Aude & Ariege Flyer Archive
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Perhaps there is a parallel universe where Leonard Cohen becomes President of the USA and Donald Trump dies?
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
click on these? A man of so much grace!
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Lost in France
Lost in France is not written by Steve and he is not responsible for my views and comments.
I’ve written about this before and I guess I will write about it again - hunting. Apparently there is a decline in hunting in France, although you wouldn’t notice it in this region where every excuse is made for old men to sit on wonky stools in the middle of fields nursing a rifle and possibly a warm pastis somewhere about their person and for younger men to strut their stuff in their military-style camo.
John Laurenson, a BBC journalist, wrote about the decline or lack of desire for hunting in France as each generation is less and less enamoured by it. There are over a million registered hunters in France which makes it the biggest hunting country in Europe. Intensive farming has put paid to much of the prey such as pigeons, pheasant and hares but it seems that deer and wild boar are on the rise. I’ve seen a few wild boar and luckily they are usually going in the opposite direction to me scampering across fields and out of my path. The hunting tradition is under threat from cost (the price of the kit, weaponry, licence and a fee for each animal you kill), the lack of interest of younger folk to get up early (although all the hunters I see only seem to get started around 10.00 a.m.) and the movement of people from the countryside to towns. So I’m glad of that.
The last time I wrote I couldn’t find any animal protection or anti-hunting websites except that of Brigitte Bardot, but this time I found www.france-sans-chasse.org which is calling for the abolition of hunting and good for them.
Some time ago I was walking along the road, the hunt was out so I had to avoid taking the dog along the usual paths and I came across a ubiquitous white van parked up and an old man sitting against the bonnet. I thought he was taking in the view but he said he was watching the hunt (at that distance there really was nothing much to see, a couple of white vans and an orange flash and the sound of tinkling bells). He showed me his two walking sticks and said that he had had an accident. It was during the hunt, he was sitting on a bank and as a sanglier came into view he raised his gun, lost his balance and fell over backward down the bank breaking his legs. He was at pains to say that this wasn’t a hunting accident but really that’s exactly what it was.
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Brexit, US Election & Exchange Rate
There are so many things that I could write about this month and it’s difficult to choose one above the others. So a
quick summary of what’s topical might help.
What an interesting conundrum that the UK government is faced with now! Actually not just the government, but the
MPs who personally wanted to remain in - or leave - the EU, before the Referendum took place, but represent
constituencies that voted in a different way to those MPs personally want.
Will MPs put their personal feeling aside and vote according to what their constituents want? Would this effectively
change the result of the Referendum? At the very least, MPs should ensure that their constituents are provided with
sufficient information on all of the issues that can arise if the UK leaves the EU. Constituents can then make an
informed decision, if given the opportunity to express their opinion to their MP.
It’s interesting that the Court’s decision was based on the argument that the government cannot use executive powers
to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty because it would effectively mean overturning an act of Parliament. However, Parliament is sovereign – it can create laws and only Parliament can take these away, not the government.
The interesting word here is “sovereign” because this is exactly what the Brexitiers want to get back from the EU.
It’s well known that Theresa May still wants to push forward with triggering Article 50 by the end of March 2017.
However, unless the government wins its appeal against the Court’s decision, she may not get her wish.
Despite the ‘certainty’ in law of the Court’s decision, the result creates more uncertainty at this point, as to whether
or not Article 50 will ever be invoked. This is likely to continue to create pressure on Sterling (more on this below), and
market volatility, until such time as when the process has either been completed or dropped altogether.
On the bright side, if MPs are to debate the terms of what the UK should negotiate from its withdrawal from the EU,
before Article 50 is invoked, perhaps we may have some idea of what the outcome of a Brexit may look like. However,
it’s a ‘catch 22 situation’, as the EU will not negotiate terms with the UK until Article 50 is invoked and so there is no
guarantee that the UK will get what it wants – whatever the outcome of the Parliamentary debates.
So Brexit may not now mean Brexit, but at the very least, it may be further away than we thought.
US Presidential Election
I am writing this article a few days before the election. It seems that both candidates may have skeletons in their
closet – Clinton with her emails and Trump with his tax returns. During the last few days, Trump went ahead in the
polls and now Clinton has pipped ahead again. In reality, the polls are too close to call and the last time that I wrote
that was just before the EU Referendum. Look what happened there!
Markets are beginning to price in the possibility of a Trump win. If it becomes a reality, there is likely to be a large
sell-off in US equities (and it can’t be ruled out that this may ripple through to other markets). This is contrary to what
would usually happen after a Republican victory, but then, Trump has contrarian views to those of the normal
However, as markets begin to reflect on positive tax changes and the looser regulatory environment that Trump
supports, we might see a V-shaped turn, perhaps a repeat of what happened after the Brexit vote.
If the odds continue to move against Clinton in the final days approaching the election, the markets are likely to move
further downwards. However, if the outcome is a Clinton win, then it could bring with it a bounce back in markets.
Longer-term market views of a Clinton win are positive, but not so for a Trump win. There is a high possibility that his
anti-trade policies with the rest of the world would cause a large slowdown in growth. Unlike the UK that wishes to
close its borders to immigrants, but still wants to trade with the world, Trump seems to be determined to curtail imports
through a variety of policies, all of which are within the power of a president, with or without the support of Congress.
As a result, a Trump trade-led recession could even tip Europe back into full-blown recession, which would likely
precipitate a serious European banking crisis, something which is already a concern. Additionally, the effect on
emerging markets could be very negative.
By the time you read this article, we may know the results, or will do shortly after. In the meantime, I am very much
hoping that the American people do the right thing on the day.
Sterling Exchange Rate
Can it get worse? Well yes, it can and yes, I think it will. I would not be surprised to see Sterling reach parity with the
Euro and lately, I have started to think that it could go even lower. Unfortunately, the downward pressure on Sterling
is likely to continue until Brexit is over
If you are retired and receiving UK pensions, then you will be feeling the difference. Even with the little bounce back
after the Court’s decision, Sterling has still fallen around 16% since the day following the EU Referendum and around
25% over the last year – so in other words, that’s 25% reduction in your pension income. If you also have investment
income in Sterling, this means that your capital has to earn 25% more than it did a year ago, just to maintain the same
rate of return relative to Euro. Even worse, your Sterling capital has lost 25% of its value in Euro terms.
Sterling is undervalued and there is no doubt that it will eventually rise from the ashes. But when and what do people
do in the meantime?
If you are using a bank to transfer Sterling to Euros, you are likely to be receiving a very poor rate of exchange. Hence
, it is worth looking at using a forex company for your currency transfers, as the exchange rate that the companies
offer is usually higher than the banks. If you do not already have an account with a forex company and you would
like to know more about this, please contact me. Even if you already have an account, it can be worth shopping
around and we can refer you to a reputable company.
If you are lucky enough to have some capital in Euros already, it might be worthwhile using this, in lieu of your norma
l Sterling source of income, or at least for part of your income needs. However, everyone’s situation is different and so
it is very important to take advice before doing this to make sure that your longer-term objectives are not put at risk.
It is at times like this that people need financial advice, more than ever. Hence, if you would like to have a
confidential discussion about your situation, or any other aspect of retirement or inheritance planning, you can contact
me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17 to make an appointment. Alternatively, if you are in Limoux, call by our office at
2 Place du Général Leclerc, 11300 Limoux, to see if an adviser is available immediately for an initial discussion.
The above outline is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a recommendation
from The Spectrum IFA Group to take any particular action on the subject of pensions, investment of financial assets
or on the mitigation of taxes.
The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can
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It's been a while.
Ionaudio sell such a system. The RRP is about £100 upwards but there are plenty of used examples on eBay and the like. For example:
I bought one of the earlier versions of this system some years ago and have used it to convert more than 2,000 photos. (Still another 2,000 to go, so it's not going out on loan!)
I was very pleased with the results. The software is clever and easy to use; the hardware - no more than a small scanner, fed manually using film carriers - I found a bit clunky. Rather crude moulded plastic but robust and easily er . . . um . . . modified with a Stanley knife!
If all you have are prints, I cannot really advise from experience. I'd think you could simply scan them - most modern printers double up as scanners. You could also copy them using a smartphone if it is has a decent camera. Maybe there's a better system out there for prints?
Hope this helps and that all is well with you and yours.
There is an app you can get for a smart phone called photomyne which allows you to photograph a page of photos, or individual ones then converts each photo to a jpeg format - and it is free!
regards and thanks for the enjoyable reads
Hi Steve, re the beeping sound, I don't thing you have misunderstood anything.
Au contraire, you can now rest assured that you are in fact fully in tune with French 'mentality'.
Scan them. My €50 hp printer/scanner has an option to simultaneously scan 4 photos as different jpg's. Maybe yours does.
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