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Posts tagged ‘European Commission’

Why Goldman Is Closing Out Its “Tactical Pro-cyclical” European Trades On Grexit Fears

It will be politics rather than economics (or Q€) that drives the shorter-term outlook in Greece. Goldman Sachs warns that the new Greek government’s position is turning more Eurosceptic and confrontational than most (and the market) had anticipated ahead of last weekend’s election. This increases the risk of a political miscalculation leading to an economic and financial accident and, possibly, Greek exit from the Euro area (“Grexit”) and while many assume European authorities have the ‘tools’ to address market dislocations arising from this event risk, Goldman expects significant market volatility. Rather stunningly, against this background, and in spite of Q€, recommends closing tactical pro-cyclical exposures in peripheral EMU spreads (Italy, Spain and Portugal) and equities (overweight Italy and Spain).

Via Goldman Sachs,

Bottom line:

  • It will be politics rather than economics that drives the shorter-term outlook in Greece. Our base case remains that, eventually, some accommodation will be found between the new Greek government and Greece’s official creditors. This view has led us, so far, to expect modest spillovers from financial tensions in Greece to other Euro area markets. Thus far, this has proven correct.
  • But the new Greek government’s position is turning more Eurosceptic and confrontational than we anticipated ahead of last weekend’s election. This increases the risk of a political miscalculation leading to an economic and financial accident and, possibly, Greek exit from the Euro area (“Grexit”). While the European authorities now have better tools to address market dislocations in general (and the re-emergence of convertibility risk in particular), these are unlikely to be activated in a manner that entirely pre-empts market tension should Grexit risks intensify or materialise. We would expect significant market volatility surrounding an event of such systemic nature as Grexit. The intensity and persistence of such volatility would depend on the process by which Grexit occurred, and on the nature of the policy and political response to it in other Euro area countries.
  • Against this background, we recommend closing tactical pro-cyclical exposures in peripheral EMU spreads (Italy, Spain and Portugal) and equities (overweight MIB and IBEX vs. SXXP) until more clarity emerges about the direction ongoing negotiations between the new Greek government and the European authorities are taking. However, we continue to see the medium-term prospects for the European equity market as attractive given the high equity risk premium, the impact of QE in moderating deflationary fears, and improving cyclical prospects driven by the impact of lower oil prices and a weakening Euro exchange rate. We continue to see tighter intra-EMU spreads, steeper EURIBOR and ‘core’ yield curves over the balance of this year, and forecast 390 on the SXXP and 3800 on the SX5E over 12 months.

Greece: Taking stock post-election

Background – Pre-election expectations

1. Ahead of the Greek elections, it was widely anticipated that a new Greek government led by the radical-left Syriza party would embark on its promised renegotiation of the terms at which Greece receives financial support from the European and international authorities. Key elements of such a renegotiation would be: (a) demands for debt relief; (b) less strenuous (or even a reversal of) fiscal adjustment; and (c) relaxation of the conditionality and control over Greek policies imposed by the ‘troika’ (the European Commission, ECB and IMF overseers of Greece’s adjustment programme). These demands run counter to the terms offered by the European authorities in their proposed extension to the existing Greek adjustment programme.

2. The threat of renegotiation promised a period of heightened political tension between the new Greek government and the European authorities, as each staked out its bargaining position. In turn, these political tensions were likely to create strains in the Greek financial sector, reflecting market participants’ concerns that external financial support could be disrupted by the political stand-off.

3. In these circumstances, the risk of a Greek exit from the Euro (“Grexit”) would rise. Whatever the economic incentives to seek a compromise, in a fraught political situation the danger of a miscalculation leading to disorderly exit always exists. Yet nevertheless, ahead of the elections our base case was that ultimately a new accommodation would be found (see: “Greece: Uncertainty to persist and peak well after the election”, Global Markets Daily, January 23, 2015).

On the Greek side, the stated ambition of Syriza (and its leader, the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras) – in line with the overwhelming view of Greek public opinion (as reflected in polls) – was to retain the Euro and Greek membership of the Euro area. The realities of financial and economic dependence on external support, as well as the moderating effect of the anticipated more pro-European coalition partners in the new government, would eventually lead Syriza to seek some compromise.

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-02/why-goldman-closing-out-its-tactical-pro-cyclical-european-trades-grexit-fears

Comment:

By Thomás Aengus O Cléirigh
No matter what happens to Greece, the rest of Europe, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium France, peoples are now awakening only to see that the whole austerity “Thing” was nothing short of an engineered smash and grab of the savings ( National pension fund) and cash cow potential ( Tax collections) of the working class! A financial /economic system that rewards private gamblers who infest the national banks and are able to do as they please and if the reckless and downright criminal and treasonable actions result in massive debts the citizens of said countries are forced to pick up the tab! NO MORE! Greece is just the beginning and we the peoples of the various enslaved countries will not stop until we have rid ourselves of this toxic financial system: We want a better future for our children we have shafted all our lives and we are slowly waking up to the lies of this insane financial and political system where we always lose! We must always put of having a decent liven now for some unspecified future, but our political parasites and the bankers can have lottery lifestyles now! NO More! We will ensure our children will not have to pay these odious debts period!
We must end this monopoly money financial system where the ordinary people are always the losers!

Confirmed our worst fears about TTIP!

Thomas,

Just last week, a new leak on the world’s dirtiest trade deal emerged that confirmed our worst fears about TTIP. The deal gives big business unprecedented power over decision-making across Europe. And the losers will be us — European citizens.

The leaked text started out as complicated legalese — but when our legal experts broke it down into plain language, the news was the most shocking of all the leaks we’ve seen so far. Chlorinated chicken, GMO veggies, and chemicals in our food that can damage the development of our children are just three examples of the devastating effects TTIP will have on our day-to-day lives.

The European Commission has been blasting out on all horns to put a positive spin on TTIP. So we made this video to counter the spin and hot air coming from the Commission. And given this latest leak, making sure as many people as possible see the video has never been more important.

Click here to watch the video and then share it with your friends.

Find out the truth behind TTIP.

The leak shows how big business will be able to call the shots in Brussels, via a new chapter misleadingly called “regulatory cooperation”. Regulatory Cooperation is bad news for consumers, workers and the environment. It means that corporations can co-write our regulation. The European Commission seems intent to open the doors to massive influence by big business.

This dangerous attack on democracy must be stopped now. This Monday, European leaders are meeting with their US counterparts to begin the next round of negotiations on TTIP. As usual, we’re are left in the dark about what is being negotiated.

But this leak gives us a pretty clear picture about the real benefactors of this deal: big corporations like Monsanto, Bayer, Exxon Mobil and Nestle. That’s why we need to react quickly and make sure everyone sees our video.

Watch the video and share it with your friends.

The only thing that can fight corporate power is people power. Let’s show European leaders that we will not take this attack on our democracy lying down.

Thanks for all you do,

Anne, Hannah and the team at SumOfUs

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More information:

Regulatory Cooperation, Stop-TTIP coalition, 29 January 2015

Bayer is suing the European Commission

Wow. Bayer is suing the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world. A huge public push won this landmark ban — and we can’t sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish.

Bayer and Syngenta, two of the world’s largest chemical corporations, claim that the ban is “unjustified” and “disproportionate.” But clear scientific evidence shows their products are behind the massive bee die-off that puts our entire food chain in peril.

This past summer, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying. We have to show Bayer now that we won’t tolerate it putting its profits ahead of our planet’s health. If this giant corporation manages to bully Europe into submission, it would spell disaster for the bees.

Sign the petition to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop their bee-killing lawsuits now.

The dangerous chemical Bayer makes is a neonicotinoid, or neonic. Neonics are soaked into seeds, spreading through the plant and killing insects stopping by for a snack. These pesticides can easily be replaced by other chemicals which don’t have such a devastating effect on the food chain. But companies like Bayer and Syngenta make a fortune from selling neonics — so they’ll do everything they can to protect their profits.

The EU banned these bee-killers last May, after a massive public campaign and a clear scientific finding from the European Food Safety Authority that neonics pose huge risks to bee populations. Bayer fought against the ban every step of the way, using tactics taken from Big Tobacco — pouring millions into lobbying and fake science to stop decision-makers from taking action.

Now, we have to defend this landmark ban for the bees, and our food supply. Sign the petition now to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop their aggressive lawsuits!

We have to stand up for the European ban now, from Europe and from around the world. The current ban only lasts for two years before it’s up for review, and if it is allowed to intimidate the European authorities with impunity, then the pressure to overturn the ban will be huge. This will be a massive victory for the poison industry, and a devastating loss for the bees, and all of us. It will make every environmental regulation more difficult, because companies that can’t win on the facts can use their enormous profits to fund expensive, baseless lawsuits.

Bayer is an enormous company with a ton of public-facing brands. Neonics are a big part of its bottom line, but it can’t afford poor publicity on a global scale. And if word gets out that Bayer is wrecking our ecosystem and threatening a creature responsible for pollinating a third of all our crops, the company will have to back down.

SumOfUs.org have been right at the front of the global campaign to save our bees. We came together to fight Bayer at a huge independent garden store show in Chicago, where the German chemical maker was out in force. Tens of thousands from the SumOfUs community have also taken action to demand that big stores Home Depot and Lowe’s stop selling the bee killing chemicals. But if we don’t keep standing up to Bayer, we can’t win.

Sign the petition to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop their bee-killing lawsuit now. Let’s build on this landmark victory and take the bee-killing pesticide ban global.

Thanks for all you do,
Kaytee, and the team at SumOfUs

Bailout troika ‘in breach’ of EU human rights laws

By Valentina Pop

Berlin – Austerity programmes agreed with the troika of international lenders (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are in breach of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to a German legal expert.

Andreas Fischer-Lescano, a professor of European law and politics at the University of Bremen was tasked by the European Trade Union Confederation to look at the legality of so-called memorandums of understanding (MoU) signed between bailed-out countries and their lenders.

He concluded that under the EU charter of fundamental rights, a legal text which became binding for member states in 2009, several austerity measures enshrined in the MoUs can be fought in courts.

“There are certain limits to what you can write in a memorandum of understanding. In a bank contract too, there are limits to what can be written, courts and laws are always limiting that. In international agreements it should be the same, the troika MoU is not beyond the law either,” Lescano told this website.

full article at source: http://euobserver.com/social/122899

Troika consultancies: A multi-million euro business beyond scrutiny!

Berlin – Alvarez and Marsal, BlackRock, Oliver Wyman, Pimco: The names mean nothing to the average European.

But the financial consultancies have played a central role in all the eurozone bailouts and have so far invoiced taxpayers in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain over €80 million.

Their “independent” expertise is used by the “troika” of international lenders – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – to decide how much countries or banks need to prevent a default.

They are often hired without a public tender, posing questions on transparency and accountability.

They are sometimes hired despite potential conflicts of interest, which arise from links to investment funds and other financial service providers.

The consultancies also hire subcontractors, posing extra questions on who has access to inside information and how they use it.

Aside from local law firms, the subcontractors almost always include one or more of the “Big Four” accountancy companies – Deloitte, Ernst&Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The end result is a “golden circle” of a dozen or so large firms with a de facto monopoly on handling EU bailouts.

Take Alvarez and Marsal.

The New York-based consultancy earned €2 million for setting up and managing Spain’s “bad bank” in 2012…………………………..

full article at source: http://euobserver.com/economic/122415

EU parliament to probe bailout troikas

By Valentina Pop

Berlin – MEPs dealing with economic affairs are to launch an inquiry into the “non-transparent” work of EU Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund officials overseeing spending cuts in bailout countries.The European Parliament wants to scrutinise the work of bailout troikas (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

After more than three years since the first ‘troikas’ were sent to Greece and Ireland to “advise” the governments and oversee implementation of promised budget cuts, the European Parliament is seeking to shed some light on the work of these non-elected officials.

The coordinators of the main groups in the European Parliament’s economics committee on Monday (28 October) agreed to launch an inquiry into the work of the troika in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus.

“The troikas of ECB, EU commission and IMF are playing a key role in the eurocrisis. Their work continues to be non-transparent to a large extent,” said German Green MEP Sven Giegold, the main force behind the initiative.

He explained that the inquiry would consist of hearings of troika officials as well as independent economic studies challenging the assumptions of the troika – assumptions that were proved to be wrong in all bailed-out countries.

full article at source: http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/content/eu-parliament-probe-bailout-troikas

Facebook and Apple escape censure over ‘sending data to US’

DATA Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes will take no action against the Irish-based subsidiaries of Facebook and Apple – who stand accused of handing over personal data of hundreds of millions of Europeans to national security organisations in the US via their parent companies.

The decision is set to cause ructions with other European countries, notably Germany, which has been infuriated over revelations that the US accesses the data of EU citizens.

Mr Hawkes (below) responded to complaints filed against the two multinationals by the Vienna-based organisation Europe v Facebook.

He said he cannot act on the basis of the precedent set by the European Commission‘s own ‘Safe Harbour’ decision brought in 13 years ago.

Under the Safe Harbour directive, American companies in Europe can only give data such as a person’s emails or phone call records to US authorities if the US fulfils a number of criteria such as protecting the information, and doesn’t pass it on to a third party.

Whistleblower

Last month, however, the whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed how US firms pass on user data to the American government as a matter of course. Those disclosures have raised doubts about whether the US fills those criteria.

Many of the companies that have passed data on to the US, such as Apple and Facebook, have their European headquarters in Ireland, so are regulated by Mr Hawkes and the DPC………………..

full article at source: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/facebook-and-apple-escape-censure-over-sending-data-to-us-29449947.html

Comment:

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By Thomás Aengus O Cléirigh

This is total bullshit! Here we have american multi nationals who are paying next to no tax on their enormous profits here in Ireland  and are using questionable accountancy tactics that enable them to side step paying taxes in their own countries using their substantial mussel forcing the puppet Irish Goverement  to comply with their wishes .Personal information of citizens of this country is been sent to the USA  and this twit says he cannot do anything about it ??? what a cop-out! Multi Nationals are running rings around Irish Law

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