Sunday, October 28, 2012

European citizenship

Following the extensive discussion around new European countries resulting from secession, legal or illegal, that are already members states now I found it necessary to seek legal references exist on this controversial topic.

Well, in fact I don't believe it is controversial, since the Lisbon EU Treaty, clearly states what's the definition of the concept of European Union citizenship.

Article 20 (ex Article 17 TEC) provides in paragraph 1 that:

"It creates a citizenship of the Union. Shall be a citizen of the Union every person holding the nationality of a Member State. Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to national citizenship and shall not replace it."

So is being a citizen of a member country which European citizenship gives you and not the other. If you stop being a member state of the European citizenship is lost.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Style question

If we do a bit of memory and try to be minimally fair, remember that the last time got the PP in front of the Government of Spain, namely in 1996, the economic situation was radically different, this, far from buoyant was redirected through adjustment policies undertaken by the head of the Economy, Pedro Solbes.
The erosion of economic ajustment and the political (GAL affaire) for the last government Gonzalez, led the government relief. The PP was found with an economy still in recession but with the duties performed, so a tweak of the wheel, managed to capitalize on their own and others achievements.

The current situation can not be compared, obviously, the previous time the international economic situation which was supported and pushed the Spanish recovery, following competitive devaluations and improvement, the Spanish economy enjoyed the international climate to improve all indicators: growth, personal income, unemployment, etc. At the team responsible for then, Rato is assigned much of the success achieved but without offence, must be attributed a large share of that success to the international environment.

This time, the transfer of power has not been done in the same way, the crisis is not only national but rather international, Solbes, however much he tried, did not have a President of Government, at least at the beginning of problem, willing to sacrifice for the country, may not even really come to understand the proof of the problem.The PP has come, therefore, the government in an entirely different (though majority) since all the dirty work is done.

It is not worth the "laissez faire" to the ship back on track, we must roll up our sleeves. The current team in charge of economic affairs seems, however, have succumbed to the dilettante atmosphere of the Prime Minister, famous for his handling of "tempo": wait and see.

Be undertaken important structural reforms draft, have an absolute majority, years away for the next election. Citizens, no matter political color, if you explain things properly, understand them. All that is asked is that they act so that this agony is as short as possible.

What is not acceptable is to see the explanations after Guindos triumphalist European rebuke or see Montoro explain why rising VAT beacuse "there are much fraud." It is outrageous.

We are fed up that we always are compared with bullfighters and "old fashioned gentlemen", the Spanish are no longer so, only some of its politicians more dandruff.

Monday, June 11, 2012


At this point in the film there are still those who believe that financial markets are really markets?.

Today's session has been paradigmatic, initial increases of over 5% to close half a point in the negative zone, the premium risk down at the start to finish higher than it started.

Had not made ​​the ransom to appease the "markets"?. I fear that something had to fail.

After the big news of the rescue, all the analysts who appeared on television given by "discounting" the news. This is one of the wonders of the market, everything is discounted, no more than apply the soft efficiency hypothesis and that's it. Everything is in the market, past and present. But today we have breakfast with almost 6% rise, anything went wrong? I can say that the initial movement was due to a monumental closing shorts, especially in banks. After the massive closing, someone could to put up money to have entered the rise, but again do this late in the film are who you want to invest?.
Individual investors withdrew a long time to try something in exchange, are beaten and run any risk. Are the institutions? Mutual funds and insurance companies and money unwillingness to sign them should be an adventure like today. Who is left? The banks themselves.

I fear that the protagonists of the creepy downs in recent months to be financial institutions themselves and are playing the dangerous game to cover their losses resulting outcomes in others. The HFT and speculative portfolios of banks are the absolute protagonists of the whole problem of falling asset prices and loss of confidence in the system.

We solve give them more money, where it used? Will they give a respite to the productive economy or continue with the speculation?.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Junkie´s economy

Much has been talk of the causes of the crisis being the ease of lending by financial institutions one of the reasons adduced to explain more.

However true, so is that nobody forced to sign a mortgage. We have experienced a time when society in general has acted as a junkie and the financial system as a drug dealer. Going the distance, I think the picture is appropriate because the loss of purchasing power has been offset by increased access to credit which has allowed high rates of consumption. This consumption obviously has fallen when the pusher has stopped supplying the drug, in this case the easy money and cheap.

In the underworld of drugs, the addict ends badly or in a detoxification clinic to remove the dependency, the pusher ends, at least in the movies, bad or in jail.

Perhaps this is where the script away in real life, in our case the narco gets away with millions of euros in compensation and a new job waiting just around the corner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quid prodest Bankia?

One of the main reasons that have brought this debacle in financial markets, as well as Greek and French elections, has been the involvement of Bankia.

This has been facilitated by Deloitte's refusal to sign bills. Asserts a wealth gap due to the valuation of accounts Bankia in BFA.

The paradox is that the same auditing firm validated the same accounts for just six months and also a little earlier because of the bank's IPO.

Although it is true that the price has since fallen and Bankia traded well below book value, as other banking stocks, does not seem a sufficient reason for varying the auditor's opinion to the point of refusing to sign the audited accounts.

Is responsible for the auditor to have signed a few bills on time last year were virtually equal to those who have refused to sign? What motivated this change of opinion? Is there a conflict of interest, since it also was responsible for auditing the accounts of members of the merger saving banks? Nobody will say anything, not even the CNMV also validated the IPO? Does repeated Enron?, Do not forget that the current Deloitte emerges from the ashes of Arthur Andersen and the Ibex that Deloitte audits from the current portfolio of clients from the old defunct auditing firm and disappeared but auditors reappeared on the other hand.

Rato is now known that he wanted to change the auditors, can revenge?. Costs the country dearly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Rosebud are the last words of Charles Foster Kane, Welles transcript created by narrating the life of William Randolph Hearst, american billionaire who came to have 28 headers of newspapers and that, among other things, used for political ends. A front page dictated the media and was responsible, for example, the end of the Spanish empire in 1898 to support and promote the war in Cuba and being, therefore, responsible for the loss of the last Spanish colonies overseas.

The need to sell newspapers is seen in current publications as Newsweek, featuring Obama as the first gay president of the U.S. to defend gay marriage. Obviously one thing to defend and another very different practice.

In our country we also have our dose of sensationalism, but is unknown for the time recipient of some news. So we have one of the most important national newspapers giving news to the first rank of a blog post by Paul Krugman. Krugman uses this blog for many things, obviously is a blog and not The Economist or other specialized published by a prestigious university. Lectures are colloquial and do not have, of course, the same depth of analysis research papers produced after months of study.

Well, they use a blog entry, even that of Krugman, who used to teach doctrine so as to mock his enemies (which aren´t few), to whip do not know who. The news that Krugman see that is possible in a few weeks out of Greece to the euro and a "corralito" in Spain and Italy is not only biased and irresponsible, but is practically constitute a crime against the country.

How far do you get in this spiral of the worse better?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More wood, this is war¡¡

It not seems that the storm will abate in the coming days, quite the opposite.

The various factors that have converged in this May are too important to fade down the road without being lost some more feathers.

It is these moments when you most envy the Americans: polls every four years, a monetary policy that conforms to what the economy needs, not an economy that is set by definition, clarity of ideas, leadership, etc..

In contrast here in Europe continue to insist on the same recipes check despite not working, too much ego at stake and too Calvinist morality, too many elections and too many interests and the rating guys of "Insist and insist in the same way."

The only alternative is a federal Europe, but there is currently no politician with sufficient size to lead the necessary step forward.

How long we wait to decide who should decide? That clean up and clean out, everything else is quite simply a waste of time and money. If he had already done a couple of years, the only difference is that the bad times and we had taken us.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Ibex on the Brink

The spring is not sitting at all well to Ibex, from its inception the corrections have been the main trend that has led the Spanish index to lows of 2009 and virtually the same area from which it rebounded following the dot com crisis early in the last decade. In stock terms, barring more inflation, we can speak of a lost decade.
The question is what will happen from now. The index is in zone indicators bearings and with a strong oversold, so it is likely a reaction. The situation is if you lose the supports is very negative, it seems quite obvious ABC correction, with the current wave C correction of the whole movement. The question is whether end in the area where the wave A ended or will require a lower minimum, be produced and the length of the C of the same order of A, would lead to a target in the 3,000.
Given the composition of the Dow with a heavy weight of the banking sector, this end would not be entirely unheard of, if you also add the important weighting Repsol, we have a likely scenario, compatible with punishment differed among the securities industry, with very punished and others resigned to the lateral inertia.
In the above analysis we referred to the Ides of March and bearish tradition of St. Joseph, today we could bring up the English aphorism of "sell in may and go away". Only 4 days.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Nothing

I'm walking through the streets of my city and watch, depressed, as The Nothing is becoming more widespread.
Shops, bars, restaurants are closed one after another without interruption.
It is true that open new stores. Six months. This is what last.
I get the impression that they are burning huge amounts of effort and resources continuously, without any purpose, without continuity, without any future.
Unfortunately only the tertiary sector are not going to get ahead and I fear that at present there is no industry to replace the building sector, so that the decline will be slow and cruel. What a shame.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Civil servants

We are waiting for a New International Order, we live in a society in transition and it may last a few years yet, and meanwhile our solution was to give power to the technocrats.
When society loses faith in its leaders turns his gaze toward the technical, ie those which are in principle free of ideological guidelines and should take only those measures that really are suitable to overcome the current crisis.
That's in theory, because the technicians are a class by itself, the bureaucracy, characterized by immobility and the low-risk decision making.
The economic measures taken by our government have not liked anything to markets, just look at the risk premium in our debt, at levels of intervention, and equity markets at year lows. They have not liked, among other things, because only with cuts does not solve the national problem now, growth.
The current managers are acting as diligent CFOs, when things go wrong act cutting costs and investments, minimizing risk, are likely to take defensive positions. I'm not saying that is not appropriate to take such measures, but like many things in life, it's all about proportions.
Companies that fall into the hands of CFOs have the danger of financial panic ahead, are dominated by visions in retrospect, that is, remake or break decisions made earlier in another context.
The companies leading the markets are those in charge but not the CFO to the CEO, that figure should take into account financial aspects, especially in the context of lack of credit, but to have the courage to take risks future growth.
Our leaders are too worried about their accounts and what they owe, when they should be concerned with how to generate the wealth of tomorrow.
Again a question of allocation of scarce resources, they have chosen to safeguard the interests of its class, the civil service, and sacrifice the public investment.
There is an undeniable fact: if it were not so well paid profession of officer graduates would not have so many that they should seek a job opportunity in this area.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The wasted years

The markets may not go down well at the recent measures taken by the spanish executive, probably because they realize that they will not be much use, at least in the short term. It will not improve employment, will not improve the consumer, will not improve growth, will not improve the deficit (which makes sense since it is based on everything else). Budgets are fears that become applicable after the summer, so it has installed a sense of "another lost year".
It wasn't 2011, not 2012, it is doubtful that the 2013 and probably the start date of light recovery is 2014 or 2015. Overall, a waste decade for everyone. Those who have no work now, nor will in the coming years, so when the economy recovers it will be unrecoverable.
Whether you are young, because then it will be another cohort willing to take his place in the pyramid, and for the seniors, if they are now in an age when companies do not look at them, within 3 years and will flesh retirement 10 years although they are active. In economic terms this is called obsolescence, although the equipment to operate, companies prefer a new one, although it makes the same function have to look again, to be "cool", we like the Ipad, we started to the labour market and, at the same time, we are history .

The graph of the Ibex-35 does not inspire any hope, only the long-term support (7700) resist, if not, the fall can be historical. Anyway we are not alarmists, the trend is most likely the laterality until they clear up doubts.
We'll always have the option, if the Ibex 35 drops too low, that we can sell the whole countrie to China, and then he would be the way to be part of the EU, without meeting the convergence criteria and solve the problem of autonomic deficits: the Tibet's way.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Early retirees

Following takeover Unnim by BBVA has shown, again, who is bearing the brunt of the restructuring, employees seniors.
The statements of the head of BBVA in Catalonia made ​​last week pointed in that direction, the adjustment will be based on relocations and, above all, the layoffs will be made based on early retirement.

I searched Google images of seniors, in the vast majority belonged to elderly couples performing a fun, smiling, happy, carefree.

It is possible that in some cases may be so, even after a certain age is unquestionable, especially if you have health to enjoy it, but in many cases we are hiding behind a perverse effect early retirement from the economic point of view and deeply unfair: is dismissed due to the greater or lesser proximity to the legal age of retirement is not based on your professional skills.

In certain areas where physical activity is the differentiating factor may be reasonable to think that element of discrimination, however, in areas where the experience and background is everything, in sectors where the human element is the resource on which rests the corporate success or failure is difficult to understand him to be dispensed.

The society we are creating a society that criminalizes the knowing and knowledge, despite making this flag, it penalizes productivity, are dismissed as a collective rather than less competitive but for belonging to a particular cohort of age.

Curiously, the same as they were dismissed after they are sought as clients, apparently only a change of view.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Ides of March

I am a little concerned, although it seems that no matter how bad the news that appears, and that the market remains above the supports, approaches spring, or whatever it is, the Ides of March. The oldest of the place have always attributed a character bass in late winter and early spring, will be it that alters blood. The truth is that I prefer to think as M. Twain and hope that this month is as good or bad as the others.

The Ibex, despite everything, is below the resistance line, an area that in recent months has been impossible to penetrate. The indicators are somewhat overbought so, barring any positive surprise, it not seems that there will be a break immediately.

The finding by Rajoy that is impossible that what is impossible, despite the tenacity Calvinist from Central Europe, and the unstoppable rise in unemployment; the measures taken are not going to give short-term results, especially for what it really reduces the unemployment is growth, and I fear it is the only one not expect. As the pendulum rule requires, in addition, ministers are now more than ash and give no joy to anyone.

Moreover, the evolution of certain commodities, especially oil, threatens to end to screw the little hope there, that the rest of Europe to grow and pull us.
Bad times for poetry.

Barcelona front page of NY Times

Well, looks like we've done it again, Barcelona on the front page of newspapers worldwide, but not held during these days one of the most important congresses related to new technologies or the impact this event has on the local economy, no, once again we are news disturbances generated by a band of fanatics, who covered the mass engaged in urban terrorism with the approval of everyone.

Everyone should be aware that the picture, its characters, they are still, despite the violence they contain, mere puppets of a much more elaborate joke.

On one hand, the mass outrage, they raise rates by pursuing higher education. In Spain, ignorance leads us to hope that everyone has a college degree, in 60 years we have gone from being illiterate to high school graduates struggling to be civil servants or professionals prepared to nurture companies from outside our country, this is called a good investment.

In addition it is intended that social mobility are paid by the state, ie, everyone. It might seem redistributive, but once again the wrong focus, redistribution is allow the best prepared reach the highest levels of knowledge without the cost prevents them from reaching, the rest, if you want, you pay. That is, more scholarships and the rest to pay the real cost of education. We live in a country where the middle and upper middle class send their children to school concerted, good private schools because we pay the rest part. That each hold your candle stick, who can afford private schools that pay and who not, to the public.

Of course, we are in the country of half solutions, as we can not make a local finance law allow municipalities are financed by selling land and urbanized municipality, as we can not afford the education necessary public squares, to subsidize private schools.

That good business is done with the money of others. Almost I prefer the American model, it will be unfair in some respects, but ultimately prevails further effort and perseverance in his work as a true redistribution of income, the other are front pages.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Solving the deficit

The chairman of the Committee for Economic and Financial Policy of the CEOE, Jose Luis Feito, has found the remedy the deficit, since the item of unemployment benefits is most important. Admittedly, the measure could lead, without any doubt, to compete for the Nobel laureate himself.

It is that any unemployed person refuses a job offer will be withdrawn automatically entitled to collect unemployment benefits. Although, according to his own words, the job is located in Lapland (far away from Spain, of course).

The hypothesis is that the unemployed are lazy they would rather be at home to work, prefer loafing and receiving a grant to work with the country's progress, they prefer to stay with a handout to earn his salary through effort.

Personally I think the vast majority of unemployed in this country, first it is not by choice, and second, the rejection of a job can be given at a time when no jobs and the unemployed know that if you can wait a little longer to find a placement in better condition than it offered. I do not think we're in this situation and all unemployed person know that, or take what comes, whatever it is, or there will be a second chance.

The verbiage and lack of sensitivity seems to have been installed in certain sectors of the CEOE, not realizing that there are now many people who have a hard and are not directly responsible for that to happen.

To say that we have to accept a job even in Lapland shows that the worker is not known in our country, a few days ago we saw a story on the failure of many Spanish who have gone to find work in Norway and live on charity. I do not think will be a problem is a problem that no work.

Anyway, as has its charms, solves the problem permanently, to Gerona unemployed are offered a job in Huelva, to La Coruna in Murcia, the Canary Islands from Madrid, engineers work mason and bricklayers pilot work and so on, certain that the deficit is reduced but not unemployment.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mediterranean axis and carnival

There should be a product of chance that one of the most budget ministers handled has been dropped by Barcelona during the week of Carnival.

Carnival is fun anticipating the period of Lent, dates on which Christians are taking a hard period of reflection and penance before the week of passion (Easter).

The carnival comes probably from pagan festivals like the feast of Dionysus Greek or Roman the Bacchanalia. A festival in other words.

Well, in this healthy environment, we had the visit of Mrs. Pastor, who before the cluster of accidents in the suburban rail network in Barcelona, ​​has come with its cornucopia before "Mardi gras" and has offered, bountiful, plenty of investment (on paper) to unclog the delays endemic to the rail network in Catalonia. Among others also came to reaffirm the government's interest in promoting the Mediterranean axis, the structure of vital importance not only for Spain but throughout Europe, as it would bind using a communication channel, high-capacity North Africa through Morocco to northern Europe.

So far nothing abnormal, the problem has jumped at once that the minister has removed the mask to say, pleased himself, that central government support as a priority the construction of railway infrastructure, but instead of using the natural step of the Mediterranean, which also includes the most important Spanish ports from the point of view of commercial activity, Valencia, Tarragona and Barcelona, ​​would support a priority axis passing through Madrid and then through the Pyrenees. The crossing of the Pyrenees would be done through a tunnel of new construction of over 40 km long and budgeted (now) at over 6,000 million euros.

The problem is not, as the minister said that in other parts of Spain are also entitled to be a priority, because that experience and have lived with the AVE that we have mistaken for the Metro. This is rationally make the investment needed to boost the country and be competitive. Pass the train through the center of Spain is not an efficient decision and Brussels, reject it last year.

All you get with this nonsense is that large projects will always stop to have clear ideas and entertain least try to please everyone. At the end is always a question of leadership, as in previous years, you are missing a lot right now.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You're fired

Well, that's it. It has reduced the dismissal. Now, it's time to create jobs. There are no excuses.

Nor was there before. In fact, new workers covered by the guarantee of 45 days, at present, practically nonexistent. Those who are hired after the publication in the BOE is going to hurt, so far worth 45.

There is no doubt that the duality of the Spanish labor market is tightening (or was) and that this prevented the fixed and favored the hiring of temporary chain. But the measures taken today are not going to lower the unemployment rate, not even going to arrest the further deterioration. It's a long-term measure and for now, and for a long time, there will be no results.

But it's media. It was seen on camera Guindos staging his "petit committee." Please.

Unemployment decreases with growth in Spain, historically, it takes 2 points of GDP growth to reduce unemployment by one point. Do the calculations, 25% unemployment means ...... phew.

The other element is to reduce unemployment with competitiveness, and as we will not compete with emerging economies (or with the Germans if they charge at 1 € per hour) we will have to, investing in R & D, ie knowledge. But, there's always a but, if we not invest when we could invest, did we do now? No, now we cut spending and firing people. Always pro-cyclical measures. When will we learn?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Today I read the professor Estapé article posthumous and would like to share. Probably not his best article but if that proves once again that irony, intellectual rigor and independence of judgment of which he always had shown, had not abandoned and remained so "fine" as ever.
I remember with nostalgia the lectures I had the opportunity to enjoy the faculty of economics: its faculty. His deep economic knowledge and personality made ​​them to be a real intellectual enjoyment, encyclopedic knowledge, humanism and the bonhomie of which he displayed have been a reference for many of us intellectual.
A heartfelt remembrance.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chapter 11 killer's

The last failure in Spain again shows that bankruptcy is not nothing but a liquidation form.
While in other countries is a tool for companies to have a period of time unless the demands of creditors and can successfully renegotiate a viability plan, see the recent case of American Airlines or Delta Airlines presented the "chapter 11 "in September 2005, to cite two examples in the industry, here in Spain bankruptcy has only served to liquidate the company, in fact the ultimate goal of most companies that use this procedure (Air Madrid, Air Comet).
The insolvency regulation, although recently renovated, looking more preserve the rights of creditors that the viability of the company, much more complicated, both for the vast majority of "bankruptcy administrators" basically legal training, the Spanair has gone to "touch" to a law firm controlled by the Gispert Group "curiously" related with the president of the Catalan Parliament, to the managers of the companies seeking, as it seems in this case, throw in the towel after failing the resource who have been welcoming in recent times, institutional manna.
The other big difference with the suspension of payments that have been able to regain economic viability is presented in a reasonable long before the box is dry, because then if it is impossible to reverse.
It's a shame that an instrument used elsewhere to revive companies in crisis, something that is outside the normal business, here becomes a purely administrative procedure to close a new company more.