Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The Problem Is The EU Bureaucracy, Not The People Of The EU

Thanks for all the fish, obviously

Mancur Olson used to point out that all governments are bandits. However, there’s a difference between being ruled by nomadic bandits, who come in a strip the society, and stationary bandits who farm it. In that second case a sensible stationary bandit will grow the society because a richer one has more to be extracted over time.

However, that does require that the bandits are rational. The problem with the European Union being that those running it are not so, they are not rational:

The European Union will climb down and agree a post-Brexit deal on financial services because the bloc “needs London”, PwC has predicted.

John Garvey, global head of financial services at the consulting firm, said that although any agreement is unlikely to happen in the short term, there will come a point when the EU realises a deal is in its own interests.

“There’s going to be a strange relationship developing over time where the Europeans realise they need London,” he said. “So, I think there will be some kind of deal because the continent will need access to the London market.”

His comments came after Mairead McGuinness, the bloc’s commissioner for financial services, said last week that the EU isn’t under any pressure to help City firms access its market and warned there won’t be any agreement while Britain plots different rules for the industry.

If we were talking simple economics then yes, of course Europeans would have access to the great international financial centre of our times. People and companies and organisations desire access to finance. Given that London is where that is gained then they want access to London. Access makes the EU richer that is.

But what if those making the rules, those bandits, are not rational? Or, perhaps, that their interests are not aligned with those of the population? Then we can get what we are getting. The bureaucrats insisting that the people should not have access to what makes the people richer. On the grounds of, well, what? We don’t control it so you can’t have it? We hate those bastard Anglo Saxons? Actually allowing access to production from outside the Zollverein undermines the building of the Zollverein?

Pick your reason as you wish. But that the EU bureaucracy is denying the people of Europe access to what they so clearly desire, what would make them better off, has to be explained somehow, doesn’t it? The answer that they’re pudendal has its merits but seems just that fraction too simplistic.

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3 years ago

Why, this is what we said throughout the Brexit debate: that foreign commerce would not be replaced by a vacuum, but peoples would pressure gov’ts for access to the things they need.

Politicians are not irrational but, as you say, their values simply aren’t ours. Theirs are permanent tenure by holding themselves out as the solution, rather than the cause, of our economic woes. The question is whether elections are still effective at bringing them to heel.

3 years ago

It’s nothing to do with London accessing EU markets, they can follow the monkey’s peanut for all London cares. The issue is businesses in the EU accessing London’s markets. And it’s a sign the EU have eaten their own propaganda that they (appear to) not realise this.

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
3 years ago

Why wouldn’t the EU bureaucracy deny the people of Europe access to what they so clearly desire, what would make them better off? What are the people going to do about it – vote them out?

Their motivation is the furtherance of the EU grand projet, that is: more power for the unelected bureaucrats. And their immediate objective is to ensure that Brexit cannot be seen as a success, no matter what it costs their fellow citizens.

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