Thursday, June 30, 2016

Après Brexit le déluge

Any libertarian nihilist is always happy to see Big made smaller.
Take, for example, Brexit.
The EU will go from 28 to 27 countries.
London's financial services will lose some clout, maybe jobs, maybe business as the ECB tries again to mandate all EUR-denominated derivatives clearing be done in an EZ jurisdiction.
Devolving business from the Center of the Universe's Financial Engineering is a great thing.
Consolidated government takes a hit.
More places offering financial engineering services, more competition, lower prices, reducing prestige, less money for lobbying.

June 23 2016 Brits voted to Leave the EU.
Parts of the United Kingdom distinctly voted to Remain: Scotland, Northern Ireland.
June 24 2016 the results were announced. PM Cameron announced his resignation, probably in October. The Conservatives begin holding their elections to select final 2 candidates July 5, culminating September 9.
In the week since the vote Labour has also shown its deep divisions, with ranking party members calling for Jeremy Corbyn to step down, claiming his lackluster support for Remain doomed the cause. Even PM Cameron said he should resign.
Corbyn is one of the few high ranking politicians who's in sympathy with the British people. It's the pro-Remain politicos who should step down (such as Cameron is doing).

For their part, EU officials and other national heads of state are calling for immediate invocation of Article 50 which triggers the exit process.

Concurrently, it is continental markets and banks suffering from Brexit, as opposed to their British counterparts.
FT: ECB takes Brexit in its stride despite complacency concerns
June 30 2016
Vitor Constancio, ECB President Draghi's deputy, said on June 29 that Britain was "not a major economic area."
Ed. note: It's comments like these that cause people to scorn technocrats (they are not "experts," but technocrats).
Yet Fed President Yellen and BOE Governor Carney skipped the ECB conference to mind the markets. Because of a non-major economic area.

Same article notes Italian banks fell sharply again after PM Renzi couldn't persuade the EU to allow Rome to bailout of its lenders.

FT Brexit: Haunted Europe
June 26 2016
Tony Barber writes "The UK vote throws into doubt the EU's survival as support for expansion wanes."
Weeks before the Brexit vote European Council President Donald Tusk warned his colleagues that European citizens did not share the enthusiasm of some of their leaders for a "utopia of Europe without nation states."

Not getting, or ignoring, the memo Spain's Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo wrote an article in El Pais titled "Whatever happens, more Europe."

The same Spain that won't let an independent Scotland join the EU (don't look now but Catalonia has promised to have its own independence referendum by 2017).

Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform said "From now on, the narrative will be one of disintegration, not integration...But centrist politicians who run nearly every EU member state will henceforth be on the defensive against the populist forces who oppose them and the EU."
Ed. note: centrist politicians according to whom?

FT City of London has lost its voice with Brexit, says Lord Hill
June 26 2016
Alex Barker writes "City of London should brace itself for a new era where its rule book reflects Franco-German interests unchecked by 'the British voice', according to Britain's Lord Hill, the outgoing EU commissioner in charge of financial services.

"[S]enior EU officials believe the UK's passporting rights are effectively 'dead' post-Brexit because other countries led by France will ensure any future form of passport will offer far less privileged access to a eurozone market with protectionist rules. Banks have already begun to take action to shift operations out of the UK, approaching euro area regulators to secure licenses."
Ed. note: But will those jobs move to Paris, where the cost of labor is much higher than London?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Captain Spaulding on Brexit

Captain Spaulding, on his way to a party was asked by BBC what his position was on the June 23 Brexit vote:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Different means not the same

Last week my friend and I went to the coffee bar in the building.
She ordered a Latté.
I ordered a Café au Lait.
The server airily told us they were the same.
Except...
They are not the same.
Not according to the world.
Not according to Starbucks.
Not according to coffee drinkers.
And not according to the coffee bar's MENU.
And the coffee bar menu also has cafe au lait CHEAPER than latte.