Acerca de mim

A minha foto
Lisboa, Portugal
Nasci no dia 11 de Junho de 1964 na cidade da Beira, MOÇAMBIQUE.

A Estação dos CFM, Beira

A Estação dos CFM, Beira
Ex-libris da cidade, 1966

The Euro, as a single currency, should be abolished

Another black and white motion statement leaving me no option but to choose No.
While I agree to the first part I am not prepared to contemplate the idea that the Euro should get abolished.
Abolished? Then what?
All 17 countries now sharing the single currency would revert back to their old monies?
Or a new version of yesteryear's currencies?

Simplistic as I made it out to be packed in a few odd questions, every single serious economic, financial and social consequence is inextricably wrapped up within each.
That is where the stakes are high enough to ensure that the Euro is given a new lease on life.
It calls for closer European integration.
What form and shape this will take is for policymakers and far-sighted politicians to grasp and propose.

It would seem to me that the Euro has many underlying strengths but will not - contrary to the founder's beliefs - assure convergence between all the economies it services. How could it?
The divide has been felt acutely lately (1-2 years) the logical consequence of relevant economic under-performance among member-countries.

There has obviously got to be a political solution rooted in realistic economic fundamentals.
The road traveled so far proved artificially smooth during the first 10 years I dare say but unsurprisingly very bumpy in the last 1-2.
It could not have been otherwise given the structural differences setting these countries apart. And excessive spending pursued mostly by a few Southern European States who could not see beyond the present.
Adherence to the Maastricht criteria never again seemed to be taken seriously once countries landed themselves inside the Euro club. Not to mention Greece that never fulfilled the criteria in the first place or ever bothered to balance its books.

Very disappointing to admit but the Euro Zone is indeed right in the middle of a storm testing its main crews to the limit.
The latest summit decisions seem to indicate that where there is a will there is a way.
It may have just been one first small step in the right direction.

The specifics are very hard to work on.
Yet it would seem to me that the 17-member Euro Zone and the larger EU can hardly afford shooting down the Euro.
The broader picture needs to come into full view.
An hypothetical demise of the single currency would deal another severe blow to Europe's economic fortunes.
Its relative decline vis-a-vis the rest of the world would get a further boost.

I do not like misplaced calls for solidarity from Southerners but would rather see the stronger half of the dividing line realize where their medium-to-long interest lies.
To that end many balances across the Euro Zone need to be restored at the earliest.

Europe agrees a "shock and awe" bailout for Greece

A rescue package of epic proportions, epic challenges for the Greek government and people, epic uncertainties and epic stakes for the single-currency.

It was the Euro's defence that ultimately forced politicians from Germany to Malta to perform a hard balancing act whose overall success is far from assured.Each finance minister has enough reasons to fret and grumble about.It being the Euro as a common currency, because of Greece despite Greece.
Up to now every 'least damaging' approach failed miserably to cool down the financial markets that remained as unimpressed as ever throughout.
For its part Greece is effectively the main winner in this high-finance gamble.The country bought time the markets were not willing to give it once confidence vanished.Precious time desperately needed to restore credibility and good governance at home.
A daunting internal fix with daunting external implications.
Three full years is what the government and Greek society top-down and bottom-up now have to set the record straight in so many ways.
Literally and figuratively.

For the other 15 Eurozone countries - each facing own troubles to varying degrees - keeping fingers crossed would be mild to describe the monitoring of Greece's performance over the coming 36 months.Potentially they are all losers, starting out by losing simply to avoid bigger losses!
There are so many relevant questions that might be asked to which full answers ought to be provided.
They won't get asked or get answered.
Tellingly, each and every single one of them would now seem rhetorical or at best an exercise for academia.

The spectre that haunts Europe

I am still hopeful that Greece will not require a bail-out in whatever form pinning my hopes on the PM's own words.

He did sound very bold and brave in the face of such overwhelming odds but until a deal is actually in place I would rather believe the Greeks can and will take care of themselves.

My stance is wholly based not on immediate needs triggered by the Western financial meltdown that led to the economic downturn.This in turn led to a collapse in tax revenues across countries caused by economies shrinking badly.

To a large extent Greece is indeed a one-off case-study for the worst reasons, its latest fiscal deficit the sum total of profligate spending, widespread cultural-rooted tax evasion, underbudgeting, creative accounting, weak notion of public service and duty, etc - all conspiring over decades to bring the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

I am sure many Greeks will have seen it coming and warned their governments in years past.To no avail as even the present government was elected as recently as late 2009 on a platform to increase spending.

According to EMU rules public finances were clearly to remain national responsibilities.A considerable chunk of sovereignty for States to manage through their democratically-elected governments of the day.
Would the Greeks have liked their Finance Ministry to be ruled or dictated to from Brussels or Frankfurt just so the Maastricht-agreed criteria could not have been so despondently ignored?

Current turmoil is the Euro's hardest test ever but one that will also represent a defining moment in the single-currency's future.

It is a fact that Southern European countries are faced with similar issues though not on the same scale and urgency.Others in Northern Europe, the US and Japan also recorded their biggest fiscal deficits and added up noticeably to their debts in 2009.
Each one has its own track-record, however.
This is exactly what sets Greece apart from the rest.
Each country is unique in its own way, there being obviously overlapping between them.

International rating agencies must make the effort to closely monitor and register those differences and then advise financial markets.

After all it is sovereign countries and sovereign debt one is dealing with.

There is much more at stake than strictly soulless bundling of nations.

Arquivo do blogue

domingo, 29 de agosto de 2010

TEc "The miracle of the serrado" - Brazil's huge strides in agriculture.With world repercussions.

The diversity of public opinion is well reflected in the comments posted to this article.
However much opinion may differ on issues ranging from the environmental impact of such large-scale farming to the driving factors of its commercial profitability, I prefer to stress and dwell on what is essentially a success story.
One that, because it is about as sensitive an area as food production, should principally be regarded with respect and hope.
When a single entity - EMBRAPA - is set up with the specific objective of working towards improving soils ahead of mechanized farming factoring in huge economies of scale, I can only praise the men who had this vision.
The fruits have now riped 30-40 years on.The crops are being harvested.
Brazil will never be the same again after this massive transformation of large tracts of disused savannah to productive agricultural use.
All discussion, debate or confrontation henceforth - no matter in what form, shape or pitch - takes place from a higher platform of wealth already created.
A large country that has achieved self-sufficiency in multiple commodities and moved on to take them to world markets for sale as well.
Many will downplay the transformation by pointing out to the country's size and still plentiful arable land availability.
Others will stick to the environmental cost of meddling with Nature's own ways and bounty.
While most may have a point, at the end of the day the outstanding one truly is that land has been made green to feed the mouths of millions in the country and across the world.
On balance a major win-win story that confirms how important key policy decisions are that may ultimately impact the greatest number.
Brazil's vibrant private sector rose to the challenge but it was EMBRAPA - its corps of scientists, researchers and all who are part of the body of knowledge and expertise in agriculture - who made it possible by doing the groundbreaking work. Literally.
Brazil as a whole and the larger world are winners beyond any rational doubt.

TEc "The miracle of the serrado" - Brazil's huge strides in agriculture

A great article that should make every human being happy.
A major country is doubtless doing a lot of things right to arrive at the staggering figures presented.
Food production will always be of paramount importance to any self-respecting nation.
It should go without saying but no reminder seems ever enough that each one of us needs to, simply put, eat from cradle to grave.
Brazil - having a relatively large population and to its shame still facing albeit dwindling pockets of undernourished people - is now able to feed millions elsewhere through its booming exports.
The country has become an accomplished agricultural powerhouse with vast potential to raise volumes higher in the decades ahead.
Alas, an outstanding success story of fields turned green delivering ever higher yields.
Yes the territory is vast, arable land could hold many countries put together.
The point is that large-scale commercial farming is thriving making the best of the lands with strong scientific and technological inputs.
Ultimately the objective is to fill man's most perennial basic need.
If only large parts of Africa could follow in Brazil's footsteps.

TEc "The great crawl of China" - A giant traffic snarl up around Beijing raises questions on China's increasing motoring levels.

A striking graph that seems to contradict the accompanying text.
What I find absolutely amazing is the rise in both car ownership and the length of the motorway network.
It is already the world's second longest after the United States for countries roughly equal in area and relevantly different topographically.

Strictly speaking of Expressways the Chinese network is 'only' 20,000-30,000 Km short of the USs' having been built from 1990.
Total numbers of motor vehicles on the roads, however, remain overwhelmingly in favour of the US by ratios of up to 4-5 to one.

Then there is one vital data missing which is, how developed is China's secondary roads' system?

Still, that 100Km traffic snarl up sounds awful.
The number of days to clear up dumbfounding!

domingo, 22 de agosto de 2010

TEc - "Happy-go-lucky Cristina" - Argentina dances to own music.

Every time I read about Argentina I am left thinking the country is one of a kind.Notwithstanding every previous mess it got itself into Argentina rebounds like a phoenix to prepare the next downfall.
And so it goes on and on.
Unlike its South American peers - each facing their own miseries and glories - the silver country stands out for the winding unorthodox ways of its governments.With a cunning desire to tear up established rules of good government, Argentina reinvents them as it goes along to suit the needs of the hour.
This is in line with a populist tradition dating back to the Peron days if not stretching further behind.
The Argentinean political class know they sit atop a fabulously well-endowed land of milk and honey and green pastures...
Perhaps its natural assets remain the country's best guarantee (and curse?) against unfavorable headwinds of all types.
Despite it all Argentina moves on care-free producing more than a few surprises now and then.

TEc - "Contest of the century" - China and India arm-wrestle to raise profile.They are succeeding!

A preview of what may lie ahead as attention increasingly shifts to the East triggered by economic expansion in the world's long-standing demographic superpowers.

If they should continue to grow to acquire the volumes - across all sectors of economic and social activity - to back up those huge populations then a new world order is no doubt forthcoming.

What has confounded many and surely surprised most is the speed at which this structural change is coming about.
Starting from very low bases - mention of a 230-fold increase in trade in 20 years is impressive - is highlighted by current two-way trade at $60bn, only a trifle in the context of China's total trade and both economies' yet unfulfilled interactive potential.

I cannot gauge the extent of mistrust between Indian and Chinese political circles despite recent initiatives at warming relations.
An unsettled border dispute is always a great argument to keep ill-feelings simmering in the background.
Until such time as one confident nation led by an assertive ruler decides to open up old issues...
History tends to repeat itself on these scores but any future China-India showdown could prove very bruising and wasteful.

Anyway, on an optimistic note the emphasis over the foreseeable future should remain on a measured arm-wrestling contest for energy sources, trade, investment and political sympathy.

TEc - "Cliff hanging-on" It did backfire on Julia and Labour, so where does she and them go from here?

For Labour this has been a big shot in the foot no less.
The party squarely squandered the big win of only three years ago by a series of internal upsets capped by the treacherous unseating of Kevin Rudd, the very man who steered it to victory that recently.These things register with voters and are by no means underwhelming.
Even when the main opposition leader is not particularly appealing to large sections of the public.

A mid-term loss in popularity for incumbents is a normal occurrence in a democracy anywhere.While the reasons leading to it may be important on substance, the actual drop in voter's intentions as reflected in opinion polls is not. Not to the extent that a popularly elected acting PM is made to resign to be hurriedly replaced by whoever.If Labour now succeeds forming the next government with support from MPs holding the balance of power it will be considerably weaker in resolve and vulnerable in action.Until Australians undo this political imbroglio at the next general election.
The two major parties already started their courtship with that handful of Independents and Greens suddenly catapulted to the limelight of Federal politics.It may be a while before Canberra settles down but a hung Parliament while not unusual in democracies - least of all unmanageable - was totally uncalled for at this point in time in Australia.
What is quite clear now is Julia's gamble definitely did not pay off.

TEc - "Down to the wire" A race that's tougher than Labour party stalwarts would have wished for...what if voters could pass?

I understand voting is compulsory in Australia.If not I suspect this might be the ideal election for no-shows, a landslide for the abstention party!

Indeed every news piece reads like a rather artificial call to the polls at a time when most Australians would probably favour not being bothered by politics.
There being no really divisive issues and the economy powering on, the elections look like a self-test to Labour over and above anything else.

Julia Gillard put herself right under the spotlight but Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott - each in their roles on opposite sides of the fence - are nearly equally as eager to know her final score on August,21.

quarta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2010

TEc debate motion "This house believes bosses' pay is none of the government's business" - the case is trickier than that...

On the face of it I might have gone along with the motion were it not so hermetically shut in.
Governments - of the people, by the people, for the people - on whose behalf and for whom they firstly act cannot simply turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to excesses generated in any given society.
Excesses are largely to do with income disparity that if left to grow scandalously wide create great social 'unease', to put it euphemistically very mildly.
I would not get drawn into the moral hazard argument as I am sure it easily, inevitably indeed, slips into the shaky grounds of subjective interpretation.
However, I hold the view that at the core of it lies no doubt a moral consideration.
How many times more is a CEO worth than the man/woman he hired to get the meanest/humblest job in his organization done?
Without whose work his company cannot function properly.
Is this a non-issue or is this THE issue?
Work is work at any professional level.
It is about sets of tasks that need doing by people possessing different skills or unskilled, yet each and everyone deserving full dignity both in pay and conditions.
What happened recently as the financial meltdown unfolded itself to reveal too many cracks, bad management when not outright abuse to varying degrees provides enough evidence that some sort of 'checks' are required.
If this should apply to public companies where the case is nearly straightforward, even the private sector should possess some sort of binding ethical code governing pay and perks at the top end and on pay ratios between the highest and lowest salary within an organization.
While not advocating outright government pay regulation I am keenly aware of just how hard it may become to deal effectively with this issue.
Yet never before was the need felt as acutely to restore a measure of balance to top management pay and relative pay.
In market economies the arguments for and against will remain as passionate as ever.
But when poor or underperforming companies or banks seem to leave pay (plus millionaire perks and stock options) at the top unaffected, governments simply cannot - should not I expect - back away from at least be seen to be doing something finding a way to right things...
Call it regulation, call it what you will.
We the public, the citizens, the consumers, the market aggressively targeted by every single one of those Boardrooms demand and have a right to transparency.
And expect nothing less than integrity in Boardrooms of the corporate world.

TEc "Second in line" - China speeds past Japan - A relevant fact in the relative weight of countries

If anything I would say that China overtaking Japan to become the world's second largest economy has come sooner than many of us were expecting.
China spent the first decade of the third millennium consecutively overtaking established large economies to now clear Japan.
As the country fills the number two spot current growth trends point to an unabated dash for number one.This could prove much harder than the path covered so far but given China's still large untapped potential it is more of a when than if.
Developed and mature economies such as Japan's and the US' have only limited room for expansion even under the best economic scenarios.
China on the other hand despite signs of a marginal slowdown, will predictably continue to expand an already large economy at rates above 10% or hovering around it.
How long will their economy manage to sustain such breakneck growth remains an open question that has in the past defied the wrong answers.
Looking back to as recently as two-three decades there is sheer amazement no less at what China has achieved so rapidly in absolute value.
In relative terms there are any number of wide-ranging issues that need to be successfully tackled before China closes in on developed societies.
As it is increased wealth is certainly making a difference but that which is left to do is nearly as much as that which has already been accomplished.
Maybe much more.
Going forward a generation is an incredibly short timespan in the longevity of nations and their history.
The Chinese have every reason to rejoice at their country's fast rise to stardom.
And prominence.
There is more to it than symbolisms and the niceties of global rankings.

domingo, 15 de agosto de 2010

BBC Blog Network "Is Germany leading a European economy recovery?" - Mixed news but welcome nonetheless.The whys.

I'm not in Germany but in Portugal, a EU and Eurozone member country.
As common wisdom would have it sharing the same currency means I have to take a keen interest on how the German economy fares.
The country is the heaviest weight in the Eurozone/ECB therefore largely responsible for the Euro's every move upwards or downwards.
The stellar quarterly growth achieved is very good news for the EU27, EU16 and Europe at large.

European economies can be split up neatly between those that will predictably surge on - now clearly led by Germany - and those that will continue to struggle choked by past policy mistakes and changed mood in financial markets.
While the German government tackles State accounts, the private sector again displays great resilience and competitiveness in world markets.Once the government hits its main targets - doubtless it will - consumer confidence will rise boosting the German domestic market.
In any case the latest trade figures also indicate a relevant uptake in imports which confirms increased inputs from external suppliers going into German manufactures then shipped out.
Overall the figures are very encouraging and could mean a turning point in the fortunes of EU's economy pending confirmation in the months/years ahead.

Troubled and chronically deficit economies will have to find means and ways to re-balance themselves internally by a combination of actions long overdue anyway.

It will be most exciting to note which way the Eurozone heads for from here. Importantly, how it manages an economically divided house from within that got irresponsibly disguised during one full crazy decade of cheap credit.

To my mind the pressure on the weaker links of Eurozone has not alleviated.On the contrary, a sharpened contrast between two to three groups within the 16 should mean greater emphasis by countries in the wrong bag to pull themselves together and upwards.
Using every sensible tool and policy from government to public and private sector management.

A very tall order that may yet prove a blessing in disguise.

TEc - "They have returned" - The US navy is back sailing the waters of the South China Sea, as invitees causing jitters in Beijing?

An excellent review of Sino-American relations beyond trade and treasury bonds: sensitivities-the former, assertiveness-the latter, muscular diplomacy - simultaneously hard and soft - and regional stakes as seen by each.

For world geopolitical balance it is good that American ships become visible in Asian waters just as China's increased might translates into ever renewed confidence and boldness in what it regards as its natural backwaters.
China's neighbours - except for a couple - are comparatively midgets which always plays well with majors.

How has the US over decades looked at Central & South America and the Caribbean and surrounding seas?

Sailing a mammoth aircraft-carrier - more than just a potent symbol of sea and air power - through the South China Sea and into Vietnamese waters is a powerful statement indeed.
The article's subtitle accurately wraps up the whole story and its main point.

TEc - "Turbocharged Germany" - EU's powerhouse lives up itself and roars away...

It is still early days to claim a solid and sustained recovery for the Eurozone but Germany's bounce back is unsurprising to say the least.

An organized society whose companies produce real stuff to high-quality standards was bound to respond well to an improved general context worldwide.The country's export share increasingly shifting Eastwards is only a natural consequence of meeting demand where demand is strongest.
Consumers in emerging countries are buying more because there is more money to spend scattered around.
The upbeat Chinese in particular are unabashedly digging into the deep pockets of their newly hard-won wealth.They have already fully embraced the joys of a full-fledged consumer society.

As Germany pulls away the countries surrounding it are likely to get drawn upwards as well.The latest figures again show there is definitely a two, possibly three-speed Eurozone, EU27, Europe.
The leaner, nimble, cost-effective and efficiently run economies such as Germany's - the biggest to a smaller one like Slovakia's will consistently outperform the others.
France is quickening the pace too but growth drivers underline the philosophical differences that set Germans and the French apart.
The UK is performing a re-balancing act of its own much in line with tradition and the needs of the hour.It is too soon to identify what will lift the British economy in the years ahead.
I sense Italy will somehow find its way. They always do.
The other three countries in Southern Europe face continued hardship and some very tough yet unavoidable policy choices.
For now Greece is putting up an unwavering brave stand, Spain is muddling through and Portugal just about floats above the lot.

Against this backdrop the Euro has firmed up in recent weeks after that continuous slide got suddenly reversed.
Surplus economies and chronically deficit economies in the Eurozone have a long way to go should they ever swing to a midpoint.

TEc - "Running into the sand" - Commonwealth Games overshadowed by traditional Indian woes?

By the looks of it the omens are that the Commonwealth Games may be a failure or a relative success.

Whatever - and I can only hope all will fall in place by October - the government, India's business community as well as concerned citizens should raise every right question carefully tracking every right answer to full effect.
Indians cannot or should not continually provide self-satisfying answers to endemic problems that never get addressed.
As the country grows richer with increased levels of economic maturity so must social expectation and accountability from top down.

There's of course a great deal at stake when a country puts up a grand sporting event, be it international prestige or more homely the actual ability to do it and do it right.
I believe the latter is India's biggest challenge as the case is yet to be made whether or not the country delivers on schedule, on quality, on organization and on budget.
On graft, price distortion, last minute overpricing, foot-dragging, technical and assembly flaws - does it really make any difference commenting?

TEc - "(Un)lucky country" Australia's snap election may yet backfire on Julia

Reasonably enough Australians are quite unsure who to vote into office at the upcoming elections.

A stalemate is the more likely outcome as Julia's quest for popular legitimacy, prompted by favourable opinion polls earlier on, may yet be grudgingly granted or denied.
This owes much to Australians' dislike for the way Kevin Rudd was ousted from within the party he so helped win the 2007 general election.
It would be particularly distressing for Labour to lose just when Australia's economy is again surfing the crest of the wave after remarkably aptly avoiding the Western world's severe downturn.

Shortly it will be known whether or not Julia's gamble pays off.
If she loses or only manages to scrape by Australians will have meant that there is more to voting than the economy.
Party politics - ways, means and style - also matter.

TEc - "The Chinese are everywhere" - Time will tell if Africa wins out in the long run

I would not like to read any more than what is literally written in this objective factual account of increased Chinese dealings and physical presence in Africa.

Truly it has been quite a fast and conspicuous growing level of interaction that could have deeper longer term implications.
From the geopolitical to human perceptions to economics.

It is very much for African governments and societies to decide how best to harness support, finance, cooperation, collaboration, trade and investment from the outside world - East and West, North and South - to lift their economies and development.
It would seem to me that China has mostly been a reliable partner having already made, and making, important contributions around the Continent.
Nonetheless, it does still strike as odd - oddly enough(?)- that Chinese traders should break down every barrier from language to culture to environment to set up shop even in the remotest corners of little Lesotho!

In ten years it will become clear whether or not China-Africa relations proved a win-win.

TEc - "One down, 69 to go" - On Greece's 70 closed-shop professions, a country in need of large-scale reform.

The patriotic stand taken by Pasok - the same party that in the past made a significant contribution to the stiffness and undue privileges of professional groups at the expense of the national interest - finally came forced on by the country's close brush with financial disaster.That it should take such extreme conditions to deal with vested interests, entrenched pressure groups and parasites that have long lived indecently above the national average income bears witness to the difficulties when not outright connivance of former governments to adequately deal with them.

The time of reckoning had to arrive but for the vast majority of Greeks the internal adjustment has to be explained every step of the way.
An unbalanced society where so few can undermine the collective well-being needs serious-minded politicians sitting on all benches and strong government with a clear set of targeted objectives.
Hopefully most Greeks have realized by now that this is their call to heed.
The plight of their country is not in essence the result of the international financial meltdown and its broader fallout.
The latter hastened things up bringing to the fore the vulnerability of many societies - Greece's is not a loner - that had long placed themselves in a very tight spot.
Indeed if all reforms are pushed through to successful implementation Greece may in a few years' time emerge a streamlined, cost-effective economy with better social balance across all walks of life.

Push did come to shove as the PM feared months ago but the speed with which the government has since acted is for now the best pointer that there could be light at the end of a long and winding tunnel!

The challenges remain daunting.
So far the political will does not seem to have abated.It cannot, if anything reformist momemtum must be increased.
External entities are closely watching but it is for Greeks to deliver.
Doing the right things for the right reasons.For their own sake.

Opening up every shop in town and just about all else that requires adjusting.

TEC debate motion "China offers a better development model than the West" An upstream question is not answered.

After hesitating a lot between casting a "No" vote and not voting at all I chose the former to express lack of first-hand knowledge on China's model.

What is the Chinese development model if indeed there is one that can fairly be compared to the West's?The West for its part is made up of many countries with diverse economic, social and political backgrounds but let us assume we can aptly lump them all together.
China's development model - whichever it is - appears to mainly suit itself presently, having evolved substantially where the economy is concerned.
Politically while it may be said that the country is now generally more open, one-party rule remains firmly in place and there is no sign of a move towards western-style democracy anytime soon.
Therefore China's overall model is different rather than comparable to the West's.
Most Western countries have over the years pursued a path especially since WW2 that combined the virtues of the market with social policies and full political freedoms.
China has been busy creating wealth growing its economy by leaps and bounds sidelining any relevant concerns with everything else.
As the country becomes richer with a more mature economy so are the development costs being incurred likely to surface urgently demanding to get addressed.
I find it intriguing that the revered "The Economist" should put forward such a blunt motion statement.
Unless the dazzle caused by China's quick economic rise is reason enough to provoke all manner of thought.

TEC debate motion "There should be no legal restrictions on gambling" Not a clear cut case... far from it!

Typically a debate I'm not able to vote in.

The reason being there is certainly much more to the topic than I could ever master without relevant background reading.
Will leave a few short questions drawing attention to what exactly is meant by "... no legal restrictions":

Is it supposed to spell that the gambling business should be a free-for-all, an entirely lawless economic activity?
Not even a general legal framework or the semblance of one?
Or is gambling to be considered as inherently legal because it's been around long enough and cannot be bound up in any way?

Perhaps senseless doubts aside gambling has been the mainstay of many economies around the world earning substantial revenue for local governments.