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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Is Back, Guns Blazing

Tyler Durden's picture


AEP is back, and he is angry...

Europe, Free Speech, and the sinister repression of the Rating Agencies

Before we all join the chorus of abuse against the robber agencies,
let us not lose sight of what is happening in the eurozone. The EU
authorities are attempting to muzzle free opinion, first by threatening
Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P with vague retribution, and then by drafting
restrictive laws to prevent them from publishing unwelcome messages.

It is financial repression, pure and simple. The same will be done to the press in due course. Then to you, dear reader.

“We must break the oligopoly of the rating agencies,” says German
finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. By “we”, of course, he means the EU
apparatus of coercion.

The European Commission has already created a pan-EU oversight body
with binding powers to breathe down the necks of these agencies. It will
draft restrictive legislation by the end of the year. The Portuguese
downgrade ensures that it will be even nastier.” Developments since the
sovereign-debt crisis show we need to take a further look at reinforcing
our rules,” said Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

Mr Barroso came close to accusing the agencies of cartel activities and a malicious agenda.

“It’s quite strang that the market is almost dominated by only three
players. It seems strange that there is not a single rating agency
coming from Europe. It shows that there may be some bias in the markets
when it comes to the evaluation of the specific issues of Europe.”


What should have been done is obvious. The EU’s bail-out fund should
have been given powers mop up the bonds of countries in distress on the
open market at a hefty discount (as the ECB suggested). Investors would
have suffered condign losses, and the EU could have given Greece debt
relief by retiring bonds with no net loss to European taxpayers.

This elegant solution was blocked by Germany because it was seen as a
slippery slope towards a Transfer Union, and might have violated the
Grundgesetz. (In a sense the Germans are right, but you shouldn’t join a
currency union in the first place if don’t realize that it implies
fiscal union.)

Now, if the EU institutions wish to avoid being held hostage by the
robber agencies they should stop using the ratings as a basis for
lending collateral at the ECB. They should create their own more
rigorous method of assessing credit-worthiness, ignore the agencies
altogether, and make their case directly to global investors.

What the EU should not do is try to muzzle free opinion, or free speech. We are on a slippery slope.

Read more here



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Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:24 | 1434832 William Wallace
William Wallace's picture

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is a great American.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:25 | 1434953 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

His term "euro euphoria" alone should give him US citizenship.  In the best American tradition of calling them as he sees them.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:34 | 1434970 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

He should be Hanged with the rest of his reptilian brotherhood!


The Rope for ALL that have played a part in the undermining of this once Great Country!


What should have been done long ago!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:35 | 1434973 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

I'm just kidding! lets smoke a "J" and talk about how in the end karma will get them!

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:05 | 1435020 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The J would have been a LONG TIME ago for this bearing...

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:56 | 1435118 Whalley World
Whalley World's picture

For me, a LONG TIME is last night!

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:34 | 1435159 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Every 12 hours it's 4:20

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:08 | 1435302 LudwigVon
LudwigVon's picture

Yah you can just bite the leaf 1/2 the year when your down south, who needs the J then? 

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:12 | 1435031 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Awe fuck... I just got my torch out of the garage...

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:26 | 1435061 thepsilocircus
thepsilocircus's picture

If by karma you meant zombie hordes ill throw down on that j =)

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:56 | 1435393 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard might be a great American. Can't judge that.

What he absolutely does not understand is how much this is pissing off the Europeans. He seems to think that the rules of the game are written in stone and that if an agency which has been sleeping up to a few years ago says something, whole sovereign states have to just take it.

The people of Portugal have still not got a reason for this "sudden & strong move" and the Germans are furious. They think this is a naked political move by interests driven by who has how many CDS.


It all goes back to one major misunderstanding between cultures: BETTING. What is a normal behavior for some is a reckless sin for others.

CDS are bets that function as insurance. Now look how insurance is regulated and understood and compare it with CDS.

Insurance as a business grew out of two models: the British and the Swiss. The first is understood as third party betting, the second as mutual insurance (for which you have to be the owner of a similar item in order to cover the possible loss of your neighbor).

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:02 | 1436244 grok
grok's picture

I'm quite sure he gets that.  You know in his article he says that investors should just ignore the ratings agencies, so I'm not sure how you got the part about him thinking that the ratings agencies' word is gospel

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:44 | 1436489 Mr Shush
Mr Shush's picture

"The people of Portugal have still not got a reason for this "sudden & strong move" and the Germans are furious. They think this is a naked political move by interests driven by who has how many CDS."

The reason for the "sudden & strong move", as Evans-Pritchard makes fairly clear, is that the European (and German) authorities appear increasingly determined to force haircuts on holders of Greek debt. The ratings agencies, understandably, believe this implies that the same will happen in due course with Portuguese debt. Previously, the assumption had been that European taxpayers, via the ECB, the EFSF and the EFSM, would eat all the losses, making the bonds a safer investment for the private sector.

And CDS have in all probability damn all to do with it. I will be astonished if the move in yields turns out to be driven by CDS purchases rather than bond sales. The problem is that no-one wants to buy European periphery debt, not that people are betting against it.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 23:19 | 1446564 MGHJFHD
MGHJFHD's picture

I wish more people would write sites like this that are actually helpful to read. With all the fluff floating around on the web, it is rare to read a site like yours instead.


We pride ourselves in selecting trendy affordable, excellent quality pocket watch|vintage watches|antique pocket watches|watches for men|automic watches, Click here to discover amazing tips and ideas for you and your love one, we sure you will love them!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:31 | 1434849 static
static's picture

Yeah "slippery slope"

like the Italian Banks charts..


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:33 | 1434852 static
static's picture

Yeah "slippery slope"

like the Italian Banks charts..


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:34 | 1434853 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Threatening the ratings agencies should not be a surprise.

Skullduggery has been going on for years and years, basically the Plutocrats will pull whatever strings are necessary to goose stocks, keep interest rates low, and keep a lid on commodity prices.

Ultimate control via jawboning, cajoling, and using paper to manipulate markets.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:34 | 1434969 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

In doing some RobotTrader archive-reading this week, I have one thing to say: come back to this site as a contributor dude.  That clearstation website sucks and you have too much to offer.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:56 | 1435111 Bolweevil
Bolweevil's picture

Are you referring to Robo Trader or Robot Trader? Two different people, same avatar. One was interesting once long ago, perhaps even contributed to the discussion. The other, not so much with a recent trend toward civility. I do miss the wildebeest.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:02 | 1435125 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

I am refering to the cat from SoCal who posts pictures of the wildebeests.  I miss Robo and those pics.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:13 | 1435137 Bolweevil
Bolweevil's picture


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:51 | 1435242 Troublehoff
Troublehoff's picture

Yep, the high market volatility day when he posted a bunch of kids 'playing' the markets with 360 game-pads, then cut to the Masai river... hundreds of wildebeest stampeding through the water... and many crocodiles lying in wait, watching


aye, back in the day (18 months ago), robo's pics were legendary

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:11 | 1435134 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Are you telling me that at this stage of the game we have fake Robot Traders running around?  Because I don't want to live in a world where that is the case.  First 9/11 and now this.  

If the real Robo doesn't post a contributor article on this site soon: a) it's SeekingAlpha only for me and b) the terrorists truly have won.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:44 | 1434988 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture

Robot - good point.  Why is it that the rating agencies have not downgraded uncle Sam?  Cause uncle can change the law and put them out of business, which I consider to be nothing short of generally worthless after their Mortgage backed security "ratings."  Poor EU has no one to apply pressure to!  

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:36 | 1434854 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

there has never been a culture of free speech in europe, much less free speech for rating agencies.  the UK is the world capital of libel tourism and in most of europe if you compliment someone on their tan you are liable to be charged with some sort of racial hatred claim.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:49 | 1435239 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Anyone thinking Europe enjoys free speech should take a placard saying "The holocaust never happened" and stand in the midst of a square/circle in Berlin.

The freeness of your speech will become clear in a heartbeat.

Google Ernst Zundel,a s an example.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:35 | 1434855 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:47 | 1434873 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

The EU must be in worse shape than we figure if they are this petrified of even the slightest whiff of semi-truthiness wafting out from this bit-broken trio of feeble rating agencies.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:47 | 1434875 hack3434
hack3434's picture

OT: Hey Tyler how about a guest post about the ESF


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:51 | 1434877 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

Ambrose Evans- P suggests 'cuddling' the bondholders who lent willingly to Greece et al. hoping they'll come back and lend some more.

Fat chance w/o any hope of return even w/ all old debt liquidated on some ancient Aztec altar or other.

The EU is sans- output, it's too expensive with fuel @ $100+ per barrel and all EU countries importing from Ahmadinejad except Norway and Denmark.

Germany beggars its neighbors w/ 'Munn-ism' and some of that fading bondholder magic. What do the Germans sell? Waste enablers which accelerate the bankruptcy of users. For stylish waste the Europeans must fall ever deeper into debt.

Evans-Pritchard was more sensible when he was anti- euro without qualifications. He should simply wait, the world will become zero- euro without any help from him or anyone else.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:51 | 1434883 Tunga
Tunga's picture

for all we know we might not get tomorrow.


Grab some body sexy tell'em "Hey! Give me everything tonight!"

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:19 | 1434942 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:06 | 1435021 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Done as well.

No details at my blog.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:48 | 1435170 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Been there done that.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:54 | 1435114 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

AEP is back.  The DJ even has even him falling in love again.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:54 | 1434894 Instant Karma
Instant Karma's picture

By and large the rating agencies have been asleep at the wheel for like, ever. Merely stating the obvious that some Soverign debt will likely not be repaid under current conditions (lagging the market by months/years) causes the EU to attack the rating agencies. Dudes, if you can't get these rating agencies to play ball with your worthless bonds they really are worthless. Can extend and pretend get any more surreal bizzare or just plain dumb? I thought the Europeans were the "hard money" crowd. They're tossing in the towel, like Japan and the USA. Buy gold.




Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:57 | 1434899 Jesse
Jesse's picture


Attempting to defend oneself against financial corruption, or daring to question the financiers judgement and motives, is clearly un-American and not to be tolerated.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:03 | 1434909 fasTTcar
fasTTcar's picture

Man, how I missed Ambrose.

Welcome back!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:07 | 1434918 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Ratings agencies are criminal conspirators but the federal reserve system is da gawd fodder.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:07 | 1434919 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Central bankers calling the ratings agencies a cartel?  Sure, but look who's talking...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:14 | 1434928 chump666
chump666's picture

What the hell is he going on about???  The EU/IMF and those crazies aty the ECB are the biggest cartel Europe has had since Communism.

The EU will collapse, pinning blame on the rating agencies? Funny...but those a-holes (EU/IMF/ECB) should look themselves in the mirror.  They boned their own financial 'intergrity' to protect French and German banks.  The rating agencies are now doing their jobs to protect the 'other' bond holders, yes it's beginning to feed on it's self but that is capitalism and capital markets for ya.

Solution for Europe.  Kick out Greece,Ireland (they WILL default), Portugal.  Restructuring of Italy and Spain.  The EZ would take the pain for 2ys, maybe less...

But the academics are timeing the EZ collapse with the China wipe out + US's fiscal emergency next 6mths = three-way orgy

Just look at the markets stuck in 6mth bid range...Total absolute cartel planning has supported assets, not the rating agencies, if anything they will help some hefty volatility creep in...till the whole thing just collapses.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:09 | 1435129 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[The rating agencies are now doing their jobs to protect the 'other' bond holders, yes it's beginning to feed on it's self...]---chump666

Hi chump666.

This is what I look for in gauging the acceleration of the coming collapse---TBTF in-fighting, e.g. banks eating banks, sovereigns eating sovereigns, etc.


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:15 | 1435196 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Hi Founders Keeper...

You are right...but I have found a little hope for game changers big enough to prevent the kind of collapse that you and I both know is in the works.

One big game changer would be a new U.S. president who would name the crimes of the financial(government sanctioned) cartel, then announce and take action with corrective measures.

See you later!

Agrotera (aka Pollyanna)

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 07:26 | 1435427 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture


On second thought, Bwahahahaha!

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:34 | 1435226 chump666
chump666's picture

And you'll get it...the rating agencies acting up now is a good sign.  Next is banks downgrading banks, Scandinavia saying no more to the PIIGS, the ECB facing a liquidity issue. Total implosion. 

Should heat up more coming months. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:28 | 1434957 Boston
Boston's picture

About six months ago, before he took a leave of absence, AEP argued that Spain---unlike many of the other PIIGS---would not need a bailout.

Now that the Spanish government bonds are starting to slip badly (the 10 year is breaking out of its 6 month wedge), I wonder if he'll change his mind.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:56 | 1435117 chump666
chump666's picture

 his article makes no sense at all, as for Spain, they will NEED a bailout.  If Spain goes it will be Lehman x100, could KO the ECB.

EZ is still doomed though, ECB have lost their marbles

rambling on about rating agencies...bizarre, EZ is being destroyed from within.  Old Europe mentality ala communism, planned economies etc.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:22 | 1436355 DosZap
DosZap's picture

All propaganda.Who needs a rating agency, to state the obvious?.

Any fool knows these babies are going down.

It's a house of cards, and all that's propping them up is more fiat. When they start folding(default),you will not have time to get your houses in order,before the SHTF here.

The economy is totally tanked, and only criminal entities are profiteering.

Gubs are all in collusion, and milking this (us) for all they can before the grand Finale.

How do these countries continue to get bailed out, with worthless fiat, not possible.

A lucid dream.

Best get your house in order and fast.

Fed Pension's fund sucked dry, and the publics 401k's, and IRA's, are next on the hit list.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:29 | 1434965 WilliamShatner
WilliamShatner's picture

AEP is great, he's been a semi-regular on David McAlvaney's weekly commentary/podcast.

Listen to him and read his articles all the time.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:35 | 1434971 AbbeBrel
AbbeBrel's picture

No real surprise here ; basically the Stupid Germans appear to be continuing to act in character.   The only difference is that now they are acting stupid in the opposite direction.  Ref: The Big Short:

Why, for that matter, were Moody's and Standard & Poor's willing to bless 80 percent of a pool of dicey mortgage loans with the same triple-A rating they bestowed on the debts of the U.S. Treasury? Why didn't someone, anyone, inside Goldman Sachs stand up and say, "This is obscene. The rating agencies, the ultimate pricers of all these subprime mortgage loans, clearly do not understand the risk, and their idiocy is creating a recipe for catastrophe"? [...] If there were stupid Germans standing ready to buy U.S. subprime mortgage derivatives, Deutsche Bank should have been the first to find them.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 23:51 | 1435004 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


The Ministry of Truth is not happy.

"Do as we say, not as we do."

Hmmm...doesn't work.

Banks get bailed out by politicians on the backs of the people.

Sooner or later this ends in guillotines, scaffolds, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Such a simple concept, individual responsibility for choice, yet TPTB keep trying to dodge history and the forces of nature.

To their own peril...


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:24 | 1435338 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

Sooner or later this ends in guillotines...

May I ask if the banker elite really deserves the guillotine?

Dr. Guillotin got the order from the revolutionary leaders to build a device which kills fast and with the least pain possible. They wanted to set an antipole to the way death penalties were executed by their aristocrat enemies: Those tortured their convicts slowly to death, in public of course, and there was a physician very attentive that the convict does not lose consciousness, which would mean that he does no longer feel the full pain...

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:15 | 1435367 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Good point.

Drawn and quartered then...slowly.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:25 | 1436373 DosZap
DosZap's picture

There may not be much pain, but it would be hell to continue to SEE after your head is severed, for up to 60 seconds..........

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:01 | 1435126 Tsukato
Tsukato's picture

gnashing of teeth

Haha! I love that! What the hell does it really mean!? I don't even really know how to use it, but I'll give er a try- Right now, I'm gnashing my teeth on the shittiest pizza in China (Pizza Hut). How bout this- After this, I'm gonna gnash on a smoke? Too fukn funny!


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:58 | 1435144 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, “It seems strange that there is not a single rating agency coming from Europe. It shows that there may be some bias in the markets when it comes to the evaluation of the specific issues of Europe.”

Yes we can really show those Yanks a thing a two about "unbiased" ratings, afterall just look at the European stress tests straight in the shredder because the 'Passed' banks were 'Failing' before the ink was dry!!!

'Way to Go' Mr Barroso, Eurohopium solves every problem you don't like to hear!

(last sane person outta here switch off the EU green rated lightbulb that's more toxic and expensive than where we were before the EU arrived... er just like Europe)

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:56 | 1435176 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

it's just a game. 

we could say the ranchers use it to shear the sheep.  or butcher them.

or that the plantation owners use the ratings game to extract value from econom slaves. 

even large institutions which are more ore less forced by law/regulation to invest in certain "highly rated" securities can do their own research.

if you can't trust the financial statements for accuracy, why should you pretend that the rating agencies can pretend that they can read, understand, and trust the financial information?  because they have "analysts" who can look at garbage coming in and generate forecasts and trading startegies, not to mention structured products?  and margin.  and brokers.  and banksters.  and trading platforms, hi freeks, and the steady beat of the algo drummers. 

or, go figure out another game, yourself. 

and start executing moves.  information is needed (in the US) is that a US Mint-produced gold/silver coin?  if so, how much precious metal would i be buying?  for what price & terms?

th-th-that's all, folks! 

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:31 | 1435345 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

+1 slewy the 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117068-rat

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:34 | 1435347 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:09 | 1435360 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture


Only a European would be up at this hour!

Further to slewy's remark:

Indeed, the rating agencies, in giving inappropriately high ratings to garbage, distorted the price of that garbage. Therefore, what is needed is a rating agency of rating agencies, whose valuation of the rating agencies could become a factor in the price of the securities rated. These second tier raters, given that they would be paid by the first tier rating agencies themselves to rate those first tier agencies, would require third tier rating agencies to rate them, etc. Paraphrasing the ancient cosmogony of the universe,you have the value of the security,that sits on top of the value of the security plus the change in value of the security caused by a rating agency, which value in turn sits on top of the value of the security caused by the rating agency of the rating agency, etc. "Well then what's underneath that?" you ask. "Not to worry, its rating agencies all the way down."

The question then becomes, in this rating agency regression scenario, what conditions are necessary that the value of a given security rated in this manner remains finite, given that, empirically this is true? Clearly, since each tier of rating agencies add value to the security and the ultimate value is finite, you must have a bounded monotonic sequence.

If we call the set of rating agency valuations Sigma, it is clear by Bolozano-Weirstrass that Sigma must be compact.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:10 | 1435365 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

Only a European would be up at this hour!

wuahhh it is 12am CET, I just crawled out of bed to get some orange juice with vodka, I spilled a lot of both because my hands were trembling too much... what did you say? More tiers of rating, ja, sure, but please add some comissions and foundations, and only hire people who know what they are talking about, like bankers, just as a suggestion. thanks.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:14 | 1435366 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

You must be German or Austrian which explains why you have a tendency to look east. Being in France, I just stumbled out of bed to get some orange juice with Sherry.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:17 | 1435368 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Is she friendly?

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:20 | 1435370 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Oh la la!

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:25 | 1435372 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

German or Austrian

neither one, I am Keynesian.

(and ready for 19 trillion junks)

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:35 | 1435379 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Florida Keys?

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:52 | 1435387 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

YES - I work at the Keynes West International Airport! I sit behind a ATM and push the requested amount of Dollar notes through the slot. That is why I am intersted in financial stuff and why I read ZH.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:56 | 1435392 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

If there is only one runway causing flight delays do they increase the number of departures - reasoning that this must increase the number of arrivals thereby decreasing flight delays?

At least the view and weather are nice and there is no snow.


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 06:49 | 1435377 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"Clearly, since each tier of rating agencies add value to the security and the ultimate value is finite, you must have a bounded monotonic sequence."

You could try Bayesian inference but I would say they are infinite and unbounded because they are perceived values arrived at by highly flawed human judgement and interactions based upon perception and influenced by desired (and undesired) outcomes in a stew of competing motivations, abilities, and ethical proclivities.

Besides, "lemma" is Greek for a bribe.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 07:29 | 1435438 Absinthe Minded
Absinthe Minded's picture

It's simple. They all got too lazy to do their homework. Or they were bribed, maybe that's too strong a word, they were compensated.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 14:09 | 1435400 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


Get back to your oar sailor, we're in the doldrums. 

Pull man, pull!

Don't worry, Moody is up in the crows nest with a divining rod and S&P are below decks drinking grog 'y throwin bones over a stained map - they'll steer us to water 'fer sure.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:14 | 1435189 johny2
johny2's picture

Do not read AEP any longer. He does make some good points, but he is also very dishonest. He never mentions the reality he lives surrounded with: huge debts of UK, corruption in the city of London, british pound etc...It would be like ZH never noticing anything wrong in the economy and politics of USA.  

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:05 | 1435299 plongka10
plongka10's picture

Maybe it's because his remit at the Telegraph is to cover INTERNATIONAL Finance. Duh! There are other journos on the paper that cover the domestic disaster. 

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:16 | 1435335 johny2
johny2's picture

So much about free spech at the telegraph than. Duh!

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:19 | 1435948 DrunkenMonkey
DrunkenMonkey's picture

We know it as the Torygraph, and the average reader age is 75+ which accounts for the rabid anti-europhilia .. just sayin'.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:20 | 1435202 Midas
Midas's picture

I read him for the good points he makes, not for the stuff he doesn't write that you think he should. I have never heard someone called dishonest for not mentioning something.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:29 | 1435219 johny2
johny2's picture

He writes about economy. He writes about Europe and USA, but I have never seen him mention any of the ills in the UK economy. Why is this? To me it looks dishonest.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:54 | 1435246 walküre
walküre's picture

The word "bias" comes to mind..

The Queen, British Pound and Elton John are beyond reproach.

Still an empire in their own mind.

The Anglo empire elevated piracy to an artform. Then the pirates got seasick and established Wall Street. Much more effective and less chance of scurvy.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 03:00 | 1435250 chump666
chump666's picture

Jim Rogers said it best about the UK...

0 resources i.e no oil revenue

= gone

UK finances are probaly the worst in Europe per capita.


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:22 | 1435970 DrunkenMonkey
DrunkenMonkey's picture

True, but we led the way with regard to savaging employee rights (relative to the rest of europe, at least) and generally making things cosy for fat cat uber-rich corporatists so we have that going for us (or against us depending on which side of the divide you are on).

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:55 | 1436187 IslandMan
IslandMan's picture

The UK is more or less oil self-sufficient currently, so your comment is just completely stupid.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 03:08 | 1435260 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

I will give you the Queen, and the Pound, but Elton John?

No fuckan way...


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 08:07 | 1435515 BigJim
Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:11 | 1435331 Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

This has been raised on AEP's column by the euro-whingers and answered many times.  His job is foreign economic's commentator, ie he is meant to write about matters outside the UK.

The DT has a large number of other columnists whose job is to write about the UK economy, and they do, often critically.

I have noticed that most of the participants on AEP's column, who are from the US or the UK, are often highly critical of their own country's economies as well as the EU and individual European countries.  However, the position of the euro-whingers is always that that the US and UK are ratshit, the euro is fine and Greece and Portugal would be in a superlative condition were it not for the lies of the viscious "Anglo-Saxons" (which of course seriously misses the ethnic composition of the US in particular.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:25 | 1435214 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

The ratings agencies are way behind the ball. Look at what the market says. The market is already pricing in the true rating of each country (well, the US gets rated very highly in this case, but that is more because of the Fed shenanigans. It would be interesting to see a true price.) Of course you can get a cumulative implied default probability from the market pricing also. And each of the ratings agencies has been way behind this cumulative implied default probability.

If the Euros want their own ratings agency, have at it. Incentivize the hell out of it, just as is done in the States. I'll be glad to help them out from right here in Bourgogne.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 02:47 | 1435238 walküre
walküre's picture

Ah, more of the same EU and Euro bashing from AEP. It's a pasttime sport for most Brits as they cannot ever possibly fathom to be part of anything where they would just not be as important as Germany.

France gets it. The Brits don't. They never will. Alas they can always count on their support from the Yankee slave masters that will still dance to every tune the Queen might whistles despite that silly incident hundreds of years ago involving tea.

America is crumbling. The age of Americanism and American hegemony over the rest of the world are past their due dates. Many things will change as the powers are being realigned and redistributed. NATO is as irrelevant as the waning US Dollar reserve currency or the useless CBOT.

The world will revolve around the new superpower which is China and all those nations that have something to offer to the emerging super rich wealth class of China.

Hint, the wealthy Chinese don't have much to gain from being friendly with former slave masters. They've been there and accomplished that on their very own and do not have any racial disputes to worry about as a result. Mao did that for them. Chinese workers are effective and reliable at low wages.

The Rice-Vodka-Kraut trifecta is where the party is.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 03:25 | 1435271 Reven
Reven's picture

Wake me up when China has an unblocked currency that freely floats against others.  Until then, they're just a leech on the ass of America's dollar and import dollar inflation.  China is so pathetic they have employed shady tactics to hide the true amount of US debt that they continue to buy hand over fist.  All this talk of China selling our debt is a joke.  And all this doesn't even begin to compare to all the malinvestment encouraged by the communist regime and local Government borrowing.  The true debt/GDP ratio of China is much higher than is commonly cited.  If China has any sort of hard landing on the economic front, they will have serious social unrest, and they know it.  So they continue to walk the tightrope until they fall.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 03:33 | 1435280 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Lol ... yes, once a den of addicts and thieves, always a den of addicts and thieves... only this time they are not being forced to take opium at the point of a gun, but dollars.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 11:41 | 1436874 Thisson
Thisson's picture

I don't believe that China will be the next superpower.  I believe that the powers that be know the US dollar's days are numbered, and have already planned for the next phase.  I believe they have already designed a new US Currency, that it will be blue instead of green, and that it will be backed by gold initially, just as the dollar used to be.  Then the cycle will repeat once again, with the gold window closing, leaving us once again with a pure fiat currency.  Remember that the US is a gold superpower.  Whether the gold is actually in Fort Knox, or whether it is in private hands, is essentially immaterial as it will be socialized one way or another.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:52 | 1435324 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

The Rice-Vodka-Kraut trifecta is where the party is.

thank you for that, sir. It would be the first time in my life that I am where the party is.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:26 | 1436007 DrunkenMonkey
DrunkenMonkey's picture

Right about Europe, wrong about China, imo.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 03:06 | 1435259 Durchbruch
Durchbruch's picture

Wolfgang Schäuble FTW.  How could be against freedom to have an European rating agency. The fact is that is against freedom to have foreign agencies only. Without remembering these rating agencies are of the same country having troops on your lands. 70 years suffice. Now it's time Europe becomes indipendent. 

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:17 | 1435336 Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

Why don't they just use Dagong?  After all, China (which the Europeans once thought they could bully and bribe) is now busily buying up Europe, so that would keep it all in one neat package.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 03:30 | 1435278 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

How can anyone take a person with the name "Ambrose" much less a hyphenated last name seriously? His name labels him as a pompous lightweight ass... but I know nothing of him personally.

As for the ratings agenies, who died and made them gods? As we learned from the MBS crisis, they have no credibility because they are for sale and political tools used to cover for the banks and banking masters.

IMHO they should not exist at all and people should be forced to do their own due diligence and then have a greater right to sue when defrauded.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:10 | 1435303 Reven
Reven's picture

The ratings agencies have obvious flaws, but at least they're doing the right thing in this case.  They're essentially calling out German hubris.  The EU wishes to call a fish a bird, but it won't fly.  Greece and the EU have already failed because Germans are unwilling to accept fiscal union.

For example, California is the largest state in America and has a high per-capita GDP compared to many poorer US states.  As a consequence of this, Californians pay more to the Federal Government in taxes than the get back in benefits and transfer payments.  This is how a union must work.  Weaker parts of the union have to be subsidized, otherwise a common currency is unworkable. 

Germany cannot continue to run a huge trade surplus without such a system in place in the long run.  Germany wants it both ways, what's theirs is theirs, and what's yours is theirs too.  Germany is a wonderful example of economic productivity, but if they went back on the Deutsche Mark, their currency would rapidly appreciate against trading partners, hurting their exports severely, and their banks would need a serious "gift" (lets call it what it is) in the form of a massive bailout they should have given to the PIIGS anyway ever since the Euro was created.  Now the imbalances have piled up to the point of threatening the global monetary system itself.  There is blame to go around on all fronts here.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 11:43 | 1436888 Thisson
Thisson's picture

"Weaker parts of the union have to be subsidized, otherwise a common currency is unworkable."

This is incorrect.  One is not required to subsidize the weaker parts.  Instead, one can let them suffer austerity until they are competitive.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:14 | 1435333 Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

"How can anyone take a person with the name "Ambrose" much less a hyphenated last name seriously?" said someone called "Bartanist".  Hmmm . . .

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:58 | 1436203 IslandMan
IslandMan's picture

So you judge people by the name they were given by their parents ?

I hereby rename you "Dickhead".


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:59 | 1436216 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

AEP is okay.  He's like an old-school toff getting slightly buzzed on Dalwhinnie at the Caledonian Club, who'll tell you a little something about the markets--- and he actually knows his stuff.  He does have a blind spot for UK problems, but Queen and Country and all that..... British papers aren't known for navel-gazing in the Der Speigel style after all.  Seems the Germans are feeling their oats BTW, any plans for giving the Drang Nach Osten the ol' college try again??

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:05 | 1435296 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

It's all bullshit. Selling?

As More Investors Seek Shelter in Gold, Russia Is Only Too Happy to Sell

"The bank of Russia is not committed to buying any particular amount of gold,” the bank said. “Nor is there any official target amount of gold purchases. The bank buys gold at a market price, and its buying intentions completely depend on the market conditions".

I see "buying" three times.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:23 | 1435309 Reven
Reven's picture

I hope nobody actually believes this bullshit. 

Russia is one of the biggest secretive gold bug nations on this planet.  They just don't want us to know until they stock up enough metal.  The US caught a bunch of Russian spies not long ago trying to penetrate US policy circles.  Guess what they were interested in finding out about?  GOLD.  Russians are tired of the dollar ruling the world, but are unprepared to do anything about it right now.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 08:45 | 1435710 BigJim
BigJim's picture


Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:11 | 1436294 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

The Russian leadership (for obvious reasons) bears a grudge against the U.S., but they also worry about Chinese intentions in their Far Eastern area.  They have friction with Muslim republics in their South, and they are trying to ride the Iranian tiger.  Russia's only solid relationship in Asia is with their old partner India.  The overall picture, is that Russia is pretty paranoid right now, and they often use some of the old Soviet tools of disinformation.  One thing is clear, the Russians are far more willing to point out that the world geopolitical scene is in flux right now, while D.C. pretends it's 1999 forever, at least in their public pronouncements.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:08 | 1435301 iNull
iNull's picture

We must this, we must that...

Dude. It's over. OK? Western style capitalism is over. 'k? k.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:15 | 1436306 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

I hear you-- but it's the Economist/Cecil Rhodes/Ye Old Empire royal "WE MUST".  Reading AEP is always partly an exercise in nostalgia, but he comes up with some interesting points every now and again.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 04:23 | 1435310 kaiten
kaiten's picture

Well, it would be great if Ambrose finally started to practise what he preaches. He claims that continetal Europe, supposedly, suppress free-speech, and yet he keeps censoring and banning his discussions. I had three acounts there, all censored and banned. Why? Because I dared to criticise him and say something positive about eurozone. He´s a hypocrite, suffering a deadly dose of europhobia.

Also, it would be great if he was more consistent in his views. Once he claims that China is a big threat for the west, then he says China would never overtake the west. Once he claims printing money is a way out of crisis, then he says we need to close the FED. Once he claims austerity is a demented policy(in a case of eurozone), then he claims it´s a good policy(when UK embrace it).And so on ...

You know, Ambrose is a great journalist for those who suffer from a same deadly europhobia then he does, but for the rest, he´s just a confused clown.

I do read his articles from time to time, but I think they are in a wrong section. They should be in entertainment section, not finance.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:06 | 1435329 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Defending the value of freedom of expression is a laudable goal.  However, the ratings agencies themselves are nothing more than statist propaganda outlets.  Given that the EU is notorious for the oppression of freedom of expression which contradicts the approved statist propaganda - the article is pure HYPOCRACY.  Expression of the currently out of favor statist propaganda of the Nazi regime is legally restricted in Germany, why would out of favor statist propaganda from the US be treated any differently?  The wankers in the UK love sucking down Islamist propaganda, yet restrict the free movement persons who express contrary views.  The Dutch put their own politicians on trial for exercising their freedom of expression.  Freedom of expression and speech means defending the right of persons to express views are not just contrary to one's own but even those views which are deplorable.  Freedom of expression and speech does not exist in the statist EU.  The deliberate weakness of integrating monetary policy but not fiscal policy, so as to create a structure which would naturally gravitate to greater statism at the first financial crisis- implies that the war against tyranny is much larger than even a battle over freedom of expression and speech.  Perhaps Pritchard needs some time to readjust to the level of editorial responsibilities at a respectable paper that is supposed to at least outline a broader context for its readers.                

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:30 | 1435343 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

UR...just like Voltaire!

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:42 | 1435351 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Pwah.. Kind of agree with him there: Rating agencies work together in tandem with other parties. Tag team action. OTOH Barroso is a corporatist scumbag, trying to cover up the crimes of past and present, and silencing part of the market will not improve a free market. I.o.w. they're both trying to push their little game through. One going for default, the other for bailouts. NONE are interested in economic prosperity of the states involved.

Btw: FITCH IS FRENCH (Fimalac S.A.)

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 07:28 | 1435435 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

In America we have free speech, which you are allowed to exercise in special "free speech zones".

You can also express your opinions on the internet, which will then be archived by the american secret services for use later on if necessary, along with all the sites you visited and the links you clicked on. Only a fool would click on many of the links in the comments section of Zerohedge.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 07:38 | 1435457 Rynak
Rynak's picture

You can also express your opinions on the internet, which will then be archived by the american secret services for use later on if necessary, along with all the sites you visited and the links you clicked on. Only a fool would click on many of the links in the comments section of Zerohedge.

No need for that. When you want some big-ass communications surveillance, just ask germany.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 08:25 | 1435576 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Ambrose says "I have great sympathy for the Portuguese."  Today, I have great sympathy for Ambrose.  It would appear that he missed the chapter in the saga where "the fix was in."  I enjoy his writing, but when you read this article from the perspective that the Euro is now on a path of voluntary and internally orchestrated self-destruction, you're embarassed for him like the one cop who isn't on the take left wondering why the bad guys got away.

It's as if he has come upon someone standing on the twentieth floor ledge of his building and mistaken them for a window washer and sincerely reminded them to be careful.  I guess he'll understand once his elevator ride lets him off at street level and he gets a close up view of sovereignty splattered on the sidewalk.  

By appearing to attempt to stifle the rating agencies, politicians have set up a strawman to provide them with political cover as they deceptively feign an attempt to protect the honor of nations which has already been monetized.  Stand-by for the reset switch.  The architectual drawings are approved and the rewiring is nearly complete.

Dave Harrison

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 08:37 | 1435650 Tunga
Tunga's picture

Spam this:

Another Google worker, John Mu, writes, “If you feel that your particular site is in line with our Webmaster Guidelines, I would recommend submitting a reconsideration request. Additionally, if you use a subdomain on a widely used domain name, and feel that your subdomain provider is not up to par with regards to preventing and handling abuse quickly – be it webspam, phishing, or malware – you may wish to look into ways of remedying that.”

Google doesn’t explicitly offer how to remedy that problem, however, and the company often takes weeks to process a reconsideration request.

In the meantime, 11 million sites — malicious and not — have been blacklisted and blocked by Google worldwide - RT

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 08:52 | 1435762 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

"It’s quite strang that the market is almost dominated by only three players. It seems strange that there is not a single rating agency coming from Europe. It shows that there may be some bias in the markets when it comes to the evaluation of the specific issues of Europe.”


Uh.....Fitch is owned by Fimilac S.A. - Headquartered in FRANCE!!!!!



Fri, 07/08/2011 - 09:25 | 1435992 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Will the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, personally pledge that the EU securities are safe?  With his own money?  If not then STFU.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:07 | 1436274 DosZap
DosZap's picture

What the EU should not do is try to muzzle free opinion, or free speech. We are on a slippery slope.


Uh, like this is just the EU doing it?

We are far ahead of them.MSM is complicit with the Admin on this issue.

The TRUTH shall set you free,if you get to HEAR the Truth.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!