Friday, May 14, 2010

Negotiation, French Style

Le President de la Republique, Nicolas "I heart Carla" Sarkozy, apparently threatened to pull France out of the Euro during last week's negotiations on the EU rescue plan, if the other EU countries did not sign up to the deal. This was aimed particularly at Merkel, as German citizens are less than impressed at the idea of hurling yet more money into the black hole of the EU.

Sarkozy demanded "a compromise from everyone to support Greece ... or France would reconsider its position in the euro," according to one source cited by El País.
"Sarkozy went as far as banging his fist on the table and threatening to leave the euro," according to one unnamed Socialist leader quoted, who was at the meeting with Zapatero. "That obliged Angela Merkel to bend and reach an agreement."

Hmm, "bend and reach", hey? "Bend over and hold onto something" may have been a better description of how that situation unfolded.

Two comments:
1. The Euro really is not that stable. Even if it was just posturing, the fact he would say it all shows he feels it can be done. If France can, why not Greece, or indeed Germany.
2. Zealotry is alive and well in the Eurozone. Sarko was willing to sacrifice everything to save Greece, while Merkel sacrificed her political career by agreeing to these terms.

It strikes me that the Eurozone has a real problem at the moment. They believe they are "above the market", and should not bow to speculators. However, so many of the barometers they use are entirely market-driven - the strength of the Euro, the Bond markets, even the stock markets as an indicator of economic recovery. They seem to have forgotten that the "market" is just a bunch of people, many of whom are based within the Eurozone and thus are not disinterested, Soros-style investors crushing the Euro for personal gain.

Gold is now at over 1,000 Euros per ounce, an insane level, and if the Euro falls below 1.24 against the USD then it really could go all the way down to 1.00.

It's all very far from over.

The Fall of Farmville?

These are my friends, because I am a tosser

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mixed Feelings

A strange day today. Part of me feels very excited about the whole thing - I can sort of see the merits of a Libservative coalition, and I must concede parts of the manifesto are appealing. It would seem the Lib Dems are relatively keen on repealing some of the damage done to civil liberties in the last few years, while the Tories seem to have kept in place their ideas on schools reform, and knocked on the head the silly idea of losing Trident and thus our sway with the UN. No arguments with the 10k personal tax allowance either, and I believe ID cards will die a quick and painless death. So part of me understands where Charlotte Gore is coming from here.

However, part of me also knows where Herr Clown is coming from here (and he's not the only one).

I believed before the election that all three parties are fundamentally pretty much the same. I do not believe that this coalition will make any meaningful efforts to reduce the role of Government in day-to-day life, which is a huge problem for me. The Tories are apparently pleased to have kept their "£6bn cuts this financial year and a reversal of some planned rises in national insurance contributions" (from this article). Well, pardon me for not getting too excited, but last time I checked, the National Debt was £912,123,669,658, but that was 3 seconds ago so it is probably a few grand higher.

This debt is the defining issue of the next 5 years. As AngryTeen said, and he should know since he is a yoof, "their bailouts will leave me with an unbelievable debt to pay". His generation will be saddled with a humongous debt burden to pay. Christ, if we're not careful, my two sons, whose combined age is 19 months, will be saddled with this debt. It needs sorting, and until I see some honest figures and a plan of action, my joy at Brown's departure is heavily tempered by the concern that not very much will change.

I am stoked about Brown going though, I can't deny it. Time for a new tag I think...See Ya!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A tiny sliver of joy

Seems Brown is finally packing his bags. Believe it when I the locks are changed, but my word, it is nice to have something positive out of the shite of the last few days. Still not convinced much will change, but at least the scorched earth policy Brown seems to have operated, either intentionally or by accident, may be reduced.

Cameron, your time is now. Step up and prove us all wrong. Prove you have the stones to slash public spending. Prove you really will tear up the quangos. Prove there is some spine lurking there somewhere.

Gordon Brown's Legacy

Sure this will get taken down before long, so to be sure it is captured for posterity, here is the BBC view on Gordon Brown's legacy.

That is all.

"The guy can't even resign properly"

Unbelievable. Being as I am fairly busy in the evenings with a new baby, I didn't have the chance to watch or read any news last night. I did see something about Brown resigning that warmed my heart, but it was all too hectic to I thought I'd read it at my leisure at work.

So here I am. First warning sign is the pound below 1.48 against the USD. What's going on, I wondered? And then I opened my Google Reader. Fuck me, what a shitstorm this is! The egregiously unpleasant, power-obsessed fabian turd has actually managed to do the worst possible thing for the country, with a bizarre half resignation. And the frigging spineless, unfit for purpose Lib Dims are seriously getting into bed with Labour?

I said this a couple of days ago, and I'll say it again. What exactly do these fuckers have to do in order to stop people voting for them and working with them? Do Labour actually not only need to shit on the carpet of every voter in the country, but also the carpet of every single Lib Dim MP as well, just to make doubly sure that people get it?

I'm actually slightly despondent this morning about it all. I thought the result might be the death of British politics, but I was wrong. This is. The political classes are so out of touch with anything that, while the country's economy is melting down under a colossal debt mountain, they are stamping their feet about reforming the electoral system. It's just awful.

As the Clown said:

Watch the markets. This isn't going to be ugly.

This is going to be Greek.

We will be cap in hand to the IMF, it'll be the late 70s all over again, before we see the back of Brown. Every politician (and I do mean every single one), every Labour voter, every pathetic journalist incapable of doing any work, understanding economics or searching out the truth, hang your head in shame. The UK is going down the toilet, and it is your fault.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What he said

Mr. Eugenides has it right

Put us out of our misery Cleggeron, please.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gordon Brown as Arnold Layne

Gordon Brown,
Had some strange habits,
The bizarre gurn,
Makes your stomach churn
It suits him fine.

On the wall, hung a tall mirror
Distorted view, Mandy says they love you
He dug it

Oh Gordon Brown,
Get out of town,
Why won't you go?
You should go.
You should go.
Why can't you see?

Now he's caught, in the Queen's court.
He begged to Clegg,
Too late, piss off mate
He hates it

Oh Gordon Brown,
Get out of town,
Why won't you go?
You should go.
You should go.
Why can't you see?

Gordon Brown, Gordon Brown, Gordon Brown, Gordon Brown,
Don't do it again.

The public wants what the public gets

Apologies in advance for swearing and general rage, not impressed.

What a monumental failure on the part of everyone, and I do mean everyone. Let's look at the list of failures shall we:

1. The British Public. 235 Labour seats at the last count. Ed Balls still has his seat. Ed fucking Balls. Hazel Christing Blears as well. What do these people have to do, actually come round to each voter's house and shit on their carpet before these pig-ignorant tools decide to vote for someone else? Seriously, you idiots in those constituencies, enjoy these devil children looking after your area. And by the way, if Labour somehow wangle their way into a minority coalition, enjoy that too. That's on you. When they destroy the country and the UK goes begging to the IMF, remember that you voted for that.

2. CMD. I know that Labour have gerrymandered the boundaries, bought a load of votes with benefits etc. but seriously. You couldn't beat Gordon Brown? You useless, spineless jellyfish.

3. Cleggmania and the Lib Dems. Don't, don't, don't, don't believe the hype.

4. The BBC. If there is one area of sympathy I have for the Tories, it's this. When the major state broadcaster turns against you for 20 years, and when many people believe that this broadcaster is impartial, it's hard to come back from that. So BBC, you can have a piece of this as well. I hope whoever does get in takes your licence fee away so all your Guardianista idiots can try the real world for a change.

5. I could go on and on, but I won't. Enough bile for a Friday.

Notice who I have left off the list? Labour and Brown. Gotta say credit to them, they really didn't underestimate the public. Hey fuckhead, I just spent 13 years ruining your country and saddling you and your children with ludicrous amounts of debt. Hey look, a squirrel. What was I saying? Oh nothing, just Vote Labour, here's a lollipop made of shit. Yeah, you like that, don't you. That's right you do.

Sorry Charlotte, I really do agree with everything you said here, but sometimes it's just too much.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Pound as a Safe Haven

Here's an interesting quote from a Foreign Exchange analyst at some Tokyo firm I've never heard of (emphasis mine)

"The pound is now considered to be a safe-haven currency from the euro zone, which is suffering from concerns over a contagion of sovereign problems," said Toshiya Yamauchi, a senior foreign-exchange analyst at Ueda Harlow Ltd. in Tokyo.

The Euro is truly up the creek if people are buying pounds against it for safety. This does not bode well...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Interesting Facts About Greece

In the light of the bailout package being more or less confirmed, I thought I would share with you some interesting facts about Greece and its economy.

A little reminder about the 110 million Euro bailout package first here

Fact 1: Greece has the lowest retirement age of anywhere in the EU at 61, this will be increased to 63 by 2015 apparently.

Fact 2: Greece imports 13% of the arms exported by Germany. Not a lot of people know this, but after the US and Russia, Germany is the third-largest exporter of arms in the world, at 11%, so that's a pretty massive expenditure. Incidentally, Turkey imports 14% of German's arms exports, so make of that what you will.

Fact 3: 95 percent of taxpayers declare annual income of less than 30,000 Euros. That's tax evasion on an absolutely monstrous scale.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The austerity package the Greek Government are forcing through (see here) is both crippling and laughably inadequate. Furthermore, every other austerity package of this nature has been accompanied by a sharp devaluation in the currency, which helps to soften the blow. There are problems with devaluation, most notably the risk of inflation, but it does reduce the debt burden. Greece of course can't do this, so they really will be on the hook for the lot, which is ridiculous.

Either Spain or Portugal will be next, and the EU have set a very dangerous precedent with this bailout. The market is unimpressed, which is why the Euro is below 1.32 against the Dollar, and even falling a bit against the very weak Pound. If the market believed the bailout package was anything more than a finger in the dyke, we'd see the Euro higher, but it doesn't. Neither do I.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Few Facts About Gordon Brown - from Subrosa

This is an absolute superlative article from Subrosa, everyone should read it, and BevaniteEllie and all the other drones should have a copy stapled to their foreheads so they can read it in the mirror every day until it sinks in.