Saturday, 25 June 2016

Weekend Update 25/06/2016 – Brexit Payback Time?

Brexit Quote of the Day.

‘Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.’

George Orwell

Dodgy Dave Cameron, upheld this fine tradition by losing the renegotiation war with the EU, and leading to total ignominious failure, the Remainiac surrender campaign to stay in the EUSSR. Well done Dave. But was Dodgy Dave a Brexit double agent all along? Was Dodgy Dave really trying for a Brexit result?  Her Majesty’s Government couldn’t have run a more incompetent, inept, ineffectual campaign to Remain in the wealth and jobs destroying, dying EUSSR, if they had set out deliberately to try. Enlisting the communist New Labour Party under Corbyn, and the anti-English racist, neo-communist Scottish National Party to the Remainiac cause, was an act of sheer genius to the Leave campaign.  Such magnificent incompetence surely had to be by design.

All across complacent, smug  Euroland, the referendum result came as a blindsided shock.  Having given almost nothing away to Dodgy Dave Cameron’s earlier renegotiation reform campaign, and then undercut him when he tried to sell the empty envelope to the UK voters, the Euro-pols and the legions of EU bureaucrats actually expected UK voters to roll over meekly and vote as Brussels ordered. Unleashing Obama, Junker, Schultz and Hollande on the British voters probably boosted the Leave campaign by 5 or 10 percent, somewhat offset by the vile murder of a young campaigning Remain Labour M. P. about a week before the vote. 

Now a lame duck UK Prime Minister, Dodgy Dave Cameron seems to be playing payback with the EUSSR. As announced yesterday, he intends to leave the actual exit negotiations to fester until his successor is chosen, probably sometime in October. Touché Hollande, Merkel, Juncker, and Schultzie. Probably not wise though, however satisfying.

The dying EUSSR has to live with the aftermath. How many more EU countries and political parties will boldly go where Dodgy Dave Cameron has unwillingly trod? From Denmark to Italy, from Spain to Poland, the EU isn’t working anymore for most of their citizens. Youth unemployment is sky high due to the dead hand of an unreformed EU, as they get sacrificed on the altar of EU statism, political correctness and a one size fits all Germanic Euro. My guess is that the EUSSR in its present form will only stagger on until the next global recession hits. The Euro is now the most dangerous major currency on the planet, replacing even the suicidal Japanese Yen.

"As fewer and fewer people have confidence in paper as a store of value, the price of gold will continue to rise. The history of fiat money is little more than a register of monetary follies and inflations. Our present age merely affords another entry in this dismal register."

Hans F. Sennholz

Why gold may hit $1,500 by year’s end—and it’s not just about Brexit

Published: June 24, 2016 2:36 p.m. ET

Implications for currencies, central banks point to more gold rallies

Gold’s impressive rally Friday offered a taste of what may be in store for the precious metal, as some analysts say it’s just a matter of time before prices top $1,500 or even $1,900 an ounce.

Futures prices for the metal GCQ6, +4.43% soared by as much as $100 an ounce on an intraday basis Friday as the United Kingdom’s historic vote to leave the European Union sent investors scrambling for a safer place to park their money.

But the decision, known as Brexit, has vast implications for global financial markets, economies and currencies as well as for monetary policies among the world’s major central banks. That means gold could soon have many more reasons to rally.

Read: The U.K. has voted for Brexit—what happens next?

“The market’s fearful reaction has made Brexit the most stressful event investors have seen since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September 2008,” said David Beahm, chief executive of Blanchard and Co. “This is a major negative for global markets, and gold is positioned for long-term price growth because of ... the Brexit vote and other negative global financial conditions.”

While the outcome of the U.K.’s historical referendum roiled stock markets around the world and European stocks posted their worst daily drop in nearly eight years on Friday, gold benefited from its perceived safety in financial crises.

On Friday, August gold surged $59.30, or 4.7%, to settle at $1,322.40 an ounce, logging the highest most-active futures settlement since July 2014.

“Brexit is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Ned Schmidt, editor of the Value View Gold Report. “All arguments against holding gold have now been crushed.”

He expects gold to continue its climb, and head to $1,400 an ounce, with prices eventually topping $1,900 next year.

And with other EU nations potentially following the U.K.’s lead, the situation in Europe is set to get worse, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkForex.

Given that, Aslam sees gold “easily touching” $1,500 by the end of this year.

Read: Paralyzed Spain heads for election rerun this weekend: 5 things to know

Brexit is “a global monetary event, with destructive effects in individual economies,” said Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.

 “The standard central-bank prescription is to ease, to depreciate their currency,” he said. “But if everyone is trying to depreciate their currency, including the U.S., what can they depreciate it against?”

“Only gold will stand tall during the turmoil. And over the long term, it won’t because it’s supposed to be a ‘safe haven’, but because it’s the only safeguard against fiat currency depreciation,” said Lundin.

Germany, France Struggle to Hold EU Center as Brexit Storm Blows

June 24, 2016 — 9:15 PM BST
Within hours of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, nationalist parties across the bloc were clamoring for their own exit referendums, including in France, one half of the two-nation engine that has driven the EU project since its beginnings as a lowly coal and steel union in 1951.

That laid bare the challenge facing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande as they try to hold the rest of the 27 nations of the EU together, as for the first time a full member has decided it would be better off alone.

Calling the vote a “watershed” for Europe, Merkel said the bloc “is strong enough to find the right answers.” Hollande described Brexit as a severe test that would force Europe’s leaders “to take a clear look at the ineffectiveness of the EU and people’s loss of confidence in the European project.”

Merkel didn’t spell out the answers she has in mind. The union’s six founding members -- Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands -- will meet to plan a response Saturday, and Merkel invited the French and Italian leaders to Berlin for further talks early next week. The actual process of extricating the U.K. from the bloc is expected to take two years or more.

If history is a guide, resetting the EU so it responds more directly to its citizens will be a struggle.

Beset even before Friday’s result with internal tensions over the debt problems of weaker members and the flood of refugees reaching its shores, the EU’s core members have little political capital left to craft a compelling vision to inspire the remaining EU countries. Hollande’s political support is weakening and Merkel, still the bloc’s dominant leader, faces difficult elections next year.

Even if the U.K. in the end is the only nation to exit, the EU it leaves will be diminished, less ambitious and restricted as hopes of transforming centuries of fractious European history fade.

“I felt as though I was at a friend’s funeral,” Latvian former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga said in an interview after the vote. “This is no longer the European Union that we joined.”

Europe’s Frustration With Cameron Mounts at Ministerial Meeting

June 24, 2016 — 7:01 PM BST
The U.K. faced calls from other European Union nations for a quicker start to the process of seceding from the EU, deepening the bloc’s frustration with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron said he would resign and let a successor who may be chosen by a Conservative Party conference in October trigger the negotiations on the U.K.’s exit from the EU. Most EU ministers who met on Friday in Luxembourg to discuss the process argued that “we should start this as soon as possible,” said Bert Koenders of the Netherlands.

“You are in or you’re out -- you can’t have your cake and eat it,” Koenders, the Dutch foreign minister, told reporters. “That means that, at the moment that there is an outcome, it’s important that the insecurity for citizens in Europe is as short as possible and that there is clarity on this.”

After facing skepticism in the EU about the wisdom of holding a referendum on U.K. membership of the 28-nation bloc, Cameron is leaving office amid stronger doubts abroad about his policy toward Europe.

Koenders, who chaired the Luxembourg meeting because the Netherlands holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, said the bloc is seeking “transparent and predictable” discussions with the U.K. on its departure and wants to avoid a lengthy “vacuum.” Meanwhile, other ministers expressed concerns about the British referendum result stoking centrifugal forces in the EU.

“What I am afraid of is that those parties that are xenophobic, nationalistic, protectionist get a positive feedback from this Brexit outcome,” said Ann Linde, Sweden’s minister for European affairs. “The situation we are in now is a bad situation.”

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders signaled the U.K. is in more political trouble than the EU, calling the U.K. referendum result a “dangerous choice” for the country.

“It will have to engage in a negotiation with the European Union to leave the union,” Reynders said. “There is also a risk of the disunion of the United Kingdom.”

Back in the EU capital Brussels, Gianni Pittella, who leads the Socialist group in the European Parliament, captured continental frustration over Cameron’s tenure as British prime minister by saying on Friday that the U.K. referendum was a “crazy idea” prompted by internal party considerations.

We end with a view of Brexit from Jason in America.

Never Say Never: The Transatlantic Lessons of the U.K Vote to Leave

N. Jason Jencka June 24, 2016 12:43 a.m. ET
After a week that was dominated by growing confidence that the U.K would vote to Remain, the officially unthinkable occurred. Britain elected to trade international favor for domestic freedom and the comfort of the familiar for the enticing possibilities of the unknown. Operation Fear failed. Despite a global “full court press” from the politicians from Brussels to Berlin and Washington to Warsaw, UK voters rejected the premise of the Remain argument and took a principled stand for sovereignty. The 52-48 result for leave and the divergence from polling showing a similar margin for Remain indicates that there was a last-minute aversion from condescension and embrace of free-will for its own sake. While global pundits will doubtlessly splice and dice the intricacies of the Article 50 process, this is just a chapter in a profound story. Voters demanded to have their voices heard and defied being silenced with tremendous vigor.  Threatening projections wherein the calculations are derived from the conclusion proved unconvincing.

The Brexit outcome holds relevant lessons for the American presidential election this coming November. The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton has a nearly insurmountable lead (45.3-39.4 percent according to the latest Real Clear Politics poll of polls average) yet the election remains nearly five months in the future. If the Clinton campaign, backed by President Obama makes the error of characterizing Trump voters as backward, uninformed xenophobes the world may well see a President Trump. This possibility is augmented each time Mrs. Clinton chooses Trump basing over making consistent and coherent policy proposals. As was shown in the case of Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” controversy and as was reinforced by the Brexit outcome, condescension and marginalization are a losing strategy. What remains to be seen is whether the Clinton campaign heeds these lessons. The election outcome may just hinge on that choice.

Real Clear Politics:
The Sun:

N. Jason Jencka is presently studying Finance and Economics at Sierra Nevada College, located near the shores of Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada.His interests include the interplay between world markets and the global political sphere, with a focus on developments of both sides of the Atlantic in North America and Europe.In his leisure time he enjoys connecting with those people that have an interesting story to tell and a genuine desire to make an impact in the world.

Brexit Thought of the Week.

'You just never know. That unpredictability is the great thing about life. You change. The world changes. You live in a country where we are still blessed with enormous opportunity. Leave yourself open to the world of possibility. You have the ambition, you have the smarts and you have the toughness. So, turn the page on your biography - you have just started a new chapter in your lives.'

Lloyd Blankfein CEO of Goldman Sachs unintentionally backs Brexit in a US speech to graduates.

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