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Europe: time to follow Cameron's lead?

It increasingly looks like it's time for investors to do a David Cameron and 'veto' funds investing in Europe.

 
Europe: time to follow Cameron's lead?

Thanks to everyone who responded to our 'Should Britain leave the European Union?' article on Friday. We received more than 170 comments as the debate raged, which is excellent.

Clearly, many of you think David Cameron's decision to 'effectively' veto an attempt to restore economic credibility to the eurozone by amending the Lisbon treaty was a brilliant move.

I have to say I'm not so sure. I think the prime minister has been shown to be more puppy dog than bulldog by allowing himself to be outmaneuvered by France and Germany. Sure, we didn't want to sign up to the fiscal compact, but did we really want to end up 26-one down?

My dismay at our renewed isolationism deepened over the weekend as I read a Financial Times report on how Cameron was not present at a pre-summit meeting of centre-right parties in Marseilles. Cameron pulled the Conservative party out of the grouping two years ago and so was not on the guest list, which meant he could not press his case to 'Merkozy' or counter the damaging impression he was seeking a full opt-out for financial services from single-market rules.

According to the FT, the situation worsened as the summit began as British diplomats had been instructed to keep quiet about Cameron's position. 'The British seemed to believe that Mr Cameron could win his City concessions by delivering them at short notice at 2am, bouncing leaders into accepting them. According to officials, Mr Cameron's plan barely got a hearing.'

If true, this is a cock-up of historic proportions.

Of course, many Citywire Money readers are glad we have jumped off what could be a sinking ship, so perhaps the prime minister will be proved right, even if he was pandering to the right wing of his party.

Whatever your opinion of the political dimension, the investment and financial outlook for Europe is pretty dire. The consensus of opinion is that although steps have been taken to sort out the long-term economic structure of the eurozone, the short term looks hazardous.

None of the proposed measures to stabilise government bond markets are likely to stop Standard & Poor's from downgrading the ratings of up to 15 eurozone countries it put on credit watch last week. S&P's main rival Moody's today said it will review its European sovereign ratings in the new year and Fitch has expressed its disappointment at the lack of action by the summit. 

A wave of European sovereign bond downgrades will hurt the banks even more, and could send the eurozone into a vicious downward spiral as banks and sovereigns' weakening credit ratings sap each other's ability to drag themselves out of the quagmire. A long and damaging recession seems likely.

Time to exit European funds?

So, returning to my question of a few weeks ago, should investors sell their European funds? Bailing out seems justified given the uncertainties. Moreover, getting out might not crystallise big losses. 

A look at our fund and fund manager performance page shows that for sterling-based investors, Europe has surprisingly not been the worst market of the year. Europe may have been the root of global uncertainty, but the average one-year loss to the end of October of unit trusts investing in the continent is just over 6%. This could have been a lot worse, and the fact it has not been reflects the surprising strength of the euro, driven, it is thought, by distressed banks repatriating their assets.

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60 comments so far. Why not have your say?

SamP

Dec 12, 2011 at 19:19

Thank goodness we have Cameron in charge of our interests. Can you imagine the state of affairs if Milliband was at the top, talk of puppydog.

Don't forget that one one Britains greatest assets is the fact that we are an island, with a huge coastal area, so lets make good use of it and restore our territorial waters, and of what was our great fishing industry, kick out the foreign interlopers. Oh, but how could we enforce it, do we still have a Navy?

Poor show that Clegg didn't appear in the Commons today.

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Graham Barlow

Dec 12, 2011 at 20:14

Can anyone answer why Britain has now become the focus of all the European Anger over their failed currency? We are not even in it ,yet it is all down to Britain. Who will the French and the Germans turn on next? The Greeks have been crucified the Italians relegated to the fools of Europe. It all seems to me that having made a monumental cock up of the Euro Merkozy invent another even bigger European Drama and smoke screen to cover their utter failure. The" when in trouble" syndrome invent a crisis to make a scapegoat, whipping boy for their folly.Surely the Market will not swallow this subterfuge?

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an elder one

Dec 12, 2011 at 20:15

With all the crap flying around it's best to keep ones head down, who can know the outcome; epithets are pointless; let's wait and see. As a private investor I've avoided European funds in any case whether they be good or bad, I prefer to make my own picks from the market, mainly equities.

I think Cameron did the right thing whatever his motivation, with politicians one can always see ulterior motives and in the case of Sarky it must have been blindingly obvious for Cameron; who can see the outcome of the so called veto - yes I've read the technical waffle of what constitutes a veto, or not, of a treaty, or not, all something of a digression from the main theme.

Personally, my feeling is that if the French wish to manoeuvre us out, then we should thank them; no doubt there are numerous conjectures to be made of the outcome from the mess Europe is in, all of them dire, so does Cameron's action mean anything at all in that respect; at least he has put down a marker of the interests of some of us - the majority I think - which is as much as he could do in the circumstances.

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Graham Barlow

Dec 12, 2011 at 20:20

The other point I would raise is where were you before Cameron went to Brussels? He made it absolutely clear in the Press and media what he was going to ask for, to protect Britain's biggest industry. He didnt get it so he voted "No" perfectly legal. What it has done is show unequivocally that the French and Germans envy London ,and will do anything to ruin it for their own ends. Prove me wrong.

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Ace-UK

Dec 12, 2011 at 20:41

Mr. Brown ripped more than the government's fair share (about £5 billion per annum if memory serves which sadly is still ongoing) out of investors pockets and the continentals therefor thought they should have their share, it's so easy - the Germans because they want to keep their money, and the French because they want to keep their benefits.

I thought the latest deadline summit was supposed to be about saving the Euro - did anybody even mention the Euro?

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Prudence

Dec 12, 2011 at 21:16

This weekend's comments about the UK being "isolated" or "adrift in the Atlantic" reminded me of an old quote - anyone know who said it?

"fog in the Channel, continent cut off"

Bon chance Pru

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In the Dark

Dec 12, 2011 at 22:05

There has been some absolute rubbish spoken by politicians in response to PM Cameron's 'NO' at the EU summit. Just because one is in a minority of one does not mean that; that minority is wrong. Some of the best leaders and motivators I have come across are often in a minority, especially at the start.

I find it quite astonishing that the Franco/German show was allowed to peculate without dialogue with the other 15 members of the eurozone. Have these members no voice? are they in total agreement with the Franco/German solution? I guess that the other 15 are bought lock stock and barrel, by the Franco/German leadership and are waiting for the crumbs to be drop from the table.

Since France has no money and Germany does not wish to fund the wasters further, I suppose looking to the UK as a soft touch to top up their folly is quite logical. So now that the UK has said 'NO' will France and Germany accept this position magnanimously or will they be back until they crave their desire.

My instincts tell me that they will behave like spoilt children having their sweets removed. Standby for tantrums. In the meantime well done PM.

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an elder one

Dec 12, 2011 at 22:48

The other lot of the 26 are holding their traps, waiting to see, they don't have the obvious concerns of the British, nor are they held in permanent odium by much of the the French ruling class as are the British (we have the scarlet pimpernel for that ....Joke!). Lets wait and see their reactions when Merkosy puts their demands on the table, then watch the fur fly. In the meantime let's be entertained by their growing frustrations as they try to get out of jail, even though it's going to end up rather nasty for all of us if the pundits are to be believed.

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an elder one

Dec 12, 2011 at 22:49

I meant .... to thank for that...

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Graham Barlow

Dec 13, 2011 at 11:01

Another Chairman of the Commission blaming Britain for the utter failure of their Euro. Sarkozy tried hard enough to get Merkel to cough up,to no avail. They have to have a scape Goat to justify their lavish salaries and Life styles at the European Tax Payers expense. His utterances to-day prove unequivocally that they are Bankcrupt of any solution. They stand or fall at the behest of the Germans. He is now pleading for a "Global Solution" Pygmies lead by Donkeys spring to mind. What a useless spectacle the EU has turned out to be.

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Drake

Dec 13, 2011 at 11:14

Graham Barlow - I couldn’t agree more. David Laws put it very well this morning – it was the EU’s worst kept secret that Sarkozy wants to marginalise the UK and he thinks he has succeeded. Why is it that the French political establishment hate the Brits so much? Is it Waterloo or the relief of France by the Brits and Americans? Personally I have a lot of time for the French people and their wonderful country. So why do they constantly elect such appalling and, frankly, racist leaders?

I see that the Germans (Schäubler) want the UK to come back in, but I think we should just wait and see, keep calm, not respond to provocation (which is what Sarkozy would love us to do) and agree to help where we can. For example, it’s petty not to let them use the EU institutions, so let them have that gracefully. We should behave like English gentlemen (and ladies) in the face of hostility from France.

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Lester Emanuel

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:21

Good on you Dave. Stand up for GREAT Britain. We have our own problems so dont need Europes too. Sarkozy can take a running jump. When did the French ever help the UK. They have always despised us and probably always will. Cameron did what he believed was best for us. If Miliband and Clegg want to continue being wets lets hold another election now and see what the people believe was right. Cameron would, I believe, obtain a landslide and perhaps too we could then get rid of the political correctness and stupid human rights laws brought in by Brussels and that have dogged our country over the last few years

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MC

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:21

There is a rather large liquidity/Solvency problem in the Eurozone, but rather than deal with that (ie ECB start printing or Germany start guaranteeing) the summit focussed on tighter integration? Why?

And why should we sign up to tighter integration with countries who refuse to deal with the problem in hand?

Re regulating the city - the Tobin Tax is just a ruse to rob the City/UK to fund the euro and just send business to New York & Hong Kong. Plus if they are so strict on regulation why aren't the Euro Banks being told to raise 10% Capital like the ours (apart from the fact they can't afford to)?

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:22

"Sure, we didn't want to sign up to the fiscal compact, but did we really want to end up 26-one down?" Or look at in another way. 3:0 against Germany and the French collaborators.

As for Euro investments, investment in individual companies has to be evaluated on their business profile and exposure. One can't make blanket statements.

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jeff lampert

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:26

Once Democracy (elected governments) is returned to Greece and Italy does anyone really believe these governments can/will support the mega austerity programmes needed to keep the euro zone intact?

The euro is a doomed currency: stand by for an interesting couple of years, which may just prove how. far sighted Cameron has been.

He has a reputation for being lucky: his actions last week may end up being another piece of good fortune in the mediium/long term.

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sandy

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:28

Interesting article in Der Speigel Online today,suggesting that the French want Britain out partly because we prefer a Europe allied closely to the USA,while they see Europe as a power bloc in competition with the Americans.

If they can manoeuvre the UK out,it will be much easier for their view to prevail.

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Nimrod

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:38

I bailed out of mainland Europe some time ago and see no reason to return until the dust settles, which could be months or years.

Despite the superficial display of unanimity last week, this is clearly a house divided against itself. The people of all nationalities are not behind the politicians and neither it would seem are some of the big hitters in the European banks. Sarkosy doesn't look like getting re-elected and Merkel is a definite maybe! This is going to be a buggers muddle for a very long time, or until the markets force a solution, which could well be tghe disolution of the EU???

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J

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:49

At the moment, both Greece and Italy are in dire need of mega austerity measures. The previous elected governments did nothing. We are having mega austerity measures here because it is the only solution to get us out of disaster.

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 12:51

Sandy, I doubt we or the US will worry much about competition from an empty and bankrupt shell. Perhaps they will have to go through the same decline and collapse as the old USSR. I hope we stop importing their goods meantime and find better markets for our own.

No more German and French cars and buy your cheese and sausage wisely. Perhaps we could lobby the supermarkets to stop selling their products and look to ourselves and the world outside the EU for sources.

Yes that's hastening their demise but for a long time it's become a Soviet style venture and I for one will be happy to see it collapse.

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Nicholas Kendal

Dec 13, 2011 at 13:08

"fog in the Channel, continent isolated" , was a Times of London Headline in the early 20th Century.

My expectation is that the Eurozone will, in time, fall apart due to its impossible imbalances and other states will join the Brits. Germany won't pick up the Mediterranean nations' bills and Sarkozy will lose the French election. By mid-2012 the EU will look very different from today.

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Alan Tonks

Dec 13, 2011 at 13:12

Do not please over react to the so-called veto by Mr Cameron it really wasn’t that great.

If he truly wished to do something real for the UK, he could give us a referendum.

This unfortunately is an area that Mr Cameron has been before, giving false promises then reneging on them.

All politicians are consummate liars, so to trust one to do something for everyone rather than themselves, would be a very tall order indeed.

The other reason we will not get a referendum is Cameron’s sidekick Clegg who is a so–called European.

We should know all about Mr Clegg and his allegiance to Europe rather than the UK, he has spouted about it enough.

So if the coalition is to remain they have to suck up to each other.

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stormdog

Dec 13, 2011 at 13:34

I loved the report this morning that Sarkozy has been down-playing the possible loss of the French AAA rating by saying that it doesn't matter - a bit like the captain of the Titanic telling the passengers that they had stopped in order to pick up some more ice.

£ to EURO is now above 1.18. This is the reality and it speaks volumes.

The market never lies.

As to Cameron's veto, it seems at the moment, to be little more than a negotiating tactic.

Cameron does have an ace up his sleeve though.

A moment will come in the game when he could call a referendum on Europe.

When we, the voters, give a resounding NON! to Europe this will surely trigger a political 'European Spring'. At that time Merkozy will probably be swept into the dustbin of history.

The EU officials who now rail against Britain need to shut up and realise that their futures may be in Cameron's hands. They are all now risking being jobless in a market with high unemployment.

Vive De Gaulle!

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John Donald

Dec 13, 2011 at 13:39

Can I try to introduce a little balance to the jingoistic anti-German sentiment apparent here and in the shameful comments of some of the more intellectually challenged Conservative MPs in the Commons yesterday.

I hold no brief for the French,but have detailed personal experience of Germany over the last 15 years,as my daughter is married to a German and I visit that country as often as I can.I do so because it is a more congenial place to live,more hard working but at the same time culturally,sportingly and socially superior to the United Kingdom.Could the United Kingdom,under the flabby self aggrandising regime of Blair and Brown have absorbed East Germany in the way Germany have done?Would Germany have raided private pension funds or allowed the collapse of Equitable Life without compensation or pandered to the egos of Fred Goodwin and his Directors,as happened with Blair,Brown and Salmond?

The present German generation and particularly the young are well aware of the appalling legacy they still bear from the War,but they are trying to do something about it and should be applauded and their lead followed,rather than jealously castigated by right wing backwoodsmen for being successful as a result of hard work,which is sadly lacking in this country.

Needless to say,although my present car is Swedish,I shall not foreswear buying in the future German cars,wine and household appliances,French wine and cheese and products from any country,which represent quality.

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Alan Tonks

Dec 13, 2011 at 13:42

Stormdog, there is absolutely no chance of Cameron calling a referendum, see my previous posting.

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:19

Mr Donald, my sarcasm was lost on you. Apologies.

But I would look forward to the collapse of the European Union and Commission and the reinstatement of a Common Market. The free movement of goods and services between a group of competing sovereign Nations.

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:21

Stormdog:

"They are all now risking being jobless in a market with high unemployment"

It's already happened in the Ned states and they have not a hope in hell of getting out of it in a generation. It will be a test of their social cohesion.

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stormdog

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:29

Alan,

As it stands today you are of course correct.

As for tomorrow it is impossible to know, unless of course you are an ace futurologist.

"if the coalition is to remain............"

It may be that Cameron could, at some stage, call an election over Europe and win an outright Conservative majority.

In the near seventy years that I have been walking the face of this earth, other than death and taxes the only other certainty is that anything can happen and it probably will.

Politics is mostly driven by events, and, to give a nod to your main posting above, opportunity It is mostly reactive and rarely a consequence of proairesis.

For anyone to to say that there is not a chance of Cameron calling a referendum over Europe is no more than reiterating today's perceived wisdom.

The actuality may turn out to be entirely different.

We will see.

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stormdog

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:37

Stew,

i did not know that, thank you.

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:44

cough

Med States.

Soaring hardcore unemployment particularly amongst the young, who are the most likely to riot.

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John Donald

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:51

Stew,

Sarcasm,if clever and subtle enough,may pass as humour,but patronising racial stereotypyng does not.

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Keith Snell

Dec 13, 2011 at 14:59

As I see it the countries of the Eurozone wanted the uk to help bail out their currency, when the Conservative Government sought help from the EU prior to black thursday they were told by the EU they would not assist to halt the run on the £. Now the tables are turned it is entirley foolish to expect our current government to do anything except refuse to fund the ailing Eurozone countries. Do critics of the UK from the 26 remaining EU countries really expect us to accept their debt however damaging it is to us? The only good thing about the present EU problems is that unless the 26 address the real problems of over government EU medaling and massive unnecessary expenditure they are unlikely to ge out of their financial difficulties with the the same number of member countries in the EU zone.

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:00

Brits taking the piss out of the Germans isn't patronising or race related! Get over it.

Anyway our issues are with their governments not their citizens who are victims of the democratic deficit in the EU as much as us.

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Alan Tonks

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:07

Stormdog, I unfortunately see very little wisdom around today and very few politicians with any moral fibre.

I must admit I would love to be wrong about Cameron and the referendum, but I won’t be.

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:08

Keith, the only two countries with an economy worth discussing are Germany and the UK. Of course they want to sponge on us. Much as the French might hate us for it.

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stormdog

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:12

John,

Are you sure that in your reply to Stew and your underlying assertion about Britain that you yourself are not about to fall into the same racial stereotyping of which you accuse Stew.

Rather than knocking our own beloved country the whole time should we not be concentrating on improving it where it needs to be improved?

Those that are unhappy, such as your goodself, should cut and run and live elsewhere.

It is all fearfully simple really.

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Bill lawson

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:14

Clegg should be ashamed of himself he should be backing THE prime minister not critiseing him. What a partner

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stormdog

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:24

Alan,

If I knew you I would take you to lunch at Scott's to cheer you up.

After lunch, when you hit the street again, you would feel immortal - it is that good, really!

God Willing, I will live long enough to see how the European mess is finally resolved.

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Politic-Al

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:26

If Cameron called a snap election he could win a resounding victory at the cost of the Lib Dems, led by that buffoon Clegg.

Clegg has tried to distance himself from the veto. No doubt he has one eye on joining the E.U. gravy train at some stage. What a hippocrite he is.

I've just sold all my European Bonds last week.

I was also considering buying an Audi but have now opted for a British made car.

Lets renegotiate our trading terms with the E.U. and stop poking our noses in other peoples business. The sooner we move forward and sort our own problems out the better.

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Robert Gripes

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:42

I think the question to ask is why France and Germany led Cameron into this obviouse trap. Could it be they see the UK as the elephant in the room and did not want the UK on board to spoil their plans of dominating all the other nations, It is no wander the rest are upset with Cameron, they probabley wanted him to protect them from the Franco German pact.

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normski

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:46

My worry is that the the EU elites are turning into tyrants in their desoeration, do they not see that poverty and misery they are imposing on the meds, people are rioting in Greece. Last week we had on television an Italian minister in tears.

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Drake

Dec 13, 2011 at 15:54

Sandy - thanks for the Der Spiegel tip.

Here is an interesting quote from today's edition:

"European Commission President José Manuel Barroso even spoke of "warlike conditions." According to Barroso, Merkel and Sarkozy are trying to impose their views on everyone else, even though they themselves can hardly agree on any issue. The fact that the majority of countries bowed to the German-French duo in the end shows how dependent the EU is on its two biggest financiers. Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias described the dilemma in a nutshell: "We really ought to engineer a revolution against Merkel and Sarkozy, but each of us needs the two of them for something." "

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Steve Dick

Dec 13, 2011 at 16:03

Personally, I don't think Cameron was outmanoevered by the 'Merkozy' team. He had a plan and stuck to it so he (Cameron) called their bluff! All it needs now is to get out of the obscenely overpriced EU club; bring home all those overpaid, non performing, freeloading ministers from Brussels, whi8ch would put billions back into the public purse and join EFTA as we should have done in the early 70's.

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ThisIsMe

Dec 13, 2011 at 16:08

"....did we really want to end up 26-one down?"

Why not?

You may be a gutless coward and if outnumbered just lie down and let Merkel tickle your tummy but i wouldn't!

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Stew

Dec 13, 2011 at 16:17

Steve, don't forget the additional benefit of asking all the EU citizens (we don't want) to leave and returning the UK to full employment. How much does that save us?

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Sean Charlesworth

Dec 13, 2011 at 16:28

Going back to the article everybody, I pose a dilemma as follows; approx 5% of my ISA is invested in the following OEIC's. I binned Fidelity European about 3 years ago which was about 10% at the time.

Threadneedle European Select, -2.4% 1 year, rank 1/108 1 year 5/97 3 years

Neptune European Opportunities, -5.8% 1 year, rank 6/108 1 year 17/97 3 years

Ignis Argonaut European Alpha, -6.4% 1 year, rank 9/108 1 year 11/97 3 years

I hold more European equities approx 8% in my pension via different funds.

All the above figures are from Trustnet today (yesterdays close), the funds do not yield much but all seem very defensively positioned your comments/thoughts would be appreciated as to the articles suggestion to call time on European funds bearing in mind the reasonable performance of the above.

Mr Lumsden any comments/thoughts?

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normski

Dec 13, 2011 at 17:07

I hav n,t much confidence in anything European but I have to say that my Franclin Templeton emerging markets are not doing brill either which I bought ealier this year, but I,m in for the long haul anyway.

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Alan Tonks

Dec 13, 2011 at 18:13

Politic-Al- I think you mean buying a car made by a foreign owned Car Company here in Britain. It is not the same as buying a real British car made by a British company. I believe in fact only one or two of those now exist, if you are buying one of those I apologise.

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Politic-Al

Dec 13, 2011 at 18:41

Alan Tonks.

No I meant buying a car made by in Britain. Irrespective of the owners of the company, this provides work for British workers.

The more work we carry out ourselves the better off we will be.

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snoekie

Dec 13, 2011 at 22:40

There have been many valid comments made.

Alan Tonks, your posts are spot on.

John, not so much Germany, but Sarkrazy, with friends like that, who needs enemies?. I would also observe that Merkel is not above reproach.

When one begins to wonder, with all the "noise" coming out of the EU, Renn, Baroso etc, whether this is a carefully orchestrated "fight" only for peace to break out and for DC to climb down when he gets a "victory" (for that read humiliating defeat, but the appearance of having won something) to allow him to "backtrack" on his referendum promise. That he has been very solid on, not giving a referendum or even getting close to promising one. Just like something slithering out from under a stone, speaks with forked tongue.

As for Merkel, is she perhaps afeared of the burgeoning strength in the future of sterling? (Hopefully). At the moment she has a vice like grip on the tiny sphericals of the midget and he will dance to any tune she cares to nominate because his domino is already falling and without Merkel and French bonds become something like junk bonds in status. As most of the money is owed to Deutschland, she too is in a very precarious position.

Keith, love it. Perhaps a reminder of that would not go amiss but will probably infuriate them but nevertheless it needs to be said. Who needs fair weather friends? We have enough problems of our own without trying to bail them out. Their problems are of their making and we had our Brown, who tried to sink us in the Laurentian deep.

A word of advice for DC, when Clegg has been around, do not turn your back on him, and make sure that you count the knives lest he has pilfered one for the purpose of shafting you in the back. His interests are closely allied to Europe, he is dependent on them to get his very generous pension in the future and is under contract not to contradict them (otherwise he loses his EU pension).

DC keeps saying that the future of the UK is with Europe. They refused to help us in the past, and shafted us frequently, in particular in relation to the CAP reformation (still not given although promised to Bliar) but they are quite happily taking our money and not giving the rebates that we had and surrendered on the basis that there would be reform so there is money owed to us.

DC need to be reminded that the approach of Europe and our approach are wholly different, Europe depends on regulation to give you any right, and ours is we have the right until regulated against.

I will say it again, he who screams loudest (Sarkrazy) is trying to distract attention away from his problems, quite apart from that Everest sized chip on his shoulder, so that he can still have some influence, even though he has been a very naughty boy in relation to his budget which is now about to washing down the Swanee. Besides which Merkel has his gonads in a vice and threatening to turn the handle to tighten.

Forget the two-step, no surrender, repatriation powers, full protection for the UK and agreement to massive deregulation (in relation to the plethora of useless verbiage emanating from Brussels) and certainly no aid. They should remember, do unto others, they didn't for us in the 90s so why the hell should they expect it now from us?

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Nigel gardiner

Dec 13, 2011 at 23:42

You write like a Liberal Gavin !!

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Graham Barlow

Dec 14, 2011 at 17:14

If the Euro Bond Market goes into free fall with haircuts left right and centre ,one of the biggest losers will be the issuers of Credit Default Swaps in the USA. We could also see a run on the Banks in some of the Euro zone Countries,.The Euro Banks are all hoarding as much cash as possible and depositing with ECB rather than trust another Bank. This was the prelude to the run on Northern Rock if you recall. All share values are only going one way against this back drop. There could be some bargain opportunities here but don't forget the ncurrency exposure.

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david rogers

Dec 14, 2011 at 21:58

I have just read an article entitled "Europe united in a failed experiment" by a Dr Stephan Auer who holds the Jean Monet Chair In EU Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University in Australia. Quoting selectively from his article he said " Britain did not abandon Europe. Europe pushed away Britain and in doing so abandoned itself. Europe betrayed its better earlier traditions that made it great in the first place: a commitment to liberty ,democracy and the free market. In a democracy , political power can be exercised effectively only when those in charge enjoy some political legitimacy gained through an open -ended process of political contestation . This is more likely to occurin the British House of Commons or even the German Bundestag than in the elaborate beareau monster erected over decades in Brussels. The summit did nothing to show how Europe`s struggling economies can be saved from the imminent threat of sovereign default. It didnt because it couldn`t . Only Italians can save Italy, only Greeks can save Greece. Europe failed. It chose instead the foolish idea of ever closer union that will lead Europe towards economic and political suicide'. Interesting comments from someone with Dr Auer`s name and position!

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david rogers

Dec 14, 2011 at 22:00

Sorry should read "bureaucratic monster"

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Drake

Dec 15, 2011 at 10:11

David Rogers – very good article, and how true. I always find the Australian financial press very astute. They give a subtly different perspective on world affairs, minus the jingoism. Have you tried the Business Spectator?

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an elder one

Dec 15, 2011 at 14:52

Apropos nothing in particular but to pick up on someones post re. taking the piss out of a German; at a joint meeting between Germans and Brits in the company I worked at, years ago now, one of the German contingent trying to practice his new found English idiom, reportedly said in exasperation on some point of contention, opined "you British, you think we know fuck nothing, I tell you we know fuck-all" you can imagine the reaction, that is, if you recognise the idiom; it may, or may not amuse you. I believe it was taken in good part when the cause of laughter was explained and no doubt improved their future use of idiom.

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Stew

Dec 15, 2011 at 15:56

Lets talk today about why Churchill didn't treat with the Germans on the basis "Stop abusing the Jews and you can keep France" ;o)

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Nigel gardiner

Dec 15, 2011 at 17:55

I cant understand why we havent yet seen any pics of Napoleon with Mitterrands face on it, he is the right height after all, cant be all that difficult for some adobe fan?

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Nigel gardiner

Dec 15, 2011 at 17:58

Back to square one sorry, meant Nicolas Sarkozy, Mitterrand was on the news today so in my head

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Drake

Dec 16, 2011 at 10:44

The gloves are off now with orchestrated abuse from the French central bank as well as politicians. As they say in Romania, never wrestle with pigs. You all get dirty, but the pig likes it.

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William Bishop

Dec 18, 2011 at 16:57

A bit late in day, but I am feeling sorry for Steve Charlesworth, who is seeking advice, while an unrelated battle continues to rage around him. Unfortunately, it's a tough call what to do with European equities. Selling could be more like shutting the stable door after the horse bolted. Yet being tempted into a more contrarian buying stance could be risky, since any more substantial eurozone bailout is hostage to the extreme reluctance of Germany under Frau Merkel to go in that direction for more than an absolute minimum to (maybe) sustain the euro. Thus the series of summits that end up disappointing the markets could well extend further. While Steve's funds appear well selected, everything is liable to get sucked into a bear market if it becomes sufficiently deep and prolonged. It really depends on one's risk tolerance - mine would probably be sufficiently high to hang on and hope for better things ultimately.

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