An Inconvenient Interference

Politicians do not like democracy. It is an inconvenient interference in the running of the places they govern and reminds them, too clearly, that politicians are servants, not masters.  Continue reading

Put Your Fingers in Your Ears and Sing Loudly

Unfortunately banking is important in every economic system. I write “unfortunately” because bankers and banks have singularly failed to understand that their decisions not only affect the wealth of their shareholders but also the prosperity of all the people who live in the regions in which they operate. So far banks and bankers have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to discharge their duties (for which they are handsomely paid) without adversely affecting the lives and well-being of millions of folk, many of whom have no direct connection with the banks and bankers. Continue reading

Huffing and Puffing to Blow the Euro House Down

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. Continue reading

Odd Things – Belief and Reality

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.

A Scheme of Arrangement

When is a default not a default? Continue reading

Trying to fix the unfixable

Over the past few weeks governments have been grappling with the financial crisis in the Eurozone. Governments can only justify their existence if their rationale is to protect the people they govern and ensure that those people are safe, free and can pursue their dreams. The problems of the euro, with Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal all approaching insolvency, seem to be beyond the solution of governments. The intense work that governments have undertaken over so many months to “save” the euro has not provided a solution and it is unlikely that the present plans will provide a solution.

If you cannot solve a problem then you have to live with it and suffer the consequences. The consequences of not being able to protect the euro, the banks that lent to some nations, and ultimately the dream of a united Europe may be drastic, but consequences of spending time and energy in trying to fix the unfixable are worse. Better to spend the energy and time in fixing what we can fix.

Currencies dropping like stones

The markets have not yet thought about it, but the biggest threat to the Euro is not Greece, Ireland or Portugal, but the dangers posed by the fourth largest economy in Europe, which is also the third largest in the Eurozone, that of Italy. Italy is passing austerity measures but the measures may not be enough. The problem that the Euro faces is that there is little central control over the EU economy, control that exists affects states within Europe that have not adopted the Euro, as well as those that have. Continue reading