• Tag Archives EU
  • Why Robots Will Win the Coming Trade Wars

    The first step to surviving a war is knowing which side you are on. But in a trade war, that’s not always easy.
    Suppose the US imposed tariffs on steel imported from the European Union. Prices on goods made with that steel would probably rise, but this would affect you only to the extent you rely on those particular goods.
    When the EU responded by slapping tariffs on items ‘Made in USA,’ it would hurt you only if your livelihood depended on those export revenues.
    Of course, we may be headed toward a wider trade war, which could cause more general price inflation, hurting everyone in some way – though I think it will be more targeted at first.
    But one group is sure to win in a trade war because demand for their services will skyrocket.
    Who are these lucky people?
    They aren’t people at all. They’re robots.
    Trade Talks Fizzle
    If you monitor trade and logistics news like I do, the signs are everywhere. Last week, US and Chinese negotiators met in Washington to cap the 100-day dialogue that Presidents Trump and Xi promised at their April summit.
    It didn’t go well, apparently.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JULY 25, 2017.

  • War on Cash Hits a Snag in Europe

    The war on cash may have hit a snag in Europe.
    A lot of people apparently don’t want to play along.
    If a recent survey published by the European Commission is any indication, the bankers and central planners have their work cut out for them as they push toward a cashless society. Ninety-five percent of respondents opposed a proposal to put an upper limit on cash payments.
    As ZeroHedge reported via the Wolfstreet.com, the commission announced it was exploring the option of imposing a ceiling on cash payments earlier this year. The plan was to begin implementing the cross-regional measures as soon as 2018. The commission survey was intended to create ‘a veneer of respectability and accountability.’
    That didn’t work out so well.
    Most telling was the answer to the following question:
    ‘How would the introduction of restrictions on payments in cash at EU level benefit you, or your business or your organisation (multiple replies are possible)?’

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 24, 2017.

  • European Stocks Fall To 3 Month Lows On “Carmaker Cartel” Fears, Sliding PMIs; US Futures Lower

    In a mixed session, which has seen Asian stocks ex-Japan broadly higher, the European Stoxx 600 index dropped as much as 0.6% after data Markit PMI data signalled euro-area economy grew in July at its slowest pace in six months while carmakers extended declines on continued concern about antitrust collusion in the industry. Germany’s DAX Index was hardest-hit euro-area benchmark, down as much as 0.8%. Autos continued to be the worst-performing sector on the Stoxx Europe 600 after EU and German regulators said they are studying possible collusion among German automakers. Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday that BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen may have cooperated for decades on technology.
    Concerns have risen that with the Euro trading near its strongest level in 2 years and appreciating 11% against the USD YTD, it may weigh on exporters’ earnings; 1.20 on the EURUSD is being seen a key barrier beyond which European earnings will suffer. As a result, the euro headed for its first decline in three days as data showed the region’s economy cooling at the start of a week packed with earnings results and a Federal Reserve rate decision. Stocks were dragged down for a second day by carmakers amid a collusion probe.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 24, 2017.

  • Hungary’s Orban: EU And “Soros Mafia Network” Are Seeking To “Muslimize Europe”

    The war of words between Hungary’s outspoken prime minister Viktor Orban and liberal billionaire George Soros escalated to previously unseen levels on Saturday, when the Hungarian PM said that European Union leaders and Soros are seeking a “new, mixed, Muslimized Europe,” however during a visit to Romania, Orban said that Hungary’s border fences, supported by other Central European countries, will block the EU-Soros effort to increase Muslim migration into Europe.
    Slamming the Hungarian-born billionaire who has been accused by the Hungarian government of using his vast wealth to fund pro-mass migration organizations to create a ‘new, mixed, Muslimized Europe’, Orban said Brussels was in an ‘alliance against the people’s will’ with the financier.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2017.

  • Did the City of London Just Press the Panic Button on Brexit?

    Oh the irony: EU capitals are trying to attract the very institutions that caused some of the worst financial scandals of the last ten years.
    In a sign of growing desperation, the City of London Corporation, the enigmatic city within the city that serves as the ultimate bastion of privilege in the UK, is now trying to appeal to brute populist sentiment to defend its position as the world’s most important financial center.
    In a memo to the British Treasury, MPs, and financial institutions, the City’s Brexit envoy to the EU, Jeremy Browne, bemoaned that the French are pushing for the most damaging Brexit possible, even if France doesn’t directly benefit. The memo was duly leaked to one of the UK’s most anti-EU newspapers, The Daily Mail:
    Browne’s recent meeting at the Banque de France was the worst he had had ‘anywhere in the EU’. The French, he said, ‘are crystal clear about their objectives: the weakening of Britain and the ongoing degradation of the City of London’ and plotting to ‘actively disrupt and destroy’ the UK’s financial sector when Britain leaves the EU.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jul 19, 2017.

  • Criminal Groups Still Prefer Cash To Bitcoin, EU Study Finds

    Bitcoin and other digital currencies are seemingly tailor-made for use by organized crime groups, given that they’re widely used and allow for a level of anonymity. But a study by the European Union exploring financing options used by organized crime and terror groups claims that the technological barriers associated with using bitcoin and other digital currencies have so far prevented widespread adoption.
    The use of cryptocurrencies by criminal groups – other than hackers – is fairly rare.
    In its conclusion, the report claims that:
    ‘few investigations have been conducted on virtual currencies which seem to be rarely used by criminal organizations. While they may have a high intent to use due to VCs characteristics (anonymity in particular), the level of capability is lower due to high technology required.’ However, the EU said the money laundering threat posed by these currencies is ‘moderately significant,’ given their ability to transfer money more or less anonymously. ‘The assessment of the [money laundering] threat related to virtual currencies shows that organised crime organisations may use virtual currencies to have access to “clean cash” (both cash in/out). When used, virtual currencies allow organised crime groups to access cash anonymously and hide the transaction trail. They may acquire private keys of the e-wallets or obtain some cash from ATM. However, cases are quite rare at this stage and few investigations have been undertaken concerning this risk scenario. One of the reasons is that the reliance on virtual currencies to launder proceeds of crime requires some technical expertise. According to LEAs, the amounts of money laundered via virtual currencies are quite low, which tends to demonstrate that criminals’ intent to use them is rather limited because this modus operandi is not considered as attractive enough (in particular because of the volatility of the virtual currencies’ market). From a technical point, virtual currencies present some commonalities with e-money but the IT expertise at stake for virtual currencies means that organised crime would have lower capability to use them than e-money which is more widely accepted.’

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


    GOLD: $1234.50 UP $4.20
    Silver: $16.13 UP 17 cent(s)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1234.50
    silver: $16.13
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$10.37
    LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1229.85
    LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1234.10
    For comex gold:
    TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 120 FOR 12000 OZ (.3732 TONNES)
    For silver:
    255,000 OZ/
    Total number of notices filed so far this month: 2866 for 14,330,000 oz

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on July 17, 2017.

  • ‘Bigger Systemic Risk’ Now Than 2008 – Bank of England

    – Bank of England warn that ‘bigger systemic risk’ now than in 2008
    – BOE, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) concerns re financial system
    – Banks accused of ‘balance sheet trickery’ -undermining spirit of post-08 rules
    – EU & UK corporate bond markets may be bigger source of instability than ’08
    – Credit card debt and car loan surge could cause another financial crisis
    – PRA warn banks returning to similar practices to those that sparked 08 crisis
    – ‘Conscious that corporate memories can be shed surprisingly fast’ warns PRA Chair
    Editor Mark O’Byrne
    Stark warnings have been issued by the Bank of England and its regulatory arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
    In less than one week the two bodies issued papers and speeches to warn industry members that many banks are showing signs of making the same mistakes that led to the 2008 financial crisis – the outcomes of which are predicted to be worse than those seen just nine years ago.

    This post was published at Gold Core on July 17, 2017.

  • Asian Metals Market Update: July-17-2017

    It was quite a week last week. For the bears of gold and silver, it was the distance between the slip and the lip. Trump’s Russia connections and a hawkish Federal Reserve came to the rescue of gold and silver bulls. Low inflation will reduce the pace of interest rate hikes. Interest rates in the USA will rise at a faster pace if and only if the Federal Reserve ignores inflation and focusses on other macro factors of the US economy. Global central banks and not just the Federal Reserve do not have room to reduce liquidity by much. If they increase interest rates at a quicker pace till next year, then a lot of so called ‘too large to fail’ banks could be get. There are also certain sectors in every nation which are nearing bubble zone and could get busted due to quicker interest rate hikes. Gold and silver will zoom once traders perceive that interest rate hikes have formed a medium term top.
    China is on a land encroachment spree with most of its neighbors. Other than its northern borders with Russia China is unofficially increasing its land boundaries. Some nations have succumbed to China while others like India under an able political leadership are now trying to counter China. War/skirmishes with China are imminent as far as India is concerned. Chinese land encroachment policy will result in increase in the pace of rise in physical gold demand from Asia. Chinese government policies ensure that gold buying reaches to each and every strata of its people. (Unlike Indian government which is trying to take all steps to dissuade Indians to buy gold).
    The effects of the Islamization of Europe are being felt in a big way. In my view the UK more or less has a state support to Islamic terrorists. All global terror organizations openly raise funding in the UK. The Scotland Yard knows the terrorists and supports the global Islamic terrorists as long as they are able to use them. So called British exit from the EU will be more peaceful for the Eurozone as UK terror imports will reduce. Europe’s daily rise in terror threats will ensure that gold and other safe havens demand will be on the boil over the coming years.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 16 July 2017.

  • The Economic System Has Failed,The Fed Will Hide It All By Pushing Markets Higher – Episode 1333a

    The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 16, 2017
    Many of the EU countries are at the point where more and more people are falling into poverty. The stats don’t add up, unemployment decreases and retail sales decreases and the restaurant industry declines rapidly. Visa is offering restaurants $500,000 not accept cash. Illinois pension system was created by manipulating the numbers. Ron Paul says when the central banks make the statement that everything is Ok, this is when the economy collapses.

  • People Not Amused by EU Efforts to ‘De-Cash’ their Lives

    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. In January 2017 the European Commission announced it was exploring the option of imposing upper limits on cash payments, with a view to implementing cross-regional measures as soon as 2018. To give the proposal a veneer of respectability and accountability the Commission launched a public consultation on the issue. Now, the answers are in, but they are not what the Commission was expecting.
    A staggering 95% of the respondents said they were opposed to a cash ceiling at EU level. Even more emphatic was the answer to the following question:
    ‘How would the introduction of restrictions on payments in cash at EU level benefit you, or your business or your organisation (multiple replies are possible)?’
    In the curious absence of an explicit ‘not at all’ option, 99.18% chose to respond with ‘no answer.’ In other words, less than 1% of the more than 30,000 people consulted could think of a single benefit of the EU unleashing cross-regional cash limits.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jul 14, 2017.

  • Europe’s Unsustainable Welfare State

    Angela Merkel used to say that ‘the European Union is about 5% of the world’s population, about 25% of its GDP, and about 50% of global welfare spending’:
    The real data is more concerning.
    The European Union is:
    7.2% of the World Population.
    23.8% of the World’s GDP.
    58% of the World’s Welfare Spending.
    Something has to give.
    The EU average tax burden on workers is 44.9%. The average worker in the EU spends half a year working for the tax man.
    Taxation accounts for 41% of the euro area GDP.
    Ease of doing business remains below the leading economies of the world.
    Bureaucracy is asphyxiating. The EU approves on average 80 directives, 1,200 regulations and 700 decisions per year.
    The main EU economies remain significantly below the leaders in economic freedom.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 07/14/2017.

  • Schaeuble Says Italy Bank-Liquidation Aid Shows Rule Discord

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble joined his counterparts from the Netherlands and Austria in calling for a review of European Union bank-failure rules after Italy won approval to pour as much as 17 billion ($19.4 billion) of taxpayers’ cash into liquidating two regional lenders.
    Schaeuble said Italy’s disposal of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA revealed differences between the EU’s bank-resolution rules and national insolvency laws that are ‘difficult to explain.’ That’s why finance ministers convening in Brussels on Monday have to discuss the Italian cases and consider ‘how this can be changed with a view to the future,’ he told reporters in Brussels before the meeting.
    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the focus should be on E.U. state-aid rules for banks that date from 2013, before the resolution framework was put in place. Italy relied on these rules for its state-funded liquidation of the two Veneto banks and its plan to inject 5.4 billion into Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA.
    The E.U. laid down new bank-failure rules in the 2014 Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive after member states provided almost 2 trillion to prop up lenders during the financial crisis. The BRRD foresees small banks going insolvent like non-financial companies. Big ones that could cause mayhem would be restructured and recapitalized under a separate procedure called resolution, in which losses are borne by owners and creditors, including senior bondholders if necessary.

    This post was published at bloomberg

  • Catalonia to Move to Referendum October 1st to Break From Spain

    The Spanish region of Catalonia is preparing to hold a second referendum on separating from of Spain on October 1st, despite warnings from Madrid. Naturally, the EU is against any such separation. However, the regional tensions are historic and Catalonia is the rich and prosperous region of Spain with Barcelona being perhaps the most beautiful city in Europe. The separatist movement are generally small but rising on a global scale primarily because of governments going broke everywhere.
    Spain was actually formed by the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs of Queen Isabella I of Castile (Spain) and King Ferdinand II of Aragon in general. Both regions were historically two separate nations. That distinction has lived on and it is economics that is driving the separatist movement as we see in Canada with Quebec and in the United States with movements building in Texas and California, albeit small minorities so far. Catalonia was not part of Aragon but to some degree much more isolated from Madrid as you can see on this map.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 11, 2017.

  • German Secretary Economics Warns Low Interest Rates Have Failed

    The German Secretary General of the Economic Council of the CDU, Wolfgang Steiger, has highlighted the growing economic crisis in Europe. The negative interest rates of Draghi and the ECB have totally failed. He has pointed out that despite various EU stress tests for banks, time and again they continue to fail. He has stress himself that this does not strengthen the confidence in the rules or Europe. He has come out and bluntly states that ONLY reforms will work, not low interest rates.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 10, 2017.

  • EU Commission & Parliament Clash of Words

    Ministers elected to the European Parliament have now actual power. They get paid extra if they actually show up. What you see are MPs swiping their cards to get that extra pay and then turn around and leave. Well the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker criticized the Parliament MPs for not showing up to listen to a speech by the Maltese president. Only 30 of the 751 elected members bothered to show up at all. What emerged was a lot of name calling back and forth and Parliament members argued that the Commission was not empowered to watch over Parliament. They are supposed to monitor themselves.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 7, 2017.

  • EU Parliament Suspends Turkey Accession Talks

    In the latest diplomatic escalation between the EU and Turkey, on Thursday the European Parliament voted to suspend Turkey’s EU accession talks, which as a reminder have been dragging on for decades, if Ankara proceeds with its tplanned constitutional reform which grants sweeping powers to President Recep Erdogan. The resolution passed by the parliament in Strasbourg calls for the ‘ Commission and the member states, in accordance with the Negotiating Framework, to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged.”
    “The current strategy of the European Commission and EU leaders seems to wait silently for things to improve in Turkey,” said the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on Turkey, Kati Piri, criticizing a stance which she said was “feeding President Erdogan’s authoritarianism.”
    Still, the vote was largely symbolic: the EU Parliament has limited influence on Turkey’s decades-old pursuit of EU membership, now in limbo after bitter exchanges between Ankara and some European countries, but the decision does highlight the gulf which has grown between the two sides.
    In response to the decision, Turkey’s EU affairs minister, Omer Celik did what Turkey has always done best: ignored the decision, and announced that Ankara does not accept the EU Parliament report. Quoted by Reuters, Celik said Ankara regarded Thursday’s vote in Strasbourg as invalid, while the foreign ministry was similarly dismissive.

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

  • U.S. Trade Balance Improves In May As Deficit With China, Europe Shrinks

    Coming in largely as expected, the U. S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in May 2017 from an unrevised $47.6 billion in April (revised)
    to $46.5 billion in May, fractionaly worse than consensus expectations of $46.3 billion, as exports increased and imports decreased. According to the BEA, the goods deficit decreased $0.9 billion in May to $67.5 billion. The services
    surplus increased $0.2 billion in May to $21.0 billion. The most notably item about today’s release is that the deficit with both the EU and China, the two largest trading partners, shrank by $2.6BN and $2.0BN respectively.
    Exports of goods and services increased $0.9 billion, or 0.4% percent, in May to $192.0 billion. Exports of goods increased $0.2 billion and exports of services increased $0.6 billion.

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

  • EU Regulators Take Aim At London’s Asset-Management Industry

    Brexit negotiations officially began three weeks ago, and whether the UK will retain access to the European Union’s single financial market once they’re over is unknown. Yet that hasn’t stopped regulators on the Continent from taking a swipe at more than a trillion euros in assets, and thousands of well-paying finance jobs required to manage them, that they think belong on the other side of the English Channel.
    As Bloomberg reports, the European Securities and Markets Authority issued a ruling saying that ‘letterbox entities’ nominally based in the European Union but managed from abroad will no longer be tolerated.
    ‘The proposal would affect UCITS, a type of mutual fund domiciled in the European Union, that hold about 9.1 trillion euros ($10.3 trillion) of assets. The European Securities and Markets Authority said in May that passports to sell funds – effectively, a stamp of approval allowing fund managers to offer a product globally – should be rejected unless major decisions are made by management based within the bloc.’
    The regulator says its Brexit-inspired guidance is intended to prevent ‘a race to the bottom in oversight standards,’ ignoring the fact that the funds can be managed from anywhere in the world. Bloomberg neglects to specify how these funds would be treated according to existing rules: Without this guidance, would these funds be forced to re-domicile in the EU if the UK loses access to the single market? It’s unclear.
    ‘ESMA, which could publish a second take on its opinion this week, said the guidance was prompted by Brexit as it seeks to avoid a race to the bottom in oversight standards. While almost 1.1 trillion euros of UCITS fund assets are domiciled in the U. K., according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the implications may spread beyond the City of London. UCITS products are often domiciled in Luxembourg and Ireland, but their fund managers can be based anywhere in the world to focus on local markets.’

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

  • Monte Paschi Wins E.U. Backing for 5.4 Billion in State Aid

    Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA won formal European Union approval to receive 5.4 billion euros ($6.1 billion) in aid from Italy’s government, removing a further source of turmoil from the country’s financial system.
    After months of negotiations, the European Commission cleared the so-called precautionary recapitalization of a lender that needs state support to survive even though regulators have declared it solvent. Monte Paschi turned to Italy for help after it failed to raise funding from investors in December.
    Italy is struggling to fix a crisis-era legacy of about 313 billion of soured loans that’s holding back credit and weighing on its weak recovery. The government approved a law last year to plow as much as 20 billion into troubled lenders as part of its efforts to revamp its banking industry and break a slump in lending. Last month the government committed as much as 17 billion to wind down Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA after trying for months to find a way to keep the regional banks afloat.
    The recapitalization of Monte Paschi ‘should ensure a turnaround for the lender and should help the whole Italian banking industry,’said Fabrizio Spagna, managing director at Axia Financial Research in Padua, Italy.
    In return for the state aid, Monte Paschi agreed to a five-year restructuring plan that includes changes in its business model and steps to improve efficiency and management of credit risk. It must also sell about 26 billion of bad loans packaged into securities, and impose a salary cap on senior managers. Further details of the plan will be presented during an analyst conference call at 8:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

    This post was published at bloomberg