Showing posts with label A.M.Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A.M.Press. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A bizarre interview that Bannon gave to the liberal magazine the American Prospect – in which he claimed there was no military solution for North Korea, called the far right a “collection of clowns”, and said the left’s focus on racism would allow him to “crush the Democrats” – may have altered the balance of the power inside the West Wing. For an aide long suspected of leaking freely about rivals, Bannon’s excuse that he thought the call was off the record was not helpful.  Bannon’s departure leaves a major void in the White House, depriving it of a man once seen as Cardinal Richelieu in cargo pants, an unkempt schemer adept at manipulating the president, who was famously depicted as a childlike naif to his aide’s Grim Reaper in a Saturday Night Live sketch. The characterization – summed up in a Time magazine cover that hailed “the great manipulator” – reportedly annoyed the famously thin-skinned president and contributed to his fall from grace.  Josh Green, the author of the book Devil’s Bargain about Bannon and Trump, told the Guardian: “Bannon may be the only person in the White House with clear and distinct politics of his own.”  His absence means more power and influence for figures such as Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the national economic council chair, Gary Cohn, who have few, if any, ideological ties to the Republican party and the conservative movement.   Bannon has long occupied an unusual position in the White House. In an administration that one outside ally compared to Baskin Robbins, “composed of 31 flavors,” Bannon represented “the nationalist Trump coalition” as opposed to “a lot of people that were not only not Trump supporters but anti-Trump people”.  One Bannon ally told the Guardian that the West Wing had seen a “four-on-one fight” recently, with Bannon taking on a coalition of Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Cohn and national security adviser HR McMaster. In the ally’s eyes Bannon represented the populist “burn it all down” path while others in the administration wanted Trump to “move the center” and work with the establishment.  A White House source claimed to Axios: “His departure may seem turbulent in the media, but inside it will be very smooth. He has no projects or responsibilities to hand off.”  Bannon had also stood out as the lone White House staffer to defend Trump’s comments on Charlottesville in recent days.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

President Donald Trump finally condemned the “evil” of “racist violence” in Charlottesville on Monday, two days after a white supremacist rally in the Virginia town that left three people dead. After mounting criticism at his failure to speak out against white supremacist groups, Mr Trump addressed the nation from the White House and warned those behind Saturday’s riots that they will be held criminally responsible. And, after widespread cross-party anger at his initial response – in which he condemned violence “on many sides” – the president on Monday delivered a more measured response, in which he called out neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. “To anyone who acted criminally at this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.” He described the rally on Saturday as an “egregious display of hatred and violence” which, he said, “has no place in America.” He continued: “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans “We are a nation founded on the premise that all are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator, we are equal under the law, and we are equal under our Constitution. "Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. ” Mr Trump paid tribute to Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old who died when James Fields rammed his car into a group of anti-hate protesters. He also commended the two Virginia state troopers killed when their helicopter crashed on Saturday. “These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation. “In times such as these, America has always shown its true character.”Reading from a teleprompter, the president's remarks were seen as a belated condemnation of the white supremacists who politicians across the mainstream US political spectrum held responsible for the mayhem in Charlottesville.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The precursor to the EU was set up in 1958, as the continent’s leaders vowed to make another war between them all but impossible. The euro came in 1999, when a group of 11 countries jettisoned marks, francs and lire and turned control of interest rates over to a new central bank. The common currency’s scale provided exchange-rate stability and better access to world markets. It did not, however, impose uniform financial discipline; to avoid surrendering national sovereignty, politicians largely sidestepped a unified approach to bank regulation and government spending. To the extent that there were rules, they were flouted. The events that brought the euro to its knees came during the global rout in 2009, when Greece came clean and said its budget deficit was twice as wide as forecast. Investors started dumping assets of the most indebted nations and borrowing costs soared. The shared euro made it impossible to devalue individual currencies of weaker economies, limiting options for recovery. Politicians lurched through bailouts for Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus plus a rescue of banks in Spain. The panic fueled fears of a breakup as fragile banks and their holdings of government bonds exposed the common currency’s vulnerabilities. The firestorm abated in July 2012, when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro.

Friday, July 14, 2017

PARIS - President Donald  Trump acknowledged that France and the US had “occasional disagreements” but said that would not disrupt a friendship that dates back to the American Revolution. Macron acknowledged sharp differences with Trump over climate change. But he said he and the US president were able to discuss how best to combat “a global threat with enemies who are trying to destabilise us”, with a focus on counter-terrorism. President Trump said that his recent meeting with Putin had led to a ceasefire in a part of southern Syria, and said that he was working on “a second ceasefire in a very rough part of Syria”. He suggested that other parties would become involved in the deal, saying “and all of a sudden you will have no bullets fired in Syria”.  As Trump began his 24-hour tour of Paris, the two leaders’ body language was under close scrutiny. Macron chose to move on from the aggressive handshake he offered the US leader at their initial meeting in May, instead styling himself as Trump’s new “straight-talking” best friend on the international stage. the invitation to the US president to attend this year’s Bastille Day celebrations was in the pipeline long before both Macron and Trump’s election because 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the entry by the US into the first world war.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Italian Chamber of Deputies recently organized the conference called "Italy's public debt in the Eurozone", which saw experts in the restructuring of public debt, academics, journalists and investment fund managers.  In a participant's opinion, Jens Nordvig, head of department at Nomura Securities and former banker at Goldman Sachs, "Italy is now the most important country in Europe".  The reason is of course, not just the size of its economy, but also the very high level of its public debt, which nobody seems to be able to find a solution for. The latest official data, of April 2017, shows that public debt has reached 2.27 trillion Euros, a new record, after increasing 37.2 billion over last year's similar period. The aggregated budget deficit after the first six months of 2017 was 50.2 billion Euros, 22.5 billion Euros higher YOY, according to Reuters, as over half of the deficit of June 2017, of 8.2 billion Euros, was the "result" of the state's involvement in the liquidation of the two banks in the Veneto region.  A new record, once again a negative one, was seen when it comes to Italy's position within Target2 (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer), the real-time settlement system for payments in Euros.  ECB data of May 2017, shows that Italy's deficit within the Target2 system has reached 421.6 billion Euros, way above the level recorded during the sovereign debt crisis, a phenomenon which reflects the acceleration of capital outflows.  Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the European authorities have "allowed" Italy to violate the banking resolution regulations that recently came into effect, even though that represents a new factor "to divide Europe", according to Reuters.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Why HAMBURG for G 20...

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany (pop. 1.7 million), a major hub situated on the River Elbe, nestled between the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. Although a major port, it lies 130km inland from the North Sea.
Why? As an outward-looking city, Hamburg is an ideal location, says Angela Merkel. It has maintained trading links around the world for centuries, and today is home to the headquarters of industrial heavyweights Airbus and Unilever, among others. It can also boast at being ranked 18th among world cities for its livability.
Famous for? A city of bridges (around 2,500), Hamburg boasts what was once the world’s tallest building, the 122-metre Church of St Nicholas. Bombed heavily by Allied forces in WW2, the city recovered to become once again an economic and cultural powerhouse, where the Beatles served their apprenticeship, and where museums and opera go hand in hand with sport and radical politics. And there’s the Reeperbahn.
Security? Some 20,000 officers have been drafted in from around Germany and beyond to address the twin challenges of potential terror attack and political protest. Temporary courtrooms and cells have been built alongside a mass holding facility for as many as 400 detainees at a time - at a cost of €750,000. A planned mass protest camp in the city’s main park has been banned.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The IMF – historically the world’s foremost cheerleader of austerity – admitted that it was based on a false prospectus: these policies do more harm than good. Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford University said that the issue was not whether attempts to reduce the deficit had damaged the economy, but “how much GDP has been lost as a result”. Amartya Sen said that while austerity “deepened Europe’s economic problems, it did not help in the aimed objective of reducing the ratio of debt to GDP to any significant extent”. Richard Portes at London Business School says that even the UK’s sluggish growth under the Conservatives is down to the “semi-covert” backing away from George Osborne’s initially brutal plans, which would have done even more harm. Paul Krugman wrote that in the post-crisis economy “the government does everyone a service by running deficits and giving frustrated savers a chance to put their money to work … deficit spending that expands the economy is, if anything, likely to lead to higher private investment than would otherwise materialise”. All this has led Joseph Stiglitz to remark that it’s “remarkable there are still governments, including here in the UK, that still believe in austerity”.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Britain has continued to outrank other European countries as a technology investment hub despite last year’s Brexit vote.  Research from London & Partners, an arm of the mayor’s office designed to promote the city, said £2.4bn of venture capital funding had been put into British technology companies since last year’s referendum.  This was more than double the VC investment in Germany and three times what it was in France.
In London, which accounts for the majority of venture-led tech funding in the UK, funding rose to £1.8bn across 544 deals, against £775m for Berlin and £557m for Paris.
The figures appear to defy predictions made before the referendum that funding would dry up in the event of a Leave vote and that start-ups would flee for the continent.  The technology industry, which employs a disproportionate number of EU nationals, had campaigned heavily against Brexit, but has since focused on boosting the number of specialist tech workers who are granted visas since the vote.  London & Partners, which collated data from deal tracker Pitchbook, said the first half of 2017 had seen a record £1.1bn of venture capital funding into London start-ups. For the UK as a whole it was £1.4bn, the third biggest on record.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The European Central Bank has greenlit the liquidation of Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, after they have repeatedly violated the "they have repeatedly violated the capitalization requirements", according to a press release sent on Friday to the European institution. The ECB showed that the two European banks "are at risk of collapsing", and the Single Resolution Board (SRB) said that "the conditions for the resolution of the two banks have not been met", and "banks will be liquidated according to the Italian bankruptcy procedures".  The situation of Veneto and of Banca Popolare di Vicenza has been watched closely by the ECB since 2014, when significant capital deficits were uncovered.  The italian government will pay to Intesa Sanpaolo 5.2 billion Euros in order to acquire the good assets of Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, Reuters announced, Sunday night, after the authorities in Rome have spent their entire weekend drafting an emergency ordinance concerning the procedure for the liquidation of the two banks.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Liviu Dragnea "swore", in December 2016, on the electoral program, which then became the governing program and the "Bible of the PSD": he guaranteed, in a TV Show, that he would abide by it or else he would resign. Liviu Dragnea did not abide by the electoral program.
Liviu Dragnea did not resign, instead he changed the government....Along with the government, he also replaced the "Bible of the PSD". The new proposals of the PSD, published on the night prior to the investiture, have overturned the business environment. All the companies in Romania will pay, starting with January 1st, 2018, a turnover tax instead of the profit tax, which will disappear, according to the new governing program of the PSD-ALDE coalition. Also, according to the new proposal, the minimum wage level in Romania in the coming years would be 2,000 lei in 2018, 2,200 lei in 2019 and 2,400 lei in 2020, and for those with higher education it would be 2,300 lei in 2018, 2,640 lei in 2019 and 3,000 lei in 2020. According to the governing program, the solidarity contribution will be introduced starting with January 1st, 2018, as well as an additional tax on consumer products whose consumption has a major negative impact on the health of the population.  Analysts said that the government is blowing up the economy, businesspeople were shocked. The new ministers swore on the Bible to offer all their power for the material and spiritual progress of the Romanian people.  So help them God! 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Theresa May told European leaders last night. The Prime Minister made a “fair and serious offer” to European leaders in Brussels as she pledged that all those who arrived in Britain before she triggered Article 50 in March will be entitled to stay.
May also said that she did not want to “break up families” in a clear indication that the spouses and children of EU nationals who live abroad will be eligible to join them in the UK.  However she said it is “vital” that any deal will have to be “reciprocal” and based on the European Union granting the one million British citizens who live in the Europe the same rights.  She also refused to meet EU demands that the “cut-off date”, after which EU citizens will no longer automatically be entitled to stay in the UK, should fall on the day that Britain leaves the European Union.
She instead said that it will be a matter for negotiation and could fall at any point between March 29 2017, the date that Article 50 was triggered, and the date that Britain leaves the European Union, which is expected to be in March 2019.
All those arriving after the “cut-off date” will be given a two year “grace period” after Britain Brexit and will be subsequently expected to obtain a work permit or return to their home countries.  If the cut-off date falls in 2019, as the EU demands, it effectively means that freedom of movement will continue until 2021.
Mrs May also set up a further clash with the European Union by rejecting demands that the European Court of Justice should continue to oversee the rights of EU migrants after Brexit.  She said: “The commitment that we make to EU citizens will be enshrined in EU law and enforced through our highly-respected

Friday, June 9, 2017

ENGLAND - The prospect of a hung Parliament would throw serious doubt over Brexit negotiations, due to begin in earnest in just 10 days.  The BBC/Sky/ITV poll put the Conservatives on 314 seats, Labour on 266, the Scottish National Party on 34, Liberal Democrats on 14, Plaid Cymru on three and Greens on one.  The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has set June 19 as his favoured date for the start of talks, due to last around 14-18 months.  Protracted negotiations over the formation of a new government - or even a second general election in 2017 - could put back the start of formal talks, squeezing even further the limited time available to forge a complex withdrawal agreement and a separate deal on future trade arrangements.  Theresa May repeatedly urged voters to hand her a large majority so that she could go into talks in Brussels with the firm backing of the country and the House of Commons behind her.  She warned that if she lost just six seats, she would no longer be Prime Minister, and an unprepared Jeremy Corbyn would go "naked and alone" to the negotiating table.  Under the terms of Article 50 of the EU treaties, the two-year deadline for the UK to leave the union can be extended only with the agreement of the other 27 member states.  It is unclear whether the letter informing the European Council of Britain's intention to quit can be revoked.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Today, in Romania, all the significant transactions are calculated in Euros, even though some of them are paid in lei. And "homo economicus" is in every man; all they need is the freedom to make decisions. In the end, the entire economy can be reduced to four words: people respond to incentives! Let's remember the skill of currency dealers on the black market, I the first years of transition, when the currency exchanges were not yet fully liberalized. In order to take their profit, they would keep their dollars in packs, depending on the exchange rate they got them at. I don't think that Romanians will have "cultural shocks" if they were to only operate in Euros, given that the vegetables traders in markets watch the exchange rate to see whether or not they should raise their prices for carrots, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Of course, we are living on the outskirts of the East, where there is no rush. The president of the European Commission, who recently visited our country, when listening to the questions of some politicians, about how Romania didn't want a two-speed Europe, gave us an answer that is worth thinking on: the current treaties of the European Union stipulate the possibility of a 2-speed Europe and it is up to every member state on where it wants to find itself. The trends in the European Union indicate a desire of the member states in the Eurozone to move faster towards integration (there is talk of a common budget of the Eurozone and even of a parliament of the Eurozone...). Member states from outside the Eurozone can not oppose those trends.  Romania will have the presidency of the European Union, in the first half of 2019, but unfortunately, Romania's weight in the decision making process for the decisions that concern the Eurozone will be low, because we are not yet part of it. I wish that this once at least, the intention of drawing up a plan of action for the move to the Euro, as well as the switch of this plan to be taken seriously by every politician and institution of the state that are concerned. Let's not forget that Romania, when it was accepted in the European Union, made the commitment to take all the necessary steps to carry out the conditions needed for the adoption of the Euro!  (Source bursa.ro)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

U.K. - The home secretary, Amber Rudd, who will attend this morning’s emergency Cobra meeting, has added to the tributes to emergency services:  This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert.   My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims who have been affected, and I know the whole country will share that view.  I’d like to pay tribute to the emergency services who have worked throughout the night professionally and effectively; they have done an excellent job.  Later on this morning I will be attending Cobra, chaired by the prime minister, to collect more information, to find out more, about this particular attack, and I can’t comment any more on that at the moment.  The public should remain alert but not alarmed. If they have anything to report, they should approach the police.  But I have two further things to add. The great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued.  This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society. Its intention was to sow fear; its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

German industrialists have warned that British hopes of their support in Brexit negotiations are misplaced and could backfire with dangerous consequences for international trade. Business leaders in Europe’s biggest economy are instead calling on Conservatives to rethink their commitment to leaving the single market, even though the party has doubled down on this promise in its election manifesto.  David Davis and Boris Johnson have repeatedly cited likely pressure from German exporters, such as carmakers, as a reason for thinking they can persuade European negotiators to maintain free trade access after Britain leaves. But the theory is increasingly rejected by those whose support they need most – scepticism relayed most forcefully by Steffen Kampeter, the chief executive of the German employers’ federation, on a trip to the UK this week. “The top priority of European business is the integrity of the single market; the second priority is making good business with the UK. We will see if there is a conflict, but the message is: do not harm the single market by cherry-picking deals,” he told a conference of British business leaders in London this week. “It’s not the German carmakers that are directing the negotiations,” added Kampeter, who said he knew of no one who thought a trade deal within 18 months was possible and called for “rhetorical disarmament on all sides”.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Emmanuel Macron is the fourth French president to have been in office during Angela Merkel’s 12-year tenure as German chancellor, and so it was with a faintly indulgent smile that she greeted the Europe Union’s new young pretender as he arrived in Berlin on Monday.  The mismatch in experience was so apparently obvious that Mrs Merkel felt it necessary to say in advance that she would not behave like a “know-it-all” to the new occupant of the Elysee, but would listen carefully to his vision for France.  Such protestations of modesty on Mrs Merkel's part are to be expected, but they cannot conceal the reality that if France wants to rekindle its post-war partnership with Germany, it needs to demonstrate it is committed to reforms.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Britain’s ambition to sign a quick Free Trade Agreement with the European Union after Brexit has received a significant boost after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice handed expanded trade negotiation powers to Brussels.
The much-anticipated decision from the court in Luxembourg surprised experts by ruling that on key areas - including financial services and transport - the European Union does not need to seek ratification of a trade deal by the EU’s 38 national and local parliaments. Trade experts said the ECJ ruling could substantially reduce the risk of any future EU-UK free trade agreement getting bogged down in the EU national parliaments, opening the way for an FTA to be agreed by a qualified majority vote of EU member states.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has warned that London’s financial centre will “stall” due to the turmoil of the Brexit process.  Lloyd Blankfein, who runs the world’s second-largest investment bank, said a three-decade expansion that has turned London’s financial services sector into a world leader could grind to a halt.  “It will stall, it might backtrack a bit, it just depends on a lot of things about which we are uncertain, and I know there isn’t certainty at the moment,” Blankfein said in an interview with the BBC. “I don’t think it will totally reverse.” Blankfein also said there would need to be an implementation period of at least a “couple of years” after the Brexit deal had been agreed in early 2019 to allow companies to adjust. “We are talking about the long-term stability of huge economies with hundreds of millions of people and livelihoods at stake, and huge gross domestic product,” he said. “So, if it takes a little while, I’d rather get it right than do things quickly.”   If not enough time were factored in, banks such as Goldman would have to act “prematurely” and possibly move some of their operations and jobs.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

In a number of recent analyses, Patrick Artus, chief economist of investment bank Natixis, writes that France has all the premises for a high degree of unemployment, which includes high social security contributions, high employee protections, the low degree of workforce skills and the chronic budget deficit. "France's economic and social situation since the crisis that began in 2008, characterized through de-industrialization, high unemployment among youth, the low quality of new jobs and the erosion of purchasing power has led to the results of the current elections", Artus further writes, who expresses his skepticism over the ability to resolve these problems, regardless of who the new president will be.  For the chief-economist of Natixis, "this perverse economic model has reached its limits and the structural adjustments have to begin". It is hard to believe, however, that Macron will be the "savior", when "his platform is typical for a bureaucrat, who offers a little something to everyone", according to Martin Armstrong.    On the contrary, "a victory of Macron would sentence the EU to a complete collapse and a hard landing in 2018", is the verdict of the American analyst, because "Brussels will celebrate the end of populism and will continue down the same path, without reforms". The cynicism of another American, Bill Bonner, the author of the books "Empire of Debt" and "Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets" and former French resident in France for 18 years, is heading towards an aspect that more is closer to the daily concerns of the French. "It is not a matter of whether the voters will be robbed or not, the question is by whom", Bonner writes.

Friday, March 31, 2017

European leaders will formally reject British demands to hold trade talks at the same time as negotiating the terms of the UK’s "divorce" from the EU, leaving both sides heading for an early stand-off in the Brexit talks.
The hardline EU response will be outlined in draft negotiating guidelines that will be distributed by the European Council to the remaining 27 member states at a closed-door meeting in Brussels.
Theresa May’s request that the terms of the future UK-EU partnership be negotiated “alongside” the terms of the divorce – rejected by the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday - was shot down again on Thursday, this time by the outgoing French president, Francois Hollande.