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France and Greece Election results!

554 replies

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 02:04

So, what do you think it means for Europe?

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LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:19

Edith, yes I read that a while back on Wiki too. This is where I am confused, so the "private" company behind the bank of England just sold all of it to the goverment? all of it? and for how much was the Bank of England bought back either in whole or parcially for? Wiki doesn't mention that stuff.

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CogitoErgoSometimes · 07/05/2012 12:21

And that same unease you're feeling is why no-one's buying... consumers and investors alike. In a vicious circle situation it's hard to put the brakes on it spiralling downwards.

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:21

Edith, your link isn't working for me, it is linking to a main page rather than an article.

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EdithWeston · 07/05/2012 12:23

The nationalisation was carried out under the Bank of England Act 1946 which boiled down to Government compulsory purchase of all shares in the Bank, ownership being taken by the Treasury or its nominees.

thirdhill · 07/05/2012 12:23

Edith the Chinese banks know that their development lending [especially internally] will result in some bad debts, though not at critical toxicity. It is a balance between sustaining growth and accepting some default. Which is also why they invest in other countries. Tis always a balancing act, provided you're realistic and careful, you hope you're on the right side of things.

EdithWeston · 07/05/2012 12:25

LadywithEDS - drat! I'll see if I can find similar elsewhere that will link!

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:27

So what is in it for the people with the power to have things as they are currently, they are like puppet masters with the british public not to dissimilar to the propaganda in Nazi Germany. A population of people who are fighting amongst themselves, won't help other countries in trouble, have hardened towards the vunerable, are very selfish and generally displaying narcacissistic behaviour. Divide, conquer and acquese (I can't spell very well)!

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thirdhill · 07/05/2012 12:27

and there is at least one major Party official on the Board of every Chinese bank, so that helps avoid them getting too frit to play ball. Not that different from our banks, then, except for whose interests they follow.

Before anyone launches into command economies, I really don't think that's how it works in Chinese banking...

JuliaScurr · 07/05/2012 12:28

USA - stimulus - growth
UK - austerity - recession

The domestic banks & bankers weren't the problem, it was the whole system that failed

The idea that this international fiasco was caused by Gordon Brown employing too many teaching assistants is ridiculous

claig · 07/05/2012 12:29

Lady, I don't know much about the Bank of England.

cogito, our deficit is about £135 billion, I think.
How come that we spent much more than that in quantitaive easing and bailing the banks out, and yet some people say that our deficit is the problem and the reason for all teh cuts and stagnation of the economy?

EdithWeston · 07/05/2012 12:29

Here's The Economist from last year on Chinese debt, which quotes (inter alia) Victor Shih, author of the piece I tried to link first.

The quotation at the head of the article is interesting: "If you take a very broad view of the Chinese government?s contingent liabilities rather than explicit debt on the books then the number comes to well over 150 per cent of China?s GDP in 2010,? according to Victor Shih, a political economist at Northwestern University in the US. The US has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 93 per cent, while Japan?s ratio is over 225 per cent".

Of course, there are lies, damned lies, statistics and Chinese statistics.....

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:30

Sorry to clear what I mean about not helping countries in trouble, I know we have charities and overseas aid, what I mean is there was just a European bale out for Greece and then leaving kids to be starving and abandoned on the streets, parents don't do that unless they are despirate. If it was in a wartorn, flooded, drought or earthquake type situation, there would be camps set up for the children to be fed and looked after, I can't see that going on in Greece.

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claig · 07/05/2012 12:32

and if the banks have already repaid us what we lent them, and we prctically own them, then why isn't all teh money that they generate owned by us, in which case we could pay off the £135 billion?

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:34

The chinese government makes me shudder. They even kept the starvation of their population quiet for years. Then that sort of thing suits them, the one child policy, limiting internet access, steeling water etc, and I am not even interested or educated in the country.

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ThePathanKhansWitch · 07/05/2012 12:34

The World Banking system needs overhauling, root and branch, as does the role of the IMF. No Government seems willing to tackle it. Until there is real reform implemented globally, I fear this situation will be repeated, over and over again.
LadyWith There was a great article(sorry can't link) in the TES about Greek teachers and the plight of education in Greece. Utterly terrifying.

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:36

It is interesting how the Bank of England, the only place allowed to print our currency, has been shrouded in such mystery, I can't believe it was in private ownership by persons unknown, from WW2 until not long ago.

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CogitoErgoSometimes · 07/05/2012 12:38

@Claig. We're shareholders in the banks. Shareholders are paid in dividends. They do not waltz in and whip all the profits.

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:39

ThePath, what is the TES?

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thirdhill · 07/05/2012 12:41

cogito "And that same unease you're feeling is why no-one's buying... consumers and investors alike. In a vicious circle situation it's hard to put the brakes on it spiralling downwards."

There is plenty of buying [and selling]. We have to put assets to good use, but would be fools to buy where the market does not work properly, and where the social contract is becoming decidedly dodgy. Not in the short term anyway. And I'm not talking about China either.

thirdhill · 07/05/2012 12:44

The UK government is a passive shareholder when it comes to returns, but is an active income generator when it comes to the nation's £325,000,000,000 on quantitative easing that resulted in decreased liquidity. Would you seriously put or keep your spare money here?

ThePathanKhansWitch · 07/05/2012 12:44

Sorry Lady Times Educational Supplement.

LadyWithEDS · 07/05/2012 12:46

ThePath, I couldn't get anything for it on google, what a shame.

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RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief · 07/05/2012 12:49

Ooh goody. I was hoping there'd be a thread on this. Very interesting times. Going back to the OP.

  • The Greek election means that the minority government will almost certainly be unable to force through the austerity package, and this may force Greece out of the Euro, leading to a loss of confidence in the currency and the EU itself......which is bad for all of us in Europe. Let's take no satisfaction in it.
  • France- too early to tell. The friendly stuff between Merkel and Hollande almost certainly won't last. One thing will be whether France taking the brakes off its spending affects confidence in the problematic countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and makes things worse for them.

I guess the key longer term issue is how relevant Europe remains and whether socialism can work in Europe when the rest of the world will work harder for their money and doesnt get pissy about a 36hr week. I don't know. Time will tell I guess.

Re which countries are doing okay, basically all of Asia, and quite a lot of Latam, and, of course, our friends down under who knew all that red dirt would come in handy one day Grin.

The Chinese are interesting. They are currently doing a pretty good job, all things considered, about moving to a capitalist model, managing expectations and resolving social tension when it builds up to threatening levels (eg they are working very hard on land reform, rural education and the criminal justice system). They also have a lot of problems, which I come across every day in my job. However, the main thing they have in their favour is a huge, aspirational labour force and massive massive untapped domestic demand, so they can grow their economy even if their export markets shrink because everyone in China is going to buy the stuff (cars, fridges, flat screen TV, smartphones etc). This is a much healthier position to be in from a growth persepctive than a mature economy where everyone already has this stuff and you need to persuade them to trade up.

Anyway, we'll see, but it aint going to be pretty I suspect
NovackNGood · 07/05/2012 12:53

The Greeks are to some extent getting what they deserve after years of tax evasion and avoidance which they which they are olympic champions at form the shipping magnate to the hairdresser they have all been avoiding and avoiding and taking money from the government hand over fist.

Where did they think this money was coming for when they themselves were not paying taxes. Hairdressers retiring at 42 with a full salary pension when they had hardly paid any taxes.

claig · 07/05/2012 12:54

It looks like RBS made about 1 billion operating profit. How much did they have to pay us back? How much did we lend them?

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