Thursday, 7 March 2013

Business views on the EU are changing!

The Euro philes have a horde of tame businessmen whom they regularly wheel out to predict disaster if we were to leave the EU whenever it looks like cast iron Dave might be sprouting a backbone. These people are drawn from the same well as public sector managers like Nicolson and are as wedded to the large bonus as any bankers. They do not represent the ordinary people of this country, its their bonus which is closest to their heart.

It was refreshing then to read Jim O'Neil, UK national and just retired head honcho at Goldman Sachs in an interview with the DT business say his thinking on UK membership of the EU had radically changed in recent months. This interview coincided with the announcement of the EU whizzo plan to curb bankers bonuses. Funny that! Click on link to read.

To be a successful  investment banker you have to be ready to alter your stance if you are getting on the wrong side of the market. This is why they are very rich and politicians are relatively poor and jealous. There is nothing wrong with as Keynes said changing your views when the facts alter. If our politicians had followed that sage advice we would have left the EU 25 years ago. However the only way our politicians know of enriching themselves is by making us, the people poorer through high taxation and silly regulation.

A very smart businessman once said to be that there are markets where it is easy to do business but difficult to make money and there are markets where it is difficult to do business but easy to make money and that he much prefered to operate in the latter. Nigel's two market types, yes that was his name, I add a third the EU single market where it is difficult to do business because of over regulation and difficult to make any money because the politicians have taken all the peoples money for grandiose useless political projects like the Euro. My friend Nigel's other piece of advice was you can't make money in Greece because there is no money there. How very true as we have found out.

Even dear Roland Rudd, (surely some mistake should br Rat) the Davos media high priest lobbyist of the EU  is unhappy about the EU regulating remuneration. Allister Heath sums up the EU bash the City of London on in his March 6th piece thus,

"Most of Europe has it in for the City, London’s most important asset. It is a tragedy that the British government has been too cowardly to do anything about it. If Britain had really wanted to block this, it could have threatened to disrupt all EU business until it got its way. And no, saying yes to everything else, including the EU budget, or being more “constructive” or more “engaged” would not have worked.
France would never have allowed a measure deliberately designed to cripple the wine industry, and Germany would not have tolerated a policy deliberately designed to push car manufacturing offshore. The uselessness of the British government during these negotiations was matched only by that of the industry itself. Banks have refused to speak publically, preferring to seek deals behind the scenes. Their silence was as shocking as the failure of their strategy was monumental. City workers have most of all been let down by supporters of the increasingly destructive European Union, including many of the firms now being hammered by its maliciousness and stupidity."
I have been warning of this danger to the City since I started to write this blog 4 years ago. Its going to happen soon.

The Telegraph today carries the story headlined, "European Sales fall hitsGSK head's pay". GSK sales fell 7% in Europe last year. GSK announced a review of its European operations which is likely to see a move away from continental Europe into emerging markets. 
Also Aviva the insurance giant cut its dividend yesterday, blaming losses in Eurozone bond markets. Even the French & Italian debt managers have warned off the Tobin tax, another EU favourite threatening their ability to shift their sovereign debt. 
Reuters reports today,
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he wanted to ensure EU plans to limit bankers' bonuses did not threaten the national interest, but it later became clear that Britain is only seeking minor changes to what is almost a done deal.

Britain was left isolated at a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday after it failed to water down new European union rules that will cap bankers' bonuses, a measure that could threaten London's dominance as a global financial centre.

What other country has such a supine leader who will not stand up for our interest. Just say No Dave and tell the EU if they persist we will gum things up big time. As the Iron Duke said,
Britain's battles with the EU were lost on the playing fiels of Eton and in the Bullingdom club.
The tectonic plates of UK industry re the EU are starting to shift but it needs leadership from our political elite.

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