• Tag Archives Great Britain
  • The fiscal benefits of free trade

    Western governments have an overriding problem, and that is they have reached or exceeded the bounds of taxation, at a time when legally mandated welfare costs are accelerating. Treasury departments in all the welfare nations are acutely aware of this problem, to which there’s no apparent solution. The economic recovery, so consistently forecast since the great financial crisis, has hardly materialised and has added to the problem.
    There is, if treasury economists could only understand it, a solution in free trade.
    One of the UK’s leading economists and Brexiteers, Patrick Minfordi, produced an interesting paper, which brought up this subject. It got little coverage in the press, and even that was extremely negative. Trading on the Future was the only economic modelling exercise that showed significant benefits for Britain from free trade.ii
    This is the headline from the Independent (19 April): ‘Only economic study showing benefits of Brexit debunked as ‘doubly misleading’.’ The establishment, which is not attuned to free trade, strongly disagreed and presumably felt bound to protect its position.

    This post was published at GoldMoney on August 17, 2017.


  • CHINA, GOLD and the US DOLLAR…

    The Neocon – Zionist drive for world domination is set to be brought to a screeching halt by something as simple as GOLD. This article is not politically motivated – the writer has no political agenda or affiliation – and the motivation for producing it is to enable you to understand the pivotal role that gold will play in thwarting the Empire’s imperialist ambitions, and how this means that the price of gold – and silver – will skyrocket, and sooner than many think possible. When you know that this is set to happen, and you understand the key reasons why, you will be able to position yourself to profit greatly from this profound and seismic global shift.
    First we will consider briefly the ambitions of the Empire and its current situation. Although transnational in scope, the Empire’s main geographical centers of power are the United States, Israel, whose power is out of all proportion to its size, and the old center of power Britain, which serves as the ‘Right Hand Man’ or ‘Number One’. The goals of the Zionist part of the Neocon – Zionist alliance are the creation of a greater Israel, to use their words ‘stretching from the Euphrates to the Nile’, and in pursuit of this goal they have already destroyed a significant part of the Arab world employing a ‘scorched earth’ policy utilizing the US military, which they control, and which is designed to wreck the economies of neighboring Arab States, leading to their subjugation. Their ultimate prize is Iran – once they have overcome Iran, the hugely indulgent and self-important Arab Sheikhs in Saudi will be unceremoniously kicked out of their palaces and probably left to the mercy of the mob, and here we should note that as Israel is a nuclear power with a population of only 8 million, and Iran is a non-nuclear power with approx. 80 million people, the attack would have to go nuclear to succeed. At this point most Arabs will be turned into an army of indentured servants who exist to serve their Masters in the Greater Israel – the only other choice they will have will be to flee to the emerging Caliphate in Europe, where Germans have already become 2nd class citizens in their own country, since immigrants have more protection under law than the indigenous population. From Israel’s point of view it is surrounded by States that are very different from itself, some of whom want its destruction. In this situation any nation would be likely to become paranoid. The ambitions of the Neocon element of the Neocon – Zionist alliance are much more succinctly stated as world domination, pure and simple – the control and exploitation of all the peoples of the world.

    This post was published at Clive Maund on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.


  • The Secret History Of The Banking Crisis

    Accounts of the financial crisis leave out the story of the secretive deals between banks that kept the show on the road. How long can the system be propped up for?
    ***
    It is a decade since the first tremors of what would become the Great Financial Crisis began to convulse global markets. Across the world from China and South Korea, to Ukraine, Greece, Brexit Britain and Trump’s America it has shaken our economy, our society and latterly our politics. Indeed, it has thrown into question who ‘we’ are. It has triggered both a remarkable wave of nationalism and a deep questioning of social and economic inequalities. Politicians promise their voters that they will ‘take back control.’ But the basic framework of globalisation remains intact, so far at least. And to keep the show on the road, networks of financial and monetary co-operation have been pulled tighter than ever before.
    In Britain the beginning of the crisis was straight out of economic history’s cabinet of horrors. Early in the morning of Monday 14th September 2007, queues of panicked savers gathered outside branches of the mortgage lender Northern Rock on high streets across Britain. It was – or at least so it seemed – a classic bank run. Within the year the crisis had circled the world. Wall Street was shaking, as was the City of London. The banks of South Korea, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland were all in trouble. We had seen nothing like it since 1929. Soon enough Ben Bernanke, then chairman of the US Federal Reserve and an expert on the Great Depression, said that this time it was worse.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2017.


  • Facial Recognition in Street Cameras to Increase Tax Revenues

    Many cities around the world are now introducing facial recognition into their cameras which monitor the streets. In other words, the government will know who and where you are. New York City is introduction this technology. This is by no means about terrorism. It is being employed to find anyone accused of any crime and that will include tax avoidance. In fact, facial recognition technology in Britain has been employed and they made their first arrest using this technology. They already have some 500,000 people’s faces in their database. Under the protest of data protectors in Germany, they too have begun a test run for the facial recognition detection by video camera in Berlin. The systems of three manufacturers are to be tried out for face recognition.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 4, 2017.


  • Can Britain Afford To Be A Hard Power?

    Recently the UK Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence unveiled their brand new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at a cost of 3 Billion Pounds. This at a time when UK national finances are under heavy pressure and the country has been experiencing seven years of severe austerity.
    It has recently come to light that in true Ministry of Defence fashion (poor project management & wasteful spending, duplication, poor planning, lack of oversight and accountability) the true costs are set to rocket even further for more aircraft needed to be able to land properly on HMS QE. How very British. The decision to go ahead with a brand new and very expensive aircraft carrier for the UK at a time of acute social and economic headwinds has been hailed by some as an exciting new weapon in Britain’s hard power arsenal that will allow Britain to punch above her weight in world affairs and global power projection rankings in Jane’s Weekly.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 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.


  • U.K. business optimism plunges in the wake of election

    The optimism of Britain’s businesses is fading with their growth forecasts down to the lowest levels since the panic after last year’s Brexit vote.
    Growth in the dominant services sector slowed down in June as new orders dipped and expectations of future demand also lost steam following the chaotic general election result.
    The purchasing managers’ index, compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 53.4 in June, down from 53.8 in May. That is still above 50 and so indicates growth, but economists fear the pace will keep on slowing into the second half of the year.
    Overall the surveys of the manufacturing, construction and services sectors point to GDP growth of 0.4pc in the second quarter, an improvement from 0.2pc in the first three months of the year.
    But Chris Williamson, IHS Markit’s chief business economy, sounded a not of warning: “It’s clear that the economy heads into the third quarter losing momentum.”

    This post was published at The Telegraph


  • Tricked on the Fourth of July

    I do not celebrate the fourth of July. This goes back to a term paper I wrote in graduate school. It was on colonial taxation in the British North American colonies in 1775. Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern colonies.
    In 2008, Alvin Rabushka’s book of almost 1,000 pages appeared: Taxation in Colonial America (Princeton University Press). In a review published in the Business History Review, the reviewer summarizes the book’s findings.
    Rabushka’s most original and impressive contribution is his measurement of tax rates and tax burdens. However, his estimate of comparative trans-Atlantic tax burdens may be a bit of moving target. At one point, he concludes that, in the period from 1764 to 1775, “the nearly two million white colonists in America paid on the order of about 1 percent of the annual taxes levied on the roughly 8.5 million residents of Britain, or one twenty-fifth, in per capita terms, not taking into account the higher average income and consumption in the colonies” (p. 729). Later, he writes that, on the eve of the Revolution, “British tax burdens were ten or more times heavier than those in the colonies” (p. 867). Other scholars may want to refine his estimates, based on other archival sources, different treatment of technical issues such as the adjustment of intercolonial and trans-Atlantic comparisons for exchange rates, or new estimates of comparative income and wealth. Nonetheless, no one is likely to challenge his most important finding: the huge tax gap between the American periphery and the core of the British Empire.
    The colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second freest nation on earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain’s Empire, the colonists were by far the freest.

    This post was published at Gary North on July 04, 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.


  • U.K. car production tumbles as domestic demand hits the skids

    The number of cars rolling off U.K. production lines in May plunged, as demand among British motorists for new vehicles fell.
    Official data from industry trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that May saw 136,119 new cars built in Britain, down 9.7pc on the same month last year.
    On a year-to-date basis, production suffered a much smaller blow. In the first five months of the year, 729,755 cars were built, 1.2pc below the same period a year ago.
    However, analysis of the figures shows a big drop off in domestic demand. Compared with a year ago, new cars destined for British roads fell by 12.8pc in May, while those for export came in 9pc lower.
    Measured on year-to-date, the situation is less bleak for domestic demand, dropping 8.1pc to 153,199, while U.K.-built vehicles being exported propped up the figures, recording a 0.8pc gain to 576,566 cars.
    Falling demand in the U.K. is widely attributed to consumer fears about the health of the economy in the wake of the Brexit vote and uncertainty about Britain leaving the E.U.

    This post was published at The Telegraph


  • For mainstream news agencies, gold’s flash crash on Monday in London must be somebody’s “mistake“

    Gold sank like a stone at 9 a.m. in London after a huge spike in volume in New York futures that traders said was probably the result of a “fat finger,” or erroneous order.
    Trade shot up to 1.8 million ounces of gold in just a minute, a level not reached even with the surprise election of U.S. President Donald Trump or Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
    “No one has a clue, apart from the unfortunate individual that pressed the wrong button,” David Govett, head of precious metals trading at Marex Spectron Group in London, said of the spike in volume. Thin activity and automated trading may exacerbate such moves, he said.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • Gold Flash Crashes As “Someone” Dumps $2 Billion, “Fat Finger” Blamed

    One minute after 4am EDT, as the European market was warming up for trading, Gold suddenly plunged $18, or as much as 1,6%, to $1,236 an ounce before bouncing, on a massive surge in volume with over 18k contracts, or just over $2 billion notional, trading in a seconds. A total of 18,149 lots were traded on Comex in just a minute, before falling back to 2,334 lots an hour later. As so often happens, the gold plunge dragged silver down with it as well.
    ***
    The total gold sold amounted to 1.8 million ounces of gold in just a minute, roughly $2.2 billion notional, a level not reached even with the surprise election of U. S. President Donald Trump or Britain’s vote to leave the European Union according to Bloomberg.

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


  • European Commission Trying to Seize Control of Euro

    I reported previously that the European Commission is seeking to take the clearing of the Euro derivative transactions from London and move them to Paris. The European Central Bank (ECB) is warning that it must secure strong access rights for the supervision of the cross-border settlement of financial transactions after the departure of Great Britain from the EU. About 90%+ of all euro derivatives transactions are settled via clearing houses in London such as LCH. Clearnet. In the middle of a crisis, the ECB would have no power to shut the market to protect the euro from the free market forces. Of course, what they fail to grasp here is trying to seize the euro clearing and move it by decree to Paris will only undermine the euro even more. What will they do next? Forbid the euro to trade in New York, Chicago, or Asia? Do that and the euro will become a massive short.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 26, 2017.


  • Britain on the Edge of Collapse?

    So far, Prime Minister Theresa May has been unable to form a majority government. She is now officially on the clock and being unable to strike a deal means her government will fall apart. Negotiations with the Democratic Unionist Party, a far-right Northern Irish outfit whose support seems necessary for her to win the vote, have not gone well.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 25, 2017.


  • We Need A Public Inquiry Into The Economics Profession

    Britain is preparing to leave the European Union with no real plan and a government in disarray, writes economist, Ann Pettifor. How can we trust economists at the Treasury not to impose more disastrous policies?
    If the British economy crashes as a result of Brexit, it will not vindicate economists. It will simply illustrate once again, their failure.
    I and my colleagues at Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME) believe there is urgent need for an independent, public inquiry into the economics profession, and its role in precipitating both the financial crisis of 2007-9, the subsequent very slow ‘recovery’; and in the British European referendum campaign.
    Financial disarray is not unlikely under Brexit, but whether this turns into anything material depends in the first instance on economic policy. How can we trust economists at the Treasury not to impose more disastrous policies?

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


  • Futures, European Stocks Flat As Oil Suddenly Tumbles; Pound Slides

    Maybe not too much of a surprise to see oil prices fall, given how much the G10 economic surprises index has collapsed in recent weeks. pic.twitter.com/aXkvHOzZMt
    — Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) June 20, 2017

    European stocks were flat after starting off strongly earlier, dragged lower by energy stocks. Asian stocks, U. S. futures little changed as oil tumbled with Brent tumbling as low as $45.85/bbl to the lowest intraday since November 30 and taking out a 38.2% Fib support, after a one-minute spike in volume to a day-high 5,208 lots just after 6am, with WTI mirroring Brent’s momentum, and falling as much as 98c to $43.22, lowest since November 14.
    As Reuters’ Jamie McGeever points out, “maybe not too much of a surprise to see oil prices fall, given how much the G10 economic surprises index has collapsed in recent weeks.”
    The pound sank for a second day, with the GBPUSD tumbling to 1.2661, alongside gilt yields as Britain central bank governor Mark Carney reversed the earlier BOE “vote split” hawkishness and said he is still worried about the impact Brexit will have on the U. K. economy and said he “now is not the time” to raise rates. Sterling weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers, and gilt yields declined as Carney said that domestic inflation pressures remain subdued. Speaking at London’s Mansion House on Tuesday, he also highlighted the weakness in the economy and the increased uncertainty as the nation formally starts talks to exit the European Union.

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


  • After Brexit: Germany and the EU Will Look to Asia

    Britain’s general election went horribly wrong, with the Conservatives forced into a putative coalition with the Democratic Ulster Party. Theresa May’s failure to secure a clear majority has provoked indignation, bitterness, and widespread pessimism. The purpose of this article is not to contribute to this outcry, but to take a more measured view of the situation faced by the British government with regards to Brexit, and the consequences for Europe. In the interests of an international readership, this article will only summarise briefly the current situation in the UK before looking at the broader European and geopolitical consequences.
    While it would be wrong to dismiss the precariousness of Mrs. May’s position, there are some positive factors, which are being generally ignored. Most importantly, Brexit negotiations are due to start next week. These negotiations matter more than anything else on the government’s agenda, so are a unifying force. Mrs. May recognises this, which is why she has brought Michael Gove back into the cabinet (as Environment Secretary), and Steve Baker as a minister in the Brexit ministry. Gove is a committed Brexiteer with a track record as a capable minister, and Baker was the motivating influence behind the parliamentary campaign for Brexit.
    All ambitions to replace Mrs May are being put to one side in favour of Brexit. This message of unity has been endorsed by Conservative MPs. They will be regularly updated with developments in future, to keep them onside. There are already signs that the government is reaching out to the opposition as well. This has been read as a separate negotiation, potentially leading to a softer Brexit. While it is dangerous to prejudge the outcome, this is probably incorrect: the purpose is more likely to keep the Labour Party leadership fully briefed on both progress and the rationale behind negotiation tactics.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 20, 2017.


  • “Clear As Mud” Brexit Negotiations Officially Begin: Here’s What To Expect

    Today Britain and the EU officially begin the first day of formal Brexit negotiations, “aiming for a constructive, orderly launch that avoids a noisy clash on the big policy differences over Britain’s exit”, according to the FT although the sellside reaction was decidedly less optimistic, as summarized by SocGen’s Kit Juckes who in previewing today’s events said that he expects “nothing because the UK position is as clear as mud’ beyond growing signs that the UK wants free trade without being part of the customs union or conceding grounds on borer controls.”
    To be sure, no breakthroughs are expected on Monday, or indeed for some weeks and possibly months to come. The idea is for the EU and UK sides to meet, exchange views, plan practicalities and set agendas, all ahead of more detailed talks in coming weeks. ‘This is about building trust, nothing more,’ said one senior EU diplomat quoted by the FT.
    Looking at today’s main political event, DB’s Jim Reid writes that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond suggested yesterday in a TV interview that a gentle departure from the EU should be targeted. The Chancellor indicated that ‘transactional structures’ would be needed to help smooth the process and that ‘we need to get there via a slope, not via a cliff edge’ – suggesting a softer tone in negotiations. In contrast to the PM, Hammond also rejected the mantra ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. Hammond also said that his position was one of a ‘jobs first’ Brexit which is also a slight shift in tone compared to the PM. Separately, Hammond said that the UK government had ‘heard a message last week in the general election’ and that ways to soften austerity were being looked at with voters seemingly growing ‘weary’ of it.

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


  • Conservatives Prepare “Secret Plot” To Oust UK’s May If She Backs Off “Hard Brexit”

    The walls are closing in on UK’s embattled prime minister Theresa May, who after the disastrous outcome in the general election, and following a torrid week in which she faced fierce criticism for her handling of the Grenfell Tower catastrophe, in which 58 people are now presumed dead, is reportedly facing what the Telegraph calls a “secret plot” – well, not so secret any more – involving a “stalking horse” challenge to remove her as prime minister if she caves to Labour demands, and waters down the “Hard Brexit.”
    With the NYT reporting that “’Soft Brexit’ Forces Rise in Britain on the Eve of Talks” scheduled for Monday, (despite 70% of Britons still supporting Brexit according to a Thursday YouGov poll), the Telegraph reports that according to leading Eurosceptic MPs they are prepared to mount an immediate leadership challenge if Mrs May deviates from her original plan. The British publication adds that “conservative MPs – including Cabinet ministers – have concluded that Mrs May cannot lead them into the next election and they are now discussing when she could go.
    Fearing that the chorus of “soft Brexit” demands rising across the UK following May’s sudden weakness, while Germany’s economy minister Brigitte Zypries going so far as telling Reuters that an outright “reversal of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union would be great,” Eurosceptic MPs have warned that any attempt to keep Britain in the customs union and single market or any leeway for the European Court of Justice to retain an oversight function will trigger an ‘overnight’ coup.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 17, 2017.


  • The Fate of Britain – Is This Why Cable Goes to Parity?

    We have prepared a very important special report on Britain in the wake of the British election. This special report covers the forecast for the British pound (otherwise known as cable or sterling) against the dollar, euro, and the Japanese yen. Additionally, this covers the long gilts and the share market. We have also addressed the rising tensions once again in Northern Ireland that may reignite violence.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 16, 2017.