Friday, 10 October 2008

Blogs : EU In The Mess Update 10th October

Frosty relations in the north Atlantic. P O Neill, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... Asset freezes. Threats of litigation. Expressions of mystification about the intentions of a foreign government. The latest round with another axis of evil country? No: the current state of relations between the UK and Iceland ..."

Follow me! Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... Meanwhile, Tony McNulty, the employment minister, admitted that Britain was heading for a recession. Ministers said contingency plans were being drawn up to cope with large-scale unemployment, including more "rapid response" teams to be sent to the worst hit areas. Commentators are saying the world is "on a knife-edge". And Gordon Brown says the rest of the world should follow "his" example. Funnily enough ... immediately after its headline report on the financial situation, the BBC Radio 4 Today programme ran a feature on "Dr Death" who is in London to promote his do-it-yourself suicide kit ..."

A fascinating insight. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... commercial banks made it impossible for the FSA to understand their business by embarking on ever more complex schemes and developing more and more complex products. The regulator could not keep pace. It could not hire people with the necessarily extraordinary skill base to evaluate the risks in these hideous products. Essentially the FSA could not regulate the unregulatable. But, concludes Moulton, "It's obvious now - the FSA should have stopped banks from doing these absurd things." ..."

Hungary in Danger of Bankrupcy. Dodo, European Tribune (en)
" ... Experts and the national bank claim that Hungary's financial situation is still sound and can weather the storm, and that we are seeing collateral damage from the global panic. Still, one hard fact remains: in the credit crunch, countries with higher budget deficits will have a hard time finding financing ...
... Hungary suffered a runaway budget deficit in recent years, peaking at 9.2% of GDP in 2006 (see Eurostat). It was just reduced to an expected 3.5% of GDP this year.
But, in a crisis, investors will pull back to the safest assets, so even -3.5% with positive trend may not seem as manageable ..."

Avoiding The Great Depression II. Eurosoc 2 , EuroSoc (en)
" ... Closer to events in London, Hamish McCrae lists six factors which he says show that we're not going back to the Thirties.
"First, what is happening now follows a long period of rising prosperity, the longest such period the world has ever known. In the 1930s the world was still recovering from the destruction of half the accumulated wealth of the 19th century.
"Second, there were deep rivalries and even hatreds between major nations that made economic co-operation virtually impossible and encouraged the rise of trade barriers and competitive devaluations. As a result world trade halved, making recovery very difficult ..."

Martti Ahtisaari's Peace Nobel Prize: Maybe not for Kosovo. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... His last big project was to bring Serbia and Kosovo to an agreement - an effort that failed and led to today's situation of a partically recognised country in conditions that are "peacefull" only in the sense that there is no war ..."

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