Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Hungary revolt against IMF augers badly for Greece. Farage flounders on Newsnight

As I opined yesterday thus reads the headline to AEP's piece in today's DT business. Hungary has been taking the IMF medicine for four years and its people have just had enough. They have seen no pay back for their sacrifices, a point that will not be lost on the Greek, or indeed the UK, populace. The markets do not seem to be rewarding good boys, as Ireland are currently finding out, but are certainly punishing the bad boys. The Greek bund spread pushed out to over 9% this morning a rise of around 30bps since yesterday.

Worse, it now seems the IMF is running out of money and may have to raise its resources to one trillion US dollars, 'as a precaution' is how Strauss Kahn described it! The IMF is not a central bank. It cannot manufacture its own money. It only has what national governments subscribe to it and they can only get money by borrowing, taxing or printing.

I switched on Newsnight last night to find Farage's features leering out at me. It quite curdled my cocoa. It was a discussion chaired by Kirsty Wark on banning the burka and as well as Farage there was a heavyweight Islamic intellectual and from New York and a well educated, articulate nice looking Islamic feminist. Where was UKIP's burka expert Lord Pearson? Farage was well out of his depth. K Wark quickly picked up on this and pretty well sidelined Farage allowing the Islamic feminist to do a good job demolishing the Islamic conservative intellectual or the Islamic right wing as she labelled him.

Farage's only contribution was to describe Belgium as a democracy rather than his usual description of it as a joke country. All goes to show a certain inconsistency of view verging on hypocrisy from Farage. Entirely in character some would say.

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