Marian L. Tupy
Four years ago, I wrote in the Wall Street Journal about a courageous United Nations whistleblower named Georges Tadonki. In 2008, Tadonki correctly predicted an outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe. The epidemic, which killed 4,000 people, and an annual hyperinflation of 90 sextillion percent, were the results of Robert Mugabe’s drive to nationalize Zimbabwe’s commercial farms. Unfortunately, the UN bureaucracy, which was much more interested in appeasing Mugabe than helping his long-suffering people, threatened to fire Tadonki because of the revelation.
Congratulations to Bob Amsterdam, a friend of Cato and a human rights lawyer who defended, among others, Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Russia, for his recent win of Tadonki’s case before a UN tribunal.
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If Bruce Lee faced forced eviction in China
The tough guys who descended on Shen Jianzhong’s home didn’t know what they were in for. The incident prompts a few sad remarks about social conditions in China.
Shen Jianzhong and his son used kung fu to drive away thugs hired by developers who want the family’s land in Bazhou, China. (Los Angeles Times / December 29, 2012)
By John Hannon, Los Angeles Times
December 29, 2012, 6:06 p.m.
BEIJING — The men who barged through Shen Jianzhong’s door probably thought it was a routine assignment: Break in and beat Shen’s family into submission. Forced evictions to make way for real estate development are an everyday occurrence in China, and the family may have seemed no different from any in that situation.
It was only after they forced open the door, threw Shen’s wife to the ground and began to beat her that they learned the 38-year-old Shen and his 18-year-old son are kung fu masters.
"I take Bruce Lee very seriously," said Shen in a telephone interview a month after the incident.
Shen says he does not recall exactly what happened during the fight, but an eight-minute video of the aftermath shows seven of the hired hands piled in a motionless heap in Shen’s doorway. Blood pools around the cheek of one; another lies halfway through the doorway, crumpled on the curb. Survivors mill about unsteadily on the street, glaring at the camera.
The video, shot by Shen’s wife, has attracted nearly a million views and many admiring comments since it was posted online Oct. 30. It has turned Shen into a minor folk hero in China, where many villagers have been forced out of their homes by da shou ("beating hands" in Chinese) who work for real estate developers.
Land confiscation is one of the most contentious political issues in China and accounts for many of the mass demonstrations that occur with regularity across the country. A report by Amnesty International this year estimated that confiscations have occurred in 43% of Chinese villages in 15 years.
Shen and his family live in Bazhou, a city in Hebei province 60 miles from central Beijing. Shen says he has trained in Lee’s Jeet Kune Do style of kung fu for 20 years. He has also been certified by the Hong Kong-based World Record Assn. for completing the highest number of roller push-ups in a minute. The exercise, which involves folding and unfolding at the waist like an inchworm while propped up with a small wheel, is more than a pastime for Shen. He and his wife run a small business teaching the exercise at home and around Bazhou, and they fear that the loss of their house would damage their livelihood.
Shen says he was teaching at a nearby gym on Oct. 29 when a group of more than 30 men assembled outside his house, which a local Communist Party official was planning to redevelop into an apartment complex. The men threatened and verbally abused Shen’s wife as she returned home with groceries.
Once Shen arrived and confirmed to the leader of the group that his family would not leave before receiving guarantees for housing, the assailants, he said, burst through the front door and began to beat his wife. In response, Shen and his teenage son, a graduate of traditional martial arts schools, entered the fray.
Many who have seen the video, which has not been blocked by Internet censors, applauded Shen’s victory. But the incident has also prompted a number of mournful remarks about social conditions in China.
"So do all Chinese people have to go to the Shaolin Temple [a historic martial arts academy] and study kung fu to do something about forced evictions?" wondered one recent blogger.
Shen said his troubles have actually increased since the attack. The next day, he said, nearly 100 men arrived in buses from out of town and surrounded his house. When the police refused to drive off the men on grounds that they were behaving peacefully, Shen fled with his wife to Beijing, hoping that media attention and the central government would help his family.
Shen said that in his absence his house has not been demolished, but that shortly after his departure for Beijing, the Bazhou police arrested his son.
Gangs like the one that attacked Shen’s home often operate with the consent of officials. After tax reforms cut into revenue across the country in the 1990s, local governments began exercising their right to rezone and sell land for real estate development. Chinese reports have said that the proceeds from recorded land sales, which go directly to the governments, far exceed the compensation offered to evicted inhabitants.
Rural Chinese, who receive plots of land allocated by local governments, have no individual land rights and cannot dispute rezoning plans drawn up by officials. But when officials do not offer sufficient compensation to households to relocate, the residents sometimes refuse to leave. Developers then evict the holdouts by force.
These forced evictions can provoke desperate responses. Some villagers have set themselves on fire, according to Chinese media reports.
Spectacular cases of armed resistance have also attracted attention, as when a farmer named Yang Youde used a homemade rocket launcher to drive away assailants from his house near Wuhan in 2010.
Chinese prosecutors often bring serious criminal charges against individuals who fight back. In a similar case in north China in 2009, a man named Zhang Jian was charged with murder after he stabbed and fatally wounded a man beating his wife during a forced eviction.
Shen returned to Bazhou on Nov. 28 to negotiate his son’s fate with the police and the developer. He says his son is still in detention, and unless he comes to an agreement with the developer he is afraid criminal charges will follow.
So while Shen is hopeful that the compensation for his property will increase, he also knows where the hard-won money is bound to go: He’s had to retain a lawyer for his son.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:14 am
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CFTC may be Forced to Do Something soon about the Silver Shorts
Bill Murphy of GATA and LeMetropoleCafe, Rare Sunday Commentary "CFTC may be Forced to Do Something soon about the Silver Shorts."
Bill Murphy the Founder of GATA (Gold Anti Trust Action Committee) and who has a Gold subscription Newsletter at http://www.LeMetropoleCafe.com , wrote a special Sunday Report. Bill has been kind enough to give me permission to reproduce it here in full.
Some of it is about JP Morgan and the information regarding their 2 Billion (ever increasing day by day – now 5 billion) losses through their "hedging" trade desk.
It is extremely interesting information especially the part about the CFTC and their being at the edge of having to take some action, regarding JPM’s metal shorts.
Since the newsletter is being reproduced in full, you will see Bill’s other comments/information on various other financial events, like the FB (Facepalm) IPO.
Thank you Bill for allowing me to reproduce the information you sent out to your subscribers!
Here is Bill Murphy’s extra newsletter information sent out on May 20th 2012:
May 20 – Gold $1591.60 – Silver – $28.70
JPM, Facebook, Gold … And The Potential of A Titanic Financial Market Event
"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." … Dolly Parton
The reason for this rare, extra commentary over a weekend is to focus on a couple of points which really stand out in their particular significance and are worth pondering in terms of what is coming down the road for financial markets.
The first is what we jumped all over on PLANET GATA from the get-go about the JP Morgan hedge trade flap gone wrong. It made NO sense from the very beginning to any of us that such a commotion was made over a $2 billion loss on a trade, for whatever reason, when they had just reported yearly gains of $18 billion. Clearly, Mr. Dimon’s public pronouncement, that caught the attention of the entire investment world, was only paving the way for future announcements that will be much more dramatic. All he was doing when he inferred the losses MIGHT get worse was protecting himself, as best he could, by going on the record.
The latest news on JPM…
14:31 JPM JP Morgan Chase struggling to unwind ill-placed bets – WSJ
While breaking no real news, this story notes that the bank’s losses could eventually prove to be even bigger than the $5B some people familiar with the matter have been predicting (see linked comment). The losses could potentially deepen if the company sells its positions into a market that has turned against said positions.
The article notes that while the bank has said that it will take its time unwinding the positions, this does not necessarily guarantee smaller final losses than trying to close out the trades sooner, as the market could turn sharply against the bank in the near term.
Reference Link: Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 … 6045774126
* * * *
14:50 JPM CFTC latest federal agency to begin investigating JPMorgan Chase – NYT DealBook
NYT Dealbook reports, citing people briefed on the matter, that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission opened an enforcement case on Friday examining the bank’s trading loss. The CFTC joins the SEC and FBI in investigating possible wrongdoing at the bank. Gary Gensler, the agency’s chairman, is expected to disclose the investigation when he testifies on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee.
Dealbook says that the CFTC will potentially examine whether the bank’s trading affected the market for credit derivatives, for which it has jurisdiction.
Reference Link: NY Times – http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/ … rgan-loss/
* * * * *
This latest investigation into JP Morgan might be a big deal for the GATA camp. This is actually quite complicated, but very intriguing. The CFTC has been investigating JPM’s role in the silver market manipulation scheme for what will be four years soon. FOUR YEARS! Good friends, like Dave from Denver, have nothing but loathsome talk about the CFTC, for good reason. GATA’s rationale (speaking for myself) about this ridiculous investigation is that the CFTC really has uncovered the scam, but because it is backed by the US Government, they are flabbergasted about what to do, so they do nothing.
The reason they have not closed the case is because they are petrified the silver market might blow up down the road. Think about if you were them. They want this to go away, but if the silver market does blow up, and there is some kind of "Force Majeure" declared in silver by JPM, the CFTC would not only look like fools, but, perhaps it might be said they were more than negligent. Thus, they have done nothing.
Well, all of a sudden, Lo and Behold a new factor enters the silver scam investigation, which directly affects Morgan’s constant claims to the CFTC that their huge silver short position is hedged. Ya mean like hedged in an economic sense as per their claims re the latest credit derivatives market trade was a hedge? This just might force the CFTC to demand JP Morgan prove their claims their silver short position is really a hedged one. This is what I suspect might occur due to the growing scrutiny over Morgan’s trading activities. The CFTC people, except for Bart "Elliot Ness" Chilton, are sycophants and have toed the company line … but there is a point when FEAR makes that no longer viable. They are not going to go to jail for taking one for the team. My guess is we are getting close to that Tipping Point.
As the JP Morgan hedged losses mount and become "official," the heat on them is going to mount. They will be scrutinized every way imaginable. How can all the class action lawsuits against them, and blatant evidence against them via just what Andrew Maquire has sent to the CFTC via their role in the silver scam, be ignored?
We have already been informed, as of a week ago, that the Morgan losses on their "hedge trade" fiasco could be as high as $15 billion, or more. Already, even the WSJ is alluding that their losses are higher than $5 billion. This is MEGA! As we have discussed on PLANET GATA, this is not just about Morgan, but confidence in the entire financial system. If the $70 trillion derivatives book at Morgan goes NUCLEAR, we could have a financial market TITANIC event which might be right around the corner.
Now, for the weekend edition, number two re the understandable, but nauseating, commotion over the Facebook IPO on Friday, which was heralded by CNBC all week.
First, the background…
*The Dow is going down day after day, not with any fanfare, but all rallies are sold. In very quiet and subdued selling, general investors inherently know something is wrong and are acting upon that instinct.
*Europe is falling apart we know, but little is being said about how the US financial system is in parallel with Europe. How bad is this? Just the state of California budget deficit goes from something like $8 billion to a staggering $16 billion and it creates almost no commotion. Huh?
Getting back into the GATA aspect of this is that the US financial markets are all about market manipulation. You need to go nowhere further on what the real deal about US financial markets than this headline…
Banks spend big to prop up Facebook shares on first day of trading
By GARETT SLOANE and MARK DECAMBRE
Last Updated: 8:15 AM, May 19, 2012
Posted: 11:34 PM, May 18, 2012
It was another Wall Street bailout — but this time the banks had to cough up the cash. Facebook’s underwriters propped up the social-network’s trading debut yesterday, as the shares threatened to crash through the initial public offering price of $38. The banks working on the massive $16 billion IPO, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, did their duty by buying up large blocks of Facebook stock toward the end of the day to support the price.
Facebook shares opened up 11 percent at $42.05, and traded as high as $45, before running out of steam, disappointing investors hoping for a big first-day pop. The shares closed up just 0.6 percent at $38.23.
Without the bank bailout, Facebook’s IPO would have been a loser on the day, Wall Street insiders said.
The heavy buying, however, cut into the banks’ already meager fees on the deal. The underwriters agreed to accept a smaller cut — just 1.1 percent of the $16 billion Facebook raised in the IPO — in order to land the high-profile assignment.
After splitting $176 million in fees, the firms likely spent more than they made in fees by buying the swooning stock. Sam Hamadeh, CEO of research firm Privco, believes the banks spent around $380 million on Facebook stock.
"On the heels of JPMorgan’s $2 billion ‘hedging’ trading loss, tThe underwriters have used up all the fees they made on the Facebook deal just to buy and prop up the stock to prevent a busted IPO," said Hamadeh.
Another source said that the banks took a substantial hit yesterday, which started strong despite glitches that delayed Nasdaq trading in Facebook shares by 30 minutes past their 11 a.m. scheduled debut.
While there was plenty of finger-pointing yesterday, many blamed the bankers for setting the price too high to allow for upside. The IPO share priced at the high end of the $34 to $38 range, which had been raised from an initial range of $28 to $35.
The bankers were wary of pricing the shares too low, leaving money on the table and leading to an outrageous first-day pop. They were shooting for a modest first-day gain in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent.
Still, some observers heaped scorn on Facebook insiders who dumped their shares, saying it was a red flag that weighed on the stock.
Facebook had increased the number of shares being sold in the IPO by 25 percent, to 425 million, with most of the additional float coming from early investors looking to cash out.
The company’s sky-high valuation also made some investors queasy. At $38 a share, Facebook is valued at $104 billion — even though it only made $3.7 billion last year.
Facebook’s big day was a drag on other tech stocks. Trading in shares of Zynga was halted yesterday after a sharp drop, and the stock closed down 13.4 percent at $7.16. China’s social network RenRen was also down more than 20 percent, to $4.93.
My take on this, from my Behavioral Finance background on how our financial system really operates, is the effort to hold up the Facebook IPO was an effort to hold up the stock market as a whole. For the BF folks, perception is everything. That is why they do what they do. The Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group (do a Google if new to you), led by the same firms that held up the Facebook share price, does not exist for no reason. One of their mandates is to promote market stability and that is what they just did. That Group works closed with the Plunge Protection Team (Working Group on Capital Markets) to support the US stock market at various times.
What we saw in the price rises of gold and silver at the end of the week was stunning and totally out of the natural order of the gold/silver price manipulation scheme. It was a wowser! My smeller tells me, because the dramatic rally was so pronounced, that we are headed for some serious fireworks in the financial arena.
The Gold Cartel could be in deep trouble now because their honcho, JP Morgan, is in deepening trouble. This is no minor event in terms of the gold/silver market manipulation scandal.
All hands on deck to prepare for the financial market commotion that seems to be right around the corner!
JPM Trading Loss 2 Billion – Why released on a Thursday not a Friday?
Dimon and Blankfein met with Bernanke and losses of JPM may be 18 Billion
FBI investigating JPM trading loss
Goldman Sachs accidentally releases information about Illegal Trading in Court Papers (JPM news was the distraction from this information,imo) .
Posted by Sherrie Questioning All at 12:23 PM
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Mon May 21, 2012 2:56 pm
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Goldman Sachs Accidently Releases Damning Information of Illegal Naked Short Sales, Last Week! – JPM was/is the distraction from this info
Matt Taibbi is about the best reporter there is. He is an investigative reporter of the financial world and does one hell of a job! He has been on top of the mortgage MERS Fraudclosure for a couple of years now.
He has an article out about Goldman Sach’s and how one of their lawyers accidentally filed very private inside information with the court for a lawsuit in defense, last week. The papers he filed was information that Goldman Sachs has always worked to keep out of the public eye.
The paper proves that Goldman Sachs does naked short selling. They will sell and short stocks they don’t even have nor are able to get. In other words, just like the fractional reserve banking of creating money out of thin air with key strokes. Goldman Sachs pretended to own or had in their hands, stocks which they didn’t have. They would short the stocks and do trades on non-existent stocks. They also did this to affect the stock price on the market. So they could make some stocks Fail. They even use that word in the documents accidentally released.
Now, I have a question for the FBI, SEC and all government agencies…… IF a person sold and got millions/billions by pretending to have something for sale and they did not – is that not embezzlement and fraud? Would you not lock that person up for a felony for the rest of their lives?
How come Wall Street can Lie, commit absolute obvious Fraud, trade on things they pretend they have but don’t? How come they never have to pay or go to jail for what is in fact Stealing? What is worse about Wall Street is that they can cause a company to go down and fail. They cause people who have money in retirement funds to lose money over their lies and fraud!
The government has got to do something about this! Wall Street can not be allowed to commit Fraud over and over again upon the world! There can not be one law for the people and no law for Wall Street and the Banks! Enough is Enough!
One other thing. I had written that something was just not right about the whole JP Morgan info coming out on a Thursday besides other things that bothered me about it. I have been on the look out for what was bigger than JP Morgan. Now, the JP Morgan info being the talk of MSM, the distraction that was created so MSM already has their story and can ignore this?
** Notice the article says "Last Week" the papers were filed accidentally – that is why JPM came out as they did. They wanted MSM to highlight JPM and NOT the illegal activities of Wall Street being revealed! In my opinion.
Important portions From article:
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. Last week, he smiled on investigative reporters everywhere, when the lawyers for Goldman, Sachs slipped on one whopper of a legal banana peel, inadvertently delivering some of the bank’s darker secrets into the hands of the public.
The lawyers for Goldman and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch have been involved in a legal battle for some time – primarily with the retail giant Overstock.com, but also with Rolling Stone, the Economist, Bloomberg, and the New York Times. The banks have been fighting us to keep sealed certain documents that surfaced in the discovery process of an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit filed by Overstock against the banks.
Now, however, through the magic of this unredacted document, the public will be able to see for itself what the banks’ attitudes are not just toward the “mythical” practice of naked short selling (hint: they volubly confess to the activity, in writing), but toward regulations and laws in general.
“Fuck the compliance area – procedures, schmecedures,” chirps Peter Melz, former president of Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. (a.k.a. Merrill Pro), when a subordinate worries about the company failing to comply with the rules governing short sales.
We also find out here how Wall Street professionals manipulated public opinion by buying off and/or intimidating experts in their respective fields. In one email made public in this document, a lobbyist for SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, tells a Goldman executive how to engage an expert who otherwise would go work for “our more powerful enemies,” i.e. would work with Overstock on the company’s lawsuit.
A quick primer on what naked short selling is. First of all, short selling, which is a completely legal and often beneficial activity, is when an investor bets that the value of a stock will decline. You do this by first borrowing and then selling the stock at its current price, then returning the stock to your original lender after the price has gone down. You then earn a profit on the difference between the original price and the new, lower price.
What matters here is the technical issue of how you borrow the stock. Typically, if you’re a hedge fund and you want to short a company, you go to some big-shot investment bank like Goldman or Morgan Stanley and place the order. They then go out into the world, find the shares of the stock you want to short, borrow them for you, then physically settle the trade later.
Thus in this document we have another former Merrill Pro president, Thomas Tranfaglia, saying in a 2005 email: “We are NOT borrowing negatives… I have made that clear from the beginning. Why would we want to borrow them? We want to fail them.”
Trafaglia, in other words, didn’t want to bother paying the high cost of borrowing “negative rebate” stocks. Instead, he preferred to just sell stock he didn’t actually possess. That is what is meant by, “We want to fail them.” Trafaglia was talking about creating “fails” or “failed trades,” which is what happens when you don’t actually locate and borrow the stock within the time the law allows for trades to be settled.
If this sounds complicated, just focus on this: naked short selling, in essence, is selling stock you do not have. If you don’t have to actually locate and borrow stock before you short it, you’re creating an artificial supply of stock shares.
Goldman clearly knew there was a discrepancy between what it was telling regulators, and what it was actually doing. “We have to be careful not to link locates to fails [because] we have told the regulators we can’t,” one executive is quoted as saying, in the document.
The import of this is that it made it cheaper and easier to bet down the value of a stock, while simultaneously devaluing the same stock by adding fake supply. This makes it easier to make money by destroying value, and is another example of how the over-financialization of the economy makes real, job-creating growth more difficult.
In any case, this document all by itself shows numerous executives from companies like Goldman Sachs Execution and Clearing (GSEC) and Merrill Pro talking about a conscious strategy of “failing” trades – in other words, not bothering to locate, borrow, and deliver stock within the time alotted for legal settlement. For instance, in one email, GSEC tells a client, Wolverine Trading, “We will let you fail.”
Hey – U.S. Government…… Are you going to continue to let Wall Street get away with Complete Fraud?
It seems this information could fit that criteria, for JP Morgan being a distraction. It proves the Lawlessness and absolute illegal activities of Wall Street.
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Mon May 21, 2012 3:28 pm
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Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:47 pm
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Britain finds itself all alone in the EU.
Was the outcome of the Brussels summit a bad one for the EU? Not at all. The British were never completely dedicated to European unity and the ongoing project of greater fiscal integration is better off without them.
It was to be expected. And now it’s official: The British have elected not to join the treaty governing Europe’s new financial system. Prime Minister David Cameron refused.
Does that mean, then, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have failed? Not at all. Only incompetent amateurs could have believed that London would join the attempt to overcome the European debt crisis together. European leaders in Brussels hammered out an agreement that marks the end of unlimited fiscal sovereignty — and that conflicts fundamentally with the British understanding of Europe.
The result of Thursday night — the 17 euro-zone countries joined by nine others pending parliamentary approval in three of the non-euro-zone capitals — is a success. A success for the majority of Europeans and for efforts to find a solution to the euro crisis. Any deal with the obstreperous British would have been a weak compromise, and one that would have allowed questionable economic practices to continue.
But from the very beginning, Great Britain’s participation in a united Europe was a misunderstanding. When the EU was founded, the British still hadn’t finished mourning over their lost empire. Europe seemed far away and Continental efforts at unification were seen by many among the British elite as little more than naïve idealism.
Despite such doubts, the EU became a reality, and a success — and it was economic realities that ultimately led London to join. Companies in the UK pushed the government toward Brussels because staying away was far too risky economically.
Still, the political classes in Britain never fully shared the Continental conviction that the European Union was an absolute political necessity following two destructive world wars in the 20th century. They never fully believed that Europe had to grow together, despite all the cultural, linguistic and societal differences.
In the 1960s, the empire was history, with one colony after the other declaring independence. But instead of turning toward Europe, Britain looked west to the US. And to this day, the UK feels much closer to America than it does to the frogs and the krauts on the other side of the English Channel. One could see the strength of that bond as recently as 2003, when then-Prime Minister Tony Blair joined President George W. Bush in his Iraq adventure despite grave misgivings on the Continent.
In Brussels, which has for decades been depicted in the British press as little more than a bureaucratic monster, London has mostly played but a single role from the very beginning: that of a spanner in the works. There has hardly been a decision aimed at greater European integration that Britain hasn’t sought to block. And it was a role that even brought financial benefits. Ever since Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously demanded "I want my money back," Britain has had to contribute less to the EU than the size of its economy would otherwise require.
To avoid misunderstandings, it is important to note that Britain is a fabulous country, as are its people. Their finely honed humor, tolerance, composure, language, culture and, yes, their worldliness are all to be praised and envied. Germans particularly, with their predisposition to overwrought fear, could learn a lot from the British.
Demanding a Say
But the UK and the EU was a source of frustration for decades. On the long term, a member cannot demand all of the benefits of a community while refusing to shoulder its share of the burdens. One can’t constantly seek to thwart all efforts at greater European integration while at the same time demanding a say in all decisions.
Great Britain is an EU member that never truly wanted to be part of the club. It was more of an observer than a contributor and it always had one eye on Washington. Indeed, it is telling that the country never joined the border-free travel regime known as Schengen — Britain still checks everybody who enters the country from the other side of the Channel. The political establishment was likewise extremely skeptical of the common currency from the very beginning.
It is true that much of the criticism was spot on, which is why the euro zone is now in crisis and in need of repair. But it wasn’t really the design shortcomings which led the British to stay out of the euro zone. Rather, it was their independence — one could say currency nationalism — which led to the country remaining on the outside.
Though that hardly kept them from acting at EU summits as though they had long since introduced the euro. At the summit before last, in fact, Sarkozy even lost his cool, telling Cameron "you missed a good opportunity to keep your mouth shut." The French president continued: "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."
Only One Possible Answer
Now, finally, there is a clear line of separation. On the one side is euro-Europe with a treaty obligating them to stay within clear budgetary and sovereign debt boundaries. And there is the rest which still has complete sovereign control over their finances. The 17 euro-zone member states will no longer be forced to accommodate a country that rejects anything that smells like supra-nationalism.
There is certain to be a debate over the question as to how a divided Europe should continue. But that doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. Such a debate has been necessary for a long time and conflicts can not always be avoided. Sometimes, a bit of bickering is necessary to create clarity.
The questions for Britain, however, are equally difficult. What exactly is the country’s role in the EU? British historian Timothy Garton Ash, a critic of the euro-skeptic course followed by the Cameron administration, said recently in an interview with SPIEGEL: "If the euro zone is saved, there will be a fiscal union, which means a political union of the euro countries…. Then, in the next two, three or four years, we in Great Britain will face the final question: in or out?"
If the British political class does not undergo a fundamental transformation, there is only one possible answer. Out.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:16 pm
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