Category: uk

Have the Boomers Pinched Their Children’s Futures? – with Lord David Willetts

Very good summary how the Boomers have screwed their children. Worth listening too.

In short: Government Bonds Yields Curve.

Lets have a look at some examples right now and how that recently changed.

Lets start with a really strong and healthy economy like Germany. AAA rated by all rating agencies.

Yes, there is a little bit of a bump in the 1 year maturities. But given that the interest rate is actually negative (meaning investors are paying the German state to keep their money save, rather than charging interest), and the outlook is slightly improving, this is a clear indication that nobody is betting on this economy to fail anytime soon.

So how about the United States? AA+ rated by Standard & Poor, AAA by Moody’s and Fitch.

6 moths ago the markets were skeptical, but things look overwhelmingly healthy now that trade wars with China look like they came to an end. People still charge the US government interest to lend them money.

France currently AA rated by Standard & Poor and  Fitch. AA2 by Moody’s, outlook positive.

like Germany, expected to have a few bumpy months ahead, but doing well. Better than the US in fact with a negative interest rate of -0.5%

Okay, I am cherry picking strong economies. So lets look at another major European player not known for doing so well. Like Spain. Only A rated, but outlook positive.

Now look at that, doing very well indeed!

Now lets compare this with the United Kingdom, still an AA rated country, though the outlook is negative

Interest rates are 1% over what other European nations like Spain or France have to pay, 2% over Germany.
Yield curve is inverted at least in the short term and not looking too good in the 30+ yrs long term either.

See what I mean?

And just because the UK news tries to make the economy of Italy and Greece look doomed, here is how they stack up.

Outlook, certainly more positive and healthy than that of the UK.

A Decade of The Tories.

Top British diplomat Alexandra Hall Hall quits with searing Brexit critique

Workshop The long road towards an EU-India Free Trade Agreement:

An interesting document highlighten the difficulties of a FTA, in this case between the EU and India, and why negotiations have stopped in 2008.

4.2 Challenges to Liberalization of Trade in Services 

4.2.1 Non-harmonised EU market 

India wants broad-based commitments from the EU in services, especially with respect to temporary
movement of people
or Mode 4. However, unlike goods, the EU does not have a single market for
services and most of the issues related to the movement of people such as work permits and visas are at
the Member State level. Regulations and conditions differ across the Member States. Member States
have residency and nationality requirements and economic needs tests for foreign investments as well
as professional movement. Lack of harmonisation of qualifications and professional standards have
made it difficult for Indian professionals to service the EU markets. In an attempt to harmonise the EU
labour market, the Blue Card Directive was introduced in 2009. However, this Directive has limitations as
each Member State will continue to maintain the right to determine the number of immigrant workers
that can be admitted into the domestic labour market through the Blue Card scheme. In addition, while
few Member States such as Austria, Cyprus and Greece have not yet transposed the provisions of the EU
Blue Card into their respective national legislations, others such as the UK and Netherlands are not in
favour of the policy

Die Lügenbarone von Westminster

Majority of Scots now in favour of independence, shock poll reveals:

So, Brexiteers kept telling themselves over and over again that the EU is a failed project at the brink of collapse.

3 years later, the EU is stronger than ever, and the UK is fighting for its very existence with Irish unification on one side and Scottish independence at the other. 

Have you heard that net migration into the UK and US is out of control and rising?

It has been falling in the US since 1997 and in the UK since 2007. 

Source: here.

Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and lessons from the 1930s | Financial Times:

A very good article that highlights how Sebastian Haffner’s “Defying Hitler: A Memoir” (or ”Geschichte eines Deutschen: Die Erinnerungen 1914-1933” in the German original) is probably the best book to read to make sense of the political landscape in 2019.