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ARM founder says Softbank deal is 'sad day' for UK tech (bbc.com)
281 points by mbgaxyz on July 19, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 218 comments



And in Germany minister Gabriel is trying to find a European buyer, while the Chinese Midea makes offers to buy Kuka Robotics. Somehow I have the feeling that the minister doesn't realize that Midea already owns 76% of Kuka's shares.

In a global economy, is it really a risk for already global companies to be owned by someone who isn't in said company's original HQ nation? What difference does it make, given that the whole operation is already distributed over the globe?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-02/midea-tout...

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kuka-midea-group-stake-idU...


>What difference does it make, given that the whole operation is already distributed over the globe?

It limits your potential job offers after your career as a politician.


foreigners are much more likely to hire people with local influence!


Indeed. IIRC Russians hired Gerhard Schröder for gas pipe pr...


But you can guarantee your position by stalling their buyout until they agree to hire you after you retire.


Yes, but as far as I know, Midea offered to buy Kuka's stocks for 115€ per share instead of 8€ that they were worth at the time and increased it's stake from 16% to 76% this way.


Yeah, given that Kuka already has a subsidiary in China and that Midea owns 76%, I don't know what exactly would change when it's fully owned by Midea.


German corporate governance laws require a parent company to operate at arms-length for ownership levels between 50%+1 and 95%.

This means no changes of management allowed, no revenue synergies, no cost synergies. By acquiring the remaining shares, they would be allowed to take actual control.


The intellectual property...


Probably should have thought of that before he ran ARM into the ground the first time and sought foreign bailouts.

Under his leadership, "sad days" included sizable foreign investments from Olivetti, Apple and GEC.


I think there is a difference between raising capital through investment and selling the business. I'm not sure that the term "bailout" is appropriate here either.


In each of those not entirely relinquishing control.


How so if the company can be bought today without his consent?


I don't think he's been involved in the company for more than a decade[0].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Hauser


This.


Isn't it a bit of a stretch for Hermann Houser to say ARM 'sold' 15 billion chips last year and compares ARM to Intel? Technically it was ARM licensees that sold those chips, not ARM.

Quote from the article: "The man [Hermann Hauser] who helped spin ARM Holdings out from Acorn Computers in 1990 also said the technology firm had sold 15 billion microchips in 2015, which was more than US rival Intel had sold in its history."


ARM has not sold a single chip in 2015 but 200+ partner companies that integrate ARM into theirs SoC together with quite sophisticated tech like modems, GPU's, accelerators of any kind etc. In many cases real estate taken by ARM is below 1/4 of total die area.


> real estate taken by ARM is below 1/4 of total die area

Yes, but perhaps it is the most valuable area of the die? The rest may be, for instance, taken by highly repetitive memory cells?


Most valuable? I doubt it. Each of these partners shipping major chip volumes have likely ran a cost/benefit analysis of an in-house CPU vs paying the licensing fee.

Here's a more sobering set of numbers to compare ARM and Intel on:

Intel Corporation net income (2015): $11.4 billion [1]

ARM Holdings plc 2015 total assets (2016): $3.21 billion [2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_Holdings


Intel is in a problematic situation though and is laying off 12,000 staff st the moment. I don't think the dollars tell the full story.


Not in many cases. Things like Bluetooth and WiFi chips have a simple CPU and then lot of custom digital logical and fancy RF components on the die. The CPU is only a small part of the design, both physically in the amount of area it takes up and also of the amount of engineering effort that goes into it. Correspondingly, it represents a small part of the value to the customer. Obviously the customer wanted a good CPU, but there are lots of relatively cheap ways to obtain a good enough small CPU.

When I worked at Cambridge Silicon Radio, we'd license in various bits of IP like the USB. We might pay more for that than a small ARM core would cost.


without those memory cells the arm chip is useless. Try using a cell phone with 1kb memory. These days things are so integrated that there's no "most valuable", except perhaps power gating / power control parts of the circuitry.


Value is determined by supply and demand, not function.


I don't understand what you mean in this context. Elaborate please?


Just because memory is indispensable, doesn't mean its more valuable for its designer/manufacturer, since competition may force them to accept a much lower margin. There are multiple companies designing memory chips, but only one can license ARM chips.


thank you! this discussion also helped me realize the importance of both memory--in which to store broad knowledge and associations--AND raw horsepower in the CPU.


Selling licensees is even smarter than selling chips, no risk and probably same margin.


In 2015, Intel paid out more in stock dividends (~$4,500M) than ARM Holdings made in revenue ($1,489M).


Which, as I understand it, means that in 2015, Intel was probably at least two orders of magnitude more profitable than ARM Holdings. GP could still be right about margins, but as a shareholder, Intel would bave been much more preferable.


How long can Intel retain those profit margins though? ARM processors are the de facto architecture for mobile and IoT - as mobile processors get more powerful and more desktop class software becomes available on mobile devices, Intel's profitability is seriously threatened.


You could make the same argument about arm too, for that matter. Why pay for an arm license if you can get an equivalent risc-v chip (rtl, "soft core" or whatever it is that you get when you buy an arm license) for free? Well, not at the moment but in a few years when risc-v has matured a bit more..


Its likely Hacker News runs on Intel. There is no cloud - it's someone else's computer, as they say...


People have been predicting the demise of Intel for a long time now. "Now that AMD is shipping Opteron CPUs, there's no way Intel can retain the server market..."


Now that they got their country back, they can sell it off. :-)

Probably the lower value of the £ has probably contributed to this, or hastened it.


If you look at the value of ARM's $-denominated ADRs

  http://www.google.co.uk/finance?cid=662445
This is basically a measure ARM's value in $. You will see any value in the fall the pound was more than offset by a rise in ARM's share price at the time. As ARM's revenue is largely $ denominated and it has significant proportion of its costs in UK people (£) then the fall in the pound led to a bigger rise in its share price as the markets expected bigger profits.



I felt the need to show gratitude for the clicky. Quite odd really, had it not been clicky, I would not have opened the link. Yet, it took 1000 times more effort to write this but it felt worth it.



If you are not on mobile, you can just select the url and drag it between two tabs on your tab bar to open it.


Not just mobile. Works on my desktop Firefox too.


Turns out one of the largest corporate acquisitions in UK corporate history probably took more than a fortnight to put together.

But a weaker pound certainly makes the UK are more attractive target for investment.


> But a weaker pound certainly makes the UK are more attractive target for investment.

If only the UK wasn't going to leave the largest free trade group!


> the largest corporate acquisition in UK corporate history

I think this is BG Group.

Edit: The parent edited to "one of the largest". Thanks!


It didn't, Brexit made it 7% more expensive for SoftBank https://twitter.com/jamestitcomb/status/754966707769315333


Man, this is so confusing.

I just read an article that claims the opposite, ie that Brexit made it 30% _cheaper_ for Softbank, due to Yen vs Pound exchange rate.

"Brexit Made ARM Holdings A Bargain For Softbank"

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2016/07/18/arm-softba...


How?


ARMs income is mostly in dollars, and their expenses mostly in pounds.

Accordingly if you look at the FTSE100 index, it's moved up about as much as the pound has dropped because a lot of the companies on it will profit from a weaker pound, while if you look at the FTSE250, which includes a large number of companies with income predominantly in pounds, it's down.


Say you work at Arm, and are thinking of buying an apartment. The London market has a lot of people from Asia doing investments. If the pound weakens against the yuan, tough luck. Or perhaps you were thinking of buying an imported car or having a vacation in Europe... those job postings at Intel, AMD or IBM start to look a lot better than before.


ARM's head office isn't in London, but Cambridge. Even so, foreign investors drive up the purchase prices, true, but not that much as when they drive up the prices, they drive down the profit potential as well as drive down (or reduce the growth of) rental prices which makes it costlier to leverage.

I do agree with you the entire Brexit situation makes it tempting to look elsewhere, though. Personally I do consulting, and I've started looking for US remote devops consulting gigs in preference to UK ones because it's suddenly a lot more attractive to get paid in dollars...


Wouldn't every company that could afford a part-time CFO be hedging currency exposure?


A lot of the FTSE-250 companies seeing dropping share prices are companies that are based in the UK, and making most of their income in the UK. While some of them probably could (and some I'm sure have) hedge against increased prices from foreign suppliers, for most of the the big problem is expected problems with domestic demand.

Some certainly faces currency risks too, but then the question is how much are you willing to spend to hedge?

It's highly unlikely most companies have sufficient earnings that they could have afforded to hedge against movements of this magnitude for anything but a short period. Certainly they can - and I'm sure some have - reduce the impact and give themselves time to adapt, but the cost of hedging against the effects of movements of this size and effects potentially lasting years would be prohibitive for almost anyone.


Perhaps the fall in the GBP was offset by rises in their stock price coming from speculation that companies with large amounts of GBP-denominated exports would sell more? Total guess


Which is so strange that this is exactly the argument Theresa May made yesterday. Something along the lines of "this proves that UK can do well even post-Brexit!"

First of all - what?!

And second, this has nothing to do with the brexit anyway. Softbank even said they were going to do the acquisition with or without Brexit.


>Softbank even said they were going to do the acquisition with or without Brexit. //

If there's one thing May and her ilk proved beyond doubt in the referendum it's that they don't care about the truth, only what they can spin to make things look better to an uninformed electorate. That's certainly not a new thing but it seems to have reached a new level that leaves all semblance of honour behind it.


My own impression is that for a modern developed economy looking healthy is far more key than being healthy.


> looking healthy is far more key than being healthy.

The Conservative part of the United Kingdom basically has the selling point of "fiscal probity" - i.e being Conservative, they are good for business and don't take risks with the health of the economy. For instance they literally campaigned on it in 2015 (1)

They have to continue to try to project that image, even when it's laughably at odds with actual events. Otherwise, what are they even for?

1) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/11561...


> Which is so strange that this is exactly the argument Theresa May made yesterday.

And the exact opposite of the argument that she made a week ago: "A proper industrial strategy wouldn’t automatically stop the sale of British firms to foreign ones, but it should be capable of stepping in to defend a sector that is as important as pharmaceuticals is to Britain."

https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance...

http://www.theresa2016.co.uk/we_can_make_britain_a_country_t...


Great catch. Pity this hasn't been more widely noted.


The source above is The Guardian, a national newspaper, so it's not exactly obscure.


Wouldn't a weaker pound improve ARM's position? I assume their licensing deals are denominated in foreign currency, so a drop in the pound means more profits for them.


So what, we're living in one and the same world anyway.


Interesting timing: we have the same debate rising up in France with the acquisition of Medtech (Rosa medical robots) by Zimmer Biomet [1]. CEO and founder, Bertin Nahum, said he had to sell as he couldn't find the right funding in FR/EU. Real shame and also a sad day for France (med)tech

[1]http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSFWN1A40EO


It's simple. Europe has no money. The middle class has no savings and the investment sector is far too regulated, confined and incapable of looking at a multi-year timescale.


"The middle class has no savings" => France saving ratio is 15% vs 5% in the US, so that's definitely not the point.


> It's simple. Europe has no money.

And stagflation Japan is doing great?

I think SoftBank/Masayoshi Son is enough of an outlier that you can't make any extrapolations from this investment. This is the guy who was crazy enough to buy Sprint


Stagflation?

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/japan/inflation-cpi

Japan's inflation has been hovering around 0% for a decade. Unemployment is low too. The problem is a shrinking working population and low productivity growth.


The investment sector is simply too conservative, for historical and cultural reasons. Regulation is mostly an excuse, a fig leaf for a spiritually-bankrupt upper class.


The English Upper Class does have a long and storied tradition of rent-seeking. If you can extract so much value out of something like housing, it's difficult to see why you would get involved in anything risky and technical.


Why is real estate investing 'rent-seeking' and buying a tech company an 'investment'?


Real estate investing is not inherently rent-seeking. The fact that the word "rent" is in "rent-seeking" and we pay "rent" for an apartment seems to often cause some confusion.

Rent-seeking involves seeking out regulatory or other non-market protection for a stream of revenues. Taxi medallion companies lobbying city governments to restrict the supply of medallions is a textbook example.

That said, a real estate investor certainly could engage in rent-seeking behavior. For example, they could lobby a city to restrict new development, thereby reducing competition and protecting or increasing their revenue. In practice, companies that invest in stable real estate assets (e.g. REITs) typically don't do this. The incentive structures in the industry don't really support it. I'm sure it does happen in some cases though.

Now, to be fair to the GP comment about the "English Upper Class" it's not entirely unreasonable to accuse them of rent-seeking for their land holdings. With very broad brush strokes, there are a lot of "Upper Class" English people who own a lot of incoming-producing real estate who also push very hard for historic preservation laws that restrict new construction - e.g. Prince Charles and his friends.


> For example, they could lobby a city to restrict new development, thereby reducing competition and protecting or increasing their revenue.

You don't have to be the one to create a rent-seeking opportunity to be the one who benefits from it.

The fact that many desirable locales have strict zoning regulations to restrict development absolutely turns homeowners there into rent-seekers. They're exploiting a stream of income which only exists due to government intervention.


For sure, homeowners are very often rent-seekers. In fact, I would be willing to wager that there are a lot more rent-seeking homeowners than professional real estate investors.

I took the question in the thread to be more about real estate investment firms than individual homeowners.


The tech company wins or loses based on innovation (unless it goes the monopoly route, in which case it's back to rent-seeking).

Real estate is scarce, inherently exclusive by location, and limited in supply by planning law. The amount of money returned by real estate is totally out of proportion to the work involved in its maintenance.


> The amount of money returned by real estate is totally out of proportion to the work involved in its maintenance.

And what is the work involved in building a housing unit? If you build one in most of the EU capitals today you can expect to get your investment back after 30-40 years if you rent it out. (that's why most just sell the housing unit)

Would you make an investment in a company expecting to get your investment back after 30 years? I certainly wouldn't because I want to make profit while I'm still alive.

If housing units would grow like trees without human interaction then you'd be right, but each one of them had to be built in the first place.


The returns aren't in the rent, they're in the capital gains. More gains than the stockmarket. This is why people are buying the units, especially from overseas. Sometimes they're even left unlet.


FYI, the vast majority of rental real estate is owned by investment firms who buy and sell entire buildings, not people buying units.

In general capital gains in an otherwise depreciating asset are tied to outsized increases in the revenue stream that asset produces. To put it another way, the increase in value is fundamentally driven by an increase in the number of people who want to use the building or the neighborhood - it's driven by a real utilitarian value that the asset does provide, or has the potential to provide for people.

If you think that real estate always goes up in value (above inflation) I would wager you've spent most of your life in the big cities where an increasing number of people want to live. I also have some lovely properties in Buffalo and Detroit that you might be interested in.

Of course, sometimes, in a frothy market, both professional firms and random individuals speculate on real estate, looking for capital gains disconnected from any underlying fundamental increase in utilitarian value. There are plenty of half-finished subdivisions in rural Florida that show how real this phenomenon is. However, it's an aberration, and it's fundamentally unstable so it doesn't tend to last for long.

Drawing conclusions about real estate markets in general from speculative bubble conditions is similar to drawing conclusions about technology companies from day trading on the Nasdaq in 1999.


> More gains than the stockmarket

Sorry, but this can't possibly be true. Since the 2008 crash the Dow Jones for example tripled in value while the San Francisco housing market gained 40%.

It is very rare that the real estate market outperforms the stock market.


So if I have, say, a machine that makes t-shirt more cost-effectively than my competitors, your claim is that I'm 'rent-seeking'? Do you think that because it's not innovative, or because I'm the only one with such a machine?

(This is a trick question. Before you answer, please make sure you actually know what 'rent-seeking' means, because it's obvious that most other commenters don't.)


"Rent-seeking involves seeking to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth" - WP.

The more efficient T-shirt machine produces more with less, therefore the overall resources available go up. Not rent-seeking.

Having a patent on the machine, and/or attempting to sabotage the creation of similar machines? Rent-seeking.


Because owning a piece of property and charging for it is just extracting value out of something static. If investing in a company building or producing something you're helping create value.


This would be the case only if the piece of property was always there and no one had to build and maintain it.

For houses this is not the case. You actually have to produce houses and you have to constantly work on them so they don't collapse after some time.


Yes, the property has to be maintained, but generally the cost and effort of doing that is minimal, and the usual things that break need to be fixed by the person living there, not the landlord.


I think you might be comparing apples and oranges when comparing investing in a company and investing in real estate. There are different ways to invest in a company and different ways to invest in real estate.

Investing in a company to help fuel its growth, like VCs do, is analogous to investing in a new development project. There are lots of firms that provide equity investment to developers for new construction. Much like VCs these firms are interested in helping to create something new to meet market demands. Also like VCs they are typically looking for an exit event, where they benefit from the sale of the recently developed property.

The tech analogue for being a landlord - holding on to a stable asset and maintaining it - is holding on to an already profitable business and just maintaining it. For example, there are lots of SaaS businesses that have a decent number of customers and the owners are happy to just do the minimum needed to maintain the code and handle customer service requests. You can buy and sell these businesses as an investor much like income-oriented real estate investors buy and sell fully-leased apartment and office buildings. These investors are not helping to create something new in a direct way.

However, those income-oriented investors do create a market for stable assets, be it a Midtown Manhattan office building or shares of GE. They aren't directly investing in growth, but they are providing the incentive for growth. After all, while an early stage growth investor might be happy to know that they can sell their stake to another growth investor, as a company gets bigger and bigger its room for growth tends to diminish, and growth investors become less interested in buying it. But the market for its shares doesn't disappear. That's because there are investors looking for stable cash flow, even if it's from a static asset - be it an apartment building from the 1970s or Oracle.


This is not a matter of what you feel or believe, it isn't rent-seeking by definition, period.

Rent-seeking is everything where you extract value by not being productive in the sense of creating new wealth.

Building a house is damn expensive and creates a lot of new wealth, while maintaining a house preserves the wealth you created before.


It is not something that I feel or believe, it is factual. I know this because I am both a renter and a landlord. I inherited a property which I am now renting out, and except for a few major fixes, I have left the property pretty much as is while collecting quite a bit in rent from the occupiers.

In the same vein I could just purchase a property and rent it out, in doing so I have not created it - it already existed - but now I am just extracting value from it. Same as the bank will do to me with the mortgage.


Because one is literally the definition of rent-seeking[0], and one is not.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking


Despite having linked to literally the first google hit on 'rent seeking', you obviously don't even know what it means.


Did you care to read the content of the link you posted?

Because then you'd know that housing is not rent-seeking by this definition as there clearly is a contribution to productivity.

Houses have to be built, maintained, developed and advertised on the market. And there are a lot of risks in this business.


Housing ownership _can_ be rent-seeking, as long as rentier behavior is applied to the stock.

For example, home-owners in San Francisco who actively prohibit new construction are rent-seekers.


They're sticking the money into tourism and luxury real estate.

Something to do with the southern side of the Mediterranean being ... uh ... in worse shape safety-wise than the northern. So far.


Too much savings is the problem, and no political will to introduce policies to get it moving again. Austerity kills spending.


How is this a problem? You don't save to hoard, you save to use that money later. Delaying the urge to consume in favor of investment is very much correlated to the growth of an economy (afaik, not an economist but a somewhat interested layperson).


You say it yourself: Saving to use that money later. Which is an issue as economic measurements are based on what the economy is like at the present moment. If a large amount of people's capital is sitting dormant in bank accounts it can't flow through the economy. This used not to be such a huge problem because banks were allowed to re-invest savings (fractional reserve lending), but this changed after 2008. The problem with Austerity is that it doesn't encourage people to spend. It damages consumer sentiment, which makes people more inclined to save for a rainy day, which has a knock on effect in the shops and restaurants, and ultimately the tax take that these businesses bring in. Of course, if all people were rational, and self-interested this may not be a problem, but this is counterbalanced by Keyne's "Animal Spirits" or the irrational behaviour of people en mass. I'm not saying that either style of economics is 100% right or wrong, but that it is a delicate balancing act between the two.


No, these savings are just offsetting shrinking retirement and welfare provisions from the State. They do very little for investment (pension funds are naturally conservative) and nothing for immediate consumption, grinding the overall system slowly to a halt. Japan historically has a similar problem due to cultural elements, Europe is getting there because of prolonged austerity "reforms".


Where do you imagine the saved money goes?

In a modern economy "savings" equals investment. Even using a bank deposit account transforms one persons savings into another's business loan or mortgage.

This seems to be a widely held misconception - that savings are economically inert - a bit like a squirrel's nut hoard.


Nah, between "firewalls" and rock-bottom central bank rates, money invested (or rather multiplied, through fractional etc etc) by banks today is not coming from savings. Which is why returns on savings are basically non-existent; but it's the only wealth accumulation available to everyone, and in times of "austere" frugality with uncertain job prospects, people keep accumulating them anyway.


The massive accumulation of capital to the top 1% means competition for investment opportunities... aka capital is really cheap as investors hook up the money funnel to anything that smells like yield. That encourages malinvestment.

Businesses don't need loans when they don't have customers with money to spend.


> In a modern economy "savings" equals investment

This, is a widely held misconception. A bank is no longer allowed to re-invest more than a small proportion of it's customers' savings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking#Res...


The sum almost feels low in the light of all the unicorn valuations.


And in light of MS paying $26M for a post-peak social network.


$26bn


Just to make the comparison more obvious, ARM is being sold for £24 billion (GBP) which is about $31.5 billion (USD).


Brands are everything. You want to get into people's heads, not into their cellphones :)


A complaint I've seen about the UK's tech scene is that it can't be like Silicon Valley because there haven't been enough acquisitions to spread the wealth and encourage further and more diverse investment. But now there's an acquisition, people are moaning :-D


That may be because the wealth is spreading elsewhere ...


Right, but this acquisition was post-IPO. The kind of ecosystem people might want to see is larger companies (like ARM) acquiring smaller UK startups. This is not a startup acquisition, and unlikely to fuel further startups.


I would like to see some ARM chips that are competitive with x86 even if that still means they are only put in Chromebooks. The Tegra X1 is quite interesting but the dev board is too expensive for me ($599). It's kind of ironic that AMD's x86 cpus are actually the cheapest choice if you want relatively high performance because that is one of the big selling points of ARM.


> It's kind of ironic that AMD's x86 cpus are actually the cheapest choice if you want relatively high performance because that is one of the big selling points of ARM.

I'd disagree that that's the selling point. I'd say ARM's selling points have always been low cost and power efficiency. They have recently started trying to make inroads into the higher performance server market (with their selling point still being power efficiency), but their main market is SOCs.

That said, I'd also like to see ARM developing some higher powered chips at a lower price point, it'll be interesting to see how much they start to move into that market.


I think you meant low cost and low power, not power efficiency. In terms of computation performed per joule used, ARM isn't any better than x86, and is much worse on many workloads. They design their parts at a low power point, but they aren't terribly efficient.


Thanks, I had thought it was power efficiency, but this seems to have been the case historically, and currently only seems to apply to microcontrollers[0] (note, this is a cursory reading of a single article, please let me know if there is other information). I should probably update my information into the 21st century. :)

[0] http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/188396-the-final-isa-show...


>> I would like to see some ARM chips that are competitive with x86 even if that still means they are only put in Chromebooks.

Any word on the AMD K12?


Delayed in favor of getting Zen to market earlier but it should still be out next year.


ARM chips are mostly about low power. Tegra X1 is interesting because of the CUDA cores, for specific types of GPGPU processing.


Why a sad day? The UK has lost most of it's industrial base and the oil, that fueled the rise of the UK under Thatcher, runs out. Last thing I heard is that they want to make a free trade zone with China. So they wouldn't really need whats left of the industrial base anyway.

Probably they are trying to become an offshore business center with decent money laundering services.


Can anyone express in none emotional terms what the sale means to UK business?


The UK has seen several large / important companies being taken over in recent years. In nearly all cases it has lead to a reduction in investment, value being extracted from the business and taken overseas, lowered quality, job losses, and - in some cases - the companies collapsing.

In addition, with our currency tanking, there is the speculation that our national assets are being picked up too cheaply.


How is ARM "our national asset"? It was owned by pension funds and institutions, both at home and overseas. It's now owned by a different, but also publicly traded company, which is also owned by pension funds etc etc you get the idea.

Many people work at ARM, some in Cambridge UK and some abroad. Those people - some of the smartest people I know - are still around, and even if ARM were to dramatically collapse under the new management, they would get jobs elsewhere very quickly. Perhaps they'd join start ups developing RISC-V chips, which would be a net benefit to everyone.


> How is ARM "our national asset"?

It is UK based. The profits it makes, and people it employs, have a direct effect on our national and local budgets.

It attracts high-class talent to the UK, further increasing its national importance.

The services it creates acts as an excellent advertisement for the UK's technology industry.

As you point out, many UK pensions schemes are invested in it.

Personally, I'm not entirely comfortable with the phrase "national asset" - but that's the common term used.

> if ARM were to dramatically collapse under the new management, they would get jobs elsewhere very quickly.

Tell that to those employed by Nokia.


None of this stuff about "national importance" moves me. If ARM was based in France then people from Cambridge UK would still be able to work there, either by moving house or remotely. For a company which is purely based on IPR and software it's completely unnecessary for the networks to be colocated. (Hardware is of course quite a bit different, but maybe that will change in future)

FWIW I work, from home in the UK, for a multinational software company which is largely based in the US.


> If ARM was based in France then people from Cambridge UK would still be able to work there, either by moving house or remotely. //

People may not be able to work in France after Britain leaves the EU so a company relying on moving those people would be on shaky ground at the moment.


That's merely another reason why Brexit is such a bad idea.

My point is why is ARM a "UK national asset" when if it were located only about 200 miles away it could be a "French national asset", and really it would make hardly any difference to anyone. The ownership would be the same (pension funds etc). The people working for it would be the same. If it does make a difference at all, that's just because we (humans) make it difficult for ourselves, not for any real reason.

In fact ARM has several offices in France (http://www.arm.com/about/company-profile/locations-around-th...). It's only a "UK national asset" because the company is registered in the UK, for historical reasons. For all I know there are some employees in France who are so pivotal to ARM as a company that if they left the thing would collapse. If that hypothetical was true why wouldn't you call it a French national asset already?

The whole thing of nationalities and borders is based on very minor and arbitrary distinctions, so any argument that we try to derive based on those assumptions quickly descends into "ex falso quodlibet".


It's a UK national asset because it's _not_ located about 200 miles away. I would certainly apply for a job at ARM in the UK, but I wouldn't in France, because I don't want to live in France and I don't want to work remotely.

The fact they're in the UK means that a lot of the money they make ends up here, which means more money in the economy near me and more money for the government to spend on things that benefit me.

Nationalities and borders may well be arbitrary (I agree), but that doesn't mean they don't matter.


Sure, you (and I) have a preference to live in the UK and speak English and drink proper beer and so on. The good news is that a hypothetical ARM company registered in France wouldn't prevent you from enjoying all that and working for them, since in this reversed situation ARM has offices in the UK and even if it didn't you could work remotely.

When you and your friends work remotely from the UK, you pay income tax and VAT and all the rest. (Corporation tax is both very hard to collect and has just been reduced, yet again, by the outgoing chancellor)

Now I'll grant that for some software/IP-based companies you cannot work from where you choose, but those companies are broken. Also you say you don't like to work remotely, but I think if you worked for a company which was organized around this (as I do) you really would prefer it, as there is hardly any down-side.


It is not a national asset because people could move to france and participate in the french economy ...?

I also work from home in the UK for a multinational software company largely based in the US, but I understand that not every company is organised the same way.


I think most of the value of ARM is in its IP rather than anything else. There are plenty of good chip designers around, and the best ARM cores are often the ones designed by other companies, but ARM is ubiquitous because it's well-established and there's a lot of code written for it.


How far is RISC-V from reality? Is it being worked on in the UK?


> value being extracted from the business and taken overseas

Anecdote: looking for a flat in Cambridge, I found a great one overlooking Market Square, last two floors above that cornish pasty store whatever it is called. We got a good deal because we agreed to take over the lease immediately from the two current occupants, who seemed in a terrible rush to leave.

I asked them why, they said Index Ventures just invested double digit millions in their company and part of the terms included an immediate (literally) move to Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, I've forgotten the name of the company but the image of wealthy Americans sniping off the best British companies stuck in my head ever since.


Did you just put your home address on the internet?


Why is that so bad?


It wasn't. I looked it up on Apple maps and it took me to a US Cambridge then crashed. You're invisible to me.


ever declining.

As someone who stopped his electronic engineering education in no small part because all the engineering jobs ran away to places like south korea in the 80s and 90s. Now the guarantee that the uk will join ttip since uk elites are all for it and they dont have the eu technocrats slowing them down. The only jobs left in that hell hole of a country I was born in will literally be call centers and shop floor retail.

Yup. just a sad day in a long list of sad days.


We still do a nice line in money laundering for African dictators and selling 11tn paperweights to the Saudis if you ever want to return.


And the worst bit of that, that is pretty much the direction (finance) I nearly went when I reassessed my options....

"Funny cause' it's true" springs to mind.


> in that hell hole of a country

Look, I'm very much saddened by Brexit and by the sale of ARM but that is just pure histrionics.

Even a cursory glance at the UK's export figures reveals that there is still an awful lot of science and technology research and development still going on here.

There's still an aweful lot of electronics design and manufacturing going on too, you just have to look for it.

You want to know what living in a hell hole is like, try asking people who've had to put they're families and all their possessions in a leaky dingy to get away from actual danger.


No doubt. But all by a tiny group of people that do not actually employ anyone in any significant numbers.

Even ARM - one of the biggest tech companies in the UK only employs about 4000 people.

And yes. Hell hole. Not a complete cess pit. But by European standards (and particularly Swiss standards which is now my comparator) outside of London there is no hope, no jobs and a very depressed population that are all living day to day on credit barely able to make rent let alone feed themselves.

By and large those families whove been forced to put and all their possessions in a leaky dingy to get away from the French and UK sponsored terrorists trying to overthrow Assad are all used to a much higher standard of living than the average Brit. Out of the frying pan into the fire.


> By and large those families whove been forced to put and all their possessions in a leaky dingy to get away from the French and UK sponsored terrorists trying to overthrow Assad are all used to a much higher standard of living than the average Brit. Out of the frying pan into the fire.

Citation needed. For pretty much all of that .



Well you did had Toni Blair working as Louis Vutton salesman post his Prime Minister days ...


Probably it dependes on what is going to happen with those money. If they will be reinvested in UK into something equally succesful as ARM chips, then this could be a big win for UK.

UK released from EU sometimes absurdal regulations with cheaper pound can be very competitive, given the capital that is around there.


Except that we won't be released in the main from EU regulations, because unless we want to cut ~40% of our trade at a stroke we'll still need to abide by them to sell into the EU. And for most companies designing and producing two products (one meeting EU regs, one for ROW) is more cumbersome and costly.


From a regional point of view could it be seen as a positive to see a tech company from outside of London thrive and be acquired?


I'd rather have my ARM devices backdoored by another country than my own (as a FIVE EYES resident). I know this is not a popular choice, but consider the threat profile: if Japan knows my secrets, are they sharing with Britain or Canada? Likely not, as the agreement is not in place. ARM was hamstrung for me and my corporation (Canadian medical marijuana industry) due to its ties to government. With this sale, that is no longer the case.

If I could, I'd buy 100% Russian and Chinese (especially gonkai'ed) gear, but that's not feasible yet. Hopefully sooner than later.


To think 2 weeks ago I was put forward there for an interview, and I just heard back that they are outsourcing it to a different team...

I can't help but feel this is not coincidental, and that I probably won't be hearing about any new roles any time soon.


Considering that 1) the revenue base of ARM is predominantly in USD licensing fees, and 2) that the British pound has lost ~20% against he dollar. The ~41% premium is really a 21% premium. No chance a global leader like ARM could have been snatched for a 21% premium a few weeks ago.

Run a list of companies listed in London with predominantly non-GBP revenue base and you have a great list of takeover targets.


I wonder now if Softbank/Japan is going to be brought into the "five-eyes" agreements somehow, now that they'll have control over all the ARM processors we'll be using on the planet, and thus will also inherit all the backdoors put there for that bastion of British Pride, the GCHQ ..


That's nothing compared to all of 7-Eleven being Japanese owned. Also, Sapporo owns Canada's Okanagan Springs beer brewery. :)


Developing technologies for the future of mankind is not inherently compatible with Nationalism.


Is this all because of brexit or why to sell such successful business?


Seeing how the pound has fallen, I think it's cheaper for foreign investors to buy Britisch companies.

That is a bit ironic if you keep the surge of nationalism in mind.


If there are any US investors looking to get into the UK healthcare market, I'm sure you can get a good deal on the NHS if you ask nicely...


Brexit was partly about the EU's sclerotic lack of democracy and partly about failure to control immigration. Since this touches neither of those, I don't see the irony.


"Brexit was partly about the EU's sclerotic lack of democracy"

Oh please, first lookup what a (representative) democracy is and how the European commission and parlement works before shouting nonsens. I'm not particularly somebody who find that everything the EU does is good, but I have also seen my part of BS regarding how it works.

If I remember it correctly what I have been reading, but it doesn't differ that much with a lot of political structures in Britain. Or is the UK also undemocratic ?

"and partly about failure to control immigration"

Which is also a nationalisme agenda ergo the reason why the Brexit supporters at the European mainland (Front National, Vlaams Belang, PVV, ...) are nationalist parties. Not to say xenophobic. That is another thing that is very ironic, it's all about democracy but then they look for support (at the continent) to parties which are only democratic when you are white. Because that are the parties some of you are investing your hopes in.

You can't deny that nationalisme ideas (a lot of elderly voted with some reminiscence to the days there was still something like the British empire) has also driven that agenda ergo it is quite ironic that it created a situation where the crown jewels could be picked cheaply by foreigners.

Even if you read the article in question you can see the same theme's (independence, ...) repeating...


Except the EU isn't undemocratic and immigration is good the economy.


Your points are technically true, but neither informs on whether Brexit happened over questions regarding sovereignty and immigration. Such questions obviously mattered and "the economy" (whatever and whoever that is) isn't the only concern of sovereign states.

You could argue that in a democratic capitalist market economy, government should concern itself predominantly with non-economic concerns of the people over economic welfare of its billionaire class. This ideal isn't always matched by reality, of course.


>Such questions obviously mattered //

In fact they mattered so much the the leave campaign flagrantly perjured themselves to convince the voters of a false reality in order to get the vote they wanted. Democracy! It ain't what it used to be.

All the sovereign baloney bothers me too - I'm not better off as a lowly nobody that in having the Queen and PM May holding the sovereign power over me than I was having the relatively socialist EU powers over me, whether they were elected or not. I really don't get the argument beyond it being used as a veil for racism or a desire to return to The Empire.


Democracy in the EU? In 2011, the elected prime ministers of Italy and Greece were toppled in Brussels-backed coups. EU civil servants then pursued economic policies that would have been rejected at the ballot box. Note the response of the EU when a referendum went against closer integration. This happened in Denmark, France, Ireland and the Netherlands. The vote was either ignored or the electorate told to vote again until they got it 'right'. We see the same mindset at work with folk who want a second referendum for Brexit.


>EU civil servants then pursued economic policies that would have been rejected at the ballot box. //

Which seems exactly like the measure of democracy we have in the UK, no?


Noam Chomsky explains the EU's democracy deficit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPbXWB0X1UQ


> "Except the EU isn't undemocratic"

What gives you that impression?


If you call the UK a democracy then yes the EU is very democratic.

Also assuming whitehall will produce less redtape than brussels is probably not going to be true :(


> "If you call the UK a democracy then yes the EU is very democratic."

Explain.


It's a plutocracy. Has been for hundreds of years.

The UK has an unlected upper House of Lords.

It has a monarch that technically still has a lot of power, even if it isn't excercised.

London is the primary focus of the country's expenditure and may as well be a city state.

The City of London, an entity unto itself is rife with fraud and corruption on a global scale, and essentially owns our politicians, much like Goldman Sachs basically owns the US government.


Plus the way that districts for the house of commons operate... leading to a less than representative commons.


> "It's a plutocracy. Has been for hundreds of years.

> "The UK has an unlected upper House of Lords."

The balance of power has shifted in those 'hundreds of years'. The House of Lords no longer has the same level of power it did 200 years ago. The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 shifted the bulk of the power for law making to the House of Commons. If you're not familiar with these bills, I recommend taking a look...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Act_1911

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Act_1949

> "It has a monarch that technically still has a lot of power, even if it isn't excercised."

The moment the Monarch tries to exercise that power is the moment the Monarch seals their fate, as dissolution of the monarchy would almost inevitably follow soon after. I'd hardly call that 'power'.

> "London is the primary focus of the country's expenditure and may as well be a city state."

I agree that spending in London is disproportionately high compared to the rest of the country.

However, it's worth remembering how big a part of the UK that London is. The population of Greater London is roughly 9.8 million. The population of the UK as a whole is roughly 64.1 million. Therefore, approximately 15% of everyone in the UK lives in London/Greater London. To put that in perspective, that's more people than live in the next 6 largest urban areas combined (Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Greater Glasgow, Liverpool, South Hampshire).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_Uni...

There are signs that UK public spending outside London will be improving. At the moment public spending in the UK is guided by the Barnett formula, which even the author himself admits was a 'terrible mistake'...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnett_formula

> "The City of London, an entity unto itself is rife with fraud and corruption on a global scale, and essentially owns our politicians, much like Goldman Sachs basically owns the US government."

The City of London is rife with fraud and corruption, but that's no argument for the EU, which is equally in bed with big business. The lobbying industry for the EU is massive, second only to the US.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/08/lobbyists-euro...


Also the UK parliament cannot be called a representative democracy. In the last general election 13% of voters voted for a UKIP candidate but the party won only 1 seat out of 650. A properly representative system would give them 84. Same with Green Party, 1 seat from 4%, should have 26. Meanwhile the Tories have an overall majority on 37% of the vote.


We do need electoral reform in the UK as well, leaving the EU is just the first step in driving towards a better democracy.


We have the Tories in power, what exactly are they going to do to improve democracy - their whole modus operandi is about expanding class division, I can hardly see them doing anything to empower the demos.


We don't have to wait until the Tories decide they want to improve democracy. The vast majority of social change happens from the grassroots up, it's up to the general public to push for it. I personally will be pushing for improving the standard of news coverage in the UK, so that when the time comes to push for proportional representation, we'll be better placed to see it put in place.


We already voted on PR and it was terrible, somehow they managed to get the worst possibly version of PR on the ballot and it was voted against; if the Tories retain power I can't see them moving for electoral reform from the top as FPTP is keeping them in a majority.

How do you see the grassroots transitioning the UK voting system for general elections, what power do we have if the MPs don't want it?


Haha, what EU are you talking about?

When did you vote for Juncker or anyone else on the commission? The commission where all the power of the EU is concentrated?

It's got better than when it was at its worst, but the EU is still incredibly undemocratic and unaccountable for a Western institution.

And let's not even start on how Germany suddenly seem to be in control of the Euro and seem to be essentially dictating monetary policy in Greece, Italy and Spain.


Juncker was a leader of the party that won European Parliament elections. The rest of the commission is appointed by the elected Parliament as well. Let's compare this to let's say House of Lords.

Germany was the main opponent of lowering the interest rate to 0 and launching QE, they obviously failed, no Germany is not suddenly in control of the Euro.

I am myself not a big proponent of the EU, but let's keep criticism where it's due and don't raise conspiracies about sudden german control of the Euro.


> "Let's compare this to let's say House of Lords."

Yes, lets.

For the most part, the role of the House of Lords is to refine the work that is done by the House of Commons. In other words, they act as an advisory body. It's the House of Commons that makes the decisions on what laws to propose, that sets the political direction for the country. The House of Lords proposes no laws themselves, and aside from exceptional circumstances they cannot block legislation that is proposed by the House of Commons.

Compare that to the EU. The European Parliament, where the bulk of the elected representatives sit, cannot propose new laws, they can only refine what gets proposed by the European Commission. In other words, it's the inverse of the UK system.



> When did you vote for Juncker

Juncker was the PPE candidate before the last round of EU elections. A majority of EU citizens voted PPE-member parties, so Juncker was elected Commission President. That's democracy in my book. All major European parties had a CP candidate going in the election, although only two had a realistic shot (Juncker for PPE and Martin Schulz for PSE); if you voted for Labour in UK, you voted for Schulz -- who is now President of the European Parliament btw, following a common European convention where opposition leaders are given oversight roles. That's real democracy in action IMHO.

> commission where all the power of the EU is concentrated

Was concentrated, pre-2009. The Commission now sets the legislative agenda, but Parliament has final say including veto.

> the EU is still incredibly undemocratic and unaccountable

Considering the institutions typically taking flak (Commission and Council) are direct emanation of national governments, I'd say the responsibility for that sits directly with national governments and their voters. Besides, if you don't like the fact that you "didn't vote for Juncker", you should be happy that Commission and Council will always include a representation from your country, no matter what anyone votes for, and it's usually on the topic that is of most interest to your country.

> Germany suddenly seem to be in control of the Euro

That's the real problem (which doesn't really affect the UK, but certainly the EU as a whole suffers from it). Everything else is a detail.


I voted in my last general election for my government which sends its representative to the commission. Like you either did or did not. Granted, there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to electoral representation in the EU, but it's not as if the EU with all its institutions is a random occurrence born from technocrats who decided that well, let's form a european dictatorship council. There's also progress being made: The EU parliament by now has some actual power instead of being a debate council.

(Side note: I always consider the "EU is undemocratic because of the appointed council" argument a bit hilarious coming from the British with the appointed House of Lords.)


> "sends its representative to the commission"

That's where you've misunderstood. The commissioners are not the representatives of those that nominate them. They are expressly forbidden from taking instructions from their national government. Don't believe me? Watch this, it's from the European Commission's YouTube channel...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWpgO1EPO_Y

As for the wider point about the EU being democratic, perhaps you should take some time to listen to someone who has been directly involved with the EU. Here's an excerpt from a talk involving Yanis Varoufakis and Noam Chomsky...

https://youtu.be/2WG-uEND74E?t=1h16m37s

"Q: Hello. My question is for Mr. Chomsky. In the past you’ve been very critical of the way in which the West has engaged in political and economic imperialism around the world behind closed doors, kind of smoke and mirrors. How do you believe that transparency and democratizing the Eurozone—

NOAM CHOMSKY: And democratizing the Eurozone.

Q: How it will kind of affect or possibly deter this behavior?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, actually one of the things that Yanis discusses in his book is that the Eurozone—in the Eurozone, democracy has declined arguably even faster than it has in the United States. During this past generation of neoliberal policies there has been a global assault on democracy, that’s kind of inherent in the principles. And in the Eurozone it’s reached a remarkable level. I mean, even the Wall Street Journal, hardly a critical rag, pointed out that no matter who gets elected in a European country, whether it’s communist, fascist, anybody else, the policies remain the same. And the reason is they’re all set in Brussels, by the bureaucracy, and the citizens of the national states have no role in this, and when they try to have a role, as in the Greek referendum, they get smashed down. That’s a rare step. Mostly they are sitting by passively as victims of policies over which they have nothing to say, and what Yanis said about the Eurogroup is quite striking. This is a completely unelected work group. Not in any remote way related to citizens’ decisions, but it’s basically making the decisions, the choices and decisions. That’s even beyond what happens here. Here it’s bad enough, but that’s more extreme.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Let me add to this just to clarify something. Actually I will go further than Noam about Europe. The European Union doesn’t suffer or the Eurogroup from a democratic deficit. It’s like saying that we are on the moon and there is an oxygen deficit. There is no oxygen deficit on the moon. There is no oxygen, full stop. And this is official in Europe.

At my first Eurogroup, as the rookie around, I was given the floor to set out our policies and to introduce myself, which is nice, and I gave the most moderate speech that I thought it was humanly possible to make. I said, “I know that you are annoyed I’m here. Your favorite guy didn’t get elected, I got elected, I’m here, but I’m here in order to work with you, to find common ground, there is a failed program that you want to keep insisting on implementing in Greece, we have our mandate, let’s sit down and find common ground.” I thought that was a pretty moderate thing to say. They didn’t.

And then after me, after I had expounded the principle of continuity and the principle of democracy, and the idea of having some compromise between the two, Doctor Wolfgang Schäuble puts his name tag forward and demands the floor and he comes up with a magnificent statement, verbatim I’m going to give you what he said, “Elections cannot be allowed to change the economic policies of any country.” At which point I intervened and said, “this is the greatest gift to the Communist Party of China, because they believe that too.”'


> That's where you've misunderstood. The commissioners are not the representatives of those that nominate them. They are expressly forbidden from taking instructions from their national government. Don't believe me? Watch this, it's from the European Commission's YouTube channel...

The same applies to the representative I elect to the German Bundestag. He's bound only to his conscience. Still, I vote for the representative that I think will represent my needs best. Neither is the chancellor - who is elected by the Bundestag as a matter of fact - bound to take instructions from the Bundestag. I don't consider that undemocratic.

I also consider the greek referendum not a good example. The Greek basically had a referendum on how to spend other peoples money. I don't agree with the outcome, but I don't agree with the greek government position either. If you're trying to reschedule loans your banks will want to have a word in it. The alternative - a Greek state bankrupt and an exit from the EU/Euro zone was on the table, but the elected Greek government decided not to - which was their democratic right to do. It's not like the EU armies invaded Greece and forced the governments arm.

And I don't consider Yannis Varoufakis a good politician either. He's certainly a good economist and his position may quite well be correct in economists terms, but politics is much much more then economics. Politics need to balance the perfect against what's achievable and judging from what I could see how things went down, trying to achieve a perfect outcome was impossible from the start. Yet, still, he tried to sell the unsalable - his interpretation of his introduction speed as "moderate" is quite telling. (Insults from both sides and comparison of Schäuble with Hitler didn't do any good either). In that regard, Merkel is a much more capable politician: She accepts the inevitable and instead focuses on the possible. I don't like the politics she's pursuing but she's doing remarkably well in that regard.


> "The same applies to the representative I elect to the German Bundestag. He's bound only to his conscience. Still, I vote for the representative that I think will represent my needs best. Neither is the chancellor - who is elected by the Bundestag as a matter of fact - bound to take instructions from the Bundestag. I don't consider that undemocratic."

The people that are democratically elected are bound to the electorate that got them there. How so? If they do a poor job, they can be voted out. It is in their self interest to listen to their voters. The worst thing that can happen in this situation is if voters are apathetic, as then the elected representatives can get away with whatever they want. In a functioning representative democracy, it is up to the general public to hold their elected representatives to account.

> "I also consider the greek referendum not a good example. The Greek basically had a referendum on how to spend other peoples money. I don't agree with the outcome, but I don't agree with the greek government position either. If you're trying to reschedule loans your banks will want to have a word in it. The alternative - a Greek state bankrupt and an exit from the EU/Euro zone was on the table, but the elected Greek government decided not to - which was their democratic right to do. It's not like the EU armies invaded Greece and forced the governments arm."

You should watch the video that I linked to before, the story did not play out how you paint it. To illustrate, how much money went to the Greek people during the last bailout?

> "And I don't consider Yannis Varoufakis a good politician either. He's certainly a good economist and his position may quite well be correct in economists terms, but politics is much much more then economics. Politics need to balance the perfect against what's achievable and judging from what I could see how things went down, trying to achieve a perfect outcome was impossible from the start. Yet, still, he tried to sell the unsalable - his interpretation of his introduction speed as "moderate" is quite telling. (Insults from both sides and comparison of Schäuble with Hitler didn't do any good either). In that regard, Merkel is a much more capable politician: She accepts the inevitable and instead focuses on the possible. I don't like the politics she's pursuing but she's doing remarkably well in that regard."

Again, you should watch the whole video.


Chomsky has clearly no idea how politics works in, say, Germany.

> Wall Street Journal, hardly a critical rag, pointed out that no matter who gets elected in a European country, whether it’s communist, fascist, anybody else, the policies remain the same.

That's utter bullshit. He cites the Wall Street Journal to give that credibility, but that fails already. Some author in a newspaper pointed something out and than its a fact? Very very weak way of supporting an argument.

> And the reason is they’re all set in Brussels, by the bureaucracy

That's nonsense again. If that were the case Germany could send its bureaucracy home. But the German bureaucracy is much much larger than the EU bureaucracy in Brussels

> and the citizens of the national states have no role in this,

Even more nonsense.

> “Elections cannot be allowed to change the economic policies of any country.”

Out of context quote. Much of the economic policies is made in the member states. On an EU level there is some stability of longer term economic policies needed. That's what Schäuble was talking about.


> "That's utter bullshit. He cites the Wall Street Journal to give that credibility, but that fails already. Some author in a newspaper pointed something out and than its a fact? Very very weak way of supporting an argument."

Using the Wall Street Journal example is an attempt to illustrate that even corporate-focused news outlets admit that the EU is not built on a strong democratic foundation. If you're not happy with that example, I could point out other news outlets that have made similar statements, or I could point out direct quotes from those involved in the EU. Which would you prefer?

> "That's nonsense again. If that were the case Germany could send its bureaucracy home. But the German bureaucracy is much much larger than the EU bureaucracy in Brussels"

It's not the size of the bureaucracy that's important, it's the level of influence that non-elected bodies possess in that bureaucracy. If you had watched the video I linked to, you'd have heard about the example of the Eurogroup Working Group dictating the policies of the Eurogroup. The Eurogroup Working Group is comprised of the members of the "Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), the European Commission and the European Central Bank" (quote taken from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurogroup_Working_Group ).

To be clear, the EFC is comprised of "senior officials from national administrations and EU central banks, the European Central Bank and the Commission" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_and_Financial_Committ...).

None of these people are democratically elected, yet they are setting the financial policy for all members of the Eurozone. Does that not concern you in the slightest?

> "Out of context quote. Much of the economic policies is made in the member states. On an EU level there is some stability of longer term economic policies needed. That's what Schäuble was talking about."

At what point does stability and consensus not apply? What level of economic integration do you want to see across Europe? Are there any financial decisions that should be beyond the reach of the EU?

The line should be drawn somewhere, as otherwise the EU will become a closer and closer economic (and political) union, with less room for individual countries to set their own policies.


> illustrate that even corporate-focused news outlets admit that the EU is not built on a strong democratic foundation

Forgetting the own agenda US-based 'corporate-focused news outlets' have. Fair and balanced is not at home there. I can remember that the same publications have predicted the collapse of the Euro, the Eurozone and the EU for today evening, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, within the next ten years, ... Personally I give nothing to an article where an author (and not the 'Wall Street Journal') of a newspaper makes some wild claims. Othesr made similar claims (Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, the whole armada of UK's EU skeptics). That they say something does not make it wrong or right (well, sometimes it is plain wrong like the "the UK pays 350 Million pounds a week to the EU").

The UK for example has lots of people claiming that the EU is not democratic enough. The same country has obstructed giving more power to the EU democratic institutions. Their real point was not that problem, but that they (the UK) don't what to be part of a European political union. Democratic or not.

People make all kind of claims how economic policy is dictated and obstructed in the EU: either its the EU which dictates it, or the Germans are dictating it, or countries like Germany, France or Greece are IGNORING the EU, or the Germans say that there are blocks from whole groups of countries, you'll find for everything articles in some newspaper.

> you'd have heard about the example of the Eurogroup Working Group dictating the policies of the Eurogroup.

That's one of the Varoufakis myths. The Eurogroup is the coordinating group of the finance ministers of the Euro area. The Eurogroup Working Group is not 'dictating' the policy of the German finance minister or any other finance minister. Here, the German finance minister and the finance ministers of the Bundesländer also has large advisory staff in his ministry, possibly more than you'll find in Brussels. We have the Bundesbank, research institutes, the European Central Bank, parliaments, etc. Believing the Euro Group financial and economics policies is being 'dictated' by a group of advisors to the Eurozone Finance ministers is fully misleading and plain wrong.

> None of these people are democratically elected, yet they are setting the financial policy for all members of the Eurozone. Does that not concern you in the slightest?

They don't do what you say. So it does not concern me.

> The line should be drawn somewhere, as otherwise the EU will become a closer and closer economic (and political) union, with less room for individual countries to set their own policies.

The Euro countries will have a closer and closer economic and political union. That's absolutely fine with me. Countries may have different speeds with that integration, but generally I'm all for it. Then we have the regional level, which is also pretty strong. Currently one of the huge tasks is still improving the integration of current members, not so much deepening the union. For example getting the countries of Eastern Europe better integrated and improving their economies. But that's always a mix of EU policy and local policies.


Even though what Chomsky says is true, the decision to keep it that way is just as democratic as any other policy decision.

The simple reason is that member states can leave the EU. Brexit. Only when member states can't exit anymore, European democracies will have been killed for good. For now, they live.

But sure, it is somewhat sad that exit is pretty much the only meaningful way of democratic self-expression left to EU members...


The lack of democracy in the EU only applies to EU members. I'm not saying the level of democracy is zero, however the fact you can leave isn't really a great measure of democracy within the union.

I'd recommend watching the whole talk I linked to in my earlier comment if you get the chance.


> And let's not even start on how Germany suddenly seem to be in control of the Euro and seem to be essentially dictating monetary policy in Greece, Italy and Spain.

That's a very simplistic view. If Germany would actually control the Euro, the ECB (European Central Bank) monetary policy would look quite a bit different.

Greece didn't protest when they took the money. They protested when they had to pay it back and called that 'undemocratic'.


> " They protested when they had to pay it back"

They protested when they couldn't pay it back.

Furthermore, you do realise that the Greek bailout was just a bank bailout in disguise, right?

http://www.dw.com/en/most-of-greek-bailout-money-went-to-ban...

"Since the Greek debt crisis began in 2010, the southern European country has received two bailouts from international creditors and is currently on its third. During the first two "adjustment programs," as they're known in bureaucratic parlance, Athens received some 216 billion euros.

Of that amount, the ESMT's study found that 86.9 billion went toward debt repayments, including 9.1 billion in repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 52.3 billion was spent on interest payments, 37.3 billion was used for bank recapitalization and 29.7 billion was doled out to provide incentives for investors to get involved in the private sector.

Only 9.7 billion euros, according to ESMT, was directly contributed to Greece's fiscal budget or to kickstart the Greek economy."


> They protested when they couldn't pay it back.

What I said, they didn't protest when Greece took that money.

That the money given to them was for paying back the debt of Greece against banks is nothing new.

The problem of Greece at that time was not to 'kickstart the Greek economy'. They needed money to survive the weeks and days.


How exactly was it 'needed money to survive the weeks and days' when the vast majority of it went to foreign banks?


Huge debt, huge deficits, No access to money neither from other European countries nor from the private sector, collapse of the Greece banking sector, collapse of Greece economy, exit from the Euro, ...

I doubt Greece wanted to go that route, once it was clear to them what was about to happen. Actually the left wing government had to learn it quickly that semli-democratic decisions about other people's money is worthless, when one needs even more money. And they did.


Junker was the candidate for President of the Commission of the grouping of parties on the right at the last Euro election, Martin Schulz the candidate of the parties on the left. If you voted for a UK MEP then you had an input to this choice.


As opposed to the UK's sclerotic FPTP system and unelected legislature?


Except most immigrants come from outside the EU.

http://qz.com/697783/most-migrants-to-the-uk-actually-come-f...


Yes - brexit has freed Britain from the shackles of evil, meaning that now wonderful things like this can happen


aha, they intend to keep the ARM HQ in the UK. Well ... let's see what they say in 10 years because you know, once a company is sold, the buyer can do whatever the fuck he wants with the thing he just bought.


Do you know who owned ARM before? It certainly wasn't some nebulous cloud named "Britain". It was mostly large institutional investors in the US.

You don't buy a company the size of ARM at such enormous expense intending to ruin it.


Don't underestimate humanity's ability to ruin things. :D


Ruining it is never the _intention_, but it happens often enough that people are right to worry when a company gets bought out.


True, but Japanese companies aren't prone to ruin foreign companies they've acquired by relocating the HQ to Japan.

They do so by bringing Japan into the foreign HQ, i.e. the acquiree's top execs are replaced by the acquirer's execs.


The timezone differences are going to be an issue. We have a couple of Japanese guys in the same team as me, and its tough going. We have a small window in the morning to align on projects and if we ever need to do face to face meetings, we are all reluctant as its a killer long haul flight where you're guaranteed three days of jet lag.


See also: Cadbury's.

Fuck you, Kraft.


It's one thing to shit over the workers Kraft, but to shit over the product is another (They changed the recipes, sizes, and generally turned the best chocolate in the world into shitty American chocolate (no offense to Americans)).


I've lived in the UK my whole life and I think you've got rose-tinted spectacles. Cadbury chocolate has always been terrible.


This may be true but it has gotten worse over recent years.


If you had traveled, your opinion would hold more water.


I've been all over the world. I still think Cadbury's chocolate is shit.


I was pointing out why your previous comment was not being taken seriously, it was not a challenge.


The "best" chocolate for some values of "best", i.e. "the one I remember growing up in UK". Across Europe, Cadbury is widely considered barely edible. Pre-Kraft Cadbury were also instrumental in watering down EU regulations on the minimum amount of cocoa in chocolate products.


It's odd though - Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut still tastes great to me. Other new products they released (marshmellows covered in chocolate?) taste of nothing - they're just sweet like any Quality Street.

Milk Tray - now that is the blandest chocolate I have ever tasted. So I don't know how much they have changed things.


The rocky road chocolate (marshmallows covered in chocolate) is not made by Cadbury. Look at the small print on the back of the packet and you'll see that it is made under licence for Cadbury (Mondelez).


Mondelez is Kraft. So it's white-labeled Kraft product :)


They don't care what you say or do. They've got a nearly monopoly share on supermarket and newsagent shelves.


At least sales of Creme Eggs took a hit after their adulteration. Isn't Cadbury owned by Mendelez now?


Mendelez == Kraft


They did the same in Norway with Freia :(


Knew before clicking that it would be "Herman the German"


Downvoted by people who weren't there...


I would assume people downvoted because your comment didn't add anything of any value, and comes off as sounding quite racist. (In addition, he's austrian[0])

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Hauser


I know he's Austrian, and I can't help that it sounds "quite racist".

It's how people referred to him at Acorn, then ARM.

I worked with a number of them at Tadpole during the early-mid 90s, and got to meet Hauser once, at the Oveletti lab.


Not sure what will hap happen, the ways of running businesses in both countries are very different and not really compatible often.




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