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Stocks could plunge 35% if euro crisis deepens, Deutsche warns

Global stock markets could plunge by 35% if the eurozone’s debt woes deteriorate into a financial crisis on the scale of the fallout from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank has warned.

 
Stocks could plunge 35% if euro crisis deepens, Deutsche warns

Global stock markets could plunge by 35% if the eurozone’s debt woes deteriorate into a financial crisis on the scale of the fallout from the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank has warned.

The stark warning came as further downgrades of credit ratings of Portugal and Ireland, and a surge in Italian and Spanish bond yields, raised concerns that bigger eurozone countries could get dragged into the crisis.

See our Chart of The Day: European debt crisis – where is it going?

Also, if you are worried about what this means for your investments, we will shortly publish an update of some of the ISA tips we made when markets were looking rocky in March.

‘Markets are increasingly concerned about the lack of unity among European politicians in the face of the worsening sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone,’ analysts at the German financial giant said in a research note.

They added that the failure of the various measures taken so far to build investor confidence had already pushed up the equity risk premium – the excess return that stocks provide over a ‘risk-free’ rate.

Suggesting that a continuation of this trend would see the MSCI World index shed 35% of its value, the analysts noted that most of the falls would come from a rise in the equity risk premium to the peaks of March 2009. ‘The rest would be a consequence of lower profitability resulting from the inevitable economic slowdown associated with a disorderly adjustment,’ they said.

Jeremy Batstone-Carr, strategist at Charles Stanley, said it was difficult ‘to quantify with any degree of accuracy’ how an intensification of the crisis would the impact global markets.

‘What we’re talking about is a worst-case scenario and complete systemic collapse of the world’s financial system, possibly caused by a tidal wave of credit swaps being triggered, and the banking sector being forced to take massive write-downs,’ he said.

Batstone-Carr, director of private client research at the broker, continued, ‘One might argue that by taking such a strong position so publicly, what Deutsche Bank are effectively saying to the European authorities is: get it sorted now.’

Indeed, the Deutsche analysts pointed out that ‘prompt action’ from European authorities could avert the worst-case outcome.

Nonetheless, according to the note, financial stocks would likely tumble 62.5% in the worst-case scenario, with other financially levered sectors such as utilities, industrials, telecoms and consumer discretionary also underperforming significantly. The Deutsche analysts said healthcare, consumer staples and energy would be the most protected sectors.

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43 comments so far. Why not have your say?

William Feader

Jul 15, 2011 at 12:45

The article does not mention gold, silver or shares of gold and silver producers. I wonder why? Is it because they will take off like a rocket on any crisis - or will they crash like everything else?

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Malcolm Gliksten

Jul 15, 2011 at 12:53

The bullion prices might rocket but the producers and of course explorers would fall with everything else.

Anyway, its unlikely to happen unless they let it happen.

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Recently Redundant and Retired

Jul 15, 2011 at 13:11

Yeah but....doesn't it depend on market and currency exposure?

A defensive like GSK with more £ and $ exposure should benefit, otherwise wouldn't their yields rocket?

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Grumpy Old Man

Jul 15, 2011 at 13:30

Such gloomy precision............not a 62%or 63% plunge but a 62.5% plunge.Oh well that is alright then!

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Chris B (Slough UK)

Jul 15, 2011 at 13:43

Well in the last or is it the same Recession? Everything went down Stocks and Gold N Silver. Why should it be any different this time? Except the problems are much bigger of course. Thanks great leaders, you sure set a fine example of how to run a world!? Into the ground that is, Shee-it Yeh!

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Jonathan

Jul 15, 2011 at 14:21

It's unlikely they will fall if the GBP is devalued with a bit more of Mervyn's stimulation.

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Franco

Jul 15, 2011 at 15:56

It is as clear as a pikestaff that Greece will default (as it should), followed by Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. - Why should their people suffer? Let the idiots who speculated by lending them money for higher gain, take the consequences -. Then the EU will legislate to stop speculation and close the door after the horse has bolted and a new EU, along the original lines with only Germany, France, Belgium and Netherlands will be formed.

As for us, we shall be able to save some money by letting in more immigrants for cheap labour and cutting benefits to single mothers. Of course the really important things, like the Trident and new aircraft carriers "to project power in the world" as our PM said and the spending of £billions on first destroying and then rebuilding countries, will go on.

The Iraq war which we were told would cost us £3 billion, has already costed £100 billion. ($1000billion for the US) and still counting. And what about rebuilding Afghanistan? And we have only just started on Libya, that will need rebuilding too. Then we shall have Iran, then N. Korea etc. I wonder how much more tax the middle classes of this country can stand. Never mind friends, Rome went that way too.

Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.

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David Sheridan

Jul 15, 2011 at 16:25

Two hours after this doom and gloom headline from Deutsche I receive one from Fat Prophets that reads: 10 reasons why stock markets are set to move higher.

Does anyone really have a scooby what is going on ?

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Paul Harris

Jul 15, 2011 at 17:39

Well thank you for probably causing the panic

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Chris Adams

Jul 15, 2011 at 17:43

If the markets 'Expected' scenario could lead to a potential drop for Stocks of 62.5% ..... just imagine what the 'Unexpected' scenario could do on the upside ......

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snoekie

Jul 15, 2011 at 17:54

David, in the free section? Where?

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Jem Cooper

Jul 15, 2011 at 19:06

Well Deutsche Bank would say that wouldn't they; trying to put the frighteners on our gullible politicians so they bail out the foolish banks yet again using taxpayers' money. If the banks are so worried about another financial crisis impacting their viability the first thing they should do is slash their own pay bill.

Let Greece and the rest default. Capitalism doesn't work if weak and incompetent businesses are subsidised into survival. From the start this whole financial crisis was caused by lending to those who can't afford to repay. It won't be solved by doing the same again.

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BobP

Jul 15, 2011 at 19:22

I'm with Jem ---- Deutsche Bank is probably heavily exposed to south European sovereign debt and at risk of taking a severe haircut if the tax payer doesn't bail out the countries involved.

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an elder one

Jul 15, 2011 at 19:33

Let's see a plan to dismantle the Euro in some sort of orderly fashion; clearly it don't work and never will. In passing it seems the Germans want to eat their cake and have it; nothing has changed; and the French always had their heads in the clouds with thoughts of running the world; both have nurtured aspirations of empire which were ever frustrated.

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ICD

Jul 16, 2011 at 02:20

I wonder if 'an elder one' could explain how it would be better if the European countries had individual currencies? Would Greece now be solvent? Would the lenders be feeling relaxed? "Don't worry folks, we'll get paid our full amount of Drachmas".

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ICD

Jul 16, 2011 at 02:20

I wonder if 'an elder one' could explain how it would be better if the European countries had individual currencies? Would Greece now be solvent? Would the lenders be feeling relaxed? "Don't worry folks, we'll get paid our full amount of Drachmas".

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Anthony O' Grady

Jul 16, 2011 at 07:23

To Franco I say, calm down or you'll have a seizure.

To David Sheridan I say you're correct, nobody has a blind clue where this is all going to lead. The only thing I am sure of is that this idea that in the event of a collapse in the European banking system demise of the Euro etc (likely in my view) then ALL assets including gold will get battered, just as they did post Lehman. This idea that some assets are uncorrelated is baloney. The truth is that when things really begin to fall apart, everyone runs for the exit.

In 2008 Phillip Gibbs of Jupiter made 8 per cent when long only funds invested heavily in equities were down 30 per cent. So, whilst absolute return funds have had a bad press over the last 18 months, there is still a place for them in any portfolio.

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Anthony O' Grady

Jul 16, 2011 at 07:24

Sorry, lost my thread half way through that.

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Recently Redundant and Retired

Jul 16, 2011 at 08:24

I agree with 'an elder one", in that for the EU to work you need two Eurozones, one with an industrial backbone and commensurate social benefits, the other holiday destinations who only benefit if they give good service.

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banjofred

Jul 16, 2011 at 09:13

The usual thing is to start a war, which revives economies. Trouble is out leaders already started three wars, and we are sitll in two of them

Its all going to hell. The only question is when?

I think the best move is to stay in gold, build a bunker, buy a banjo.

....

banjo

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ICD

Jul 16, 2011 at 10:17

Could I ask all you Euro haters, very nicely why it would be so much better without the Euro? I know things are bad but surely that is because many politicians have run their countries in a dubious short-term way, currying favour with the voters who will vote for which ever party promises the most immediately. As some of you want to dole out blame rather than understand human nature and construct our systems accordingly then I suggest the blame lies mostly with the electorate

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Jem Cooper

Jul 16, 2011 at 10:49

The reason why the euro is to blame is that Greece is unable to print euros to repay its debt. If a country has its own currency and borrows in it like the UK, they can always print the money to repay debt, no doubt devaluing the currency in the process and generating high domestic inflation. But I think the way we have chosen is the lesser of two evils, having arrived here through profligate government spending.

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barry watson

Jul 16, 2011 at 11:38

is it not plain to see the eurozone in its current form is dying before our eyes but with so many euro beaurocrats and their staff bobbing around europe from one euro parliament to another and taking quite nicely from it do you think they are going to admit it..not likely

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Recently Redundant and Retired

Jul 16, 2011 at 12:44

The problem with the current Eurozone is the mix of countries with industrial output and austere social benefits working in tandem with holiday destinations with no strong cultural work ethic, no industry to speak of and generous social benefits. Corruption has levelled out to the highest standard.

It was a bad idea from the start other than to avoid war in Europe, instead we have terrorism.

A new EU combining UK, France, Germany and maybe some scandinavian countries could possibly work if they had a strong defence system to control the rest. A new British Empire is another option but it has to be self funding through benign exploitation.

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William Feader

Jul 16, 2011 at 13:12

All I know is that in the recent sell off that had been going on since mid April, gold and silver held their value when everything else went down, some stocks were off up to 40% in my tracking portfolio. If the Euro is toast, and the US dollar is toast and the RNB doesn't trade, then either everyone has to buy Yen or we have to settle on the fact that gold and silver are still money.

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an elder one

Jul 16, 2011 at 13:28

ICD, you have surely followed the debate on the Euro since it's inception and prior to that, and have had enough time in which to judge its financial merits and vices, its political objectives both overt and concealed, to which I intend not to add; by now we have all come to our conclusions both for and against, surely.

If Greece still had their Drachma, arguably, they would be a law and liability to themselves alone and not about, or less likely, to cause mayhem for the rest of us.

I'm no man of finance or practitioner of economics - a simple engineer - but I reckon it would be better to accept the fact that Greece will default before long - meanwhile we lend money to just kick the tin down the road - and that it would cheaper the give them back the Drachma at a suitably devaluated exchange rate thus reducing their debts to a more manageable level; daresay there would be howls from all quarters, but one way or another it's going to cost that in the long run. Just a thought! tell me if I don't have a clue.

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Ines

Jul 16, 2011 at 15:10

ICD - the reason people hate the whole euro project is because it is undemocratic. It was devised by politicians for politicians so that they can enrich and empower themselves. In order to avoid revolution these same politicians buy the public off with promises and allowances of one sort or another, making the electorate ever more unrealistic and irresponsible. Let's hope when the whole thing has imploded that we can start again, with politicians answerable to their own electorates and not to euro bureaucrats. We can then stop the utter nonsense of the European fisheries policy, the CAP, Climate Change idiocy and all the rest of it.

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ICD

Jul 16, 2011 at 15:29

While I have been writing my reply (and having lunch) there have been some interesting comments from 'an elder one' and 'Ines' to whom I would like to respond. First though, this is what I have written already!

Blame the Euro?

To Jem Cooper I would say yes, of course Greece would like to print its way out of difficulty, but even when it could print Drachmas the value of currency would have fallen so foreign banks etc would still not have got their money back. They would get the right number of drachma but a greatly reduced number Marks, Francs or Pounds. They would, of course have known that and acted with more prudence. Now we have the Euro the foreign lenders must have said to themselves, “A Greek Euro is as good and valuable as any body else’s Euro so we will lend Greece the ridiculous amount they want to borrow and get a very good rate and makes lots of money for ourselves. I need a new Ferrari, anyway.” So there is a temptation to say let the bondholders experience a ‘haircut’ but the trouble with economics is that the knock-on effects are so hard to predict.

To Barry Watson I would say yes and no. Of course there are many people in Brussels doing work of questionable value and receiving excessive pay and expenses. I think there should be far more criticism of that, by for instance our popular(?) press rather than hanging around celebrities bedrooms. Anyway, don’t we have a certain amount of the same problem here in UK? I imagine Euro bureaucrats are working extremely hard at the moment, (bobbing about) to try to get a plan worked out that minimises the disastrous consequences for all of us.

To Recently Redundant etc I would say the following:

Empires, particularly British ones are currently rather out of favour at the moment! Anyway isn’t the EU a great improvement on the old British Empire. Perhaps you just want to be in charge! Unfortunately we Brits aren’t much good at being in charge either.

I agree that corruption is a dreadful scourge and a good press is needed to reduce it. Perhaps surprisingly, I think one of the many good things about the EU is that it should reduce corruption. I am fairly sure we have a sort of gentle refined corruption in this country where the high-ups, the top brass, the ‘Establishment’ look after themselves first and the rest of the country comes a distant second. This is very hard to prove, yet easy to imagine. Lets take a hypothetical situation:

“We appointed him to the board because he is the best man for the job” “Not so, you appointed him because he is at the same golf club and he has worked on you, invited you and your wife to dinner and discreetly let you win at golf.” Now imagine the scene at some meeting in Brussels where representatives from all the member states can be present. “We want our businesses to be of the highest quality in Europe. We want freedom of movement within the EU, so we need to make it possible for jobs to be available in a fair way, (not just for the French in France) so we should consider setting out some standard procedures to be followed. In the case of appointing someone to the board of directors, as this is rather important it is suggested, x y and z. What does everyone think?” X, y and z could include interviews, agreement of certain people within the company etc, not just the chairman’s choice, certain qualifications and so on. All this seems eminently reasonable to me, and democratic as long as our representative is there to include our point of view. But of course it would be reported in the Express as, “Another crazy idea from the EU. We are told that the boss can’t choose his directors” or some such distortion.

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JETTE BARTON

Jul 16, 2011 at 15:59

You need only to know that the EU has not published its accounts for several years because it cannot secure a certificate from the auditors. WHY DID IT LEND (or arrange loans) to Greece, Ireland and others so much money. Money they could not possibly repay. AND dammit where did all this money go.

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an elder one

Jul 16, 2011 at 16:15

ICD, you do waffle so, what is your point in favour of the European adventure and the Euro in particular. As far as matters of human nature are concerned, esp. those with regard to corruption, homo sapiens proclivities are much the same everywhere across the globe when given the opportunities; it is only governments and laws that maintain some sort of order - in various degree.

As I see it the European setup consists of too many tiers of organisation and assumed responsiblities often without democratic redress, which all lends itself to inconclusive debate and unanswerable dictates to its peoples. Whatever might be thought nice about the Euro, it won't work unless Europe can agree to become a single national entity - if such a decision is to be sought, then watch the fur fly.

As regards the British essay into empire, I think we did pretty well and although we are possibly still suffering withdrawal symptoms, it has not turned out too badly - if we overlook the European interference with our trade in the Commonwealth - and still seems alive and kicking, judging by reports of Cambridges' visit to North America.

As INES has mooted, the European thingy is truly a political endeavour intended to satisfy political egos, not their peoples; ask yourself, why should politicians regard themselves as better judges than the populace, of how the world should be run; just think of Edward Heath in particular, a more selfish person one can not imagine; with perhaps some reservations; Gaddafi comes to mind.

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snoekie

Jul 16, 2011 at 16:44

William Feader, gold and silver, and other companies with solid assets behind them are merely rising (inflating) to make up for the QE (devaluation) of the currencies. Only the Euro didn't devalue, it had its own stresses that are now about to tear it apart.

The idiots who thought up the idea of putting welfare handout cases with with the diligent, thrifty and industrious into the same currency are clearly communists of a different hue, or maybe they thought they (the thrifty industrious) would be getting cheap labour. It seems to me that all they did was import some crime and a lot of corruption, on top of that was already there.

An interesting few months coming up.

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an elder one

Jul 16, 2011 at 16:52

ICD, one other point; one doesn't hate the Euro, the poor inanimate object, one simply regards it - as a proposed means of fair exchange between disparate nations with vastly differing economies - with incredulity.

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ICD

Jul 16, 2011 at 17:09

An elder one. (Jul 16, 2011 at 13:28) Yes I have followed the debate, but I tend to look at it the other way round. The very real problems that exist are due to the shortcomings of various countries, particularly Greece, and possibly the global financial system. I am not so sure about this, because it is very technical and I am no economist. At the beginning all participants had an interest in the Euro being a respected currency, and the counties who let this down were not ‘leant on’ heavily enough, and that in turn was due, I believe, to the ‘sovereignty issue so beloved by the press. We are not going to be told what to do by foreigners etc etc.’ Part of the EU’s creed, surely is to help those that need help, such as farmers who were harmed by mad cow disease, and parts of Scotland that needed better roads. I believe the thinking was that in addition to the humanitarian side there would be a communal benefit in terms of extra commercial activity. Obviously this involves the rich counties forking out and vice versa for the poor ones, but the extra business generated has a communal spin-off. But it does give the antis and the press a chance to selectively pick out events to show the EU in a bad light.

Ines: (Jul 16, 2011 at 15:10) Surely, in some ways the opposite is true. With a national currency politicians have a much easier job if they can spend too much to win over the electorate then devalue to get out of trouble, and incidentally steal from the holders of the currency, because, to me that is what devaluing involves. So a single currency, theoretically, at least, is surely far fairer, but means everyone has to behave in a financially responsible way. European fisheries policy: complicated but originally we were no angels, and then when the EU was deciding what to do I believe we acted like a spoilt kid instead of trying to do the best for our fishermen. CAP: totally agree with you. Climate Change, not sure of your views but we are very wasteful of energy in this country. I was always enthusiastic about double glazing but many years ago I remember being told that it was a waste of money because it took 20 years to recover the cost in saved fuel bills. By the way the reason people hate the whole euro project is, I believe, because the popular press is totally against it and reports in a very hostile and selective way.

An elder one. (Jul 16, 2011 at 16:15) I am sorry you find my contribution ‘waffle’ but it takes far fewer words to criticise the EU than to defend it. The hypothetical example I gave I feel strongly about but I find it hard to convey briefly. I am glad we agree about human nature. With that in mind it becomes a matter of how to construct our system. I have 3 other major advantages in the ‘European adventure’ but I had better keep the waffle down.Too many tiers: yes probably right. Human nature again. Single national entity: provocative words surely, as used by the popular press. Both France and Germany are strong proponents of the EU. Surely they will maintain their separate national identities? Of course politicians with government experience are extremely likely to be better than the populace in judging how the world should be run. I suggest running the world, in a democracy, is darned difficult and that the uninformed criticism from the ‘populace’ is often laughable. Looking back I am sure Heath had his faults but to compare him with Gaddafi is also laughable.

Jette Barton (15:59) Totally agree the fact that the accounts have not been audited is a disgrace. Surely, though the EU did not lend or arrange loans to Greece and Ireland until they were in trouble, and that was partly humanitarian and partly to reassure the financial world that the market place in the Euro zone was sound. The countries (politicians and banks) got themselves into the mess first.

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an elder one

Jul 16, 2011 at 20:24

ICD, we seem poles apart; I suggest that the European adventure - as I prefer to call it, since it is vaguely called so many things, the EU, the Euro, the EEC whatever you refer to - is so difficult to defend because there is so much wrong about it. Your defence seems based on idealistic premises that don't obtain in fact. As far as the influence of the press is concerned (it comes in many shapes not just the tabloids), not all is bad and most offers an insightful commentary on current affairs; where else do we get our intelligence of the world at large and Europe in particular; where do you get yours; at the coalface? perchance you are employed in Brussels.

I did not intend my use of the term 'national identity' to be provocative, by it I meant a federation of consenting states subject to all the same essential rules of government and their consequencies - I think you knew what I meant but chose not to acknowledge such. In such a thing there is still room for what are regarded as national idiosynchrases of course, differences that occur within any grouping of individuals, whether it be family, clan, country or continent.

You seem to have a strange understanding of democracy; politicians are there to serve the populace, not the other way round - in that they often fail as has been mooted earlier in this thread - essentially the country is run through the machinery of a supposedly apolitical civil service; politicians provide the emphases through haggling on the world stage in which their own personal ambitions often appear paramount to the detriment of the populace and their wishes.

I did not compare Heath with Gaddafi - no one is to be compared with tyrants who kill their own people in order to maintain their supremacy - I simply moderated my criticism of him in retrospect, by admitting there are far worse egos to behold, I was refering to basically normal people.

It is no use pushing idealistic parameters on matters such as the survival of international commerce and industry, if it don't work then when such fails all our livelihoods are diminished. The problems we encounter today need to be tackled in an honest practical pragmatic fashion based on measurable considerations, not airy-fairy ideals. The reason Greece is in trouble is not so much due to what they owe, but due to the sloppy way they have run their country and the likelihood they will not be able to put it right, as things stand.

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Ines

Jul 16, 2011 at 21:49

ICD 'Politicians have a much easier job'..... We have been through this routine before, Harold Wilson etc...then Mrs Thatcher. When you are an independent country cause and effect is more clearly visible to the electorate and they know they will have to live with the consequnces of their voting behaviour. At the moment every politician has been beguiled (bought?)by 'Europe' and 'Climate Change' so there is almost no point in voting - whatever you vote for it will be much the same .

When young men went to China in the 19th century the local money lenders did their best to get them into debt by offering easy terms. Once they were over committed the interests rates went up and the debts were called in. It was called 'Squeeze'. That is what is happening to peripheral European countries now.

I don't see why it is fair that elderly people in this country living on tiny pensions should be paying high levels of VAT to subsidise farmers in France, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter. If we have Mad Cow Disease or whatever other foul contagion brought about by inappropriate farming methods then we should deal with it ourselves - as we always did in the past. If the Scots want roads then they are well able to build them themselves, we don't have to sacrifice our democratic rights for them.

It is probably true to say that the wealthy classes in Greece and many other countries thought that by joining the EU they would be able to stop democratic politicians using devaluation as a routine way of writing off debts and 'resetting' the currency, but this was not explained to the electorate - they also were beguiled by Euro largesse. As a result they find themselves in a trap. The EU operates as a dictatorship. I don't think the Greeks will accept this, or understood that they were joining a dictatorship in the first place.

The advantage of national governments is that people have a better idea of what is going on. Individual countries have room to manoeuvre according to their own needs and cultures and a democratically elected government has the acquiescence of the populace.

A lot of judgements are made about the behaviour of other nations - words like thriftiness and industriousness and honesty are churned out with little background understanding of the situations in which people find themselves, or what they have endured historically. The much vaunted value of the European Union as engendering peace among nations is in fact stirring up a lot of unpleasantness.

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ICD

Jul 17, 2011 at 00:04

Well, I have had my chance to express my views and hear opposing views. I don’t see what is wrong with having some idealistic intentions, especially as for the most part they seem to me to be working.. When the debt problems are sorted out as they will be eventually we will have a fairer world and probably the same currency set up. Europe will have the stature to talk to America as an equal. That is already happening.

‘An elder one’. I am retired and used to work for a UK based firm that employed many Europeans I get my news from many sources, such as Aljazeera Washington Post, FT CNN. I am giving the Economist a try (4 issues for a £1). I do not have a financial background but as a retired person in charge of my own pension (SIPP) I am learning that there is a lot of unfairness with the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor. I have very little faith in my own country on its own. Why on earth were we going to let Murdoch dominate the media to an even greater extent? I wrote to my MP did my bit, but it was going to happen. I wasn’t referring to the tabloids I think the Daily Mail and Express are the worst in certain respects because they distort and every political report has an agenda. Next time Nick Robinson, political something senior of the BBC comes on the TV watch carefully. He must be one of the most powerful and influential political people in the country. He looks as if he is reporting, but most times he is subtly influencing you with words like ‘claims’ instead of ‘says’. Basically he is telling people what to think without them realising. Also the BBC often seems to regard politics as some sort game played by personalities. The arrogance of someone like Paxman, who, as far as I know has not run anything sneering at a senior politician who wants to use his own words to answer or not answer a question is just too silly to waste time on. There is a danger that this discussion will become too widespread in its scope. But I will deal with any point you care to mention in detail if necessary. But to end, I cannot, for the moment think of any single way in which my liberty has been curtailed by the EU and I can certainly think of improvements forced on us by them.

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an elder one

Jul 17, 2011 at 09:42

ICD, I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with idealistic intentions, without them we would be no better then the beasts of the earth; I simply suggested that these notions should always be tempered with commonsense with regard to what is practicable in the circumstances. Idealistic intentions are generally of a long term philosophical nature that will take long to mature , if at all.

As far as the commentators in our society are concerned, they are a mixed bag, just like the rest of us with various mannerisms and proclivities; one can take to some but not to others, but very, very few are truly evil. From time to time some will go a step, or several, too far, but the checks and balances of a democratic society put things to rights; that's life, and it would be a boring existence without such a dynamic; some say danger is the spice of life.

As far as your last comment regarding liberty in the context of the EU is concerned I can't agree; though that is not the real objection, this has been sufficiently exemplified earlier in the thread; basically we are increasingly being ruled by an unaccountable agency and that is just wrong. The true conclusion of your idealistic notion is a federal European nation with a federal government accountable to all its people; oneday it might happen, but not in my lifetime at the age of 80 plus.

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Swiss Gnome

Jul 17, 2011 at 14:15

I betting on gold and silver in the short term as this escalates into a debate that eventually has to be aired about a two tier system of currency in Europe. Until they politicians tell the full story then fear will be the motivation of the markets.

Not only did Greece lie about its entry criteria qualifications but France also, do you recall when the rules on budget deficit made France ineligible they remarkably 'found' that the inclusion of the French Telecom group pension was a forgotten asset.

As for the banks we the owners have to make them responsible for there insouciance.

Anybody like to join me for coffee and extension of this most interesting debate in Geneva on Friday outside of €land of course.

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Ines

Jul 17, 2011 at 14:30

Coffee in Geneva - I wish - but enjoy!

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an elder one

Jul 17, 2011 at 14:50

Swiss Gnome, love to, but Geneva's a bit too much of a jaunt I fear; don't travel much nowadays. Nonetheless, tell us what you think on the subject in the way of possible solutions. Regards.

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ICD

Jul 18, 2011 at 11:36

An elder one

It was nice to read your Sunday post. (I was a bit busy that day.) I can easily agree with almost everything you say. It is just that I believe we have a suspicious attitude to Europe based understandably, on history. Someone of your vintage would surely feel this even more strongly than youngsters. I have holidayed, visited and even lived in parts of Europe and greatly appreciate how attractive it is and how many things are done better than in the UK. Apart from the practical advantages I am very comfortable being a European from UK. Also from a hard-nosed commercial aspect membership will force change on us and of course give us a much bigger ‘home’ market.

Back onto politics, when we were much younger we used to have this ludicrous division where Labour represented ‘The Workers’ whose sole aim in life seemed to be to go on strike to get higher wages, and the Conservative party represented ‘bosses’, some white-collar workers and the better off. It was a ridiculous simplistic battlefield, and thank goodness we have progressed. I am only mentioning this because UK can hardly claim to have been a Utopia before we got involved with the Europeans. BTW just to throw in more controversy I actually think the coalition is a good thing at present, because I see the Lib-Dems as a sort of moderating influence on the Tories.

I think Switzerland is a special case and what applies there doesn’t apply to us.

Swiss Gnome. Of course you are correct about the wrong things that have happened in the EU, particularly in Greece, and France has a policy of expediency that needs resistance. The thing is that the EU as an organisation is more effective in curbing these excesses, I believe.

I can’t resist mentioning that the ‘common voice’ from the EU could be claimed to have had a good effect on Switzerland. The Swiss have specialised in having banking facilities with a ‘no questions asked policy’. Being a ‘good guy’ I have not followed this very closely but I believe Swiss banking has been leant on to behave rather more openly and helpfully in this regard, so that the ‘bad guys’ ill-gotten gains, salted away in Switzerland can be more easily accessed and frozen if necessary,

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derek farman

Jul 18, 2011 at 14:26

The EU should have worked , and would have been in all our interests to have worked , but as with everything where the bureaucrats take over they have created the massive muddle it is now . Bureaucracy defeats clear thinking . Legislating about everything that moves is pure idiocy . There are a handful of great thinkers there , but how to shake off the dross and vested interests is the problem .

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Ines

Jul 18, 2011 at 23:47

Why 'should' the EU have worked? It is a fascist organisation which can only operate by ignoring the wishes of any of the electorates within its power. Who are the great thinkers?

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