Tag Archives: Brexit

‘Brexit’ . . . The Third Option

BREXIT photo

As the 24th June recedes into memory there is no doubt the establishment machinery has been working overtime to undermine the voice of the British majority decision to exit the EU, even suggesting many are having a change of heart.

The stock markets were beautifully manipulated to make small fortunes for those who already have large fortunes as they bounced back after the chaos of the vote. The IMF  reckon Britain will outstrip Germany, France and Italy’s growth forecasts and our own Bank of England report our economy has not slowed since the Brexit vote . . . So much for the end of the world!

Whilst the ‘presstitutes’ now focus on the triggering of Article 50, our new government is preparing for the supposed two years of negotiations to enable our extraction from Brussels influence.

The question nobody seems to be asking, in all of this hype and scaremongering, is the very real possibility that those negotiations won’t actually go the distance, because the EU has collapsed.

As time passes the problems for Brussels seem to be escalating, as the technocrats lurch from one regulated disaster to the next. With the benefit of hindsight, we should have read the warning signs of over regulation in the 70’s, with the famous beef and butter ‘mountains’ and wine ‘lakes’.

Then we saw the introduction of the disastrous single currency, designed to bring about financial control over the EU. Time has now shown that it is beyond possibility to try and manage the individual financial environments of many different countries in such a manner.

This one piece of mismanagement has led to building a toxic financial environment that is no longer sustainable without blatant subterfuge. Negative interest rates are not only killing the traditional business of banks but also crucifying pensions investment and the future incomes of hundreds of millions who have paid in with utmost good faith.

Moving from the financial to the political, we now have the political pantomime that has seen France, Germany and Italy declare a summit in Italy next month following the aftermath of the UK exit. We have G20 and G7, is this E3? I can only see it as another very expensive taxpayer funded ‘bun fight’, as I question the credibility that will give substance to these three getting together?

Let’s start with Germany, where Merkel is just about hanging on to power, with her country overrun with refugees she has invited in without reference to the other members and who are frightening off tourists as fast as the immigrants appear.

Her posturing and dictates also give no clue to the fact that her country is about to financially implode. Hers is the first Eurozone country to issue negative interest debt, something the ECB will not (currently) redeem in event of problems.

For over a year now the financial pundits have been saying the country’s largest bank by far, Deutsche Bank, is in serious trouble. Its share price has dropped 48% since last July, motivating finance minister Wolfgang Schauble to declare in February he has “no concerns about Deutsche Bank”, something finance ministers don’t say about ‘healthy’ banks!

The bank has been selling more of its shares and issuing ‘contingent convertible bonds’ to raise desperately needed capital, all of which have gone to further depressing it share price and credibility!

Such is global concern that Deutsche Bank will become the next Lehman Brothers that the IMF, no less, have publicly branded it the riskiest globally significant bank, at a time when its US businesses also failed a Federal Reserve stress test. If/when this bank collapses, the reverberations will make 2008 look like a walk in the park.

Then we have Italy, where the IMF have also declared the country’s banks, who have seen their share price plummet by more than 50% this year alone, pose a particular threat to the economic outlook. “Unless asset quality and profitability problems are addressed in a timely manner, lingering problems of weaker banks can eventually weigh on the rest of the system” came their warning.

Monte Dei Paschi is Italy’s third largest publicly traded bank and its particular distinction is that no bank in Europe has fallen so low so fast without completely crashing. Two years ago their shares were worth between €5 and €9 and today they are worth €0.33. What keeps it on life support is constant taxpayer bailouts, something a Merkel bullied Brussels has now pulled the carpet on.

Here lies the embarrassment for premier Renzi before his summit with France and Germany, rumour has it he is contemplating going head to head with Brussels and enacting a unilateral sovereign rescue of the Italian banking system.

How will he face Merkel, who insisted upon ‘bail ins’ over ‘bail outs’ and has gone on record as saying “We wrote the rules for the credit system, we cannot change them every two years”. If Merkel gives in it will make a mockery of her ‘bail in’ rules before they have been properly used, to say nothing of the political fallout if, once again, there is a raid upon taxpayer’s money to save a bankrupt financial system.

Whether she maintains her position or waivers, neither is an endorsement of her direction of EU policy, or the credibility of Brussels regulations.

What cannot also be overlooked is that Italy is the EU’s third largest economy, with €2.23 trillion of public debt, €400 billion of which is stagnating in Italian banks as bad loans, making them not only ‘too big to fail’ but also ‘too big to save’!

Finally, we have France’s contribution to the ‘toxic trio’ and their pompous little president, who is now traveling around the EU to secure unity in the face of these pending financial disasters, the Greek fiasco and Brexit and being publicly booed for his troubles. (Or perhaps it’s because of the $14,500 of taxpayer money he spends each month on haircuts!  Where is his credibility, when his popularity rating at home is now reported at below 10%?

As Philippe Le Corre noted in the Financial Times, opinion polls show that 61% of French people “hold unfavourable views of the EU”. Two-thirds feel that ”the EU has failed them economically”. By contrast to the UK, it’s the young who have been among the hardest hit, with massively high unemployment. “It is likely that they would vote for “Frexit” in a referendum”, says Le Corre.

This seems to be lost on Martin Schultz, President of the EU Parliament, who stated quite clearly: “It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate”. (So what is the point of the elected members of this parliament, or indeed this parliament?!!!) And this pearl of wisdom comes only weeks after the people of one of the EU’s largest contributors demanded a return of democracy following their Referendum on membership on 23rd June.

The European Commission’s attempts to drive through the trade deal with Canada (CETA) is pouring more petrol on the glowing embers of discontent, as it is now close to collapse after a German political party sued Brussels over its implementation. “it reveals once more the cavernous differences opening up between different member states which have effectively rendered the European project unworkable”, according to one recent report.

The only logic appears to be that this undemocratic move by Brussels creates a precedent for the equally undemocratic TTIP trade deal with the US, which is running in the face of huge public protest.

It will only take the effects of one of these trade deals, or the collapse of a bank, on top of the mounting problems of immigration, to trigger revolt in an already unstable union, which it is not that far off if Brussels pursues its present political stance.

Two years of exit negotiations . . . we shall see.

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

‘Brexit’ . . . The World is Watching

“Power, once acquired, is rarely returned – either to God (if you are the pope) or to the people (if you are the EU)” – Giles Fraser

As the arguments for ‘Stay’ and ‘Leave’ intensify what neither side can argue is that calling for a Referendum is evidence enough that there are serious problems with how the EU is being run

. . . If all was well there would be no Referendum QED.

What is lost in the intensity of debate is that the problems created by Brussels are no different to the problems being experienced by hundreds of millions of people around the world today. The cry for a return to democracy grows ever louder, with nationalism and localism the dominant theme of this global upheaval.

Across the Eurozone many focussed movements are demanding regional independence, from Scotland to Catalonia and even beautiful Venice. We also now have a strong resistance to governance by Brussels, which started out in Greece and Spain but has ventured into France, Germany, Italy, Holland, the Netherlands and others, signified by changes of national government in many cases.

(In Germanys case Merkel promised her people Greece would repay all of the money greedy German banks had lent it and when this backfired tried to divert attention by setting off an economic invasion of Europe by cosying up to the Muslims, which has resulted in her support crashing below 40%, and stimulating demands for a UK style Referendum.)

Even Iceland, the only country to jail its corrupt bankers, is experiencing similar upheaval, as people demand more accountability from their elected officials from a new ‘people configured’ constitution.

Moving outside Europe we see similar unrest in the birthplace of Neoliberalism, America, where both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have rocked the political establishment with their determination for ‘change’ away from an eroding democracy and the decimation of the middle classes.

Instability is also rising in Saudi Arabia, which follows on from the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010 and continues today, referred to by some as the ‘Arab Winter’, which could contribute to political restructuring by the Autumn.

Travelling even further afield we find what has been described as the ‘Southeast Asian Donald Trump’, in the newly elected choice of the people, President Rodrigo Duterte. His track record is impressive as one of the longest serving mayors in the Philippines, demonstrating his popularity with the people.

What global media are keen to avoid reporting is that people want change from dominating Neoliberal values which are enriching the already rich and corporations, whilst dismantling democracy and thereby increasing the power of the few.

From America to Australia and back the destabilisation of ordinary people’s lives is wreaking havoc. Breadwinners are no longer guaranteed stable employment with which to put an ever increasingly costly roof over their family’s heads.

In a recent piece Paul Embury makes one of many very valid points: the most fundamental workers’ right of all – the right to work – has been denied to millions as a direct result of austerity-induced mass unemployment.”

Children’s education is being abused and distorted by the agendas of politicians and corporations seeking to ‘train’ rather than educate. And once their ‘education’ is finished the youth are incapable of building their own lives because of lack of jobs and bowed down with debt.

This debt too is not just restricted to the young but is now endemic within our lives, as the Rothschild’s/Rockefeller global banking cartel creates an ever more corrupt financial system that is seeking to enslave rather than provide a supportive service.

Unstable employment and overpowering debt create insecurity and if there is one thing we do not like as a species, it’s insecurity. In my lifetime we have gone from ‘womb to tomb’ security, with steady employment, stable prices and support in ill-health and retirement, to constantly reducing living wages (for the majority) and an equally reducing quality of life through the destruction/privatisation of established Social services.

Neither is there any sign of remission from this trek to the bottom, as shed loads of money is printed out of thin air and passed to the already rich to further expand their wealth.

I believe the turning point for Europe came with the failure of the single currency and the Troika’s barbaric crushing of our established democracy in its birthplace, Greece. The warmth of European amalgamation was shattered by this public display of power, showing in no uncertain terms who actually runs the EU.

Even one year on, fresh loans are being negotiated, not to restore people’s lives and build a future for the country but expressly to meet the interest repayments on the mountains of odious debt that have been inflicted upon the country by dubious moneylending practices.

This and the many other publicly acclaimed disasters, resulting from the ECB’s policies of ‘Austerity’ and Negative Interest Rates, together with Brussels even more disastrous handling of the immigration problem have also highlighted how, no matter how big the brain dead idea is, elected and unelected officials who run the EU are incapable of admitting to their mistakes. They consider themselves infallible and in this certainty have constructed a regime from which they can never be ousted.

For years’ government after government has been talking about ‘reform from the inside’ but time has shown that Brussels is unreformable because it has been designed to defy any such moves. There is no mechanism by which reform can be initiated or carried out. The EU parliament is incapable of initiating or repealing the legislation that is generated by unelected officials.

We are electing MEP’s who have no power. They are neutered and so are we, the people. You really couldn’t make this sort of stuff up! Fortunately, we are becoming aware of this now and this is why the unrest is no longer the stuff of conspiracy theory.

There is no doubt there is also a growing hostility to Brussels plans for further expansion of the EU after Netherlands rejection of Ukraine. This hostility was further exacerbated when Brussels declared it would ignore the Netherlands vote and allow Ukraine in anyway.

Such arrogance does not inspire and only foments increasing animosity against this bureaucratic dictatorship. Given this and so many other examples of Brussels defiance of the people, we can be certain of one thing. If the UK votes to remain on 23rd June, this renewed confidence in how Brussels is running things will ensure the democracy breaking TTIP trade agreement will become a certainty, hammering another brutal nail in the coffin of our already dwindling liberties.

We are not alone in our frustrations and anger. Our deliberations upon our future are being watched intensely by a world seeking some sort of acknowledgement and leadership out of the current global abuses of Neoliberalism.

Breaking up Brussels, so that we may reform the EU into the sort of democratic union we all want, would be the first meaningful step in this global and just rebellion.

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes