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Who’s next for a crash test in Shipping, Banking and Shipfinance?

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The following are the main points from the latest John Faraclas live interview to Panos Thomakos of SBC TV  last Friday the 24th  of May 2013; log above and listen:

Thomakos opened the interview with a note, following a report from Bloomberg which strangely enough didn’t mentioned Greece as a destination, on the tourist front, as the season in Greece just started with Faraclas stressing the fact that Greece is blessed by the Olympian Gods, THE destination for all! Thomakos expects something good to come out given his ten years of supporting and promoting this field…

John N. Faraclas

John N. Faraclas

1)He continued mentioning Faraclas’ correct views so far on the state of the shipping freight markets and his accurate predictions,  with Faraclas painting a bleak picture due to the continuation of the downward market – the BDI dropping down to 826 points with the only exception of the Capers showing some signs of recovery… “It’s very difficult and dangerous to predict the markets”, he said.


Faraclas was reserved and expressed caution and continued that the downward trend is not a temporarily issue. He reminded Vafias’ concerns on the market only a month ago..

2)Thomakos jokingly said that the freight rates mentioned are for just for a hotels suite…   Moreover he said what happens with the newbuildings is under question, the shipbuilding industry, is a part of shipping and if it doesn’t produce, if it doesn’t work, there will be a crush! There should be platforms on the number of new ships entering the markets, as well as those going for recycling, no matter if we talk about eco or non eco ships

He continued by questioning the banks crush tests and despite what was said via the press, who is responsible for the banking mess following “the successful overall crush tests”! The banking and financial fraternity are liable for the bank’s trust test!

3)The Financial Transaction Tax which Europe insists to take place will create an upheaval in the markets. It has spectacularly failed in Sweden, firstly introduced in 1984 and by 1991 was abandoned as all companies left for London. The head of the German Central Bank Jen Weidmann is opposing this, as does Mervin King, the Governor of the Bank of England whose terms ends in a few days, wonders if here is anybody within the banking fraternity to even imagine that this is a good idea…

The Politicians elected in Europe where elected to improve the markets, create jobs and not to enter, as it happens, the 6th quarter of contraction – two years is a long time to be in this situ.

4)Thomakos returned to the banking Fraternity issue, saying that this is news, hot news, breaking news and Faraclas hinted that indeed something fishy might have taken place…

The extended new Panama Canal due to open next year, and many other things will change the markets and conversely the cycle.

The Kanal Istanbul too due to open in 2023, begun its first excavation works last month. “Personally I believe that this is a distortion of the environment. Indeed as the straits of Bosporus stands today, it is dangerous… I have told my Turkish friends to close down the Bosporus if they have concerns for more accidents to come, given what has taken place until now…. The Russian bear will explode though….if the straits are closed…”, Faraclas said.

5)Thomakos grasped the chance as the discussion was on geopolitics, to questio Faraclas view on the Greek Prime Minister’s tip to China and the link in business between the two countries, shipping being the number one issue. Faraclas said that the Prime Minister is not a shipowner, although he mentioned that every Greek prime minister will do his best to promote his country in all aspects and fronts. What the Greek prime Minister and any Prime Minister must understand is that the Greeks can do it without the participation of the Chinese or others. The Chinese and other interests do all these investments and participation for their own interest and benefit. I am questioning what is the benefit for the Greeks? Eh!

Thomakos continued by saying that there are of course benefits from the Chinese investment in the port of Piraeus’ Container Terminal, with the abolition also of mafia tactics and …”fees”. Faraclas said that the issue was sorted out… back in 1956 with the introduction of the container, thus slashing the per ton cost in the port, hence the dockers today – and in the past prior to the deal, opposed the Cinese presence as they had other “designs”…

6)To strengthen his argument, Faraclas asked what happened with the world’s biggest fleet vis-a-vis having a class society as the Hellenic Registre of Shipping stands not in division two, but I division three, proving that the luck of appropriate leadership in Greece creates a bad environment in all fronts; we need a leader that materialises what he says, end of he story…

7)Now one good thing is that the head of the Harbours Police from the Hellenic Coast Guard Captain Panagiotis Paraskevas issued a communique to all swimmers to take precautionary measurement while swimming, where they swim and what to do as the majority of the 17 million tourists this year in Greece will end up in the seaside/coastline. The communique went also to all the Harbour and Coast Guard Stations all over Greece and Faraclas pressed for more Coast Guard personnel to entre the force as the current number is insufficient!

Faraclas continued… “on top of this, as we refer to the Hellenic Coast Guard we need to support same in view of the fact that Greece will soon preside in the IMO – it’s our term, and our Shipping Attaché here in London needs the full support from the Coast Guard’s Headquarters in personnel”, these are very important issues, and they are very much delayed without any excuse whatsoever!”

8)Taxation in Greece has become an anathema, Faraclas said, and a nation cannot progress further when there is no development. The austerity measures too are also worsening the situation. Greece’s problem is that Greeks know how to best execute fellow Greecel they can do it far better than the “supposed” foreign factor…

The intervention of the IMF is also a major issue. It is not only Greece that many portray,   in the UK back in the late seventies during the term of the Chancellor Dennis Healey the country was under the supervision of the IMF… so now you all know… The IMF is not a very helpful medium…

9)The Woolwich incident, the Stockholm riots for third night are very serious events and the assassination of the young soldier can trigger other uncontrollable events. They must be closely watched. We must be on alert. The murderers where born over here and the one was a Christian before converting t Islam… Thomakos countered that in Greece these days a law is about to be passed on Antiracism, and it’s  a major problem!

Faraclas ended by thanking Thomakos and SBC TV as well as his wife Anny “…for supporting me in my continuous late night studies to enable produce and present an accurate market view.”

Please use the Captions button at the bottom of the video to enable English captions…

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1 comment

Fabrizio Vettosi June 4, 2013 - 2:40 PM

Dear John,

As usual, keen and interesting piece. to comment first part of your interview, I agree, main problem of shipping are shipowners mentality. They still order ships hearing wrong brokers advises (eco-design, new fashion ships, etc.); true is what we don’t need more ships but to scrap these.



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