Saturday, November 19, 2016

Uncertain Times

Over 70 years since the end of WWII and it can be said that many people born  from 1946 onwards have lived in  times of peace and stability unprecedented for generations past.

Of course peace has been far from global during that time with wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and  before during and after the collapse of the USSR, creating so much local  death and grief. More recently  the Northern Ireland killings come to mind and a decade or so before those, the Suez crisis.

Today the wars in the Middle East and grave inhumanites being perpetrated by ISIS under pretence of a religious ideology, are the causes of grief yet despite all that, most in the world have become healthier and wealthier.

Nonetheless hugely uncertain times now prevail.

The likelihood is in my humble opinion that the EU will come under increasing pressure not so much from the majority Brexit vote in the UK but more from the huge weaknesses of  many of its banks coupled with the rise in ultra right wing political parties on the continent. The difficulties facing EU banks are not over publicised probably because the newsworthiness of banks to the average person is limited. However Steve Eisman in the Guardian states and I quote as his language is not mine!

"Europe is screwed. You guys are still screwed,..In the Italian system, the banks say they are worth 45-50 cents in the dollar. But the bid price is 20 cents. If they were to mark them down they would be insolvent."

He does however go on to say:

"I'm not really worried about England's banks...They are in better shape than most in Europe."

The latter quotation surprises me somewhat as RBS at least always seems to be a bank basket case. All this might only be of academic and minority  interest save that Eisman predicted the huge financial crashes of 2007/8 which prediction was portrayed in the Oscar winning film "The Big Short".

Given the success of Trump's USA presidential campaign  the rise and rise of ultra right wing politics in Europe is a real worry - hopefully the vote in France this week end, for the right wing presidential candidate likely to challenge the far-right Marine Le Pen will produce  the least unsatisfactory result which imho would be Fillon although young lefties in the UK would presumably not agree with me as he is an admirer of Margaret Thatcher.

Speaking of the left in politics the Guardian a left of centre UK newspaper today states:

"The deep unpopularity of the Socialist president, Francoise Hollande, and his fractured party means the French left is not predicted to make it to the final round of the presidential vote next May."

Turbulent times ahead?

1 comment:

  1. The Guardian gives the play a 5* review today where it says eg:

    "It has taken four years for James Graham’s enthralling play to make it from the National to the West End. It has been worth the wait because it enables us to see the work from a fresh perspective. In recording the struggle of the Labour government of 1974-79 to simply survive, the play offers a fascinating slice of history. Yet as we enter a new age of fractured opposition, the play raises serious questions about whether our current parliamentary system is fit for purpose."

    The first thing to say is that, by focusing firmly on the Labour and Tory whips’ offices, Graham brilliantly captures the daily machinations of politics. With Labour facing firstly a hung parliament and then a slender majority, we see the whips coming into their own.


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