Poor Portugal

Wed, 2016/07/06 - 11:51am | Your editor

No sooner do I get somewhere in the European Union then a crisis develops. I arrived last night in Portugal to participate in an investor conference and by this morning the Brussels bureaucrats were busily interfering with the country's sovereignty over its budget deficit which violates EU rules. A country's budget may not exceed 4.2% of gross national product. Portugal hit a level of 4.4% last year. The real target for overspending is nearby Spain where the deficit was 5.9% of GDP, , but because the country lacks a government despite two rounds of elections, the Eurocrats don't dare take on Madrid—yet.

Lisbon is easier too bully and the chief tax policy honcho now says the EU will “adopt necessary measures very soon.” Pushing Portugal around helps make others “respect budget rules.”
If censured, Lisbon will have 20 days to change its budget to avoid monetary penalties which would include fines and a ban on payment of some EU regional benefits. Now I have some sympathy for Brexit referendum voters who opted to leave the EU rather than put up with an elected government being overruled by inflexible budget bosses.

The government here says the country is being punished for past failures to observe the deficit limits, set to protect the common currency, the euro, from losing value in global trading. The 2016 Portuguese budget, by the way, projects a 4.2% budget deficit, meeting the Brussels criteria.

But of course some of that depends on growth of the Portuguese GDP which may be nipped by the impact of Brexit. Britain's oldest Eurozone ally is Portugal and its population famously loves the country's beaches and golf courses. With sterling losing altitude, some of those tourists will not come here.

Apart from government-less Spain, which cannot be fined because there is nobody responsible for its budget, other countries are also under threat, like Italy, which however is too big and old an EU member to be pushed around like Portugal. Italian banks need a bailout from the Roman government which will cause a boosted budget deficit.

 

Also suffering from Britain's “wrong vote”, Canada will not get Brussels “fast-track approval” for its trade pact with the EU. Being a part of the Commonwealth, our neighbor to the north expected its trade pact to be pushed through by Britain. But now Britain has lost its clout in the EU. Instead of a fast-track, the treaty with Canada will now have to be ratified by all 38 EU national and regional representative bodies. The same probably will affect the US which has done a deal subject to ratification for Trans-Pacific Trade (including by the US Senate.)

For whatever it's worth, over the trade pact the EU is supporting Parliamentary rights over trade policy while over the budget process it is boosting bureaucratic interference with elected representatives.

 

Meanwhile the UK's listed property investment vehicles are suspending redemptions because of price drops. This is an echo of the run-up to the global economic crisis in 2008 when US money market funds suspended redemptions because the net-asset value of these fund had fallen to under $1, breaking the buck.

The UK real estate investment funds which no longer can be cashed in now includes Henderson Value Fund; M&G Investments; Aviva Investment; and Standard Life. Real estate funds are supposed to invest for the longer term but they are sold as providing instant liquidity. We no longer invest this way after losing out with a fund from Holland, called Robeco, which had an American Depositary Receipt traded in the USA. None of the current blocked funds have ADRs.

The problem is that redemptions trigger more redemptions in open-end funds, because they are forced into badly-timed asset sales to pay people who want out. This cuts their net asset values and more people want to fexit (exit the fund, a term I just invented.)

With so much uncertainty about investing in the UK, the pound sterling fell overnight to $1.2796 before recovering once London opened today.

I think the sell-off is overdone. More for paid subscribers follows from Britain, Canada, Israel, India, Ireland, Vietnam, Mexico, Japan, and Texas.

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UK Tax Haven Proposal

Mon, 2016/07/04 - 7:26am | Your editor

 

Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party has resigned. So has PM David Cameron, a Tory. The Labour leader Jeremy Cobyn grimly hangs on and so does Britain's Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The latter, George Osborne, proposed a solution for the post-Brexit British economy—making it into a tax-haven. In a weekend interview published in today's Financial Times, the Tory who supported Britain remaining in the European Union revealed his goal of lowering the basic British corporate tax rate to below 15%. This to encourage companies to continue to invest in Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union.

The current UK corporate tax rate is 20% and it was slated to be lowered by 1% in each of the next two years. Now it will be cut faster, if Osborne has his way. That would make British corporate taxes the lowest offered by a large European country.

Speeding up the cuts, Osborne said, is necessary to make the EU exit work for Britain. It will require abandoning another part of the Tory program, balancing the budget to cut taxes. During the campaign, Osborne, supporting Bremain, warned that leaving the EU risked pushing Britain into a recession, something he now intends to forestall. However, it is unclear if the Chancellor himself will survive into the cabinet to replace that of David Cameron after Sept. when he is due to resign.

The reaction from foreign countries only just aware of Osborne's plans brass so far has been negative. If Britain engages in competitive tax-cutting, Brussels may make it harder for it to negotiate an exit without damage to its economy.

Pascal Lamy, a French bureaucrat who used to head the World Trade Organization, was one of the first to make a public comment, on the BBC:

“The UK is already activating one of the weapons in this negotiation, tax dumping, tax competition. I can understand why he [Mr Osborne] does that, because obviously investors are flowing out from the UK, and he wants to provide them with some sort of premium that would make them think twice before they leave the United Kingdom.

“He has to think about the impact of this on the Continent. This will be seen on the Continent as the start of the negotiation. And I'm quite convinced that at the end of the day, if you want a proper balanced win-win relationship in the future, starting with tax competition is not the right way psychologically to prepare this negotiation.”

Last Friday, German central bank chief Jens Weidmann said he would oppose fresh stimulus measures by the European Central Bank in the wake of the UK decision to leave the EU. European CB board member Benoît Coeuré yesterday said the ECB should delay further stimulus measures to see how Eurozone banks and businesses react to the British shock.. But taxes are another matter entirely.

Tax deals are part of economic planning by smaller EU countries. Ireland or Estonia offer companies (mostly American) very low tax bills with a 12.5% corporate tax rate; other member countries, including Luxembourg, Ireland, and the Netherlands, work out special deals for multinational companies to game the system by booking profits in their low-tax EU jurisdiction when they are generated in high-tax ones. But for a large country to get into tax competition would be a game-changer.

 

Post-Brexit, investors dumped global equities selling $3.3 bn worth the day after the poll, June 24, and another $5.6 bn the following Monday. Later last week some buying back occurred, but it totaled only about $1.6 bn. Investors switched their holdings to gold, which collected $1.38 bn of new money. And, amazingly, they put cash into emerging markets.

 

When the largest investors abroad return from their July 4th holiday tomorrow, the tax-cut appeal of the other big English-speaking country may boost UK stocks and funds. In Asian markets today, the prospect of new stimulus has boosted equities. Not just because of Britain, but also because a Bank of Japan survey of Japanese companies found that they expect inflation to fall over the next 5 years. If there is no further stimulus, via tax cuts, for example, Japanese companies will not have any reason to invest now for fear costs will rise in the next 5 years. Sterling is a horse of a different color. The pound is down -0.2% at $1.3254 and the euro is off n0.3% to $1.1105. Commodity currencies including the C$ are up.

 

There will be no blog tomorrow but I am making up for it by filing today despite Cousin Sandy's Birthday and Independence Day. More follows for paid subscribers below from Britain, Argentina, Australia, Israel, Ireland, China, Switzerland, and South Africa :

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Sunday Duty

Sun, 2016/07/03 - 2:13am | Your editor

From London, here are the model portfolio tables, with the latest trades incorporated. This is a tough job to do outside the USA but I have done it to cover June, which was an eventful month. Closed position tables may be viewed by everyone at www.global-investing.com but only paid subscribers get to see the latest advice. Note that to view spreadsheets, it helps to hit the printer-friendly button on the site even if you don't want to print.

More follows for paid subscribers:

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The Jewish Issue

Fri, 2016/07/01 - 8:46am | Your editor

After a hack attack on my website and an offer from a Gulf vendor to help my marketing, which probably are not related, here is a note about Jews in the UK.

The JC, formerly The Jewish Chronicle, a UK weekly, reports that British Jews have something in common with Scots, Londoners, and under-35's. A Survation poll the paper had done this week found that 59% of British Jews voted to remain in the EU; 31% only voted to exit; and 6% did not vote.

Not too surprisingly, a majority of UK Jews were unhappy about the outcome of the referendum. Moreover, 11% of the Jewish Brexit voters now regret their decision.

British Jews are among those backing Home Secy Theresa May for Prime Minister, in part because after the Paris terrorist attack on a Kosher supermarket last year, she carried a sign reading: “Je suis Juif” at a Jewish luncheon—winning for sentiment if not for correct French.

Jewish Britons are very much in focus today after the chaotic report on anti-Semitism yesterday by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth of Stoke North said she was attacked by a Corbynist “Momentum” leader with “traditional anti-Semitic slurs” about a “Jewish media conspiracy”. After Corbyn didn't respond, she fled in tears.

Then Corbyn conflated Jews with Muslim moderates, being “no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for various self-styled Islamic states or organizations like Daesh”.

All this is marginal to the UK soap opera over party leaders. But if Britain runs into economic difficulties, there is a real threat of anti-Semitic reactions from the left.

Are all foreign Jews (like me and Ruth Smeeth) responsible for the right-wing Israeli government creating obstacles to a Middle East peace accord? No. Are other Muslims responsible for the terrorists in their midst? Yes, if they know about murder plans and don't stop them. This week's murder tally included nearly 100 dead in Turkey and Afghanistan, mostly Muslims.

 

Yesterday, a senior United Nations official at the Security Council quoted the long-awaited but still-unreleased report by the Middle East Quartet: it says that hopes for peace between Israel and the Palestinians were being severely undermined by three "negative trends". These, according to Nickolai Mladenov, are continuing violence, terrorism and incitement; Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank; and a lack of control of the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority.

Mladenov added that the Quartet (the UN, the European Union, the USA, and Russia – will probably release the report today. The last round Israeli-Palestinepeace talks ends in April 2014. Then Palestinians accused Israel of reneging on a deal to free prisoners, while Israel said it would not continue negotiations after the militant Islamist Hamas movement was brought into a Palestinian unity government.

 

More for paid subscribers today as I set out on a look for more post-Brexit bargains, or in Hebrew, metzioth. There will be a blog Monday despite the 4th of July but none Tuesday when I will be travelling to Portugal to attend an investor's conference and meet with our architect-general contractor about modernizing the Algarve house we have owned for 37 years. We have news from Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, China, Japan, Spain, Canada, Tanzania, Kenya, and the USA.

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On 1984 and Now

Thu, 2016/06/30 - 7:21am | Your editor

 

Last night we went to a brilliant play we missed earlier, the adaptation of 1984 by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan now in London's The Playhouse under the arches of The Embankment. Inevitably, and a bit fatuously, the revival referenced recent events like the Edward Snowden revelations and how our internet and social media use leads to our lives being monitored.

For a pro writer like me, the key takeaway from the performance was the importance of language, with the hero employed in the Oceania Recdev to advance Newspeak, removing words from Oldspeak (aka English) to make it impossible to say or even think against dictatorial Party doctrine.

Snowdon is not a hero like Orwell's Winston Smith, in my view, among other reasons because his persecution is inefficient! Marketers are not Big Brother! Contemporary social media traps are easier to escape than 1984.

Take Facebook's decision to favor notes from those people “friended” over news or sales notes. This is intrusive and biased but it is hardly the thin edge for imposing dictatorship on us.

Asia was mixed today with Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Karachi, and Bombay all up, although Tokyo barely, and Shanghai down. In London trading today, the FTSE 100 is up over 0.53% while the smaller FTSE 250 is down fractionally. European markets are all buoyant. Johannesburg and São Paulo are down.

However, world stock markets are on the way to chalking up their worst performance since January for June according to Reuters. On the other hand, Dow-Jones's Marketwatch says today is the most bullish day of the year and calls some shares ready for a 98% rise in market price.

 

Two major bits of news for my US holdings, not in the Model Portfolios of course. Alcoa will split in two defying attempts by its Australian jv partner Alumina Ltd to block the spin off of the upstream assets. And GE Capital, having exited financial operations, is no longer on the US “too big to fail” list.

More for paid subscribers follows with news from Spain, Britain, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, Israel, India, Singapore, China, the Philippines, Brazil, Fin-, Hol-land, and Colombia.

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The Branson Solution

Wed, 2016/06/29 - 7:05am | Your editor

Sir Richard Branson's solution just might help Britain cope with the EU exit process. He has joined Britons in calling for another referendum, because he fears that the vote last week will cause a British recession. Sir Richard, head of the Virgin Group, blogged that “misrepresentation by the Leave campaign” means Parliament must vote another referendum. My husband and his sister, both UK nationals, signed the petition for a new vote on Brexit, which gathered more than 3 million verified signatures.

Billionaire Branson supported Bremain before the vote but now his position is being taken seriously even by the Brexit team headed by Boris Johnson. Boris now wants to negotiate new terms for British EU membership and hold another referendum before formally applying to exit, hoping to get a better deal on what is really upsetting Britons—EU immigration into the country—by changing the rules on free movement of people within the economic bloc. There are plenty of other countries whose people are also upset by the free movement rules.

Ironically enough the list including Poland, source of the alleged price-cutting plumbers upsetting the French, and other eastern European countries fearing the influx of Middle Eastern and African refugees into their countries, although Brexit voters main grouse with the EU was eastern Europeans arriving in their towns where they pushed down wages and added to demand for school and hospital places. This issue was the key factor in the Brexit victory, according to analysts of the poll results.

 

Our website was subject to an attack yesterday by signups allegedly from the Palestinian Territories. I assume it was because we cover Israeli shares, but it may be something entirely different. In the past the distributed denial of service attacks were in poor English and apparently came from Chinese hackers. This one was better at our language. In Utah, your editor and Israelis are considered to be gentiles (not Mormons) which leads to a note on a share today. There is more for paid subscribers follows on how to play the Branson initiative plus news from France, Britain, India, Canada, Bermuda, Argentina, Australia, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark, and Israel, plus a new stock idea.

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Iceland Hits England Again!

Tue, 2016/06/28 - 8:01am | Your editor

Adding insult to injury, Iceland defeated England in the soccer Euro cup, and the England manager resigned. Iceland's population is about the same as that of Brighton, a seaside resort: 325,000. Iceland earlier cost yield-seeking Britons hefty losses during the global financial crisis, as banks defaulted on debt sold to UK residents. And even earlier, the minisculte country, with no army, managed to block the British fishing fleet from taking cod from Icelandic waters. Iceland has done an exit from the EU, however, after separating from Denmark, which is a precedent for the UK.

In today's Financial Times, Gideon Rackman, a columnist, argues that Brexit will never happen. The main reason is that the Brexit promises are being walked back by the politicians who made them. No, there won't be £350 mn to add to the National Health Service kitty every month. No, there will not be a chance for solo Britain to make more favorable trade deals with third countries outside the EU now.

Having been the EU correspondent himself for years, Rackman cites a history of giving a second chance to countries which “vote wrong”, as happened to Denmark and Ireland.

Of course Britain (or England) is bigger and more important, and already stalwart francophones are plotting to remove English as one of the three top languages in which EU business is done.

Separately, S&P and Fitch downrated British bonds 2 ranks from the coveted AAA rating. And UK banks are also being downgraded with negative implications, subject of a note for paid subscribers below. We also have news from Britain, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Libya, Germany, The Netherlands, Colombia, Spain, India, New Jersey, Thailand, and China.

 

*Despite the rating agencies, London equities staged a rebound this morning with the FTSE-100 rising by some 65 points at the opening and [pulling principal European indices up behind it. It may because currency traders read the Financial Times religiously. It may also be because of the short-sale of the pound becoming a “crowded trade” as hedge funds and amateur currency traders piled in. This first rise following the carnage of Brexit is being spurred by sterling, which stabilized during Asian trade early Tuesday at its 31-year low and then started gaining modestly against the US dollar. US Dow-Jones and S&P 500 indexes are also up 1.1-1.2% in the pre-market. After falling about 5% since the Brexit news, emerging market stocks are also up today, by 0.8% mainly because of the falling dollar, Reuters also reports. Eastern European bourses are up more bullishly, by 1.5-2%. We discuss our favorite emerging market below.

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Brexit Burn Variations

Mon, 2016/06/27 - 6:29am | Your editor

The weekend was pretty grim in London where fear for jobs and real estate after the Brexit burn was palpable, and the gloom was deepened by cold wet weather. We went to an utterly awful off-West-End play, Vassa Zheleznova, by Maxim Gorky, about a female shipping magnate, re-set during a post-War UK dockers' strike. The problem was that despite everyone yelling a lot I couldn't understand a word of the north British accent the actors affected. Nothing divides Americans and Britons so much as their common language.

 

En route however I found a splendid new library in Southwark, the area where the Globe Theatre stood both in Shakespeare's day and now again. It is called the John Harvard Library and was funded by the UK National Lottery. It offers free wi-fi, lots of newspapers one can consult about the Brexit, and books about the history of Southwark, which only recently was incorporated into London. John Harvard, a Cambridge-educated religious dissident who later headed for the Massachusetts Bay colony, was born in Southwark, son of a tavern-keeper, and christened in what later became Southwark Cathedral, but was merely a church in his day. The library would gain from a link with Harvard University, something that hasn't yet been made.

 

Markets in Asia diverged this morning, as Britain’s vote to leave the EU no longer dominated investor sentiment. In Japan, pharmaceutical companies and telcos rose with a stronger yen while car companies fell. The Nikkei 225 gained 2.4% after falling 8% last Fridaqy. The Hang Seng and Bombay indexes are both trading down marginally while the Kospi index is trading 1.6% higher. Shanghai is up 1.45%. The world is getting back to normal.

Sterling's fall continued in Asia with the onshore GBP/Yuan pair tumbling 8.7% as the Chinese central bank lowered its daily fix by 0.91% to a 6-year low. The dollar price of euros is under pressure as a result of Eurosceptic parties clamor for their own referendums on remaining or exiting. One result is that euro stocks this morning are down 2.4% while British ones are down only 1.3%.

However, sterling continues to plummet and opened at another record low of $1.3194 this morning. In London UK banks, retailers and home-builder and real estate firms are suffering as investors shift to global earners and defensive stocks like utilities, telecoms, and health. The financial sector is in deep depression fearing that London's status as the market for Europe will be challenged by Frankfurt, Paris, or perhaps Edinburgh.

Adding to the gloom is the near certainty now that the London Stock Exchange merger with Deutsche Börse will not go through after the vote. I expect the losing bidder, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE which owns the NYSE) will pick up the LSE pieces.

Germany is trying to offer Britain an out. Peter Altmaier, her chief of staff, suggested that the UK should be allowed to “think again about the fallout from the exit” following Chancellor Angela Merkel suggesting that Berlin doesn't see Britain's vote as irrevocable. France on the other hand wants to use a guillotine to rapidly oust Britain so the French right cannot push for another referendum on EU membership; the last French one was very close too.

More for paid subscribers about how to play the markets now with ideas from around the world in telco and IT, banking, oil, drugs, as I select safe and dangerous stocks. In pre-market European (actually British) trading, both the Dow and Nasdaq are down but Wall Street is still asleep as I write. Today we have a single annual report to cover as well.

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After the Brisket

Sun, 2016/06/26 - 7:10am | Your editor

TWTWTW. That was the week that was. While many readers rushed to compliment me on my Friday Brexit or Brisket  report, a former contributor, Paul Renaud, a Swiss based in Thailand, was critical, writing:

“What I have pointed out for so long is that the Western democracies you and others support produced mega-inequalities in your own country, at the same time helping bring on a 25 year-long rise to developing ones, notably in SE Asia.

“These unchecked inequalities are now climaxing, creating populist instability like the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump. Mistaken economic policies already nearly brought the world to the abyss in 2008, when the North Atlantic West brought the horrible global financial crisis, the worst in 80 years. Meanwhile China brought more people out of poverty by far than ever before in world history. How about that to balance the inequality brought to the West at the same time? In the past I pointed this out to Vivian only to be told I don't know what I am talking about and should stick to Thai stocks.”

 

Paul has given up on democracies and Switzerland, the UK, or the USA. I disagree. Thailand is unstable and faces its own problems when the longest ruling near-absolute monarch on earth meets his maker. Paul runs www.thaistocks.com from Phuket.

 

Here are some more comments on the Brexit.

“Keep calm and carry on”, a 1939 UK Ministry of Information slogan, by Brendan Bracken, founder of the modern Financial Times. The slogan was a harbinger of George Orwell's 1984 but is again popular.

Here is Rudyard Kipling on what the Brexiters (or Brisketers) now face:

I could not dig; I dared not rob: /Therefore I lied to please the mob.

Now all my lies are proved untrue /And I must face the men I slew.

What tale shall serve me here among /Mine angry and defrauded young?

 

Anton Yelchin, the 27-yr-old Star Trek actor killed by his own defective Fiat-Chrysler car a week ago, lived a short life which might itself make a Hollywood movie. The actor, who played the young star-ship navigator Chekov, was born in St Peterburg in 1989. His parents were ice dancers who had been banned from performing in the 1972 Olympics for the Soviet Union, being Jews. Not allowed to perform in Leningrad's famed Ice Ballet, they could only to choreograph other acts. When Anton was 6 months old his parents fled to the California along with his grandparents.

When he became an actor, Anton told a local Jewish publication "my parents didn't want me to grow up in a Russia that was falling apart." He added: "My idea of being a Jew, at least a Russian Jew, isn't in the traditions my family didn't know. Rather, it is in alignment of the history of the Jews in Russia, the history of being entirely oppressed. Inevitably, it is a mind-set." The talented Mr Yelchin was killed by his car which rolling down his driveway when its brakes failed. Defying a Swiss-based (and Jewish) fund manager friend keen on FCAU, we sold early this year.

 

My husband and his sister both signed one of the two petitions now circulating online here, calling for Parliament to override the Brexit vote. My brother-in-law refused to call for a revote but it has now garnered over 1.3 million validated signatures from British voters. I am not British and one niece is Italian although, both married to Britishers without taking UK nationality. Now it has become quite difficult because of a crackdown on fraudulent marriages by immigrants.

The other petition calls for London to leave the United Kingdom and declare independence to remain a European financial capital. It has about 200,000 signatures.

 

A word from your sponsor: New US Dept of Labor fiduciary rules require financial services company advisors to comply with fiduciary rules when giving retirement advice, requiring sweeping reforms in the money management industry. Many small advisory firms channel all clients into retirement products paying the highest commissions and fees, on which they rely for revenue. They now must let customers know who really pays the fees.
The firm employing my son has always been a regulated fiduciary. I can introduce the firm to readers seeking US retirement plans.

Why Brisketers? Because Britons are called les rosbifs by the French whom they call frogs. Auf deutsch, Mann ist was er isst. (Feuerbach.)

There is no point in tracking our positions now because markets are in panic, and because it is very hard to get meaningful data from Europe, or wherever London is now. So a free blog for all instead!

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Disunited Kingdom

Fri, 2016/06/24 - 11:57am | Your editor

Global markets are in convulsion after the surprisingly strong UK vote to leave the European Union. Wall Street shares opened down 2-4 percent, while markets in the Disunited Kingdom went into free-fall, down nearly 9%. The Euro stoxx 50 index dropped by double digits before recovering.

Sterling at one point hit a 30-year low down 11% to $1.3224 but there were plenty of fluctuations back up again subsequently. Seeking shelter, investors bought UK bonds, pushing interest rates down to 1.02%, vs 1.37% yesterday. US Treasury bonds also jumped slashing the yield on the 10-year note to 2.47% from 1.67$ yesterday. German 10-year bunds fell to a new low of minus 0.18% overnight. Hardest hit were banks which have to deal with the chaos which followed the referendum results and the London Stock Exchange's own shares, down over 12% on deal uncertainty on the planned merger of the London and German stock exchange. Also hard hit were bookies which had been offering good payoffs for Brexit based on misleading recent polls.

Will Britons take to drink to solace themselves for a bad outcome and to celebrate a good one? The pub indicator was confused. Fuller was up 2.5% while Wetherspoon fell 7%.

The politics were also dreadful. PM David Cameron resigned. Scottish nationalists demanded another referendum to let them vote themselves out of the United Kingdom since Scotland had voted overwhelmingly for “bremain”. Sinn Fein in Ireland demanded that Northern Ireland be reunified with the Irish Republic which is in the EU. Spain demanded sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Right-wing parties in France, Poland, Hungary, and the Netherlands, demanded referendums on Frexit, Polexit, Hexit, and Nexit. The Brexit vote provides ammunition for isolationist (and often anti-Semitic and anti-Mjuslim) campaigns and candidates across Europe. This could be the start of the whole EU imploding over broader social issues.

As a politician with funny blond hair, Boris Johnson, who led the Conservative anti-EU block which won the referendum prepares to demand the premiership, another pol with funny blond hair, Donald Trump, is also likely to gain from echoes of a vote that was largely anti-foreigner.

Mudchute Manor, from which I am writing, and the broader London property market will be impacted. Rumbling already some of the largest tenants in Canary Wharf (JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Skadden, Arps) are preparing to move personnel out of London. East London revitalization has been built on the backs of the financial industry; that sector is now entering a structural retrenching.

A weaker Europe will refocus concerns on broader financial imbalances and non-performing loans on periphery banks' books (Portugal, Italy, Spain, and of course Greece.)

 

Jeffrey Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, who also supported Bremain may also not survive the debacle. Like Bernie Sanders, he is from the most leftish part of his party.

What do do now, you may well ask? To quote Dwight Eisenhower, “Don't do anything. Just stand there.” More for paid subscribers follows from Britain, Ireland, India, Brazil, Colombia, Jordan, Israel, Hong Kong, Canada, Finland, Costa Rica, Spain, and Panama.

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