Sunday, 5 July 2015

Greek referendum

The Greeks are going to the polls today to vote either yes or no.

I do not claim to understand the question, but from an outsider's position I can see either a bad result or an even worse result. That is usually language that a comedian uses, but here it seems to be relevant.

Only tomorrow will tell.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Terrorist naming conventions

Parliament is about to debate whether to allow our armed forces which are currently bombing locations in Iraq and turning round at the border of Syria and flying home, to continue into Syria and bomb locations there. They say it is different now. How is it different? have less people died?

No it is a matter of who to upset or not.

My focus today is on naming. Recently the BBC was praised for not calling I.S./I.S.I.S./ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] the Islamic State as it offends Muslims. Fair enough, but these people who are offended have not advised us what to call them instead!

If they are suggesting that we do not call them anything, then that could be a little difficult as we love to label everything.

Earlier today the defence secretary Michael Fallon started calling them Isil-Daesh part way through his speech, is this the new black?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Credible Gatwick

The report is in and Gatwick is in a very good position for getting it's second runway. The restrictions that would be placed onto Heathrow to allow it to comply with today's regulations mean that it would no longer be a viable operation.

Gatwick has excellent rail connections. It is connected to 125 rail stations directly, and by the end of the decade it will be closer to 200. Heathrow is connected to six.

Gatwick also wins on noise, Heathrow impacts about 800,000 people whereas Gatwick impacts only about 3% of that number — a very tiny population. That’s because it is to the south of the city in a relatively sparsely populated area.

Unlike Heathrow, a new runway at Gatwick, will not interfere with existing motorway connections or rail services: “Already, the Sevenoaks junction round to Godstone on the M25 has been made four lanes wide, and that is going to go all the way round to Reigate in the coming years. Likewise, it will be four lanes all the way to Gatwick on the M23.

Of course the final nail in Heathrow's coffin is the Prime Minister's statement when David Cameron said "No ifs, no buts, no Heathrow third runway".

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Greek climax

They have defaulted.

What does that mean?

They have passed an agreed time and not paid the agreed amount. Nothing too strange about that. However, it has taken a long time to get to this point.

There is no fighting on the streets, but then I did not predict that would happen within minutes of the default, merely that without pay for civil servants, [Police & Military] the security of Greek society would weaken considerably.

Funnily enough there is still another date [two in fact] to watch before anything really drastic happens. 1) July 5th Sunday's referendum and then 2) July 20th when Greece must repay a bond to the European Central Bank.

This saga is far from over...

Monday, 29 June 2015

Market uncertainty

Heading into the middle of 2015, Europe is at an impasse, with Greece saddled with debts it cannot pay and its creditors unwilling to hand over more cash without reforms.

It is now clear that there are no more bailouts for Greece so what is going to happen to world markets after Greece defaults?

Greece's economy has been in a shambles for six years. Unemployment tops 25 percent, and the rate of joblessness among the young hovers around 50 percent. Greece owes €9.7bn to the IMF this year alone!

Economists are pessimistic that the Greek financial drama will end happily even though Alexis Tsipras had recently offered concessions on key issues such as taxation and increasing the retirement age. Many expect Greek banks to implement capital controls to prevent a mass exodus of funds. Deposits have already slumped around 20 percent since the start of the year, and the banking system would probably collapse without further assistance of the ECB.

It should be expected that the ECB will probably do whatever it can to help the other 27 countries after Greece fails, however, how long will it take for Greece to reintroduce it’s own currency?

Taking the point one step further down the path, if Greece does leave or is kicked out of the single currency, it will most probably suffer inflation, layoffs, capital flight, shortages of essential commodities, and civil unrest. Of course it still will not have the money to pay for it's public services which includes the Police and Armed Forces, now we are looking at a scenario that could make some of the previous meetings in Brussels pale into insignificance.

Friday, 26 June 2015

To lax on our eastern border

Recently the Queen made a speech in Berlin where she tried to impress upon her audience that we should strive to keep our partners together not only in the West but the East to. Well, what is happening in the East and does anyone care?

Are we being too complacent about President Putin?

Why did we allow him to just stroll into the Crimea?

How has he paid for shooting down a civil airliner?

As you start answering these questions, you come to realise that nothing is being done, the situation isn't even being debated. At least we are talking about Iran's nuclear capability, but when it comes to President Putin and Russia, nothing, nada, null.

We cannot afford to allow the situation in the East to just run. The pressure they are putting on border countries is close to intolerable.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Grexit continued...

Yesterday one billion Euros was withdrawn from the countries banks. It was not transferred from one bank to another, it has left the country or at least the official repositories and that is the start of the end. The domino effect will be too great for a recovery to be simple.

Somehow, Greece scraped together €1bn [£730m; $1.1bn] in debt payments to the International Monetary Fund in May, but Greece has already postponed June payments to the IMF and further hefty bills are due, to the IMF, European Central Bank and holders of short-term treasury bills.

However, the people are taking their money out and will probably not put it back.
Even if Greece leaves the Euro zone voluntarily or is thrown out, what future does it have?