So it looks like all the people who were caterwauling about doom and gloom for British trade in the wake of the “brexit” were unreservedly correct, and the English economy is going to spiral into the toilet like an airplane missing both wings…

… I’m sorry. I got something caught in my throat. As I was trying to say, the lesson is clear: without the guidance of “experts” who’ve never run a business, and whose entire frame of reference is nothing but being bureaucrats, a sovereign peoples’ hopes of a decent living or just wind and sales…

…hopes of a decent living are just wind and sales…

… No, that’s just something in my throat still…

… Oh, who am I kidding?   It’s been less than two weeks, and countries are lining up to cut trade deals with Britain, independent of the EU.

Why, it’s almost as if all those jeremiads from the wonks, and the wannabee wonks in the media, the American and European left, and National Public Radio, we’re just trying to scare people into acquiescence with the wishes of their self-appointed betters or something.

41 thoughts on “Clairvoyance

  1. The wonks and the wannabees also share a conventional wisdom which says now that Comey dropped the ball on Hillary’s indictment the election is over. They fail to ask the man on the street – a man who has a large, unspent reserve of angst and bile he’s ready to hurl at anything with the remote scent of government status quo.

  2. Regarding Brexit, it is as if other governments have people who are not suicidal in their approach to trade or something. Who knew?

  3. pundits, clairvoyants, and Emory forget that London is the #1 financial center in the world – not a trivial thing – even Wall Street says how high when London says “Jump” – all the UK has to do is maintain a business friendly environment and they’ll be doing more and better(for the UK) business than they were as part of the EU because they don’t have to wait on Brussels. Whats the downside of that?

  4. I suppose the British, having single-handedly opted to wreck their own economy and through collateral damage much of Europe’s as well, now feel obliged to provide a form of pantomime entertainment upon which the world can gaze and presumably chuckle.
    By way of analogy the British, having through a popular vote decided that Europe is a Very Bad Thing Indeed and thus electing to saw off both legs without anesthetic, are now quibbling over when precisely to wield the chainsaw.
    Doubtless Boris the Clown, formerly Official Conservative Party Court Jester, who never imagined that people would be simple-minded enough actually to believe the nonsense he was spouting about Big Bad Europe coming to eat their grandmothers, feels rather up-staged by this latest comedy act.

  5. That’s Mr. Emery to you kel. /s

    Uncertainty will impact the economy, most immediately in the construction sector. There was already a slowdown before the referendum, it seems likely to have accelerated after the shock of exit,

    As for the negotiations that’s a really big if . I don’t see the French election featuring particularly strongly in the argument, the British are masters at never completing negotiations, when they challenge their fundamental interests, so if and when that happens is anyone’s guess. Certainly there is no rush to do so, and of course everyone will rule out a second referendum, until they actually call it.

  6. If Britain electing to exercise its option to withdraw from the EU threatens the economic health of the entire continent, then (a) putting the entire continent’s eggs into a single EU basket was a stupid idea and (b) the EU must conquer Britain to preserve the sacred Union. See Abraham Lincoln’s speeches for rationale.

  7. Whether leaving the EU is a good or bad thing for the British economy can never be determined absolutely. What is your metric? GDP? How many euros a pound can buy? If British GDP growth increases, the anti-Brexit people will say it would have increased more if Britain was still part of the EU. If British GDP growth tanks, the Brexit people will say it would have collapsed anyway.

  8. Lincoln believed that the constitution implicitly forbade secession, because if states were allowed to secede, they would quit the union when they felt that was to their advantage, and rejoin when they felt that was to their advantage. You wouldn’t have a stable union at all. It would eventually disintegrate. If Britain quits, and then rejoins, you would have the same dynamic.
    European nations aren’t American states. They have different languages and different histories. How do you stop the Hungarian exit? Or the Swedish exit?

  9. They had access to the world’s largest market, duty free, and they maintained control of their own currency. No deal on the horizon or in outer space is better. The country will be worse off economically and that will translate into negative economic statistics going forward. Additionally, England was s clearing house for financial transactions and that will go away. I predict an increase in unemployment, an increased cost of living, higher taxes and reduced public services. It’s a prediction so let’s see if I’m right going forward.

  10. Emery, they did NOT have access to the world’s largest market duty-free, because they were compelled by Brussels to maintain much higher tariffs on their own imports than they otherwise would have suffered.

    Honestly….you need to lay off the BS and start dealing with reality here. Unless the EU is staffed by idiots–in which case it’s a great idea to leave anyways–the British will be able to negotiate a decent deal which will give them reasonable duties on exports across the Channel along with freedom from Brussels edicts and freedom from unreasonable levels of duties by the EU.

  11. Emery, your argument assumes the EU will continue to prosper but Britain will miss out on that prosperity. Isn’t it also possible that the EU will suffer and Britain will escape that suffering?

    On May 9, 2015, the Defense Minister of Greece threatened to “unleash a wave of millions of economic migrants” if the EU didn’t pony up more bailout money with fewer strings attached. Clearly, it was not a bluff. What’s to stop it happening again?

    Britain remembers the ancient wisdom: if ever you pay the Dane-geld, you’ll never be rid of the Dane. With Brexit, Britain has escaped paying its share of the next Greek-geld, and the next Portugal-geld, and the next Turkey-geld. It has escaped thousands of invading migrants. Those advantages must be balanced against losing preferred access to EU markets before deciding that Brexit was an unwise decision.

  12. every now and again an Englishman likes to sink his teeth into the soft compliant flesh of a Cavendish without first petitioning approval from Brussels.

  13. Nothing I saw in your one piece suggests trade that is likely to be of a kind or quantity to offset the losses from trading through the EU, nor does it list what the tariffs will be — you make assumptions about ‘free’ trade.

    That is pretty serious information to omit if you are asserting this is going to significantly offset leaving the EU.

    As to your suggestion that the predictions of significant downturn in the economy come from ‘experts’ who have no real experience, that doesn’t track with the actual predictions at all. Those come from people with real life experience, and in fact quite a lot of it.

    But hey, don’t let that stop you from pushing your anti-expert propaganda. While you would love to BELIEVE that people like you with pretty much fuck-all macro-economics education are as proficient as those who actually know something and do something in the field, it isn’t true.

    While you would like to pretend that those who are making predictions (which appear to be coming true if you follow European business news) you haven’t included the actual, factual news that shows those predictions to be pretty on target.

    Here for example is a piece from Reuters — where they know something before writing about it, and where they practice legitimate journalism — unlike YOU.

    “The economic picture outside Europe was hardly encouraging, building expectations of global economic stagnation.

    U.S. factory orders declined and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said it could be hard for his country to sustain 6.7 percent growth in the second quarter.”

    Yes, I’m sure you would prefer to ignore factual data like factory orders taking a nose-dive, or the markets taking a nose-dive, or the pound sterling taking a nose-dive. But those are real, tangible evidence of that spiral into the toilet. Do you have the faintest grasp what it means when your currency loses value like this? Hint – it is NOT a sign of economic success or stability.

    As my dear old dad, the investment banker who also owned a third of a chain of commercial banks and dabbled in real estate development liked to point out – there is money to be made as well when economies tank as much as when there is growth. These trade deals are evidence of that, not a refutation of the doom and gloom.

    But since you, Mitch, have no particular background in actually managing anything like financial sector businesses or investments, you wouldn’t know that. Instead you go with the cherry picked information and superficial and faulty analysis.

    REAL journalists look at the whole picture, and include all of the information that pertains, not just a misleading partial set of information.

  14. The British are so funny. If you really wanted to ensure the survival of the NHS you’d hardly vote for chucking out foreigners, because without foreign doctors, nurses, and other specialists the NHS would collapse overnight. And if you wanted to ensure the survival of the NHS you’d hardly vote for leaving the EU because the collapse of the UK economy will mean that there’s much less tax revenue available to fund it.

    But apparently few Brexiteers considered either of these propositions. Apparently the good folk of BrexitLand thought that they could have free jam and no consequences. Apparently they thought tax revenues were a fixed sum that would be unaffected by a major decision that would inevitably cripple the British economy for years to come.
    Apparently the Brexiteers weren’t very bright, were they?

  15. Nothing I saw in your one piece suggests trade that is likely to be of a kind or quantity…

    India’s kind of a big deal…

  16. India’s kind of a big deal…

    China is as well. I’d be willing to be that the UK strikes a new trade deal with both of these countries before the EU has a new one in place with either.

  17. It’s worth pointing out, per DG’s usual nonsense, that comment on the prognosticators she cited isn’t about anti-expert bias–though we ought to reminder ourselves that her “appeal to authority” and “ad hominem” arguments are basic logical fallacies–but are rather about taking a look at her sources and seeing what their assumptions are.

    In a nutshell, those assumptions are that Britain and the EU will not be able to get a mutually satisfying parting agreement that puts Britain on the same standing as, say, Norway or Switzerland. Which is a long way of saying that EU negotiators could end up being vindictive idiots, and that leaving was the right thing to do.

  18. “If you really wanted to ensure the survival of the NHS you’d hardly vote for chucking out foreigners, because without foreign doctors, nurses, and other specialists the NHS would collapse overnight.”
    So there was no NHS before Britain allowed the EU to dictate its immigration policy?
    For fifty years, the NHS has been importing doctors and other health professionals from the commonwealth and other countries. I cannot believe that Britons, who voted for European integration in the 1970s by a 2:1 margin, have suddenly become racist bigots. The timing of that last referendum and the current referendum is interesting. It seems that the same cohort that voted for integration into the European Common Market in 1974 voted for exiting the EU in 2016.
    If you really believe that Britain is headed for economic ruin, short sell pounds. You will make big money.

  19. Oh, and Emery, yes, I’m sure that British immigration authorities are entirely incapable of distinguishing an MD certified in the UK from a refugee with a strong probability of ties to ISIS. No rationale whatsoever for such a distinction beyond the subtle reality of a medical degree, years spent in a western country, and board accreditation. They couldn’t possibly figure that one out.

    Perhaps you and DG are happy that the BS artists of the intellectual world are spouting forth nonsense that has had the pound dropping by 12%, and may hit Asian and U.S. markets as well (though the DJIA shows only a blip from Brexit). Those of us who value fellow human beings are not smiling.

  20. DG, let’s see what’s happening within the EU right now. We’ve got Italian banks about to implode from non-performing loans, and even Deutsche Bank seriously exposed to derivative risk with more than 5X total EU GDP in a worsening credit situation. Spain is not far behind Itality, with austerity causing serious problems with their budget situation and a refusal to live within EU guidelines leading to talk of exit and/or blatant refusal to follow EU dictates. Greece is due to need a bailout in about 18 months when this present bailout fails (again – it’s been a recurring theme, with each bailout more than doubling every 3 years or so).

    Compare and contrast with Iceland, who got hammered by the refusal to follow the will of Brussels during the financial crisis, took the beating that the UK and EU demanded for refusing to bankrupt their public and their future to satisfy Brussels, and has now recovered well past where they were before the Great Recession and are growing in healthy independence.

    Is there risk in Brexit? Yes, but there are even more serious risks in staying the EU now. The EU is horribly designed to respond to events like the immigration crisis that Greece has been using to blackmail the other members. But it’s well designed if you want to make sure that British tea kettles are heavily regulated out of existence by an unaccountable bureaucracy.

  21. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, chairman of Societe General and former ECB executive board member, said on Bloomberg TV (small excerpt of a much larger interview) that Monte Paschi would need “public support” up to an including a Cypriot-bank-style “bail in” and even more Italian banks would fail soon after. He predicted that massive public bailouts will be required for the Italian banking system, and that Italy alone would not be able to do that. He said that would be just the beginning of a destabilization of the European banking system, where derivatives would spread contagion to even Germany banks, where far too few banks are profitable and thus vulnerable to any sort of disruption.

    He further postulated that an independent UK would be dangerous for the EU, with the UK likely to cut corporate taxes with Brexit, leading to a strong British advantage over the EU and to further stress on the more socialist governments remaining inside the EU.

  22. If you really wanted to ensure the survival of the NHS

    eTASS, you ignorant, flippant slut! You throw shit around and hope that people think you smart for mentioning acronyms. NHS is a FAILING system, you magnificent dolt. It is Obamacare on steroids and we all know how well that is working out. Everyone except you, of course. Did you ever consider death of NHS would be a WELCOME coincidence? Of course not! It is just another failed soci@list construct that redistributes wealth and rations services that you pine for.

    And last but not least, EU was doomed to failure from the beginning. It was only a question of when, not if. It was just another empire cobbled together in a world changing at a breakneck speed. Another empire just like Ottoman, Roman, Napoleonic, British, Soviet, etc. Where are they now, you braindead troll? Which part of history tells us it would have succeeded?

    Go ahead, cry in your near-bear and spew hatred and condescension on people you do not agree with, while another soci@list construct crumbles onto the dust heap of history.

  23. Mitch, apparently you fail to grasp what it means when a country’s currency drops in value to the lowest point in 30 years.

    It means that there is a tremendous loss of value for those who live in the UK, and a tremendous increase in value for those who hold currencies that are strong relative to the pound — you know, like the US or India or Iceland.

    I assume you grasp the concept of exchange rates for currency?

    That means these trade deals are not some great news for the economic success of the UK. It means effectively that these trade deals are vultures circling.

    It means that if now the relative value of the Pound Sterling to the US $ is 5 pounds to 1buck, that what pre-Brexit might have cost me $25 now costs me $5 when shopping in the UK, while the relative cost to the Brits is much higher.

    That makes trade with the UK very desirable for those other countries, but not so good for the UK and those who live there.

    So, you idiot, it means that of course India wants a trade deal but it does not mean that the trade deal is advantageous to the UK. It does not mean that the trade deal will even come close to compensating the UK for what it lost by leaving the EU.

    So no, the size of India doesn’t really mean shit here, in the context of what any trade deal is likely to offer in view of the cratering of value of the pound. Being offered a trade deal when you are in bad shape pretty much translates into the deal you are offered not being advantageous to your side.

    Or do you just skate over how not all trade deals are good trade deals for the parties involved?

    Surely you know better than that too? I didn’t see any acknowledgment of that however — no, it was presented as quite the opposite, as an indicator that this meant the UK could do as well without the EU.

    There is zero evidence that would be true.

    Seriously – I was expected to grasp the concept of weak or strong currency relative to the dollar when I was ten, and what it meant to what I could buy versus what those with weaker currencies had to spend for the same thing. You’re what – over 50 now, and you still can’t read mainstream financial news for comprehension?

    Has it been that long since you traveled to a foreign country?

    I’m used to discussing these topics with Pen who is in banking professionally, or with my colleague Laci who has a degree in economics (among other degrees) from a top UK university. Neither of them would make the incredibly unsophisticated, naive, and just plain bone ignorant mistake in reading about possible trade deals in the context of such a drop in the value of the pound or the state of the investment markets internationally.

    I guess we can see what it means when you’re lacking in the most fundamental grasp of what you read, but it does make it even more ludicrous to watch you mock experts for their quite rational and measured predictions based on experience, education and solid data. (As distinct from Republican math which only reflects ideology not reality).

    You have just made a fool of yourself, and demonstrated the similar deficit in understanding of your followers.

    When there is a drop in US manufacturing orders in the context of Brexit, that means the UK won’t be able to afford US products — or likely their own products much either. THAT is not an indication of good economic health for the UK.

  24. Regarding NHS, even if Britain does what is smart and ends its experiment with socialized medicine, they will do well to make sure that smart young doctors and other medical personnel can immigrate. No shame in letting the world’s best and brightest come to help your own people, really.

  25. So Gove said “People in this country have had enough of experts.”
    The interviewer, a very rude and comabative fellow, stepped all over Goves response to one of his statements. The full quote is “People in this country have had enough of experts from organizations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong.”
    The full video of the interview is here:
    You have to do a little search to find the full video and the full quote. The Remainers seem to have google bombed Gove with their deceptive, incomplete quote. Those on the Left seem to rely upon tricks like this to signal their “correct” positions to others on the Left. Wise people check and double check any supposed arguments or quotes presented by the Left as representative of the other side’s opinion.

  26. In the meantime, the peasants are revolting, despite the elitist ilk manifestations and condescension:

    Hofer said he would call a referendum for Austria staying in the EU when he wins the election in October. Hofer said increasing centralism of the EU was against the founding principles of the power-bloc.

    And here is the money quote form Orban: “You do not sit on a horse backwards. The EU is not in Brussels. It has 27 — presently 28 — capital cities.” He remarked: “we must return to the idea that the European Union is based on members rather than EU institutions.”

    See any parallels?

    Of course, for the likes of progressive soci@lists like our resident elitist troll eTASS, centralization of power is a feature not a bug, and everyone should submit to the greater good that is the centralized government. Based on his derision and condescension of anyone who opposes, I am sure he will next advocate for anyone opposed to be re-educated in special-purpose camps. Der Sozialismus wird Sie frei. Based on eTASS screeds, he is very fond of similar phrases.

  27. DG snarled: “I’m used to discussing these topics with Pen who is in banking professionally, or with my colleague Laci who has a degree in economics (among other degrees) from a top UK university. ”

    The trouble is DG, neither you nor Laci, nor peev are any kind of experts at least not on your say-so. Provide us some bona fides of Laci’s alleged erudition or a verifiable name, title and institution for peev or the link to you published piece on the London school of Economics website. Until you do that you’re just a group of coarse foul-mouthed trolls with imaginary friends.

    Put up or shut up DG!

  28. The natural fluctuation in exchange rates between independent (more or less) economies works to mitigate the effects of recession. Anyhow, it is impossible to know what the natural value of a pound vs a dollar is this soon after the vote. If the Left hadn’t refused to acknowledge the possibility of an exit vote, and didn’t act as though the world was ending after the exit vote (I’m looking at you, Emery), we would have a better idea of the long term value of a pound.
    I am dead serious when I say that those who believe the British economy has taken a fatal blow should short sell the pound. You’ll both get gloating privilege for making a correct prediction, and you will put some cash in your pocket.

  29. to the point DG
    if Laci can provide proof of his degree in economics I’ll believe his opinion is as valid as Donald Trump’s (he also has a degree in economics) otherwise like you he’s just an anonymous nobody.

  30. the pound is currently = $1.29, 10 years ago the pound was = $2.08 looks like membership in the EU has been dragging it down all this time

  31. Krugman is far more cautious in predicting disaster for Britain than most on the Left. The Krugster has never been a big fan of the EU for populist as well as economic reasons. Krugman’s back-of-the-envelope calculation sees a 1.7 decline in British GDP due to losing trade with the EU — but he admits that it is a difficult calculation to make. One factor is ‘comparative trade advantage’ which goes up as the pound loses value. Krugman then does his typical dealing from the bottom of the deck, and comes out against the Brexit, not because of any economic calculation, but because he dislikes the conservatives who endorsed the Brexit.

  32. Doggone never fails to impress with her comprehensive use of the genetic fallacy, does she? My favorite is “my banker friend”, which not only reminds me of people who say “I have friends who are black” when discussing race, but also completely ignores the range of opinions in that profession–and in economics for that matter.

    Reality here is that the past 45 years have seen far greater variation in the value of the pound than we’ve seen recently, and none of these bigger variations in the value of the pound predicted doom for Merry Old England.

    And reading DG’s writing–really any of the Brexit naysayers–you would think that with Brexit, all of the public goods (law, etc..) of the EU had disappeared into thin air, and that therefore the British could never hope to use what is good and even improve on it. Gone forever and all that–certainly no trade agreements with nations representing about 25 trillion dollars in GDP and close to two billion people could possibly overcome that.

    Nope, it all really hangs on those cucumber and hair dryer regulations, apparently.

  33. So, you idiot, it means that of course India wants a trade deal but it does not mean that the trade deal is advantageous to the UK. It does not mean that the trade deal will even come close to compensating the UK for what it lost by leaving the EU.

    Let’s see, you idiotic puppy peddler, which do you think will yield better results for the UK: a deal which has to satisfy India AND all 25 members of the EU, or a deal which only has to satisfy the UK and India? The horse trading required to get all the EU members to agree to it will necessarily mean that the UK would not get all that it wanted, and in fact might well have some of its oxen gored to satisfy other members of the EU. You really don’t have a clue how the real world works, do you?

    Seriously – I was expected to grasp the concept of weak or strong currency relative to the dollar when I was ten, and what it meant to what I could buy versus what those with weaker currencies had to spend for the same thing. You’re what – over 50 now, and you still can’t read mainstream financial news for comprehension?

    And yes, let’s have a discussion on currency manipulation. That’s something that Japan, Korea, and China all do extensively to manipulate trade. Those countries purposely manipulate the value of their currencies in order to more fully employ their people and stimulate growth. It impoverishes the rich relative to the poor in that those above median income have less purchasing power, while it creates more jobs for those below it as they have a competitive advantage against people in the West.

    And that’s one of the key points that bothers me about what folks like peev and the puppy pusher do in arguing for our present trade policies: they make this all sound like high minded principle when in fact it the privileged cosmopolitans who are screwing over the lower income folks. Personally, I make out like bandit under the present system since with my education and the way my industry is structured we make a killing by manufacturing overseas. I get tremendous access to low priced luxuries that greatly benefit my quality of life. But I think it’s wrong to take advantage of society this way; I just wish the willful idiots like the verbose idiot I’m quoting would see it the same way.

    Or perhaps I should quote someone who said it better than I ever could, and with a puppy appropriate reference: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

  34. One slightly off topic comment is that I’m skeptical of whether China, Japan, Korea, and other nations can really benefit one class over the other for the long term by manipulating currency–specifically by making their currency weak vs. the dollar, pound, euro, or whatever. You win for a while, but then you need to buy raw materials and capital…and you’re back at square one.

    I’m really with Walter Williams on this one; just because another nation does something stupid doesn’t mean that we need to do the same. Plus, it’s not like the elites of those countries are exactly hurting–they’re using the same central control objected to by the majority of Britons to keep as much of the BOM cost down.

    I’ve thus got high hopes for Brexit demonstrating that people can and do make better decisions than bureaucrats in any decision that’s not all about public goods.

  35. it is almost certainly true that the cultural ties between Britain and India are stronger than those between Britain and Germany, and without a doubt are stronger than those between Britain and Greece.
    Under normal circumstances, a nation is free to decide who it wants to trade with. But many of the European Left are besotted with the idea of a liberal, undemocratic super-state making this decision for others.
    If you give people the choice of leaving a union, you have to deal with the fact that people may leave the union.

    Definition of besot
    besotted besotting
    transitive verb
    1: infatuate 2
    2: to make dull or stupid; especially : to muddle with drunkenness

  36. Reality here is that the past 45 years have seen far greater variation in the value of the pound than we’ve seen recently

    Reality is for chumps, BB. Besides, for the crowd that uses AGW theory as religion, that is just par for the course. A trend over last week trumps one over last 45 years. Simply ignore that and let cherry picked and fraudulent facts fit the narrative, that is the lesson that AGW zealots have learned.

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