It will soon be time for me to write my
end-of-year articles on the world of real estate. This year I
will no doubt have to update you on the property market in
Australia, and most definitely on Italy.
The big issue for most people will no doubt be the effects
. Those of you who follow my writings
will know that I believe Brexit
will be a non-event.
I keep getting asked about Brexit
. This is sad. People
should not need to ask me. What this shows is that not only do
the political parties either say nothing useful, or simply
trot out thoughtless garbage, but that the same goes for the
media. I reckon I am a reasonably intelligent person. I ended
up with a doctorate from the University of Oxford so I would
have thought I could classify myself as at least being
literate, but from reading the garbage pumped out by
politicians and the media I have no idea which way is up. If I
can't work it out, what chance has anyone who doesn't have a
degree in something useful, or even an O-level or two?
I did write a piece of Shakesperian verse on the subject (I
was goaded into writing). I am supposed to be a poet as well
as all the other things I do, and I rose to the challenge
which asked: where is our poet laureate in our time of need?
Where is a modern Shakespeare to rouse us to support our
You can listen to the piece I wrote on You-tube. Here is the
Okay, that's blowsy rhetoric. Actually, I'm rather pleased
with it, but what about rational argument?
There are reams of letters to the papers about how we will
lose this, that, and everything other, and how we are going to
cope after we leave. The last piece of idiocy I read was in
the local paper for Frome in Somerset (I have a home there)
from some twit bewailing the fact that after Brexit
he'd have to get a separate driving licence to travel in
I have lived in various EU countries ever since my school days
which were well before the EU came into being, and no-one
hassled me, and I travelled around with no paper problems at
all. Post Brexit
will be the same.
The important thing to get firmly into one's skull is that
politicians are largely not very bright, and have an obsession
about telling other people how to run their lives. Luckily,
there are folks who can lean on them when their idiotic ideas
get too far out of line. One should view Brexit
There are industrialists in France, Germany, and other EU
countries, and they want to keep trading. They want to sell
cars (and anything else they can) to the Brits. Any politician
who tries to stop that is going to get voted out of office not
just by the industrialists but by the workers who fill their
There is a profitable cross-border movement, and that is not
going to go away. People who want to carry on making money
will find ways round the restrictions, and most restrictions
will fade away.
There is also the problem that most EU countries are in big
trouble economically and socially at the moment. In France
nearly two-thirds of the population is unhappy with the way
the EU currently functions. In Italy
, the vast
majority of the population feel they are being persecuted by
Brussels. Even in Germany
there is massive criticism
of the immigration policies, and the way in which Target 2
banking rules mean that German trade balances are in too many
cases written down as IOUs in lieu of cash. Southern Europe is
buying from Germany with IOUs. That does not go down well with
the home team.
I have dealt with Target 2 in other blogs, but I'm sure if you
don't understand the technicalities Wikipedia will help.
I think I have also mentioned somewhere that one doesn't have
to have the crazy euro system as currently used.
I was born in the West Indies, and things are done differently
there. That part of the world is greatly overshadowed by the
dollar region of the USA
. So are the countries of Central
. When I was last there I used the ATMs to
withdraw cash. I had a choice. I could use the local currency
or US dollars. The latter was the simplest option, but that
did not mean that Nicaragua, or Costa Rica and the other
countries had to have their economies tied to Washington's
decrees. They set their own budgets and their own currencies
are pegged to the dollar
, but that peg can be
adjusted. That can't happen in euroland, and so Italy suffers
with too stringent an economic system, and Germany
suffers with too lax a system. By Brussels
mean, they make sure that no-one is happy. This system can't
survive. It will crash. It has to.
The counter argument is that the euro is used by too many
people. There are half a billion people living in Europe, and
a third of all the planet's wealth is held in euros. The euro
is not going to disappear any time soon, but it cannot stay in
place using the current rules. Something has to give.
Okay, so hands up all those who are currently unhappy with
things the way they are.
By a show of hands I note that Italy is seriously unhappy and
has resorted to financial blackmail. Greece has always been
unhappy, but then it could be said they brought disaster upon
themselves by fiddling the books to join in the first place.
France is seriously in trouble because of so much local
discontent with the current system, and their banks hold
rather a lot of Italian debt which is worth very little.
Spain is seriously in trouble financially because the country
cannot address fundamental problems due to the EU financial
rules. The same is true of Portugal.
Italy and Spain are also front line when it comes to boat
people landing illegally and demanding financial support when
the countries can't support their own unemployed.
South Eastern Europe has it's own problems with people trying
to escape from the Middle East.
The whole European ethic is held together only because no-one
is addressing the problems because they pretend they are not
fundamental. The trouble is, they are.
Almost as an aside; I still don't understand the UK remainers.
If you happen to be a remainer, I would like to ask you a few
1. Do you want to keep sterling or go over to the euro,
bearing in mind the fact that the EU banking situation is a
total disaster? If you remain, the £ goes. That's a given.
Bearing in mind the euro can't survive in its present form
wouldn't it be a better idea to hold off until after the
2. Do you want to keep your own government, or do you
want to be ruled from Brussels? The UK has an 800 year history
of democracy. That goes if you stay in the EU. The idea is for
the whole continent to be ruled by unelected civil servants in
Brussels. Sounds like a disaster to me.
3. 70% of the country's wealth comes from London's
financial centre. If we stay in the EU that gets moved to
Frankfurt. Do you think moving our most wealthy business to
Germany is a great idea? The UK would be economically
castrated, and over the course of a generation would turn into
a third world country.
4. The whole legal system of the UK, built up from Roman
times, and firmly routed in Common Law, would ultimately have
to be changed. I can't imagine what a mess that would create.
Do you really think Common Law is so much worse that
I could go on, but it becomes rather depressing.
Let me turn instead to the property markets, and deal with the
prospects there. But this blog is getting overlong, so let's
address that particular problem next week.