Weekly Review 10
Dear <<First Name>>,
With Eurozone bond yields accelerating faster than a lunar module, there remained largely only one story this week - and we couldn’t help but mention it en passant as I tried desperately to get on to another topic... However, there was another slot on Russia Today and so forth as we tried to get to the bottom of the democratic deficit and the rise of the technocrat...
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the media, we found the following, rather a lot of fascinating reading in fact:
“This isn’t just a lost and found inquiry; it’s a full-on effort to get to the bottom of what appears to be a massive hide-and-seek ploy.”
- CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton gets to
the heart of MF Global’s demise
“In Britain, class never really goes away. Like an injured octopus, it just grows another tentacle.”
- Alison Pearson
"I have sympathy for the ECB because it is the governments that have failed, and now they are dumping everything on the bank's doorstep. But the ECB is the only actor that can move quickly."
- Professor Andre Sapir (Breughel Institute)
...Meanwhile from the archives, one thing no head of government is saying today along with a few things folk doubtless would like to forget:
“I wish to talk to you this evening about the state of the nation's affairs and the picture I have to paint is not, unfortunately, a very cheerful one. The figures which are just now becoming available to us show one thing very clearly. As a community we are living away beyond our means. I don't mean that everyone in the community is living too well, clearly many are not and have barely enough to get by, but taking us all together we have been living at a rate which is simply not justified by the amount of goods and services we are producing. To make up the difference we have been borrowing enormous amounts of money, borrowing at a rate which just cannot continue. A few simple figures will make this very clear...we will just have to reorganise government spending so that we can only undertake those things we can afford.”
— then Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey,
9 January 1980
“Common responsibility for the European currency will also engender a common decision-making instance for the European economy. It is unthinkable to have a European central bank but not a common leadership for the European economy. If there is no counterweight to the ECB in European economy policy, then we will be left with the incomplete construction which we have today... However even if the building is not finished it is still true that monetary union is part of a supranational constitution... It is our task for the future to work with the appropriate means for the transfer of traditional elements of national sovereignty to the European level.”
– Italian President Carlo Ciampi,
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 8, 2000
“The euro is Europe's key to the 21st century. The era of solo national fiscal and economic policy is over.”
– German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder,
December 31, 1998
...& back from fairyland to the present:
“No amount of synthesized growth can evaporate global debt. Trying to sell creditors, debtors and taxpayers on the idea that it can be done is a futile and dangerous proposition. Time is not a variable. There is debt that is owed and only money or assets-in-kind can satisfy it.”
– Paul Brodsky / Lee Quanitance
"a group of basket-case politicians who have redefined the meaning of ineptitude"
- Grant Williams on Eurozone leaders
(yeah, as if you had to guess).
"Oh Dear! I had not realised until taking up blogging how many self-delusionists there are wandering around unsupervised."
- Lord Tebbit
"The Germans will pay up, accept eurobonds, and mobilise enormous firepower. They are not out of ammo yet but this won't save monetary union in the end because it is not a debt crisis. It is a currency crisis. The weaker states are uncompetitive and you cannot force them to deflate their way back to competitiveness by cutting wages 30pc. The EU elites won't admit it, but the euro experiment is over."
- David Heathcoat-Amory,
former UK Minister on Europe
"I'm all in favour of sticking plaster, it's just it's not a substitute for having proper medical treatment"
- Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England
lamenting the non-resolution of Euroquake.
“Now that the skies are cloudless and blue, the fair-weather revolutionaries are drifting back to Wall Street. What would Lenin have thought of an army that could be dispersed by a spot of drizzle? Not a great deal – and if the media stopped hyping the Occupy movement, neither would we.”
- Tim Stanley
Articles of the Week
a> I was talking about data this week. For those who still don’t get the idea of just how much data one can analyse, try this fascinating insight in to the sales of Wal Mart:
b> An interesting perspective on Germany’s rules orientation which does not neccessarily fit comfortably with Britain or many other parts of Europe:
c> My assistant Slawek spotted this, written by one of his neighbours in Bydgoszcz, Poland, a fine discussion of the bumps in the carpet risk associated with revolutions:
d> True winter sucks but I can’t resist this story for a little bit of optimism for those of you stuck in the crisis torn west: “Lifestyle 'is better in Poland than UK': Less crime, violence - and cheaper too:
e> Mayor of London Boris Johnson writes magnificently, here on the topic of the EU version of the Dukan finance programme:
f> In the wake of the MF Global collapse, the CFTC are clearly keen to bolt stable doors:
g> I was going to give you a rather self-serving link here where Charles Crawford said nice things about me for getting him on Russia Today’s splendid channel - but I won’t well not too obviously anyway.
Rather, I liked his missive about pond life, German politics and the Euro:
h> This week will see the 60th anniversary of the world's first business computer...and its British! Lyons was once the sort of integrated silo business that would make Deutsche Boerse blush nowadays:
- think about that, a computer that ran for...well longer than the career of many Mediterranean pensioners...
Speech of the Week
With NASDAQ building an exchange in London and LSE apparently spouting anti-vertical rhetoric in Brussels while building their own vertical with LCH.Clearnet, it is clear Reto Francioni of the Frankfurt suburbs is keen to get his deal done:
Number of the week
444 (Euros) is the opening premium from Allianz for insuring space tourists. One wonders against what? I mean have they already built hospitals in outer space to accommodate them? Will an Allianz ambulance rescue you from the upper reaches of the atmosphere in the event your shuttle flight goes wrong? On the other hand, if space tourism is really going to be a megatrend of the new millennium then I admire their optimism pricing the insurance in Euros... Oh and check the small print, gaining redress for time spent stranded on the moon can be really tricky apparently.
Cartoon of the week
As Merky, and her chihuahua Sarky are amongst those rushing to blamestorm all the problems of the Euro on perfidious Albion, Matt sparkles:
However, Russia Today’s magnificent depiction of how the Franco-German alliance is currently going ought to be enjoyed to a background of Richard Strauss’s classic opera rendition of Salome:
Until next week...our apologies we haven’t found any video of my CBC appearance last Saturday but hopefully soon...and thanks for all your feedback as always!
It remains my pleasure to talk at you.