Tuesday 5th of December 2023

yourp for the rich...

central european bank

In an interview with Sputnik, economist and geopolitical analyst Peter Koenig said the EU, as an organization, never intended to enhance the prosperity of ordinary Europeans.

The interview came after the release of a European Central Bank (ECB) survey which indicated that the gap between the rich and the poor is on the rise in Europe. Ten percent of eurozone households own more than half the region's wealth, with half a million euros each on average. Meanwhile, the poorest five percent owe more than they possess, and are stuck with negative net worth, according to the survey.

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201612281049062953-european-central-bank-survey-euro/


The picture above (by Gus Leonisky) is that of the new European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Facts and figures

185 m high office tower +++ 250 m long Grossmarkthalle +++ 120,000 m² total site area +++ 700 trees planted on site +++ 6,000 panels in the office tower facade +++ 14 steel trusses in the atrium +++ 73 km of repointed facade joints.


COST: Three-and-a-half years later, in the fall of 2013, there is a different reality in Frankfurt's Ostend district. Instead of the estimated cost of €850 million ($1.15 billion), the entire project will now cost at least €1.15 billion and could even eventually climb to €1.3 billion. Originally, the costs for the structure were not to exceed €500 million.


The locals say the new building really cost more than 2.5 billion Euros... Note the added Euro symbol in the picture is from one of the main plazas in Frankfurt (pictures from Gus' Library).

a slice of pie...

Koenig described the EU as not a union in the full sense of the word.

"It has no common constitution, no common political goals and it is too diverse culturally and economically to be united under one currency, the euro, which has been a failure from the beginning," he said. Koenig also pointed the finger at the EU for doing little to improve people's living standards. "From the very beginning, the purpose of the European Union and the common currency was not to create a prosperous Europe.


It was an idea of the United States to have a Europe which could be subdued, something that is currently happening," he pointed out. Koenig said rising unemployment levels were "an important factor" driving rising poverty levels among ordinary Europeans. "Unemployment is a [result of the] neoliberal trend of privatizing everything, which puts people out of work and which makes pension funds privatized.Also, [privatization] puts the private sector in charge of social services, which is why benefits for people become much lower," Koenig said.


When asked why European bankers would betray the interests of their own particular countries and countrymen, he said that "we have lost all sense of solidarity within the Western world." "The European bankers are only interested in an instant profit rather than the wellbeing of ordinary people, just like the US banks," he pointed out.

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201612281049062953-european-central-bank-survey-euro/


For those who follow my blogs, I have long advocated that Europe should throw the UK and the Yankees out — for various good reasons. The Poms have decidedly gone walkabout with Brexit, but beware, they still want a slice of the pie without paying for it — under instructions from Uncle Sam's Empire...

self-inflicted wounds...

Russian hackers go on European tour

Despite working around the clock wreaking havoc on American democracy, the Russian hacker still found time to rattle Europe, where sold-out leaders are attempting to suppress a slew of homemade crises, including the arrival of millions of undocumented migrants from the Middle East (complete with handsome benefit packages provided by EU taxpayers), painful austerity measures amid a devastating economic downturn, and the continuation of a Russian sanctions regime that is hurting European producers far more than Russian consumers.

Naturally and predictably, such devastating policies strike like an earthquake at the heart of communities, leading to the spectacular rise of far-right political parties, like the National Front in France, Britain’s UKIP and the AfD in Germany. This is by no means political rocket science. So who to blame for this massive grassroots political movement across Europe? Yes, the usual suspects: the Russians and their amazing computer skills.

In fact, some would actually have us believe that Brexit was a Russian hack job.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw appeared to be auditioning for a stand-up comedy job when he told his peers it is "highly probable" that Russia interfered in the UK’s Brexit referendum.

"I don’t think we have even begun to wake up to what Russia is doing when it comes to cyber warfare,” Bradshaw said without a hint of irony. "Not only their interference, now proven, in the American presidential campaign, [but] probably in our referendum last year. We don’t have the evidence for that yet. But I think it’s highly probable."

Take a moment to reflect upon that last line, because it’s the same line being used as 'proof' of Russian infiltration across the pond in America: “We don’t have the evidence for that yet. But I think it’s highly probable."

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missed opportunities...

On the search for an alternative narrative of Europe, there are plenty of places to start: A giant, next-generation bio-product mill is being built deep in the forests of Äänekoski, Finland. A new, state-of-the-art trauma center is under construction on the outskirts of Birmingham. On the Greek island of Crete, resourceful entrepreneurs are replacing pig fat with olive oil to make better sausage for the world. Near Barcelona, pharmaceutical researchers are experimenting with plasma and proteins to develop drugs to treat genetic defects. Off the coast of Suffolk, England, German wind turbines are going up in the North Sea.

Thousands of small companies in the Netherlands receive low-interest loans, thousands of homes in France are being renovated to make them more environmentally friendly, thousands of jobs are created by such measures. Portugal is getting a 4G mobile network, a large printing company in Heidelberg is getting cheap R&D funding to expand its digital portfolio, Spanish ports are linking up with the railway network, contaminated wasteland in Belgium is being converted to clean building sites, and many Polish dairy farmers will have the opportunity to work with more modern machinery in the future.

Such are the outlines of the other European story. It is rich and colorful, but it is also so discordant and diverse that it is almost impossible to create a single, compelling narrative. The bits of good news go largely unnoticed. 

Making things even more difficult is the fact that some of the worst storytellers happen to be located in Brussels and the European capitals. Year in and year out, they fill entire libraries with books full of laws, papers, projects, programs and reports, but the texts are usually so incomprehensible, so blighted by footnotes, cross-references and legalese that no one can understand what has happened thus far. And no one can say what is happening now, either. And when it comes to figuring out what the future will bring, we are especially clueless.

Such is the situation in Europe at the beginning of 2017. March will see the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which marked the beginning of the European adventure. But in many places, the prevailing mood is that there is nothing to celebrate. Project Europe has been running on fumes for years, and now it seems as if majorities in society and the media believe that the European Union belongs in the dustbin of history. That the entire anemic episode has come to an end, those eternal Brussels congresses where elitist Eurocrats engage in nothing but myopic navel-gazing. That, at least, is the well-practiced cliché.

But the examples mentioned at the beginning, the hospital in Birmingham, the sausage factory in Crete, the wind farm in Suffolk, the pharmaceutical research facility in Barcelona, the environmentally friendly houses in France - all that and more would not exist without Europe, without the European Commission, with the European Investment Bank (EIB), and without the "Juncker Plan," the unofficial title of the "Investment Offensive for Europe" launched two years ago by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The Juncker Plan is an attempt to use smart lending to trigger additional investments worth many times the original sum, with an ultimate goal of 315 billion euros, distributed among thousands of projects throughout the EU. This article's aim was to take a closer look at the Juncker Plan.

Humming Along

The idea was simply that of examining whether the European Commission's strategy to provide a beneficial jolt of liquidity into the European economy is working. The plan was to find out whether the funds are truly being disbursed, whether the companies in the glossy brochures actually exist and whether the stories about them are true. The research involved traveling to the construction site in Birmingham, to the Cretan sausage factory, to Barcelona and the French region of Picardy, and to Munich and Luxembourg. And yes, it's true, the companies and the projects all exist, and while they may not amount to a huge jolt, they do inspire hope. Loans are being disbursed and the money is being transformed into machines, buildings, software and jobs. In other words, Europe is alive. Europe is humming along.

But during the course of the research, we discovered something else. It's more of a feeling really: that Europe's institutions are the last to profit from these success stories, if they profit at all; that hardly anyone makes the connection between the wind farm in Suffolk and the European Commission, between the sausage factory and the Juncker Plan, between the hospital and EIB loans, between Polish dairy farmers and European ideals.

It became apparent that although this Europe is working tirelessly everywhere to achieve its goals, its successes remain invisible, while in the 28 member states (soon to be 27, without the British), a bright spotlight is shone on every failure. The sad thought emerged that this EU, which has become part of our everyday lives, an indispensable player in even the most remote corners of the continent, has nevertheless remained a remote, unpopular entity.

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The main character of what is presented here is the lack of confidence in the EU leadeship which has been played like a hard-working naive girl who has been raped by her elder brother the USA.
I know, it's harsh.
The naivety is also further added to by the lack of honesty in the European leadership. Too much arse protecting in the politician species. Sure there are some success in economic developement but having followed orders from the Potomac Uber-Sewer has thwarted the real potential FOR THE EU PEOPLE. As I have said before, the USA does not want a strong and competitive Europe. It wants a vassal.
The new Trump silliness at the White House should be a wake up call. On the other side of the ledger, Europe has Russia which has been patient, despite being villified every hour for no real reason, but for a dream of the USA to bring Russia in line with its Empire. This is sending a few mixed conflict in regard to Ukraine (thuggish government), Crimea and other countries which are not getting any benefits from the EU. Some countries are getting hammered: look at Greece for example. SOME BETTER COMPROMISES ARE NEEDED. Democracy needs to be more honest and related to the people in diversity.
It's not easy, as Europe has turned itself into a control freak and a bureaucratic nightmare for too many. In the long run, all this can be fixed, mostly by BYPASSING Brussels's edicts (which has been controlled by the USA) and by setting up a greater relationship (friendship) between the EU states. Of course a BETTER relationship with Russia would help as well on the economic front. NATO NEEDS TO BE DISBANDED for a more European system of defence that is INDEPENDENT of Washington. Here you need some clever thinking — possibly a 180 degrees turn around and a better general mood. 
Difficult at the moment with all the EU right-wing populism and the EU left-wing anti-Russian stance — but not impossible.
Time to wake up... and stop missing the opportunity to become the first world power as you should and could. 
In this regard, makes sure that thugs and thieves are under control. They know who they are and they know you know who they are but you've been too pissweak while targeting the little guys... 
Lighten up... And find some wedges to get the media onside. The media is a whore. The media needs some payola. You know what to do. Polish some backsides...

a few problemos...

Twenty-five years after its inception in 1992, the European Union is facing a plethora of economic, defense and security problems. The integration processes going on ever since have laid bare deep-seated political differences between members of the 28-nation bloc.

Integration fever

The idea of a single Europe was originally meant to put the war-scarred European economies back on track through desperately needed investments, economic integration and industrial cooperation.

In 1957 France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands established the European Economic Community (EEC) lifting customs barriers and integrating their economies.


The EEC eventually expanded to include Britain, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Finland and Sweden.

However, the 2004 inclusion of the economically lagging Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta and of Bulgaria and  Romania in 2007 turned the EU into a supranational alliance where Eastern European members served as a source of natural resources and cheap labor for their more prosperous Western “partners.”

Stuttering economy

Many experts explain this “integrationist fever” by Brussel’s desire to create a European super-state. Such ambitions by the advanced European countries, above all Germany, eventually backfired though.

Hit hard by the 2008—2009 financial crisis in the US, the debt-strapped Western European countries were faced with a financial meltdown in Greece.

According to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty undertaken to integrate Europe, the  gross government debt of an EU member country must not exceed 60%, but even the EU powerhouses, Germany and France, fail to meet this criterion (70% and 100% respectively) while Greek debt amounts to a whopping 170% of GDP.

Open borders

The EU's Schengen visa-free travel zone is now in trouble amid an unprecedented migrant crisis and the growing threat of terrorism.

In 2015 the United Europe failed to stem the rising tide of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East and keep an eye on the more radically minded “arrivals.”

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what does the Deutsche Bundesbank know?

The Deutsche Bundesbank is collecting all the German gold from its overseas and European hideouts. By 2020, 100 per cent of the Deutsche Bundesbank will be in Frankfurt... Last year alone, it transported 216 tonnes of the stuff. 


What does the Deutsche Bundesbank know that we don't?

a clever idea....

Here I was pissed out of my mind to aleviate a few pains due to ageing and suddenly I had a revelation. The Europeans should ditch English as the "common" language. The European Community should now adopt German and French as their official inter-communication diplomatic language. Every diplomat should learn both lingos. This would make life interesting. As well some of these diplomats should learn Russian and Mandarin. 


That would work well: the romantic French and the precision of the German philosophy. Suddenly a whole new vision of trombones and flutes playing the song of European unity. Wow...


Not as silly as it looks...

seeing too many stars...

A background picture of the American flag that went up alongside the European Union flag as Pence and EU leader Donald Tusk spoke on Monday had 51 stars instead of the usual 50, one for each state.

BRUSSELS — The Star-Spangled Banner looked more starry than usual during one of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s appearances in Brussels.

The Brussels version of the flag had three rows of nine stars and three rows with eight stars each. American flags typically feature a total of nine alternating rows of five or six stars.

The EU flag featuring 12 stars in a circle against a blue background was configured correctly. And the American flag had the right number of stripes — 13.

The EU Council did not immediately respond when asked about the error with the misplaced star-state.

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May be the Yourpeans thought Orstralya was number 51...

lack of progress on pissing on the UK...

Next week, the leaders of EU nations will assemble in Brussels for a European Council summit, and one of the meeting points will be to come up with a joint conclusion on Brexit, according to media reports.

The leaders of 27 EU nations are expected to issue a joint statement blaming UK Prime Minister Theresa May for a “lack of progress” on UK-EU Brexit negotiations, despite the looming deadline.

However, according to the draft of the document, the leaders plan to express their "concern that no substantial progress has yet been achieved on agreeing to a backstop solution for Ireland/Northern Ireland."

READ MORE: May 'Got Another Card Up Her Sleeve': UK MPs Plan to Block Brexit — Politician

The motion also urges "member-states and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels for all outcomes," the Independent cited the leaked document. What is meant by the last sentence is the probability of Britain not coming up with a UK-EU deal in time, usually referred to as a "no deal" scenario. If this were to happen, EU countries must have contingency plans at hand, and work on them must be accelerated as soon as possible, according to the paper.

READ MORE: UK PM Theresa May Under Threat if Government Defeated in Brexit Vote

EU leaders want "further clarity from the UK with regard to its position on the future relationship," the document reads.

While the document is written in an appropriately diplomatic manner, this is actually an escalation of language to the point of a direct warning to the UK's PM Theresa May, the newspaper notes.


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if it goes like the Aussie republic, you're stuffed...

At 4pm on the 10th of November 2018, 100 years after the end of WWI, which laid waste European civilization for decades, we are not only recalling history; we are taking our future into our own hands.

It is time to turn the promise inherent in Europe into a reality and to remind ourselves of the founding ideas behind the project of European integration.

We declare that everyone present at this moment in Europe is a citizen of the European Republic. We acknowledge and accept our responsibility for the common heritage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we pledge finally to make it into a reality.

We recognize that Europe’s wealth is based on the exploitation of other continents and the suppression of other cultures over centuries. For that reason, we are happy to share our territory with those whom we have driven from theirs. Anyone who wishes to can be a European. The European Republic is the first step on the path to a global democracy.

The Europe of nation states has failed.

The dream of European integration has been betrayed.

Without political underpinning, the Single Market and the euro fell easy prey to a neoliberal agenda which runs counter to the goal of social justice.

The powers of the European institutions must therefore be appropriated so that a common market and a common currency can be created within a common European democracy.

Because Europe means unifying people, not integrating states.

The sovereignty of states is hereby replaced by the sovereignty of citizens. The European Republic is founded upon the principle of universal political equality irrespective of nationality and social or ethnic background. The constituent elements of the European Republic are the European cities and regions. The time has come for Europe’s cultural diversity to express itself within a framework of political unity.

The European Council is hereby decommissioned.

The European Parliament now has the power to make law.

It will appoint a government committed equally to the welfare of all European citizens.

Long live the European Republic!

On 10 November, at 4 PM, from theatres, balconies and public spaces all over Europe, artists and citizens will proclaim a European Republic, discuss, and pave the way for the emancipatory claim of citizens’ equality beyond the nation-state. The European Balcony Project was initiated by the European Democracy Lab and realized with the support of numerous citizens across Europe.

Translated from the German by Ray Cunningham






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of bombs and bombs...

The authorities of Frankfurt are set to evacuate 16,500 people to destroy a recently found unexploded World War II bomb.

According to the Bloomberg, the European Central Bank and the residents of Frankfurt’s Ostend district have been served with an evacuation order for Sunday as a massive 500 kilogram World War II-era bomb is set to be defused in the area.

“The functioning of the ECB will not be affected by this evacuation,” a ECB spokesman said, as quoted by the Bloomberg. “We have arrangements in place for staff to work from other locations as necessary.”

People are set to be evacuated within a kilometre radius of the discovered bomb.

The operation may cause delays at Frankfurt Airport, located 14 kilometres away from the site.

Earlier, around 3,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Berlin as a World War II bomb was defused in the centre of the German capital.


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Lastly, we could mention the bad-will that Paris had when France chose the opponents of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, the doubling of which should allow the delivery of much more Russian gas to Germany, but which is disputed by the most anti-Russian countries. A discretion of the European directive will allow Germany to achieve its ends, nonetheless.

The list of frictions between Paris and Berlin is far from being exhaustive. It could be lengthened when the main frictions between the two countries are notably due to two opposites. The first relates to the gap between domestic political tempos on both sides of the Rhine. Angela Merkel, Chancellor since 2005, is at the end of the cycle.

In particular, her aura was affected by her decision in 2015 to open the doors to more than a million refugees. Since then, her party has experienced electoral setbacks, especially in the general elections of September 2017. Her weakening, parallel to that of her coalition partners, the Social Democrats, has led to a very painstaking renewal of this alliance despite some faltering. Several regional elections in 2018 accelerated this disintegration. Merkel had to announce that she would not be seeking re-election. The Europeans, and probably the future regional elections in September and October 2019 should confirm this deleterious political landscape.

On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron does not stop dreaming about renovating France, the European Union (and, who knows, the world ...). But his offer of privileged partnership, formulated in autumn 2017, fell at the worst time for Berlin. His Jupiterian fantasy for a "European renaissance" still remains unfulfilled. He has no doubt harboured some bitterness about this. And, for their part, the German leaders hate Macron's arrogant claim to explode the old political world, and to export the spirit of "En Marche" beyond the French borders. Macron's weakening, linked to the movement of yellow vests, did not thus annoy Berlin.


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Translation by Jules Letambour


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this attitude makes no economic sense...


European Central Bank in Frankfurt (picture by Gus Leonisky)

Tough Times for German Savers

Who's Responsible for Eurozone's Negative Interest Rates?

Vitor Constâncio spent eight years as the vice president of the European Central Bank. In an interview, he explains why not him or outgoing ECB head Mario Draghi are to blame for negative interest rates in the eurozone.

As the vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Vitor Constâncio always had to be cautious. Every sentence and word he uttered about the economy or interest rates had the potential to move financial markets by billions of euros. But now that Constâncio has been in retirement for close to a year, he can speak freely. At the moment, Germany's resistance to debt spending is troubling him.

The economist finds it distressing that the German government is sticking to its mantra of a balanced budget despite negative interest rates on sovereign bonds. "I don't think this attitude makes any economic sense," he told DER SPIEGEL in an interview. If the private sector wants to save more than invest, the Portuguese national argues, "the state should expand its deficit and increase its investments as well as the supply of government bonds." In concrete terms, he's saying the German government should start borrowing money again. The move, he argues, would also "lead to higher interest rates and a lower current account surplus."

In his interview with DER SPIEGEL, Constâncio explains the phenomenon of negative interest rates and why he believes outgoing ECB President Mario Draghi would have preferred to leave office under different circumstances.

DER SPIEGEL: There are fears in Germany that there could also soon be negative interest rates for normal depositors. Most people blame the European Central Bank for this. Last week, the president of the German Savings Banks Association even wrote an open letter to ECB President Mario Draghi accusing him of having abolished interest rates. Is he right?

Constâncio: I don't think so. First, I don't expect that there will be negative interest rates for retail depositors. And second, the central banks or the ECB are not alone behind the whole trend toward low interest rates. Interest rates are low everywhere. There are even countries like Switzerland and Sweden where monetary policy interest rates are lower than those of the ECB. All this is the result of a phenomenon that economists call secular stagnation: In the developed economies, there is a lack of aggregate demand -- or, in other words, a surplus of savings over planned investment.

DER SPIEGEL: So, this means that Germans are saving too much and not spending enough?

Constâncio: Yes. There are mainly demographic reasons for this: People are getting older and saving more. In addition, there has been a greater risk aversion among investors since the financial crisis. That's why they are all looking for safe investments.

DER SPIEGEL: Will savers ever see interest rates of around 3, 4 or 5 percent again, as was common 10 years ago?

Constâncio: Let us hope so. But to achieve that, companies and governments will have to invest more in order to increase overall economic demand. The central banks are trying to help with this: They want to stimulate spending so that inflation normalizes accordingly. That is their mandate.

DER SPIEGEL: The high demand for safe investments means that the yields on all German bonds have now become negative. In other words, investors are paying to be allowed to lend money to the German government.

Constâncio: Exactly. For investors, safe assets are usually government bonds with a very good rating, i.e. AAA. And in the eurozone, there are actually only the German and Dutch bonds that have such a good rating and also a significant volume. However, the supply of such bonds has not risen, but has fallen since the financial crisis. So, there is excess demand for safe assets and a lack of supply, because there has been budget consolidation and governments are incurring less debt. This excess demand increases prices of bonds, which means that market interest rates and yields go down and even become negative. But there are solutions to this problem.

DER SPIEGEL: What would they be?

Constâncio: We need more safe assets. This can be achieved, for example, by creating a safe European bond -- without the states having to be mutually liable for each other.

DER SPIEGEL: The idea of such Eurobonds is traditionally unpopular in Germany. The other way would be for Germany to borrow more money from the capital markets -- in other words, to incur new debts.

Constâncio: Let me also underline that a European safe asset is different from Eurobonds as proposed in the past, because it does not imply any mutualization. But, of course, more German government borrowing would also increase the supply of safe financial instruments.

DER SPIEGEL: However, the German government does not yet want to deviate from its principle of a "schwarze Null," meaning a balanced budget.

Constâncio: I don't think this attitude makes any economic sense. If the private sector wants to save much more than invest, three things may happen. First, there is a current account surplus. Second, interest rates get lower and lower and asset prices, including property prices, rise sharply. And third, the state can go into deficit to offset "excess" private savings.

DER SPIEGEL: All that happened in Germany.

Constâncio: In such a situation, the state should expand its deficit and increase its investments as well as the supply of government bonds. This would also lead to higher interest rates and a lower current account surplus. Germany would thus be able to solve several problems at once. The very large current account surplus also leads to hostile reactions from other countries, especially from the United States. This entails the danger of retaliation against Europe as a whole and Germany in particular. And this danger has risen recently.

DER SPIEGEL: You mean the punitive tariffs threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump, including on German car exports?

Constâncio: Exactly. And all this means that it would be a good time to increase public investment in the long-term infrastructure so that higher growth is possible in the future, generating higher tax revenues and making it possible to repay the debt later.

DER SPIEGEL: As long as governments do not act, all eyes will be on the ECB: And it seems ready to react. In July, Mario Draghi indicated that further bond buying and interest rate cuts might be necessary. Do you expect such measures to be announced in September?

Constâncio: They are likely to come. The problem, however, is that monetary policy alone will not be enough if the economic downturn leads to a recession. Then fiscal policy will have to become more active throughout the eurozone. There is no alternative to that.

DER SPIEGEL: Mario Draghi will step down as president of the ECB in October. You worked with him for years. Do you think it bothers him that he never raised the key interest rates during his entire term in office?

Constâncio: Every central banker is satisfied if he successfully does what the situation requires. During Mario Draghi's term in office, our economy did not have to struggle with overly high inflation, but with inflation that was too low. So, the situation required an expansionary monetary policy, and that is the only reason that interest rates were not raised during this long period.

DER SPIEGEL: Don't you think he would have liked to show his critics -- especially those in Germany -- at the end of his term of office that he could also raise interest rates?

Constâncio: Yes, I'm sure he would have liked it -- but above all because it would have been a sign that the economic growth had improved significantly. That is the point. But I think Mario Draghi can also be very satisfied with his time in office and his place in the history books.

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Blame Donald Trump... Meanwhile we care more about money than about the planet...


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At this stage, while Europeans are tightening their belts, the US is having a one trillion deficit... most of which is used to pay for massive "defence" (read offence) outlay...

it makes sense but not for you...

Following the article above: this attitude makes no economic sense...


As the Federal Government moves to ban cash transactions above $10,000, there's a theory gaining traction that the real motive for the cash ban isn't the so-called "black economy", but rather, to give authorities greater control over your behaviour during recessions.

This theory, put forward by economists such as John Adams — and picked up by some federal politicians — has not been plucked out of thin air. 

It is based on repeated public papers and statements by the international body in charge of financial stability — the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A recent IMF blog entitled "Cashing In: How to Make Negative Interest Rates Work", explains its motive in wanting negative interest rates — a situation where instead of receiving money on deposits, depositors must pay regularly to keep their money with the bank.

As the blog notes, during the global financial crisis central banks reduced interest rates.

Ten years later, interest rates remain low in most countries, and "while the global economy has been recovering, future downturns are inevitable".

"Severe recessions have historically required 3 to 6 percentage points cut in policy rates," the IMF blog observed.


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Keeping your cash under a pillow sounds "more good"...

no budge on budget...

Facing a 75 billion euro shortfall due to Brexit, the remaining EU members have been unable to agree on a 2021-2027 budget, with differences between two rival blocs coalescing around France and Germany too big to overcome.

France’s desire to preserve the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) matched the demands for continued development aid by the EU’s less wealthy members, but ran into determined opposition by Germany and the “frugal quartet” of Denmark, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“Unfortunately, today… it was not possible to reach an agreement,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council. “We need more time.”

Unable to reach a deal, the summit in Brussels fell apart on Friday evening, with no one knowing if and when the next one might take place.


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It would be a good idea for Europe to go and raid all the tax havens that belong to the UK and get their money back... Unfortunately, many Europeans have taken their opportunity to avoid tax by parking their cash in the said tax havens...

it's only euros...

As Europe wrestles with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said that renewed disruptions would "put the recovery on hold in the short term."

The pandemic crashed the EU economy earlier this year, but the bloc has been recovering more quickly than expected during July, August and September, as the rate of infections dropped and the authorities loosened lockdowns and travel restrictions. During those three months, the bloc's GDP grew by 12.7% — the largest increase since records started in 1995. With infection rates now reaching and surpassing previous levels, however, many EU member states have already reimposed some anti-pandemic measures.

"The rebound has been interrupted." Gentiloni told reporters while announcing the latest forecasts on Thursday.

Full recovery still years away

In July, the European Commission said the economy of the 19 countries that use the euro as currency would grow by 6.1% next year. The latest numbers, however, bring the forecast down to 4.2%. Also, officials say the economy is not expected to go back to "its pre-pandemic level" before 2023.



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