• Tag Archives Finland
  • The European Countries With The Most Psychiatrists

    If Europe is driving you nuts, we have some simple advice… head to Finland!
    As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, according to new Eurostat data released to mark World Mental Health Day, the European Union has about 90,000 psychiatrists in total and Finland has the most per 100,000 inhabitants (23.60) followed by Sweden (23.19) and the Netherlands (22.95).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 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.


  • The Agony of the Welfare State, Finnish Style

    The title of this post – minus the reference to Finland – is shamelessly copped from a prescient essay that Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1953. In his article Mises pointed out that in Great Britain and Europe, the system of progressive taxation was already confiscating nearly the entire ‘surplus’ incomes of the successful capitalists and entrepreneurs, meaning that higher tax rates would no longer produce additional funds to finance these countries’ ever-expanding welfare states. ‘Henceforth,’ Mises foretold, ‘the funds of the beneficiaries themselves have to be tapped if more handouts are to be made to them.’
    Today things have gotten far worse than even Mises foresaw. For now it is becoming evident that the ‘beneficiaries’ of the most advanced welfare states are not reproducing rapidly enough to pay for the benefits that they are receiving and are therefore ‘endangering’ the ‘long-term survival’ of the ‘more generous’ welfare states. A notable example is Finland, which faces a ‘massive baby problem.’ Thus, in 2016, Finland recorded the lowest number of newborn babies in 148 years, or since the great famine of 1868. The Finnish fertility rate has fallen to 1.57 per woman and the number of people under 20 years of age as a percentage of the working age population is the lowest among Nordic countries at less than 40%, down from 60% in 1970.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 22, 2017.


  • Finnish Politician Tells Women ‘Be Patriotic, Have More Babies’ As Birth Rates Crashes To 150 Year Lows

    For years, the Japanese government has been desperately trying to encourage its citizenry to have more sex to combat the collapsing demographics the nation faces, trying guilt (blasting their “sexual apathy”) and punishment (imposing a “handsome tax” to make lief more even for ugly men), to no avail.
    Now it appears Finland is suffering a similar fate. As Bloomberg reports, Finland, a first-rate place in which to be a mother, has registered the lowest number of newborns in nearly 150 years.

    The birth rate has been falling steadily since the start of the decade, and there’s little to suggest a reversal in the trend.
    Demographics are a concern across the developed world, of course. But they are particularly problematic for countries with a generous welfare state, since they endanger its long-term survival.

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


  • Finland’s Largest Pension Funds Dumps US Stocks Because “There Is No President In The US”

    As President Donald Trump prepares to meet with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the White House on Monday, a portfolio manager at the Baltic state’s largest pension fund has told Bloomberg that he will be trimming exposure to US stocks. The reason? ‘It seems as if there is no president in the US.’
    Risto Murto, chief executive officer of Varma Mutual Pension Insurance complained that Trump’s response to the attack in Charlottesville Va. demonstrated that he is incapable of governing the world’s largest economy, and that it appears the US is more or less running on autopilot.
    ***
    The reason for Murto’s concern: as the financial crisis showed us, when there is trouble in the US, it runs the risk of spreading to the rest of the world. Musto also cited Trump’s seeming inability to work with Congress as ‘particularly worrying,’ given that it threatens to disrupt the implementation of the Trump economic agenda. Hoped-for tax cuts and infrastructure spending helped push US stocks to record highs in the wake of Trump’s inauguration.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 28, 2017.


  • Fun on Friday: World Gold Panning Championships

    As we’ve reported before, panning for gold is a fast-growing hobby. I get it. I can see the fun in getting out into nature with family and friends. You get to experience the beauty of the great outdoors, enjoy some physical activity, and of course, there’s always the possibility of striking it rich – however unlikely that might be.
    But in my opinion, some people have taken this gold panning craze a little too far. They’ve turned it into a competitive sport. No kidding. This year marks 40th anniversary of the World Gold Panning Championships.
    This year, Moffatt, Scotland will host the championships. They’ve actually been doing this since 1977. The first World Gold Panning Championships were held in Finland.
    I don’t want to offend any of you competitive gold panners out there, but I just don’t get it.
    Here’s how the competition works, as reported by the BBC.
    There are a range of different categories in which 30 competitors at a time each receive a bucket of sand and gravel containing a few flakes of gold. They race against the clock to find as many pieces as they can with the quickest progressing to the next round. The winner on finals day is then crowned world champion.’

    This post was published at Schiffgold on AUGUST 18, 2017.


  • US Is A “Second Tier” Country, According To Social Progress Index

    Most Americans’ idea of happiness involves lounging by the water or on a beach somewhere. But it turns out, human happiness can flourish even in freezing climates far from the equator.
    To wit, the Social Progress Imperative, a US-based nonprofit, released the results of its annual Social Progress Index report, which purports to rank countries based on the overall wellbeing of their citizens. Four Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway claimed the top spots, while the US placed 18th out of 128, leaving it in what the SPI defines as the ‘second-tier’ of countries based on citizens’ wellbeing, according to Bloomberg.
    Luckily, being ‘second-tier’ doesn’t seem that bad, according to a definition found in the report.
    ‘Second-tier countries demonstrate ‘high social progress’ on core issues, such as nutrition, water, and sanitation. However, they lag the first-tier, ‘very high social progress’ nations when it comes to social unity and civic issues. That more or less reflects the U. S. performance. (There are six tiers in the study.)’
    ‘We want to measure a country’s health and wellness achieved, not how much effort is expended, nor how much the country spends on healthcare,’ the report states.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • From Yukon to Patagonia, gold explorers stir after sleep

    The number of holes drilled at gold deposits has been rising steadily for more than a year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. And while early-stage exploration budgets haven’t kept pace with spending at existing mines, prospecting hot spots are starting to pop up in traditional destinations Canada, Australia, and Latin America. In some parts of Argentina, exploration has jumped about 50 percent, mainly for lithium but also for gold in provinces such as Santa Cruz, according to state-controlled energy company YPF SA. Chile’s government also sees a pickup this year with prospectors focusing on both copper and gold. Colombia is also attracting more attention.
    In some parts of Argentina, exploration has jumped about 50 percent, mainly for lithium but also for gold in provinces such as Santa Cruz, according to state-controlled energy company YPF SA. Chile’s government also sees a pickup this year with prospectors focusing on both copper and gold. Colombia is also attracting more attention.
    Drilling successes are adding to the interest. Aurion Resources Ltd. shares have more than tripled since Feb. 1 when it announced a discovery in northern Finland, while SolGold Plc has risen 12-fold in the past year as it drilled out a copper and gold find in Ecuador. This week’s $431 million deal between Eldorado Gold Corp. and Integra Gold Corp. is the latest acquisition driven by a need to secure new ounces.
    ‘We need more exploration in the industry; it’s been such a long downturn,’ Mark Ferguson, head of mining studies at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a phone interview from Halifax, Nova Scotia. ‘A lot of producers are going to start facing medium-term shortfalls in their pipeline if they’re not replacing the reserves that they’re actively mining.’

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • Denmark: Debt Bomb, Waiting for an Inflationary Spark

    The recent prosperity comes with a cost.
    By Nick Kamran – Letters from Norway:
    From the outside looking in, the Danish economy appears as blissful as the country itself, which usually tops ‘The Happiness Index.’ The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.2% in the most recent release from 4.3% in 2016. Denmark, ranked 20th in economic complexity in 2015, has a mostly even trade balance, and $50K GDP per capita in 2016, making it among one of the richest nations in the world.
    Moreover, Danish GDP-per-capita growth led in the Nordics for the past ten years, from 2007 to 2016: Denmark 28.5%, Sweden 22.0%, Norway 14.6% Finland 12.2%. Although Denmark exports substantial agricultural and natural resource-based products, they are also major players in pharmaceuticals and machinery. Top companies include AP Mller-Mrsk, Novo Nordisk, Vestas, and Danske Bank, representing shipping, pharma, clean energy, and finance.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Nick Kamran ‘ Mar 31, 2017.


  • Are 100-Year Mortgages Next? Effects of Negative Real Interest Rates on Nordic Housing Bubble

    Wage Growth vs. Housing Price Growth By Nick Kamran, an American living in Oslo, Letters from Norway:
    Historically, central banks throughout Europe had one mandate: price stability. They did not worry about employment or economic growth, only currency integrity. Setting interest rates to contain inflation ensured that a Krone or a Euro would purchase tomorrow what it could today. Nevertheless, since the ebbing of the 2008 financial crisis, The ECB, of which Finland is a member, officially added full employment and economic growth to their mandate. The Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Central Bank’s followed suit, stating that they would consider ‘other factors’ than inflation when basing an interest rate decision.
    Hence, instead of remaining impartial – leaving it to lawmakers, markets, and the public to deal with the prevailing interest rate – the central banks became involved in policy making. Adding employment and economic growth to their mandate equates to the National Institute of Standards changing the definition of the meter to help an engineering firm, working on a major bridge project, meet budgetary and timeline constraints. In addition to creating a dilemma, the additional mandates made central banks appear politically biased.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Mar 4, 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.


  • The Dangers of a “Universal Basic Income”

    Finland has announced that it is conducting a social policy ‘experiment’ which deserves closer examination. Through 2017 and 2018, Finland will provide a guaranteed basic income of 560 euros to 2,000 randomly selected welfare recipients. This benefit will be subtracted from other, currently existing welfare benefits that participants may be receiving, and, crucially, the payments will continue regardless of any other income that is earned. If a participant of this program finds a job, the government will continue to pay them the 560 euros in addition to any other income.
    The Finnish government hopes – and many believe – that this program will help to alleviate poverty as well as make inroads in reducing the country’s current 8.1 percent unemployment rate. This test trial is supposed to prove it, potentially opening the door for a full implementation of a universal basic income (UBI).
    Why People Support a Universal Basic Income The universal basic income is being considered as a partial or complete replacement to the current means-tested system of welfare. Under the current system, welfare recipients’ benefits taper off and eventually stop, completely, based upon how much income individuals independently earn. Naturally, this creates a disincentive to rejoin the labor force, because people fear a reduction in total income as welfare benefits are removed or if they believe the added income from a job isn’t worth the labor. Demonstrated very simply, if someone is currently receiving a total income of $1,100 through a means-tested welfare program, many will be less likely to seek a job which will result in similar income levels, as most prefer leisure to labor.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on January 17, 2017.


  • Central Bankers Are In The Process Of Banning Cash One Country At A Time – Episode 1168a

    The following video was published by X22Report on Jan 3, 2017
    Trump lashes out at GM and Ford and says will impose border tax if jobs are moved out of the country. Manufacturing survey is detached from the hard data, industrial production declining. Pension systems around the country are worse off than everyone realizes. Inflation hits Germany. Greece implements a soft cash ban, the central bankers are slowly banning cash one country at a time. Finland starts helicopter money drops to push spending. EU leaders are now worried that more countries are going to vote to exit the EU. Britains EU ambassador resigns before the BREXIT. The system is coming apart and the central bankers/Elite will react to save it.


  • Basic Income Arrives: Finland To Hand Out Guaranteed Income Of 560 To Lucky Citizens

    Just over a year ago, we reported that in what was set to be a pilot experiment in “universal basic income”, Finland would become the first nation to hand out “helicopter money” in the form of cash directly to a select group of citizens.
    As of January 1, 2017, the experiment in “basic income” has officially begun, with Finland becoming the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens the guaranteed monthly sum of 560 euros ($587), in a “unique social experiment which is hoped to cut government red tape, reduce poverty and boost employment.” According to Olli Kangas from the Finnish government agency KELA, which is responsible for the country’s social benefits, the two-year trial with the 2,000 randomly picked citizens who starting on the first day of the year, will receive a guaranteed income, with funds that will keep flowing whether participants work or not.
    The money, which is guaranteed regardless of income, wealth or employment status, is well below the average private sector income in Finland of 3,500 per month, but is still revolutionary in its broad-sweeping approach and will be closely watched by economists around the globe for its social consequences.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 2, 2017.


  • Turkey’s “Long Arm” In Europe

    Submitted by Burak Begdil via The Gatestone Institute,
    Turkey has finally won the title of having the world’s first spook-imams. Turkey is exporting its political wars and tensions to Europe. That is not a good sign for the Old Continent. Officially, Turkey’s General Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet in Turkish) has a mission about offering institutional religious services independent of all political ideologies. In practice, Diyanet’s understanding of “offering institutional religious services” can be different from what the term should mean. Recently, the office of Istanbul’s mufti, an official of Diyanet, described the location of a mosque as “… it was [in the past] a filthy Jewish and Christian neighbourhood.” After press coverage, the depiction was removed from the web page.
    Diyanet’s “institutional religious services” may sometimes even overlap with what in other countries people call intelligence. In a briefing for a parliamentary commission, Diyanet admitted that it gathered intelligence via imams from 38 countries on the activities of suspected followers of the US-based preacher Fetullah Glen, whom the Turkish government accused of being the mastermind of the attempted coup on July 15. As if it is the most normal thing in the world, Diyanet said its imams gathered intelligence and prepared reports from Abkhazia, Germany, Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 1, 2017.


  • Money, Markets, & Mayhem – What To Expect In The Year Ahead

    If you thought 2016 was full of market maelstroms and geopolitical gotchas, 2017’s ‘known unknowns’ suggest a year of more mayhem awaits…
    Here’s a selection of key events in the year ahead (and links to Bloomberg’s quick-takes on each).
    January Donald Trump will be sworn in as U. S. president on Jan. 20.
    QuickTakes: Immigration Reform, Free Trade and Its Foes, Supreme Court, Oil Sands, Confronting Coal, Climate Change, Budget Deficit
    The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17-20.
    QuickTake: Sustainable Investing
    Davos, Switzerland.
    Finland begins a test of a universal basic income by offering 2,000 unemployed adults 560 euros a month.
    QuickTake: Universal Basic Income

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 1, 2017.


  • Scandinavia – Leader in the War on Cash

    The Scandinavian countries Sweden, Denmark and Norway are regarded as a pioneer in the the effort to eliminate money and move totally electronic. Denmark closed its final Mint outsourced the operation to Finland. This means that there is no coinage in the three states struck anymore. In this war on cash, about 20% of all transactions were settled in Denmark last year with cash. In Germany and Austria, cash transactions accounted for 80%. Scandinavia is pushing hard to eliminate all cash completely to enable 100% efficient tax collecting.
    The demand for paper dollars is rising in Europe significantly. The average person will continue to increase their hoarding of US dollars, especially in the aftermath of India. Especially with Trump in office, there will be no cancellation of cash overnight. Even getting rid of $100 bills will be extremely problematic since the 1990s, about 50% of all paper dollars are held outside the United States, which was the Federal Reserve’s estimate back in the 1990s.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 21, 2016.


  • 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.


  • RBC: “That Is VaR Crushing DV01 Destruction At Its Finest”

    If traders aren’t looking at global rising bond yields, and increasingly steeper curves, they should be because as RBC’s head of criss-asset desk strategy Charlie McElligott says in his latest market note, “That is VaR crushing DV01 destruction at its finest” and is also the reason why equities are suddenly taking on water.

    Here are the highlights:
    GLOBAL RATES AGAIN DANGEROUSLY HIGHER, BUT STOCKS AND VIX RELAXED
    The absolute focus overnight / today is ‘core’ macro though, as global developed market rates are being re-priced ‘risk manager style,’ particularly with EGBs under MAJOR pressure as the buyside is caught wrong-footed (as I type, Slovak 10Y 7.2bps, Denmark 30Y 9.4bps, Netherlands 30Y 9.9bps, Finland 30Y 10.1bps, German 30Y 9.9bps, Austria 30Y 9.3bps…and even front-end seeing outsized moves with the Belgian 2Y 2.2bps). That is VaR crushing DV01 destruction at its finest.
    Without question, a constant theme we’ve hit on in the ‘Big Picture’ over the past few months is the risk of a market hyper long duration on lazy QE-induced ‘yield compression’ trading, into an environment where CBers in coordinated fashion are telling us they want to steepen the curve / get long-end yields ‘higher’ (overnight Kuroda stated exactly ‘this’ desire to see long yields rise / steeper curves – and even ‘alluding to’ future tapering by saying that the BoJ may not need to buy Y80T of bonds indefinitely – H/T Todd Cross). Why are so many caught ‘wrong’ by this? Perhaps it’s a ‘fool me once / fool me twice’ dynamic of market complacency with CB rhetoric. But I have also referenced (since early Summer) the danger of the ‘false signal’ of ‘mechanically’ lower rates, as many have misinterpreted them as a direct read on ‘low growth’ / ‘low inflation’ in perpetuity…when in fact, much of it was simply due to said ‘duration grabbing yield compression’ from the ‘real money’ universe (and piled-on by momentum-chomping systematic CTA / trend-following community) in light of CB NIRP policies and unprecedented asset purchases.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2016.