Spygun Snapshots for 26 January, 2012
10:56 am Are we currently in the middle of a transition from our Western system of Capitalist Democracy to a form of Chinese-style State Capitalism? Certainly it would seem that the Eurozone has gradually embraced the concept of a more critical role for the State in its very direct impact on economic output. Am I the first to notice? It's all certainly beginning to feel as painful as a revolution!
10:36 am There isn't a single person in Europe or indeed the world who understands what is currently happening to the European economy. For those who do not believe that the Eurozone can collapse, I would point out that there was a time not so long ago when it was inconceivable that the USSR would collapse - but it did and what's more to the point - there is life after economic death. If there is to be a collapse, then political leaders should embrace it , because this pre-Wall Street crash atmosphere cannot be allowed to go on forever.
9:58 am Yet another meeting today between Greece and those IIF agents. Prediction: " We're close to an agreement". Then - another meeting. Then......anything to postpone that inevitable market collapse....
9:49 am Economy not so good? It's the weather, the Royal Wedding, Labour's mismanagement , Eurozone crisis, Global economic meltdown and world commodity prices - especially petrol and food. In other words, it is as we've suspected for a long time - our government has no control over the economy.
9:40 am Greece is going to have to legislate in order to force the private debtholders ( the hedge funds mostly) to accept the badly-needed "haircut " on the value of the bonds which they are holding. The private investors, represented by the toothless IIF would prefer Greece to default so that they can trigger their Default Swaps.
9:36 am The very wise George Soros has said that the IMF who should be taking the lead in the the Eurozone fiasco and not Europe's new self-appointed taskmasters - the Germans.
9:34 am Greek banks need to be recapitalised very soon and to a decent amount. Whatever happens in the next few days, weeks, months (who knows?), there is every likelihood of a massive run on Greek banks as the Greek people withdraw their cash as will institutional investors.
9:31 am I am getting a weird feeling of unease about the attitude of Angela Merkel and her cohorts in respect of Greece. Perhaps I'm being paranoid but is it possible that Frau Merkel and her chums are operating behind the scenes and doing everything that they can to limit any collateral damage which may be caused by a total Greek default? Does that explain the delays and half-hearted promises?
9:26 am More worries about the UK Border Agency and its work practices. For instance, last year the private security company G4S - an outside contractor provided guards to accompany detainees to Jamaica. 104 "escorts" accompanied the 35 detainees. On a similar trip to Lagos in Nigeria 131 escorts accompanied 53 detainees. Those trips and many more were on planes chartered by the Border Agency. The current spat is not about the expenditure on repatriation of undesirables but the verbal and physical abuse that they are subjected to .
9:05 am Nick Clegg's announcement today about raising tax thresholds is already in the Government's plan. He has been given "permission" by the Treasury to take a bit of the credit in telling us all about it in advance of the March Budget. Is it right that a Deputy Prime Minister has his work checked by the Treasury like naughty schoolboy and only then given permission ?
8:07 am In spite of political promises, UK economic growth will remain near-enough flat for the next 5-10 years. Once that has been accepted, progress of some sort can be made. As an aside, there will definitely be more Quantitative Easing by the Bank of England. Inevitable.
8:04 am The Government looks to be between a rock and a hard place. There will soon come a time when there will have to be increased government expenditure in order to generate some(any) sort of economic growth. Those Enterprise Zones were nothing but a brave schoolboy attempt to tempt budding entrepreneurs to take a risk in return for decreased rates!! Not much of an incentive but as usual, the Enterprise approach has been very useful to established companies who needed to save a few quid. Well, at least the removal and relocation companies have benefited. If the Chancellor does start to pump serious money into SMEs and Mid-sized businesses, he knows that the Labour Government will start bleating "We told you so!!!". Yet another example as to how Party Politics can be a major block to economic progress.
7:54 am Mid to long-term the United Kingdom has to stop its ridiculous love affair with Degrees. We all know that - but our education system is now totally geared towards degrees and "qualeefeecashuns". That is producing too many young unemployed and far too many graduates having to compete for McJobs instead of launching any kind of professional career. Germany loves its engineers and production workers. We love letters after our name. In this case, we should follow Germany's fine example.
7:44 am Angela Merkel at the World Economic Forum in Davos: " We need more Europe". She meant "We need more Germany"