Belgium

Why The EU Is Doomed

We are accustomed to looking at Europe’s woes in a purely financial context. This is a mistake, because it misses the real reasons why the EU will fail and not survive the next financial crisis. We normally survive financial crises, thanks to the successful actions of central banks as lenders of last resort. However, the origins and construction of both the the euro and the EU itself could ensure the next financial crisis commences in the coming months, and will exceed the capabilities of the ECB to save the system.

European Leaders Discuss Plan For European Army

"We are going to move towards an EU army much faster than people believe." But the creation of a European army, a long-held goal of European federalists, would entail an unprecedented transfer of sovereignty from European nation states to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, the de facto capital of the EU.

Belgium Threatens To Sue Caterpillar For "Brutal, Cruel And Heartbreaking" Decision To Fire 2,000

Caterpillar has gotten into hot water when Belgium's government announced it was considering legal action against the machinery company over the U.S. heavy equipment maker's decision to close a manufacturing site and lay off more than 2,000 workers. Prime Minister Michel described the expected closure of the Gosselies plant in the Wallonia region as "brutal, cruel and heartbreaking."

Europe Debates The Burkini: "We Will Colonize You With Your Democratic Laws"

"Beaches, like any public space, must be protected from religious claims. The burkini is an anti-social political project aimed in particular at subjugating women... It is not compatible with the values ??of France and the Republic. Faced with such provocations, the Republic must defend itself." — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. But according to the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, the high court's ruling against burkini bans, "far from appeasing [Muslims], will instead increase passions and tensions."

The Chinese Are Buying Gold, Selling Treasuries - Should You?

Since July of 2011, two of the largest and most important asset classes in the world, US Treasury debt and gold valuations, have been moving in contradiction to supply and demand data.  US Treasury rates have fallen by a third since the vast majority of previous buyers since have ceased accumulating... and gold has fallen about 25% on increasing physical demand.  These are simply not the hallmarks of a free market.  However, the only thing investors should be more afraid of than a free market correction or potential market crash is the absence of free markets...

Reuters Floats Disturbing Trial Balloon: "The ECB May Be Forced To Buy Stocks"

On the verge of running out of bond to monetize, the ECB has engaged in something fed had expected: it is buying bonds from itself. But according to a troubling Reuters "trial balloon" that may be just the beginning: as Reuters writes, the "ECB may soon be forced to follow the Bank of Japan's example and buy equities as part of any expanded stimulus programme."

Frontrunning: September 1

  • Global shares snap losing streak as oil ends its decline (Reuters)
  • Trump returns to hardline position on illegal immigration (Reuters)
  • U.S., others agreed to 'secret' exemptions for Iran after nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • China’s Factory Gauge Unexpectedly Rises to Highest Since 2014 (BBG)
  • Weak Pound Drives U.K. Factories Back From Brexit Shock (BBG)
  • Elon Musk Faces Cash Squeeze at Tesla, SolarCity (WSJ)

Apple Ordered To Repay $14.5 Billion In "Illegal" Tax Benefits, Stock Falls 2%

As the FT reported first yesterday, the EU has judged that the Irish government granted Apple "undue tax benefits" and moments ago announced the specific size of the penalty when it ordered the tech giant repay up to €13 billion ($14.5 billion) plus interest. According to the EU, the Irish deal slashed Apple taxes from 2003 to 2014, and allowed Apple to avoid tax on almost all EU profit.

A Kingdom In Turmoil: Saudi Societal Discontent Grows

"Given the current state of affairs in the Middle East, continued Saudi support for extremism and terrorism and increasing Islamic terror attacks on Europe and the US, US/Saudi relations will continue to deteriorate or remain in flux, regardless who wins the US Presidency in November 2016... we are likely to see more societal discontent and harsher responses by the Saudi oligarchy. Some signs are already evident..."

At least 1 Dead, Multiple Injured In Major Explosion At Belgian Sports Complex

A powerful explosion went off just after midnight local time at the Plaine Chalon sports facility in Chimay, Belgium, partially destroying the building and burying an unknown number of people under the rubble, local media report. At least one person is reported dead and four were injured (two seriously) after the building collapsed, Belga News Agency reported citing emergency services spokesperson.