Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wheels Fall Off Greek Bailout Wagon

Unsurprisingly the wheels have fallen off the Greek bailout wagon.

Not only have the IMF refused to give another penny until it sees a concrete plan from the Europeans to substantially cut the country’s debt burden, the Greeks are now reneging on their promises to make some "technical" adjustments to legislation already passed in order to comply with the fine print of the bailout "agreement".

All of this in less than a week!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Greek Bailout Deal NOT Agreed

It transpires that despite the media and Eurogroup hype that a Greek bailout deal has been agreed, as usual the reality is completely different.

Aside from the fact that the IMF has nixed it, it is reported by ekathimerini that Greek government officials and representatives of the country’s international creditors discussed on Thursday a series of “technical details” that Greece must legislate in order to secure a sub-tranche of 7.2 billion euros in loan funding, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis said.

Houliarakis conceded that creditors want to see “a large amount of technical improvements” to legislation that Greece passed into law last week. In its provisions relating to nonperforming bank loans, which will henceforth be subject to sale, the government did not include loans guaranteed by the state. The omission was discussed by the ministers, creditor representatives and Bank of Greece officials during a teleconference.

Quel surprise!

What's the betting that the technical details never get passed by the Greek parliament?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

IMF Nixes Greek Bailout "Deal"

As per the BBC:
"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced it is not yet ready to join the EU's new bailout for Greece, saying it needs further details. 

A senior IMF official told reporters in Washington that EU creditors had yet to specify what debt relief measures they planned to take."
Well then, that didn't take long to unravel!

The Pain In Spain

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Eurogroup Agrees Euro10BN Greek Bailout

The Eurogroup has agreed a Euro10BN bailout for Greece.

However, before people crack open the champagne there are a number of catches wrt the bailout:

1 The money will not go to the Greek people, but be used to pay interest on Greek debt (ie it goes back to the creditors).

2 In order to get the money Greece has had to pass further austerity measures.

3 There is no unconditional debt relief, as demanded by the IMF. Instead there is a vague promise to consider it later.

4 Greece will never implement the austerity measures, nor stick to the agreement.

5 The IMF caved in on its demand frop unconditional debt relief. Instead it has accepted the deal on the promise of a DSA and the possibility of debt relief being considered in the future.

In short absolutely nothing has changed, this is merely a means of ensuring that the creditors will continue to have their debts serviced.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

IMF Demands Unconditional Greek Debt Relief

The IMF has demanded that Greece be granted “unconditional” debt relief, if it is to stand any chance of getting its finances back under control and return to fiscal health.

An IMF debt sustainability analysis (DSA) described additional cuts faced by Athens as “daunting”, as it warned that “ambitious” targets agreed with the country’s creditors would be hard to achieve.

The IMF has called for a moratorium on debt payments until 2040.

All very well and nice, except that the other creditors don't agree. Today's Eurozone finance ministers meeting will be interesting to say the least.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cameron and Co Talk Bollocks, Whilst Greece Asks for More of The Same

The ongoing tsunami of hysterical warnings about the consequences of the UK voting #Brexit (wherein house prices would fall, the cost of food would rise etc) continue unabated.

However, as calmer heads have pointed out, leaving a high tariff bloc in favour of free trade will most likely cause a reduction in the costs of foodstuffs etc and a fall in the value of sterling would benefit the UK economy.

Cameron and co are talking bollocks and have no idea what the future outside the EU will bring, any more than they can predict and control market forces whilst we remain within the EU.

Meanwhile Greece's ruling coalition, led by prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party, has backed the last part of a €5.4bn austerity package that includes further tax hikes as well as automatic spending cuts if budget targets are missed.

For why?

Greece is desperate to remain in the Eurozone.

Yet the price of that desperation is the wholesale destruction of the Greek economy, and the consignment of Greece's youth to decades of unemployment.

Why is Greece so desperate to remain in an organisation that is sucking the very lifeblood out of the country?

UK voters should take note as to the true economic consequences of remaining in the EU club!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ludicrous IMF Claims About Ludicrous Greek Debt

The IMF has been proven wrong so many times before, quite why anyone should take its 2060 prediction about Greek debt (which itself is an unknown and uncontrolled mess) seriously is beyond belief.

The IMF can no more predict what will happen to Greek debt in the coming months, than it can predict what will happen in 44 years time.

Utterly ludicrous and utterly futile!

Another €10BN Bailout For Greece?

The keyword is "could".

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Great Pension Con

Andy Haldane, the chief economist of the Bank of England, has said that consumer confidence in the financial services industry had been damaged because even he cannot make "the remotest sense" of most pension deals.

He is quoted by the Telegraph:
"I consider myself moderately financially literate - yet I confess to not being able to make the remotest sense of pensions.

Conversations with countless experts and independent financial advisers have confirmed for me only one thing - that they have no clue either. 

That is a desperately poor basis for sound financial planning."
He is absolutely correct. However, I would also add that he has ignored the elephant in the room; namely that pensions are a con:

1 The enforced contribution to the state pension is a means the government uses to forcibly borrow from taxpayers.

2 Pension funds are sucked dry by management charges and piss poor investment decisions by said "managers".

For all the good they do, it would be better that the pension funds be paid out in full as cash on retirement to the hapless pensioners (instead of leaving it in a fund to be sucked dry by management fees and inept investment decisions) so that they can at least enjoy the money before they become too old.

The 2012 LinkedIn Hack Comes Back To Haunt It

Once hacked, a system is forever vulnerable!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

UK Employment Rate Hits Record High

The proportion of people in work across the UK has hit a new record high.

The latest labour market report, released by the ONS, shows that the employment rate has hit 74.2%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971. The unemployment rate remains unchanged at 5.1% in Q1.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

IMF Greek Proposal Doomed To Failure

Monday, May 16, 2016

Nissan Drawn Into Emissions Scandal

Nissan has been drawn into the emissions scandal after South Korea claimed that is had fitted its vehicles with equipment to cheat pollution controls.

South Korea’s environment ministry said that Nissan had fitted diesel-powered Qashqai sports utility vehicles with “defeat devices” in order to enable it to pass emissions tests.

The Telegraph reports that Nissan has denied any wrongdoing, and said it had “never illegally manipulated any vehicles we have produced so far [or] used defeat devices in those cars".

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New MPC Member Scaremongers Over #Brexit Rates

Michael Saunders, who was chief economist at Citibank, and who will join the MPC in August has warned that the Bank of England will need to raise its key interest rate or Bank Rate to 3.5% by the end of next year if Britain votes to leave the EU.

For why?

Allegedly the pound will collapse.

Whilst this is all very attention grabbing and headline generating, it is in fact utter bollocks:

1 The markets have already priced in a #Brexit vote

2 Any economic "shocks" to the British economy following #Brexit (were one to believe the warnings from those proselytising Project Fear) will most likely be deflationary not inflationary, as such any pressure on rates will be downwards most certainly not upwards.

Rate hike fears are simply another layer of fear being added by those who want the UK to remain in the EU.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Nationwide Increases Mortgage Age Limit To 85

Nationwide, Britain’s largest building society will raise its maximum age limit on mortgage lending to 85 as lenders battle to attract older customers.

As from July, all existing borrowers at Nationwide will be entitled to apply for a mortgage term that can run up to their 85th birthday, which will be the highest age limit of any high street lender.

The new age limit would apply to existing customers for all its standard mortgages, but the maximum loan size would be £150,000, and could be no greater than 60% of the property value.

Halifax has also increased its age limit for mortgages from 75 to 80.