Latvija – nerezidentu patvērums?

Dienas bizness ziņo, ka nerezidentu noguldījumi Latvijas bankās pirmo reizi kopš 2005.gada ir pārsnieguši rezidentu noguldījumus, sasniedzot 12.2 miljardus EUR.

Ko tas nozīmē? Ārvalstnieki (vairāk nekā 80% no Krievijas un bijušajām PSRS valstīm) izvēlas izmantot Latvijas bankas savu līdzekļu glabāšanai, kas teorētiski ļauj Latvijai uzlabot tās makroekonomiskos, fiskālos rādītājus. FKTK ir savs skaidrojums par šo līdzekļu ‘nevainīgumu’ un nerezidentu noguldījumu nekaitīgumu attiecībā uz Latvijas tautsaimniecības attīstību.

Taču, jautājumi ir sekojoši:

  • cik skrupulozi FKTK analizē, kas ir šie nerezidenti, kāda ir šo naudas līdzeklu izcelsme un vai Latvijas bankas nav vienkārši ķēdes posmi dazādām starptautiska mēroga naudas atmazgāšanas, nodokļu apiešanas operācijām?
  • Vai FKTK kapacitāte pārbaudīt un uzraudzīt šīs nerezidentu bankas ir pietiekama, lai spētu novērst Parex 2 situācijas?
  • vai šeit nav diezgan skaidra korelācija starp Kipras krīzi un nerezidentu noguldījumiem Latvijā? Un, ja ir, cik ‘droša’ ir šī nauda?
  • pat ja liela daļa šo līdzekļu ir koncentrēti bankās, kuras nav tik populāras vietējo vidū (Rietumu banka, AB.LV),vai tendence, veidojoties finansu sektora segmentam, kas fokusējas uz nerezidentiem, neliecina par Latvijas kā ofšora tēla veidošanos, ko īpaši pastiprina arī salīdzinoši zemie nodokļi investoriem (īpaši peļņas, dividenžu nodoklis)?
  • ja ap 2012./2013.gadu, kad nerezidentu noguldījumi sāka pietuvoties 40% no kopējā apjoma un dažādas starptautiskas organizacijas (ES, IMF) un mediji (Financial Times etc) pauda bažas par Latvijas banku sektora pieaugošo ievainojamību, kāpēc šī ziņa šobrīd nav vēl kļuvusi par mediju top ziņu?
  • 2008.gadā, kad sākās Parex bankas krīze, nerezidentu noguldījumi bija zemākajā līmenī pēdējo 15 gadu laikā, taču ar to bija pietiekami, lai Parex (kas arī apkalpoja lielu daļu tā laika nerezidentu) radītu krīzi Latvijā, jo tas cieta no neveiksmīgiem, bet riskantiem investīciju darījumiem starptautiskajos tirgos; gadījumā, ja notiek starptautisko finansu tirgu sašūpošanās un banku ieguldījumi ir augsta riska, vai Latvija ir gatava atkal glābt?
  • un visbeidzot – vai drošības iestādes pietiekami analizē šo ieguldījumu politisko nozīmi un ietekmi? Nauda nesmird, bet lielai naudai garas rokas

era of dynasties in the USA

If Hillary Clinton will be elected and assuming that she serves one term, out of 32 years (1989 – 2021) for 24 years US politics will be led by 2 families.

I just wonder, are these the only 2 families in the USA which can offer winning candidates for the President’s post? And, if so, what makes them so special and unique? Or simply because not every family could feel confident enough about their capabilities to raise billions of US dollars for running their election campaigns?

Maybe some of the hints are hidden in this new book written by the ex-Financial Times reporter?

Inequality for all

To recognize the World Day of Social Justice which was on 20 February, I watched this great documentary produced by Robert Reich, renowned US economist who has advised several US presidents and governments. Though this documentary is focusing on USA, it brings into light the danger of inequality anywhere; danger to people, to living standards, to democracy. In the film Mr Reich suggests to address the challenges of inequality through:

  • middle-out economy (opposed to trickle-down economy which is a pure myth),
  • investment in education (if anything, education can be a Troyan horse to reduce inequality);
  • putting the people first;
  • strict policy on tax justice and stopping tax breaks to ensure fair contribution by the rich to the society (higher concentration of money in fewer hands creates power and ability to influence politics and democratic processes).

He is calling for bigger social change which should should be triggered by society. Complacency won’t work.

need some adrenaline? Try ‘datching’

Russia is ill-famous for its wide-spread corruption. On Transparency International world corruption perception index in 2013 Russia is the 127th out of 177 countries. But what’s interesting is, that this phenomenon can become a source of inspiration for development of new sports. Sports discipline with a high level of extremism, risks and adrenaline. It’s called ‘datching’: the touring of the public land that holds massive mansions or as they call them in Russia – datcha – in an attempt to attract attention to the dubious real estate. Datching is usually done by opposition activists, but can be extremely risky and can lead to arrest and jail.

In this video (the best is from 2:30 – 3:30 min) you can see Russia’s Deputy Prime Minster’s datcha filmed by paraglider/ ‘datching’ enthusiast. It is just mind blowing to think how Mr Shuvalov with his official salary – 27,000USD a year – can possess such a property, which, surely, is just the top of the iceberg anyway. It does not surprise though therefore why such properties are so well guarded and hidden from public eye.

But, then ask how the people in power manage to maintain legitimacy of this order? The fact, that so little resistance can be observed, is the answer itself, isnt it?

how to boost GDP. UK style

Countries, which struggle to grow their GDP and lack ideas, should try to get a master-class from Conservatives here in UK. Their innovativeness has no limits. The trick is: start counting in drug dealing and prostitution business and you will get about 1% annual GDP increase and all the newspapers will be writing that your country is recovering and Government’s economic policies are working. Office for National Statistics can also advise on how to calculate the size of that business 4-5 years ago, so you can revise your past GDP records and make the economy look even greater. So, all the drug dealers and sex traders – well done!

p.s. if it is not obvious, I am deeply sad that GDP which as a tool to measure economy was never ever perfect, is crippled even more and made totally meaningless (except to politicians, of course, who use it as a success indicator of their policies). By including such socially harmful ‘business’ in national domestic product basket UK is basically legitimizing this business and positively acknowledging its impact on economy. I just wonder, if this business is so productive, will then government come up with special stimulus programmes to keep the productive sector growing?

EU elections 2014: how to get the voters to the polling stations?

Upcoming EU elections (from 22- 25 May) have renewed public debate about the low voter turnout and thus crisis of democracy in Europe. UK voters, particularly in case of EU elections, have always been quite passive: in 1999 only 23% of the eligible voters voted, whilst in 2004 and 2009 it rose to 38% and 34% respectively. Politicians and campaigners are worried that  this year the trend of decreasing activity will continue and various initiatives are planned to encourage people to take part in these elections.

Besides a very complex voting system which includes registration long time before elections, my simple question is: how on Earth one can expect a great voter turnout if the elections are organized on Thursday? I would find it close to impossible to get the time off, go to a polling station and give my vote. Moreover, there are so many people who do hourly-paid work which would mean that they would incur loss in income if they chose to vote instead of working. With the exception of Latvia (voting on Sunday, 25 May), Czech republic and Slovakia (voting on 23 and/or 24 May) and Ireland (voting on Friday 23 May), the rest of the EU countries organize the elections on Saturday, 24 May (check for reference here). Why UK wants to stand out and organize elections on Thursday? what is the rationale? Is there a logical reason of not doing it over the weekend?

In 2009 in Latvia voters’ turnout was about 56%. What if there is a direct correlation between the election day and voters’ turnout?