Posts belonging to Category ECB



Germany and France draw up no-deal Brexit plans

Angela Merkel tells German MPs they must ‘prepare for every scenario’ of UK’s exit

Germany and France are starting to step up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit even though both publicly insist an agreement with the UK over the terms of its departure from the EU can still be achieved. While there was there was still a chance for a deal, it was “only fitting as a responsible and forward-thinking government leadership that we prepare for every scenario”, the German chancellor told MPs in Berlin. “That includes the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without an agreement.”

France has published a draft bill that would allow the government to introduce new legal measures to avoid or mitigate the consequences of a hard Brexit by emergency decree, as opposed to parliamentary vote, within 12 months of the law being passed. Angela Merkel revealed for the first time on Wednesday that Germany was drawing up contingency plans, saying the government had started making “suitable preparations” for the possibility of Britain leaving with no accord.

http://www.theguardian.com

European Union rejects Theresa May BREXIT plan

The EU tells Theresa May  Chequers Brexit plan ‘will not work’

Theresa May was left fighting to save her Chequers Brexit plan and with it her authority as prime minister after she was ambushed at the end of the Salzburg summit when EU leaders unexpectedly declared that her proposals would not work.

On Thursday night the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, hit back for the government, declaring there were no changes to the Chequers plan on the table and the EU’s demands on Northern Ireland were “impossible” for the UK to accept. “The PM has set out red lines that this country is not going to stay in the single market, we’re not going to stay in the customs union – I agree with her on those, that’s the government’s position,” Grayling said.

The prime minister was thrown on to the defensive – just over a week before the Conservative party conference – when EU leaders led by Donald Tusk and Emmanuel Macron rejected her Chequers plan as it stood, prompting hard Brexit Conservatives to demand it be abandoned.

http://www.theguardian.com

Lehman Brothers went bust 10 years ago

Can it happen again?

In early 2007, the then chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, dismissed the idea that the slowdown in the US housing market had profound implications. It was, according to the man running the world’s most powerful central bank, just a local affair. Everybody knows what happened next. Within 18 months the local problem in the US subprime mortgage market had ballooned into the biggest global financial crisis since the 1930s. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt 10 years ago this week, it was the catalyst for a month of turmoil in which no financial institution was considered entirely safe.

Inevitably, the anniversary of those tumultuous weeks in late September and early October 2008 has prompted speculation about whether it could happen again. And, if so, what will be the cause? Looking around the global economy, there are plenty of potential candidates…

The UK would vote to stay in the European Union by 53% to 47% if asked again.

45% of people support a People’s Vote on the final deal, while 34% do not

UK voters would back remaining in the European Union by 53% to 47% if a referendum was held now, according to a comprehensive new poll published today.

A YouGov survey for the ‘pro-remain People’s Vote campaign’ found that 45% want a say on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations with 34% opposed.

Exactly half of respondents said the final decision over whether to leave the EU without a deal should be taken by the public in a second referendum, while a quarter said the British parliament should decide.

Opponents of the UK’s exit from the bloc said the YouGov study of more than 10,000 adults showed public opinion was shifting.

https://www.rte.ie/

The City of London just suffered a major defeat from the EU over plans for Brexit

Major blow to the UK’s financial services sector

The European Union late last week dealt a major blow to the UK’s financial services sector in the lead up to Brexit, after negotiators rejected the plans for the sector laid out by the British government in Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial white paper. According to a report from the Financial Times, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, last Friday told EU ministers that the financial services elements of May’s Brexit plans could not be accepted as they threatened to rob the bloc’s “decision-making autonomy” when it comes to finance.

The UK, earlier in July, proposed a new relationship between the highly interconnected financial services sectors of the UK and the EU that would involve a system of so-called “equivalence.” Under the plans in the white paper, the government said i t will seek to improve on existing requirements for equivalence of rules between the EU and outside countries.

Equivalence is a framework whereby the EU acknowledges that the legal, regulatory and supervisory regime of a non-EU country is as good as its own, and therefore allows that state access to the financial services sector within the bloc. Countries like Singapore and the USA already use a similar system to trade financial services with the EU.

http://www.businessinsider.com

BREXIT: May warns rebels

Back me or risk ‘no Brexit at all

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned her divided party on Sunday that there may be “no Brexit at all” if they wrecked her plan to forge a close relationship with the European Union after leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc.

“My message to the country this weekend is simple: we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” May wrote on Facebook. “If we don’t, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.”

Linking the fate of Brexit to her own survival in such an explicit way indicates just how precarious May’s position remains after her government was thrust into crisis and U.S. President Donald Trump publicly criticised her Brexit strategy.

Trump Says May’s Brexit Plan Likely to Kill Off U.S. Trade Deal

U.S. president backs Boris Johnson as future prime minister

President Donald Trump dealt a double blow to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, saying her plans for a soft Brexit would likely end hopes of a trade deal with the U.S. and that Boris Johnson, who quit her cabinet this week, would be a “great” leader.  “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said in an interview in the Sun newspaper to be published Friday.

His comments in the Sun, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, a political ally of the president, appeared after May had hosted Trump at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Brexit: North Ireland would stay under EU customs union rules

Avoid a hard border post-Brexit if no wider EU-UK trade deal or alternative is agreed

Northern Ireland will in effect remain in the EU’s customs union and single market to avoid a hard border post-Brexit if no wider EU-UK trade deal or alternative is agreed, the draft withdrawal agreement will state.

EU sources said the draft agreement from Brussels covering the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc in March 2019 – to be published in Brussels on Wednesday – will maintain a common regulatory area on the island of Ireland.

This will be triggered should the EU and the UK not agree a future EU-UK free trade deal or if London fails to propose an alternative arrangement for the Border post-Brexit.

http://www.irishtimes.com…  Febuary 28, 2018

Irish government : Brexit talks ‘could collapse at any moment’

Negotiations could break down over the border issue

There is renewed fear within the Irish government that Brexit talks could collapse over the UK government’s refusal to consider staying in a customs union with the European Union. enior figures in the Irish government said privately that they fear that Theresa May’s insistence on leaving the customs union will make a hard border impossible to avoid and lead to a complete break down in negotiations.

A high-ranking member of the Irish government said “talks could collapse at any moment” in a meeting with a prominent British MP this month, a source familiar with the meeting has told Business Insider. The Irish government did not wish to comment when contacted by BI.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said on Friday that border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are “unavoidable” if Britain decides to leave the customs union and single market.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Febuary 12, 2018

It’s official now: Brexit would damage UK growth

Leaked cabinet report

Brexit would leave the UK worse off under three possible scenarios: a comprehensive free trade deal, single market access and no deal at all, according to a leaked government analysis of the economic impact of leaving the EU.

The document was meant to be shown confidentially to cabinet ministers this week but was leaked in an embarrassing development for Theresa May and David Davis, the Brexit secretary.

It said national growth would be 8% lower under a no deal scenario, around 5% lower with a free trade agreement with the EU and about 2% lower with a soft Brexit option of single market membership over a 15-year period.

http://www.theguardian.com…  Febuary 01, 2018

Britain can still stop Brexit

A shock poll found Remain would win by 10 points in a re-run of the EU referendum

It’s not too late to stop Brexit because Britain can still change its mind, the President of the European Council has declared. Donald Tusk made the startling comments just days after a shock poll found Remain would win by 10 points in a re-run of the EU referendum.
He told MEPs in Strasbourg: “If the UK Government sticks to its decision to leave, Brexit will become a reality – with all its negative consequences – in March next year unless there is a change of heart among our British friends.”Wasn’t it David Davis himself who said ‘if a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy’?” He added the EU had not had a “change of heart” over Brexit, telling the British: “Our hearts are still open to you.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/ … Wed., 17  January 2018

Boris Johnson would ‘rather stay in’ the EU than accept a soft Brexit

Boris Johnson warns allies that Brexit is still far from certain

The ‘establishment’ across Whitehall and the City will step up efforts to stop Britain’s EU exit over the next pivotal 12 months, Boris has insisted.

He has also confided with friends over his concerns that Theresa May will be worn down and eventually forced to accept a bad deal by mandarins and Remain-leaning Cabinet ministers during trade negotiations that start in March.

Boris has told confidantes that still having to accept dictats from Brussels would leave the UK as “just another Norway” and the nationwide vote’s landmark result would have proved “a total waste of time”.

In that soft Brexit scenario, the mop-haired Tory boss has even claimed to pals: “I’d rather us stay in than leave like that”.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/ … Mon., 15  January 2018

Eastman Kodak unveils cryptocurrency

Stock doubles

Shares of Eastman Kodak Co (KODK.N) more than doubled on Tuesday after the one-time leader in photography became the latest company to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

The storied Rochester, New York-based company said in a statement it is launching a cryptocurrency called “KODAKCoin” for photographers, part of “KODAKOne,” an image rights management platform in a licensing partnership with WENN Digital.

The platform uses blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other digital currencies that have surged in recent months and raised fears of a price bubble.

http://reuters.com/ … Wed., 10  January 2018

Global Debt Hits Record $233 Trillion

The ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product is now 318 percent

Global debt rose to a record $233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, more than $16 trillion higher from end-2016, according to an analysis by the Institute of International Finance. Private non-financial sector debt hit all-time highs in Canada, France, Hong Kong, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey.

At the same time, though, the ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product fell for the fourth consecutive quarter as economic growth accelerated. The ratio is now around 318 percent, 3 percentage points below a high set in the third quarter of 2016, according to the IIF.

http://bloomberg.com/ … Mon., 08  January 2018

Bitcoin becomes volatile

Bitcoin falls by more than $2,000 in 12 hours

Bitcoin and several other major cryptocurrencies plunged Thursday evening New York time as the end of an exponential year of growth neared. The slashing decline triggered temporary, built-in trading halts in the bitcoin futures traded on the CME and Cboe.

Bitcoin plunged more than 17 percent to a low of $13,077.94 according to CoinDesk, down more than $2,000 from $15,830 less than 12 hours ago. The digital currency recovered to near $ 14,039, as of 1:07 a.m., ET. 

http://www.cnbc.com… Fri., 22  December 2017

Brexit bill: Government loses key vote after Tory rebellion

Parliament is to be given a take-it-or leave-it vote

In a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.

The government had argued this would jeopardise its chances of delivering a smooth departure from the EU.

Despite a last-minute attempt to offer concessions to rebels, an amendment to the bill was backed by 309 to 305.

Ministers said the “minor setback” would not prevent the UK leaving the EU in 2019.

http://www.bbc.com… Thu., 14  December 2017