Defending Greece

Defending Greece

A lot of financial spectators say that Greece shouldn’t have been allowed to join the Euro, but that is true for many Countries ; in any case, they had no choice as part of the European Union’s requirements is that countries ultimately join the Euro unless, like Sweden and the UK, they have an opt out clause. Iceland came back from the dead, perhaps Greece can. Also one could state that even if the figures Greece gave were dodgy, however the Eurozone should have done their job better and investigated the figures correctly.

And then we have to deal with what is, now what shouldn’t have been.

Greece doesn’t have the money to pay back the loans; its big industries are tourism and boats. Boat builders are exempt from tax under the Greek constitution, and if you tax the tourists they choose cheaper destinations such as Croatia. Greek hasn’t got many natural resources such as oil or diamonds to sell. You could argue that they should make more use of geothermal or solar. It needs investment, and they are bust.

However, if we consider Japan, their debt to GDP ratio isn’t exactly reassuring and one wonders why Greece g=has become the whipping boy scapegoat for Northern rich countries who think themselves better because they are richer; The reality is that if asked to do so, NO European country could pay off their debt straight away. Name me a country with no sovereign debt!

Greece will vote in a referendum to accept or not the terms from Europe on Sunday. But many want to stay in the EU. Greece probably needs to default and reform outside the Euro to rejoin at a later date, or do a Cyprus. Indeed, Greece asked for a 3rd bailout only hours ago. The EU parliament would have to agree to that, as well as the German one, so probably “no”. This is when countries put their own needs before that of Europe and its true of both sides; Europe needs stability, and the debt crisis in many European countries (Iceland, Ireland) was caused by bankers buying dodgy debt. But in Greece, the debt’s been there for a while.

Only Spain have defaulted more on debt (http://www.cnbc.com/id/47814564)  in all the other European countries. Only Ecuador and Honduras have a worse record of meeting their debts. – (http://www.historytoday.com/matthew-lynn/greek-economics-drachmas-debt-and-dionysius#sthash.qNJZh7JJ.dpuf)

This underlines the whole problem of the Euro. The dollar is backed against oil, the pound sterling was backed against coal and the empire. The Euro has no backing other than collectivity. If we start to see this disappear, the Euro will follow the same path. The EU needs a sound fiscal policy and not just a joint currency; It needs joint taxes and social care, the same throughout the EU.

Greece needs to reform its constitution and ensure that the tax revenue it needs is forthcoming as well as reforming its social systems. Indeed Europe needs to create a social and financial model for all its countries, which works in all economies.

Germany’s posturing and figure pointing forgets that great economies become poor ones very quickly. Their refusal to aid Greece is as financially unaware as Greece’s debt. Maybe they didn’t want Greece in, but they have a duty to bail them out now they are.

Advertisements

Tax avoidance and its results.

Currently many companies , mainly those which are multinational, are using ruses, loopholes and strategies to avoid paying taxes. But these very companies are happy to take advantage of the taxation used to create and provide education, heath care, roads,and other social structure essential for their operations.The result is that these structures suffer from under investment, and the quality and depth of these services suffer; So companies will eventually be forced into having a sicker, less well educated workforce who can’t come to work, or even not being able to distribute their goods and services as transport networks rust and crumble; morally, logically and even legally, the tax strategies of companies like Facebook, Google,H and M, Apple,

some of which can be seen here http://contentviewer.adobe.com/s/Wired/5857345fd35d4d1f9a1f00273013f68a/WI0414_10_Folio/2000_2204IN_taxes.html

As long as this continues, civilization is at risk.

BRICs, MINTs, PIGS

What , I hear you ask, are you talking about?Well these acronyms are used by economists for countries with particular economic characteristics.

BRIC is for Brazil, Russia ,India, and China, all countries who had ‘double digit’ (or close) growth over the last decade and who will grow by more than 1000% gdp by 2050

 

Gross Domestic Product per capita (real)[31]
Rank 2050 Country 2050 2045 2040 2035 2030 2025 2020 2015 2010 2006 Percent increase from 2006 to 2050
1 United States 91,683 83,489 76,044 69,019 62,717 57,446 53,502 50,200 47,014 44,379 106%
2 South Korea 90,294 75,979 63,924 53,449 44,602 36,813 29,868 26,012 21,602 18,161 397%
3 United Kingdom 79,234 73,807 67,391 61,049 55,904 52,220 49,173 45,591 41,543 38,108 107%
4 Russia 78,435 65,708 54,221 43,800 34,368 26,061 19,311 13,971 9,833 6,909 1,037%
5 Canada 76,002 69,531 63,464 57,728 52,663 48,621 45,961 43,449 40,541 38,071 99%
6 France 75,253 68,252 62,136 56,562 52,327 48,429 44,811 41,332 38,380 36,045 108%
7 Germany 68,253 62,658 57,118 51,710 47,263 45,033 43,223 40,589 37,474 34,588 97%
8 Japan 66,846 60,492 55,756 52,345 49,975 46,419 42,385 38,650 36,194 34,021 96%
9 Mexico 63,149 49,393 38,255 29,417 22,694 17,685 13,979 11,176 8,972 7,918 697%
10 Italy 58,545 52,760 48,070 44,948 43,195 41,358 38,990 35,908 32,948 31,123 88%
11 Brazil 49,759 38,149 29,026 21,924 16,694 12,996 10,375 8,427 6,882 5,657 779%
12 China 49,650 39,719 30,951 23,511 17,522 12,688 8,829 5,837 3,463 2,041 2,332%
13 Turkey 45,595 34,971 26,602 20,046 15,188 11,743 9,291 7,460 6,005 5,545 722%
14 Vietnam 33,472 23,932 16,623 11,148 7,245 4,583 2,834 1,707 1,001 655 5,010%
15 Iran 32,676 26,231 20,746 15,979 12,139 9,328 7,345 5,888 4,652 3,768 767%
16 Indonesia 22,395 15,642 10,784 7,365 5,123 3,711 2,813 2,197 1,724 1,508 1,385%
17 India 20,836 14,446 9,802 6,524 4,360 2,979 2,091 1,492 1,061 817 2,450%
18 Pakistan 20,500 14,025 9,443 6,287 4,287 3,080 2,352 1,880 1,531 1,281 1,500%
19 Philippines 20,388 14,260 9,815 6,678 4,635 3,372 2,591 2,075 1,688 1,312 1,453%
20 Nigeria 13,014 8,934 6,117 4,191 2,944 2,161 1,665 1,332 1,087 919 1,316%
21 Egypt 11,786 7,066 5,183 3,775 2,744 2,035 1,568 1,260 897 778 808%
22 Bangladesh 5,235 3,767 2,698 1,917 1,384 1,027 790 627 510 427 1,125%

MINT stands for Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, also countries who will grow, also around the 1000% mark.

PIGS stands for Portugal, Ireland/Italy/Iceland , Greece/Great Britain and Spain and is used for countries whose economy was troubled in the recent crisis.

But look again! France! We aren’t done for yet! And lots of European countries are in that list. Europe isn’t dead either then.

These figures of course ignore the fact that we don’t know the future.And past predictions of future economic destinies are doomed to failure, as Japan teaches us .

Capitalism .

The problem with capitalism is its strength; capitalism lets companies create new markets and temporary monopolies, creating wealth and jobs; however, these monopolies then try to keep their position as leader in the market at all costs, killing the competition and resorting to immoral activities such as tax minimization and salary freezes. Instead of sharing and paying a social part to contribute to society, they use all and every opportunity to reduce the tax and salaries they pay. If there is a way, they will use and abuse it.

Companies like Apple, Facebook and Amazon all use or used Irish tax laws to pay as little tax as possible. Starbucks did the same.

So markets then need managing and regulating. We need a way of forcing big players to contribute to the well-being of society, as they use the fruits of society to run their business. Health care, education and even defense are all paid through taxation, and when big companies avoid tax and then send a message to their investors that it’s an acceptable thing to do, the investors do the same and then finally, its those who cannot avoid the tax who pay more. People on low salaries and who work long hours have a higher tax burden than the big companies. The independent bookshop on the high street has to pay his tax, but Amazon does not. The independent coffee shop on the high street too. When people refuse to pay their share, then the result is a race to the bottom as others will say that the playing field is not level.

 

Free markets work when the economy is the same everywhere. Today, we have convergence but not equality. It’s not something that can be sustainable however; if companies refuse to contribute to society and the humans it holds. We have to stop hoarding our wealth and start sharing more. Pumping 15% of profit to investors is a ridiculous idea if we don’t pump 15% to the staff as well, and invest 15% in research and 15% in capital. That still leaves 40% for the owner.

 

Companies who refuse to contribute fully to society are the new slave drivers. They want their riches at the cost of society.

Lloyd’s bank

This bank should be kept in the public domain and not privatized.
Why?
1) as a warning to all those other banks that when you make mistakes, there are consequences. Its dragged the UK into a depression for 5 years. Or at least played a part. Now it can play a part in getting us out, if we hang on to the investment.

2 ) Buying this bank cost the taxpayer loads of money, an investment that the taxpayer didn’t have a choice in. So now they should get a choice as to when its sold, and I think it should be via a general election manifesto promise rather than dodgy deals by the Chancellor to  his even dodgier mates.

3) The average price paid for Lloyds shares was 73.6p, the government now propose 6Ip. Do the maths. 

4) Profits of billions belong in the public coffers to pay for the taxes that others refuse to pay. Who else is going to pay for the schools, hospitals etc….? Certainly not Google, Facebook, Amazon ……..

5) Socialism isn’t dead. The crash showed the limits of capitalism.(waves his red flag and doesn’t care if others think that ‘left= wrong’)

 

If the Tories flog it off cheap, the voter will remember, just as they did when Labour bought it .

 

Finance

This is a subject I’ll freely admit to knowing absolutely knothing about.

It doesn’t seem fair for governments to pay for the mistakes or traders.When people invest, they take the risk of winning or loosing.When I lose on the horse, I know it was a risk. It’s the same with stocks and shares.They go up or down, and a certain profit or 15% return is, frankly, unreal. Investors need to be reminded that an investment may not give a return.
I don’t know what to do about the current financial crisis. Perhaps a ‘world tax’ of ten percent needs to raised on all those who choose to live in one country per month, a different one every month to avoid taxes, or those who try to avoid tax.
No one likes to pay tax, but it is a normal thing to do. So I say to those who try to avoid taxes, beware, as governments will try to get what they think they are owed.

I’m not sure 700 billion dollars is enough and it is perhaps throwing good money after bad.I had the thought yesterday that Liverpool fc are sponsered by the US government and Newcastle united by the British government and that can’t be a good use of taxation.

One year ago there was ten times as much money on the global markets than actually existed. it was a problem waiting to happen due to lack of liquidity and if it gets better short term, long term is not so sure . Unemployment is the spectre that haunts us, and recession is its wailing banshee, and inflation its ball and chains.

The show is up and its time now to find a new financial paradigm as this one is over.

A mixed social economy is the way forward.

I read about “trillions of dollars” and if you could count 1 dollar per second, it would take you over 3800 years to count a trillion.
If you laid one dollar bills end to end, you could make a chain that stretches from earth to the moon and back again 200 times before you ran out of dollar bills! One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.

The U.S. Federal Government collected $2,568 billion in fiscal year 2007, while spending $2,730 billion, generating a total deficit of $162 billion.
If america agrees, not only would the legislation increase the national debt to $11.3 trillion, it would leave one man in charge with absolutely no oversight.

By the way, private American debt is an amazing 37 Trillion.

Households in the UK owe a total of £1.4 trillion to banks and building societies. More than £225 billion has been piled on to credit cards and personal loans while the remainder has been spent on bricks and mortar, the Bank of England says. Even the start of the credit crunch last year was not enough to stem the credit binge. Credit card borrowing rose by 1.25 per cent last year, while mortgage borrowing rose 10.8 per cent, figures from Experian, the credit reference agency, show. Insolvences hit a high and things don’t look like they will get better any time soon.

This of course was all shown around 2005
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4209527.stm

things look bad http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7644238.stm

That shows 700 billion compared with the 14 thousand billion us gdp.

By the way, where is plan “b”?