Brexit armageddon – what's really happening right now
By Graham Vanbergen – George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor and political activist as he likes to be called. But as Soros has proved many times, he is more than that. He has used his vast fortune to topple governments in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. He “broke” the British pound back in ’92, was accused of wreaking havoc on the Malaysian ringgit, and was called an “economic war criminal” in Thailand whilst a French court convicted him of insider trading. Soros is an aggressive individual with enough resources to effect regime change even in big economies.
So when George Soros, ‘who broke the Bank of England’ and directly costed taxpayers £4billion (a lot back in 1992) opts for the haven of gold saying Brexit would spell end of EU, one should take notice because he, of all people should know. He has even asked for the people of the EU to “band together to save it.”
Soros clearly stated in the run-up to Britain’s EU referendum that a Brexit would trigger mass unemployment, a crashing economy and currency and major personal financial losses to each citizen of the UK.
But Soros has since warned something totally different by turning his attention to the disintegration of the EU in which he predicts will be almost impossible to avoid. His actual words were “The catastrophic scenario that many feared has materialized, making the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible.”
RT reported in the same article that “The financial collapse in the UK in the wake of Thursday’s vote has proved to be worse than any crisis over the past three decades. In the space of 10 minutes of trading on Friday, London’s FTSE index lost $164 billion when sterling dropped to its lowest mark in 31 years, trading up to 12 percent lower against the dollar. Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s threatened to downgrade the UK’s rating, which is currently triple A.”
According to many, this ‘crisis’ was worse than the financial collapse of 2008. Britain was about to be emphatically punished by the markets and the likes of traders, hedge funds and dubious geo-political agitators like Soros.
‘Establishment’ fear mongering by those who should know better made out that Britain could not possibly make it on its own. David Cameron even hinted that another world war could be triggered by Brexit amongst other things. George Osborne threatened to hike interest rates, alarmed us with an imminent house price crash and then equally threatened a post referendum budget to slash spending and increase taxes by an eye-watering £30bn, sending Britain into a crash and burn recession.
Strange then that Britain’s blue-chip stock index has jumped 90 points to an 11-month high, as international firms benefit from cheap sterling (as at close of play 11th July) – just 20 days after the ‘catastrophic’ decision by the British people.
Strange then, The Guardian has just reported that the “FTSE 100 enters bull market” as the UK’s stock market is now 20 per cent higher than the start of the year … and climbing. Strange then also that the Euro Stoxx 600 market share index has fallen from 352 to 332 in just 12 weeks, proving that Britain is stronger on its own from a business perspective than Europe collectively.
This chart of the FTSE 250 index of smaller UK companies that do not necessarily trade internationally, shows how it has been scrambling back from the Brexit shock last month (red for down, green for up):
And as for the collapse of Stirling, well – “The pound is getting a late lift last night (Monday 11th July), as Theresa May prepares to become Britain’s next prime minister, on Wednesday afternoon. Sterling is hovering just below $1.30, up half a cent today.”
And even the Euro markets started to climb late yesterday as traders shrugged off Brexit – remember, just 20 days after the “catastrophic” British decision.
Across the pond, the global rally in shares today has sent America’s S&P 500 index to a record high yesterday.
But – guess what part of the world is on a downer?
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup, says the Brexit vote is hurting eurozone confidence (via his Twitter account)
— Jeroen Dijsselbloem (@J_Dijsselbloem) July 11, 2016 “First #eurogroup meeting since UK referendum. Euro area recovery is robust but heightened uncertainty is detrimental to economic activity”
And European commissioner Pierre Moscovici has revealed that the EC is dialling down its growth forecasts for the UK and the eurozone next year:
— Rik Winkel (@RikWinkel) July 11, 2016 @pierremoscovici: “Growth could be 1-2,5% lower in UK and 0,2-0,5% lower in eurozone after brexit-vote. No forecast, preliminary assessment.”
As for the EU, the Italian banking system is imploding but nobody can do anything about it, there isn’t enough money left. Insurgent parties are on the rise in a number of European countries, including the fascist Le Pen movement in France and the anti-EU “Five Star” party in Italy, founded by a comedian who actually managed to win the mayor’s office in Rome. French president Francois Hollande has now achieved a 90% unfavourable rating. Politically, he is a dead man walking but to keep control he has imposed draconian measures akin to marshal law. The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, remains an inept, gaffe-prone, mostly drunken and divisive figure, who will no doubt be forcibly removed in the months ahead. Nearly 60 percent of Europeans believe the threat of terrorism increases as more refugees arrive in their countries, a PEW survey has found – hence more and more protests leading to riots even in Germany. Spain and Portugal are constantly suffering from protests due to austerity and Greece has all but collapsed as the so-called Troika steal every last asset the country has to pay off debts imposed upon them.
Back in Britain – Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says shares are moving in a northward direction due to expectations of an interest rate cut in Britain on Thursday contradicting our Chancellor’s pre-Brexit threats. Here’s what he had to say:
‘The Footsie has been tipped into a bull market by the emergence of Theresa May as Prime Minister, though the whiff of some loose monetary policy coming from the Bank of England this Thursday probably helped the index over the line too. “
And what of George Osborne’s dire predictions. This from ConservativeHome
“We now know that he (Osborne) actively encouraged international figures to issue warnings about the future of the British economy, too. As things got more desperate, he teamed up with Alistair Darling to promise the notorious ‘punishment budget’, with £30 billion of cuts and tax rises. That act infuriated and alienated large numbers of Conservative MPs, Party members and voters, and further frightened consumers. Voters ignored him – and, it turned out, with good reason. Not only has he now announced that in fact he is planning tax cuts, we are told belatedly that there will be no emergency budget at all.”
As for the housing market. Predictions emanated from Osborne that the property price correction cost of Brexit would be 18 per cent across Britain. The reality is that house prices were already falling and had been for months:
28th April Telegraph – “House prices fall almost everywhere as property market takes on ‘uncomfortable’ feel”
4th March Express – House prices set to fall after April, warn experts
10th April Independent – Why central London house prices are falling, and what it tells us about the British economy
But that was back earlier this year well before the EU referendum. Confusingly there are even reports that the housing market in London may actually be on the rebound:
July 11th The Week – House prices: London property sales are up 40% despite Brexit
My view is that house prices will fall across the UK later in the year but not because of Brexit. There is considerable political pressure and a certain degree of will to stop international mass money-laundering operations feeding British property prices. Confidence in the housing market is also declining and has been for about six months, credit is slowly drying up as bank liquidity across Europe evaporates and personal debt is higher now than before the mighty global fall eight years ago and a global recession is looming. There is always a lag and it usually takes about a year for a full-blown property price correction to be confirmed and there is evidence that is happening right now.
In the meantime, who would have thought six months ago that the western world might be run by an entirely all female line-up. In Britain we have just seen Theresa May’s rise to No 10. Angela Merkel continues to rule Europe with an iron fist and Hillary Clinton could be President of the so called free-world in a couple of months. All three are right-wing whatever they say and so it’s business as usual for the hydra-like neoliberal profit model.
Still, be positive. The predictions from people in the know, like Soros, is that the European Union will inevitably crumble. And that was always going to be the case irrespective of Britain’s stance. The reality is that Britain is now the leading country in Europe able to take advantage of that situation, repair whatever relationship damage has been done, build on its many strengths and be well ahead of the game when the predicted EU disintegration takes place.
January 2016 – Euractiv – Davos report warns of EU disintegration
February 2016 Financial Times – Europe enters the age of disintegration
February 2016 Market watch – European Union could ‘fall apart within months’