Lately, the European Commission has been in the news a lot. In a negative sense, with the so-called “super promotion” of Martin Selmayr, the right-hand of Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of the European Commission. Instead of discussing such a small problem, we should focus on the debate on the political future of Europe.
Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, can be found in the top 10 of many lists. One might wonder what kind of lists we are dealing with. The answer is simple, the annual price development of the owner-occupied housing market. Amsterdam saw an astonishing 14% increase in owner-occupied housing prices over the year 2017, according to Statistics Netherlands. Their figures show an increase of 7.6% for The Netherlands as a whole. The Dutch housing market is doing seemingly well, but is this the full picture?
The first Rutte cabinet (Rutte I) decided to increase the retirement age in 2011. At that time, the Dutch parliament agreed upon an increase of the retirement age to 66 in 2020. After the fall of this cabinet, the second Rutte cabinet (Rutte II) proposed a more rigorous solution in the retirement age question. The retirement age should increase to 66 in 2018 and in steps to 67 in 2021. From 2022 onwards it will be linked to the life expectancy. That is why as of this year the retirement age to receive the (full) AOW-benefit increased to 66.
In the early 1990s the asset price bubble in Japan collapsed, it was the start of what later came known as the “Lost Decade” or even “Lost Score”. The Financial Services Agency (FSA), the Japanese supervisory and regulatory institution, waited more than a decade before obliging Japanese banks to take the losses on non-performing loans.
During the Financial Crisis of 2008 taxpayers’ money was frequently used to save banks from bankruptcy. In the Netherlands ABN-AMRO and SNS Reaal were bailed out by the government for the staggering amounts of 22 billion and 3.7 billion euro respectively. Moreover, the Irish government came into severe trouble after saving their financial infrastructure from the abyss. These rescues caused governments to take the full blow, resulting in a “free lunch” for banks’ shareholders and bondholders. As a result, taxpayers (and politicians too) were disappointed in and angry with those “irresponsible bankers”.
Last transfer window will most of all be remembered by the transfer of Neymar from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for the astonishing amount of 222 million euro. Moreover, PSG paid 180 million euro for Kylian Mbappé. Both transfers pulverized the previous record transfers of Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Gareth Bale, which all were transferred for a fee of approximately one hundred million euro.