Friday, June 22, 2012

Cameron’s Red Carpet Leads to French Anglo-Saxonism

Cameron’s offer to “roll out the red carpet” for French tax exiles fleeing French socialism provoked screams from French politicians, most poignantly expressed above by media mogul Laurent Joffrin, the epic champagne socialist son of the extremely wealthy, castle-owning, yacht sailing and oil company directing Jean-Pierre Mouchard. No surprise that he is telling the readers of the French Observer to “F**k Cameron”, they fear losing enormous amounts of 75% higher rate taxes to be brought in by the newly elected socialist Parliament. Vive la 30% difference!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Left-Wing Hollande Would Trigger €urogeddon

Guido shorted €uros last night as soon as the Kiwis got to their desks and the currency markets opened. French Socialist Francois Hollande looks set to become President of France and the Dutch government has fallen apart. International investors are not going to look at that kindly, Guido also has a sense that the election of a left-wing president in France who actually implements a left-wing agenda would frighten the bond markets. Hollande will probably tack to the centre once in office, he is after all only a politician making election promises. If however he sticks to the left-wing agenda that his rhetoric promises, the big macro-hedge funds will take the view that French bonds can join the PIIGS (Portugese, Irish, Italian and Spanish bonds) on the sell list. In government Hollande has to choose between his rhetoric and the reality of the bond markets.

The ECB has already dangerously leveraged up support for the PIIGs via Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO). Leveraging up the ECB’s capital base has allowed it to put nearly €1 trillion of PIIG sovereign debt on its books, at a massive leverage ratio of nearly 40 to 1. If the ECB were a marked-to-market hedge fund instead of a Central Bank we would say it was investing recklessly, a mere 2.5% market move against it would wipe out all of its capital. The market doesn’t move it against it because it massively intervenes to support its own position.

If however the German Bundesbank decides that the ECB can’t go on literally doubling the chips on the table – up 106% since last year – the €uro as is could be too big to save. That is why all Osborne’s Treasury’s protestations about the IMF always getting its money back count for little. The US and China want to see Germany bet everything on the €uro before they join the rescue party. German politicians – including those of the left-of-centre SPD – expect Hollande to govern from the centre whatever he says on the hustings. British left-wingers hoping for a left-wing surge on the continent sparked by Hollande should be careful what they wish for, it would trigger the end of the €uro. If Hollande abandoned Sarkozy’s deficit reduction programme Germany would probably seek alternative arrangements – a hard-€uro Fiscal Union made up of Northern Europeans who run their affairs like the Germans and a looser soft-€uro of Southern Europeans who overspend. The dream of a united continent of Europe with one currency would be over…

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DSK’s Naked Hooker Test

If you ever get done for your taxes then Harry Redknapp provided the get out of jail free card with his successful “I can’t read or write and I’m too rich to bother dodging tax” defence. French socialist letch Dominic Strauss Khan’s is trying an equally ambitious line in his latest sex scandal. In reference to paid-for-orgy allegations, his lawyer, Henri Leclerk, said on his behalf:

“He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you’re not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.”

It remains to be seen if a jury will be asked to accept that challenge live in court…

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Other Dave and Nick Relationship

Sarkozy and Dave’s bromance peaked on a balcony in Benghazi, but hit a new low when the half-pint refused to shake hands after Dave’s veto before Christmas. Well blink and you would have missed their forced man-love in Brussels this afternoon:

Given that Sarkozy claimed last night that the UK “has no industry“, you might have thought Dave would be playing it cool, but he instigated the smiles and bat backs. All ten seconds of them…

Friday, January 13, 2012

Le Downgrade Est Arrivé

Sarkozy’s chances of re-election have taken a battering as France is no longer judged the safest of credit risks. What this means is that the French backed €uro bailout fund is no longer a AAA credit risk. Slovakia, Italy and Austria also got downgraded. Greek debt restructuring talks have broken down and Greek 10-year debt is trading at 20c/€ to face value. Which shows what the market thinks of  their chances of getting their €uros back… 

S&P Give France a Reality Check

Though the economic prospect of a French downgrade is rather scary, the political repercussions are frankly hilarious. Sarkozy is in an election year for one,  and his head of the Banque de France has oeuf all over his face. Back in December a mighty row broke out when Christian Noyer said that Britain’s credit rating should be downgraded before them. It was a typical attempt to try to drag us down with them. Well S&P have spoken.

As Lord Nelson might have said “I see no credit downgrade.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“Prédateurs” Theme Sarko’s, Not Ed’s

Labour types are scraping the barrel this morning claiming that Newt Gingrich has “stolen” Ed’s much derided “predators” line. Tom Watson is crowing, Political Scrapbook are grandstanding and Guido is laughing. Ed isn’t even the first European leader to develop the theme. Rewind to 2007 and enter stage right French Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy:

Nicolas Sarkozy, the neo-Gaullist favourite, has vowed to “hit predators” with a tax on speculative investments – apparently a version of the Tobin tax, a staple of populist discourse in Europe for years. “We can’t tolerate hedge funds buying a company with debt, firing a quarter of the staff and then enriching themselves by selling it in pieces. We didn’t create the euro to have capitalism without ethics or morals,” he said. Mr Sarkozy is supposed to be the “free market” candidate.

Ed’s line was nothing but a cheap rip off of that…

Friday, December 16, 2011

Un Demi-Tour

As the news filtered through yesterday that the former French president Jacques Chirac had been found guilty of corruption Chris Bryant took to Twitter:

But what’s this Early Day Motion from 2004?

“That this House celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale; notes that, notwithstanding mutal stereotypes of haughty Brits and arrogant Frenchmen, relations between France and the UK have strengthened dramatically in the intervening century; further notes that many Britons enjoy holidays and have holiday homes in France and that three million French tourists visit the UK every year, spending £694 million; welcomes the visit of President Chirac on 18th November; and wishes him bon voyage.”

The proposer was none other than Chris Bryant…

Via @chadnoble

Monday, March 7, 2011

Helping “Squeezed Middle” Families French-Style

We think of France as far more socialist than Britain yet French middle class families are far better off than their British equivalents in after-tax terms, despite higher basic rates. French taxpayers get an allowance of up to €2,300 per child under 7 years of age called les frais de garde d’enfants towards the costs of child care outside of the home, a small tax rebate called les frais de scolarité for each child in education and up to €6,000 rebated for l’emploi d’un salarie a domicile covering a house-keeper or nanny. In addition there is the quotient familial to minimise the impact of higher rates of taxation on families with children, it actually increases your tax allowance as you have more children. All these fiscal incentives encourage the French tax-paying middle classes to have kids.

The think-tank research out this morning showing that Britain is the worst country in Europe for taxpayers to have kids is only the half of it. In Britain we incentivise those who can’t afford to have children to have kids by paying them more welfare benefits and upgrading their state housing. This has created a multi-generational underclass who vote Labour to keep their benefits. Anyone would think it was Gordon’s deliberate plan…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Explain this One to Michelle

What is the Excuse this Time?So the explanation for staring at the Brazilian girl’s ass was that he was moving out of her way.  Sure he was.  So now explain his point of view in relation to this French derriere

Michelle might buy it once, but twice?  It is clear to every guy what these two presidents have been comparing during the photo line-up.

Via : Englishman’s Castle


Seen Elsewhere

Small State Keynesians, Anti-Corporate Hayekians? | Chris Dillow
Ruffley Shows Why We Need a Proper Recall Bill Now | Alex Wickham
How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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