Bank Failures in Europe

I commented back in December 2011 about the failure of proper stress-testing of banks in the Eurozone. I was making a specific point about France and Germany but the failure was systemic and is well demonstrated by the trouble in Spain which has suddenly discovered that its (supposedly stress-tested) banks may need 100 billion Euros of support. If only the authorities had carried out proper stress tests six months (or, much better, 2 years) ago the Eurozone would not be in this catastrophic position now.

It is questionable whether Germany and the other strong Eurozone countries (there aren't many, especially if the rumors about the amount of Greek government debt held by French banks is correct) can do anything to save the Euro. Even if they can, should they? How can Greece ever survive years of austerity and recession while it is saddled with an over-priced currency? Only by Germany giving them billions of Euros, which they aren't going to do (and who can blame them?). Even if the Germans pumped, say 250 billion Euros into Greece, it would undoubtedly be squandered.

 

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Wind Turbines and the Eurozone

What is the connection between the Eurozone and wind turbines? On the face of it, nothing. However, the problems with both are glaringly obvious and debate about both has been ruthlessly suppressed by interested parties. 

Although many people have tried to warn of the inherent dangers of a currency union without closely integrated (and regulated) fiscal policies, European politicians have long dismissed these concerns. Anyone who criticised the Eurozone (or any other EU policy) was derided as a Eurosceptic. Even now, anyone who suggests that the Euro will not survive is criticised for failing to be constructive. So be it. I'm sorry to say that I don't think the Eurozone will survive. I say 'sorry', not because I think it is an admirable institution but because I fear that its collapse will cause everyone in the EU, including us, a great deal of economic trouble.

Wind turbines are an even more worrying example of bullying. First, there are the claims about climate change. I am willing to admit that this is not my area of expertise. However, so many of those who pontificate about it are at least equally ignorant. The BBC has long taken a very strong line in saying that man-made climate change is a fact. It is almost impossible to express a contrary opinion. The BBC commissioned a review of its climate change coverage from Professor Steve Jones. He is a highly-regarded expert on genetics. Does this qualify him to talk about climate change? I think not. 'He's got an ology. He's a scientist!' in the words of an old BT advertisement. Jones is, indeed, a scientist but would you trust just any scientist to formulate a new drug or design a nuclear power station? 

I am not saying that man-made carbon emissions are not causing global warming. However, much of the supposed proof is dubious, not least the graphs which are supposed to prove it until you look at them and notice that the temperature rises first and carbon dioxide concentrations follow. Anyone who challenges the party line is not just a sceptic, he is a denyer - a particularly unpleasant slur, with its absurd and extremely distateful implication that denying climate change is on a par with denying the holocaust.

We should certainly try to reduce our carbon emissions but does anyone without a vested interest really thing that covering the land and sea with wind turbines (and in the case of the land electricity pylons as well) is a sensible way to do it? Wind power is intermittent, unpredictable and startlingly inefficient. I happen to know that a very large engineering company commissioned an analysis some years ago and concluded that it was completely unviable.

Unfortunately, there is no discussion about this at national or international level. The real victim here is freedom of expression.

 

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