#AceNewsServices – BRUSSELS – Nov.22 – I reported on this a while ago about the German’s stockpiling gold for the return to funding the Deutschmark.
Now details have emerged indicating that both the Dutch and German governments were preparing emergency plans for a return to their national currencies at the height of the euro crisis according to a report on the EUobserver.
In early 2012, a few months after the then Greek prime minister Georgios Papandreou and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi had resigned, the Dutch finance ministry prepared for a scenario in which the Netherlands could return to its former currency.
Dutch TV documentary programme Argos Medialogica reported on Tuesday (18 November), based on anonymous sources, that the ministry had an emergency plan called Florijn, a reference the original name of the guilder, the Netherlands’ pre-euro coin.
Current finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem also confirmed the existence of the plan on Tuesday in his weekly interview with RTLZ.
“It is true that [the ministry of] finance and the then government had also prepared themselves for the worst scenario”, said Dijsselbloem.
“Government leaders, including the Dutch government, have always said: we want to keep that eurozone together. But [the Dutch government] also looked at: what if that fails.
And it prepared for that.”
That preparation included “practical aspects”, but the government did not print new national currency banknotes.
The plans occurred around the time when politicians openly referred to the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – Nov.22 – Britain suffered an embarrassing defeat in its attempt to block the European Union’s new limits on bank bonuses on Thursday, withdrawing its legal challenge after an adviser to the bloc’s top court made clear it was unlikely to succeed Reuters reported.
I wrote a post about ‘ Too Big To Fail ‘ soon after the 2008 crisis relating to the construct of the banking industry and also and mainly due to products sold. These products have carefully been crafted to provide investor’s with just the right amount of risk. In hindsight and after much deliberation l should have called it ‘ Too Big to Fall’ as latest reports are conceding.
Though EU law aims to curb the kind of risk-taking that led to the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis by limiting bonuses awarded from next year to a sum no more than a banker’s fixed pay, or twice that level with shareholder approval.
Britain, home to the City of London where most of the bankers hit by the cap are based, said the law would push up fixed pay and goes beyond the EU’s powers, a sensitive subject at a time of rising British anti-EU sentiment.
However, Finance Minister George Osborne was forced to concede defeat after an adviser, whose opinions are non-binding but are generally followed at least in part by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, said he supported the limit on banker bonuses and that it did not restrict total pay.
“I’m not going to spend taxpayers’ money on a legal challenge now unlikely to succeed,” Osborne said in a statement. “The fact remains that these are badly-designed rules that are pushing bankers’ pay up, not reducing it.”
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#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Nov.22 – A two-year probe by the House Intelligence Committee has cleared then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on allegations that they mishandled the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and two CIA agents.
Following the attack, Republicans criticized Clinton, who is expected to run in the 2016 presidential elections, saying the CIA was ordered to “stand down” as the compound came under siege.
Rice, meanwhile, was condemned for blaming the attack on a riot sparked by an anti-Muslim video, as opposed to an act of terrorism.
The panel said that to this day, “significant intelligence gaps remain” regarding what motivated the protesters to violence.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – Nov.22 – According to a recent UK Government Press Release: The first national UK shale colleges were today given the go-ahead by Business, Enterprise & Energy Minister Matthew Hancock MP.
The new centres of excellence will train a generation of onshore oil and gas specialists, helping the UK to seize the economic opportunities offered by natural shale gas.
The National College for Onshore Oil and Gas will be head-quartered in Blackpool and linked to colleges in Chester, Redcar and Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth.
According to Energy Minister Matthew Hancock:
“Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on.
“Imagine if we had passed up a similar opportunity to go into the North Sea some fifty years ago. What if we’d let that oil and gas stay in the ground? What if we’d said it was too difficult or too controversial?
“The whole country would be poorer, finance would account for an even greater share of our economy; Aberdeen would be a seaside resort rather than a regional powerhouse.
“I am not prepared to pass up a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity, with the potential for industry to invest up to £33 billion in the next 15 years or so.
“Families, villages and towns across the UK could benefit from this new industry and its supply chain which could create 64,500 jobs.
“That’s why we are investing in the people behind project. Only by arming people with the skills they need to be shale specialists can we provide career opportunities for thousands of young people, boost the power and competitiveness of our firms and help the UK economy remain strong and competitive.
“To make a world-class cluster of expertise in the North West of England, just as Aberdeen is a world class cluster of expertise for offshore oil and gas.”
The Government is providing £750,000 of development funding which will be matched by industry bodies and education providers to develop the College.
Further capital funding will be available from the National College programme to support the college on an industry-matched investment basis.
The National College will:
Provide high level specialist skills needed by the industry from ‘A’ level equivalents right through to postgraduate degree level, and train teachers and regulators.
Accredit relevant training and academic courses run by other institutions.
Carry out research and development for improved equipment, materials and processes that will increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of operations.
Work with schools to encourage children to consider careers in the industry, and to help them make the right subject choices early on.