot starts the cycle. The interactive map is fun.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/30/credit-ratings-country-fitch-moodys-standard

  • #103979
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am looking forward to having a Chinese beer & Chinese tapas sitting in Plaza Mayor. Spain cannot be efficient. The mentality of the people to do the least possible, no pride in doing a good job, Employers do not spend on training & upgrading skills, They all want to be civil servents i.e.paper pushes. No appetite for risk taking. Ineffecient working hours creates a lack of synergy. Need I go on.

  • #103982
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The Finns vote anti-European. Perhaps this is the start of the voter back lash to EMU bailouts.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aeed63d4-68d6-11e0-9040-00144feab49a.html#axzz1JrOAg247
    The significance of Finland is their parliament has to approve any EU bailout. The EU requires 100% support approval from all member states.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8458221/Anti-euro-Finns-could-block-Portugal-aid-reaction.html
    Euro falls today on reaction.
    Watch it drop like a stone if anti bailouts becomes an issue in the German elections. 🙂

  • #103991
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In times of trouble, nationalism booms, we’ve had many historical examples to teach us. Borders get closed, the flag wavers are back on the streets and the expats have to return home, life in a foreign country becomes too uncomfortable.

    It can easily happen, the green shoots are everywhere, from the Balkans to the Baltic states, and right in the heart of the bigger players, Germany, France and the UK.

    I can’t see any good coming from it (the demise of the Eurozone and Europe itself). We will all get poorer and we might as well throw our passports away, there will be nowhere to travel to.

    The price of Spanish property will only be relevant to Spaniards, and we won’t need to commentate on it any more.

    (Now, where’s that Se Vende sign)?

  • #103996
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    In times of trouble, nationalism booms, we’ve had many historical examples to teach us.

    I agree but the EU has only themselves to blame trying to move too far, too quickly against the core wishes of the people.

  • #104282
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Talking about too far and too quickly: I had to make a business trip from Hamburg to Nuremburg in October, ’89, driving down in a Mercedes with West German number plates. It was a couple of days after the wall came down in Berlin. Looking at the map, the shortest route appeared to be cutting through a large chunk of the newly liberated East, the dreaded DDR.

    The border crossing was unmanned, but I soon got lost because of my western, inadequate maps. Eventually, I stopped at a large army base to ask a guard the way. He didn’t seem to understand my German, so I asked in English. Only when I saw his face screwed up in rage did I realise that I was talking to a Red Army soldier with a loaded rifle.

    I sped away, thankful for the power of my car, but the car backfired after a short distance and when I looked in the mirror I saw the soldier crouched on the road with the rifle pointed in my direction. Had my car backfired? I sped on, swerving from side to side.

    I got to a place called Suhl and a kindly Vietnamese gave me directions south. I was still in the DDR when I got to a place called Hildburghausen, a border town only a short drive from my destination. I got lost again and asked a lone pedestrian the way.

    He pointed me in the right direction, but then took a closer look at my car and its number plates. Then he started kicking it and spitting at me at the same time.

    I sped through the unmanned border crossing at a ridiculous speed.

    And people want to go back to that kind of hatred between people speaking the same language? Where would Europe be without the Treaty of Rome? I don’t know the answer, but suspect that there would have been several wars since then.

  • #104082
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Talking about too far and too quickly: I had to make a business trip from Hamburg to Nuremburg in October, ’89, driving down in a Mercedes with West German number plates. It was a couple of days after the wall came down in Berlin. Looking at the map, the shortest route appeared to be cutting through a large chunk of the newly liberated East, the dreaded DDR.

    The border crossing was unmanned, but I soon got lost because of my western, inadequate maps. Eventually, I stopped at a large army base to ask a guard the way. He didn’t seem to understand my German, so I asked in English. Only when I saw his face screwed up in rage did I realise that I was talking to a Red Army soldier with a loaded rifle.

    I sped away, thankful for the power of my car, but the car backfired after a short distance and when I looked in the mirror I saw the soldier crouched on the road with the rifle pointed in my direction. Had my car backfired? I sped on, swerving from side to side.

    I got to a place called Suhl and a kindly Vietnamese gave me directions south. I was still in the DDR when I got to a place called Hildburghausen, a border town only a short drive from my destination. I got lost again and asked a lone pedestrian the way.

    He pointed me in the right direction, but then took a closer look at my car and its number plates. Then he started kicking it and spitting at me at the same time.

    I sped through the unmanned border crossing at a ridiculous speed.

    And people want to go back to that kind of hatred between people speaking the same language? Where would Europe be without the Treaty of Rome? I don’t know the answer, but suspect that there would have been several wars since then.

  • #104283
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rocker, What an adventure & you survived to tell the tale.good on you.

  • #104083
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rocker, What an adventure & you survived to tell the tale.good on you.

  • #104285
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m sorry to say but every country was a better place before the EU. The EU is something good in theory but the EMU is just a faulty system to begin with. It seems like you cant have a small EU with free trade without it trying to expand itself into some selfevolving organism that is trying to take over the whole of europe and it seems even parts of asia and north africa. EU together with the US are the worst organisations when it comes to price dumpings goods into the third world to totally oblitirate their own markets.

    In practise the only positive outcome we have had so far is the removal of transaction costs but except that everything else had gotten worse.

    I’m looking at the EU and the EMU effect on the whole of europe and the world when comming to these conclusions.

    What about the war in Bosnia? The thousands of riots around europe? Albania basicaly waging war on its on population when they tricked their whole population into a ponzischeme. Treating Iceland like a terrorist nation. The list can go on and on forever. The EU keeping the peace in europe my ass. That we haven’t had large scale wars has nothing to do with the EU but that wars like that are useless these days. Today the members states are waging wars against their own population by going against it’s populations wishes.

    In Sweden we voted NO to the EMU even when things where better but our government are still going to force its will onto the voters. All of them being controlled by their hunger for seats in the EU or lobbyists.

  • #104085
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m sorry to say but every country was a better place before the EU. The EU is something good in theory but the EMU is just a faulty system to begin with. It seems like you cant have a small EU with free trade without it trying to expand itself into some selfevolving organism that is trying to take over the whole of europe and it seems even parts of asia and north africa. EU together with the US are the worst organisations when it comes to price dumpings goods into the third world to totally oblitirate their own markets.

    In practise the only positive outcome we have had so far is the removal of transaction costs but except that everything else had gotten worse.

    I’m looking at the EU and the EMU effect on the whole of europe and the world when comming to these conclusions.

    What about the war in Bosnia? The thousands of riots around europe? Albania basicaly waging war on its on population when they tricked their whole population into a ponzischeme. Treating Iceland like a terrorist nation. The list can go on and on forever. The EU keeping the peace in europe my ass. That we haven’t had large scale wars has nothing to do with the EU but that wars like that are useless these days. Today the members states are waging wars against their own population by going against it’s populations wishes.

    In Sweden we voted NO to the EMU even when things where better but our government are still going to force its will onto the voters. All of them being controlled by their hunger for seats in the EU or lobbyists.

  • #104288
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    To understand fully why the European Union is becoming a federal institution you need to go back to 1988.
    Then the EU Commission President Jacques Delors made a speech where he set out his vision of a single European state.
    Prior to that most European political policy was directed at trade and the single market. Sovereign nations agreeing treaties to their mutual benefit.
    Delors who was a left wing French Christian socialist with a background in banking turned everything on its head when he came clean and announced a federal vision for Europe. Before that they were closet federalists.
    A single political entity with one taxation system and a single currency was his vision. European political power transferred to a centralised Brussels.
    It was his and his cronies vision. Not the peoples of Europe who to this day have never really been consulted.
    What we have today is basically an incomplete part of Delors vision with continuous political pressure to complete it.
    After the 1988 speech political sentiment in some EU states, notably Britain began to change. The Conservative Party were pro Europe; the Labour party were against it for ideological reasons. Euro scepticism was born.
    Margaret Thatcher protested that the EU as a Federal state was not what Britain signed up for. The labour Party saw political capital and did a ‘volte-face.’
    Subsequent political treaties have all had just one single aim. Federalism and a single European state as a counter weight to the power of the USA and China.
    Politicians of all colours who have signed up to these treaties knew exactly what they were doing. The Lisbon Treaty being the latest.
    Eroding by stealth the democratic rights of the peoples of Europe.
    The single currency was introduced as a political weapon in the struggle for federalism. It was not and never can be a sensible economic idea.
    We are today witnessing the Euro’s economic failure. That was bound to happen during a severe downturn.
    However the Euro will not fail because it’s essentially a political currency not a monetary one.
    EU Governments will back the currency with their last shilling to keep their federal dream alive.
    The next major EU treaty will likely be the creation of an integrated tax system centralised at Brussels.
    It’s at this stage I sincerely hope the current generation of politicians, like the blessed Margaret 😀 will have the courage to say NO and walk away.

  • #104088
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    To understand fully why the European Union is becoming a federal institution you need to go back to 1988.
    Then the EU Commission President Jacques Delors made a speech where he set out his vision of a single European state.
    Prior to that most European political policy was directed at trade and the single market. Sovereign nations agreeing treaties to their mutual benefit.
    Delors who was a left wing French Christian socialist with a background in banking turned everything on its head when he came clean and announced a federal vision for Europe. Before that they were closet federalists.
    A single political entity with one taxation system and a single currency was his vision. European political power transferred to a centralised Brussels.
    It was his and his cronies vision. Not the peoples of Europe who to this day have never really been consulted.
    What we have today is basically an incomplete part of Delors vision with continuous political pressure to complete it.
    After the 1988 speech political sentiment in some EU states, notably Britain began to change. The Conservative Party were pro Europe; the Labour party were against it for ideological reasons. Euro scepticism was born.
    Margaret Thatcher protested that the EU as a Federal state was not what Britain signed up for. The labour Party saw political capital and did a ‘volte-face.’
    Subsequent political treaties have all had just one single aim. Federalism and a single European state as a counter weight to the power of the USA and China.
    Politicians of all colours who have signed up to these treaties knew exactly what they were doing. The Lisbon Treaty being the latest.
    Eroding by stealth the democratic rights of the peoples of Europe.
    The single currency was introduced as a political weapon in the struggle for federalism. It was not and never can be a sensible economic idea.
    We are today witnessing the Euro’s economic failure. That was bound to happen during a severe downturn.
    However the Euro will not fail because it’s essentially a political currency not a monetary one.
    EU Governments will back the currency with their last shilling to keep their federal dream alive.
    The next major EU treaty will likely be the creation of an integrated tax system centralised at Brussels.
    It’s at this stage I sincerely hope the current generation of politicians, like the blessed Margaret 😀 will have the courage to say NO and walk away.

  • #104289
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    good work.. A+

  • #104089
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    good work.. A+

  • #104290
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A well constructed comment from Logan, with a Eurosceptic slant which I can understand and parts of which I can easily agree with.

    However, the walking away from Europe idea, noble as it sounds, doesn’t make sense. The UK is only on the periphery of Europe, both geographically and in certain British eyes, perhaps English eyes would be more accurate.

    Maybe therein lies the rub and doesn’t need more lengthy discussions on the finer points of an anti-European viewpoint. The much hoped for referendum may get a majority vote in England but the three other member states of the UK would likely veto it, leaving England alone in leaving the European Union, should such an unlikely event ever take place.

    So we could have Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as members of the EU and England totally isolated, perhaps trying to reach across the Atlantic for help from the US which is unlikely to be forthcoming.

    If an English speaking trading centre needed to be kept in place, Edinburgh would easily and readily take over from London, and without the City of London, the English economy would be in serious difficulty. We haven’t got much of a manufacturing industry left; 60% of our exports go to Europe, and if that big beast closed its borders to our exports, we would be poor indeed.

    I think common sense will prevail and the entire UK will stay in Europe, complaining at regular intervals about the evil of the Euro, and hopefully joining it at some future stage – if we are still able to.

  • #104090
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A well constructed comment from Logan, with a Eurosceptic slant which I can understand and parts of which I can easily agree with.

    However, the walking away from Europe idea, noble as it sounds, doesn’t make sense. The UK is only on the periphery of Europe, both geographically and in certain British eyes, perhaps English eyes would be more accurate.

    Maybe therein lies the rub and doesn’t need more lengthy discussions on the finer points of an anti-European viewpoint. The much hoped for referendum may get a majority vote in England but the three other member states of the UK would likely veto it, leaving England alone in leaving the European Union, should such an unlikely event ever take place.

    So we could have Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as members of the EU and England totally isolated, perhaps trying to reach across the Atlantic for help from the US which is unlikely to be forthcoming.

    If an English speaking trading centre needed to be kept in place, Edinburgh would easily and readily take over from London, and without the City of London, the English economy would be in serious difficulty. We haven’t got much of a manufacturing industry left; 60% of our exports go to Europe, and if that big beast closed its borders to our exports, we would be poor indeed.

    I think common sense will prevail and the entire UK will stay in Europe, complaining at regular intervals about the evil of the Euro, and hopefully joining it at some future stage – if we are still able to.

  • #104292
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Any referendum on European affairs conducted in Britain would include all the people of the British Isles. There could be no legal political separation of United Kingdom countries for this purpose.
    The latest failure of the Delors dream is what is happening currently in Italy or more precisely in the Alps Maritime region of southern France.
    Thousands of North African migrants are flooding across the boarder into France. They have fled the disruption in countries such as Tunisia and Libya reaching the island of Lampedusa by boat.
    Jacques Delors dream was a Europe without boarders. The Schengen Accords removed all the cross boarder controls in Europe.
    Now France is unilaterally and in breach of treaty obligations, sending these people back to Italy and imposing controls. Most of these migrants are French speakers and want to settle in France which already has the largest Arab population in Europe.
    Italy is not best pleased. The EU Commission is not happy.
    It is one more example of how the federalisation of Europe is a wonderful dream in theory but like the Euro it fails to work in practice.
    Meeting will be held no doubt, political compromises sought. However that will not alter the fact that the European ideal in it’s present form is unworkable in the long term.

  • #104092
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Any referendum on European affairs conducted in Britain would include all the people of the British Isles. There could be no legal political separation of United Kingdom countries for this purpose.
    The latest failure of the Delors dream is what is happening currently in Italy or more precisely in the Alps Maritime region of southern France.
    Thousands of North African migrants are flooding across the boarder into France. They have fled the disruption in countries such as Tunisia and Libya reaching the island of Lampedusa by boat.
    Jacques Delors dream was a Europe without boarders. The Schengen Accords removed all the cross boarder controls in Europe.
    Now France is unilaterally and in breach of treaty obligations, sending these people back to Italy and imposing controls. Most of these migrants are French speakers and want to settle in France which already has the largest Arab population in Europe.
    Italy is not best pleased. The EU Commission is not happy.
    It is one more example of how the federalisation of Europe is a wonderful dream in theory but like the Euro it fails to work in practice.
    Meeting will be held no doubt, political compromises sought. However that will not alter the fact that the European ideal in it’s present form is unworkable in the long term.

  • #95290
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    Now (just like the comments on the inception of the EMU, etc) I believe in theory to what everyone is saying but people are not taking the most important item into consideration… Change – is the only constant in the world. Due to our interconnectivity this Change will accelerate and old norms will not and cannot return to Europe.

    Not discounting the events of the past but Europe has evolved much faster then we are giving it credit. More people speak multiple languages than every before, the majority now vacation regularly in other parts of Europe or conduct business in other parts of Europe. Europe is far more tolerant towards each other than every before. Hell, the Deputy Prime Minister of England could become a Spanish citizen if he wished.

  • #104307
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @kgpoc wrote:

    Now (just like the comments on the inception of the EMU, etc) Europe is far more tolerant towards each other than every before. Hell, the Deputy .

    Is it really or is it that it doesn’t have a choice,i know in my area if you asked most people they would want to get rid of the romanians that are scrounging a living here.I saw one stealing from a charity shop awhile back you can’t get much lower than that.
    That said i have a couple of polish friends and they are great people that i would choose to have as friends with or without europe being one big unhappy family.Some spainish officials even seem to be having mixed feelings about as brits INSTALLING OURSELVES ILLEGALLY ON THEIR LAND so its not all a bed of roses and don’t ask the German tax payers if they love putting their hands in their pockets to pay for this united europe

  • #104107
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @kgpoc wrote:

    Now (just like the comments on the inception of the EMU, etc) Europe is far more tolerant towards each other than every before. Hell, the Deputy .

    Is it really or is it that it doesn’t have a choice,i know in my area if you asked most people they would want to get rid of the romanians that are scrounging a living here.I saw one stealing from a charity shop awhile back you can’t get much lower than that.
    That said i have a couple of polish friends and they are great people that i would choose to have as friends with or without europe being one big unhappy family.Some spainish officials even seem to be having mixed feelings about as brits INSTALLING OURSELVES ILLEGALLY ON THEIR LAND so its not all a bed of roses and don’t ask the German tax payers if they love putting their hands in their pockets to pay for this united europe

  • #104308
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I don’t agree with kgpoc assertion that Europe is a more tolerant place these days. Even if it was it’s got nothing to do with the EU more the self interest of the indigenous people.
    In France and Spain in the last few decades foreigners have been seen as a cash cow. In France selling their inherited tumbled down stone houses to dewy eyed Brits that no self respecting Frenchman would touch with a barge pole. In Spain enriching the local Mayors and developers selling hen hutch concrete houses on rural land to gullible nationals of all nations.
    I agree that change is a constant in the world but not in France or most other heavily subsidised social welfare nations in Europe.
    Change is seen as a threat to the peoples comfort zones.
    Only in the USA is the word change popular among the voters and aspirational among it’s people.
    I have lived in Europe now for the better part of my lifetime, I speak three languages and can assimilate myself into any community.
    I know peoples attitude to Perfidious Albion is especially negative. I hear it all the time both in France and Spain which are the countries I know best.
    If you think otherwise you are simply fooling yourselves with wishful thinking.
    Europe is a bunch of severely nationalistic nations which aspire and conspire to be top dog. On their way to that goal they give lip service to EU innovations whilst all the time protecting their self interests.
    The European Union is an illusionary dream.

  • #104108
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I don’t agree with kgpoc assertion that Europe is a more tolerant place these days. Even if it was it’s got nothing to do with the EU more the self interest of the indigenous people.
    In France and Spain in the last few decades foreigners have been seen as a cash cow. In France selling their inherited tumbled down stone houses to dewy eyed Brits that no self respecting Frenchman would touch with a barge pole. In Spain enriching the local Mayors and developers selling hen hutch concrete houses on rural land to gullible nationals of all nations.
    I agree that change is a constant in the world but not in France or most other heavily subsidised social welfare nations in Europe.
    Change is seen as a threat to the peoples comfort zones.
    Only in the USA is the word change popular among the voters and aspirational among it’s people.
    I have lived in Europe now for the better part of my lifetime, I speak three languages and can assimilate myself into any community.
    I know peoples attitude to Perfidious Albion is especially negative. I hear it all the time both in France and Spain which are the countries I know best.
    If you think otherwise you are simply fooling yourselves with wishful thinking.
    Europe is a bunch of severely nationalistic nations which aspire and conspire to be top dog. On their way to that goal they give lip service to EU innovations whilst all the time protecting their self interests.
    The European Union is an illusionary dream.

  • #104426
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The Scottish National Party’s astounding victory in Scotland made me think that similar nationalism revival could occur in any part of Europe, but what does it mean for the EU?

    It appears that Scotland, as soon as it is able to, wants to join the Eurozone, which appears perverse.

    Add the Lib Dem drubbing to the mix, and none of it makes much sense.

    That’s the trouble with democracy, the majority don’t always get it right. Maybe we should have a referendum, on Europe, throughout Europe, on the same day?

  • #104427
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “That’s the trouble with democracy, the majority don’t always get it right”
    Rocker, I am not if your made a tongue & cheek statement. Are you saying that you know what is right & the majority dont ???????????

  • #104428
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    It appears that Scotland, as soon as it is able to, wants to join the Eurozone, which appears perverse.

    Completely stark staring bonkers. Do they fancy being the next Celtic tiger economy and ending up bankrupt like Ireland. The Scots have more sense than that and will never vote for full independence. They like the SNP because they are a decent alternative to Labour and that’s as far as it goes.

  • #104430
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    It appears that Scotland, as soon as it is able to, wants to join the Eurozone, which appears perverse.

    No chance of it happening, typical SNP. Scotland would need an immediate bailout on independence. The debt of the Scottish banks they would kill them, never mind their part of the general national debt.

    edit:
    And just to confirm…

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jeremywarner/100010146/scotland-would-be-as-bust-as-iceland-if-it-had-been-independent/

  • #104431
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Interesting points and an interesting link from the Telegraph. Perhaps the opportunity of QE from an independent Scotland hasn’t been taken into account; worldwide, especially in the US, Scotland is highly regarded for it’s protestant work ethic and prudence in financial matters. (The Scottish bank spectacle was English induced by an idiotic Labour government).

    The EU would welcome an independent Scotland with open arms, they are fed up with the silly English reticence to join in and harping back to wars long forgotten by the rest of Europe.

    And Scotland has oil and coal, in abundance; any comparison with Ireland is plain silly.

  • #104432
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rumours tonight that Greece will leave the EMU and possibly the EU if forced to. All the EMU countries and a few other secret “people” are meeting tonight.

    This may be Greece trying to force everyone into handing them a better deal or not.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/greece-considering-leaving-euro-2011-5
    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/0,1518,761136,00.html
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/breaking-greece-threatens-leave-eurozone-reintroduce-own-currency

  • #104433
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Weirdly enough no medias in Sweden have picked up on this. Almost like most of the big medias are trying to keep it hush hush.

    Just noticed that the articles in my links have been removed. *edit my fault I just copy pasted so they became non-working. The links should be working now.

    Here is another one. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13317770

  • #104434
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Give some thought for one moment of the possible consequences of Greece leaving the Eurozone.
    It would mean as a start default on it’s debt because the Drachma would be hopelessly devalued against the Euro. Their debts would stay in Euros. After restructuring these debts would need to be serviced in Euros at a hopelessly unsustainable rate.
    The country would not be able to raise any finance on world markets.
    In short Greece would be ruined.
    The possibility of debt restructuring is almost certain but from inside EMU, going it alone is impossible.
    That is another factor which is a danger to sovereign states joining the EMU. Once in you almost certainly cannot leave without disastrous economic consequence’s.

  • #104435
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The late-night meeting in Luxemburg last night does not seem to be reported anywhere, a sure sign that something serious is afoot. Der Spiegel, which first reported the news that Greece may seek to leave the Eurozone, is usually pretty well informed.

    That it would be a disaster for Greece is not in doubt, but it could also prove a disaster for the rest of the Eurozone, especially Germany which holds most of the Greek debt.

    The stricken pound Sterling may prove to be the only winner over the short term, but the currency market is a total mystery to me, which is unfortunate because most of my earnings are in pounds, and have been declining for years.

  • #104436
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    If this story turns out to be true it will be good news for Sterling which should rebound on Euro decline.
    Personally I don’t think it will happen there is far too much at stake. I think it may be a underhand tactic by Greece to force better conditions from Germany the paymaster of Europe. The EU finance ministers will have to give ground or there will be blood on the carpet.
    This sport beats bull fighting any day. 🙂
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/gilts/8499652/Europe-meets-to-discuss-Greece-debt-restructuring.html

  • #104437
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Give some thought for one moment of the possible consequences of Greece leaving the Eurozone.
    It would mean as a start default on it’s debt because the Drachma would be hopelessly devalued against the Euro. Their debts would stay in Euros. After restructuring these debts would need to be serviced in Euros at a hopelessly unsustainable rate.
    The country would not be able to raise any finance on world markets.
    In short Greece would be ruined.
    The possibility of debt restructuring is almost certain but from inside EMU, going it alone is impossible.
    That is another factor which is a danger to sovereign states joining the EMU. Once in you almost certainly cannot leave without disastrous economic consequence’s.

    Spot on.

    Would just like to add one more thing (the killer) :

    Greece cannot leave the Euro or default because all the other Banks in Germany and France etc will have their solvency threatened.

    The problem is that Greek debt just isnt in Greece its all over the EU due to cross border bank lending.

    Same goes for a lot of other countries (ie Spain) which is much,much worse.

    — Munky

  • #104439
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    Interesting points and an interesting link from the Telegraph. Perhaps the opportunity of QE from an independent Scotland hasn’t been taken into account; worldwide, especially in the US, Scotland is highly regarded for it’s protestant work ethic and prudence in financial matters. (The Scottish bank spectacle was English induced by an idiotic Labour government).

    The EU would welcome an independent Scotland with open arms, they are fed up with the silly English reticence to join in and harping back to wars long forgotten by the rest of Europe.

    And Scotland has oil and coal, in abundance; any comparison with Ireland is plain silly.

    how do you work out it was english induced by the labour idiots when those idiots were scottish.

  • #104440
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Och Aye – and let no-one forget, Scottish through and through. Our highland friend ‘Prudent Brown’ also sold our gold down the river too. What a prat.

    Rocker, had you been having a few wee drams when you wrote your post? 😆

  • #104443
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    Interesting points and an interesting link from the Telegraph. Perhaps the opportunity of QE from an independent Scotland hasn’t been taken into account; worldwide, especially in the US, Scotland is highly regarded for it’s protestant work ethic and prudence in financial matters. (The Scottish bank spectacle was English induced by an idiotic Labour government).

    Hmm, so you missed the point where two Scottish banks went bust and had to be bailed out by the British taxpayer? Where these Scottish banks are losing money and the UK has had to extend them hundreds of billions in loans to allow them to continue operating.
    Missed all that did you?

    If Scotland went independent they would have to immediately take over these debts. England would have a major boost to its finances as the Scottish banks force Scotland to go to the IMF.

    @Rocker wrote:

    The EU would welcome an independent Scotland with open arms, they are fed up with the silly English reticence to join in and harping back to wars long forgotten by the rest of Europe.

    And Scotland has oil and coal, in abundance; any comparison with Ireland is plain silly.

    The English would vote for independence for Scotland, but the Scots won’t. They aren’t stupid. Nobody give a **** what Europeans think about the UK, the UK has been proven 100% right about the Euro. Did you miss that little event as well?

  • #104444
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Give some thought for one moment of the possible consequences of Greece leaving the Eurozone.
    It would mean as a start default on it’s debt because the Drachma would be hopelessly devalued against the Euro. Their debts would stay in Euros. After restructuring these debts would need to be serviced in Euros at a hopelessly unsustainable rate.

    What if they converted their debts into Drachma as well? would that not be possible?

  • #104445
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    What if they converted their debts into Drachma as well? would that not be possible?

    It could be done I suppose but not at the original conversion rate. Investors would want a far higher price for holding new Drachma which would effectively be a worthless currency.
    Anyway it ‘aint gonna happen.
    The original Die Spiegal article which began this speculation is balls. Pure and simple.

  • #104448
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    what about if they told the germans they would not pay them back and they should just deduct it from the compensation the germans owe them from wartime and have never paid

  • #104449
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    Och Aye – and let no-one forget, Scottish through and through. Our highland friend ‘Prudent Brown’ also sold our gold down the river too. What a prat.

    Rocker, had you been having a few wee drams when you wrote your post? 😆

    I dinnae mind a wee dram, but no that early in the morning, Ma-am. And Fife isnae in the Highlands.

    The rescued banks, RBS and Northern Rock were not Scottish, despite their humble origins many years ago.

    I agree about the gold and I agree about the pratt. Mind you, the new pratt disnae seem to be any better, I think he’s even worse – the old one studied history at university and the new one politics, neither seem to know much about economics.

  • #104461
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal by Timo Soini, chairman of the True Finns Party in Finland. Can’t help agreeing with much of what he says.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703864204576310851503980120.html

  • #104466
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    The rescued banks, RBS and Northern Rock were not Scottish, despite their humble origins many years ago..

    What planet are you on?

    It was Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland (HBOS) who were bailed out, HBOS after they were pushed onto Lloyds in the vain hope they could save the mad Scots.

    Both are headquarters in Scotland, hence they are Scottish banks. There is nothing to discuss on that, they are Scottish banks, if you believe otherwise, leave the crack pipe alone.

    Northern Rock doesn’t register on the scale of the crash of each Scottish bank, which were ten times bigger.

  • #104467
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yeah lets give the Scots independence and let them pay their own debts out of the dwindling oil revenue.

  • #104469
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Yeah lets give the Scots independence and let them pay their own debts out of the dwindling oil revenue.

    The English should be given the chance to vote on kicking Scotland out of the Union. We don’t need to wait until 2014, a referendum tomorrow will end the discussion.

  • #104470
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I find it difficult to have a sensible discussion with people who haven’t noticed globalisation taking place. I can imagine them trotting into the local National Westminster bank to prove their loyalty to such an obviously English company and proudly buying BP shares to wave the flag, with a Range Rover parked outside and a Mini in the garage at home.

    They might put on their red or blue shirts to support Arsenal and Chelsea on a Saturday, real English football clubs, and the T on their mobile phone contract stands for good old BT, doesn’t it?

    And that hateful Euro: Give me the good old pound any day, we like a strong pound don’t we?

    And, not wishing to upset anyone – NatWest, Range Rover, BP, Chelsea, T-mobile – yeah, that’s me, but my Range Rover has got the steering wheel on the left, and I pray for the strong pound every day.

  • #104471
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    An independent Scotland is one of those political subjects which never really goes away. Similar to EU membership for the British or should I say England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For the majority of Scots are very pro Europe but hugely nationalistic and proud of their distinct national characteristics.
    However the Scottish people are not in favour of an independent Scotland. The last opinion poll conducted on the subject showed only 28% of the population wants independence.
    They voted SDP because they trusted Alex Salmon not to begin the independence process without a referendum in the second half of this new Scottish parliament. They also prefer his brand of socialism to Labours.
    I think that says something about the country. The people trust their political leaders and the politicians trust the people.
    Democracy is supposed to work like that.
    ‘Tis a pity indeed that it fails so badly elsewhere.
    Peterhun is quite correct RBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland are both registered Scottish banks with their headquarters in Edinburgh. The fact that the shareholders and management were/are scattered around the world does not make the banks anything else but Scottish.
    Its true in this age of globalism companies are effectively international. However these particular banks have a long Scottish ancestry and tradition.

  • #104472
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    I find it difficult to have a sensible discussion with people who haven’t noticed globalisation taking place.

    I find it difficult to have a conversation with someone who is so limited in their intellect that they resort to lying to cover their ignorance.

    A bank has a headquarter and is regulated by the government that covers that location. Hence they are responsible for the debts resulting from a bailout.

    They UK banking crisis was cause by two Scottish banks, headquartered in Scotland, with Scottish management and staff, banks that can each print their Scottish paper money. How more Scottish can you get? Put Scotland in their name…err..

    To describe the Scots as ‘prudent’ bankers and that the banking crisis as a result of the English is an ignorant lie. Compounded by the fact that Gordon Brown is Scottish and is judged by many as been responsible for allowing the banks to behave like they did.

    And, not wishing to upset anyone – NatWest, Range Rover, BP, Chelsea, T-mobile – yeah, that’s me,

    Obviously not me, Pole living in Poland who is a big fan of the Euro.

  • #104474
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    well as i sit here writing this in my england shirt with my bmw parked on the drive getting ready to go to the bank to pay for the rental on a spainish villa in the summer and on to the post office to get some euro’s for my holiday to rhodes in a couple of weeks.it made me think of how small the world has become and that we are all in the s–t together as everything seems to be linked.

    My mother in law was a wallace before she married and is a direct decendant of william wallace and she doesn’t even want scotland to have independance 😆

  • #104475
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @dartboy wrote:

    well as i sit here writing this in my england shirt with my bmw parked on the drive getting ready to go to the bank to pay for the rental on a spainish villa in the summer and on to the post office to get some euro’s for my holiday to rhodes in a couple of weeks.it made me think of how small the world has become and that we are all in the s–t together as everything seems to be linked.

    My mother in law was a wallace before she married and is a direct decendant of william wallace and she doesn’t even want scotland to have independance 😆

    A perfect example of our smaller world, but when we’re all in the shit, unfortunately the ugly face of nationalism shows its head, especially at the lower end.

    That’s the basic trouble with the Euro, it’s been an undoubted success against most currencies in the world, especially the American Dollar and the pound Sterling, and nobody minded because we were all well off. Then the sub-prime mortgages happened, Lehman’s went down and we all went down with it.

    To blame the pesky foreigners is the easy way out, and always has been. Ukip and the BNP, and their European equivalents get more votes and every time there is negative news about the Euro, the cheers ring out from certain quarters.

    Apart from the always nasty Germans, the Scottish people are now getting it, along with the lazy Greeks and corrupt Spaniards; we’ll be glad to see the back of the job-stealing Poles and would be happy to see a few Asian faces waving goodbye to the White Cliffs.

    I’m of the opinion that the EU is an organisation that has protected us from extremism and the Euro is an obvious tool to fight our way in the world, the Peseta can’t compete with the Yuan or the American Dollar; those big countries could shut down a smaller European country at will.

    (I’m not related to William Wallace but I know where his cave was).

  • #104477
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Come off it Rocker, it’s you who are introducing racialism into this, nobody else.
    Your stereo-typical descriptions of European attitudes are so tired. The world’s moved on a bit.
    Methinks you read too much tabloid press. 😆

  • #104479
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thats the good ole argument about backwards thinking people trying to ruin it for the population because they are racists.

    Just face the fact that the EMU is one big failure that finally have been found out.

  • #104480
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Come off it Rocker, it’s you who are introducing racialism into this, nobody else.
    Your stereo-typical descriptions of European attitudes are so tired. The world’s moved on a bit.
    Methinks you read too much tabloid press. 😆

    You cheeky chappie, you know perfectly well I read the same newspapers as you do, even though some of the better ones cost a Euro or two. Anyway, I’m happy, the Euro is going down and the pound is going up.

    My pro-European views, such as they are, go into reverse when the pound rises – it was the same when I voted for Maggie, I was rewarded when my house in London doubled in value, practically overnight.

  • #104482
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    Ouch, how weary I am to touch this, but!!!
    Any time a leader talks about local nationalism, they are basically signaling their lack the wisdom/leadership to govern and improve the outlook for the future. Anyone can point out differences (there are very few between a Basque and a Spaniard) pale in comparison to the similarities, but the differences are easier to point out. Similarities take work and are not as easy to splash on headline news. Adding government, to add government is all that will come when you split up countries with plus 100years of union, it is a money wasting plan.

    How narrow a thought that the best person to lead a government can only come from my same ‘town’ or speak the exact same language as me.

  • #104484
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    “Nationalism Means War” – François Mitterrand 1916 to 1996.
    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” – Samuel Johnson. April 1775

  • #104493
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Give some thought for one moment of the possible consequences of Greece leaving the Eurozone.
    It would mean as a start default on it’s debt because the Drachma would be hopelessly devalued against the Euro. Their debts would stay in Euros. After restructuring these debts would need to be serviced in Euros at a hopelessly unsustainable rate.
    The country would not be able to raise any finance on world markets.
    In short Greece would be ruined.
    The possibility of debt restructuring is almost certain but from inside EMU, going it alone is impossible.
    That is another factor which is a danger to sovereign states joining the EMU. Once in you almost certainly cannot leave without disastrous economic consequence’s.

    I think the whole point of Greece leaving the euro would be to convert their debts into another currency which, of course, they could then print into oblivion. Otherwise it makes no sense. Technically it can be done because that’s precisely what they did when they joined the euro: their bonds stopped being denominated in drachmas and overnight they became denominated in euros. That was part of the problem – bond investors suddenly thought that since the Greeks couldn’t debase the euro then their bonds carried a lot less risk. They didn’t fully consider the more likely outcome of the Greeks eventually defaulting instead.

    The most immediate problem with leaving the euro would be the issue of bank runs – any hint of Greece leaving the euro and everybody transfers their savings out of Greek banks before their savings get converted to junk. So they would have to do the conversion overnight and temporarily lock down everyone’s bank account without warning – I believe Argentina did something similar 10 years ago.

    Of couse if that does happen then apart from the obvious riots in Greece that would ensue, and the need to bail out the creditors, everyone would move all their savings out of their Spanish/Irish/Portuguese bank accounts for fear of the same thing happening in those countries. Result: bank runs all round Europe, chaos, breakdown ,etc.

    So as you say … it really ain’t going to happen.

    Some have considered the possibility of Germany leaving the euro – since bond holders would not complain about having the bonds converted to deutschmarks. However that would cause a run on the euro as people would realise that as soon as Germany left they’d be followed by the other strong economies, just leaving the weaker economies to debase the euro.

    So again it ain’t going to happen.

    As you say, there really is no way out of the euro.

  • #104494
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I enjoyed that analysis Chopera. There is one other possible compromise scenario to default or exit.
    That of restructuring EMU into two distinct tiers. The peripheral states and Italy, Belgium with sovereign debt issues in a sin bin tier of Euro status and under intensive care. Debt to GDP ratio could be the measuring key.
    The remaining states such as Holland, Finland, France and Germany in a first division Europe with lower bond yields and higher levels of investment.
    The practical benefit would keep investor confidence in the Euro and possibly stabilise bond spreads. Since day to day market turbulence would be seen as having little or no impact on the core Euro state economies in the first division.
    Bond markets would see a distinct difference.
    One sector carrying the remainder. That of course for all intent and purpose is the case already. However it would be more clearly defined.
    I believe this scenario has already been discussed in recent Eco-Fin meetings at the weekend. It’s a compromise nobody wants but the alternative is much worse.

  • #104495
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rather than just post a link containing an American professor in economics opinion that the Euro will replace the Dollar as the world’s reserve currency within five years, I would also agree with recent comments on this thread that the Euro’s failure can’t be allowed to happen – it’s too big to fail, far too big.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,761398,00.html

    We beat ourselves up over the bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal; they’re but small ripples on the bigger picture, and if the Euro does become the world’s reserve currency, those countries debts can be written off without the printing presses even becoming warm.

  • #104496
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    The most immediate problem with leaving the euro would be the issue of bank runs – any hint of Greece leaving the euro and everybody transfers their savings out of Greek banks before their savings get converted to junk. So they would have to do the conversion overnight and temporarily lock down everyone’s bank account without warning – I believe Argentina did something similar 10 years ago.

    Indeed, Argentina did it and has spend a decade fighting with bondholders and the IMF. I would not classify it as a success.

    @chopera wrote:

    So again it ain’t going to happen.

    As you say, there really is no way out of the euro.

    Here I disagree on both parts. The Euro members have the power and the balls to make it happen and continue with the Euro. FT’s Alpahville sums it up nicely, Greek debt holders are going to take a massive loss no matter what, if dropping the Euro is required for longer term stability for Greece, its is affordable. Only Dexia is going to be seriously affected by a 50% loss and the figure is manageable.
    The Euro could survive Greece’s exit. I don’t think there would be contagion to other countries, Greece really is an exceptional basket case.

  • #104497
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    Rather than just post a link containing an American professor in economics opinion that the Euro will replace the Dollar as the world’s reserve currency within five years, I would also agree with recent comments on this thread that the Euro’s failure can’t be allowed to happen – it’s too big to fail, far too big.

    The problem with predicting the euro’s “failure” is that there isn’t an agreed definition of what “failure” means.

    You could reasonably argue that it has already failed – first when countries had to break the growth and stability pact and let their deficits rise above 3%, again when other countries had to be bailed out, and possibly other times as well. However each of these “failures” results in a different type of euro rather than a new currency altogether. Even if Greece does somehow leave the euro then it will still exist – and be a lot stronger as a currency for that matter – but it will have failed Greece.

    So…at what point do we decide that the euro has “failed”?

    @Rocker wrote:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,761398,00.html

    We beat ourselves up over the bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal; they’re but small ripples on the bigger picture, and if the Euro does become the world’s reserve currency, those countries debts can be written off without the printing presses even becoming warm.

    Would that make the underlying problems with the euro go away?

  • #104499
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    Here I disagree on both parts. The Euro members have the power and the balls to make it happen and continue with the Euro. FT’s Alpahville sums it up nicely, Greek debt holders are going to take a massive loss no matter what, if dropping the Euro is required for longer term stability for Greece, its is affordable. Only Dexia is going to be seriously affected by a 50% loss and the figure is manageable.
    The Euro could survive Greece’s exit. I don’t think there would be contagion to other countries, Greece really is an exceptional basket case.

    If I’ve got an account in an Irish bank and I see Greece get kicked out of the euro, then I’m moving my money. So is everyone else. Bond markets will also demand higher yields for Irish debt.

    Greece might well be an exceptional case, the problem is in convincing that to the markets (and everyone else). And lets face it, the biggest indicator that there’s a problem is when the EU denies that there’s a problem. Their integrity has been shredded.

    If Greece goes then they might as well let Ireland and Portugal go as well. Above Logan mentioned something about splitting the euro into two tiers – that might be a better short term cure. However those two tiers will still have the same underlying problems that the euro has always had regarding one-size-(doesn’t)-fits-all interest rates, and who will be the lender of last resort? It will be another mess hammered out by polticians at the last minute.

  • #104500
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    If Greece goes then they might as well let Ireland and Portugal go as well. Above Logan mentioned something about splitting the euro into two tiers – that might be a better short term cure. However those two tiers will still have the same underlying problems that the euro has always had regarding one-size-(doesn’t)-fits-all interest rates, and who will be the lender of last resort? It will be another mess hammered out by polticians at the last minute.

    I would assume with the creation of two tier Euro somehow two separate interest rates would apply with two separate exchange rates.
    That would benefit enormously the weaker states such as Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
    I don’t include Greece since extra measures will be required which at the very least will be further massive aid.
    I’m not sure that a two tier Euro is a workable solution. However it is an option which I am sure is being at least considered.
    I agree that the EU’s credibility is shot to pieces. However the Euro remains strong. I know there are reasons for that not least the schizophrenic nature of the Forex markets.
    The Euro has already failed in all but the short term interests of Forex dealers. The project has proved a disaster.
    However you will never hear any EU politicians saying so, not even a Greek.

  • #104502
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    The most immediate problem with leaving the euro would be the issue of bank runs – any hint of Greece leaving the euro and everybody transfers their savings out of Greek banks before their savings get converted to junk.

    Am afraid you’re running behind the train here, Chopera.
    “A hint”??? Strong rumours and panic started here big time in Greece last September, with the big money being withdrawn by the billions in a matter of a couple of days, to be sent out of Greece. Since then, the average Stavros has been taking their smaller (life-savings) amounts out, preferring under the bed rather than in a Greek bank. You can’t get a safety deposit box for love or money now, the favoured alternative to having an account.

    @chopera wrote:

    So they would have to do the conversion overnight and temporarily lock down everyone’s bank account without warning – I believe Argentina did something similar 10 years ago.

    What happened in Argentina is very prominent in the Greeks’ minds. It also doesn’t go unnoticed that whenever there’s a Government meeting/new announcement, it’s always late on a Friday when it’s too late to do anything. Every Greek is aware they could wake up one morning and their account is now sitting on devalued Drachmas……and no, they don’t put it past the Government to do this. Even several Grannies I know have taxi’d to the bank, withdrawn everything, taxi’d home with the cash and stuffed it somewhere safe!

  • #104504
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    The most immediate problem with leaving the euro would be the issue of bank runs – any hint of Greece leaving the euro and everybody transfers their savings out of Greek banks before their savings get converted to junk.

    Am afraid you’re running behind the train here, Chopera.
    “A hint”??? Strong rumours and panic started here big time in Greece last September, with the big money being withdrawn by the billions in a matter of a couple of days, to be sent out of Greece. Since then, the average Stavros has been taking their smaller (life-savings) amounts out, preferring under the bed rather than in a Greek bank. You can’t get a safety deposit box for love or money now, the favoured alternative to having an account.

    @chopera wrote:

    So they would have to do the conversion overnight and temporarily lock down everyone’s bank account without warning – I believe Argentina did something similar 10 years ago.

    What happened in Argentina is very prominent in the Greeks’ minds. It also doesn’t go unnoticed that whenever there’s a Government meeting/new announcement, it’s always late on a Friday when it’s too late to do anything. Every Greek is aware they could wake up one morning and their account is now sitting on devalued Drachmas……and no, they don’t put it past the Government to do this. Even several Grannies I know have taxi’d to the bank, withdrawn everything, taxi’d home with the cash and stuffed it somewhere safe!

    Interesting – I remember reading about capital flows out of Greece some time last year, but assumed they weren’t that significant because I didn’t hear of any Greek banks getting into trouble.

    Generally I hear a lot about Greek sovereign debt bailouts, but not so much about their banks. I don’t recall hearing anything about the Greek government bailing out their banks either, so I’ve assumed the bailout money from the ECB has gone elsewhere.

  • #104513
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    The most immediate problem with leaving the euro would be the issue of bank runs – any hint of Greece leaving the euro and everybody transfers their savings out of Greek banks before their savings get converted to junk.

    Am afraid you’re running behind the train here, Chopera.
    “A hint”??? Strong rumours and panic started here big time in Greece last September, with the big money being withdrawn by the billions in a matter of a couple of days, to be sent out of Greece. Since then, the average Stavros has been taking their smaller (life-savings) amounts out, preferring under the bed rather than in a Greek bank. You can’t get a safety deposit box for love or money now, the favoured alternative to having an account.

    @chopera wrote:

    So they would have to do the conversion overnight and temporarily lock down everyone’s bank account without warning – I believe Argentina did something similar 10 years ago.

    What happened in Argentina is very prominent in the Greeks’ minds. It also doesn’t go unnoticed that whenever there’s a Government meeting/new announcement, it’s always late on a Friday when it’s too late to do anything. Every Greek is aware they could wake up one morning and their account is now sitting on devalued Drachmas……and no, they don’t put it past the Government to do this. Even several Grannies I know have taxi’d to the bank, withdrawn everything, taxi’d home with the cash and stuffed it somewhere safe!

    Its already started this morning.

    Ireland has filed a coercive AIB tender offer to LT2 bondholders (thankfully not me) of a 75% haircut with no accrued, other LT2 bonds could be worse and could be in the frame.

    Sub-ord and senior bond markets have gone wild and sworn revenge.

    Forget Greece, Ireland has drawn a line in the sand and its going to get (extremely) ugly — glad I dont live there.

    Unless Noonan (who has threatened unspecified decisive consequences) backs down, Ireland is going to get much worse all for the sake of €185 Million saving out of €70 billion !

    This going to get nasty as formerly good friendships have soured (ie Germany will now press for corp tax increase and Irish benefit cuts on account of big German LT2 bondholders squealing in Merkels ear)

    What a mess.

    — Munky

  • #104552
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/ew/academic/intecon/Degrauwe/PDG-papers/Discussion_papers/Governance-fragile-eurozone_s.pdf

    Heavy stuff, with which I agree, and it must drive down the odds quoted at the beginning of this thread to something like one in three?

  • #104553
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/ew/academic/intecon/Degrauwe/PDG-papers/Discussion_papers/Governance-fragile-eurozone_s.pdf

    Heavy stuff, with which I agree, and it must drive down the odds quoted at the beginning of this thread to something like one in three?

    Good find – although I haven’t read it all. The begining of the paper at least doesn’t say much that was being being said by eurosceptics over a decade ago, but at least it is well written.

    The main thing I’d add to its comparison between the UK and Spain is that another reason Spanish debt carries greater perceived risk is that Spain still hasn’t really had to bail out her banks yet. Spanish bank books are still in la-la land when it comes to marking their assets to market. And the markets know it.

  • #104568
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    From yesterdays Daily Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/alex/?cartoon=8520009&cc=8487796

    Funny how jokes can sometimes be so true.

  • #101357
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I have been warning on here for some time that regional government debt in Spain has reached unsustainable levels.
    The Spanish national government debt levels seem relatively mild compared to other EU nations. However if you add the debt of the regions an altogether different picture emerges.
    The regional government elections take place tomorrow and the ruling socialist party are expected to be heavily defeated.
    Expect very soon afterwards the true state of regional government debt in Spain to be revealed.
    I have read a few perceptive comments by market analysts which talk of a ticking time bomb for Spain. Bond yields have moved upwards this week as a result.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704281504576331280001740702.html
    With the continued hidden state of Spanish bank debt and this unsustainable regional debt level you have the basis for financial meltdown.
    Civil unrest is starting to gain ground in Spain and with 45% youth unemployment it’s only surprising it has not happened earlier.
    If Spain requires an EU bailout, and really it’s a matter of when not if, it will likely be massive and could prove to be a tipping point for the Euro and the entire Eurozone project.
    The EU and the IMF appears completely unable to create any decisive policy to fix the EU sovereign debt issue.
    That is in part because none of the seriously indebted states will come clean with the true extent of the problem until it’s too late.

  • #104609
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’ve always thought that the UK cheering the demise of the Euro is akin to turkeys voting for Christmas, as this article in the Telegraph makes plain.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeremy-warner/8531664/How-the-euro-crisis-end-game-might-look.html

    It’s a big subject for us, media and people power versus common sense. The state versus twitter, maybe that should be the law versus twitter. Ryan Giggs is an ass, and I’m not going to speak up for him; nor can I speak up for the rating agencies.

    But somewhere along the line there is a niggling doubt that total exposure to a non-understanding public is not a good thing either. The UK has no reason to cheer the fall of the Euro; the legendary lemmings didn’t have twitter, just collective panic, and it led to their demise.

    There’s a lot of panic around at the moment.

  • #104610
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    I’ve always thought that the UK cheering the demise of the Euro is akin to turkeys voting for Christmas, as this article in the Telegraph makes plain.

    Its been pointed out to you many times, people are not ‘cheering on’ the demise but discussing and predicting it; its a big difference.

  • #104611
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    @Rocker wrote:
    I’ve always thought that the UK cheering the demise of the Euro is akin to turkeys voting for Christmas, as this article in the Telegraph makes plain.

    Its been pointed out to you many times, people are not ‘cheering on’ the demise but discussing and predicting it; its a big difference.

    If you had read on beyond the very first line of my short post, you would have come to the quoted article, and a tiny bit further to my assertion that sometimes institutions may be right to disguise certain information from a non-understanding public to protect them from their own twittering folly, of which your reply is a perfect example.

  • #104612
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “But somewhere along the line there is a niggling doubt that total exposure to a non-understanding public is not a good thing either.”

    Dont say that to a Politician. !!!!!!!!!!! They thrive on it & build their carear’s on it.

  • #104613
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    What condescending rubbish! 😈
    The idea that companies, governments and institutions should withhold sensitive information from the public because they would not understand it is simply covering up the truth, lying by omission and treating the public as morons.
    The last time I looked G20 nations were representative democracies. That means the public are entitled to know anything short of a state secret which may threaten these countries national security. It’s a corner stone of liberty.
    Public companies who fail to inform their investors of material which has a direct bearing on their investments are acting criminally. It’s fraud.
    Likewise bond market investors need to have all relevant information available and in the public domain in order to judge and estimate risk levels. It’s a financial journalists job to make publically available what others would rather bury.
    A few people Twittering is a complete irrelevance. Anyone who takes Twitter and the like seriously needs to get a life.

  • #104614
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    i can’t quote this one, but I heard it on Sky News this morning (so it must be true). The newsreader said that the rating agencies had strong concerns over 14 UK banks, and the chief economic editor was immediately wheeled before the cameras. He looked a bit startled and mumbled about the bank’s debts being public debts, not very convincingly – we didn’t rescue 14 of them, did we?

    It got me thinking about the groundswell of concern over the Euro. If the most likely countries to return to their old currencies, Greece, Germany and Spain, wanted to do so, it would have to be done under the greatest secrecy to prevent market panic.

    Germany has recently admitted that their printing presses have been tested, but fobbed it off as an exercise in nostalgia, which sounds unlikely. Spain are still showing the old Peseta prices against the Euro in many of their transactions (11 years on).

    It would have to be done over one hectic weekend, almost like the attack on Pearl Harbour.

  • #104615
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant
  • #104616
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    What condescending rubbish! 😈
    The idea that companies, governments and institutions should withhold sensitive information from the public because they would not understand it is simply covering up the truth, lying by omission and treating the public as morons.
    The last time I looked G20 nations were representative democracies. That means the public are entitled to know anything short of a state secret which may threaten these countries national security. It’s a corner stone of liberty.
    Public companies who fail to inform their investors of material which has a direct bearing on their investments are acting criminally. It’s fraud.
    Likewise bond market investors need to have all relevant information available and in the public domain in order to judge and estimate risk levels. It’s a financial journalists job to make publically available what others would rather bury.
    A few people Twittering is a complete irrelevance. Anyone who takes Twitter and the like seriously needs to get a life.

    I normally agree with a fair percentage of your writing, but not on this one, Logan.

    Politicians and financial institutions lie to us on a regular basis. They have to, to retain the votes of voters and shareholders. You can temper the word Lie with calling it a necessary lie, a lie of convenience, a white lie, or whatever, but it still remains a fib.

    Financial journalists are fed press releases and granted interviews, where more fibs are told – they don’t lie, but they spread the lies they are fed.

    I don’t have to reiterate what caused the last recession of only three years ago, it was the lying instruments, based on American household debt, sold to the likes of RBS, who either didn’t understand the parcels, or believed the lies told by Lehmans.

    If everybody concerned had stuck to the truth, those debt parcels would never have been made up in the first place, never mind being sold on to the gullible, with perhaps too strong a belief that the market place is anything other than a casino, built on porkies.

    (And both Barack Obama and Adam Boulton twitter, but I agree, they should get a life).

  • #104619
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I vote this the most boring pointless thread since this forum started.

  • #104620
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    I vote this the most boring pointless thread since this forum started.

    AMEN TO THAT…!

  • #104621
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The last two posts are odd. Why read it if it does not interest you?
    I read lots of posts and threads that don’t interest me. I ignore them without making any silly snide remarks.

    In the absence of any significant property market activity in Spain the forum needs other subjects. This is one that interests a few contributors hence the number of posts which has kept it going.

    Personally my interests lie in a whole range of subjects. I think Rocker has a valid point to discuss although I disagree with him.
    Closing your mind to thought, ideas or opinion will limit your capacity to develop any original thought or ideas. Then life itself may become pointless.

  • #104623
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think that some posters are quite unable to discuss anything other than their personal experience of the property market in Marbella, which has surely died a thousand deaths on this forum. It interests barely a handful of bitter people who talk about events of more than a decade ago, incessantly.

    The most important news about the Spanish property market is the current imbalance caused both by Spain’s membership of the Euro, and past misdeeds by crooked politicians, developers – I need to stop, it has all been discussed a thousand times.

    The Euro and its possible collapse is the current danger to Spanish property values; I’d better add ‘the main danger’, in case it causes more confusion to the odd poster.

    And it looks like the PP are back in power, at the local level, and they don’t strike me as being as foreigner friendly as the PSOE, the socialists.

  • #104624
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    This topic is “All about Property in Spain” should have been moved ages ago! By all means get personal and as for snidey comments……….NO just my opinion on a bunch of farts trying to outdo one another with a bit of googling.

    If the euro is abandoned you still won’t get that property for about 40,000.

  • #104625
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You wont get the property for 40k, However your mortgage will be reduced in £ terms.

  • #104626
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    This topic is “All about Property in Spain” should have been moved ages ago! By all means get personal and as for snidey comments……….NO just my opinion on a bunch of farts trying to outdo one another with a bit of googling.

    If the euro is abandoned you still won’t get that property for about 40,000.

    If you don’t like this topic then you can always click the “New Topic” button at the top of the page and start a different thread 🙄

  • #104627
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy & Chris

    You are entitled not to like this thread, as you are to snipe at it. It is an open forum. There have been plenty of other threads on here that leave me cold. I just ignore them. That is my choice.

    Calling it pointless however, particularly in relation to the Spanish property market, is where I’d part ways with you. Any property market, be that in Spain or elsewhere, is fundamentally linked to the economy be that local, national or international. In my case, I have no doubt whatsoever that by taking time to try and understand the economic fundamentals when I started looking at purchasing a property has saved me tens of thousands of euros.

    As I said, it is your call to start bitching. If it makes you happy, so be it.

  • #104628
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    This topic is “All about Property in Spain” should have been moved ages ago! By all means get personal and as for snidey comments……….NO just my opinion on a bunch of farts trying to outdo one another with a bit of googling.

    If the euro is abandoned you still won’t get that property for about 40,000.

    Property in Spain, or property anywhere is directly affected by world market events. Those events are crucial to understanding where property might be heading and when demand might return. The Eurozone crisis is particularly relevant to that.

    If improvement in disposable incomes in Europe begins to happen through improved economic conditions then property will start to sell and rise in value. Watching for signs of that and seeking market trends and discussing them on here is directly relevant to the property market investor.

    Posting web site links either from Google or elsewhere allows further research and confirmation of a point. If your intellectual capacity runs to naming your fellow posters as a “bunch of farts” then I understand why this thread would fail to interest you.

  • #104629
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    uninteresting, tedious, dull, dreary, mind-numbing, tiresome, lackluster, unexciting, monotonous, repetitive, wearisome, humdrum, uninspiring ….

    I managed to make money on the property market without doing a google course on European economics. :mrgreen:

  • #104630
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Have you swallow a Thesaurus? 😆
    Just to annoy you even further. Some interesting views on Spain’s prospects for economic recovery.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f3ed016-862a-11e0-9e2c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1NLph8iA2
    It seems you have to be registered to read the link.

  • #104631
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    i can’t quote this one, but I heard it on Sky News this morning (so it must be true). The newsreader said that the rating agencies had strong concerns over 14 UK banks, and the chief economic editor was immediately wheeled before the cameras. He looked a bit startled and mumbled about the bank’s debts being public debts, not very convincingly – we didn’t rescue 14 of them, did we?

    In fact the UK bailed out all the banks by offering them credit guarantees.

    From the Bloomsberg article

    British banks accepted about 1 trillion pounds ($1.6 trillion) in government bailouts and guarantees following the 2008 financial crisis,

    This support is now being withdrawn, hence the banks are to be downgraded.

    katy, you are adding nothing to the subject.

  • #104632
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    uninteresting, tedious, dull, dreary, mind-numbing, tiresome, lackluster, unexciting, monotonous, repetitive, wearisome, humdrum, uninspiring ….

    I managed to make money on the property market without doing a google course on European economics. :mrgreen:

    It was never difficult or particularly challenging to make money in the Spanish property market prior to sub-prime. The market had it’s difficulties from time to time but nothing on the current scale.
    It was global market forces which caused the crash and it’s those same influences which will start it’s recovery eventually.
    Just to dismiss relevant information on the subject with the adjectives Katy uses is just plain silly.

    Now to move on a little. Moody’s has placed UK banks on watch from stable to negative. They have done the same to the US economy. It simply means risk is perceived to be slightly greater. The reason for both these moves by the rating agency is in Peterhun’s post.
    The withdrawal of QE. It does not mean there is more instability, more a recognised slowing of growth which the markets have factored in.

  • #104634
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Now to move on a little. Moody’s has placed UK banks on watch from stable to negative. They have done the same to the US economy. It simply means risk is perceived to be slightly greater. The reason for both these moves by the rating agency is in Peterhun’s post.
    The withdrawal of QE. It does not mean there is more instability, more a recognised slowing of growth which the markets have factored in.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………

  • #104635
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I can understand some of the frustration, not very well expressed by Katy and McCarthy. They want to discuss the old times in Marbella, the wine aboard a swaying yacht, the exhilarating mornings on the golf course, buying a couple of newly built apartments and selling them on for a profit after a few months – happy, carefree days of plenty.

    And suddenly they find 140 posts on the subject of the silly Euro, that funny monopoly money used by pesky foreigners! Who wants to read about that?

  • #104636
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    You are sooo wrong. A few other members think the same as we do. These threads are killing the forum. The thread started off ok. but the usual culprits strangle it. Investors….in your dreams!

  • #104638
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    These threads are killing the forum.

    An open forum includes many different subjects. If you have anything worth while to say post it. Sniping at contributors to a thread you find uninteresting instead of ignoring it suggests you have another agenda.
    In fact you often snipe and criticise and rarely post anything of interest to me. I simply ignore what’s uninteresting. Why don’t you?

  • #104639
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes I should ignore it. Just wanted to have my say and I have.

  • #104640
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    uninteresting, tedious, dull, dreary, mind-numbing, tiresome, lackluster, unexciting, monotonous, repetitive, wearisome, humdrum, uninspiring ….

    I managed to make money on the property market without doing a google course on European economics. :mrgreen:

    Yeah I think most people managed to make money on property up until about 2004. All you had to do was go out and buy as much of it as you could. Not exactly rocket science. Or maybe you’ve got some clever and original insight that you’d like to share? (still waiting for your interesting new topic by the way 😉 )

  • #104645
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    I can understand some of the frustration, not very well expressed by Katy and McCarthy. They want to discuss the old times in Marbella, the wine aboard a swaying yacht, the exhilarating mornings on the golf course, buying a couple of newly built apartments and selling them on for a profit after a few months – happy, carefree days of plenty.

    And why then, would they visit a Spanish property website and open a thread about the Euro?

  • #104650
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    Although this topic might be as interesting as watching paint dry for some, the future of the euro has far reaching implications for any would be buyer of property in Spain and is worthy of discussion.

    As for this thread killing the forum then I couldn’t disagree more. If it was filling a space that could be occupied by another topic then I might agree, but it isn’t.

    If anyone feels that the topic is boring or has been talked to death then start a new more interesting thread. I would only be too pleased to contribute to it.

    Richard

  • #104661
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    OK – back on topic!!!

    Now, I know I stated in the past that basically Edward Hugh’s has the only plausible long term solution for the Euro land unity (Germany leave) but I believe that will never happen. Also, I doubt the Euro currency will disappear (99% sure), and may in fact get stronger if the Greek, Ireland and Portuguese counties leave. Euro Land might be redrawn a little, but this is Europe so it would not be the first time..

    Due to the latest events of Greece – here is what I am thinking now: the Euro looks stronger if you get ride of just Greece, it will rocket up. Everyone will expect that Europe now can actually shed any/all of the bad apples, so it will explode to the up side (make sure each night you deposit your money in a German bank – just in case :)). As most people on/use this Forum are English and or funds in Pounds – the Euro would blow past the pound (there will be an initial drop on uncertainty lasting about 1-2 week) and go to about 95 cents to the pound. It would literary be a currency with all the manufacturing of Europe, with a lot less baggage (debts, liers, cheats, lazy workers). (market Perceptions of the baggage)

    I say this because if you look at all this ‘negative’ talk on Greek default, etc. the Euro vs. Dollar has hardly dropped, it did not even go below 1.4 – which to me, is a sign that the real baggage of Greece is not even being calculated in any more. So if it is already discounted, then it will move on the anticipation that any bad apple can be pushed out..

    (A boring currency dynamic, I admit, with HUGE property impact for the people on this forum)

  • #104664
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    lets wait and see what happens in the next few weeks as spain’s new local councils reveil what they have inherited

  • #104666
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I actually agree with kgpoc’s long view on the the Euro. I have felt for some time it was the only currency to be in.
    German and France are the power house of Europe. The growth figures, particularly in Germany are impressive.
    The peripheral problems of Greece, et al are relatively minor. What really matters is the underlining economic strength of core Europe.

    However that said the situation does not help the Spanish economy or the property market. Retail sales in Spain fell again in April to an annual 5.7% contraction. The population of Spain continue to bear the resulting burden of a globally strong currency.

    The Spanish property market will continue to contract year on year until other currencies and their economies return to fair value against the Euro and their disposable incomes rise.

    An interesting perspective here in Andrew Lilico’s blog entitled ‘What happens WHEN Greece defaults’. Scary stuff. Armageddon for the EU
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/andrewlilico/100010332/what-happens-when-greece-defaults/

  • #104673
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Armageddon or a painless haircut? It depends entirely on your reading material.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,765318,00.html

    On a more down to earth level, I walked past a nearby house this morning and noticed a fresh Se Vende sign, not an unusual sight at the moment. I know the house quite well, it has been used as a holiday home by its German owners for well over ten years, and they intended to move in permanently on retirement.

    I took the reference number and checked the internet. It’s for sale at 250K Euros, the identical one next door is for sale at 600K, and has been for sale for years.

    I was going to add that the cheaper one must be a real bargain, but I’m not so sure with the way house prices are going at the moment. Add the uncertainty over the Euro to the mix and the picture gets even more confusing.

  • #104674
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    Armageddon or a painless haircut? It depends entirely on your reading material.

    That article is typical of the German press. How it would effect Germany and not a wider Europe.

    Your property example is very common these days. Another example of why prospective buyers should stay away from the market. There is much too much uncertainty.

  • #104675
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    @Rocker wrote:
    Armageddon or a painless haircut? It depends entirely on your reading material.

    That article is typical of the German press. How it would effect Germany and not a wider Europe.

    Your property example is very common these days. Another example of why prospective buyers should stay away from the market. There is much too much uncertainty.

    I know, we are blessed with the Telegraph in the UK, they present such a balanced view of European affairs. I think they must have sacked that Eurosceptic, Ambrose something, he hasn’t been around for ages.

  • #104676
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I have no axe to grind for the Telegraph or any other newspaper. However the UK press does generally tend to be more international in outlook compared with the navel gazing Germans.

    Being sceptical about the EU and all it’s works surely is a healthy position in a democracy.

    If the press constantly wrote how wonderful it was would you not be suspicious as to their motives as well as bored?

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