Some of the regular followers of the Saturday racing blog have asked me to tip on races that they can follow on the television. How can one disappoint such pleading.
So as a one off, today, there are three courses visited, Newmarket, Ascot and Wetherby.
This will not happen to often. The fun is to tip and then see the horses in the flesh only a time traveller can get round to the meetings that form a television racing show. If anyone has seen me move, they’ll agree time traveller I am not.
Remember to back horses with odds over 7/1each way.
2:05 Novae Bloodstock Insurance Ben Marshall Stakes (Listed Race)
Ecliptic [4th]is not going to be seen off if there is a stumble then Secrecy[1st] might take over.
Last night Europe replaced the sticking plaster with a surgical bandage. The agreement reached should stop the rot for awhile but only if the fine words on economic integration become a reality.
So what was agreed? Like the sermons of old, there are three parts to the agreement.
Firstly, the banks that Greece is in hock to, will only get half their cash back. The other half is to be written off. This should make the country’s debt more manageable.
Secondly, the cash to throw at these problems, is going to be raised considerably. The bailout fund, called the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), is to be boosted to 1 trillion euros from the 440 billion euros set up earlier this year. There is only 250bn euros left not enough to convince the markets. Now there much greater leverage.
There is a slight problem, however, getting the cash together.
The cunning little plan is to offer insurance to purchasers of eurozone members’ debt. This will make these bonds more attractive to investors and in turn lower governments’ borrowing costs.
In parallel, they’re going to set up a up a special investment vehicle and they’re hoping to persuade both big private and public investors to contribute. So shortly expect European leaders not on the slow boat, but on the jet plane, to China. Why? to get them to invest their big cash surplus.
The hope is to have things up and running by the end of next month.
The final part, is to insist that the banks raise new capital. 106bn euros by next June is the target the banks they’ve to meet. The hope is that this amount will shield the banks from losses should governments default.
Good though the deal is, and the markets have given it cautious welcome, it will only work if governments get to grip with their respective country’s economy. Left to their own devices there is no certainty that this will happen. So what’s to be done?
Well, the most significant part of the eurozone leaders’ announcement earlier this morning, is the determination that there will be tougher controls in future on the budgets of member countries. There will be an integration of taxation, and a whole new framework for running the eurozone, including a new leadership structure.
If this happens the whole seventeen countries would have one economic policy and in effect would have become one big super state.
And where would that leave the UK, well outside and without influence.
Unable to influence an economic policy that will without a shadow of doubt have a real impact on the UK ’˜s economy. The British would have the pretence of economic independence but this would be a pretence, the European super state would always be in the driving seat. It would be them in reality that would determine the economic health of most of Europe.
A fortnight ago the Europeans said that they were on the verge of sorting out the debt crisis but now expectations are being down played.
Unless there is a major breakthrough today, to quote Private John Frazer from Dad’s Army, ‘we’re doomed, we’re doomed.’
In politics you can hype up proposals, under deliver later and usually get away with it. Why? Because the average voters memory span is just slightly longer than that of a goldfish.
Not so, when you’re dealing with economic issues. Financial Institutions make fortunes on the prediction game. Consequently, they weigh and balance every word uttered on financial and economic policy.
For European leaders to reassure that they’re on the verge of producing a master plan to sort out the crisis and then not deliver, courts disaster. The disappointment felt by the market, almost certainly, will make a bad situation a whole lot worse.
Unless today’s Euro zone summit meetings produce a plan with two elements it will have failed. One element, actual wads of cash in large enough numbers to convince the market that there is enough firepower to deal with the crisis. This on its own will buy time.
But to solve the problem a viable long-term solution that creates a healthy economic Europe, is necessary.
Greece will default on its loans, banks will take a hit, some will sink, and there will be a domino effect. Trade throughout Europe will grind to a halt.
Only a believable plan will do to settle the market once and for all.
What should that plan be? Forget the finances, the only long term solution to the crisis is a single economic authority for the whole of the euro zone.
There are seventeen democratic countries in the Euro zone and each has an economic minister, consequently you have seventeen different economic policies to run one single currency. Result -chaos.
To sort it out there needs to be one creditable economic policy. This can only happen with political union. Yes, a Federal Europe.
Now if today’s European summit doesn’t lay the road map for such a State, the markets will react accordingly. Yes, more misery for the citizens of the continent.
If, against all expectations, the seventeen decide to take that quantum leap forward and pool their sovereignty and move towards a Federal Europe, what then for the ten refuseniks outside the euro currency, of which the UK is, of course, one.
Can the European Union go on with a single Federal State of seventeen countries at its core? The answer is likely to be, no.
The EU that we know and love it will have changed so much that it’ll no longer be functional. A new relationship with the ten will have to be negotiated.
New negotiations. What an opportunity for those eighty-one that voted against Mr. Cameron on Monday to make mischief. They might yet see their dream come true and the UK out of Europe. Alas, England can again refuse to be part of the game. Wales and Scotland would have to forge their own destiny, maybe.
What can be predicted is that Europe will dominate the political debate, awhile yet.