Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit is Big News

Turns out I was wrong in calling the vote, as were other bettors, but there is already talk of a revote.

"My guess is they will find a way to undo the mandate set by the people of Britain between now and when the technocrats at the EU finally hand over the keys to the kingdom. With the TTIP waiting in the wings, it’s not a good time to be undermining sovereignty of the European Union so something must give. Democracy would be my guess. I have too say I am impressed with the resolve of those damn Brits....

Let’s face it: aside from the attempts to present all the “Leave” voters as raving racists, ignorant dupes, geriatric half-wits and nationalist neo-Nazis, the reality is they are really just everyday ordinary working (or unemployed) Brits who are tired of the business as usual “Everything for Big Business/Big Banking” unelected technocrats in Brussels dictating British domestic economic policy on behalf of Big Business/Big Banking interests. It’s that simple. They were tired of that and tired of the MSM’s incessant obsession with reporting everything from that Big Business/Big Banking neoliberal slant. And true to form, what does the MSM do after they receive this stunning mandate from the people?


As for what really happened, it is possible the vote was of such a margin that the best the vote riggers and mouthpiece pre$$titutes could do was shrink it down to a 4% loss. Or the elite let the exit happen as an excuse for the coming economic collapse where they will make out again, buying low and selling dear while scooping up more assets. Seen this movie before. As CIA documents found in the US National Archives make clear, the EU was a CIA initiative

In any event, "it’s a situation that will almost have you believing that not every vote everywhere is totally rigged. Amazingly, and despite a random apocalyptic weather event that caused massive flooding, Brits voted for the UK to leave the EU. And then… as if it couldn’t get better… David Cameron resigned...." in what can only be described as a huge victory against the evil forces of World Jewry, according to a friend.

"Britain exits the EU, and the world shudders" by Steven Erlanger New York Times  June 25, 2016

LONDON — Britain’s startling decision to pull out of the European Union set off a cascade of aftershocks on Friday, costing Prime Minister David Cameron his job, plunging the financial markets into turmoil, and leaving the country’s future in doubt.

The decisive win by the “Leave” campaign exposed deep divides: young versus old, urban versus rural, Scotland versus England. The recriminations flew fast, not least at Cameron, who had made the decision to call the referendum on membership in the bloc to manage a rebellion in his own Conservative Party, only to have it destroy his government and tarnish his legacy.

The result of the so-called Brexit vote presented another stiff challenge to the leaders of the other major European powers as they confront spreading populist anger. It was seized on by far-right and anti-Brussels parties across Europe, with Marine Le Pen of the National Front in France calling for a “Frexit” referendum and Geert Wilders of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands calling for a “Nexit.”

European officials met in Brussels to begin discussing a response and to emphasize their commitment to strengthening and improving the bloc, which will have 27 members after Britain’s departure.

“At stake is the breakup, pure and simple, of the union,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France said, adding, “Now is the time to invent another Europe.”

Germany urged calm. “Today marks a turning point for Europe,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “It is a turning point for the European unification process.”

They still don't get it.

Financial markets swooned as it became apparent that the Leave forces would prevail, with the British pound and global stock prices plummeting in value early Friday as the vote tally showed the Remain camp falling further behind.

President Obama on Friday sought to assure Britain and the European Union that the United States would not pick sides once the two are divorced. Rather than dwell on the wrenching change to come, Obama emphasized continuity. “One thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our two nations,” he said. “That will endure.” And, he added, “The EU will remain one of our indispensable partners.”

Here is why: What Is the EU? 

An intelligence operation and "tool for the powers-that-be outside the continent to control Europe and its people."

The president said he had spoken with Cameron, who told him Britain’s departure would be orderly, and with Merkel, who will loom even larger as a partner for the United States in a European club that no longer has a Britain as a member.

With all votes counted, Leave was ahead by 52 percent to 48 percent, an enormous snub to Britain’s elite.

Their greed is what did it.

The process of withdrawal is likely to play out slowly, perhaps taking years. It will mean pulling out of the world’s largest trading zone, with 508 million residents, including the 65 million people of Britain, and abandoning a commitment to the free movement of labor, capital, goods, and services. It has profound implications for Britain’s legal system, which incorporates a large body of regulations that cover everything from product safety to digital privacy, and for Britain’s economy.

The main ways in which the change will be felt are on trade — Britain will lose automatic access to the European single market — and on immigration, with Britain no longer bound to allow any EU citizen to live and work in the country. Britain will have to try to negotiate new deals covering those issues.

To those in Britain who supported remaining in Europe, the result of Thursday’s in-or-out referendum was a painful rejection, leaving the country exposed to a possible economic downturn and signaling a step away from the multiculturalism that they say has made Britain among Europe’s most vibrant societies. 


You know, the elite are diverse, too, and so are all the people they fleece.

To backers of leaving, the outcome was vindication of their belief that Britain could pursue an independent course in the world, free of the Brussels bureaucracy and able to control the flow of immigrants into the country.

For Cameron, the results were a humiliating disaster, forcing him to announce his departure only 13 months after he won reelection behind a surprisingly large Conservative majority in national elections. Critics said he had led Britain out of Europe for no good reason and that the unity of the United Kingdom itself was threatened, with Scotland now more likely to try again to bolt.

Why didn't they the first time?

Scotland voted by 62 percent to 38 percent to remain in the European Union, and the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said Friday that it was “democratically unacceptable” for Scotland to be dragged out of it against its will. Another independence referendum, she said, “is now highly likely.”

Same for Texas?

Speaking in front of 10 Downing Street early Friday, with his wife, Samantha, standing nearby, Cameron said he would resign once a new leader had been chosen by his party, a decision he expected by October. He will stay now to provide stability, but a new prime minister, he said, should formally begin Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union and negotiate the terms of that divorce.

As bloggers have noted, that gives the Remain forces three months to undo all this. 

So when is terror event going to strike London?

His statement created an immediate churn in the political waters, with speculation that the two Conservatives most likely to succeed him are Boris Johnson, the flamboyant former mayor of London who helped lead the Leave campaign, and Theresa May, the Home secretary, who supported Cameron and Remain, but concentrated on doing her job rather than campaigning.

The immediate market reaction was an effort to find a floor in the midst of so much uncertainty, said Barrington Pitt Miller, an equity research analyst at Janus Capital. But he said he expected British economic growth to be zero or negative in the short and medium term, with a secondary impact over time as London’s financial services sector, which makes up about 10 percent of the economy, begins to move staff and headquarters to Frankfurt, Paris, or Dublin.

A lot will depend on how the EU chooses in the end to respond — whether it is “vindictive, friendly or frightened,” he said.

There is already talk of punishing the pound and recalcitrant voters.

Johnson and some in the Leave campaign argued that the other European nations valued trade with Britain so much that they would negotiate a special deal after Britain’s withdrawal to let Britain remain in the single market without having to guarantee freedom of movement and labor. That seems highly unlikely, because it would only encourage other nations to pressure Brussels. But it may be that as the dust settles, some sort of association agreement with Britain could be negotiated, as Merkel suggested on Friday, though the price could be high....

Who needs who more?


Related: Brexit: A Victory for Britain’s Working Class

Also seeShockwaves continue from Britain’s EU exit

"Populist Anger Upends Politics on Both Sides of the Atlantic" by Jim Yardley New York Times  June 25, 2016

LONDON — From Brussels to Berlin to Washington, leaders of the Western democratic world awoke Friday morning to a blunt, once-unthinkable rebuke delivered by the flinty citizens of a small island nation in the North Atlantic. Populist anger against the established political order had finally boiled over.

The British had rebelled.

Their stunning vote to leave the European Union presents a political, economic, and existential crisis for a bloc already reeling from entrenched problems.

But the thumb-in-your-eye message is hardly limited to Britain. The same yawning gap between the elite and mass opinion is fueling a populist backlash in Austria, France, Germany, and elsewhere on the Continent.

Is the pre$$ finally waking up?

Even as the European Union began to grapple with a new and potentially destabilizing period of political uncertainty, the British vote will inevitably be seized upon as further evidence of deepening public unease with the global economic order. Globalization and economic liberalization have produced winners and losers — and the big “Leave” vote in economically stagnant regions of Britain suggests that many of those who have lost out are fed up.

Time and again, the European Union has navigated political crises during the past decade with a Whac-a-Mole response that has maintained the status quo and the bloc’s lumbering forward momentum toward greater integration — without directly confronting the roiling public discontent beneath the surface.

But now the question is whether the dam has broken: Before breakfast on Friday, anti-Europe leaders in France and the Netherlands were rejoicing and demanding similar referendums on EU membership. Terms like Frexit and Nexit were being used, taking after Brexit, the popular name for the British exit.

“Victory for liberty!” the far-right French leader Marine Le Pen declared on Twitter.

It is not clear what lessons leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are taking from the shock of the exit.

In Brussels, many member governments appear divided between an instinct to respond to the British referendum vote by driving for greater integration among Germany, France, and other core members of the bloc and a willingness to moderate their ambitions in recognition of public opposition.

EU leaders were under pressure to reassure the European public, and the world, that the bloc was not at risk of unraveling. For decades, the EU had moved forward, always expanding in size and influence. Britain has now reversed that trend.

What do they call it when you do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result?

Hans Kundnani, a Berlin-based expert in European politics at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said the British vote exposed a contradiction at the core of the European project. European leaders define success as steering member states toward greater political and economic integration. And many of the bloc’s inefficiencies and dysfunctions can be traced to the unfinished work of strengthening European institutions and achieving greater integration between member states in areas such as banking, finance, security, and defense.

But public opinion is deeply skeptical of this “more Europe” agenda. Far-right populist leaders have stoked public anxieties and resurgent nationalism by lashing out against immigrants, while portraying the European capital, Brussels, as a bastion of political elites out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people. Far-left populists have demanded a reexamination of the neoliberal economics of free trade and limited regulation, while resisting efforts to deconstruct the social democratic welfare state.

They finally got the message.

Before the referendum, some European officials portrayed Britain as an idiosyncratic case that should not be seen as a bellwether for the Continent. But that is a hard argument to make....

See: Trip Through Europe

Police Kill Movie Theater Assailant in Germany

Was it real or was it Memorex?


Going to be a harsh winter in Europe.

"Trump sees British vote as validation" by Julie Pace Associated Press  June 24, 2016

WASHINGTON — Britain’s stunning vote to bolt from the European Union sent political tremors across the Atlantic Friday, fueling Donald Trump’s confidence that frustrated US voters will back similarly sweeping change.

The results are rattling Democrats, who are banking on Americans ultimately choosing a more conventional leader in Hillary Clinton.

I'm sure the pun was unintended, and Democrats should be rattled. Their betrayal of the people is coming home to roost.

The British referendum was no exact mirror of the US political landscape. The American electorate is far more diverse and Trump is deeply unpopular with minority voters and women, a serious weakness dogging his Republican candidacy.

The UK referendum also centered on a single issue, while the presidential election can be as much a decision about personality and temperament as candidates’ policies.

Yet the parallels between the forces that drove the British vote and those at the core of Trump’s campaign are striking. Among them: a belief that globalization is hurting the working class, and increased immigration is changing the country’s character.

They aren't just "beliefs"; they are facts!

In both nations, there is strong resentment of political elites who often appear to have little connection to the voters they’re supposed to represent.

Exhibit A:

"As the dust settled from the geopolitical earthquake on Friday, a few faint silver linings appeared. If nothing else, the EU’s troubles could make other international institutions more relevant. NATO, the other major pillar of the postwar European order, has shrunk in importance since the Cold War; many European countries don’t even meet their mandated military spending levels. Perhaps the trouble gripping the EU will make it easier to convince European allies to recommit to NATO. Finally, if things go badly in Britain after the exit, the experience could also provide a sobering warning to the rest of the world about the dangers that can come from indulging atavistic nationalism. The EU debate in Britain — which included silly discussion about bananas, among other frivolities — did not always match the gravity of the decision that faced voters. For relatively prosperous countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, it’s sometimes possible to forget that politics is serious business."

And not a cartoon like the Globe editorial board rooting for a recession! 

Beyond that, how has NATO shrunk? It's expanded and is fighting wars in Africa and Afghanistan, and if anything the vote weakens NATO!

As for the coverage of campaigns, whose fault is that (hypocrisy noted)?

Fifty-two percent of British voters moved to withdraw from the 28-nation European bloc, despite dire warnings from Prime Minister David Cameron and other top officials about calamitous economic consequences.

In the United States, Clinton cast the economic uncertainty as a reason America needs ‘‘calm, steady, experienced leadership’’ in the Oval Office — a knock on her often unpredictable and politically inexperienced Republican rival.

That "leader$hip" is what has driven us all into the ditch.

Other Democrats, openly anxious, warned that the party should not underestimate the willingness of angry American voters to choose a more uncertain path in November and side with Trump.

‘‘It’s a timely big splash of cold water the face of Democrats,’’ said Ron Kirk, the former Democratic mayor of Dallas and US trade representative for President Obama.

Democratic operative Lynda Tran said that if US voters are indeed seeking a broad political overhaul in November, Clinton will be ‘‘at a major disadvantage.’’

They are. Peace and prosperity win elections, and the American people have neither right now.

The British referendum comes as Trump tries to rebound from one of the worst stretches of his campaign. He has struggled to raise money and build a robust organization for the general election,

That's about the time my vacation started, and I was wrong again (not) along with Rubio!

But for some Republicans, the outcome in Britain was a reminder that despite Trump’s shortcomings, he may be the candidate most attuned to voters — an intangible that campaign cash can’t buy.

‘‘Brexit is a wakeup call for the Clinton team,’’ said Scott Reed, chief strategist for the US Chamber of Commerce. ‘‘The status quo won’t work this cycle.’’

Jerry Spaulding, a farmer from Gilmanton, N.H., who plans to vote for Trump in November, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the breadth of Trump’s support is broader that it may look in public opinion polls....

Yup. People are afraid to say they support or will vote Trump in this day of hyper political correctness and fear in the land of free speech.


He was speaking from where?

"Despite campaign woes, Donald Trump flies to Scotland to tend to business interests" by Ashley Parker and Maggie Haberman New York Times   June 23, 2016

AYRSHIRE, Scotland — Normally when presidential contenders travel abroad, they do so to burnish their foreign policy credentials, cramming their schedules with high-level meetings with foreign dignitaries and opining on the pressing international issues of the day.

But, to a large extent, Trump’s business interests still drive his behavior, and despite the fact that Trump touches down in Britain the day after its “Brexit” vote on whether to leave the European Union, his itinerary — a helicopter landing at his luxury resort, a ceremonial ribbon cutting and family photo, and a news conference — reads like a public relations junket crossed with a golf vacation.

Well, if he doesn't win he will be going back to business so I don't hold this against him like the pre$$.

“Traditionally, nominees travel oversees during this period to brush up their foreign policy depth and visit 10 Downing Street and Israel — for politics back here,” said Scott W. Reed, senior political strategist for the US Chamber of Commerce. “Everyone knows this is the wrong thing for the nominee to be doing now, and it is amazing this can’t be stopped.”

They vet every U.S. candidate.

Some aides said privately that they wished he would cancel it.

Trump’s self-image as a successful businessman is important to him, and, even though he has said publicly that he is relying more on his children to run the Trump Organization nowadays, he remains closely tied to it. He also believes that many of his supporters are drawn to his persona of a brash billionaire, born out of his decades in the business world.

So he has a nonprofit that supports family just like the Clintons, 'eh?

He does not like to be away from his business operations for long. Save for just over a dozen nights during the primaries, he has returned to one of his homes at the end of each day, usually to his New York City apartment, which allows him access to his 26th-floor office in Trump Tower, where he works and takes part in interviews.

And he tends to rely on Trump-connected businesses while he is campaigning, further bringing together the two worlds in which he operates.

Perhaps the most stark example of his business empire intruding on his political career came late last month. Trump delivered scathing criticism of Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel — first at a San Diego rally and then again in interviews — that was less a result of a politically strategic calculation than of Trump’s concerns about rulings the judge made in a federal lawsuit against his now defunct Trump University.

Trump accused the Indiana-born judge of being unable to render fair rulings because of his “Mexican heritage.’’ The political backlash was swift, with many of Trump’s supporters distancing themselves from him and calling his comments racist.

The Scotland trip, too, is potentially fraught. Since clinching the Republican nomination, Trump has squandered numerous opportunities to unify the Republican Party behind him, or exhibit the discipline party leaders and donors are eager to see. 

If he did that he would lose votes, wouldn't he?

When Barack Obama headed to Europe as a presidential candidate in 2008, and Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, traveled to England, Israel, and Poland during his campaign, both men went to demonstrate their global savvy and stature, in meticulously planned visits. (Romney’s trip, nonetheless, was a gaffe-ridden disaster and many of his aides later said they wished he had stayed home.) 

I could go and call up those links, but why bother?

“Foreign trips are an inherently risky endeavor,” said Lanhee Chen, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who advised Romney in 2012. “Ideally, they will boost a candidate’s credibility on and familiarity with the geopolitical issues of the region they visit. But they require a lot of planning and logistical coordination. Seems to me that a foreign trip driven solely by personal financial interests — as Trump seems to be planning later this week — would be unprecedented.”

Yet some Republicans still think Trump should simply disentangle the personal (and business) from the political....


Better brace your$elf:

"US investors should brace for rough aftermath of Brexit vote" by Beth Healy Globe Staff  June 24, 2016

For American investors, Britain’s vote to break up with Europe didn’t just deliver stocks a bad day. It stirred worries about a global economic slowdown — and weighty questions about a wave of voter discontent that is dominating US politics as well.

Britain “is one theater in a very large campaign,” said Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro strategy at Fidelity Investments in Boston. “The US election is another theater, with the common denominator of slow growth and disenfranchisement.”

Got that right. I call it a show fooley.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 600 points, wiping out all its gains for 2016. Meanwhile, investors rushed into the relative safe havens of US Treasuries, and gold climbed nearly 5 percent.


"Stocks plunged in the United States and worldwide Friday after Britain voted to leave the European Union. The result stunned investors, who reacted by rushing to the safety of gold and US government bonds as they wondered what will come next. Banks took the largest losses by far. Citigroup plummeted and JPMorgan Chase fell. They have the most to lose in Britain’s departure from the EU because they do a lot of cross-border business in Europe based from their offices in London. Oil prices sank. In addition to bonds, other safety assets also soared. Gold jumped and silver rose." 

Also see: Black Friday

They couldn't fix things?

Big moves will probably continue in the coming days, as markets try to sort out how Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will affect the rest of the world. In the near term, US interest rates are likely to stay low, analysts said, but, “We think we’re shaping up for some pretty significant volatility for the balance of the year,” said Lori Heinel, chief portfolio strategist at State Street Global Advisors, a large Boston-based investment manager.

Already State Street had been downgrading its view of the economy, Heinel said. “This only heightens the risk of a downside.”

See: State Street Hooleygans

The $60 billion Massachusetts state pension fund warned that the British vote, dubbed Brexit, could deliver the Pension Reserves Investment Trust a loss of at least 1.5 percent and as much as 9 percent in a worst-case scenario.

Britain’s separation from Europe could take at least two years to play out, so there’s no immediate change taking place. But the move creates uncertainty. And the UK is a major global financial center, in addition to being the fifth-largest economy in the world.

“I’m worried about a slowdown. I’m worried about the nascent recovery we saw on the continent getting derailed,” said Jeff Knight, global head of asset allocation at Columbia Threadneedle, a Boston-based investment manager that oversees $464 billion. “This is the beginning of the issues, not the end.”

For retirement investors whose portfolios took a hit during the 2008 recession, this could represent another major jolt in a period when stock returns have been positive but hardly overwhelming.


The market surged to record heights but your portfolios stayed flat? 


Some investment specialists remain bullish on the US economy for now.

Renowned bond manager Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Loomis, Sayles & Co. in Boston, in an e-mail, called the vote “discouraging geopolitical news.”

Indeed, Robert Mahoney, chief executive of Belmont Savings Bank, said British bankers who attended a meeting in Boston on Friday were gloomy over the Brexit news.

That brought a smile to my face.

The financial establishment wanted to remain part of the European Union, while voters angry over stagnant wages and immigration prevailed.

“The parallel for the US is just breathtaking,” Mahoney said.

President Obama on Friday said both the UK and the European Union were important partners of the United States. He said the vote pointed to the ongoing challenges of globalization.

They are going to shove it down your throat whether you like it or not.

US financial regulators said they were monitoring the markets to make sure they functioned properly given the volatility, and to minimize their effect on the economy. The Fed said it stood ready to work with other central banks to provide liquidity to the markets if necessary.

Well, we all knew the markets are rigged.

The Bank of England said it could infuse the equivalent of $342 billion into the financial system if needed.

Yeah, printing money is going to solve everything. 

Hasn't so far, but you know!

John Canally, chief economic strategist for LPL Financial Holdings Inc., a national brokerage firm based in Boston, said, “I don’t think this is enough to push us into a recession.” This event is different from, say, the financial crisis, when the country had been on a borrowing binge, and the tech bubble before that, when stocks were overvalued, he said.

We are already in recession, at least, the rest of the 99% for whom the paper is not written.

But policymakers’ reaction to Brexit will be important, he said. And the question is how negative the drumbeat of news is in the coming weeks and months, given the economy’s relatively slow growth....


 And that's the end of the Good Life:

"Mass. may soon have a Brexit problem" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  June 24, 2016

The United Kingdom is a significant market for Massachusetts exports, with the sales of local products, from cranberries to candles, valued at $1.2 billion. But the Brexit vote is also rattling the rest of Europe, a much bigger market for local manufacturers.

The bigger long-term fear: Brexit could trigger breakaway movements within other European countries, threatening the EU itself and creating uncertainty that could drag down the US economy. Given the unprecedented nature of Britain’s move, it’s hard to know how bad things will get.


“What this vote has done is it has created a huge package of uncertainty, both short term and long term,” said Chris Geehern, executive vice president at Associated Industries of Massachusetts. “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be an interesting ride.”

I'm about to get off.

Geehern said he expects the value of the dollar to increase, not just in the United Kingdom, but against other currencies, too. That would make products exported by Massachusetts manufacturers more expensive.

Michael Tamasi was among local business executives struggling to assess the damage Friday. His company, AccuRounds, makes metal components for other manufacturers that sell overseas.

Robert Nakosteen, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said he expects the United Kingdom will be stuck with unfavorable tariff agreements with the European Union, creating an economic barrier between the British economy and the continent.

Fortunately for Massachusetts, exports are only a small part of the overall economy, Nakosteen said, with sales to the United Kingdom probably less than 1 percent of the state’s gross product.

“I don’t think the effects are going to be major because the UK is not all that important to our economy [on its own],” he said.


That FLIES in the FACE of the AGENDA-PUSHING HEADLINE and introductory paragraph. 


But if Brexit sets off a series of falling dominos that eventually hit the US economy, then Massachusetts companies will probably be hurt.


How about the MIXED ME$$AGES, huh? 

It's what used to be called PROPAGANDA!

The firms in Boston’s large investment community that do business in London may have to reassess their operations in Europe’s financial capital now that it will no longer be within the larger EU economic community.

State Street Corp., for example, had more than 2,000 employees in London as of the end of the year, and stores its large gold reserves there.


Yeah, you want to get that back.

Among large publicly traded companies in Massachusetts, State Street had the biggest sell-off Friday, falling almost 9 percent to close at $54.99. A State Street spokeswoman declined to comment on the firm’s London operations.

For State Street and other financial companies, Babson College lecturer Peter Cohan said a banking exodus from London, while not imminent, is a possibility down the line.

That should be cause for celebration!

“They’re going to have to find a new place to locate in Europe, probably,” Cohan said. “They’re going to have to do some layoffs and move people, and the whole thing is going to cost a lot more than people were expecting.”

But to where? “That’s a real problem in terms of financial services because there’s no other natural center for finance in Europe,” said Megan Greene, the chief economist at insurer John Hancock in Boston.

Greene said she stayed up all night to track the vote. As the results came in, her inbox filled up with bitter e-mails from people in industries, many of the messages laced with profanities.

How unlike the elite. That's supposed to be the province of Trump and Leave voters and dissident blogs. That's what makes them better than us.

London has also been the natural base for many US companies to launch European expansions, and they, too, may have to find another home on the continent. 

At least they have one, unlike so many citizens.

For life sciences companies, the regulatory approval process in Europe is considered to be quicker than in the United States, said Tom Sommer, president of the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council.

“The fact that you could establish a foothold in the European market in the UK now seems to have lost a lot of its luster,” Sommer said.

Even stalwarts of the economy such as local universities could be hit, said Boston higher education consultant Brian Mitchell. A stronger dollar means higher tuition costs for families from overseas.

That means less revenue and more scholarships, doesn't it?

Moreover, a global downturn would probably hurt college endowments and discourage donors from making big gifts.

There is one sector of the state’s economy that could benefit: real estate. Mortgage rates often drop when investors gobble up bonds because of their perceived safety. “It’s really prohousing,” Nathan Weiss, a hedge-fund adviser based in East Greenwich, R.I., said of Brexit. “That’s probably one of the biggest unforeseen impacts.”

The real estate market is already a bubble.

The effects could be seen in other unexpected ways. Richard Stavis, chief executive of Boston seafood distributor Stavis Seafoods, said shrimp companies are on edge right now. Canadian shrimp is popular in Britain, and the UK buyers pay a premium to get it. Stavis said he thinks prices will drop as a result of the Brexit vote.

I don't eat shrimp, not since the Gulf Gusher and Fukushima.

To some extent, that’s good for Stavis because it may allow him to establish a bigger market for that shrimp in the United States.

“Lower prices is better news for us,” Stavis said. “It means it would get on more menus, and we would sell more product.”


So what is that going to do to the state budget?

"As market fears grow, worries over Mass. budget" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  June 24, 2016

The economic tsunami from the United Kingdom’s vote to exit from the European Union could soak the Massachusetts state budget, already facing what could be a $750 million gap in the fiscal year that starts next week.

This as we are told the economy is performing better than the nation as a whole, and is healthy -- and yet still tax collections are down from projections. 

Does that make $en$e to you?

With markets roiled, experts warned of immediate effects on state revenue from the capital gains tax, a levy on investment profits. And they cautioned that the as-yet-unknown ripples from the vote could drag down other state tax revenues, potentially limiting the services the state can provide to its 6.8 million residents.

“The UK’s withdrawal from the EU may send shock waves through the Massachusetts economy in numerous ways that we can’t fully anticipate, with potentially profound effects on the Massachusetts budget, a scenario for which we are ill-prepared,” said Eileen McAnneny, who leads the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

More mixed me$$ages, with a dollop of fear thrown in!

McAnneny’s business-backed group has for years been pressing budget officials — mostly unsuccessfully — to put more money in the state’s emergency savings account.

She said Friday that the “havoc [the vote] will wreak on global financial markets in the short-term will impact the state’s capital gains tax revenue.”

She also warned that it could affect the amount of corporate taxes the state brings in as “businesses come to grips with this new economic order.”

The administration of Governor Charlie Baker announced earlier this month that even though the state’s economy was humming along, tax revenue for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is expected to be $450 million to $750 million less than projected.

How can that be other than bad predictions and forecasts?

So should the economy feel ripples from the vote across the pond, budget officials in Massachusetts will have less flexibility to deal with further potential reductions in tax revenue.

Even though I was told it is a minuscule part of our economy. 

Any excuse to $crew you I gue$$.

The state’s nearly $40 billion budget funds everything from Massachusetts’ massive health care program for the poor and disabled, to environmental protection, to state courts and elections, to staffing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Nothing about the billions in corporate welfare in the form of state tax credits and subsidy checks!

Less than a day after the tally, the economic future in Massachusetts and around the world remains largely unknown.

“The Brexit clearly adds another element of uncertainty to our economic future,” said Noah Berger, who has closely followed the state budget for years and is president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

“It’s an important reason to be cautions, but the reality is: We don’t yet know what the long-term effects on the national or world economy are going to be,” Berger said.

Top officials acknowledged the threat of the tumult, but said it’s probably too soon to know the full effect on Massachusetts’ fiscal condition.

Baker’s budget chief, Kristen Lepore, said that while the full consequences of Brexit are not yet clear, “the result underscores the need to manage spending responsibly so we are prepared for unexpected events.”

Representative Brian S. Dempsey, who has led the House Ways and Means Committee since 2011, said it has been his experience that “national and international events can have dramatic impacts on our state’s fiscal condition.”

If nothing else, he said in a statement, “recent news out of Europe and elsewhere introduces a degree of uncertainty, which the markets do not like, but it is probably too soon to speculate on any specific impacts here in the Commonwealth.”

Still, Dempsey said he will work with the Senate and the governor to keep the state “on a fiscally responsible path.”


The $750 million is on top of the $311 million they are short this year!

"Mass. faces $311 million shortfall" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  June 03, 2016

With just days left in the state’s fiscal year, Massachusetts is grappling with a $311 million tax revenue shortfall that will force a quick budget tightening across government and portends trouble for the spending plan being ironed out by the Legislature for the new fiscal year that begins in July.

The Department of Revenue announced Friday afternoon that tax revenue in May had fallen below expectations for the second month in a row, putting the state, which must have a balanced budget, in a bit of a pinch.

But officials in the administration of Governor Charlie Baker say they have no plans for layoffs, emergency cuts, or using the state’s rainy day fund, meant only for fiscal emergencies.

Still, tightening will be necessary. Even though $311 million is small in the sweep of a nearly $40 billion budget, the short time frame makes the hole difficult to fill.

“At this point in the year, it’s hard to close a gap,” said Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “But there are tools — freezing spending wherever possible, finding savings when the number of people qualifying for specific programs is below projections, and there’s also the possibility of using reserves, as a last resort.”

Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, emphasized there isn’t an easy fix.

“Obviously, the fact that we have days left to the fiscal year and they are $311 million short means that addressing it is a Herculean task,” she said. “They have very few options at this point. Most of the state’s money has been spent.”

She said possibilities include paying some bills in the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

McAnneny said two months doesn’t make a trend, but “it certainly should cause budget writers to pause.”

Both the House and Senate have passed versions of the budget for the new fiscal year based on earlier projections of how much money the state will bring in. Now, members of each branch are working to reconcile their differences before July.

Seth Gitell, a spokesman for Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, said the revenue numbers are of concern to DeLeo. “It’s something he’ll be looking at with a watchful eye as the fiscal year comes to a close,” Gitell said.

Yet the more immediate crunch is the one faced by the administration.

Baker’s budget chief, Kristen Lepore, released a statement saying that the gap “remains in a range that we can manage through,” though she did not specify what that might entail.

In a legal disclosure Massachusetts released last month, Lepore and Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg said budget management measures include restricting last-minute spending, working to boost revenue collection, and payroll caps.

The administration and outside budget analysts say the below-expectation numbers are not necessarily a sign the state’s economy is weakening — two months of concerning data is insufficient to draw sweeping conclusions, they say.

Fluctuations in how much companies are paying in taxes based on ripples in the stock market are partly to blame, officials say.

“We continue to have confidence in the state’s economy as overall sales tax and income withholding revenues remain healthy,” Revenue Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan said in a statement. Massachusetts’ unemployment rate — 4.2 percent in April, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics — sits at pre-recession levels. And many sectors of the state’s economy are humming.

But the announcement of the less-than-expected revenue numbers comes as national worries grow about the potential of a slowdown, from weak job growth to the potential for global economic woes to hurt business in the United States. Also on Friday, the federal government released nationwide job numbers — the weakest in six years — which some analysts see as indicating the post-Great Recession recovery may be quickly losing steam.

Yeah, even the stuff that looks like good news turned out to be bad.

During his successful 2014 campaign for governor, Baker described himself as “a guy who is pretty facile with math.” Specialists say those skills will be put to the test again in coming days.


Any upside to all this?

"A Brexit upside? Cheaper UK vacations" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  June 24, 2016

Now might be a good time to take that trip to London.

With the value of the British pound plummeting on the news that the UK has voted to leave the European Union, American tourists will have more spending power. That Louis Vuitton handbag you’ve been craving? It’s cheaper there than it was yesterday. The same goes for hotel rooms, theater tickets, and pints at a pub.

The United Kingdom has long been an expensive destination for US travelers because of the strength of its currency, but with the pound plunging Friday to its lowest levels in more than 30 years — with an exchange rate of $1.37 per pound vs. $1.57 a year ago — a British vacation is more affordable than it used to be.

And, some travel industry analysts say, deals that had already started popping up to attract travelers worried about terrorism may multiply as UK tourist operators try to make traveling to Britain even more attractive.

A recent Travelzoo survey found that 80 percent of people who had already booked their summer vacations weren’t going abroad, mainly due to security concerns over terrorist attacks in Europe. This decrease in bookings has prompted airfare sales and cuts in hotel rates in cities such as London, Paris, and Venice, including four- and five-star hotels for under $200 a night at the height of summer.

You want to sow tyranny based on lies? 

Then reap the poverty that goes with it!!

So far, agents at Atlas Travel in Milford haven’t seen an uptick in people interested in travel to the United Kingdom after the European Union vote. But that could change, particularly if the dollar stays strong.

“You could actually see a pretty quick bump in appeal as far as traveling into the UK,” said Gabe Saglie, senior editor at Travelzoo, noting that tantalizing bargains could overcome security concerns that are keeping people at home.

Worries about the presidential election could dampen enthusiasm for last-minute jaunts, however, warned Jim Lowell, editor in chief of the Fidelity Investor newsletter.

“If we didn’t have a fearsome election year coming down the pipe, then that might be the case, but I think our own consumer base is getting increasingly nervous about virtually everything,” he said.

Everywhere I turn in my paper is fear! 

I'm afraid I'll have to stop reading it.

Interestingly, flight searches from the United Kingdom to the United States spiked on travel website Friday.

A Travelzoo survey of European travelers before the Brexit vote found that a third of German, Italian, and Spanish residents would reconsider taking trips to the UK if voters there rejected the European Union, due to currency uncertainty and “EU pride,” Saglie said. This could prompt even more last-minute sales and promotions targeting Americans.

The British exit vote could result in more expensive European vacations for Americans down the road, however. If the newly independent United Kingdom has to seek out new air service agreements with other European countries, it could mean reduced routes for low-cost carriers, and Americans who use London as a jumping-off point to explore the rest of Europe might see higher airfare as a result.

Better go now then, right?


Time to calm down and enjoy the ballgame this afternoon before whatever comes next.....


State faces possible $750 million budget gap

I imagine it will be much wor$e now.

SEE: State budget gap could be nearly $1 billion