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Old 7th Dec 2011, 07:57   #21 (permalink)

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And that is something you would not have done if they had stated that "Everything was great in the Eurozone and there will be unprecedented growth in 2012". In other words, they said something you didn't agree with so must be "discredited" whereas every other credit agency is not.
Considering that the Euro is going through the biggest crisis by far since its inception, I would be highly likely to ever say that !
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 11:01   #22 (permalink)
 
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Confidential paper from council president Herman Van Rompuy proposes empowering the commission to impose austerity
I wonder how his proposals are going to go down with those serial offenders like, erm, Germany?

If Merkel and Sarkozy have any sense they'll reign in the EU - they're getting way above their station and capabilities. Maybe someone should remind them to get their own house in order before they start lecturing others on how to live within their means.
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 11:42   #23 (permalink)
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El grifo:
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I think it was probably their complete and utter "failure to spot" the biggest financial meltdown our generation has ever witnessed, still "bigging-up" some of the worst offenders a short time before the arse fell out !
Right on.

Some banks were given notes/marks AAA just before their collapsed in 2008...

The best way for a country is still to avoid to make debts, but there is an irony for standard and poor (and the like) to act like a teacher (giving marks) but not teaching anything, not showing the way, and not being responsible for anything, at the opposite allow speculation to attack a country in a self fulfilling prophecy so that their colleague coming from the same finance schools can makes millions.

Standard and poor is not the problem, debt is, but their way to participate makes the crisis worse, definitely.

Germany is a model to follow. Industry, good 2011 annual budget, and peaceful project through EU and Eurozone.

66 years without world war? Congratulations EU.


--------------------------------------------------------------------
Stuckgear was telling me the thread was shorter... Well he was right.

Last edited by KAG; 7th Dec 2011 at 15:36. Reason: spelling
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 12:12   #24 (permalink)
 
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Stuckgear was telling me the thread was shorter... Well he was right.
KAG,

I usually am

Quote:
The best way for a country is still to avoid to make debts,
I cannot disagree with that statement. As you will note, S&P is in this context a credit rating agency. It is not a regulator, so it cannot be a teacher, cannot show the way nor be responsible. It provides report, analysis and ratings.


Quote:
but there is an irony for standard and poor (and the like) to act like a teacher (giving marks) but not teaching anything, not showing the way, and not being responsible for anything
Standard & Poor's (S&P) is a United States-based financial services company. It is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds. It is well known for its stock-market indices, the US-based S&P 500, the Australian S&P/ASX 200, the Canadian S&P/TSX, the Italian S&P/MIB and India's S&P CNX Nifty. The company is one of the Big Three credit-rating agencies, which also include Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings


Responsibility lies with those who are *responsible* for the EUrozone mess and continue to fudge around the edges, pretended the problems were not there and generally failed in the presentation, execution, administration of the situation.
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 15:31   #25 (permalink)
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Concerning the credit rating agency, you can save yourself some quotes, I agree.
I didn't say they are the problem, debts are, As I said it already very clearly. They give ratings, fair enough.

But giving a rating has an influence on the reality when they are supposed to observe the reality only. That's not the biggest problem, of course not, but for a country that is able to reimbourse its debts (which is the goal concerning debts and obligation: to be reimbursed), a change of rating (that will increase speculation, rate of interest) from those agencies could make the same country immediately have some difficulties to pay back what they owe, which in itself might imply a rating even worse, which may result in more difficulties to pay the investors, which... And so on...
Don't you see the irony?
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 16:16   #26 (permalink)
 
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So are you saying that there should be no credit ratings for anyone ?
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 17:45   #27 (permalink)
 
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66 years without world war? Congratulations EU.
KAG, stop talking bullcrap like that. To start with, the EU DID NOT EXIST IN ANY FORM until 1951 (when France, Benelux and West Germany signed the Treaty of Paris) so, by definition, that is way less than 66 years. Also, as even the most ignorant ignoramus knows, what kept "peace" in Europe was the small matter of NATO and Warsaw Pact troops facing each other knowing that one small altercation would probably lead to all out war and Mutually Assured Destruction as the US and Russia launched all their nukes at each other.

That threat of wiping out a VERY large chunk of the planet is what kept "peace", not some stupid bunch of bloody politicians in Brussels, who did not form the actual EU until 1993 when Maastricht was signed. That also happened a hell of a lot more recently than 66 years ago.

So, stop this bloody "The EU kept the peace since the end of WWII" nonsense if you wish anyone to take you remotely seriously. If not, you will be treated according the complete lack of intelligence shown by your constant rantings over how the EU has stopped another "world war" from happening.
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 20:23   #28 (permalink)
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Two connected articles....

The Corner: Where The Money Was

The Eurozone rumor mill is churning away busily today, but while we wait to see what emerges from the talks over the next two days, keep an eye out for stories like this (from Der Spiegel):

Georgios Provopoulos, the governor of the central bank of Greece, is a man of statistics, and they speak a clear language. “In September and October, savings and time deposits fell by a further 13 to 14 billion euros. In the first 10 days of November the decline continued on a large scale,” he recently told the economic affairs committee of the Greek parliament.

…[T]he outflow of funds from Greek bank accounts has been accelerating rapidly. At the start of 2010, savings and time deposits held by private households in Greece totalled €237.7 billion — by the end of 2011, they had fallen by €49 billion. Since then, the decline has been gaining momentum. Savings fell by a further €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October — the biggest monthly outflow of funds since the start of the debt crisis in late 2009…[T]he Greeks today only have €170 billion in savings — almost 30 percent less than at the start of 2010.

The hemorrhaging of bank savings has had a disastrous impact on the economy. Many companies have had to tap into their reserves during the recession because banks have become more reluctant to lend. More Greek families are now living off their savings because they have lost their jobs or have had their salaries or pensions cut. In August, unemployment reached 18.4 percent. Many Greeks now hoard their savings in their homes because they are worried the banking system may collapse.

Those who can are trying to shift their funds abroad. The Greek central bank estimates that around a fifth of the deposits withdrawn have been moved out of the country. “There is a lot of uncertainty,” says Panagiotis Nikoloudis, president of the National Agency for Combating Money Laundering. The banks are exploiting that insecurity. “They are asking their customers whether they wouldn’t rather invest their money in Liechtenstein, Switzerland or Germany.” Nikoloudis has detected a further trend. At first, it was just a few people trying to withdraw large sums of money. Now it’s large numbers of people moving small sums. Ypatia K., a 55-year-old bank worker from Athens, can confirm that. “The customers, especially small savers, have recently been withdrawing sums of €3,000, €4,000 or €5,000. That was panic,” she said.


I recently took a look at how another flawed currency system, Argentina’s dollar/peso peg, had splintered during the course of 2001, concluding as follows:

[W]hen the dominoes of finance finally fall, they fall quickly. To return to the IMF’s grim textbook: “The crisis broke with a run [on] private sector deposits, which fell by more than $3.6 billion (6 percent of the deposit base) during November 28-30.” At that point the game was up. The authorities’ response (notably the introduction of the corralito) should alarm depositors throughout the PIIGS as they mull how their governments might stop precious euros escaping to safe havens abroad in the wake of bank runs at home. The corralito limited cash withdrawals from individual bank accounts to the equivalent of $250 a week (the dollar value would soon fall sharply). And the response to it should worry those now running the PIIGS. Argentinians took to the streets and reduced the country’s political order to chaos. Depending on how you define the term, Argentina had five presidents in less than a month, but none could change the inevitable. The country defaulted on its debt, the peg was scrapped, the peso tanked, and the corralito was replaced by the corralón, the centerpiece of an even tougher regime. Depositors were allowed to withdraw a little more money than before, but only in heavily depreciated pesos. Term deposits were frozen, and transfers of money out of the country heavily restricted. Not so long after, dollar deposits were switched into pesos, and the ruin of Argentine savers, many of whom lost their jobs as the economy crashed, was complete.

History does not always repeat itself. Maybe those remaining Greek depositors are confident that, however battered their nation’s finances, its guarantee of bank deposits up to some $135,000 will hold up through the toughest times. Maybe they have faith that Greece will stick with the euro. And maybe they trust that, should the walk from Greek banks turn into a run, the European Central Bank will do what it takes to put things right. But if they do have any doubts, they can, for now, easily move their euros to a part of the eurozone—Germany, say—where there is no currency risk and bank deposits are blessed with a guarantor that is, you know, solvent. Thinking like that is how a run on the banks can begin. Paranoid? Well, if you were a depositor with a Greek bank, what would you do?

And, if you were a depositor in an Italian bank, watching all this and aware that money is ebbing away from Italy too, what would you do?

I know what the Argentine advice would be. Run.

And if the Greeks run, and the Italians run, who will be next?


Sueddeutsche.de: NEW SIGNS OF “INVISIBLE” BANK RUN IN SOUTHERN EUROPE, CASH SHIFTS TO SCANDINAVIA

Throughout the euro zone, banks are quietly hemorrhaging money as nervous clients seek safer havens for their cash. Some large companies deposit directly with the European Central Bank. Other clients are looking north, to the presumably more secure Scandinavian banks.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 00:53   #29 (permalink)

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Hey KAG.them them cut-n-paste heros have it all figured Right ???

Not !
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 05:05   #30 (permalink)
 
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Hey KAG.them them cut-n-paste heros have it all figured Right ???

Not !
Yet another constructive comment from one who has no argument.....
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 07:13   #31 (permalink)
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Stuckgear:
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So are you saying that there should be no credit ratings for anyone ?
Not sure about that. No credit rating? But how? By saying this is forbidden? I don't like the idea, I think that if somebody or a private company wants to give a rating to a government, it should be able to do so.

I didn't say I know how to fix the rating agencies issue, I am not an economist, I am a B737 pilot.

I just can notice that for some countries, there is a risk for them not being able to reimburse their debts ONLY because of their rating has changed. And I don't think this is normal for 2 reasons:

1- One I already mentioned: giving a mark/grade/rating to somebody shouldn't influence his past situation (amount of debt in this case), but it does (it increase the amount of debts). That's not logic, and it is in no case the goal. Still, that's what is happening, your situation might change because of the grade you are given, your economical situation being equal, I see here an issue. Those companies could have too much power worldwide, without any responsabilities, look at the 2008 huge mistake they have done! Have we all already forgotten? The ones unable to see (and encouraging!) the 2008 recession, the worst crisis/recession/bank bankruptcy since 1929 are supposed to give ratings to the government and banks? How much messed up is that?

2- Second reason is those agencies are firm believer of the free market, supply and demand. So the interest rate concerning debts should depend on how much investors are ready to invest, according their logic. But because they tell us (and very efficiently because everybody are listening to them) with their ratings how much we should pay, they disturb their own logic that support supply and demand, and replace it by a central power situated in one country that tells you what to do. Do as I say, not as I do?



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Reminder of recent history:







■Wall Street, in its search for profits, created products based on ever riskier mortgages, and found ways to sell them as secure investments.

■The rating agencies, Moodys and S&P, gave risky assets gold-plated ratings, equal to US treasuries, which opened the door to a huge market of CDO buyers.

■Having someone to sell their mortgages to, lenders were no longer concerned about whether a borrower could pay them back. Freed of risk, and in search of profits, lenders used deceitful tactics to convince Americans to take out mortgages that they couldn’t afford.

■Americans, with their insatiable desires for consumption and for whom the average savings level had dropped to less than 1% (consider that the Chinese save 30%), accepted these mortgages in masses, giving up the equity in their homes.

■When everything collapsed, the US government rescued the Wall Street firms, passing an unimaginably large bill to the US tax payers, and creating a debt burden that will take generations to repay.

■Much of the US tax payers’ rescue money went in the private pockets of the Wall Street executives, in the form of bonuses.




El Grifo:
Quote:
Hey KAG.them them cut-n-paste heros have it all figured Right ???

Not !
Yes we do have some quote/copy paste experts here...
Quotes should support an idea, a discussion, a logic way to illustrate its viewpoint, but here it looks more like a google contest to find anything around that would in itself make all the interest that we should expect from an internet forum, well I am not convinced neither, it would look more like brainwashing/propaganda, like if PPRuNe was there to be the support of the magazines around, that's a bit ridiculous (maybe nobody are reading those quotes entirely! Better go to your news paper directly!), and this is the very proof of the unability to think by yourself.
I could google an infinite amount of article speaking about the rating agencies, speaking about unhealthy euroscepticism, but I won't, I prefer speaking with my own speech, and now and then making some quote to illustrate a bit, like it should be in a forum.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 09:10   #32 (permalink)
 
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KAG,

I kind of see what you are saying, but lets say there are no credit ratings for countries how then is risk defined? Should, say, Zimbabwe be considered an equal risk as say, Canada ?

*Risk* defines the *risk* to the investors, if the risk cannot be quantified then investors invariably retreat and that would be fatal on an international level.

Should a country that is an economic basket or with a history of default case be considered risk less or based on parity with a country that history of making good on its debts quickly and has the capacity to pay up.

Quote:
there is a risk for them not being able to reimburse their debts ONLY because of their rating has changed

Well, no, its not thats putting the cart before the horse. The credit rating has changed because of their ability to service the debt. You're confusing cause and effect.

The grade changes because your actions as a state, political decisions etc have changed the risk. should a country then be granted one credit rating which is never changed? well that's pretty pointless.

So how about countries give themselves their own credit rating ? well, thats pointless.

How about countries give other countries credit ratings ? well that's then mired in politics, allegiances, trade agreements and open to exploitation and debasement. so thats pointless.

Quote:
look at the 2008 huge mistake they have done! Have we all already forgotten? The ones unable to see (and encouraging!) the 2008 recession, the worst crisis/recession/bank bankruptcy since 1929 are supposed to give ratings to the government and banks
So are you contending that S&P is responsible for the financial crisis ?

Really? are you really ?

The '2008' recession was not a simple singular event (incidentally it started in late 2006 through to mid 2007) it was along time in the making.

Following the great depression a lot of safeguarding and preventative legislation was entered into the banking systems to prevent a great depression occurring again. However, certain politicians, for political furtherment removed and relaxed those regulations over time, enabling debt and economic problems to accumulate. this did not happen overnight, but like a snowball rolling down hill started to grow and grow and with the regulations removed or reduced until the snowball became an avalanche.

Our un-esteemed ex-PM Gordon Brown, aka prudence, along with the other un-esteemed ex-PM Tony Blair aka, I'm in it for myself, promoted Keynesian economics and sought to relax regulations that had been put in place following the economic depress and crisis of the 30's . Clinton did much to reduce and remove banking financial regulations in the US.

Gordon Brown in a speech to the banking industry in 2006 lauded labour's policy of light-touch and soft-touch regulation and stated that 'In budget after budget I want to do more to encourage the risk takers'. Well Blair/Brown certainly did that.

Tony Blair was a vocal advocate of 'globalisation' and made much hay out of the fact that we were in a 'global village'. What Blair was alluding to in the globalisation promotion was the intermixing of banking between economies. These exposed banking and economics of one country to risks in another.

We can now see in the harsh light of day the results of these key words that were much promoted and the dangers behind these innocuous buzz-words that were much promoted at the time and were seemingly intangible.

The point to this again is that the economic crisis was not a singular event that occurred; it was an accumulation of poor decisions, ignoring history and manipulating economics for the gain of a single political party to the detriment of the electorate. We have to and must look behind the rhetoric a political 'double speak' and when politicians make a play with a phrase or buzz word, push them to uncover what they really mean. 'Globalisation' ohh sounds great! but it will mean different things to different people. Political office should not be the basis of one person pushing forward an ideology with a hidden agenda, but the examination of policies and clear, open presentation of potential causes and effects.

But even then credit ratings will still be needed to serve a purpose.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 10:03   #33 (permalink)
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BBC News - UK border staff in arrest threat over 'Lille loophole'
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 10:21   #34 (permalink)

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life expectancy

Just to re-cap !

The mongers of doom, more than a few days ago, were roundly predicting that the euro had only a few days to live. As I say, that was more than a few days ago.

Can we have an updated projection on the same, from the same.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 10:27   #35 (permalink)
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Alright Stuckgear, it seems you have an idealistic viewpoint on the finance world and its associated rating agencies. They are innocent, we could call them white snow maybe. Perhaps, who knows... There is enough litterature about it to have a neutral viewpoint on them, but that's nor really the topic.

Let's come back on the thread, have a look at the NewYorkTimes, this article bellow is quite similar with what I was writing a few days ago (that disappeared with most of the long thread) concerning UK and Europe, euroscepticism, Cameron, and the UK unwilling to see euro survive despite what this country can officially say:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/wo...nted=1&_r=1&hp



El Grifo:
Quote:
The mongers of doom, more than a few days ago, were roundly predicting that the euro had only a few days to live.
That's not what will stop them to make some more doom and gloom forecaste forgetting at the same time the last ones they gave us didn't come true.

The thread is boring, reading everyday the end of the world is for tomorrow from the same persons again and again, but at times that's quite funny and we can read between the lines the true colors of the posters that don't care about reality, but hate euro for a reason they cannot really define without using what they heard around them in the pub.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 10:45   #36 (permalink)

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It would not be the hardest thing to believe that it was only one person with a clear agenda, arguing under different "nom de plumes"

One trick pony for sure !

Stuckgear excluded
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:05   #37 (permalink)
 
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I'm pretty sure most in UK, including the politicians, want to see the euro survive because of the uncertainty and chaos if it doesn't.

Many don't want to be a part of something that would shift effective power over the UK economy to the inept and corrupt bureaucrats in Brussels.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:41   #38 (permalink)
 
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KAG,

honestly, i think we are often talking at cross purposes. an idealistic view of the world of finance ? Really not.

From your postulations, I would have levied that very assertion at yourself, hence why my response was based on realism rather than utopian ideals.


Quote:
Let's come back on the thread, have a look at the NewYorkTimes, this article bellow is quite similar with what I was writing a few days ago (that disappeared with most of the long thread) concerning UK and Europe, euroscepticism, Cameron, and the UK unwilling to see euro survive despite what this country can officially say:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/wo...nted=1&_r=1&hp
Yet Again !!! you revert back to this position of the UK being anti-EU and willing to see the Euro fail. and yet gain, that is not the case. If the Euro fails the UK will be hit very hard, we are being hard by the uncertainty and failure to deal with the problem in the EUrozone.

I posted this as reply to you in the thread before it got snipped, but i'll repost it here..

Quote:
What do you take as being anti-EU ? the UK is certainly not anti the people and the electorate of the EU. You seem to have the predetermined fall back position that the UK is anti-Europe. Sorry to bust your bubble, but it is not.

You seem to take that Euroscpetisism is anti Europe. Well it is not. Eurosceptisism is the basis of raising the questions against a blind doctrine and ideology that has failed the people who are governed within the EU.

Eurosceptisism is about the questioning the lack of democratic process within the union and questioning the furtherment of unaccountable, unelected officials that are exploiting the very people of the union for their own furtherment. Europe, indeed the world was torn apart twice in the past 100 years and remained divided by an iron curtain over ideologies all to ensure democratic process and accountability. Millions died, your relations, my relations, relations of everyone in Europe.

Eurosceptisism is about the questions that are brought forward by the economic problems that those in unaccountable positions have created by malfeasance, deception, lies and ulterior motives problem that need addressing that no-one in other unaccountable positions will raise the question of.

What is prevalent throughout your posts is this fall back position of being anti-UK. Sorry but you are. On one side you say that the the UK is responsible for scepticism within the EU, denying in fact that the very current situation is enough of a cause within the union for people to raise their own doubts.

Do you look that far down on those within the union with the view that they cannot think for themselves or see what is around them ?

On the other hand you then say that the UK is a nothing country on the peripheries of the union and has no power, not influence.

The Eurozone has failed and continues to fail due to the very nature of what it is and the circumstance it exists in. It has Nothing, zilch, zero, nada to do with eurosceptisism in the UK or in any other union state.

You also make the postulation that the UK is enjoying the woes within the Eurozone. In stark reality it is not. It is dragging the UK economy down with it, as it is with other currencies. That is why the pressure has been attempted to be put on Merosky to resolve the problems by leaders of many non-Eurozone states and currencies.

There is no enjoyment or pleasure in the UK regarding the EUrozone problems, that conceptual piece of imagination is of your creation. Yet you seem to think that myself and the other posters here are rubbing their hands with glee over the problems in the EUrozone. We are not. The reason why the UK is following this so closely, people like myself, ORAC and others is that it is affecting the way we live, the money in our pockets, what it costs to get to work even to the extent that some are concerned if they will have a job in the morning, what the cost is to heat our homes our very present and immediate futures.

Questions have been and are raised about the need to tackle the problems in order that we can all get on and live our lives. This is not some anti EU stance, but the desire for stability and the return of growth, not ignoring the problem and throwing another sheet over the stinking, rancid corpse that is the debt problem. it wont go away unless it is dealt with effectively.

Ignoring it in the hope that it will sort itself out soon is the cause of Euroscpetisim across the EU. To wit, the EU itself is the cause of the rise of eurosceptism, due to consistent failures within its administration and further failures to deal with the failures and the compound effects of those failures and the effects. Nothing else.
Now back your assertion and claim about the UK willing to see the Euro fail and the cited link.

the title of the article from the link you provided..

Britain Suffers as a Bystander to Europe’s Crisis



and the opening sentence:

"There is looming recognition at 10 Downing Street that if the euro falls, Britain will sink along with everyone else"

There is nothing in that article that states the UK is willing nor enjoying the failure of teh Euro, again, this is a creation your mind, based on your prejudices.

So again, let me re-iterate the point from the previous post on the archive thread...

There is no enjoyment or pleasure in the UK regarding the EUrozone problems, that conceptual piece of imagination is of your creation. Yet you seem to think that myself and the other posters here are rubbing their hands with glee over the problems in the EUrozone. We are not. The reason why the UK is following this so closely, people like myself, ORAC and others is that it is affecting the way we live, the money in our pockets, what it costs to get to work even to the extent that some are concerned if they will have a job in the morning, what the cost is to heat our homes our very present and immediate futures.

Questions have been and are raised about the need to tackle the problems in order that we can all get on and live our lives. This is not some anti EU stance, but the desire for stability and the return of growth, not ignoring the problem and throwing another sheet over the stinking, rancid corpse that is the debt problem. it wont go away unless it is dealt with effectively.

What it seems your anti-UK stance is based is on that the UK is not a Eurozone currency country and it is actively calling for firm resolve to the problems in the EUrozone, rather than just blindly ignore the problems and carry on regardless in the hope that everything might turn out OK and cede to the intelligensia that got the EU into the economic mess it is that they have the answers to sort the problem out.

They clearly do not. Otherwise the EUro would:

A.) Not have develoved into the mess it is in.
B.) Not be needing drastic measures to save it's ass and the economies of those EUrozone states
C.) Not be looking for finance to underpin it from other countries outside of the EUrozone
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:07   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
You seem to take that Euroscpetisism is anti Europe. Well it is not.
You are playing with the words now? When the NYTimes says that UK is anti Europe any body can understand what it means speaking about EU and Eurozone.
If you deny that, I really don't see the meaning to continue to discuss.

Read the whole article, you'll maybe understand, and stop quoting some part out of the whole, we are going nowhere like that.






You mention the begining of the article: "There is looming recognition at 10 Downing Street that if the euro falls, Britain will sink along with everyone else"

Yes and don't forget the second part of the statement:
Quote:
But if Europe manages to pull itself together by forging closer unity among the 17 countries that use the euro, then Britain faces being ever more marginalized in decisions on the Continent.
So don't pull out from the article only what is convenient to you.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:34   #40 (permalink)
 
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You are playing with the words now? When the NYTimes says that UK is anti Europe any body can understand what it means speaking about EU and Eurozone.

No. *YOU* are not only playing with words you flatly stating something that is not only a fabrication (lie) but an invention of your own imagination and creation.

i'll repost the whole article *YOU* posted that you claim cites the UK is anti-Europe and the NY Times says so...

Quote:
Britain Suffers as a Bystander to Europe’s Crisis

By SARAH LYALL and STEPHEN CASTLE
Published: December 7, 2011

LONDON — No matter what happens at the European summit meeting on the euro in Brussels that begins Thursday, Britain is sure to lose.

There is looming recognition at 10 Downing Street that if the euro falls, Britain will sink along with everyone else. But if Europe manages to pull itself together by forging closer unity among the 17 countries that use the euro, then Britain faces being ever more marginalized in decisions on the Continent.

Many Europeans have been irritated by British Conservatives’ quiet satisfaction throughout the crisis with the decision not to join the euro (the United Kingdom ostentatiously kept its currency, the pound), particularly when juxtaposed with the panic over Britain’s inability to have any significant impact on Europe’s biggest crisis since the end of the cold war.

“Germany is the unquestioned leader of Europe,” said Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform. “France is definitely subordinate to Germany, and Britain has less influence than at any time I can recall.”

Of particular concern here is the health of Britain’s financial industry, a vital economic engine at a time of slowing growth and deep cuts in government spending, which is seen to be vulnerable to new European regulations that could hurt British competitiveness in global markets.
Despite all that is at stake, Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government looks doomed to be cast in the role of impotent bystander, torn between anti-Europe forces and European leaders’ moves toward greater fiscal integration on the Continent — with or without Britain.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cameron told a fractious Parliament that his main goal in Brussels was to “seek safeguards for Britain” and “protect our own national interest” by resisting measures like a proposed financial transaction tax. But such Britain-centric rhetoric has annoyed the brokers of Europe’s future, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who are trying to find a way to save the euro while imposing legally binding fiscal discipline on the Continent’s floundering southern economies.

They have not been shy about expressing their frustration. Just six weeks ago, after Mr. Cameron tried to inject himself into talks about the euro, Mr. Sarkozy said bluntly, “You have lost a good opportunity to shut up.” He later added: “We are sick of you criticizing us and telling us what to do. You say you hate the euro and now you want to interfere in our meetings.”

Steven Fielding, director of the Center for British Politics at the University of Nottingham, said: “Cameron might sound off to look good to his backbenchers, but in Europe, he hasn’t got much to negotiate with. It’s been made clear that France and Germany can do whatever the hell they like and Britain can say yes or no, but it doesn’t matter, since they’ll do it anyway.”

The paradox of this is that plans for tighter integration among the 17 euro zone countries are at the same time destined to create greater divisions within Europe — divisions between countries that use the euro and those that do not, and divisions within the euro zone itself, depending on the health and importance of the various economies. A two-, three-, four- and even five-tier Europe could possibly emerge.

“The markets have defined who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and their interest rates are in many ways the manifestation of this,” said Alexander Stubb, Finland’s minister for European affairs. “When we look at future E.U. rules, it is the triple-A countries that are running the show.”

The political price of Britain’s self-proclaimed exceptionalism was made clear with a vengeance to Mr. Cameron on Wednesday, when he was pounded from all sides in a raucous session in the House of Commons. Fractious Europe-hating Conservative backbenchers called for him to stand firm on Europe, to “show bulldog spirit,” in a “resolute and uncompromising defense of British national interests,” as one legislator, Andrew Rosindell, put it.

Trying to placate them, the prime minister pledged not to sign anything that did not contain “British safeguards.”


(Page 2 of 2)


Meanwhile, should the Europeans in the euro zone “go ahead with a separate treaty” that leaves out the noneuro countries, Mr. Cameron explained, “then clearly that is not a treaty that Britain would be signing or would be amending.” However, he said, he would still retain “some leverage” over the process.

The more the euro zone countries ask for, the more we will ask for in return,” he said. But France and Germany have already made it abundantly clear that they will go ahead with their plans for the euro zone without regard to the needs or interests of Britain.

The explosive debate in Britain, while never welcome, comes at an unusually inopportune time for Mr. Cameron. The so-called special relationship with the United States is not looking all that special right now, and enormous cuts in defense spending are making it hard for the British military to maintain its status as America’s right hand.

The austerity budget is fraying at the edges, amid strikes and protests over layoffs and rising fees. Growth has been slowing, despite Mr. Cameron’s insistence that businesses would pick up the pace when it became clear that the government’s finances were sound. And now Britain looks to be in an unusually poor position to defend its interests in Europe.
Members of the Labour opposition lost no time exploiting what they saw as Mr. Cameron’s weakness on the issue.

“Six weeks ago, he was promising his backbenchers a handbagging for Europe, and now he’s just reduced to hand-wringing,” the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, told Parliament, as his party members whooped their approval. “The problem for Britain is that at that most important European summit for a generation, that matters hugely for businesses up and down the country, the prime minister is simply left on the sidelines.”

Even more worryingly for the government, several prominent Conservatives, including the cabinet minister in charge of Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, broke ranks with the party line and said flatly that Mr. Cameron should make good on what they called his promise to hold a national referendum on any proposed European treaty changes. With much of Britain in the anti-Europe camp, the no side would surely prevail in such a vote.

Mrs. Merkel has said that she would like any treaty changes to be approved by the entire European Union, so in theory Britain could exercise a veto. But Germany and France have also said they will make changes in the way the euro zone alone operates, if that is the only way to defend the common currency.

Most dangerous to Mr. Cameron was the unwelcome intervention of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, a potential wild-card rival for the Conservative leadership. Mr. Johnson, who is perhaps Britain’s most popular politician, enjoys injecting himself into questions of foreign policy when the spirit moves him.

If Britain was asked to sign a treaty creating “a very dominant economic government” across Europe, he told BBC radio, then Mr. Cameron should veto it. “And if we felt unable to veto it, I certainly think that it should be put to a referendum,” he said. He added that in rescuing the euro, there was a danger of “saving the cancer, not the patient.”

Mr. Cameron says he has pledged to call a referendum on any treaty that would transfer more power from Britain to Europe. None of the current possibilities features such a treaty, he said, so there is no cause for a referendum.

The other political pressure on Mr. Cameron, of course, comes from the unique challenge of a coalition government with partners who disagree on many issues, including Europe. This puts him and his deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat, in tough spots for equal but opposing reasons.

“Nick Clegg has party activists who don’t like the idea of the coalition and don’t like many of the things it has done, and they’re the most Europhile of the three main parties,” Mr. Fielding of the Center for British Politics said. “And David Cameron has on his back benches people who don’t like the idea of the coalition and don’t like many of the things it has done, and they’re the most Euroskeptic. It’s a tricky position for them all to be in.”


Sarah Lyall reported from London, and Stephen Castle from Brussels
There is NOTHING, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA in that article where the NY Times claims or asserts, posutulates of even suggests the UK is anti-EU.

You are creating a fabrication, a lie, that you are fabricating from your own prejudices.

That my friend is bigotry.


The article has been reposted in its entirety, i am certainly NOT pulling out what is convient for me, but clearly stating the FACTS. *YOU* are making a false allegation that something is stated when it is not. And you have the audacity to make the assertion that *I* am playing words and cast allegations at others ?

Quote:
If you deny that, I really don't see the meaning to continue to discuss.
I am not denying anything, nor am i creating something from own imagination.

Fine if you want to terminate discussion, i have no problem with that as I have niether the time, motivation or inclination to enter into any form of discussion with prejudiced bigots that base their ideologies on fiction.

your call.
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