New World Order

You might not realise it and some hope that most don’t, yet there is a shift this week, there is a new global ruler on the planet. Some will deny it, they will sugarcoat it and some will use carefully phrased denial, they will not give any answers, but the world changes this week. It was always going to happen and I saw this event coming towards us with certainty no later than 6 years ago, it was like watching a bull shark trying to break free, cut the line that hooked him, yet this wire was too strong, there was no evading the obvious, the new ruler is here to stay. The new superpowers are Russia, China and the Bank. This week as the US borrows another $3,000,000,000,000 dollars the stage is set, the interest will now spiral and the US can no longer pay its debts, it is even worse, the annual income will not cover the interest on the outstanding debt. Even t 1%, the US will have to hand over $25,000,000,000 in interest, and there the setting is stage, or better yet the stage is set. The BBC reported that “The government has also extended the annual 15 April deadline for tax payments adding to the cash crunch” it is the final downfall acts through a consumer based economy and we will all feel that crunch as the US governing table will now mandatory include a representative of the banks, not some ‘political commission’, no a stage where the banks set the stage of what is allowed to be done. It is a new stage and even as we think who that is, my speculated view is that it is a representative that both the Rothchilds and Wall Street approve of, there is no need to wonder on which side of the political isle they fall, they will be above that and both Democratic and Republican parties will have to adhere to this. Are you scared? You should be! This is no longer a stage where the citizens are heard, it becomes a stage for consumers and enablers only. So the rights of the elderly and unemployed will fall away, they will have to make room for enablers and users. Their rights will be sullied more and more. It is not something that will happen overnight, it is something that will happen over the next 3 years. Political decisions, hard budgets and economic stages will be set. The fat of the body remains, the unessential parts will be cast aside to whither and die. This was the stage I foresaw in 2013, now it is no longer avoidable. Even as we see “Last week the chair of America’s central bank, Jerome Powell, said that he would have liked to see the US government’s books be in better shape before the pandemic”, in my view he is saying “You need a miracle to keep us out of the decision stream”, and he would have been right. As I see it, this is the direct impact of irresponsible politicians acting and spending a credit card that does not impact them and leaving the next group to fend for itself, that has been the stage for well over a decade and now the bill is due, no 5G economy to save them, no IP innovators to up the value of the US, the game is pretty much over and after the US falls, the EU will follow quite soon. The banks played the long game and they won, I wonder how much mercy and humanity their spreadsheets show, because for a lot of us it will become a much harder world. We either show value or we are done for, this is what sitting on the sidelines brought you all. The direct impact of “It will work out”, it will not and now we will face a much harsher situation and as the media plays towards its shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers, the people will finally realise that they have been played. The bank bill is ALWAYS due, there is no escaping it. I wonder if there is truth in the matter of an independent California, because they represent the largest group of enablers and consumers, No matter how we see it, the US has no stage to pay for the interest on $25,000,000,000,000. Their economy will not allow for that, so what will drain first, their pension plans, or will they pay out of the unemployment funds? The banks will get their pound of flesh and they do not care how the US brings the numbers, as long as they bring them, when this new bill comes aross, the numbers are reached and the needs of the banks can no longer be ignored. Aneconomy by comission driven people, the almost ultimate nightmare towards an economy you do not want to consider.

A new world order that crept under a cloud of inactions by those who should have acted and the people are alas out of options, they voted the inactionable collective in and now we can merely watch on the sidelines how it all unfolds before our eyes. You thought the Coronavirus shut down was bad? It will get a lot worse, now consider that not only supermarket aisles are empty, add to that the services will at some point fall away, see where a lot of us are then. 

We all let it happen, we only have ourselves to blame.

 

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Nature of the beast

There was news on how Samsung failed the net mobile options, the news was given ‘Exynos 990-powered Galaxy S20+ flops hard in gaming’ what I read came from NotebookCheck, and it is important that even as I am no friend of Samsung (due to their own doing in 1985), I tend to not be a Samsung hater. Let us not forget that I love Nintendo and I personally hated the WiiU, I also accept that sometimes a failure precedes a success like the Nintendo Switch, so Samsung might optionally be down,but they are not out. In the end the article lets out that it is basically not the fault of Samsung, but the chip (and its makers) is the cause of all the viewed hardship. The Exynos 990 seems to be below par on a few fields as such depending on that chip caused the project to go pear shaped. This is the direct result of choices, sometimes they blow back on us (WiiU anyone?). Yet in the field the hidden message is often missed. As stated ‘after 10 minutes of running PUBG Mobile, the galaxy S20+ was dropping frames to 50fps (something some recent consoles could not maintain), and as low as 40fps by the 20 minute mark’ the story is nowhere near over and Samsung has time to get up to speed in more than one way.

The writer goes on stating how it is that a $200 solution called Redmi Note 8 Pro did so much better. It is interesting that merely one example was matched. Still it is a mark on the status list of Samsung for now, yet a firm that is in the top 5 of most registered patents in the last years does not have merely one push towards the top and even as (for now) the S20+ is not likely to be a pushing power to the top, Samsng has had its share of true innovative successes and as such it will bounce back, it has done that a few times, and I have no doubt it will do so again.

They are not alone, even as Apple has no recorded future failure yet, it seems that not unlike the time of the PowerMac, they face a new chiprace. The news is that Intel just cannot get their response rate right and as we see that, Apple is considering a new path, one that is RISC or ARM, if it is the RISC, we see a return to happy times (ME: happy happy joy joy), yet that is because I am not a chip man and I know little of the ARM, I merely remember the good times of the RISC (I still have my RISC G5), that systems outdid anything available in those days and made no noise. Still that is not enough for you to rely on. In my mind I see another field starting up, all the APP developers relying on little INTEL options to get whatever they made go faster will have to rethink their options, there will be a weeding in the ranks of APP developers soon enough at that point, not to mention the people making PC games and including Apple as an option, it sets the optional parameters that the design for Apple needs to be truly for Apple. These two matters are a larger stage, last year the Irish Times reported on the collaboration between the two in regards to the iTunes movies, but I wonder if it stops there, Samsung has a much stronger infrastructure, Apple has a few unique designs and a following of millions, I wonder if there is not a larger space for more between the two, they must realise that the changed setting of Covid requires a different stage of thinking for the near future, their approach to almost unaffordable phones is nice, but millions of people are getting laid off, people who used to buy their products and that is off the table for the next two years, if not even longer. 

The changes that we are seeing will demand the largest players to find symphony and chorus between them instead of relying on the powerful solo acts that no one can afford. As such we will see a few more surprises in 2020 and 2021. Some might think that the markets will settle again, but they all forgot that to appease Wall Street too many companies were on a 90% stage with no reserves, now it shows as the bankruptcy numbers are going through the roof, even smaller players like Virgin are running for their life laying off thousands of people, without reserves there is no continuance for any of them, they ignored the common setting for keeping reserves and a 2 month shutdown was enough to make most of them buckle and it will get worse, the EU (those pulling the strings) have achieved in delaying Basel III for another year due to Covid implications. The FSB stated in one of their reports “Funding markets have been under strain amid extreme demand for cash and near-cash assets” it is a stage that is escalating, mainly because of a lack of reserves and it hits back at Samsung as well. This one failure is optionally no biggie, but when you consider that the next two years will be washed from larger revenue and profit in a stage where the time was not great to get a failure to deal with is not great, it is all about the reserves and to appease the markets too many players left ‘margin’ on the side for good reporting, it stands to reason that bad news will rule the news on several fields and it seems that Samsung will join that group that ends up having not great news, and optionally they have marginally good news that will get a downward revision up to 60-120 days later, can’t have the current quarter down, can we?

We can look and see how separate events do not add up and that would be fair, there is however a much larger field in sight and in that field the S20+ failure comes at a bad time, yet they are not alone Apple is in a similar place and forgoing individuality for 2-3 years and set combined products might be the good path for those two players. Samsung could revert to another path but overall they are not in charge, their shareholders are and they fear recession like the black plague. This is merely because 2-3 years could result in a stage of no reserves with a much stronger push towards a 3-5 year stage of no consumers and the shareholders fear that much more than anything. 

Is it not interesting how shareholders make a large company much easier to anticipate?

I have no doubt that Samsung will survive this era, just like it did in 1985, so far history has proven me right again and again, yet the entire Corona escalation is new to too many players and to me too, as such there is a lot we cannot see in a stage of feigned ‘non-panic’, even as these people have no idea just how bad things can get, and they need their shareholders to have faith, as such there remains an unknown. 

Time and profit are the ruling elements of the beast that devours, for the most it devours profit, yet what will it resort to when there is no profit?

 

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Remaking the past, facing tomorrow

I have been working on my novel, at 58,000 words, I am more likely only 50% done, but there is a lot more to come and as I was considering (creating in the mind) a new IP in the form of a new TV series I realised that the same idea could be an addition to the book I am writing. As such I felt a little bit of a traitor, as such I feel I have to make amends, even as no one has been hurt, I felt that smudge of treason to the idea. As such, my mind decided to take a turn towards the past, not the distant past (Iran in the old days), but a little more present (like the 70’s). I have written about the best drama series that the UK ever made (I Claudius), yet it was not alone, in that age two other series were made, both in the 70’s and both had a Greek origin. The first was Who pays the ferryman and the other was the Aphrodite inheritance. Both (for that time) excellent pieces of work, both based on excellent books and both with a setting that was mesmerising. Who pays the ferryman gave me the interest for Crete an interest that still lives on today, I have seen it three times. 

Cyprus (where the Aphrodite Inheritance was made) was less on my radar, yet the story was fun and gripping. 

I believe that places like Apple and Netflix could turn these two into interesting remakes, put Greece again and more visibly on the map. Even as the episodes are timely, the remake could set the spirit in the now and the issues that grip Greece, the stories could be upgraded and the issues that were skated round can be gripped with connected nearby historic places like Spinalonga, a stronger interaction with Agios Nikolaos and so on. Crete has plenty of stages and plenty of options. 

The Aphrodite Inheritance, started strong and the story takes on a nice turn, yet in today’s environment, the stage could be set with optional IP theft and industrial espionage (on top of the relic part in the story). It all hit me as I saw the Aphrodite inheritance on YouTube the other day, I believe that the older series and especially the mini series are getting more and more views, not because of the lockdown (partially driven by it), but the fact that plenty of Americans are now looking through the UK base of drama and it has them hooked (I agree that is speculative of me). Yet the number of views and the turn that SBS is making with Name of the Rose, shows that there is a growing interest in remaking good drama into something larger and even more astounding. I admit that I was skeptic on seeing the first few episodes of Name of the Rose, but so far that series exceeded whatever I thought was possible and I think that players like Netflix and Apple are always looking towards new IP, yet they too realise that what was made almost half a century ago was often not surpassed in all these years and the two titles I mention are on that list too. 

And in addition, no matter how many franchises there are and how many Marvel movies are coming, the people also want excellent drama and a lot of franchises just do not deliver on that to the degree described (neither do the Marvel movies). This is nothing against the Marvel movies as their origin is very different from many movies and we get that, and we love them. Yet we want more and we seem to want it now. Apple seems to be on top of the New IP with the new shamalamadingdong series (the man who made the Sixth sense) and now with Servant he makes another stab at our dread factor, he does it (as stated by others) in an exceptional way. 

Yet in this day and age, movies and TV series that rely on the Wow factor do not make it very long and that is where the stage of drama can add to the venue. In the first, the rewatchability of any drama is a lot higher than most other series. Yes, we love horror and Science fiction, yet how often will we rewatch them? Consider an American drama series like The West Wing, the fact that even today a lot want to see it again, even as the series ended well over 10 years ago is decently exceptional, there are other series and yes, there are plenty of wow based series that have the same, but the stage of drama is larger, there is no denying it. Whether a drama is dipped in Fantasy, Science Fiction or Horror does not matter, it is the drama effect that draws the people in and I believe that the audience wants to see more of that and there is every chance that Netflix needs to adhere to that part if they do not want to witness a audience transfer towards Apple plus. That will be seen towards the end of the year as more series and remakes hit Apple plus, they took a swing and hit the ball out of the ballpark. The remakes are more than just a choice, series and movies that were quirky and often fun will optionally become the TV series that are drama’s with a coating of wow. There is no way to tell how this will fare, and this is not an attack on Netflix, but Apple took the war to the next stage and they were ready for bear in this fight. To coin a phrase ‘they brought a bazooka to a gunfight’, and that bazooka merely has to be aimed into the vicinity of Netflix, Netflix will get hit no matter what, the amount of damage cannot be foreseen and the entire Covid setting brought it to the forefront. It hastens the setting we see now and even as Netflix has a lot more series, there is every indication that a 10% shift might be enough to get the Netflix investors running for cover and for them to find a way to break even at best. Yes, we see how Netflix shares are rising faster and faster, but lets not forget that as Americans and Europeans get back to work, they will stop using Netflix to a much larger degree, and in all this the internet congestion we see all over the world does not help Netflix, Internet providers were not ready all whilst they claimed they were. I warned people of that fact in 2018, now I am proven correct, even better, there is every chance that the entire congestion stage will increase over the near future and it has nothing to do with gamers. Zoom with its conferencing side will set a much larger international stage and consider how many firms work internationally now and under the strain of a reduced workforce how many more zoom meetings people have to look forward to.

A stage that goes from bad to worse and there is no way to stop that event. Yet this too is a stage we must give value to, as I see it the entire congestion setting is a drama all by itself, a stge of interactions that will not work and will show other wait time and loading icons, but no movie and no shows to see. It is important because it will hit both Apple plus and Netflix. 

There is nothing as hilarious as both offering 4K whilst the internet providers cannot deliver, the entire Corona stage is merely pushing to the foreground what was there all along. So as that stage is debunked more and more all over Europe and the US, we will soon see a stage where the material not the resolution matters and there we see another stage evolve, the quality of the story, because a wow film is only as good as we get to 4K and uninterrupted view and so far there was a lag and has been for almost 2 years, and as we see the congestion pushed to the foreground more and more, because under 5G the matters will only get worse, not less. 

Yet in all that the remakes will give rise to another lag, the stage of crowd control on the internet. Yes, you might laugh yet the stage is already there, the people will demand the full service all whilst Netflix, Google and others are limiting resolutions to appease the covid pressures of online. And in that stage we see a much larger need, the need to deal with congestion right in the middle of the stage of switching between 4G and 5G. Congestion has not been dealt with and cannot be dealt with, not in the immediate future, as such the people will see a much larger shift to appease their demand and the smaller players will now face the hardship of not being able to deliver, it is a drama all by itself.

No matter how we see the coming of more remakes, they are the stuff we demand, for all kinds of reasons, yet enjoying it on a decent quality will remain a question not merely for the direct future, for the larger timespan, even as people will stop to some degree the stage of streaming, the stage of TV series without advertisements is a lot more appealing than most think and when they are confronted with advertisements the entire stage of Apple Plus, Netflix et al will come to the forefront again and still it comes with internet congestion just below the surface, pushing its head above the waterline sooner than ever before. 

A view to face in the sights of tomorrow.

 

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Parallels

I started playing a new video game. Well, it is not new, I have played it 7 times (I think), I played it on the Xbox 360, the PS3,the Xbox One and the PS4. The game was released on 11/11/11 and it is called Skyrim. I have loved this game since its release and it all started with the predecessor Oblivion. So how does a game become this amazing? There is a parallel with the series I Claudius made in the 70’s. You see there are two distinct differences, this game is great, not great through marketing (Microsoft never learned that lesson). In I Claudius its greatness came from 4 elements. 

  1. The Script
  2. The Cast
  3. The Director
  4. The Environment

I believe that games have a similar side to it, and we can see the difference between a good game and a great game. Even as there is no real cast in Skyrim, the makers have to define the characters, on TV they are played but the impact is similar. It is the environment that has the greater pull, whilst it was Roman times for Claudius, the medieval era that the Elder Scrolls exhibit have a similar pull on people.

It drove me to make the first design for TES: Restoration, yet in all this, I do recognise that another Skyrim was not going to make it, gamers are innovative driven not iterative and we have seen this going back to Tomb Raider 2 (1997) and even before that. 

The first question becomes ‘How can we continue a franchise and remain innovative?’, the second one is ‘How can gaming be pushed towards future greatness?’ In the first case we need to investigate, the second one is for the visionaries. The first question is important because what was released between Assassin Creed 2 and Assassins Creed Origin was less and less and almost destroyed the franchise, it is nice that Ubisoft remains in denial and after that makes a ‘Looking towards the future comment’, yet the issue is much more important than you think. 

Great gaming does not happen overnight and places like CD Project Red are really rare. A lot of game designers tend to be one trick ponies when it comes to great games and so far they pulled it off more than once, as did Bethesda as did a few others. Yet the ones that do are a minority and in the light of console wars investigating what is possible matters, good gaming is good for all, the era where Microsoft and Sony keeping each other one their toes driving gaming is almost a thing of the past and we need to see better games to resolve that issue. It does not matter how it goes, but at present only Sony and Nintendo remain great, Microsoft a lot less so and as such it will impact great gaming for Sony players down the line. 

As to how to fix this, I have no idea. Yet the thought does propel me forward and I Claudius is still a prime example of what makes a product great. The fact that it can stand against any drama produced almost 50 years later is proof of that, yet in that regard looking at the elements help us. The two elements that are the strong drivers here are the Script (the game story) and the environment. In that regard Bethesda is sitting pretty for now. Evenas there is no finality towards Hammerfell (2021), the signs are good and as I personally see it, it would also benefit my idea of TES: Restoration. It doesn’t change the premise, it merely makes it larger and the new consoles are ready for that, the fact that PC’s need to reserve 150GB for the new flight simulator confirms that and gamers do not care about that space, they will do a lot more to their budget to get the best out of games. Thousands of Elite Dangerous fans are evidence of that, they beat flight simulators fans almost two to one on hardware. Andforthese fans storage is an important element (another thing Microsoft never learned in 8 years). And the setting is not PS5 against Microsoft, it is old, stale and Microsoft lost. It is getting The Apple and Google Solution to par off beyond Nintendo. It is not an easy trip but it can be done and a few good games is all that is needed. Not games already released (Diablo 3 and Skyrim), but actual new IP that the others do not have, that makes any new great game 5 times the challenge for the existing consoles. And it can be done, in all this I refuse to discard Apple, when it comes to TV Shows, they are showing to give Netflix a run for their money, and if they can do it on TV, they can do it on gaming too. 

It is a wild west of digital format and both Google and Apple are on equal footing for now, yet the stage in 2022 is not known and cannot be set until the IP comes out for comparison. So all the junkies that are hardware driven will learn a very interesting lesson, the lesson that it was never about the hardware. The CBM64 people saw it, the PS1 and N64 people lived it and no one seems to catch on. It has always been about great games and as we see copies of great amiga games arrive on Android the decision makers are starting to wake up, yet they lost dozens of opportune IP that is now in the hands of those making a few dollars from microtransactions. It is the loss that we have seen over a year and the larger players are apparently not catching on, so where do the gamers stand?

Well, that remains to be seen. I Claudius was almost never a reality and so far has never been remade. The chance of equalling I Claudius is rare to say the least and surpassing it will be almost impossible. It is the impact of a near perfect TV series and games have had that same impact. On TV we saw other series making it good, even great and games can do that too. Will we see it? I have no idea, but if I can come up with 4 golden idea’s in a year there is no way that there is no one else doing that same thing. My biggest issue is that it is unlikely to be Ubisoft, it is more and more likely that several indie developers are sitting on that great idea and finding them by the right people is what counts towards the next console battle. As I personally (and speculatively) see it, someone (high up) at Microsoft will open their mouth making a needed jump to their precious Azure solution, making the game a no go, as such I am more and more curious on what Apple and Google pull off. They might have what it takes to become a member of the big 4, the question at this point will be, does Microsoft have what it takes to remain one of the big four in 2023. The game is open for a lot of players, yet will they have the software to make it count?

 

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What is the good place?

It’s Sunday, I am currently watching the original Planet of the Apes, it is one way to pass the time, just watch an actual classic. I have had an interesting day. With my mind on creativity, the series ‘the Good Place’ inspired me to a different miniseries. Consider a simple inventor, the man is a Civil Engineer, and he comes up with the bright notion of inventing a different kind of heavy metal filter, a way that is based on centrifugation. It is a simple yet novel idea, and he submits the idea and registers the patent. It is not a week later when he is suddenly invited for a meeting with an ‘interested party’, when he gets there he sees that the ‘interested parties’ involve a politician and a former employer. Before he knows what is happening, his patent is under attack, the politician and the former boss have sought legal assistance and they claim that the patent was stolen. In the end, after the court case they take 100% and he ends with nothing. Over time he learns that the judge was in on it, he had become a silent partner in the event that scores them $6,000,000,000 split 6 ways. 

This starts the plan where he starts to get even. The clock now jumps 12 years, the 6 are of course really happy, and during that event the social engineer walks in and shoots the entire party, the thieves their partners and 11 children. 

The next moment we see that they are in heaven, the 6 families are there, and they have large mansions, cherubs that take care of their needs and they are seemingly happy. It is at this point that the floor comes down from under them. The idea is that the civil engineer got away from hell somehow and is not wreaking havoc in heaven, yet in all this, heis focused on the 6 families, taking one child after another, all to be collected and placed on a cage of emonic thorns, making the children sign over their souls for their parents non prosecution of theft, all the kids agree and are dropped into hell, at that point the parents have to select heaven or hell, in the end only one accepts the exchange and jumps into hell with the key that will unshackle his child. 

That is as far as I got, the link to the good place is seen when in the end it shows that they were all in hell, the heaven impression was done in a deal between the head demon (Asmodeus) and the civil engineer to get his revenge. The deal was his soul freely given to teach the thieves a lesson. Yet the civil engineer has another part in all this, as the thieves sign over their allegiance towards their soul for the absolution of their crime, the second plan comes into effect. It will be his ticket out of hell. 

That is as far as I got, it took about an hour to think it through, there is a lot more, but I will not bore you with that part, not for as long as it is not properly scripted. 

This was my state of mind as the news hit me on the Coronavirus, the idea that the US has 52,000 deaths to the coronavirus, 25% of all global deaths, and they are now reopening (to some degree) their country, apart from a president making (sarcastic or not) some claim that the body can be cured from the coronavirus by applying detergent to it. In all this, we get the realisation that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Trump both seem to live at Pennsylvania Avenue 1600,it seems that Disney characters are getting a living upgrade. Not bad for a weekend, is it?

Yet the idea of making an iteration of the Good Place wasn’t my initial idea, yet I reckon is that this series has had its impact, yet my version is not a comedy, it is much darker, heaven almost exceptionally puritan, and hell is dark and fire red in aspects (I haven’t been there yet so my view on this place is still shaping. Yet if we agree that we are driven by the seven sins and the seven virtues, the trap we make for ourselves is that there is a lack of balance. If Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and humility are on one side, what is on the other? Pride? Avarice? Envy? Wrath? Lust? Gluttony? Sloth? As I see it, they nullify one another, like a seesaw we are on the twisting point between sin and virtue, how can we chose the balance? If Lust and Chastity are on a seesaw and our setting is the axial, how can we select? Love is a combination of many facets, lust and chastity are part of it, but they do not stand alone and we are in a stage to keep the seesaw balanced. The issue is not lust or chastity, it is fear and greed. The US reopening their places (to some extent). In all this the numbers are screaming part of the idiocy (as I see it), all these nations, the EU at almost 750 million citizens. Then we get India, Asia and in all this, the registered deceased spans 25% of the world, that is the US. Reopening stores and trying to get back into the swing of things is a choice and perhaps it is the better one, I do not have the knowledge to debunk it, but the larger healthcare message is lockdown, there is wisdom in that too. Knowing what is best is not for me to say. I understand both sides and as we see Bloomberg giving us one side,the NPR rolls in another direction, like the seesaw, the axial of balance is in the middle, yet to what direction should we swing? The problem is that for most of us the balance point is influenced by fear and equally by greed. Greed might not be pronounced outspokenly by a lot of people, but greed is a reason we must address. Even as for most it will be about the ability to pay the bills, is it any less greed driven? We might all see greed as evil (I at times do that too), yet the need to survive is also laced with greed, the need we have to pay our bills, we call it differently, but it remains a form of greed and not all greed is pure evil. This reminds me of an original Star Trek episode, it was called ‘the Enemy within’, the realisation that the good Kirk and the evil Kirk need one another, if balance of ruthlessness and empathy is essential to make sensible decisions, we see another path that we all face. The more primal the drive,the more direct the balance between both elements is seen. We are at times driven to deny the negative emotions, yet the early lockdown the harsh decision (or logic) behind it might have lowered the curve for the US, we cannot tell for certain, it is too late now, but the fact remains, in a nation with 325 million people, out of a population of 8,000 whilst there are over 2.5 million of cases and the number of deceased in the USA represents 25% of all corona victims. The numbers seem to indicate that lowering the curve sooner would have been better, but I have always stated that there is more to this virus, and so far the US is still in a beginning stage, as such the 25% might be a low number for now and the bad side is that the reopening of the US in a week might signal a very negative situation. We can speculate on this until we are old and grey, but reality will show us what will be soon enough. 

We will all make up our own minds, some will blame 5G and burn down Wifi masts, some will blame the chinese (again) and come up with more matters to prosecute and in all this, the history of the other versions of corona are ignored, we can ask any cat, but they are seemingly merely the victims in all this. It seems that the bosses that mploy a lot of us are soon to be seen as good and bad, which will upset the curve a lot, but no matter how we look towards the future and where we look, we need to find a balance within ourselves and propagate that outwards, that is essential to create a balance within ourselves, because no matter how this all goes, there is every indication that the month may will see the first of several cycles of blaming the people around us. 

 

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Name of the game

We all played monopoly, we all played a number of board games where we were taught that there is a balance, a level of fairness about. The game Hotel lets us build a hotel, get a permit, get clearances and as the players get to our hotel, it will cost them, there is a similarity to monopoly, but Hotel plays a lot faster. We all agree that there should be balance in all this. Now let’s take you back 15 years ago, suddenly we are forced to pay an additional fee to be allowed on an airplane. The issue was that fuel had suddenly doubled in price. Fuel is the strongest and clearest view towards greed and exploitation. Forced in cars we are pushed towards spending more and more on fuel. The entire virus situation has changed the position of the seesaw, now there is another matter and the traders who have filled their pockets for decades are now in another stage. So when we are told “US Senator Ted Cruz told the Saudis to ‘turn the tankers the hell around’ on wednesday” we get the first indication on the support that politicians give the oil barons in the US. And as we are told “traders have scrambled to get out of the contract to avoid taking delivery of barrels because of a lack of storage”, it is another example of short sighted spreadsheet thinking, oris it? I will accept that the entire Coronavirus situation is totally unforseen, yet in all this, the speculators and traders are seemingly getting support on both sides of the seesaw,and that is not right. It is as I personally see it, just another version of ‘too big too fail’, and the approach that banks used before, now also applies to traders. They might make a statement on ‘stopping Saudi Shipments’, yet the opposite also remains true, if the Saudi government decides to deliver merely 80%-90% of the normal shipments for the next two years, the impact will be disastrous, fuel prices will go beyond insane and the US government only has its own shortsighted thinking to thank in that case. So as Ted Cruz ‘hides’ behind “this is SEVEN TIMES the typical monthly flow”, I merely ponder the question, what did the original contracts say? We heard last year that the Saudi’s were ‘told’ to increase production. Perhaps the Saudi government, or an official at Aramco might be kind enough to put those contracts on the internet for all of us to observe. Is it not interesting that oil ha to be ordered?  So where is that purchase order? I reckon that Aramco could optionally store some of that oil in Rotterdam, the petrochemical plants there have lots of storage (I do not know how filled they are), the Americans would have to pay as they refused the ordered delivery, so the ships would have to go via an American harbour towards Rotterdam with alternative routes to Hamburg, in the end these places would end up with free oil, America has to pay for its contracted purchase of oil. 

And I get it, no one saw the Corona issue explode the way it did, but that is the nature of the game, win big, lose big, but too many people won’t allow for the lose big and to some degree there are situations that can be adjusted for, but the need for 2 million barrels of oil per day, now in a nation where there is a lockdown, and not just in the US, all over the world, things will have to give in, yet what the media reports a whole range of wrong actions are being taken. So as we see in the Guardian ‘Trump considers block on crude oil imports to prop up US markets’, so that might be the short term, but consider that the Middle East decides due to these actions to limit export to the US to 80% of nominal, or what was initially agreed on. On one side, the Middle East takes a hit, on the other side if that limit applies, by the end of the year, heating and car fuel will go through the roof, how will that come across? And when it comes to ‘exploitation’, consider FXCM.com “Discover Potential opportunities and Trade your Opinion 24/5. Fast Execution and low Spreads. Trade Oil, Forex, indices and more” yes these traders had all kinds of options, but now, they need to get out, they do not want to pay the ferryman. I accept that, because the entire Corona issue could not be predicted, not to this degree, but how often do we get to hear, ‘there is one winner and one loser’ and this time around Wall Street (to name but a financial dimension), gets an invoice it never saw coming. Not just Wall Street, the financial districts on a global scale are getting a pummeling it has never had before. Is it just? That is a moot question, it is not about justice, there is no just, this is about the contract of oil delivery, they have pushed in the past again and again and the short story is, where are the contracts that the US has with Saudi Arabia? Last year they wanted it cheap, they wanted more and they demanded it their way. Now they have to pay.

Justice is not part of the deal, it never is when Wall Street potentates are involved. So why is it important? The issue is not merely the oil, there are all kinds of long term impacts on goods and manufactured items that will impact our lives, yet the oil traders demand their full margin of profit, even if nature banks against them.

As I see it, and under the present situations (as far as the information is known to me) the entire response from Ted Cruz was stupid, plain and simple. He turned to emotion whilst this was about a contract, is there a contract, is it valid? None of the media reports on this. The fact that a boat representing $50 million in goods leaves a port implies that this a contract or a purchase is attached to it, if not, Ted Cruz still does not have a leg to stand on, because he never made mention of that, politicians hiding behind emotions and outbursts tend to have lost the higher ground and it shows here.

And the media is (as I personally see it) in on it, none of them are asking about the contracts, no one is looking at the oil contracts whether Saudi Arabia is having an alleged hostile act, and in this, the turnabout is harsh, when Saudi Arabia limits delivery for years, the US will have a massive industrial problem. Is that not an interesting view? In the entire oil contracts, I saw nothing on the BBC, the Guardian, and a few other papers too, there is no show of the contracts and perhaps you remember that no one ships $50 million in goods unless there is a contract or a purchase order. It is not about the dumping, it is about the paperwork around it and no one is asking.As I was watching an interview with Ted Cruz, I see that he is in a bad place, his state (Texas) is the oil producing heart of America, they do not like the situation and I agree that he must do what is best for his constituents, yet in all this someone signed a contract with Saudi Arabia (a fair assumption) and no one is asking for that document, not even the media, is that not surreal?

If we are going to hide behind emotion with the hope that the invoice flys by, we ned to realise that this will hit on the flip side, and the consequence of 80% delivery after Corona is equally dangerous, but if this is a game, you should accept a lack of foresight attached to this, in business there are purchase orders and sales contracts, Especially in oil where prices can go through the roof, in this case the oil traders will take a hit unlike they have ever had, it comes with those 7 figure bonuses.

At some point regression to the middle also indicates that profit falls can fall to zero. Those not seeing that were standing on a bear trap hoping no bear would come by as they were unable to move and optionally unable to flee the environment.

 

 

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Opposing the light

There are several things happening in this world, yes there is a Coronavirus happening and last monday I lost a friend to that. I had not seen him for months and he had his own life (a good life mind you), he was a friend, a friend I could not see too often for all kinds of reasons (not all mine). Such is life and we need to realise that at times, we reach a point where all that changes overnight. 4,950 died in Australia, one of them was my friend, in a population of 25 million, it is a mere 1% of 1% that I am personally connected to. I should have bought a lottery ticket last week with these numbers!

The BBC gave me an interesting update as numbers go. A lot of it was not interesting, it was a been there done that. The entire situation takes a turn when we are given the realisation that France included the deaths at  care homes, England does not, as such the numbers we are introduced to are flawed and incomplete. In all this we have a group of EU nations who decide on what is reported and what is not. Apparently a corona death in a care home is not a corona death at all, how is that for today’s tuna bake?

Yet the realisation that his is happening, how about Germany and France? France had 158,000 and 20,796 non living whilst Germany had 149 thousand and only 5,117 deceased, as I state in previous blogs, the numbers just do not add up, and it gets to be worse when we compare the deceased in France and Germany 20,786 versus 5,117. That is not merely care deaths, that (in my personal opinion) constitute another factor, the difference is too big. If this is not the case, if this is truly about reporting, then we see that the case for ending theEU has been made, after all this time, billions squandered, there is no correct protocol for reporting? And the entire pandemic, or uniqueness does not count. The numbers are squandered all over the place and the people are kept in the dark, in all this the EU has become somewhat of a joke. 

And when it comes to ‘rescue packages’ the sun really lashes out. Now, I get it, there is a good case to push for some relief and I would not disagree, yet there is a strong sense that this is just a jacked up dal that was denied when there was no coronavirus. As such we see Austria, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands are opposing any deal for the mere reason that they are held liable for repaying the debts of the irresponsible politicians in the south and that case had been made a few times over. A stronger case for ending the EU is right there.

As long as nations are not held responsible for their acts, their ability to push their gravy train on the other members has now reached the size where several nations are strongly pushed towards ending the EU and there is the larger problem for the EU, they should have stepped in when Greece went over the side and they did not, they let it fester for over a decade and now we see that the pull to remove the EU is now a much clearer path, the UK got out in time, but only just. Due to the Coronavirus we now see a possible escalation that would give a much stronger rise to Frexit and Nexit due to the political strife they face. To be honest, I never saw Nexit happen as Geert Wilders (a Dutch politician) fell short by a larger amount, yet that time is gone and renewed options are in play. Is their path the best for them? I actually do not know, I feel that it was the best course for the UK, but that does not mean it was the best for all. I think the Netherlands has strong enough ties to survive that move, France as well, yet in that light Italy and Spain face much larger hurdles. Even as the French economy is in the drain, they do have options, Spain and Italy much less so.

Will it happen? I do not know, but the Corona setting is allowing for a much larger setting of anger in the populations then we ever thought possible, as such the stage changes by a lot. The entire lockdown will only fester it worse, that is how I see it. Even as Geert Wilders sees the Corona escalations to push Nexit, his strength is waning and he cannot bring it about, yet in all this the EU and their approach to their gravy trains are another matter, millions of Europeans have had enough as inequality is rising, Spain and Italy will set another stage, one that the EU cannot face, and whilst the EU will not show responsibility and forces politicians to be accountable, the entire matter merely escalates. A lot of Europeans no longer see the EU as the light and some are actually opposing that light. The Corona mess in Europe is bringing a festering wound to the open limelight that was previously only slowly festering before. In all this the EU breakup was always going to happen, the Coronavirus is merely escalating matters. 

Can it be worse? Yes! Will it be worse? That depends on the EU and its greedy politicians, even as we saw the media report on all these people their is still the flaming income and gravy train matter that is out in the open and the people who are scraping by are getting more and more angry, now that we see that even a simple cadaver tally cannot be relied on, the dam is breaching and that festering issue is merely blanketed and optionally misrepresented by the connected stakeholders. 

People are opposing what was once seen as a solving light, it took a mere case of the flu to bring it to the surface.

 

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