Friday, June 24, 2016

Britain's Exit from the EU and its Effects on the Global Economy

This week, Great Britain voted on a referendum that concluded with their decision to leave the European Union. With that decision, the international financial markets became a sea of confusion and the pound hit its lowest value since 1985. The European Central Bank is worried about the negative consequences this landmark decision will have on the general population as the devaluation could cause a nation-wide panic. Jonathan Kaiman, Don Lee, and Julie Makinen discuss in their latest L.A. Times article some of these potential effects, not just to Britain's financial future, but to the world.

Early this morning, the voting results had begun to show a not insignificant push for the "leave" camp of British voters: 52% had voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. While the difference of 4% between the two sides may seem small, it represents a shocking turn that many policy-makers didn't expect.  Apparently, the general populace would prefer to be independent, no longer under the rule of the EU. Why are the British people so adamant about leaving the European Union?

The "Brexit" (British exit) is based on three main issues: economics, immigration, and identity. Under current practice, the members of the EU have a common market with a shared form of currency that makes the economy run smoothly. However, the UK is forced to send a sum of money to Brussels (the headquarters of the EU) each year, where the money gets redistributed to other member states, which can help to stabilize their economies and hopefully induce growth. Many of the "leave group" don't want to pay extra taxes to support another country other than their homeland.

The immigration argument comes down to the fact that anyone from an EU-member country is legally able to move to the UK and get a job without needing a work visa. According to economists, this is good for the economy, filling necessary jobs and helping the local housing market. Many UK citizens are against the free immigration, however, because they believe that non-citizens are coming in and using up already limited public resources. Finally, many voters in Great Britain don't see themselves as "European." They prefer to identify themselves as British above all else and dislike many of the laws and regulations that come with being a member of the EU. In all, those supporting the Brexit do it because they want Britain to have control over its own governance again.

Unfortunately, many economists believe that the Brexit will lead to massive, irreversible economic downturn around the world. Already, the pound's value has gone down by over 10%, the price of oil has taken a dive, and even stocks in Asia have suffered. Investors throughout Europe and the US are preparing for the worst. As everything unfolds in the UK, even countries as far as Singapore are feeling the effects due to the high degree of uncertainty as to what will happen next. No one knows for sure, but economists believe that Britain will not be able to avoid a hard recession with economic output dropping by 1-6% in the coming years.

The abounding fear and uncertainty have more strongly affected Asian markets than anywhere else so far. Japan's Nikkei index dropped 7.5%, Hong Kong's 4.7%, and Shanghai's 2%. All of Asia's markets have been feeling the significant effects caused by the upcoming Brexit. Fortunately, analysts believe that the worst of the Brexit will negatively affect the Chinese economy, but only in the short-term. In fact, economists believe that the financial instability will benefit China in the long-run. As Britain leaves, the power of the euro will decline, which could give the Chinese renminbi (RMB) a chance to replace the euro as the world's second-most-powerful form of currency. However, as a whole, it is expected that the global economy will not do well over the coming months and years. Only time will tell how things will end.

Find out more about us at Any Questions? Contact our Escrow Expert! Sepulveda Escrow Corporation (818) 838-1831. Follow our company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

No comments:

Post a Comment