Crisis for that last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the centre of all infinity as trust hits record low, the Guardian reports.
The blind idiot god encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a demonic flute held in nameless paws “could do much better if its institutions coordinated better”, according to a press release issued today.
Voting to leave Brussels will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.
- Boris Johnson, leader of the Conservative Party during the EU referendum of 2017 (as imagined by David Charter in Au Revoir, Europe: What if Britain left the EU?)
Cyprus has a ‘bailout‘ deal blessed by the EU. Certain bondholders face being wiped out.
Now I seem to recall when Ireland got its bailout blessed by the EU, it was expressly forbidden to wipe out bondholders, I am right?
Now if I also recall, many of those bondholders were German, whereas many of the bondholders in Cyprus are Russian.
I am reminded of a certain song…
This article from John Phelan, at The Commentator, is worth reading:
The last paragraph is particularly telling. It is good, in a grim sort of way, that people have been alarmed at the idea of governments grabbing savings. But what on earth do people think governments do already? Consider the central banks’ “quantitative easing” policies. Printing money benefits those who get the new money first against those who do not; savers lose out when a government “reflates” an economy. In the UK, for example, inflation – understated by government statistics – is in the low but significant single digits and over a relatively short period, will devastate savings due to the impact of compounding. The proposals from leftist politicians for a so-called “wealth tax” in the UK is merely another form of property rights confiscation, but then again, income taxes are a form of confiscation in that they confiscate the products of work. Confiscation is what governments with a monopoly on the use of physical force do. It is one of their defining characteristics.
Meanwhile, Detlev Schlichter has an interesting new item up about the Cypriot disaster. What is notable about it is that he does not adopt a lazily predictable “bash the eurozone” stance here.
In particular, Schlichter kicks against the assumption that what was proposed – taking a slice of deposits – is somehow uniquely evil:
In December last year, I had some delicious seafood in one of a chain of restaurants in Cyprus. The chain was actually South African owned, and the style of cooking was actually Cape Malay. The restaurant didn’t mention either of these things in its advertising, signage, or on its menue. There was a vague suggestion that it was Cajun. (Being very vague about where they come from is a skill South African businesses picked up in the apartheid era, and they haven’t lost it). When I got my bill and paid by credit card, I was intrigued to see that the merchant bank was not a local Cypriot bank, but was a South African bank. I was slightly mystified by this at the time (other than that it is no secret that, well, interesting capital flows go through Cyprus), and wondered if the restaurant and the bank shared ownership for reasons similar to the reasons why the mafia also finds it convenient to own lots of restaurants.
Possibly, though, the situation is simpler. The Cypriot banks were and are bust. A South African company doing business in Cyprus does not trust the Cypriot financial system and is avoiding it as much as possible by bringing its own bank. Perhaps my payment for seafood was going directly to somewhere else in the euro area rather than to a Cypriot registered institution. Possibly it was going further afield. Some of the species of seafood on the menu were not native to the Mediterranean, so there were certainly foreign payments to be made, and that part would at least be legitimate to some extent. (To be fair, seafood may be one of the world’s most globalised industries, and this is true of almost any seafood restaurant anywhere). Someone, though, may have suspected what was coming.
“More regulation” is the cry in every gagging throat, following the revelation that numerous cheap meat dishes in several supermarkets that were labelled as beef or lamb actually contained horsemeat.
Regulation caused the problem in the first place.
From today’s Times (subscriber only):
Unintended consequences, again. It would make a horse laugh.
Emphasis added. Do not, however, expect this aspect to be emphasised in the Radio 4 Food Programme. I could be proved wrong; there is a podcast here which I am not in the mood to listen to, but so far the BBC’s coverage has been a relentless flow of, if you will forgive yet another revolting processed meat metaphor, pink slime.
An independent Ireland – an interesting idea, so when are they leaving the E.U. then?
Surely rule from Brussels is no more “independence” than rule from London.
- Paul Marks
Here is a classic piece of nonsense to start this week in chilly Britain:
- (From a report from Reuters.)
I read this report carefully and nowhere does it say that the firms concerned have broken laws, engaged in fraud, or used violence or engaged in criminal acts. They are taking full advantage of the laws of the jurisdictions with which they have contact, as their shareholders would expect them to do in maximising shareholder returns. If politicians really wanted to reduce what they see as such dodgy tax avoidance, perhaps they should enact taxes that are simple, low, and flat. This is not rocket science, as the 2020 Tax Commission report issued last year showed.
The recent naming and shaming of Starbucks, for example, of simply making use of legal arrangements, was particularly odious. No wonder people are thinking that we are living in a world like something from the pages of Atlas Shrugged.
Tim Worstall writes about this sort of issue a lot, usually in the process of skewering that socialist “accountant” from Wandsworth, Richard Murphy. Tim is always entertaining and instructive at the same time.
A large chunk of the Political Class is starting show all the signs of an entrenched deeply entitled group starting to smell the whiff of the great unwashed upwind of them.
My gawd, what might happen if people in the UK actually got a choice about the EU?
But of course anyone who thinks that Dave Cameron actually wants the UK out of the EU, in spite of mild bleeting about ‘renegotiation’, is quite frankly a wilfully blind fool. My only hope is that Dave is stupid enough to think that he can ride that particular wild horse and keep it under control and taking sugar from his hand without biting his fingers off.
Fortunately I think he really is that stupid.
One of Obama’s apparatchiks has said that Britain’s membership of the EU was in the American interest.
Two responses spring to mind.
The first was… So what? This remark was obviously aimed the the dismal British government but furthering ‘the American interest’ should be very low on the list of priorities of any government that is not located in Washington DC. So even if it was true (and frankly nothing could be further from the truth), this should be of trivial import to anyone in the Sceptred Isles.
The second was… ok, so how much are you willing to pay for that “US interest”? If the US interest is served by continued British membership of the sclerotic EU, then perhaps the hapless US taxpayer should get shafted for, oh, lets say 50% of the cost?
“If you think that Westminster exists in a bubble, you should try Brussels. For the 18th successive year, the auditors have failed to approve the EU’s accounts. Meanwhile, the EU wants much more money.”
- Roger Bootle. He is writing in the Daily Telegraph, but given that the DT now imposes a paywall on non-UK readers, I am not going to bother with the link.
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