Category Archives: Law

The danger of not learning

When do we stop enabling a dangerous setting? That is at the foundation of all this. And the cause of it is not Facebook; it is LinkedIn that makes the error. First of all, when we consider the entire mess, LinkedIn did not break any law, they did nothing incorrect on an academic level, yet they were wrong to allowing this to happen.

The subject here is Zendesk. First of all, there is nothing wrong with Zendesk; they seem to be on the roll to get a service software solution sold. They have a proper website (www.zendesk.com), they have all the checks and marks in place. From my personal view, I do not believe that they have a proper designed website, but that might just be me. I personally do not believe in a web page that scrolls for almost a mile and has a dozen images replacing each other. It is what I would call a bad mobile site, and as the bulk of the decision makers are on mobile, this was not a good step. It has good parts too; their Career page has an original approach (post stamp view) which is very artsy. Their way to bring it is great, yet the execution is not great, so what gives?

It started when I started to get the promoted ads from Zendesk, now there is nothing wrong with that, I have been in customer service for well over a decade on an international level, so that I get this ad makes total sense. The issue starts that EVERY promoted part, demo, white papers and whatever else they are trying to bring, you cannot get them without filling in a form, and there is the first issue, the ‘Zendesk Capture’; Full Name, Work Email and Phone Number. Now, to be fair, their visibility is clear and as I said, they didn’t break any laws. Yet in this age, after all the hassle of Cambridge Analytica, after all the screw ups that Facebook has been tainted with, LinkedIn should not have allowed for this. I think that Zendesk made a massive mistake taking this marketing path in a day and age where details are captured all over the place. We might wonder if someone hacks that Zendesk computer, how many details would be captured.

Yet, when you look at their offering, they have a suite of arrangements, where the cheapest option is an annual plan from ‘Free – $9, per agent, per month‘, so they have the pricing right, they have the options and the seemingly have set it all in perfect motion, so why capture the data? True service minded corporations should be walking down the door.

And as I said, this is not about Zendesk, this is about LinkedIn. I consider the allowance of this path a massive mistake. It was only last week when we were alerted to another Facebook mishap with: “Approximately 15 million of the victims had their name and contact details disclosed. While the hackers were able to see personal information, including education and employment background and location check-ins, of a further 14 million.“, this was only last week and we see additional news a mere 8 hours ago, so when it comes to personal data, LinkedIn should not allow for ANY kind of data collection if someone wants to show how good they are and not allow any promoted material to be linked to data capture.

Is there an exemption?

Yes, I think it is not wrong that someone would merely hand out their email (not necessarily their work email) to receive the link to a white paper, although we can equally argue that the link could have been in the story they promoted. Optionally that paper could have been uploaded to LinkedIn and distribution went via LinkedIn, as this is a promoted ad, so we can assume that it had to be paid for and LinkedIn had a service minded need to complete the (optional) distribution. None of that was done.

All optional solutions to keep their user base data safe and LinkedIn did none of these.

And when we do get to LinkedIn, we get more (at https://www.linkedin.com/legal/ads-policy). Here we see:

Phishing. Do not use an ad to promote a website that tricks a user into providing personal or other information that can be used to exploit or cause harm to the users.

Well, clearly Zendesk is not into Phishing, and they never tricked anyone, yet the words “providing personal or other information that can be used to exploit or cause harm to the users“, you see, in the end Zendesk cannot guarantee the part of ‘exploit or cause harm to the users‘. If they get hacked that part becomes an issue and again, Zendesk had never done anything incorrect.

In the end, the policies of LinkedIn are flawed as I see them. LinkedIn should never have allowed for these steps to happen, if trust and data is their trademark, then they lost a container load of value just there. The capture of personal data is becoming more and more an issue and as such using advertisement to capture data (I admit that it must be freely given), we see a larger issue. People have shown to be not too bright at times, carelessly handing over their personal and work details.

So the actions of LinkedIn in this matter are regarded as highly questionable by me.

As for Zendesk? They might have made the wrong call to pursue a certain path, yet it seems that they are driven to visibility and growth, with a directors board that is 50% female (I think that this is a first for me to see one that is actually 50/50) and a global drive that could make them a serious player down the track. They have the suite, they seemingly have all the software elements (optionally missing a dashboard element) and they offer nearly all with free trials, so they have a serious A-game in place. I partially wonder why they even bothered trying to capture details in the first place. Ah, and they also have something called Zendesk Sunshine (at https://www.zendesk.com/blog/relate-announce-sunshine-sell-explore/), so as it seems, they have the makings of a dashboard solution too.

They could have gone with: “We have the best customer service software solutions. Prove us wrong!

So this is about the danger of not learning and LinkedIn is in the stage where they aren’t learning and optionally endangering the data (and profiles) of their customers. You see, in the end they might have a policy in place, yet data can end up going somewhere else and as such, in that shown danger a dozen times over, LinkedIn should never allowed for this step to happen in the first place, it does not matter who wanted to capture the data, or what for, it should not have been allowed for.

In this age where data details go somewhere else by the size of millions of users per transgression, not allowing this to happen would have been a first need and that was not done.

Bad LinkedIn, bad doggie!

 

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This was actual news, how?

OK, I have slammed many of the large corporations, members of the FAANG group, Microsoft (on the mere principle of joy), IBM, because we have to and a whole range of other technology providers. We could work on the conundrum that a UK comedian once gave us:

How long must we bash Microsoft, not merely for the joy, but because it is our civic duty to do so?

Apparently his equation also applies to UKIP, Nigel Farage, the LibDems and Nick Clegg. At times, I have hit out at Google decisions as well, because at times, in critical points of exposure we need to do that. Not merely because of a $340 million payout they would owe me for bringing them a patented solution worth $3.4 billion, but you get the package deal. If you cannot say where it is at when it matters, whatever happens will never matter, and I prefer not to work for anyone who does not matter, or whatever they bring matters to no one, it is a stage of work that is self-destructive in the end, and who wants that?

My bosses have always known that, they always knew where they stood with me, no exceptions. I hate bosses who are too scared to give me the bad news. You know those bosses who over the course of the week go from. ‘We would like this to get done’, then we get ‘It would be best if we can manage this to be completed, optionally at the end of the week’ and on the Friday afternoon we get ‘If we do not present it on Monday morning, jobs will be on the line’, so we work throughout the weekend, whilst the previous Monday we could have been given the reality of ‘This has to be presented next Monday morning, so we need to put in the hours to get it done’ There we would have known what we were in for. Not to overly stressed stage of a weekend to resolve issues (whether realistic or not).

These bosses are still around, they are the epiphany of cowardice, they cannot relay bad news, no matter what is ahead.

Why are we getting this?

The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/11/google-tvc-full-time-employees-training-document) gave us less than 9 hours ago: ‘Revealed: Google’s ‘two-tier’ workforce training document‘, we get “Google staff are instructed not to reward certain workers with perks like T-shirts, invite them to all-hands meetings, or allow them to engage in professional development training, an internal training document seen by the Guardian reveals“, and my answer is: ‘So what?

I was one of those people, I was assigned exclusively to Google and I did not get that stuff, we got some of that stuff via our own office. I NEVER took offense, because I was hired and employed by someone else, I was merely exclusively assigned to Google. There was no lack of clarity; there was no lack of information and no lack of assistance. Google is a world by itself, it opens EVERY door within Google and those employed there have access to pretty much EVERYTHING. So it is in all kinds of manners an IP nightmare in the making, as such it is important to know what you can do, what you can access and where you can be. They never denied us food, coffee, snacks, or access to the materials we needed to do our jobs, we merely did not get everything and I get it, I always understood that this is a nightmare for the actual Googlers as well.

So there is an actual harsh truth in: “Working with TVCs and Googlers is different,” the training documentation, titled the The ABCs of TVCs, explains. “Our policies exist because TVC working arrangements can carry significant risks.” I do not believe I ever did anything inappropriate there, I never betrayed the trust of Google; I never short changed their customers on service. Apparently 2 years later there are still agencies that look back on my service very positive, that is my reward, I did a good job and that is what I always wanted to do, a good job. I also always wanted to be a Googler, because of the access to so many bright minds, it is intoxicating. For 20 years I was the only light in a company (because of my function), pushed into a cubicle with the books , manuals and data sets, the guru on a lonely mountain. To walk into the room with similar bright minds and knowing that I am not even close to the brightest mind is awesome, for me trying to keep up with them was a challenge, one anyone would miss. It is like training with Braden Holtby and Martin Jones for next week line-up as a goalie (in realistic terms, I would end up in 4th position there), but I will fight for it, no matter what, so Braden better bring his flaming A-game to that practice round.

I also did not take offense to: “According to a current employee with access to the figures, of approximately 170,000 people around the world who now work at Google, 50.05% are FTEs. The rest, 49.95%, are TVCs“, perhaps I should, or perhaps I should not. Well, I am no longer a TVC, so it does not matter, you see, that is corporate policy. It is what some would call: ‘Above my pay grade’. For the most I want to do a good job, have a decent place to live in and do it just like I did many decades, I am a workaholic at heart, I feel no denial or shame.

So when I see: “The letter detailed some of the material concerns that TVCs face due to Google’s differential treatment, including lower wages and “minimal benefits”“, I wonder what that is about, because I never had any income complaints and the lunches I had there were awesome (and a nice plus). The work was well staged, the equipment was there and working (they have an excellent IT department), which in light of some other places was a nice step forward. Perhaps it was lower wages, I do not know, I was hired on a clear premise and they fulfilled it 100% (110% is you consider one or two extras). Yes, I did notice that the Googlers had all kinds of extras. They have a job to do, a target to make and whether they did or not, I do not know. I did what I had to do and there was no negativity. Perhaps it is different in other nations, perhaps a place like Mountain View has other parts, I cannot tell. Yet when I personally see: “Google routinely denies TVCs access to information that is relevant to our jobs and our lives,” the letter states. “When the tragic shooting occurred at YouTube in April of this year, the company sent real-time security updates to full-time employees only, leaving TVCs defenseless in the line of fire. TVCs were then excluded from a town hall discussion the following day.” I see an issue, one that he article does not give.

  1. I never was denied information that was relevant to my job, I got at times a whole lot more information than I bargained for.
  2. Leaving TVC’s defenseless in the line of fire‘, I cannot tell, I was not there, was that actually the case, or was that perception? That is an important distinction, and I feel certain (to a small degree) that the writer Julia Carrie Wong cannot tell that for certain either.
  3. Excluded from a town hall discussion, makes sense because as a TVC I would not be an employee of Google, my boss if I was exposed to that would inform me and then make sure I got all the support I needed, because my boss was great in that regard.

So we have one part with three elements where two parts could be wiped form the ledger immediately leaving one optional discussion.

Bloomberg gives an additional part. there we get: “One contractor, who works 50 to 60 hours a week in Google’s marketing division, said TVCs are treated as “collateral damage” who can be hired and fired on short notice to help the company achieve business goals quickly and cheaply.” that is the nature of the beast, that is the impact of being a temp, I have been a temp for many years and I preferred being an actual employee, but it was work and at some point I became an employee of a large software firm, sitting on the other side of that equation. And even today I would not shy away from being a Google TVC. I was never treated wrongly. For the most I was never treated wrongly at any firm hiring me as a temp, oh and on the side, those 50 hours were all paid for, as an employee I did not get that overtime. We all have moments that suck, we all feel a little down when we are the employee that is not invited to the corporate party, no free booze and food (mostly food mind you).

I understand that there are plenty of temps that feel unhappy about being a temp versus being an employee and that is to be expected, most of us have been there one day or another. Yet in this stage of so many people without a job, any job will do, that includes temps. As for the quote Another TVC described full-time staff asking her to move from an office desk or cutting ahead of her in line for coffee because she was a contractor and therefore not as important“, I have NEVER experienced that or seen that in any of the three Google offices I have been in. In the end, we should realise that any company will hire its own variation of jerk, or douche bag, it happens, want to blame the company for that? Good luck trying to work for the CIA at some point.

Bu the way, I had to do some of those training modules and you should all see that this is done so that there is clarity, so that you do not accidentally set yourself up for a harsh fall, because someone will cry with the claim of false promises, or the statement that someone got bought (or hundreds of other dangers). Google is pretty good that way (likely merely for self-defence purposes), making sure that the person knows what they need to know.

And perhaps it is ‘all about saving money‘. Let’s face it google has a few hundred courses running, do you want to lose time and resources training 10,000 contractors on skills they do not even need? I always had access to all the trainings I needed and they made sure that there was work time available to do these courses, which in opposition from bosses making me go to some of them in a weekend setting is a great plus. I would happily walk up to Duncan Lewis requesting access to the long range training with the .338 Accuracy International AWM. You never know when a dingo comes for your baby, and that apparently happened for real (and in an Oscar setting), we must be ready and vigilant and it is not like Duncan has anything better to do with his time, but to approve for my needs, right?

We need to see what is required and what a person was hired to do, it is not kind or friendly or accommodating, but that is not why people get hired, hired as either temps or employees. We seem to forget that in places like Google, Microsoft and IBM, employees get for the most their full access as it is a return on investment for the firm to give them the knowledge, to keep staff versatile, that line does not apply to temp staff. We seemingly forget that part at times.

So when we see: “In 2000, Microsoft agreed to pay a $97m settlement over a massive class-action lawsuit brought by permatemps“, it is optionally not because Microsoft did anything wrong (I honestly do not know that part). There is an unwritten part and a clear part and sometimes that field is jurisprudentially too grey too fathom and settling would be much cheaper in the end. Yet when I was at Google, there was no non clarity; the actual Googlers were happy, friendly and kind all the time. That year was one of the best ones in my entire working career and that is saying something. So when I see: “We are legally in the clear to treat people like garbage.” I can tell you right now that I never experienced or perceived such treatment by anyone at Google ever, which leaves us with a lot more question regarding this article and as such I wonder how these sources were vetted. It might all be on the up and up and I will say sorry, accepting that my personal experience is merely one of 49.95% of 170,000 staff.

So I might be the positive outlier and I will happily admit to that is that is the case, yet I see here merely one view of an American side of a corporation that operates in 219 countries, and as far as I can tell 70 offices in 50 countries (3 in Sydney), from that point of view I wonder how accurate or acceptable this article actually is.

 

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That Grrrrrrr moment

I have had my issues with the large corporations for the longest of times. I am not against their existence, I have nothing against corporations making wealth and having a great run of revenue, being against that is just lame and idiotic. Yet corporations should be held to account, properly taxed. So whilst politicians hide behind the coattails of economists like Thomas Piketty for all the most idiotic and self centrered reasons, how about we change a few other things first?

The article ‘Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/09/eu-brexit-piketty-tax-google-facebook-apple-manifesto), needs to get a clue, and fast. In addition buying a few vowels from Susie Dent is not the worst idea either. this is a personal joke towards Chrononhotonthologos (a Scrabble hit) and the mention of “As you both behave to Night, You shall be paid to Morrow“, a different stroke towards consultancy for shaping ones economy. As I see: “A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and right-wing populism sweeping the continent“, my blood goes slightly on the boil. How about properly taxing the members of the FAANG group? (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google), or How about stopping the EU gravy train by at least 85%?

Two elements optionally bringing in billions and you know this! These people are given leeway in ways most people cannot fathom. ‘The Rotten Apple: Tax Avoidance in Ireland‘ gives us: “The European Commission found that Ireland gave Apple preferential tax treatment which amounted to $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes between 2003 and 2014. Due to Apple’s tax havens in Ireland, they have taken advantage of U.S. and Irish tax regulations” and that is merely the top of the iceberg. When we see the angering part with: “In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014” (source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm), we see that the EU has failed itself and now we see the unacceptable quote: ‘€800bn of levies‘, whilst we get it set into some ‘tax the rich’ status, we need to be weary of the delusional setting of these “more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries“. So when we see: “by taxing corporate profits more effectively, as well as income and wealth“. In the foundation that step is not wrong, I am all for properly taxing corporations, yet the EU is part of the problem, it has given away the keys to banks and corporations to so as they like. I do believe that ‘0.005 per cent of profit‘ is ample evidence of that. It is the ‘tax the wealth that is an issue’, because that is where the problem starts. The wealth tax is 5000 times higher than Apple apparently pays. the first sign where we see: “an extra 15% levy on corporate profits, tax increases on individuals earning more than €100,000, a wealth tax on personal fortunes above €1m, and a tax on carbon emissions“, is the problem. These high paid wankers (pardon my French) is not about getting to the corporations, it is the ‘personal fortune‘ that they seem to be after. Now, before you think that you are safe, think again. Your house is part of that making many people considered to be multimillionaires; they now all get a levy on what these gravy train wannabes call ‘fairness’. How about holding all the economic advisors of all governments to account, for any wrongful advice that impacted the government and European coffers negatively for over €250,000, we fine these advisors with €25,000 euro, all of them. This is likely to impact all those economists that hid behind ‘it was a complex situation‘, or ‘carefully phrased denial of corporate facilitation‘. This is the easiest to see with the Dutch fiasco called Fyra (a high speed train) that impacted tax payers by €11 billion. When we see “The Fyra-story also demonstrates that powerful corporate interests (in this case Dutch Railways’ desire to remain the sole rail service provider in The Netherlands) can abuse their position and waste an unbelievable amount of taxpayers’ money“, on a short sighted and narrow-minded view of what the ego wants, whilst the coffers cannot ever afford a scheme that will never be cost effective, we see: “Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reported in January that the HSA never had the intention to operate a “true” high speed rail service; a strong piece of investigative journalism stated that a speed of 220 kilometers per hour had been deemed sufficient for the Dutch portion of the route from the git-go by the HSA executives (by comparison, high speed rail service in Germany and France exceeds 300 kilometers per hour)“, the setting of simple definitions where the different nations in the EU could not agree on that mere setting. So how about giving a fine to all decision makers costing the Dutch government 11 billion? How about making the bulk of tax deductibles no longer applicable? Any corporation can make a profit when corporate tax is one percent or less, it is time to set the proper stage of corporation tax and that part they imply to get right, but they cannot, so these individuals add ‘a wealth tax on personal fortunes above €1m‘. You see, they do not set it on personal fortunes over €15 million, and hit the truly wealthy, no they need a lot more, because properly taxing the FAANG group (and several others) is just too dangerous. I would in my least diplomatic setting offer that the entire economic fiasco could have been avoided. If their fathers had jerked off over the radiator, instead of impregnating their wives, the entire economic danger to all of us would have died with a sizzle, how wrong am I now? (OK, admitted I am totally lacking diplomacy here)

So when we see: “From a tax on personal wealth and assets: an additional 1% on estates valued at above €1m and 2% on those above €5m” accounting for over 25%, we see a dang3er to too many people all over the EU. Try to find ANY apartment or house for less than €700K in most European metropolitan area’s; it will hit too many people, whilst the truly rich will avoid disaster. This entire matter is as I personally see it a joke.

I suggest:

Any government not being able to hold its budget within 2% over budget, its elected politicians will have to return 25% of their income, those who are unable to do so are removed from office and in addition will have to be incarcerated for no less than the full term +2 years of that government. Regardless, of this, in addition, the entire Gravy train comes to a standstill (and right quick). For these people travel and housing expenses are reduced by 60%, they should be ab le to find a cheaper solution. The Guardian gave us in 2016: “According to a European Union financial transparency system, commission staff spent €22,193 (£17,610) staying at the five-star Shangri-La hotel in Singapore and €54,677 at the five-star Stamford hotel in Brisbane in 2014. Other expenses listed that year include €439,341 on Abelag/Luxaviation, a luxury private jet provider, and €23,696 on chauffeur taxi services“, that needs to stop as well. It is my personal view that Thomas Piketty and his 50 economists (an optional new version of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves) should have stayed in their cave, and not come out at all. Now we have the setting to go over these 50 economists and seek all the things that they helped hide from their senior peers and that is essential now. You see as we are introduced to “a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe“, is also the optional setting to hold these people who cased all of this by facilitating to corporations and banks to account through prosecution. I find it tasteless and unacceptable that just like Greece, those who caused the mess get to walk away with a pretty penny in their pocket as well.

And this mess is not nearly over. When we look at a few parts, we get to start with: ‘The 1999 Santer Commission Scandal‘, you would think that in 1999, when we get “a devastating report on fraud and nepotism attacked the EU’s executive body for serious management failings. All 20 members of the Commission stepped down, in what was described at the time as the biggest crisis in the European Commission’s history” (source: Brussels Times), you would think that this is the end of it. No no, (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-santer-idUKTRE80N1UG20120124) Reuters reported in 2012 ‘EU draws fire over Santer return to EU post‘ “Prompted to defend Santer at a late night press conference on Monday, Olli Rehn, the European commissioner in charge of economic and monetary affairs, tried to make light of it, saying journalists only became critical of Santer after Commission officials beat them in a football match in late 1998“, politicians making light of the situation in a farce involving nepotism, and as such we can make certain levels of claim towards corruption. Forms of corruption vary, yet they do include: bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. So as such, the fact that we allow European politicians to re-enter the EU commission after being found guilty here is just too unacceptable. That by itself could also be a cost saving exercise, so does our Thomas Rickety Piketty warlock have a spell on all of us, by merely setting a facade to make thing better for all of us, or merely not worse for some of them? I think that the escalations in France are making people, people in power worried; they are facing the straw that is breaking the camel’s back. This is not something that they are making on the spot. This has been coming for the longest of times and even as I am not against taxing the rich a little more, we need to realise that the entire exercise is merely seen (by me) as a way to paste labels to mere traffic diversions for opening avenues of collecting others.

The primary objective of this survey is to understand the level of corruption perceived by businesses employing one or more persons‘ (at http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/flash/fl_374_sum_en.pdf), there we see that 38% does not regard nepotism a problem, 40% think that tax rates are a problem (in all fairness, that is a valid point of view to have for any business), and 45% considers corruption not to be a problem. In that setting, changes are not easy, correct changes are near impossible, as we see the setting where corporations and politicians can work together on a ‘compromise’ that will hit the lowly paid taxpayers a lot more than anyone else.

I actually presented a taxed solution in 2015, there I wrote in regards to the UK budget: “So, helping those on low pay is fine, but only if we change Basic rate to 21% and higher rate to 42%, which means that above the £10,600, the basic income goes up by a maximum of £318 and in addition, high income get an additional maximum of £836. This allows us a balanced budget, and if you wonder why not the highest toll bracket? Well, they also get the 1% of the base and the 2% of high anyway, that group is dwindling down and to seek even more to that smaller group seems a little unfair (the non-bankers that is). The second premise here is that this extra collected fee can ONLY be used to balance out the lost revenue from the basic rate group that had their annual income between £10,000 and £13,000 per annum“. The premise was to give the lowest incomes a little extra cash, so we raise the 0% tax maximum point a little; in that case these people will have a little more and we all profit there. As the non-taxable part goes up by a rough £100 a month, the second bracket gets an additional 1%, so they pay £318 more each year, and the second group (the much larger group) pays an additional £836 above that. It leaves the extra £100 without impact on the treasury, giving them extra and still having a stage to reduce debt (as long as Labour is kept out of the treasury coffers). In this case there was no additional impact of the wealthy, their houses not at risk and we would all be a little more social, no, not according to Thomas, the Rickety Piketty warlock. He wants an additional €800 billion, from what I can tell, because they cannot get their tax rules in order, getting the proper taxation in place and with the FAANG group paying as reported a mere 0.005 per cent of profit taxed, how can we ever get a staged setting of corporations in a fair playing field?

In ‘In fear of the future‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/03/16/in-fear-of-the-future/) I addressed the stage of the annual £43 billion interest bill, interest is cash lost and the economy that has to pay that much every years is running to keep in the same place, so adding the minimal hardship to reduce that amount, hopefully by reducing the debt to the degree that the interest goes down £1-£3 billion a year would be great, yet not entirely realistic. focussing on reducing the interest by £1 billion a year for the first 10 years is possible, yet it comes at a price and properly taxing corporations at a level that allows them continuance and growth (yet optionally not at opening a new super shop every year) is an option to seek. And even as we see ‘taxing the rich’ in the UK, the true rich is a group of no more than 6000 people, how are they coming up with these billions? So as I stated (in 2015): “If we can believe the 2014 article by the Guardian, this will hit 6000 people, which means that it only raise a few millions, so taxing the rich has always seemed like and always remains a hilarious act of pointlessness. It is the 1% from the basic rate that will truly make a difference. It will drive the debt down faster, it will lower the interest bill which will help lower the debt even more.” It is perfectly valid to disagree with me on this one. Yet Rickety Pickety hedges his bets by giving us: “a tax on personal wealth and assets“, this includes your house and car. Now consider the amount of houses and apartments close to €1 million, in addition, we cannot see if retirement funds are seen as ‘wealth’, in that case, of that happens, the entire calculation will change drastically. Whatever we are trying to create for a rainy day will be overly taxed because politicians and economists could not do their job properly in the first place. In that economists have been tools for politicians for the longest of times as I personally see it and they need to be taxed (read: fined) for all their failures between 2003 and 2017. Let’s make those losses part of the requirement to address, shall we?

I wonder how many of these 50 autographs will suddenly vanish (read: get retracted) when we see them held to account for certain projects in real estate, energy and transportation endeavours, I am merely speculating here.

A ‘hidden’ statement at the top!

In the current setting of budget and taxation, please explain to me how ‘Quadrupling the current EU budget to 4% of GDP would raise about €800bn‘, how does upping the budget 4 times over (including the gravy train I reckon) help raising cash? Is he hiding behind ‘spend a little to get a lot‘? Is the $3 trillion QE bond buying fiasco not enough of a train wreck at present?

In the article we are also given a gem. It is Guntram Wolff who questioned the need for a continent-wide project. “If the cross-border transfer element is only 0.1%, why do the whole thing at EU level?” he asked. That is indeed a very good question. I personally see this as some EU fuelled stage where we suddenly see the report being used as a QE prolongation project. We can see part of this point of view in the Economist where we see (at https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/12/08/quantitative-easing-draws-to-a-close-despite-a-faltering-economy): “an extension to its targeted long-term repo operations, which offer banks cheap funding in return for lending to households and firms. That would benefit Italian banks most. They are heavy users of the scheme and the stand-off with Brussels has pushed up their borrowing costs. But to help them would be to ease the market pressure on Italy that might otherwise encourage fiscal rectitude. The agony of setting monetary policy only gets worse when politics comes into play.” In addition there was Seeking Alpha, who gave us last week: “Forward Guidance and Reinvestment Policy will then take QE’s place“, you say potato, and I say tomato. From my point of view it is not merely the application to move coins from the trouser pocket to the vest pocket, it is (as I personally see it), to move coins on their suits, in whatever pocket the can to present some level of status quo, a status that has been non-realistic for the longest of times.

So my simple solution, to merely add 1% and 2% to the middle class (and thus the upper class getting both as well optionally with a mere 1% added, gives us the option on national levels to finally do something about these crushing debts. the entire Thomas Piketty and his 50 abacus users report is not merely over the top, it is (as I personally see it) some under the waterline agenda to make certain changes that will facilitate for corporations to a larger degree in the end, because if they pay 15% on one end, you better believe that they get 20% from somewhere else (it is the trouser and vest pocket strategy). In all this, the people having a decent house merely get an invoice with the ‘Pay within the next 30 days’ routine in the end which I find offensive here. In the same manner where I stated a decade ago (it could have been 15 years) that from the very beginning, making ecommerce businesses tax accountable at the place of delivery (the buying consumer) would have been fair to all shops and merchants, none of that happened and in the end shops can no longer compete and close down. Crushed between cheap online competition and ego tripping landlords (the second most of all), we see that continuance is not an option and this links to the EU, as it is trying to prolong a system that is not merely unfair, it cannot be maintained in its current form. More taxation is not the option, it never was, holding politicians accountable to the expenditure and unbalanced tax laws that they allow for is a much larger weight on one side of the seesaw and that is drowning the economic status of all.

And consider merely one side, a mere example from the recent past. Bloomberg gave us “Apple is leasing about 500,000 square feet (46,451 square meters) of office space at the new headquarters, and plans to move 1,400 employees there. Bloomberg News reported last year that the building’s developers were on course to achieve less than half of their original return target as costs rose and wider economic uncertainty damps demand for the most expensive homes.” I do not mind that Apple moves, that they look good and prestigious, it is their right. Yet now consider the part: “Apple’s new UK headquarters will be part of a £14 billion redevelopment at Battersea Power Station“, as well as “it will take up around 40% of the office space in the old power station“. So 40% of the office space of a £14 billion project? How much tax exemption will they get there? Looking good through non taxability is nice, but that is all it is, nice, it should not allow for tax exemption. And if that makes them decide to move somewhere else, that is fine too. Consider that social housing got cut in that building so in 2017 we went from: “Battersea Power Station is determined to deliver 15% affordable homes, equating to 636 homes“, to “they slashed the number of affordable flats to just 386, a 40% reduction from original plans“, by taxing these options, we will ensure in many places that these so called milking investors take a step back and consider what should be allowed. This example is in the UK, yet there are examples all over Europe, interesting how that part is not highlighted, even as it is optionally part of the ‘taxing corporations’ event, what they lose on one side, they gain in the other. It is seemingly in opposition with Germany where we see ‘Hamburg to seize commercial property to house migrants‘, I use the word seemingly as I have not seen enough data to see whether I merely saw one side of the coin, that part is important too, yet I have seen in Sweden that there are tensions as well as a much better situation than the UK had, so there is space for improvement all over the EU (and the UK mind you), this all adds to the tensions as housing is the number one requirement and keeping that cost down, as well as that value down gives rise to the decrease of hogging and hoarding rental apartments, giving a playing field that is much more level and gives a release of economic tension to the largest European population and as that tension goes down, it will decrease other tensions as well. It does not solve the entire non-budgeting ability to 27 EU nations and as such it is not really part of this, but it is a strong covariant towards economic living of the entire EU population, that is very much a factor here. It does take care of division, disenchantment, and inequality to some degree. That we consider right-wing populism is pushed though the vision of an unfair and unacceptable gravy train and can be addressed by taking that train out of commission (well at least 85% that is). In the end I think that the mention of ‘the EU’s so-called democratic deficit‘, we could consider making nepotism prosecutable with an added lifelong ban on ever returning to any political post, EU or national. Did I oversimplify the problem for Thomas Piketty?

You tell me, and when you think I am wrong, that is perfectly fine, consider Alain Juppé, and Jacques Santer. Consider how people have been made redundant and end up not having any options, yet these people have a shielding umbrella that allows for the return to high yielding governmental incomes.

There is a lot wrong in several ways in all this and it makes me growl (in a rabid way mind you), even as we realise when we try to tackle inequality, we need to take heed from the entire FIFA matter in more than one way and these failings have been ignored (as far as I can tell) by this so called ‘bold new blueprint‘, the stage of mismanagement issues, non-transparency (especially in the ECB) and a whole range of options not cleared before they all start looking for ways to tax more and keep one of the most inefficient logistic systems in the history of the world (as I personally see it) in place. You cannot win more by charging more, not until you fixed your internal accountancy department, should you doubt that, look at Tesco and the Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank, with the acclaimed €200bn dirty money scandal, especially as this is commented on with: “it remains to be seen if any individuals will face justice for the biggest money-laundering scandal in EU history” by the EU Observer (November 29th).

Taxing the rich? Rickety Pickety, you have much larger issues to address before you should be allowed to make a play for those who worked hard towards their homes and retirement, as in the end, that is wwhere this invoice ends up as I personally see it.

Have a great Monday!

 

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Those we needlessly fear

All others pay cash! Yes, that was direct, was it not? We have seen millions of articles fly by, all given the very same announcement: ‘Fear Saudi Arabia‘, as well as ‘MBS is a monster‘. Yet, what evidence was given? What actual evidence did we get?

Turkey played its innuendo game, we can also accept that the US is playing a protective game for Saudi Arabia and that too should be highlighted, yet NO ONE has taken an academic look at those so called tapes as have given the audience the rundown, what was there, what was proven. Is there even enough evidence that Jamal Khashoggi is on the tapes? Journalists are in their own corrupt little world of satisfying the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers and they all want Saudi Arabia to look like they are all guilty, all to the very top. In addition we see the G20 Argentina game that France played with their ‘confrontation’, conveniently enough staged to be caught on CNN. He was not that amateur like when he had to have a few words with someone high up at Crédit Agricole, was he? Where have they got that leaked conversation?

I see it as a simple operational premise to counter the fear that they have. It gets worse, at present the vultures are circling and we get to see more fallout. News dot com dot au are giving us (at https://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/saudi-friend-of-jamal-khashoggi-sues-israeli-surveillance-firm/news-story/b0bf9d501332df9ad31bede7de904b6c) ‘Saudi friend of Jamal Khashoggi sues Israeli surveillance firm‘ gives us ‘A Saudi dissident‘, as well as ‘Omar Abdulaziz, said he was friends with Khashoggi‘. Now people make all kinds of claims, I can make the claim that I am the lover of Scarlett Johansson; she just does not know it yet. Anyone in the media can contact frukan Johansson and verify that fact (or prove it to be wrong), we can’t in the case of Khashoggi, can we? Was there corroborating evidence that they were actual friends? If so, why was that not added? The news site makes no real effort to substantiate that friendship and that is not what this is about. You see, it is the claim ‘a lawsuit against an Israeli surveillance company, claiming its sophisticated spyware targeted him and helped lead to the killing of his friend‘. We have two problems here. In the first, is there any evidence to back that up? In the second, Jamal Khashoggi was an unknown person to 93% of the planet, yet he was a journalist for the Washington Post, and as such he was a lot more visible than most others. Also, the entire filing matter in Istanbul gave rise that plenty of people knew where he was, so the spyware seems redundant. If there was quality spyware in place he could have been killed anywhere and leave the optional involvement of Saudi Arabia almost completely out of it. Does that not make sense?

The last paragraph is the killer here: “citing news reports and other sources claiming that NSO Group sold Saudi Arabia the technology in 2017 for $US55 million ($A75 million)“. The first thing here is to look at those news reports; I wonder how much innuendo is in there. Then we get the stage that technology worth $55 million was bought when JK was very much alone, giving rise to the reason of purchase, last by not least is the investigation on the NSO group and their software and that is what I believe was the foundation, it does not matter where and how the NSO group software was used. I believe that Omar Abdulaziz got wind of a 2016 article not unlike those on Vice (at https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3da5qj/government-hackers-iphone-hacking-jailbreak-nso-group), and saw ‘Government Hackers Caught Using Unprecedented iPhone Spy Tool‘. so when we see (or saw) “Ahmed Mansoor, a 46-year-old human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates, received a strange text message from a number he did not recognize on his iPhone“, the brain of Omar Abdulaziz  optionally went ‘ka-chink‘ and his pupils turned to dollar signs, It was optionally his opportunity of a lifetime.

So who is right?

I am telling you right now that all I am writing from my opposition is pure speculation, yet is it less of more believable? Is the NSO group real? Yes they are and they have something that every nation on the planet with a decent technology level requires. Any government have people they want to keep tabs on, and that is what this solution optionally provides for. It is not a killing tool, and at $55 million it is not some tool you use for simply ending someone’s life, there are more convenient and more elegant ways to facilitate to punch out someone time clock of life. When you stage a $55 million solution when $50K in an account does it, that solution does not make sense.

Still, we cannot ignore the NSO group software and it might have been used to keep tabs on JK, that is optionally a reality we face, yet we all face that optional for a number of reasons and there we have the crux, knowing where a person is does not mean that their life has to be ended, the fact that we have tools, does not imply that we have to use other tools. The audience factor is trying to give us that idea, an emotional driven premise of events to set the stage of intentional international execution. There has been, and unlikely will be any evidence showing that. Not by some eager frog (an unnamed France governmental executive) stating to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘I am really worried!‘ worried about what? Conversations eagerly and ‘unintentionally’ leaked right in full view of the CNN camera, are people truly stupid enough to go for that bait?

Then we get claims in papers like the Sydney Morning Herald trying to up their game, yet at present I am not certain if the Saudi government would lose if a defamation case was brought to court and that is me merely contemplating two of the JK articles that I have read in the last two days.

In addition, the article has the claim ‘and helped lead to the killing of his friend‘, which is actually very clever as in this way stated we have a problem, or do we? Is there any evidence that the solution was or was not used? If there is a way to check the usage of that software then Omar Abdulaziz opened an interesting door. You see at that point, under the US freedom of information act, close to two dozen claims can be made regarding the NSA (the San Antonio location) on how they have been keeping tabs on people. In the January case of Sherretta Shaunte Washington, her attorney might optionally (with properly applied intelligence) be able to overturn any given sentence against her. There has been the rumour that the NSA assisted in keeping tabs on a dozen burner phones. You see, it is not the sim card; it is the mobile imei number on EVERY phone that is the issue. The NSO group seemingly figured out the algorithm to take this to the races and that advantage is worth well over $55 million. That is exactly why the Mexicans wanted the solution too. Most Mexicans are still believing that without the sim it is nothing, yet one call gave away the imei number and that number is a lot more useful than most consider.

And in the end it is Forbes who gives us the missing diamond going all the way back to August 2016. Here we are treated to: “looking at the domains registered by NSO, they determined Pegasus could have been used across Turkey, Israel, Thailand, Qatar, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Mozambique, Morocco, Yemen, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Bahrain, though there was no clear evidence“, in all this the one logical step, the one thought that no one has been willing to voice for a number of reasons. Turkey is on that list. So what if this was Turkey all along from beginning to end? Turkey, who had the solution to keep tabs on thousands of journalists, reporters and bloggers, and jailing hundreds of journalists, do you actually think that they are beyond killing a journalist? I mentioned a few yesterday, so you there is evidence all over the field and so far no actual and factual evidence has been given on any involvement of the Saudi Royal family, yet everyone is playing that card as often as possible.

I am not in denial, I am not stating that they are innocent, I am merely looking and hoping to see real evidence, and so far the absence of that investigation has been astounding. There is enough evidence on the involvement of Saudi’s in all this, yet the proper vetting of Turkish evidence by the media has seemingly been lacking. The press (and the media as a whole) merely pushed that same button again and again and it makes me wonder on the premise in which other ways we are (seemingly) being deceived. That is the clear consequence of orchestration, it makes us all doubt all the other evidence, and in light of the USA playing their silver briefcase WMD game in regards to Iraq, that has made us distrust a lot of other evidence, evidence that might have been valid, but we are in a stage where we no longer trust the messengers in all that and as the media and newspapers lose more and more credibility, we have started to treat most news as fake news.

That is the price of orchestration and the players remain in denial that it is happening. That is the part we see form a source called Foreign Policy dot com. The article (at https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/03/how-an-internet-impostor-exposed-the-underbelly-of-the-czech-media/), gives us: ‘How an Internet Impostor Exposed the Underbelly of the Czech Media. When politicians own the press, trolls have the last laugh‘, the article by Tim Gosling gives us: “Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis—and expose just how easily disinformation can slip into the mainstream press, especially when politicians control it.” It is a mere introduction to: “In September, the Czech broadsheet Lidove Noviny published an op-ed by Horakova expressing support for Babis’s refusal to offer asylum to 50 Syrian orphans, as was proposed by an opposition member of parliament. Playing up to his populist pledge not to allow “a single refugee” into the Czech Republic, the prime minister said the country had its own orphans to care for“. It merely gives us parts to ponder, the amount of pondering increases with: “In tapes released by unknown sources onto the internet last year, for instance, he was heard discussing stories damaging to his political rivals with a reporter from Mlada fronta Dnes, which alongside Lidove Noviny is controlled by Agrofert—the agrochemicals conglomerate that is the centerpiece of Babis’s business empire.

I have written again and again against the media facilitation for the shareholders, the stakeholders and the advertisers, here we see the impact when the media and the shareholder are one and the same. That article from a freelance reporter who seemingly contributed to Foreign Policy, The Telegraph, Politico Europe, Deutsche Welle, World Politics et al. He shows that there is a much larger issue and that the difference between those bringing the news and fake news bringers is almost indistinguishable. We might give passage to the LA Times, the Washington Post, New York Times, the Times, the Guardian and several others, yet after that the mess becomes no longer trusted, mostly because the source is too unknown to us. The media did this to themselves through facilitation and until that changes fake news will have too many options to gain traction with the people influencing a populist political nation on a near global scale.

It is one of the reasons why I refuse to merely accept the view of people blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for it all. There are too many intelligence gaps, too many parts of merely insinuated conjecture whilst the intelligence was not properly vetted and it happened for the most in Turkey (the consulate is Saudi ground). We might never ever get the answer of what truly happened, and to a very large extent it is because of the games that the media played from the very beginning. A game staged in innuendo, unnamed sources and people talking on the promise of anonymity. It is not the fact that these elements exist, it is because to a much larger extent too many of them were used at the same time, pressing the same directional button, most of it not scrutinised to the degree that was essential, and when contra dictionary evidence was found, those issues were ignored by the largest extent by all the media, that too is the foundation of fake news, we merely chose to ignore it, it is our emotional side and that is the bigger issue. People are no longer adhering to innocent until guilty, the media has become a ‘guilty until proven innocent machine‘ and that drives the populist agenda more than anything else, so I oppose them all by stating: ‘The Saudi government is one we needlessly fear, until we have conclusive evidence of their action that is the only way we should be‘. We have become puppets in a world where tyrants (Robert Mugabe), alleged mass murderers (Slobodan Milošević), criminals (shooters who were granted indemnity from prosecution) and paedophiles (Catholic clergy) get more consideration than any Muslim ever had, how sad has our world become?

 

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The promised example

In light of all the outsourcing we saw yesterday, it is time to show you just how lucrative it can be to set the outsourcing stage. In this example I will go with a software example, as I have seen this myself. You see, sometimes a place is profitable for the mother company no matter how you slice it and with this example we see this in action.

Let’s take a software vendor, selling some software solution. Normally that entire path will set you back $7,000. The software, training, installation and personalising the solution. At this point you might think, well, it is all tax deductible for the company, so what gives?

Well, some of these players still have budgets to adhere to (unless you are in Italy), and when we look at that the procurement department will state that it is too expensive. So, the sales team has an idea. They say: ‘You know what! We can (if you take all three) the entire as a package for $5250, and that is a nice discount‘. So the company takes all this and accepts the deal. So the software is bought, there was a trainer on the spot educating the staff for 2 days and they set up whatever needed to be set up and the entire delivery is complete.

It all seems straight forward. Yet, it is not to be. You see that outsourcers often have a main office outside of that country and they want their franchise fee, which could be 70% of the software, yet they will always get FULL PRICE. So they will get 70% of $3,000, no matter what the discounted invoice was. Now that company has to make due with $3,150 for training, training materials, travel expenses, training hardware and staff. And for every deal they make the cost remain high, yet the revenue has been siphoned off and the cream went somewhere else. Now we get the stage where there was still a profit, yet the staff members are still costing thousands of dollars, as is the office and all other goods. There is not taxation as the revenue was too low and this is where we see the problems for a lot of these companies. They are now in debt, governments having to make deals and I cannot vouch for Interserve, Carillion, Serco Group Plc and Capita Plc, because where I know it was happening was not one of these. Yet I feel certain that others have been playing similar games and it has been going on for over 20 years that I am aware of that tactic.

So does the entire Interserve part now make sense? A debt of well over half a billion and its board members are still up for millions in bonus? I cannot tell what the reason is for the entire Interserve issue, yet what I have seen in the past, we should take a long hard look at what some consider to be debt and what some consider to be an optional approach to deferred invoicing.

We might see partial support when we see the article in the Morningstar (at http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/AN_1542962437936788100/interserve-expects-higher-operating-profit-despite-construction-loss.aspx). Here we see: “Interserve posted a pre-tax loss of GBP244.4 million on revenue of GBP3.25 billion in 2017. It then recorded a pre-tax loss of GBP6.0 million on GBP1.67 billion in revenue in the first half of 2018“, others sources had a similar setting, yet here we also see the headline ‘News Interserve Expects Higher Operating Profit Despite Construction Loss‘, now we see operating profits versus construction loss? Does it now seem more and more that we are given a half a billion birdie, whilst some are showing to be receiving massive bonus payments? How is this not tackled? How come that for 20 years we have seen the impact of creative bookkeeping, whilst the European governments have been unable to fix anything?

When we see the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/b2c9fdd2-eeed-11e8-8180-9cf212677a57) giving us: “Interserve employs 80,000 people worldwide — 25,000 in the UK — in jobs that range from cleaning the London Underground to maintaining army bases and building a shopping centre in Dubai.” Giving me the speculative thought ‘How long until we see the Dubai part sold off (including equipment) at roughly 5 pennies to the pound? How would that screw over the 25,000 staff in the UK when Interserve folds? We will not know until the Interserve lawyers and accountants finalise they optimised plan in 2019, but I fear that the impact of outsourcing is going to be felt on a very large area. You see, outsourcing growth is through the roof and it is growing in a sphere of influence that has not been seen before. Fintech, Meditech, Pharmaceutics. It seems like the golden calf, yet it is a treacherous field. It might be a temporary field at best. I think that the construction companies have good weather now, yet the crash of the 80’s is still with them, Communications is all about outsourcing, yet when those outsourcers do not finance the training of staff, their usefulness will decline in 3-4 years as the companies are focussing on 5G. In that same light, we see a pharmaceutical growth, yet the setting is that many patents will fall over in the next 5 years. At that point these companies outsourcing can discontinue the renewal of contracts and the staff issue will not be their problem, it will be the problem of the outsourced company and that is starting to push a wave to a much larger degree than we have seen before.

So as we return to the Financial Times article we get “Interserve said profit growth for the year so far had been as expected, and it anticipated “a significant operating profit improvement” for the full year. The group, which swung to a loss in the half-year, did not provide figures“, we knew that, many sources had it. Yet we also get “It has revenues of £3.25bn but is valued by the stock market at just £75m and is already under close watch by the British government in case of collapse“, when a 3 billion revenue company is merely valued at merely 2% of that, there is a lot more going on than mere sneaky keeping of books and that needs to be seen as well. So when we consider: “Interserve’s update attempted to “sugar coat” the increase in net debt and “to deflect from the news” that the Cabinet Office is making sure it has alternative suppliers to take the place of Interserve should it fail. “The operational developments are not good reading either,” he added“, a part given to us by the independent analyst Stephen Rawlinson, we need to look deeper. You see, if the UK does get confronted with: “alternative suppliers“, we need to accept that for a chunk of those 25,000 British workers it will not spell good news, even more so, there is every chance that it gives a larger level of turmoil to those people whilst some board members end up going home with a payout that is between £380K and £2.25M, making sure that they can live in a sea of porn and Netflix for the longest of times, possibly even until the day they die.

Is it that bad?

Well, that is not certain, yet the issue that the UK accounting watchdog had to quit over criticism regarding Carillion (source: the Guardian), they give us the quote: “Stephen Haddrill will depart after nine years in charge of the Financial Reporting Council, which is subject to multiple inquiries into its effectiveness and independence” we get one thought, yet in light of “a committee of MPs described the FRC as “chronically passive” in an excoriating report into the construction group’s failure, condemning the regulator as “too timid to make effective use of the powers they have”” we should consider that there is every chance that Interserve might have been on that same side of the page making the issue larger and more critical. Is it not interesting that too often we see terms like ‘too timid‘ when it comes to dealing with the rich? The entire Sir Philip Green’s £1 sale of BHS is a nice example to keep in mind. The setting where the people behind BHS are apparently not in prison in a stage where “the settlement will not fully restore the retirement income they had been promised by BHS” (source: Financial Times). One of many failings where we see the creativity of applied accountancy and the improper use of non-committal prison sentences to those employing these fast and loose solutions. At present there is a speculative chance that Interserve might be on a similar track, but that is pure speculation, we will not know until the solution is offered, which according to the papers will not happen until somewhere in 2019, until that point arrives thousands of employees at Interserve will likely be in a state of stress. It is one hell of a way to approach Christmas.

Humbug!

 

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Two Issues in play

There is a larger issue in all this, part of it is Wall Street, the gig is up (to some extent) yet no calls are being made to investigate the Analyst game by aspiring new Wall Street kings, and moreover no one is asking questions.

We start with the impact that Apple has had and the Financial Post is giving us (at https://business.financialpost.com/investing/us-stocks-wall-st-pulled-lower-by-apple-trade-worries) “Shares of Apple Inc fell 3.5 per cent after the Wall Street Journal reported the company had cut production orders in recent weeks for all three iPhone models launched in September“, as well as “Other market leaders — including the ‘FANG’ stocks — also fell sharply, underscoring the view that their leadership was on shaky ground. Shares of Facebook were down 5.1 per cent, Amazon.com was down 4.3 per cent, Netflix was down 4.9 per cent and Alphabet (Google) fell 3.4 per cent“. Now, we can go two ways in this, yet I am concentrating on the mere logical view. It is not the part of loss that is concerning me, it is as I said in ‘Annual medical bill $864,685‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/11/17/annual-medical-bill-864685/) “Consider the $2365, whilst their opponent is offering a decently close solution for $1499 (Google) and $1599 (Huawei) all top end phones and the next model is 33% cheaper, in an economy where most people are turning around pennies (just look at Debenhams). It was a really bad market moment; one could argue that Apple believed their marketing whilst it was nowhere near realistic“, when we consider this part, which is the basis application of common sense in a day and age of hardly being able to get by and we see such drops in stock levels, is that because there is underperformance, or a more clear image of overestimation by certain analysts clearing an optional path of short selling? When we consider the definition of short selling as: “The trader sells to open the position and expects to buy it back later at a lower price and will keep the difference as a gain“, is my speculation on a market set to implode that far from the actual truth? Has the entire FAANG group resorted to hiring mentally challenged Business Intelligence enabled accountants, or is someone spiking the Wall Street environment?  Is my thought on this that far out or synch with reality? When we see SBS reporting with ‘Nissan chairman arrested in Japan for financial misconduct‘, and we are given: “Besides being chairman of Nissan, the 64-year-old is also CEO of Renault and leads the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance“, “Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa expressed “despair,” but also suggested that Ghosn had accrued too much power and eluded proper oversight“, as well as “Saikawa gave few details about the nature of the improprieties, including refusing to confirm reports that Ghosn under-reported his income by 5 billion yen, or around $60 million (AUD), over five years from 2011. He said an ongoing investigation limited what details could be shared, and refused to be drawn on whether other people were involved, saying only: “These two gentlemen are the masterminds, that is definite.”“. As we consider the impact of Representative Director Greg Kelly and Carlos Ghosn, we might think that the entire matter is contained, yet is it? The fact that Automotive is a clear element on Wall Street, when we see this and we do not see another part, how wrong have the analysts been getting it? The fact that numbers on Wall Street would not fluctuate to the degree needed as the numbers were spiked by a major players is interesting to consider yesterday’s news (at https://www.zdnet.com/article/nuance-spins-off-automotive-segment-into-new-publicly-traded-company/). You see, just like I found the issue in the Harbour or Rotterdam two decades ago, I looked into another direction. When we consider “Other automotive brands such as Honda, Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Audi, Porsche, Nissan, Kia, Chevrolet, Harley Davidson, Ferrari are ranked by their brand value among the top 100 brands in the world!“, so if we see the SBS part with: “years of financial misconduct including under-reporting of income and inappropriate personal use of company assets“, which looks weird as this is merely an internal part (criminal or not), is there a decent chance that the entire matter is larger and as such, would a provider like Nuance not be hit as they are a component in the Nissan (and Renault, and Mitsubishi)?

In all this, when we consider The actions of one, and the impact on another, yet we see that expectations were ‘firmly’ in the wrong place, at what point will we start asking the damaging questions to analysts who were ‘overly’ positive? So when we see: “Wall Street was looking for earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $525 million. Shares of Nuance were down slightly after hours“, were we shown a realistic stage? This gets us to the Sydney Morning Herald, where we see: “Since the FANG outperformance run peaked on August 30, the group has underperformed the S&P 500 by 16.25 per cent. That is their worst underperformance since the first half of 2014 when they underperformed by around 20 per cent“, is it truly an underperformance, or is it set towards unrealistic overestimation and as such, is the foundation of short selling not done on the word of analyts? So in that light, would it not become more and more prudent to ask the analysts certain questions? The fact that certain Nissan events were not on their radar, what else did they not see and as such, would that not have impacted the numbers at Nuance in a similar, yet there unfairly?

What else is there?

Well, that can be seen in one way as these players all need power to be available and energy is becoming an issue in the US. What happens when we put the (big) mouth of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the test? As he was ‘kind’ enough to use Bloomberg to state that the current crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “unstable and unreliable”, would it be an idea to ask his royal highness to kindly consider that Oil is a sellers’ market and that it is important to consider the long term future of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as such, it is important to consider the value of oil and I personally believe that it should be raised to $73 per barrel, in light of this cutting oil production by 12% would be essential.

So when Lindsey gets the news that his lack of diplomacy is cutting oil and raising prices, at what point will he ever feel safe again as the American people will react to the mere stage of commerce, it is a sellers’ market plain and simple. It is a sellers’ market because the buyer is always open to get it somewhere else, and in all that there is merely Iran left. How does it all flow now? Let’s not forget that these are not my rules, they are the consequences of Wall Street. At what point will people wake up?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, it is one where the monarch of that nation makes decisions that decide what would be the best track for the people of THEIR nation (which is Saudi Arabia). In a time where the life of a journalist does not matter, Turkey showed that and both the EU and America remained largely quiet, so let’s face it, we do not care about Jamal Khashoggi, yet that person has received more pushed and powered visibility than for example Matteo Messina Denaro (I chose him as I grew up being a huge Diabolik comic fan), so when we see his actions and his absence from the press for the longest time, why would we care about Jamal Khashoggi? Because a knave speaking for Iran direted others to do so? We keep on getting the news, the media, the mention of tapes, yet how clearly has the evidence been investigated? The media stays silent, mostly playing on innuendo as much as possible.

You see, it the Crown Prince succeeds in getting the stage of Neom Started, Saudi Arabia will have started and aspired to something never seen before in the history of this world, all the things that America claimed to have done will be seen active in Saudi Arabia, it is optionally the biggest blow to American ego and optionally their economy too and they are finally scared, like the UK was when the 70’s peace accords had a chance, they pushed Egypt in another direction. Now we see the stage where there is so much anti-Saudi news, that it is sickening to me, especially as the acts of Turkey and Iran are smothered. How much news have you see on the 214 journalist jailed in Turkey? most of them all convicted, the last one a week ago, we were given “A court sentenced Turkish journalist Ali Unal to 19 years in jail on Wednesday on a charge of being a leader in the network accused of carrying out a failed coup in July 2016“, Jamal Khashoggi got 60 million hits in Google Search this morning, it is that far whacked out of balance and the industrial next generation all technological marvel that could be Neom, including the Bridge that links the Sinai (Sharm-El-Sheik) to Saudi Arabia, opening even more options to commerce and growth for Egypt and the Sudan? A mere 2.8 million, a project that is well over $500 billion in investments for technological and financial opportunities; that got less than 3 million hits. I reckon that Saudi Arabia also needs additional PR and digital PR on a much larger scale.

I think that America (as well as the European Union) needs to wake up and smell the coffee and they need to do it fast. As they whinge like little children, they are optionally giving additional fields of economy to India, China and Russia to move into a market where the oil revenues will be pressed for a different directions, so as these people are merely trying to bait infighting within the Saudi Royal family, they should start to realise that one of them wakes up and decides to close the tap by 20% and merely adjust the vision towards 2035, at that point whatever comes next will no longer have any America and even less Wall Street, at what point will the American administration have to forfeit on 21 trillion of debts they can no longer pay? Let’s not forget that the entire FAANG group can vacate and move anywhere globally, at what point will we see the news: ‘NASDAQ shuts down!‘  leaves us with the question: ‘is my speculation so outlandish?’ You see, the needs for the next technology is no longer in America and the difference between global and global minus America is not that big, at that point the politicians of the European Union will fold like little bitches and accept whatever deal will keep them employed and on their gravy train; they are that predictable.

The nice part is that there is every chance that I will be around when that happens, getting to tell the economic and financial editors of all the major newspapers: ‘I told you so!‘ and the blatant attacks, the media toolkit against the current crown prince of Saudi Arabia makes my speculation more and more likely. You see, it was merely a week ago, when CNBC gave us (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/trump-duped-saudis-into-tanking-oil-prices-analysts-say.html) ‘Oil analysts say Trump fooled Saudis into tanking crude prices‘, with the quote: “Oil market analysts say it now appears that Trump hoodwinked Saudi Arabia, fooling the U.S. ally into pushing the oil market into oversupply and sparking a roughly 25 percent drop in crude prices. That accomplished Trump’s goal of driving down energy costs for Americans“, it is optionally a decent tactic, but at present it can backfire, the KSA can take a step back and let it all fall to pieces as the Saudi government can survive a few years in the up scaled oil prices, yet the US and European economies will start to collapse as they have no infrastructure left, so when we see Bloomberg giving us ‘The Oil Price Is Now Controlled By Just Three Men‘, whilst we know that America has pissed of the other two to the largest degree; if truly three man control the price, the names are given to us as Presidents Donald Trump, President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. That whilst America needs to import to survive making them actually pretty weak. So at what point do the people in Wall Street wake up and realise that the oil morning special is served at $91+, whilst there are 3-4 months of extreme cold ahead? At what point will they realise that oil is a sellers’ market, not a buyers one and the oil companies can wait, they can watch it all collapse and pick up cheap labour for a mere apple and an egg (quite literally so).

In the end, America can start making a deal with Iran and Russia for oil, yet at what cost will that come? Which concession will the American people have to agree to? I am pretty sure that this moment will become the nightmare scenario for Israel as well as the others get to cater to Iran, and the oil setting makes that an optional reality; the amount of concessions Turkey will get will give the EU something to cry about to a much larger extent; apart from the nightmare that the Italian budget is becoming at present.

There were a few games on everyone’s desk and at least three of them have been handled so badly that the impact needs to be felt in the US, even if it was for the mere reason to get them to wake up and smell the coffee that they spilled and the cost of living that they helped raise soon enough.

Oh, and when the Italian economy stops stagnating and turns to recession again, the mere impact of a 5% oil price rise would be enough to stop Italian traffic in its track, how much will be possible there when that happens? Consider that Italy has the highest fuel prices costing €1.65 per litre. When that goes up by 10%, how many people would be able to afford a car? More importantly, the Italian economy has misjudged this super high price for taxation, so when that falls away, how much of the Italian infrastructure is also likely to collapse?

It is a mere side thought, because France and Spain will be in similar distress on a few stages there too, not to mention the impact in Greece. It would decimate the Mediterranean economy to a much larger degree, yet Wall Street will trivialise it and when there is no more trivialisation left, who will they blame?

Saudi Arabia, President Trump or themselves?

I will let you figure that part out.

 

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Hezbollah, an ignored danger

It has been around for a while. There has been a clear view on how we perceive things, it is in part fuelled by the media and in part through governments that use the flim flam artist approach of ‘watch here‘ whilst the action has been ‘there‘. We have seen a larger growth of anti-Semitic and even anti-Saudi ‘presentations’ and articles. Even though there has been a clear issue with several sides towards the ‘unnatural ending’ of Jamal Khashoggi, the media was way too eager to merely use Turkish innuendo, whilst to a larger extent no verifiable evidence has been produces, even some of the claims have been contradictive. This does not mean that Saudi Arabia is innocent in this, but the critical questions had remained absent to a much larger degree and that too is being swept under the carpet. Yet there is a lot more in all this and it’s important to look at one of the larger puppets Hezbollah. You see, they are very much connected in all this.

Historical

For me personally there is history, I was never part of UNIFIL, yet I was part of the United Nations Security Council and I knew people who were part of UNIFIL, so when I was exposed to ”One year later, following a comprehensive operation by the institute and due to growing international attention to UNIFIL’s failures – and despite EU pressure to prolong the UNIFIL commander’s term – his term was discontinued“, as well as ““The European continent has turned into the lifeline – the oxygen line – for Hezbollah’s terrorist activities,” said Prosor. “If Germany, and then the European Union, would designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, it would suffocate part of the organization’s ability to function.” For more than a year, the institute researched and produced an investigative documentary on Hezbollah activity in Germany. The film was produced entirely in the German language and with German and international experts“, I was decently shocked. The Jerusalem Post gave us in addition: “the lack of professional background of the commander who was leading the force and his blind eye toward Hezbollah’s violations on the Israel-Lebanon border, deeming them as activities of “shepherds and hunters.”“, the fact that there was this level of complacency was just unheard of. The fact that the other media is seemingly ignoring parts of this is just way too weird. Now, we can consider that the Jerusalem Post is biased, yet when we consider both The documentary was first shown at the 2018 International Conference on Counter-Terrorism and at the presentation to the German Parliament at the end of this month, we should realise that this is a much bigger issue, in addition UN Nikki Haley publicly criticized UNIFIL at the UN, one would think that this is due more visibility then we have so far seen, and when we also see: “while it seems obvious in Israel and America that Hezbollah’s military and political arms are both sponsors of terrorism, in Europe this is not so obvious. There, they make an artificial differentiation between the military arm – a designated terrorist group – and the political arm“, It is almost like the entire IRA issues we saw in Europe in the 80’s and 90’s and whilst Europe remained cautious in regards to the IRA, it is seemingly willing to embrace the political arm of Hezbollah that is every bit as dangerous as its military counterpart.

A facilitating gravy train

There are two additional parts here. The first is less than a day old when we are ‘treated’ to: ‘Hezbollah money laundering has a ‘safe home in Germany”, again from the Jerusalem Post, that even whilst we are given “Lax German illicit terror finance policies permitted Hezbollah to run a vast enterprise to raise funds through a money laundering operation in Europe and South America. French prosecutors put 15 members of the criminal organization on trial last week in Paris. According to three German media outlets – NDR, WDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung – two of the accused men lived in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and an additional two men who were charged lived near the city-state of Bremen in northern Germany“, I could not find any references in other large media (outside of Germany and France). If they have it, it was hidden pretty efficiently. It seems to me (very speculative) is that there is optionally a growing link between the political branch of Hezbollah and the secular press as the Americans call it and that is pretty dangerous. When we consider that Hezbollah is directly engaged in Yemen, the ignoring of such events is a lot more damaging than you could imagine.

There are additional sides in this, yet most of this is given in opinion pieces, which is a factor that we must take into consideration. The first comes from the Khashoggi family (aka The Washington Post), who (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/to-rescue-yemen-the-us-must-end-all-military-support-of-the-saudi-coalition/2018/11/12/aca29358-e6ad-11e8-b8dc-66cca409c180_story.html) gives us ‘To rescue Yemen, the U.S. must end all military support of the Saudi coalition‘, now, it is a viewpoint that a person should be allowed to have. I do not think it is a realistic one, apart from the fact that ‘Houthi’ is mentioned twice and Hezbollah does not get any mention and they are both firing missiles into civilian areas of Saudi Arabia (and that is all besides the absence of Iranian activity fuelling it all). Yet the passing of a ‘blogger aficionada‘ (aka Journalist) takes front seat to a setting where that person should not really be an issue to the degree he is shown. The stage gives us “in which more than 16,000 civilians have been killed or injured“, yet the mention of 50,000+ deaths from disease, famine and other means where Houthi’s are allegedly using Hezbollah tactics does not get any mention either.

It is that filtered view that is giving light to a behind the curtains support setting to Palestine and Hezbollah. Now, to be fair, a person should be allowed to be pro-Palestinian, if people are Pro-Israel, the other should not be denied, yet Pro-Hezbollah, to be in support of a terrorist organisation is a much bigger issue and that hidden part is becoming a lot more visible, especially when the news is shown to be so unbalanced, even when it is ‘fronted’ as an opinion piece. so when we see the links (as an image), whilst it is almost all openly ‘anti-Saudi’, yet the fact that the atrocities that Houthi and Hezbollah have been largely the cause of, that absence is making the news not democratic, but a shadowy version of niche events presented as factual truth, whilst the given view on the larger scale shows this absence to be close to utterly unethical, especially for a paper like the Washington Post, whether they are now staff-1 or not.

1982 kilometres from Beirut

So how should we react to: “Even U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres submitted evidence to the Security Council that Iran was supplying ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in defiance of U.N. resolution 2231“, which links to a 2014 article, yet the truth is that this has been ongoing and even as Western Europe is puckering up towards Iran to a much larger degree, leaving the political response against Hezbollah unanswered and more important Mohammed Ali al-Houthi is not seen as the guilty party he should be seen as. It is often stated that any aspiring tyrant will consider peace on the eve of defeat and that is what we see now. Even as we are treated to ‘Arab coalition to allow Al Houthi medical evacuations from Yemen: UK‘, we also see ‘Wounded Al Houthi rebels to be evacuated‘, yet what about the 80,000 children on the brink of death due to famine? Even as some might applaud the Saudi Coalition victory, seen though: “Recent high-ranking defections among erstwhile allies of Al Houthis signal further such splits as the Iran-aligned militia suffers setbacks at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition, experts said. This week, Abdul Salam Jaber, who had served as the information minister for Al Houthis, defected from the militia and fled the Al Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a for Riyadh. He said the rebels were “breathing their last”“, the biggest responsibility should be to the Yemeni civilian population in such distress through famine and disease alone. Even Deutsche Welle reported ‘Yemen Houthis seek truce with Saudi coalition‘, yet nothing on those starving to death and even as the Deutsche Welle gives us “The three-and-a-half-year-war has pitted forces loyal to President President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led bombing, against Houthi rebels associated with Tehran. Saudi-led coalition has recently intensified the bombing in the key strategic area of Hodeida. A blockade of the port city could trigger unprecedented famine“. Even as the blockade might be tactical, the fact that food has been withheld from the civilian population to a much larger degree through the Houthi whether or not employing Hezbollah tactics is also absent here.

For me the problem is a lot larger, as we clearly see the impact of Hezbollah and the absence in the media, the media is becoming less and less reliable, especially as the stories remain one sided. There is a larger part in all this. Personally I am not convinced that this is the complete picture, and I need to make it clear that this is speculative. It is my personal belief that when we consider The National (at http://www.thenational.ae) and some of its unconfirmed articles, some might have seen: ““This was no rogue operation but, rather, a function of Hezbollah’s “financial apparatus,” which “maintained direct ties” to both Hezbollah commercial and terrorist elements,” he wrote in a report published by the Washington Institute of the US Treasury designation of Nourheddine, which preceded the arrests. “Within days of this designation, Noureddine was arrested in France along with several other accused Hezbollah operatives“, as well as ‘Operation Cedar—of which the Treasury designation was just one part‘. I am amazed that the Netherlands were not more visibly mentioned in all this. It seems weird, almost unfathomable that this was all achieved without the use of Rotterdam as a point of transit. Even as transitional cargo is not really looked as, as the Netherlands was not the end destination, it is the biggest world hub in getting containers and bulk cargo from anywhere in Europe towards Asia and the US (and vice versa). This implies that Hezbollah political players are seemingly active there too. The article does mention the Netherlands, yet in a much more ‘timid’ capacity. We see: “Cash was dropped off at hairdressers in Antwerp in Belgium, a large hotel in Paris, a restaurant in Montreuil or a café in Enschede in the Netherlands. Transcripts showed that Mr Noureddine would hand out orders for the collection of as much as 500,000 euros at a time. Six figure sums were often delivered in small note denominations” and that makes sense for the German part (Enschede – Germany) is a distance you can walk (4.5 km) with a highway to Gronau, so that is a place to easily get into Germany (and the opposite direction), hundreds of containers a day take that route. when we consider the news a month ago, when the Dutch were confronted with: ‘Dutch politician praises pro-Palestinian kite show featuring Nazi symbols‘, my assumptions and speculations might be shown as correct, yet is that the actual part in that? So when the Dutch were treated to: “Rens Reijnierse, a lawmaker from the southern city of Vlissingen” and his Pro-Palestinian view “Kites at Pool Beach. Beautiful autumn day in Vlissingen. No wind so the kites won’t fly but the project for Palestine still succeeded,” he wrote” as it was tweeted gives light to not merely a Pro-Palestinian view (which should be allowed) to an optional facilitating Pro-Hezbollah view (a speculative view by me), which is another matter entirely, if that would prove to be true, and even as I mention one person, I am convinced that the anti-Semitic vandalism as shown 6 months ago in Amsterdam was recorded to have risen by 40%. From my speculative mind, there is no way that this does not include a wave of Pro Hezbollah people giving light to a much larger danger on a global scale.

The size does not matter here, the fact that the media is allegedly shuffling this part to the bottom of the news pile is an issue and the few parts I have shown here, should also give rise that the media to a much larger extent is seemingly doing this. Merely Google ‘Hezbollah‘ for the last 24 hours and I see an absence of The Guardian, The Independent, the Times, and several other large newspapers in Europe. Do you really think I was making that up? It is not merely what we see; it is what we do not get to see that shows us that there is a much larger problem. Optionally there is a hidden danger, which is nothing to speculate or allege to. Those who are not in the news are often quickly forgotten and that is the true danger that Hezbollah is representing on a global stage. You merely have to view the thousands of images that show the nightmare that Hezbollah has been part of to see the danger that they pose, the fact that Iran is willing and has been shown to fund this is the icing on the cakes of Iran and Hezbollah, the fact that the media skates around it makes the cake more delicious for both these players as they are not given the limelight of their actions.

 

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