• Tag Archives Ireland
  • Brexit Moves To Phase 2 – Sterling Slides As EU Warns Talks Will Be Far More Testing

    Following the humiliation of losing the House of Commons vote on Friday, in which MP’s took the final say on the Brexit deal from the executive, UK Prime Minister was in Brussels as EU leaders gave approval for Brexit talks to move to phase 2. At a dinner last night, she was applauded by leaders of the other 27 EU nations after giving a speech. This morning, the European Council approved the recommendation from the European Commission that talks should proceed to the next phase. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, tweeted the news.
    From the FT ‘EU leaders have confirmed that ‘sufficient progress’ has been made in the first phase of Britain’s Brexit talks, giving a boost to Theresa May, the UK prime minister, and paving the way for crucial discussions next year on trade. In a summit in Brussels on Friday the EU’s 27 other member states endorsed the European Commission’s recommendation that London had given enough guarantees on the most important divorce issues for talks to begin on a future relationship. The three issues were the UK’s Brexit bill, the rights of EU citizens and the Northern Irish border.
    Mrs May was not in the room when her fellow heads of government quickly signed off on the end of phase one talks. They had applauded her on Thursday night to mark the end of several months of fraught negotiations on the divorce. Friday’s declaration was widely expected after Mrs May secured an agreement last week with Jean-Claude Juncker, commission president. That agreement came after the British prime minister assuaged the concerns of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party over the Irish border; Mrs May relies on DUP support in the UK’s parliament.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.

  • BREXIT in Jeopardy?

    The top story in Britain is the collapse of BREXIT negotiations thanks to the stupidity of Northern Ireland. If Northern Ireland wants to remain inside the EU, we already have Scotland saying they would want the same deal and the Mayor of London adds his two-pence to the issue think he will save the City of London financial system. Of course, none one of these people understands the first thing about economics no less they are surrendering power to Brussels. The Brits have always come in dead last in everything inside the EU. BREXIT was the only thing that would save Britain of it too will be dragged under by the failure of the Euro.
    Armstrong Economics

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 5, 2017.

  • Tax Euphoria Fades As Tech Rout Spreads

    One look at S&P futures this morning reveals an unchanged market, however it is again the violent sector rotation that is taking place behind the scenes that is the real story, with defensive sectors real estate, retail, food, utilities outperforming while investors continue to bail and book profits on tech stocks after sharp gains since the start of the year. Monday’s Nasdaq rout also spread to European and Asian markets which fall on last minute changes to the tax plan, most notably the retaining of AMT which could prevent companies from making use of intellectual property tax breaks, effectively raising their tax rates. As a reminder, on Monday the Nasdaq fell 1.2% following broad based hedge fund liquidation from the most crowded sector, after tax experts said Senate Republicans unwittingly passed a bill that would mean higher-than-intended taxes for technology firms and other corporations; in sympathy Europe’s Stoxx tech sector index SX8P hit the lowest since late September, down 8% since mid-November
    European stocks dipped, trimming the previous session’s sharp gains amid a renewed selloff in tech stocks globally and as weaker industrial metal prices weighed on mining shares which slumped ‘due to a marked slowdown in China’s metal consumption growth, with market participants foreseeing weaker public infrastructure spending growth extending into 2018,’ SP Angel analysts including John Meyer, Simon Beardsmore and Sergey Raevskiy write in note.
    The Stoxx 600 is down 0.2%, remaining in a range between its 50-DMA and 200-DMA started in mid-November. The Stoxx tech sector SX8P index falls 0.6%, mirroring a drop in the Nasdaq Monday. As noted above, Europe’s tec sector is down about 8% since a peak in early November, amid a sharp sector rotation out of momentum stocks and into potential winners of the U. S. tax reform. UK’s FTSE 100 outperforms peers amid the weaker pound which had briefly tripped through 1.34 as Brexit talks had been unravelled over disagreements from the DUP in regards to a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. UK grocery retailers are among the top movers in the FTSE 100 after a positive note from Goldman Sachs. Elsewhere, to the downside, health care and material names lag.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.

  • Cable Soars After UK, Ireland Agree On Brexit Border Deal

    As several sellside desks have summarized, today will be a binary one for GBP: either deal or no deal. And following an early swoon in cable after speculation rose that a deal would be elusive, the pound soared above 1.35 following a report that EU chief brexit negotiator Barnier told MEPs that a breakthrough is likely today. This was confirmed moments ago by the FT which said that “Britain is heading for a breakthrough on Brexit talks after reaching a compromise with Ireland on the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, the issue that threatened to derail the negotiations.”
    The draft refers to maintaining ‘regulatory alignment’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit – a form of words that, according to a senior official involved in the talks, appears to meet Dublin’s deep concerns about a possible hard border on the island and has not raised objections in London. The wording is more comfortable for Britain than previous draft formulations that insisted on ‘no regulatory divergence’.
    The BBC confirmed as much after its political editor Laure Kuenssberg said that ‘May and Juncker about to appear together – with a deal seeming to be on the table.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.

  • 7/11/17: To Fine Gael or not: Employment Stats and Labour Force

    Recently, Fine Gael party PR machine promoted as a core economic policy achievement since 2011 election the dramatic reduction in Ireland’s unemployment rate. And in fact, they are correct to both, highlight the strong performance of the Irish economy in this area and take (some) credit for it. The FG-led governments of the recent years have been quite positive in terms of their policies supporting (or at least not hampering) jobs creation by the MNCs. Of course, they deserve no accolades for jobs creation by the SMEs (which were effectively turned into cash cows for local and central governments in the absence of any government power over taxing MNCs), nor do they deserve any credit for the significant help in creating MNCs’ jobs that Ireland got from abroad.
    Now, to briefly explain what I mean by it: several key external factors helped stimulate MNCs-led new jobs creation in Ireland. Let me name a few.
    ECB. By unleashing a massive QE campaign, Mario Draghi effectively underwritten solvency of the Irish State overnight. Which means that Dublin could continue avoiding collecting taxes due from the MNCs. And better, Mr Draghi’s policies also created a massive carry trade pipeline for MNCs converting earnings into corporate debt in Euro area markets. The combined effect of the QE has been a boom in ‘investment’ into Ireland, and with it, a boom of jobs. OECD. That’s right, by initiating the BEPS corporation tax reform process, the arch-nemesis of Irish tax optimisers turned out to be their arch blesser. OECD devised a system of taxation that at least partially, and at least in theory, assesses tax burdens due on individual corporations in relation physical tangible activities these corporations carry out in each OECD country. Tangible physical activity can involve physical capital investment (hence U. S. MNCs rapidly swallowing up new and old buildings in Ireland, that’s right – a new tax offset), an intangible Intellectual Property ‘capital’ (yep, all hail the Glorious Knowledge Development Box), and… err… employment (that is why Facebook et al are rushing to shift more young Spaniards and Portuguese, French and Dutch, Ukrainians and Italians, Poles and Swedes… into Dublin, despite the fact they have no where to live in the city).

    This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

  • Gold Will Be Safe Haven Again In Looming EU Crisis

    – Gold will be safe haven again in looming EU crisis
    – EU crisis is no longer just about debt but about political discontent
    – EU officials refuse to acknowledge changing face of politics across the union
    – Catalonia shows measures governments will use to maintain control
    – EU currently holds control over banks accounts and ability to use cash
    – Protect your savings with gold in the face of increased financial threat from EU
    Editor: Mark O’Byrne
    When we talk about the Eurozone crisis we are usually referring to the Eurozone debt crisis. According to the OECD the debt crisis of 2011 was the world’s greatest threat.
    In the years that followed, Germany, France and the UK led EU members in their efforts to stave off debt defaults from the likes of Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain and, of course, Greece. This was partly in order to protect the German, French and UK banks who had lent irresponsibly into the periphery EU nations and were very exposed.

    This post was published at Gold Core on October 26, 2017.

  • Theresa May “Ambitious And Constructive” On Brexit Talks, Mocked By Corbyn In Parliament

    In a statement to the UK Parliament today following last week’s EU summit, Prime Minister, Theresa May, stated that she was ‘ambitious and constructive’ about the progress of Brexit negotiations. May talked up (again) progress made on safeguarding citizens’ rights so that EU nationals can remain in the UK and vice-versa. She also reiterated that significant progress has been made on Northern Ireland and that it’s been agreed that there will be no fiscal infrastructure at the border.
    She had little to say about the critical issue of financial settlement – merely that Britain will honour its commitments for the remainder of the EU budget plan (2021) as she outlined in her Florence speech. She said that progress is being made as both sides go through these commitments ‘line-by-line.’ May stated that the EU has agreed to make preparations to move on to the discussions about trade and the UK/EU future relationship and that this wouldn’t have been possible without the ‘momentum’ that resulted from the Florence speech.
    However, with the financial settlement remaining a stumbling block to progress, May was vulnerable to a renewed attack, which was duly delivered by opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 23, 2017.

  • 13/10/17: Debt Glut and Building Dublin

    Just back from Ireland, a fast, work-filled trip, with some amazing meetings and discussions, largely unrelated to what is in the ‘official’ newsflow. Some blogposts and articles ahead to be shared.
    One thing that jumps out is the continued frenzy in building activity in Dublin, predominantly (exclusively) in the commercial space (offices). Not much finished. Lots being built. For now, Irish builders (mostly strange new players backed by vultures and private equity) are still in the stage where buildings shells are being erected. The cheap stage of construction. Very few are entering the fit-out stages – the costly, skills-intensive works stage. And according to several sector specialists I spoke to, not many fit-out crews are in the market, as skilled builders have not been returning to the island, yet, from their exiles to the U. S., Canada, Australia, UAE, and further afield.
    Which should make for a very interesting period ahead: with so many construction sites nearing the fit-out stages, building costs will sky rocket, just as supply glut of new offices will start hitting the letting markets. In the mean time, many multinationals – aka the only clients worth signing – have already signed leases and/or bought own buildings on the cheap. Google owns its own real estate (hello BEPS tax reforms that stress tangible activity over imaginary revenue shifting); Twitter has a refurbished home; Facebook is quite committed to a lease (although it too might take a jump into buying); and so on. Tax inversion have slowed down and Trump Administration just re-committed to Obama-era restrictions on these, while Trump tax plan aims to take a massive chunk out of this pie away from Ireland. So demand… demand is nowhere to be seen.

    This post was published at True Economics on Friday, October 13, 2017.

  • 6/10/17: CA&G on Ireland’s Tax, Banking Costs & Recovery

    Occasionally, the Irish Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) office produces some remarkable, in their honesty, and the extent of their disclosures, reports. Last month gave us one of those moment.
    There are three key findings by CA&G worth highlighting.
    The first one relates to corporate taxation, and the second one to the net cost of banking crisis resolution. The third one comes on foot of tax optimisation-led economy that Ireland has developed since the 1990s, most recently dubbed the Leprechaun Economics by Paul Krugman that resulted in a dramatic increase in Irish contributions to the EU budget (computed as a share of GDP) just as the Irish authorities were forced to admit that MNCs’ chicanery, not real economic activity, accounted for 1/3 of the Irish economy. All three are linked:
    Irish banking crisis was enabled by the combination of a property bubble that was co-founded by tax optimisation running rampant across Irish economic development model since the 1990s; and by loose money / capital flows within the EU, which was part and parcel of our membership in the euro area. The same membership supported our FDI-focused competitive advantage. Irish recovery from the banking crisis was largely down to non-domestic factors, aka – tax optimisation-driven FDI and foreign companies activities, plus the loose money / capital flows within the EU enabled by the ECB. In a way, as Ireland paid a hefty price for European imbalances and own tax-driven economic development model in 2007-2012, so it is paying a price today for the same imbalances and the same development model-led recovery.

    This post was published at True Economics on Friday, October 6, 2017.

  • EU Hits Amazon With Unpaid Tax Bill, Will Sue Ireland For Failing To Collect Apple Taxes

    Amazon was hit with an order to repay as much as 250 million, plus interest, after the European Commission said Luxembourg illegally slashed the company’s bill, making the world’s biggest online retailer the latest U. S. giant to fall afoul of the EU’s state-aid rules.
    ‘Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon’ and ‘as a result, almost three-quarters of Amazon’s profits were not taxed,’ EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in an emailed statement, adding that ‘Amazon was allowed to pay four times less tax than other local companies subject to the same national tax rules’ and ‘this is illegal under EU State aid rules.’
    .@amazon tax benefits in Luxembourg are illegal under our common European rules on state aid. Amazon to repay benefits worth around 250 mio
    — Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) October 4, 2017

    EU explained that the Luxembourg tax ruling given to Amazon in 2003 and prolonged in 2011, lowered the online retail giant’s tax paid in the country ‘without any valid justification.’ The Luxembourg tax pact gave Amazon a ‘selective economic advantage’ by allowing the online retailer’s group ‘to avoid taxation on three-quarters of the profits it made from all Amazon sales in the EU,’ EU says in statement.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.

  • Pensions and Debt Time Bomb In UK: 1 Trillion Crisis Looms

    – 1 trillion crisis looms as pensions deficit and consumer loans snowball out of control
    – UK pensions deficit soared by 100B to 710B, last month
    – 200B unsecured consumer credit ‘time bomb’ warn FCA
    – 8.3 million people in UK with debt problems
    – 2.2 million people in UK are in financial distress
    – ‘President Trump land’ there is a savings gap of $70 trillion
    – Global problem as pensions gap of developed countries growing by $28B per day
    Editor: Mark O’Byrne
    There is a 1 trillion debt time bomb hanging over the United Kingdom. We are nearing the end of the timebomb’s long fuse and it looks set to explode in the coming months.
    No one knows how to diffuse the 1 trillion bomb and who should be taking responsibility. It is made up of two major components.
    710 billion is the terrifying size of the UK pensions deficit 200 billion is the amount of dynamite in the consumer credit time bomb How did the sovereign nation that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland get itself so deep in the red?
    This is not a problem that is bore only by the Brits. In the rest of the developed world a $70 trillion pensions deficit hangs heavy.

    This post was published at Gold Core on September 22, 2017.

  • Austria Makes History With First 100-Year Bond Sale Into Public Euro Markets

    Austria, a country which itself is less than 100 years old, made European history today when it launched a 100-year government bond: the first such deal to be sold into eurozone public markets. While Austria is not the first nation to sell 100 year bonds – last year Ireland and Belgium both sold privately-placed century-long bonds – while Austria itself sold a 70 year bond, Austria’s planned 100-year bond is unique in that it would be the first such debt sold directly into public markets in the eurozone according to the WSJ.
    It is unclear if the lack of a private sale suggests there was no reverse inquiry for the high duration product among institutions, however the return of this highly convex and duration-laden instrument suggests that European yields are unlikely to shoot higher, at least judging by the anticipated demand. On the other hand, yields are about to spike from the perspective of Austria, which is simply seeking to lock in the longest-possible term financing before the ECB begins tapering/tightening, and yields spike, as Fasanara Capital warned yesterday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 12, 2017.

  • 23/8/17: Ireland: A Haven for SPVs?

    Ireland scored another ‘first’ in the league tables relating to tax optimisation and avoidance, staying at the top of the Euro area rankings as a Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) destination: my comment, amongst others).
    As my comment in the article linked above alludes, there is a combination of factors that is driving Ireland’s ‘competitiveness’ in this area. Some are positive for the economy and non-zero-game in relation to our trading partners, e.g.- Ireland providing a functional access to the European markets via regulatory and markets infrastructure arrangements that facilitate trading from Dublin into the rest of the EEC;
    – Ireland offering a strong platform for on-shoring human capital, a much more functional platform than any other EU nation, due to greater openness to skills-based migration, English language, common law and open culture;
    – Ireland serves as a clustering centre for a range of financial services functions, making it more attractive than traditional tax havens for conducting real business.

    This post was published at True Economics on August 23, 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.

  • 8/8/17: Did Irish Household Spending Fully Recover from the Crisis?

    I have recently seen several research notes claiming that in 1Q 2017, Ireland has finally fully recovered from the shock of the Great Recession. These claims were based on consumer demand regaining its pre-crisis peak.
    What do the facts tell us about this claim? That it is a half-truth.
    Consider the following chart plotting consumer demand (consumer expenditure on goods and services) computed on an aggregate 4 quarters running basis. I use official CSO data for both expenditure figures and population figures. And I compute per-capita expenditure on the basis of these statistics.

    This post was published at True Economics on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

  • 8/8/17: Irish Taxpayers Face a New Nama Bill

    Ireland has spent tens of billions to prop up schemes, like Nama and IBRC. These organisations pursued developers with a sole purpose: to bring them down, irrespective of the optimal return strategy from the taxpayers perspective and regardless of optimal recovery strategies for asset recovery. We know as much because we have plenty of evidence – that runs contrary to Nama and IBRC relentless push for secrecy on their assets sales – that value has been destroyed during their workout and asset sales phases. We know as much, because leaders of Nama have gone on the record claiming that developers are, effectively speculators, ‘good for nothing else, but attending Galway races’, and add no value to construction projects.
    Now, having demolished experienced developers and their professional teams, having dumped land and development sites into the hands of vulture investors, who have no expertise nor incentives to develop these sites, the State has unrolled a massive subsidy scheme to aid vultures in developing the sites they bought on the State-sponsored firesales.

    This post was published at True Economics on August 8, 2017.

  • IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro and apologises for the immolation of Greece

    The International Monetary Fund’s top staff misled their own board, made a series of calamitous misjudgments in Greece, became euphoric cheerleaders for the euro project, ignored warning signs of impending crisis, and collectively failed to grasp an elemental concept of currency theory.
    This is the lacerating verdict of the IMF’s top watchdog on the fund’s tangled political role in the eurozone debt crisis, the most damaging episode in the history of the Bretton Woods institutions.
    It describes a ‘culture of complacency’, prone to ‘superficial and mechanistic’ analysis, and traces a shocking breakdown in the governance of the IMF, leaving it unclear who is ultimately in charge of this extremely powerful organisation.
    The report by the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) goes above the head of the managing director, Christine Lagarde. It answers solely to the board of executive directors, and those from Asia and Latin America are clearly incensed at the way European Union insiders used the fund to rescue their own rich currency union and banking system.
    The three main bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland were unprecedented in scale and character. The trio were each allowed to borrow over 2,000pc of their allocated quota – more than three times the normal limit – and accounted for 80pc of all lending by the fund between 2011 and 2014.

    This post was published at The Telegraph

  • Self Ownership in the Age of Authoritarianism: Jeff Berwick on Open Your Mind Radio Ireland

    The following video was published by The Dollar Vigilante on Jul 31, 2017
    Jeff is interviewed by Alan James and Steven George for Open Your Mind Radio Ireland, topics include: Jeff’s intriguing upcoming travel plans, the financial system and cryptocurrencies, interest rate madness, socialism and central banking, getting rid of governments, self ownership, we don’t have capitalism, control of the internet, increasing authoritarianism, the Shemitah, jubilee and market cycles, the dumbing down and drugging of the US population, EBT cards, preparing for a major crash, hyperinflation, diet and growing your own food, self sufficiency, self improvement

  • This Is Why Shrinkflation Is Making You Poor

    – Shrinkflation has hit 2,500 products in five years
    – Not just chocolate bars that are shrinking
    – Toilet rolls, coffee, fruit juice and many other goods
    – Effects of shrinkflation been seen for ‘good number of years’ – Consumer Association of Ireland
    – Shrinkflation is stealth inflation, form of financial fraud
    – Punishes vulnerable working and middle classes
    – Gold is hedge against inflation and shrinkflation
    Editor: Mark O’Byrne
    ‘… Oompa Loompa doo-pa-dee doo… I’ve got another puzzle for you…’
    …so sing the Oompa Loompas in Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They sing this after each revolting child suffers a mishap during their visit to his glorious production plant. One child’s mishap results in him being shrunk down to a tiny miniature version, in perfect proportion to his full-size self.
    This might have given confectioners and manufacturers an idea. Over 2,500 products have fallen victim to shrinkflation. A phenomenon whereby a product’s price either increases or remains the same whilst the size and or quality is reduced.
    Currencies have been and are being debased in recent years and now goods and products are being reduced in size and debased.

    This post was published at Gold Core on July 28, 2017.

  • Who Bought The New Greek Bonds: Here Is The Answer

    After triumphantly returning to the bond market three years after it last issued a euro-denominated long bond (which one year later nearly defaulted when only a third bailout prevented Grexit), this morning Bloomberg has provided details of who the lucky buyers of the just priced 3BN bond offering were. And not surprisingly, the biggest source of new funds for the Greek government (which will then use most of this to pay interest owed to the ECB) were US buyers.
    As Bloomberg notes, just under half, or 1.425BN of the 3BN deal was new money with 1.57b of existing paper rolled, with the following geographic distribution of new sources of cash:
    U. S. 44% U. K./Ireland 26% Greece 14% France 7% Spain/Portugal/Italy 3% Germany/Austria 3% Others 3% By investor type:
    Fund managers 46% Hedge funds 36% Banks/private banks 13% Others 5%

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