Friday, 3 October 2008

Blogs : 3rd October

Reshuffle blues. Richard, EUReferendum (en
Commissioner Mandelson leaves Brussels towards London. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
Wawel Cathedral. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)

Scapegoating the US lets others off too easily. Simon Tilford, Centre for European Reform (en)
" ... If some countries routinely run huge current account surpluses, others must run huge deficits. German and East Asian surpluses have to be invested somewhere and they got invested in housing and other assets in the US, UK and elsewhere ...
... In a European context, it is imperative that the German government takes steps to rebalance the German economy. Domestic savings need to fall and investment needs to rise ..."

Can The European Union Continue To Provide Peace, Stability And Prosperity? Stanley Crossick, (en)
" Perhaps my frustration is causing too much repetition of what I write. But I am depressed at our collective failure in Europe to pull ourselves together ... While much of the blame for the unpopularity and apparent lack of legitimacy falls upon the shoulders of national leaders, the EU institutions do not help. There are understandably many crticisms that the EU is doing too much and ‘interfering’ where it is unnecessary ..."

Russia’s Crisis Spreads Right Across The Domestic Credit Market. Edward Hugh, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... Russia’s international reserves actually rose $3.4 billion last week, following consecutive declines during each of the three previous weeks ... The value of Russia’s Forex reserves increased to $562.8 billion in the week to Sept. 26, after decreasing $900 million to $559.4 billion in the previous week ...
... About 47 percent of Russia’s reserves are held in U.S. dollars, 42 percent in euros, 10 percent in pounds and 1 percent in yen, according to the most recent figures released by the central bank on June 30, 2007 ...
... But while the bloodletting on the foreign exchange side seems to have abated for the time being - PNB Paribas estmated that some $57 billion were taken out of the country between Aug. 8 and Sept. 19, BNP Paribas - the outlook for Russia’s banking system has deteriorated significantly after been downgraded to a “negative” rating by Moody’s Investors Services ...
... One of the first casualties here would seem to be Moscow’s decade-long building boom as the sharp rise in interest rates squeezes developers in what has suddenly become the world’s third most expensive property market ..."

The embarrassment of being gassy. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... A new law in Britain requires public buildings of more than 1,000 square metres to display certificates showing how energy efficient they are. The government has estimated that nearly 20% of carbon emissions in the country come from non-residential buildings.
Imagine the embarrassment, then, to discover that two buildings representing the height of government political and economic power—namely the Palace of Westminster and the Bank of England—are among the country's least energy-efficient public buildings. On a scale in which the most energy-efficient buildings (among 18,000 being tested) are rated A and the worst are rated G, both of them scored Gs. ..."

L'euro chute à 1,3748 dollar. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
"...Cette chute de l'euro (qui se confirme face au yen et à la livre), en dépit d'un différentiel de taux largement favorable à l'euro (le taux directeur de la Réserve fédérale est à 2%) s'explique en grande partie par l'incertitude qui demeure sur la santé des banques européennes, la détermination des Etats membres de l'Union à les sauver et l'adoption du Plan Paulson par le Sénat américain. Encore une fois, la preuve est faite que les marchés monétaires détestent par dessus tout l'incertitude ..."

The elephant dives for cover. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... Then we get Ireland's own EU representative, financial services commissioner Charlie McCreevy, suggested that his colleague was being unrealistic. Governments like Ireland "don't have the luxury of waiting forever and a day to make up their minds about critical matters," says the former Irish financial minister. It is almost as if the elephant, having dumped its pile of ordure in the room, is hastily retreating and denying responsibility for the mess. And, as usual, everyone is ignoring the smell ..."

Sauve qui peut. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... This is articulated by Angel Gurria, head of the OECD club of rich nations, as cited by Ambrose. She says that Europe may not have the luxury of trying "piecemeal" responses as the financial storm turns violent. "Considering the exposure of European financial institutions, we might have to start thinking of a systemic plan for Europe if things don't improve on the other side of the Atlantic," she said ..."

Tension In The Eurozone. Eurosoc 2, EuroSoc (en)
" ... Will the financial crisis break the Eurozone or make the superstate? Today, the European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet announced that Eurozone interest rates would remain at 4.25 percent. Inflation remains the bank's priority, he added, despite pressure from states including Spain, Italy and his own France for a cut ...
... "It turns out that European regulators have allowed even greater use of "off-books" chicanery than the Americans. Mr Paulson may have saved Europe."...

" ... This morning savers in the East of Europe will have a country nearer to them than Ireland if they wish to get a guarantee on all their bank deposits, they will of course have them redeemed in Euro notes with the prefix letter 'Y' ...
... Further doubts are applicable in the case of the UK where the barely potty-trained Leaders of the Opposition Clegg and Cameron have apparently called for similar arrangements which would yet further impoverish the already bankrupt nation. Britain is already deeply in debt extending an open-ended guarantee to all, including the financial giants of the City of London, would at a stroke destroy the Nation's credit rating and even more likely put the country into sovereign loan default ..."

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