Archive for March 31, 2015

The Bank of England Election Blackout

Over the last few governments, there has been a move to distance the Bank of England from the political process. Successive governments have given it more power to act independently from the ruling party.  It’s a process which has been a success and we will see another aspect  of this during the election process in the UK over the next few weeks.


Although it may be more accurate to say ‘ you won’t see’ as the Bank of England is now in blackout mode until the election is over.  The ‘purdah’ rules came into place at  the dissolution of parliament on the 30th March and  they state that no BoE officials can make public statements until May 7th when the election takes place.

It’s likely to be a frustrating time for business and those in the financial sectors, as the announcements from Mark Carney or any other officials on a host of important committees are an extremely important source of information.  They’ll hear nothing from the Monetary policy committee, the Financial Policy Committee or any of the other bank regulation units that reside under the Bank of England.

Of course, all these functions will still be busy working as normal.  There will still be neutral updates and releasing monthly figures as normal.  The Bank of England will still make all the decisions it needs to such as controlling inflation, setting interest rates and all the other policies it controls.

These ‘purdah’ rules are an important part of the UK’s democratic systems which are designed to maintain the political impartiality of several important sectors of the UK.  They include the UK Civil Service, who are the huge sector of officials that keep the State machinery running.  The idea is that no-one in any of these important sectors can influence the result by making any sort of statement which could have political connotations.

This election might involve an even longer blackout this time as there is a distinct possibility that no single party will win control.   Most of the opinion polls are pointing to a ‘hung’ result which means that some negotiation will be required to form a government with an operating majority.  This would require an even longer blackout than normal as it might be required until a Government is put into place.

The election promises to be hugely exciting with no-one really knowing what will happen.  The pollsters seem genuinely unsure about how it will all unfold, there will though be a huge amount of media coverage.  If you want to follow the various parties and economic implications then the main media company to follow is the BBC.  The British Broadcasting Corporation is renowned for it’s political coverage and you can access it all from their web site and the BBC iPlayer application.  If you are based outside the United Kingdom though you will need to use a UK based VPN such as this one, in order to access the coverage.  It effectively hides your location and routes through a secure UK server in order to access any content only available in the United Kingdom.

Joseph Benyon

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The European Economy


European economy is still a booming market. Europe remains a perfect partner for anyone, when it comes to business here in 2015. Even with the trouble in Greece, most of the other EU countries are doing really well. The economy in Europe fluctuates at the moment, and it is still a growing market. Germany turned out as Europe’s largest national economy that ranks as the fourth globally in GDP (nominal) and fifth in (PPP) purchasing power parity GDP. France follows after Germany that ranks fifth globally in GDP (nominal). After France, United Kingdom follows that ranks sixth globally in GDP (nominal), Italy followed as rank seventh globally in GDP (nominal), Russia followed that ranks as tenth globally in GDP (nominal). These 5 countries rank in the world’s top 10. Therefore, the European economies account for ½ of the 10 wealthiest ones. And right now this economy is just growing. According to the latest data from Paul Kostumer, the is a trend that seems to continue far into the year. European countries become closer together by the end of World War II, culminating in the formation of European Union. By the year 1999, it was the introduction of unified currency that is called “euro”. European Union turned out as the largest and wealthiest economy all around the world. By the year 2009, Europe was still claimed as the wealthiest region around the world. A lot of European companies have also gained a large increase in their econony over the last year. This goes for both large and small companies. One example is which is a danish company selling udklædning and tyroler kostumer. They have in 2014 increase their budget with over 13% compared to 2013, which also showed an increase compared to 2012. This is just one of many examples, and you will see similar cases all over Europe.

With the top 500 largest corporations measured by revenue, 184 have their headquarters in the nation of Europe, 161 are situated in EU, 15 in the country of Switzerland, there are 6 in Russia, 1 in Turkey and 1 in Norway. Manuel Castel was a Spanish sociologist who noted that the average standard of living in Western Europe is very high. As you can see, European economy turned out as breaking news, according to Paul Kostumer. Many countries get alarmed and being jealous because of the success of European countries’ economy. In the year 2008 until present, European country are not having a problem on their economy. They continue to progress and continue to build corporations. A lot of nations envied the wealth of European countries and tried to look out on European’s financial system. With a high and competitive economy in Europe, European people don’t really experience hardship even the poor. Although there are poor people in the nation, they never experience hardship on their standard of living. They can easily look for a source of income. With many commercial building built in Europe, people can easily find jobs.

For the record of unemployed people in Europe, you would find out that it has low percentage of jobless applicants. A lot of applicants are hired and find job easily. The European economy never left behind from any other nations. Although United States is known as largest national economy, European economy will always be on the top of it. In comparison to European economy, it is not just known as largest national economy but wealthiest nation as well. People who wish to work in Europe would surely not be frustrated on the salary they would receive. Many foreigners are enticed to work in Europe. European economy has a very good feedback when it comes on foreign workers. European economy doesn’t only claimed as largest economy but a wealthy nation as well. The economic sectors of Europe are generally highly developed as well.


Running a Eurozone Democracy – Does the Vote Count?

Is democracy working in Europe, more specifically is it working in Greece for example.  The country has voted for and anti-austerity party – the Syriza party, who have a mandate to pursue a specific set of economic policies based on reducing austerity measures and promoting growth instead as a means to reducing the country’s huge debts.


However as subsequent events have seen, Syriza has very little opportunity to pursue this particular strategy unless the creditors of Greece give their blessing.   The German finance minister was quick to point out in a recent Channel 4 Online documentary covering the results that the new elections changed nothing meaning that it didn’t matter who Greece voted in the elections, the debt has to be repaid and austerity was the main instrument in achieving this.  It seems that democratic choice currently means very little in Greece, a cost of the huge debts it has run up.  Or does it mean that being a member of the Eurozone means that domestic democracy is ceded to Europe’s leaders and financiers.

This is not something that is specific to Greece of course, there are elections in several other European countries this year perhaps most notably Spain.  Here also the radical left are leading the polls headed by the Podemos party, who also are opposed to the strict financial restrictions imposed by Wolfgang Schaulde the German finance minister.  The same has happened in other countries who seek to change their economic direction, the new Italian government were also prevented from investing more stimulus in the short term.

Similar situations are occurring all over Europe, with even France desperate to borrow more and inject some stimulus into their economy.  Most of these economies could borrow and invest more if Brussels allowed them to.  It’s difficult to see how this will play out, it is fairly inconceivable that the same methods will solve all the individual economic woes of the Eurozone countries.  What is good for the German economy and the Eurozone in general certainly won’t solve the debt issues of Greece and Spain, but how can they change direction.  Even string economic mandates have failed to soften the German governments stance, yet Greece for example will face decades of misery if they continue along this road.

The big issue for outsiders is that the Eurozone seems to strip domestic voters and their elected leaders of the ability to make many economic and political decisions.  The Eurozone is supposed to be a collective of democracies, however it’s difficult to see that when the ‘throne’ seems to reside in Brussels and power wielded from Berlin.


Solving the Global Debt Problem

Debt is now a problem across the globe, despite the problems faced by most of the developed world over the last few years – it seems that nobody is actually learning the lesson.   Even the Governments that are being criticised for their debt reduction efforts like the UK are not actually reducing their debt burden merely slowing down it’s growth.

The Argentine president, Cristina Kirchner waved goodbye with a painful three hour ramble claiming that only Argentina had unlocked the secret to reducing national debt.  Although if the rest of the world followed her crackpot model of making up statistics and defaulting on loans we’d be in an even worse state than now.

The worry is that debt is growing into a world wide epidemic, and it looks like default is going to be the only liable option for many sovereign states.   We have seen Greece’s efforts where ruthless austerity measure have brought the country to it’s knees, whilst falling output has meant  that their debt has actually grown.  What are their options? There seems to be a growing realisation that Greece will simply never be able to repay the debt they have already established – where is the sense in lending them more?

More and more countries are heading in Greece’s direction.  The factors vary, but the list is growing – the latest is Austria which looks in real trouble crippled by a catastrophic banking sector which is billions in debt.

Can you believe that global debt has risen by 17% since the crisis began?  It’s like we’ve all looked at the sorry state of our bank statements and gone on a spending spree to cheer ourselves up!  The reality is of course different, debt levels are in many cases not only unsustainable they are so large there is little real chance of them ever being paid off.  The word bankrupt is very relevant to more countries than you could imagine.

We often look to  the East for salvation, yet in Asia the problem is becoming arguably worse than the Western economies. China increasingly focuses on growth whilst ignoring the strict credit controls that it used to operate under.  China’s overall debt levels are now estimated $28 trillion, which is true is approaching 300% of GDP comparable to the USA when you account for relative output levels.  Don’t take our word for it though, there are articles and opinions on much of the worlds economic press if you look for it, worth investing in a US or UK VPN to get access to the best reporting though.

MAny economist are not actually that concerned, and in some senses as long as output, asset values and wealth are growing then this is probably right.  However this isn’t happening across the board where debt is still growing and growth has stalled.   The very definition of debt requires that it is at some point paid back but this is looking increasingly unlikely in more and more cases.  This credit cycle is something that the world has never seen before and nobody knows how it will come to an end.

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