Saxo Bank and Bloomberg’s jointly organised ‘Trading Debates’ event, raised concerns for Brussels’ policy makers, as they questioned the future of the single currency. The audience, made up of predominantly city insiders, were intrigued by the two twisting tales where Euro scepticism was dominating the dialogue.
Say No More to the Euro
Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a Eurosceptic right-wing party, was given centre stage today and in simple terms, crucified the ‘European Union’.
Financial markets have been facing difficulties over the last six years, spear-headed by the European debt crisis which followed the 2008 great recession. The same notion of Europe, wake up was reiterated by other key-note speakers on the day, including the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Saxo Bank, Lars Seier Christensen, who said in his speech: “Europe needs a new vision.”
The former President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, was invited to speak at the event to share his views which are often seen as controversial, although, Mr Klaus does not like to be labelled as a sceptic, his ideas are sometimes interpreted as such. He believes that a single monetary union will not be able to operate when there are several different systems in place. He believes the EU needs to make clear distinctions between European integration and European unification. Mr Klaus said in his speech today: “The Euro crisis was not imported, this was a direct consequence of the European model.”
Diederik Schmull, a former stock broker, who provides consultancy to financial services firms believes the European Union is geared to fail. He stated to Forex Magnates at the event: “History tells us that unions have failed, the main problem is that nations have to give up sovereignty – which is not feasible.”
Friday 13th was the day for Euro bashing, Mr Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) since 2010, has been rolling out his anti-euro agenda since he first joined politics in the 90’s. Mr Farage, a former financial broker whose financial career spans thirty years, has worked in several leading firms including, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Credit Lyonnais Rouse, Refco and Natexis Metals.
“The Euro-zone cannot operate as a single market due to the dynamics of individual nations,” Mr Farage repeated his decade old philosophy of, one size CANNOT fit all , citing Germany and Greece as typical examples. To the dismay of supporters of the Euro-zone, Slovenia joins the pact as the sixth nation facing economic dilemmas.
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FDI in Europe
Another topic that was high on the agenda was Europe’s status as an investor friendly region. Due to the on-going debt crisis, international investors have been shying away from investing in developed countries. My Tham, Assistant Project Director at Strategy Analyst International, a London based private equity firm, has seen more interest from investors in Asia, and said in a comment to Forex Magnates: “HNWI and institutional investors in countries like China are bullish on Europe, they see Europe’s issue as a short to mid-term problem that will be resolved over the next five years, parking their assets in Europe gives them more stability and security.”
Trading Debates Success
Over 300 people attended the event, which took place in the world’s financial capital. Forex Magnates spoke to Torben Kaaber, the CEO of Saxo Capital Markets, about the event, he said: “It has been a great success. Our intention was to bring professionals from the financial services sector, in particular, the asset management industry which is a potential target market for us as we evolve our products and services.”
Saxo Bank, who suffered a difficult monetary situation in 2012, made high level changes in an attempt to revitalise business. Forex Magnates spoke to Mr Kaaber in June during a luncheon during which he stated: “Part of our restructuring plan is to ensure our infrastructure is sound,” explained the UK firm’s CEO, a staunch figure who represents the transforming direction the company is taking.
The audience was directly engaged in the panel discussions, live tweets were displayed immediately behind the speakers on large screens with lots of interesting responses getting showcased in real-time.
- Frances Coppola @Frances_Coppola Farage ended his speech with in impassioned call for the UK to wrest control of the City of London from the EU
- Gary Ling @garysballs #TradingDebates v. impressed by #UKIP #Farage, but he needs to broaden his appeal and call his party the Enterprise Party. I have the url!
- Adil Siddiqui @adilfx The polls are turning in #Farage favour #TradingDebates
- Nick Lincoln@ukipwatford Mandatory voting: Bloody awful idea. People don’t vote because they’ve given up. Improve the politics & people will vote. #TradingDebates
- Caragh @Caraghm “Europe has 26 million SMEs if they all created half a job!”
- Nigel Farage: Forget aid. Lower tariffs and let impoverished nations trade their way out of poverty