Thursday, 30 June 2016

Daily Mail on top form...

A rising star hedge fund manager won £110million by betting against the pound ahead of Britain’s vote on the European Union.

James Hanbury, who manages £1.1billion for Odey Asset Management, went against complacency in the rest of the market which assumed Remain would win the historic referendum.

He guessed that Britain might shock the world by voting to Leave – and that the value of sterling would plunge as a result.  Mr Hanbury, 36, commissioned a private poll which put Remain narrowly ahead.

But he decided to take a risk on the basis there was a lot to gain and little to lose, given the pound might drop massively if Britain quit but was unlikely to rise much higher if it voted to stay.

And the father-of-three, who lives in a £3.4million house in London’s super-rich West Kensington neighbourhood, won big.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Fun with free trade deals

From the Australian Financial Review:

Australia's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, says Britain's departure from the European Union will not hurt free trade negotiations with the bloc and suggested Brexit could be an opportunity to ease restrictions on Australians working in the UK...

"No this will definitely not kill any chance of us negotiating a FTA with the European Union. I think we can negotiate a high quality Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. Obviously, the UK is our closest partner in the European Union but we do have very close relationships with other countries - France, Germany, Italy and obviously Ireland as well."

From The Times (via MBK):

Mr Johnson wrote in The Daily Telegraph that he wanted “access” to the single market, but also said he wanted Britons to be able to work and stay in the EU, along with a points-based system for new arrivals from the EU.

This approach is unlikely to be agreed by the rest of the EU, according to officials and experts. They added: “It is a pipe dream. You cannot have full access to the single market and not accept its rules. If we gave that kind of deal to the UK, then why not to Australia or New Zealand. It would be a free for all.”

Now a lot of this is Doublespeak (which takes somebody with JohnB's mental gymnastic ability to decipher), but most countries have "access to the single market" without having any sort of explicit free trade deal (USA, China etc). But let's assume that in the second excerpt the Eurocrat uses this as synonymous with "tariff and quota-free access to the single market" (what the UK has at present, by and large). He implies that free movement of people and adopting EU regulations are pre-conditions and/or follow automatically from this.

Which will be news to the Aussies and Kiwis. Or is it genuinely expected that ANZ will be able to negotiate FTAs which are refused to the UK out of spite?

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Eurofail #1 - VAT

From the LVT Campaign:

The EU began as a noble concept. Unfortunately, it has consistently got the economics wrong, thereby sowing the seeds of its ultimate destruction. The EU gave us VAT, CAP, a tariff wall and expensive food. It would be difficult to conceive of a worse combination.

Bearing in mind that all taxes apart from LVT amplify the effects of locational disadvantage, it is not surprising that support for Brexit came from the country's margins, not excluding parts of the South-East*. This is not to suggest that those who voted to leave were making a reasoned and calculated choice. At that level it was a gut reaction, with nasty overtones. However, if one neglects one's back garden, weeds will grow. Some, such as knotweed, can undermine a house. The UK has neglected its fringes for many decades.

The first of the ugly sisters is VAT...

For rest of article, follow the link above.

* At the other extreme, beyond the margin (NI, Scotlan), a majority also voted Bremain because the EU-related subsidies they receive blind them to the fact that those subsidies are only part-compensation for the underlying and nigh unquantifiable economic damage.

Project Fear - Yankee style

From an IBISWorld press-release:

Britain’s exit, or Brexit, from the EU also sent the pound plunging to its lowest level since 1985. While the sharp drop in the pound makes British imports comparatively cheaper for US buyers in the short term, it poses a serious long-term threat: disruption to trade.

US companies sourcing British imports face looming uncertainty over the price and availability of a wide range of goods. The United Kingdom is a major exporter of petroleum products, such as hydraulic oil and gasoline, as well as gas turbines, hydraulic motors and other aerospace and industrial equipment and machinery. In fact, the United States imports about $58 billion worth of goods annually from the UK, according to the US Census Bureau, making it our seventh-largest trading partner.

Pending the formal exit process, which could take up to two years, Britain will remain a member of the EU. However, trade relations with the United States will need to be renegotiated once Britain’s separation is complete. Given political gridlock in Congress and the often lengthy nature of trade negotiations, it could be many years before a new bilateral agreement between the two countries is hashed out—in an interview with the BBC in April, President Obama warned it could take up to 10 years. Meanwhile, Britain will face higher trade barriers with the United States.

For now, tariffs, quotas and rules governing trademarks and patents with the UK will remain unchanged; however, these trade mechanics may change with whatever new agreement emerges from future negotiations. IBISWorld suggests that buyers looking to maintain continuity in their supply chains to consider alternative sources for any British products. By diversifying their supply chains, buyers are less likely to experience supply disruptions or price volatility associated with Brexit.


A good piece on 'Progressives'. Here

Personally I think (on the definitions in the piece) that the progressives are right.  We will end up with some sort of global universalism.  It's just that I don't think that trying to speed it up by coercion and' based on a model established by a small cabal, is at all acceptable.  And especially where it needs to be made and 'run' by a huge unaccountable specially privileged bureaucracy.

Quote of the Day (Well, yesterday actually)

Driving along on our holibobs Mrs L reading out snippets of the news from her iPhone:
"Coo, the Pope has announced that the Catholic Church has been too harsh on communities like gay people.  Just because someone is homosexual it does not mean that they are not Christian.  The Church needs to reform" [slight paraphrase].
"He's right. It's about time the Catholic Church fucking reformed!".
Collapse of stout party.

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Do you understand this Nation State, Property Rights and Sovereign Nation State thing?  

Seriously chaps.  How dare you.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

International Law - Rules for Deporting Immigrants / Migrants - Help Needed

This headline from the Torygraph.

As I understand it this is France's problem not ours.  That is these migrants have entered France illegally (or perhaps legally) and now want to transit on to the UK illegally.

If they manage to enter the UK common sense suggests that were they intercepted at point of entry they could be immediately sent back to France because that can be identified as to where they came from.

Also as I understand it if there immigrant makes an asylum claim, then we have to host them while the case is considered, but if found to not supportable then again the immigrant is returned to the previous destination - in the case France.

I cannot find the international law rules relating to this. Anyone know anything?

Here we go...

The rigged second referendum

Friday, 24 June 2016

Fun Online Polls: That referendum thingy & UKIP MEPs

The responses to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

What's the most likely outcome of next week's referendum?

Majority for Bremain - 21%
Majority for Brexit, followed by actual Brexit - 15%
Majority for Brexit, months of (re)negotiations and a rigged second referendum - 65%

So we managed to guess the result in the referendum, only time will tell whether we were right about the next bit...
This week's Fun Online Poll:

"Now that their mission is accomplished, will UKIP MEPs resign en masse and renounce their Euro-pensions?"

Vote here or use the widget in the side bar.