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haifa ac 07:16 GMT 07/13/2017  - My Profile
Living conditions in Gaza 'more and more wretched' over past decade, UN finds

11 July 2017 – A decade after Hamas seized the Gaza Strip, the living conditions for two million people in the Palestinian enclave are deteriorating “further and faster” than the prediction made in 2012 that the enclave would become “unlivable” by 2020, a new United Nations report has found.

“Gaza has continued on its trajectory of 'de-development', in many cases even faster than we had originally projected,” said Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, in a press release on the new report, “Gaza – 10 years later.”

In an intra-Palestinian conflict, Hamas took over Gaza in 2007. Israel has sought to isolate the group by restricting the movements of goods and people in and out of the strip. It was also administratively separated from the West Bank.

Remember our long discussions? How you praised Hamas and predicted that Israel will be gone by now?
You have 3 years to flee your hell hole.
2 millions people who surrendered to HAMAS and now are paying with their life. KUDOS!

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ny te 16:27 GMT 07/02/2017
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The French Election
Livingston nh 11:53 GMT 04/26/2017
One rule of elections is that folks are more likely to turnout to cast a negative vote, ignoring sickness or weather that would deter a trip to vote for an overwhelming favorite or for a party hack

The election is being touted by the Groupthink media as important to reject Le Pen - voters in the traditional parties have joined before to reject the National front // BUT this election has TWO negatives, Le Pen and politics as usual - the task is to determine how many voters say a plague on both your houses and stay home (low turnout), how many perceive politics as usual as the greater evil and reject the call from traditional party leaders to vote for Macron AND the Wild Card of the Far Left and Socialist voters who perceive Macron as the candidate of the Elites

The voters rejected the traditional parties and this is a problem for Macron who is a candidate without a Party - how much organization can/will the party leaders provide for the Maverick into the election day?

The cultural and economic demographics in France are at play in this election much more so than in the recent Dutch election -- it is very similar to Brexit vote, yes or no -- the demographics and motivations of the electorate have shifted -- the polls may be missing this again

I would say the GAP is likely 7% - Macron's support beyond his First Round vote is lukewarm (broad but shallow) -- any slips and the gap can be filled

The French Election
Livingston nh 19:16 GMT 04/25/2017

dil -
It appears that the commentariat has decided that Macron will be the next President of France. Of course, there are the requisite cautions about the Odds and the tag line that anything can happen. Such comments expose the writers' confusion of IMprobable and IMpossible events. The writers actually believe that a Le Pen victory is impossible but it would be gauche to be so frank. Most of the political analysts understand the HOW of elections but not the WHY. When they err the culprit is often the reliance on the GOOD ANALOGY.
In at least two comments you have put a 3x% cap on the Second Round vote for Le Pen. My limited understanding of multi party Parliamentary systems is always a problem in European elections. I see this as a much closer election because of the cultural and economic issues. BUT rather than bid against myself I would ask you to explain the basis for your 3x% cap.

I attach a chart from NYTimes that shows the vote preferences map of France. I note PARIS (the circle) rebuffed Le Pen. The Election is clearly an elites in the castle vs the pitchfork peasants in the village. I will rely on this map for further discussion (if any).

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How Trump could soon be at war with Yellen
Livingston nh 22:31 GMT 03/12/2017
1982 was a major tax change (correcting some 1974 ERISA benefits) - Volcker was basically fired by 1986 for doing his job // the Dollar rallied dramatically

Context - Sometimes things work - Sometimes not so much // Beware of Good Analogies

How Trump could soon be at war with Yellen
New York NY 13:39 GMT 03/09/2017
The Federal Reserve chair, with one year left in her tenure as the world’s most powerful central banker, is almost certain to announce a hike in interest rates by one-quarter point next Wednesday.

She and her Fed colleagues could boost rates further throughout this year, potentially putting a lid on a stock market rally the president loves to celebrate and taking the punch out of a package of tax cuts and infrastructure spending the White House hopes will juice the economy next year and beyond.

That will be hard to deliver under any circumstances, but particularly if the Fed is pumping the brakes by pushing up rates that will make it more expensive for companies and individuals to spend and invest. “It’s much less fiscal stimulus and much more response to the Fed that drives economic cycles,” said Rosenberg. “Ronald Reagan came in in 1980 and cut taxes but that did not prevent recession. When the recovery started in 1982 it’s because [Fed Chair Paul] Volcker cut rates dramatically.”

Political Updates

Here is what Trump should say
Caribbean! Rafe... 22:13 GMT 02/03/2017  - My Profile
I wonder what Trump is gonna do about the people terrorizing him. If his advice is followed America will be a role model country for the next 100 years. Forget nukes, there wont be nukes, the people of this country will surely reach a consensus that protection policies in other countries are the same policies implemented to protect them in their own countries from their own people rather than worry about being protected from people from other countries in their own country...

too loopy... LOL.

Here is what Trump should say
haifa ac 06:28 GMT 02/02/2017  - My Profile
It is only getting BETTER by the day:

Exclusive: Trump to focus counter-extremism program solely on Islam - sources

The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The program, "Countering Violent Extremism," or CVE, would be changed to "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

Such a change would reflect Trump's election campaign rhetoric and criticism of former President Barack Obama for being weak in the fight against Islamic State and for refusing to use the phrase "radical Islam" in describing it. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks on civilians in several countries......

F A N T A S T I C !!!!

Haifa ac 09:08 GMT 01/29/2017  - My Profile
CNN Attacks Trump For Keeping Promises

The Left does not know what hit it. They are screaming and kicking like a wounded animal.
Turns out that HONESTY and KEEPING PROMISES are VILE FEATURES in a leader.

haifa ac 08:11 GMT 01/21/2017  - My Profile
So what happened yesterday?

1. A strong person became the most powerful man on Earth

2. Trump did NOT use PC in his inauguration speech.

3. He means it- He WILL destroy some of Washington D.C. Corruption and cut many fattish/useless positions (if he is not assassinated first)

4. Unlike most presidents, Trump comes from a successful record (failures and victories) in the REAL WORLD--therefore he will be the best negotiator in the white house for decades. He knows that the stronger negotiator wins.

5. The fact that he is old and rich means that he will not kiss a$s to his opponents because of future calculations (like the Clintons and Obamas who preferred to prostrate to Islam because there are 1.3 billions of them and they have oil (thus will offer them return of favors once they leave office) while there are only 14 million Jews who have very little. So it pays to give in to the Iranians and the Saudis.
He will negotiate from a POV of POWER and not personal gains.

6. We have a president that means what he says (although many doubt it). Let us hope congress, media and the trilateral commission :(Brzezinski/Soros/Kissinger/Rothschilds...whoknows) do not stop him first.

7. The meek shall NOT inherit the earth. The world adores strength. From Alexander the Great to Napoleon to Gary Cooper (High Noon) to Putin to Trump. The world disdained Prostrating Obama who will soon be forgotten. In just a few months we will see a world that admires AMERICA again because she has a strong SHERIFF!

8. Trump called the media "the ENEMIES". Since most of the media has become leftist/liberal/sycophantic body--this is calling a spade a spade! Time for more balanced Fourth Estate. This also relates to Hollywood where for every John Voight there are a thousand Barbara Streisands. The Madonas of the world are getting their share with Donald Trump.

9. If he is serious about eradicating Jihadist Islam-- the world will definitely enter a new ERA (much like the Baby Boomers after WWII who enjoyed a very long prosperous time for the middle class)

10. In short--the American People should be given HIGH FIVE for choosing HONESTY, STRENGTH, REAL CHANGE future upon continuation of the OLD POLITICS of the CLINTONS. Washington, Monroe, Adams are saluting the American people from their graves.
I predict the world will soon go back to ADMIRING AMERICA as the SHINING LIGHT ON THE HILL and many countries will again admire the wisdom of the FOUNDING FATHERS who really wante a NEW WORLD.
And if he is successful--then the outrageous GAP between the HAVES and the HAVENOTS will start shrinking again.

GO DON!!!!.

Here is what Trump should say
Haifa ac 17:16 GMT 01/20/2017  - My Profile
Trump read my post and just said (12:13 pm Washington time)

Who said there is no GOD?!

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Post and pre Mortem
Livingston nh 19:37 GMT 01/09/2017
As President Obama winds down his presidency the pundits are taking their free shots based on Party affiliation but he shares something in common with the next president that is not open to criticism by either Party -- Both won the Presidency

It is REMARKABLE - the Greatest HIT of both is that THEY each won - nothing that comes after will surpass that simple FACT

A political novice, President Obama, a man perceived by the media to be a black man, beat Clinton in the Primary (so why did people credit her chance 8 yrs later?) and then the Republican candidate in the General election (imo no Republican had a chance that year because of the worst President in US history) -- he represents the strength of America, his father is black and his mother is white, because we are a nation of racial, religious and political alloys - Irish and Italian, Christian and Jewish, Conservatives and Liberals // More of a political novice even than President Obama, a geriatric President-elect Trump overcame a bevy of professional politicians in the Primary and then defeated the ELITES favorite, CLINTON, by running against the status quo and he did it with Democrats and Republicans (no Virginia, there is no such thing as an INDEPENDENT) -- he, an elite in education, monetary heritage and wealth, ran on the concerns of the Great Unwashed (i.e., Deplorables) and like many educated and/or wealthy leaders he won - whether he disappoints the aspirations of his supporters or affirms the despair of the defeated elitists is irrelevant -- he won

History will judge their respective administrations but cannot deny the testament of their attainment of the Presidency

Here is what Trump should say
Haifa ac 18:33 GMT 01/08/2017  - My Profile
I hope that on his inauguration day or speech Trump will have the gumption to say this:

"For 8 years we had a leader that refused to utter the words "ISLAMIC TERROR". This was a terrible mistake.
Fanatic Islam (Jihad) is not any different than the Nazis. They want to destroy anyone who is not like them. They feel they have the divine right to murder any human being wherever they are. In towers, in airports, in churches, in market places, in stadiums, in restaurants, in synagogues, in name it. Using guns, bombs, chemicals, name it... The new enemy does not fight armies but kills innocent civilians. This is not acceptable by Western Civilization which I represent and I am going to stop them.
In the same way that we declared war on Nazi Germany (and later Japan) and defeated them completely--I hereby declare war against FANATIC ISLAM. The next terror act will bring upon Fanatic Islam the WRATH OF THE AMERICAN TIGER (ala Tora Tora Tora).
We will destroy anyone who is preaching, supporting, harboring , communicating their murderous belief. We will eradicate them from the face of the Earth in the same way that we eradicated Nazism and the Japanese Harakiri and all forces of evil in history. (Amalek if you wish).

This is NOT a war against ISLAM, only against JIHAD. This is a great opportunity for millions of Muslims who feel that FANATIC ISLAM is their enemy too to join us in this total war against this faction which represents nothing but the highest EVIL on earth today.

If they join us and report every member of FANATIC ISLAM to us-- they will be a most welcome part of our world. If they do not--they should not be surprised if we suspect them.
Fanatic Islam WILL BE ERADICATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH as long as I am president of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-- so help me GOD.

Something like this will change terror in the world very fast.

nw kw 05:52 GMT 12/16/2016
did this in 1980s, oil

nw kw 05:49 GMT 12/16/2016
trump in cad reversed from bad oil, for immigration hunt gon, so will gbp it started hear first at oil 100.00 in Alberta ca.
oil 55. not 30.

Change is in the Air
Mtl JP 14:16 GMT 12/14/2016
When will the Chinese bitch show some balls ?

Wed Dec 14, 2016 -
U.S. ready to confront Beijing on South China Sea: admiral

USA Election
Tradertown 10:11 GMT 11/22/2016
wtf is thissss!!! ? ? ? ?

USA Election
KL KL 01:26 GMT 11/08/2016
Somehow its ok

if women cheat in debate with Leaked question to Clinton...

if she lies about Bengazhi..... First ever USA diplomat death....

somehow told the world, Paid Media and Financial Banks that she was NOT aware that private email server was Not Ok......and forgiven..... seriously.... How many companies you know with the Chairman-CEO having a private server if it is not for QUICK Cover up.....all well thought off and planned...... EVIL as far as Ninja is concern!! For a moment just imagine Trump did all those.......??? how is it that we have lowered our standards of morality for women??

This women resemble Julia Gillard of Australia said there will not be any Carbon Tax......Global warming, NBN, Paid Child care, Education revolution Australia looking at $750 + billion debt......lets print more money like USA!!...and property EPIC collapse coming...across Australia and Asia...coming soon!!

Minority President
Livingston nh 20:48 GMT 10/24/2016
Much of the Presidential election commentary over the past 30 years is the failure of candidates to reach 50% of the "popular" vote -- there is a reason the Electoral college was set up this way (much like my personal objection to the popular election of Senate) -- SO Trump loses by YUUGE majority in CA and NY but wins in close elections elsewhere

52% for Clinton 47.2 for TRUMP -- whining starts immediately

Change is in the Air
Livingston nh 00:06 GMT 10/24/2016
As War is too important to be left to the Generals so are most political/economic/social issues for the respective elites -- where it all went PEAR SHAPED LINK

Cycle of Life
Livingston nh 23:24 GMT 10/23/2016
50 years ago the baby boomers were sure the system was rigged, the WAR was screwed up and they would fix it --- hahhe// and now the baby boomers are the candidates

And still -- RIGGED, NO MORE WAR, EQUALITY are the issues -- SOME FIX

Orientation for the West – the main and unsurpassable obstacle for the entity of Romanian people
Denver D.G. 04:05 GMT 10/14/2016
The modern huge ‘spot’ of Romania in Europe is the consequence of rather fortunate coincidence of events in the 20th century. Even the Eastern border was lined along the river Prut quiet reasonably: under the conditions of 1944 year Moldavian SSR could include not only Bessarabia, but also Moldova itself up to the river Siret, and even up to the Carpathian Mountains. And if the king Mihai had been thinking more and if it had been Hungary, not Romania, to join Anti-Hitler coalition, it would have been possible for Bucharest to own only ‘the old kingdom’, i. e. Wallaсhia. And Budapest, n the contrary, could have been luckier – with its largely desired Transylvania and alongside with separating from it the Danube valley Banat.

It is absolutely obvious that in 1990s Romania could state that national entity is the main priority and it was eager to sacrifice much for the sake of it. Moreover they had to sacrifice not people or land, bur what one can’t feel sorry for – dependence. It means that Romania ought to have become a neutral country, equally friendly to all distant and close neighbors. First of all, towards Russia taking into account long-rooted relationship of Moldova and Russia, and inclination of former part of Moldavian SSR to Russia. And if Romania had stated that its desire was to be home for all nations historically inhabiting the place between Danube and Dniester, it would have been impossible for Transnistria to appear, for it was violent nationalism of Romanian politicians and absolute intolerance to Slavonic people that made split of Moldova inevitable.

Of course, one couldn’t say whether this policy would bring a merger with Moldova or not, but at least they could say: “We did our best”. At least the neutrality guaranteed by Constitution and anti-block status of Romania would be a good base for solving of Transnistria conflict and reuniting of Moldova itself. In current state the split of Moldova makes it very problematic to integrate into Romania.

But here it makes little sense to presuppose, because we all knew that in spite of hysterical union declarations of right politicians the ruling head of Romania has been betraying for a quarter of the century the national entity of all Romanians – all people speaking limba noastra. They preferred the West, which really doesn’t need it, to the East. And not to some incomprehensible East – but to their own East – Republic of Moldova, including historical Bessarabia.

Some politicians were cunning in claiming that Romania as EU and NATO member was more favorable for Moldova than a country that didn’t have such a status. And they could reach a merger in united Europe where there were no state borders.

We can argue with it, bit let us suppose that it is really so. But Romanians didn’t consider sucha trifle as a position of the West – the real master of the situation. Yes, the USA today would be happy to have Moldova merged by Romania, but it isn’t made out in Washington, because Romania isn’t the state of USA. It is made out in Brussels. And Europe, mixing with their own unsuccessful South and problematic Balkan states, including Romania, doesn’t seek to get another one – the most backward and corrupted country of Europe – Moldova.

So, the outer border of EU for many years has divided the Romanian people by the river Prut. And the reason is the avidity of Romanian politicians who have exchanged entity with Moldova for mythical attractions of EU, where the place of Romania is the most disgraceful.

Figuratively speaking Romanians didn’t even become the last among the equal. Well, the last they have become, but not even formally equal, because they still can’t enter Schengen area. And even if they could, they wouldn’t stop being there ‘aliens’, because real Europe is Catholic and Protestant, but not Orthodox. Proverbial ‘European prospects’ are only for Transylvania, which now has more opportunities to move apart from Romania towards Hungary. That is why European prospects for Moldova are very vague and at this point have no real gound.

Odds of Tennessee attorney David French passing for a Donkey
manumanos 15:43 GMT 10/11/2016
ok, you're definitely crazy my friend

bcn 10:40 GMT 10/07/2016
still sounds weird

best one barcelona 11:53 GMT 10/06/2016
wtffff,,, hey men i think you don't like muslims

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NFL speech
Livingston nh 02:17 GMT 09/15/2016
There should be a measure of the cost to these idiots who misunderstand the difference between
objecting to policy and denigrating the FLAG

Screw their endorsements

Je suis "Deplorable"
Livingston nh 00:50 GMT 09/15/2016
Gary Johnson as an alt candidate has blown himself up

So I have two Geriatric candidates

Do I think I could be President? - of course -- would I vote for me? - of course not

So folks delude themselves that TRUMP will change things but it is obvious that CLINTON will Never change anything

IT is about Change so I will vote TRUMP - he won't build a WALL, he will AGREE with his Generals who say "boots on the ground", he will fk things up // BUT maybe his Supreme Court nominees may balance things -- and Maybe external forces will judge him to be "Crazy" (an appellation that served me well in HS) thus avoiding confrontations

Elite Bigot
Livingston nh 14:05 GMT 09/11/2016
For some reason the intolerant politically correct elite who dominate Colleges, Government and Media do not consider themselves to be Bigots -- Wrong! - Bigotry cuts both ways as Hillary Clinton amply demonstrated // The Elites despise the Great Unwashed but in an election, especially this year, that can be a FATAL flaw - let's hope so!

haifa ac 04:58 GMT 08/05/2016  - My Profile
Islam is dying. It is a CULTURE stuck in the 14th century (Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the Intellectual collapse of Islam on youtube rather well)
But it takes time. Yamamoto understood (Tora, Tora, Tora) on Dec 7 1941 (when he learned that the Carriers have not been destroyed in Pearl Harbor) that Japan is doomed. It took 4 years and two atomic bombs-- but the fate was sealed on the eve of 12/7/41.
In the age of AI and scientific explosion-- the fate of retarded culture as Islam which believes that if you are not in the DAR EL ISLAM-- then you are in the DAR EL HARB (the world of the sword) and you either become a Dhimmi or you must DIE--is one-- it is DOOMED
20 years from now we will look back and not understand how we could nave let these Neanderthals kill us at will in night clubs, Nice, Churches etc. Much the same way that very few young people "understand" (or believe) that only 70 years ago the NAZI BEAST exterminated millions of people at will while the world, basically watched silently.
The fact that Obama suckled the milk of this depraved culture in his youth and then elected to be the STRONGEST MAN ON EARTH-- does not help-- but the wheels of history grind slow, but surely.
The fate of Islam is etched in stone.

Livingston nh 20:36 GMT 08/03/2016
If Lenin had been smart enough to declare MARX a deity and Das Kapital a religious text then Communism would have been safe after WWII from the resistance of the US to its spread

If TRUMP ever gets his act together and characterizes ISLAM as a Political movement then we can have a REAL Showdown -- as long as the elites in the US whine about religious rights (really surprising from the most non-religious folks in the country) we have a problem

Maybe the world gets schooled by a French response - an alleged secular state, the French may revert to an earlier time (16th century Huguenots) if the Hollandes do not act

haifa ac 06:03 GMT 07/29/2016  - My Profile
four more years of Obama's Weltanschauung will NOT be good for humanity. Not the end of the world-- but not good.
Americans are too isolated and self-absorbed to understand this. (at least 49% of them)

Livingston nh 16:06 GMT 07/28/2016
AC - as the US moves towards the election the media spotlight will start to shine on the EXPERIENCE factor, especially as Commander in Chief -- The next President will be judged harshly in this area because the world is getting nastier

haifa ac 05:20 GMT 07/28/2016  - My Profile
Those who do not understand that wherever a Muslim population goes above 10%-- ISLAM raises its ugly head and tries to fulfil its only mission-- TO IMPOSE SHARIA on the rest of the population (NEVER TO INTEGRATE!)--can see how the PALESTINIAN LESSON(DEMANDING "RIGHT OF RETURN" for 5 million descendants of the original 500,000 displaced Arabs in 1948 war)-- is now INFILTRATING TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY in the USA:

A new “reparations” website asks white people to pay black people’s rent and give them money to relieve their white guilt.

The website, started by Seattle-based “conceptual artist” Natasha Marin, suggests a number of ways in which white people can atone for the fact that 1.4 per cent of white people owned black slaves in the United States over 150 years ago.

GOOD LUCK AMERICA! vote for Hillary to continue OBAMA's mission.

Livingston nh 15:57 GMT 07/24/2016
An imperfect GOOD analogy is more dangerous to good decisions than the more obviously flawed BAD analogies -- BUT, nevertheless, Turkey and Venezuela offer President Obama, and more likely his successor, the opportunity to prove the exception to the RULE

Venezuela will likely fall into President Obama's lap (his analogy challenge will be 1989 Panama) - the UN is starting to take flack about the "humanitarian" crisis and the need to DO something, and, right on cue, the nephews (in US custody) of the First Lady of Venezuela are back in the news about an alleged Cocaine Plot - so now we need agitation - two villains, one new (9/11) and one old (Monroe Doctrine/Cold War), are presented -- Islamic Terrorists seem a bit far fetched, and perhaps even unnecessary to the plot -- ah, but perhaps the Russians through their lackeys, the Cubans, will accommodate the Folks who need to DO something

And then to Turkey - again the two villains but this time they will both appear -- Erdogan may overplay his hand in the US with pressure to extradite his nemesis (will Prez Obama do a Jimmah Carter SHAH appeasement?) and will the EU resist the threat of an imminent immigration invasion from Anatolia // NATO, Democracy Pizza (hot and steamy) with desperate EU bankers and politicians will provide either direct intervention or a more SUCCESSFUL coup (see Diem, Viet Nam) -- Can't have the US State Department bogged down with "Who lost Turkey?" issues for the next 4 years

If this all works out the Powers that be might swing a Labour gov't in UK and an indefinite pause in Brexit -- in case you're saying NEVER I have a GOOD analogy for you

Livingston nh 19:06 GMT 07/18/2016
From President Obama on down there seems to be a universal belief that the failure of attempted Coup in Turkey was a positive -- hmmm? // Folks that want to talk about the Reichstag fire might be better directed to Stalin's military purge

watch the fire next time

*** Vive les cretins ! ***
Mtl JP 06:29 GMT 04/15/2016
Cretins of the world unite ! My cretin is better than your cretin !
Who will get the next Nobel Economic Prize ?

Negative Rates Around the World: How One Danish Couple Gets Paid Interest on Their Mortgage - The Wallstreet Journal In Denmark and Sweden, savings accounts pay nothing and real estate is booming Updated April 14, 2016 10:14 a.m. ET AALBORG, Denmark— Hans Peter Christensen got some unusual news when he opened his most recent mortgage statement. His quarterly interest payment was negative 249 Danish kroner. Instead of paying interest on the loan he got a decade ago to buy a house in this northern Denmark city, his bank paid him the equivalent of $38 in interest for the quarter. As of Dec. 31, his mortgage rate, excluding fees, stood at negative 0.0562%. It has been nearly four years since Denmark entered the world of negative monetary policy, and borrowers and lenders alike are still trying to make sense of the upside-down world it has brought. “My parents said I should frame it, to prove to coming generations that this ever happened,” said Mr. Christensen, a 35-year-old financial consultant, about his bank statement. Denmark isn’t the only place where central bankers are experimenting with negative rates. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, grappling with stagnant economies, are using subzero rates to stimulate growth. Switzerland and Sweden, like Denmark, are trying negative rates to keep their currencies in line with the struggling euro. Denmark, where the central bank’s benchmark rate stands at minus 0.65%, has lived in negative territory longer than any other country. Neighboring Sweden has been below zero for 14 months, and its central bank has said it would go lower than the current benchmark of negative 0.5% if it needs to. In Norway, the central bank still has positive rates, but it is considering resorting to negative ones to prop up an economy hit hard by the prolonged spell of low oil prices. Scandinavia’s experience has given economists a chance to study what happens when rates drop below zero—long considered an inviolable floor on rates. Already, there are concerns about undesirable side effects. Consumer savings accounts pay no interest, and there is pressure on bank profitability. A boom in real-estate borrowing has kindled fears that problems will arise if rates bounce back up. “If you had said this would happen a few years ago, you would have been considered out of your mind,” said Torben Andersen, a professor at Denmark’s Aarhus University who serves on the government’s economic-advisory council. Central banks rely on benchmark rates to spur or cool their economies. They want inflation to be low but steady. When prices rise too slowly, they lower rates to make it cheaper to borrow and spend, with the goal of pushing prices higher. Central bankers in Europe and Tokyo, facing stagnant prices, decided that the only way to regain leverage over their economies was to cross the zero threshold and enter negative territory. In Denmark, the central bank, Nationalbanken, doesn’t have an inflation target. Its goal is to keep its currency steady against the euro to protect trade with the eurozone. With the euro falling in recent years, the Danish central bank cut rates repeatedly, going negative for the first time in mid-2012 in a bid to keep its currency in check. The policy has achieved its main objective, Moody’s Investors Service said in a recent research note, because appreciation pressure on the krone has “disappeared completely.” Sweden’s Riksbank, the world’s oldest central bank, first went negative in February of last year in an effort to import inflation. It hoped that a weaker Swedish krona would make goods coming into the country more expensive, raising domestic prices. But it hasn’t hit its 2% inflation target in more than four years, and any significant uptick in prices has yet to materialize. Authorities in both countries are concerned that low rates have caused households to gorge on loans that they won’t be able to repay if rates increase or real-estate values fall. “It’s dangerous,” Riksbank governor Stefan Ingves said in an interview. “Our households are borrowing way, way too much. It must be reversed sooner than later.” Mr. Christensen, the financial consultant, bought his home outside Aalborg for 1.7 million Danish kroner ($261,000) in 2005, then renegotiated his mortgage several times after rates dropped. His interest rate first dipped below zero last summer. Because of various mortgage fees, he still pays a modest amount each quarter in addition to his principal payment. It isn’t known how many Danes have negative rates because lenders often don’t disclose such numbers. Realkredit Danmark, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, said it provided 758 borrowers with negative interest rates last year. The flip side of the picture is that banks no longer pay interest on most saving accounts. Mr. Christensen said Danes are turning to property investments as an alternative. In 2013, pooling money with three other investors, Mr. Christensen bought 10 small apartments for 9.7 million Danish kroner, borrowing 8 million of the amount. The mortgage rate wasn’t negative but was low enough to be attractive. Such investments are rekindling an Aalborg housing market that went into a deep freeze after the 2008 crisis. “People feel that they have to use the money because it is so cheap,” said Michael Soebygge, deputy manager of a local branch of Nordjyske Bank. Mr. Soebygge thinks some household investors may be taking on more than they can handle. “A lot of people sitting with short-term loans close to zero can’t afford to see them go to 2% or 3%,” he said. Prices of owner-occupied apartments have been rising. In Copenhagen, prices were 14.5% higher in the fourth quarter of 2015 than in the year-earlier period, compared with a 5.5% increase in 2014, according to the Association of Danish Mortgage Banks. In Stockholm, prices rose 17% in 2015, following a 10% increase in 2014, according to price-tracking company Svensk Maklarstatistik AB. Danish and Swedish central bankers worry that the negative-rate policies could cause financial instability if too much money goes into real estate. Mr. Ingves, the Swedish central bank governor, is concerned that the ratio of Swedish household debt to disposable income, which stands at around 175%, up from a low of 90% in the mid-1990s, is “unsustainable.” When a property-price bubble burst in Sweden in 1992, leaving some large banks near collapse, Mr. Ingves, then undersecretary for financial markets, led the cleanup. In his current position, he has pushed for regulations to limit the appetite for mortgage loans and asked the government and parliament to give the central bank control over financial stability. In 2013, however, authorities gave that power to Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority. “There are significant flaws with vague mandates, unclear processes and inefficiencies that, in the long run, threaten financial stability in Sweden,” Mr. Ingves said in a speech last week. Erik Thedeen, head of the Financial Supervisory Authority, said decisions made by the central bank, not lax regulation, are a primary cause of the real-estate boom. “Low interest rates are a risk because they drive lending and can drive risk taking,” he said in an interview. “This is not me criticizing the low rates. I am just stating the fact that this is a consequence of central banks stimulating the economy to get inflation up.” Authorities also are concerned that negative rates could hurt banks by sapping their ability to make money. Negative rates mean commercial banks incur fees, rather than collect interest, when they park money with the central bank—something they must do for regulatory reasons and to facilitate lending among themselves. An industry lobbying group estimated the cost to Danish lenders at more than 1 billion kroner last year. Torben Frederiksen, head of asset management at Alm Brand Bank in Copenhagen, said that when it became clear that negative rates would be around for a while, banks started to look for ways to pass on some of the costs. Big banks in both Sweden and Denmark have started to make some larger commercial customers pay for deposits. They haven’t charged retail depositors for holding their money, fearing it might trigger a withdrawal spree. Depositors leaving banks could leave them short of funds. In Aalborg, there isn’t any sign that households are pulling their money from banks. John Berg, a locksmith on the main street, says sales of safes are flat. “If people are hoarding cash, they aren’t telling me about it,” he said. Write to Charles Duxbury at and David Gauthier-Villars at

How to Defend Democracy
Mtl JP 12:47 GMT 03/20/2016
how rules and regulation stifle inventions and innovation with penalties and fines

Trucker uses fishing line to avoid bridge tolls

How to Defend Democracy
Mtl JP 13:14 GMT 03/19/2016
Defending democracy requires Republicans to cancel democratic decision

.... when voters do not get it right

as opined by By Editorial Board of Washingtonpost

To defend our democracy against Trump, the GOP must aim for a brokered convention

Brisbane PD 14:55 GMT 03/16/2016
Hi , Thanks

Livingston nh 13:25 GMT 03/16/2016
PD - I think the Core Brexit faction is the cultural Conservative - their economic Conservative brethren are all following the PM

The interesting faction (hard to measure) is the economic Labourite -- the older members of this group will judge the benefit of "IN" a bit more harshly perhaps

The Demographic split will likely cross party lines (except of course UKIP)
My worldview of a general post WWII desire to "join" is giving way to the "on the ground" reality that the benefits are few and the costs are high -- Brexit debate is the most recent manifestation

Brisbane PD 15:44 GMT 03/15/2016
Don't normally follow this forum & looks like no replies to this.

Do you see any particular faction as going for BEXIT or do you see it mainly coming cross - factionally from those without a vision of a co-operative Europe as benifical ?

according to a conservative foreign relations expert
Livingston nh 13:22 GMT 03/05/2016
SO --- the politically correct generation comes a cropper - the media circus has reduced Presidential debate to the level of an adolescent food fight -- the elites in both political parties became deaf to the concerns expressed by voters - ignoring and dismissing what voters wanted because the elitists (older, wiser and better people, the OWB) had decided it was not good for them - took longer than I thought it would ::
Comment to CB 4/17/2008
"JP has referred to the Pendulum in US politics -- it takes time but change comes - when the political types get too far out of touch the New Politician seizes the critical issue and the Establishment is "surprised" at the response of the Great Unwashed -- choose your poison, isolationistic, populism, trade restrictions

People think the world has changed - I'm here to tell you it hasn't "

BUT - There is a sad dark history in the US when political emotions run too hot or economic interest are threatened

according to a conservative foreign relations expert
Mtl JP 19:50 GMT 03/03/2016
how interesting...
Justice Dept. grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton email server

The Soros Foundation
Paris ib 16:43 GMT 03/03/2016  - My Profile
"For example, this summer Amnesty International adopted a resolution to the effect that it was going to promote the sex industry and sex trade on a worldwide basis, which I did my best to stop. I read the documents in support of this, and it all went back to George Soros documentation."

The Charming NGOs

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  • EVENT RISK: Medium Tue-- 08:00 GMT DE IFO Survey. This is oldest, largest and by far most respected survey of the German econony. I feel it tends to have a positive bias. Perhaps because of this it is not as much of a market-mover as it once was.

  • EVENT RISK: High-to-Medium Tue-- 14:00 GMT US CB Consumer Confidence. This is one of oldest and most respected U.S. sentiment surveys. It can be a market-mover.

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