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Born, raised and educated in Portugal, emigrateted to USA in the early eighties. A long time resident of South Florida, self employed, golfer, traveler and very interested in politics and investment markets.
  • Portugal: Globalization And Conclusion!

    This great market block called the European Union, worked well for the original members, as they traded in a very balanced range. However when extended to the periphery, it was most in search of new customers rather then equal trading partners, and in reality, who wants to get paid in Escudos, Pesetas or Liras? So the Euro comes to the stage, and appeling to every human being, need to be important and look strong, lets have it so we can show the $dollar and the Pound. The British having been around the block a few times, did the sensible thing, said thank you and still didn't need a bailout. What is it they still produce? any one knows? but they are just fine.

    Overnight, upon adopting the Euro the prices doubled in these countries, and since their business had gone under, everything is now coming from elsewhere, France, Germany, China, etc.

    Anyone looking at the Business numbers from Europe can very well see where the money is going. One of these days Volkswagen is going to buy Ford, GM, Chrysler.. oh, Fiat got that one. Any way, why are the Chinese Buying US Treasuries? RECYCLING is it not?

    So now we have Globalization! No, I see it different then most. The United States have created a monster Worldwide by TWO EXPORTS:

    Culture: No matter how much anyone derides our lifestyles, everybody want to live the way we show them; Hollywood. The big houses, the cars, the parties, the sex, and that is costly.

    The Polititians and the Bankers: Ask any one complaining about how clueless the Governants in these countries are, if they know where they are educated or even born, and they draw a blank. Unfortunately many of them have been educated here in the USA, and are taking the Keynesian theory of Deb and Spending Home to enslave their people for generations to the Banksters and to the IMF. That is the case for Portugal, Greece, Spain, etc. That is for somr other day..

    Jul 16 2:15 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Portugal: Are You Still With Me?

    I left you all in the middle 40s, talking about Globalization. By then England had left India and Portugal was still in Goa and 2 other cities, and was just starting a colonial war in Africa, defending commodities wanted by the new Powers, and policies and politics that were mostly undefensible. Some great amounts of money and lives were both spent on war and building up Angola and Mozambique (Ultramar), at the expense of the "Metropole", (What is left). In 1974, unable to sustain the Status Quo, the dictatorship falls. 1975 the colonies become independent, and over 1 000 000 people come back to the "Metropole". Remember 1974, Oli crisis, recession, Watergate, etc. Now imagine increasing the population overnight by 10 to 15%, and almost all in need of all basic necessities. All Capital had left the country and most industries came to an halt for 4 or 5 years.

    During these times, we had 12 or 13 Governments and various coups and attempts on Power by both sides. It was in this clima that a 'New Constitution" was written and passed in a Democratic vote, that unfortunetly saddled the country with some impossible to meet demands. Under the fear of recent past events and abuses of power against the People, the mandate of the new Constitution created laws that have rendered most business activities in the country uncompetitive, namely: rentals, leasing, labor, commerce hours, education, mortgages, etc. With this much regulation, most families relied on self-employement, small retail and farming to make a comfortable living.

    When we joined the EU, the first round of funding was mostly spent on fast cars and faster women ( which makes the idea that there is a problem with the Portuguese libido quite ridiculous). The subsquent rounds were watched more closely and used to upgrade the obsolet infratructure. Meanwhile the other members started dumping their products at prices the local producers could not afford and had to go under. This same scenario happened to the other so called periphery countries, which was the dream envisioned by France and Germany.

    Jul 16 1:25 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Portugal; My Answer To Hugh!

    Your post about Portugal and its problems is a great description of the simptoms already known to anyone vaguely interested. More important and pressing not only for Portugal but for the rest of Europe the and in fact the rest of the World is;

    What is the desease these economies are suffering from?

    Portugal is a country almost 900 years old now, indepent for all but 60 of those years, when Spain took over, taking advantage of a Disatrous war against the Moors by 19 year old King D. Sebastiao. As Karma would have it the Spanish Kings, were not much smarter, as Filipe II, attacked England with the Invencible Armada (many of those ships were Portuguese), and lost, giving a jump start to the begining of British domination as a colonial power.

    Yes, our problems go that far back, because as the United States ( my adopted country and my home) has found out, it is very expensive to build and defend empires.

    In the 14th century, Portugal and Spain divided the world ( The Tordesilhas Treaty) and maintained great portions of it for 500 years.

    By the end of the 19th century, most Monarchs in Europe were broke and in constant war, losing colonies and power to new Republics.

    Portugal, having lost Brazil to the Prince heir during the Napolionic wars, fought in WWI, suffered terrestrial isolation from the rest of Europe during the Spanish Civil War, and fell under the dictatorship of Salazar, who in turn, stayed neutral during WWII.

    Lisboa, was the intelligence capital of the warring nations, where the spies met and made the deals and sides were joined. Portugal was not involved in any war hostilities and was never bombed. A good thing at the time, became a major liability, because we were left with an antiqauted infratucture and did not receive any Marshall Plan help.

    So the answer is in my humble opinion, Globalization!

    Jul 16 12:39 AM | Link | Comment!
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