Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eurozone Unemployment Hits New High

Unsurprisingly, given that monetary policy within the Eurozone is being conducted by unelected and unaccountable anti inflation zealots from the ECB, unemployment levels within the Eurozone hit a record high of 12.1% in March.

The highest increases were registered in Greece (2 1.5% to 27.2% between January 2012 and January 2013), Cyprus (10.7% to 14. 2 %), Spain (24.1% to 26.7%) and Portugal (15.1% to 17.5%) .

Eurostat estimates that there are over 19 million people unemployed within the Eurozone, 3.6 million of them being under 25.

This level of unemployment is not sustainable and is a threat to democracy.

Cyprus Parliament Votes

Today the Cyprus parliament will be finally given an opportunity to vote on the bailout plan imposed on it by the IMF/EU.

Pundits expect that the bill will pass.

However, if it doesn't, the EU/IMF will simply delay the bailout until the parliament votes in favour of it.

"Democracy" in action, the EU way!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Raspberry ...

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                                                                                                 shoes: mango,
                                                                                                 jeans: zara,
                                                                                                 t-shirt: stradivarius,
                                                                                                 blazer: thanks to sheinside (here),
                                                                                                 scarf: stradivarius,
                                                                                                 watch: michael kors,
                                                                                                 bracelet: pandora,
                                                                                                 bag: mona,
                                                                                                 sunglasses: ray ban,
                                                                                                 ph. Maja

As you probably noticed, I'm not having that much time for the blog lately but I will give my best to update this place at least two times per week. And I will stop b...ching about that fact, cause it want change it in the near future! ;)
This post was made three weeks ago, when it was still chilly, so I paired raspberry jeans with white blazer and printed scarf. Do you like it?
If you miss me, you can follow me on the instagram for daily updates!

Eurozone Economic Sentiment Decreases

Unsurprisingly confidence in the Eurozone fell for a second straight month in April.

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased by 1.5 points in the euro area (to 88.6) according to the European Commission's latest Business and Consumer Survey results.
"In the euro area, the ESI's decline was broad - based across all business sectors, with services witnessing the sharpest drop, while consumer confidence went up. Among the five largest euro area economies,  economic sentiment worsened significantly in Germany (- 2.3) , France (- 2.0) and Italy (- 1.9), while remaining broadly stable in the Netherlands (+0.2 ) and improving in Spain (+ 0. 9). 

The decrease in industry confidence ( - 1. 5 ) resulted from a much more negative assessment of the current level of overall order books and lower production expectations. Managers' assessment of stocks of finished products remained virtually unchanged. The past production and, to a lesser extent, the current level of export order books, which are not included in the confidence indicator, were also assessed more negatively . 

Services confidence dropped abruptly by 4.1 percentage points, driven by significantly worsened assessments of the business situation and demand over the past three months. Demand expectations deteriorated to a lesser extent. 

Consumer confidence increased by 1.2 points, based on a marked easing of unemployment expectations and slightly better expectations concerning households' future financial situation, the future general economic situation and savings over the next 12 months. Retail trade confidence decreased by one point, driven by worsened business expectations and views on the adequacy of current stocks. The assessment of the present business situation worsened only slightly. Also construction confidence decreased (- 1.3), based on weaker employment expectations and assessment s of order books. 

Financial services confidence (not included in the ESI) improved markedly (+ 5.0), fuelled by considerably better assessments of the business situation and demand over the past three months. Demand expectations improved slightly. Employment plans were revised downwards across business sectors, contrasting with the easing of consumers' unemployment expectations. Selling price expectations decreased in industry, retail trade and construction, and increased marginally in services."
According to the Telegraph, "experts" had forecast a decline to 89.3.

The pressure is now on the ECB to cut rates this Thursday. However, given that the ECB is dogmatically sticking to its anti inflation monetary policy, at the cost of millions of jobs in the Eurozone, I do not expect to see any cut in rates.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cyprus To Maintain Capital Controls

In a remarkably unsurprising development, Cyprus has decided to maintain capital controls during the summer.

The Eurozone finance ministers and ECB will of course be delighted, as this will enable them to continue to crow that there there has been no bank run in Cyprus.

My sympathies to the people of Cyprus, it will be a long hot summer!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Pain In Spain

Unsurprisingly Spain has had to delay reaching it budget deficit reduction targets by two years, to 2016.

Additionally, it foresees its unemployment rate as being 27.1% in 2013 and 26.7% in 2014.

At what stage will the Europhiles wake up and realise that levels of unemployment such as these are not sustainable in a Western democracy without there being serious blowback?

The above figures are of course subject to revision!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

UK Avoids Triple Dipper

In a small ray of sunshine, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that Britain's economy grew by 0.3% in Q1 of this year; thus the UK has avoided entering its third technical recession by the skin of its teeth.

The 0.3% rate of growth even managed to be larger than the 0.1% predicted by economists.

However, before people break open the Bollinger, it should be remembered that 0.3% is not exactly "stellar" and that China is feeling very sorry for itself having "only" managed to grow by 7.7%!

However, as I always say, never rely on ONS statistics they are out of date and will be revised upwards/downwards in due course.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back to black ...

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                                                                                              shoes: bershka,
                                                                                              skirt: zara (here),
                                                                                              t-shirt: stradivarius,
                                                                                              bag: thanks to romwe (here),
                                                                                              trench coat: thanks to oasap (here),
                                                                                              sunglasses: raen,
                                                                                              watch: michael kors,
                                                                                              ph. Maja

Okay, let's try this option for shedule posts. If everything goes well, you will read it while I'm still at my work. :)
Lot's of new things are in the game, and time by time I will reveal them all.
You have been asking me a lot about business looks, and  this will be my version of that. Not typical at all, but that's me. :)
What do you think?


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Banks Delay PPI Claims

In March I noted that the financial ombudsman service (FOS) was taking on 2,000 new PPI complaint cases a day, with numbers rising at "unprecedented" rates.

I went on to note that it was clear that the banks were trying to delay payouts:
"Needless to say, as the number of referrals to the FOS rises, so does the length of time it takes for the ombudsman to make a determination. It seems that the delays are also increasing because some companies are causing unnecessary delays.

Natalie Ceeney, chief financial ombudsman, is quoted by the BBC:
"As the complaint levels show no sign of slowing, consumers are increasingly having to wait longer to get their complaints sorted - with many businesses still continuing to cause unnecessary delays.
Where businesses have shown a real commitment to better customer service and diligent complaints handling - including actively engaging with the ombudsman - cases are resolved more quickly and easily, to the benefit of everyone."
None of this is surprising, those who were sold PPI will see this as an opportunity to try to obtain a refund (irrespective of whether they were mis-sold PPI or not) and the banks will do everything they can to try to reduce the costs of the claims.

That being said, had the banks not incentivised their staff to sell policies that were in many cases clearly inappropriate to people who didn't need them/couldn't claim on them when they needed to, then this entire mess could have been avoided.

The greed of the banks is now being repaid by the perspective that the banks' customers have that there is "free" money to be made.
As the old saying goes, "what goes around, comes around".
A claims management company, Emcas, has now also said that banks are rejecting around a third of claims from customers. Ironically, as per the Telegraph, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which deals with complaints rejected by the banks, is upholding the majority of PPI claims.

Why such an anomaly?

A cynic would argue that the banks are trying to slow things down in the hope that those claiming simply give up.

Needless to say the British Bankers' Association denies that banks were deliberately turning down legitimate claims in the hope that they would avoid having to pay up.

Make of that what you will.

Irrespective of what obstacles (real and imaginary) are put in your way by the banks, do not give up; if rejected by the bank make a claim direct to the FOS, do not use a claims management company (which will charge you a percentage of any compensation that you receive).

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fitch Downgrades UK

Last week Fitch downgraded the UK to AA+ owing to a weakened economic outlook.

This follows on from Moody's downgrade in February. The BBC quote Fitch as saying that the downgrade:
"Primarily reflects a weaker economic and fiscal outlook".
However, it has placed the UK's outlook as being "stable"; ie it does not expect to downgrade the UK again in the foreseeable future.

As to whether austerity is the corset means of bringing about growth, only time will tell.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

If your status ain't hood ...

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                                                                                            boots: zara,
                                                                                            jeans: bershka,
                                                                                            shirt: thanks to Sheinside (here),
                                                                                            blazer: zara,
                                                                                            bag: mona,
                                                                                            sunglasses: ray ban,
                                                                                            watch: michael kors,
                                                                                            ph. Maja

Last week was pretty much hectic for me, so I couldn't manage to upload already prepared posts. I suppose that scheduling will be the only one solution for the upcoming days. Let's try it!
For this look I matched new stripped blouse with old ripped jeans, biker boots and girly blazer.
Do you like it?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do my thing ...

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                                                                                               boots: isabel marant,
                                                                                               pants: oviesse,
                                                                                               sweater: stradivarius,
                                                                                               bag: mona,
                                                                                               sunglasses: ray ban,
                                                                                               watch: michael kors,
                                                                                               bracelet: pandora,
                                                                                               ph. Maja

This weekend I manage to make several posts, so I can update you during the working days. And here we are: cropped pants, my favorite type of shoes ever and neon sweater were my choice for Sunday.
Do you like it?

China's 7.7% Growth Not Too Shabby!

China's GDP grew by 7.7% in Q1 2013, down from 7.9% in Q4 2012.

Were this any other country such a rate of growth would be considered to be excellent.

However, analysts have programmed themselves to expect ever improved levels of growth in China; thus many have been disappointed by the figures.

The reality is that exceptional levels of growth, such as this, cannot continue indefinitely. Given the size of China and its economy, growth in excess of 7% isn't too shabby at all.

The doom sayers need to calm down and take a more measured view.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Get busy ...

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                                                                                              boots: zara,
                                                                                              pants: pull&bear,
                                                                                              shirt: stradivarius,
                                                                                              coat: zara,
                                                                                              sunglasses: raen,
                                                                                              watch: michael kors,
                                                                                              ring: thanks to oasap (here),
                                                                                              bag: michael kors,
                                                                                              ph. Maja

Last week I was more than busy with my regular job, so I couldn't manage to update blog or answer to your emails and questions, which I'm hoping that I will be able to do till the end of Sunday. Just give me some time! :)
Today, I decided to share this look made couple weeks ago. Ankle boots, coat over the shoulders and a new bag were my choice for that day.
Do you like it? :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wheels Fall Off Cyprus Bailout Agreement

It seems that the wheels are falling off the Cyprus bailout deal.

The cost of the rescue has risen from Euro17.5BN to Euro23BN, but Germany remains adamant that the size of the bailout will not increase. 

Meanwhile the BBC reports that Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades has said that he will appeal for extra assistance from the European Union, even though he claims he does not want more money.

What does he want?

Help from EU to reduce the burden of the conditions to make the bailout possible.

In other words Cyprus is trying to renegotiate the terms of the bailout, ie the wheels have fallen off the agreement!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Voice of The People of The Eurozone

This one pensioner from Ireland sums up the feelings of the people of the Eurozone towards thier political and financial "elite".

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crosby Damage Limitation

Sir James Crosby et al are now on a damage limitation exercise, albeit one that is portrayed as being contrition and repentance.

Sir James has asked to have his knighthood removed, and has offered to give up 30% of his £580K per annum pension.

The Telegraph quotes him saying that he was "deeply sorry for what happened at HBOS and the ensuing consequences for former colleagues, shareholders, taxpayers and society in general”.

Andry Hornby, who succeeded Crosby in HBOS in 2006, is under pressure to do something similar.

All very well, maybe but will it be enough to avoid further investigations/retribution?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Paris instagram guide: #PFW ...

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                                                                                           ph. via instagram (@vanjaam, @jelenakarakas)

Getting around a Paris during the fashion week madness is really incredible experience! Barbara Bui, Manish Arora, Cedric Charlier, Alexis Mabille, Marc Cross, Roi et moi are just some of the names in fashion which we have seen on the runways. Besides that, we also crashed at H&M party with Sonja Kovacs (editor in chief of Elle Serbia) and had amazing night!
Because of the #pfw , fashionable people are everywhere, and you never know who you'll meet! At our gorgeous hotel the Westin Paris - Vendome we run into one of my dearest girls Aimme Song and her lovely sister, but we also had chance to met super star Ashley Olsen, cute Garance Doré and Scott Schuman and as cherry on top, we met my all time favorite miss Caroline
So if you ask me what is the most important thing during the #pfw, I will say: Hotel! If you are at the right position, a few steps from the shows, or short taxi rides, if you are near all the fashion craziness you will feel like you are a true part of it, and you will love it!
At the end there are no words that can described better than photos, so I'm leaving you to catch the vibe!
Good night!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Featured in ...

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This month was pretty much great when it comes about press section.
Elle - shopping advise
Elle - Who to follow on Twitter (me of course ;))
Elle - my big advertorial for Samsung
Elle - photos from Paris (@jelenakarakas and @vanjaam)
Men's health - short interview about accessories and fashion for men
and last but not least,
Svet and style - with other fellow bloggers as Denim diva ;)
Svet and style - as web recommendation ...


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Farewell The FSA - You Won't Be Missed!

At long last the hapless FSA has been disbanded, and replaced by a three pronged system of governance (dare I say "Tripartite"?). As per the FT, the three prongs are:

1 The Prudential Regulation Authority, an arm of the Bank of England headed by Andrew Bailey, will supervise 1,700 banks, insurers and large investment firms.

2 The Financial Conduct Authority, an independent agency led by Martin Wheatley, will supervise behaviour at the same firms and have sole responsibility for 25,000 more, most of them brokers, investment advisers and money managers. The FCA’s multifaceted task includes protecting investors, policing the markets and promoting competition.

3 Mr Wheatley and Mr Bailey will also sit on the third new UK regulator, the Financial Policy Committee, a consensual body charged with spotting and disarming broad threats to financial stability.

Let's see how this all works then!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Eurozone Isn't Working - Unemployment Now 19M

The level of unemployment in the Eurozone in February hit a new record at 19M (12%). The highest rates being in Greece and Spain, both at 26% and Portugal at 17%.

The figures for youth unemployment are truly shocking; Greece 58 .4% in December 2012, Spain 55.7 %, Portugal 38.2% and Italy 37.8 %.

It's time that people faced facts, the Eurozone simply isn't working!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Around The World ...

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                                                                                               boots: thanks to Choies (here),
                                                                                               jeans: bershka,
                                                                                               t-shirt: stradivarius,
                                                                                               jacket: zara,
                                                                                               sunglasses: ray ban,
                                                                                               rings: custom made and non branded,
                                                                                               bracelets: milk&honey,
                                                                                               watch: michael kors,
                                                                                               ph. Maja

Some chemistry happened between this gorgeous jacket and me and I immediately knew that she will be mine! During the sunny weekend I managed to snap some photos and here are the results. New favorite photos were born! ;)
Tell me, do you like this look?