• Tag Archives Hungary
  • The West Proves That Poland’s Loyalty Was Worthless

    Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,
    Poland, one of the most loyal EU members, was just stabbed in the back by Brussels after the bloc initiated punitive Article 7 proceedings against it, proving that Warsaw’s unwavering loyalty to the West was worthless this entire time and thus giving Poles a reason to reconsider whether it’s time that they attempted to restore their long-lost Great Power status in Europe.
    Many Poles were shocked to hear that Brussels had begun the process to sanction their country, despite knowing in the back of their minds all along that this was a very probable scenario. The EU had been warning Poland for months now that it wouldn’t tolerate the ruling Law & Justice party’s (PiS) judicial reforms, labelling them as ‘anti-democratic’ in spite of the same envisioned changes already being in place in many Western European countries. All that PiS wants to do is make it so that judges are accountable to the people, not to one another, and break the backs of the communist-era clique that still controls the country’s courts. This is crucial in the modern context because PiS follows a EuroRealist ideology that aspires to improve Poland’s sovereign standing in the EU, a vision which is directly at odds with EU-hegemon Germany’s EuroLiberalism that instead wants all member states to be subservient to an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels.
    EuroRealism vs. EuroLiberalism
    The matter is an urgent one for Poland because PiS’ Civic Platform (PO) predecessors stacked the courts with their allies before leaving power after the ruling party won the first-ever post-communist electoral majority in the country’s history in 2015. PO’s former leader is the current President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and he and his organization are popularly regarded as Germany’s proxies in Poland. PiS, on the other hand, is allied with Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, with which it shares a strident belief in the conservative ideology of EuroRealism. It had long been the case that EuroLiberalism was on the ascent in Europe ever since the end of the Cold War, but the 2008 global economic recession and the 2015 Migrant Crisis sparked a grassroots movement all across Central and Eastern Europe which has seen the rapid rise of EuroRealism.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 23, 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.


  • US State Department Admits Plans To Meddle In Hungary’s Democracy

    As we noted last week, hypocrisy may be the only consistent guiding principle of US foreign policy.
    ***
    The Rex Tillerson State Department will pump $700,000 into Hungarian media to remove Viktor Orban.
    TheDuran’s Alex Christoforou writes:
    When another nation state uses media to communicate it’s point of view, its flagged as a foreign agent, a ‘bad actor’, and often declared as an ‘act of war (i.e. RT).
    When the US government uses its petrodollar strength to insert its agenda into another country’s politics it’s branded ‘democracy and human rights programming’.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2017.


  • The Daily Hell of Life in the Soviet Bloc

    This month is the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s seizure of power in Petrograd, Russia. British Guardian columnist Paul Mason recent declared that the Soviet revolution provided ‘a beacon to the rest of humanity, no matter how short lived.’ The New York Times has exalted the Soviet takeover in a series of articles on the ‘Red Century’ – even asserting that ‘women had better sex under communism’ (based largely on a single dubious orgasm count comparison of East and West German women.)
    Professor Hunt Tooley’s November 1 Mises article on ‘The Bolshevik Great Experiment: 100 Years Later’ vividly captured the stunning death tolls communism produced in Russia and elsewhere. Stalin reputedly said that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
    Communism’s mortality toll does not capture its full horror – the daily degradation that its victims suffered. In the mid-1980s, there were plenty of Soviet apologists writing in the western media. Practically any Soviet Bloc reform was touted as the turning of the corner to sustained economic progress. I was mystified why people living in freedom would idealize a system of state slavery.
    In 1986 and 1987, I slipped behind the Iron Curtain a half dozen times to study economic perversity and political slavery, writing articles for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, Freeman, Journal of Economic Growth, and other publications. My final trip – in November 1987 – began in Budapest, Hungary, before heading on to the most repressive regime in Europe.

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


  • Facebook, Instagram Experiencing “Extreme” Outages As Complaints Pile Up

    Oh, Facebook is down. pic.twitter.com/eykcDkizxq
    — Kazuhiro Sera (@seratch) October 11, 2017

    Facebook and Instagram are down for thousands of users across the world this morning, with websites like Outage Report recording ‘extreme’ outages in the US Hungary, Kosovo, Germany, Poland and other countries. The sites went down shortly after 11 a.m.
    This is the second widespread outage for both social networks (Instagram is owned by Facebook) in less than two months. Facebook blamed the most recent outage, which occurred on Aug. 26, on unspecified ‘technical issues.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 11, 2017.


  • Coming Soon, the Worst Crash of Our Lifetime

    Ten years ago, I was invited by the brilliant monetary theorist, Professor Antal E. Fekete, to give a talk at his Gold Standard University held August 15-31, 2007 in Szombathly, Hungary; and while there, I and others watched intently as a global credit crunch swept through world markets.
    ***
    The effects of the “credit crunch”, when banking companies stopped lending to each other resulting in bankrupt or acquired banks, were so serious that the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the United States Federal Reserve had to provide ‘bail out’ packages in order to make substantial injections of capital into financial markets.
    In August 2007, those of us gathered in Hungary were watching history, a history that has not yet run its course. The August 2007 global credit contraction was a signal that something was wrong. Fatally wounded by the removal of gold from the international monetary system in 1971, the wheels of the bankers’ powerful juggernaut of credit and debt were beginning to come off.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.


  • The Dark Underbelly of Spain’s Jobs Recovery

    Where Did All the Workers Go?
    Two years ago, the total number of unemployed in Spain, officially speaking, was 5.5 million – the equivalent of 23.2% of the country’s active population. It was the second-highest unemployment rate in the EU, far worse than third-place Hungary (18.5%) but not quite as terrible as Greece (26%).
    At that time, Spain was also proud home to the five European regions with the worst levels of unemployment. At the top of the heap was the southern province of Andalusia whose unemployment rate was close to 35%! Even fifth place, Castilla-la Mancha, had an unemployment rate of 29%.
    Now, after two years of consecutive quarters of robust GDP growth and an unprecedented tourist boom, things appear to have changed. At last count, unemployment was down to 17.2% – still depression-level, but no longer apocalyptic! For the first time since 2008 the number of unemployed in Spain is below four million. Even in Andalusia things are apparently improving since the region’s ranks of jobless have shrunk by 160,800 in the last year.
    This is all welcome news in a country with such chronic unemployment problems, but there are two important caveats: first, the active population in Spain continues to shrink, and that has an important hand in the improving figures; second, almost all of the new jobs that are being created are of the poorly paid and highly precarious kind.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Aug 1, 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.


  • Eastern Europe Chooses To Keep Western Civilization

    Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,
    “The greatest difference is that in Europe, politics and religion have been separated from one another, but in the case of Islam it is religion that determines politics” – Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources. It is no coincidence that President Donald Trump chose Poland, a country that fought both Nazism and Communism, to call on the West to show a little willingness in its existential fight against the new totalitarianism: radical Islam. “Possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether”. – Professor William Kilpatrick, Boston College. In a historic speech to an enthusiastic Polish crowd before the meeting of the G20 Summit leaders, US President Donald Trump described the West’s battle against “radical Islamic terrorism” as the way to protect “our civilization and our way of life”. Trump asked if the West had the will to survive:
    “Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” Trump’s question might find an answer in Eastern Europe, where he chose to deliver his powerful speech.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 8, 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.


  • Shanghai Gold Exchange to offer yuan-back futures contract in Budapest

    China is looking to expand the use of its yuan-denominated gold fix overseas, the chairman of the mainland China’s sole gold bourse said today, reflecting on Beijing’s attempt to vie for a bigger say in the price-setting of the precious metal.
    It is now expected that a gold futures contract based on China’s yuan-backed gold benchmark price could be listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange in Hungary as soon as the second half of this year, said Jiao Jinpu, chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) at the Lujiazui Forum, which ends in Shanghai today.
    SGE is considered the world’s largest physical bullion exchange.
    The yuan-backed benchmark fix, launched by the SGE in April 2016, reflects Beijing’s hopes of reducing its reliance on U.S.-dollar based prices of the metal, he said.
    It also reflects Beijing’s latest step to push ahead its plan to make the yuan a global currency, analysts added.

    This post was published at South China Morning Post


  • Key Events In The Coming Week: FOMC Minutes, GDP, BOC, OPEC And More

    The key highlights in the coming week are the Fed minutes, the Eurogroup meeting on Greece, the OPEC meeting and Bank of Canada rate decision. We also get GDP releases in the US, Eurozone, and UK, while a murder (or gaggle) of Fed speaker will highlight virtually every single day, starting with 4 today. Also there will be monetary policy meetings in Colombia, South Africa, Korea, Hungary, Thailand and Ukraine. Ratings in Kuwait&Qatar
    In the US, key economic releases this week are the durable goods report and Q1 GDP revision on Friday. The minutes of the May FOMC statement will be released on Wednesday at 2PM. In addition, there are several scheduled speaking engagements by Fed officials this week
    Detailed event breakdown:
    Looking for dovish signs in the Fed minutes? The minutes on the May statement will be closely watched as the market tries to assess the potential of a communication tweak. The last statement dismissed the impact of weak 1Q GDP and March consumer inflation. With recent data being on the weak side, a dovish sign in the minutes may put emphasis on downside risks. Also watch for Eurogroup meeting on Greece and OPEC: A Eurogroup meeting is scheduled for 22 May. All eyes will be on the outcome because of Greece. Markets are optimistic that a compromise can be reached on Greece – we remain sceptical. Red lines around debt relief and IMF participation are the same and there is potential for complications in the run-up to the summer redemptions. Our commodity strategists cover the likely outcome at next week’s OPEC meeting. We think that Saudi, Russia, and most OPEC members will try sending the oil price forward curve in backwardation/ensuring no further drops in spot oil prices. Staying the course with ongoing cuts remains the most likely course of action as OPEC meets.

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


  • Soros Should be Banned from Hungary

    I still believe that George Soros is extremely dangerous with his ideas of Open Society. Hungary’s vice chairman of the ruling Fidesz party, Szilard Nemeth said that all operations funded by Soros and his Open Society Foundation should be banned from operating in Hungary. Nemeth said at a news conference that Soros and his operations were ‘pushing global big capital and a related political correctness into Hungary.’ Nemeth elaborated: ‘These organizations must be pushed back with all available tools, and I think they must be swept out, and now I believe the international conditions are right for this with the election of the new president [Donald Trump].’

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jan 17, 2017.


  • Soros Group Vows To Stay In Hungary Despite Plans For Government Crackdown On NGOs

    The Open Society Foundations has vowed to continue operations inside of Hungary despite plans from the country’s ruling party to crackdown on NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born George Soros.
    Hungary plans to use ‘all the tools at its disposal’ to ‘sweep out’ NGOs funded by Soros, which ‘serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,’ Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the country’s ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday.
    ‘I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally,’ because of Trump’s election victory, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying.
    Hungarian lawmakers will debate legislation allowing the European Union member to audit NGOs, according to the country’s parliamentary agenda.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 11, 2017.


  • China Cuts Dollar Weight In FX Basket In Desperate Attempt To “Project Image Of Yuan Stability”

    With the topic of Yuan’s relentless plunge to all time lows clearly bothering China and threatening to breach the symbolic level of 7 Yuan for the dollar, overnight Beijing decided to do something about it. Only instead of actually implementing much needed, and long overdue economic reforms, banking sector deleveraging or financial liberalization, China once again took the easy way out, when it revised its recently introduced trade-weighted FX currency basket by diluting the role of the dollar and adding another 11 currencies as, in Bloomberg’s words, “officials seek to project an image of stability in the yuan.”
    Alas, “projecting an image of stability” for the dollar may be problematic as explained most recently last night in “With China Facing Currency, Liquidity Crises, Ex-PBOC Official Urges Use Of “Nuclear Option.” Even more embarrassing for Beijing is that the Politburo believes it can fool the general public with such cheap dollar-store, no pun intended, gimmicks.
    As a reminder, the basket was unveiled in December 2015 as a way of shifting focus away from the yuan’s moves against the dollar in the wake of China’s unexpected August 2015 devaluation. PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang said last month the yuan’s depreciation versus the dollar was largely driven by the strength of the greenback and the market should refer to its performance against the basket as the economy maintains stable growth.
    Here are the specifics: starting January 1, the weighting of the dollar will fall to 22.4% from 26.4% in the basket, China Foreign Exchange Trade System said in a statement Thursday. Additions include the South Korean won, the South African rand, the United Arab Emirates’ dirham, Saudi Arabia’s riyal, Hungary’s forint, Poland’s zloty and Turkey’s lira.
    The dollar and currencies that are pegged to the greenback, such as the riyal and the Hong Kong dollar, will take up 30.5 percent of the new basket, down from 33 percent currently. The won will have a 10.8 percent weighting when it’s added from next month.

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


  • George Soros Conjures Hitler In Attack On ‘Ascendant Populists’, Warns “Democracy Is Now In Crisis”

    Well before Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, I sent a holiday greeting to my friends that read: ‘These times are not business as usual. Wishing you the best in a troubled world.’ Now I feel the need to share this message with the rest of the world. But before I do, I must tell you who I am and what I stand for.
    I am an 86-year-old Hungarian Jew who became a US citizen after the end of World War II. I learned at an early age how important it is what kind of political regime prevails. The formative experience of my life was the occupation of Hungary by Hitler’s Germany in 1944. I probably would have perished had my father not understood the gravity of the situation. He arranged false identities for his family and for many other Jews; with his help, most survived.
    In 1947, I escaped from Hungary, by then under Communist rule, to England. As a student at the London School of Economics, I came under the influence of the philosopher Karl Popper, and I developed my own philosophy, built on the twin pillars of fallibility and reflexivity. I distinguished between two kinds of political regimes: those in which people elected their leaders, who were then supposed to look after the interests of the electorate, and others where the rulers sought to manipulate their subjects to serve the rulers’ interests. Under Popper’s influence, I called the first kind of society open, the second, closed.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 28, 2016.


  • Stagnation and the OECD’s Solution

    Summary
    We are in an Age of Stagnation. The OECD proposed solutions not unlike President-elect Trump’s to revive growth. Short-term growth may increase at the expense of the deficit and higher debt The resolution of these problems is going to take years. Introduction
    Last week, Financial Sense published an article that I wrote called ‘Stagnation and the Secular Bear Market’ describing my adventure to understand why the US (and the world) have been experiencing slow economic growth and how long it will continue. This update is based on ‘Using the Fiscal Levers to Escape the Low-Growth Trap’ from the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Economic Outlook which I received just this morning. It recommends global solutions to the problems that I described in my article.
    In summary, a continuation of the current low growth environment undermines fiscal sustainability. Structural reforms in entitlements – particularly healthcare, pensions, taxes and spending – should continue to be made. These reforms with low-interest rates have increased the ability of countries to increase fiscal spending. The OECD recommends a more expansionary fiscal policy than what the US is currently planning. Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway and Spain are planning fiscal stimulus of one percent or more for 2016. ‘The likely shift towards more expansionary fiscal policy in the United States in coming years will provide support to economic growth, although the mix between tax cuts and spending may unduly favor tax cuts.’

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/29/2016.