Will Macron / Johnson Skulduggery Lead To A Hard Brexit?

When Boris Johnson’s Conservatives crushed the Corbyn – led, anti – Semitic, terrorist loving, far – left, borderline Maoist incarnation of the Labour Party in the UK’s General Election  on December 12 (thus giving Donald Trump’s hopes of re-election as US presiident in 2020 as the Democrats seem determinted to pick an equally whacky, far left candidate as their nomineee,) the resulting solid majority voters gave Johnson led many political pundits to predict that it would marginalise the Brexit lobby and free Johnson to negotiate a soft landing type deal with the EU.

But, love him or hate him, Johnson is a far more astute politician than that. He knows his impregnable majority is down to traditional Labour voters deserting the party, not simply over its failure to take a clear position on leaving the EU as most of mainstrwam media would have us believe, but for many identifiable reasons whoch can be condensed down to a single sentence by saying the working classes believe Labour has abandoned them and is not the party of lawyers, academics and managers.

The working classes are not stupid, though not all are highly articulate as Labour’s lawyer – politicians tend to be, and not all are academically gifted as most of Labour’s university educated candidates, parachuted into safe constituencies in working class areas by party headquarters tend to be, they know where their interests lie. And it is not in the hands of a party that would open the borders to millions of uneducated, unskilled third world migrants, or which promises to fund its profligate public spending by “taxing the rich.” Working class people are not easily fooled, they know the seriously rich have their money tied up in trust funds and investments which are protected from the taxman. And they know those investments can quickly be moved offshore should any future Maoist government threaten to seize personal assets.

They also know something which socialist economists (who generally have a sub – zero IQ rating,) remain blissfully unaware of. The majority of invested wealth is held by pension funds and investment trusts used by small savers. So Labour’s “tax the rich” pland would hit the moderately well off, the thrifty and those who had no choice but to save for retirement by paying into a company pension fund as Labour’s taxation plans have always previously hit hardest at those whose votes Labour has relied on. Well that’s socialism for you folks.

So after a hundred years, as Labour has gradually moved more and more towards becoming the party of affluent intellectuals, the working classes have seen through the pretence. Socialists do not care about the working classes, socialist care only about their votes as a stepping stone to power.

However, as previously mentioned, Boris Johnson is an astute politician, he knows that former Labour voters did not turn out and vote Conservative, instead they stayed at home and did not vote, while large numbers of traditional Conservative voters who had stayed at home in the previous election in protest as Theresa May’s inept leadership and  attempts to negotiate a leaving deal with the EU that would effectively keep the UK tied to EU law and policies made by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. And Johnson knows if he wants to be re-elected he must get the Conservative voters out again at the next election, and at least keep the Labour voters at home if he cannot persuade them to switch alliegence.

It is perhaps with all this in mind Prime Minister Johnson appears to have chosen to play it tough with the EU.

Then he could undermine Brexit by giving back all the concessions during his subsequent negotiations with the EU over a trade deal.

This analysis should have been the correct one given the staunch opposition by the political elite in the U.K. to Brepxit.

So the political situation in the UK has changed. For all the haters say about him, Boris has the likeability factor while more of Labour’s likeable figures are gone, stepp[ed down like Andy Burnham, now Mayor of Manchester, or defeated, like Caroline Flint, for may years the hottest female politician in Britain. And because the Conservatives know they must hold the working class to hold on to power, and working class voters by a considerable majority support our leaving the EU, a soft Brexit is no longer a viable way forward.

This is probably why Boris Johnson is almost channeling Nigel Farage in his ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’ approach to trade negotiations with the European Union.

The modified Withdrawal Bill passed by the new Parliament with six Labour defectors in the week before Christmas strengthens Johnson’s hand as he embarks on new trade negotiations with the organisation that said it would absolutely not renegotiate Theresas May’s Brexit In Name Only deal,  by removing any potential extension of negotiations beyond the end of 2020. There are a ton of changes noted in the Guardian article linked above covers.

The original two year transition period EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier was planning on using to bully whoever became political leader of the UK into accepting whatever one – sided conditions the EU chose to impose is gone. January 31st Brexit happens, and for the following eleven months the EU can negotiate or we leave at the end of the year on WTO terms (Hard Brexit). This would hit the EU, and particularly the EU’s biggest economies, Germany, France, Italy and Spain far harder than it will hit Britain which has an enormous deficit in its trade with the EU, largely because EU protectionism prevents us sourcing many of our imports more cheaply from outside the Union.

Although the political situation is changing in Britain, it is changing in Europe too.

Given the context of his negotiations with French President Emmanuel Macron in October which secured the current Withdrawal Treaty, it seems Boris sees more clearly than Theresa May ever did that it is Britain rather than the European Union which negotiates from a position of strength.

The keys to understanding the EU’s weakness is the shifting dynamic between France, Germany and the U.K. in relation to their relationship with the United States, the underlying weakness of the EU single currency system, The Euro, and the political weakness of Emmanuel Marcon as, after struggling for a year to resolve the internalo conflict with the Yellow Vests movement’s protests over high taxes,  he now faces a general strike against his proposed reforms to France’s retirement and pensions policy .

Simultaneously Macron is pushing France to unseat Germany as the de facto rule-setter for the EU. He wants more integration at every level, but most importantly fiscally, while the fragile coalition government led by Chancellor Merkel could fall at any time, plunging Berlin into chaos.

Macron, a former Goldman Sachs Investment Banker understands that the euro is in trouble and that around half the 27 members of the Union are economic basket cases. Since the 2008 financial crisis the European Central Bank (ECB) bought aaround €1.5trillion of junk bonds in its efforts to prop up Eurozone economies. The French president also sees the flaw in this policy is because of the lack of fiscal integration of EU member states, this puts enormous pressure on the more successful economies which are already stalling due to the EU’s expansionism. For the euro to survive at least three  things need to happen.

  1. There needs to be a single entity capable of issuing and redeeming Euro-zone sovereign debt. Until and unless that happens the weaker states will continue to issue Euro denominated bonds and rely on the ECB to buy them.
  2. The euro has to weaken considerably to remove the garrote around the necks of countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and even France. Unfortunately for the past three and a half years EU officials have been forcing the bank to keep the value ofv the Euro high to undermine the UK pound.
  3. Much of the existing sovereign debt needs to be converted into a Eurobond, doing away with much of the stock of debt as liabilities for member states like Italy and Spain.

Macron also understood that British voters would never accept the EU overturning Brexit in the same way as it had previously overturned results of democratic votes in France, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Italy and most recently Spain, and the way it had planned with the government of long term EU loyalist Theresa May. He saw the opportunity to cut Britain loose, thuse easing the path of France to more power, and to shaft Germany at the same time.

Germany will not be eager for any of these developments, the current single currency system is designed to benefit German’s manufacturing base and underwrite its mercantilism. The status quo suits Germany fine, the country has benefited handsomely from the hollowing out of member states economies through the internal trade advantages the Euro gives German business. Once the weaker economies are insolvent, Germany has used its financial clout to force debt restructuring, buying up assets at pennies on the euro. The prime example of this is what happened in Greece.

This explains why the single currency system is designed the way it is. What Emmanuel Macron sees as a flaw was in fact a plan, rather it was the plan. They may claim to have had genuine reasons for doing this, but this is classic colonialism.

But, what does this have to do with Brexit? Quite a lot actually.

Macron installed convicted criminal and former IMF chief Christine Lagarde as head of the ECB to push for fiscal integration and to politically blackmail the Germans into going along with it.

How? By threatening to write down or allowing default on the massive $850 billion in TARGET 2 liabilities German banks have in euro-zone sovereign debt on their balance sheets.

But there’s no way City of London and the crown would survive the British people’s anger at underwriting the costs of this shakedown and subsequent debt crisis.

Nigel Farage and the other hard Brexiteers understood that this was a key issue, but one that didn’t resonate with voters. Fishing rights and immigration get people to the polls, not bailing out German banks.

But, make no mistake, Farage, the old commodities trader, knows that breaking the British banking system free from the EU’s and put up a hard border, as it were, between them is the key to a successful Brexit.

And I suspect, after it was clear they couldn’t convince the British people otherwise, that City of London and the Crown saw this as well.

So, Macron and Johnson looked at the landscape clearly and with the blessing of the British political class negotiated a settlement.

By allowing Johnson and the U.K. to get clear of the fiscal and political storm, Macron gets even more leverage over Germany whose economy is the one hurt most by a hard Brexit.

The Germans run a huge trade surplus with the U.K. Cutting that down weakens the euro and Germany at the same time.

Germany will insist on bail-ins of depositors versus bailing out the Italian government. But Macron realizes the only way for the EU to survive the coming debt crisis is to over-ride Germany’s deflationary attitudes. They are going to have to print euros like no tomorrow.

He may throw Merkel a bone in the negotiations but it won’t be much. Macron is many things, but he’s not stupid. He knows the Euroskeptic populists will eventually rise to power in Italy, Spain, Portugal and potentially even Germany. He knows he’s in trouble in France. And he knows the wheels have come off Merkel’s federalization bandwagon because German taxpayers are sick of propping up the European Projectfinancially.

The miserable results returned by the two leading German political parties supporting moves towards a federal Europe are an indicator of the public’s disillusionment with EU policy. Prime Minister Johnson may be just what France has been waiting for in order to tip the balance of power in its favour.

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Merkel: EU Members Must Cede control Of Their Border To Brussels

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The former Prime Minister of little Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure his chief of staff was installed as the new Secretary-General of the European Commission, in what one senior Eurocrat has called “an impeccably prepared and audacious power-grab” at the top of the European Union.

Germany sliding into ‘dangerous’ anti-Europe hysteria warns top economist


Isobel Schnable – worried about anti EU mood in Germany

As Germany’s economy continues to stutter one of the country’s top economists has warned the country is desending into “anti-Europe hysteria” amid growing criticism in the country of the European Central Bank (ECB) and surging support for the Eurosceptic, anti – immigration AfD Party.

Marcel Fratzscher said the entire European Union would be damaged by the backlash against the ECB’s austerity policies and the cost to Germany of propping up the single currency. Mr Fratscher is chief of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and has also been an executive of the Eurozone’s central bank. He told UK financial newspaper The Financial Times: “Germany is sliding into a dangerous anti-Europe, anti-ECB mood, which threatens to damage the ECB’s credibility, the Euro an ultimately all of Europe.”

The warning comes less than two weeks after Chancellor Merkel’s ruling coalition suuffered heavy defeats intwo regional elections and Germany’s newly appointed ECB board member Isabel Schnabel called on her fellow economists to tone down their scathing analysis of the ECB’s performance. Ms Schnabel, an economics professor at the University of Bonn, predicted a crisis for the Euro if Germans did not take a step back to reflect on their country’s direction. Unfortunately for EU fans in Germany, voters have had years to reflect on the direction in which Merkel is leading the country and have decided they do not like it.

In an attempt to appeal to other German economists Schnable tweeted: “Dear fellow German economists, if you are wondering what you can do for Europe: Please help to dispel the harmful & wrong narratives about the ECB’s monetary policy, floating around in political and media circles. These threaten the euro more than many other things.”

This is rather spurious as nobody takes any notice of economists because they are always wrong. And the voters are in no mood to listen.

Unfortunately, the majority of Germans are opposed to further political and economic integration of EU member states, the country is politically polarised and with left and right more opposed to the idea of working with each other to bring down the government than they are to allowing Merkel’s centrist coalition to blunder on with the country politically paralyzed, it seems things can only get worse. In another blow to The Chancellor, her main coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SDP) this week lurched to the left by electing a far left candidate as its leader.

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Cracks In EU Unity Facade Are Beginning To Show

Coincidental with the bizarre events in the UK’s Supreme Coirt, where judges tried to usurp the power of parliament to themselves in a globaloist bid to stop Brexit, the economic situation in Europe, which as we have reported many times is dire, has entered into a critical period.  With one of the two net contributors o the EU treasury about to leave,Germany, which for decades has propped up the bloc financially as more and more economic basket cases were absorbed into Brussels’ wannabe empire, has stumbled into if not actually a recession then something very like one

Year on Year (YoY) growth in the German economy, from July 2018, July 2019 is 0.4% – what you would expect in the middle of a depression, and significantly less than the official inflation rate (while the real rate of inflation is, predictably, higher still. UK growth figures are slightly better coming in at 1.2%. Poor old Italy recorded a GDP growth of -0.1% YoY, (that’s a minus sign by the way).

Italy has a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 132% and finally France with a growth rate of 1.4% and a debt-to-GDP of 97% is effectively broke. That’s the big four in the EU/Eurozone.

So, the biggest economies in EU/Eurozone have a growth rate ranging from -0.1% to 1.4%. Oh, and I almost forgot negative interest rates are now becoming the norm in The Eurozon and 85% of German Bunds are non-performing and/or at negative interest rates.

Inexplicably the ECB is getting geared up for another round of QE, which means that the euro is going to be devalued. Of course, the Americans aren’t going to be best pleased with this turn of events but doubling down on the policy that failed is par for the course with the EU. Only a few years ago they decided the way to resolve the problem of mass immigration was ………… more mass immigration, and are currently proposing more politicalintegration of member states to counter the resurgence in nationalism triggered by …………….. wait for it ………………. forcing political integration on member states.

By failing to support US trade tariffs on nations that have pissed off Washington, the EU has involved itself peripherally in the US tade war with the world. but this can onlu=y increase problems. Germany in its present economic travails, and lined up to take the biggest economic hit from Brexit, is not going to welcome any increased costs for its export industries.

Most importantly this includes the cost of the raw material essential to Germany’s manufacturing/export sector. Natural Gas and oil are piped to Germany from Russia and the construction the of Nordstream 2 pipeline, which the US wants to alt to put Putin in his place, is crucial to the German economy. America wants to force Germany to buy more expensive, less reliable, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) by taking alternative suppliers out of the picture and is threatening to impose sanctions on any company and/or state to get their own way.

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This is a clearly a case of “deja vu all over again” and a moment of truth for the Germans. Do they do what the Americans tell them, which would be economic suicide, or will they pursue their national interests and give Uncle Sam the finger. This was precisely the setting in 1985 though with Japan then the object of US financial and economic destabilisation.

The Plaza Accord was a joint-agreement, signed on 22 September 1985, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, between France, West Germany, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, to devalue the U.S. dollar in relation to the Japanese yen and German Mark. The resulting recessionary impact which pushed up the value of the Yen against the dollar in Japan’s export-dependent economy.

This created an incentive for the expansionary monetary policies that led to the Japanese investment bubble of the late 1980s. The Plaza Accord triggered the Japanese asset price bubble, which progressed into a protracted period of deflation and low growth in Japan known as the first Lost Decade. Has Germany, and by implication Europe learned the lesson one wonders?

Bearing this in mind it should also be noted that Germany is a big investor in Russia.

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Italy PM Giuseppe Conte resigns, launches blistering attack on deputy Matteo Salvini

In another huge blow to the efforts of the Brussels bureaucracy to create an illusion of solidarity among remaining EU member states in the run up to Brexit, Italy’s Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte has resigned, citing the behaviour of his Deputy Matteo Salvini the man who was prevented from assuming the leadership of Italy after his party won the most recent election, by Brussels’ undemocratic refusal to accept a Eurosceptic politician as leader of any member state.

Since then the Brussels elite has constantly interfered in Italy’s political and economic life, in a bid to prevent Salvini, who as leader of League, the largest party in the Italian legislature from carrying out their populist agenda. Salvini, the de facto political leader of Italy as Conte had no party backing him and no electoral mandate has been seeking confrontation with the EU principally over immigration and economic policies.

This development is certain to end the League / Five Star governimg coalition, resulting in a general election in which the hugely popular League is likely to win an overall majority. If that is the outcome Brussels will be powerless to prevent Salvini becoming Prime Minister and his party assuming overall control. And that would certainly result in Italy Leaving the European Single Currency system (the Euro,) as a step towards quitting the EU entirely. READ MORE at Vanguard News

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Deal or No-Deal, Brexit Dooms the Euro

authored by Tom Luongo for Gold, Goats and Guns

Deal or No-Deal, when it comes to Brexit, the euro is toast. Markets, however, believe the fantasy of its survival. As we approach the end of July the euro clings to support at $1.11, mere pips away from a technical breakdown.

That breakdown will trigger a wave of asset liquidation and another round of negative headlines emanating from troubled German banks.

With 10 Downing St. now saying No-Deal is acceptable, the hard line negotiating tactics of the European Union have hit a rocky shore.

Because it looks like Boris Johnson is ready to give as good as he gets.

I’ve been saying this for a long time. The EU is not a tough nut to crack. They have no leverage in these Brexit negotiations.

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Yanis Varoufakis bombshell: Pound to Euro Exchange Rate ‘Paradox,’ weakness of pound against Euro is good news for UK

posted by Phil. T Looker, 22 July 2019

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis claimed the reason why the euro is valued so highly compared to the pound or US dollar is because of a “delicious paradox” which sees the Eurozone actually being on the verge of a dramatic break-up, newly-resurfaced footage reveals.

Despite the uncertainty [surounding Brexit], the euro has largely remained strong since the 2016 referendum but, according to former Greek Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, there is a shocking reason why this has occurred.

Mr Varoufakis called it a “delicious paradox”.

In a 2018 debate at the Oxford Union, the Greek minister explained: “Why do the money markets value the euro so highly compared to the pound, the American dollar?

“Suppose you are a Singaporean, Chinese, American or even a German investor, and for some reason, you agree with me that the fragmentation of the Eurozone is at an advanced stage, and the euro has never been weaker or more problematic.

“Should you sell your euros?

“No, let me share a secret with you. You should shift your euros to a German bank account.”

Mr Varoufakis explained that if the Eurozone breaks up and all the countries revert to their pre-euro currencies, euros held in German bank accounts will be re-denominated into Deutschmarks, which will be stronger than any other European currencies because of the country’s “huge account surplus”.

READ FULL STORY at express.co.uk

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German Industrial Production Slumps For Third Month Running

Is This Why The EU Did Not Want Us To Leave?

 

Germany’s industrial base is showing consistent signs of an economic crisis amid trade tensions between the U.S. and the European Union. Output from German factories unexpectedly declined for a third consecutive month according to statistic reported by Reuters and Bloomberg.

The figures, published last Friday, showed a 1.1 percent decrease for September, missing economists’ forecast of a 0.2 percent increase. Exports from Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse fell 0.9 percent and the trade surplus, a point of contention with President Donald Trump, narrowed further.

The news came at the end of a challenging week for the Eurozone economy, with other published statistics showing fears of a trade war between western and eastern blocs denting manufacturing confidence and Germany reporting another drop in factory orders.

Berlin’s Economic Ministry blamed the apparent weakness on temporary bottlenecks related to new emission-test procedures for cars. “In light of the slow order intake but a large backlog of work, the industrial upswing should continue as the squeeze loosens,” it said in a statement, adding construction business is booming.

In the Netherlands, manufacturing production fell 0.9 percent in July, while Spanish output fell for a third time in four months. But there was better news from France, where production beat expectations by rising 0.7 percent. Separately, German labor costs rose 0.2 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous three months.

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