Tuesday, September 9, 2014


 Are we going to do this thing all over again?  I mean, like dude, 1702 is a while back.  It's worked out pretty well given the parties involved.  So why now? My bud, Gordon, has this wonderful descriptive tale that he calls the People of Great Britain that might shed some light on things.

"First, there's the Irish who'll fight first for anything."
"Then there's the Welsh who keep the Sabbath and anything else they can get their hands on."
"Then there's the Scots, who pray upon their knees and on their neighbors."
"And finally the English, whose belief that they are a self-made race gives great comfort to their Creator."

What most of us Over Here don't understand is that there are in fact four separate "races" that inhabit that place we tend upon occasion to call--lacking all form of knowledge--England.  We swoon at the sound of an "English" accent, having not the slightest clue where it originated.  And finally, we have not a clue that these guys really, on multi-levels, dislike and distrust one another, often for good and substantial reasons rooted in the bloody history of that land.  One thing is certain, however.  Put the four in a room and ask them to choose sides, England would stand alone.

So, ever since Robert the Bruce in the 14th century to Mary, Queen of Scots who had her head lopped off by her first cousin (once removed) Lizzy I in 15..something or other, and even after the treaty signed in 1707 between Scotland, Ireland and England making one kingdom out of the three countries, there has always been a substantial body of belief that Scotland should be a free and separate country.  In two weeks they are going to get a shot at it again.

If I were still a betting man I would say it is not going to happen, but in the past few days the polls on the referendum (it is a simple "yes" or "no") have become too close to call and that has set off a monumental financial terror Over There.  What we don't get is what might…and probably will happen if the "yes" votes prevail.

--Scotland will become a sovereign country…one with but 8 million people.
--All of Britain's oil will be controlled by Scotland setting off the most God-awful squabble as to how it is to be divided.
--Will the EU allow Scotland to join?
--Will the EU allow England and what's left to stay?
--Will Scotland retain the Pound Sterling as its currency? (England has said "no way")
--What happens with the great Scottish-based Insurance companies mostly traded and owned elsewhere?
--What happens to the Scottish Banks whose main locus of operations are in London?
England has a navy…based in Scotland.  Does England shift its submarine fleet to…where?  Eastbourne is a lousy spot for Nukes.
--Where does the pound trade?  (hint:  way lower)

And the bigee...  If England leaves the EU is there an EU?  This observer says no.  It's over, finis, tot.  And as Joe Biden would say, "that's a big, (^%#$' deal."

The entire issue has immense ramifications for all of Europe and for the U.S. as well, far many more than I have enumerated above.  From the standpoint of the effect a "yes" vote could have on Europe it is probably the most critical and important issue facing the continent since the end of the Cold War.  Oddly, it's like the fog; it's creeping up on little cat's feet with little urgency attached to determining the outcome.  Perhaps that is the way to go because God knows the Scots really don't like to be told what to do.  So we will wait, I guess, like everyone else and hope the right decision is made.  What the heck.  After a thousand years what's a couple of weeks.

On another point of interest, Daniel Tarullo gave a speech today and the world is a bit dumber for it. Our Daniel is now setting his sights on the insurance industry, claiming it too needs a health dose of recapitalization legislation citing AIG and the events of 2008.  The fact that AIG's insurance business had nothing whatsoever to do with what occurred, seems to be lost on this egotistical jerk as well as the fact that it was the regulators/politicians in the person of Client #9 who, in his vendetta against the then Chairman, Mr. Greenberg which caused him to be removed from the chairmanship and allowed his successor, a gentleman with a reportedly rather serious case of the Irish Disease to take over, miss everything around him, which resulted in the debacle which was London.

Now if you think about it, moving an insurance company to a place like, say, Switzerland, is a hell of a lot easier than moving a bank and if  people like like Tarullo and his Rabbi Crazy Lizzy keep it up, bye, bye insurance biz in the U.S. of A.  Think about it; insurance companies syndicate risk; all you need is a phone--well, maybe a bit more.  Now ask yourself:  "Self, do I really want to have major losses in this country depend upon a foreign company to decide whether there is coverage under the laws of…pick a country?"  Danny has proven to be not too bright, but this…

Off to a wedding in Cn. tomorrow.  Will try to post from time to time.

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