More Citizenship Confusion In Malta

Posted by financialguy on 19/06/14

This week has been a curious one here in Malta, if you happen to have been following the developments of the Individual Investor Programme. In case you aren’t aware, IIP is the scheme under which citizenship is possible in 12 months subject to applications and a contribution of 650,000 euros (the best description of it [...]

The Perfect Crime?

Posted by financialguy on 14/06/14

Over the last year or so I have read quite extensively about Bitcoin. The amateur economist in me is fascinated by it’s disruptive capabilities and supply and demand characteristics. However, something that has been evident over the months is the extent to which very smart people around the world have been able to hack less [...]

Decision Making Alphas And The War For Talent

Posted by financialguy on 23/05/14

Over the last few weeks I have been involved in a pitch for comms and tech work for an EU lobbying organisation. No names, sorry. The process has been the same with every other EU project I have been involved in pitching for: 1. The process to pitch has an extremely short timeline. This is [...]

Are European Wages In A Race To The Bottom?

Posted by financialguy on 08/04/14

Anecdotal stories from friends in recent months have alerted me to a stunning drop in wages for new hires here in my adopted home of Malta. Essentially, the economy has been so bad in [enter name of country here] that young people have upped and moved, looking for better opportunities elsewhere. Since the Maltese economy [...]

Five Years Later…

Posted by financialguy on 29/09/13

If you can believe it, the first post on this blog was five years ago today! I’m amazed. At the time, I had been in my new position as Director of Blogactiv for a few weeks and felt that it was about time that I learned what a new blogger to the platform went through [...]

Europe Needs More Startups

Posted by financialguy on 09/09/13

On Friday last week (6th September) your author moderated two panel discussions at an EU event in Floriana, Malta. It was an EESC Going Local event in partnership with DG Connect. The first panel discussion began with a few words and some Q&A with the Director General of DG Connect (responsible for the Digital Agenda), [...]

Do EU Politicians Want The Cloud To Move To Europe?

Posted by financialguy on 09/08/13

Until 5th June 2013 there was only one place in the world to launch your tech start-up if you wanted the best possible chance of success: Silicon Valley. There are genius coders, tech venture capital funds and mentors everywhere and it is the role model for geographic “clusters” the world over. Then on June 6th [...]

Decision Makers Need To Speed Up Or Face Irrelevance

Posted by financialguy on 17/07/13

In recent months I have been noticing more and more that the pace of life has changed. On the one hand, we all know that technology is developing so quickly now – and that the pace of development is accelerating – but it feels more and more as though it is seeping into everyday life [...]

An Opportunity For The EU And Soft Power

Posted by financialguy on 03/07/13

The last few weeks and the Edward Snowden affair have been fascinating. When was the last time one person seemed able to cause such division and debate around the world? Oh hang on, it was Julian Assange wasn’t it … a man who is clearly deeply involved in the current situation. I am told that [...]

Does Problem Solving Need An Increasingly Continental Context?

Posted by financialguy on 29/05/13

“Left to themselves, the Europeans run the risk of becoming absorbed by their internal social concerns. Europe’s economic recovery has obscured the longer-run costs of its seeming success. These costs are damaging economically as well as politically. The crisis of political legitimacy and economic vitality that Western Europe increasingly confronts – but it unable to [...]

When Confidence Is Lost

Posted by financialguy on 22/03/13

So the eurozone crisis is back with full force. Did it ever really go away? I don’t propose to try and recap the events of the last few days in Cyprus with the bail-in of bank depositors, things are moving quickly enough that I would be out of date almost immediately. Instead, let’s focus briefly [...]

We Are Sleeping On A Volcano

Posted by financialguy on 18/03/13

“I believe that right now we are sleeping on a volcano … can you not sense, by a sort of instinctive intuition, that the earth is trembling again in Europe? Can you not feel … the wind of revolution in the air?” Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859)

Is There A Bull Market Underway?

Posted by financialguy on 11/03/13

It is a long time since I last made a financial prediction in print, but I feel a need to make one now. The previous ones can be found here and here. Regular readers might recall that I have been confused about the state of the economic world for a while and how and why [...]

An End To The Political Protection Of The Banking System?

Posted by financialguy on 06/03/13

The election result in Italy, when combined with the obvious horrors of mass unemployment in a number of countries, real financial hardship for many and a growing number of corruption scandals (listed here) might just be the beginning of the end. With Beppe Grillo’s party taking the largest slice of the vote it is hard [...]

Is Disaster The New Normal?

Posted by financialguy on 17/02/13

Where has the volatility gone in financial markets? Why is the current political situation not causing mayhem? Over the last few weeks I have been developing a theory about the current state of financial markets. The theory isn’t fully fleshed out, despite my efforts, but I hope that by explaining my thinking here I can [...]

Too Many Envelopes Of Happiness

Posted by financialguy on 11/02/13

Corruption amongst public officials is never nice, but it seems that suddenly it is everywhere. Amongst the recent news I have seen references alleging: – Slovenian politicians not declaring their incomes – Greek politicians overlooking tax evading family members on the “Lagarde list” – Spanish politicians apparently receiving extra cash each year – the suspension [...]

A Politician Is Not A Country

Posted by financialguy on 18/12/12

Today I plan to ask a simple and somewhat rhetorical question. It relates to the recent movements in the eurozone crisis and their relationship to German politics. If you have been following the eurozone crisis, you might have noticed that the pressure on Greece seems to have eased. A few months ago it seemed to [...]

Matching Ideas To Money

Posted by financialguy on 26/11/12

Readers of this blog will know that I post my thoughts about innovation policy from time to time. One of the key areas – at least in my mind – of the innovation policy area is that of funding. Typically an entrepreneur with an idea does not also have the required money to back the [...]

A Lurch Backwards In The Eurozone Crisis

Posted by financialguy on 10/11/12

Over the last few days, it seems to me as though the eurozone crisis has become much worse. Please don’t misunderstand me, there hasn’t been another bailout an it was hushed up … the Netherlands didn’t request help, no. Instead, there has been something of an unstitching behind the scenes. If I think back to [...]

The Greek Tragedy Is Extended

Posted by financialguy on 24/10/12

I can remember being asked by a friend back in June what was going to happen with the euro for the rest of this year. That is the kind of question that I normally try and fend off, but I was feeling a little vulnerable that day and so I just blurted out an answer. [...]

Some Soap Operas Are More Important Than Others

Posted by financialguy on 08/09/12

My local chip shop is owned by a Londoner called Andy. A couple of days ago I found myself being talked to by him about the Premiership. I don’t follow football all that closely, but he and I support the same team so there is a very real but limited amount of kinship between us. [...]

Should You Follow The Smart Money?

Posted by financialguy on 20/08/12

Despite having some time on my hands to think, I am still baffled by the current state of the markets. Firstly, despite all the potential risks facing the global economy (Greece, Spain, Italy, the US financial cliff and a slowdown in China) stock markets seem to be surprisingly buoyant. Dare I say rosy…? Who knows [...]

Summer 2012 Is Poorly Timed

Posted by financialguy on 17/07/12

There have been a couple of legal challenges made to the European Stability Mechanism. The challenge in Ireland seems to have been brushed aside but there is still, of course, an appeal to be heard. Even so, the progress of the ESM seems to be pretty smooth. Yesterday, however, the German Constitutional Court decided to [...]

Can Banks Be Trusted Without Strong Regulations?

Posted by financialguy on 29/06/12

If ever there was a demonstration that “light-touch” regulation of financial firms has not been a great success, this week has been it. Over the years, we have heard huge amounts from the banking sector about how they are competent to regulate themselves. The fact that many governments have agreed and let them get on [...]

Why Do We Still Tax Savings?

Posted by financialguy on 28/06/12

The title of this blog post asks a very simple question, but one that I feel needs asking in the present circumstances. In many countries, the interest earned on savings in a bank account are liable for some form of taxation. Usually it is taxed as earned income at the same rates as any other [...]

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Formerly in finance, now in the EU world, this is a take on financial and economic matters, EU Innovation policy intermingled with occassional interviews of EU policy professionals. Click here to find out more.



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