In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘join the euro!’

Mandelson Praises Euro

Posted by seumasach on June 12, 2009

As we predicted at the time, the return of Mandelson has reopened the question of joining the Euro. Recent events tend to confirm that Mandelson has influential backing within the British elite: his coming out on the euro seems to indicate, therefore, a deep division within them. We could posit that Mandelson represents a “realist” element, who recognise the game is up for the pound. It will be interesting to look for the reaction to this statement.

Daily Mail

12th June, 2009

Lord Mandelson has reopened the divisive issue of joining the single currency.

The Business Secretary described it as an “important objective” for Britain during a trip to Berlin, hailing the euro as “a great success”.

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The special relationship is a joke, and it isn’t funny

Posted by seumasach on March 10, 2009

“However, thanks to the economic crisis, there is a real and depressing possibility that the outcome may be different this time. True, most of America’s potential friends are in a poor condition thanks to the economic climate. But Britain, with its wrecked public finances and unbalanced economy, is in an atrocious position. It will take decades of hard work, narrowly focused on the restoration of national prosperity, before we can step forward as an attractive ally once more. What a legacy for that great global show-off Tony Blair: the seeds of this decline were sown during his premiership.

All this depresses the life out of an Atlanticist such as me, who is immensely proud of the good that has come from the alliance between our two countries. Yet, we may be entering a period when the UK’s concerns will be a good deal more prosaic. In the hard years ahead there will be little time, energy and money left over for British global grandstanding.”

This is a surprising and refreshing piece of realism coming from a British commentator. What we need to do now is consider the alternatives now that Atlanticism and “British global grandstanding” are over.

Iain Martin


7th March, 2009

When an American leader is preparing to meet his British counterpart it is said that an official usually offers one final piece of advice: “don’t forget to mention the special relationship.”

We Brits are seen as so needy that we will have a national, collective nervous breakdown unless we hear the magic words. In reality, the phrase has become a joke: the Americans know it, we know it and I suspect that they know we know it. Hillary Clinton could not disguise a knowing smirk when she used the words.
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Brits to win out against Euro

Posted by seumasach on March 10, 2009

No one can dispute that the British government and financial authorities have taken decisive action: they have channeled an unimaginable sum into the hands of the bankers , thereby bankrupting the nation and effecting an enormous redistribution of wealth to the wealthiest and at the expense of 60 million people. Brown has been energetically trying to draw Europe into similar suicidal measures, making it into an Anglo-saxon style oligarchy, but to little avail. Evans-Pritchard now aligns himself with leftists like Will Hutton in supporting these measures under the guise of fighting deflation. So this article is partly sour grapes reflecting Britains evident loss of influence, and partly just sheer lunacy as he talks up Britain on the eve of its catastrophic collapse, long predicted in these columns.

“Debt and deflation are a deadly mix. ” So let’s go for even more debt, and inflation, and sink our currency whose status we are completely dependent on for the import of food and other necessities

Thanks to the Bank it’s a crisis; in the eurozone it’s a total catastrophe

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard


8th March, 2009

The Bank of England may have averted a catastrophe. If ever there was a time when this country needed its own monetary authorities – acting with wartime urgency – this is the moment.

Those nations with fossilised or timid central banks clinging to outdated ideologies are not so lucky. Even less lucky are those such as Spain and Ireland that have surrendered policy to a body that is deaf to their pleas and constitutionally obliged to ignore the welfare of their particular societies. They face crucifixion.

Spain’s agony is already well advanced. Industrial output has fallen 24pc. Some 352,000 people have lost their jobs in two months. BBVA expects unemployment to reach 20pc next year, touching 4.5m. Premier Jose Luis Zapatero can do nothing as long as Spain remains in monetary union.

He cannot devalue to claw back 30pc in lost labour competitiveness against EMU’s German bloc, or take emergency steps to slow the property crash. In an odd lapse last week – perhaps a slip – he advised Spaniards that the best thing to do in these dark times was to ****.

Yes, it is dangerous for the Bank of England to buy up a third of all long-dated gilts. But it would be even more dangerous to allow deflation to run its course in an economy where debt levels have reached such extremes. Debt and deflation are a deadly mix.

The errors that led to our current predicament are well-known. A small army of economists – Austrians, Monetarists, and Keynesians – warned that central banks were playing with fire by fixing the price of credit too low and ignoring asset bubbles. The $6.7 trillion in reserve accumulation by China, Japan, and the petro-powers drove bond yields too low for safety.

Credit signals were gravely distorted. In Britain, Gordon Brown poured petrol on the fire by pushing the fiscal deficit to 3pc of GDP at the top of the cycle. Wretched man. However much we rage at Sir Fred or Citi-wrecker Chuck Prince, let us not forget that this crisis was confected by governments. To blame the free market is to miss the bigger point.

But I digress. We are now faced with the post-debt wreckage. The task at hand is to hold our societies together as best we can. One dreads to think what would have happened if the Hoover-Brüning nostalgics had succeeded in blocking every remedy.

As it is we have seen industrial production collapse in every region. The drops in January were: Japan (-31pc), Korea (-26pc), Russia (-16pc), Brazil (-15pc), Italy (-14pc), Germany (-12pc). Falls that took two years from late 1929 have been compressed into five months.

Those who say this is nothing like the Great Depression are complacent. Household debt is higher today, and UK banks are in worse shape. (No bank of size failed in the British Empire during the slump). Britain’s economy contracted by 5.6pc from peak to trough in the early 1930s (Eichengreen). Some put the figure at nearer 8pc. We may surpass that this time.

America suffered worse. Real GDP fell 28pc. But the worst occurred in the second leg, after the heinous policy blunders of late 1931. Reading contemporary accounts, it is clear that hardly anybody – not even Keynes or Fisher – realised that the world was slipping into a depression during the first 18 months.

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman says the Fed has been as far behind the curve today as it was then, given the faster pace of collapse. It is bizarre that Ben Bernanke has not started to buy US Treasuries a full three months after he floated the idea, despite a yield rise of 80 basis points.

He has been stymied by the hawks. Kansas chief Thomas Hoenig said last week that the top priority is to drain liquidity before recovery later this year sets off inflation. Well, Mr Hoenig said last May that inflation psychology was gaining a hold “not seen since the 1970s and early 1980s” with a risk that inflation would become “embedded in the economy.” The price spike broke within weeks. If his model was wrong then, why is it right now?

As for the ECB, it has not reached the starting line. Jean-Claude Trichet insists that there is no danger of deflation in Europe. What is the weather like on his planet, asked Mr Krugman.

The ECB has cut rates to 1.5pc, but since they need to be minus 1pc on the Taylor Rule, this leaves the breach as wide as ever. The Bundesbank is blocking any serious move towards quantitative easing.

Given that Germany’s economy is imploding (Deutsche Bank sees 5pc contraction this year) one wonders if the Bundesbank would be less hawkish if the D-mark still existed. Even their hard-money brothers at Switzerland’s SNB are cash printers these days.

So has monetary policy in euroland been paralysed by squabbles at a calamitous moment, blighting every member state? Almost certainly.

I’ll take the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street any day, warts and all.

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Iceland to be fast-tracked into the EU

Posted by seumasach on February 17, 2009

“The krona is dead. We need a new currency. The only serious option is the euro,” said a senior Icelandic official.”

The same applies to the pound. So, let’s all join the Eurozone and at the same time work to dismantle NATO.

Iceland will be put on a fast track to joining the European Union to rescue the small Arctic state from financial collapse amid rising expectations that it will apply for membership within months, senior policy-makers in Brussels and Reykjavik have told the Guardian.

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Daily Moron- Iceland should adopt sterling, not the euro

Posted by seumasach on February 17, 2009

“First the English destroy Iceland and now they want to impose their English toilet paper currency on the Icelandic people….

What a great comforting feeling for all newly bankrupted Icelandic people to walk around with the English Queen’s head printed on the English toilet paper currency…..

The best the Icelandic people can do is to close down the English embassy in Reykyavik and never engage in business again with the English regime that deliberately attacked Iceland’s banks forcing Iceland into total collapse.”

“your analysis of Hannan’s interference in the affairs of other European countries is spot on ; my conclusion is that Hannan is a US sponsored mole at the EU where he attempts to destroy Europe and destroy the EU and replace it exclusively with an US controlled NATO political structure.

Everytime Hannan speaks in Brussels it would be helpful for all EU MEP’s to vocally denounce him as an American NATO puppet; we in Europe should not allow American sponsored moles to walk into Europe and try to destroy all European institutions we have built up in the last 60 yrs and which have led Europe to become the worlds largest most succesful and prosperous market on the planet.

Johan de  Meulemeester(from comments)

Daniel Hannan


15th February, 2009

I’ve observed before that European integration tends also to diminish a member state’s internal democracy. Iceland is the latest example. As things stand, if you want to amend the constitution, you have to carry the change in parliament, then have a general election, then pass it again. The new Left-wing government wants to scrap that rule so as to fast-track EU membership.

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Iceland minister says adopting euro logical step

Posted by seumasach on February 15, 2009


STOCKHOLM, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Iceland’s new commerce minister said on Thursday the adoption of the euro was a more logical path towards restoring financial stability than currency cooperation with Norway.

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Nick Clegg: We should consider joining the euro

Posted by smeddum on January 27, 2009

“The deeply held view that Britain’s economy is a cut above Europe’s is about to take a terrible battering.”

Monday, 26 January 2009


The confirmation last week that Britain has now officially entered a recession came as no surprise. But we have to recognise that the current economic crisis is not just another phase in the economic cycle. The depth of the turmoil in our financial system marks the end of an economic model maintained under both Conservative and Labour governments since the early 1980s: light regulation, dependence on debt, and over-reliance on financial services. Read the rest of this entry »

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ECB deems Britain unworthy of euro

Posted by seumasach on January 8, 2009




“Great Britain does not meet the entry criteria for the euro,” said Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, the ECB’s board member in charge of international affairs.

“The public deficit will rise to around 6pc (of GDP) in 2009 and even higher in 2010. Sterling’s exchange rate is not yet sufficiently stable,” he told Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper.

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GCC wraps up summit with approval of monetary union

Posted by smeddum on December 31, 2008

GCC wraps up summit with approval of monetary union 


    by Li Weijie, Ma Wenbo
    MUSCAT, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — The 29th annual summit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) wrapped up in the Omani capital of Muscat late Tuesday, with six Gulf leaders approving the monetary union accord. Read the rest of this entry »

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The US / UK road to Iraq and the corrupting influence of the Anglo-American “special relationship”

Posted by seumasach on December 13, 2008


Christopher King


10th  December, 2008

Christopher King examines the corrosive effects of the Anglo-American “special relationship” on British politics and argues that, if Britain is to safeguard its civil liberties, democracy and independence, it must bring former Prime Minister Tony Blair to account for that ultimate symbol of the “special relationship”, the Iraq war.

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It’s our darkest hour – but don’t tell Fortnum & Mason

Posted by seumasach on December 13, 2008


Marina Hyde


13th December, 2008

Sterling’s value is falling like a stone, and with it our inalienable right to travel the world and boast how far our money goes

One afternoon atop the Eiffel Tower, the young son of my friend Matthew Norman marvelled aloud at the spectacle of Paris below him. “Well,” was his father’s nurturing reply. “We can all have beautiful cities if we don’t fight Hitler.”

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