Archive for the ‘Euro Crisis’ Category

The Euro Symbol (€) on your computer

I need this symbol since I use it a lot in correspondence.

Weirdly enough AltGr+4 produces the Euro Symbol (€) on my keyboard.

It seems that these are the ways to get the symbol:
AltGr+e – Works in most European countries
AltGr+u – Hungarian and Polish
AltGr+4 – UK and Ireland
AltGr+5 – US International, Greek Latin

Try it and see which one works for you.

Also, AltGr can produce some of the European accented characters (é,ú,í,ó,á).

I think this only works in Windows.

Posted 19/08/2014 by lacithedog in Euro, Euro Crisis, Euros, Microsoft Windows

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Cheering on the PIIGS in Euro 2012

I know this was taken BEFORE the Italy-Germany match, but…

While the starting mood of Euro 2012 was marred by accusations of racism from the hosts Ukraine and Poland, I found my behaviour was guided more by wanting to cheer on the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), the countries being hit hard by the Euro crisis.

When I heard it was Germany v. Greece–I just wanted to Greeks to kick Germany’s arse so badly for all the austerity measures being foisted on the PIIGS. In fact, contrary to normal nature, I was cheering on the PIIGS whenever they went up against Germany.

Ultimately, it was Spain who beat Italy to gain the title while I would have preferred to see Germany duking it out with a member of the PIIGS for the title, but at least it was a member of the PIIGS who won!

One of my friends, who is an economist made sense of all this since he realised that subconsciously I was cheering on the underdogs in the economic Euro crisis.  Although, BBC’s World Have Your Say delved into this issue as well and I have to admit that yes, it is far more than just football.  So, maybe any tinge of Euroskepticism is illusory as I know full well that the Economic Euro also has to succeed for the European Union and Economy to thrive.  Deep down, I want to see the Euro thrive.

The EuroMess

I’m not sure how to describe the Great Euro Mess, but I have to agree with Micheal Portillo’s comment that it will be a long time in sorting out. That said, I’ve finally watched The Great Euro Crash with Robert Peston and Michael Portillo’s Great Euro Crisis. Both of these have been uploaded to Youtube and are available on the “non-official” sources for BBC material (that is non-iPlayer downloads) if you are interested or outside the UK.

I won;t say too much about Robert Peston’s piece other than it was a well done overview of how the whole mess happened. There isn’t as much analysis as much as history. The main point that one should take from Robert’s piece is that the European Union was to bring peace and prospertity through the economic union of Europe. Which takes us to the Euroskeptic Michael Portillo looking into the topic.

I have to admit that having a Euroskeptic deal with the topic of the Euromess is truly intriguing. I was told that it was well done by others who keener on the EU than Michael. Although, I wanted to say take a look in the mirror when Michael makes his statement about not knowing what a European is (or looks like). Michael, You and I are EuroBrits (as is the Queen with her German background) if ever there were ones.

That said, I have to admit that seeing a non-US “conservative” is always a breath of fresh air. Unlike US conservatives who want to shout down the opposition, Michael was very open minded—especially when no one was willing to take him up on his Euro-Drachma/Euro-Mark challenge. Unfortunately, the single currency is the future for Europe, which having lived in Europe makes me say “Thank god!”

My best story was that I was at an antique market in Brussels’ Place du Grand Sablon and trying to figure how how much 32,000 Francs was in “Real Money”. The vendor thought I didn’t understand his trente deux mille and repeated it in English. I was tempted to reply, I knew how much it was in Francs, but how much is that in Real Money such as Pounds or US Dollars?  I can add in the joke about the woman who hires an armoured car with security guards to bring in a load of notes which after being labouriously counted for most of the day turns out to be worth 62p.  The main point is that a good, solid single currency is good for European trade.  Which the Euro was for a while until other causes set in.

Michael sees the problem as being totally related to just the single currency, which Roberts programme pretty much had debunked.  Although Michael’s points about the EU are somewhat valid.  Unfortunately, Austerity is not totally due to the Euromess since non-Euro countries (and non-European countries) are also tightening their belts.  Michael’s comment about the Greeks selling government assets seems to pale when one realises that the US is also trying to privatise government functions, which is more a political decision than an economic one.  In fact, I find it odd that a Tory would be against the single currency given its benefits for trade, while this lefty is defending it–as do most people whatever their political stripes.

Of course, reasonable people can disagree and somewhat see the other person’s point of view.  I have to bring the United States back into this discussion since Michael remains very civil throughout his programme. which US politics is not.  Michael and other Euroskeptics worry about the problems of Union in the United States of Europe, which given the two civil wars and lack of civility in US politics is a point which needs to be taken seriously whether you agree with it or not.  Of course, one needs to see the benefit of a union to realise that there are some sacrifices which need to be made.  Europe with its history of war realises that Union is necessary for peace and that union requires some compromise.

Now, why didn’t he say this in his programme?

Shooglenifty – A Fistful of Euro

I’m listening to the news where they are talking about people withdrawing millions of Euros–This came to mind–

On the back burner is Michael Portillo’s Great Euro Crisis from This World. The people who’ve seen it say it’s pretty interesting watching Eurosceptic Portillo’s opinion of the crisis.

Then again, I still have two series (2 & 3) of Great Railway Journeys to plow through!

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

One of my neighbours is a German (husband) and Greek (wife) couple, family arguments about finance have been over the topic of the Euro and Greek debt for the past couple of years rather than the usual financial arguments!

Anyway, there may be some peace in the household today with the announcement that this has been addressed. Although, it’s amusing how its been addressed, which is why I’ve titled this “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul”. One of the question I asked on my first quiz on MikeB’s blog was:

How much national debt is too much?

Which was a trick question, but entirely relevant to this solution. I would toss in the concept of “too Big To fail” as well, but the question ultimately is “who is too big to fail: the Governments or Banks?” Governments are adding more money to the pot, and banks have been told to increase their reserves in this solution to the Euro crisis.

And anyone who was dim enough to have lent money to these countries is getting a fraction of their investment.

The thing is that both government and the private sector are having to take a hit in this “solution”. “Solution” since it offers more questions than answers. Not to mention the failure of a few countries will effect the world economy. Which gets back to my too big to fail comment.

Who is too big to fail: Governments or the private sector?

I’ve wanted to post Michael Peston’s BBC Documentary Britain’s Banks: Too Big to Save? Although another good documentary is Inside Job. Ireland and Iceland were both brought to their knees by the excesses of their banking industries, yet the public ended up bailing them out.

Regulation is needed, but that means that we have another question which is who should regulate the banking/financial industry: the public or private sector? For most of its existence, the Bank of England was a private institution (nationalised in 1946) that worked to regulate the British economy. So, a private body can act as a “reserve” bank.

Of course, there are issues of control and transparency when one discusses whether such a body should be public or privately run.

Anyway, we now have a patch job of a solution to the Euro crisis–how long before another crisis occurs?

Posted 27/10/2011 by lacithedog in Banking, Banks, economics, economy, Euro, Euro Crisis