Posted on May 2, 2013 by Robert Kyriakides
In the United Kingdom the Bank of England base rate is a mere half of one per cent, the lowest it has been in modern economic times. If you deposit money with a large bank or institution you will get a rate of interest tied to that half per cent; it may be a few points higher or a few points lower, depending on how long you are prepared to trust the bank with your money. In any event it will not produce a real return or even keep up with inflation, which is running comfortably more than 2.5% a year. (more…)
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: banks, base rate, borrowing, business, ECB, economy, euro, interest rate manipulation, lending, medium sized businesses, money, rate credit cards | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 30, 2013 by Robert Kyriakides
After the longest bank holiday in Cyprus (and probably in Europe) the banks are open for business. People can draw as much as euros 300 a day in cash. There are controls to prevent the flight of capital out of the country, because who, in his right mind, would not cut his losses in Cyprus if he could and who in his right mind would invest in Cyprus in circumstances when he knows that (a) he is not permitted to get his profits of his investment out (b) the European Union has taken a set against Cyprus and is punishing Cyprus for economic problems created by the profligacy Greece and a business model based on that of Luxembourg and Switzerland? (more…)
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: Cyprus, Cyprus banks, euro | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 20, 2013 by Robert Kyriakides
When Adolf Hitler and his mob had invaded a small nation it was important to them to give their conquest the appearance of legality. They did this by getting the leaders of the conquered nation to sign a document, chasing them around the table or making physical threats if necessary. It seems old habits die hard. When I wrote about the proposed Cyprus bank deposit tax last Sunday, I believed the story put out by all the news media that this tax was approved by the government of Cyprus as part of a deal with the European Central Bank. It now emerges that the ECB had rather chased Mr Anastasiades, around the table, but Mr Anastasiades did not sign. He said he would sign after the Cypriot government had approved the tax. It now emerges that the tax was dreamt up by the technocrats of the ECB and the European Union, not by the Cypriot government. (more…)
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: austerity measures, Cyprus, Cyprus bank tax, cyprus tax, ECB, EU, euro, government of cyprus, IMF, Nicos Anastasiades, politics | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 21, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
You can get used to almost anything. It may be that we get used to things because we are innately resourceful, or it may be that we get used to things because custom and time blunts the barbs of troubles, but we all of us get used to almost everything.
Sometimes an illness creeps upon you in very small steps that you confuse the disease with aging, and believe that you will always feel like this as you get older. There is a financial illness that afflicts the world today. (more…)
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: bankers, banking, banking crisis, banks, current-events, euro, Europe, gambling, youth unemployment | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 16, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
In Greece the people are listening to final arguments about whether they should continue to use the Euro as their currency or abandon the austerity in the hope that in doing so they will abandon the poverty that has afflicted Greece since austerity measures were introduced. It is presented as a choice between good and evil by some or a choice that makes no difference by others. It is more likely a choice between Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus chose Scylla as being the least bad option. He lost some men to the sea monster but did not lose the whole ship to the whirlpool of Charybdis.
The problem for the modern Odysseus is that no one knows whether staying in the euro is Scylla or Charybdis. My feeling is that Scylla is leaving the euro: it will cause harm and problems but fewer problems than staying in the euro, but in the nature of things, we shall never know which route was the least dangerous.
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: austerity measures, euro, Greece, scylla and charybdis, scylla and charybdis odysseus, Scylla.Charybdis | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 12, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
The euphoria over the EU deal to bailout the Spanish banks lasted just a few hours, as the market eventually understood that the “deal” showed more indecisiveness from the European Union. As a result share prices tumbled, the Euro became less valuable and countries like Spain and Italy are now borrowing at higher rates of interest that medium sized businesses pay for their money (if they can get it) in the United Kingdom. I rather suspect that the deal and the markets’ reaction to it will not encourage the Greeks to vote to support continued austerity. What is the point, after all, if you are better out of the euro than in it?
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: bailout, economy, euro, indecisiveness, spanish banks | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 24, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
When politicians do not know what to do, they hold a summit in the hope that the noise will be mistaken for action and the publicity of the event will mask the lack of ideas generated by it. The present meetings and statements about the crisis that is affecting Greece and the Euro is a case in point. There are no ideas except that the Greeks must make huge sacrifices to repay their debts. (more…)
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: bankruptcy rules, business, declaring bankruptcy, economy, euro, Eurozone, government, Greece, politics | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 19, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
It is odd how many people, companies, organisations and governments allow belief to prevail over reality. A problem can be staring you in the face but sometimes belief overwhelms reality and you do not recognise the problem, or, if belief allows you to recognise the problem, it fails to allow you to recognise the solution. Belief is a matter of feeling and reality is a matter of fact. Your beliefs may prevail where the facts are unknown or indistinct but if you allow belief to oeverwhel reality byou will make wrong decisions and ultimately come to a sticky end.
A good example of belief prevailing over reality is what is happening in the Eurozone. Governments, officials and policy makers are allowing their belief that the euro is a good thing for Europe to prevail over the reality that for many parts of the Eursozone the Euro is a bad thing.
I do not think that the Euro will survive for long as the national currency of twenty seven nations, each with very different habits and expectations. To believe that the euro will survive is to allow belief to prevail over reality.Such is the nature of wishful thinking.
Filed under: banking | Tagged: belief, euro, Eurozone, eurozone crisis, reality, wishful thinking | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 12, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
Posted on February 2, 2012 by Robert Kyriakides
The problems about the Euro rumble on. At the moment they centre on whether Greece can remain in the Euro zone but after the Greek problem has been solved, or solved itself one way or another, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland seem to be the dominoes next in line. I do not know if Greek debt is resolved whether its resolution will bring down the remaining dominoes. I tend to think it will, because market forces in these matters operate to create big uncertainties. (more…)
Filed under: banking | Tagged: banking, euro, eurozone problems, Greek debt, volume of daily forex trades, world GDP | 1 Comment »