23% delle imprese greche ha dichiarato di trasferirsi all’estero, alla fine del QE toccherà ai PIGS, Italia in testa

23% delle imprese greche ha dichiarato di trasferirsi all’estero, alla fine del QE toccherà ai PIGS, Italia in testa

Questo è quello che accade e accadrà in Italia, se fossi un professionista, una piccola media impresa o un global corporation mi muoverei rapidamente, portare fuori dall’Italia le cose più importanti, le proprie competenze, la propria impresa, i propri asset e patrimoni, la propria famiglia….inizierei a partire dalla tesoreria per evitare di trovarmi come un greco di oggi

Dopo anni vissuti in diversi paesi abbiamo scelto MALTA e maltaway è la vostra via di accesso alle opportunità di Malta e in poco tempo vi possiamo spiegare il perchè….e il sapere e la consapevolezza sono la base di azioni di successo

Unimprese, “prendiamo atto con stupore delle promesse del premier. Il presidente del consiglio parla di un taglio delle tasse da 45 miliardi di euro. I numeri ufficiali dello stesso governo vanno nella direzione opposta. Col Documento di economia e finanza già approvato è stato certificato, per i prossimi 5 anni, l’aumento della pressione fiscale oltre il 44% e si va incontro a una stangata fiscale da oltre 100 miliardi. Dal 2015 al 2019, le entrate tributarie dello Stato cresceranno costantemente e arriveranno fino agli 881 miliardi del 2019. Complessivamente nel prossimo quinquennio i contribuenti italiani dovranno versare nelle casse pubbliche 104,1 miliardi in più rispetto allo scorso anno (+13%). Sulle imposte dirette e indirette – principalmente Irpef, Ires e Iva – ci sarà una stretta da quasi 80 miliardi. Il bilancio statale non sarà sforbiciato: le uscite cresceranno di quasi 38 miliardi(+4%) e sono stati sterilizzati gli investimenti pubblici, che resteranno stabili attorno ai 60 miliardi l’anno.”

Capital controls imposed by the Greek government are taking a heavy toll on Greek businesses,according to a new report from Endeavour Greece. With over two-thirds of respondents reporting a “significant drop in revenues,” and 1 in 9 firms forced to suspend production due to shortages of raw materials (unable to buy due to capital controls), the problems created by The Greek government’s action seem asymmetric as almost a quarter (23%) of firms are now “planning to transfer their headquarters abroad for security, cashflow, and stability reasons.”


Free melitaWIFI now covers more popular summer spots

Free melitaWIFI now covers more popular summer spots

MelitaWIFI is the next generation Wi-Fi service accessible for free by all Melita customers subscribed to internet services or mobile contract plans.

Maltaway is your access to the best solutions to travel to Malta for vacation, english course, business,work,wealth management and protection, residency, company domiciliation and quality life style

Melita has completed installation of more melitaWIFI access points in some of Malta’s favourite seaside spots. Customers can now access free melitaWIFI at Golden Bay in Mellieha and in Gozo’s popular Marsalforn and Xlendi bays.

These additional free melita WIFI zones complement the promenade from Spinola Bay in St Julians all the way to Qui-Si-Sana in Sliema, St George’s Bay in Paceville, the main square in Bugibba to St. Paul’s and part of Qawra. The Marsascala seafront as well as Pretty Bay in Birzebbuga are also covered by melitaWIFI.

melitaWIFI is the next generation Wi-Fi service accessible for free by all Melita customers subscribed to internet services or mobile contract plans. Through the service customers can access the internet from their mobile devices reaching download speeds of up to 100 Megabits. Accessing the services is very easy – mobile customers simply login once using their mobile number while Internet customers login with their MyMelita login.

Wi-Fi coverage is available in the busiest social and entertainment hubs in Malta as well as in some 50,000 indoor hotspots across Malta and Gozo. Melita also offers pay monthly mobile customers free access to some 15 million hotspots worldwide through the melitaWIFI Travel service.

For more information and coverage maps of melitaWIFI visit www.melita.com/WIFI



Losing a tailwind: the supply of equities may soon stop shrinking

Losing a tailwind: the supply of equities may soon stop shrinking

WHEN supply falls and demand is strong, prices tend to go up. So it has been in America’s stockmarkets. Short-term interest rates at record lows and minuscule yields on government bonds have boosted investors’ demand for equities. And thanks to share buy-backs, the supply of shares has been steadily falling.

BCA Research estimates that the number of shares in issue on American stockmarkets has fallen by 6% since 2009. This tailwind for share prices, however, may be starting to fade.

A few decades ago many firms deliberately kept a bit of cash on their balance-sheet as a “rainy-day fund” to help them cope with recessions. That has gone out of fashion, partly due to pressure from activist investors. If firms have no better use for their money, the argument runs, they should return it to their shareholders

Share buy-backs also help improve a number of financial ratios. Especially at current interest rates, companies earn a low return on their cash. So buying back shares barely dents the company’s total earnings, but reduces the number of shares; earnings per share rise. The same arguments apply to measures such as return on assets.

Buy-backs can push up share prices in the short term and help executives meet the targets on which their bonus schemes are based. They also offset the equity issuance represented by managers’ options. Dividends don’t have the same impact. Increasing the dividend is also a long-term commitment, whereas a buy-back programme can be temporary. Cutting the dividend is a big announcement that can have an adverse impact on the share price. Scaling back a buy-back programme is less embarrassing. Small wonder that executives prefer buy-backs.

But are buy-backs a good thing for the economy as a whole? One reason why the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates so low is to encourage businesses to invest. Corporate profits are close to a post-war high as a proportion of GDP, suggesting that there are lots of profitable opportunities for companies to exploit. But although business investment has risen to 13% of GDP from a low of 11% during the recession, it has not regained previous pre-crisis heights. Money that might have been invested in new plant and equipment has been diverted into buy-backs.

There are tentative signs, however, that enthusiasm for buy-backs may be waning (see chart). In the first quarter of this year, companies spent $144 billion on share repurchases, down from $159 billion in the first quarter of 2014. The most likely reason for the slowdown is that profits have run out of steam, so firms have less cash to deploy. Forecasts suggest that earnings per share declined by 3% in the second quarter compared with the same period of 2014. Some of this is the effect of a lower oil price on the earnings of energy companies; some if it is down to the strong dollar, which reduces the value of multinationals’ foreign earnings. But causality also runs the other way: fewer buy-backs contribute to shrinking profits, since buy-backs boost earnings per share.

There has always been an element of financial engineering about buy-backs. Can it really be good news if a firm feels it has nothing better to do with its money? An enthusiasm for buy-backs creates the sense that executives are more interested in short-term share-price performance than in the company’s long-term health.

Further evidence of financial engineering comes from Andrew Smithers, an economist, who finds that, since 2000, the profits of listed companies have become four times more volatile than corporate profits as calculated in the national accounts. In his view, listed firms overstate their profits. Some investors argue that accounting standards have improved over the decades, reducing uncertainty; accordingly, shares deserve a higher valuation than before. But Mr Smithers’s calculations suggest accounting standards have deteriorated, not improved: if profits are more uncertain, equities should be afforded a lower, not higher, valuation.

There is another factor to consider, too. Last year was the biggest for new issues on America’s stockmarkets since 2000, with 288 companies listing, raising a total of $84 billion. Private-equity firms have been offloading investments, selling $73 billion-worth of shares in the first half of the year, according to Bloomberg—a record for a six-month period. Most of these were stakes in already-quoted companies, rather than new issues.

With the markets near a record high, it is no surprise that a few investors are taking profits. When prices are high enough for long enough, new supply will appear.


About debt, sin and moral responsibility

About debt, sin and moral responsibility

FOR anybody trying to figure out why different cultures (Greece and Germany, say) seem to have different attitudes to matters like debt, sin and moral responsibility, it is worth looking at how words, including religious words, are used. But one should always be suspicious of simple answers and be prepared for surprises.

As a philologically-minded colleague points out in this week’s print edition, the history of the words “austere” and “austerity” and their German equivalent is paradoxical. Far from being a fiendish German invention, the word Austerität is a recent and relatively uncommon addition to the German language, borrowed from English, which took it from French, which took it from Latin, which took it from, of all languages, Greek.

Another piece of vocabulary around which big theories have been constructed is the German word Schuld, which means both debt and guilt, including guilt of the very serious kind determined by judges or religious preachers. Can the tough German line over the euro zone crisis be ascribed to this conflation of meanings, or to the idea that debtors are sinners who deserve to be punished? Explorers of this theory have included Yanis Varoufakis, who was Greek finance minister until a few days ago, and Stuart Holland, a British Labour politician. An article by Mr Holland, quoted with approval in a blog by his Hellenic friend, makes the following assertion about Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, and about German culture.

Herr Schäuble sees the Eurozone crisis as one of public debt. This is not unrelated to the German for debt, Schuld, meaning guilt……[The German philosopher Friedrich] Nietzsche also observed that there was a tendency in Germany among strong creditors to demand penitence from weak debtors for their debt-guilt and to punish them if they did not seek redemption.

If you find this theory at all compelling, you may also find it significant that a key line in the most famous Christian prayer (most familiar in English as “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”) can come out in German as “und vergib uns unsere Schuld, wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern” of which the most literal meaning is “forgive us our debts, as we also forgive those in debt to us…” 

But hold on: that is exactly what the original Greek of the New Testament (recited by Greek school-children every day) says. The prayer clearly asks forgiveness of our debts (ofeilemata) and offers the same to those who are in debt (tois ofeiletais) to us. The German version is simply an accurate rendering of the Greek text; so too is the Italian version, which speaks of debiti and debitori; and many English translations refer to debts and debtors. It is the English word “trespasses” (which in modern language suggests a rather minor infringement of somebody else’s space) that is aberrant.

And the equation of sin and debt crops up in many other places in the New Testament. To explain the meaning of that familiar line in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus tells the story of a man who ruthlessly demands money from his own debtors, but in turn is treated harshly by an even richer man to whom he owes money. By the same token, he adds, God will not forgive us for the wrongs that we commit unless we forgive others who have wronged us.

So is there, in that case, no ultimate difference between German and Greek attitudes to sin or debt? Or would there be no real difference if both cultures were equally religiously literate and close to their Christian roots?

I believe that a significant difference in basic attitudes does play a role in the euro crisis, and indeed that it can usefully be discussed in theological and linguistic terms. But it is more helpful to look at overtones or shades of meaning rather than the direct literal sense of the terms involved.

There is no doubt that Schuld as guilt can be a big, heavy word for a big, heavy state of affairs, and it is commonly used in that weighty sense. By contrast, the Greek root (ofeil– ) used in the Lord’s Prayer just about exists in ordinary language but it’s rare and a bit clunky. (Ofeileis na to kaneis, you ought to do it…) The word which is both common and resonant ischreos (debt or obligation) and its derivative ypochreosi(s) which also means obligation.

The striking thing about ypochreosis is that it describes a fluid, sometimes emotionally charged and above all personal relationship between two parties, the obligation that A feels to B because of some favour that B has done in the past or perhaps because of a family tie. A financial transaction can also create an ypochreosis but it is always part of the total relationship between the individuals. Renée Hirschon, a social anthropologist, has observedthat if Greeks react a little warily to gifts from acquaintances, it is because they are nervous of the ypochreosis that accepting the present would incur.

To make a vast generalisation, Schuld in the sense of guilt can often imply a broad, objective situation, which holds good, and has serious moral implications, regardless of the conscious feelings of the individuals involved. One person or many can be guilty, schuldig, before God or in the light of some ultimate moral law, regardless of whether they feel that guilt; and if they don’t feel it, they probably should.  Ypochreosis describes a more subjective sense of obligation between two individuals; it may be induced by social or cultural factors, but the individuals concerned do not see it as applying to anybody but themselves.

If you attach importance to Schuld in the sense of guilt you probably also feel strongly that there are rules, norms and laws in whose observance everybody has a stake, and whose infringement cannot be left unpunished without harming society as a whole. On the other hand, if you are more of an ypochreosis type of person, you probably tend to think that the enforcement of norms (and the calling in of debts) is, like just about everything else, a matter of personal discretion between the parties involved. If debts are rigorously called in, it must be because the creditor has “something against” the debtor, rather than because the creditor sees a general, societal interest in rules and contracts being observed.

With due allowance for the danger of all cultural stereotypes, I reckon that this distinction might be of some help in deciphering the euro crisis, or at least the contrasting ways in which people react to it.