Where European Populism Will Be Strongest In 2018

While the establishment may breathe a sigh of relief looking back at political developments and events in Europe – which was spared some of the supposedly “worst-case scenarios” including a Marine le Pen presidency, a Merkel loss and a Geert Wilders victory – in 2017, any victory laps will have to be indefinitely postponed because as Goldman writes in its “Top of Mind” peek at 2018, Europe’s nationalist and populist tide was just resting, and as Pascal Lamy, the former Chief of Staff to the President of the European Commission admitted earlier this year, “Euroskeptic politicians are largely following the pulse of domestic sentiment. The fact is that the public is less enthusiastic about Europe than it once was.”
Echoing the sentiment by the europhile, Goldman’s Allison Nathan writes that while the Euro area’s most immediate political risks – i.e., populist or euroskeptic parties winning key elections this year – did not materialize, these movements have continued to gain traction.
In the Dutch elections in March, the far-right Party for Freedom performed worse than polls had once predicted, but still increased its share of the vote relative to the 2012 elections. It remains the second-largest party in parliament. In France, concerns about the prospect of Marine Le Pen winning the presidency gave way to optimism over Emmanuel Macron’s reform agenda; nonetheless, Le Pen posted the best-ever showing for her party in a presidential race. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU retained the largest number of seats in the Bundestag, but the far-right Alternative fr Deutschland (AfD) entered it for the first time with 13% of the vote. And elsewhere in Europe, populist parties on various parts of the political spectrum performed well enough to participate in government coalitions; indeed, an anti-establishment candidate in the Czech Republic recently became prime minister Some other observations and lessons from recent European events in the twilight days of 2017:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.

Europe’s Era of Harmony Is Over

No one else I know can muster as much deep experience and insight into the sprawling, incendiary world of geopolitics as my good friend George Friedman, founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures; and in today’s Outside the Box – part 2 of my 8-part SIC Speaker Series – George brings all his powers to bear to issue quite a declamatory statement on the present and future of the European Union.
George’s argument can be summarized as ‘the center cannot hold.’ With Brexiteers on its western front and unruly right-wingers on its eastern wing in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, the EU is sore beset. But as George notes, the center is quietly debating whether that might not be a good thing:
There has been some talk in the central region of either creating a separate union consisting of Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, or creating a bloc within the existing bloc. The point would be for these countries to stop being responsible for countries not ready to operate at the center’s level of performance. It would mean that southern Europe, with its economic problems, and Eastern Europe, with its distinctly different political culture, could go their own way.
That is what I would call a desperate conversation. Far from ever achieving a ‘United States of Europe,’ the EU members will be lucky (or maybe not so much) if they can retain their economic union. George agrees, and he has concluded that dissolution is inevitable:

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on DECEMBER 20, 2017.

Key Events In The Last Week Before Christmas

It might be the last full week before Christmas – with both newsflow and trading volumes set to slide substantially – but there’s still a few interesting events and data releases to look forward to next week. Among the relatively sparse data releases schedule, we get US GDP, core PCE, housing and durable goods orders in the US, as well as CPI and GDP across Euro area and UK PMI. After last week’s central bank deluge, there are a handful of leftover DM central bank meetings include the BOJ and Riksbank, with rates expected to remain on hold for both. In Emerging markets, there will be monetary policy meetings in Czech Republic, Hungary, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Perhaps the most significant will be in China when on Monday the three-day Central Economic Work Conference kicks off. This event will see Party leaders discuss economic policies for the next year and the market will probably be most interested in the GDP growth target. Deutsche Bank economists have noted that it will be interesting to see if the government will change the tone on its growth target by lowering it explicitly from 6.5% to 6% or fine-tuning the wording to reflect more tolerance for slower growth.
Away from this, tax reform in the US will once again be a topic for markets to keep an eye on with final votes on the Republican legislation in the Senate (possibly Monday or Tuesday) and House (possibly Tuesday or Wednesday) tentatively scheduled. Also worth flagging in the US is Friday’s release of the November personal income and spending reports and the Fed’s preferred inflation measure – the core PCE print. Current market expectations are for a modest +0.1% mom rise in the core PCE which translates into a one-tenth uptick in the YoY rate to +1.5%.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.

The Politics of Change – Iceland – New Zealand – Czech Republic

The Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s Independence Party won the most votes in the Iceland election but he saw his party’s support eroded as voters turned to smaller parties in protest. This leaves the country in a position of uncertainty as the election has opened the door to power for the nation’s charismatic and very attractive left-wing leader, Katrin Jakobsdottir. Now Jakobsdottir has the chance to form together a narrow majority for a center-left coalition. She is a 41-year-old who is very popular on her own with pre-election polls that showed one in two voters wanted her as the premier.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 1, 2017.

21/10/17: Prague Pages Brussels… Following Vienna

Just after Austria, the Czech Republic too has swung decisively in the direction of embracing populism as Populist billionaire’s Eurosceptic party wins big in Czech Republic.
As Radio Praha describes it: “The Czech Donald Trump or Silvio Berlusconi, maverick millionaire, political populist, mould breaker; these are all labels that have been tagged on to ANO leader Andrej Babi”.
Jakub Patocka for the Guardian: “Open racism has become a normal part of public discourse. Trust in democratic institutions and the European Union has been crumbling before our eyes. It is shocking how easily and quickly this has happened. Many Czechs are going to the polls with grim fears for the future. A broad coalition of democratic parties is not likely to have enough votes to control parliament. Apart from the far right, communists and a peculiar Czech version of the Pirate party are expected to do well.”

This post was published at True Economics on Sunday, October 22, 2017.

Spike In Airborne Radioactivity Detected In Europe, Source Located In Southern Urals

In late February, concerns about a potential nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, emerged when trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe, according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. And while Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, France was the first to officially inform the public about it.
“Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the IRSN wrote in a press release.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.

TECHNOCRACY INC: Now Charging for Roads By the Mile

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has published a transport strategy that outlines his vision of the future of transportation in Britain’s capital. The strategy conforms to his pledge to be London’s ‘greenest mayor’ as it will reduce motor vehicle traffic while simultaneously encouraging walking and cycling. As a way to discourage motor vehicle journeys, Khan plans to charge drivers a distance-based fee for using city roads. While the scheme is likely to represent an important new revenue stream for the city (or the firm that wins the contract), the plan also seems to resemble parts of the global elite’s technocratic agenda.
First of all, London’s proposal is not the only one of its kind. Various forms of road charging are in use in countries around the world, with many more proposed; the type that charges motorists based on the distance they drive is often called a ‘vehicle miles traveled tax’ (VMT tax). This type of scheme has so far been implemented in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Switzerland, as well as in several locations around the United States, such as Oregon with its OReGO program. Other similar schemes are being tested in countless locations internationally. Numerous think tanks and governments – including the UN and EU – have been urging the adoption of VMT taxes for some time, in what is clearly a coordinated international push.
An obvious problem with this idea is that charging for road use according to distance driven will discriminate against lower-income people and small business, but favour wealthier individuals and larger corporations. When Khan says, ‘we have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option’, he is clearly saying that using a car would become less affordable under the scheme. This broadly fits with the UN’s Agenda 21 plan, which aims to reduce the use of motor vehicles by the general public – as we shall see.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 30, 2017.

French Nuclear Watchdog Gives An Update On Mysterious Radioactive Iodine Blanketing Europe

1/5 [february 20 2017] No health concerns following the detection of #radioactive #Iodine in Europe in January 2017 — IRSN France (@IRSNFrance) February 20, 2017

On Sunday we reported that concerns have spread in Europe about a potential nuclear “incident” following a recent report by a French nuclear watchdog agency – the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks – that radioactive Iodine-131 had been observed across much of northern and central Europe. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection was an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer added, “where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”
The emission was rumored to have originated close to the Arctic circle, with some speculating that a nuclear test of emergency had taken place in Russia in January and the fallout then spread to Norway and onward to Europe:
“Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the French Institute de Radioprotection et de Sret Nuclaire wrote in a press release.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 20, 2017.

Concerns Grow About A Nuclear “Incident” In Europe After Spike In Radioactive Iodine Levels

Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer adds, “where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”
The air filter station at Svanhovd – located a few hundred meters from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north – was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January. Shortly thereafter, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.
Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, but France was the first to officially inform the public about it.
“Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the official French Institute de Radioprotection et de Sret Nuclaire (IRSN) wrote in a press release.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 19, 2017.

Max Keiser/Stacy Herbert: “Double Down” with Jim Rickards

On today’s episode of Double Down, hosts Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are joined by Jim Rickards, author of The Road to Ruin, to discuss the axis of gold and…rum barrel debt polka.
As Cuba has offered to pay its $270 million debts to the Czech Republic in rum. Jim Rickards, author of The Road to Ruin and Currency Wars, suggests this is a sign of things to come as nations seek hard currency, like gold.
Rickards points out that what he calls ‘the Axis of Gold’ – Russia, China and Iran – are able to navigate a U.S. dollar dominated financial system by trading with with world’s oldest money – gold. They also discuss Trump’s economic team and how they might alter long-standing China and dollar policy.

This post was published at Sputnik News

Sixteen European States Led By Germany Want Arms Control Agreement With Russia

Fifteen European states have supported Germany’s initiative to launch discussions with Russia on a new arms control agreement.
Europe’s security is in danger, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Die Welt newspaper in an interview published on November 25. As difficult as ties to Russia may currently be, we need more dialogue, not less.
Steinmeier, a Social Democrat nominated to become German president next year, first called for a new arms control deal with Russia in August to avoid an escalation of tensions in Europe.
Fifteen other members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – have since joined Steinmeier’s initiative: France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 29, 2016.

PM SECTOR DOWNSIDE TARGET ON MARKET ROUT – STRATEGIES…

After what happened on Friday many Precious Metals sector investors are naturally concerned about the effect of further heavy losses in the broad market on the sector. Let’s now review Friday’s action, starting with the broad market itself, before moving on to consider the likely impact on the PM sector.
After almost two months of quietly drifting sideways, the ground opened up beneath the broad market on Friday, as we can see on the 6-month chart for the S&P500 index below, it gapped down at the open and plunged by 2.45%, heading ever lower as the day unfolded – there was not even the customary bounce in the last hour of trading. This was predicted on the site back on 1st September when we had correctly identified what kind of pattern was forming, in the article COMPLACENCY RIFE AS VERY DANGEROUS PATTERN COMPLETES IN S&P500, a Dumpling Top, although at that time it was not known what sort of collateral impact this would have on the PM sector. This was a severe and decisive breakdown and there was almost no place to hide – most everything tanked, with the exception of the dollar and some obscure paper of the Czech Republic, I believe. Bonds plunged and yields rose, and it is thought that this may mark, at long last, the start of a rate tightening cycle, necessary to the survival of a number of banks. Of course, the rate rises, should they occur, can only be miniscule, otherwise the entire system will implode. If it does mark the start of a tightening cycle then bonds and stocks are in for a really rough ride.

This post was published at Clive Maund on September 10th, 2016.

Rain Czech? Support for Adoption of Euro Hits Rock Bottom in Czech Republic

Support for euro adoption in the Czech Republic is down to a 15 year low with a mere 17 percent voting for a transition to the single European currency with 78 percent saying no, according to a CVVM poll, novinky.cz news agency reported.
The past year saw a 7 percent drop in the number of those favoring euro adoption.
36 percent of respondents voiced confidence in the future of the European project, which was almost the same as in 2015, when it was 35 per cent.

This post was published at Sputnik News

Brexit and a Hanseatic League

David Cameron, Britain’s Prime Minister, has negotiated terms with the other EU member states, which he feels justified to put to voters in an in/out referendum called for 23 June.
At this early stage in the campaign, the terms are not sufficient to give a clear lead in favour a vote to stay, contributing to a slide in sterling on the foreign exchanges. However, if voters do vote to leave the EU, it won’t be just sterling which suffers, but the euro will face considerable challenges as well.
It is thought that arranging for the referendum to be held at the earliest possible date will limit disaffection with the EU. Within this time-scale, the strategy is to emphasise the dangers of Brexit, highlight the advantages of being able to influence EU policies from within, and to emphasise the security benefits of being in as opposed to out. It is essentially a weak and negative campaign strategy designed to scare the electorate against change. Negative campaigns are a weak strategy, which tend to wane through repetition.
There is an elephant in the room that might also trip up the planned outcome, and that is a material and growing risk of financial instability in the Eurozone. While it is probable that no major problems will surface before June, there is a significant possibility they will. The Eurozone’s banking system is somewhere between insolvency and bankruptcy with the Italian, Greek and Portuguese banks in intensive care. Eurozone government bond prices, many so over-priced they have negative yields, are certain to fall significantly at some stage, leading to an inevitable Eurozone debt crisis.
Add to this the refugee problem, and we have the makings of an all too obvious Eurozone bust-up. Furthermore, it is reported that the Czech Republic’s prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has warned that if Britain decides to leave the EU, the Czech Republic may follow. Furthermore, there is pressure for a similar referendum in the Netherlands. Disaffection with Brussels is widespread, and it will not be just a British rat abandoning the sinking EU ship.

This post was published at GoldMoney on MARCH 03, 2016.

Are Environmentalism and Global Warming Effectively Religious Socialism?

An interesting pattern developed early in the official involvement in global warming. If a person challenged the claim that humans were causing global warming (AGW), it was assumed they were on the political right. If you supported AGW, then you were on the left. This categorization is not related to the science, but to the political nature of the science involved. This occurred in two major parts. The original objective of those using global warming for their political agenda and the marginalizing of those who questioned the science by linking them to industries and their wealthy owners. The author believes the evidence shows that human CO2 is not causing AGW, that the hypothesis is not proved. This article is not written to pick political sides. Rather, it is an attempt to help understand the battles waged and the confusion this created for the public, the politicians, the media, and a majority of scientists.
The world needed the new paradigm of environmentalism. The problem is that a few grabbed it for a political agenda. They used it as a vehicle to take the moral high ground, to claim only they cared about the environment. They argued that everyone else was guilty of environmental destruction because of their avarice and wasteful ways. The debate about global warming is a subset of environmentalism that was also hijacked using the same themes.
At the first Heartland Conference in New York in 2004 Vaclav Klaus twice Prime Minister of the Czech Republic was the keynote speaker. His opening remark that we have just gone through 70 years of communism so why the hell would you want to go back to that brought a standing ovation. It supports the fact that environmentalism and AGW is a political agenda pushed by extremely wealthy and powerful left wing people most of who made their money exploiting the environment. The psychology of that is beyond the discussion here, but consider the hypocrisy of George Soros, Maurice Strong, Bill Gates, the Rockefeller’s, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ted Turner among many others.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on February 27, 2016.

Why a Global Recession Is More Likely Than Anyone Realizes

Back in the summer of 2008, I told my hedge fund clients to sell everything. That saved them a ton of cash.
Then in the following March, I published a front-page article predicting an ‘oncoming and unexpected bull stampede.’ And that made people a lot of money.
In August 2015, I predicted a mighty steep drop in stocks ahead, and then in December, I warned about what would happen in January.
That got people out of this sell-off’s way (and it made my Short-Side Fortunes readers some ‘easy’ money, too).
Each one of those calls was the right one, and today, I’m here to tell you I see a dangerous situation shaping up.
That’s because, right now, the signs are telling me that the next global recession is coming soon.
Here’s what I’m looking at…
Scary Warning Signs Are Lit All Over
A recession is very simply defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.
In the real world, nation-states that experience negative growth over longer periods, interrupted by occasional paltry-positive readings of GDP are, for all intents and purposes, in a recession.
Countries now in recession include: Greece, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, Taiwan, and as of Monday, Ireland.
I believe the United States is closer than anyone realizes to joining them.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on February 5, 2016.

Liberland

Global Gold Talks to Vt Jedlika, the President of Liberland
Vt Jedlika is a Czech politician, publicist and activist. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Economics, Prague in 2009 and his Master’s degree from CEVRO Institut in 2014. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Free Citizens Party, where he was elected the first Regional President in the Hradec Krlov Region. Vt Jedlika considers himself a libertarian with liberal views on individual freedom and has described himself as a Bastiat-influenced anarcho-capitalist.
Jedlika is also a Eurosceptic and highly critical of the European Union as an institution, as well as the general conduct of some of its member states. On 13 April 2015, he founded and proclaimed the Free Republic of Liberland on land between Serbia and Croatia unclaimed by either nation and became its first president.
Claudio Grass Interviews Vt Jedlika
Claudio Grass, Global Gold: Vit, it is a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk to you. Let’s dive right in and start with the topic that made headlines this year: Liberland. Can you tell us when you first envisioned the idea of creatingLiberland? Could you explain to us the ideas and events that led you to take this step and how this project came to life?
Vt Jedlika: Most people that come to this world wonder how they can make it a better place. I was no exception. When I started understanding the world at the age of around six, we had the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic. Lots of things dramatically changed for the better. That convinced me that things could be improved even more. When I was 13, I read ‘The Law’ by Frdric Bastiat. This book motivated me to get politically involved and to stand up for more economic freedom in the world. I spent the last five years campaigning in the Czech Republic for lower taxes and less regulation. Our Libertarian party now even has one member in the European Parliament, but to me this simply is not enough. Libertarian and free market concepts are often dismissed, because as the argument goes ‘they don’t work in the real world’. I created Liberland to create an example of how these concepts can be implemented in reality.
Global Gold: What would you consider the core values that the state of Liberland is built on to be?

This post was published at Acting-Man on JANUARY 6, 2016.

Athens Recalls Ambassador To Prague After Czech President Says He Is “Disappointed Greece Did Not Leave Euro Area”

Greece Recalls Its Ambassador To Prague, After Czech President’s Unacceptable Remarks On Grexit
A diplomatic incident with unknown outcome has occurred between Greece and the Czech Republic after the provocative statements made against Greece by President Milos Zeman. As consequence to Zeman’s statements, the Greek Foreign Ministry ordered its its Ambassador to the Czech Republic to return back to Athens ‘for consultations’ as it is nicely said in diplomatic language. The Czech President has recently expressed his disappointed ‘because Greece has not exit the Eurozone yet.’
Speaking to Slovak news agency TASR on December 15h, President Milos Zeman said that he was “extremely disappointed that the summer negotiations between Greece and creditors did not ultimately lead to Greece’s exit from the euro area, although it looked quite possible.“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/22/2015.

For Sale: Apocalypse Bunker, Can Withstand 20 Kiloton Nuclear Blast; Furnished: Asking $17,500,000

Earlier this week we presented the Oppidium: a concept doomsday shelter which would be located in the Czech Republic, catering exclusively to billionaires who could watch mushroom clouds wrap the earth in a radioactive glow just the way they like it: in posh opulence, as the following proposed images suggested:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/20/2015.

E.U. takes member states to court over ‘bail-in’ laws to protect taxpayers

The European Commission is taking legal action against member states including the Netherlands and Luxembourg, after they failed to implement rules protecting European taxpayers from funding billions in bank rescues.
Six countries will be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for their continued failure to transpose the E.U.’s “bail-in” laws into national legislation, the European Commission said on Thursday.
The referral comes after the Commission issued a warning against Poland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Romania and the Czech Republic for their non-compliance earlier this year.
The rules – known as the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) – are designed to stop citizens from ever having to foot the bill for saving banks from going bust, preventing a re-run of events that imperiled Spain and Ireland in the wake of the financial crisis.

This post was published at The Telegraph