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November 10, 2011


Dave B

Worth remembering that the (state owned) french banks are one of the biggest holders of italian gov't bonds.

Denis Cooper

Robert Peston is a liar.

It's obviously not true that "there's only 250 billion euros left in the bail-out kitty", because the EFSF has never had anything like that sum.

As he must know this, because it's not exactly difficult to look on the EFSF website and discover that its original subscribed capital was negligible, and to then subtract the sums it has disbursed from the sums it has borrowed to obtain an estimate of how much there is left in the "kitty".

€16 billion borrowed:


minus €9.5 billion disbursed:


leaves €6.5 billion to hand, nothing like €250 billion.

And of that €6.5 billion, the €3 billion borrowed on Monday will be sent to Ireland today, leaving just €3.5 billion.

John Bald

Does anyone really understand economics? J K Galbraith described economics as "a branch of theology". Does anyone understand economics beyond the blindingly obvious point that access to good natural resources and the ability to exploit them generates wealth (as long as the resources last)?

We can make things, but can only make money out of fresh air (windfarms) by means of subsidies from the people who either do make things or have real natural resources. We get electricity from water, but that depends on the water being in the right place a the right time - this is a form of energy - latent kinetic energy - that is just as valuable as oil, coal or gas. What we really need are more high lakes and mountains. Could the renewable energy people please build some for us?

Every country that has generated wealth takes steps to protect it or collapses. British steps were the Navigation Acts in the eighteenth century, Napoleon had his continental system, and the EU has - the EU. It was criticised in the seventies as "a rich man's club" (B Castle and others). Doesn't seem like it now. As a rich man's club, it worked. Clubs depend on subscriptions, and are not noted for taking from some members to pay to others (except at the bridge table).

But now we have Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain taking out more than they put in, and the Germans reluctant to put in more than they take out. I was against joining the Euro because I did not feel any responsibility to these countries - even to Spain, which I've come to like. The EU was never a club at all. It began as a right-leaning political initiative that was taken over by the left. From the moment some countries were expected to subsidise others, it was doomed.


I love the olympics! Nice info. I can't wait til next summer. http://www.squidoo.com/2012-summer-olympic

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