A next Balkan war in Bosnia is a matter of time. The Republic of Srpska is planning on holding a referendum next Sunday, 25 September, on a seemingly minor issue. The Bosnian Serbs will be voting on the date of the “national independence day.” This referendum seems, however, to be a run-up to to a referendum on the splitting up of the country. The Serbs want to secede from Bosnia and become part of Serbia, claiming their democratic right on self-determination. Continue reading
After almost two years of the quantitative easing program in the Euro Area, economic figures have remained very weak. Inflation is still fluctuating near zero, while GDP growth in the region has started to slow down instead of accelerating. According to the European Central Bank data, to generate 1.0 euro of GDP growth, 18.5 euros had to be printed in the QE, which means that €80 billion have thus been wasted almost every month!
This year, the ECB printed nearly €600 billion within the frame of asset purchase programme (QE). At the same time, GDP has increased by… €31 billion; even if up to the end of 2015 the ECB issued €650 billion during its QE program. Needless to say that the Greek debt is “only” €360 billion and there has been no chance of a relief, so far. Continue reading
An amiable mood has held sway over years in the European family. The Western countries went to great lengths to teach their eastern counterparts what capitalism and democracy were all about, and the East European nations obediently let themselves be dictated to. Western Europe would provide the finances for the development of Eastern Europe, and the latter would comply with the imposed precepts. The European unity flourished and no one expected the children to ever voice their political opinion. Recently, however, this idyll has been somewhat marred.
At first it turned out that one relative (Greece) could not stand on its own, next another relative (Great Britain) filed for divorce. Such news has an impact on each family. A comfortable and supportive home threatens to disintegrate and the children are getting the impression that their parents are by no means infallible and that they do not seem to have everything under control, and, to top it all, that the parents are losing their head.
It is customary for European schools to resume their activities with the beginning of September, which provides us all with the opportunity to picture ourselves back in a school bench and pore over the map of the world. Some of the facts that we learnt back then and have long forgotten might turn up handy to help us through today’s unstable geopolitical situation. Others will let us unravel the complex networks that we, accustomed to our European perspective, have lost sight of. A look at a world’s map is enough for us to put everything in the right perspective. Nowadays we are facing a number of agendas that are propagandized by the powers that be. Facts are propaganda’s most implacable enemies since they provide an average citizen with food for thought, enabling him to come up with his own worldview. Such facts can surely be found in a world’s map. Continue reading
Crude oil production in the United States has decreased by more than 10% since the record high of 2015, from 9.6 million barrels per day (mmbpd) to less than 8.6 mmbpd. However, the drop in shale oil production has reached almost 20%. Moreover, if the increasing Permian Basin production were put out of the equation, the decrease in US shale oil output would be about 33%! And this fall will deepen as the number of new wells is still not sufficient. The collapse of the shale oil production is related to the decline curve of tight oil, but shale oil well production starts to decline much faster than that from regular wells. Continue reading
In the heart of Paris’ 19th arrondissement (Flanders Avenue Metro Stalingrad Riquet) is a migrant camp. Hundreds of young men (20-30 years old) are sleeping on the streets, on cardboard, like animals. 19th arrondissement (Stalingrad) is a popular area (it is a nice place to live, I’ve been living here for over 20 years). Today we have the joy of discovering human misery, accepted by our state and our leaders and endorsed by all people “with a good heart” who think we cannot leave people from war-torn countries without help.
While Mario Draghi is pursuing his campaign against deflation that is allegedly so bad for the economy, almost all European countries with deflation have recorded quite a significant GDP growth in the 2nd quarter 2016. The only one deflation-country that is still in recession is – not surprisingly – Greece. Poland, Slovakia and Romania with an over-one-year deflation are at the fore of the EU fastest growing states.
Greece’s deflation has lasted for more than three years, but this is a special case of economics. Deflation in Cyprus has also been lasting for more than three years and still the island has been able to boost its economy. Poland, Slovakia and Romania with their longer-than-one-year deflation are in the vanguard of the European GDP growth. Short-term deflation has not damaged Spanish, Bulgarian or Hungarian growth either. Continue reading